Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I am really not found of Charter

So... Charted has never been one of my favorite companies. Today however, they really became my least favorite company.

I decided to log on to my account and pay my bill. I often forget the password and have to look it up - it's usually some gibberish one I can't recall easily. I did find it and I proceed to log on to my account using my user name and the random password. As soon as I got into my account I noticed that the amount due was different than what I thought I owed, as well as the name on the account. It was a Keith something or other in Nebraska. Odd. I figured it was a fluke, so I opened another tab in my browser and did the same. Logged on. This time it was different. It was a different name again... a foreign name in California. So... then I was getting concerned. Charter wasn't *really* giving me access to random accounte complete with home phone numbers, addresses, account numbers, the ability to change/add/delete service, personal e-mail addresses.... you get the point.

I tried a 3rd time. Surely this time I would get my account. Nope. Another try, another name. I forget where the 3rd person was.

This is when I lost it. Charter was giving access to account information. Who knows how many people got access to my account or anyones account.

I called them up and of course they didn't quite understand what I was talking about. They offered to transfer me. I figured I needed to tell someone at Charter about their "little" problem. I got put on hold. For. Ever. And Ever. And Ever.

I eventually hung up. In the meantime I wanted to see what I could get to. Yup. I got to bills. I could change what I wanted. I didn't of course. I would never do that. But the possibility scared me.

I tried calling again. This time someone asked me some security questions. My address, my phone things that I could have had access to on any of the 3 random accounts I had sitting in front of me. This did NOT reassure me at all. The call center rep kept asking me if I wanted to pay my bill and I kept explaining that there was NO WAY I was paying my bill to a company that was giving out account information for free. She eventually transferred me to tech support who robotically explained that this was a known issue and not to log into my account anymore. He wouldn't stop talking for about 30 seconds - just spilling out a spiel about how they were working on it etc... Not reassuring. He was supposed to reset my password. He put me on hold and never came back. Not surprised.

I am REALLY unhappy with Charter.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The start of summer

So summer is about to start. At the end of this summer things will be dramatically different. For the 1st time, both my kids will be in elementry school. For 8 years I have had a baby or a preschooler, but when my daughter hits kindergarten this fall, I will have neither. It's a little odd to not be the parent of a "little" kid, but it also feels good. I feel like I am moving forward. Many people I know have 3 chilren and many of them had the 3rd right around the time the 2nd started school. People also ask themselves how do they know when they are done having kids, the answer is that you just know. Things are good with the 4 of us. I can't imagine bringing another child into the family, and I honestly really have no desire to. I feel content with how things are right now.

The summer will be busy. My son is doing swim team for the 1st time and we have a trip planned. We are also going camping and my daughter will celebrate her 5th birthday. I have lots of activities for them during the day and hopefully we can get out and about through the state a bit. All this will happen in roughly 2 1/2 months time. At the end of it all my life will change dramatically. I will no longer be the "at home mom" - even though I have been working part time for the better part of 4 years. I still want to be part time so that I can go to the activities in the evening and be able to have fun. I definitely feel that I miss out on a lot working evenings and weekends. I look forward to the future of my kids in school during the day and being able to be with them in the evenings.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Oh my gosh, I love HDR

I have seen lots of HDR pictures over the last year or so. They are always so amazing.

I got a Canon Rebel for Christmas and have wanted to make HDR pictures. in The last month or so finally decided to figure it out. It's not hard. It's just bracketing the exposure of several pictures (at least 3) and then using a program to merge them together. I tried Photoshop CS2 and was not impressed. Them I did a little more research and found Photomatix. Holy moly! This program is amazing. It basically does all the work for you. I love taking the HDR pictures now. I just need HUGE CF card now.
Here is my first REAL GOOD HDR image. It is of a corner of the Thai Pavillion at Olbrich Gardens. When I first saw this pop up on the screen it litterally took my breath away.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I appreciate the cool weather, really I do.

However, I am truly ready for something consistantly in the say, 75-80 degree range. I don't think that's too much to ask for in May, do you? The rain has finally slowed down. We just need it too be a little warmer. We took a long walk through Middleton last night and it was quite pleasant. I am really looking forward to this summer and the activities we have planned.

It looks like we are going to head to NY after the boy gets out of school. When we return both kids will have lots of things going on around town. The boy will be doing swim team this year which I think he will be good at. Not much is happening in July, however we may try to take a trip to Devil's Lake and camp for a night or 2.

August we are planning a lovely trip to Door County and camping in Peninsula State park. We have even convinced the grandmothers to join us. Granted, they will NOT be camping, but roughing it in a quaint little hotel right outside the park grounds. Every time we go up we always comment on how much they would love it up there. I am so happy they will join us this year. Hopefully too we can go on a LONG hike with the boy - something the little girl can't do *QUITE* yet. Hopefully in they next year or so she'll be able to make it 5+ miles with few compaints. The grandmothers can hang out with her and we will explore the park.

I am really looking forward to summer, I just need it to be a tad bit warmer.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

1 Bag, 1 Person, 2 Weeks?

So Mom left today. She'd been here 2 weeks and when she arrived 2 weeks ago, she brought along her 2 checked bags. She checked them both with no issue.

Today, leaving to go home, she walked back to me a bit perplexed telling me she had to pay $25 for her 2nd bag. I told her no... one bag must have been overweight and that's why they charged you. Nope. Big sign says "1 Bag Free 2nd Bag $25" and then some other fee for 3 bags. This was on Northwest. I don't know if other airlines are following suit. I don't think it's THAT big of a deal, but what bothers me is that she brought 2 here for free, she should be able to return with that amount and not have to pay. What was she supposed to do with the 2nd bag?

So anyway, pack lightly for your domestic trips!

Thursday, May 01, 2008


This is really sad. This happened here in Madison. This girl was killed a few weeks ago here in downtown. It turns out she called 911 and no one followed up.

Once we accidentally called 911 and apparently they tried to call us when we didn't answer, the police came to our apt and had to see everyone in the house to make sure we were all ok. I can't beleive that this wasn't followed up on. So tragic and inexcusable.

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