The Land of Boys

Learning to live in a house full of testosterone

Archive for the month “September, 2010”

Advice For Those Who Have To Deal With Pesky Computerized Customer Service Calls

I really hate calling somewhere and hearing “Press ___ for ______……“. The only thing worse is getting a voice recognition computer. Sometimes those things are good. More often than not, however, they are more trouble than they are worth. They are especially bad if you have a southern accent. Southern accents seem to not be well-recognized. ;-} One time I was getting so frustrated I was actually yelling into the phone. Mark had a funny idea. He said when prompted to say something I should say, “A big acorn level fluh,” loud and clear into the phone. If you are wondering he came up with THAT one, it comes form the movie Chicken Little. Chicken Little has been hit on the head by something he thinks is a piece of the sky. No one is believing him. People, er, animals are all around him, asking him questions. They see an acorn fall and decide that what hit him was just an acorn. He is so distraught that all he can do is mumble “A big acorn level fluh….” at them.

So  recently I had to call the AT&T cell phone store. I called the local store, not a nationwide 800 number. Guess what I got? A stinking computer!! One that wanted to know if I was calling about home phone, cell phone, internet service, or cable. Do you know what I did? I said, “A big acorn level fluh,” right into their computer.  Know what else? It worked!! The computer said, “I am sorry. I am having trouble understanding you. Let me connect you to a customer service representative.” I have to admit, it did make me smile. I got what needed to be done much more quickly than if I had kept answering the mind-numbing questions they were asking of me. So now, I am sharing my husband’s good advice with the rest of the world. Try it! See if it works for you! It just might brighten your day as much as it did mine.


The Challenge

Our family has been trying too eat healthier for a while now. We try to watch our fats, cholesterol, and sugar intake. When you start reading the labels on your food, it can be challenging to avoid the stuff we don’t want to put into our bodies. High fructose corn syrup is in everything!! It is even in stuff that is not sweet. So I have been doing a whole lot more cooking from scratch than from convenience foods. Which is fine and dandy at home. However, when we go out to  restaurant, we have no idea what we might get. I mean, how many fresh ingredients are in there, lurking underneath the MSG, franken-foods, and preservatives???? On labor day, as we were sitting under roadkill hunting trophys in a small barbecue place, we made a decision. No more restaurants. It will take planning. When we are out and about for a day, we have got to plan ahead to leave (and get back home) at times where we can cook (or just sandwich it) at home. We have a few weak spots. Chinese food. Mexican food. Italian food. (okay, the Italian food is really just my weakness, but the other guys are weak in other spots) Fortunately for us, there are so many good recipes available in cookbooks and on the internet. I love my American Heart Association Cookbook. (Don’t laugh! The food really is good!) There is a recipe for Beef Tips that I usually cook on my birthday. Mark and Benjamin don’t really like it, so I don’t cook it often. But it is sooo good!!! I have various cookbooks that churches, bands, and elementary schools have sold as fundraisers. Good country cooking can be found there. And now about the internet. I have several places I love to go to get recipes. The English Kitchen- This is a lady who moved from Canada to England. Her recipes are amazing!!! I have cooked breakfasts, desserts, meat and side items from her recipes and we have not tried one yet that we do not like. The Crepes of Wrath– So far I have only tried one recipe from here. The Honey Chicken. It is so good, I have no desire to go to a Chinese restaurant again. Yes, it really is. There are several more things on here that look good, I just haven’t tried them yet.– there is a plethora of recipes for every level of cooking expertise. I love having comments from other people who have made it on the recipes. They tell if they made it as-is or did anything to jazz it up a notch. They have a pizza crust recipe that makes enough for us to make 5-6 pizzas. Can we say GREAT for busy weekends???? I found a lasagna recipe that is so good I never have the desire to try another one. MMMM!!!! White Lily– okay, I haven’t actually made anything from here-yet.  A few nights ago I was looking on the website to see if they had coupons. Didn’t find any coupons, but DID find a jackpot of mouth-watering recipes. Many that I do intend to try soon!

Hopefully I will be updating my recipe section soon. I really do cook, I just don’t come up with new and exciting things on a regular basis.

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