Saturday, July 29, 2006

Helmut Redux

I've decided to return the helmet for a refund of the purchase price and eat the $40 in shipping.

The seller from Korea is not going to be happy he didn't return my shipping fees, though, because I will do whatever I can to get him banned from eBay -- or at least give him some grief. He claims he makes only $10 per helmut and that he has sold hundreds of them and mine is the first complaint. Not true. His most recent negative feedback is from a helmut buyer who expected the helmut to be wrapped in leather -- as stated in the ad. Faux leather is what he meant to say, apparently. Faux DOT approved is probably what he wanted to say in my ad.

He actually responded to my complaint by saying it was "nonsense." I was boiling.

I'll show him nonsense.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Buyer Beware

eBay is a wonderful place to find some pretty fabulous things. But, folks can really get ripped off on eBay.

Remember that adorable pink helmet I bought a couple weeks ago? It arrived.

I wouldn't feel safe wearing it while riding my bike on the Silver Comet Trail, let alone riding my scooter 40 mph down Ponce de Leon. It's flimsy, uncomfortable and too light to meet U.S. DOT requirements for helmets. Besides, to meet the requirements, a manufacturer must submit a sample helmet and, if the design meets the requirements, a sticker is issued for each helmet the company sells of that design.

This helmet does not even have a fake sticker attached. The seller outright lied in his ad. I sent him a message about it and received no response. So, I did something I've never had to do in the nearly 10 years I've been trading on eBay: Open a dispute.

So far, a file has been opened and an official e-mail has been sent to the seller. I'll keep you posted on how the process progresses.

Friday, July 21, 2006


It never occured to me that people would actually read my blog. My own mother doesn't bother to read it, and some friends have said their eyes just glazed over when I began writing about knitting socks. So, I figured only Len's folks and close family bothered.

Turns out I was wrong. And it freaked me out a little bit!

I went to my weekly knitting group last night (our first meeting in Kim's new store, Knitch!), and a couple of the ladies mentioned they actually read this thing. I was touched, and then a little nervous. Have I written something I'd regret them seeing? Do I sound like an idiot? They know I write for a living: Do they think I'm a sucky writer? Geez. I felt, well, exposed.

But then I thought to myself, "why even have a blog if I worry about what people who read it might think?" That's the point, right? You throw out your own thoughts for the world to see and 'tough' if they don't like you or what you have to say.

So go on, knit girls, read away. I'm actually flattered. Where can I find your blogs?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Daisy Eats Devon!

Yeah, like the little guy would allow that.

I was bored with the old look, so I made some changes to TFB. If Len can change his blog, then I can change mine.

I've been trying not to call Jackie this week about a couple italian greyhounds she has in "stock." Sergio and Prince Iggy Hop both have problems with their legs and need medical attention. The last thing we need is another Devon, but this bleeding heart of mine is making the little guys hard to resist. Maybe Len and I can just go to Macon this weekend and make a donation. Or, maybe we can foster one or both of them. Ah, who knows?

Sergio is the IG that is grey with white patches and Prince Iggy Hop is white with grey patches and has the blue collar. How can we resist? So hard...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New Helmet for Megan

I bought a new helmet on eBay for my scooter. Nothing is wrong with my old helmet, except it is plain and white. My "new" helmet is modeled after an old Vespa design and was cheap, cheap, cheap! It's on it's way here from Korea now -- let's hope it doesn't feel cheap, cheap, cheap! It is DOT certified, though, so it should be good.

The scooter lifestyle is great. I take MARTA when it rains and scooter any other time. Len and I scooter for fun on the weekends, exploring neighborhoods in Atlanta. Saturday I took him to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. It really hops on the weekdays, with downtown office folks eating their lunches. This is the only place I've ever found outstanding bread and olives in Atlanta. You don't know how important something is until you don't have it anymore...

We rode through some questionable areas -- even saw a real-live drug bust -- but that's all part of city life. Not far from there, Len and I stopped to walk around a so-called in-fill neighborhood. A place where an old warehouse or an entire block of weary buildings are replaced with new residential. It was a cool neighborhood, actually. There were really nice row-houses (or town homes) in the neighborhood, as well as office space and retail space, with a street or so of very authentic craftsmen style homes. The developers did a nice job matching the architecture of the houses and other buildings to the truly old 20s houses across the street. Except these new houses were built much closer together. Also, until you looked around the side, you couldn't tell the new houses were actually like four times larger than the original houses. Price? Starting at $805,000. The people living in the old houses across the street must be counting their imaginary money.

Len is on his last trip to Seattle this week. He's probably relieved and a little sad at the same time. Hope he goes for a beer and the salmon platter at the Virginia Inn one night for dinner and off to Big Time for Beer and pizza another night.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Vegas, Baby!

I should rename my blog "Treats for Blogging" and perhaps then I will be a more reliable blogger. It's been a while.

I went to Vegas last weekend with my mom and my brother, Frank. The trip itself cost us nothing, air and hotel were free for all of us, so our only expenses were eating and gambling. We ate a lot of crumby food because it was cheap -- I had low expectations for the steak and lobster special for $10. It was okay, but I'd have preferred a great hamburger for $7. Alcohol, of course, was free so long as we were gambling. Frank, who had never been to Vegas was really intrigued by this concept. He asked me: "So, what's the deal with the free drinks?" I told him to tip the ladies $1 and he was good to go. He soon got the hang of it, and started asking for the better stuff: "Do you have Samuel Adams?" he'd ask. "Guiness?" Me? Water and vodka tonics all weekend. Mom even had a beer or two.

I astonished Len by arriving home with a few more dollars than I left with. Frank did about as well, but mom was the big winner with her $900 gain. I was actually down the last night by $150 and was pretty sick about it when I played a quarter slot (had been playing roulette all weekend) and won the 1000-coin jackpot. $250! I was redeemed. I played it safe the rest of the time and came home happy.

While at the roulette table one morning, Frank and I, playing our 50 cent chips, watched a young guy from Iowa walk up with his friends. They'd been gambling and drinking all night and were just about to leave for the airport. The kid dropped a $100 bill on red and doubled his money. His friends were in awe. This energized the kid and he played another hundred on black and won again. Now his friends were sure he was God. Kid got cocky and lost $100. Kid raised the stakes and won $500. This went on for a while and everyone at the table was really having fun watching this kid clean up. He walked away $1700 richer.

Too bad that's not the end of the story.

About a half an hour later the kid came back and dropped $500 on red. Lost. Another $500. Lost. I said out loud: "Go home with your $700 and be happy." But the kid from Iowa had to redeem himself in front of his buddies. Frank noticed that the last time he pulled bills out of his wallet, there was nothing left. Kid went home broke.

But, he's got a story to tell for the rest of his life, right?

Otherwise, we all had fun watching the Vegas sights. We saw an Elvis impersonator and an Al Green impersonator (yeah, who knew?). Frank and I did a lot of walking down town -- we stayed in the old area and walked through the Neon sign museum areas and looked for trinkets for his girls. I almost got an airbrushed tattoo -- just to freak Len out. Fremont street has become an attraction all its own, with a canopy covering the street with all the old-school casinos: Fitzgerald's, the Four Queens, the Golden Nugget, etc. It was 109 degrees outside, but in true Vegas fashion, the hotels were blowing cold air out under the canopy and it was actually comfortable. A half-block walk outside the canopy and Frank and I felt like we were actually on fire. It was hot.

That's Vegas, baby.