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Wal-Mart is dumb. (Crib adventure part 2)

So, Sherry calls me on Friday. She tells me the crib has arrived, but unfortunately it's the same light-colored wood we didn't want. She said she called to other stores again, but all she could find was the lighter, "natural" color. She apologized and said it looks like that's all the stores can get from the distribution centers. I thanked her for her time and trouble.

Damn. That's disappointing.

So, Asia and I decide yesterday to go ahead and get that lighter colored crib. It's still the most reasonably-priced model with the features we like. So I borrow her mom's pickup truck again, and head to Wal-Mart. I was kinda nervous, since the last time I was there they didn't have any of that model in stock. But I figured the one I special-ordered might still be there.

Sure enough, it was. There was a box with a special packing slip attached, and some other hand-written notes. But I didn't spend much time looking at all that, because right next to that box was another with the designation, "M-4", the same as the display.

Ooh.

I grabbed the box and peeked inside through the handle-hole. It was the dark walnut-stained color we wanted! I raced around the store getting the other items on my shopping list, almost paranoid that if I didn't hurry, that crib would be gone before I got back.

It was still there. So the crib that no one had, and no one could get, is now being enjoyed by our little boy. And he does like it a lot.

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I don't think one should be allowed to include the word "RARE!" in one's eBay item description when a search brings up 119 identical items.

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A little over a week ago, we decided to go out looking for a crib for David. He's just about outgrown the bassinet we've been using, so it's time for a real bed.

We went to our local Wal-Mart. We liked one of the more inexpensive cribs for a few reasons - it converts into a toddler bed, a day bed, and a headboard for a full-size bed. We also liked the walnut-colored finish. As is usual in Wal-Marts, the display had a sticker that said, "Box M-4", to more easily locate the correct carton. Well, none of the boxes said M-4, but there were a couple of boxes that seemed to be the exact model we were looking for. We asked for some assistance in getting the carton out to our borrowed pickup truck, and asked the helpers to verify we had the correct box. They checked the SKU number, and noticed it was one off of the SKU on the display, but said, "That happens sometimes." From all the box's labeling, it certainly should have been the same crib.

Well, it was. Except for the color of the finish. Instead of the dark walnut finish, it had a light "natural" finish that neither of us liked.

I looked up the crib on the Wal-Mart website, and found our walnut version, but not the natural version. I also noticed that the "Ship to Store" option was not present on this particular item, and that shipping to our house costs $70 or so. Another button allowed me to see which Wal-Mart stores had this item in stock, and it seems every store in Kansas does except ours.

So, I borrowed the truck again. Drove out to get it, drove the truck back home, loaded up the truck with the crib box, got the truck stuck in the snow, got it unstuck with Asia's help, and got the crib down to the store.

I explained the situation. "We saw your display with dark wood, and got this light wood model instead. Could we please have the dark wood?" They didn't have a dark one. They said I could order it on the website, and have it shipped to the store for free. I explained I didn't see that option for this item. They assured me it should work, and if it didn't I could come in and they would help me out.

Then I got the truck returned and got back home. It wasn't a fun day, and I didn't feel very optimistic about getting this crib.

Well, today I printed out the webpage and went back into the store. The Department Manager was very helpful. She wrote down a long list of stores that showed the crib as being in stock, and told me, "It looks like they group the two different wood colors together, so it might be that these stores also only have the lighter color." But, she took my name and phone number, and told me she'd call me this afternoon to let me know what she found out.

Only about a half hour later, she called to say she found one of the darker color, that it would be here toward the end of this week, and that she would call me when it came in.

So kudos to Sherry, Infants Department Manager of the Emporia, Kansas Wal-Mart. I wasn't expecting much effort, and you really surprised me. When I come pick up the crib, I'll be seeing about writing some kind of customer comment card or letter to the store manager praising your customer service. Thank you!

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Political Musings

The Presidential campaigns have been interesting so far. I've been following them with more interest than I have in past elections.

I tend to lean more conservative than liberal. But I tend to lean more Libertarian than Republican. And I think I actually have some common sense where my opinion on issues differs from certain schools of thought. Or maybe most Americans have some common sense, more so than the polarized politicians seem.

Being a registered Republican, I've researched the Republican candidates more so than the Democrats. So, I'll mostly concentrate my findings on the red side here.

If I were to pick the person I'd most like to see in the White House at this moment, I'd have to pick Ron Paul. Being Libertarian in most of his views, he lines up more with my opinions than any other candidate. And if you want to pick the one politician who has stuck to his guns more consistently than any other Presidential candidate, it has to be Paul.

He has consistently voted against any increase in Federal spending, and has never voted in favor of a deficit budget. He believes the Federal government is much bigger than it should be, that most of what it does should be handled by the States, as was originally set out in the Constitution. He is staunchly anti-abortion, while believing that the Federal government has no business being involved in whether it is legal or not. He believes the Federal government needs to stick to what it was originally designed to do: Protect our borders and regulate trade.

Personally, I would love to see Ron Paul be able to institute his plans to scale back the Federal government and reduce Federal taxes in the process. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening anytime soon. There are too many politicians and lobbyists who have too much to lose to go along with that kind of radical change. For the same reason, I don't see Ron Paul getting elected. But I am at least glad that he's running as a Republican, rather than as a Libertarian, so his views can get better visibility during this election.

My second choice so far would be Fred Thompson. He advocates the same kind of limited Federal government that Ron Paul does, to a certain extent. He also seems like a normal guy. But I can see him wavering on some of his convictions just like any politician. And he's an actor, also. I tend to like him, but wonder about how he'll change if he makes it to the White House.

My number 3 on the Republican side is John McCain. After reading about him, I have a lot of respect for him and his convictions. But he is practically a career politician. It'd be interesting to see how he sticks to his guns in the White House.

I don't like Giuliani at all. His record shows him to be tax-and-spend, which I usually associate with Democrats. And the one debate I saw him in didn't show him as being all that articulate.

Huckabee is too "Christian Conservative" for me. His view on social issues don't match up with mine at all.

I didn't know much about Romney until I saw the YouTube debate. My initial impression was unfavorable. He seemed too slick and polished - a couple of things I didn't like about Bill Clinton. He also kept evading certain questions, like the one about the use of torture at Guantanamo. After more research, his views on issues don't particularly match up with mine, especially social issues.

As for the Democrats, I've really only looked at Clinton and Obama so far. I really think our country is finally ready for a woman and/or black president, and I'm excited about having these candidates. I only wish we had a woman or someone of color on the Republican side. That being said, I don't like Hillary. There's something about her personality that rubs me the wrong way - almost scares me. The problem is I can't quite put my finger on it. Also, my impression is that her views on issues seem to change like the wind (or the opinion polls).

I do like Barack Obama more than Clinton. I see some common sense in his manner and opinions. Without having researched Edwards much, or the other Democratic candidates, I'd probably have to say I'd choose Obama in a final election over, say, Huckabee or Giuliani.

The Kansas Republican Caucuses are being held on the Saturday after "Super-Duper Tuesday". At that time, I'll probably look at results so far to see if Paul or Thompson has a chance of getting the nomination. If not, I'll probably end up voting for McCain.

Kanas is one of those "Red States". We pretty consistently vote for Republican candidates for most everything. The whole country knows that. So it's gotta be interesting to see that we elected (and re-elected) a female Democratic governor, Kathleen Sebelius. Why? If you ask me, it's because she has some common sense. I voted for her in her last election. I wouldn't have minded seeing her run for the President, although I've seen talk of making her someone's running mate. She's a more attractive candidate in my mind than Hillary Clinton.

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David's Blog

David has started his own blog. And his own photo gallery. On his own website. (he's been busy!)

The website is http://david-adair.net, and his blog is syndicated here on LJ: david_adair

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Media spin and politics

Edit: The link to the original article changed. I've updated it.

Apparently President Bush vetoed a bill today. I saw a news story about it on Yahoo. The headline was:
Bush vetoes child health insurance plan
Automatically I think, "That's bad." Because it sounds bad. Bush is denying or taking away health insurance from kids. Bush is evil. But what would have happened if the headline would have read:
Bush vetoes insurance bill
That sounds kinda neutral. Government doing what government does. What about:
Bush vetoes increased spending for insurance
That sounds good. Bush saving me money. What a nice guy.

All these headlines are valid. From what little research I've done (I only read the actual article), the bill would have increased an existing program by $35 billion, and would have provided health insurance subsidies for 6.6 million more people, mostly children. You can read an article to find out why Bush did what he did, what the Democrat response is, see a couple different sides of the issue.

But I'm interested in how the article is presented.

I suppose if the article would have had read with either of my alternate headlines, I wouldn't have read the article. Do we always need to be shocked by a headline to get our attention?

Also, the first line of the article is this:
WASHINGTON - President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.
This also seems to have a negative connotation to it. Bad George.

It wasn't until I got further into the article, paragraphs 9-13, that I actually read anything that didn't reinforce the negative feeling I got from reading the headline. Until then, the article consisted of Democratic response, including these two paragraphs:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., decried Bush's action as a "heartless veto."

"Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people," Reid said in a statement. "By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children's Health Insurance Program, President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America."
I suppose you always have to present one side before another, but this article seemed to be written from an anti-bush slant. I would imagine many people wouldn't have gotten through the whole article and might have walked away only hearing one side of the story.

This kind of "impartial reporting" bothers me.

The article was written by Jennifer Loven, Associated Press. The full article is here.

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Both David and Asia are doing fine. When I left the hospital last night, Asia was very, very tired, and was starting to get some rest. She's not moving around much yet, but I expect they've had her starting to move around by this morning. David is happy, healthy, and sleepy also. Not to mention adorable. (even if I do say so myself) I should have some better pictures to send out by tonight or so.

Asia is in room 480 of Newman Regional Hospital in Emporia, (620) 343-6800. If you're local, you can stop by and visit. Right now, Asia is due to be discharged Tuesday afternoon so she can recover from her surgery.

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David Adair Dixon-Ratzlaff, 7 lbs 9 oz, 20 inches.
07-21-07_1604.jpg

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Babys getting stressed. Shes going in for C-section.

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