Patriots Season Ticket Holder!

This morning, I checked my email and I received a very exciting email. Here is the first paragraph:

Welcome! You are now a New England Patriots Season Ticket Holder! We are excited to have you as the newest member of our team.

The rest of the email just explains when I’ll get my seat assignments, when they want money, if I’ll be eligible for playoff tickets this year (yes), etc… The rest of the email is pretty boring, but that first paragraph got me out of my seat and caused me to dance around house. 🙂

For those of you that are curious, I put my name on the season ticket waiting list back in 1998 or 1999 (don’t remember which, been a LOONNNG time). Over 10 years. At that point I was single. I was living in Dorchester with friends. I was driving a Saturn. I was working from home (I guess that’s still the same).

Quite an exciting day. I guess the saying “Good things come to those that wait” applies to this. 🙂

Really Rude People

We had an “interesting” experience at dinner tonight. We (myself, my wife, and 2 kids) went out to dinner at John Harvard’s in Framingham. We’ve been there as a family many times before and always enjoy it. While it is a Brew House which you wouldn’t think is the most “family friendly” environment, we almost always are seated near other families with small kids and plenty of kids are always there. Today wasn’t an exception as we were seated next to a couple with a 17 month old girl with them (just a month older than our youngest).

Within few minutes of sitting down, the couple on the other side of us asked to get their food “To Go” because they had to “get away from all the kids” (last part said pretty loudly). That in itself was pretty rude. I can understand asking to be reseated or quietly asking to change to “To Go”, but to emphasize the why was a bit uncomfortable.

The worse part about it was our kids were REALLY on their best behavior tonight. Nathan was busy rolling a crayon back and forth with me and Ryan was coloring the ship on the kids menu and chatting with mommy. Neither was causing and scene. They were both quiet. Both sitting nicely. Etc…

Anyway, we just kind of let that slide, but when their food came and they paid their bill, things got even worse. On the way out, the man flipped us the bird. We were really shocked by that. Neither of us could believe he did that. Believe it or not, it gets even worse. The woman, who had already made it all the way to the door must have looked back and saw the look of shock in our face. She then walks all the way back to the table. I was expecting her to apologize for her husband, but instead, she said “Next time, you should take your kids to Friendy’s”. I wish I would have had a snappy comeback, but I was in complete shock. Couldn’t believe anyone was that rude. The couple next to us (with the child) couldn’t believe it either.

To their credit, the staff at John Harvard’s was excellent. Apparently, the manager was on the way in right as this all happened and saw it all. He came straight over to our table to apologize (not his fault) and the other wait staff also came by specifically to say our kids were behaving quite well and to not take it personally.

Anyway, just had to vent. What a bizarre experience. I still like John Harvard’s a lot and highly recommend it as a place to eat (and drink very good beer :-). I just hope those people stay away.

My Aruba Emergency Room Experience

Last week, we went on a vacation to Aruba. In general, the vacation was definitely a nice getaway from all the work and stuff that’s been keeping me busy for the last several months. Generally pleasant and relaxing.

However, there was one little “issue” that was kind of a negative on the vacation: a trip the Aruba Emergency Room. ER trips are definitely not something you like to deal with on vacations. In this case, my youngest son Nathan (10 months old) did not drink a bottle or really eat anything for over a day and a half. That’s very unusual for him and with the heat in Aruba, we were very concerned and decided an ER trip was warranted. Turns out that was a good call as he had “Acute Tonsillitis” (basically, a throat infection) and required some antibiotics and pain meds. Within a couple days, he was somewhat back to normal so the meds were definitely the right solution.

This was the second vacation in a row that ended up with an ER visit for Nathan. Our Christmas trip to Florida to visit my parents ended up with an ER visit (on Christmas day even) due to an ear infection. Generally, Nathan is very healthy (much healthier than Ryan was at that age). He just times his sickness to coincide with trips. Gotta love him.

This was my first experience with a Non-US emergency room. Actually, first Non-US medical care experience. Definitely different than what I’m used to. The first difference was very immediate: to even drive onto the hospital campus, you had to pass through a security checkpoint that took your name and “reason” for being there. From there, the security guard directed you to a secondary gate depending on your destination. (ER parking has a gate, outpatient has a gate, etc….) I’ve never seen that at a hospital. I’ve always just drove in, parked, walked in.

The next set of “strange happenings” was the check in procedure. There was an “outside” window for “registration” (kind of like a ticket booth) where you had to go to register. Again, this is outside in the Aruba heat. We’re not into the waiting room yet. After that, we had to go to a cashier window (again, like another outside ticket booth) to pay a $90US “down payment”. Once that was done, we could then sit in the air conditioned waiting room. I’m just so used to having all of that being IN the waiting room area. Kind of strange. A little while later, the triage nurse called our name to then take temperature and get additional history information and all that. Then back to the waiting room.

The actual ER rooms and the ER experience with the doctor was pretty much the same as in the states. No major issues there at all. Relatively pleasant.

However, the NEXT interesting thing happened when the doctor wrote the prescription for the meds and was preparing to discharge us. She didn’t hand them to me. Instead, they went into the file. To get them, I had to go back to the cashier and pay the remaining balance (another $19US). When the account was settled, they gave us the prescriptions. Definitely didn’t expect that.

In general, it wasn’t bad, just different. On a positive note, the whole ER visit just cost $109US. I don’t think an ER visit anywhere in the states would be that low. I need to figure out how to submit that to my insurance and stuff, but in general, pretty cheap.

Kindle impressions

I bought my wife a Kindle 2 as an early birthday/mothers day present. I gave it to her a bit early so that she could use it for our vacation to Aruba. It’s definitely a nice little gadget. I’m quite impressed. Excellent battery life. Very easy to read, even one handed. That’s perfect when trying to snuggle an sick infant to sleep.

Julie generally reads about 2 or 3 books a week. More on vacation. Thus, the Kindle helped save a bit of space/weight in the luggage. (important now that they charge $50/bag if you go over their weight limit) Most of what she reads she checks out of the library. However, she does purchase quite a bit as well, especially for just released additions to the series she reads. Those tend to be the expensive hard back versions. Thus, long term, it may save some money, though I doubt it.

I guess the real loser in this will be the Framingham Public Library. They always ended up with the books she purchased when she was done with them. Sorry!

No longer “Daddy”

For the last couple of days, Ryan, my oldest son, hasn’t been calling me Daddy. He’s just referring to me as “Dad”. I’m not exactly sure where he picked that up. Probably day care. (always blame everything on day care. Somehow, it’s always their fault) I knew this day would come, I just didn’t expect it so soon. He’s not even 3 yet!

I must admit, it’s quite “strange” to hear him say it. Caught me COMPLETELY off guard the first time he did it. Almost laughed.

Sigh….. they grow up SOOO quick.