Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Holy Customer Service Batman!

A bit of background.  Brandon penned this piece about the Minimus and he tipped me over the edge from wanting to lusting.  I've been wanting a shoe with a bit more to it than the 4 pairs of VFF's I've been rocking since January for my longer runs.  But, I didn't want to go all the way back to my Cascadias.
Go CU!

Before I left for Bolivia in January I was on something of a quest for the New Balance MT101, but nowhere did I find a size 14.  I ordered a pair through a local store, but when they finally came in, I had other things I had to do with my money.  I knew this shoe was coming out but hadn't parsed the timing of it's release properly.

Once I started seeing chatter about the shoe, I realized that I could possibly have a pair brought down to me when my Mom comes to visit at the end of this month.  I couldn't take it anymore and pulled the trigger on the unnecessary expense last Thursday when I also bought some gear for the kitchen (also coming in my Mom's luggage).

The scale shipped on Friday (the same day I expected the shoes to ship), but come Monday I hadn't gotten a shipping advice, so I penned this note to New Balance Customer Service - online:
Subject: Customer Care - Help with My Order

I'm curious if my order:
Has shipped or will ship prior to the 23rd of March.
I am having the shoes brought to Bolivia by someone who is coming to visit me.  They leave on the 30th of March.
Yesterday I got a shipping advice and I thought, "Ok, that works.  It'll be close, but the shoes should arrive in VT before Mom leaves on the 31st."  Later in the day, I looked at my phone and saw this reply to my note in my inbox:
Dear Jay,

The shoes are shipping today, 03-22-11, with a scheduled delivery for tomorrow, 03-23-11.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to send us another e-mail.  Have a nice day, Jay.

Joe S.
Customer Care
That's just remarkable.  The shoes will arrive today in Vermont alongside of the scale.  Seriously above and beyond - and via a web contact form too.  Thanks New Balance.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

D'oh! Dengue...

So last Saturday I was out for a run.  It was remarkable for a couple of reasons:
  • I was starting to really feel like I was getting my flow on and into the rhythm of regular running. 
  • It was freaking hot out (93 or 94 degrees with high humidity).
It's the second bullet which was the killer.  I ran 3 laps of my usual loop, but somewhere in the second half of my second lap I started feeling really iffy - worse than heat and dehydration, but that's what I wrote off my feelings to at the time.  Then toward the end of my 3rd lap, I was blithely reading a sign "Hemos de azĂșcar" and suddenly I was no longer earthbound.

My typical loop has some "obstacles" in it.  It isn't a full on parkours track, but one must be constantly paying attention.  In this particular portion of my loop the sidewalk is kind of terraced, with regular down steps which must be attended to...Well much to the amusement of the family of 6 who I yard-saled in front of, I was not attending.  Fortunately I wasn't hurt worse than a bit of a scratch on my arm and very dirty back, but this set up a couple of days of misdiagnosis.

Punk A$$ Bitch!
Were it not for the heat during the run, I may not even have gotten sick, but as it was I felt progressively worse throughout the afternoon and into the evening, but both Nataly and I wrote off my feelings as resulting from the trauma of the fall.  Nataly was feeling ill herself - Friday she went to the doctor in, what she termed, the worst pain she'd experienced since having Deneb.  The doctor proscribed some injectable antibiotics based off of some bloodwork and suggested that she hope it's a bacterial infection because the alternatives weren't very pretty.

Saturday evening I started thinking I had a fever.  Nataly didn't think so, and neither did her aunt, but I was pretty convinced.  Saturday was the first day of carnival and were visiting Nataly's aunt and eating some fried chicken, and I found it everything I could do just to keep my head up.  Eventually I went upstairs and lay down with Deneb and tried to watch a movie.

The movie was called "Up!" which I've seen the second half of, but not the first.  The second half features a goofy golden retreiver, lots of dogs and a zany quest but the first part is fantastically sad.  Deneb picked up on the emotion in the first part and we couldn't watch until the movie got funny.  Oh well.

When we got home I took my temperature and sure enough it was over 100.  Not much of a fever, but enough to justify me thinking I had one.  Whatever...  The next morning I woke feeling like I'd been hit by a truck.  We still didn't know what we had, but whatever it was it sucked.  Nataly's fever topped out at 102.7 mine at 102.3.  The symptoms were identical to the "common cold" with the exception that the pain in the joints was truly remarkable.  Without chemical support there was no way for me to find a comfortable position.

Regarding:  chemical support.  It's really a good thing there's Google.  Some time on Tuesday I started suspecting I had dengue.  It started with folks joking about it, but upon googling I realized that they weren't really joking.  I had all of the classic symptoms:  horrible joint pain, headache focused in the eyes, fever and a rash which really popped on Tuesday.  Dengue is known not so much because of what I've experienced, but because in certain circumstances it can get really bad and turn into a hemorrhagic version of the disease.  You know, blood oozing out of your nose and eyes kind of bad.

So far, I haven't gotten to experience that.  In fact, I'm thinking I'm almost out of the woods.  The rash is almost gone and I haven't had a fever in a couple of days.  The rash was pretty special though...

I haven't run since last Saturday, and think I'll hold off until after I have a follow up blood test on Monday, but I'm starting to really jones.  Great news is:  I expect to get my inaugural run in at my new house within a week.  Can't freaking wait.  Who has 3 tangerine trees in their yard?  That's right: ME!

If the trade is Dengue for tangerines, so be it.
thanks for reading

Friday, March 4, 2011

Retrospect Piece #3. Drive: Vermont - Florida.

So I left Vermont on Friday the 21st.  I had a bit of a deadline to make (meet mom at the Ft Lauderdale airport at 1PM on Sunday) making me fairly motivated to make it from VT to VA in one day.  Barriers in the way of my goal:  I had to stop in the place of my birth to pick up a certified copy of my birth certificate and my car wasn't packed yet.

There's more after the jump if you want to read it...

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