Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Enough already!

Recently, I wrote a review for the Dell laptop that we bought from Dell.  I have blogged about what a bad experience the purchase was.  I posted a review of it on Amazon.  I have gotten comment after comment criticizing my review and saying it was silly.  This is interesting to me.  Why did people take issue with my review?  Mostly because they misread it, I think.

Here's the review:
"We bought ours directly from DELL (DON'T ever do that! It's a mess!!!). This computer has already been frustrating to me and we've only had it a week. The i3 processor is so much slower than the i5 processor that is on my mother in law's laptop that we paid the same amount for. I wouldn't recommend it. It locked up on me the very first day I started using it. We're using this computer for our elementary age children--to learn to type and do kid-safe internet research via kidrex(dot)org. But, this computer really is much slower than I expected it to be. For the same price, we purchased a Toshiba laptop for my mother in law with more memory and an i5 processor. She's VERY happy with it. We, on the other hand, would not recommend this computer--which costs the same amount of money.

I don't even want to think about having to deal with Dell customer service if my computer breaks... ugh.... Go with another brand and stay away from Dell. Several computer folks who work at different stores have all confirmed that something happened at Dell in the past two years and they are now very difficult to deal with. So, save yourself some frustration and don't get this computer. Unfortunately, we're going to be stuck with it until it dies..."

In response, one commenter said my review was "silly" and "plain dumb" and that my review was written because I simply don't know what I'm doing.

Hmm.  I have been using computers for over 20 years and I have been blogging for five.  I'm not a computer expert, but I am very capable of using a computer and solving a lot of issues that I've run across over the years while using them.

After 4 comments about my review, I wrote this comment today:

"This is just silly.  These comments keep commenting about my note about my desktop and this laptop that we purchased.  I just deleted it, because it wasn't relevant.  This computer is slow, period.  We bought a laptop--A LAPTOP! with an i5 processor for about the same price for my mother in law and she has NO complaints about it or about the speed of her computer.  WE, on the other hand, have experienced much frustration. That's why all of us--me, you, and everyone else that posts on Amazon-- write reviews.  We are sharing our opinions based on our knowledge and our experience with the things we own.  We hope that it will be helpful to someone else and that it will save them the hassle and frustration that we have experienced with products we have owned or currently own.  I own this computer and am frustrated with it.  On top of that, we had a HORRIBLE, ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE time dealing with DELL.  I can't emphasize that enough.  

On a completely different side note... it used to be true that laptops were always more expensive than desktops.  But, this really isn't always true anymore.  Based on the three computers we've already purchased in the past year, that hasn't definitely hasn't been true for us. And yes, I am comparing comparable products or at the very least similar ones!"

Originally, I had included a note in my review about our desktop, which also has an i5 processor in it.  I deleted it today because the people commenting were missing the fact that I was comparing two laptops with different processors that were about the same price.  As I looked back, only one of the comments was truly insulting and I am thankful for that.

I often explain to people why I don't state my full name on this blog or on Amazon and why I am not a part of Google +.  It is because of stuff like this.  This is mild, actually.  There have been times when people have written really rude and even harshly mean comments on reviews I've written.  I have read and reviewed a few books on which people have varied polarized opinions and it seems to get people's tempers flaring. Unfortunately, people just say whatever they want to without filters sometimes on the internet.

When I write comments on other people's reviews, I keep this in mind.  Being constructive is one thing, being insulting is another.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thoughts on Lasik...

A month ago, I had Lasik surgery.  It was very unexpected for me.  My husband sprang it on me and asked me to make an appointment.  So, I did.  It's a good thing it came on all of a sudden.  Otherwise, I would have chickened out.

I learned that some Lasik doctors charge for the consultation and others don't.  I made an appointment with one that didn't charge because I didn't want to waste a hundred dollars if I wasn't a candidate at all. I didn't know anything about Lasik going into this.  I knew a few people that had had the surgery, but that was it.

I learned a few interesting things...
1) If you're under 40 years old, you're a better candidate.  Your eye muscles are stronger and you likely won't have bifocals.  If you have bifocals, you probably won't want lasik.
2) If you have a thick cornea, you can have Lasik surgery done, if it's thinner, you can get PRK surgery, but the recovery takes a lot longer.
3) If you have allergies, don't get Lasik done in the spring.  I don't have allergies and I am very thankful.  A friend pointed this out to me this week that she is constantly rubbing her eyes because of her allergies in the spring.
4) You can't rub your eyes for a year.  So, if you are in the habit of rubbing them, you'll want to break that habit before the surgery.  I've woken several times in the night and freaked out when I realized that one of my hands was about to touch one of my eyes.  Ugh.  
5) If you have dry eyes, Lasik can make that worse.  For the first month after surgery, you have to follow a strict regimen of eye drops and keep them moist.  I'm past the 30 day mark, but I've still been using drops 3-4 times a day right now.  When my eyes are dry, it feels like I need to take my contacts out... except I can't.
6) I looked online before my consult to find out what a reasonable price for the surgery is.  The articles I read said that you don't want to pay less than $2000 per eye.  The two offices I inquired of were priced at $4500 and $5400-5700 (depending on the surgery).
7) After surgery, you are always supposed to wear sunglasses when outside (especially for the first 30 days after surgery).  I know many people who've had the surgery who don't wear sunglasses though after a lot of time has passed.
8) After surgery, use preservative-free eye drops for moisture drops.  There's a specific type of Refresh drops that Lasik patients use.  I tried the Systane Ultra drops, Refresh, Refresh drops in a bottle, and Target's generic of the Refresh preservative-free drops.  Verdict?  I like the Refresh drops best (either in a bottle or one time use disposable containers.  I don't like Target's generic and I don't like the Systane Drops.  I lost over half of my eyelashes because of the Systane drops.  They glumped together on my eyelashes so I had to be very careful getting them off.  You can't get water on your face for 3 days after the surgery and you can't rubber your eyes, so glumping is hard to deal with!  The Systane drops also made my eyes cloudy until they cleared, which is kind of freaky.  The Refresh drops don't cloud my eyes.  The biggest problem with Target's packaging is that the drops come out too fast!  The refresh drops have similar packaging, but you have to turn them upside down and flick them with a finger to get the air to rise to the top so that you can squeeze a drop or two out.  
9) Your prescription needs to have been stable for several years in order to be a good candidate.  The under 40 is also a good guide because your eye muscles are stronger.  I clearly noticed this during the surgery.  I had to stare at the laser for 16 seconds with my right eye and 17 seconds with my left eye.  It was easy with my right eye to stare straight ahead.  I struggled with my left eye.  In that moment, I realized how much stronger my right eye really was.  I prayed that my left eye would stare straight ahead.

I should mention...I didn't really realize how bad things can turn out from the surgery.  There are risks.  I didn't expect to have 20/20 vision after the surgery, though I do.  I do have some night halos, but that is supposed to dissipate in time.  Everyone I know has had positive results from the surgery.  It isn't wise to go into the surgery expecting perfection.  The doctor cautioned me about this.  I realized this afterwards as I puzzled at times about whether I had clear vision or anything was slightly "fuzzy".  I realized that my vision is clear.

My husband felt very strongly that I should get this surgery.  He told me multiple times that God is in control and that I needed to fight my fears by trusting Him.  His providence undergirds everything.  He said that even if something were to go wrong, I could know God was in control.  I am very thankful, though, that the surgery went well.

Anyways, these are my thoughts...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

End of the Story

Dell called again last night.  

I almost didn't answer.  But, I did.  The man on the phone explained that I hadn't received the $50 because I needed to speak to a particular department.  I explained to him that I already had and then I calmly explained the rest of the story.  He asked me to stay on hold.  I did while I was cooking dinner.  He came back on and asked if he would like me to call me back instead.  I said was fine.  

An hour later... he called back with the other person on the line.  Then, that person had to call me right back, then the first person had to call me back... I was calm.  I wasn't offended.  But, I was ready to be done.

Really?!  My husband told me to tell them not to call back again.  He was done.

But, it was finally done after several phone calls to me.  I am shocked at how much time I spent on the phone over a little laptop.  Lesson learned.  But, what lessons did I learn?

#1 Don't buy from Dell online.  

But, more importantly #2
Consider my time.  Ask myself, What battle am I fighting?  Who am I fighting with?  Is this someone I should be fighting with?  What do I think I'm entitled to?  Am I entitled to whatever that is?  Does it all come down to an expectation that life should be easier?  Or has God provided?  Then it's time to leave it to the Lord.  

I fought.  Made my case.  Then let it go.  Winning anything from Dell or arguing with them wasn't going to make me a better person.  It wasn't going to give me more peace.  Only trusting in God can do that.

I realize that I often totally buy into our culture's idea that life should be easy.  But, that isn't at all what God promises.  

There's some interesting food for thought in Today's Adventures in Odyssey episode HERE.  The name of the episode is: The fifth house on the left, parts 1 and 2.  I'm glad my kids are listening to it and I look forward to talking to them about it.