A Step in the Right Directoin

"Say Hi to the nice readers." "Hi." "Good boy."

This is our treadmill – a Vision Fitness T9500.   Neither of us enjoy running on treadmills for a variety of reasons, but likewise, neither of us deny that they have a purpose.  After a lot of research and saving up money, we bought this one.  Up until earlier this evening, we’ve owned it for three weeks and haven’t set foot on it.  Why?  Well, that’s a tale …

After my father-in-law and I carried the 350 pound beast into our basement, we discovered that the power cable going from the computer down to the circuit board was pinched and cut by the leg joint.  This meant no power was getting to the treadmill.  In fact, there was a little red light on the circuit board that flickered sporadically to indicate a really, really bad connection.  For all purposes, we had a dead treadmill.

I headed back to where we bought it, Decorah Bicycles, and they placed a service call to get a replacement part.  Just had to wait a bit. Waited a week and the part finally came.  The wrong part.  It had the wrong ends and was about 18 inches too short.  Short of bending time and space, it wouldn’t work.

I called Vision Fitness myself and asked for a new one to be shipped out.  “Sure!”  they said.  “We’ll send it out Wednesday via UPS and you’ll have it by Friday.”  (They’re in Wisconsin, so that’s a quick trip).  So we sit back and wait.

Friday comes around and the UPS truck drives right past our house.  No delivery.  Steph calls up Vision Fitness.  “Oh, we haven’t shipped it yet,” they said.  “We’ll do that next week.”  “Can it be next day air?  I mean, I have a $2500 treadmill sitting in my basement doing nothing.”  “Oh, I don’t think we can do that.  The order is already placed and the warehouse guys have gone home for the night.”

To say the least, we were not pleased.  We grumbled and resigned ourselves to yet another cold, icy weekend without being able to run.  Since Steph was going snow shoeing this weekend, we headed down to Decorah Bicycles to get some things she needed.   Unfortunately, they didn’t have any in stock (popular item + dead of winter = frequent sell outs).  While we were there, they asked “Has your part come in yet?”  I said, “No.   Maybe by Wednesday.”

Travis, owner of the shop, comes up front with a screwdriver and says “Well, let’s take ours apart.”  Five minutes later, I held a brand new power cable. An hour after that …

The Red Light says, "It's Alive!"

Steph and I are already beginning the battle to see who gets to run on it first.  I’m fairly certain she went to bed an hour before me just so she can sneak in a few miles before I’m fully conscious.   No matter.  At least it’s put back together and we can use it.

In summary : Decorah Bicycles = Kick ass customer service.

Vision Fitness = … well, let’s just say your treadmill better work a hell of a lot better than your tech support.

No News is Busy Week News

One of the more enjoyable things about working at Luther College is J-Term.  For those unfamiliar with the term, J-Term is the 1 in our 3-1-3 schedule for the school year.  Every student takes one course and it’s crammed into the four weeks of January.  It’s also a great month to take study abroad trips since you’re not away from home for a long time.

As a student, I loved J-Term.  Take a class for 2 – 4 hours during the day, have some homework at night, and you get to spend the rest of the time with your friends.   As a staff member though, I have mixed feelings for the sole fact that it’s basically an entire semester crammed into one month.  Problems have to be solved immediately or you might lose two or three days, the equivalent to a week during a normal semester.  This puts people on edge.

On top of that, we started training 17 new employees (that uptick in the economy is all my doing, I expect to be showered with praise from the White House soon enough), sat in on a hiring committee and worked on a bunch of other problems.

So, as one can guess, it’s been a busy and stressful month.  I haven’t managed to do much writing at all.  When I get home, I’m just exhausted.  But I was able to pull out some successes so far:

  • Submitted an entry – A Coin for a Trick – for the OddContest. Judging happens in March so it’ll be a while.
  • Submitted a short story – Korl Builds a Wall – to Realms of Fantasy.  Also won’t hear back from that one until late February or early March.
  • Beat my instructor (!) 3 out of 5 times in Brazillian Jujitsu.

Hopefully the rest of January will be more relaxing.