Thursday, December 27, 2012

Susan L. Hubbard: Coward, Fraud, Judge.

What do you call a person who tells lies to lure a small child into a back room with the intent of taking her away from her home and family and sending her across state lines with a stranger and a convicted child abuser?untitled
In Detroit, they call her a Judge, and she sits on the bench in the Family Division of the Third Judicial Circuit Court.
In fact, on November 12, 2012, with the help of a small gang of Wayne County Deputies, Judge Susan L. Hubbard did just that.
Diann and I had cared for our granddaughter Lia since she moved from Utah to stay with us, when she was seven weeks old. We were appointed temporary guardians for her when she was just five months old,

We were awarded full custody of her in April, 2010.
Although Lia had two biological parents out there somewhere, they had virtually no contact with her and provided nothing for her in the way of support, love or parenting.0060758759_01__SCLZZZZZZZ_
We were the only parents Lia had ever known. We cared for her, raised her, fed her, clothed her, taught her and loved her. Bathtime
We took her to dance class and karate class. We enrolled her in preschool and took her to church. We celebrated holidays with her, hugged her when she was sad, laughed with her when she was happy, involved her in our family business, and did everything that parents naturally do when they are raising a child.
In February of 2012, Amber, Lia’s biological mother filed a motion in The Third Judicial Circuit Court, to  give her full custody of Lia. Arguing that she now had a good job and another daughter, Amber had decided she was now ready to be a parent.
Judge Susan Hubbard held a hearing on October 10, 2012, to hear evidence as to what would be in the best interest of Lia.  We provided an abundance of evidence showing that Lias best interests would not be served if she were to be taken away from the safety and security that she knew and sent to live with someone who had not cared for her for most of her life.
During this hearing Ray, Amber’s husband, took the witness stand and testified that he had been compelled to give a previous child from a prior relationship up for adoption after he was convicted of  physically abusing her. Amber and Ray testified that Amber worked nights and Ray was home alone with their child.
Hubbard announced that she would issue a written order in a few weeks.
We had asked Hubbard to interview the Lia via camera but she declined to do so, stating that Lia was too young. However, on November 1, 2012 Hubbard issued an order that appeared to reverse that decision. Her order stated that she had decided that an interview and a continuation of the hearing was warranted. She ordered us to bring Lia to the court on November 12, at 2:00 pm so that the interview could be conducted.the-classic-scene-of-george-washington-and-his-father-augustine-washington-after-he-boy-barked-an-english-cherry-tree
We explained to Lia that it was very important to tell the truth when speaking with the judge, as courtrooms were a place to be serious and tell the truth. “Just tell the truth,” we told her “and everything will be all right.”
But in fact, nothing could have been further from the truth.
When we arrived for the hearing on the 15th floor of the Coleman A. Young Building, we were instructed to send Lia with a Wayne County Deputy, who would take her back to the judge. Once Hubbard had Lia in her chambers, she called Amber back into her chambers, and sent a deputy out to tell us  that Amber would be taking Lia with her. This was not an interview. This was not a continuation of a hearing. this was simply a ploy, a cheap trick to lure Lia into her office, where she could turn her over to Amber.
Hubbard then instructed a group of uniformed deputies to escort Amber and Lia from the building, giving them specific instructions not to allow us any contact with her.
Where was Hubbard during all of this? 
Where any coward would be. Hiding in her chambers, refusing to come out and face us.  Refusing to go on record to explain her behavior. Refusing to allow our attorney to go on record with an objection to her actions.  Refusing to come out of her chambers and hold the hearing that she had scheduled.
It is bad enough to be a bully, and to commit fraud, but she compounded that by being a coward too.  She didn’t even have the courage to admit in open court what she had done.

Well, Shame on You Susan Hubbard!
Shame on you for committing Fraud Upon the Court.  Shame on you for hiding in your chambers like a sniveling coward, and shame on you for orchestrating your little dog and pony show with malice aforethought, in such a way as to provide the greatest possible amount of emotional trauma to a young innocent child.
Shame on you!
I know that Fraud Upon the Court is a serious charge, so let me take a minute to explain, lest anyone think I am just ranting here.
I’m going to try to keep this basic here for those who don’t enjoy sorting through a bunch of legaleze…
The United States District Court, ruled in 1980, (People V Zajic)
A judge is an officer of the court, as well as are all attorneys. A state judge is a state judicial officer, paid by the State to act impartially and lawfully. A federal judge is a federal judicial officer, paid by the federal government to act impartially and lawfully. State and federal attorneys fall into the same general category and must meet the same requirements. A judge is not the court.”
The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled, in 1985: (Bulloch v. United States)
Whenever any officer of the court commits fraud during a proceeding in the court, he/she is engaged in fraud upon the court. Fraud upon the court is fraud which is directed to the judicial machinery itself and is not fraud between the parties…  It is where the court or a member is corrupted or influenced or influence is attempted or where the judge has not performed his judicial function --- thus where the impartial functions of the court have been directly corrupted."
The term 'fraud' is generally defined in the law as an intentional misrepresentation of  material or fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its’ falsity and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act, and upon which the other person relies with resulting injury or damage.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2009 (Herring V. USA) that  the elements of fraud upon the Court consists of conduct:
    • “On the part of an officer of the Court;
    • That is directed to the judicial machinery itself;
    • That is intentionally false, willfully blind to the truth, or is in reckless disregard for the truth;
    • That is a positive averment or is concealment when one is under a duty to disclose;
    • That deceives the court.”
The Sixth Circuit clarified in 2012, (General Medicine P.P v Horizon/CMS Healthcare,) the extremely high standard for showing fraud on the court, which encompasses only:
“the most egregious conduct involving a corruption of the judicial process itself.”
Is there any doubt in the mind of any reasonable person that a judge who issues an order under false pretense, which she has no intention of honoring, and which is in fact nothing more than a ploy to kidnap a child and transport her across state lines has in fact committed fraud?  Intentional misrepresentation of the fact for the purpose of inducing a party to act in a particular way?

So what does this mean?
Well, to us it means a long and expensive trip through the appeals court.
But for the court system of Wayne County Michigan, it means something entirely different.scales-of-justice
A person is currently on the bench in Wayne County who knowingly and deliberately committed fraud.  She did so in the performance of her duties as judge, and in doing so compromised the integrity of her courtroom and the honor of the court.
As long as Susan Hubbard remains on the bench in Wayne County Court System, the integrity and honor of the court will continue to be compromised.
Here is why:
Every person who appears in Susan Hubbard’s courtroom and raises their arm and swears to tell the truth is now faced with a choice.  Do they tell the truth the way their parents taught them the meaning of truth? Or do they tell the truth according to Susan Hubbard’s definition of the truth?
Susan Hubbard seems to define the truth rather loosely as “Whatever you have to say to get what you want.”
So as long as she sits on the bench, her threshold of truth is the new standard for her courtroom, and testimony given in her courtroom, under her standard of truth is, by default, automatically suspect.
Every order that comes out of her courtroom is equally suspect.  Anyone who receives such an order must ask themselves.  “Does this order truly mean what it says, or is it simply a scam, to trick me into doing what the judge wants me to do, so she can pull a fast one at the last minute and hide in her chambers and laugh about how she fooled me?”
So any order issued from her bench is, by default automatically suspect.
Furthermore, anyone involved in a case in front of Susan Hubbard that involves a child, has to ask themselves: “At what point is the judge in this case going to deviate from the law and take matters into her own hands to accomplish her own personal agenda rather than what the law says should happen?”
So, any matter before Susan Hubbard involving a child is by default suspect.
And finally, as a Judge in the Third Judicial Circuit, Susan Hubbard represents the Circuit Court, The County of Wayne and the State of Michigan.  As long as her fraudulent behavior is allowed to go unchecked, and unpunished, it can be assumed that those who oversee the conduct and behavior of judges are comfortable with fraud upon the court being committed from the bench, and thus, all other courts in the Third Judicial Court, the County of Wayne and the State of Michigan must, be default be suspect.
Although Fraud is among the worst aspect of her behavior, during our hearing Susan Hubbard blatantly violated many of the rules set forth in the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct.
I don’t want to overwhelm everyone with those details today, but watch for an upcoming post where we discuss those rules and how they were ignored.

We filed a Motion to Stay Judgment Pending Appeal. This would have kept Lia in a safe place until the Appeals Court has a chance to review the case and decide if there is any merit to anything Hubbard did.
That Motion came before Hubbard on December 21, 2012. There was an amazing outpouring of support from readers of our blogs, from friends and from family members who wrote to Hubbard, imploring her to consider the safety and well being of a small child, and to consider the honor and integrity of her own court.
Again, showing herself to be a coward, afraid to face us in open court, unwilling to explain herself, unable to offer any defense for her action, Hubbard dismissed oral arguments and issued her decision in writing.
On that same day, December 21, 2012, she denied that motion, from behind the closed doors of her chambers, where she didn’t have to look anyone in the eye, and she could wallow in her own deceitful shame.


I am not an attorney or law enforcement officer.  Opinions expressed in this post regarding any criminal acts alleged to have been committed by any person are my opinion.  Everyone is deemed, by the US constitution, to be innocent until proven guilty.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Cowardly Judge

First of all, I want to thank all of you once again for your support, your prayers, your words of encouragement, your positive thoughts, and for all of you who took the time to write a letter to the judge for and on our behalf.

Friendship like this is priceless, and I am amazed on a regular basis at the amount that has been shown, by people who we have never met face to face.

As any of you who read Diann's blog may know. Two days ago, we got a phone call from the judge's chambers. She was dismissing oral argument and she will issue a written opinion.

What does this mean?

It's anyone's guess.

We discussed it at length with our attorney, and we concluded that what it boils down to is that she is a coward and does not want to face us in open court and look us in the eye.

It could mean that she is embarrassed to actually admit that she was wrong publicly, and prefers to do it on paper, or it could mean that she knows that denying our motion is wrong, and she prefers to do it in private.

It could also be a knee jerk reaction to the fact that Channel 7 had requested permission to have their cameras in her courtroom today, and she balked at the idea.

So whatever the case, she has up to 21 days from today to render her decision.

Popular theory is that she will do so sooner.

My guess is that the sooner it happens the more likely it is to be favorable to us, and the longer it drags out the less likely.

But that is just me predicting the unpredictable.

We will keep everyone posted,and again, thank you so much.

It is friends like you who have carried us through these very difficult times.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Will You Help?

Hello Friends,

When the news first came out about the horrific way Lia was taken from us, so many of you asked if there was anything you could do to help.

At the time all we could do was ask for your love, your support and your prayers.

But with a hearing scheduled for the 21 of December, on our Motion to Stay Judgment Pending Appeal, we are now in a position where letters to the judge may help. If you feel like you can do so, we would like to invite you to send a letter to Judge Hubbard, asking her to do the right thing. Her information is below.

Also, please feel free to pass this along to those in your email list who you think may be willing to help. Our goal is for Judge Hubbard to be aware of the many, many people out there who are paying attention to this case and watching the way she handles it.

If you need a refresher on the details, the easiest thing to do is read Diann’s Blog post of Nov. 15. You can read that here:

Below is a sample letter. Many of you have said that you would write something but are not sure what to say. This letter says everything that needs said. Of course, an individual letter from you will mean more than a copied and pasted version of our sample, but this may get you started. Just make sure that you include the case number and the case title Huffaker v Haning, on your letter, so it gets to the right file.

Thanks again for your friendship and support.
Troy & Diann.

Here is Judge Hubbard’s contact information.

In writing to Susan Hubbard, or calling her office it is very important that we refrain from using any offensive or abusive language, and of course anything that might be implied or construed as a threat would be inappropriate.

Hon. Judge Susan L. Hubbard
Coleman A. Young Municipal Center Room 1507
Two Woodward Avenue,
Detroit MI 48226

Hubbard, Susan L. (313) 224-5183
Sample Letter

The Honorable Judge Susan L. Hubbard
Coleman A. Young Municipal Center Room 1507
Two Woodward Avenue,
Detroit MI 48226
RE: Case # 09-112217-DC. Huffaker v Haning

Dear Judge Hubbard,

On December 21, 2012, you are scheduled to hear a Motion to Stay Judgment Pending Appeal on the above referenced case.

As a reminder, this case involves a four year old child who was raised by her grandparents since she was an infant.

On November 12, 2012 an order was issued by your court taking the child away from the only home and family that she had ever known and placing her in the custody of two strangers to her, both of whom testified in your court that they have mental health issues, and one of whom testified that he had been forced to give up a previous child due to a child abuse conviction.

I am asking you to take the opportunity, on December 21, to do the right thing, and return this innocent child to the only home, family and security that she knows, and in doing so to protect her from the danger of being left home alone at nights with a convicted child abuser, while her mother is at work.

Granting the Motion to Stay on December 21, would allow this little girl to be back in her home by Christmas, and enjoy the holidays with the family that she knows and loves.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Friday, November 16, 2012

The Hubbards of Michigan

Hi Friends,

I havent been here for a while, I have been very busy with my family business and my personal life, but I want to share something with you all.

Because what I have to SHARE is SHOCKING, SICKENING and SAD I am linking to ABC Wednesday where folks gather share a little bit of our world with friends all over the world, and learn about them as well, one letter at a time. You can participate too, in either the sharing, or the learning, or both, by visiting ABC Wednesday,Where this week, the letter is S.

This is a tale of SOMEONE who has a false SENSE of SUPERIORITY.

Her name is SUSAN.

This week, our 4 1/2 year old granddaughter, who we have loved and raised in our home since she was 7 weeks old, was taken from us by a judge who felt she was above the law. 

In a bizarre twisted story that defies explanation, she sent out a phony order and then, under cover of that order, snuck the child down a back stairway of her courthouse and sent her away to live with a complete stranger and a convicted child abuser.

You can read more about it here

But I want to really share some of the background information as well.  It's a long story, but stay with me if you will....

Lets talk about a family here in the my home state, and their political interests and agenda...

Staring with Orville L. Hubbard

Now, I know Wikipedia is not the worlds most reliable source of information, but it provides a good starting point for a conversation.

From Wikipedia,

Orville Liscum Hubbard (April 2, 1903 - December 16, 1982) was the mayor of Dearborn, Michigan for 36 years from 1942-1978. Sometimes referred to as the "Dictator of Dearborn", Hubbard was the most outspoken segregationist north of the Mason-Dixon line. During his administration, non-whites were aggressively discouraged from residing in Dearborn, and Hubbard's longstanding campaign to "Keep Dearborn Clean" was widely understood to mean "Keep Dearborn White." Hubbard is also remembered as a political boss who delivered a wide range of city services to his constituents, including the construction of a 626-acre (2.53 km2) rustic camp outside the city and the purchase of an eight-story senior citizen tower in Florida, all for use by Dearborn residents.

Hubbard was born April 2, 1903, and raised on a farm near Union City, Michigan. Before being elected mayor of Dearborn, Hubbard ran for office unsuccessfully nine times, including three unsuccessful campaigns for mayor of Dearborn, three campaigns for the Michigan State Senate and one each for Congress, Dearborn City Council and township justice of the peace.
Biographer David Good described Hubbard as a "one-time high school athlete, ex-Marine, nonpracticing attorney, self-acknowledged expert on matters from the milking of cows to the history of the American Revolution, and personal symbol of suburban America's resistance to racial integration."

Hubbard was elected Dearborn mayor 15 times, his last in 1973. Sometimes referred to as the "Dictator of Dearborn", he regularly won re-election with more than 70% of the vote and once recruited a candidate "to avoid the unseemly appearance of an unopposed election." Hubbard's "opponent" was reportedly seen on more than one occasion wearing a Hubbard button on his jacket.[5] He suffered a massive stroke on November 3, 1974, and the City Council president served as mayor pro tem, running the city on a day-to-day basis, for the rest of Hubbard's final term.

But wait, there's more...

In 2006, Orville Hubbard was the subject of a musical play, Orvie! The musical was written by David L. Good, a former Detroit News reporter and editor, who is the author of a biography of Mr. Hubbard, and the composer Bob Milne. Hubbard's daughter, Nancy Hubbard, then the president pro tem of the Dearborn City Council, described the play as "a put-down, like a joke", that distorted her father's contributions. She said her father was a popular mayor who shoveled snow, picked up trash and sent constituents birthday cards and post cards from his travels. "He did everything for this community -- the libraries, civic center, the pools. He put Dearborn on the map."

Yeah Nancy, your Daddy was a pillar of the community...

Where is Nancy now?

In 2009, Nancy A. Hubbard was elected to her sixth consecutive term as a member of the Dearborn City Council, having been first elected to Council in 1989.

Hubbard is well known throughout Dearborn for gaining first hand knowledge of issues by going out to locations to meet with the residents and investigating the facts of each situation.

A 1950 Fordson High School graduate, she is a lifetime resident of Dearborn. She attended Michigan State University for two years under the liberal arts program, and attended Dearborn Junior College (now Henry Ford Community College) for one year.

Hubbard is very active in the community and can be seen actively participating in most City sponsored events. She is a member of the East Dearborn Kiwanis Club, a member of the Dearborn Historical Society, the Women’s Association for the Dearborn Orchestral Society (WADOS), the Dearborn Historical Foundation, the Friends of the Dearborn Library and the Dearborn Community Arts Council. She also belongs to the Ladies Golf League, Dearborn Goodfellows, Fordson High Alumni Association, Chamber of Commerce, and previously volunteered for Meals on Wheels.

Hubbard is the only daughter of the late Orville L. Hubbard, who served as Dearborn’s Mayor from 1942-1977. In 1954 Hubbard’s father had a “Think” program going on for his department heads, which attracted national media coverage from Time, Newsweek and Life Magazine. A spread on his “Think” program was displayed and Nancy’s picture appeared in Life Magazine on February 22, 1954 and she received more attention than her famous father. She received a telegram from Solly Baiano, Casting Director for Warner Bros. Studio, which her dad quickly dismissed as someone playing a joke on her. She was also picked to be Sweetheart of Sigma Chi at the University of Michigan.

In her professional life, Nancy worked for Campbell Ewall Advertising as a secretary for Mr. John Reed and then worked at Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln Continental Division as a secretary for Mr. Richard Haupt. She later worked in several city departments including Building & Safety and Public Works.

Hubbard is very well known in Dearborn. She returns all her telephone calls and takes good care of people by taking the time to listen to their concerns or problems. She is very active in the community and attends ribbon cutting ceremonies and is seen out and about Dearborn all the time.

Hubbard has been married to John since she was 21 years old and is the mother of two sons and one daughter.

Yep, still a Hubbard playing with the lives of people in Dearborn. She may not share her daddy's outspoken politics, but she defends his time as mayor...

With Orville Hubbard's daughter, Nancy, serving on the Dearborn City Council for the last 23 years the Hubbard Legacy lives on:

But wait there's more...

Nancy has a daughter, remember?

In 2005, Senator Carl Levin spoke at the funeral of Rosa Parks, making the following comments about Hubbard: "The South had Orval Faubus; Michigan had Orville Hubbard. Orville Hubbard vowed to keep Dearborn clean, meaning keep Dearborn white." Levin's comments drew an angry response from Hubbard's family. A letter published in the Detroit Free Press from Hubbard's granddaughter, Susan L. Hubbard, referred to Levin's comments as "mean-spirited ramblings of an arrogant, Washington politician", and attributed the following quotation to former Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young: "Orville Hubbard was quite a man. Believe it or not, he was a person I admired. He and I disagreed on some things, but he was a hell of a mayor. I regarded him as one of the best mayors in the United States. ... He took care of business. He knew how to meet the needs of his people."
[/url]Yeah Susan, those mean washington politicians, picking on your poor grandpa that way....

Washington politicians like to be mean and pick on people, didn't you watch the debates?

So, where is Susan L. Hubbard now?

Susan L. Hubbard is a judge of the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County, Michigan. She was elected to this position on November 2, 2010 and took office the following January. Her current 6-year term will expire on January 1, 2017.

Hubbard received her B.A. degree from Wayne State University in 1985 and her J.D. degree from the Detroit College of Law in 1991. Prior to graduating from law school, she served as a Dearborn Councilwoman from 1985 to 1989

For those who are following the timeline, Susan served on the Dearborn City Council for one term before her mother was elected.

Meaning there was but a 7 year gap, from 1978 to 1985, when there wasn't a Hubbard in Dearborn City Management since 1942. 70 years of Hubbardness...

Why do I care about this political family, you may ask?


... the "Right Honorable" Susan L. Hubbard, Judge of the 3rd Circuit Court, in and for Wayne County Michigan...

... just happens to be the judge who I watched on October 10, rolling her eyes, making faces at her law clerk, arguing with witnesses, including a licensed psychologist,  and behaving in a manner inconsistent with the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct, which states in part:

Canon 1
A Judge Should Uphold the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary
An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing, and should personally observe, high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved.

and also states:

A Judge Should Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in All Activities
A. Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by irresponsible or improper conduct by judges. A judge must avoid all impropriety and appearance of impropriety. A judge must expect to be the subject of constant public scrutiny.

And also states:

A Judge Should Perform the Duties of Office Impartially and Diligently
The judicial duties of a judge take precedence over all other activities. Judicial duties include all the duties of office prescribed by law. In the performance of these duties, the following standards apply:

...(3) A judge should be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity, and should require similar conduct of lawyers, and of staff, court officials, and others subject to the judge's direction and control...

Yes, This is the same Susan Hubbard who took our little girl,, with only the clothes on her back, and handed her over to a convicted child abuser, through tricks and lies, without even having the courage to come out of her chanbers and go on record justifying her behavior.

So, Thank you everyone for allowing me my little rant.

I know that nobody is responsible for the actions and opinions of the parents and grandparents, and I know that we all have a tendency to defend our ancestry, even though in our hearts we don't agree with everything they did.,

But perhaps it is time for us to consider that maybe, just maybe this family has become a bit full of themselves, and maybe, just maybe they have convinced themselves that they are somehow special.

And maybe, just maybe, they are wrong.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

ABC Wednesday --Round 10 C

OK, Here it is, ABC Wednesday time again. This is the day to join in the ABC Wednesday Challenge, and share a little bit of our world with friends all over the world, and learn about them as well, one letter at a time. You can participate too, in either the sharing, or the learning, or both, by visiting ABC Wednesday,Where this week, the letter is:

And today my C word is Compost.

At the Master Gardener Class last weekend, the instructor mentioned how valuable Compost is, but went on to say that it is so much bother to make it and you can never make as much as you need, so you should just go ahead and buy it, or try to get it free from your local city.

Now for those of us with more money than we have brains, this is of course the most logical solution, but for the rest of us, there are things we can do at home to help make our gardens better.

How many of you have a compost pile?

How many of you actually try to compost, vs having a pile you throw stuff in and just forget about it?

Have you tried worm composting?

Today, I spent the day at the princess's preschool, setting up a worm farm. The kids were all fascinated with the worms, the teachers too. They all held them and petted them, and I think maybe they were even trying to name some of them.

I am so glad that I am getting a chance to reach, not just one child but a whole group of them. I hope some of the things I teach them and show them about growing and using good clean healthy natural methods to produce your own food will stick with them in their lives.

Anyone else raise worms?

Tell me your composting stories!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ABC Wednesday Round 10 - B

OK, Here it is, ABC Wednesday time again. This is the day to join in the ABC Wednesday Challenge, and share a little bit of our world with friends all over the world, and learn about them as well, one letter at a time. You can participate too, in either the sharing, or the learning, or both, by visiting ABC Wednesday,Where this week, the letter is

I was all set to write about Binomial Nomenclature, the process for assigning scientific names to living organisms.

But, between you and me, that can get boring.

I will try to add some life to that post and post it later, but something happened today that was of such significance to me that I had to Bypass Binomial Nomenclature.

**Warning, I am about to embark on a long rant about a personal experience. If you are here to planning read something deeply educational I suggest you stop reading now.

We bought Diann a new laptop for Christmas this year. (actually waited until after Christmas to buy it.) Her old one was worn out, and falling apart at the seams and it was time to replace it.

So, we spent a Bunch of Bucks at Best Buy and Bought a Beautiful new laptop.

Now, Before I go on, I have to note that in the last 9 months, between a new desktop, a new camera, a new printer and now this laptop, we have spent about $2000.00 at this particular Best Buy, so although we may not be their best customers, we certainly have been loyal and regular customers.

But that was all about to change.

I set up her laptop, downloaded the antivirus protection software offered by our ISP (Comcast) and Diann was ready to go.

Last night, for the first time, she opened it up, logged on and started reading comments on her blog. About 2 hours later, her screen went crazy, and the computer shut down.

It had a virus.

So, today we took the laptop back to Best Buy, to ask them for help.

Mike, the Geek Squad Tech offered to sell us a protection plan for only $200.00 that would include up to three computers in our home, and then he could fix the problem. Or, if we didn't want to do that, we could contact the manufacturer on our own and buy the disks to reformat and reinstall our operating system.

I explained, as politely as I could, to Mike the Geek Squad Tech that since we had just paid a whole bunch of money for this computer and since it wasn't really working, and since we have owned it less than 3 weeks, and since we had never even really used it yet, and since we had spent a great deal of money there in the last year, I had hoped that they would be able to help us fix our problem.

Mike the Geek Squad Tech, told me that there was nothing else he was authorized do, and so I asked if I could speak with someone who had authority to do more.

After a 15 minute wait, Eric the Assistant Manager came over and spoke with me and explained that since the way the Geek Squad makes their money is by fixing things, that it wouldn't be fair for him to ask them to fix this computer without first paying them $200.00.

I graciously offered to simply accept an exchange for a laptop that actually worked, but Eric the Assistant Manager said that they could not accept that computer as a return because it had a virus.

I pointed out that the virus was definitely a factor in my wanting to exchange it, and suggested that perhaps it was on the computer when we bought it, since it WAS in fact a factory refurbished model, but Eric the Assistant Manager bluntly told me that there was no way that could have happened, and that the virus was a result of our actions.

I asked Eric the Assistant Manager if perhaps they could run a smitrem or a malware removal program on our computer and see if that would help. I was annoyed at this time, but still willing to give Best Buy the benefit of the doubt.

This was when Eric the Assistant Manager started with the B.S.

Now, I may not be an expert on computers, but I am somewhat of an expert on B.S. and I know it when I hear it, so when Eric the Assistant Manager told me that they couldn't run anything on this computer in the condition it was in, I immediately recognized that he had no intention of doing anything to help me, no matter how much I may have spent in his store up to that date, and that he was simply throwing words at me to get me to go away.

So I did.

Best Buy
lost more than just a $200.00 service contract today. They lost a loyal customer.

I may not have ever been their biggest customer, but as of today, I am no longer even their smallest.

I am personally Boycotting Best Buy.

Fortunately, all's well that ends well.

I called my Brother, who works on computers all day long. (I hate bothering him, because I know he does this at work all day, so when he gets home it seems like he should have some time off.) Actually, I left him a voice mail, since he was busy, and he responded with a text message. He was able to text me the information I needed to remove the virus by myself, at no cost to me.

Now why couldn't Mike the Geek Squad Tech, or Eric the Assistant Manager have taken the five minutes it would have taken to talk me through this process?

So for me, today, B stands for Bravo for Brothers, and Boo-hiss to Best Buy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ABC Wednesday - Round 10 - A

OK, Here it is, ABC Wednesday time again. This is the day to join in the ABC Wednesday Challenge, and share a little bit of our world with friends all over the world, and learn about them as well, one letter at a time. You can participate too, in either the sharing, or the learning, or both, by visiting ABC Wednesday,Where this week, the letter is

I have been ABSENT for this blog for a really long time, as I ALLOWED other things in life to take priority.

I'm going to see if I can give my blog some ATTENTION, now that the market season and the holidays are over.

In keeping with the herbal theme, which seems to be the primary focus of my life, today's A word is ASTRAGALUS.

I have been hearing a lot about this herb just recently. It seems like it is the new Buzzword for new age coffees and teas that are being sold at craft shows.

I have my own theories about this which I will cover in a moment, but for the record, here is a basic summary of ASTRAGALUS (Astragalus mollissimus).

A perennial plant, about 16 - 36 inches tall, that is native to the northern and eastern parts of China as well as Mongolia and Korea Astragalus mollissimus is characterized by hairy flower stems; numerous, hairy, small, light green leaflets, usually arching; and long and narrow pink-purple flowers that have a pronounced backward flare at the upper tip of the rather small banner. It blooms profusely in the early spring and where you find one plant you will usually find many. The root is the medicinal part, and is usually harvested from 4-year-old plants.

Astragalus has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It was often combined with other herbs to strengthen the body against disease. Astragalus is called an adaptogen, meaning it is thought to help protect the body against various stresses, including physical, mental, or emotional stress. It is believed to specifically promote immunity in the lungs.

Commonly known as: Goatsthorn, locoweed, bei qi, huang qi, ogi, hwanggi, or milk vetch, among other names.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of culinary use for this herb, it appears to be primarily a medicinal herb and is used both internally and externally. It is high in antioxidants.
Now, as to the fancy high dollar coffees?

I have seen these coffees selling for $1-$3 for a packet of instant coffee, which has some herb in it. The packet comes with a free cup of hot water so you can mix it up and drink it. By selling it that way, the vendor does not have to have a food license, and avoids a lot of paperwork.

They generally contain Astragalus and Ganoderma, a type of mushroom purported to have amazing health benefits.

Why use herbs and botanicals that few of us are familiar with and fewer of us can spell, or even pronounce?

Well, would you buy a cup of coffee that claimed it had garlic in it? Garlic has some incredible health benefits, but we have preconceived notions about it's taste and smell. Whether justified or not, these notions affect our decision to try a new product.

But by using unfamiliar products, the manufacturer avoids any preconceived notions about the herbs and supplements added.

If I tell you I have a glass of sugary lemonade, it sounds mundane. But if I tell you I have some water, infused with the essence of citrus fruit, and gently sweetened with crystals made from the sap of an all natural sustainable cane product grown in Florida, it sounds like I have some exotic new drink that you simply must have!

Well, it works the same way with most products, and especially well with things that sound exotic.

So, next time you hear about a cup of coffee, enriched with powdered mushrooms, and ground roots that are the secrets of ancient Chinese medicine, by all means go ahead and try it. But just remember that the value of any herb does not automatically increase in direct proportion to our inability to pronounce the name.

Herbs are good, they have a lot of health benefits and are part of an effective health regime, when combined with a good diet, active lifestyle and healthy habits.

But there is no "wonder herb" that will magically cure your ills, reverse aging, and make you more attractive all in one capsule.

They just don't work that way.

However, Astragalus certainly seems to be an interesting herb that those serious about herbalism may want to explore more fully.