Archive for » May, 2015 «

I don’t know about you. But I hate making a call to any big corporation’s 1-800-Customer Service line. They all seem to have this exceptional ability to suck out any positive energy I have, leaving me livid by the end of the call, and ruining the rest of my day.

I had to call Capital One, my VISA card company this morning. I had no reason to sweat this call. I had a very simple request. A request they have been known to enjoy performing. I wanted a new VISA card.

I cheerfully dialed the 800 number on the back of my card. First, their machine picked up and played a series of phone maze with me. I played along nicely and correctly, and was rewarded with a member of my own species on the other line.

I answered all of Tracy’s security questions, and got to state the reason for my call.

“My family will be traveling to Europe this summer. I found out that many of the businesses there can only process credit cards with smart chips on them. So, I need to get this card replaced with a new one with smart chip.” me.

Smart Chip Credit Card for travel aboard

“Oh, that’s great. We are in the process of replacing all our customers’ credit cards with smart chips.” Tracy.

See! An easy call. I happily interrupted, “ All my other credit cards and ATM cards have been recently replaced with smart chip ones. This is the only card I have left without it.”

Tracy, “Yes, yours will be coming in the mail soon. Any time between now until the end of this year.”

“But I need to use the new smart chip card this summer. So, I need you to send me this new card now.” me, still happy.

“Oh, I am sorry. I can’t just send these cards to you. It is all been processed by a system, and I can only tell you that you will received yours before the end of the year.” Tracy stated in that deliberate even paced polite tone that I have come to dread.

I think that deliberate polite tone in a live person is not better than speaking with a robot. I was against having my day ruined by Tracy, so I asked to speak with a supervisor.

Brian came to the line after a few minutes and identified himself as the supervisor. He stated the same message as Tracy about smart chip cards.

“You are seriously telling me that you can not send me new cards?!!” me, in total disbelief, and no longer happy.

What kind of twisted company is this…

This is one of the companies that have been terrorizing my mailbox and spam folder almost daily with new credit card offerings. Now, I personally call them to send me one, and they refuse!

“I can send replacement new cards, but the smart chipped ones are done by our system.” Brian.

“…” I was speechless.

“If your new card doesn’t arrive in time, you can still take this card to Europe. VISA and Mastercard have contracts with the merchants to honor the old cards until the end of the year.” Brian.

“That is not true. I have tried to purchase train tickets with local operators in Europe with this card, and I have already been declined multiple times. This is why I called you.” me.

I learned from a travel forum that many European merchant processors can only process credit cards with smart chips.

“That is against VISA rules. When this happens on your trip, you can write down these business names, and report them to VISA when you come home.” Brian.

“That does not help me. When I take VISA on a vacation, I just want to use it to pay for things. I don’t want to go to Europe to write down all the businesses that are in violation of some rules, and report them.” me.

“Okay, I understand.” Brian.


“I always thought that you are in the business to send people your credit cards. Just tell me why you can not send me my smart chipped card now, because you are about to send me anyway.” me.

“Well…” Brian, then finally, “We have millions of customers. So, I can’t just pull you out of the line.”

Ha, ha, ha… I had to laugh.

I always felt insignificant when dialing these 800 numbers. I was thrilled to finally have my feelings validated.

“Okay Brian. I don’t have millions of cards, but I do have 8 other credit cards (already with smart chips). I will just take one of my other cards on the trip.” me.

“Thank you for your help today.” I tapped the end call icon.

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“Tuesdays will be pizza nights for the next few weeks!” I declared to the kids.

“YEAH!!!” Kids responded joyfully.

My homemade gluten free pizza

We have got volleyball practices on Tuesdays from 6-7PM. As head coach of a volleyball team, I am obligated to be there at 5:30PM to set up the court, and to take the court down after the games. This schedule makes dinner nearly impossible. But the family still demands to eat their dinner never the less.

Pizza to the rescue! I decided that pizza is the easiest meal to prepare on such a day.

I gathered and prepared all the pizza ingredients just before we left for practice.

Toppings ready to go...

All your must haves are pizza dough, pizza sauce, and cheese.

We love Venice Bakery's Gluten Free pizza crust

Gluten free pizza sauces

The rest is just gravy, and it depends on what you like, or perhaps what you can find in your fridge.

My kids love cheese pizza with bacon.

So, I cut up a generous amount of bacon, fried them, and put them aside.


Hubby and I prefer a pizza with more stuff on it. So, I sliced up one tomato, some Canadian bacon, and I happened to have half of a Portuguese sausage in my fridge that was left over from a weekend breakfast.

Fresh ingredients

I sliced up the sausage and Canadian bacon, and set them aside with some fresh sweet basil.

Oh, and I chopped up some garlic. I always put fresh garlic on my pizzas.

After practice, I pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees, then start to put the pizzas together.

I spread my gluten free pizza sauce onto my GF pizza dough. If you like ranch dressing like we do, it makes a great pizza sauce! It does, try it.

Pizza crust covered in Ranch dressing

For pizza #1, I spread Mozzarella cheese on top of the Ranch dressing sauce, then added the pre-cooked bacon, and sprinkle it with fresh chopped up garlic.

Bacon white pizza

For pizza #2, I spread cheese on top of the pizza sauce, added tomato slices, arranged the Canadian bacon and Portuguese sausage on top, then added the fresh sweet basil and garlic.

I put the pizzas in the oven at 475 degrees for 10 minutes. After I return from a quick shower, the pizzas were perfectly ready to be eaten.


So delicious, and a good way to get rid of random leftovers sitting in the fridge too.

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