To: Forum Oldtimers: Heads Up. This is the Best Post I've offered since my May, 1999 "60 Minutes" Transcript! Why? 'Cause it's PERSONAL! Read on! You'll laugh, You'll cry. You may barf. Whatever. Here goes. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

To begin with, blessings to all of you.

This story could only begin with a tale of a stressed out "Mom" doing last minute catalog shopping for Christmas.

Where could one turn at this late date, as in the first week of December, 1999? As any "Baby Boomer" knows, the "Sears Wish Book" catalog is a major contender. After all, we all know that J.C. Penney is a paragon of "delivery magic." Could Sears be far behind?

Thus, my orders were placed with "Sears" in early December. They were guaranteed to arrive before Christmas.

Yet, they did not arrive.

A small child, (certainly close to my heart) inquired about the arrival date of these gifts, which were intended for relatives. This inquiry prompted me to place a number of phone calls over the past two days.

After having been successfully "triaged" through several layers of telephone ordering center managers for the various "Sears Ordering Centers," I discovered that my credit card had been rejected for this reason:

According to the computers that are networked from the "Sears Shop at Home Service," my credit card, bearing an expiration date of "07/01," (which has historically seemed to be a general expression of confidence for all or most credit cards, at least as engraved in plastic) actually bore the following expiration date:


Those who know my contributions to this forum over the past year will immediately understand that I have no reason to embellish this story.

I was very kind to the "Sears Shop at Home Service" manager who finally was able to call up the computer screen that revealed that my credit card had actually expired in 1899. I knew it wasn't his fault.

He helped me.

I know, however, that he would not have done so, if I had not given him the benefit of the doubt.

Accordingly, my Christmas wish to this forum would be--in a perfect world--that we would all give each other the "benefit of the doubt," and that we might all understand completely in our hearts the true meaning of the conventional expression, "God works in mysterious ways."

Again--blessings to you all--not only for these last days of 1999, but for the coming year and beyond.

Our family will purchase last minute Christmas gifts to make up for the Sears debacle. I suspect, in the broad spectrum of things, this may be a minor point.


-- FM (, December 23, 1999


God gave us "Mercy", may we also give the same, to other humans. Excuse me, I have to go yell at fool dog for barking.

-- A Difference (whichwe@makeand, December 23, 1999.

Just a minor follow up, maybe:

(I think I've tried to post this follow up twice tonight, so forgive me if I am doing a repeat. I seem to remember the days when the follow up posts were posted immediately. Perhaps I am behind "the times.")

I went to my local "Sam's Club" today, to find that they had no flour in the store. I was able to question an employee (while he was cleaning up a huge syrup spill--God bless him--boy was that a disgusting mess) and he told me that they haven't had flour in two weeks.

Now, this is the Christmas season, and I know flour is in high demand, accordingly. I also know there have been problems recently in Northern Ohio with grain shipments.

My question is this: Has anyone seen a shortage of flour lately?

Be honest.



-- FM (, December 24, 1999.

Foods for Less, 5 lb. bag of Gold Medal flour 48 cents. Don't believe me? Call Foods 4 Less, Chico, CA and ask them. Just bought 10 5lb. bags, with the expiration date of Aug. 2001. They had 2 pallets full.

-- gold medal winner (goldemdealwinner@goldmedalwinnerrr.xcom), December 24, 1999.

Thanks, Gold Medal.

That's good to hear.

At the same time, I am still stunned by the fact that my Christmas order from Sears will not arrive on time, because--according to Sears' supplier's computers--my credit card expired on December 30, 1899.


-- FM (, December 24, 1999.

FM- What type of credit card is it? Or would that have mattered?

Where was the actual problem? Sears or the Credit Card Issuer?


-- snooze button (, December 24, 1999.

You've been missed, FM. Please don't wait until 1899 before you post again.

-- Old Git (, December 24, 1999.

FM -

Thanks for the post. An excellent reminder about the need for each of us to extend grace and mercy to those around us in what may be very trying times indeed. BTW, here's an easy way to remember the difference, y'all. Grace is getting what you don't deserve, while mercy is NOT getting what you do deserve.

My own Y2K experience this week: my company's world-class Y2K team (Ed Yardeni himself said so last year) is now scrambling around with last-minute work and the security system locked a whole mess of us in our offices after it was "upgraded". I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry. We are at "T minus 220" and they're still futzing around with the !@#$%^ security system. And don't even ask about other, more mission-critical items that got left off the remediation list until a few weeks ago. It's not pretty.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), December 24, 1999.

What's interesting about this is the program logic that would get you from 07/01 to 12/30/1899. A complete mystery to me. Any programmers out there care to take a stab at it?

Many failures in weird and wonderful ways.

-- LM (, December 24, 1999.

I just woke up. Laughing. Slapping my head.

What was the first thought that ran through my sleepy brain this morning?

1899! 1899!

By the way, it was a Sears credit card.

I still can't believe this happened.

My DH, (who has never expected there would be any NOTICEABLE Y2k problems) told me last night, "Well, you'll have a story to tell."

Indeed! LOL!

My holiday wish to ALL of you is this:

May any problems we experience be no more serious than this one.

God bless!


-- FM (, December 24, 1999.


As you attempt to solve this programming puzzle, I should mention that I was recently issued a new Sears card to replace my old one. The new Sears card is the first one I've ever received that actually bears an expiration date. The card issuer is Sears National Bank.


-- FM (, December 24, 1999.

Hey Old Git!

Happy Holidays!

Here's hoping nobody gives you FRUITCAKE!

(Uh, oh. Did I say. . .fruitcake? Yep. Maybe I should duck now. Or maybe, I should go make one. I seem to remember you had a TERRIFIC recipe. Care to post it again? Hee, Hee.)


-- FM (, December 24, 1999.

How do you get from 07/01 to 12/30/1899?

This is the sort of bizarre result that makes Y2K so unpredictable. I bet it has something to do with a lot of poorly trained, unmotivated programmers and a lack of testing.

-- kermit (, December 24, 1999.

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