Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Free Two-Day Shipping… Right!

February 2, 2019


I’m an Amazon Prime member and have been ordering stuff from them for over a year now and, generally speaking, the stuff arrives in a timely manner.

This past week, I ordered a DVD and, two days later, had not received it, so I went online to “track” the order only to see that it has not yet been shipped!

I went to their contact page and chatted with a personable (and, of course, apologetic) person who took the time to explain that the “two-day” shipping means it will be two days from the date it is shipped.

And the problem seems to be that the Amazon Fulfillment Center closest to me did not have the item so it has to be shipped from further away.

That’s fine and I fully understand HOW their system works in that regard.

What I cannot understand is why the item hasn’t shipped in two days’ time!

I don’t care if it is coming from Timbuktu or Malaysia or wherever, they had the order 24 hours ago, unless this one Amazon outpost is so far removed from the mainstream that it can only receive order through the assistance of the Pony Express.

But even that should take less than twenty-four hours! In this day and age how can any business NOT have the capabilities to receive orders practically instantaneously.

Even communications to Mars would have been received and the package prepared for shipment before now!

Sure, the two days is from the time they SHIP the package but the lack of the small print doesn’t tell you how long it is going to take that slug-a-bed Bob to get off his lazy keister and stick the package in the mail.

Aren’t these people trained?

All you gotta do is open the freakin’ email and put the thing in a box, print the shipment label and Bingo! Shipped!

For all their supposed capabilities in using this marvelous new tech (yeah, I mean the mailstream) they cannot figure out how to box something up and ship it in less than six weeks, which is the delivery date the representative told me.

Their packages, smiling so smugly, barely hide the bitter broken system that lies within.

Sorry, Amazon, but if anyone capable comes along any time soon, I think your empire is gonna topple.

Okay, rant over.

Oh, the Humanity!!

June 27, 2018

It’s finally happened!

I had read about blatant discrimination before… The gay couple in Oregon turned away from a bakery… a Trump spokesperson being tossed from a restaurant…

And now… THIS!

Yes, I was refused service, recently, at a small store (of a chain that I will not name for legal reasons).

Juggling several small items as I waited for one of the two cashiers to be free, the customer at one finished and I approached the cashier. I made it to the counter without dropping anything, thankfully.

Then I looked up to see the cashier scowling at me.

“I’m sorry,” he said, but I can’t serve your kind here.

What? I thought. My “kind”??

Then, obviously noting my confusion, he clarified, “You’ll have to go out and change your shirt before I’ll serve you.”

Looking down to see what shirt I had worn… It was nothing more than my usual tee with the Washington Redskins logo on it.

I said, “Huh?”

He said, “I don’t serve your sort here.”

“What would be acceptable?” I asked. “A Patriots shirt?”

He shook his head. “No, only Cowboys fan apparel. We have standards here.”

The other cashier finished with her customer about then and I pushed my pile of goods over to her side of the counter.

She smiled and asked, “Will there be anything else?”

I said “No,” and she rang me up.

The other cashier was still giving me the evil eye.

Sadly, I shook my head at him and wondered what the world was coming to.

This personal bias discrimination is getting out of hand!

And over something as minor as this!

Our Obsession with All Things New(er)

April 23, 2018

Recently Updated
(newly revised version today)
[re-updated just now]



It seems we have an obsession for up-to-the-minute [updated: up-to-the-second] updates on all our tech-gadgets.

Every time I connect to Google docs to edit a document, I get the message that the application is in the dreaded state of “out-of-date” and that condition needs to be corrected before I can continue. So, I have to wait while it “updates”.

The next day, I find the application is once again woefully “out-of-date” and needs to be updated.

Every morning when I turn on my phone, it has downloaded updates and I have to wait a while to give it time to apply all the updates to a half-dozen apps I don’t recall adding and certainly never use.

Thank God I did not have an emergency phone call to make!

We will connect you to 9-1-1 immediately after the updates have been applied…

Wanting to upload pictures from my iPad to my computer is delayed because the device wants to sync with my computer. Yes, even if it synced only twenty minutes before!

What has become of us being in charge of our own lives? Now, it has been relegated to some faraway company deciding their updates are more important than anything we may need or want to do.

But, you know, I get it. I really do!

We feel this primal need to be “on top of things” to be completely current. To somehow not lag behind others… to be on the forefront of that leading wave.

This reminds me of something my daughter used to say all the time: “I’m living for the moment.”

That’s what all these companies and people seem to be doing as well.

But, they’ve got it all wrong. The old saying is NOT live FOR the moment – which is what we are doing so damned well – but living IN the moment.

Which we cannot seem to do because we’re waiting for the updates to download or devices to sync.




This Culturally Diminished Generation

July 16, 2017


Maybe I’m in a crappy place right now…

I am a bit saddened by the state of the country these days.

No, not about Trump getting elected or any of the BS the Media keeps heaping on that dung pile. If that’s what’s worrying you then you ARE the problem.

We have had a war going on for the past fifteen years and I do not see anyone protesting it. Fifteen freakin’ years, folks!

Sure you have the time to march in your fancy vagina and penis suits, or marching glibly behind a couple of media puppets for what passes for “science” but is really more politics. Yes, they’ve got time to march for those “issues” but I guess millions of people dying is not an issue for those self-centered muffins.

No, their music today is all about they’ve been offended, or they want more – money, cars, whatever – or how badly they’ve been treated by their biatches.

Yes, it seems the eternal litany of “me, me, me” is alive and well in America these days.

In the sixties, there was a war. A little thing over in Southeast Asia… you may have heard of it – unless your neuter-specific history classes sort of gloss over the embarrassing affair – the Viet Nam War.

It did not go on for near as long as the present conflict in the Middle East but the youth of America were incensed. They rioted, they marched, they protested in great numbers and their music reflected it with things like “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and “For What It’s Worth” by the Youngbloods. (A reason why this blog has the same title.)

How could we wind up with an entire generation with its collective head rammed up its collective butt more concerned about themselves than anything else. And don’t give me the yap about their feigned uproar over “Global Warming”. I have yet to see any of the loud-mouths mouthing that crap to actually do something useful. Sure DiCaprio and Bono are all for fighting global warming but neither of the pair has quit flying, using their yachts, or driving their fancy cars, have they? Of course not! Why? Because they are just mouthing rather than doing.

In the sixties there wasn’t much mouthing. We got off our butts and did something.

We had a candidate primed to take us there in Robert Kennedy but they killed him.

Today, when Bernie was railroaded – not killed, mind you – his followers folded tent and went home, whining. Hey! They did not kill your candidate, people!


These young people better reach down and find a bigger and hairier pair pretty soon or there won’t be any planet left to pass down to their own grandchildren.

And, believe me, the “runaway global meltdown” is going to be the least of the problems you’re gonna face. (That is, if that imaginary fairy dust apocalypse ever does come about.)



Natural Acts, Public Places

March 21, 2016

[an (almost completely) imaginary scene]

An older couple sat eating at the table to our right as we were seated and given menus. We engaged in small talk after making our selections, waiting the waitress’ return.

Meanwhile, to our left, a young mother was given a seat and she propped her baby-carrier on the table. The infant seemed to be content or was sleeping quietly.

Presently, the waitress arrived and took our drink orders. We both took water.

On our left, the infant began to make some noise. The mother stood, unstrapped the baby, and sat again. Then proceeded to open her blouse, drop a cup, and begin to feed her child.

To our right, I heard a gagging noise. I turned to see the old fellow was having a hard time swallowing something. Before I could rise and offer the Heimlich, he had regained control of his faculties. He signaled the waitress over.

I thought perhaps he was going to order a large glass of water but what he asked for instead was a request that the young woman should be removed from the restaurant, either to a restroom or a private area not in full public view.

The manager got involved and she told the old fellow that she saw nothing wrong with the public display.

“It is a completely natural function, you know.”

After a moment of working his jaw, the old fellow nodded. “In that case, my dear, would you please bring me a chamber pot.”

My wife and I departed even before the water arrived. Or the chamber pot.

Nor did we know if he ordered toilet paper on the side.

Some natural functions are meant to be private.

A Weight Watching Clusterf- oops!

December 28, 2015




My wife has been in Weight Watchers for many years (doing quite nicely, thanks) and recently learned of the new program WW has rolled out.


There have been a few complaints about the new points structure and the removal of the activity points as well as reduction bonus points for the week.


Most egregious of all is the favorites (products, recipes, and such) each member kept on the Weight Watchers website to aid in tracking their points have been summarily erased.


Yes, it would seem that each person has to re-enter ALL that data again!!


But the problem really isn’t that great for many… really! Quite a lot of people have simply exited the program. Hey, how easy was that, huh?


WW isn’t too worried, however, because they know the people will be back. Yes, they’ll come crawling back and take the inexorable amount of time to re-input all their favorites, recipes, and so forth.


And the best part – at lest for the company – is that the stress all this has caused will create… you guessed it: weight gain!!!


Stress is probably the single-most major contributor to weight GAIN and Weight-Watchers has added this vital tool to their arsenal of prolonging memberships.


Man! The guys over in marketing are probably getting great big, FAT bonuses this year.


You bet!

Superintendent Karen Garza Got Greedy, and Got Caught With Her Pants Down

January 6, 2015

Fairfax County Schools is having a great morning this fine snowy day. First snow of the season – and we all know how well people remember how to drive in this stuff since last winter (yeah, as if!) – twenty degree temperature which means it isn’t going to melt anytime soon, and five-plus inches of fine slick powder.

It should have been a no-brainer to announce a snow day or, like most of the other counties in the region, announce a two-hour delay first thing at 6 a.m. then wait to see how it’s piling up. Then, if things turn south, you can cancel the entire day. Just like eight of the surrounding counties did.

It seems in the past that FCPS would take this “optimistic” view the first snow of the year because the district only had three snow days. And you know how valuable those things can be!!

So after a year that used an inordinate amount of such exclusions from the curriculum, the school board gave the superintendent a few extra days. Thirteen, to be precise and these days are not fluid, they are money in the bank. If there was absolutely NO SNOW this year – and with all this Global Warming, who knows? – the teachers would still have to work those thirteen days.

In previous years, having only three snow days, if there happened to be more than the three taken the district would simply add days to the calendar. There is a minimum number of days the teachers have to work, it seems.

Anyway, with a plethora of snow days to utilize, the Super decided to keep the schools on a normal schedule. And for what?!

In what proves to be a miserable rush hour for everyone, the problem is increased with the number of teachers, parents, and buses added to the mix. Endangering the lives of the students (and everyone else) shows a complete lack of intelligence and a total lack of concern.

Oh, except for squeezing in that extra day of work from the teachers, huh?

Face it, Dr. Garza, your opportunistic attitude has been unmasked.

You do not care for the teachers, the students, or their families, just about squeezing an extra day out of your employees.

I only hope that the Teachers Unions, the PTAs, and the Media can help wake you up to some reality.


Here it is 10:30 a.m. and the County Administration has issued an apology for the problems and noted many people have called them to close the schools. They say that the students are actually safer in the schools…

Which imbecile in PR thought that one up? From the tweets I have been seeing all morning not even half the buses have made it to school yet… they are trapped in the freezing traffic.

How can anyone think this makes them “safer”?!!

Makes one wonder if anyone over at county has an elementary education much less a H.S. diploma.

Even the most meager intellects know to learn from past mistakes.

It’s a shame that no one at FCPS can make a claim to that.

Show Me the Money

December 17, 2013

Continuing on the Snyder article mentioned in my last post (yesterday if you missed it), people are complaining mostly about his avarice. Yes, he is bound and determined to make a bundle of money off his ownership.

So he sold the name of the stadium, raised ticket prices, and so forth.

The fans are complaining bitterly.

So what?

I moved to the DC Metro area from Phoenix where we had wanted a team for sooooo long.

We finally got Bill Bidwell to move the Cardinals from St. Louis to Arizona. Suddenly we had a team!!

Then, of course, he got rid of the really good players to save a bit of coin and raised the ticket prices. Yes, at one time the Arizona tickets were the most expensive in the league… and we did not even have a stadium! The team had to use the facilities at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe which the ASU Sun Devils called home.

We had the same revolving door for coaches that currently plague the Redskins. We had the same “losing mentality” that Washington seems to have caught.

One year we had an exceptional quarterback that was actually winning games. But when Tom Tupa came too close to winning enough games to make his bonus, Bidwell had the fellow benched. For the season!

Of course the team tanked and they got rid of Tupa the next year and he will be remembered only for converting the very first two-point conversion in NFL history after that option was put into effect. No, he never had another good year anywhere.

Buddy Ryan, the famed Defensive Coordinator of the Eagles, was brought in as head coach and he wanted to show everyone he meant business so he instructed the team to win every single pre-season game! And they did. Of course, the teams they played against weren’t really trying to win…

Needless to say, the season went downhill from there, only winning three of the games that really counted. Buddy’s legacy lives on, though, as his twin boys are in the NFL: Rob is the Defensive Coordinator for Oakland and Rex is the much-storied head coach of the New York Jets.

By the time I left Phoenix, people were as angry with Bidwell as the people here are toward Snyder. It seems all about the same to me. You gotta figure those guys are in business to make money and that’s what they do.

Bidwell’s son took over in Phoenix, I heard, and they got a stadium, got a descent team, and even went to the Super Bowl. That’s great. Maybe that sort of thing will give the Redskins’ fans some hope.

Everything today seems to be about the money.

The NFL jealously guards its “non-profit” status while they rake in the billions.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg keeps diluting his site with more and more ads. Google bought You-tube so they could stuff it with ads. Making money is the cornerstone of all these ventures in America.

How much is enough?

Maybe when all the stockholders have bled the last stone dry…

Judge and Jury

July 28, 2013

Judgment by internet or social network sets a very bad precedent.

One example comes to us from this spring.

The incident occurred in Pueblo, CO, on May 20th.

The information had been put out on social media and the neighbors thought this one man fit the description. The mob chased the man down and began beating him.

The police arrived and rescued the victim and took him to the station. He cooperated with the investigation by giving a DNA sample to prove his innocence.

He refused to press charges against the assailants.

Nor did they apologize.

Without all the facts in the case, people can arrive at erroneous conclusions and the results can get awkward.

Maybe someday we will learn that somethings are better if not arbitrated by social media.

Social media should really just be about catching up with friends and family, voting Betty White to host SNL, and starting revolutions in Egypt.

It Is Still a Scam

July 24, 2013


A couple of years ago our garden was massacred when a tornado blew through our little village. Several large trees lightened their respective loads by releasing a few rather large limbs, and they did absolutely no good landing on our tomato and squash plants. Another tree fell on our shed and demolished it.

Still, what we got was minor compared to the fellow across the street. The tree in his backyard was toppled into his house, giving his bathroom with a much better view of the outdoors but it sure put a crimp on the privacy of the little room.

Anyway, we called our insurance agent… and got a recording. So, we left a message and waited.

Within an hour, the insurance adjuster arrived. No, not the one from our insurance company, the one for the fellow across the road. After twenty minutes there, the adjuster left with an encouraging word to the homeowner.

About an hour after that, our insurance company called back. And when could we expect their adjuster?

“Why don’t you just email the pictures to me?”

So, we emailed the pictures from our digital camera and a verbal description of the damage.

Several stages of phone tag later, we got the agent back on the phone and she said to go ahead and get the place fixed up. Well, except for the shed… it was so old, she said, they would not pay for the replacement of it.

A couple of days later – after sending several of the bills to the insurance company (scanned by email, of course) – the agent called back and complained of the high prices. What high prices? It was pretty much the going rates for yard cleanup and such from a company we have used before.

Since the cost was so much higher than she had estimated – like, we were supposed to have read her mind or something, huh? – she said we were going to have to forego some of the repairs.

Great insurance company, huh? They promised that we were in good hands but I suppose that is only for their auto insurance.

The next month, are bill arrived and my wife was outraged: the insurance rates went up!!

She called the agent and got the explanation that the rates would be higher for a year so they could recoup the legally authorized 60% of the money they paid out.

I thought there had been a law passed against that very thing years ago but I guess our wonderful legislators allowed that one to lapse (translation: they sold out to the insurance companies) or something.

Anyway, after a little math, I figured out that after years of paying the insurance company and the subsequent cost of the repairs, I could have simply gone without the insurance and taken a small loan to hire someone to do the repairs and I would have come out ahead.

Any way you cut it, insurance is just another federally mandated scam.