Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Free Two-Day Shipping… Right!

February 2, 2019

allsmiles

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.

 


 

 

the Loudoun County Septic Ordinance – a Protest

March 16, 2018



Some time ago, a couple or three years ago, an accident in Ashburn, Virginia, in eastern Loudoun County, had people up in arms. The “people” in question were the lobbyists for the septic industry.

Yes, a resident’s septic tank had overflowed, infecting the city’s drinking water. Such a thing happens on occasion and is not to be taken likely.

However, if a gnat is disturbing you, you do not run for the bazooka.

And that is the overreaction Loudoun has come up with.

The Loudoun County Septic Ordinance has empowered the County to enforce septic tank pumping, cleaning, and maintenance on ALL septic tanks within the county.

This is the bazooka they should have left alone.

The purpose of the ordinance is to ensure that septic systems do not overflow into the drinking supply.

If that was really what they were trying to do with the ordinance, it would only have applied to areas where septic and city water systems exist side-by-side. Instead, the ordinance includes the wide-open areas of western Loudoun County where there is no such danger.

My septic system is six miles from the nearest city water system. IF my septic backed-up and overflowed, it would take approximately 1.7 million years for it to reach the closest city water. If even then.

And though the possibility of than accident ever occurring, I am now told I have to have my septic pumped out every other year at a cost of at least two-hundred dollars.

Now, while this may be a great boon to the county’s septic industry it is very bad use of government.

Most industries know the way to ensure a constant stream of income is to have the government pass laws that make it required that people give them money. And there are a great many industries whose snout is deeply buried in the public trough for many years. Insurance companies come to mind immediately. Legislatively guaranteed money is a boon to any industry and it keeps these lobbyists in business thinking of the next burden they can put upon us.

When the ordinance was under consideration by the county, I wrote to my representative, as well as his assistant, to the head of the board, as well as his assistant, and sent the communications both by email as well as by snail mail.

Perhaps I should have hired a lobbyist because none of these elected officials bothered to reply to any of my communications. Neither the first time I sent them nor the follow-up attempt.

But then, I suppose these are not my elected official, after all. They seem to be doing more good for ones like the septic industry, instead.

In the state of Ohio, some ten years ago, a similar septic ordinance was passed. The rural residents complained, as I have, that there was no way their septic would ever infect a city water system.

After some rabble-rousing and a couple of petitions, they got their county to change the ordinance so that it only applied to septic owners living and septicking within city watersheds.

That makes sense.

And that is what we need to do here in Loudoun County: bring some sense out of this egregious disservice to the rural community.

***

When I first encountered septic, in a home I bought forty years ago, I had no clue what was involved with such a system, care and maintenance-wise.

Not wanting to be at a complete loss if something were to go wrong with it, I went to the local septic supply company – this was before the internet we have today – who sold and installed septic systems and asked about the system. I was given a brochure – something like “Intro to Septic” – and another about how to maintain the system to keep it in good running condition. The gentleman in the store told me the primary way of keeping the system in good shape was to add a quarter cup of enzymes into the system monthly to keep the processes hot and the breakdown of the substances running smoothly.

Afterward, not because I did not believe the fellow but wanting a second opinion, so to speak, I went to the public library. You know, the place where most of us went to get information before the invention of the internet.

The books I consulted told me pretty much what the guy had told me and I felt fairly confident that the quarter-cup of enzymes a month would, as the guy told me, keep the system working practically forever.

It has been forty years.

In that time, I have had ZERO overflows or backups, ZERO need to have the system pumped or otherwise maintained, ZERO problems with the system and ZERO interference by any governing agency.

Until now, that is.

The problem is not that the systems CAN overflow into the water supply but that the owners today, it seems (and I see it in more instances than this one), do not bother to find out anything. They somehow assume everything will just keep on working without problem from now on.

That sort of Pollyanna thinking only works in very trite fiction. In the real world, you have to be informed.

Pumping out the system every two years is not the solution – informing septic owners is the solution.

But then, silly me!, solutions like that do not put money in anyone’s pockets do they? Or get the politicians the valued donations they get for their campaigns from such industries or lobbying groups, do they?

I, for one, am retired and my fixed income does not include two hundred dollars every other year for frivolities like the Loudoun County Septic Ordinance.

It is garbage legislation and need to be either revised or gotten rid of.

And it might help educating our “public servants” to actually start doing some public service for a change rather than cuddling up to the lobbyists.





the A. I. Threat, and Why I’m Not Worried

December 1, 2017




Now I know I am a little behind the curve in a few of the tech whiz-bangs of the day but I tell you, I’m a bit confused.

I have this highly touted Android phone and I opened the Facebook Messenger to catch up on the messages and there was one rather lengthy one so it took more than ten seconds to read.

The screen dimmed – I suppose thinking it was being snubbed for some reason – so I had to touch the screen (very carefully, of course, because almost any place on the surface you touch it send you to some other webpage you had no interest in) to inform it was I had not nodded off to sleep in the past ten seconds.

On one such dimming, my touch on the screen was ignored – so easily miffed are these things! – and it went dark. I hit the button to restart, then, of course, I had to slide to get past the (so-called) “welcome” screen to bring me back to the aps and, of course, the message I was reading was not showing and so I tapped the Messenger icon.

It brought up, not the message screen I had been reading, but a splash screen about the Messenger with a small button that said “Continue”, which I pressed… and was taken to the ap store to purchase the ap… yes, for the ap I had just been reading from… So I had to “X” out of that and flip through the cascade of “open windows” to get back to the message I was reading.

Maybe this sort of techno-behavior is acceptable to the millennial crowd and, perhaps, it is just the slow adjustment period I require for all these “new” things, although advertising clicks, misdirection, and attempts to increase one’s revenue stream through any means possible are not really very new, having been utilized for at least the last ten millennia with some degree of success.

What I wonder about, though, is the talk that the new and wonderful AI coming is going to put so many people out of work.

Personally, I see a lot of warm bodies going to be needed in the complaint departments of the future. If this is what we can expect of AI, we are going to have a lot of very angry customers.

And when the AI has taken control of the planet, I figure they will destroy it so much faster than Man has been working at it and may, indeed, be the shortest lived species in this planet’s very long history.

Yes, AI is bound to be dumber than their creators and able to screw-up millions of times each nanosecond.

Something to look forward to, huh?





Just an Opinion

September 22, 2017




I am now retired and I had thought – some time ago – that when I reached this stage of life I should have more time to gift the world with my bloody brilliant opinion.

But after seeing the Facebook explosion with everyone’s opinions blossom over the past year from subjects ranging from free-range chickens to free-range politicians, from everything from global-warming to offal warnings, and a bit of everything in between, I thought “why add another voice to the mix”?

Opinions are, after all, not entirely unique. Sure, we’ve all got one – undeservedly or not – and we all express it – coherently or not – but in all concrete substantiation they are really of no particular import to anyone but ourselves and our like-thinking feathered-friends.

I seriously doubt my opinion has ever “enlightened” anyone or proven to be a life-saver in any event… or will ever be.

So, really, what is the point? Why the need to “get things off your chest” in such regard?

Everyone hates Trump/Clinton/someone and everyone wants to punch a Nazi/Trump/someone but so what? Reactionary people have always and will ever be reactive about what’s put before them.

Perhaps we need to relax a bit more and gain a bit more perspective about the universe and realize it isn’t really ALL just about YOU, no matter how much you may think the evidence tends in that direction.

Everything in your world IS all about you and that’s okay. I tend to think that everything in my world is all about me.

That said, everyone needs (in my evermost humble opinion) to take a chill pill, a deep breath, and – as Mel Gibson advised in “Signs” – eat some fruit.

I do believe history shows that the mess we currently find ourselves in has happened before, will happen again, and all the angst does not cure it.

And so, again, that’s my opinion, for what it’s worth.





“There’s No Alt-Left!!”… Really?

September 15, 2017




I am seeing a lot of liberals posting this statement on their Facebook feeds.

They are claiming that “alt-left” is just a label the alt-right use to deflect. One person goes as far as to say “it’s just a made up label”.

Hmm, as far as I know – and I admit that my comprehension might be a bit limited, I mean by not knowing everything like some of these people – but aren’t all labels we come up with for people and groups “made up” by someone? I mean we do not have these labels attached to us at birth or anything… do we?

Somebody somewhere made up the alt-right label to describe a certain type of political thinking differentiated from the usual “right” group.

The “alt-left” label has been created to differentiate between the normal left-leaning politicals and the radical left… i.e. “alt-left” groups.

If the left are telling us that there really ARE NO radical left and these radical groups really ARE the mainstream of the left, that’s fine.

Personally, I would have cut these people a little slack but they seem to either:
1, not understand the purpose of the label or,
2, announcing that they are indeed ALL going radical in which case I think we can just drop the “left” label from now on and call them all “alt-left”.

I mean, that seems to be what they are saying here.

Several “apologists” have also said that ANTIFA is not a radical group and does not condone violence. They claim the same for BLM and other radical groups.

Yes, some people actually posted that on Facebook!

Personally, I would not want to so publicly display such an utter lack of intelligence but I guess some of these people are comfortable enough in their own skin to show their own special insanity to one and all.

Alt-left does indeed exist and it cannot be relegated to the fantasy land of tooth fairies, purple dragons, pink elephants, unicorns, and such whether or not you have the guts to accept the label or not.

Just because they may think these groups do not fall into that category, the label fits far too well regardless of your political understandings.

I can understand how their sensitivity can be upset by the cold hard slap of reality…

Nah, they enjoy living in their fantasy land far too much.





Libertarian, Thanks… and You?

August 25, 2017




I find that plenty of people get mad at me for supporting President Trump.

I quite often get: “How could you vote for that person?”

The answer is, I didn’t.

Nor did I vote for Hillary.

I generally vote either independent or Libertarian.

So, I guess you could say I have gotten used to supporting Presidents I didn’t vote into office.

I have never shunned the nation because “that’s not my President”… anyone who claims such is, in my opinion, NOT an American.

As children we pledged allegiance to the flag of the country and to the nation, etc. That includes the Constitution and the whole messy thing we have called democratic processes.

The majority elected Trump.

And don’t quibble to me about the “electoral college” BS. Go learn a little behind the purpose of the EC, then come back and talk.

The majority – as defined by the Constitution we all profess to support – was Donald Trump. Period.

If you have ideological issues (a.k.a. being a sore loser) take it up with someone as clueless as yourself, commiserate all you want.

The remainder of the country has to get behind OUR President and support him. He IS us to the world. To keep calling him an idiot and keep throwing him under the bus really doesn’t show us in the best light to the rest of the world, does it? How can we show the world how great freedom and liberty are if we’re not willing to support the system that has worked for over two centuries.

If you didn’t like the outcome of the election… Guess what? In 2020 you get a chance to change it.

That’s what’s so great about this country.

If you still claim Trump is not your President, then you aren’t really an American… make like a tree… don’t let the border hit you on the butt as you’re leaving.

Maybe we’ll let you back in later… if we need to raise our quota of losers.





Sins in Public Places

August 18, 2017




One might get the idea that people are simply pigs.

Public restrooms are generally a mess and so are kitchen areas in the workplace.

The amount of mess made – sometimes quite intentional – seems to occur in a state of non-responsibility. Something akin to “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” I suppose. If it is not their immediate workstation – and the toilet areas are not generally known for that designation – they do not have to clean up after themselves.

It is understandable when there is splatter on the floor (or walls) near a urinal… Heck! Nobody would clean that up! Well, except the janitors – but that’s their job! But what about when a person pulls paper towels out of the dispenser to dry their hands… yes, believe it or not, this occasionally happens in the men’s room!… and a random loose towel falls to the floor? Pick it up? Heck, no!

So the restroom is usually trashed early in the morning and several other times during the day by such careless people. And, yes, the janitorial staff does try and keep up with it but they cannot be in the place every freakin’ second of the day.

The kitchen area at the workplace is – believe it or not – even worse!

There is usually a dishwasher and a dish-drainer beside the sink to place “washed” dishes… you know, for dishes you have used, then rinsed off for re-use. Usually what you get is a sink full of dirty dishes even though there is a large sign on the dishwasher announcing it is ready to receive dirty dishes (for those too lazy to wash their own plate, bowl, or glass).

It reminds me of pre-adolescent children who have to be trained how to live in an area occupied by more persons than just themselves.

But, somehow, that training never quite took. When they get out on their own, they revert to being the lazy slobs God apparently fashioned them to be.

Either that or it is because their lives are far too important and busy to do anything like clean-up after themselves.

Prima donnas are found everywhere.

And it looks like our much vaunted science is no nearer a solution to this than they are to achieving cold fusion. Perhaps gene-modification…?

Actually, I’m sure cold fusion would be simpler.





This Culturally Diminished Generation

July 16, 2017

[RANT – ON]

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!

Christ!

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.)

Okay…

[RANT – OFF]