May 23 2011

Camping Commotion

It appears that we avoided another apocalypse! I was keeping a close eye on the park across the street as the predicted time of 6:00 pm came approached on May 21, 2011. My knowledge of bible scripture, albeit somewhat limited, was enough to know that children are considered “innocents” and would therefore be “raptured” along with all of the adult faithful. As I expected, the kids just continued laughing and playing and no sign of massive earthquakes being reported on the news.

For the record, I didn’t believe in any of Harold Camping’s predictions and laughed when I read his “math” computations for how he arrived at such a precise date and time for the rapture. I’ve never seen such a convoluted and confusing explanation to force somebody’s argument before. And to top it all off, to doubt the appointed time and not simply accept that this was going to happen was to cast doubt on your faith – so you just had to blindly believe or risk being “left behind.” What a joke.

What got me worried most about the doomsday prophesy was that at least one of my family members believed it was true. I was concerned that they would do something drastic, like some other cults have done, at the appointed time or after they realized it had passed and they weren’t included. Luckily I got an email a day later that at least let me know they were still alive.

Anyhow, I could ramble on and on about that scam, but I don’t want to take the time to type it. Ha!

In other news, my annual birthday camping (how’s that for a segue?!?) trip is not going to happen this year because Rece has to attend summer school. His lack of interest in school has come back to bite him and it ends up affecting not only me, but everybody else that was going to join us for the trip. What a bummer.

This entry likes the type of camping that involves tents.


May 4 2009

Melissa Hayes, the deadbeat

The owner of our shop finally got around to getting us (his technicians) some mobile phones. This is a good thing, as I am hesitant to give a client my personal number. This proved to be the correct way to go after giving out my number to just 2 clients that ended up calling me on evenings and weekends a few times.

On the very first day I got the phone I received 4 calls. All of them from different collection agencies looking for somebody named Melissa Hayes. I let each one know that this was no longer her number and they said that they’d take the number off their contacts list. Lather, rinse, repeat … It’s been a couple of weeks now and I’ll still get at least one call a day from some new collection company trying to reach Melissa.

The worst of these calls are the robo-callers that just leave a number to call back between certain days/hours. It’s too much of a pain to try to call them while I’m at work so I can tell them that this is no longer her number. I have a few times, but this is just getting ridiculous.

Thankfully, the calls have subsided. If they had continued at their original pace, I would have insisted on getting a new number.

This entry doesn’t owe money to anybody!


Jun 5 2008

Photographers aren’t terrorists

I’ve been reading more and more lately about incidents of photographers getting harassed and mistreated for simply taking pictures of things that they are legally within their rights to photograph. We’re on the slow road to a police state and people are overreacting to the most ridiculous things. I read this article on Bruce Schneier’s blog (he blogs about security) where he explains why this sudden and progressing suspicion of photographers is unfounded.

This entry likes to take pictures.


Mar 18 2008

My stupid neighbor

Downstairs, in apartment #1, lives a woman and her daughter. The mother is a loud and obnoxious person. She’ll sometimes turn up her stereo and open all her windows and doors so everybody that lives in the complex is subjected to her music. She’ll try to start a conversation with you as you’re trying to get into your car. She’s just one of those people I find increasingly annoying.

Once she found out that I worked on computers, she’d ask for help with her computer, presumably for free. Hell, I even did help her once.

The biggest issue I have with her is that we share a 2-car garage. Unfortunately there is no dividing partition, which she seems to have interpreted as meaning she can store her personal belongings on my half. Our lease agreements state that the garages are not to be used as storage facilities (we’re supposed to have enough room to park a vehicle inside).

She’s done this before and after finding a bunch of boxes that had tipped over and collapsed on my drum set, I pushed her stuff back over to her side and insisted that she get her side organized and off my side. 6-8 months later, after I had talked to her about it a few more times (and her promising it would be done “in two weeks” a few times) I arrived home from work and found a couple of guys rummaging through my things. She had hired these guys to restack all her stuff and because they could hardly speak more than 5 words of English they interpreted her instructions as meaning to reorganize the entire garage – including my stuff! After 30 minutes of pointing out my things and having them put back into place, she had the nerve to act as if she had done some great thing.

About 6 months later her boxes and storage bins started making their way back to my side. I told her to move them and she said something to the effect of, “Oh get over it, it’s only a couple of boxes.” Time went on and out of laziness and not wanting to hassle with it, I didn’t do anything about it. This mentality all changed when I went in the garage to try and fix Rece’s bike, after getting home one dark winter’s evening, so he could ride it to school the next morning.

More of her boxes were stacked on my side and I could barely get his bike moved out and into any position to work on. I was furious, but being late and she wasn’t home, I didn’t voice my objections. It took another 6 weeks before I found myself looking at my open garage and seeing just how much room was still left on my side of the garage and decided to speak with her once more.

I knocked on her door on a Thursday evening and told her that she had until the end of the weekend to move her stuff out of my half of our shared garage. She objected, saying that she had to work over the weekend, but I didn’t relent and said that if she didn’t move it, I would and she probably wouldn’t like where I moved it. She threatened to call the cops if I touched her things and slammed the door on me as I turned to walk away. I then snapped some pictures of the garage.

Before - 2008-03-13 Before - 2008-03-13-16 Before - 2008-03-13

That Sunday, as I got back from a hike, I noticed that she was home. It was 2:30 p.m. – so much for having to work. I didn’t bother to check if she had moved her stuff, but I was positive that she hadn’t.

The next day, Monday, after I got home from work, I opened the garage to check on the status and found everything to still be in the same place. Rece and I had dinner and then went out to the garage to move it ourselves. Fortunately, she was gone, so we carefully moved every box and storage container that was over the imaginary line into her carport spot, as far forward as possible and not stacked too high.

As I was moving the last item, she pulled up and started yelling at me from her car to stop touching her things. She stopped short in her car port and yelled at me some more, then inexplicably pulled back a few feet, stopped, yelled at me again, pulled forward and bumped into her stuff. She then started to yell at me about possibly damaging her car.

A couple of the other neighbors had come out to see what was going on. I kept calm and simply stated that she had been warned. She then started ranting about how she couldn’t move the stuff because she had back problems, to which I replied, “It’s amazing how your back was well enough to move all that stuff into my side of the garage, then” and walked away. She threw a few insults my way, but I just went upstairs and got my camera and took some shots of the garage and her pile of boxes in her carport.

After - 2008-03-17-18 After - 2008-03-17 After - 2008-03-17

As I was walking back into my apartment I heard her begging one of the other tenants if they could help her and let her store her things in their garage. What a piece of work she is.

I uploaded the set of pictures to my Flickr account.

This entry can’t stand people that have no respect for other people’s property and space.


Nov 5 2007

Yahoo! mail & obvious SPAM

I’ll get straight to the point:

obvious_spam.jpg
(click to view full size)

Doesn’t that look like SPAM to you? It sure looks like SPAM to me! It seems that Yahoo! can’t seem to recognize a subject line completely packed with a bunch of symbols as SPAM. This gets on my nerves. It’s almost every day that I flag these types of email as SPAM, but time and time again I see my inbox filled with it. I just don’t get it. To me it would be simple to identify any subject line — or sender name (!!!!) — with more than 3 symbols in it as probably being SPAM.

I can somewhat understand the OXFORD ONLINE LOTTERY getting through, since it’s in ENGLISH.

This entry wants SPAM to go away.


Sep 13 2007

Do you want to sit in a total stranger’s piss?

Calvin PissingI know that I don’t. I’m willing to bet that it’s safe to say you don’t either. So why is it that it’s so common to walk into the restroom of an office, restaurant, etc. and find that somebody has urinated (or worse) all over the toilet seat?

It’s gotten to the point where the first thing I do when I enter a restroom is to grab two wads of paper towels, wet one handful, scrub the toilet seat, then dry it off with the other handful. Don’t bother telling me that I should just use a toilet seat protector (AKA ass gasket), either. A thin ring of paper isn’t sufficient enough to isolate my buttocks from a complete stranger’s piss, thankyouverymuch.

And don’t get me started on public restrooms, either. I totally abhor having to use a restroom at a busy public park, beach, campground, etc. — even just to take a whiz. God forbid that I have a stomach problem and need to take a seat to relieve myself. I’d almost rather just shit my own pants!

Can’t these lazy, disgusting, inconsiderate assholes try a bit more to control their urine stream? Lift the seat! Take better aim – it isn’t a sin to hold your own penis, guys! If you do happen to sprinkle, clean it the fuck up! Don’t leave it for the next person to deal with … they’re not your goddamn janitor any more than you are for the person that came in before you!

Would you do this in your own home? Would you want your friends, children, relative, or significant other to sit in your pee? Does the idea of some poor little kid sitting on your sticky, smelly bodily excretions make you happy? Something tells me that the vast majority of people would say “no” to all of these questions.

This isn’t some complicated thought process, people; this is one area where the Golden Rule affects you just as much as the next guy. Think about it.

This entry doesn’t understand why this concept is so difficult for people to grasp.


Aug 26 2007

The Real Cause of Global Warming: Too Many People

Why isn’t this topic being discussed by those going nuts about global warming? To me this is the biggest factor on either side of the argument.

Before medicine, people died often and early, keeping the population low and limiting growth. In the last 100 years we’ve about doubled the life expectancy for people. Many conditions that would have prevented people from conceiving a child only 50 years ago are being eliminated, sometimes resulting in people having an entire litter of rug rats. Oh, and don’t forget that the fertility age of both sexes have also been greatly increased, so we can pop out kids for 3-4 decades.

What’s my point? In 1900 the world population was estimated to be around 1.6 billion. In 1960, it was around 3 billion … almost double in just 60 years. Since then, less that 50 years later, we’ve more that doubled the world population again! Can you believe it?

Call me crazy, but if we’re worried about the environment, about the resources of the Earth, about hungry children, about disease, about everything on this planet, we really need to take an honest look at how many people are on it. In addition to doing something about the burning of fossil fuels, or deforestation, or toxic waste, or promoting recycling we should be telling people to stop having so many kids!

People argue that it’s their biological right to procreate. While that may be true, it should come with some sense of responsibility. We’ve believed for so long that having a big family is a good thing … but where did that belief come from? Was it religion (“be fruitful and multiply”)? Was it from our farming ancestors (needing help in the fields)? What about for protection (the village/clan/country needs a strong military)? How about the fact that we’re essentially just another type of animal with a strong instinct to reproduce? Wherever it came from, we need to recognize that those beliefs are no longer going to work if we want to sustain a livable environment here on Earth.

We’re at the top of the food chain. There are no predators to control our population. Science has conquered diseases. Modern society abhors violence, so we aren’t killing one another in sufficient numbers to balance things out. Education and technology have enabled us to produce food in enough quantities to feed everybody (whether or not it’s getting to those who are hungry and/or just being wasted by rich countries is a different topic of discussion). The human population is no longer being kept in check as it once had been for much of our history.

Sure it sounds like some crackpot theory. I admit that, but to me it’s just about the math. If you have an environment that can only produce so much and organisms that need to share it and balance their output to ensure the replenishing of resources, it just makes sense that when one organism becomes out of balance, other things get knocked out of balance as well. Extinction of species is happening at a rapid pace now, especially as we start carving up and re-engineering the natural balance of an area. It leads to a cascading failure that must stop at some point. When will we reach that point? Will we even be around to see it?

There is hope, however. People are becoming more aware of the effects of pollution and their impact on the environment on a global level. Whether or not they’ll do something about it remains to be seen. I’m no saint, either. I’ve made many adjustments to my lifestyle over the last few years that reduces the impact my son and I have on the environment, but I know we could do more.

Hell, I don’t know if this makes much sense, but I felt like getting it out of my brain. Hopefully I was able to get my point across. Thanks for listening.

This entry doesn’t know how to fix it, either.


Jul 5 2007

Go see SiCKO!

Just do it. I find most of Michael Moore’s films to be one-sided crap, but Sicko is far from it. I had no idea about how England, France, & Cuba (!!) manage the healthcare for their citizens (and tourists). It’s sad to see how bad it is here compared to what they do in these other countries.

I think the time has come for some serious reform in America’s medical system. Universal care looks like the best option. Let’s follow the good examples set by our friendly countries (and Cuba!!) and make it work for us.

This entry just wants people to be healthy.


Jun 22 2007

Dealing with trailer trash

Yep, I’m guilty of it. I’m labeling some of my neighbors. Right now I’m listening to the 13 y/o boy across the way yell at his mom. He doesn’t live there, he just comes over from time to time. I assume that he lives with his dad.

Son: “No, fuck you! I told you I’d be here with my friends, and that they wouldn’t want to sit waiting around all fucking night.”

Mom: “No you did not. You’re full of shit. Get the fuck out, right now!”

To top it off, the neighbor I share a garage with has had about a dozen boxes sitting on my half of our shared garage taking up space for going on 8 months now. They’re in the way and Rece has trouble moving his bike in and out of the garage. Every couple of weeks or every month she’ll make some promise to have them moved “this weekend” or “no later than X day” and yet they remain. “I can’t move them, I have a bad back” is the latest excuse she’s come up with. Just 30 minutes ago she detailed some big story about he sister moving and being able to move her boxes out in 2 weeks when that happens. I told her that she until July to get them out or I’d be moving them myself — into the dumpster.

Now I hear her outside, screaming, for her daughter at the top of her lungs. How lovely.

The people that occupied the complex weren’t like this when I moved in. There’s a pretty high demand for places to live in this area, so one would think that the owners could be more selective with their tenants. 2 owners ago this place was much nicer, too.

Okay, I think that I’m done whining about my neighbors for now.

The quote of the week comes from a client that claims she majored in computers in college and that she’s “very good” with them…

“Is my computer so slow because it doesn’t have enough rams?”

This entry doesn’t want to have to deal with these people as much as he does.


Apr 10 2007

Blathering Idiot … savant?

Can one truly believe the world as it has been presented to them by their parents or the media? What about your own two eyes? How difficult is it to earnestly look at things on your own and come to your own conclusions? Why is the world so caught up with celebrity and scandal? Isn’t their own existence enough? If it isn’t, why don’t they do something about it?

Get up. Get out. Seek the truth yourself. Don’t bother spouting off at the mouth about what you’ve read and heard second-hand. Everybody lies. Find the answer for yourself.

This entry cares not for titles and accolades.; Put up, or shut up.