Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Keeping America safe…

 

Yes. This is going into Walmarts, hotels and malls, all in the name of ‘keeping America safe’.

Aside from the whole Soviet Union style ‘report on your neighbours’ vibe going on with that. Need I remind you who they are asking to help keep America safe?

 4walmart

Are you feeling safe yet?

No?

Well how about now?

4walmart2

I feel safer already.

(Probably because I’m in Canada)

Monday, November 8, 2010

The patience of a god…

 

have I.

Well at least according to my last caller. Today was my first day on the phones without anyone listening directly in, so I was super nervous. By the end of the day I was doing ok, or at least less nervous. Throughout the day I was constantly 5-10 minutes late in starting my breaks as I would get calls just before they started, except the last call was about 8 minutes before the end of the day, which is normally enough time for a quick call.

This one wasn’t.

Her first question to me was, ‘How much time do you have?’, to which I replied, ‘As much as you need’. Silly me, and damn you Murphy! Thirty-eight minutes later I am finally off the phone with her. She had moved from one city to Wpg and was looking for a cell phone provider, she was looking at our website and was asking questions on the plans, as well she was going off track and talking about other things. In the end she was happy and wanted to talk to someone to say a nice word about me to them, so I gave her to one of my supervisors and she proceeded to praise me to the skies, said I ‘had the patience of a god’ and that other providers when she had called them were fairly rude and that I was extremely nice and she was going to go down and use our service because of me. So not too bad for a first day at work, and work does have a system in place to acknowledge ‘commendations’ made by callers about the reps they talk to.

Now I just hope everything I told her was correct.

So things were ok today overall, I learned some new stuff and wasn’t too bad on the phones. All I really have to work on is my after-call paperwork. Some of which is going to get quicker as I learn to listen and fill in stuff at the same time.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I feel like a Sprite

and I don’t know why.

Since Cliff ranted about a commercial today I figured I should at least copy him and add a commercial to my blog. Somehow I don’t think Cliff will be complaining about my ad though.

German(??) Sprite commercial (NSFW)

So next week I start on the phones all by myself. Kinda scared, kinda looking forward to it. The crappy thing is we JUST started a new batch of promotions, so that means all the promos we learned are almost all out the window and we have a bunch more to learn, basically by tomorrow, with no chance to take the material home. The majority of the docs are ‘confidential’ and so cannot be taken home nor emailed to ourselves. So its a bit annoying. Plus just as we get comfortable with that set, we’ll have another set rolling out. Fun stuff.

So far I haven’t been too nervous while on the phone talking with people, but I have had someone sitting next to me where I can bounce things off of, so when I get back to the customer I can actually sound like I know what I am talking about. Next week I won’t have that, although our trainers will be there to help us out.

We are getting a couple of cool phones, but all in all the promotions and phones are pretty weak for Christmas. We are putting in the 4g network around Feb/2011 (supposed to be released already) and thy are probably waiting for that to happen before they do anything big. But what do I know? I’m just a new hire they are throwing to the wolves on monday. *sigh*

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I have no words….

http://kiwi.kz/watch/u8ton5kj0q7u/

NSFW. No nudity, but… well watch it and see. German(?) version of America/Britain's got Talent I think???

The female judge’s face is pretty funny during the whole thing too, specially at the end.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A letter from Cliff’s landlord…

 

sticksit

Oh Cliff….

 

Actually to get Cliff off…. the hook here, he had… no hand in this at all. Its actually from a site called Lamebook. Some of the stuff in there is pretty funny.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fired!

No not me, but made ya look right? Nyuk nyuk.

A girl was fired yesterday, and looking back its not surprising as she was really quiet in class, didn’t ask questions and apparently the trainer’s assistant was spending all her time with her. She was given lots of opportunity and lots of help, but just wasn’t able to grasp what she needed to learn. The sad thing is it was also her birthday yesterday too. Kinda sad. She was a nice girl, but some things are not meant to be I guess.

They told us at the end of yesterday why we had not seen her, and also said that the rest of us are doing pretty good, that there were no negative comments about us. So while sad to hear about the one girl, its nice to know we are doing well, even if we all feel overwhelmed by all the things we need to know.

And today (friday) we had a nice pot luck lunch. One I am still stuffed from. I made a casserole dish that my family has been making for as long as I can remember, and everyone seemed to like it. A few people cheaped out and didn’t make anything at all and instead bought something, one girl brought a bag of edamame beans, one guy didn’t have time to make the pie he had promised, so he ran across the street and bought a large bag of jelly beans. However there was enough really good food that we had a really good feast.

All in all the group I am training with is pretty fun and we seem to be helping each other fairly well. Three weeks down and three more to go before we are on the phones full time. Kinda scary right now, but we have been on the phones for the last 3 thursdays in a row. We are taking more and more of the calls and taking them longer, before the rep we are seated with takes over. So we are getting used to the idea of actually being on the phone. I’m also starting to see where I could have handled a call differently, and maybe saved a customer, or saved them some money. So its a bit interesting to actually see that, rather than everything just way over my head.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Canadian turkey weekend everybody!

Going up friday to see my dad in Gimli and having turkey, coming back sunday for turkey with mom. Mmmm mmmm good!

Work has been ok, even though some of the program stuff is going over my head, but I’ll get it eventually. The sad thing is that the stuff I am struggling over is in a program that is getting phased out. So even though I’m busting my balls over learning it now, its gonna be gone in a few months and I’ll have a new program to learn.

I missed a yelling, pissed off lady today though. The girl I was listening with had a call when I took my break, so I missed out on a really irate caller. :( That would have been awesome. Maybe next time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Oh how the Japanese entertain me…

 

I think my wifey can beat out those coin catching girls pretty easy though. My wife has nice boobs. (she’s probably going to hit me for saying that)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

NSFW – Thesis on sexual partners

babyalien

Well to start off that’s kinda how the day was. We was thrown to the wolves like babies to the slaughter. In other words our first time on the phones. And we actually talked to real, live people (how disgusting!!)! But I did have a bit of fun, I had one call that was a little kid going ‘goo goo ga ga gee gee’. One girl in my class had a drunk person call. Yeah, its gonna be like that. Fun times. The redeeming thing is that it pays pretty good, and it looks like I am going to have 2.5 months of full time hours before I get put on casual part time, so not too bad at all.

And to round out what the topic was…. Follow the link below. Just don’t read it at work.

http://jezebel.com/5652114/college-girls-power-point-fuck-list-goes-viral-gallery

Its bloody hilarious. The wifey is currently reading it and chuckling heartily.

Monday, September 27, 2010

First day of work.

So I had my first day of work today. I didn’t get much sleep at all last night, maybe two hours, but I wasn’t nervous it was just my mind was going a mile a minute with other idiotic stuff, and maybe that was me being nervous. Although I’ve never been ‘nervous’ like that. But anyway… Yeah, first day of work. It was pretty relaxed, not much studying overmuch, mostly a history of the company, a basic covering of our jobs, our benefits, or employee discounts, etc… Apparently this whole week will be a bit of casual studying, meeting  HR and Union reps, heading over to listen to people on the phones, etc.

Our employee discounts are pretty good. A 32mbps internet speed is only $50 compared with $85 (in the US I had a 3mbps line), cell phone with unlimited txting, data plan and basic phone is just $43 and I can add 3 more people to that. When I went to the MTS store the other day and looking at a plan for Kathy, me and my mother we were quoted at $170. Plus we get to save $25 off a monthly bus pass. So not too shabby employee benefits.

The group I am in seems to be pretty nice, 6 women and 3 guys including me, we’ve sat around and had lunch together and we’re getting to know each other, so its pretty cool.

Overall it was a good day and looks to be a good week.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Miscellaneous stuff

125kj-coilgun-500x375

Looks like a movie prop eh? Not so! Its a real functioning coil gun. Pretty bloody cool. This guy’s post shows pictures and plans for it too (I hope he patented it first).

Here it is in action.

I don’t know anything about these things but his projectile seems big and some of the comments suggest he’s kept his power down on purpose. I wonder with a smaller, lighter projectile, and more power how this would work.

And for Cliff, although he’s probably seen this already…

Oh and one more thing to get you huffy and irked… Yes Virginia, there really is two ‘justice’ systems.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Damn you all to hell!

Its started, and we’ll never be the same again. What am I talking about? The day that apes take over the world. It has begun! And its all the fault of a little boy.

Would you like to play a game?

Yes that’s right. That’s a gorilla with a DS, can the end of the world be far off?

Clearly they have already evolved better parenting skills.

Finish your homework first!

Little boy you’ve doomed us all!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bad news

Except that its now good news…

Last Saturday (Sept 11th) I received an email from MTS saying ‘thank you for your participation, but we regret to inform you…’. So not very good news and it was a bit of a letdown. MTS pays really well, plus the benefits are really good and so, as I said, a bit of a letdown.

Spent the rest of the week talking with a CEO of a very large company getting his help redoing my resume and he said he would pass it on to people in his company, a company that is part of the ‘Group’, and a good friend of his is the CEO of another large company and would send my resume to him as well. So all in all a very good guy to have helping me. There were no promises made, he will not pressure anyone to hire me, but he said he can ask them to look over my resume, and as I told him the help he gave me on my resume is great as it is.

I had made plans to go to ‘Employment Insurance’ in the morning and see what kind of help they could be in getting a job. Since I have been out of the country for 9 years I wasn’t expecting any money, but if training was available I would be up for that. Either way just getting some better ideas of the job market and what is available and what resources I could use would be a great help. However I needed my resume printed and I don’t have access to a printer on this computer, so I had to wait for my mother to come back from Gimli.

Then this morning I got a call at 8:40am (waking me up, who gets up earlier than that? That’s just crazy.) from MTS asking me if I was still interested in the job and that if I was could I please take another assessment that they will send out to me. So I did that other assessment and got a call around 3pm saying that I got the job. They still have to do reference checks and a criminal background check (No Cliff, I did not use you as a reference, and not a word about Prague!), but I should be clear on both of those. The head of HR in my last company really liked me and she said she would have no problem being a reference for me (recently reconfirmed).

If you’re wondering why the ‘regret to inform you’ email and now getting the job, a few people had to bow out so I was an alternate I suppose you can call me. Out of the 3,000 people that applied I was in the top 25 (22 positions were available). So not too shabby.

So today was a good day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I won!

Except I didn’t.

I did win an auction for a video card I wanted for my system (an old AGP system). I received it in the mail today and proceed to install it in the computer and then the computer promptly refuses to boot up. My first thought is I knocked off some power cords. Nope. Then I think the power supply isn’t enough. Nope (I have a 600W). I reinstall my old card and the computer boots up no problem. So then I think its the card. Maybe the card was borked from the beginning. So I email the guy and see what his thoughts are.

Meanwhile I am looking around to see what I can find out and one thing stuck out at me was that on the Powercolor web site it mentions changing the bios to 1.6V. The seller responds with a quote he pulled from somewhere saying many P4 motherboards (like I have D865PERL) are a 1.5V motherboard.

So it looks like I have a 1.6V card with a 1.5V motherboard.

Fuck.

So….. Anyone in the market for a Powercolor HD3850 512mb GDDR3 256bit AGP graphics card?

And….. Does anyone have a X1950Pro 512mb GDDR3 256bit AGP card (what I currently have that is broken) laying around?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Playing games

So I haven’t been adding more to my blog because I’ve been playing games. Actually one game.

Star Trek BotF

Its like Masters of Orion  but set in the Star Trek universe, so pretty decent. I’ve been putting in a good amount of hours on it. Since this is the first time in months I’ve been able to actually play a game for more than 5 minutes this is a good thing.

So pardon my lack of posting… again, but I’m kinda relaxing and liking a stress free environment.

No new news on the job, I’m still waiting for the letter to come in the mail. So hopefully soon.  If we can we’ve decided to try and find a house to buy rather than rent. It may mean a few more months at my mother’s (if we are allowed to stay), but it would mean less payment than rent, and no problems with Ares. But we’ll see. That all depends on me getting a good paying job.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Typing, typing and more typing

I suppose I should keep on writing or Cliff will start crying or something…

So in preparation of my next assessment at MTS I am trying to learn how to type without looking at the keyboard, which is what I normally do. In fact I normally type with just my middle two fingers, but I have been fairly quick doing it this odd way. So today I am trying to type without looking at the keyboard. So far its about 50/50 in looking down, its just habit and hard to break.

I do need to learn how to type properly though, so its off to find a typing tutor.

Fun fun.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

So the month is almost over

So the whole month of the blog challenge is almost over. Its been pretty interesting and its seems that Cliff has a good group of friends to hang with. I’ve learned a lot from the group and its been interesting to read about your lives and thoughts. I’m definitely keeping up following the lot of you. Not only do you guys have some of the same thoughts I do about agri-business, but some of you are further along than I am, and are doing some of the things I want to be doing. So being completely selfish I want to keep in contact so I can ask the questions I need so I don’t have to learn them the hard way. :)

I wasn’t really able to really follow everybody, everyday though. With the move and whatnot it put a serious damper on my time, it actually got worse once I arrived in Wpg because of family being around. In hotels I could be on and ignore Kathy all I wanted, but I can’t ignore the rest of the family. That would be wrong.

So Cliff is lucky to have a cool group to hang with.

News today: My contact within MTS said I am going to be sent for one more round of assessment testing, which means I passed the interviews. So good news there. Bad news is we spend near $300 at the vet today because Ares had his rashes start to appear again, and the vet gave us other pills, plus heartworm pills we don’t have to worry about in CA. But the good news is we got some good info out of him for things to do, and what we need to do in the future. He has more things to do, but nothing that is in dire need, just more maintenance stuff.

So that’s it for today. I guess we have one more to write for tomorrow?

Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

So it went well.

Thank you for those of you sending positive wishes my way about the interview, it seemed to work. I think I did pretty good on the interview. It started off with me telling them about my accident while scouting out the building and that 4 days in Canada and I get hit from behind. One of the ladies said, ‘Welcome to Canada.’, which was pretty funny. Before the interview started we talked a little about the drive we had coming from California and the job market in the US. They really could not believe its as bad as it is, 80% of people looking for work will not find it. It was pretty shocking to them.

Then they started asking me questions in turn, each reading from the same sheets and writing down my answers. I only messed up one answer and that was asking me about current promotions they have going. My answer to that was, ‘I honestly do now know right now, but I can certainly see why the training is 6 weeks full time.’. But, I did answer everything else, and on some of the answers I made them laugh a good bit. They asked what I had over other applicants and I said that I assumed I was one of the oldest applicants and as such my ‘drama’ days are over. They laughed at that answer and my ‘inside’ source when I told her that said that was a great answer. She seemed to think I did pretty well. I hope so. But, we’ll see. I’m not going to hope too much in case I get disappointed. I’ll find out in a week and a half if I got the job or not.

The other good news is that I was able to pick up a really good monitor for a really good price today, so I’m pretty happy about that. My computer is now up and running. Although I still do not have a lot of time to get on it, it is nice to have it back.

Ares has settled down a bit although he is now getting pushy about his boundaries. He doesn’t like staying in the basement at all, but my mother said if he stays at the landing at the top of the stairs that's ok. Plus her husband, who is not overly happy about a dog in the house, has been petting him and it looks as though they’ve been doing a small bit of bonding. So that's good too.

Overall. Not a sucky day.

 

Read these other blogs because Cliff will make someone a good wife someday! Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So yeah, our luck is holding up great

Today started out pretty good, I got a call saying that my inside help will come by and coach me with the interview I have tomorrow. And when she came by it went pretty well, and she said the two people interviewing me are really nice. I think they know a bit of why I am here, so I think that will help too. But we’ll see, I don’t want to put too much hope in this.

We were able to get a joint bank account too, which was better than when we tried to get one in the US. I wasn’t allowed to be on the account until I had credit, which is kinda weird. But, Kathy was able to get on the account with a zero credit rating here. Plus I found out my credit is actually pretty decent here. Who knew? So all I have to do is keep that up and it will be good. With the lessons we have learned from being at the bottom, I don’t think we’ll have any problems in that regard. Not that we went spending out of control, but when I lost my job all the credit cards went unpaid that we had been paying down. I never want to be in that position again.

I went to go check out the location of the building I have to be at tomorrow for the interview, I don’t want to be late or searching for it, so a recon was needed. On the way back, just before Confusion Corner (it really is confusing, and Kathy said that whoever designed it was on acid) we got hit from behind. Nothing overly serious, but enough to leave a fair sized dent in the bumper. Both Kathy & I are a little sore, but again nothing overly serious. Kathy is a little upset, but we are not at fault and their insurance should cover us. Hopefully I won’t be too stiff in the morning for my interview.

Well back to studying for my interview. There is a TON of things to know, and I can really understand why there is 6 weeks of full time training to get a casual part time job. Not only do I need to know about MTS I need to know about their competitors too. Ugh. I tink its gonna be a long night.

 

Read these other blogs because God loves you! Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What the hell am I going to write about now?

I mean most of my blogging has been about the move, and now that is done, what the hell do I write about?

I did get a call today from MTS about a job interview though. According the the ‘inside source’ I have the online test I had to take just before I packed the computer up must have went well. If not, then I would not be given an interview. So that is good news. I have the interview on wednesday morning. Two years of applying for jobs in the US and I got 2 interviews, one day in Canada and I already have an interview. Go figure. It would be nice to get this job.

Our room is a huge mess. We are trying to get things figured out, but its not easy as we have very limited space. We want to have as low an impact on my mom and her husband as possible, so we are reluctant to spread out to find more storage. So that’s an issue.

Ares has been pretty good, but he doesn’t like being left alone for very long, if he is then he starts making noise. He did this tonight and my mother came down to see him before we could, when Kathy got down here my mom was already there petting him. She really loves having a dog in the house, although I know her husband is not too pleased. So far he’s being ok, although I know he wants us out of here asap.

And in response to Erron’s question about Kathy (from my last post), ‘How is Kathy doing? You're coming home, but she's leaving hers, just in time for winter in Winnipeg (yikes!).’ I’ll let Kathy speak for herself:

This is Kathy, Brad’s wife, taking over the hubby’s blog for a second to answer Erron’s question. Thanks for asking, by the way.

I am doing ok. The process has been a very emotional one for me as this is my first big move away from home, kith, and kin. I can honestly say that I never anticipated that I would ever leave California before now. I might have imagined moving to a different area of the state, but never leaving the state, and certainly never leaving the United States.

As Brad has noted, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster about this move since we made the decision to do it. One moment I’ll be happy and excited, and the next, crying my eyes out. As the move date grew closer, the emotional roller coaster picked up steam, and I don’t quite know how Brad was able to put up with me at all during that time. I guess he really does love me a lot, lol.

Anyway, now that we’re here, my emotions have evened out and I am actually quite happy to be here. Winnipeg is beautiful and so green! Living in the desert for over twenty years has made me forget how lovely a sea of green grass can be. The street that Brad’s mom lives on is in an older part of town and it is lined with large trees that overhang the sidewalk and the roadway. It is lovely to walk Ares down the street and watch the tree shadows dapple the ground ahead. There is moisture in the air and hence,there are beautiful cumulus clouds that race across the sky in great puffy cotton balls. (Right now it is raining and there was actually a bit of thunder and lightning…beyond cool. I love thunderstorms and they were rare in the Californian desert.)

I am thrilled that Brad already has a job interview after going so long without one and I am hopeful that he will find work soon…even if this one doesn’t pan out. Once he is working, my remaining worries about this move will be put permanently to rest.

Read these other blogs or the internet will contain no more porn! Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

So here we are in Canuckistan

Yes we finally made it. The journey is over and the new adventure begins.

We did have a bit of a nervous time at the border, we got pulled inside and grilled about a few things. Mostly about what Kathy does for a living (we said writer), no I’m not moving here, we are leaving in a month, where are we staying, etc… Twas a bit of an adventure in and of itself.

They didn’t search the car, which was nice, cause they would have found 2 computers and a 42” LCD tv, it might have been hard to explain away. It was a huge relief when we got our passports back and said we are ok to go. After that it was just driving up to Wpg and trying to remember where things were to get us to my mother’s.

My dad did meet us in Grand Forks to help us unload the U-Haul and since he took the RV they are bringing some boxes up for us. Mostly just boxes of books and some dvds. We did set up the tv and dvd player already and they work fine.

The people at the storage place were simply great. They came in on their day off, they gave us a cheque (I can now spell cheque properly too!) to cover our extra night and food, and also showed me where to drop the key off for the U-Haul, so they are pretty damned good. I’m glad I used them, cause they are pretty awesome.

Our computers are going to stay dead for awhile until family goes away. So until then Kathy & I will share the laptop. Fun times.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Never, and I mean NEVER say…

‘It can only get better.’

Murphy hates it when you say that, he really does. He’s a sadistic bastard he is, and he likes to torment people.

I said it.

I shouldn’t have.

I REALLY shouldn’t have.

Why do you ask? (I know you’re wondering)

Because Murphy, the sadistic bastard that he is fucked me over. I spent the majority of my day waiting for U-Haul Roadside Assistance, to come change a tire that had tire bulge (passenger side rear tire). Not just any tire bulge either, I’m talking mutant tire bulge. (I do have pictures, but because my phone is borked it won’t send anywhere. I’ll get them somehow though)

This mutant tire bulge was the size of a softball cut in half and placed on the tire, the longer we waited, the bigger it got. Not only that but it had a smaller (not much) cousin on the inside of the tire too. I called roadside assistance and the first people they tried to get to come help me refused to do the work. I was 15 miles outside of Grand Forks, my destination, too. I had crappy cel phone reception and the only good thing was that we had made a pit stop when we noticed it. I’m super lucky I did not have a blowout and an accident.

So it took 4 hours to finally have someone arrive to tow the car to a U-Haul 15 miles away where they fixed it in 10 minutes. The tow truck driver, and the two guys at the U-Haul had never seen anything like it before. All of them agreed I was lucky it didn’t blow on me.

The good news is that U-Haul will pay for the hotel and food costs because I had to stay an extra day because of this. Also, the storage place is going to open up and get me singed in tomorrow even though they are closed on sundays. I talked with them yesterday and they were absolutely awesome, they waited around, gave me their private cel phone number to call them in case I was able to come in.

My father who had come down to help me unload is going to stay longer and help me out too, so that is great too. We had a nice dinner and chatted for awhile. So the evening went pretty well, and we also get to sleep in, so that is another good thing.

Baring anything else happening we should be in Wpg sunday night. Which will be very nice. This trip has been one bad thing after another and I just want it to be over.

Where the shit flows

I’d like to talk about something else that is going to be bothering me for, at least, the next 2 years. I say two years because that is how long it’ll take before, I hope, we’ll get our own home and can do things to it.

In Kathy’s home I redid the entire kitchen, sanding the oak cabinets down and restaining them, putting knobs on, new floor, new stove, hood, dishwasher and faucet. Then going into the master bedroom and painting, new lighting, new tile floors for the bathroom, and finally, and this is really the most important part, a new toilet. But not just any toilet, and ADA certified toilet. Basically what that means is the seat is higher.

Now if you have a regular toilet, grab a yellow pages that is about 2” thick, go to your bathroom, put it on the seat (closing the lid might be a good idea), and sit down. Go ahead and try it. I’ll wait.

Back now? Now how did that feel? Felt comfortable didn’t it? Didn’t have your knees in your face did you? For children this is fine, but as an adult I prefer an adult sized toilet. A few inches make up for a hell of a difference when you’re sitting on the throne.

As we have travelled along our trip every place we have been to has the smallest toilet size (14”), every time I go to sit down my ass wants to sit a few inches higher. Where we are headed is the same thing. I am going to try and figure out a way to convince my mother’s husband to change it. I’ll pay, but he has to agree to it, and I donno if he will.

I guess my ass is going to sit a few inches lower for a few years.

 

What? TMI? Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dammit!

No its not about Beaver today. Although I did talk with someone who offered me coupons for a future visit, because yeah, I’m spending a lot of time travelling. *sigh*

We actually pushed through Dickinson today and made it to Manden which is just outside Bismark. ND. The storage place closes at 1pm tomorrow, so we decided to push a little harder today so tomorrow isn’t so bad. As it is we have about a 4 hour drive and then we have to unload the truck. Fun. I’m looking to hire someone cause there is no way I’m going to be able to do it.

So what got me upset? Its pretty disastrous and if I had known what was going to happen I would have delayed leaving. This is just not good at all. I don’t really know how to say it, so I’ll just come out and say it… I’m going to miss Top Chef D.C. I’ve seen over half of it down here so far, but once I hit Canada I don’t think I’ll even be able to Hulu it. My mother does not have good cable channels, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch it all over again at her house (Canada runs the show behind the US air dates) .

Oh the humanity!

And that cackle you’re hearing? That’s Cliff laughing at me. Bastard!

 

Why me Lord? Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fuck Utah: The Continuing Saga

Well we didn’t make Dickinson, ND today. From the delays we had yesterday resulting from the horrible stay in Beaver, I am super tired and super sore. We spent a little time in the hot tub last night and then we were really hungry so I took a quick run to Safeway before it closed and grabbed some frozens. After that we just went to sleep.

We had to stop a few times on the 250 mile trip from Dillon to Billings because my back was just bothering me too much. The drive was very scenic though, I can definitely see the draw to come to Montana. Some beautiful valleys with rivers running through them that would be great to set up a nice piece of property along.

So as we get to our hotel room and set everything up (like internet) we got an email from the Quality Inn in Beaver. Here is what they sent to me:

Dear Mr. McGraw,

On behalf of the Quality Inn of Beaver I would like to offer my sincerest apology for your inconvenience during your stay with us.

I would like to thank you for bringing the issue you had with your stay to my attention. We take great pride in the customer service our hotel provides to our guests. It is also our goal to provide guests with what they ask for to help their stay more comforting. In my research I see that you had checked into the hotel at 7:50 pm August 24, 2010. I spoke with my staff that worked on that day about this issue. On this day we had been notified by Beaver City about a power outage that would occur from 12:00 am to 4:00 am. We had placed on our doors as well as the counter the notice about this going to happen. It was also mentioned upon check in to all guests. I was on the phone when the power was turned off speaking to my clerk and over heard the conversation you had with him about the power. At no time did I hear my staff have an attitude with you during his explaining why the power was off. However, I have spoken to all of my staff as to the proper procedure if this was to occur again in the future. This way there is no misunderstanding when the power is being shut off to making the guests aware of it happening.

As this is something that we have no control over I apologize that I am unable to give you a credit for your stay. We followed policy that had been placed if this was to occur. Had there been an issue with it at the time of arrival it was explained to you that you could have stayed elsewhere. We don’t want to lose you as a guest and we try and accommodate all guests to the best of our ability.

I would like very much for you to give us a second chance next time you’re in the area. Along with my apology I’d like to offer you a 10% discount off your next stay with us. Please call the hotel directly to make your next reservation and reference this letter and upon arrival present this letter to receive this discount.

Again, I would like to express our regret that your stay was not to your satisfaction.

Sincerely,

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___________________________

Del Hinckley, General Manager

To me that is basically a giant ‘fuck you, you should have stayed elsewhere’ from them. Here is what I just sent back.

Del,

I appreciate your quick reply, however while your 'policy' on informing customers may have been in place, it certainly was not enforced. At no time during the check in was any notice available, nor was it mentioned to me and nothing was on the door in our room. When my wife talked to the front desk clerk (when the power shut off) what he said was that he didn't know what was going on, and that he had just got there, he did NOT tell her about the town turning off the power, as you allege. If all your staff were aware of what was going on, he should have been able to answer my wife's question. Also, if all these notices were around, and we were supposedly informed of what was going on, why would my wife head to the front desk, where you say you heard her, ask what was going on?

When I checked out and asked about the power outage the girl at the front desk certainly kept repeating that she had a sign on the front desk, but where she pointed out where she put the sign, at check-in there were numerous maps of the facility. If it was underneath the maps I appologise for not realising that I had to root through piles of papers to find the notice.

I understand that the power outage was the city's doing, and I do not hold you responsible for cutting the power, however in not being informed by any of your staff, and the attitude I have dealt with in trying to find out what was going on I do hold you responsible for. I would also expect, that even though it is not of your making, you would automatically offer a discount to all guests for the inconvenience. Because of the lack of sleep this caused us it has set us back a full day of driving, which costs us an additional $150 in lodging and food. I find your lack of willingness to resolve the issue to be pretty insulting. As of right now I am going to continue to take this to Choice Hotels corporate.

Also, I fully understand how customer service should be handled, not only have I worked retail sales before but in my last job I was sent (sometimes over 100 miles) to deal with the 'difficult' customers and make them happy.

Brad McGraw

So the ongoing saga of Utah continues. I donno what it is, but so far this trip has had a lot of downs in it, from the Uhaul, to Utah. Maybe its things starting with the letter ‘U’?

I do have to say the people at the GuestHouse Inn and Suites in Dillon were very nice. Not only in allowing us to use the hot tub after hours, but in telling me where to find food and when Safeway closed. Also this morning checking out the girl was very pleasant and told me about trying fried bologna and onions in an egg sandwich. (we were talking about their continental breakfast and sidelined into more breakfast talk) I told her about an egg in the hole, which she had never heard of before, which to me is odd because I grew up eating them and love them.

So we are in Billings, MT for the night. Everything is pushed back a day too. Tomorrow we are just going to go about 300 miles to Dickinson, ND.

My apologies for not getting the chance to really read or respond to everyone’s blogs. I just haven’t had the chance to really go through them. I’ve just sort of been randomly clicking on a few and reading them. Kathy beats me if I am on the laptop too much. :(

 

The first time Beaver has disappointed me! Hopefully there will not be a second time.  Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh and fuck Utah too

Bloody bastards. We go back to Beaver, the smelly, rotten, no one wants to go near it Beaver. Why is it smelly and rotten? Well right now its mostly just the Quality Inn we stayed at. ‘Quality’ was in short supply there. The room was fine, no biggie there, it was a hotel room, they are pretty much all the same. Turned the AC on for awhile, got Ares’ crate set up so we could go to dinner without worrying he’ll chew up the furniture.

After a nice meal Kathy & I start to relax in the room and shortly after midnight the power goes out. This means we can’t get ready for bed (Kathy has to take her face off after all), we can’t connect to the internet and no TV, nor are our mobile devices charging anymore. Not a good thing at all. So Kathy heads down to the front desk to see what’s going on and he says, ‘I don’t know, I just got here’. So obviously no help there. So I pull out the mini flashlight I packed for some odd reason and I shave and Kathy gets to take her face off by flashlight (a first I am sure).

Morning comes around and when I go to check us out I ask about the power outage (that lasted 2.5 hours), and the morning clerk says that the city was doing some stuff and that there was a notice on the desk, and if anyone didn’t want to stay they could go elsewhere. Except that we never saw the notice as where she had pointed out she put it was covered in numerous maps of the hotel, nor did anyone tell us about this, not the girl that checked us in, and obviously not the late night guy. I asked about a discount and she just kept telling me about the notice she put out, and that seemed to cover it.

Well we got like 3 hours of sleep because of the whole thing last night and about a 100 miles into the drive we pulled over cause I was seeing double. So I had a nap and Kathy was hit on by some 90 year old man. We got hit by Salt Lake City rushhour, which slowed us down hugely and after we left Ogden (just north of SLC) we stopped at a rest stop again and just rested for awhile. We finally got to Dillon, MT at around 10pm, so we were on the road roughly 12 hours. Not fun.

We are headed to the Jacuzzi now, and Kathy is gonna give me a massage afterwards. I need it badly.

On to Dickinson, ND tomorrow. A longer drive, but hopefully done faster with a good nights sleep.

Oh… I did make a formal complaint to the Quality Inn ‘Guest Services’ line. I’ll find out in 72 hours what they are gonna do. I’m mostly pissed off at the attitude of the people there, so fuck em. Time to complain. With 3 hours sleep and 540 miles to drive I’m not in the mood to be nice.

 

The first time Beaver has disappointed me! Hopefully there will not be a second time.  Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Idahoans are sucky drivers

Y’know, I have planned on doing some sort of play  on ‘Beaver’ tonight, something suitably vague, but still able to pull a joke from if you have a dirty mind (like I know you all do). We did make it to Beaver, UT (476 miles) today after leaving 2 and a half hours late (10:30am), we still made good time and pulled in by 6:30, and that with 3 stops along the way, about 30 minutes each. So that’s an average of 73 miles an hour, not too bad.

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That was at one rest stop just across the Arizona border in Utah, very pretty country. While going through Arizona we came to one part of the Interstate that had been cut out of the mountains. Very ‘S’ shaped road, it was pretty cool and I would have enjoyed it far more if there was not some fucking idiot in front of me.

He started bothering me even before we came to the winding mountain stretch. I had been pulling up to him in the left lane, and there was this other car in the right lane going slower than him that he was passing. So as is ‘right and natural’ he should have pulled to the right and gotten out of my way. He didn’t, and the bitch in the other car decided at that point that she didn’t like a U-Haul passing her and floored it. Now the guy in front of me is randomly speeding up and slowing down, always making it so that I can’t pass him on the left, and there is a line of cars behind me all probably blaming me for this shitty driving.

Now we come to the winding road where this asshole decides he likes to put his brakes on for every fucking corner. I think I had to deal with this asshole in his shitty GMC Jimmy for about 20 miles. Fucking bastard.

Idaho, fuck you for your shitty drivers.

DSCF0692

Ares loved this place, it wasn’t blistering hot like some of the other stops, and it had grass for him to run around on, so he liked it a lot.

Tomorrow we head for Dillon, MT. This drive is going to be a bit longer as we are going another 40 miles further than we did today. Kathy wants to sleep in a bit and leave by 9am, but I’d rather leave at 8am. We’ll see what happens.

I do have to say that as we were passing through Vegas I offered to take Kathy out to a nice steak dinner. She declined, but I don’t know why. She loves steak. This is why men will never understand women.

Oh and I am VERY glad we were not travelling the other way through Vegas. MASSIVE traffic jam due to construction. I think I drove for 10 minutes before I saw the tail end of the jam, with more cars coming in.

So tomorrow we start it all over again. More fun fun fun !

We’ve left! Three more days till Canada!  Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Delays, delays, and more packing

So earlier I promised I would update you guys on my delay. Well it was basically because yesterday required more care in packing our electronics than we thought it would. All we had left to do was our clothes, tv equipment and computers, but that took longer than we had anticipated.

I also check my email one last time and received an email from MTS HR wanting me to take a quick test. Well here I am already really tired from packing and I now have to take this test, so I hope I did ok. I know I got a few things wrong, but nothing too bad I hope. My main concern is the typing test. I suck at typing tests. I don’t type in a proper manner, and in fact only use the middle two fingers of each hand, but if I am just typing ‘off the cuff’ like I am now, its decently fast, but if I have to read something and type it takes me longer. So I am nervous about that.

So after that we started to do some more packing of our stuff and along came 11pm, and we just decided at that point to stay home one more day. We really did not want to start the day tired as hell, and driving 8 hours. So we slept in and started finishing the organisation of our stuff. Luckily one neighbour had come over to give us some cranberry raisin muffins for our trip (she’s really sweet) and I asked if her husband could come over and help me organise the packing. So he came over to help after awhile. He made off like a bandit too. I had things I was not going to take and when I asked him if he wanted them he did. He got 3 pieces of granite (cutouts from granite countertops where a sink would go) perfect for his bbq he is planning on building, he got a large container that I had put all my extra supplies back in my cabinet days, so full of caulking (stop giggling), shelf pins, epoxy, all kinds of pretty decent stuff, plus 3 chop saw blades that I am not sure if they’d been sharpened or not, but good blades anyway. So I do believe he was amply rewarded for his help. That and beer too! But I could not have done all that he did, so really very cool of him to help.

The delay also meant I could see all the neighbours before we left, which I was not able to do yesterday, so that’s a good thing. Oddly enough I was able to see an old friend I used to work with at Target too. Just as we were leaving I heard my name being called and there he was! I had been trying for weeks to get in touch with him, but he has 3 kids now and works a lot of hours, so he doesn’t have a lot of free time. He’s got three cute kids and a wife that looks like Kirsten Dunst. He’s a really cool dude and it was good to see him one last time.

We still have to load up the CRV with a few things, but I would not want anything in there tonight anyway, its very tempting for someone to break in steal stuff. So loading it tomorrow it will be. I figure 2 hours after we get up will be enough time to pack and leave.

Now I have some bad news. I have to take out the garbage one last time. I thought last week was going to be the last time, and Kathy said that was going to be the last time too. But noooo! Now I have to do it one last time (again). I’m very bitter.

 

Ok, now I really mean it! We leave tomorrow!  Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

‘Victory is mine!’, sayeth the… Brad?

Foreword… Sorry Cliff. Positive ending, no rant today.

So yeah, I won that battle. And yet again it was a phone call to the CEO of U-Haul, as he was piling his kids into the car (on his way to church), that did it.

We woke up a bit late (9:30am) after doing a lot of packing last night and I promptly called the U-Haul traffic routing place I talked with yesterday. It was Amy, the one I talked with yesterday, and she told me the same thing. That $27 was gonna stay the way it was because according to her, her boss (Tina) had gotten an email direct from the CEO saying $27. Again I told her I would not make a big fuss over a $27 difference, I would just be unhappy. I told her that when I talked with people before and that I saw the cargo van available for one-way rental I was right when other people said that could not be so, and I am right now when I say it was a little more than a $100 difference. Still she said she could not do anything. I told her I had no option but to go through with it, but if I had any other choice I would cancel my reservation, I just have no option at this point.

Right after I talked with her I called the CEO again. He remembered talking with me and when I said they gave me a $27 discount he immediately said that was wrong. He sounded a little upset too. He said he told them to give me a $103 discount, not $27. Again he appologised and said with 18,000 employees sometimes the message gets mixed up. He asked if I knew the city the traffic routing place was at, and I gave him the phone number, who I talked with and my reservation number. Three minutes later I got another call from the traffic routing place confirming that the discount was now $103 in total. It wasn’t Amy who called me back either, I think she might have been a little upset with me. I’m gonna bet that the CEO was quite abrupt with whoever he talked with about this.

So overall a good result. Props to the CEO again. Nice guy and is trying to do the right thing. So not bad for a CEO at all.

The seat seems to be pretty comfortable and it only has 24,000 miles on it too, so not bad. Now we’ll have to see how it goes for the rest of the trip. heh

All we have left to do is pack up our clothes, the computers and our LCD TV. Other than that we are set to go. We’ve already packed some things in the U-Haul, and we are taking it slowly and with many breaks. Its 35C right now, so not the best time to be packing up. I’m pouring sweat right now.

Oh and Tammy, yes the 14’ would add another tank of gas. When you’re going 2,000+ miles, even a few mpg less starts to make a difference. Its why I wanted to use the cargo van in the first place. :) Plus we are still going to have room in the 10’ anyway. A 14’ would be left with an insane amount of room.

We leave tomorrow at, hopefully, 8am. We’ll get to Beaver, UT in the early evening, again hopefully. So our trip is Lancaster, CA to Beaver, UT to Dillon, MT, to Dickinson, ND (and no I did NOT make than name up. I’m not sure I want to know the entomology of that name), then on to Grand Forks for the storage, then to Winnipeg. My father is supposed to meet us there, but I don’t know if he’ll be able to yet. Their passports are expired and they are calling the border crossing at Emerson tomorrow. So I’ll know more later. I did get an alcohol order though, dad wants some 40s brought up. lol

 

We leave tomorrow!  Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Testing testing, 1, 2, 3

Just testing to see if I can blog from the laptop, so I can continue in this challenge.

We are still packing, although most things are pretty much done. All we really have left is suitcases, take down the TV and wrap it up, and also our computers. So sunday night we will not have our main computers on at all. That will be really weird. What are we going to do? I don’t really remember what I used to do before I became addicted to computers. I just sat here for a few minutes and yeah, drawing a blank.

I’m also having an issue with the U-haul people again. They called this morning and said they didn’t have a 10’ truck, but would I take a 14’ for the same price as the 10’? Uhhh… no. And add ANOTHER $105 to my trip for another tank of gas? I’m already up past what I had budgeted for. Then I found out that after all my problems and calling the CEO and him helping me out, the grand total of my discount? A whole $27. Yeah, that ain’t happening. If it was going to be like that I would not have bothered making all the phone calls I did, I would just be bitching about U-Haul. It was a little over $100 difference, this is what I told everybody I had talked to, and this is what I am after. I talked with a few people today and I have another call to make tomorrow. If I don’t get what I should have gotten in the first place, its time for another call to the CEO. And then I’m not going to be nice about it. I’ll straight out tell them this will hit social media sites.

My budgeting originally went like this:

U-Haul cargo van - $1,228 vs 10’ truck - $1,334

Gas savings in using van about a 35 gallon tank @ $3 per gallon = $105

Total savings = $211

Now that I have to take the 10’ truck I just lost that gas savings of $105, but I figured it would even out with the offer of the cargo van rate, but now they are going to knock $27 off the price? Everything that I had calculated for the cargo van, and everything I had budgeted for is all messed up now.

So now I’m pissed. Add to that I am sore, tired, hungry and stressing out about packing and making sure we are able to leave on time monday morning.

Well if we don’t get what I am hoping for, I’m gonna have a blog post Cliff is gonna like.

 

2 Days to go!  Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Friday, August 20, 2010

They didn’t shoot me because they thought I was crazy

If you have seen The Longest Day you may remember a scene as British troops are landing on Sword Beach where a guy starts wading ashore and playing the bagpipes.

Well amazingly enough that part is actual fact. He was a private named Bill Millin and he died yesterday. One of the interesting things in the artice was this bit:

He said he found out later, after meeting Germans who had manned guns above the beach, that they didn’t shoot him “because they thought I was crazy.”

Its pretty funny, but also pretty amazing.

My gramps went ashore on Juno Beach but he doesn’t talk about it much. His best friend died there and it still holds some powerful memories for him. Literally one second his friend was next to him, the next he was gone. Gone as in they found a boot, nothing else. He has only talked to me once about his military days and I have never pushed him to tell me more. There comes a look in his eyes that tells of a weariness of soul, and its best to let that alone.

Really the only thing he has mentioned of his military days in WWII was when he was in the Netherlands, at least I think it was there I am not completely positive. Anyway, apparently he made a friend of a young child there, sharing chocolate and whatnot. After the war they started sending letters back and forth and every year to this day he gets a Christmas card. He has gone back and visited a few times as well. Pretty interesting.

Not sure why I wrote this, but I did.

The pressure is building for us to get our stuff done and each day it seems the list gets bigger, even though we are crossing stuff off. Basically we have tomorrow to get everything packed up and ready to go, and we are not even close to that. I spent a lot of today fixing leaky faucets instead of doing moving stuff. So I’m irritated, sore from kneeling on cement, and tired. I really really wanted Sunday to be a day of just packing up the U-Haul and that is it. Looks like we are going to be doing much more than that. I’m not happy.

3 Days to go!  Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A trip into LA (its all about Nick)

So today we went down to say goodbye to Kathy’s brother and his family. On our way down we stopped of at Habitat for Humanity and I donated a Honda CRV full of crown molding, toe kick, scribe molding, glass cabinet doors, brushed nickel knobs, drawer sides & glides, cabinet hinges and hinge plates and some other odds and sods things from my former life in cabinetry. There was a lot of stuff. I’m glad they took it all and they seemed happy to get it too, so that was my good deed for the day.

We got to the brother’s house and then shortly after that we went to a Chinese restaurant a few blocks from their house. The oldest nephew (Nick, the stinky one. I swear that should be his name.) didn’t show up until just as we were ordering and so held that up for a few minutes, and then he ordered the most expensive thing on the menu, while the rest of us ordered the $5 specials, which annoyed his parents.

I should explain something here. Nick is 27 years old, his only job to date has been handing out flyers, he spent 5 years in college and still doesn’t have his prerequisites to transfer to a full program. He finally dropped out of college and is now writing ‘the next great novel’, which started out as the ‘next great movie’. He decided that he is first going to publish this book, and then it will be made into a movie and then he’ll be famous. Cause that is all that is important to him. Famous is life to him. He meets someone famous and he’s on cloud nine for ages. He really believes that celebrity is something to be idolized. 

I should explain the ‘stinky’ remark too. I know you want to hear this. All our bedrooms are down a hallway and the guest room is the first room. Every time he is over the hallway smells. Like burning nostril smell. The MIL tells him to take a shower, if he stays a week he’ll bring one change of clothes, maybe, or just expect the MIL to buy him clothes while he is up here. Hell, today he wore a shirt that had all kinds of food stains on it, it looked pretty nasty.

He’s house sitting for a guy with a 3 month old puppy right now and at lunch his mother was asking him about the puppy and his response was, ‘What do you care? Its not your puppy.’. Yes, ‘normal’ conversation with his family is impossible, he hates talking about anything not of his direct interest, and even when you do approach him on his interests he’ll blow you off. He’s not like this with other people, just with family. Half the shit he’s done I’ve found out through my neighbours who he’s talked to on occasion.

The sad thing is he’s not an idiot, in high school he got pretty good grades, but as his friends have gone off to college and gotten real life jobs, he’s gone on to find new friends. In his words, ‘he’s not into reality’. He can also be very kind, but its hidden in a shell of narcissism. All his faults can be directly blamed on bad parenting too. Not near enough discipline, which has allowed him to literally allowed him to cry and get what he wants, to this day. A few years ago he told all his friends about this huge party he is going to throw at his house, invited a ton of people and didn’t ask his parents permission (since it is there house). Once he told them he was having a party his dad said no. Net thing we know he is calling us bawling his eyes out that he wants to throw a party and his dad said no. In the end he got his way, cause he ha learned that the bigger pain in the ass you are, the more likely everyone will submit to his will.

Now after all that you may think I don’t like the kid, but I do. He can be funny, and make some pretty good comments from time to time. He doesn’t really have a mean bone in his body, but he is also highly annoying. At lunch he was complaining that he didn’t get his food at exactly the same time as the rest of us, and made sure everybody knew he wasn’t happy. I’m glad we were able to see him one last time, but I just wish I didn’t get the feeling that he was really only there for the free lunch.

I should end this here, otherwise I could go on for another few pages. Cliff knows, he’s heard me rant about him a few times already.

I’ll end this on this note…

 

Did you see that? His feet! He’s playing with is feet!  Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cel phone company part dos

Kathy keeps saying I’m spelling ‘cel phone’ wrong, but I don’t care. For some reason I associate ‘cel’ with the phone and ‘cell’ with DNA. And since I ain’t no scientist I’m gonna stick with ‘cel’. SO screw you spell checker and screw you wifey! I’m going rogue! (just not in a Sarah Paliny way)

So what happened with my cel phone? Its still fucked up. I called this morning and talked with Customer Service and they asked me the usual bullshit questions and asked if the internet part of the phone worked. I don’t know, I use my PHONE as a PHONE and don’t use it to web surf. I had to repeat that twice. So he transferred me to Tech Support and they said that the internet part of my phone could be trying to update and not be able to. She said to bring it in to a repair centre and they could force an update on it.

Off to a repair centre where I had to leave the phone for a few hours. I call them back and ask if my phone is ready yet. Nope. Its broken they say. It won’t take an update at all, and the only way to stop that from happening is to upgrade my plan (and get a free phone) or buy a replacement phone. Yeah, not gonna happen. I told them my contract is up in Oct and I’m not going to renew, so I’ll just come by and pick up my phone, which I did.

Now what did I tell you yesterday? That they’ll try and get me to upgrade somehow, and yes my tinfoil hat is on correctly (so they don’t hear my thought waves, they can do that y’know ). Considering its difficult to get a new battery for a phone that is a year old, or any accessories, that they turn around cel phones so quick they want you to throw the old away and get the latest and greatest. Yes I do believe this whole thing is deliberate.

This scene really speaks to me right now.

Oddly enough, so does this one…

5 more days to go!

 

They fuck ya with the cel phones!  Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bastard cel phone companies

So today I am waiting for the call about setting up the deal on a 10’ U-Haul truck that the CEO got for me. First off though, another night with no sleep. I was just too hot last night and it wasn’t happening, then we get to the window tinting place and there are no appointments available (I did make one for tomorrow), just as we are leaving the tint place I get a phone call I know is from U-Haul, well my cel phone decides that this is the perfect time to ‘update’.

At this point I have to mention that at least once a week it does this, or at least attempts to. I’ve left it for hours on ‘update’ and it never finishes. The only way to get out of it is to shut down and reboot. Now I have an old Samsung a920, with a battery that is pretty much dead, and a contract that ends in a little over one month. For the past few months this phone has been acting up like this, the majority of the time just as I am receiving a call.

Do I think this is deliberate? You bet your ass I do. Either they want to piss me off so much that I cancel the service and get a disconnect fee or they want to try and upsell me to a new phone with a new contract.

(It just tried to do it again)

I hate this phone and I hate Sprint. I’m gonna call them tomorrow and give em a what-for. Its made me miss an important call (luckily I was able to get a hold of the person), and its been very very frustrating to have to deal with. Fuck them up their fucking asses with a fuck stick. I’m in the mood to yell at someone and luckily I have a free 2.5 hours while our CRV windows get tinted.

Also tonight we had a dinner with some old ladies from the MIL’s church, Kathy & I had asked that they come over because they are really nice ladies and we will miss them. It was a good time and it was nice to see them one last time.

 

Cel phone companies are evil.  Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dealing with U-Haul

For the past month or so I had been looking at U-Haul trucks and vans for my move. I had been figuring how much stuff I was taking and looked at gas and was figuring all these things out. In the end I figured taking a cargo van was going to be the smartest thing for me to do, both in space needed and gas mileage.

Along comes today when I go to order a cargo van. The website now says that a cargo van isn’t available for that type of move. WTF? This is not good and I kind of head into panic mode of ‘oh shit this is not good!’. I call up the place I had been getting boxes from and was told that cargo vans never go one way. I told him the web site allowed me to set that up just last week, so he gives me the corporate number to ask them.

So I called corporate and they tell me the same thing, and hinting that maybe I read things wrong on the web site. I know what I saw and I wasn’t going to budge on that and so she sees if there are any one way cargo vans she can find. A one way cargo van was found she said in Altadena, which is inside LA, about an hour and a half away from me. So I call that number and talk to Raul, the general manager and he starts telling me nothing is available for that type of move, so I told him corporate says he does have one. He checked and said that yes he does, but that the system will not recognize the reservation, but that we’ll do a 10’ rental and he’ll change it to the cargo van afterwards. Well that doesn’t work either, he says he’ll call the ‘traffic’ dept to get it changed over and 5 minutes later he calls me back and says that we can’t use a van as its not the right ‘model’ to be transferred over. He told me that normally only vans that are being sold out east are available, and that there are none right now.

So I call corporate again and talk to the same girl and tell her what has happened. She doesn’t seem overly pleased I am calling back and that she’ll see if she can find something for me and call me back. Two hours later still no call, and I kind of doubt I am going to. So its off to use the power of the internet (‘Internet! Internet! Internet! Internet HOOOOooo!’), and track down the CEO’s address to see about sending a quick letter to see if I can get some help from him. In my search I found reference to him on Frontline and that after the show was taped he wanted his cel phone # published so that if people have problems, they can call him direct. So this is what I did.

He was very nice, listened to my struggles so far. He was a bit surprised that the van was an option to rent one way like that, but he didn’t doubt I saw what I saw like the corporate girl seemed to. He said he’d look into it and get back to me. AN hour and a half later he called back, appologising for the delay, I was actually expecting a call tomorrow, not today, so that was nice. He did look into it and found that the guy who deals with sales actually did put it up on the site for one way rentals, and that he (the CEO)  didn’t know that was done. What he could do was offer me the 10’ truck rental for the same price as what I saw for the van rental. He said that if I had made a reservation for a van they would have figured out how to send a van to me, but because I hadn’t the discount was the best they could do.

So that’s ok. The money I save on the rental will be about how much more in gas I will have to spend. Its still about another $130 more from my budget, but that’s not terrible.

So today had some frustration in it, and if nothing was going to be done about the mix up today’s post would have been laced with f-bombs. I know Cliff would have been happier if it was. Sorry to disappoint Cliff, the CEO of U-Haul was pretty decent, blame him for a nice post instead of a f-bomb filled rant.

Tomorrow I should get a call from a reservation centre around here with the discount, and I’ll pick it up on Sunday. Tomorrow I have to get a new muzzle for Ares (there is going to be a LOT of new people around him, and he’s somewhat protective, so we are going to be very careful) and get the back windows of the CRV tinted. We called up a place today and got a very nice quote, and my neighbours have gone to them before, and said they are good. So that’s my day tomorrow really. (exciting isn’t it?)

(Give yourself 2 points if you got the Thundercats reference in my post)

 

Be kind, rewind.  Cliff - Peer Pressure Works, Chad - The Grind, Kelly - ‘Round the Bend, Kim - In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Erron – From the Inside Looking In, Kyle - Blog, Liam - In the Now, James – Feelings of White, Shaun - Expedition of Truths, Tammy - Tam I am, Vlad – Analog Coast, Janine – Because.