Posts

Showing posts from April, 2011

Cell Phones

I’m an old guy, and use my cell phone as a phone.I actually wound up needing the ability to text, and I didn’t want to pay per use, so I jumped on line and att.com and added an unlimited texting and picture package to my family plan for a relatively small amount of money.
Then, I made a mistake.Now having a texting package, I thought that it would be nice if my Bride and I might have telephones with actual keyboards to ease the texting……So I scoured eBay and found us a couple of used, cheap, phones that would work with AT&T and had keyboards.Why buy used you ask?Because I’m out of contract with AT&T, we had no need or desire to use our phones as itty-bitty computers, and I don’t want to be in a two-year commitment with AT&T again.All I wanted was the ability to text a little easier.Really.So, the first phone that came in was a Samsung Blackjack with a qwerty keypad.I removed my SIM card from it’s previous home (an LG Slider), and slid it into the Blackjack.It was wonderful.

Television

It's hard to miss the changes in TV advertising.  "Course, I mean from MY perspective.  Time was, I recall, when programming was supported by the evils of Big Tobacco and Liquor.  And, of course, we've now been rescued from that sort of early death.  Now, it seems that the void has been filled by 1) lawyers rooting for class actions, bankruptcy business, and disability claims, and 2) prescription medicines and motorized wheelchairs.  
Regarding the lawyers, well, bottom feeders are bottom feeders, and regarding the drugs, well, snake oil is still snake oil.  But I'm not altogether convinced that we're better off now.  I preferred it, frankly, when Lucy and Ricky shared a smoke, the teacher's lounge was a blue haze, and you didn't have to take a number at the pharmacy.  But that's just me.
On the other hand, it all makes just as much sense as ranting about global warming while the temperature plummets.  How inconvenient.

Cape Day

I worked as a telemarketer (or, as they say, “Communicator”) for InfoCision Management Corporation for a couple of months—Good benefits and fulltime work—Not bad for North East Ohio.Nothing, however, is without it's dark side.
The work was awful…..plain awful.Sitting a cube wearing a headset parroting whatever babble and drivel appeared on the computer screen—then having to “upsell” everyone, and make them say “no” to the point of exhaustion (both theirs and mine).But, I could have done it a little longer it if the odd lot of Geeks and Dorks that run the place had treated the employees as grown-ups.
They offered, as incentives to work longer hours and push the upsell harder, extra…Oh Christ, I can barely say this…Pizza Parties and extra Jeans Days.I'm an adult, for Pete's sake.I'd already given my notice to quit when the final straw in my book was reached. 
When my training was completed I was named an “honor graduate” because, well, I never quite knew why, but my namepla…

Cadillac Jukebox

As a police officer, you accept the fact that, in all probability, you will become the instrument that delivers irreparable harm to a variety of individuals.Granted, they design their own destinies, are intractable in their attitudes, and live with asp at their breasts; but the fact remains that it is you who will appear at some point in their lives, like the headsman with his broad ax on the medieval scaffold, and serve up a fate to them that has the same degree of mercy as that dealt out by your historical predecessor.
Quoted from the novel “Cadillac Jukebox” by James Lee Burke (Hyperion Books), by the fictional Detective Dave Robicheaux.

Cooking

Cooking is man's work.I cook a little, and improvise.It was necessary when I wanted to feed the girls--and myself for that matter--I'm the King of the Kasserole, and make a mean beer bread.'Course, the beer bread is a little different every time, because I toss in a wide variety of interesting stuff that happens to be in the pantry or fridge at the time.
Most recently, I found a half cube of derelict butter in the refrigerator, so I melted it, then poured that liquid onto the unbaked bread dough that was already in the loaf pan.Then I put the loaf pan into the 375 degree oven and retired to my upstairs office to watch Married With Children, cruise the information superhighway, and otherwise prepare to consume the buttery, heavenly delight.
Some of the loaf would be used for dinner--my Bride works as a teacher, and I stay home where it's safe whenever I can--but I would eat part of it while puttering.No sooner had Al Bundy begun complaining about his Red Head, I smelled, …

Sports

We have Time Warner Cable at home.I know….I know.But I have no complaints.The service works well, and whenever I've had to call them, the people on the phone are nice, and if they have to come to the house to fix something, THOSE people are nice too.
A little pricey, perhaps, but compared to the price of gasoline these days, Time Warner is a real bargain.I have the whole shee-bang—cable TV, cable Internet, and digital phone service.Like I said, compared to other stuff, a real bargain.
Which brings us to the topic.I have dozens of “sports” networks.ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Ocho, FOX Sports, the Big Ten Network, Sports Time Ohio—and the list is endless.
However, they all have non-sports programming that dominates their schedules (except, maybe Sports Time Ohio)—If anything is to be a sport, it must have certain elements.You can pick your own definition, but here's what I require for ANYTHING to be a sport:1) Offense, 2) Defense, and 3) An athletic component.I just don't think that'…

Telephone Fund Raising

I had a job for a period of time in telephone-based conservative political fund raising. I needed a job when I took that one, and I thought that type of “phone center” work would be better than, say, trying to get Penney’s credit card holders to buy over priced life insurance.Turns out, the job is the same.
If you are in receipt of such a call, you can depend on a few things.One, the caller is going to offer you the opportunity to participate in a “poll” or “survey”.That’s a scam.There really isn’t a survey taking place.It’s only a prelude to a pitch for a donation. And if you give to one conservative pitch, you’ll be flooded with telephone and mail requests.It’ll NEVER end.Believe me.Further, when you’ve guiltily agreed to give some money—probably more than you can afford because you really believe in the cause--the caller will be required to “upsell” you for a secondary amount for some related, but also urgently needed activity.
Not only that, but the calling center initiates the call…

Tid Bits

One good turn gets most of the blankets.
It takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.
If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.
He who hesitates is probably right.
If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
If you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain.

Guilt

Mrs. Young wanted to know why this blog is titled “Guilt”.She says that your humble correspondent may very well be the least guilt-wracked person on the globe, and she might just be right.That doesn't mean that there are no regrets.I just don't sweat this stuff very much, and don't obsess over things.
Here's how it works for me.I make decisions—some minor and some major.Some are big decisions and some are small, but the process is the same.I make a decision when it has to be made.I use the information that is available, and make the best decision I can, then I live with it.Period.That's all there is to it.If it turns out to be a bad move, I try to learn from it and not repeat bad behavior, but I don't over-analyze it, and I don't feel guilt.After the decision is made, leave it in the rear-view mirror.
There's never enough quality information available to make perfect decisions, but the attempt is to make good decisions utilizing the available, imperfect, …

Toll Roads

In California, the superhighways are colloquially referred to as "freeways".That's not really because they're "free" in every sense of the word.They actually cost something to build and maintain.Really.Despite their collective condition.Really.They are called "freeways" because they have no stop signs or cross traffic--"free" from the vagarities of surface street driving, as it were.What is missing from the concept is a toll plaza or toll booth, except in rare circumstances, like a bridge toll.
Here in Ohio, and in the Midwest generally, the Interstate highways aren't necessarily referred to as "freeways", but just as often, they're named "Turnpike"--Why turnpike instead of freeway, you ask?Toll booths.Stop signs for the toll booths.Nothing is free in these parts.Toll roads are the way.Pay as you go, that's the way.Taxes are lower, though--it works out.Plus, there's always a way to dodge the toll roads.…

Garbage Day in Autumn

Thursday is garbage day.Garbage day is a big deal for the men in the neighborhood.Garbage men are real men with real trucks dealing in man things.With heavy machinery.Here in Ohio, the truck driver is also the garbage guy--one man to a truck.Plus, they take whatever you put on the curb--old furniture, dead water heaters, piles of bags of leaves (which I put out last week).Anything.The trucks here are equipped with a dumpster on a fork lift sort of thing in the front of the truck.The garbage man puts the stuff into the dumpster, then gets into the truck and operates the dumpster's fork lift thing (I really don't have a handle on the nomenclature here, if you didn't already know that) to toss the contents of the dumpster into the bowels of the truck.Wow, what an operation.I get up early enough on Thursday to watch the whole thing from my second floor bedroom window.
Back in California, we had sissies for garbage men--they didn't have to actually touch any nasty stuff.Thei…