kybearfuzz: (Abby Science)
While I know that Facebook has its uses, it often becomes a forum for people to troll and toss out opinions that no sane person would speak. I try not to engage in such discussions, because too often people defend their opinion so strongly that it becomes abusive. The responses by some can be incredibly telling though.

I was reading a post there about a group of Japanese high school students who had developed a process on how to observe the development of a fertilized chicken egg. The process seemed incredibly basic, yet fascinating. They cracked open an egg gently, placing the yolk and albumen in a clear cellophane/plastic cup, capping it, and placing it into an incubator. The video showed the chick forming and eventually "hatching" without a shell. The resulting chick was just chirping around.

One commenter was a high school teacher who lamented that Japanese classes in science was "light years ahead" of American classes. While I don't necessarily agree with the statement, I think generally people believe that Japanese schools are more rigid and advanced. Lots of the opposing comments refuted his claims, some more vehemently than others.

The comments that made me both laugh and shake my head was from younger folks who commented that "light year" was a unit of distance not time, implying that the teacher was incorrectly using the terminology and, therefore, had no place to comment on education issues. When the teacher told them that "light years ahead" was a common expression of advancement, and even provided a dictionary link for the term, he was dismissed by the same commenters because they had never encountered it before.

The irony was amazing, these ignorant younger people arguing about the expression versus the literal in a discussion about the status of American education. I just shook my head.

Disgusted, I just moved on to a cute story about rescued kittens.
kybearfuzz: (Grrrrrrr!!!!)
I seriously didn’t mean to leave you all hanging on the whole neighbor van thing. The neighbor eventually managed to drag himself out of bed and move the van, too late for the mail, but any progress is good.

However, when I drove home on Tuesday, there was ANOTHER car blocking my mailbox, a little red convertible piece of crap that I swear had a cassette player in it. I was ranting in my driveway, giving the neighbors a good show with my flailing arm movements and blue language. Luckily, my mailman must have felt sorry for me (and was tired of hold my mail) and delivered it anyway, complete with a DVD I had ordered.

Wednesday was not a good day either as I drove up to find yet ANOTHER car blocking it, this time a Toyota SUV. By blocking, I mean that it is too close to the mail box. The mailman does not have to exit his vehicle to deliver the mail (unless there is a package). If he cannot swing in, drop off the mail, and leave, then technically he doesn’t have to deliver the mail and he writes that the box was blocked. City ordinance says cars cannot park within 10 feet of a mailbox, but realistically if you give the mailman five feet, he can get in and out without trouble. My mailman knows me personally, so he’s cut me a break or two, and I managed to catch him yesterday and get my mail.

I left a friendly note under the wiper to ask the drive to not block my mailbox. Then I thought to myself that I should call the city. An officer stopped by and was very friendly about it, and told me that he would ticket the car if it happens again. Since I managed to get my mail (I was still holding it when he showed up), he didn’t leave a ticket this time. He also said that until the road construction is done, I might want to drop my mail off at work or a postbox, which I might do.

So we will see what happens today. I’m trying not to get too mad at this, but it’s becoming very inconvenient and the inconsiderate people are driving me nuts.
kybearfuzz: (Bianca Del Rio)
Last week, I had two instances where vocal fry was brought to my attention. The first was a FB post by [ profile] cincycub who stated that a trainer should not give a 30-minute presentation in vocal fry. The other was a podcast I was listening to on the plane ride home where the hosts were complaining that women should not be criticized (by old white men) for using vocal fry.

Needless to say, I wasn't impressed by the podcasters and turned it off.

It appears that young women today are using vocal fry as part of their regular speech. Studies have shown that using vocal fry in an interview is viewed negatively. I've also read that using vocal fry in some instances can have adverse effects on vocal chords.

While I do agree that people have the right to speak however they want, including using vocal fry, they should not be surprised by any negative outcomes. I suspect that most young people (both women and men) use vocal fry not because it makes them sounds more authoritative, but because they hear celebrities using this technique and want to emulate them. And I would use quotes around "celebrities," as in most cases it is reality TV people, such as those Kartrashian creatures, who are terribly polarizing.

So when a young lady walks into an interview and speaks in the vocal fry register, probably amplified by the nervousness that accompanies an interview situation, the appearance is that they are imitating a reality TV person, whose behavior may not be looked upon favorably in a business setting.

And on a personal note, if I had to listen to a training presentation in vocal fry, I admit I'd have trouble listening to it. And worse, taking it seriously.

Vocal fry should be relegated to drag queens only. At least those ladies I could take seriously.
kybearfuzz: (Bitchy Alien)
So as anyone with a Facebook account probably knows, Kentucky is at the center of the battle between good and evil, right and wrong, everyone else versus bad hair/fashion/attitude, etc. Of course, I'm speaking about the unfashionable, morally-challenged Rowan County Court Clerk Kim Davis and her continuing refusal to issue marriage license from her office to same-sex couples.

While I am getting incredibly sick of the coverage, I have to admit that I'm also somewhat riveted by it. I find it just fascinating that someone could be so defiant after every relevant court has disagreed with her. She turned to them to stop things, but is not willing to abide by their decision since it isn't in her favor.

Of course, she's made this a national spectacle, posting a statement though her anti-gay legal contingent that she's not against gay people, she's only for the Biblical definition of marriage (*cough* *cough* bull$#!+). I wish she would watch Betty Bowers' video on Biblical "marriage," she might reconsider things.

I'm wondering what would happen if someone filed a lawsuit against someone for infringing their freedom from religion by pressuring them to live based on a religion that wasn't her or her own. Wouldn't that be interesting?

So maybe soon, Kentucky can go back to being known for thoroughbreds, bluegrass music, and fried chicken restaurants, instead of being so backwater that we don't know that we can't legislate from religious perspectives.

On the plus side, I think I have my Halloween costume idea this year... :)
kybearfuzz: (Movie Buff)
So tonight, the Cincinnati MovieBears went to go see the remake of "Poltergeist." The movie was so-so, the updated special effects were great, the acting okay, but the story was a bit crammed and rushed. We had only six guys in attendance, with myself included, so that's a pretty standard crowd. We also went to a different theater, north of downtown Cincinnati.

141 - Poltergeist

What surprised me was the crowd in the movie. I'd say half the attendees were small children of single-digit ages. While this movie is PG-13, it is a horror movie, so I was shocked how stupid these parents were to drag small kids to such a flick.

The grandmother with the three kids in the back row were the worst. The kids had no volume control and constantly asked questions about the movie. After I shushed them three times, they started shushing each other annoyingly. The problem toward the front was the three-year-old with his parents who whimpered throughout the flick. His dad at least tried to keep him quiet, but you could tell the kid wasn't happy to be there.

When the movie was over, everyone filtered out and I saw even more kids. I hope each of them dreams tonight of killer clowns beneath their beds and closet doors that open on their own. I hope they end up sleeping in the beds of their parents, keeping them awake all night, in the hopes that maybe they'll understand that this was not an appropriate movie for small children.

... (/rant)
kybearfuzz: (iPod People)
Today, I took it easy for the most part. So, I parked myself on the couch this afternoon, planning to watch some awful 1970s horror flick on YouTube. I turn on my Apple TV and find the YouTube link missing. I wondered if I need to do an update, or maybe it moved toward the bottom of the selections, but never found it.

A quick search online found that the last update removed YouTube from my version of the Apple TV. GRRRRR! In order to get it back, I would need to buy a new Apple TV.

Uhhh.. no.

While I love my Apple products, I don't find the need to replace something when it is working fine for everything else.

Luckily, the Airplay function still works on the Apple TV so I just moved the movie from my iPad's YouTube to the big screen. Yeah, it's a pain in the butt, but at least it's easier to search for things on YouTube from my iPad.
kybearfuzz: (LuLu Bow)
I read on Yahoo! News today that the "Free Range" kids were picked up by the police today while they were walking back home from the park. The police and child protective services held the kids for a long while before letting them go home with their parents. The whole story is here.

If I recall correctly, the parents are being criticized for letting their two kids, ages 10 and 6, walk together the mile from their home to the local park and back on their own. The story makes it sounds like there are outraged people going on about child safety, but most of the comments I've read on the Yahoo! site have parents basically not seeing a big deal about it.

I have to agree. As a kid, I was allowed to walk or ride my bike solo much farther than that and no one blinked. Some argue that we live in more dangerous times, but I can't say I totally agree there either. I think with our access to more constant national media, we just hear more about such stories.

Reading the story today was a bit ironic for me. On my drive home today I got stuck behind the school bus in my subdivision. I swear, the bus literally dropped off kids every 100 feet. Instead of dropping the group off at the corner and letting them walk less than a block to their respective homes, the bus practically drops them off at home individually, which seems very time intensive with the breaks and stops.

Not being a parent, I guess I just don't see the harm. I would like to think I would have taught my kid(s) how to look both ways before crossing the street and trusted they could walk less than block to get home.
kybearfuzz: (Bianca Del Rio)
I've read about this lady who calls herself the "Food Babe," who proclaims herself to be a champion of food safety against "toxins" and "chemicals" in her food. "Organic" food = good. Anything else = bad. In the past, she's gone after Pumpkin Spike Lattes at Starbucks over their caramel color (which was harmless), but managed to convince Starbucks to change it.

Her favorite thing to do is to take a food ingredient out of context and project it to the masses as dangerous and life-threatening. If the ingredient has more than three syllables, she's even worse. What's worse is that I've actually seen others do this on Facebook, talking about potassium chloride in bottled water and how it can cause heart attacks. Potassium chloride in trace amounts in bottled water won't hurt you (it's added for a mineral taste). Potassium chloride is in sea salt, which is actually considered healthier than using iodized sodium chloride. However, a 50% solution potassium chloride can kill you. See, it's all about context.

I recently "liked" a page created by someone called the "Science Babe." She's an actually scientist, with degrees in chemistry and forensic science. She's a perfect foil to the "Food Babe," and actually posted a link called "The Food Babe Blogger is Full of ($#!+)" (NSFW language). I thought it was a great read.
kybearfuzz: (Orange Jersey)
We had two softball games tonight. We played the first one very well, coming back from a crappy first inning where they were ahead 8-0, to finishing the game with us winning 20-11. So we had an hour break and then another game, this one against a team in the division above us.

I had high hopes as we came off the first game playing very well, even though the other team called The Dirtbags was in the division above. I was the designated hitter, so I didn't field the game. I was keeping the scorebook during the inning. We held our own the first two innings, but then fell apart the third inning. They were hitting really well and our fielding moxie just tanked. By the end of the third inning, we were behind by ten or so runs.

I can handle losing, but I get very irritated by the Dirtbags' fans, particularly two goofy drunk women. We've had other teams that have had the f-ed up fans who blast airhorns and goofy party favors, but they've mostly died down. These bitches' "ladies'" (loose term) big thing was to say everything with the word "hashtag" in front of it.

"Hashtag good pitch! Hashtag strike! Hashtag swing!" and on and on and on. They were friends with one particular lesbian on the opposing team.

So after three innings of this, I was getting sick of it. Again, it's annoying, but it's hardly affecting the game.

Then suddenly, they turned their attention toward us when we were batting. Teammate Bruce was up and they started heckling him.

"He's got nothin'! Hey batter, batter, batter, swing...." Again... over and over.

I will say this, I've never EVER heard anyone do this during the softball games in the nearly ten years I've played in this league.

Now, if we were in a dead heat, neck and neck in scoring, I might have been understanding, but their team had a 10+ run lead. They had no reason to do this as we were losing and it felt much like them rubbing salt in the wound. It was full-blown douchebaggery. And this is where I felt they crossed the line.

So eventually we were run-ruled as the other team had more than a ten-run lead at the end of the 5th inning. As we were taking the field to do the "good game" high-fives with the other team, I decided to do my own hashtagging while with my team.

I've talked about my ability to crank up my intimidation levels at work. Instead, I decided to use a rarer setting, "the mocking @$$hole." It's an add-on function.

"Hashtag OMG! Hashtag That Was So Much FUN! Hashtag Awesome! Everyone, let's do our annoying Hashtag chant!" said in my loudest, valley-girl swishy voice.

My team was laughing as we'd all suffered through this crap throughout the game.

"Hashtag Have a Safe Drive Home Everyone!"
"Hashtag You Guys Are AWESOME!"
"Hashtag Go TEAM!"
"Hashtag Bitches!"
"Hashtag OMG This is ANNOYING!"
"Hashtag Mocking!"
"Hashtag F*&@, it's late!"
"Hashtag Hashtag!"

All the while staring over at the two bitches who refused to make eye contact.

If I were going to be in town for the games next week, I would make it my mission to go watch the Dirtbags next game, cheer for the opposing team, and playing the mocking "Hashtag" game every spare moment I had. Get a few drinks in my teammates and I bet they'd join in.

Okay, I'm tired now and need to get to bed.
kybearfuzz: (Bitchy Alien)
I'm sure I've written about this sort of thing before, but I saw a preview on Saturday of an upcoming movie that made me roll my eyes. I despise dramatic sports movies, where they harp on the amazing healing powers of high school football, basketball, or whatever. I don't remember such things from high school. I don't remember the football players being heroic or iconic. I remember them being dicks, @$$holes, and bullies. So when I see a preview for such a movie where I'm supposed to give a damn about them, I falter, I gag, I roll my eyes and scowl. Feh...

The upcoming movie in question is called "When the Game Stands Tall," and involves a California high school whose football team had an 151 game winning streak. They are revered, they are loved, they are held in atmospheric regard. One guy talks about how his grandfather told him that his life will never get any better than this.

And then they lose a game. Apocalypse ensues.

According to the preview, one player who was on a college streak turns to the dark side and hangs out with the bad crowd. One player is immediately unloved by his father. The coach has a heart attack because of the stresses of dealing with the end of the streak...

... all because they lost a football game.

Luckily, the coach lives and rallies the group to win again. Whatever...

It's uplifting and wonderful, the amazingly, god-given healing power of high school football. I hope the movie ticket comes with a barf bag.

This is supposedly based on a true story. I can believe it, after living through high school myself. Personally, I can't imagine how anyone would believe that their high school years were the best of his life. It would lead to a long, disappointing life afterward.

I'll be passing on this one. I just can't fathom spending the time or money trying to stomach it. I'd rather rent the cheesiest horror movie I could find. At least I'm sure there would be parts I'd enjoy there.
kybearfuzz: (Bitchy Alien)
I was enjoying sleeping in this morning, being furloughed and all, it certainly is what I would consider one of the very few perks. The phone rang at 8 AM and woke me up. I didn't catch it, just let the voicemail get it. Once I got up and fed Maggie so she'd quit walking all over me, I listened to the message. It was from the QuikStop Director of Operations out of Dayton. He had called to discuss my feedback message and wanted additional information.

After a bit of caffeine, I called him back.

It sounded like he was driving in the car. I wondered if he was driving to the QuikStop that I went to yesterday, but I never asked. He and I discussed my complaint (he kept referring to it as "message," my guess is that "compliant" is a dirty word in their office). He said I was very thorough in my message. He asked me questions about the service -- who told me about the cost comparison to Wal-Mart, the "special tool," etc.

He asked me how much I found the filter for at Wal-Mart. I told him that it was about $18. He responded that the comparison may be for what the Wal-Mart auto department would charge to replace it. I replied that means that QuikStop charges $16 for a few seconds of labor. He didn't respond to that after my comment.

I was asked about the "special tool" comment made to me. He wanted to know if the comment was used to coerce me into letting them change it. I told him that it left me with the impression that I couldn't do it myself so easily and that I had agreed that it needed changing. He said he was confused about the special tool it would need. I commented that on older models, a Phillips screwdriver was needed, but I remarked that it was hardly a "special tool" that folks wouldn't have.

He said that they were very concerned and didn't want to lose me as a customer. He was going to review the "video" at the shop, counsel the employee, and talk to the training people. I told him that before he decided to rip on one employee that I was sure that it wasn't an isolated comment. It came out of the guy's mouth so easily, so quick, that I'm sure the others were aware of it. He then made a comment that it was likely "only this location" because he'd never heard it before.

I was asked to verify my address and he said that he would like to compensate me for the visit, probably sending me a refund or a coupon or something, because he didn't want to lose me as a customer. I stated that my purpose was not to get free stuff from him. I told him that they got their money for the service and that I looked at it as a very expensive lesson, but that I'd be going to someone else to get my oil changed. I responded that there are plenty of other companies to go to, and that after being lied to there and then complaining about it, I didn't like the idea of having them working on my car.

He stammered an apology for the service I received yesterday and that they took a very serious stance on such things. He assured me that he would take care of this.

Yeah, whatever...
kybearfuzz: (Boxing)
Let me start out by saying that I don't like being lied to. I can't imagine that anyone does really. Sometimes people lie to spare your feelings, like telling you that your outfit is okay or that a certain color looks good on you. I can accept that, I guess, to a degree. However, when the lie in question is done to cheat me, then I get really sore.

I was off today, both due to being furloughed due to the government shutdown and also due to the Columbus Day holiday. So after my morning run, I went to lunch and ran some errands. It was time for an oil change, so I decided to stop by QuikStop nearby and get it done. I really hate getting the oil changed. Not that I want my car to fall apart on me or get damaged, but because every time I go to Valvoline or Halvoline or QuikStop or whatever, they constantly want to add things to it.

"Would you like to try our special oil cleaning additive for only $15.99?" they ask, "Or how about our super oil purifier, which causes any burned oil to smell like the fragrant potpourri anally-exuded from winged, gay unicorns as they fly over rainbows? It's only $59.99 for a 3 oz. bottle."

I always say no to these things. Not that I question that they work, but I always wonder if I couldn't buy the same thing cheaper myself at the auto parts store. The pressure, however, is never fun and it makes the oil change experience dreaded instead of innocuous.

So, I drove into the QuikStop on the corner reluctantly. It's a necessary evil to keep the car in good shape, I keep telling myself. After being guided into the bay, I stop by the computer so they can pull up my history. The manager there immediately starts in that I need to upgrade to the synthetic and that he recommends the latest and greatest oil additive, at $15 and $18/bottle. I immediately say no to them. He then recommends the same oil, but the $18 additive. I just sternly look at him and say, "just the oil change" please, same as last time."

"Sure, no pressure," he says.

After a few minutes, the cute-ish daddy bear service guy comes in to show me the air filter and the cabin air filter, both of which need changing. Even I can tell that. I tell him that I have a spare air filter at home to change the one, but that I might need to look into the other. He tells me that the cost is $34.99 to replace, "the same price as it is at Wal-Mart," and that it "requires a special tool" to replace it. So I relent and add it to the cost, basically doubling the money of the entire visit. They finish up, I pay for the oil change and such and leave to finish up my errands.

When I got home, I was curious about what he said. I learned long ago that the air filter replacement was a complete rip off and now wondered if the cabin air filter was the same. After a quick spin on Wal-Mart's website, I found the air filter was about half of what they charged me, so that was lie number one. I imagine there is a "labor charge" of some sort that they argue is the rest. However, I looked up an YouTube video on how to change the cabin air filter. On one Toyota Corolla, you have to use a Phillips screwdriver to remove one screw to get the glove compartment to come out, hardly a "special tool," and another video showed that you only have to squeeze the compartment sides to pop it out. I checked my car and mine just squeezes and pops out. Changing the cabin air filter takes seconds, literally seconds to accomplish. So the "labor" cost associated with changing it is $10-15 for a minute's work.

Now I was angry. I'd been lied to so I'd pay for an expensive service because I didn't know any better. I'll take my blame for part of this. I should have said no and looked into it myself, but at the time, I thought it was easier. However, if I'm willing to take my part of the blame, so should they. What they did was dishonest. At least my involvement was due to ignorance and I'm trying to look at this as an expensive lesson. Now I'm educated on how to do it and I'll never pay for someone to do these things.

This is what I sent to the corporate location's website a few moments ago:

"I was just in your Erlanger shop today. I had my oil changed and the service guy came in to show me my air filters. I was going to change the air filter myself, but the service guy said that the cabin air filter needed changing too. He said it was $34.99, which was the "same price at Wal-Mart" and "requires a special tool" to replace it. I agreed to avoid the hassle.

Out of curiosity I checked Wal-Mart and found the filter was half of the $34.99 charge. I found a video online on how to change the cabin air filter in my car, which showed no special tool needed and is AMAZINGLY easy to change. So I'd like to thank your employee for blatantly lying to me on what it cost and what it requires to change this filter. I now know how to do it myself and will do so from this point on and save myself the cost.

Your shop must enjoy overcharging such services to clueless people like myself. I'm sure you guys in the bay high-five each other every time someone like me wanders through your location and wet themselves in excitement when someone like a elderly grandmother with no mechanical skills and a fixed income drives in and you can overcharge her for everything.

So I hope you enjoy that $34.99 I handed over to you for what had to be the most expensive cabin air filter available. It will be the last dime QuikStop will see from me. I'll be sure to let my friends and family know that they should look up how to change these filters themselves, else they fall prey to the lies your employees tell folks. I'll also make sure my friends and family know about the courteous service I received today so they can decide who they would want to change their oil.

-- Your former customer"

I am curious if they will respond. I'll keep you posted.
kybearfuzz: (Bill the Cat)
While the VMA's were a few days ago, everyone has seen the video of Miley Cyrus' lame attempt to ditch her good-girl Disney image and successful feat to cause parents to swear they'll never allow their young daughters to watch the VMA's again. I'm chiming in a bit late, but I can't help myself.

First, while I was never a Hannah Montana fan, I guess I always had the impression she could sing. According to the video, she holds a tune as well as I do... and I stink. I saw her gyrating on stage with teddy bears, then stripping down to her flesh-toned plasti-kini, tongue wagging like she was Gene Simmons. Then Robin Thicke comes out in his Beetlejuice outfit and she assaults him with her undulating buttocks, tongue still wagging like a thirsty mutt. Again, the singing (if you call it that) continues... I think.

My first thought seeing her do this was:

"Robin Thicke is going to have to throw that suit away now. Those stains will never come out."

Everyone online and at work seems to be dissing the performance. I can't say I was entertained by it, but I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm old. I've heard multiple people say "Well, Madonna did it before.." or "Lady Gaga does that sort of thing..." And I have to disagree.

While Madonna and Lady Gaga have both done some pretty shocking things on stage, they usually were done within the theme of a song or a show. They fit my definition of a performance piece. While they were sexually charged, I'd not call it vulgar.

Poor Miley. She's trying so hard to be grown up. It looked like she just wanted to burn that Disney bridge, and she did I'm sure, but she traded the art of the performance in exchange for shock value. Dry humping Robin Thicke, doing things with a foam finger that sports fans never dreamed, and rimming a candy-dispensing dancer dressed as a teddy bear -- overall effect was WTF at first.. then meh.

Give me Madonna singing "Like A Virgin" while rolling around in a wedding dress over that anytime.

However, Miley's twerking rear did create the latest internet meme I think, and that's her twerking on literally anything else. My favorite so far as been her twerking in famous paintings:

Miley Cyrus Twerks on Famous Paintings (click for link)

Now that is funny and entertaining. She should take some notes.
kybearfuzz: (Comic Book Bears)
While I was working out Sunday, I looked over to my bookcase and saw my copy of "The DC Comics Encyclopedia". It was a Christmas gift a few years back from my sister. I realized that the book is now outdated with DC's "New 52" reboot/revamp. I think it was right then that I came to the conclusion of why I dislike the "New 52."

The history of DC Comics is gone.

Comparing the "New 52" to the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" or "Infinite Crisis" events is not correct. They are apples and an orange. When the first "Crisis" redid the DC Universe, the history was modified, but largely was left intact. All past events still happened, even with a few rebooted characters like Wonder Woman. When it was "undone" by the Infinite Crisis some years later, the history was still relatively the same. The Jay Garrick Flash was still around, along with most of the heroes that were made famous in the 1940's.

In the 1960's, when the new generation of heroes of "Earth 1" were created, the past heroes of the JSA still existed. The JLA heroes were just added to the universe and eventually interacted with them. Lately I've been re-reading the "Crisis on Multiple Earth" trades, which compiles the Justice League/Justice Society team-ups from my youth and before. I'm anxiously awaiting Volume 6 in June.

However, in the "New 52" universe, these heroes just don't exist anymore. It's that simple. In one moment, everything changed, all history was removed and the comic book company just started at time zero. The Justice Society of the 1940's and all incarnations forward were no more. No JLA/JSA team-ups ever occurred. The stories I read about in the trades are not in the continuity. While the new DC is re-creating the JSA, they're all new too.

For someone brand new to comics, this might seem like no big deal. To a collector of comics of 35 years like me, it's amazingly disappointing.

I suspect the number of "new" comics that's being discontinued shows that a lot of readers aren't overly impressed by the changes either. I wonder how long this experiment is going to last.
kybearfuzz: (McHargue Mill 2013)
I'm trying to be a more positive person. This is going to be a bitchy post, but hopefully it's at least entertaining.

Yesterday was a disaster. I can't describe it any other way. I was flying out to DC, so around 11:30 AM I left home for the airport, parking in the long-term lot. My first bout of trouble was the long-term parking bus when the lady driving the bus wouldn't help me with my bags. You want tips, honey? Help a guy out when he's struggling with the bag, backpack, and computer bag. If you don't, you get nothing -- money or sympathy.

I made it through security and parked myself at the gate after grabbing a quick lunch. My flight had been delayed by an hour. No big deal, I thought. I was planning on meeting a buddy for an early dinner and I thought I would still make that.

Then it got delayed again for another hour. I was getting irritated now, but I thought I can cope. While waiting I managed to finish drawing the last pages of the next "Grizzly & The Bear Patrol" issue, so it was time well spent.

Then it got delayed for another two hours. At this point, an early dinner with my buddy was turning into a late one, which he couldn't make. I texted him that I was going to miss it and we'd try again later.

So four hours after we were supposed to leave, six hours after I'd gotten to the airport, we finally boarded. Then we sat for a half hour while the plane was de-iced with the air turned off. To make it equally fun, sitting behind me in the stifling warmth, was Goober Pyle and Otis the Drunk from "The Andy Griffith Show." One sang, the other laughed, and both were giving off a slight racist vibe. When we finally took off and were flying over DC, one commented "Oh, look I can see Obama's girls playing in their yard," to which the other replied, "At night? You couldn't see them." Nice, huh?

So when the flight finally landed and we got off the plane, I trekked through Dulles Airports maze to baggage claim. It took a bit for my bag to roll around. It showed up, face down. I pulled it off the carousel to find the front ripped -- large gash through the front of the bag, the zipper torn off the fabric, etc. I was livid. It wasn't a new suitcase, but it was pretty solid.

So I dragged it to the United Baggage Office and stood in line. It's now after 9 PM and I'm exhausted and angry. The little mouse of a clerk I finally spoke with said, "Sorry, sir, we don't cover external damage."

"Well," I sternly replied, "your airline managed to rip into the bag, so the external damage went INSIDE."

She quickly added, "Would you like to speak to a supervisor?"

"Yes, please," I retorted.

I never saw the supervisor. She came back, did some typing around on her computer, and said that she had a similar bag to give me. So they replaced the bag with a new one. I was relieved actually as I didn't expect that. I was thinking I'd just get some cheesy voucher. So I transferred my clothes and stuff from the old bag to the new one and left.

Finally, I arrived at my hotel at near 10:30 PM. I was worn out and hungry. After dropping off my bag in my room, I walked to the 24-hour McDonalds for a shake and finally got settled.

A crappy day, right...?
kybearfuzz: (One Ringie-Dingie)
I've tried to be more sympathetic when it comes to telemarketers of late. With the economy as it is, I'm sure there are people who took the plunge and accepted such a job. However, the timing of the calls, the nature of the calls, etc., have not changed and it's reached beyond the limits of patience.

Lately, I've been the victim of the robo-calls. Calls from Oregon, Washington, and Utah have come to home and cell phones, promising to lower my credit rates. The first time or two I hit #3 to remove myself from the list or tried to contact the operator, but I think all it did was verify that my number was legitimate. Both of my numbers are on the Do Not Call registry, which is apparently as useful as a birth control pill at an old folks home. I've registered complaints on the numbers I have and yet I'll get new ones weekly.

Tonight, I was called at 9 PM by my cable company for no good reason. She called to inform me of a merger with another cable company

"Are you aware of the merger?" she asked.

"No," I said flatly.

There was silence while she seemed to be waiting for more info from me. She then told me about great deals with their phone/internet service bundle.

"Who do you have your internet service with?" she asked.

"That's none of your damn business," I replied angrily, "and I don't appreciate being called at 9 PM just so your company can hand off a sales pitch! How do I get my number removed from your system so I don't have to suffer through this again??"

She told me that it would be removed and that the cable company takes the "Do Not Call" registry very seriously.

"Well, you must not take it too seriously, as this number is on the registry already and has been for years," I said, "Are you not checking the registry as you are required to by law??"

The lady stammered through the rest of her speech, talking so fast that words were starting to slur together. We eventually just hung up.

At least there is one less call that will be coming back, I hope.
kybearfuzz: (Boxing)
Work was okay, but tiring. After work, my buddy Dan texted me and asked if I wanted to grab a drink after work. So after a quick drive home to change clothes, I met Dan at Mainstrasse in Covington. Instead of going to the posh restaurant he recommended, I suggested going to a local German restaurant, Wertheim's, that I recalled as being really good in the past.

The place was empty and the waitress, an older blonde lady, acted put out that she had to show us to a table. When we tried the meals we ordered, something was amiss. The potato pancakes were stale almost like it was leftovers from last night. I ordered the rouladen with potato dumplings. The dumplings were soft and tasteless and the rouladen steak was tough and the inside was bland and mushy. It was awful. After three bites, I just couldn't eat it and pushed it aside. It tasted like something that had been reheated or microwaved from something old. Even Dan's sandwich was mediocre. The server asked me if something was wrong with it and I told her that it just didn't taste good. She offered to get me something else, but I suspected the whole menu was this way. Sadly, I paid for the meal, but I'll never go back. I told Dan that we'll go wherever he wants with no argument next time.

After dinner I drove to get an oil change. I hate doing this because they always try to get me to have other things done. Why can't they just change the damn oil and leave it be? They wanted to change the air filter for $21.99. I begged off and went to KMart and bought the same filter for $4.95 and changed it myself. It took less than 30 seconds to change and they were going to charge me an extra $17 to do it for me. I feel sorry for the grandmothers who go in and feel it is something they can't do. I'm going to look into learning to change my oil myself.
kybearfuzz: (Blow Off)
Have you ever felt that the universe was just against your doing something? I'm feeling it now.

I had planned to go to Horrorhound Weekend in Columbus today. I left my car for a brake repair at Sears because the guy there led me to believe they'd start on it first thing in the morning. I had told him I was heading to Columbus and he made the suggestion. The A/C guy was supposed to be at my house at 10 AM, so I thought I'd be at Sears by 11:30 AM, on the road to Columbus by noon.

What a fool I must be.

I called Sears at 10 AM and was told that they were a bit behind because they were waiting for a part to be delivered. I still thought I had time. The A/C guy was still a no-show by 11 AM and showed up at my house at 12:15 PM after I called his office again. He replaces a blown fuse on the unit and is gone by 12:45 PM.

I called for a cab who took a half hour to get to my house when they are based just a few miles away. The cabbie bitched all the way to Sears about how he has been mistreated by the scheduling guy.

We finally arrive at Sears. As I walk in, carrying my backpack and dufflebag, I see my car still on the lift in the garage. It's now 1:30 PM. After waiting for the counter guy to give me the time of day, I ask if my car is ready. He goes to check.

He returns and asks me to step into the next room. I don't like this, he wants me away from everyone else in the room. So I go into the room. he looks at the bag in my hand and asked if I was heading somewhere.

I thought about getting smart with him, saying something like "it's the change of clothes for me to wear after you guys screw me with the grand total." I relent and tell him I'm supposed to be in Columbus by 4 PM. He tells me that the part hadn't shown up until late and it would be another half-hour to 45 minutes for them to finish the brake job. The look on my face must have rattled him because he started apologizing like crazy.

So I went to the waiting room for my car to be ready and resigned myself that maybe this trip was not going to happen. I was already stressed out from a day of poor customer service and broken timeframe promises and, quite frankly, I'd had enough. The idea of dropping myself amidst a large congregation of horror fans in goth makeup, serial killer costumes, and 40-something guys who still lived in their respective mom's basement felt like hell. By the time I got there, I'd have missed the first movie I wanted to see. So I called and canceled by hotel reservation.

After I finally got my car, the guy at the counter wouldn't look me in the eyes and didn't give me the usual "call this number for a chance to win..." speech. I'm tempted to send in a complaint.

... Meh...
kybearfuzz: (Comic Book Bears)
On Saturday, while running my usual errands, I stopped by the local comic book shop to look for a back issue or two of "Superboy and The Legion of Super-Heroes." The parking lot was nearly full, which should have been my first clue that this wasn't going to go well. While the place does decent business, this seemed unusual.

I went inside to find that it was apparently RPG game day. With my apologies to the gamers on my friends list, I just have never gotten into the RPG thing. While I find you guys very grounded and normal and likely do this for fun, the crowd of adults in this comic book store was staggeringly disturbing. It was a collection of guys who either live together as roommates or live solo still holding up in their respective parents' basement. If there was a cult looking for a virgin sacrifice, it would have been a buyers' market for them in here.

I'm being the judgmental bitch here (and for humorous effect of course), because the store is small and with the game tables set up, the wall of geek was blocking the new comic books. So I turned down another aisle to the back-issues, my reason for coming in the first place, to find the guys had spread out and was laying their cards out on the back issue boxes. So, after being blocked from the new AND the old, I just left in a disgusted huff. I think the assistant manager saw me leave empty-handed and wearing a scowl.

After heading home, I started coloring some cartoons of mine. What a difference color can make. My only complaint is that I think the tones I used were a bit too yellow.

Grizzly in Action

Grizzly in Action

Happy Monday.. if that's possible...
kybearfuzz: (Blow Off)
Tonight after dinner I went to go see Final Destination 5. Yeah, I know, but my love for horror movies knows little bounds. I even paid the extra bit to catch the 3D version.

Normally, I'd launch into the good or bad of the movie, but thanks to three inconsiderate, mouthy bitches who sat in the row behind me, I didn't enjoy it. The three of them spoke in a near regular volume tone to each other throughout the movie.

After the first "death," I ventured out and told the concession person about them and asked if someone could come in. Fifteen minutes, two "deaths" and multiple continuing comments from the aggravating, no one had come in to handle them. So I finally had enough and went back out, this time to the main desk where I spoke to someone in a tie. I guess that made him important and just told him I wanted my money back. I explained I'd already been out once and now was having to do it again for the little verbal hags. He gave me back my money, told me he'd send someone in immediately, and said I could finish the movie. I was tempted to walk out, but I figured I might as well catch a bit more.

When back in the theater, I moved to a different seat, farther away from the girls, but I swear I could STILL HEAR THEM! A security officer came in, a local policeman even, and I thought I was finally getting some action. However, he just stayed near the door and I thought maybe he thought they were on that side. I got up to tell him where they were, but he had just come in to watch the movie. While we were whispering, the usher came in. He came in, asked me about the talkers, and walked over there near them. He stood there for three whole minutes and the girls didn't talk for that time. Then he left. So it was pointless.

I didn't expect him to babysit them, but I would have at least thought he should tell them to shut up or they'd be asked to leave or something.

I'm going to be a bitch myself and write the customer service for the theater at least.


kybearfuzz: (Default)

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