The breaking point…

angry_baby

You’ve been there haven’t you? You can get there in so many different circumstances. It can apply to relationships or health issues or finances. Mine came with Cox Communications.

You’ve all seen the video of the guy trying to break up with ComCast? I identify. I wasn’t trying to break up with them. (Actually they are hanging on by a thread because we ditched cable tv from them and just kept the internet.) I was trying to change the credit card my autopay was charged to every month.

I was rather disgruntled about the whole process in the first place. We have had the same credit card for 30 years. Twice they have changed our account numbers when items appeared on the statement that were not ours. This time they claim they needed to issue new cards and account numbers because they were “growing” and needed to update. Bull! I theorize their data was compromised internally by a hacker and thus everyone got new cards. It is just a smoke screen they are giving us as a reason. And this same 2 week period required a new issuance of my debit card by another bank because I used it at Home Depot once in the last 6 months. Why aren’t they getting cards with chips like the rest of the world uses? But I digress…

Today the new card had to be activated and the old one was killed at their end. So I made a list of all the places that I use the old numbered card to auto pay bills, etc. Of the 6 websites I visited this morning to accomplish my task, all were a piece of cake except for Cox. All of them sent me a verifying email that the new card was in effect. Not Cox. Their website is a tangled mess anyway, so I needed to know if the change I made went through. They encouraged me to call them on their account hotline with any issues I had. So I called.

It took me about 10 minutes on their automated line to finally believe me when I pushed “0” to talk to an representative. Then I was shuffled to 3 actual people before I got to one that would help me. Oh, I shouldn’t have said help. She took all my information to access the account. I asked her to verify that the changes I made online had gone through. She asked who I was. Whoops! It seems I am not authorized to make changes to the account. Only my husband could make those changes. Never mind I had spent almost a half hour on their site doing just that. I told her all I needed from her was the last 4 digits of the card that would be billed. Simple. No big disclosure on her part there. She insisted she could not do it. She suggested I have (my extremely busy and overworked) husband do this. She would be glad to help him or to have him add me as an authorized… BAM! I hit the breaking point. And for the first time in my life (honest!) I was not only rude to a service rep but crude as well. “Oh, fuck it!” I yelled and slammed down the phone.

It has been 2 hours since this went down. My adrenaline is still pumping. I had to tell someone. So I told you!

Side note: I went back on their website about 30 minutes later and checked the billing page. Sure enough, the new number was now in use. The call was for naught. My checks are a little red. lol

Out of the headlines…

stop abuse campaign

I can’t go anywhere in media without seeing the video of the professional football player decking his wife in an elevator then carrying her limp body out into the hallway. Now every morning show is having experts talk about why she is defending him. Life is so odd sometimes.

What I could never understand is how anger becomes violence. I get angry sometimes. I will slam some doors or throw something. My mind never goes to actually harming someone in the wake of my anger. I think I am in a majority here.

So what escalates anger to violence? A supremacy of the male ego? Ultimate control? Testosterone overage? A flashback to the playground? I do know that more often as not women stay with these abusers because in this society they have no other options. They need to stay in order to keep their children fed, clothed, and sheltered. Women of means stay in order to save face in the world. Some say they actually love their abuser and can’t imagine a life without him in it. This is all messed up, people!

The one way to stop it all would be to stop the violence. Be angry, yes. Be violent in that anger, no! Just walk away and deal with the issue in a calmer mind-frame. Be a grown up. imagine it is your daughter at the receiving end. Stop it!

A Canadian’s View On Our Disrespect Of President Obama’s Presidency

This is so spot on!

The Fifth Column

EgbertoWillies.com

America – He’s Your President for Goodness Sake!

By William Thomas

There was a time not so long ago when Americans, regardless of their political stripes, rallied round their president. Once elected, the man who won the White House was no longer viewed as a republican or democrat, but the President of the United States. The oath of office was taken, the wagons were circled around the country’s borders and it was America versus the rest of the world with the president of all the people at the helm.

Suddenly President Barack Obama, with the potential to become an exceptional president has become the glaring exception to that unwritten, patriotic rule.

Four days before President Obama’s inauguration, before he officially took charge of the American government, Rush Limbaugh boasted publicly that he hoped the president would fail. Of course, when the president fails the country flounders. Wishing harm upon…

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They got to them!

My youngest grandchildren came to visit me for a week this summer. They are 5 and 7. I tried to keep them busy with crafts, trips to the park, and swimming. I even bought a Slip-n-Slide for them to use in the backyard. They brought with them their Nintendo DS and games. I allowed them to use my laptop for games on PBSKids.com. Still in this age of over-stimulation, they were bored sometimes. I resorted to TV. At home they don’t have cable. Netflix is where they go for their entertainment. I don’t have that. I tuned them into Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network with a little PBS thrown in.

OMG! They about run their little legs ragged coming up the stairs from the family room to tell me what toy they just saw on TV that they want for Christmas! Netflix doesn’t have commercials. This was their first exposure to the bombardment of toy advertisements on regular tv. It was fun to see the excitement in their eyes as they explained what the toy was and how fun it would be. Their voices became louder and louder with each new discovery, not to mention how confusing it got for me when they did this at the same time. lol

So I did what I could to calm it down. I bought the Lego movie and the current ice princess movie and plugged them into those instead of regular tv. How many times can a kid watch the same movie over and over? Endless it seems. Now I can’t get “Let It Go” out of my head.

Xanga 2.0: 1st Year Full Review: The “Anti-Social” Network

This is an excellent overview of what happened with the old Xanga.

Soullfire

xanga2

About a year ago, Xanga Inc, shut down “Xanga 1.0” and launched “Xanga 2.0” on a “WordPress” platform, which was billed as a bold new upgrade to its aging predecessor. The new version has a pay-wall so users have to pay $48 a year for the privilege of blogging.

The initial launch of “2.0” was anything but smooth with many people not even aware Xanga 1.0 was shutting down- due to Xanga not sending a global email or creating a global splash page informing users of what was being planned. My two initial reviews on this transition can be seen here: (1) Preliminary Review, 2) Review). The prevailing hope of all those optimistic about Xanga’s “upgrade” back then was that things would improve over time and they would soon have their own comfortable and familiar Xanga back.

Well, a year has come and gone and unfortunately the poor quality of the…

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Overnight intruder!

 cricketYesterday I chased a big cricket around my dining room. He finally hid himself well enough that I forgot about him. Last night as I was headed down the hallway toward my comfy bed, I heard him. I mean I HEARD him! He was in the bathroom. This room is mostly tile. The accent rugs from that room were in the washing machine so there was nothing to absorb the sound of him. He was singing in there like the Boyz to Men group used to practice in their school’s bathroom. His chirps were echoing around and amplified. How was I going to ignore that all night? I lifted the wastebasket, the scale, and the towel rack hoping to find him huddled under them. Nope. Not there. There was nothing but tiled walls and floor. Nowhere for him to hide from me. And, of course, he had stopped chirping by then. I left the room to turn down my bed. There he was again! So I went back in there and could not find him! Maybe he was sitting in the floor register? I opened it up and couldn’t see him. How did I handle this? I turned off the light, shut the door, and decided if I shut my bedroom door, too, I just might get a good night’s sleep.

This morning there isn’t one sign of him either visually or audibly. Maybe he did find his way to the basement through the floor vent. I’ll keep an eye out (and ear) and hope he doesn’t turn up just as I’m going to bed again tonight!

The art of the side-step

We’ve all done it. Evaded an issue with someone. I was a master at it with my mother. It started when I was 10 and she made me wear slacks under my skirt to school on cold mornings as well as a very warm hat. About halfway to school was the post office where I darted in and took off the slacks and hat. She would never know. I could avoid looking like a dork. Later as an adult I was quite adept at keeping information away from her that would only be used against me in her judgmental ways. I was protecting myself and those I love from her. I didn’t lie to her. I just got very good at switching the subject. She probably had me figured out. Maybe my personal details were safe only in my mind.

The internet has opened up a whole world of deception. The art of the side-step is alive and well there. On Facebook I read the wonderful, exciting, daily details of those I know. Notice I said I know these people. Their lives are not like that. They have struggles and issues just like the rest of us. They are blocking the knowledge of those things from everyone in their online “personnas”. So this leads me to worry about all the young people who are sucked into depression because their lives don’t measure up to those they friend online. It is this trust that makes “catfishing” so easy to accomplish, let alone pedophiles entrapping their victims. I have yet to see anybody online who doesn’t filter the content they put out there. Me included.

I’m a firm believer in honesty. I can’t remember the last time I told a lie.  I’m straight with the husband, the kids and grandkids, and those I deal with out and about in the world. Deception is something I just don’t practice. It absolutely wounds me to my soul when I find somebody has been doing things behind my back. I don’t do that to them. Why do they want to do that to me? Probably because whatever it is isn’t going to put them in a good light.

I know someone who found notices on her husband’s phone from an online dating site he was using informing him of people interested in him. OMG! She has chosen to ignore it. Not if it was me. There would be a very vigorous conversation around the fact until the whys and never agains came up. Proceed from there. She is afraid. I would just feel stunned and played as a dupe. And embarrassed as hell. All trust gone.

So when you see on Facebook that I like a certain story or share something I’m interested in, it is just what I choose to put out there. I don’t talk about my health or happiness. Those I really care about know that in person. Everyone else gets the evasion I’m putting out. Sorry if it isn’t exactly honest. It is the old side-step I learned as a child.

 

Hold that grant?

A county near us is in a tug of war over $6064 in federal grant funds that will expire the end of this month. The County Health Department there planned on using the money to buy IUDs for patients needing help with their birth control expenses. They chose IUDs because they have a 99% effective rate, about 8 points above the birth control pill. (I should play the lottery more! My son came about from an IUD failure.) A county commissioner put a hold on the funds because he felt IUDs cause the murder of a fetus. (Link) Many prominent doctors have come forward to say this is not a truth. Give me a friggin’ break!

I would imagine this same commissioner gripes about the cost of the health department in the first place. He probably complains about the cost to the county for homeless families. He probably thinks people who can’t afford more children just shouldn’t be engaging in sex at all. I realize I am supposing a lot about this man. Not really. He is very common in the U.S. right now. What a blow hard!

Why in the world does he think he can assert his own religious beliefs onto the county he serves? The last time I checked the Constitution, religion should not be a factor in governmental decisions. Can’t he see the benefit to the below-poverty-level families that these funds could provide? Shameless!

Someday the non-voters in these barely able to get by families are going to wake up and start organizing to vote these posers out of office. Poser? The ones who claim they are for those who need help but will vote against them every time. I can’t wait to see it happen!

All that GOOP?

ImageImageImage

Gwyneth Paltrow recently gave a talk to a technology meeting. I used to follow Gwyneth on her website GOOP. I didn’t follow her very long. It became evident very quickly that she and I don’t move or live in the same worlds. Who buys a purse for $5000? Her mother and father were better known to me, so I was interested in her career since it started. I’ve never been very impressed despite her Oscar win. And what’s this about conscious uncoupling? lol  So have I ever given her a disparaging word online? Absolutely not!

I have a rule. If I complain or criticize, then I must also praise and recommend. It doubles the workload to state my opinion. So I just don’t unless it is very extraordinary conditions.

So, as Gwyneth says in her presentation, why are the internet tweeters and instagrammers and all the other too convenient outlets always so full of bile and evil comments? She claims it is part of the evolution of man. We will be better for our learning to sluff off these comments and keep moving forward. I disagree with this. Yes, it is impacting our evolution; it is taking evolution in the opposite direction. We are turning into a society of critical, mean-spirited individuals. What happened to “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?” I was raised on that rule. It has served me well in life. Just stop and think before you say it. The invisibility of the internet takes accountability out of the picture. Go ahead and say it. Nobody will know who you are. It won’t matter.

Well it does matter. We are learning to take this new life skill into everyday things; to the workplace, social gatherings, and even traffic on the road. The French have a reputation for being rude. We have caught up to them and maybe surpassed them at this point in that sense. David Letterman said when he tried Twitter for a bit, “It is where you say things that you probably should have kept to yourself in the first place.” Amen, Mr. Letterman.

The Unwashed

ImageIn the news this week the CEO of Levi’s announced, “Do not wash your Levi’s!” Yes, you read it right. Don’t wash them. This scrambles my brain!

I watched an interview with Anderson Cooper from CNN a few years ago where he said he never washed his jeans. He confessed he had jeans decades old that had never been washed. (Giggle! For sure he doesn’t go commando!) In my mind I rationalized that what he was really saying was that he had them dry cleaned, clean-cut guy that he is.

I’ve never dry cleaned an item in my life. I shy away from buying clothes with those labels. If I do buy a blouse that would fade badly or never look the same once washed, I choose to wear it only when I know I can keep it clean. You know – not around the little grandkids or out for a BBQ dinner. I’ve been pretty successful at it. But when it comes to jeans. Huh? My jeans would soon be able to stand in the corner by themselves if never washed. I tend to wipe my hands on my jeans when I cook. They get pretty crusty in just a day. There is no way I could never wash them.

One advantage of not washing a pair of jeans would be the fit. Have you ever taken a fresh pair of jeans out of the dryer to put on? They fit like new but not like “mine”. They are tighter than they were when last worn. Sometimes I have to wear them unzipped for a bit to stretch them out before I can zip them. It makes me wonder how teens get by these days with their skin-tight pants. My granddaughter might just as well paint them on. Do hers fit better or worse after washing? There must be a lot of spandex in them!

My husband likes his jeans dark denim. When they start to fade he is ready to move on to a new pair. I’ve shown him in the stores how light jeans are OK to wear. You can buy them that way. With holes in them already even! He shakes his head. Could he go without washing his jeans? Not at all. He is a working man. His jeans get dirty kneeling on the floor or working in a muddy construction zone. And… they need washing so they no longer drag in the butt and fit his tush nicely again. And… he has a cup of coffee in his hand nearly all the time. He swears it is his cups that dribble. Nope. His jeans must be washed.

I think back to my first pair of jeans. Our school did not allow girls to wear pants of any kind. We had to wear skirts or dresses. In the winter when I had to walk to school in snow and cold, I wore a pair of slacks under my skirt that had to be taken off in the restroom before class started. My husband encouraged me to buy a pair of jeans when we started dating in 1968. He took me to the men’s store and we bought a pair. They were dark, stiff denim. We took them to the laundromat after we both got off work that evening to give them a good washing, breaking them in a bit. I was so excited to have them! It was the first pair of I don’t know how many hundreds I’ve had in the 45 years since.

The only advantage to not washing jeans would be their longevity. I would imagine a pair would last forever. So isn’t it counter-intuitive for Levi’s to encourage us not to wash them?

UPDATE: This link to HLN carries this discussion a little further. http://www.hlntv.com/article/2014/05/23/levis-ceo-dont-wash-jeans-how-to-clean-denim-audience-reaction?hpt=hln10_7