Tag Archives: leave me alone

Valentine’s Day Miracle

I finally retrieved my wedding ring. I dropped it in the couch last weekend and I either haven’t had time or haven’t been in the mood to deal with it. I had all my tools assembled in the living room.

Sheesh. I feel like MacGyver. The crevice where it was stuck was too narrow for almost anything. It was so tight that once I got my flashlight in there so I could see what I was doing, I couldn’t do anything else. I tried a piece of sturdy wire. I tried the vacuum. I tried feeling all long every corner of the couch to see if there was a way in. I finally moved it from the wall and tried tilting it back and forth.

Did I mention it’s a giant heavy couch that dual reclines using a motor? When the kids delivered it they told us it was the heaviest thing they had to deliver. I unplugged the motor so it wouldn’t turn into a sad Darwin award story. But then I started rocking a heavy couch back and forth to tip it on its side. Then I crawled underneath it. Apparently it wasn’t my day to die from something completely stupid.

I’ll omit the long boring details but I finally found that it had dropped to another couch level underneath but still no way to stick a hand in and grab it. Also, because of the angle I could either point a flashlight at it, or try some tool to grab it, but not both at the same time. There were a couple more rounds of couch rocking. I eventually used my sturdy wire wrapped around an extra long chopstick (I have no idea why I have these and what they would be used for — maybe a wok? Which I don’t own) I managed to scrape the ring to a corner where I could grab it. Yay!

I have not learned my lesson and will continue to fiddle with my ring.

I also found my glasses! But first: I used advanced Google search to find the post so I could link to it and got this:

HA! It’s like Google knows me. Here’s the post where I lost my glasses in a wind storm.

But probably I didn’t lose them in the wind. There’s one area of the yard that gets very little rain or sun and has lovely dry soil that the cats can’t keep out of. I had raked up a bunch of leaves and debris around that area and I checked it yesterday to see if it was working and I found my glasses. I was probably leaning over the debris and they fell off my head or I sometimes wear them with one arm stuck in my shirt. I washed them off and happy to have them back.

And my plot against the cats appears to be mostly successful. There is one little area where it looks like they found a work around. Cats are evil.

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Click Here For More Clicking

A couple of weeks ago I had a question about my health insurance so I did what I thought was a sensible thing and went to the website.

The website wasn’t going to tell me anything until I created a username and password to log into my account. Once I was logged in there was a box that said I had 9 alerts.

Nine alerts sounded serious so I clicked on the first one which sent me to a different website and asked me to create a username and password.

I wish I was making this up. At this point I was determined to see what all this alerting was about and the first one led to a cryptic note about a test my doctor had ordered.

Then to see the next alert I was supposed to go back to the first website and start the process again. There was no way to navigate from alert to alert.

Needless to say, I felt that they should take their alerts and shove them. Then I made the terrible error of wanting to tell them this and spent another 15 minutes trying to figure out how to send them a note. Would the process maybe involve going from the first website to the second website? Why yes it did. I’m sure they are taking my suggestions to heart right this minute.

Meanwhile, somehow while I was clicking around between websites I got into a health survey which was 50 screens of questions about exercising and medications.

When I finally got to the end, I failed in two categories: alcohol and nutrition.

First of all, I don’t believe more than 5 oz. of wine a day is bad for you. Oops, accidentally typo’d that as 50 oz. at first. I do believe more than 50 oz. of wine a day is bad for you.

I take really good care of myself and I like to drink wine. There are oodles of other bad things I don’t do that the survey did not ask about so they can take my fail grade and shove it.

Nutrition I screwed up because I didn’t understand how to measure what I eat. Fruit? I have fruit in the morning. 1 serving. Vegetables? There are vegetables in my lunch and dinner: 2 servings. For whatever reason, a serving is a tiny portion. So I should have said 4 fruit servings and 15 vegetable servings. The survey thought I was starving. It wants me to take some positive measures to improve my eating and maybe sign up for coaching – which is tempting purely from a performance art perspective.

Finally, after all this I received a pedometer in the mail with congratulations on taking steps to improve my health.

WTF? Next time I need a healthcare service that isn’t covered I’m going to be pissed because I do not need a pedometer. My fitness is also fine and doesn’t need any canned advice based on the results of a poorly designed survey. Maybe there are people out there that benefit from this and if so, great but to me it seems like a waste of resources that could be put to better use.

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Make it Rain But Not Too Much

There are only about 3 months out of the year when we have to worry about watering. And we don’t water our lawn, only the flowers and vegetables.

For the first half of the summer I enjoy it. It’s nice to be outside and wandering around looking at all the plants, checking out corners of the yard I don’t normally look at. And I always think: how could I ever get tired of doing this?

Then there’s the inevitable moment when I switch over to hating it. It always seems to happen in an instant and it happened last night.

Mostly it wears me down on the weeknights. Even to do a crappy job, it takes at least an hour and the traffic is worse in the summer so I get home later than usual. Then I’m rushing around and if anything looks even a tiny bit droopy I feel bad. I just transplanted my cucumber sprouts out there and they are all wilted in the dirt. Wimps.

I only water every other day unless it’s gruesomely hot. But I get all worried when I’m going to be home late and how to arrange my schedule to make sure I have time to do it.

The way the plumbing is outside, there is no way to set up an automatic system unless we open our wallets and get a few guys in here. Plus I think we’d have to tear the deck out in the back because the spigot is half under it. We just deal. It’s not that bad but last night it made me grumpy.

Meanwhile, my weather gadget says possibility of rain later this week and I felt bad being really excited about that.

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The Fun Starts Here

Remember when I cleaned the garage? Well now we can go to boxes of crap without having to climb over a broken exercise bike, 6 rusty tomato cages and a pair of lamps we don’t use.

Since tomorrow is our wedding anniversary, I pulled out the wedding box and will have more tomorrow.

But I found this photo in there. This is me writing with my Powerbook 520 and my old timey superfast modem (14.4? How did it work in those days?). Also my cute glasses frames. I took them in and asked if they could be remade into my new prescription and they said no.

I desperately need new glasses now except my eyes are 100x worse than they were in this photo. Now I need quadrifocals or who knows. I keep putting the appointment off because whenever they’re giving me the eye test I feel like I’m personally letting the doctor down when I get the letters wrong and I haven’t been in the mood for that sort of emotional roller coaster. But I broke the arm off one of my cheapie reading pairs so the glasses situation is pretty desperate. I’m going to make an appointment on Monday.

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Infestation

I have picked so many giant snails out of my front yard, I’m starting to fear going out there. Normally I just pick the ones I find in the process of my regular gardening. On Sunday it was drizzling which is perfect snail picking weather, if you didn’t know, and I got my bucket and went to town. I stuck my gloved hands into corners and moved rocks and dug around in bushes.

And I kept finding more and more and more snails. Big giant ones. On the lawn. In the future pumpkin patch area. Around the porch. By the window. It started freaking me out. Where are all these snails coming from?

I don’t know anything about snail biology and I don’t want to but I found two on the tree that were all tangled up and apparently getting it on. Can’t they do that in someone else’s yard?

And of course I read too many Stephen King stories when I was a kid and in the back of my mind I can’t help but worry what will become of me if the snails take over the world.

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Please, Please Tell Me What We’ve Learned

One of the things I forgot to mention about the Timbers game is that I was very excited for the opportunity to see Freddie Adu play. (He was on the other team.) He’s only 22 now but when he was very young, he was tagged as one of the great future U.S. Players. He hasn’t quite lived up to it (yet? – he’s on the Olympic team) but I always like to see a talented player. But by the time the game started I was so deliriously happy to see the Timbers, I forgot he was there.

Remember my troubles with Verizon?

I’m not even going to dignify this discussion by linking to the earlier part.

The short reminder version is that my credit card was faux-frauded and I had to get a new one. I tried to tell Verizon so I could pay and it’s been a total pain in the ass from day 1. I went to the store and even they had trouble helping me. I had to log on at home and try again and then quit bill pay and re-sign up again. Which they thanked me for electronically and snail-y.

You can imagine my surprise when I got a robo-call from Verizon telling me I was past due and I’d better fix it quick.

You know what I’m not going to do?

Give my fresh unfrauded credit card number to a robo-call. How do I know it’s from Verizon?

So I tried to fix it online and got run around so I stomped over to the store again.

They can’t do anything at the store but sell you shit. They can’t do administrivia. What an awesome business plan: a place one human can talk to another human and that human can’t do anything but sell you shit.

So my human got me on the phone with customer service and we went around the block a few times.

Them: Did you update your card with us?

Me: Yes I updated my card with you that’s why I’m on the phone with you throwing a snitfit.

Them: Are you sure that’s your zip code? It’s not going through.

Me: @^#5*9*^#4^)!!!!!!!!!!

Eventually, the nice lady said it was all fixed. Apparently when I switched to autopay (which I didn’t switch to, remember) I was supposed to do my first payment manually. Because that makes sense.

So nothing more to worry about.

Except I was still getting robo-calls that my service was going to be shut off if I didn’t pay — every 2 hours.

You know, according to the LA Times Verizon had a profit of $10.2 billion in 2010 — HIRE SOME ACTUAL PEOPLE YOU CHEAP FARKWITS!

So when I got home and had my cheat sheet I was able to log on and go through 7 layers of security including answering questions about my favorite Monkee, singing the chorus of The Logical Song, doing the Hokey Pokey and typing in a limerick about my favorite pet, I manually paid the “late” bill and then the new bill will supposedly be billed on the 26th.

I hope they’re happy now.

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I Have Never Eaten A Buffalo Wing

I had lunch at a place outside my normal circle and walked by this building. I feel like I’ve never seen it before.

Remember the fraudulent charge I found on my credit card last week? The one I found when I was looking up something I’d ordered that had never shown up? But I knew it wasn’t the same thing because it was the wrong amount and the wrong company?

Guess what?

I was wrong.

Apparently the hippie dippie company that sells my special tooth powder sold its brand to some “Leaders in Bad Customer Service” company. The LIBCS company couldn’t fill what I ordered, so they just filled what they wanted and charged me for that and charged my card to LIBCS which I’ve never heard of, all without any communication with me whatsoever.

Meanwhile the new credit cards arrived and I have to update approximately 1000 companies with my new number so they can load it onto laptop computers that their CEOs can leave on the front seats of rental cars to get stolen so I can do this all over again.

My packing slip is a sheet of paper that looks like it came out of a free printer and it doesn’t have the total on it. I’m afraid to do the math myself because I’m sure I got screwed.

The good part is that I ordered 7 bottles of tooth powder so I don’t have to worry about buying more for at least 2 years.

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Pam Against the Machine, Part 627

I finally found the picture of the cucumber plant. It did nothing all summer and then blew up at the very end when summer was winding down. Still, it didn’t make any cucumbers. Then when summer was finished, it finally made cucumbers. So when I was pulling everything out I found two full grown lemon cucumbers and another half dozen that were like grapes. I picked and ate them all while I was standing there.

There’s this service we subscribe to at work. On our most recent invoice they advised that their billing would be changing and we’d only be getting a simplified paper bill. If we wanted a complete bill we’d have to do it via electronic delivery. I do not have a problem with that. The notice said you could sign up for this billing via a URL or by calling customer service and picking #X on the phone tree.

I went to the URL and could not login. I called the customer service number and pressed X and was told that choice didn’t exist and to please hold for customer service which was a multi-level tree where nothing related to my question.

I finally got a customer service person on the phone who seemed a little taken aback by my question. I had to wait on hold and finally she comes back and says we have to set up an electronic invoicing account and can continue to hold while we do this?

What? NO! Are you kidding me?

“This is stupid,” I told her. “I just want to get a complete bill. Now I have to set up another account? Forget it. I won’t do the electronic delivery.”

She was very nice and assured me she’d pass on my feedback. I’m sure “This is stupid,” is written in on a whiteboard in the lunchroom so that they can get right to work making it less stupid.

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Stinker Cat

We have a swinging chair in the backyard with a cushion on it.

During the summer Toes napped on it almost every day. Every time I wanted to sit there I had to take the cushion inside and vacuum it off.

The second I opened the backdoor, Toes would launch himself at me with a bleating whine and he would not leave me alone until he was thoroughly scratched and petted. I had to be seated for this and let him crawl in my lap. I couldn’t get away with just a lean down and pat.

If I attempted to ignore him he would trip me or try to crawl up my leg. This was especially fun when I was wearing shorts.

It was sort-of annoying but also sort-of nice. A pet that I didn’t have to feed or take to the vet. One afternoon I was trying to get a bunch of stuff done and didn’t really want to sit down for Toes time. He insisted so there I was, forced to sit still on my porch. The sun was going down and there was a breeze so all my flowers were waving back and forth and birds swooped around the sunflowers. One of my great summer memories.

Last month when the weather turned cool and damp I brought the cushion in for winter. I looked out the kitchen window and saw Toes sitting on a plastic chair glaring at me. The next time I went outside, he wandered by and ignored me when I said hello. Then he squatted down and peed right in front of me and didn’t even flinch when I yelled.

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The World Expects Way Too Much Remembering

I can’t find my photos of my cucumber plants so we’ll do hedge whacking instead. Look how nice and sunny it was that day. That red line in the bottom left is a new extension cord. I accidentally whacked the old one. Flames shot out. It was pretty exciting.

Has anybody calculated how far away are we from needing to hire people to manage our privacy and security preferences?

This stuff wears me out. These sites that want you to create a login just to look at something. Nope. Not doing it. Too many logins. Too many rules. You couldn’t use the same password for everything even if you wanted to.

This makes me so cranky.

I’m tired of customer service surveys, too. That’s gone way too far

For customer service surveys my time is billed at $60 an hour, one hour minimum.

I just went to download something free and they wanted my credit card. Nope. Can’t have it. (It’s a legitimate company, not some scammy thing but I’m still not giving to them just so they can have it on file and then one of their dopey CEOs can go to happy hour at Hooters and leave his laptop in the car to get stolen.)

At the office, we changed companies for computer protection and I keep getting these emails from the old company reminding me that Your! Virus! Protection! Has! Expired! Your! Computer! Is! Not! Protected!

Except that it is, by another program. So I went to unsubscribe from the emails which was an Alice in the Rabbithole clusterfukian adventure in time-wasting. Everything I did just opened a new window and went in a big circle until I was back where I started only with a million windows open.

So then I started up the chat help with “Steve.” [Aside: I actually enjoy doing chat help for purely entertainment value.] Steve was a robot and he kept opening more windows for me to tell me what to do. And explaining how I just do this, then this, then this and then click on the button that says this and I won’t get those annoying updates.

First of all, I shouldn’t have to click more than once to unsubscribe to anything. And second, my computer wouldn’t do this, this or this nor did it have a this button.

So I wrote a toasty complaint email which I’m sure was sent directly to the CEO where it was printed on gold-plated toilet paper for his morning constitutional. Then I made a filter to send the messages straight to trash.

I almost forgot to take the “after” photo so the sun was down when I ran back out there. I took it from this angle to hide how crookedy it is. I’m too short to get the top very well and also my arms get tired.

One of my financial institutions sent me a long thing about my privacy settings which mostly said, “Hard cheese, not much you can do about us sharing your info,” except there were two things that you could ask them to leave you out. But of course you had to call. So I called and it wasn’t automated it was a person. And then we had to go through about 10 rounds of account number, social security number, describe one of your last three transactions. I got all cranky about that. Is there really a lot of fraudulent canceling of sharing information going around?

So then she said we could set up security questions so it wouldn’t be such a pain in the ass next time.

And all her suggestions were for favorite things. I don’t have favorite things. And anything that’s my favorite now is going to be long forgotten by the time I have to remember it. Then we decided on first car. But then later after I got off the phone I realized I gave the wrong car. So hopefully I’ll remain permanently confused about my first car.

Thanks technology. You’re awesome when you aren’t killing me softly with your logins and passwords.

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