Father’s Day

To all the good fathers out there, I wish you a happy Father’s Day and I hope today was a good day for you.

:: sigh ::

It took years of therapy, a good conversation with my sister today, and still, I have a hard time writing that opening sentence.

I hope you didn’t have to deal with a dysfunctional family when you were growing up. I doubt anyone has the traditional “nuclear family”, but surely, there is some example of normal out there somewhere. I hope you had it in your childhood. I figure, if you did, you probably enjoy things like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

My sister and I, we didn’t. We like to believe that the crazy environment we grew up in made us the strong people we are today. It’s true. If you survive something like that, you are stronger.

But you remember your parents. Days like Mother’s Day. may be easier to handle if you are a mother. You strive to be a better parent, and you love your children. I can handle Mother’s Day.

Still, I hate Father’s Day.

He was never around. Or, if he was, he was so drunk he wasn’t present. He never made the effort to be a part of our lives. What kind of father was that? Please….

I’ve always had this mental block on Father’s Day. I just don’t remember when it’s coming around. Unfortunately, this means I need to set a reminder now…. My husband adopted my kid, and my husband isn’t such a bad guy. I have to make myself say the words now…

Happy …

:: closes eyes and swallows ::

Father’s Day.

:: deep breath ::

Gods above, can’t I call it something else????

Bratty-arsed children….

Sunday we always have a metric ton of children at renfaire, but this last Sunday was probably the worst one on the books for badly behaved children. I don’t know WTF parents are thinking, these days, other than they aren’t. I’m not advocating things so old fashioned as corporal punishment, but goddamnit! It’s ok to tell your kid “No,” and, oh, maybe teach them some common courtesy.

A mother passing my shop saw the handmade soaps, said to her family, “Oh! Handmade soaps! It smells so good! Let’s go inside.” The daughter, about 12-ish, took a look inside the shop, made eye-contact with me (I was standing near the doorway), and said, “No. I hate them,” and ran into the shop next door. The mother just … followed.

I don’t care that they didn’t come in. I don’t care that they went next door. But I just gotta’ wonder who makes the decisions in this family – the parents or that little child. You can guarandamntee that behavior goes beyond deciding what shop to go into.

Oh, and does anyone remember this little girl?

willywonka_veruca

She was in my shop this weekend … with her whole famdamly. She was about 9 years old. She purchased a lip balm, and that was all. As I ringed up her purchase, I told her I would hand it to her rather than give her the huge bag (everyone else prefers to carry the lip balms and use them…). It was very cold and my fingers were numb. I accidentally dropped her unopened lip balm when I handed it to her. Not that I cared if she exchanged it, but rather than ask, she demanded in a very hateful tone, :: disgusted sigh :: “I want another one now.” 

Her parents were right behind her and didn’t bat an eye.

I smiled and said, “Of course, my dear.”

She comes back and says, “Now I want a bag.” And to make her behavior just that much more special, she added a wee bit of a snarl to her smile. I handed her the clear plastic bag, trying to keep myself from doing society a future service….

She continues to behave badly in the background with her siblings while waiting with her grandparents and what appears to be aunts and uncles. Mummsy and Daddsy are at my register now with their purchases. Mummsy just looks over to her children and smiles, then looks back at me to pay. I look at her, then look at the demon spawn I just dealt with. I smile and say, “You’ve done such the job raising her.” (note, I didn’t say what a good job she did…)

It went right over her head, of course. Between the bright and shiny of renfaire, all the dialect, all the shopping, and oh, who has time to be a mother these days anyway…. some little girl is going to grow up to be a complete terror to her family. And to everyone else around her.

I’m not going to finish this with the standard “If I had done that when I was a kid… It’s overused and easily tuned out. You may as well start talking about how you walked uphill to school each day, in the snow, barefoot. I will say that these parents that mollycoddle their children will regret doing so someday. They aren’t doing the kids any favors. If they think they’re making life easier for them by lowering expectations, not saying “no”, or softening each little blow life gives them, the kids will never learn about the cruel realities of life when they eventually get out there on their own.

Or maybe they just want these kids to live with them forever… :/

I’m going back to Droid.

I loved my iPhone, but I’ve had it after this last update. I’m going back to Droid, just as soon as I possibly can.

I have an iPhone 6S Plus. Up until now, I’ve been quite happy with my phone. I was one of those iPhone users who loved the product. In fact, I saw no need to go to the next version when 7 came out (especially since they saw no need to include a headphone jack). I’ve been using an iPhone since about 2011 and I’ve had no complaints … until now.

Apple recently released the 10.0.2 software upgrade. I had no desire to install this update; at least, not immediately. I wanted to read about it, see if there were any bugs … you know, approach it with the usual caution we always take with an update to our hardware. So I kept saying “No”, and postponing the update.

I know for a fact I never accepted the update, nor did I hit the wrong option and tell it to install.

Saturday night I left my phone on the charger. It was also connected to wi-fi, of course. I checked my emails, and, of course, I received the prompt to update my phone (again). I told it no (again). I put the phone down and decided to get some sleep.

The next morning, LO! I had a shiny new version of the iOS on my phone. A version I neither approved nor wanted. A version from an update that was forced on me, just as Windows 10 was forced on users without their approval. Yeah, that’s a whole ‘nother rant, right there…

I’ve installed updates I didn’t like before, and I’ve adapted. I couldn’t work with this one. The features of the phone were not user friendly or intuitive.  Some features were no longer available; some had been moved and were difficult to find. The battery life drastically lowered, overnight. Oh, and let’s not forget – I didn’t choose to install it in the first place.

Of course, Apple doesn’t have a “rollback” feature on their updates. You can backup your phone to iCloud all day, but even when you restore your backups, it’s on the new version of the iOS.

Everything about the new update just made me want to rage scream and smash my phone.

noooooooo

But I knew I was stuck with it. Getting a new phone isn’t in the budget right now and even if it was, I shouldn’t have to do this, goddamnit!! I didn’t ask for the goddamn upgrade!!!

After a lengthy search online, I did find a jailbreak to kinda’ get my phone back to where it was. The problem was, I lost about half my apps, and some of my calendar data. This, of course, wasn’t a supported solution. Apple wasn’t going to help me with this, so I didn’t bother. I did; however, bother to call them and give them an earful about the goddamn upgrade. I actually got sent to someone who does their customer recovery and takes product feedback. I told him the only little silver lining in this mess is that I don’t have the iPhone 7. At least my phone has a headphone jack.

Apple – I never said “Yes”. I never gave my consent. You forced your crappy update on my phone and there’s nothing I can do about it. Oh… but I can.

I can tell everyone who asks me if I’m happy with my iPhone just what I think.

screw-you-apple

 

Suddenly, parents need Special Parking??

I’ll preface this post with a grow-the-fuck-up to all those parents out there who won’t agree with me on this.

How many of you have seen these signs in the grocery store parking lots, shopping mall parking garages, and other areas where it is difficult to find parking?

Families With Children Parking Sign

You might find something similar. You know, Reserved for Expectant Mothers, or Reserved for Parents with Infants. You get the idea.

What special snowflake came up with this batshit crazy idea? I mean, seriously. If you can’t handle getting from your car to the store with your kid(s), maybe you shouldn’t be a parent. Need special parking close to the front door because you’re pregnant??? OMFG, PLEASE!!! That’s when you need to be walking and exercising, bitch! Put your phone down, get off of Flakebook, and walk for a little bit. Do something good for that baby growing inside of you. Try to be a good mother now, because you have a hell of a lot of work in front of you after that baby gets here.

Let’s face it, people. Having children is not a disability. Stop trying to treat it like one and asking for special parking, ok?

‘Cause, tell ya’ what. As long as I see these signs at the grocery store and the spots are available, I’m gonna’ park there.

I did it today. I went to the local HEB just to buy beer.

Hooray Beer

I come out with my six-pack to my empty car and get the stink eye from a mother with her bratty child who’s whining and screaming already (and he isn’t even in the store yet). I stopped and looked at her with the raised eyebrow.

She walked away.

I Am Not Allowed To People Today

It is Sunday; the last day of a major comic/sci-fi festival, and I’ve been working with the public all weekend. My husband sells swords at these conventions. By the time I make it to the last day, I really shouldn’t be allowed to be around people, much less talk to them. Yet they put me over here on the table with the very sharp katanas, the licensed reproduction pieces, and the huge Buster Sword from Final Fantasy 7.

I have sharp, pointy objects right here in front of me. Really, I am not allowed to “People” today, at all.

stabby_mcstab_stab__p_by_deidarapanther-d3jmgn4

 

Things That Make Me Feel Stabby Today

1. Is this sword real?

Please do not ask me this question. Are they not tangible? Can you not reach out and touch them? Do not proceed to be offended by my dripping sarcasm when I have heard this question all weekend and give you one of the following responses:

  • “What swords? I see no swords here.”
  • “No, they are not real. They are chocolate, wrapped in foil, made to look like swords. Please, bite into one.”
  • “Oh good! The drugs are kicking in! How do you feel?”
  • “No, they aren’t. In fact, the table isn’t, either. We tried to ease your transition when you were checked in, but I feel it necessary to tell you that you are, in fact, in a padded cell.”

2. Bad Parenting

Come on, people. If you have kids, teach them a little respect and make sure they know their manners. I have signs all over my shop saying “Do not touch unless you are 18 years old or older.” Don’t let your brood of children go handling the product anyway, especially when you know they’re going to get their fingerprints all over the blades and probably going to cut themselves. Oh, and then you’re going to blame me because I can’t watch all of your kids.

As for respect… teach your children that it is extremely rude to disrespect a vendor’s product, especially when they know nothing about it. To look at a folded steel katana on display, complete with its own “pedigree” that was signed by the maker and comment that $600 is a bit much for “a sword that’s almost real” (when I haven’t even made a sarcastic remark about whether a sword was real or not) will only show how ignorant your child is, and how poor of a job you have done as a parent.

3. Expecting Something for Nothing

Did you see my product at another vendor’s booth? Was this person really selling the same item for half of what I’ve got it marked? And you expect me to meet that price? Or beat it? So you want me to basically sell it to you at cost, or take a loss.

3a. Oh, and don’t lie to me about that vendor…

Yeah, we vendors do travel show to show and we do get to know each other. We develop relationships. We talk to each other. That vendor you told me about? I know that person. I know he’s selling that same item and I know exactly what he’s selling it for. When you leave my booth I’m going to see him to give him a heads up that you’re going between the two of us saying one is undercutting the other. Because I know you’re about to go to him next and tell him the same thing about me.

4. Dont. Touch. The Blade.

I have folded steel katanas in front of me. I have 1040 carbon steel in front of me. I have weapons priced $300 and up on display that you may pick up, look at, and unsheathe for a closer inspection. However, anyone who knows about these weapons will know that you cannot touch the blade. The oils from your fingers will promote rust and damage the blade. I understand you may not know this, and I’m happy to explain it to you. But after I’ve told you, I don’t understand why you insist on touching the blade anyway. See, now I have to get the cleaning cloth and wipe down every blade you’ve touched, getting all your fingerprints off.

Also, every time you touch these weapons you risk cutting yourself. I’m not talking a small cut. We’re talking stitches here. One festival we were at, a customer had to leave to get stitches in his hand where he sliced himself open. Stitches on the inside first, then the outside. Yeah, he did himself up really good. But I will guarantee you it will be a clean cut. Just do me a favor, will you? Don’t sheath the katana or the sword after you’ve blooded yourself. I can easily clean your blood off the blade, but I can’t get your blood out of anything else. Don’t ruin my product, please.

And above all, don’t be an idiot.

5. Are These Dangerous?

Or, “Are these sharp,” or any other variation on this question. I can’t answer this question with a definite yes or no. By Sunday, I won’t answer this question at all. Any weapon in front of me is dangerous, and you are treading on thin ice by breathing in front of me. I’m wearing sunglasses because the lights hurt my eyes. There is not enough coffee and my migraine meds are in my suitcase, in the car. All I want to do is take one of the throwing axes and use you for target practice. You tell me if they’re dangerous.

6. Ignoring the Signs

I have signs posted all over the shop that clearly state, “You must be 18 years old or older to touch the weaponry.” You are old enough to read. I know you can read because you are making comments about the prices. You are twelve. Get your juvenile paws off of my swords.

grumpycat3

The day is almost over now. I am still here. I haven’t killed or maimed anyone yet, so that is a plus. I managed to sell the Buster Sword, so I don’t have to deal with those questions anymore. Perhaps this day is looking up.

Screw-Verse

I’ve been a loyal AT&T customer for a very long time. Probably longer than most other people, I would imagine, although I could be wrong.

I was with AT&T when they were Southwestern Bell Wireless, and that was 18 years ago. I saw them through Cingular Wireless and into AT&T, and I was among the first of the customer base in North Texas to sign up for U-Verse when they rolled out fiber optic. While many have experienced poor customer service through AT&T I’ve always said I’ve been lucky and never had those experiences.

All that has changed. Since early March I’ve had so many problems with these people I feel as though I’m now paying for the 18 years of stellar service I’ve received all at once. I’ve finally hit that point of rage with AT&T. I’ve joined the ranks of dissatisfied customers.

UVerseRageGuy

 

Around the beginning of March, we came home from a trip to Dallas only to find that our neighbor’s tree had fallen in his back yard earlier that day, taking down the phone and power lines. Evidently, we missed one heck of a storm. I had to call AT&T to report the issue. Evidently, no one else had made the call. Unfortunately, they sent an “inside” tech out to fix the problem, when it was clear it was an outside issue at the time. I mean, seriously…. the power lines were down in my back yard. I already had to wait for two days for someone to come out on this problem. I was livid he couldn’t do anything now that he was here. I called support again and was in “customer-from-hell” mode. They managed to send the appropriate tech out within an hour and we got service that day (March 10th). However…

It should be noted that the outside tech they sent out routed us to a different node (or did something…) until the damage could be repaired. Prior to the outage, we were getting the download speeds we were paying for (18mbps, or roughly thereabouts). After his visit the speeds varied anywhere between 6mbps to 14mbps, but more often than not, our signal would drop completely. Sometimes we would go 30 minutes without being able to connect, then we’d get a very slow connection. But if we tried again, it would be fine. It had no pattern; no rhyme or reason, no possible way to troubleshoot.

I’ve had inside techs out here trying to fix the problem. I’ve called AT&T support trying to get help over the phone. The people I get on the phone don’t know what they’re doing. They’re following a script and they take me through steps I’ve already done. They don’t listen to me when I tell them this isn’t machine specific, nor is it related to a computer at all (we experience it on the Roku as well). I’ve had one phone tech ignore my request to speak with her manager. I’ve finally just had it. Every time I think about calling them I just want to throw my phone.

I did find out one very important thing: We have U-verse in my neighborhood but they aren’t running it on fiber optic cable. They’re still using the 30+ year old copper wire. I didn’t think they could install U-Verse in an area that wasn’t fiber optic yet. When U-Verse first launched, I remember hearing it was designed for fiber optic. Oh, and they don’t have an ETA on when my neighborhood is getting fiber optic, either, btw…

gtfo-rage

I called Comcast yesterday. We have an installation appointment for this Friday. I’m so looking forward to that next call to AT&T.