Late delivery

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Could FedEx possibly be the worst delivery company ever?

I bet there are a few other people asking that question after their orders didn’t get delivered in a timely manner before, during, or after the holidays.

I ordered something that was supposed to be delivered on 12/24/21. Cutting it close to Christmas, but it was actually for a birthday on the 30th so not a big deal. Or so I thought.

Tracking a package these days shouldn’t be all that difficult, but that also seems to be a challenge for FedEx. They has some service called “SmartPost” which apparently has the package transferred to USPS for final delivery, or started with USPS and then transferred to FedEx for final delivery. The explanation on the website is less than helpful.

But here is the kicker of the whole thing.

The package arrived in Kent, WA on 12/20. That’s four days before scheduled delivery. Timing was looking good. Now, keep in mind Kent is approximately 2.5 hours (with traffic) from my home. It’s actually less than that but trying to give some benefit of doubt. Anyway, that’s a Monday and scheduled delivery day was Friday, meaning they had all week (yes, it was the week before all the snow and ice) to make the delivery. But, once it was scanned in at Kent it seemed to have disappeared as there was no more tracking of the package at all.

I was planning on having someone stop by and pick up the package while I was out of town so it could be delivered to the birthday person on time. I waited, and waited, and waited…nothing. Nothing!

I checked all of the following week. Nothing. Not delivered by New Years. Not delivered the day after New Years. No tracking. No alerts. Nothing.

On Monday the 3rd, I checked again before I was going to actually call and raise hell. Suddenly the package had been scanned in the next town and was out for delivery…by FEDEX.

The truck that dropped off the package was FedEx.

WTH?!?

Maybe FedEx just hates me. I shared a video on here way back where the FedEx driver walks through my flower beds to get to the front porch. Not just one driver, but several have done it. So, now an untimely delivery I guess just adds salt to the already irritated wound.

It literally took 13 days to deliver a package that was scanned at one point only 2.5 hours away.

Way to go FedEx. Way to go. You have earned the “Worst delivery service ever” in my book.

Don’t use this company if you care about your packages.

They don’t care about them.

Just saying.

The danger of precedent

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You’re gonna hear about the Supreme Court a lot in the coming days and weeks. They’re hearing a case that could change the course of human events in the U.S. for a long time to come (or not). It really depends on how the court decides the case it heard yesterday, the one about abortion and limiting it.

One of the ways the court makes it’s decisions is based on precedent. Precedent is used to help guide the court in making decisions related to issues of the past. A court obviously can’t really know if a decision they are making in the current day will be used as precedent, but they certainly know in the present when they are using the precedent set by earlier courts.

One of the things about SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) is that it relies heavily on precedents set by previous courts. This is kind of a nod to the fact that those justices have made a correct ruling based on interpretation of the Constitution, intent of the Founders, etc., etc. Therefore, most decisions coming from the court often don’t step on previous decisions and most often don’t overturn precedent.

But, there have been times where that has taken place and it was no small matter.

The best example of a court reversing it’s own precedent (and really the best one to apply now to abortion) is the 1896 case of Plessy vs. Ferguson. The precedent that was set by the court as a result of that case became known as the “separate but equal” doctrine. Essentially it established that, for all intents and purposes, segregation was legal as long as accommodations were equal for both races. Of course, we know the application of that doctrine didn’t really get applied that way and was the basis for all sorts of discriminatory and racist laws. Over and over there challenges to those racist laws and over and over the court upheld decisions in favor of racism simply because the justification was the precedent of Plessy. That precedent would eventually be overturned by a different and later court, which set a new precedent. The 1954 case of Brown vs. The Board of Education turned Plessy on it’s head by deciding in the case that separate was not equal but inherently unequal. Thus, sanctioned and legal racism was stamped out by a future court righting the wrongs of a previous court. There was a new understanding and interpretation and it was decided that the precedent was wrong, so they fixed it and made it right. It took 58 years to make that morally wrong decision, morally right.

Today, some 43 years after the Roe vs. Wade court decision SCOTUS has a chance to right another wrong. A chance to reverse a precedent that has cost millions and millions of human lives – those of unborn children. A chance to stand on what is morally right, saving the lives of babies, instead of standing on what is morally wrong, killing babies. It doesn’t seem like this should be that tough of a decision. But, apparently it is.

Going against public opinion isn’t an easy thing and I am sure it wasn’t that easy in the Brown decision, but it was the right thing to do. Lots of things have changed in 43 years since Roe was decided. Healthcare, medical knowledge, and technology has gotten a lot better in those years, so denying that life starts at conception is backwards as saying the Sun revolves around the Earth.

The arguments from the liberal side of the bench were a little strange yesterday. Sonia Sotomayor is standing on precedent and arguing for maintaining the status quo simple so the court can take on the appearance of legitimacy? Isn’t it less legitimate if it doesn’t correct precedent and right a wrong? To me that seems like a weird argument to make when talking about morally wrong judgements. Can you imagine if the court argued in 1954’s Brown decision that they needed to keep the Plessy precedent to “survive” and remain legitimate?

Anyone else find that strange?

Anyone else care about this topic? What do you think?

Ultimately, precedent can be a positive way to look at pending cases and it can be used as a guide to current issues, but if precedent can’t ever be corrected (despite public opinion) it’s a dangerous thing to stand on.

Proof positive

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Proof positive that Biden’s (and Dem’s) policies don’t work. It’s only taken 10 months for him/them to cripple the economy and all those people who supposedly got a raise in pay are now back to seeing no benefit as that boost is eaten up with higher and higher costs.

What more do you need? What evidence does it take to see that the Dems are actually working against the common man to consolidate power and demand reliance on their benevolence? Proof is in the numbers today. All who voted for the career politician have been duped.

The inflation numbers are being (largely) driven by energy costs. Gas/oil prices are up. Natural gas prices are up. I know this will be hard for some to fathom, but do you think cancelling the Keystone Pipeline isn’t a factor in this? You can bet your ass it is. Yet, the Biden administration didn’t see the impact ahead of what that would do financially to every American’s pocketbook?

We aren’t talking about just a certain industry. This is a cost that affects everyone’s buying power – from food, to goods, to major purchases. If American’s aren’t spending money on things, then that costs business profit. Lost business profit means lost jobs. Lost jobs means even less money to spend. You see how that works right? There’s an endless cycle here. That’s how it works.

Oh, but wait! Less money to spend because of higher costs and lost wages…the expectation is that Americans will turn to the government to make up the difference via handouts and social programs. Those get paid for with higher taxes on those who can afford them. Instead of making/helping Americans become more self-sufficient, it is creating more dependent Americans.

UGH! This is so obvious! How are people not seeing this??

Stop electing people into the government who say the government should solve many or all of our problems.

OK. I guess I am done ranting for now. This probably all doesn’t make sense.

Actually, it probably does make sense to people who can see what is going on…but I can almost guarantee that there are a whole lot of blind people that will deny or ignore what is going on. Pathetic.

Plain and simple.

You reap what you sow.

Remember, remember…

“Remember, remember, the 5th of November…”

Is it weird to celebrate a graphic novel and iconic movie today?

I mean, after all, at one time the dystopian tale of government created viruses, large numbers of deaths, protests, government crackdowns, citizen demands for safety over freedom, increased government surveillance, and finally forced obedience/compliance to a national party/religion seemed like a tale that would never happen in real life. Right? Clearly no one would ever fall into that story or scenario. Right? Has “V for Vendetta” become prophetic?

Well, here we are. I am left thinking that the students I used to show this film to and the way we analyzed it would keep them from doing exactly what I see some of them doing, and actually advocating for the very thing they thought was over-the-top when they watched the film.

How short their memories are…

Maybe we haven’t gotten that far in the U.S., yet. But it may be coming sooner than we think or would like. Maybe they have gotten there in Australia, or New Zealand. It’s weird to watch it on a screen and then watch it from what feels like a world away. Yet, it also feels like we are watching it inch closer and closer in the U.S. Almost as though it is an out-of-body experience. You can watch the events from afar and you can see what is going to happen before it happens, but you can’t do anything about it or you are unable to influence the outcome.

It’s weird, right?

Anyone else see the eerie similarities or is it just me?

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OK, good to know I am not alone in this…

Where’s your line? The government is coming for you and your job. Blind compliance out of fear? Where’s your line? Safety over freedom? What are you begging for? Does the government have to grant it to you? Where’s your line?

Gonna stand up and be counted, or sit down and be quiet?

Tough conversations

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Anyone else tired of having tough conversations?

If you fall into the above category, would you just rather punch people in the throat instead?

Yeah, me too.

If you don’t fall into the above category, would you just rather punch people in the throat than have a conversation?

Yeah, me too.

The truth of the matter is that if you punch someone in the throat, having any conversation is just difficult for them and they just have to listen.

“Conversation had.”

Let’s move on.

Nothing gained

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The fall of Afghanistan was inevitable. The long war there was never really tolerated by the American people and winning over the “Graveyard of Empires” was nearly a lost cause before it started. The intention was to get rid of the bad guys and build a new democracy – necessary to start and noble to finish, but a lost cause in the end.

Afghanistan is a 3rd world country and never will be anything more than that. It has little to no industry. It has little to no agriculture. Wait, let me amend that – little to no useful agriculture. It has little to no history of democracy. There really isn’t any political will inside the country to be anything other than a 3rd world country. The people just want to be left alone, they rely on a religious ideology that is stuck in the Stone Age and impedes on modern progress at every turn.

All political power and will is based on local warlords. Thus, those who gain power and increase it do it mostly through violence, coercion, and bribery. The “elected” president (Karzai) , propped up by the US for so long, was essentially a local warlord who ran the country through bribes and special favors. He sought to increase his own wealth all while giving the illusion that he was working for democracy.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise. The cries from the Afghan people about the corruption started the moment he was elected. But, coming from a patriarchal society based on family units/clans, big and small, is no way to begin a democracy.

Unfortunately, as the Taliban continues to take over a country that has been trained and armed by Western allies (but mostly the US) they are essentially now gaining control over modern weapons. Obviously, this is a great upgrade from using Soviet era arms leftover from the Soviet Union retreating from their lost cause in the ’80s. You can train a people and arm a people, but if they have no will to fight or defend their own country from religious zealots.

As a result, the West will return to a higher level of threat than it has known since 9/11. The world isn’t a safer place.

I feel sorry for the Afghan people who truly dreamed there might be change. Who truly dreamed the US would keep it’s promise. I feel sorry for the women who deserve some freedom, rights, and dignity. I feel sorry for the many, many soldiers (from countries all over the world, but especially American service men and women) who fought and were wounded, physically and mentally, or died while trying to help the country out of their 3rd world status. The ultimate sacrifice was made by many but is seems it was a sacrifice for nothing at this point.

The current American administration, Biden, is to blame for this. Abandoning the people, the promises, and the possibilities has so many echoes of Vietnam it is hard to deny. The images and stories coming from Afghanistan are striking with how similar they are. Once again, the ideal of democracy is abandoned by the American government and the American people that wouldn’t support the effort.

It’s just heartbreaking.

The repercussions will echo for many years to come.

History has repeated itself.

Cliché, but true.

Fear and control

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Here we go again…

Totally predictable.

Fear and control were waning, so they need another variant to blast over the airwaves. Still too many people haven’t subjugated themselves to the shot and no amount of fearmongering will control them, so let’s go back to masking…first we’ll recommend it but eventually we are going to have to force them again.

Good grief, this is all so stupid.

The thin veneer they are operating under is so transparent. Now you have states telling people they have no choice to get the shot or submit to continual testing? Police state much?

Frogs in a slow boiling pot. You’ll are frogs.

Not sheep.

Life will never be back to “normal” if you keep letting them take it from you.

Hypocritical complaints

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I am know I am guilty of it. I am not exempt from it. I’ll admit it. I’ve got some hypocritical complaints about family members. It’s just really rich when someone will point them out to me, but not recognize that they themselves are doing exactly the same thing.

As you can imagine, blended families are a challenge. Actually, challenge may be the wrong word. It’s actually a special kind of hell, really. It’s a love and hate relationship x100. It’s unbearable and maybe survivable. It’s an age old story, but typically you don’t treat your non-biological children the same as you do your biological ones. It’s terrible.

Anyway, the youngest (my bio kid) just moved in after her graduation from high school. The relationship between her and step-mom is strained (at best). Of course, you can imagine all the reasons why…many of the same reasons why my relationship with my non-bios is strained. She can see the obvious differences between how she gets treated and how they get treated.

So, someone last night had the gall to complain about a “missed laundry day” and what we should tell her if she wants to do laundry outside of her designated day. Mind you, two of the three locally living non-bios do laundry at our house on a fairly regular basis even though they don’t actually reside in the house. The suggestion was that she should be told to go to a laundry mat to do her laundry…you can imagine that I pointed out that she does actually live here and that if she chose to do laundry at a time no one else was using the machines and did it in a timely manner so that it didn’t interfere with anyone else, I didn’t see a problem if there was a legitimate reason for missing her designated day.

I caught hell for that.

Heaven forbid that I mention anything about the non-bios and their status of being adults and lived outside the home for more than two years.

Never mind the fact that someone is secretly paying the leftover bills of another non-bio and his family who just moved out of state.

So, hypocritical complaints? Yeah. We have them. I bite my tongue on most of them until I can’t do it any longer.

It’s just laundry. It’s not a bad financial choice that will leave her asking for help years down the road, on a continual basis.

Give it a rest and me a break…

The fine print

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Don’t you just hate it when businesses offer something to their customers, only to find out “the fine print” would exclude you from receiving the offer?

Over the last couple of days I have been considering an upgrade on my cell device, an iPhone 8 Plus. I have done my research and I am ready to make the leap and upgrade to an iPhone 12 Pro. I have been watching the sales, the promotions, and looking at a different carrier so see if that would make a difference in the offer. I am currently with AT&T, and honestly I haven’t had any issues with them other than the cost, which seems steep in comparison to some of the others at the moment.

Anyway, I finally decided to pull the trigger after talking to one of the people at the phone kiosk in Costco. They told me that I could get the iPhone 12 Pro, 256GB, for only about $15/month with a trade-in of my current phone. That basically worked out to about an $800 trade-in value for my 8+. WOW! That’s a pretty good trade, which I have never done in the past because it just wasn’t worth that much and I could get more from selling it myself. Trigger pulled…I started the process.

So, I spend about an hour with the guy and we were most of the way done with the process and then I got, “Oh, wait, I didn’t see in the fine print of the ad that you have to upgrade your phone plan. Are you wanting to do that today too?”

WTF.

Is it “bait & switch”? I don’t really know, but it sure feels like it.

Why the hell do these phone companies give deals to new customers but really don’t care much about retaining their current customers? That is what really rubs me the wrong way. They do very little to incentivize you staying with them. There is no loyalty program – I’ve been their cellular customer for probably close to 20 years. No discounts or special upgrade deals for those who have been with the company for a long period of time.

Ultimately, I am going to end up doing what I have always done. Upgrade and then sell my current device privately.

It could have been so easy, except for that fine print. That fine print always makes easy not easy. It gets you every time.

Hey there

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Hey there! How’s about you have a great weekend…and for those of you in the US, have a great 4th of July!

I have posted far less than normal last month, but things have slowed down now and it looks like there will some time over the summer to work on projects and get caught up on stuff.

With a long weekend coming up, I wanted to wish you all a happy and safe one.

I don’t really care. It just sounds nice. Let’s go with that.

See ya next week!