Ghost power

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Weird thing occured today. I am working away in my home office (aka the garage) when I notice something out of the corner of my eye that isn’t right…

Sitting on a shelf to my right is a Lighthouse 400 lantern made by Goal Zero. I have had a couple years and have used is less that a handful of times. I bought it from someone who received it as a gift and didn’t want it. It was in the sealed original packaging when I picked it up.

It caught my attention because it was on, while sitting on the shelf.

It wasn’t that way when I started work this morning.

It caught my attention in my periphial vision because it was blinking slightly and then just came on.

Now, mind you, the power switch for the lantern is not on. It hasn’t been powered on. As it sits next to me now, it is in the off position.

I can turn the lantern on to the right to use both LED lights and return it to the off position. The light stays on. I can turn the lantern on to the left and use only one of the LED lights and return it to the off position. The light stays on.

I have no idea what is going on.

I searched the internet to see if someone else has had a similar issue. I only found one instance and it was a different model and it was after the person had physically turned on the lantern themselves.

So bizarre.

I have contacted the company but haven’t heard back yet.

For now, I am going to leave the thing on an open concrete floor in the garage in case it decides to set itself on fire too…

Bottom flavors

OK, first world problem here….but dang it already, something needs to be done about this!

Raise your hand if you have gone to Dairy Queen and ordered a Blizzard of your favorite flavor. My favorite flavor happens to be Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but that isn’t really the point here. In this case I am going to Piss and Moan about, I ordered the new Drumstick with Peanuts flavor. Again, that is not really the point here.

The REAL point here is that when you order a Blizzard and you are enjoying it because of all the tasty flavor pieces in the ice cream is just awesome, only to get to the bottom of the Blizzard and find no flavor whatsoever. NONE! Two-thirds of the Blizzard cup is a great blend of vanilla ice cream and whatever flavor you ordered, but the bottom third of the cup is just plain vanilla ice cream.

This is rather irritating. No, not rather, it is very irritating.

I want flavor ALL THE WAY to the bottom.

This can’t be that hard of a thing to do. Seriously, DQ, get it right.

Put a scoop of flavor on the bottom of the cup, put in some ice cream, another layer of flavor, more ice cream, final layer of flavor. Mix.

See how easy that would be to solve this seriously tasteless bottom of the Blizzard issue? Who the heck is over there in the corporate offices letting this happen? I am sure it has been an issue for years and years, so why haven’t they solved it? I’ll tell you why. Because they don’t care. People still buy the things and the outrage hasn’t been enough to make them listen.

It’s time to boycott Blizzards and DQ until they fix this. No more. It’s the 21st century and technology exists to fix it. It has to be possible.

Boycott Blizzards and DQ.

Tweet it on Twitter. Tik Tok it. Post it on social media everywhere. Gram it on Instagram. Make a story on your choice of social media.

Make it go viral.

That’s the only way they will listen.

Towel throwing

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At what point do you just, “Throw in the towel?” Literally, if we throw the towel into the washing machine we don’t know if it will actually get cleaned or not.

At the beginning of March, we bought a Kenmore washing machine from Costco.com. It wasn’t the cheapest model, but it also wasn’t the most expensive. We decided that we didn’t really need something fancy, but one with “triple action” agitation without the agitator sounded good. We had it delivered, mostly because they would haul the old machine away at no charge and then I wouldn’t have to do it.

The new Kenmore washer didn’t work correctly from the very beginning. No matter what I did to it to try and “balance” it, it sounded like there was a body inside of the machine and that it was bouncing around inside the laudry room. When I finally did get it close to balanced it squeaked and squealed like a pig getting chased around it’s pen. It was taking two, sometimes three, “Drain & Spin” cycles to get a load dry enough to even put into the dryer.

I called the repair service. Mind you, this was a new washer and it was only two months into it.

The first guy came out and said it was the drive belt and clutch. Ordered parts. Service is covered by warranty.

Parts arrived. Second guy comes out and says the first guy didn’t actually diagnos the issue correctly and the parts that were ordered weren’t needed. Second guy dug into the machine and said, “I have been doing this a lot of years and I have never seen this part (can’t remember which one he said) in that color. I am going to replace it.” Luckily, he had several parts in his van that he said needed repaired. He left and it supposedly was repaired.

The very next load run through it again sounded like someone was in the machine. Stopped the load, tried to balance it out (which by appearances it looked fine), still banging. More loads. More banging and squealing.

So, today after work, I get to unhook the thing and haul it back to the local Costco.

I have no idea what the plan is to replace it.

Perhaps running water and some rocks in the backyard.

Marry Me

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A movie review. What the heck am I doing while the world burns around us…? I don’t do many of these and I am trying to clean out my “drafts” folder.

I recently watched “Marry Me” on Peacock, because it was free (at least to me). Why not watch a free theatrical release instead of paying too much at the theater? Boy, am I glad I didn’t pay to see it in the theater, not that I would have but you know what I mean.

The movie stars Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson. If you don’t know anything about it, check out the trailer on your preferred search engine. I am not going to do a whole synopsis, but basically it was a Hallmark movie but not on Hallmark. Love, break up, new love, break up, happy ending. Blah blah blah…

What really stuck out to me about this movie wasn’t really the plot line. It was pretty generic and formulaic. What stuck out what the total and complete, blatant, product placement. It was like watching a commercial without watching a commercial!

First and foremost, the movie was basically a two hour music video for JLo’s (latest?) music. She pretty much plays herself, except that she goes by a different name. LOL The glamour, the glitz, the celebrity. All highlighted. Then there was the product placement throughout the movie. It seemed like every 5-10 minutes you were blatantly confronted with a well known product by a company that was using the movie as an advertisement. The characters fawned over the products, played pitch-people for the products on social media, learned about the product from another character, sent or gave products to other characters.

Maybe I’m weird, but I was really distracted by the commercialization in the movie. I kept saying, “There’s another one” and “Wow, that was obvious product placement!” It’s probably a good thing I was watching this at home because the theater likely would have kicked me out because I couldn’t stop talking about how the movie was being used. Obviously, this movie was paid for by a lot of corporate sponsors who all had their brands used directly in the script.

Is the future of movies? Blatant commercials DURING the movie? I have noticed this more and more in TV shows too. We can’t escape any longer.

I hope I didn’t ruin your movie or TV experience by making you more aware of the advertising. I still enjoy both forms of entertainment. This one just struck me with how obscenely obvious it was.

Subtlety has been lost.

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.

Shopping sales

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It seems Black Friday started at the beginning of October this year. I guess we are living, supposedly, in perpetual “Black Friday prices” land for the foreseeable future. Today is Cyber Monday and best I can tell they are just the Black Friday prices recycled. Anyone else feel that’s the way it’s been for the last several years?

Yes, I am paying attention to the sales, though I haven’t yet left the house to go to any…because, why? Why leave home for a sale when you can get the same thing online? “It’s for the experience.” LOL Been there and done that in my younger years. Wasn’t worth it. No one needs that experience. Besides, there isn’t anything that I want that bad.

Oops, did you catch that in the last sentence?

“…anything that I WANT that bad.”

Hence, the problem with shopping the sales this time of year. Anyone else have a hard time not shopping for themselves?

As I look through the various sales, I inevitably find things that I want – either have been looking at in the past and was waiting for a sale or it’s something completely random and I just WANT it.

I typically resist this urge, but at times it is difficult. This time of year sucks because the budget can only handle so much (even with planning) and then all of the sudden I find myself thinking, “It’s on sale? Sweet, just what I have been waiting for!” Half of my browsing is seeing things I want to buy or would buy if I was Christmas shopping.

Anyone else’s shopping dominated by thoughts about just buying stuff for yourself?

It’s a problem and I don’t like it. Not because I don’t have the money, but because my discipline is seriously eroding with each passing moment.

Payment plan

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Just curious here…

What do you think of those “Buy me a coffee” buttons?

Are they annoying? Have you considered “buying a coffee”? Have you “bought a coffee” for anyone?

Do people really make money with those things? WordPress is advertising this type of thing again and I am wondering what people think of this?

What kind of content do you think warrants a “donation”?

Truly curious if you have used them (on your site) or if you have thought about it or if you have have used them (on someone else’s site)?

What do you know?

Start early

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Here comes the flood…

The flood of corporate emails from CEOs and marketing departments and advertising agencies, etc., that are pleading, begging, everyone to “shop early” and “shop often” because of the supply chain issues and the possibility of products not being in stores in time for Christmas.

The basic message, “Buy now. Spend money now. Give us your money now.”

Anyone else baffled by this? I have seen tv commercials pleading the same thing. I see internet ads extolling the “virtue” of shopping now so you don’t lose out on gifts for the holiday.

Not sure if you have noticed (you probably have, you’re not blind), but Christmas started two weeks ago. I am not talking about the “early in, early out” stores like Costco and others that bring in decor early. I am talking about the fact that stores are already promoting “Black Friday” sales.

It makes me curious, though. If I shoot my shot now, what happens when I see something in a month, or two, that I want to get at that time but I already blew my budget because I panicked and bought early, like they would like me to? Oh, wait! That’s what they want to happen. They want us to spend out money now and then forget that we already spent our budget and then overspend as the season continues. They want us to spend the money we don’t have because they enticed us early and often, created a panic buy situation earlier than ever, and then when it comes time to get what we really wanted instead of settling for something we bought early we get ourselves into buying that we can’t afford.

I see what you’re doing here. Unfortunately, so many people don’t have any idea what is going on.

Guess what will happen when we get closer to Christmas? All that product sitting out there on those boats will magically show on shelves everywhere. Just like it would have in every previous year.

Manufactured crisis? (LOL pun intended) It might very well be.

So, are you going to spend your money early or are you going to hold on to it in hopes of actual products you may want (and probably even better sales to get rid of all that stuff that came in “late”?

Better off?

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We’re coming up on an election again – Nov 2. As I look at the ballot sitting on the counter along with the Voter’s Guide, I am forced to stop and think about where we were a year ago. The question that keeps coming up in my mind, am I better off this year than I was last year? Maybe it’s an unfair comparison, maybe it isn’t. How are we to judge our politicians if we don’t look at it through that lens?

There were lots of promises that were made from the Democrats – LOTS of promises about making things better for everyone, if they could just get rid of the evil, orange man in the White House. Well, they were able to swing the vote (one way or another) to get their guy into the office, along with a whole bunch of other offices, with a promise of “Build Back Better” and it’s time to survey the land for improvement.

I don’t see any. None.

We’re coming up on a year and, quite frankly, I am not better off. I am actually noticing a lot of changes that are making life just a little bit more uncomfortable. The changes are slow in most cases, but there are some rather obvious ones that haven’t been slow at all.

I don’t know if you have noticed….of course you have noticed, jeez, you’re not blind…but the cost of EVERYTHING has gone up. Like everything! Automobiles, food, fuel, electronics, you name it. There isn’t a single thing that I have notices where the price has gone down. It’s more expensive to buy anything and everything. Those bills are creeping higher and higher. This wasn’t the case a year ago, so I am not better off there.

The government keeps reaching into my pocket and taking more money. Taxes have gone up on payroll, the ones that already existed before this administration took office (at the national level and the state level). But since then, there have been new taxes (not ones I asked for or voted on) have been added to my paycheck. So, nope, not better off here either.

Here’s something to think about too. About a year ago, most everyone was unvaccinated because the vaccine was just being approved and getting ready for rollout. Hospitalizations were high, but there was no claim that they were overwhelmed at that time. Now, more than 2/3rds of the country is vaccinated and they want to blame everything on the unvaccinated. Supposedly the hospitals are overwhelmed and there is now a mandate for workers to be vaccinated to keep their jobs and businesses want proof of vaccination before you can spend money at their place of business. I am near certain I am not better off now than I was last year at this time.

The media doesn’t report the facts, they report agenda. The “fact checkers” don’t check facts, they check against an agenda. Social media suppresses speech it doesn’t agree with, factual or not. Tolerance, across the board, is at an all time low. Natural rights are being taken away in favor of government granted privileges. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” seems to only apply if you are falling in line with the group-think. Think outside of that, well, you’re a hateful and intolerant bigot and you don’t deserve the same things being claimed all people deserve when they weren’t in charge. Again, I am not better off here either.

The border crisis is at epic proportions. China is flexing it’s muscle across the globe and making things less safe and testing supersonic missiles . There are cyber-spies or hackers under every rock (seemingly) these days. Afghanistan was a freaking disaster, where the Taliban have regained power and a safe haven for terrorists is now open for business again. North Korea is launching more missiles. Iran is doing their own thing with nuclear development, again. The world isn’t getting any safer, so I don’t feel better off on this front either.

Sure, some would argue that the Republicans are blocking everything the Democrats are trying to do to make things better for all
Americans. If they would just let the infrastructure (and other pet projects of the Liberals) bill pass…all I can say to that is that you’re dumb if you think that is the answer. Sure, the infrastructure needs some definite improvement, but you do realize that the money has to come from somewhere, right? The government is either going to reach real deep into your pockets (especially if you’re rich and worked hard for that money or made wise choices to get it) or it will be grabbed from businesses who will pass along the lost revenue due to taxes on to the consumer via higher costs on the goods you buy every day. YOU are going to be paying for that giant price tag, one way or another. So, no, that plan doesn’t really make my life better either.

So, What do you say? Do you like the way things are going so far? Are you truly better off today than you were a year ago?

Whose fault?

Alright, it’s time to find out who is to blame for this stuff. I analyze software as part of my job, but I have always been an analyst of sorts – even as a history teacher. Now, I am all about “root cause” and, frankly, I wanna know who to blame for the travesty that is grossly flavored coffee beans.

Who wakes up one morning and says, “Ya know, I think I would like some carrot cake coffee.” If you thought that, I call BS. This back of coffee grounds showed up by the community coffee maker and now I have to look at it every time I go to get more coffee. Why are they sharing it with others?

So, who is ultimately to blame for the existence of such crap? Is it the person/company that makes the beans, or is it the consumer who actually spends good money on the final product?

Would you buy this…garbage? If you would, WHY would you? I certainly wouldn’t, as I am sure you can tell by now.

Put a vote in to comments about who is to blame, company or consumer? What other gross flavors have you seen on the store shelves and thought, “WTH?”