Fury fuel

Trying out something new. I have been playing with the idea for a while and then I thought, “What the hell! I don’t have anything to lose by doing it.”

So, if you click on that Menu button on the upper right of the page, you’ll see a new button to donate via PayPal.

Click on that Menu button!

If you feel led to do so, send me $5 of your hard earned money. I’ll appreciate ever so much!

Just think of it as fuel for my fury.

With just one more cup of coffee I can produce content that will make you think, make you laugh, make you shake your head in disgust, make you see something from a different point of view.

Really. With just $5.

Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Cruise control

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Do you use cruise control in your vehicle when you are on a long drive? Do you like to set it and forget it…until some jackwagon decides that pacing you in your blind spot is a good idea and then you have to cancel your cruise by stepping on your brake?

You know it is inevitable, right? Is that Murphy’s Law or is that bad karma or is it just a coincidence?

I took a road trip this last weekend (12 hours total driving time) and I noticed that just about every time I set the cruise control (about 7-8 mph over the speed limit, mind you) that within about 10 minutes I would have to step on the brake and cancel it.

I was driving across the state, on the east side, where there are long stretches of nothing. It’s just highway – long, flat, some rolly hills, but mostly uninteresting. You would think it would be a great place to just set the cruise control and just drive.

Nope.

Seemingly without fail, about the time I would need to pass someone on the left there would be a car pacing me, in my blind spot, and not allowing me to change lanes.

It’s almost as if they were doing it on purpose. Miles and miles and miles of unobstructed driving until that moment.

And instead of recognizing what is about to happen in front of or next to them and speeding up just a little so as to not have to slow down themselves, they just keep their own pace and make me break mine. Jackwagon.

Do people realize you can step on the gas while cruise control is on and speed up and it DOES NOT cancel your cruis control or change your speed? No need to reset it. No need to click Resume. The vehicle just returns to the speed you set it for. Kinda like magic.

But instead, it would appear people like to annoy the hell outta me (and probably others too).

That just figures.

Locked out

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Buying a car from an auto dealership and using the service department is one of the biggest jokes that can be played on a consumer. They tell you when you buy the car that you have a warranty, you have lifetime oil changes, you have access to loaner cars if needed…they tell you a lot of things.

What they don’t tell you is that they are severely understaffed (which has only gotten worse). What they don’t tell you is that their service department hours are limited to the hours you are working (no weekends), so it makes it virtually impossible to schedule even routine maintenance without having to take time off. What they don’t tell you is that they don’t really have loaner cars, just that they will get a rental for you IF they deem it necessary.

So, the long story…

I bought a 2018 Kia Niro almost four years ago. I like the car. I really haven’t had any issues with it up to this point. But, the routine maintenance has been a challenge for the reasons listed above. It’s just hard to schedule an appointment.

About three or so months ago, the car started to give me issues when unlocking the car. Initially, the car wouldn’t recognize when I walked up to it (mirrors open and lights come on). The keyfob is the trigger for this function so I started keeping my eye on how often it would happen. It slowly began to progress to the point that pushing the button on the keyfob wouldn’t unlock the car. Pushing the button on the door handle wouldn’t unlock the car. Eventually, after pushing the buttons for several minutes, it would eventually unlock.

It did what most people would do and I assumed the battery in the keyfob was going dead. Afterall, it’s been four years with lots of use. I was actually surprised it took so long for it to be needed. So, I replaced the battery.

Did is solve the issues? Nope. It seemed to have made them worse.

Not only was it still difficult to get the doors unlocked, but now suddenly the car wouldn’t start! The car is a push button start, so there is no auxillary ignition slot for a key. Now I was getting a message that the keyfob needed to be in the car – while I was holding it while inside the car! Again, after furious button pushing, eventually it would start. But now I am wondering when I would be stranded for good if something didn’t happen soon…

So, I took the car to the dealership (last Wednesday) to see if they knew if there as an issue that was something fairly easy. They initially discussed that the keyfob might need to be reprogrammed to the car.

Cost? Approximately $75…

Mind you, there is NO OTHER WAY to start the car as there is no key. The keyfob is the key!! So, it is kinda required equipment. To charge a customer for this is absurd!

I complained loudly. The car is even still under warranty. There should be no charge for this!

They decided they better investigate further and find out if that really is the issue. So, an appointment is needed. Remember the whole schedule thing? Can’t do it and I am afraid I am going to be stranded. Soonest they could get me in would be five days (a Monday) because their “electronics guy” is out for training. They offer to pay for a rental while I wait for the car to be looked at.

OK, I supposed. Whatever.

Monday comes, no call from the dealership.

I call. I am told they are too busy to look for the paperwork, they’ll call me back. Two hours later, I call back. I am now told that the car wasn’t looked at and that the “appointment” wasn’t really an appointment so much as they were going to see if they could squeeze me in. I am told they will for sure get to it tomorrow…Tuesday…as yet, still no call with a status update.

Are car dealerships set up this way just to be a pain in the ass? Does everyone else have an issue with their car dealership after purchasing a car?

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…

Trust the process

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Such a damn cliche. I get tired of hearing it thrown out there when stuff doesn’t go right and it hits the fan….

For me, I trust that the process is screwed and someone is going to have to fix or clean all this crap up.

Can you really trust the process when you saw and predicted the train wreck that follows?

I don’t hate being right, but damn if my track record isn’t near perfect.

Don’t use this phrase. Ever. Seriously.

Bucket of poo

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Well, well, well….this probably falls into the TMI category, but you get to take a look through the window of poop testing. Actually not really “probably,” it does fall into the TMI category but I am wondering if others have had a similar frustration while trying to poop in a bucket for health reasons.

A while back I was notified by the insurance company that I needed to have my colon checked because I turned 50 this year. I made the appointment with my doc and we discussed the options. Basically, there are three ways to do this: every year I can smear some poop on a strip of paper and send it in, or every six years I can poop in a bucket for Cologuard, or I can go the route of every 10 years having an up close and personal inspection of my colon via the colonoscopy. Three options that vary in invasiveness but all get the job done. I went with the second option, poop in a bucket.

Honestly, I didnt’ think it was going to be that big a deal. What I have learned is there is a huge marketing campaign (bigger than just the tv commericials) behind the behind investigation. The paperwork was filled out and short thereafter I started receiving snail mail about the test, emails about the test, text messages about the test, and voicemail messages about the test. Eventually the test showed up and about every 4-7 days I would get a text reminder that I needed to complete the test and send it in.

When I finally felt that I could complete it I read the instructions and went through the uncomfortable process of getting the bucket in the toilet and then making sure my aim was good enough to not make a mess. I completed the test, took the box to a UPS drop off place to make sure it was Next Day Air shipped as required.

Not long after I got a voicemail saying that my sample was not accepted and that I would have to do it again. No reasons given, just call them to have it sent again. Perplexing…

When I called to have another one shipped, I asked why it wasn’t accepted. I figured maybe it didn’t make it there on time. Nope, not the reason. The reason was because “the sample was too heavy.” My assumption is that the sample was too big – apparently they weigh it before testing it and if it is too heavy they just toss it. SMH….never mind the fact that the sample done correctly other than there was “too much.” And you’re telling me that it is completely unusable because there is too much???

Um, are you aware that pooping isn’t a start and stop kind of event? Basically, they want you to poop a little, stop, remove the bucket from the toilet, and then continue pooping. Yeah, about that….WHO DOES THEIR POOPING IN STAGES? Or, I guess the alternative would be to find some kind of utensil to dig around in the bucket to remove excess poo to deposit it into the toilet. Nothing like inspecting your poo before shipping off a bucket of it…

Anyway, there is now another box with a bucket sitting next to the toilet waiting for me to have “just the right size” “movement” to fulfill all their requirements.

Anyone else been frustrated with the requirements of the Cologuard sample process?

Patience tried

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Ya, know? Waiting sucks. Having patience sometimes can be very difficult.

Had a relative have a pretty major, serious surgery today. The person getting having the surgery has had a difficult decade, it seems, and is rather frail so there was some definite risk involved with this surgery. Information about what was happening was slow, and when it finally came time to hear the results it became unbearably silent.

Like, so silent that when the results of the surgery were supposed to be given there was an hour where no one knew what was going on at all. Everyone waiting for word one way or the other….

Thankfully, the relative made it through and the surgery and is now recovering. There is still some danger, but on the road to hopefully being better.

Silence. Patience. Unknown.

It’s hard to handle at times.

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.

Drudging along

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Today marks five days of working from home while miserably sick. Telecommuting has it’s advantages, though I have debated whether or not this is actually one of them.

Sure, I have sick days I could have used. But after being away from work for more than a week because of vacation, taking additional days away because I am sick doesn’t seem fair to my team and for all intents and purposes it hardly seems fair to me…the work load after being gone for vacation was bad enough. Add more because of being sick? It would have been overwhelming!

Sure, working while sick is miserable…on top of already being miserable. But, someone has to make money in the house. Sitting around all day focusing on how miserable I feel doesn’t make me feel better. At least there is some progress being made at work, even though I am not physically AT work. Telecommuting has it’s advantages in that I can still work without being required to take those sick days off. In another setting, I would have had to burn these days. In another job, these days would also go unpaid. That would add a whole level of personal stress so I am thankful for what I have.

However, there have been several times over the last couple of days that I wondered if I was going to be able to keep drudging along. Coughing into a headset while working with a client isn’t a good idea. Constantly sniffling/snorting snot isn’t a good sound. The throbbing in the sinus region pounds out a reminder that says, “Don’t think you’re even close to relief…” The wheezing in the chest, the rattling of gunk down there in the lungs, well, that makes for a pleasant surprise when a cough actually produces something to dispose of. The light headedness after a coughing fit is enjoyable only in the sense that the desire to lay my head on the desk for a brief period of time might lead to a nap…only to remind myself that I am supposed to be working.

I have taken a nap nearly every day during my lunch break. Those are a pleasant reprieve. Only to be awakened by an alarm that says I need to return to work. Damn oppresive alarms….

Anyway, I might be starting to feel better. It’s only been five actual work days, and probably five actual days of being positive (I don’t really know since my symptoms got worse after my last test and I refuse to waste a test if I am nearly 100% positive I know what I have). I’ll test again tomorrow to see what the status is. That’s give me a direction about whether or not I can return to the office early next week. I’ll follow that up with another test on Sunday, just to be sure it is safe.

Keep your heads down.