Going Old School

Old SchoolThe problem I’ve had playing games the past few years, is that as the graphics get better and the game play gets more in-depth…  The less I enjoy it.  It’s been true in many cases for me.

I play a game like say … Thief (1998).  I had a blast playing it.  Next one I got was Thief: Deadly Shadows (2004) and I had an absolute blast.  In so much as I still play it.  Then Thief (2014) came out and it lost its magic.  It is beautiful, but I don’t care for how it plays.

Same thing with Grand Theft Auto.  I started playing GTA III (2001), it was fun.  GTA Vice City (2002) it was a blast from the past, and a blast to play.  GTA San Andreas (2004) was fun.  GTA 4 (2008) was cool, but not as much fun.  GTA 5 the graphics are astounding, but it just doesn’t feel the same.  I love driving the cars.  That’s about it.

It seems I have a very hard time of letting go of games I loved.  New games just don’t do it for me.  God knows I’ve tried endlessly the past few months to find something to enjoy.  I guess I’m no longer a gamer in today’s definition.  Rather I’m an Old School Gamer.

Everyone who knows me, knows I love my World of Warcraft.  As much as I try to quit playing it.  I always end up coming back eventually.  Problem is, just like every other game.  The newer it gets, the less I enjoy it.  I came in when Burning Crusades (2007) was on it’s way out and Wrath of the Lich King (2008) was coming in.  Best two years of gaming ever.  I was crazy for the game.

Then Cataclysm (2010) came out.  I had a pretty good time.  Never made it to the end raid though.  Still haven’t and it’s 2016.  Mists of Pandaria (2012) was launched and I felt something inside me die when I was surrounded by happy bouncy fat pandas.  I spend most of my time on the Timeless Isle for the last six months.  I really didn’t even find it pretty.  Then again, I’m not into asian culture or art/design.  Then Warlords of Dreanor (2014) came out and it almost felt like they were simply rehashing old content and upping the visual aspects.  Sure it involved time travel.  Honestly, if you don’t have a TARDIS, it’s best to leave time travel to The Doctor.  Again, spent most of my time doing Garrison missions and farming Tanaan Jungle.  I only did one WoD dungeon.  Didn’t even care to try the others.  Now here comes Legion (2016).  It’s Burning Crusades all over again.  I wasted $70 on the pre-purchase of the Deluxe Edition.  I have absolutely no interest in trying to relearn my character all over again.  The more they change it, the less I like it.

While I can go back and play my old favorite games to my hearts content, I can’t do it with World of Warcraft.  I have no choice in the matter.  Either I learn to play the way Blizzard wants, or I simply don’t get to play at all.  Or do I 😈

Short URL: http://gden.net/bN

Coming Together

Coming TogetherThings are slowly but every so surely coming together in our home/castle.  It’s not much, but it’s comfortable and we enjoy our time here.  First up is the newest member of the family, Isabel!

She’s about 2 and a half years old.  Hound mix, Schiller Hound perhaps?  It’s hard for me to say.  Her ears don’t match that, but the body shape pretty much seems too.  She’s super friendly and is partially trained.  Can’t sit or stay yet, but does know how to take a walk and comes to her name and understands no and such.  So we’ve got some training to do.

Good lord I need a better camera.

Our place is starting to look more like a home.  No longer are we using the camping chairs.  We have Darla’s couch.  Although I found the camping chairs to be much more comfortable.  And thanks to Vicki, we now have a small kitchen table and chairs 🙂  I’m not a handyman, so likely will never get refinished.  Looking for a 48″ round, fitted tablecloth.  Can’t seem to find any around town, so searching Amazon and such.

Surprisingly that small window AC unit manages to keep this place at a decent temp.  We close off the spare room during the hot months.  Though next year we might get a second one to keep the first from working so hard all the time.  When it’s in the high 80’s and 90’s it struggles some in the afternoon time.

The spare room needs some decorations.  Such as posters.  We’re preparing it for Alexis should she come visit from time to time.  It’s actually hard to find Shinedown or other posters she’d like in podunk nowhere.

I keep the yard looking decent.  For a desert of weeds that is.  The flower garden is done by my mom.  She can’t do it at her new place, so she does it here.  Which is good, as I’d just throw some easy to grow crap in and let nature do the rest.  Darla and I don’t really do gardens.  Next year I hope to get a small gas weed eater.  One thing at a time.  Up next, a new snow blower.  The old one my mom has works decent but it scares me.

Not sure how long we’ll be in this place, but it’s looking like we will renew the lease this winter.  Going to be tough to find anything at the end of January.  Best option we can hope for is to get lucky for a rent-to-own situation.  Long story.   No one really wants to read about that here as it would be in the form of another rant 😉

Edit: The curtains are not ours.  They were left here from the previous tenant.  They will get replaced at some point.

Short URL: http://gden.net/bM

Too simple to bother with…

Ah the beginning of the month.  That time where I take a bunch of calls for the first five days from customers who got that nifty notice our system sends out.

This is an automated note to let you know that the expiration date of the credit card number you have on file, with us, has passed, or will shortly. In almost all cases, your credit card company has sent you a new card, with a new expiration date. Please contact our office and update this information as soon as possible.

It triggers on the first of the month, when the month and year matches the month and year found on our customers credit/debit cards expiration date.  This gives the customer an entire month to call us with their new credit card information.

So the phones are busier from the 1st to the 5th of the month with customers calling to update their info.  Some however, despite the fact we notify them, don’t call until the payment fails on the following month.  Even though the paper included with their new card also says, “Please update your information with your billers.”.  They just activate their cards and move on.  Life is far too busy to be bothered with simple, but mundane tasks.

Then we get much nastier calls during the following month when their payment fails.  Such as:

My card is the same!

Hey, now it’s a month later.  You’ve forgotten about getting your new card.  Sadly our system won’t accept payment if the date on the card doesn’t match what we have.  Especially if it is passed the expiration.  Sure your card number may have remained the same, but not the expiration date.  Now that date has come and gone and we can no longer process your payment.  Like it or not, a simple phone call is needed to update this with us.  Please though, leave your attitude out of the conversation.  It’s not our fault you didn’t call.

Only the date has changed.

Sure, OK.  No problem.   Many times this is the case.  However, when you call, we always ask the same questions so as to keep card processing failures from happening.

  • Does the name on the card still appear as [insert customer name here], such as Henry R Dependett?
  • Is the card still a [MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover]?
  • Does the card still end in [last four digits], 5432?
  • Do you still live at [customer address on file]?

And you can hear the annoyance in the customer’s voice.  Like asking these few questions has somehow interfered with their busy day.  I’m sorry, I’m trying to be thorough so you won’t have to call back angry because your payment was rejected.  I’m not being stern, I’m not raising my voice.  I’m simply asking questions to help you help yourself.

No matter what, some still call back later pissed off because they got another email from us saying their card payment was rejected.  If you look at the images above carefully, you’ll see why.  Generally always happens with the 5 being changed to a 2.  Or vise-versa.  I guess they look similar.  One number is all it takes to make a card fail.  However, I’ve taken calls where the last 8 numbers are different even though I asked them on the previous call if it was right.  I guess they were still looking at the old card.  Still I don’t know why they take it out on me.  I asked.

My bank should’ve notified you!!

Uh… No.  They don’t do that.  That’s why when they send you a new card, there is a paper attached with remindful statements such as, “Please update your information with your billers.”.  Just saying, reading is fundamental.  Again, park your attitude.

I mean I get it.  Some people just can’t be bothered with taking an hour or two out of their busy day to call 3 – 10 businesses or logon to 1 – God-knows-how-many websites and update their credit card information.  You have these setup so you don’t have to call them, or log on to them every month to simply make a payment.  That’s too much work.  Golly gee.  Sorry your life is so horrible.  Goodness knows we try to help by sending you reminders.  Your bank gives you pointers too.  We try to be thorough on the phone.  Yet no matter how hard we try, some folks still call with fire in their eyes and hate in their voice because something went wrong and they got a nasty email or their service was cut off for nonpayment.

Short URL: http://gden.net/bL

What to do? What to do..

ThinkingHere’s that familiar limbo I go through every few months or so.  I love playing online games on my PC.  Though I can’t seem to find joy in the games I have.  I’m forever stuck in “the games I once loved” mode.  Every MMORPG game I find, is either on the new microtransaction system, or has changed the game play so much that you spend an eternity lost in trying to work it.  Microtransactions have murdered any good time you can have in a game.  If you don’t want to spend the money, you don’t get to have the fun.  In every single game I have ever tried that has the microtransaction payment system sucks unless you pony up the dough.  Usually costing more than $15 per month.  Let’s not talk about the time I spent $1100 in one year to play one of those 😠

Sheep FFXIVIt’s actually hard to find a subscription game now.  Even harder when you don’t want it vomiting up anime-dayglow.  Take your Kon’nichiwa and shove it up your Kōmon.  I tried playing Final Fantasy XIV for maybe 6 hours total before I wanted to throw up.  I mean seriously, sheep that look like cotton candy?

There are games that are pay once and no subscription or microtransactions.  Possibly limited microtransactions that do not affect the game play are acceptable.  Basically called Buy to Play.  Though I’ve tried Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2.  Neither tickled my fancy.  I’m currently waiting for Elder Scrolls Online to go on sale on Steam.  That way if I don’t like it, I won’t cry too terribly hard.

Why am I not playing World of Warcraft?  Honestly I’d like to continue playing it.  I just really miss how it used to be.  I love the new graphics, hate the new game play.  Tired of new skill trees on every single expansion.  Tired of leveling up crafting skills in different methods.  New useless activities like Archeology.  Even though they make things easier, they also make it harder.  You no longer have your friends help you learn to play in Dungeons or Raids.  You use tutorials.  They call them Proving Grounds.  Of course I hear they are going away, which of course is pissing off players who take the game far too seriously.  Really?  You need to pass a test and an interview to play games now?  WTF?  Whatever happened to hilarity of trying and failing but having friends who will pick you up and make you stronger?  I miss those days.  I really, really do.  Then there is flying in new expansions.  It is so controversial now.  It’s to the point you don’t enjoy the reward for the work you put in just so you can have it.

I miss the World of Warcraft of yesterday so much.  Nostalrius has the right idea and a damned good one at that.  He ran a Vanilla Warcraft server.  True to it’s origins.  Available to players so they can enjoy the game when they loved it most.  Even better would be a series of servers for each expansion.  (Burning Crusades, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria [for the panda lovers] and so on)  I have very seriously considered playing on Warmane servers.  Though I can’t confirm the legitimacy of their payment system and they offer up increased gold and experience.  I would rather play it as it was meant to be played.  Untouched or unmodified.  However, even if they are on the up and up, it’s only a matter of time before they get hacked or shut down by Blizzard like Nostalrius was.

Many of the new games that aren’t anime on overload, don’t look all that pretty to me.  Seriously.  I guess I love the bright colors and upbeat models.  See for yourself.

Call me a weenie, but I also prefer good old fashioned “tab-targeting“.  Most newer games, like Elder Scrolls Online have adopted “crosshair targeting”.  I’m getting old and don’t move as quick as I used too.  Though I might still be able to kick your ass in the classic Unreal Tournament 😛

So you see, my range of choices are incredibly thin.  Because I want:

  • A Monthly Subscription or Buy to Play
  • Is more Western and not Asian looking
  • Is based in Fantasy (Dragons and such)
  • Would really prefer mounts, especially if they can fly
  • Has tab-targeting

There is one more thing.  Darla has expressed interest in playing games with me.  Although she’s not a computer geek like myself.  So a game that would be easier to learn and not so involved would be nice.  Perhaps limited in the number of skills needed to remember would be good.

Thus my hunt continues.  I’d even be open to non-MMO’s, such as a co-op game.  I hear Fable III might be a good choice.  😕

Short URL: http://gden.net/bK

The Next Expansion

WoW Legion BoxHere we are at the edge of the crucible that is Legion.  Within 3 days the pre-patch begins and the masses will flood the landscape to try out the new content, new skills and of course the Artifact Weapons.  Which seems to be the only real focus everyone cares about.  Sure you can play a Demon Hunter too, but the weapons seems to be all anyone really drools over.  I’ve seen many videos depicting that other classes will be more fun to play.  Shaman seems to be on top for best kick-assery.

I’ve reduced my force back to 7 characters.  All of which I have loved to play for their uniqueness.  My current setup includes a Druid (Balance/Boomkin), Warlock (Destruction), Mage (Frost), Priest (Shadow), Hunter (Beast Master), Shaman (Elemental) and my Death Knight (Frost).  It was 9 with a Rogue and a Paladin, but it’s insane enough to keep up with the seven.

I’ve spent the morning,

  • Saying farewell to my bodyguards and my garrison
  • Closing out all garrison missions
  • Selling off the massive amounts of resources what will be soon fairly obsolete
  • Spending all my garrison resources for several Smuggled Sack of Gold

Using this handy macro helped shorten the insane time it would take doing it one by one and managed to get a couple of achievements doing so: Got My Mind on My Money

/run BuyMerchantItem(27)
/use Smuggled Sack of Gold

Still took nearly an hour doing all toons.  Though I imagine it cut the other way in half in terms of time.

Looking back, I wasn’t really thrilled with Dreanor.  I’ll be happy to visit Stormwind for a few days and pet battle while time ticks by for the switch to flip and we move on to more green.  I’m sick of green.  Fel this and Fel that.  Garrisons were OK, and made me money.  The flying requirements pissed me off to no end.  Sounds like that will continue into Legion despite the hatred Blizzard got for it last time.

I still spend my time in WoW alone, so I don’t do high end raids.  I don’t have end of game gear.  I only play an hour here and there.  Maybe two if I’m lucky.  Still nothing seems to keep my attention like WoW does.

A lot of new games don’t look fluid.  Rift was touted as such great graphics, but I reinstalled it yesterday.  Although I forgot how to play my Mage, the movements don’t look smooth like WoW does.  The attention to detail WoW has.  I have Elder Scrolls Online on my steam wishlist, but won’t pay for the Imperial Version at full price (or the regular for that fact), but I missed the summer sale by a day or two.  Though I found Skyrim to look so dreary.  So can’t imagine that ESO will impress me much.  Besides, I have never taken to a game that is absent of tab targeting.  I’ve yet to find a true free to play that isn’t either pay to win or just sucks.  Then there are the games like ESO where you buy the game and there is no subscription, such as Guild Wars 2.  I hated GW2.  I hated Guild Wars.

The only game I’m fairly interested in that isn’t out yet, is Pantheon.  However, the alpha videos make it looks just as clunky as Rift, if not worse.

I can’t help it.  I like the cartoony look of WoW, it’s fluid motions and detail.  The bright happy colors.  I don’t like that every expansion is change-city.  New skill trees, or talent systems.  New stat systems.  Now it seems gear won’t matter.  A gamer showed us you can play naked and just have your artifact weapon and do PVP just fine.

I can’t say I’m excited for Legion.  But I’ve no idea what else to try.

I’ve tried in the past year:

  • Guild Wars 2
  • Rift
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online
  • Lord of the Rings Online
  • Neverwinter
  • Forsaken World
  • Perfect World (yeah, I was getting desperate)
  • Runes of Magic
  • Lineage II
  • Everquest II
  • Wizard101 (told you, desperate)
  • Alganon

There may have been one or two more, just can’t think of them.

And no I don’t want anything that is arena fighting or PVP.  No DOTA or MOBA.  I like fantasy, medieval stuff similar to WoW, but without all the changes they’ve made.  I’ve seen some Co-op Games, but few have such MMO like play.  Anime looking games make me want to regurgitate.

I’ve even tried to get away from fantasy games and play GTA Online.  It’s pretty much a griefer’s paradise.  May as well call it Douchebags Online.

If Blizzard would ever do nostalgic servers like Vanilla or *ahem* Lich King, I’d be all over that.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Short URL: http://gden.net/bJ

Summer Update

Summer NightsWell summer is finally here and we are looking forward to getting some normalcy around here.  As of this week, I managed to calm down my insane amount of work hours to a basic 40 hours between jobs.  Though one full time job is still something I hope to have soon.  Possibly with decent medical benefits as I’ve had little to no good luck with Obama’s care.  At least I’ve managed to take back my Sundays.  Again.

Even though I don’t have any vision coverage, I got some new glasses.  It’s been over 3 years and while I should have had bifocals, I couldn’t afford them in 2013, so I did single vision lens glasses.  Just took them off to read.  I can’t say I’m all for this progressive lens thing.  I move my eyes about way too much and it’s like being stuck in a funhouse.  Only it’s not so fun.  That and they only give me a small reading area to use and I have to tilt my head back to do it.  So I had to get another, cheap set just for the use of my computer.  Talk about a huge change!  I’ve spent years just not wearing any glasses while sitting at my desk.  Apparently I just got used to things not looking clear as they should.  Now they are clear and it’s like a new world.

Darla has made a full recovery and her life is nearly normal again too.  Working at her new job and enjoying it for the most part.  She’s down to a very respectable size 14 and we’re working on getting her new, more flattering clothing to go with the changes as we can.  Her incision is healing very nicely and will fade to almost nothing in a year or so.

Soon we can begin to enjoy doing summer activities.  Just need to straighten out a few things first.  Perhaps see some concerts or fireworks.  Enjoy a bonfire and toasted marshmallows.  Things we loved as kids and haven’t done in years.  Once again, take time to visit family.  Maybe, just maybe a barbeque will take place.

I also tuned down my side work to strictly web designs and WordPress themes.

Short URL: http://gden.net/bH

What would you do?

Poll

I’m curious what you would choose.  I’ve dealt with having to reprogram and replace products for several years.  Many times people will choose replacement regardless of the product being able to be fixed for free simply so they don’t have to take time out of their day to drive an hour round trip.  I suppose if you really do have a busy life, that’s a good option.  Although, sometimes people choose to cancel service based on the fact their products were found faulty and needed fixing or replacing.  Which would make them have to be without service for several days.  Perhaps even a couple of weeks and likely have to buy new equipment anyway because not everyone includes it with the service.

So let’s say you have a service you pay $30 monthly for.  Such as television, telephone, internet or whatever that is similar.

You purchased your equipment valued at $70 such as a cable box, a fancy home phone, modem or router.

If you had a broken product that could be fixed valued at $70, would you?

  • Drive 30 miles to have it fixed for free. (100%, 2 Votes)
  • Buy a replacement and pay $15 for shipping. (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Get frustrated and change companies. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 2

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If you choose to replace it or cancel service, please let me know your reasoning via the comments below or on the linked Facebook post.

Short URL: http://gden.net/bG

Princesses, Puppies and Pabulum

Darla, Chase and WheatYeah it took me a while to come up with that title.  Fits, but a bit stretched 😉

Darla seems to be making a fast recovery from her surgeries already.  She’s back to work earlier than expected, though I still caution her to not overexert herself.  No matter what her coworkers may try to get her to do.  Like it or not, she’s still healing.

This means I’m going to try to take my Sunday’s back.  Again.  However, the night job boss seems less than willing to even listen to me lately.  I’m averaging just under 60 hours per week and would like to trim it back to the average 40 hours between both jobs.

Darla was diagnosed with Celiac Disease when this all started.  That determination was concluded from a blood test.  Her surgeon never seemed to agree with her Primary Care Provider.  The surgeon did an endoscopic biopsy last week and we found out she in fact, does not have Celiac.  She can eat whatever pleases her.  Which is a good thing.  A gluten-free diet is terribly expensive.  It over doubled our weekly grocery budget.  Much of the products offered taste horrible, is hard to chew and some of it even gives the worst diarrhea imaginable.  So we pity those who must suffer with this.

Also, we are looking to adopt a puppy or dog.  One of the hardest things I ever did was leave my most precious friend behind when I moved from Virginia to Michigan.  You see him pictured above.  When we rescued him from a shelter, his name was Chauncey.  We shortened it to Chase.  He was smart and gorgeous.  A very unique mutt.  He was there to help me through anything and was always glad to see me.  Leaving him behind broke my heart so badly.  It hurt worse than the heart attacks.  I couldn’t find a place that would allow pets, plus he was getting old.  Michigan winters would’ve been really rough on him.  I always question if I made the right call leaving him.  It hurt worse when I took him to the shelter because no one would take him when I offered.  Of course once I did, my ex-wife rescued him.  If he’s still alive, he’s with her.   I hope he’s happy there.  I still think about him daily and miss him like crazy.

It’s been a few years now and I live where I can have pets.  I’m not much of a cat person.  Neither is Darla.  My mom’s cat is cool.  Though a cool cat like her is a rare find.  So we’d rather have a dog.  I miss playing with Chase.  I miss him snuggling up to watch movies with me.  I miss him nudging my hand to let me know he loved me.  Even when the world seemed like it turned its back on me.  He was there.

I know I can’t replace him.  Never expect to.  However finding a dog around here is proving difficult.  The shelter rarely has any dogs.  The only one we’ve seen is a Pitbull mix who was so high strung it was scary.  That and “do not put dog bed in cage” was a sign he’d rip up the house.  I don’t see any postings in the paper or on craigslist.  Everyone who has a dog, says they got it out of town.  So if anyone knows of a dog or puppy who needs a home, let us know.  (or call us of course)  We don’t need a pure breed of any kind.

Short URL: http://gden.net/bF

Then & Now

Then & NowI’ve been a manager before at a couple of different places.  Handling customer concerns, training new employees, hiring and firing and disciplinary measures when needed.  There’s no way I could do that in today’s world.  Even if it wasn’t for the worry of having another heart attack due to the stress it can cause in a fast pace food chain.  If I were in excellent health I would simply be a very hated individual.  Mainly because I would expect the employees to actually do their job.  As I would also expect the other management to set a good example for the crew.

I’ve watched the world change dramatically from the introduction of the internet, computers and the now dominating social media and smart devices.  This past year has been an up close view as to why standards in the convenient food (no fast food place is actually fast anymore) workplace have declined severely in the new age.

Dress Code

Although I don’t know of many places that do this, the place I work at, has no real dress code anymore.  We just got bought by a new franchise owner from out of town.  Since then, the black t-shirts with the company logo and khaki pants/shorts are no longer a requirement.  You can wear what you want.  Hence I’ve seen dirty shirts and jeans and shorts that are all torn up.  In this environment I work, it should at least be clean, decent jeans and a company shirt.  At the very least, look clean wearing clothes with no holes and like you actually care about your job.  For the customer’s sake, fake it.

Poor Cleaning

Many times I will walk into the store and the floors look like they haven’t been mopped in days.  Dirty pans stacked high.  The area where the food is made is a wreck.  If I were the customer walking into a restaurant, the first thing I do is look at the cleanliness.  If it looks like a rat-hole, I tend to walk right back out.  I don’t want my food made in a place where they don’t keep a fairly clean kitchen.  Whatever happened to “clean as you go”.  I remember that being a policy in many employee handbooks over the years.  This is especially annoying when the crew is standing around playing on their phones or chatting with friends, family or coworkers amid the destruction.  My philosophy has always been, “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.”.  It would be different if everything was in order and then they had nothing to do.

Job Description

It doesn’t matter if you are a crew member, driver or manager.  There are things that are expected of every employee.  This way the workload won’t fall squarely on only a few individuals.  You must be able to help make food, box food, prep food, answer phones to take orders, run the cash register, stock the makeline and clean.  If you are weak in any area of your job, it’s the manager’s duty to help you strengthen this weakness so that the employee can be a valued part of the team.

Instead, some employees who manage to show up for work on time and only have to achieve some of the responsibilities to be valued as good enough.  If they don’t want to take orders, operate the register or answer phones; it’s ok to make others drop what they’re doing to pick up the slack.  If they don’t know how to clean the bathrooms or floors, just do a poor job and then the other employees who do those same duties at closing will take care of it.

Honestly that makes for a very unhappy work environment.  If some employees have to make up for the weaknesses of part of the team on a consistent basis, they will feel they have to work twice as hard to make the same paycheck.  Which will make the good employees quit eventually.

Personal Calls and Texts

In the good old days before smartphones, you weren’t allowed to use the company phone for personal phone calls unless it was an emergency or had gotten the manager’s permission prior to making the call.  This kept employees doing what they get paid to do, rather than getting paid to socialize.  Holy hell has that changed.  You hear an alert noise or buzz and someone will drop what they are doing and beeline straight for their phone.  In today’s society you expect that from teenagers as their phone is their world.  God forbid they actually go out and do things.  I digress.  However smartphones and social media have pretty much taken a hold of the world.  Turning people of all ages into helpless minions compelled to answer the all mighty tones and buzzes produced by their pocket devices.  I’ve seen old people text while driving now.  As if they didn’t have trouble behind the wheel.  I digress… again.

In the workplace it’s very detracting to the workflow.  Especially when there’s a lot going on.  Suddenly a noise and grandma stops making food and checks her phone.  She tries to be sly about it and walk around the partial wall where the break table is.  Same goes for the young married man.  His pants vibrate and suddenly he has to use the bathroom.  Right…  Like none of us have a clue what he’s really doing.

I admit I check my phone too, but not when it goes off.  It can ding and buzz all it likes.  It will wait until there’s little to nothing going on.  I use a very standard ideal.  Unless it’s an emergency it can wait.  If it’s a real emergency.  A true bonafide life emergency.  Then don’t call me, call 911 first.  Afterward leave me a text or voicemail and I’ll come as soon as I can.  It won’t help anyone if I just drop what I’m doing to call 911 for you.

Friends and Family

This kills me.  Doesn’t matter if the place is dead or busy.  People wander in and just distract employees by interrupting their work to chat.  Wait, what?  If that happened when I was a manager, I’d ask the offending people to leave if we were busy.  Or if we were slow, I’d ask the employee to take a 15 minute unpaid break.  I’m not about to let someone get paid to just socialize with their friends or family members.  They can do that on their own time.  Are there no standards anymore?  Talk about your personal lives on your own time.  Not the company’s time.

Drama and Facebook

This one is just as bad as the Friends and Family.  There is always some rant about someone’s ex or something that got posted to Facebook.  Who the hell cares?  The employee is there to do a job.  Not worry about social media and relationships.

Overall I know it’s a low paying job, but honestly there has got to be people out there who would actually work for their pay.  Just because you show up, doesn’t mean you should get to just play on your phone, do a half-assed job and socialize while looking like a bum.  While a handful of people do what is expected of them.  While I wish I could bring my concerns up to the person in charge.  I can’t.  The last time I tried, I got a whole lot of hate from that person.  So no rocking the boat for me.  I’ll shut up and endure for now.  I hope to find a new job much like my day job where I get to dress decent and work in a clean office.  This night job is incredibly taxing on me physically.  But hey, my floors look awesome 🙂

Short URL: http://gden.net/bE

It’s been 3 Years

Clock / CalendarToday marks 3 years since I’ve returned to Michigan.  Unfortunately many of my plans haven’t gone as well as I had hoped for.  There has been plenty of obstacles to overcome, death of those I knew but thankfully who weren’t close to me and lots of changes.

On the upside, I’m still alive.  Which is a good thing.  Still have pains in my chest fairly regularly.  Haven’t had the time or the money to even bother with a cardiologist since I’ve been here.  My family doctor has been watching me, knowing I can’t afford things like stress tests and fancy fees.  I’m healthy enough to work, but can’t afford decent health coverage on my wages.  I’m so pissed at Obama and yet our current available replacements don’t look any better.  Can we vote to get new candidates?  I digress.

Sadly some of the things I wanted to really do, like get close to my sons again, hasn’t really worked like I had planned.  I had hoped to move to East Jordan, but it’s hard to find an affordable place and there really isn’t any work for me in that town.  Even if I did, I don’t know if it would help much.  With me working so much, it’s hard to find time.  Though I’m less than an hour away.  Perhaps things will progress this year.  There have been good things happening though, such as Adam and Laura’s Wedding and the birth of my 3 grandsons.  Judah Allen Fowler, Noah Allen Fowler (notice a pattern?) and Hayden LaPradd.  So far I’ve only got to meet the two Fowler’s once, other than that, I’m watching them grow up on Facebook 😐 I so hope for an invite once in a while.

I’m very happy having gotten back to being able to play the drums.  It’s been years upon years since I gave them up.  When I got back, my first tax return afforded me my new drum kit.  Sadly it’s not an acoustic kit, but I’m sure the neighbors are pleased not to hear me practice 😀  I had hoped to build up to doing an actual concert with my talented children.  Still want to do it very much.  I’m not giving up on that yet, but it’s certainly been postponed.  Just one concert though.  Not looking to make a career of it, simply fulfilling a dream.  I’m anxious to share the experience.

I had also hoped to reconnect with old friends.  In this time I haven’t been successful in making any new friends either.  All of my gamer friends have disbanded and moved on to either a game free life or console gaming.  Of which I’m still not into.  I’m still a PC gamer, but try as I may, I’m a lifer when it comes to World of Warcraft.  As before, I’m only playing by myself.  Darla has expressed an interest in playing with me, but hasn’t really put much time into it yet.  We were still working on just moving around before she ended up in surgery.  She hasn’t touched it since.  I even switched back to the Alliance so she wouldn’t have to play ugly monsters 🙂  I don’t play as much though.  Work gets in the way 😉

As it was, finding a part time job was a hell of an adventure and I’m still seeking what I want to do for a career change.  Something with less customer service stupidity would be nice for a change.  Although as of May 22, I had to finally relent not working on Sunday to help sustain our household income while Darla heals from her colectomy and removal of an ovary.  She’s healing quite well, but will be some weeks before she’s strong enough to work again.  Hopefully soon we will be able to go on the long walks we planned to get exercise in.  We have an exercise bike, but getting out of the house while it’s summer would be much nicer.  Even if the town isn’t as pretty as it used to be.

I still don’t find my town as charming and pretty as I once did.  It looks tired and worn out.  The roads are horrible and the maintenance they do is an absolute joke in town.  The interstate got a nice make over between Gaylord and Waters.  Thankfully it’s finally spring, so I have the trees and flowers to distract me from the time worn buildings and trash laden sidewalks.  Seems I’ve pretty much run the gamut on nostalgia around here already.  Didn’t think it would be so lackluster…

The best I’ve experienced since my moving back is Darla and me reconnecting.  Though that hasn’t been without it’s series of challenges and changes.  From our engagement, to the multiple changes in plans and the unfortunate postponement.  My mom seems to love her to death, which is a pleasant change in my life.

All in all it’s been an experience.  Can’t say it’s been good or bad when you add it all up.  It’s clear I still have work to do with my sons.  I just don’t want to force myself into their lives.  I’m not asking anything but forgiveness and acceptance.  I also hope to make some new friends eventually.  As well, I pray for a few more good years in health so I can spend them with Darla and my grandsons as well.  Play my concert and die fulfilled in the knowledge I made some impact in this world.  And leave some good memories for others behind.

Don’t come to my funeral to show how much you cared about me.  Show me how much you care about me now..  While I’m alive.

~ Unknown

Short URL: http://gden.net/bB
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