Entries 400 - 376

ENTRY # 400
DATE:  03/30/2014 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  No more Computer Room privileges for Rigby!!!

     OK. That's it!!! Rigby is now banned from my computer room. She has lost all her computer room privileges!!! After not having a computer in this house for nine months I woke up this morning and the damn thing wouldn't work. Well, actually, the computer itself was fine.... it was the mouse that wouldn't work. No power at all was going to the mouse. After rebooting and then checking and rechecking all the connections I finally noticed that the wire to the mouse was completely severed. Rigby chewed right through it, cutting it cleanly into two pieces. I could not believe it!!! I've had this computer for eight days and she decides to gnaw through the mouse wire. What the hell?!?!?!
     I discovered this at 6:00am this morning. Today is Sunday. I was pissed. I shut the computer off, closed the computer room door and flopped down onto the couch in the living room and proceeded to sulk like a ten-year-old for FOUR HOURS waiting for Staples to open up at 10:00am so I could buy a new friggin' mouse.
     I bought two, dammit!!! I figured with Rigby around having a back-up mouse might be a good idea, LOL. And I also bought a set of wires for the monitor just in case she decides to chew on those too. The mice (mouses?) I bought are wireless so at least that'll be one less wire she can destroy. It's a Logitech unifying mouse... which means that same USB port will operate a wireless keyboard. I think I'll be heading back to Staples soon to get one of those too. That'll get rid of another wire! I think it's definitely a good idea now that I know what she's capable of!!!
     I also bought an eight-foot Cable Zipper as an extra precaution. It's this long plastic tube I can feed all the wires through to help keep them from knotting up behind my desk. Not that I care about a knot of wires..... I bought it solely for Rigby-proofing purposes!!! It can't hurt, right??? So, one of these days - really soon - I have to unplug everything, feed everything through this tube-thing, then hook everything up again. Goody, goody. Oh well... at least I have a mouse that works now.
     Oh, and then, after all this.... I go out to Dunkin' Donuts for coffee and a bagel. I was gone no longer than 15 minutes. I swear, that's all it was... 10, 15 minutes tops.... and I come home and that brand new mouse??? Gone. It was gone!!! When I left for coffee I forgot to close the computer room door and she managed to find the new mouse. Obviously, since the new mouse is no longer tethered to the computer by an annoying wire, she pushed the mouse off my desk into the trash can. Unbelievable!!! She's too much. So, from now on, she's only allowed in this room while I'm sitting in here with her. She can not be trusted. She needs supervision. Her computer room privileges have been completely revoked until she proves to me she can be trusted. Now it's up to me. I have to remember to keep this door closed... at least until all the wires are tucked safely away in the Cable Zipper tube-thingy. Good grief....
     Oh, oh, oh!!! One more thing... before I came home from Staples, I stopped at the Timex Outlet in Shelton and bought TWO new watches!!! They were having a huge sale and I got two for the price of one. Thank God!!! I was so fed up with my old watch I didn't even bring it home with me from the store. I handed it to the girl behind the counter and told her to throw it away, LOL. So... things are lookin' up a little.... I finally have a computer, a new purse, two new watches, the car is paid off..... now I just need a new digital camera and I'll be all set. That's a low priority though. I'm in no hurry for a camera. Maybe in a couple of months I'll start shopping around. We'll see.
     Ciao for now...

ENTRY # 399
DATE:  03/28/2014 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  Got the Title for my car today!!!

     Woooohoooooooooo!!! The Title for my car came today. Found it in the mailbox when I got home from work tonight. That's way cool!!! It's official.... my car is finally mine, LOL!!! Although, I have to look into something.... there's a letter that came with it that says, "To remove Hyundai Motor Finance's security interest from your vehicle's title records, you must submit the enclosed title certificate and/or lien release document to your state's motor vehicle division and apply for issuance of a new title certificate. You should contact your local motor vehicles division for specific instructions." I'm not really sure if this is something I need to do or not. I'm not quite sure what "security interest" means... and if it's something I should be concerned about. The title clearly states me as the owner... and that the first lien-holder is Hyundai with a big stamp that says "Release of Liens" and it's signed.... so I really don't know if I have to deal with Motor Vehicles or not about this. Considering how pleasant those folks are I would definitely like to avoid that.... but.... I dunno. I'm not sure what to do....
     I have an appointment at the dealership on April 5th for an oil change. I think I'll bring this paperwork with me and ask them about it. I'm sure they can explain everything...
     LOL, after FIVE YEARS I finally own my car. Now I'm nervous... some idiot will probably smash into me and total it now that it's finally paid off. That would be just my luck....

ENTRY # 398
DATE:  03/23/2014 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  Up and running!!!

     The new computer is up and running. I am sitting in my computer room right now typing this.... and I gotta tell ya, it feels pretty good. And I must say, even though this computer is three years old, it feels brand new to me. It's faster than my old one, it's quieter and Windows 7 is pretty cool. I still have some poking around to do to learn this new (well, new to me anyway) system but - for the most part - it's not that different from XP. I miss my old screen saver though. It used to be this really cool fish tank that looked totally realistic but I guess that one doesn't come with Windows 7. Instead I'm using the one called "Bubbles." It's kind's cute......
     Oh, and I have Mahjong again!!! I'm so happy!!! I used to love that game!!! I haven't had Mahjong since my first computer -- back in the Windows 98 days -- but, back then, it was called Taipei. LOL, I played Mahjong for almost 4 hours last night!!!
     Ayuh, it's really nice to have a computer again. Definitely not bad for 200 bucks!!! :-)
     After shutting the computer down for the night, my next project was to transfer the contents of my old purse into a new purse. I finally found one that'll do. It's not as big as I would've liked but, hey, it's good enough for now. My old one was getting so ratty I was afraid the bottom was going to fall out of it, LOL. The new one isn't quite big enough to hold a book which is a problem since I carry a book to work every day so I can read on my lunch hour... so, I don't know how long I'll be using this one. We'll see....
     Now I need to get a new watch. That's next on my list!!!

ENTRY # 397
DATE:  03/22/2014 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  A new, used computer...

     I heard from Joe (the computer guy) on Tuesday.... he can't fix my computer either. However, he had a three-year-old computer at his shop that he did some work on for me... and now it's mine!!! The operating system is Windows 7... he loaded a bunch of Microsoft software onto it (Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel, Microsoft Office Publisher, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint), and put in a dial-up modem for me ('cause I refuse to upgrade to DSL or wireless just for email)... and he installed AOL for me too. He also salvaged some files from the old computer and transferred them to this new, used computer.... and he's only charging me 200 bucks for the whole thing! I think that's a pretty good deal! Oh, he's also giving me a mouse and a keyboard 'cause my old mouse and keyboard are not USB so they won't connect to the back of the new tower. I'll be picking up everything in the morning!!! It'll be so nice to check my email in the privacy of my own home!!! Very cool.

ENTRY # 396
DATE:  03/17/2014 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  No luck at Staples...

     Brought the computer down to Staples on Saturday morning. As it turned out, Staples can't fix it. It's just too old and they won't touch it. Well, it's not that they won't, there's just nothing they can do for it. The operating system on it is Windows XP and that version isn't available any more. The next version is Vista... and they don't carry that one any more either. And the next version after that is Windows 7 which, apparently, won't work at all on a computer that's nine years old, LOL. So.... I hit a dead end at Staples. I ended up lugging the damn thing back home with me.
     BUT.... as I was pulling into my driveway I happened to think of the guy who works on all the computers at my shop. His name is Joe and he runs his own computer fix-it shop in Monroe so I called him up and explained everything. He said he'd be willing to take a look at it for me for no charge and I was, like, "I'll be there in 15 minutes!!!" LOL!!!
     I got to his shop at around 1:00pm Saturday afternoon.... and he said he'd run some tests on it and let me know what's what on Monday (which is today). I haven't heard anything from him yet so I'm kind'a guessing that's not a very good sign. Dunno. We'll see. I'll give him a call in the morning, I guess.

ENTRY # 395
DATE:  03/11/2014 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  Credit card is paid off!!!

     Wooohoooooooooo!!! Paid off my damn credit card last night. I called Capital One when I got home from work to get my current balance... which was $1,339.42.... and I gave them 1300 bucks. Technically it's not paid off completely but it's friggin' close enough!!! Then I immediately called Staples and spoke to one of their computer technicians. It looks like I'll be hauling my computer down to them early Saturday morning. Wish me luck!!! I sure hope they can fix it!!! Keep your fingers crossed for me. :-)

ENTRY # 394
DATE:  03/07/2014 (Friday)

     WOOOHOOOOO!!! Check this out.... I, just a moment ago, dropped my very last car payment into the mailbox!!! That friggin' 5-year loan is finally paid off!!! Now I get to start saving up (yeah, right!) for the down-payment on my next car, LOL.
     I have no idea when I'll be getting another car.... I plan on driving this Kia into the ground, LOL!!! If I take real good care of it, I'm hoping it'll last - at least - another five years. I have no idea what kind of cars will be on the market at that point. Right now I really like the Nissan Juke.... it's pretty cool lookin'. I'm sure it's out of my price range but, hey, I can dream, right?
     I wonder how long it's gonna take for my title to show up in the mail??? This car payment wasn't even due until the 19th. I'll be checkin' my mailbox every single day waiting for it!!! Woooooooooohooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

ENTRY # 393
DATE:  02/28/2014 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  Tax refunds got deposited today...

     Had my appointment at H&R Block on February 7th after work.... and both checks have already arrived. In fact, I just deposited them into the checking account today on my lunch hour. Wooooohooooooooo!!! Three dollars shy of 2200 bucks... $1,566.00 Federal and $631.00 from the State. My credit card will be getting about 1300 of that... and I have to start thinking seriously about my computer situation at home. One of these days I have to haul it down to Staples to see if they can fix it. They've gotten me out of a few jams in the past so hopefully they can work their magic for me one more time!!!
     And, of course, the rest of that money will be used to pay the stack of bills on my kitchen counter.... including the damn medical bills for the EKG, the blood work, the breath test and having the Mirena IUD removed. Those total approximately 400 bucks.... and I 'spose I should be thankful that's all it came too. Hell, I figured the bill just for the EKG would be about that much, LOL.
     Gotta run for now... my lunch hour is over. Back to work!!!

ENTRY # 392
DATE:  02/10/2014 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  Duck Dynasty...

     OK... here's the deal... Duck Dynasty is currently in their 5th season right now on A&E and up until two weeks ago I had never been able to sit through an entire episode. Not because I was too busy to do so, but because I just felt like the show wouldn't appeal to me for some reason so I never gave it a fair chance. Well, my boss LOVES the show and talks about it all the time at work. In fact, he talks about it so much, that's what I got him for Christmas -- Duck Dynasty stuff. I got him the board game ('cause he has two kids and I thought they all might enjoy having a "Family Game Night") and a desk calendar. One of my co-workers also bought him some Duck Dynasty drinking glasses and Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD. He was thrilled! Anyway, after hearing him talk about it for sooooooooo long, he finally persuaded me to watch a couple of episodes.
     Oh. My. God. I am now completely hooked on this ridiculous show. A week or two ago I sat in front of my TV and watched it for 3 hours straight.... and I laughed my ass off. These guys are too much!!! I think Uncle Si is my favorite. He is absolutely hilarious. OMG!!! There was one episode when Jase lost his wedding band in the swamp and they went to Si's house looking for a metal detector. They're digging around in his shed and when they finally found it they were like, "Wow, this is a really nice metal detector." At that moment I had taken a fairly large swig of Vitamin Water and then Uncle Si said, "Hey! This here's the same model they used to find the Titanic!" Shit, that entire mouthful of Vitamin Water shot out'a my nose and went clear across the room I laughed so hard!!! Good grief!!!
     I now own seasons 1 through 4 on DVD. I have the "Value Quack Pack" of seasons 1 thru 3... and then I have season 4, purchased separately. Well.... guess what I did ALLLLLL WEEKEND LONG?!?!? I watched seasons 1 through 3 in their entirety in only two days, LOL. And I'll be watching season 4 as soon as I get home from work tonight!!! I am absolutely hooked!!! 100%!!! I can't believe this show has been on for so long and I'm just now getting into it. I'm not all that crazy about the wives.... they're kind'a annoying... except for Miss Kay -- I love her. She's so cute! But the guys.... I love all of them -- Willie, Jep, Jase, Phil, Si, Godwin, Martin.... they're all fantastic!!!
     "Hey, look here, Jack..." from now on, Wednesday night at 10:00pm, my butt will be planted in front of A&E so I can watch the current episodes!!!

ENTRY # 391
DATE:  01/13/2014 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  Alex & Ani...

     Happy belated Hanukkah!!!
     Merry belated Christmas!!!
     Happy belated Kwanzaa!!!
     Happy belated New Year!!!
     And, most importantly, Happy belated Birthday... to me!!! I turned 44 yesterday.
     Sorry for all the belated holiday wishes, but it's hard to stay current when you don't have a computer at your fingertips. Anyway...
     Like I said, my birthday was yesterday. I didn't do much... just kind'a hung around the house watching TV, reading and playing with the cats. My Mom called... Adrienne called... my Dad called... my Uncle Walter called and left me a message on my answering machine... my friend Steve called... and - *GASP* - Jennifer actually called too! I was shocked. I was not expecting to hear from her at all (y'know, like last year). I didn't talk to her though. By the time she called I had my coat on and was heading out the door so I let the machine pick up instead.
     I went out to The Paper Store (which used to be my local Hallmark store) and treated myself to three Alex & Ani bracelets for my birthday. I got the dragonfly, the Capricorn one and one for the Boston Red Sox.
     I don't know how often I'm going to actually wear these bracelets. They make a LOT of noise, LOL. Jeesh, I thought the Pandora/Chamilia bracelets jingled a lot, LOL. They're nothing compared to this Alex & Ani stuff. They're cute though... so... we'll see.
     When I got home I listened to the message Jen left for me. It was your basic "Happy-birthday-give-me-a-call-when-you-can" type message. The last time I spoke to her was back in August 'cause I found out she was in the hospital with pneumonia. We talked for a while but I didn't want to keep her on the phone that long 'cause she really couldn't breathe that well. I called her again on her birthday (September 11th) and left a voicemail. Never heard back from her. I called a second time on her mother's birthday (November 13th) and left another voicemail. Never heard back from her that time either. Honestly, right now, I don't know if I wanna bother returning her call or not, LOL. I'll probably have to leave another voicemail that she won't respond to. I dunno. We'll see. Maybe I'll call her tomorrow when I get home from work.
     That's all for now.... gotta get back to work. And I gotta take these bracelets off. They're driving me crazy, LOL! Ciao for now...

ENTRY # 390
DATE:  12/20/2013 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  Speaking of Jewelry...

     While I'm on the subject of jewelry, I thought I'd mention that I'm - pretty much - done collecting Pandora, Chamilia and Troll beads. Well, I've been done with Troll for quite some time now since their beads don't fit on the Pandora/Chamilia chains... and because I hate the lobster-claw clasp on the Troll bracelet. But it seems I'm done with Pandora and Chamilia too. At least for now. Both of those bracelets are completely full.... and the last two catalogs I've looked through I didn't see anything I wanted. So, unless I decide to buy a third bracelet at some point, that's it.
     I did buy the hot-air balloon bead from Pandora called "Up & Away" that I mentioned in a previous entry. And the last three beads I bought that filled the bracelets are shown below...


     The Red Sox charm is Pandora... and the two Murano glass beads are both Chamilia. The only thing I have room left for is a safety chain for the second bracelet. Damn. Now that I'm thinking about it, I filled both those chains in less than a year. LOL, no wonder I can't afford to buy a computer yet. ;-) Oh well.

ENTRY # 389
DATE:  12/20/2013 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  ShopHQ: Mystic Topaz and Sleeping Beauty Turquoise...

     Back in May (of this year) I posted about some Mystic Topaz rings and earrings I bought after searching online for a gem-stone similar to one my co-worker wears. Well, I'm here today to show you another Mystic Topaz ring I purchased a while ago from the shopping network now known as ShopHQ. They have lots of different shows for jewelry and lots of different folks selling it. My three favorite guys are called "The Three Amigos" and their names are Chuck Clemency, Michael Valitutti and Paul Deasy.
     Anyway, one evening while I was channel surfing, I happened to catch a segment where they were talking about gem-stone eternity bands and I decided to watch it. As it turns out, one of the colors included in the show was Mystic Topaz. It was a beautiful ring so, of course, I bought it. And here's a picture of it:

     Over the next few weeks/months I kept tuning in whenever I knew one of "The Three Amigos" was going to be on. In doing so, I learned all about Sleeping Beauty turquoise. I also learned that I like it... very much. I bought 3 more rings, LOL, all from Paul Deasy's collections...


     The photos really don't do the Sleeping Beauty justice. The color of this particular turquoise is incredible. They call it a Robin's Egg blue.... and, seriously, it's a gorgeous color. Granted, the shades vary a little - from one ring to the next - 'cause they came from different veins in the mine... but, trust me, all three shades I've received so far are exquisite!!!
     I have to stop watching that channel now, LOL. It's way to addicting. And, I gotta tell ya, the "6-month Easy-Pay" option they offer makes it very hard to resist!!! I'll just consider these four new rings Christmas gifts to myself. ;-)

ENTRY # 388
DATE:  11/22/2013 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  Test results, Mirena IUD, Best Buy, and The Big Bang Theory...

     Weird combination of stuff in the subject line, I know, but I'm still writing from work so I have to jumble everything together as quick as I can, LOL.
     First thing I want to mention is the test results from the lab... all the blood work came back normal and so did the breath test for the H.Pylori Urea bacteria. I'm good. Everything is fine. Cool.
     Second thing is... I did have another GERD attack a couple of days ago but, between the elevation-pillow and the Gaviscon, it only lasted about 3 hours and it was very mild. No severe pain like before. So that's good too!!!
     On November 16th, I had an appointment with my gynecologist to have the Mirena IUD removed. When they're inserted, they're good for five years... and my five years was up so out it came. And after seeing the recent adds on TV about how some women are now having problems with the Mirena (i.e. uterus perforation) I did not have another one put in. Who needs that??? I definitely prefer my uterus UNperforated, thank you very much! I'm sure I'll be getting a bill for this doctor's visit too. Goody, goody.
     Still no watch. Still no purse. Still no camera... and still no computer at home. However, I did spend a couple hours at Best Buy the other day talking to a sales person and looking at what's on the market nowadays. I sure hope I can have the old one fixed.... 'cause if I have to buy a whole new system it looks like it's gonna cost me about 1200 bucks. So, um, that sucks!!! The cost of the computer itself isn't that bad, really.... what really sucks is that you have to buy all the software separately. That's what jacks the price up. I remember the good old days when all you had to do was buy the computer and it came with everything already installed on it. Again... I'm gettin' old, LOL
     And one more thing I have to mention before I get back to work. I am totally hooked on The Big Bang Theory. It has become one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I have all 6 seasons on DVD and I can not stop watching it! Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!!! Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj, Penny, Bernadette and Amy make up quite an ensemble. And "BASINGA!" is now the new catch-phrase at work! It's a great show!!!
     Oh, and just in case I don't get the opportunity to post anything next week... Happy Thanksgiving!!! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family!!!

ENTRY # 387
DATE:  11/05/2013 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  GERD: Gastro-Esophageal-Reflux-Disease...

     GERD? What the hell is gerd?? If you don't know, let me tell ya. GERD is gastro-esophageal reflux disease. How do I know this? 'Cause, um, I apparently have it... and have had it for almost three years. It's kind'a like heart burn, but not really. It's a lot worse. And I mean A LOT. It's basically acid reflux in the esophagus, not in the stomach. And it's really, really painful.
     When it hit me the first time (about 3 years ago) I actually thought I was having a heart attack. I sat on my couch, rocking back and forth, waiting for the pain to shoot down my arm (which, thankfully, never happened), debating on whether or not to call for an ambulance. After about 6 hours the chest pain went away.... and I felt perfectly fine... and it never happened again 'til about 6 months later.
     Since then, the attacks have become a little more frequent.... every couple of months - all of a sudden - I'll be in agony for hours. The pain gets so bad, at times, I end up vomiting. Once I throw up, the chest pain usually goes away pretty quick. I've tried Rolaids (which I hate) and I've tried TUMS (which aren't that great either but I'll take them over Rolaids any day), neither of which seems to make a bit of difference. And it doesn't seem to be related to what I'm eating. I've been keeping track of my meals.... and, so far, there doesn't seem to be any food in particular that triggers it. So, yesterday, I took the day off and went to a doctor looking for nothing more than a script for some kind of super-strength indigestion meds that might work...
     Holy crap! What a fiasco! After describing the symptoms to the doctor, she took my blood pressure, poked around a little checking for pain, asked about the foods I eat, then made me say "Ahhhh" as she examined my throat. Everything was fine. Normal. No problem. But then she proceeds to roll in an EKG machine to take pictures of my heart. That's when I freaked out a little bit. I'm laying there, like, "What the hell is this? I came in here for a prescription and you're giving me an EKG?!?!?!" Um.... yikes!!! Luckily, the results of that were normal too. Then I get sent to a lab for blood-work and an "H. Pylori Urea" breath test. Good grief. All those results should be back in a couple of days.
     As of right now, the Doctor is pretty sure G-E-R-D is the problem. She recommended trying "Prilosec OTC"... which means I have to take a pill every day, forever. Super. I'm not crazy about that at all. Why take a pill every day of my life for something that only happens every couple of months??? There has got to be something else I can do.
     After the lab, I headed over to CVS to see if I could find something other than Rolaids, TUMS and Prilosec. I found this stuff called Gaviscon Extra Strength Liquid Antacid. And guess what? Right on the bottle it says, "for fast-acting Heartburn, Indigestion & GERD relief." Ching, ching. SOLD!!! I tried some when I got home and it's kind'a gross... it's basically mint-flavored chalk in a bottle. But - hey - if it'll work I'm willing to choke it down when the time comes. It's way better than taking a pill every day, that's for sure.
     I also have a GERD pillow on order that will enable me to sleep in an elevated position so the acid won't creep up into my esophagus during the night. I'll try that for a while to see if it'll make a difference. Wish me luck!!!
     Ayuh... I'm gettin' old, dammit. Hmmm, now I'm wondering how big the bill is gonna be for the EKG and the blood/breath tests. I do have insurance but I'm sure I'll get nailed for some of the cost. Goody, goody.

ENTRY # 386
DATE:  10/31/2013 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Red Sox win another one!!!

     WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! The Red Sox won the World Series last night (against St. Louis, game 6). Just thought I'd mention it. ;-)
     Oh, and Happy Halloween too.
     Still no camera. Still no computer. Still no watch. Still no purse. But the vacuum cleaner is working again. I was right... it was just the belt so that was a quick fix, as least.
     I'm typing from work so I gotta go. Ciao for now.

ENTRY # 385
DATE:  07/29/2013 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  New cell phone AND a new air conditioner!!!

     Typing from work again so this is gonna be a real quick post to update y'all on the latest...
     Apparently I jinxed myself when I asked "What the hell else is gonna happen?" in my last entry, LOL...
     Two weeks ago the air-conditioner in my bedroom died. When I got home from work it was blowing warm, putrid air instead of nice, crisp, chilly air. Great!!! So I made a mad dash out to Best Buy to get a new one. Ching, ching!!! That was a quick 200 bucks down the drain.... but, at least, the bedroom is cool again, thank God.
     And now there's something wrong with my vacuum cleaner. Tried to use it the other day and it's not sucking up anything. I was so frustrated I just put it back in the closet. I'll deal with that some other time. Between the camera, the computer, the cell phone, and the AC I just don't want to worry about the vacuum. I have a feeling the belt slipped off the track and just needs to be put back on but - y'know what? - screw it! I'll take it apart and fix it whenever. I just don't care.
     And I also need a new watch. The one I'm wearing is getting all rusty and pitted from my perspiration and it's digging into my skin. This is getting ridiculous, LOL. I fixed it temporarily with some clear finger-nail polish but that'll only last so long, I'm sure. The next one I get is gonna have to be all stainless steel so it won't happen again.
     I need to get a new purse soon too. The one I'm using now is falling apart. I've been carrying it around for almost 12 years, LOL, so it's time for a new one anyway.
     But.... I did manage to get a new cell phone. I finally picked up a new one at Best Buy on July 4th. It's another TracFone (like the old Nokia) but this one flips closed, it has a camera and it's supposed to have Internet access but that feature doesn't work. It never connects and no one can figure out why. I don't care though. The phone itself works and that's all I want it for anyway.
     That's all for now. See ya.

ENTRY # 384
DATE:  06/24/2013 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  My computer died!!!

     OMG, OMG, OMG!!! My computer died yesterday. This sucks. I am currently at work writing this. I figured I'd let you all know that I won't be online for a while, I guess. I have no idea how long it's gonna take me to save up enough money for a new computer or to get the dead one fixed. I talked to Staples and they said they MIGHT be able to fix it but they won't know - for sure - until they look at it. Wonderful. It's totally dead. All it says when I turn it on is "Boot Disk Failure. Insert system disk and press enter." Well... guess what? The friggin' computer didn't even come with a system disk so I can't do a damn thing with it. It's basically just a paper-weight right now. This totally sucks.
     So now I have to get a new digital camera ('cause that died back in February when I was taking pictures after Storm Nemo) AND figure out this no-computer problem. Ugh!!!
     Oh, AND, I need to get a new cell phone too 'cause my Nokia is so old the battery won't hold a charge any more. When I turn the damn thing on the battery only lasts about 10 minutes. Good grief....
     Camera... computer... cell phone.... what the hell else is gonna happen???

ENTRY # 383
DATE:  06/01/13 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  From 50 to 90 in Five Days...

     Last week, at this time, it was 50 degrees outside. When I woke up last Saturday and looked out the window I actually saw snowflakes. It's exactly one week later... it's 8:30am right now.... and it's almost 80 degrees out there already. Thursday and Friday (yesterday) the temperatures reached 90 both days. This is ridiculous. It went from 50 to 90 in five days. No wonder my sinuses have been acting up lately. Yikes!!!
     Thank God I put the air-conditioners in when I did. They've both been running steady since Thursday morning. Goody, goody. There goes the electric bill...

ENTRY # 382
DATE:  05/30/13 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Dick-Heads at the Drive-Thru...

     Confession: I eat way too much fast food. I'm a Drive-Thru Junkie, I admit it. Just about every day - whether it's Burger King, McDonald's, Wendy's, Dunkin' Donuts, Taco Bell, Boston Market, you name it - I'm at a drive-thru somewhere picking up something to eat or drink. And I gotta tell ya, the customer service at every drive-thru I visit has declined drastically during the last five years or so. It's awful...
     Gripe #1:  If your company has a drive-thru, you need to make sure the equipment works. I can't tell you how often I pull up to that damn speaker-phone thingy and I either can't hear what you're saying to me or I have to repeat my order three times 'cause you can't hear me. FIX IT!!! It's annoying, dammit!!!
     Gripe #2:  If your company has a drive-thru, you need to man it with employees that actually speak ENGLISH or, at the very least, can speak it CLEARLY. The broken-english combined with the lousy sounding equipment make it nearly impossible for the customers to place their order and/or receive the order correctly.
     Gripe #3:  Let's say I order chicken nuggets and I want a particular dipping sauce. I shouldn't have to pay extra for the dipping sauce. Five nuggets automatically come with one container of sauce. Ten nuggets automatically come with two containers of sauce. Keeping that logic in mind, it would make sense that a twenty-piece order should come with four. Not so in many establishments. They usually only give you three and I, of course, would never notice this until I got home. I have since adopted the habit of checking the bag before I drive off with my food no matter what I order, no matter where I am (because once you combine gripe #1, gripe #2 and gripe #3 the order is never right). There have been many occasions when I have been forced to ask for an additional container of sauce because I was not given the proper nugget/sauce ratio. Usually the person at the window will just grab the flavor of my choice and hand it to me with no trouble. Last week, though, I had to pay 35 cents for it. That's bullshit!!!
     Gripe #4:  If I order a cold drink, I should not have to ask for a straw!!! If I order ice-cream, I should not have to ask for a spoon!!! If I order nuggets, I should not have to order extra sauce!!! If I order a salad, I should not have to check to make sure the salad dressing was put in the bag!!! And, this is a no-brainer, folks... no matter what I order, I should not have to ask for napkins, dammit!!! What is it with the napkins??? They are not made of gold, people!!! GIVE ME MY NAPKINS. Just put the shit in the bag that belongs in the bag!!! What the hell are you thinking??? I am in my car. That's why I'm at the drive-thru in the first place. I'm driving. I am not at my house where I have all these necessary supplies to eat with. Am I supposed to eat my little chocolate sundae with my fingers 'cause you didn't give me a spoon??? And if you DO expect me to eat it with my fingers then where are the friggin' napkins, you asshole?!?!?!
     Gripe #5:  If I happen to order a donut that has a topping on it (whether it be sprinkles, hazelnut glaze, chocolate, or whatever), that donut should not be placed in the bag top-side down. When the donut is removed from the bag, guess what? The topping is stuck to the bottom of the bag and my donut is now naked. What the hell?!?!? Put the donut in the bag properly. This is common sense people!!! Oh wait. I forgot. You can hardly speak English so you probably didn't understand that part during your so-called training, right? My bad. Sorry. I'll let that one slide for now and just use my finger to scrape the bottom of the bag then smear the topping back onto the donut where it belongs. Oh wait... can't do that either 'cause I don't have any napkins. Thanks a lot, Einstein.
     Gripe #6:  Once you hire an employee to work at your fast-food joint - whether they speak English or not; whether they are working the drive-thru or not - please train them accordingly so they are, at least, familiar with the food and beverages you sell. If I pull up to a Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru I should not have to explain what I mean by "The Great One." Granted, not all Dunkin' Donuts [still] use the actual cup that says "The Great One" on it, but that's no excuse. The extra large coffee is called The Great One no matter what logo is printed on the cup. Doesn't matter. The employee should know what a Great One is. Duh!!!!!
     Gripe #7:  I don't carry cash. Ever. I pay for just about everything with my debit card. Even if it's just a cup of coffee, out comes the debit card. That's how most people roll nowadays. So... a wallet full of receipts is commonplace. In fact, it's so common now, most drive-thru windows have little signs in them that say "If this amount doesn't match your receipt please ask for a manager," or sometimes you'll see "If you didn't receive a receipt your order is free." That one is rare but I have seen it occasionally. It's just one of those non-spoken rules. You pay with any kind of plastic, you get a receipt. Period. Why, then, do I have to CONSTANTLY remind the idiot working the drive-thru for my receipt??? I just don't get it. The damn receipt prints out of their register automatically anyway, whether I ask for it or not. I see them tear it off - and if I don't ask for it immediately - they proceed to throw it away while they're waiting for their own store-copy receipt to print out that they stick into the register for their records. GIVE ME MY RECEIPT. I should not have to tell them this.
     Good grief. I could probably ramble on - one gripe after another - if I sit here long enough... but those are the ones that come to mind immediately. I just find it really annoying that common sense [in a lot of people] seems to have vanished.

ENTRY # 381
DATE:  05/28/13 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  Penny Candy???

     OK, so here's a question for ya.... why is "penny candy" still called penny candy? I am 43 years old and during my entire life-span candy has never cost a penny. Not even in the gum-ball machines located outside the grocery stores back in the days of my childhood. And even those machines - when I was around the age of five (c. 1975) - you usually had to put in a quarter to get a gum-ball out (maybe a nickel or a dime if you were lucky enough to find a machine that old, LOL).
     This evening, on my way home from work, I stopped at the gas station "Mini-Mart" to pick up a gallon of milk, some Greek yogurt, a couple bottles of Vitamin Water, an egg-salad sandwich and a pack of cigarettes. When I was standing in line I happened to look down at the candy-rack and spotted an "Old Fashioned Candy" section I had never seen at this Mini-Mart before. I saw a pack of Mint Juleps and grabbed it. The name of the company on the package is The Penny Candy Store. This package contains 16 individually wrapped candies (very similar to what today's Now-N-Laters look like) and it definitely did not cost 16 cents, LOL. It was $2.49, plus tax of course. That comes out to approximately 16 cents per piece. Hmmm.... so much for "penny candy." ;-)
     I think the only time I've ever seen any genuine penny candy is during the old re-runs of Little House on the Prairie when Laura would walk over to Olsen's Store with five cents clasped in her hand (which she had managed to "save up" over time) and come out clasping a paper sack full of sweets.
     This is 2013... Dollar Candy is more like it, LOL.
     Oh, in case you're interested, here's a link to the company that makes those Mint Julep candies I bought:
The Penny Candy Store. Maybe that'll satisfy your sweet tooth for a while. Have fun browsing! You will need more than a penny though. ;-)

ENTRY # 380
DATE:  05/26/13 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  Nothing from Jen...

     Well, as of today, it's been two weeks since I called and left Jennifer a message asking her to call me back. Nothing yet... :-(
     I don't get it.

ENTRY # 379
DATE:  05/25/13 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  Snowflakes??? WTF???

     OK, here's the deal... it's May 25th. Memorial Day Weekend. 27 days away from the Summer Solstice. Both my air-conditioners are in the windows. My freezer is full of ice-cubes for the cats. I am ready for summer. And when I woke up this morning and looked out the window it was SNOWING. Granted, it wasn't a lot of snow... nothing stuck to the ground, but still... it was snowing. WTF???
     And yet there are still some people out there that don't believe in Global Warming, LOL. Go figure...

ENTRY # 378
DATE:  05/20/13 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  Another Quick Shout-Out...

     Just wanted to sign-on and post another quick shout-out to my step-father....

Happy Birthday!!!!!

     As mentioned in an earlier post, he turned 70 today and he's not really all that happy about it. He did like the Canoe cologne I found for him though, so that's a good thing. ;-)
     And the three of us had a yummy lunch at Applebee's in Pittsfield yesterday...
     So, hopefully, he'll get over being 70 soon. After all, he's only 24 hours older today than he was yesterday. :-)

ENTRY # 377
DATE:  05/16/13 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Another Gripe About the Weather Channel...

     In a previous entry, a long, long time ago, I remember bitching about a problem I had with the Weather Channel. If anyone is interested it's entry #293 I'm referring too. It's one of my "Random Ramblings" entries where I just vent about a whole bunch of topics - all at once - that are consuming my brain at the time...
     Anyway, I now have another gripe about the Weather Channel that's been bugging me for quite a while. Someone needs to explain this to me, I guess, 'cause I just don't get it...
     What, exactly, is the difference between "Partly Cloudy" and "Mostly Sunny?" They say that, constantly, during the "Local on the 8s" segment when the graph comes up and shows us the week ahead. I mean, seriously folks, think about it.... partly cloudy versus mostly sunny. It's the same friggin' thing!!!
     For example, on Tuesday, it'll say "Partly Cloudy" and the icon displayed is a big, round sun with a few clouds in front of it. And then, on Wednesday, it'll say "Mostly Sunny" and that icon is also a big, round sun with a few clouds in front of it. It's the same forecast for both days.
     If a day is only partly cloudy, then most of that same day is sunny... which equals "Partly Cloudy." If another day is mostly sunny, then only part of that day is cloudy... which also equals "Partly Cloudy." I don't get it. Why do they say "Partly Cloudy" and "Mostly Sunny" when they both mean the exact same thing???
     What they should be saying is "Partly Cloudy" and "Partly Sunny" (or "Mostly Cloudy" and "Mostly Sunny" depending on your personal pessimistic/optimistic viewpoint). Those are two completely different forecasts.
     See? It's little things like this that drive me crazy. They just get into my brain and fester, LOL.

ENTRY # 376
DATE:  05/15/13 (Wednesday)
SUBJECT:  The Hunt for Canoe Aftershave...

     I talked to my Mom last night. My step-father's birthday is on Monday, the 20th, so I'll be spending this Sunday in Massachusetts. He's turning 70 this year and, according to Mom, he's not very happy about it. I already have a card for him. I picked one up about three weeks ago when I was shopping for Mother's Day cards. But I asked if I should also bring a present to help cheer him up a little. My Mom suggested Canoe aftershave. She said it's hard to find but that she can sometimes find it at a drug store. I asked if it was expensive... and she said no, it should be around 15 bucks. The cost doesn't make much difference usually but, this week in particular, I'm kind'a broke. I get paid tomorrow so that'll help a great deal. But 15 bucks? I can swing that. No problem.
     The fact that I have never heard of Canoe should have sent up a red flag but it didn't. And the fact that my Mom said "it's hard to find" should've sent up another red flag but, again, it didn't. I figured, big deal, it's aftershave, how hard could it be??? Ha, ha, ha...
     I have just spent the last 3 and a half hours driving all over the place trying to find this stuff. I stopped at eleven stores. Not two stores. Not seven stores. ELEVEN different stores!!! She said "drugstore" so I started there. I hit two different CVSs, two different Walgreens, one RiteAide and then Rotary Drugs. No aftershave. Then I broadened the search. I hit Marshalls, Wal*Mart, and Big Lots. Still no aftershave. Then I hit Macy's and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Nothing. The guy at Macy's had never even heard of the stuff and their "Men's Fragrances Department" is gigantic!!! No lie, it's bigger than my entire apartment.
     I found one 4 ounce bottle of Canoe Eau De Toilette Splash at the second CVS I was at. Well, I didn't know what "Splash" was so I bought it just in case I couldn't find something that actually said "aftershave" on it. The four-ounce bottle was almost 30 bucks. Fine. That's OK. I later found out - at Macy's - that "splash" is cologne, not aftershave. Fine. Whatever. At least it's something. Then I found a second, smaller bottle (2 ounces) at RiteAide. This smaller bottle is also cologne but it's a spray. So I bought that too in case the splash is to strong. The two-ounce bottle was 20 bucks.
     So... LOL.... eleven stores and 50 bucks later, I still have no true aftershave. He's getting a lot of cologne though. I hope that's gonna be OK. I wish I had known sooner. If I had more notice I could've just ordered an entire gift-set of Canoe aftershave, cologne, soap and deodorant online. Oh well. Too late now...

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