Monthly Archives: May 2015

Hocking Up A Loogie

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*Gross Topic Alert: If you are squeamish, you might want to skip this one.

I remember joking about this when I was in high school. If someone would cough, we would chime in with, “What? Are you going to hock up a loogie?” I always thought it was a sudden necessity, due to having an excess of phlegm in your throat…a life or death matter, I was sure. And that it would be extremely embarrassing if you ever actually did it. Boys would try doing it on command to impress others, in the same way that they would try to impress with an armpit fart, or conjuring up a huge belch. Well, apparently, the loogie has reached a new level.

I was sitting on my porch on Memorial Day morning, relaxing a bit, and watching the neighborhood. A car pulled up down near the river with a canoe on top, and a young fellow opened the driver’s door and swung his feet out, but stayed seated. Casually, he used his index finger to close off one nostril, and then the other, blowing his nose, sans Kleenex, onto the street between his feet. And then he wiped his nose.

I found myself riveted to his activity, although I was disgusted, and in total disbelief. What could be ok about this? And what was the point of jettisoning his boogers onto the pavement below, if he was going to wipe his nose afterwards anyway? Why not just use the hanky or Kleenex to blow your nose, keeping it personal? What made him need to share his boogers with all of us? And they were even lying there, beneath his feet, as he got out of the car to loosen his canoe and embark on his family holiday outing. I’m sure he had to be stepping on his own boogers. Maybe it was to increase his sure footing when getting into the canoe, providing some adhesive to the bottoms of his shoes???

I realize that blowing your supply of boogers onto the street is not quite the same as hocking up a loogie, but very similar. Both involve phlegm, or mucous, and both say, “I love you, and I want to share something very personal with you, even though you don’t know me.”

In case you haven’t noticed, loogies are everywhere these days. Parking lots, sidewalks, streets, medians…I wouldn’t be surprised if I spotted one on the floor of a store, right in the produce department, or perhaps in front of the deli case. Like the booger sharing canoeist, folks just seem to want to share their bodily fluids with the public at large.

You’ll see them freshly spewed, or slightly dry, and sometimes old enough to just be a spot collecting dirt like a sticky lint brush. Why? Do these people even give a thought to the folks that will be walking along after they have ditched their phlegm, stepping in it? What if you drop your jacket as you’re getting out of your car in a parking space with a fresh deposit? What about someone walking barefoot? Or a small child, intrigued by the shiny blob…kids put everything in their mouths, you know. Eeeeuuuuwww!

Some things should just be private…keep your phlegm to yourselves, please!

Technology Sucks

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Yesterday started out as a pretty good day, then took an abrupt turn for the worse. I just wanted to kick back and watch a movie, but, to make a bad afternoon worse, I ended up sacrificing four hours to tech support. That’s FOUR HOURS of my Sunday…FOUR HOURS of my life, that I’ll never get back. Technology sucks.

Let me first back up to earlier in the week, when I had to get a new modem for my DSL service. I’d been dealing with getting bumped off the internet every couple of days, and finally had made the dreaded call to TDS to see what could be done. The end result of that call was that I was sent a replacement modem, just like my old one. Aside from having to spend about 10 minutes on the phone, all was well. Until I tried to use my ROKU to stream a movie on Saturday night. No go.

So, yesterday I called TDS to see what could be done about this situation. They told me to call ROKU. I called ROKU and spoke with what would be the first of three different tech support people. Let’s call him “Brad”, and let’s just say it was a difficult conversation, and quite lengthy. Brad had me try this and that connection, power cycling, and changes of various settings, and ended up telling me I had to call TDS and tell them to change my DNS settings.

I called TDS back, and told them what Brad at ROKU had told me to do, and they advised strongly against changing my DNS settings, explaining that if I did so, they couldn’t guarantee I would have email and internet service as it was supposed to be. So, I called ROKU back. This time, I got a new tech person. We’ll call her “Stacy”, and she was much easier to understand than Brad had been. Like Brad, she had me try all sorts of different connections, power cycling, and changes of various settings, all to no avail. Stacy took it to the next level, however, and had me on hold a couple of times while she “consulted with her resources” to find a solution. The hold muzak was excruciating at best. The solution was to change my channel, and Stacy assured me this would work.

Having been advised to call back if the last suggestion didn’t solve the problem, I did so, even though I was now about 2.5 hours into this whole ordeal. This time, I got a new tech person again…let’s call her “Leslie”, and I have to say she was the easiest to understand of the three. Leslie, like her cohorts, had me try all of the different connections, power cycling, and changes of settings, this time delving deeper into the advanced settings of my DSL connection.

I get nervous going into the bowels of my computer for any reason, and especially so when being advised to do so by someone I don’t entirely trust as knowledgeable. Although Leslie was a very nice gal, I did not get the feeling she was any more qualified than I myself might be at tech support. She was advising me to try a variety of things, including changing my security settings for my network, changing my password, and eventually, turning off the security altogether. Each of these required me to reconnect to the internet, and then check the ROKU to see if it would connect. Once we started changing security settings and passwords, I got irritable.

Leslie’s bottom line was that I would have to use a different level of security, and a different password that was numeric, or to use no security at all, if I wanted to use my ROKU. I kept asking why this was so difficult if I had the exact same type of modem I had had prior to this, and my ROKU worked just fine. Leslie really couldn’t explain that for me, other than to say it was a compatibility issue. Leslie also suggested I call TDS back, and ask them to fix the situation. I tried to explain to her that TDS had already told me that they don’t do tech support for ROKU, and had told me to call ROKU.

It was at about this time, now four hours into this tech support adventure, that I started to lose patience. It wasn’t Leslie’s fault, necessarily, and she WAS a very nice gal, and I told her this, right before I started a small rant. No, I didn’t want to change my security settings, or my password, or my channel, or my DNS settings. No, I wasn’t going to call TDS back, only to have them tell me to call ROKU back, and end up talking to tech support person #4. By now, I wasn’t going to do anything Leslie or any of her associates told me I had to do. For the moment, I just needed to stew on this, be miserable, and regret having ever called upon the ROKU team of experts.

Fighting the Urge to Scream

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I heard on the news this morning that the big fight last night will pay around $300 million to the two guys who fought. I also heard that some folks paid $10,000 and up to attend this fight. I’m speechless.

I’m not a sportsy person, as you may know. I don’t really follow sports, and I admit to having a chip on my shoulder about the salaries paid to sports figures. That aside, though, I am still ruminating on this whole fight thing. Spoiler alert: I’m going of on another of my sports figures make way too much money rants.

My first thoughts center around how these two guys reached the status point at which their fighting is worth that kind of cash. I remember as a kid, my dad following the sportsy things, and watching tidbits of fights with him. Muhammad Ali was the big name back then, and even he only made a paltry $8 million for his big fight with Larry Holmes in 1980. Since I don’t follow fights, or fighters, I have no idea as to how famous either of the two who fought last night are, but I’m guessing neither of them comes close to the level of fame of Muhammad Ali.

And what about those people who filled the arena, at over $10,000 a pop? Who ARE these people? How are there that many people that have an extra $10,000 laying around? I saw some of them on the news, and they didn’t even look like they were anyone famous…just average folks, it seemed. But it was obviously worth it to them to lay down over $10,000 to watch this fight in person. That’s quite a chunk of the average person’s budget, I’d imagine. I wonder what they went without in order to afford those tickets? And that doesn’t even include all the people who watched it on Pay Per View, or who placed bets on it.

Next, my mind turns to the concept of “earning” $180 million dollars in an hour or so. Yes, fighting can hurt. Black eyes, broken noses, bloody lips, lost teeth, cuts, bruises…I get it. And yes, I’m sure there was a good amount of training for this fight. But come on…$180 million dollars for one fight? And I hear it wasn’t even that exciting of a match.

Then there’s the understanding of what $180 million dollars looks like. I know it’s a lot. Really a lot. But do any of us average Joes have any idea how much money that really is? Or how it might change your lifestyle. You can buy a LOT with $180 million dollars. A whole lot. Cars, houses, pools, vacations, clothing, jewelry, food, politicians, drugs. But then what? MORE of these things?

This brings me to the last part. How is it that we’ve come to this? Some guys who hit each other for a while rake in $300 million to split between them. Lots of people spent lots of money on this fight. And yet, we have huge numbers of hungry and homeless people all around us. There are people all around the world who need food, water, medicine, homes, and shoes. There are lots of people who work hard every day, and can never dream of making anywhere near that much in their whole lives. There are zillions of great organizations and causes out there trying to make a go of it and do good things who can’t ever hope to raise even a tiny percentage of that purse. How many of those fans do you think have also donated $10,000 to a charity this week? How much of the purse do you think those fighters will donate to support a great nonprofit doing good work? How did we come to this?