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January 2008

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I really hate websites that only offer a part of their post in their feed. I know why they do this. They do this so you have to visit their site in order to read the rest of the story. The more visitors they get, the more money they make. Here’s the problem though. The reason I am subscribing to your site is that I don’t find it useful enough to actually take the time to visit it. Most of the articles are a waste of my time but there are a few shining nuggets in there that made me want to subscribe. Whenever I subscribe to a feed and realize that it’s a partial post feed, I immediately unsubscribe. Why? Because I know I’ll never click on the link to continue reading the post. I don’t want to visit your site, that was the point of subscribing in the first place and making me visit it isn’t helping your cause. So for all you people out there that insist on making people visit your site just so you can generate a few extra cents of ad revenue, is it worth it? You’ll lose people like me. Who knows, I might have become a regular viewer of your website if you hadn’t driven me away by not providing the full text of a post. That’s been known to happen with me before.

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So, Dell finally called me back Friday night. That’s three days after they were supposed to call. Three days after they said they would call. Guess what the outcome was? Well, the “tech” told me to do the exact same things he told me to do on Monday. I told him no, because we already did all that and the buzzing in the monitor was still occuring and I wasn’t going to waste my time doing it when the buzzing was still there and it would get us nowhere since he was going to tell me “he’d call back the next day” just as before. So, he says he was going to look for possible solutions with his supervisor or whatever and call me back in 10 to 15 minutes. I guess 10 to 15 minutes in India is the same as three days, because I still haven’t heard back from him. This is unacceptable.

I was talking to my friend Trix today and we were discussing what’s on the menu for dinner tonight. She is having Chinese and I’m having BBQ hamburgers. This confused her a great deal. She asked if I meant grill. I asked her to explain the difference. I’m always curious to see how terms are interchanged depending on region (soda vs pop vs coke for example).

11:09:58 AM trix wants to go home: maybe i’ll get chinese food tonight
11:10:11 AM shep: oh, that sounds delicious
11:10:19 AM shep: i’m going to BBQ some hamburgers
11:10:31 AM shep: cause it’s supposed to be like 64 today
11:10:34 AM trix wants to go home: bbq them or grill them?
11:10:46 AM shep: what’s the diff?
11:10:57 AM trix wants to go home: doesn’t bbq involve bbq sauce?
11:11:02 AM shep: yes
11:11:06 AM shep: so i’m bbqing them
11:11:09 AM shep: hence why i said bbq
11:11:10 AM trix wants to go home: ahhh ok
11:11:13 AM trix wants to go home: never heard that
11:11:22 AM shep: heard what?
11:11:27 AM shep: bbq hamburgers?
11:13:52 AM trix wants to go home: yeah
11:14:00 AM shep: really?
11:14:10 AM trix wants to go home: yes
11:14:15 AM shep: you’ve never heard of hamburgers with bbq sauce on them?
11:14:19 AM trix wants to go home: like a hamburger with bbq sauce on it?
11:14:21 AM trix wants to go home: no
11:14:22 AM shep: really?
11:14:23 AM shep: wow
11:14:25 AM shep: really?
11:14:42 AM trix wants to go home: maybe some weird specialty burger at a restaurant
11:14:45 AM trix wants to go home: but not at home
11:14:56 AM shep: they are grilled
11:14:58 AM shep: then sauced
11:15:06 AM shep: and cooked for a few minutes with sauce on them
11:15:11 AM trix wants to go home: weird
11:15:12 AM shep: just like any other bbq
11:15:13 AM shep: omg
11:15:15 AM shep: seriously?
11:15:16 AM trix wants to go home: lol
11:15:23 AM shep: how have you not heard of bbq hamburgers
11:15:25 AM trix wants to go home: must be a southern thing

I’m completely dumbfounded by this conversation. Really. I understand people not from St. Louis never hearing of BBQ pork steaks. Pork steaks are traditionally a St. Louis area thing. It really shocks me that something as simple as BBQ hamburgers could seem so foreign to someone who lives only 5 hours away, near Chicago. I mean, when I think of summertime, I think of BBQs with friends and family, BBQing burgers and dogs. Do these “cook-outs” (and not BBQs) have signs posted that say “No Sauce Allowed”? Something I thought was “as American as apple pie” I find out is something that others have never heard of. So Trix, do you know what apple pie is?

BTW, St. Louis is NOT Southern.

I’ve been happy with my two computer and one mp3 player (1st gen Dell Jukebox from a long time ago) purchases from Dell. I’ve never had a problem with any of their products. I’ve never had to contact their customer service, and I’ve recommended them to others. That has all changed this week. On Monday night I contacted their support via the live chat on their website. The problem I’m experiencing is an audible buzzing that my 22 inch wide screen monitor is making. Googling for a solution to this I found some people say turn the brightness down under 75. That made my buzzing worse, so I went the opposite direction. When I got up to about 91 the buzzing stopped, but wow, what a bright screen. Since the computer and monitor are less than a year old I decided to contact support. I don’t want to go a few months and have my monitor go out on me right after it’s out of warranty. So I chat with the technician. They have me do all the same things I told them I’ve already done. Move the speakers away, plug it into a new outlet. Check to see if the buzzing is there when the monitor is off. I answered all these questions before they ever told me to check it, but they told me anyway and I did. Well, the tech told me he’d follow up with me the next day with a phone call. Guess what. No call. So I respond to the ticket via email on Tuesday night after not hearing anything form the technician. No response to that email. I emailed support again this morning and I have yet to hear anything from them. I should call, but do I really want to spend 5 hours on the phone with someone in India, only to have them hang up on me several times and put me on hold forever as well? I guess if it means getting a product that’s not defective it’s worth it.

Yes, I’m talking to you. You are a bad parent. You don’t discipline your kids, you let them run around and annoy the crap out of everyone, you tell them not to do something only to allow them to do it. What gives?

I hate going to public places where there are kids (ages 2-10 at most places, ages 12+ at movie theaters). Kids these days receive no discipline from the parents. They run around like a bunch of crazy idiots and whine until they get what they want. And they will. They always do. Fifty years ago you wouldn’t see the kind of lack of discipline you see today in public places. We’ve not evolved to ignore discipline in order to survive over the past 50 years. We just have parents who won’t tell their kids no. You can read all the books you want, but I guarantee you need to say no once in a while. Heck, more than one in a while. Too many of you want to be your kid’s friend. Well, you know what, you’re the parent. If you wanted to be friends with a kid then you shouldn’t have had one and instead gone to hang out at the park, though some people might find that a little creepy. And don’t give in when they whine, because then you lose the upper-hand and these soul-less beasts will own you. When you’re out in public, keep your kids on a short leash. I don’t mean that literally. Seeing a kid on a leash makes me want to smack the parent. I mean it figuratively. Make them behave themselves and give them real consequences for not doing so. Empty threats do not work and they will soon realize that and you will have just made the next 15 years of your life a living hell as a carpet for your kid to walk on.

I was ranting about kids today with my friend Trix. We decided on one fundamental rule. No kids in public after 7:00PM. Well, she said restaurant, but I want this to apply to malls, stores, movie theaters, everything. What about on the weekends? Well, on the weekends kids must be kept under constant adult supervision. You hear that bad parents? You must watch your kids! Shocking, I know. If all you kid-having people would follow these rules, along with disciplining your kid, society would be a much better place.