Gadget Guy

My radio alarm block needed to be replaced because the buttons on it sunk into the body of the clock after too many times from being pushed.

My room mate had an alarm clock that she was no longer using so I graciously accepted the offer and saved myself a few dollars.

For most people that would be the end of this story but nothing is ever easy in my life and the alarm clock frustrated me immediately after I plugged it in. You would think that adjusting the time and setting the alarm would be easy things to figure out how to do on an alarm clock, but not this thing. Since the previous owner was not around to help me, I had to figure out how to do this by myself. On the front of the box were buttons for turning the alarm on and off, a “Snooze” button and a button for adjusting the brightness of the display of the digital numbers. Those 3 buttons and nothing more. On the top of the box was a button to choose between radio or alarm sound, and only and up and down button to adjust numbers. After a few minutes I learned that by holding down the “Radio or Alarm” button that I was able to set the timer. Now all I had to do was figure out how to correctly set the time.

I pushed buttons down and held them. I pushed two and three buttons down at the same time. I rotated the stupid alarm clock around in my hands over and over again, screaming obscenities and looking for a hidden button. This went on for 45 minutes. The manufacturer of this ALARM CLOCK had given super low priority to the function of setting the time on the clock, which is something that should never have been this hard to figure out. They were more concerned with adjusting the brightness of the digital display, which had a big button right in the front. Finally, I found a very small button, the same color as the body of the clock, located directly under the power cord. Holding this button down was the trick to setting the clock. Why? Why would anyone build the alarm clock in such a way?

After setting the clock, I tossed and turned in bed unable to fall asleep for another 45 minutes while my rage subsided.

Mr. Pea Nut

There were only three things that I needed to buy at the supermarket and what should have been a quick in and out was thwarted by the supermarket having moved the place where they keep the peanut butter. For several years, maybe even decades, the peanut butter and the jelly were in the aisle with the bread which makes perfect sense. Not too long ago, someone moved it to the aisle where the hard peanuts are, which kind of made sense but they moved the jelly there too. Following that same logic, the jelly should be in the fruit section. Now, the peanut butter was missing once again. The first place I looked was the first place it ever was, and the best place for it, by the bread. After wandering around, up and down many aisles, I found it in the aisle where they keep the bags of snacks. Why was it there?

While searching for the peanut butter I approached a guy stocking some shelves and agitatedly said “I am losing my mind. Where did you put the peanut butter?” He gave me a confused and frightened look, which is when I realized that he did not work there. In my own defense, he was standing next to a skid of boxes with two cans in his hands so I thought he was stocking the shelves while I guess he was trying to decide which can he was holding was the freshest or something like that.

From his point of view, he was trying to buy something and a crazy guy rushed towards him, claming to be losing his mind and demanding peanut butter.

I immediately felt sorry for what I had done and tried to explain to him that I had mistaken him for a store clerk, but he was visibly frightened of me. I can not blame him. I would have been in a defensive stance and ready for a fight if someone did to me what I had just done to him.

On the positive side of the experience, both of us had a story to share with our friends although he is probably not as amused about it as I am. I am also not taking any of the blame because the supermarket should keep the peanut butter with the bread where it belongs.


My room mate was curled up on the couch when I came home, suffering from stomach trouble. She thought it might have been food poisoning from the pizza and buffalo style chicken wings that she had eaten for dinner. There were three slices of the pizza left over.

How much do I like the pizza, with the shrimp and garlic toppings? I like it enough that I took the gamble that it was not the pizza that poisoned her but that it was either the wings or just a virus and I ate those three slices.

This I think would make a good advertisement for their pizza.

Motor Rolled

The past couple of weeks my MOTOROLA DROID “Smart” phone has been giving me trouble until yesterday when it finally did nothing but act “Stupid” and became useless. It knew it was plugged in to a charger but would not charge up. It knew it was plugged into my computer but would not let me transfer files. Before it stopped altogether it played with my patience these past couple of weeks by working sometimes or working when I jiggled with the cable or took the plug in and out a few times.

I am suspicious that this problem started shortly after they installed a SYSTEM UPDATE but I am not entirely sure. For sure, the problem started shortly after the 1 year warranty expired.

The “Insurance” that I had on the phone was a waste of money and provided only a false sense of security because I discovered that this was just a scam when I went to the store to have my phone fixed or replaced. The insurance covered repairs after my deductible expense, which is $40, and I have to mail the phone somewhere and wait for it to be fixed and mailed back. While I am waiting, I will be without a phone. Instead, my only other choice was to buy out the remaining balance of the dead phone and get a new one. That cost me a few hundred dollars plus the tax on the new phone had to be paid up front which was another hundred dollars. The sales clerk gave me a few minutes to make my “Choice” of these two miserable options. The only other choice was to walk out of the store and keep paying for service that I am locked into for the next several months on a dead phone.

My new phone is a Samsung, which are the ones that were in the news recently for exploding when they get too hot. If it does not explode, I am hoping that it will at least continue to work for the complete 2 years of the service contract that I signed up for.

I take my coffee black, like the night

Every night the same routine, over and over again, with very little variation. This is my life. I stop on my way to work and get coffee at the same place. They know my order and we do not have to even speak.

Tonight was different.

My town has a few vagrants and one of them was in the coffee shop, sitting by himself. He was ranting and raving, loudly and to no one in particular. He is normally not like this, so I am guessing that he was off his medication or having a bad reaction to a new one. He did not seem drunk, just out of his mind. I know most of the vagrants in my town on a nodding as hello relationship. I keep strange hours and I am waiting at the bus/train station where they will often be able to rest unmolested by law enforcement. Some nights, like tonight, they will sit in the coffee shop. The workers in the coffee shop tolerate them but not when they are ranting and raving. I only saw one worker, and he was visibly distressed by what was happening. I placed my order and while he prepared it I attempted to calm the lunatic down.

He did not recognize me and I interrupted his stream of consciousness angry rant by agreeing with him that Coca Cola was indeed superior to Pepsi Cola but I infuriated him by suggesting that coffee or water is a preferable beverage. I am a terrible peace maker. His love of Coca Cola was deep enough that he got up from his seat yelling “Those are fighting words” and I fully expected him to fight for his right to drink it. He actually poked me in the chest. I looked at his finger, looked him in the eye and asked him “Really?” I joked that this would make a great hidden camera television commercial. Our argument cooled down when I explained to him that I can see the future, and the night was not going to end well for him if he continued on the path that he was on. He even apologized for poking me.

I understand his anger. The feeling like no one cares. People passing him by on their way to wherever they are going and doing their best to pretend to not notice him. The anger that builds up inside until it feels like your heart or your brain is about to explode. I care about him. I do not want the coffee shop worker to call the police. I want for the night to be more pleasant for him than that. I think he knows that now. At least, I hope so. I hope that after I left he did not go right back to yelling into the darkness.

I had a mail processing machine that I had to run or I would have stayed.

Shopping Right

My room mate and I have only one thing that we need do together every week and that is because my bad eyesight prevents me from driving or I would not ever do that one thing with her. If I could drive, I would do the food shopping without her. This time spent together is unpleasant, even on the good days. There was even a year or so when I was so tired of doing it with her that I would walk back and forth to the grocery store twice a week, carrying my groceries, rather than have to be with her. While this made grocery shopping more pleasant it also created more problems because she constantly had to be reminded to purchase the items that were too heavy for me to carry, the most important of those things being cases of water. We consume two or three cases of bottled water every week. We live near what was once a polluted swamp and drinking water from the faucet is not an option. I sometimes feel itchy after just showering in the tap water.

I wake up an hour early on Saturday nights, which is one of her two nights off from work, and we shop. I pay for the groceries in exchange for her driving and then dropping me off at work. Saturday nights I can not take a bus to work and if I do not get a ride from her I would have to pay for a ride. It is a deal that I make with this Devil, but I have accepted it.

More than half of the weeks, she will sit in the car and play with her phone while I do all of the shopping. I actually prefer this because I shop quicker without her and I do not have to endure the displeasure of her company.  I am the one who reads the weekly newspaper advertisements to learn what is on sale and which of the two local supermarkets we should visit that week. I am also the one who clips the coupons to save money on what we purchase. All she does is drive the car.

This past Saturday she decided that we are now only going to shop once every other week. She announced this in the morning before I went to sleep, but I reminded her that this was not a new idea. We have had this argument in the past. There is no good reason for her plan, other than she “Does not want to go”, while I have to explain that different things are on sale every week and some of the food that we buy must be consumed within a week or it will go bad. Some of the food, because one of the sad things about our household is that the three of us rarely eat together. Most of my grocery shopping is for liquids and cleaning products. I also reminded her that she was terrible at shopping on her own and we constantly ran out of things without my contributions. A few times each week we would discover that we had run out of something because she had “Forgotten” to buy it. The bottled water? I would remind her day after day, and she passes the grocery store on her way home from work.

When I woke up, she continued to argue for her bi-weekly trips. It was not really an argument but something that she announced. She is the one driving the car and I can not stop her from being stupid, no matter how much rational explanation I can try and convince her with. She simply does not want to go. What will she be doing during that time? She will play with her phone while sitting on the couch instead of in her car. Her argument was not that she had some conflicting plans that night, which would have been acceptable. I am a reasonable man. She simply does not want to go.

The reasonableness of my being reasonable was pushed past the limit and I told her that the only people who have stupid arguments are stupid people and those of us like me who made the mistake of marrying someone stupid. She is stupid and selfish and in this case she is losing more than she is gaining. A stupid person turns a 30 minute grocery shopping trip into an argument that lasts all night and into the next morning because I work the night shift and sent her angry text messages every half an hour or so and then I was waiting for her at home when she woke up so that I could curse her out some more.

When you enter into an argument, you have to be ready for the person you are arguing with to take it to the extreme. Is her bi-weekly shopping plan important enough to her that I have to replace her? I will cancel our co-living arrangement. When threatened with that, she backed down.

The punch line? I did not really need to go shopping this week. The only thing that we need are extra large garbage bags and they are not even on sale. Everything else can wait.

Don’t tell her that. Or, maybe she should know?

I was fighting just because I was offended by her argument and the way she tried to institute a new rule for me to live by.

Infective Ignorace

My left cheek is swollen up like I am chewing tobacco because I have an infected tooth, which reminds me of a funny story.

I had an infected tooth on the right side of my face about twenty years ago. The tooth had been bothering me but I kept ignoring it, waiting for the nerve to die but before it died I woke up one morning with a swollen face. That swelling was on my lower right jaw and was far more disturbing looking than it is when it is the upper row of teeth and the cheek swells. People could not help themselves and they would stare at me, wondering what was wrong with me and praying that it was not contagious.

The dentist will not remove the rotten tooth until the infection is cleaned up by a dose of antibiotics. My dentist was surprised that the infection was still there after the first week.  The swelling had gone down considerably but there was still too much left to operate, so I had to take a second week of antibiotics. After the infection was still there after the second week the dentist and I discussed what could be wrong and it was only during this consultation that he informed me that I was supposed to abstain from alcohol while on antibiotics. Who knew? Twenty years ago I was drinking excessively on a daily basis. It never occurred to me to take a break.

Debt Riddance

I asked her about her credit card debt and how she was planning on paying it off considering how large the balance is on those cards. She is secretive about her finances but I know that she is spending too much. I guessed the balance was 150 thousand and she wanted to know how I knew, but it was a guess that I was hoping was too high. More upsetting than her ridiculous debt is her plan to pay it off. Our son can pay it using the money from her life insurance. She is enjoying herself now more than she can afford to and plans to die leaving the debt to our son.

Short Story

Ordering clothing online is a gamble. Not only might the clothing be ugly when it arrives, but it might not fit either. To protect myself from having to return what I bought, I ordered a test pair of shorts with the plan being that if I liked them then I would order another 10 pairs to get me through two weeks of work. After I ordered the shorts, I saw that the delivery date was going to be just over a month. Being impatient, I ordered a different pair of shorts from a different company.

Both pairs of shorts arrived the same week. I wore them and washed them the same week too. Now, because they look so much alike, I am not sure how to order more of the shorts that I like better. I guess I will have to repeat the process again with only one of the companies and see which shorts arrive this time.

A good plan that was poorly executed. This is the story of my life.

Him bare assed

He was having a painful bowel movement, from the sounds that he was making out of both his mouth and anus. There was moaning, groaning, explosions of gas and he was whimpering. I think I might have even heard him softly praying for it to end. Never in my life have I made so much noise passing my excrement, and this was nothing like anything I had ever heard from anyone else before. It was unusual enough that I wondered if I should call an ambulance.

This was in one of the bathrooms at my job. I was there to urinate. I wash my hands before I urinate, so he must have thought whoever had come in to the bathroom during his crapping had only washed their hands and left, and that he was exiting the bathroom stall to an empty room. He was surprised to find me still there, embarrassed that we both knew he had just been in such evacuating distress. Even more embarrassing for him is that he and I are romantic rivals. He has a crush on one of my “Work Wives”, and he is jealous every time that he sees us together. He is quite childish about it. As soon as we locked eyes, he knew that I was going to tell my work wife about the disgusting thing he had just done. It was just the same for him as if he had walked out to find her there.

Did I tell her? Of course I did, just as he expected that I would. He probably also was able to predict that I was going to write about it for the rest of the world to enjoy too.