Only in Hollywood!

marriageI always love to hear the Hollywood crowd explain the stupid things they do and try to sound intelligent! Gwyneth Paltrow this last week tried to explain her separation from husband Chris Martin as a “Conscious uncoupling”. She goes on to say how we are not meant to be with someone for that long. Mind you she has only been married for ten years but in her mind that is long enough! Never mind the couples who stay married for sixty years or more make it somehow work, but for her this just doesn’t. Look, divorce is a reality I don’t think that every marriage is going to last, but I also think we need to be realistic about the reasons we are divorcing. To say we are somehow enlightened past the point of marrying for life is just fooling yourself! Only the Hollywood rich and famous get to marry and split up more often than I change the oil in my car, and most of them it is a business or marketing decision to get their name in the tabloids. For the rest of us in the real world marriage is not a business or marketing decision it is a lifelong commitment decision. Even if it doesn’t make it that long, we at least hope and plan like it will!

The new technology rules!

betamaxThis may come as a shock to some but in the tech world, the best technology doesn’t always win! Anybody remember Betamax? Sony came out with a format for video tapes that had a higher quality picture but because Sony wouldn’t license other companies to make Beta players VHS became the standard. Some companies learned that lesson so they get others involved and license what they create for others to use. USB and DVI are standards that are now used by just about everyone and some company is making a nickel every time you buy a device with those on them. Others continue to try to close off everyone else from their technology to their own detriment. Microsoft today released a copy of office for iPad, this is a big step forward for them and while I applaud them for bring the app suite to Apple’s iOS world they still are trying to keep one foot in the “Us only” Microsoft land. You can only use the suite if you have a Microsoft 365 paid account and you can only store the files on Skydrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage solution. I get that you have for a long time had the standard software which everyone uses, but in the new world of options to limit to only your ecosystem does fit with where the rest of the industry is going. Ok, make it easier to use if they do use your stuff, include your stuff under the cost of purchasing the software, but give everyone the option of doing their own thing. The facts are we can’t always control where the documents we need are located,  our company may have restrictions and contracts with other companies to host a corporate solution. If you want everyone to use your software, the new tech rules say you have to let the user decide what world they want to play in even if you are Microsoft!

Go away, before I taunt you a second time!

holygrailAs I have gotten older I have really lost my patience for things like spam email and sales calls. The number of calls I get every night, even thou I put us on the on not call lists is ridiculous! My phone rings at least three times a night with caller id’s that say toll-free or have an area code I know is not where anybody I know lives. These calls are all the same you can hear the room full of people in the background making the same call to others asking me to take a survey or to tell me I have been selected for something or another. Most of the time I look at the caller id and don’t even answer or if I do I say I am not interested then hang up before they can get the first sentence out. I understand that the way I answer will determine if they put me on the “did not answer” or never call again list. The problem is I don’t have the patience to wait to tell them to never call again. I have tried being goofy with them, I have tried the loud noise, I even have done the “can’t hear them” but really it has been just to entertain myself. None of these things have changed the number of calls we get and none of this has changed my habits either. There has to be a way to really make these stop other than changing my phone number. The problem is I have had that number for almost fifteen years and if I ever change it I would not be able to call home. So I will continue my little game of sometime annoyance, sometimes taunting the caller until I can’t take it anymore!

I apologize for the incorrect moral outrage!

coffeeWell, it was inevitable but I want to apologize for spreading an internet lie! Nothing drives me crazier than those emails about the government cutting off conservative radio or other non-sense that gets spread by well-intentioned people on sites like Facebook or even by email. Chain letter fell out of favor in the internet age so now they are spread by reposting. I know that good things have happened by viral content, things like families reuniting and an injustice being righted, but other stupid stuff has happened too. I was duped by the Starbucks CEO saying those who support traditional marriage should not buy their coffee. Turns out he did say he supported gay-marriage but he did not say anything as controversial as was written in many articles, he merely said when asked about the stock going down the quarter after that support statement that if you were thinking of dumping Starbucks stock over the support he wondered if other stocks would give you the 38% theirs did. He also stated his belief that it wasn’t a stock issue but a “people issue”. I have been not buying Starbucks over this for the last year, and now I feel kind of dumb. While I don’t agree with him, I would have to live in a shack in Montana to avoid companies who haven’t stated the same thing. Microsoft, Apple, Intel, and just about every other company which products I work with everyday have stated the same thing. I have friends who don’t agree with those companies who work for them! It isn’t like I buy a lot of coffee from Starbucks, one Venti black coffee once a month isn’t making them rich. Frankly I am too cheap to buy a foofoochino, but I also don’t have to drive out of my way to get a cup of coffee anymore either. My moral outrage can be saved for something more useful like ice cream prices!

iPhone or Addiction?

cellphoneI forgot my iPhone at home today! I feel like I am running on one leg. I am attached to that thing like a newborn baby attached to his mother. I don’t feel whole without it. How did I get so attached to my phone? It isn’t hard to see I have become way too dependent on that thing. It has my calendar, I keep track of my calories on it and I count on it to tell me when I have new emails. When I need a break I play a quick game of solitaire or look at Facebook. Everyone I need to contact is stored in there and I have no idea how to call them without it! It sends me updates about the news and sports throughout the day and I even get texts about bad weather in my local area. When I don’t know how to get to my next appointment it gives me directions. The rest of the day I will be having little panic attacks thinking I left it somewhere in a conference room or somewhere else. I will pat my pockets every few minutes when I forget it is not there. I know I should probably get help or actually leave it at home more often, that way I can figure out how to survive without it!

I Wish I Had Teflon Shorts!

NX_logo_spray_painter_gunNo matter where I have worked there always seems to be people who have Teflon shorts! They screw up time and time again yet they always land on their feet. That never happens to me! They bounce from job to job in the company trying to find where they fit in but it never seems to work. Despite the bubbling they still end up with a job where folks like me have to work hard to keep a position. How does that happen, and can I file a formal complaint about it? I work as a contractor so if I don’t work I don’t get paid, no holidays, no vacation days or benefits. I really can’t complain because they pay better than if I was on staff but it would be nice to find a permanent home. Mind you, I really am not complaining just wondering how people do this. Eventually you would like to think that this kind of stuff would catch up to them, but I never get to be there to see it. Maybe I can figure out some sort of spray on substance which would give me the same kind of abilities. Then I could sell it and do one of those infomercials, I think I could sell you two for the price of one, don’t forget to pay separate shipping and handling!

Time to send the UN Packing!

no_unWhen was the last time the United Nations actually did anything? This organization just like its predecessor has become a joke! They had a vote to condemn Russia and its new expansion plan and surprise, Russia voted against it. So nothing happened. We dump billions of dollars into this organization and what do we get for our money, a group that keeps telling us we are bad. They do stupid stuff like putting Iran on the committee for women’s rights or Syria or the Human rights commission. They do try to so some good with food in staving nations but they are so inefficient that it cost twice what other non-profits spend to get food to the people. They would be better just writing the check to someone else to deliver the food. They have really not been able to stop anything or change anybody’s mind when it has come to doing bad things. Every time some country gets a hankering for trouble it comes down to the US and our friends to stop it. And what happens when we don’t get involved? Look at the conflicts on the African continent, we have stayed out of them and millions have died. Where is the UN? Where are the other countries that could stand up for Africa? Nowhere to be found! If we are going to have to be the ones standing up for other countries why pretend to try to get Russia and all the other feet-draggers to come along? It’s time to write them a check for the building they are in, it is prime US real estate, give them one year to find a new home and then turn it into a seven-eleven or something useful. At least as a seven-eleven I may get over charged but I do end up with something I want!

Please tell me what I can eat!

twinkiesWould somebody figure out what I should or should not be eating already! Eggs are bad for me, no wait they are good for me. Coffee, good and bad, steak bad this week but that could change. When I was younger they made us all switch from butter to margarine but then we found out the stuff was terrible. Some study last week said that vitamins really aren’t doing much for us. So what am I supposed to eat? There was a Woody Alan movie when I was a kid in which he traveled to the future. In the movie they are all eating Twinkies because they found out they are good for you. As silly as it seems it was kind of prophetic! I can guess that the Twinkie thing is never going to be true, but I wish scientists would stop making releasing findings without some real testing of that data. Perhaps it isn’t the scientists at all, they publish these things in scientific journals to have others review and possibly refute the findings in a kind of comment phase. Maybe the press should wait to see how this part pans out before they rush to tell us to change our diet. Then again if the study looks stupid to begin with, we should just ignore it all together!

In App Crack!

I have noticed that the new model of getting you to buy something is to give it away for free. There have always been the free stuff but now it is the personal electronic devices that are doing the hard sell. Free apps on your device which give you a few features to rope you in and then charge you to get what you really want. I call this the crack sales model. Just give me enough to get me really hooked then take away my lively hood. Yes I want more angry birds; of course I want your app to save my creation to the cloud where I can retrieve it! All these great apps do so many things I want to be able to do, but they string me along till I am hooked enough to see the price as worth it. What is so big about 99 cents? Or even $3.99 to get the extra features? You can see real quick how some kids have racked up a $10,000 bill for these lovely extras! Maybe this model can work for other things? Think how we could revolutionize your doctor’s visits? If they charged you in appointment fees for each thing you need it would probably rack up pretty quick. Then again, I don’t think I would pay for the shots, and I am certainly not going to let them charge me 99 cents to figure out how much I weigh!

I got your repairman right here!

repairmanToday, a Sears service technician was supposed to show up at my house between the hours of 8am and noon. Do you think he did? Do you think he called me to tell me he was held up? Do you think I got a call to say he was running late? This is why the service industry has a bad name. I have spent enough time fixing computers to know stuff happens. You get to a call where the person has told you one thing and it turns out to be an entirely different issue. I have put in hours on what I had estimated would take me a few minutes, I get it. The problem is when they don’t communicate to people who are waiting on them. I hate the four-hour window to begin with. I don’t have four hours to wait. I am a contractor so every minute I can’t work I don’t get paid. Then to wait those four hours only to find out that I could have worked those hours because he wasn’t going to show up is frustrating( I would use stronger words, but this is a family show) Luckily I wasn’t sitting home or I would really be steaming right now. There is enough technology to be able to handle this without the tech even calling, automatic text when the time is running out or robo calls from the system saying the tech will contact me with a new time, instead I have to contact Sears to have them tell me the obvious about my technician not making it. I am really thinking someone needs to help them rediscover customer service, I haven’t bought something from them in years and I am starting to remember why!