Monday, March 15, 2004

Can You Hear Me Now?
Cell phones really piss me off sometimes. When the cell phone craze hit, I remember people complaining about how rude and invading they are. I thought it was all bullshit. Now, I am beginning to agree.

Last night I wake up to my cell phone ringing. I had it charging on my night stand. I answer the phone, they ask for someone by name. Its the wrong number. He says sorry, and hangs up. I then realize that I was only asleep about 20 minutes when this asshole woke me up. Just as I am getting back to sleep again, he calls a second time. I mute the ringing and let the call go. He can listen to voicemail message, and take a hint. It's STILL the wrong number dumb ass. 5 minutes later, guess who calls a third time. This time I turned the phone off. What made him think it would be the right phone number the second or third time?

This morning I walk into the gas station and there is a guy buying smokes at the counter, on his cell phone. And he is YELLING. What is it that makes people think "if I am having a hard time hearing them, I should talk louder"? So he's yelling into his phone so loud, his voice is echoing around the gas station. Meanwhile the cashier is trying to give this guy his change and get him the hell out of the way. "Yeah! I'm getting gas. Then I'm going to go back to my truck. Yeah. Yeah". Could this call wait until you are outside?

I get outside and there is a guy standing at the gas pump with a ringing phone. It sounds like mine. But then, they all sound the same. You would think the cell phone manufacturers could come up with some original ringing noises so that you don't have to chose A, B, or C noises. And Nextel with their clever little "ble-deep" noise you make with a two-way radio chat is always the same. When I had a Nextel I used to *beep* a phone we had sitting in a drawer back at the office. The noise carries really well. And since everyones phone makes the same noise, they all check their phone when they hear it. It was great fun standing in Sam's Club (or an otherwise large store), and make the little *ble-deep* noise as loud as possible. Then watch everyone who owned a Nextel grab their phones. I had a guy ahead of me in line once check his phone five times. Yes, five times. He was really getting irritated with that phone. "Why am I getting beeped, but there is nobody there? WHY?".

So anyhow, this guy at the pump answers his phone, and can't hear the other person. Are you surprised? Can you ever hear anyone on a cell phone? If everybody has a cell phone, and they pay $30 a month for it, why can't they build cell towers that actually connect you, and keep you connected. Or better yet, why are cell phones so damn weak. I hardly ever use my phone, but when I do, my conversations have to stay under 5 minutes, or I end up hanging up on the person because I have lost my signal again.

What a fucking waste of technology. I wonder what we will think of all this in 50 years.

Working Weekend
I have been feeling really lazy lately. And my blood pressure it higher than ever. Friday I kept glancing in the mirror at my bright red face. High blood pressure is hard to describe. You really feel like you are going to "pop". It makes you feel nervous, anxious, and generally explosive. It's a lot like being really angry. So when it's high, you feel frustrated with everyone. It's just really hard to calm it down.

So this weekend I decided I needed to get some work done, and get some exercise. At the same time, I would cut back on the things that raise my blood pressure.

Saturday morning I had a large cup of coffee. We are talking about a beer stein sized coffee mug. Boy did I regret it. Caffeine really does the number on me. Then I went to work. I had several projects to work on. I really needed to get the garage ready for my Beetle. I was going to park a car in it, and I had no room to get the care in there with all my junk and trash laying around in piles. And so I cleaned. I breaked for lunch at some point, but otherwise worked non-stop. Before I knew it, 6 hours had gone by. No wonder I was feeling exhausted! I decided to throw in the towel, and cook dinner. Even though I could be done with the garage with another 30 minutes of work.

For dinner I made chicken salad. Grilled breaded chicken, and salad. Nothing fancy. My kids ate it up! Literally. They loved it. I made the meal more for me, and I didn't expect them to like it. Maybe they were just trying to get ice cream out of me.

Sunday I wanted to keep on keepin' on, So I lined up my tasks.

  • Fix the garage door
  • Fix my daughters bedroom door
  • Fix an electrical problem - my bedroom light and hallway lights have been connected since I installed it (mistake).
  • Fix my daughters window screen
  • Finish in the garage

My garage door has been broken for about a year now. It is badly bent in the middle, so when you open it, the whole thing caves a little in the center. If I didn't fix it soon, the whole door would likely snap down the middle. So I went to Lowes and found shelf railing. It was aluminum, so it was really lightweight. And I got some self-starting bolts. If I bolted these across the top of the door, it would hold up real nicely. But ... Lowes wouldn't take my check. I really hate Lowes. But there isn't another home improvement store for miles. Naturally, if you ask them why they won't take your check , they don't know. That's because they are paying some fucktard check-checking company to deny checks. I'm sure it's because I bounced a check with K-Mart two years ago. Their blacklisting check alliance have been denying my checks ever since. So I would have to go and get cash, and then return to the store to buy my parts. Assholes.

So I get home, and get to work. The framing bolts on nicely, and really strengthens the door. Yet, when I open it, the center still caves in. Well ... that was a waste of time and money. I can see that I will have to bolt something to the outside of the door on all the segments. Expensive, time consuming, and probably ugly to look at unless I can tastefully paint over it.

I'm not going to let that ruin my day!

Then I went to work on my daughters door. She had opened her door once, with a large riding toy behind it. She must have pushed pretty hard, because she stripped the screws out of the bottom hinge. I had put in longer screws when it happened, but they still weren't grabbing onto anything. So I had bought even LONGER screws. I run a few of these 3 1/2 inch screws in, only to find that they too are not grabbing onto anything solid. Another waste of my time. Next!

I laid out my daughters broken window screen on the garage floor, and rip out her screen. My wife had bought me some replacement stuff, which is really easy to put back in. I had done our sliding door screen some time last summer. Yet, this screen was VERY brittle, and it was tearing apart, as I tried to force it into place. I think it was just a cheaper brand than I had gotten before. This was becoming one of those days. Next!

I'm not going to let that ruin my day!

About this time, I decided I would play electrician. So I got my ladder out and climbed up into the attic. Long, long ago I had impressed my wife by installing an overhead light and cieling fan into our master bedroom. That is until I came to bed that night and shut off the hall light. "No! Leave that on" she said. I asked why. "Because it has to be on for our light to be on". Woops. I had made a bad mistake in my wiring. So now I had to fix it. Fixing this problem is quite a work-out. It requires some upper and lower body strength to pull, crawl, and worm your way through the rafters in the house. Just an hour up there takes a lot out of you. So with all the power shut off, I disconnected our light, ran it across the attic, and reconnected it to the appropriate circuit. Hooray! The one thing I would get right all day.

About this time I was getting really tired. So I grabbed my laptop and hit the couch for some rest and relaxation. My wife was still busy cleaning and arranging the living room, and the kids were somehow playing together without fighting (for probably the first time that day). At some point I dozed off. I don't nap much, but man was it nice. About a half an hour later I was pretty refreshed. So I got up, and showered, and got to work making dinner.

For dinner last night, I made pizza. I love making pizza. I have been wanting to try and make a Spinach pizza for a long time. So last night I gave it a shot. I made my dough, covered it with alfredo cheese sauce, then spinach and cheese. It looked amazing! Too bad it tasted like nothing. I'm not sure if it was my cheese sauce, or the low salt spinach. But that pizza was tasteless. Luckily, I made the usual veggie pizza, and the kids had their plain cheese to eat. So dinner was not a complete failure. And I had enough leftovers for lunch today, and probably tomorrow too.

No time like the present
Now I sit waiting. For anyone. A guard to come unlock this house I teach in. My student. Anyone. So far, nobody has shown up. Maybe class was cancelled this morning and someone forgot to tell me. Usually my student is here by 10 after 10. It's almost 10:30 now. I guess I don't mind a little blog time, but if I had known I would be alone, I probably would have stayed home. Since, I am about 5 and a half hours away from my next class. Oh the joy of teaching in the middle of nowhere to a handful of people.

It wouldn't be so bad if there was a wireless network I could leech from. Bummer.

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