It ain’t got no gas in it.

There’s a funny scene in Slingblade when a guy asked him to figure out the issue of a broken lawnmower, and Carl (played by Billy Bob Thornton…whatever happened to him?), the idiot savant of lawn mowers, rather quickly deduces the problem:

That’s what happened to me.

For over a month now, my new truck had been doing something weird. Basically every now and then, when I turned off the engine — but before I took the key out of the ignition — the entire dashboard would just go black. Everything. This was usually preceded by my radio flaking out very briefly while I was driving. And on two instances, my lights dimming very briefly.

After the lights dimmed, I took it to the dealership. The SUV is under a year old and only has like 16K miles. Totally under warranty. They had it for a week, which meant I had to pay for a rental car for a week. Naturally, they couldn’t find anything wrong because that’s how it always goes. I picked my vehicle up on Friday.

On Saturday, I was driving around and stopped at a store. When I turned off the engine, sure enough, everything went dark. I wrote down a bunch of things for later troubleshooting at the dealer (time it happened, temperature, etc.). I went in the store, came out, started it up, and for giggles, killed the engine. It went dark again. But then a new thing was added to the party mix; it didn’t immediately start back up. After I got it started and since I was close to the dealer, I drove over to it, hoping I could duplicate the issue there.

Once I got to the dealer, I pulled in the garage and killed the engine…AND IT WENT DARK. YES! I could duplicate it at the dealership!! Not only that, it wouldn’t start back up!! I know I shouldn’t be excited about that, but I was. I could not only duplicate it, but it was bricked at the dealership. I literally couldn’t think of a better place for that to happen.

I spoke to the adviser (? I don’t know, the people that take the info) and she told me Jodie (the adviser who handled all my info before) wasn’t here, nor was the service tech who had been working on my car. However, someone said have Mike look at it because Mike is real good. He is. He’s awesome.

Mike came out and had me explain what I was experiencing. Then he got in the car and asked me if I had work. I couldn’t think of any. He said, are you sure? I said, “Yeah, the door was replaced, but that was months ago. It shouldn’t be that because this just started happening.” He asked me what door, I told him, he popped the hood, moved shit around, and in under a minute, my dash came to life.

“What did you do?”

He moved shit around again, the dash went dark, then came alive, then dark, then alive. “See this?” He was holding a cable. “This is your battery cable. I should not be able to pick it up like this. It’s barely on it. Whoever worked on your car last probably disconnected it but forgot to tighten it.”

Then I realized the dealership had replaced a part ABOUT A MONTH AGO. This was on them.

After he tightened it and cleared the check engine light, everything worked as it should. I know it’s fixed because something else that hasn’t been working in a month (the auto-kill-the-engine-when-stopped-to-save-gas feature) works again.

I’m not even mad. This shit happens. I work in IT and I’ve been there. I’ve worked hours on an issue, only for it to be something incredibly easy.

However, I’m on the hook for a $250 car rental fee, which is bothersome. I’m going to call the dealership and ask if they’ll at least meet me halfway, especially since I paid extra for an extended top-of-the-line warranty. I’m going to call them this week to hash that out, and if they don’t, I will take it up the ladder.

Unrelated video. This song always makes me laugh and is a great summer driving tune. I wonder what happened to OMC.


Suspended from Facebook again (or, why are Republicans such sensitive pussies?).

So today I got another three-day suspension from Facebook. This isn’t the first time (I just got one last week), but this is the first time I got one for posting something on my own wall. Which means one of the bitches on my friends’ list reported me. Naturally, I did a small cleansing, but I think now is the time to make a separate list for posting on my wall called “those pussy Republicans” so when I post something that they might find offensive, I can just tag it with “Everyone but those pussy Republicans” on who can see it.

I swear, for a group that “hates PC!” and uses the term “snowflake” like it’s going out of style, no group has told on me more than those bitches. I’ve been suspended for telling one that it was okay to go back to fucking his sister because he had things to do. Got three days for calling someone a cracker. I’ve got a week’s suspension for calling another trailer trash garbage.

The most recent one, the one I got today, was when I posted this link with the title “LOLOLOL. America. The world’s white trash since 2016.” I think it was the “white trash” that did it.

The irony of these bitchbabies claiming to be PC, but immediately tell on someone who makes fun of them is totally lost on them because they are retarded. TRY TO SUSPEND ME, BLOG!

Anywho, I really wish there was another social media site outside of Facebook. I’m not so much bothered by the suspension as I’m not surprised by it, but the arbitrary way they handle this shit is a joke. For example, the first thing I always do when I get suspended is go and report as many people as I can during my cooling off period. I do this for two reasons: 1., I’m petty as fuck. 2., Give Facebook something to do while I’m on holiday. Granted, I know most of it is automated, but I did find out a few things by reporting people and the subsequent response from Facebook:

  1. You can call black people animals. It does not go against their terms of service.
  2. You can literally post a picture of a cock going down someone’s throat. This does not go against their terms of service.
  3. You can call someone a retard. This does not go against their terms of service. (This one is kind of surprising, kind of not. On one hand, most people are retarded. On the other, it’s becoming more and more offensive to more and more people.)
  4. etc. etc.

My ‘white trash’ remark comes under hate speech. Look, white trash is white trash. It’s not hate speech, it’s a fact. However, I can dig that Facebook doesn’t like it. Their site and all; free speech doesn’t apply. However, it’s the arbitrary decisions that get me. One of my prior suspensions (the trailer trash one), was me calling a dude who literally referred to black folks as animals a trailer trash piece of shit. I got the suspension; his comment is still up. Makes sense.

Anyway, Facebook, like YouTube, is fucking garbage. I’m a realist though, I will continue to use both as long as there’s no other option. However, for the latter, I will torrent the absolute shit out of their original shows like Cobra Kai. Seriously, fuck you, YouTube. You have burned so many of my friends with both your inaction of pirated material on your site as well as your arbitrary deletion of videos. Plus the fact you don’t do shit about the rampant pedophilia on you site, I take absolute glee in pirating your shit. Again, fuck you.

What’s truly said is there are/were options for both, but people are set in their ways. Google+ was a fine replacement for Facebook. And I could actually see all the content posted from pages I followed. And Vimeo is a great replacement for YouTube. But hey, we’re lazy.

Speaking of the Karate Kid…

Please stop nominating Stephen King for awards

I read a lot. I am fortunate that I take the metro to work every day, so I get about an hour of eating up words a day (sometimes two if I read during lunch). Since I read so much, I like to keep track of the books I’m ingesting and a great tool to do that is the site Goodreads. Not only can I catalog the books I own and read on that site, but since Amazon owns it, I can immediately add the new books I purchase to my owned with the click of a button. In addition, there are discussion forums, contests, reviews, and author interaction. It really is a fantastic site.

Every year, Goodreads has a “Best Books of 2018” readers choice awards where members choose their favorites from a variety of genres. This is pretty cool because there are a variety of books selected in each genre, and they go through various rounds before a final winner is determined. Each year I end up adding more books to my want list because of this contest (or awards show or whatever).

However, one thing that annoys me is seemingly anytime Stephen King is nominated in the horror genre, he wins. Ugh. Don’t get me wrong, I love King. I grew up devouring his words and he rarely disappoints. My problem, however, is because he’s so popular people who don’t read any horror outside of King will vote for him without consideration to the other nominations. It sucks. I mean, it really, really sucks because there are some great books and authors in this mix that are getting overlooked because Susan in Tallahassee has never read a horror novel outside of something written by King and she votes accordingly.

Look, I get it, Stephen King is the master and absolutely deserves every single bit of recognition he gets. He’s definitely earned it, and horror quite simply would not be the same without him. Even doing his mediocre books are leagues better than some others out there. However, he doesn’t need more recognition. A readers choice award from Goodreads isn’t going to give him a bump in sales. You don’t need to say to any fan of horror, “Hey, you might like this guy Stephen King. I heard he has put out a few good books.”

The moment King goes on any ‘pick the best’ list, he wins. SO STOP PUTTING HIM ON THAT LIST.

 Currently, King has two books on the Best Horror: 2018 list, Elevation and Flight or Fright (the latter of which is an anthology he did with Bev Vincent; that can stay). Anne Rice has one on there she co-wrote with her son. John Connelly has a book in the running. But you know who else is on there? Grady Hendrix (who wrote the amazing My Best Friend’s Exorcism) for We Sold Our Souls. Paul Tremblay (who wrote A Head Full of Ghosts and Devil’s Rock; two very enjoyable books) for The Cabin at the End of the World. Alma Katus for The Hunger and Zoje Stage for Baby Teeth. A few more are also in the finals.

I’m not voting on any of these. I’ve heard tremendous things about the ones I mentioned, and already bought a few for the future, but the book I voted for, an anthology by Ellen Datlow, is out of the running. 

Admittedly, those in the final round are really great choices from everything I’ve heard about them, but it would be nice to have a selection, just once, that didn’t include King or the like. The world won’t end.

The stupid names for marijuana strains aren’t helping.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave with no access to the outside world, you’d know that many states are debating the legalization of marijuana. Some states, like the one I live in, have legalized it for medicinal use only, while others, like Colorado, have legalized it all out for recreational use. It’s all so stupid. There is really no reason, outside of old wive’s tales and prisons for profit, that it should be illegal at all. But any reasonable person already knows this, and I’m not here to talk about that. I want to talk about something else: the stupid strain names.

The strain names are a problem, and I’d bet hurting marijuana’s legalization on a federal level. Of course a knee jerk reaction would be, “That’s stupid. Who cares what the names are? It shouldn’t matter.” That’s the equivalent of saying the person who has ink all over their face should have no problem getting a job because it shouldn’t matter. Well, guess what? It does. It’s about perception, whether you like it or not, and when you are trying to fight to get something legalized on just a medicinal level, it doesn’t help your fucking case when you say, “But G Spot is great for neck pain!”

Do you really expect those you are fighting against to take you seriously?

Here are a sampling of names from the strains from over at Leafly (which is a phenomenal source of information on marijuana, I highly recommend them):

  • Jack the Ripper
  • AK-47
  • Chemdawg
  • Death Star
  • Great White Shark
  • Fucking Incredible
  • Matanuska Thunder Fuck
  • Alien Dawg
  • …and on and on

Look, I’m not going to deny it, if I were in my 20s, these would be fun names. But how seriously do you expect that legislator that is against legalization going to take you when you say “Matanuska Thunder Fuck” has great medicinal properties. Hey, I bet it does, but good luck having anyone against the fight take you seriously (and I don’t blame them).

Or, what about the 60-year-old patient who needs it for glaucoma or cancer or whatever. Do you honestly believe they want to go into a dispensary and order an 1/8th of “Fucking Incredible” or “G Spot”? I don’t think my dad would do that, and he’s pro-weed. Or, like my sister said, no 70-year-old wants to talk about death, so they probably aren’t running to get some “Death Star” in their system.

I know I look like an old man shaking my fist at the sky and yelling at the kids to get off the lawn. I know this. But I’m right. It’s not helping. I desperately want marijuana legalized on a federal level so the prices can come the fuck down and I don’t have to drive all over town looking for the best bargains. Until that happens, for fuck’s sake, if a new strain comes along, think of the bigger picture before naming it something that looks like it came out of a teenager’s mouth.

And, man, do I want to punch the fucker in the throat who came up with “Budtender”.

All  that ranting, but I still like this song.

Crap year, but not really.

This year, well at least since the end of February or so, has kind of been crappy. February saw some cocksucker run me off the road, totaling my most favorite vehicle I’ve owned to date. Fortunately, I got far more in the settlement than I expected, affording me to get a brand new 2018 model of the vehicle that was totaled (with even more bells and whistles at the same payment), but being so close to a paid-off car still stings, especially when I had legit plans for that extra money

Following that, a tree fell into my shed. This was not really a surprise, and insurance gave me a nice settlement, but I’m still not looking forward to the cleaning out and disposal of the shed. That’s going to be a pain in my ass. I’m seriously considering just hiring someone to take it all away except for the mower.

Then my garbage disposal died on me. One day it worked, the other day nothing. Since there was no sound at all coming from it, I figured that button on the bottom had popped, but sadly no. However, my dad was coming up soon to go on a trip to see our family, and I asked him if he could check the switch. He said sure, he’d do it when we came back. Well…

After spending the weekend with my family, we came back home lucky to have missed some major thunderstorms that had come through the area over the weekend. It started pouring when I pulled in my driveway, but that was cool, my dad was going to look at that switch, so that would give the storm time to blow through. 

While my dad was looking at the switch, I went upstairs to go to the bathroom. When I reached the top, something caught my eye. That light cover sure looks weird. Why is it shadowed on the bottom like that…and what is that spot on the ceiling next to it? Naturally, being a 7-year-old, I put my finger on that spot already knowing what would happen, and sure enough, water started running from the new hole I created. And that shadow in the light cover? Water. Turns out, my roof was leaking.

I went downstairs and explained the situation to my dad. He had more bad news: not only was my garbage disposal switch working properly, my electric in that wall was all jacked up. Something about a wire that wasn’t supposed to be hot always-on hot. Dad was very concerned about this, and I needed to get an electrician out as soon as possible. So I hit the breakers that controlled that wall (fortunately, it just controlled that wall and where the microwave was plugged in; the majority of my outlets in the kitchen worked otherwise). Joy.

I made a call to my insurance company for the roof, got a phone number of a contractor my sister used and left him a message, and figured I’d wait before calling an electrician to see what kind of money I was looking at for the leak.

Things took a delightful turn the next day, however, when my dad called me and said he was mistaken about the wire. It was, in fact, acting as it should and he was on his way up with some switches. I told him I’d buy them, but he said no, he would, because I’d probably get the wrong ones. I scoffed, but it turns out he was right, I might have. Who knew light switches were sold in different amps? I sure as hell didn’t.

Anyway, he was done within 10 or so minutes after he arrived and when he flicked the new switch on, BOOM! The garbage disposal kicked on for the first time in about a month. 

The roof? That’s another story which I fully intend on writing.

At the end of the day, though, while I say it’s been crappy, everything has been working out (even the roof). So I don’t think crappy is the right word. Inconvenienced is probably better. I’ve been inconvenienced by annoyances since February. Yeah, these are first world problems, sure, and I don’t even compare my year to the one my friend has been saddled with (quite possibly my only reader at this point), but sometimes you just need to vent.