Tuesday, January 31, 2012


     Unemployment sucks.  Just wanted to get that out of the way to begin with.  Luckily I have only had to use my unemployment benefits twice in my 30+ years in the work force, but I dread the sign up and waiting for that first check, or as they do now, the debit card.  If you have used it in the past, I am sure you know that they do not pay you near what you were making at your former employ.  Heaven forbid that you are able to keep up on your rent, bills, and maybe buy some food now and then.  I reckon that is their incentive to go out and look for a job. 
     On that note, I have been putting my resume out there, applying to at least 2 companies every day, but not getting the nibbles that I should be getting.  Went to a job fair this morning, surrounded by at least 1000 other unemployed persons, some dressed as though they were going to a baseball game instead of trying to land a decent paying job.  The brochure they handed out while we were waiting in line showed dozens of potential positions available with the various companies that had set up booths at the fair.  There may have been 20 booths set up, and most were handing out leaflets asking you to apply online.  Several took resumes, which I had brought with me, so I hope that helped.
     There was one company that had flown down from Alaska to tempt our desert acclimated people to travel to the cold climate of the far northwest.  They were paying $8.50 an hour to train drivers and after 60 days would bump you up to $10.00 if you completed the training.  I didn't even ask if they paid to relocate if you were hired.  I quickly moved on.  The casinos here in Vegas are hiring, but from my experience here, if you don't know someone that already works at one, the chances are slim that you will get in.
     But, anyway, I get my first unemployment check tomorrow, just in time to pay rent and my car payment.  You should have heard my sigh of relief when I received that news.  I had gone for over 3 weeks without a paycheck, so yes, even though it won't be as much as I had been making on a regular payday, I am and will be glad to get these weekly checks until I am once again a member of the work force.  Or I win the lottery......
     Ya never know.  Thanks for reading.  Have a better one.

Monday, January 30, 2012


     Do you believe in ghosts?  I do.  Seen a lot of weird things over the years, and the more I see the more I believe. 
     Just recently, we had an expeerience at home.  My friend and I had gone out to do some errands and have some lunch.  When we arrived back home, she checked her phone and there had been a call placed from the home phone to her cell phone.  The odd thing was, there was NOBODY HOME!  Our roommate was at work, our downstairs friends had moved to the other side of town, which left no one to make that call.  A playful spirit?  That's my guess.  No harm done.
     Last week, my friend went to work, where she cares for an elderly woman.  Her charge is 94 years old.  She gets around pretty well for her age, but at night when she goes to bed, her door is closed and she normally sleeps all through the night.  When my friend arrived at work the next morning, she went in to wake her and she was sitting up in the bed.  My friend said her good mornings and turned around to exit the room and get breakfast ready for her.  That's when she noticed the pretzel bag on the chair.  The odd thing is, even if her charge got out of bed at night, she would have no way to reach the cabinets whre the snacks are located.  Maybe a late night spirit with a penchant for chocolate covered pretzels?  Again, that's my guess.
     Many years ago, I spent the night in a hotel in Pioche, Nevada.  This town is in the middle of no where in southwestern Nevada, an old mining town, I believe.  We had driven up there to take my then wife's son to spend the night at his friends' place and we decided a hotel was the best thing for us.  It was a little late when we got there and after he met uo with his friend, e decided to get ourselves checked in and get settled for the night.  We had both showered and gotten into bed, turned out the lights, and were well on our way to dreamland.  The bathroom door was open and I thought I noticed some movement in the shower area.  It was dark, and I thought maybe my eyes hadn't adjusted yet.  I was watching a head float above the shower stall!  That was freaky.  I woke up my wife and asked if she saw what I was seeing.  She did!  Needless to say, we got up, got dressed, went down to the bar and had a few drinks, before getting up the nerve to go back up to the room.  Most people that know me might think that I had been drinking before hand, but not on this occasion.  We went back in the room and poked around, hesitant in case there was still something in the room.  Not finding our otherworldly visitor, we eventually went back to bed and the rest of the night passed uneventfully.
     Even my sister has had an encounter, although she may not remember it.  We were young at the time and living in our great-grandmother's house after she ahd passed away.  I'm not sure of the exact circumstances, but apparently she saw a pair of floating hands crossing the room.  Ghostly hands.  That would unnerve anybody.  There were many strange happenings in several of the houses we lived in over the course of our youth.  The house in Washington where the lights would turn themselves on and off, and doors would mysteriously close by themselves.
     So, yes, I believe in ghosts.  In fact, if I were to pass on, I would prefer to come back as a ghost and freak people out, instead of the commonly held belief that we go to Heaven and play a harp for all Eternity.  I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of harp music, unless Harpo Marx is playing it, and I really don't know how to play the harp.  Are you forced to learn it after you die?  Wouldn't that be like Hell instead of Heaven?  Why would you want to believe in an afterlife that would be so boring?  I mean really, sitting on your butt and playing the harp for ETERNITY!  But that is a subject for another blog...
     Anyway, thanks for reading.  Best to all.

Friday, January 27, 2012

December 21st, 2012

Hello, everyone, and welcome to what many believe to be the date that the WORLD WILL END!!!  If that doesn't grab you're attention, than stop reading now.  Why is this the date that was chosen to be the harbinger of the end of the world?  It is the date that the Mayan calender ends, for one.  A few scientists believe that they changed their calender system and no one really understood how the old one worked, just that it ended suddenly.  You have to remember, the Mayans practiced blood sacrifices and other stange rituals, so can we really trust that the calender they created was accurate enough to predict the end of the world? 
     There are already a lot of websites listing what is going to happen on December 21st.  Sites that are selling ready to eat food packages and creating your own shelter from the oncoming doom.  If you remember, the same thing happened with the Y2K bug, and look how that turned out.  Maybe what this world needs is a global disaster, but that would be horrendous to imagine and I, personally, don't want to go through all that.  Where would the electricity come from for my TV for goodness sakes?  I need hot water for my showers and air conditioning in the summer.  Good grief!  How would I keep my food fresh and pop my popcorn? 
     Unless our next president unleashes nukes at China or Korea, I think we will get through 2012 just fine.  There will be a lot of people making money of the fears of people who insist that the end times are upon us, but this is the land of opportunity and there is always that Karma thing waiting for them.  If you have any ideas on how I can profit from this let me know. LOL.
     Anyway, thanks for reading.  If you care to share your thoughts on what you think will happen, feel free to do so.  I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Customer Service

I am sure that what I went through today has probably happened to at least one person who will read this today.
I had an issue with my credit card company and decided to call them up and file a dispute.  Sounds easy enough, right?  So, I call the number and get an automated system where you have to choose which option I need.  Easily done. I am informed that they are currently experiencing a high colume of calls and the wait could be up to 8 minutes long.  No problem so far.  After several minutes of really boring music, I get a representative on the line.  She asks how she can help me in a thick accent which I can barely understand.  I tell her my issue and she tells me she will have to transfer me to the disputes department, which is where I thought I was after going through the automated system.  The phone starts ringing and I think I am getting through to the disputes department.  Wrong.  Main menu, please choose the following options.
     Ok.  I go through the options again and get another representative on the line.  Even worse accent, barely distinguishable.  They ask for the exact same information as the previous rep.  I reiterate the information and am told that they will once again transfer me to the disputes department.  I explained to them that this is where the last customer service agent sent me, but am assured that I will be sent to the proper department this time.  I am now at least 15 minutes into the call.  I tell her to go ahead and please transfer me.  She does, and where do I go?  Back to the main menu to schoose the same options again. 
      I choose the option for the disputes again.  They are experiencing a high colume of calls and the wait could be at least 10 minutes.  Hmm.  What the heck, I've been on this long and I really want to resolve this issue.  After a nice long wait and the same music broken up by ads on how great there customer service is I get another representative, this one female who I can understand.  She wants the same information that I have just given the other 2 reps.  At this point I ask her if she can indeed help me with my dispute.  Oh, no!  She has to send me to the disputes department.  I told her that was the option I had pushed on the phone and that I have already been transferred to it twice already with the result being that I still haven't talked to anyone about the dispute.  I am now 30 minutes into the call.  She says they must behaving some technical difficulties and promises that this time I will get to speak to some one in the disptes department.  I take a deep breath and say OK.  I am on hold for another 5 minutes. 
     I am answered by the 4th person and am asked again for the same information that I have given out 3 times before.  I tell them this and they say let me pull up your account, but I will need your information first.  Really?  It's been taken 3 times before and not one of the reps has input it into the system.  She thanks me for my patience,  as did the other representatives numerous times.  I give her the information, AGAIN, and she says she will transfer me to the disputes department.  I hesitate, and let her know that if I am transferred to the wrong department I am going to cut the card up into small pieces and mail it to them.  Somehow, she gets me to the disputes department. 
     I am asked for my information again, for security purposes of course, by a gentlemen who thanks me for my patience.  After asking what item on my account I wish to dispute, he then proceeds to tell me that he sees the charge on the screen but needs a letter in writing from me explaining to them which charge it is that I am disputing.  In the meantime they will put a block on my card and send me a new one within 10 business days.  A letter in writing!  I have been on the phone for 45 minutes at this point and my pateince, which they keep thanking me for has run out.  The rep then points out that I could do an online dispute that would save me a lot of time.  They couldn't have told me this at the beginning?  Of course, I should have probably realized that it could be done this way, but thought if I talked to someone it would be much simpler.  Needless to say, I put the request in online.
     Does it not seem that customer service has gone downhill these past few years?  I live in what is considered a service oriented city and over the past 13 years have seen the service steadily decline.  I remember when you could get anything taken care of with only one person in front of you and it didn't take 45 minutes of pushing numbers on a phone and getting the run around.  Anyway, I feel much better now, and hope that this at least amused you a little bit.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Doctor Who

I know, I know.  I said I would try and write about something interesting every day.  Well, Doctor Who to  me is extremely interesting.  I first started watching Doctor Who in 1976 in Minnesota on the local PBS station.  I was 13 years old at the time and was really into science fiction.  I had come home after school and was flipping through the 4 stations and stopped on the PBS channel.  A show was about to start.  It had a swirling logo with a synthesizer music background and all of a sudden a man's face comes on the screen.  This was my introduction to the Doctor, as he is called, not Doctor Who as the series title might have us believe.  I was hooked immediately as the first scene has the Doctor dying in front of his friends and his face changing into the person who would then play the Doctor for the next 8 years.
     Doctor Who first aired on November 23rd, 1963.  If that date sounds familiar, think of JFK.  That is the day after he was shot.  To be fair to the show and because there was so much media attention to the JFK shooting, Doctor Who was replayed the following evening and history was made.  The Guinness Book of Records says it is the longest running science fiction show ever and the most successful science fiction series of all times.  Most of the early shows were shot on a shoe string budget and it shows, but the story lines, which originally were aimed at the childrens audience, were interesting enough to capture the publics attention and so Who-mania was born.
     I have watched every single episode available, some admittedly more than once, and I also own a lot of the DVD's, books and memorabilia.  I even have my own Sonic Screwdriver thanks to a Christmas gift from Sabrina and Patti.  If you want to know what a Sonic Screwdriver is, you  will have to watch the show. 
     Well, my friends.  There you have it.  I am actually fixing to watch a rerun of one of the new episodes of the revived series.  They are not the same as the ones as I grew up on, but they are extremely well written and have a much higher budget.  It doesn't hurt that the special effects are top line CG either.  Since 2005 there have now been 3 different actors to play the Doctor.  I will continue to watch the show as long as the BBC sees fit to continue to produce it.  And don't be surprised if you see more than one blog on the Good Doctor.  It is my favorite show of all time.
     Thanks for reading everyone.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

American Horror Story

Hey, Everyone!
     This is my first blog and thought I  would test the waters with a fairly new show on FX called American Horror Story.  I know the first season has just recently ended, but I just watched the first 2 episodes last night and am already hooked.  Have the next 7 lined up for a weekend screening.  Jessica Lange(Constance Langdon) has a great role as the creepy next door neighbor who obviously has a past with the house that Dylan McDermott(Ben Harmon) and Connie Britton(Vivien Harmon) and their daughter, played by Taissa Farmiga(Violet Harmon), have just moved into.
     I liked the opening scene where the child with Down's Syndrome, (Adelaide), played by Jaime Brewer, tells the 2 twins that if they go into the house that they are going to die.  Well, they do.  In this day and age of gore as a given, their deaths are not quite on screen, but you see the effects later in the show.  Her next scene is where she comes into the house to tell Vivien that she too will die in the house. 
     The writing on the show has so far been intelligent and doesn't treat the audience like some of the other shows they have on lately.  Most of the shows on commercial TV seem like they either come off an assembly line or are just remakes of older shows that you know won't be around for long. 
     If you haven't seen American Horror Story, I highly recommend watching the reruns and getting ready for the second season which begins in October.