The Gap Supports Witchcraft!

NaBloPoMo Day 20

Well, that’s what the wankers at American Family Association seem to think.  They’re dissing the Gap’s latest TV ad because it mentions Solstice, which is equivalent to supporting witchcraft.  Um.  Ok, whatever.  I get the impression that the AFA thinks Christmas has been celebrated since the dawn of time, and encourages their groupies to completely ignore the fact that Solstice has been celebrated for far longer.

Ah well.  This all just makes me want to make a special trip to the mall to shop at the Gap.  And we all know how I feel about malls!  All my Wiccan friends and I will have a very merry Gap Solstice.

Oh, and AFA says the actors are “chanting” in the ad.  They need to get out more if they can’t tell the difference between a chant and a rap.  Most of the time, the AFA makes my head hurt in the way all illogical and bombastic people do… but there are times when they’re good for a laugh or two.  Their latest screed against the Gap makes me laugh.

Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, Go Kwanzaa, Go Solstice…
Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, go whatever holiday you wanukkah!

My New Printer

NaBloPoMo Day 19

My old printer, which was going on five years old, has been increasingly reluctant to actually print anything.  Well, I guess that isn’t really true.  It’s been printing… just not on paper.  It started off by pulling the paper in a bit askew and finally wound up — yesterday — refusing to even try to pull any paper through.  So I wandered off to the local office supply store to buy a new printer.

I picked the Epson Stylus NX515 because my last three printers have been Epsons, and except for the little problem of them not lasting forever, they’ve been great machines.  The print quality is excellent.  I went with the NX515 because it has wireless printing.

Oh, sure it does!  It just doesn’t have wireless printing in my house.  I’m not really sure why.  I suspect it has something to do with Windows Vista, though, because the printer is talking to the wireless network.  I thought about trying to get it working on my XP machine but — oh, look!! — the DVD drive won’t open.  Isn’t that interesting?

But the printer does print with the USB cable and it scans beautifully, so the rest of the issues will have to wait until I have time (perhaps over the weekend) and patience (ut oh… maybe next year) to deal with them.

Dear Website Designers

NaBloPoMo Day 18

I would like to share with you some of the things you do that piss me off.

First, you autoplay a video or some music when I go to your site.  Don’t do that.  What if I’m surfing the web at Oh-Dark-Thirty?  I don’t need your noisy website to wake up the rest of the household and, incidentally, scare the crap out of me.  What if I’m surfing the web at work and listening to my happy music?  Do you really think I want to hear YOUR crap over my happy music?  Oh, no.  I do not.  Just stop doing this.  It’s obnoxious, and it’s rude.

Next, you decide you know what the best size is for my browser, and shrink it down to something really small.  What the hell is up with that?  I like my browser to be big, bold and FULL SCREEN, damn it.  Stop mucking around with my settings.  That’s obnoxious, rude and verging on criminal.

Lastly, you have pop-up dialog box after pop-up dialog box jumping out to nag me about leaving your evil, stupid, ugly site.  What the fuck is wrong with you???  Be assured that whatever product you are hawking, I will never buy it.  I will also never voluntarily return to your website.

These practices are, in my opinion, the sign of someone who is completely unprofessional.  If these practices are your clients’ ideas, then it behooves you to tell them how much they are pissing of their potential customers.  Grow a spine and just say No.


Three Cheers for Annoying Things Rolling Around in the Car

NaBloPoMo Day 17

Yesterday morning, I spent about 15 seconds grabbing an empty can that had been rolling around in the back of my car for several days and tossing it in one of the recycling bins in the garage.  Had I not done that, the SUV that sped though the red light at the intersection of Lincoln and McKinley would have plowed into me.  That would have been really inconvenient, to say nothing of the fact that neither I nor my car would have been very happy about it.

And yo!  Where are the Albany cops when you need them, eh?  Because that’s not the first time I’ve seen someone ignore red lights on Lincoln.  It was, however, the first time I’d seen somebody going that damn fast through the red light, though.  Too bad I didn’t catch a license plate number.  Sigh.  Next time, asshole.  Next time.

Malls and I Are Incompatible

NaBloPoMo Day 16

I used like going to malls.  Something changed somewhere along the way, though.  Today, the thought of going to a mall fills me with dread.  Could be the mad crush of people, could be the fact that parking in a mall lot is a danger to life, limb and vehicle.  Or it could just be that everybody sells the same thing in different packages.

I had occasion to visit one of our local malls the other day, though.  While there trying to avoid all the Christmas crap, I saw a parent and child combination that almost had me laughing out loud.  The child was on one of those kid leashes, and every time the parent picked the kid up to stand on her (looked like a little girl, anyway) little feet, she’d flop down on the floor… just like my cats do whenever I have the audacity to attach a collar and leash to them.

The chuckles I got from that, combined with the fact that Bath and Body Works was having another of their excellent sales, made my trip to the mall less than the misery it generally turns out to be.

AT&T Says I Should Upgrade My Phone

NaBloPoMo Day 15

I’ve got a Razr 3.  It’s a spiffy reddish color.  It fits in my pocket, which is good because otherwise I’d wind up leaving it at home.  Or in the car.  Or in my backpack.  It’s fairly good for texting, which is what I mostly use it for.  I don’t talk much on it because (1) I hate talking on the phone and (2) the sound quality is pretty piss-poor.

I have my cell phone service through AT&T.  I’ve had AT&T since they sucked up Cingular.  I was with Cingular since… wow, since I lived in Colorado?  Yeah, that’s possible, though there were a few years in there when I first moved to New York that I didn’t have a cell phone because I didn’t really need one (not that I actually need one now, but the texting feature is very handy).  Anyway, AT&T has been “notifying” me for several months now that I’m eligible for an upgrade on my phone.  I don’t care much for most of the phones they offer.  I like having a camera in my phone because then I can take compromising pictures of the cats.  I don’t really need GPS in my phone because I’ve got a TomTom (or SeanSean as I call it, because the voice I use sounds delightfully like Sean Connery).  I don’t play music on my phone because I have a nifty MP3 play (the Samsung P2… very nice).  And although I’m just a wee bit compulsive about checking my email, I don’t really need to check it when I’m out and about.

So if I’m going to get a new phone, it ought to be better at texting, still fit in my pocket and have better sound quality for the rare times I actually use it as a phone.  I’m contemplating the Motorola Karma.  I’m certainly not sold on any other phone manufacturer or model, and I’m not entirely certain I care all that much for the Karma.  In fact, I may just wait until AT&T offers something more exciting than the Karma.  After all, I’ve gotten along well enough with the Razr 3 for a year and a half… and I had my Razr 2 for almost three years before it decided to stop working althogether.  Ah, I guess I’m just not the gadget nerd I was born to be.

My Name is Kelly and I’m an Addict

NaBloPoMo Day 14

I am SO addicted to Sudoku!  If I don’t get my daily fix, I get all twitchy.  I like to do a few puzzles first thing in the morning with my Red Bull to really wake up.  Sometimes, I’ll go through five or six puzzles in the evening to help me wind down from a busy day.  I play when I’m bored.  I have a book of puzzles in my car, I have a book of puzzles at work, I have three or four books at home.

I wonder if there’s a 12-Step program for Sudoku addicts.  Not that I care, of course, because I’m not giving up my Sudoku… unless something better comes along.

Happy Holidays and Bah Humbug

NaBloPoMo Day 13

So, I understand that there is Christianist group boycotting the Gap and Old Navy and Banana Republic because they won’t say “Christmas” in their ads.  Excuse me while I try to stop laughing…

There are a couple of reasons why this is just insane.  And funny.  First of all, the number of people who would actually participate in such a boycott is so small that the stockholders of the Gap et al. are probably snickering in their eggnog.  The number of people participating in the boycott will probably be quite easily offset by the number of people purposefully shopping at the Gap et al. because they think the boycott is uber silly.

The second reason why this is insane is really more relevant.  I assume that these Christianist folks are trying to put the “Christ” back in “Christmas.”  What they don’t understand is that Capitalism has co-opted Christmas just as thoroughly as the early Christians co-opted various Pagan winter holidays.  Christmas no longer has a meaning beyond rampant over-spending.  Christmas is no longer a holiday… it’s a Time of Year.  The entire fourth quarter of every year is devoted to Christmas.  Americans are still pushing back a little and insisting that Thanksgiving is still a holiday… but it is quickly being overshadowed by the marketing swill of Christmas.

I have profound reasons for disliking this time of year that I may (or may not) share at some point.  The fact that Big Business has turned it into their major retail event of the year certainly doesn’t help anyone (except Big Business) love it.

My advice for the Christianists (not that they’ll listen to me since I’m not a Christian) is to just quietly celebrate Christmas as the birthday of Jesus, just as you always did before it became the biggest reason of the year for overspending.  I’d actually like Christmas more if it was low-key and laid back.  I’d be able to appreciate it as your religious holiday.  Really guys… you don’t want to be part of the madness.

Bah humbug.

I Didn’t Say This Yesterday

NaBloPoMo Day 12

…because that would just be too normal and expected, right?

So today I’m going to say thank you.  To all who have served in the military, and especially all those who are currently serving… thanks.  What you do isn’t easy, and I appreciate your ability to do a job that a lot of us flat-out couldn’t handle (myself included).

Now be safe, ok?


NaBloPoMo Day 11

I have fibromyalgia, and it really sucks.  Don’t know anything about fibro?  Check out the Wikipedia article on the subject.  It’s a fairly good overview.

The defining symptom of fibromyalgia is pain.  It’s rare day that I’m completely pain-free, and on those days I tend to be quite manic with the euphoria of it all.  Most days, I’ve got pain in at least one part of my body that’s at a level 5 or 6.  The really bad days, the pain gets up to an 8 or a 9.

Pain wears a body out out and makes it hard to sleep, so I’m tired all the time.  Pain makes me cranky and depressed, so I’m often no fun to be around.  Being in pain and being tired makes it hard to clean my house (especially since it’s enormous), sit at my desk all day or do a lot of the other stuff I’m “supposed” to be doing.

I get especially annoyed with people who think it’s “all in my head.”  I don’t look sick, so I can’t possibly be sick.  Well, ok… I’m not sick.  I just hurt.  Everywhere.  All the time.

It’s quite possible I will mention this topic again, because fibromyalgia and the reaction people have to it is something that pisses me off.  But right now, I have to go take some Aleve.

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