I hate working with wood, it lies

I hate working with wood. It’s an activity filled with lies, misinformation, and things that run contrary to common sense.

Case in point. When you go to the home improvement store to purchase wood, the dimensions shown on the self under the wood or found on the actual wood do not match reality. The famous two-by-four is so named because it’s two inches by four inches in width. Expect it’s not. A two-by-four is actually 1½ × 3½ inches.

Why even call something by its dimensions if the dimensions are a lie? Because it’s wood, that’s why.

I recently installed some shelving in my home office. It’s made from metal rails and brackets.

As the above photo shows, instead of the cheap particle board these type shelves normally use, I wanted to use real wood. The problem I ran into was buying wood that actually fit the shelving.

The boards I purchased were supposed to measure 1 inch by 10 inches by 8 feet in length. Except they didn’t.

In all actuality, the boards measured 3/4 inch by 9 1/4 inch by 8 feet. This was almost a problem in that the metal shelving brackets I purchased were nine-inch brackets. Because they were made from metal, they were actually nine inches in length. Metal tells the truth, wood does not.

What I’ve discovered with processed wood is this: the length is usually always dead on. It’s the other measurements that are complete fabrications.

I’m not really done with the shelving unit or I would have taken a finished photo and posted it here. I don’t know if there’s anything more I want to do yet. I may paint the shelves white. I may put trim on the front and the ends. I haven’t decided yet.

I also have another project going on in the home office. It’s the table in which our computers sit. I made it out of stainable panels purchased at Lowes. They are 1 inch by 24 inches by 48 inches. Those are the actual measurements. Go figure.

I used three of them to make an “L” shaped desk. They have legs from Ikea in the front. The back of the desk is secured to the wall in studs with 3-inch construction screws. For the cables, I put 1 1/2 holes in the back of the desk’s top. The cables go through the holes and connect to the computers on the floor.

I wanted to fill the cracks between the three panels. I purchased a product at Home Depot called Minwax Wood Putty.

It came in Natural Pine, the color of the panels. I applied the putty yesterday and I allowed it to dry overnight. Or so I thought.

I checked it this morning and it hadn’t dried. It’s in the same state it was when I applied it yesterday. I then read the very tiny print on the small bottle.

Will not harden to a sandable surface? That’s the whole point of wood putty, is it not? This is what it says about wood putty on Wikipedia:

The main problem in using putty is matching the color of the putty to that of the wood. Putties are usually sanded after they dry before applying the finish.

Just my luck, I bought the type of wood putty that does not dry and is not sandable. I was supposed to know this from reading the size 2px font on the back of the tiny jar.

I now have to scrape out this crappy wood putty and use something else, something that dries and is sandable.

When you work with wood, get ready for a lot of lies and half-truths. It’s a dishonest industry. It’s as though just putting the word wood in a product’s title gives it license to lie.

Eating Tide Pods is healthy, natural, and completely normal

Trigger Warning: This post contains sarcasm. 

Evidently, there’s a thing online called the “Tide Pod Challenge” where teens challenge each other to eat laundry detergent packets while they record it on video. Experts have been warning the public that this is dangerous. They’ve looked into it and determined the contents of a Tide Pod is not conducive to human life.

Yada yada yada. What a bunch of egg heads.

I’m no scientist, but I think the Tide Pod Challenge is healthy, natural, and completely normal. Furthermore, I think it’s good for our society that some of our young people, the special snowflakes they are, are digesting expensive clothing detergent.

It’s good for the herd

Eating Tide Pods is healthy, natural, and completely normal - Bent Corner
The overall health of the herd if paramount.

I think it’s good long-term for our society, our herd if you will, that anyone engaging in the Tide Pod Challenge just removes their DNA from the gene pool.

They’re clearly mentally weak compared to their counterparts. I don’t mean they’ll never be able to master calculus or learn a foreign language. No, I mean they are the type of people who decide to do dumb shit.

Our herd desperately needs less of these types of people, not more. It’s addition by subtraction.

Back in my day, the people today partaking in the Tide Pod Challenge would have been taken care of by playing lawn darts or sticking a Wham-O Water Wiggle down their throat with the hose turned on to full blast.

Eating Tide Pods is healthy, natural, and completely normal - Bent Corner
The Whamo-Water Wiggle.

Wham-O probably did more for thinning the herd than any other toy manufacturer in the 1970’s. And I should know, it’s a decade I survived. Growing up in the high desert of southern California, I played with many of Wham-O’s water-based summer toys. I also played lawn darts with my younger brother. I’m talking about the metal-tipped lawn darts of death.

We both survived.

You know what else is true about my younger brother and me? We aren’t the type of people who would ever eat laundry detergent.

The truth behind the first Thanksgiving

If you live in the United States of America, today is Thanksgiving. It’s the day we Americans give thanks for all the wonderful things we have.

The very first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims. They had just defeated the indigenous Wampanoags in a bloody, horrific battle. The Pilgrims attacked the Wampanoag after they noticed delicious smells wafting from the Wampanoag village. Intrigued by the smells, the Pilgrims believed it was a sign from God. They believed God wanted them to kill every Wampanoag man, woman, and child.

The fighting was fierce. The Wampanoags, like most North American indigenous peoples, were armed with nothing more than bows and arrow, knives, clubs, and hatchets.

The blunderbusses, or as it’s more commonly referred to as the Pilgrim assault rifle.

The Pilgrims were armed with those dumb looking blunderbusses guns with a huge horn at the end.

The Pilgrims surely would have lost if it wasn’t for the fact they were protected by the one true God, Pilgrim Jesus. The Wampanoags were godless heathens. Plus, the Wampanoags had no idea the Pilgrims even had ill feelings towards them. The Wampanoags thought the Pilgrims were their friends. It was the type of battle military historians would later describe as a sneak attack.

When the Pilgrims finished slaughtering off the Wampanoag people, they discovered the source of the delicious smells, the trappings of a feist.

Not to pass up free food, the Pilgrims gorged themselves on the Wampanoag food. They had roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes with tiny marshmallows, and green bean casserole. For dessert, there was pumpkin pie.

The day marked the first Thanksgiving. It also marked the day type two diabetes was invented.

As soon as the Pilgrims were done eating, they realized they had a problem. Because the Wampanoag lacked a written language, the recipes for all that food died with the Wampanoag people. Over the years, scientists have worked diligently at duplicating the original Wampanoag recipes.

I think you’ll agree with me, they’ve gotten it pretty close.

I hate April Fool’s Day

Today is April 1st, also known as April Fool’s Day. It’s the one day a year people who are not particularly all that funny attempt to crack wise by making something up that isn’t true and passing it off as fact. For instance, telling someone they have full-blown AIDS when they don’t. It’s dumb, it’s annoying, and it’s never amusing.

Like a lot of things, the Internet has made the April Fool’s Day a lot worse. Unfunny people take to the Internet to post their unfunny crap.

I just don’t get it. How is the act of you telling me something that is not true, and me believing it because I trust you, make me a fool?

Working at a tech support call center is a lot like being a deep sea diver

Working in a tech support call center is a lot like being a deep sea diver. Sort of. Deep sea divers can only go deep underwater for a certain amount of time, then they must spend time on the surface decompressing. There’s no such thing as a deep sea diver working twelve hours a day, seven days a week. It’s a matter of chemistry. They simply can’t go to the depths they routinely dive to and breath the combination of gasses they routinely breathe without spending a significant amount of time on dry land decompressing from it all.

When you work in a call center, you need time to decompress

In that, working at a call center is a lot like being a deep sea diver. For every hour spent on the phone dealing with difficult, obnoxious people, I need time away from it all so that I can decompress. It’s what I’m doing this Labor Day weekend. I’m decompressing. I took Friday off so that I would have a full four days off the phone.

I should point out that the majority of the calls I take at work are perfectly wonderful people who are as kind and courteous as you would hope they would be. It’s the small minority of people who are rude, aggressive, and overly obnoxious. Usually the more technically involved the issue, the nicer people tend to be. Often times the rudest of the rude people involve something as simple as getting a password reset. They can’t verify the account information that needs to verify to get a password reset, and that was clearly my fault.

Remembering a password is hard

For example, When I recently asked a man to please stop swearing and shouting at me, he responded to my request by telling me that if I didn’t like it, to read a book or go to school and get a real job. He was calling because he couldn’t remember his password. He was angry because he couldn’t verify the account info he needed to verify to get the password reset. He hung up.

The go to school and/or read a book comment is funny because even though I have an associates degree (in avionics!), I’m one of the least educated individuals in my department. Many of the people I work with have bachelors degrees and a few even have masters degrees. An education won’t keep you out of a call center, at least not my call center.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my job, especially when it involves assisting folks with integrating their credit card processing accounts with their WordPress websites. I just don’t enjoy interacting with mean people, but then again, who does?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to decompress.

DirecTv says installer will be here between twelve and four, fails to show up

Up until a month ago, we were DirecTv subscribers. We switched back to Antietam Cable, the local cable TV provider for the Hagerstown area. The price was a bit cheaper, but that wasn’t the driving force behind the desire to switch. I wanted to switch because of the NFL Redzone. With DirecTv, to get the NFL Redzone, you have to pay for the most expensive NFL package they have available, Sunday Ticket Max. With Antietam Cable, you only have to pay for the basic sports upgrade, less than eight dollars a month.

After we switched, we realized pretty quickly that the difference between DirecTv and Antietam Cable was like night and day. After only a couple weeks of Antietam Cable, not being able to watch one program and record another, we realized we made a mistake. The tipping point was last Saturday morning when we turned on NBC Sports to watch the English Premiere League and discovered we suddenly didn’t have the channel. The sports package, the reason we switched back to Antietam Cable in the first place, had been mistakenly turned off.

When we signed up for Antietam Cable, they gave us a free month of HBO and Showtime. After a month of free service, last Saturday, they turned the channels off. The problem is that they also turned off all our other premium channels, the ones we actually paid for, the ones we actually wanted, including our sports package.

We decided then and there to go back to DirecTv. Afterall, they had been hounding us with special offers, both in the mail and over the phone since we canceled. Instead of watching soccer last Saturday morning like I had planned, I called and reordered DirecTv. The “professional” installation was scheduled for Saturday, August 24, from noon to 4:00 pm.

The installer never showed up.

At 5:15 pm I called DirectTV. After explaining everything to the customer service representative, she apologized and said our installer must be running late and she would contact them to “axe” how much longer they were going to be. She also credited $50 credit towards my bill to make up for the delay.

Is a fifty dollar credit worth wasting a Saturday afternoon? I don’t think it is. At that point, it had been five and a half hours of standing by, waiting for someone to show up. That works out to be less than $10 per wasted hour.

At around 6:00 pm, I got a call from an installer. He said that my job had just been dropped into his queue and the earliest he could possibly be here was in two hours. He then proceeded to complain to me about having my installation sprung on him like that.

I told him not to worry about it, that he could just forget about even coming here. I then called DirecTv and cancelled the reorder.

We wasted all day Saturday for nothing. The ironic thing is that the installation would have been a snap. Since we are prior subscribers, we already have the dish on the roof and pointed in the right direction. The cable is already run to the junction box outside. All the installer would have to do is connect it to the cable going into the house. That, and connect the DVR to the TV. I doubt the whole job would have taken more than 15 minutes.

At this point I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to go back to Antietam Cable, and I don’t want to ever give another penny to DirecTv. I guess there’s always Dish Network. Their DVR is supposed to be really nice.