March of the Rantoneers (March mini-rants)

Yep, yet another day has gone by with students who are 100% Pavlovian. By that, I mean that no matter what the assignment is, no matter how important it is to them to get it done, the second they get connected to the Internet, it’s a mad rush to go on WeChat, check the latest gossip, and play games. And there’s no option to not have them use the connection because that’s the only way to get information (assuming they’re actually going to do the assignment) in a decent time.

Next: One student is a budding young Kanye. He fully believes every word out of West’s bigoted mouth. And that’s especially when it comes to Jews. And, yes, this student is Chinese in China. I’ve no idea how he’s accessing that nonsense nor how it’s being filtered to him.

Finally: The construction across the street from my apartment is still going on at odd hours of the night. Turns out that site is zoned industrial so they’re apparently not subject to the quiet hours ordinance.

Rant on!

I’m a merchandiser. I go to various stores and set up the aisles all pretty to impress our clients. The company I work for sucks. Everything is done through an app that crashes if you look at your phone the wrong way.

But that’s not my rant.

My rant is that twice in the last two days I have been sent to stores that relocated OVER A YEAR AGO. Was I sent to the new location? Well, would I be bitching if I had been? Nope. I was sent to empty storefronts, wasting my time and my gas. Pay is either flat rate per store or hourly on arrival. No travel pay, no fuel allowance. Why do I stay? Well, I get to set my own hours and choose which jobs I want and which ones I’ll pass on. Looks like I have two more for the Chuckit List.

Bigotry will always find a way.

Awesome! That dude showing the Sieg Heil salute is holding up his daughter who is wearing a jersey with Samsung on it.

Best Buy. A technology vendor who has removed all of the ways a customer can contact them. You cannot call the store; you cannot email the store; you cannot reach a given employee; you cannot send an email to customer service. If you need to talk to them, you have to either go through an out-of-state message service or go down to the store and talk to them in person. You CANNOT contact them directly in any method convenient for you.

Oh, they’d like you to think you can. The store has a phone number on the website, but the phone tree will not connect you with anybody, even if you have their extension. The website has a “Contact Us” button but it brings up a drop-down menu with things like “status of my order.” Do you want to type in a free-text message to someone? Too bad, no option, nobody wants to talk to you.

I brought in a hard drive for the Geek Squad to look at. They had a question. They called me. I was away from my phone, and they left a message with a number and extension to call back on. When I called the number (the main store number), there was no “if you know your extension, dial it” option. In fact, the only option was “Hear store hours.” WTF? Pressing random buttons got me somebody at the message desk who told me I could not call the store. When I demanded to know how I contacted their employee who had called ME, I was told…you can’t.

So fuck you, Best Buy. I will never, ever use your services again. You clearly do not care about your customers and just want them to give you money and shut up. I will never give you money again.

I found their Facebook page and left a scathing comment. Hopefully it will save others from my fate.

Sadly enough, that’s the only way to get a response from many companies now.

So, I’ve mentioned before that I was forced to upgrade my computer. The new computer, of course, uses Windows 11 (which may or may not be relevant to my problem) and does not have a CD/DVD drive (because nobody uses those any more). When I hooked up my old printer to the new computer I was able to download a basic driver which allows me to do basic printing. However, since I don’t have a CD/DVD drive I can’t install the Canon app which would allow full access to all the printer functions, including scanning. And since Canon has discontinued support for my printer I can no longer download the app from their website. So it looks like I’m going to have to buy a new printer just so I’ll be able to scan things. I’m betting that the ink refills I just bought will probably not work on the new printer.

If you have another computer with a optical drive, you can set up sharing and access the optical drive from your new computer. I’ve had to do that before to install software from a CD/DVD

Or if you have a USB port, it’s easy and cheap to get an external optical drive.

Here’s one for about $30 from Amazon that connects to either a USB A or USB C port, reads and writes CDs, and reads DVDs.

Yep. I have one of these, works great for whenever I need to grab a file off a CD or DVD.

Not really a rant, just a bemused observation, in light of the unusual amounts of snow we’ve had in the past couple of weeks, particularly yesterday.

One of the worst things about heavy snowfalls is the heavy slushy crap that city plows leave at the end of your driveway. Fortunately, with a driveway plowing contract I don’t have to worry about that. The city plows always come by early and leave their mess, and then my guy shows up to plow the driveway and cleans it all up, creating a great big mountain on the side of my driveway.

But alas, there is a sidewalk on my side of the street, and the city cleverly times the sidewalk plowing for just after my driveway gets cleared. And yesterday there was so much snow piled up at the end of my driveway that it was rolling onto the sidewalk. So when the sidewalk plow finally came by with its V-shaped plow, it was pushing so much snow that it created two big snowbanks at the end of my driveway.

So I called my plow guy and he came by and cleaned that up. In the process, of course, that now created smaller perpendicular ridges of snow on the sidewalk. :smile:

I don’t see a problem with that – the kiddies going to school on Monday can just step over it. But the city sees it as a catastrophe, and typically sends the sidewalk plows a second time.

This now creates still smaller snow ridges in the middle of MY driveway.

Here in the Great White North, this is known as the Battle of the Plows – public vs private. It continues until the inevitable warmth of spring renders it all moot. Then in late fall, it all starts up again.

Fortunately, it’s no longer me with a shovel battling the Mechanized Monsters of the City. I just peer out the window and watch the Battle of the Plows.

I think you misspelled “an amusing.”

I once lived on a small street that connected two larger streets. Whenever it snowed they’d only plow the larger streets, and we’d sometimes have a 5’ wall of snow trapping us on either side.

Fuck those assholes, someone should have been sued over that shit. They’d fucking trap us for days at times.

I had been thinking of getting an external optical drive when I bought the new computer, but hadn’t gotten around to pricing them (due to everything else that’s been going on with my life). Thanks for saving me the trouble. :grinning:

Q. Has Irish beer suddenly become super expensive? Is this just inflation?
Guinness seems much more expensive in March of 2023.

Your city plows your sidewalks? Wow, never heard of that.

Mr. brown and I often drive to, park, and then walk on a semi-rural road near our home. It’s a nice flat road that goes past an old farm or two, plus some nice estate homes.

The first place we pass has two absolutely enormous valley oaks. Their individual weights must be equal to some of the largest redwood trees: the trunks are almost as big around as a car, and the main limbs are as big as massive trees in their own right. The last time we walked past them (about three weeks ago), we noted the size of the main limbs and wondered how the nearest huge tree could hold them all up.

Well, we’ve had a lot of soaking rain and tremendous wind lately. We drove down that rural road yesterday morning, and that massive, hugest oak was blown over. It took out a couple of other smaller trees and pulled down a bunch of wires as well.

It’s really sad. It must have been hundreds of years old.

Minneapolis is “studying” the idea:

We used Priceline’s Express Deals to book a motel on our drive the other day - got a Sleep Inn in Flotence, SC.

We arrived and went up the stairs to our room and were immediately greeted with the aroma of stale marijuana smoke. In a “nonsmoking” hotel. The chair and bedcover had visible stains. The shower floor looked so nasty that we both skipped badly-needed showers. The bathroom had a pocket door, which was likely why the stains on it had never been cleaned (it looked like someone opened a can of Coke and sprayed everything).

The front desk could do nothing. Priceline said they could give me a 15% coupon on another express deal to use by June. As if I’d ever risk that again.

I’ve messaged Choice Hotels (parent company; Sleep Inn is the embarassing redneck cousin in that family). I’ll write another nastygram to Priceline.

On the plus side: there were enough pillows, the sheets were clean, and we have seen no evidence of bedbugs - my BIL was eaten alive by bedbugs a few days earlier, at a Marriott in Florida.

We had to throw away all the disposable parts of our CPAP setups (masks, hoses) because they smelled so bad from the lingering smoke odor. That stiff costs more than the room did.

A review from 2022 was nearly identical to our experience. Clearly they just don’t care.

So my only recourse is to publicize it as widely as possible. And avoid that entire family of hotels, which is frustrating as a Comfort Inn is the “nicest” place in my daughter’s town.

Virtually every municipality that I know of around here plows the city sidewalks, even though we typically get much less snow than someplace like Minneapolis. I would think that forcing homeowners to do it would be burdensome for the more elderly. If it’s city property, they should damn well take care of it.

The city where I used to live had another snow clearing feature that I really appreciated. Residential streets were cleared by specially equipped Caterpillar graders that had a second plow blade at the back that was normally in the raised position. As it passed each driveway, the blade would swoop down and clear away the windrow it had just left. Every driveway entrance was always clear and unobstructed. Some other municipalities that lack the special equipment have a windrow clearing operation that takes place after the snowplowing.