The September of my Rants

Just a lazy day yesterday, nothing to do except pick up my son at the airport.

Well, except:

  • I notice a front tire is a bit low. Sigh! Haul out the old compressor, fill it up.

  • Now I notice I’m low on gas. No time to go to my favourite discount station, decide to stop at one that’s on the way to the freeway. What’s this? There are traffic cones blocking the entrance! I turn down a side street to the other entrance. More traffic cones! OK, they don’t want my business. Make U-turn and head back to the main road.

  • I remember there’s one more station before I hit the freeway, though it’s on the wrong side of a big highway. Go into that. Lo, it’s one of those obnoxious places that wants you to prepay. You’re supposed to stick your credit card in and “follow the instructions”. Except I can’t see any damn instructions because intense sunlight has washed out the screen. I have to shield it with my head and part of my T-shirt and peer into it like a mystic crystal ball. I finally manage to push the right buttons, and after a long while of “Authorizing … please wait” it announces “Transaction cancelled.”

  • I run inside to prepay at the register. Same card, no problem. I fill up. I vow never to come to that station again (or any other station announcing “Prepay now in effect”, like some inarguable declaration from an omnipotent diety). I leave. Someone waves and shouts as I leave. Ah, in my haste I left the filler door open. This is how my day is going. I stop, close it, and try to make a left turn out of the station without getting smooshed by dense traffic in both directions, traffic moving so fast each car makes a supersonic boom as it goes past. It takes a while before it’s safe.

  • As I rush to the airport, now running late, the phone rings. There is a $500 fine for using a handheld phone while driving but I check the caller and it’s the kid so I pick it up. So, he’s “stuck on the plane” and will be late, so I don’t need to hurry. Sigh! The plane is being held at the gate because customs & immigration lines are backlogged.

  • I arrive at the airport and go to a special parking area to wait for his call. All that rushing just to now have to wait. And wait. It’s hot, I’m hot, and I have no further updates. I drink the last of the Coke I brought with me and continue waiting.

  • Finally I get the call. At last. I rush over to the appropriate terminal. I keep rushing until I hit the tail end of the longest goddam lineup of vehicles I have ever seen trying to get into the arrivals area, mostly not moving. The lane reserved for curbside passenger pickup is completely congested, so many cars are stopping in the actual traffic lane to the left of it, and fuck those behind them. The only lane that is (barely) moving at all is the leftmost one.

  • I eventually get close enough that the kid sees me and runs to the car, throws his stuff in the back, and gets in. Ahead of me I see a sea of cars, seemingly all stopped, many of them at various odd angles, some trying to wedge their way into the inner lanes, others trying to wedge their way out, none of them doing much in the way of actually going anywhere. WTF? I mean, I’ve seen this sort of thing before, though rarely this bad, but isn’t this supposed to be the Era of COVID where nobody is actually traveling except for essential purposes???

  • OK, I finally get the hell out of there. It is now the peak of big-city rush hour and the expressways are jammed. But hark! I know a way to avoid most of it by maximizing the use of our one and only toll expressway, the gift to Free Enterprise of a notoriously incompetent conservative government, famous for being the most outrageously expensive ripoff toll road in North America (and possibly the world) and therefore never congested, but at least I can get home in time to have a few stiff drinks to lower my blood pressure.

The whole point being, I’m retired, dammit! I’m entitled to be free of aggravation!

Sounds frustrating!

Tip: Pickup people from Departures, not Arrivals. Much less crowded. I had to pick up my daughter last week, and airport signs even recommended it, as there were such huge backups at Arrivals that traffic was effectively halted. It worked; I was in and out in no time.

Rant: toilet flusher innards broke while I was out tonight. It’s too complicated for me to fix. Somehow have to find a plumber and/or parts in the morning, but I have painters coming that need overseeing. I don’t know any plumbers.

My granddaughter is a smart kid - before she was 3, she not only knew all her numbers, letters, and colors, but she knew the difference between a square, a rectangle, a hexagon, and a pentagon. And other stuff - she’s smart.

And yet she doesn’t care if her pants are wet or poopy! Why is she resisting transition to the toilet? Yesterday, she did run to the bathroom 4 times, but three of the times, she peed all over the bathroom floor, and the fourth time, she had a lump in the back of her underwear. And then, while putting her books back on the shelf, she peed on the carpet!! WTF, kid???

Yeah, yeah, I know kids progress at their own rates and she’ll get it. But how can someone who’s so sharp and with such a wicked sense of humor - how come she resists this fairly simple, basic milestone? I don’t understand the toddler mind. And her parents and I are tired of cleaning up after her.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought gasoline and wasn’t required to prepay.

I can’t either. I also get frustrated when I encounter pumps that require me to insert a card; I’ve really gotten used to contactless.

We had one rural station near my house that didn’t require prepay for gas when I moved in 5 years ago, and it felt like this amazing relic of a better time. They didn’t even have pay-at-the-pump, which was cool.

They went out of business years ago now.

My wife argues with anti-vaxxers. There really isn’t any point. She gets annoyed and then tells me about it which annoys me.

The latest stupidity being spouted: It isn’t really a vaccine. A real vaccine keeps you from getting the disease. This only works sometimes so it isn’t real. It’s just a shot.

There, now you’re annoyed too! I feel better. :roll_eyes:

“Your aunt has achieved her third cancer. Colon, this time. Bet she’s not gonna die from it.”

That’s how my oh so sensitive and charming mother has informed me that her sister, who’s previously survived two unrelated breast cancers, is having surgery for colon cancer next week. And yes, she said “achieved”, as if cancer was something one gets at a country fair.

Other than that yeah, she’s so sensitive, so charming, so delicate…

Also, the Eldest Nephew appears to be lactose intolerant :frowning: but that is a gene he got from his Dad (my Middlebro) and Middlebro got from Mom; that one has not been achieved, he just has it.

I had to double check that this wasn’t a zombie thread from the 80’s. I haven’t seen a station that wasn’t prepay only in decades.

Damn. Just realized this isn’t workplace rants. Insufficient caffeine detected.

Umm. The A/C compressor and well pump decided to do a Romeo and Juliet last week, I didn’t even know they were seeing each other so had to have service folks out to deal with that. Yay.

TBC in workplace rants.

Potty training isn’t always about how smart you are. A lot of it is figuring out how to tell when you need to go and how urgent those signals are. My daughter didn’t potty train until she was six and, for her, it was entirely sensory. She just couldn’t tell she needed to go until she was basically wetting her pants. Once she got the senses figure out, she was a champ.

A friend of mine just had a baby and I seriously had the thought “Oh I remember when my baby was that little!” You know, the baby that is 2 months old? Seriously brain, I got enough on my plate.

Good idea, though it’s slightly inconvenient for the pickupee who has to go to a different level. It may partly depend on time of day, but I do frequently notice that Departures is much less crowded. I think the other factor is that people are assholes. When you’re dropping someone off, you just drop them off and leave. When you’re picking up, many will stop and wait even though waiting is strictly prohibited. There is security staff that eventually shoos them away, but they can’t deal with everyone at once.

I understand it’s very common in the US but still quite rare in Canada, at least around here. Most stations allow you to pay at the pump, but almost never require prepay. There is, however, a bill in the Ontario Legislature that’s been sitting in Committee since last year that, if passed, would make prepay mandatory. The evil will then be upon us. This is consistent with Wolfpup’s Law of Existential Entropy: “in the long run, everything always gets worse”.

Kansas City, MO passed prepay ordinance, justifying it on the amount of time the police were spending on non-paying drive-offs.

I’m 75, and this is a normal day for me.

Ha. I remember one of my kids, on a long car trip, saying “Peeee is cominnnng!” which was our cue to exit asap…or not, if there wasn’t a gas station damn soon. And he was middle school age, long past his easy potty training.

So now he’s all grown and I’m pushin’ 70. Just the other day I suddenly had the urge to go with no warning. I rushed for the bathroom saying “Peeee is cominnnng!”

A year ago I did my periodic dance with AT&T; the special deal they give me for a discount on my monthly bundle is going to expire, so I call and talk to one of their “account specialists” who looks through their super-secret file of available discounts which can’t be posted online and finds one that can be bestowed upon me as a long-time customer. These discounts are only good for a fixed period, in this case one year, so effective tomorrow the cost of my bundle is going to increase $60 (plus tax increases). So today I go the their website and open up a chat, which involves answering a bunch of irrelevant questions about what I want before I can chat with a real person. “Sandra” has a strange way of phrasing things which leads me to believe that English is not her first language, and takes so long to respond to everything I say that I can only deduce that she’s typing with her nose. After close to half an hour of “what channels do you watch?” and suggesting a package with fewer channels and then adding on additional packages which will end up costing as much as my current package, she decides that I need to be referred to the Keeper of the Discounts. This August Personage does not deign to use the chat system, but will have to call me. (No, of course I can’t have the number to call myself.) After verifying my phone number I am assured that I will receive a call within ten minutes.

Forty-five minutes later I go back on the website and do the Intro to Chat dance until I get to chat with Carol. I explain what happened earlier (again with the interminable waits between responses) and this time Carol stays on chat with me until I actually get the phone call. As it turns out, the person who calls me is unable to find an available discount, but suggests that there is a Grand High Pooh-Bah who might be able to help. But of course she can’t transfer me to them, but will have to pass on a message to have them call me “within the next day”.

So far, no call. I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow morning, and I’m laying odds that when I return there will be a message on my answering machine that I missed their call. Or they will call my cell phone while I’m in the store or, more likely, just as my ride home shows up. (Oh did I forget to mention that for some reason their attempt to call my landline failed, and they had to call my cell phone? I HATE talking on my cell phone, which is why I never give out the number except to family and friends who can be trusted not to abuse it, or prefer sending texts.)

The first handyman/plumber I was able to line up (most are booked for weeks out) discovered his truck had been hit-and-run overnight and was badly damaged. Many phone calls later, a kind plumber who came highly recommended on NextDoor offered to squeeze an hour out between jobs this morning to fix my toilet. It ended up being even more complicated than I’d guessed, and far beyond my ability. He also replaced the shutoff and hose from the wall to the tank. Not cheap, but I’m really glad to have it fixed!

Good to hear! The reason my DIY plumbing jobs have been mostly successful is that I know just enough to know what NOT to attempt on my own! :slight_smile:

Oh boy, you’re not kidding! He had to take the tank off the toilet, and the bolts were frozen and broke off, but he had spares at the ready. And he had a gasket ready to reseal after he put it back together. I have only one bathroom and one toilet, so having someone who can deal with it without having to take 5 trips to the plumbing supply store is priceless.

Oh good gawd. A borked toilet, workmen coming and the plumber truck is now borked.

You deserve a kitten. Want mine? The little jerk isn’t quite big enough to pull the porcelain water bowl over yet, so he just dances in it and tracks water all over the floor. Our housekeeper wasn’t gone for half an hour before George was leaving tracks and dumping over his toy box. We are so happy that she hasn’t quit us yet.