Monday, November 29, 2010
Rant #393: No, I Am the Turkey
Fulfilling a self-fulfilling prophecy, I had a real rough holiday and holiday weekend.
It all began rather innocently. I arrived home from work after doing my traditional holiday buying on the day before Thanksgiving. I have done this for years now, avoiding the crowds that take over the stores on Black Friday. I came home, with gifts aplenty but still with the feeling that I didn't get everything I wanted to buy simply because the prices weren't that great.
Anyway, I took out my battery charger to charge up some rechargeable batteries. I have done this a thousand times without incident.
I found another battery charger and decided to charge up another battery (yes, one battery) at another outlet.
I plugged the charger into the wall socket. Suddenly, there was a small explosion, a brief flame came out of the wall, and when all the smoke had cleared, I discovered that not only did I blow out the wall socket that I was using, but I blew out a whole bank of them on the kitchen wall--including the one hooked up to our oven!
We were having my sister and her family and my parents over the next day for the holiday, so this wasn't good.
My wife was able to cook the bird in my parents' stove, but it meant for a lot of minor problems.
Happily it went off without a hitch, but the electrician's bill was over $100.
Earlier that day, since my son made his school's track team, I decided to take him outside and have him run for a few minutes, as the coach suggested. He ran, and then I decided to run with him.
Big mistake--I threw out my back and while it's better as I write this, it still hurts and is uncomfortable. I guess I'm not 20 years old anymore.
On Thanksgiving Day, some stores were open. My mother turns 80 in March, so I thought I would buy her a Hanukkah/Birthday gift: a netbook computer. I found a good buy (no, a great buy) at a store that was open, and I went there to purchase the computer. I got one of the two they had.
I took it home, charged it up, and after the festivities of the day, I sat down to see if I could hook the computer up to the Internet. I had problems.
I called my provider, and to make a long story short (an hour on the phone in two separate calls), the operating system that the computer had was not compatible to the Internet service that I was using.
The next day, I brought the unit back to the store, asking for a refund. I had the receipt, and it didn't say on the receipt that the unit wasn't returnable.
Well, the cashier said that I couldn't return it, because there was nothing wrong with it. I had explained the the operating system was not compatible to what I was going to use the Internet on--I wanted to be honest.
Well, when I got turned down, I said something to the extent of, "So if I lied to you and said the computer was broken, you would give me my money back?"
He replied, "Yes."
Well, I didn't stand for that. I got the manager over, and he begrudgingly gave me back my money.
Of course, now I didn't have a computer for my mother, so ...
I did something I swore many times that I would never do. I shopped on Black Friday.
I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and trudged over to Radio Shack, where they were having a good deal on a netbook.
I was the fifth on line, and when the store opened at 5:30 a.m., I attacked a salesman, just like the other people did, and I got what I came for.
As I proceeded to my car, a woman ran out and screamed at me, "You got the last one!"
I replied, "Well, yes I did," and shut the door and drove away. Perhaps I should have offered it to her and see what she would have paid me for it. Sor-ry!
On Saturday, my son and I went to the New York Knicks-Atlanta Hawks game at Madison Square Garden. I bought the tickets months ago--actually, I bought four tickets, two for my son and I, the other for my nephew and my brother in law.
On Thursday, I gave my brother in law the two tickets for him and his son, and we planned to meet at the Garden. The deal was that the ticket for my nephew was his birthday present, and my brother in law didn't have to pay me for either ticket, just get my son and I food and beverages there (as you know, that can cost more than a ticket for each of us).
Well, my brother in law called on Saturday morning, telling me that my nephew was sick and that he tried to get up his second son to use the ticket with him, but he had come in at 3:30 a.m. in the morning and wasn't getting out of bed so quick. His third son had wrestling practice that day, so he couldn't go either. My brother in law asked me what to do with the two tickets. Frustrated, I told him to give them away (there wasn't time to pick up the tickets from him, we had a train to make). And that's just what he did.
We got to the game, and the other party with the tickets came. They were pleasant people, even offered to buy beverages for my son and I, but I was not too happy.
And, of course, as always happens when my son and I go to a Knicks game, they lost (that's five in a row now for my son and I--in fact, I have not been present at a Knicks win since 1985!).
I was not a happy camper by any stretch of the imagination.
Yesterday also started off poorly, but I won't get into those things because they were relatively minor.
My family and I went to the movies, and saw the film "Faster" with The Rock. It was surprisingly good, and I recommend it highly.
Anyway, that was my dreadful weekend. I left out lots of the details because I didn't want to bore you any further, but boy, do I feel bummed out right now.
Gobble, gobble--I am the turkey!
Posted by Larry at 4:12 AM