There’s only one explanation for the surfers being spared

The Hawaiian Gods saved Hawaii from the waters today.

I’m quite serious. Everyone went to higher ground. Up where the traditional Hawaiian culture believes you should go when you talk to the Hawaiian gods and ancestors. (If what I read in “The Bobbsey Twins And The Hawaiian Volcano” can be trusted.)

The priests and Old Ones, those native Hawaiians who keep the old culture and ways, must have gone up on the mountaintop to ask Pele and the other ancient Hawaiian gods for protection. And it worked!

Maybe they had to throw a couple of virgins in the volcano, and maybe they didn’t. I don’t know how it works nowadays. But hey, they made a deal with Poseidon. I know that redneck Texans have a similar way of working things out that involves Kinky Friedman standing on the edge of the Palo Duro Canyon holding up Willie Nelson and yelling for “Buddy” to get to prayin’. That also always works, pretty much.

Japan had better get to prayin’, looks like.

Keeping all prayer wheels turning for them.

Is this a virus/worm or spyware??

Every time I load or reload my “friends” page, I get a dialog box that claims to be from “Windows Security.” It says that “the server at Dueling Modems wants to authenticate you” and asks for a username/password. I don’t know where the heck this is coming from. The box goes on to say that the username/password will not be sent in a secure fashion. I click “Cancel” and it goes away. But I don’t like it popping up in the first place.

What the heck is the DM Message Board, and why would I be on it? I’m not on it, as far as I know. Is it because some journal on my friendslist is attached to the board? But I suspect something more sinister may be going on. I don’t want to just ignore it, in case there’s something sneakily trying to get passwords that way.

Interesting sidelight: The last two times I’ve rebooted, I’ve clicked to allow an update to Adobe Flash Player (“for security updates”). It strikes me as odd that Adobe would come up as “Unknown Publisher,” but I still was dumb enough to click. Didn’t notice any new function on the part of the flash player. Maybe that was really installing this? Whatever it is? Or maybe I’m paranoid.

I suppose I should google for “Dueling Modems.” Have to get back to you on that one.

Anyone know about this?

Flash fiction?

I thought I posted a market or contest for flash fiction a few weeks ago. Thinking about that market/contest, I sat down and brainstormed some flash fiction. Now I have two pieces that may or may not be pieces of eight, but I’ve forgotten where I was going to send them. Woe!

Duh!!

These are not SF/F pieces, but just sorta weird everyday-type pieces. Well, OK, one is fantasy, I suppose. But isn’t all fiction fantasy? Let’s not get too technical.

Where would YOU send your flash fiction? To the bit bucket? To a website? To a particular contest?

I am simply over-clocked. Goin’ to sleep now. Will search for markets in the morning. I don’t want to just send to whatever comes up on Google, but a place that’s a “real” market (whatever that means), so when I find out, I’ll tell y’all about it. Deal?

They tore down this 1950s-era rocket slide in Heights Park a couple of months ago, citing “danger” as the reason. They didn’t care when WE fell off of jungle gyms onto our punkin heads! That slide was history! It should have gone to a sculpture garden! Now how will kids play “Star Trek” or “Apollo Astronaut” at the playground? I suppose they aren’t doing that any more, but still. *sigh*

Kevin Smith too fat to fly?!

Oh, good grief! “Clerks” director Kevin Smith (“Silent Bob”) was tossed off a Southwest Airlines flight today, it appears, for being “too fat.” He generally buys two seats for comfort’s sake (and he is reportedly only 5’8″ and 240 lbs., and I don’t think that is quite DeathFat, although it can’t be considered an attaboy/attagirl/attadirector), but he was flying standby and only got one seat. He says the armrests went down and so forth. *I* certainly would not have complained about sitting next to him, as I have several film ideas I would like to discuss with him!!

But anyway, his feelings are hurt, majorly. A lot of Twitter people apparently slammed him and said he’s fat. Well, duh! Shut up already! For all have sinned and fall short!! We would be skinny like you if it were not so horribly difficult.

I think it’s terrible that they hurt his feelings, but hey, that’s life in the big city for fat girls and boys. You know what ruined him for me? Not that he got fat, or got married. It’s that he cut off his hair! That is a deal-breaker, baby. Forget it after that. But of course we can still discuss my great ideas for movies. Call me. My people are on it right now, baby!

*ahem* Here’s the link to the L. A. Times article. It seems that a rep from SW tried to smooth things over, but in her written apology she didn’t admit that he was prolly not bounced for being fat so much as for just being the last guy who was riding standby. It still sounded to him as if he were being slammed for being a fattie.

Shame on people who try to shame fat people, though. Let’s try to be kind to one another even if all of us have flaws, all right? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, and I mean ANY sin or flaw at all (the point being that nobody gets to cast the first stone after all). If someone needs two seats, let’s be kind and compassionate about it. I don’t want you skinny chicks and dudes to be crowded into a seat next to us stinky fats, but why can’t we be cordial about the entire issue? Sigh. Because people love to jump on any reason to “get after” someone else for a flaw or imagined slight, that’s why. It has always been so (it’s in the ancient Greek plays, in the Bible, in all sorts of ancient texts–we’ve always been a bunch of twits.)

The Article

Mr. Smith’s blog, in which he states he is weary of talking about it (and I can’t blame him)

I really liked “Mallrats.” And “Chasing Amy,” although I hate hate HATED the ending. Why they couldn’t have had a conversation to straighten all that out, I don’t know. I also liked “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” because it was really funny, even with all the cussin’ bleeped out. And the guy who plays Jay, of course . . . the hair. It’s all about the gorjus hair. As usual.

Man’s inhumanity to man. And to woman!

IS the customer always right–or is that different now?

Calling the HiveMind! I have a Situation of Sorts.

On January 21st, I sent a PayPal payment to [Name Withheld] Media for several videotapes of ancient TV shows. (Thirteen tapes, at $10 each!) I was thinking about the way my mother and my aunt get so crazy-bored, and how they LOVE the “I Love Lucy” marathons of re-runs like the one that’s on Hallmark Channel today, and how much they’d like to see the old “Love That Bob/Bob Cummings Show” and “The Life and Loves of Dobie Gillis.” The vendor was having a sale at one tape for $10, so I splurged.

On January 29th, I e-mailed the vendor to see if he’d gotten my money and to see if he had a target date for mailing the tapes out. I assumed that it would take a while to duplicate the tapes, but on the other hand, he has a business going, so it couldn’t take TOO long, could it? I mean, I have dubbed videotapes before, like our wedding video and various family event videos, and all I did was hook our old Magnavox to our newer Panasonic VCR and play while recording. Surely someone with a business doesn’t have to dub in real time, but even so, how long do you suppose it would take per tape? If the tapes are the usual three- to six-hour tapes? (They have two or three thirty/sixty-minute episodes each.) So perhaps I am being unfair. Maybe that wasn’t enough time to get them copied.

He wrote back, crankily, “Yes, I did finally receive the payment. It will take me a couple of weeks to get them all done.” (I missed the first invoice he sent, but paid the second one–I think it was a couple of days there.) He didn’t say that he had lots of other orders and that I was Nth in line, by the way. That may have been the case, but he didn’t SAY so at that point.

Okay. I was getting a bit nervous, but okay.

So today, February 15th, I e-mailed to ask if he had a target date for mailing, as I am getting nervous. I wondered if he had a progress report for me, and said that perhaps if it’s going to be a problem he could just send me the ones that ARE done and refund for the others. I didn’t take a nasty tone with him, but at this point I am definitely wondering if I’ll get anything at all. I mean . . . am I being unfair?

Maybe I am not thinking straight here. It could be par for the course that you wait a long time for things like these.

While I was fretting over having sent that e-mail, Hubby walked into the office and noticed what I was doing. Immediately he got on my PayPal account and looked to see exactly how much I had sent. “$130?” He kind of freaked out, because he’s a cheapskate. (grin) Okay, maybe HE is right, too. He said, “I am going to file a PayPal complaint, because even if they do have thirty days to deliver things to you by mail, I think this has been a long time and I am not happy.” He filed a complaint saying that we hadn’t received the merchandise.

I really wasn’t thrilled that he escalated it, but hey, vendors must experience that a lot, and they should cope with it psychologically, shouldn’t they? The response should be some sort of reassurance, shouldn’t it? That’s what I would do, if I were in sales. It might make me angry, but I would try to reassure the customer that they were indeed dealing with a legit person.

Instead, I got an irate e-mail from the guy.

Since I waited more than a few extra days for your payment; and since you must realize that you are not my only client; and that when I hold sales that at least several others may have ordered from me prior to me receiving your payment; and especially since I have answered all of your e-mails and questions, I have to say that I am really disappointed that you would give me about three minutes to answer your last e-mail before deciding to open a PayPal dispute.

Your tapes will be shipped by the end of this week, or the beginning of the next, as originally scheduled, because you are not my only customer, and because I really react in the totally opposite manner when somebody tries to “crack the whip” on me by filing a complaint.

What might motivate me to move faster and to bump you ahead of others who have been patiently waiting longer than you have is for you to close the complaint.

Should you decide not to close the complaint, that is certainly your choice. However, I will no longer be doing any future business with you if this complaint is not closed today.

I’m sorry, but I am only one guy, working alone, who already works 15-17 hours per day, 6 days per week–even on holidays–and I just don’t have the time to deal with unreasonable people.

*Sigh* Well, I’m sorry he’s upset. But, really, if I were to contact, say, Macy’s or Sears about a shipment, they wouldn’t get all bent out of shape. It’s a business thing.

I wasn’t wanting him to bump me ahead of others, and I wasn’t trying to be unreasonable. Perhaps Hubby was being a little nasty, but he DID have a point about $130 being a lot to just not worry about. These complaint systems are set up for people in just this situation, aren’t they?

The guy’s response, perversely enough, makes me even MORE suspicious that he’s not a legit business. Because the big “threat” here is that I have to close the complaint NOW or he won’t do any more business with me. Laying aside the doubtful premise (that I would want to do this again), I must say that this is disingenuous. If I close the PayPal complaint, then I can’t re-open another PayPal complaint–they will assume that I have received the merchandise. As soon as I get either the merchandise or a refund, then I’ll close the complaint with a “satisfactory.” Is that harridan-like of me? Do I make sense here?

I would recommend that if someone DOES open a complaint, you shouldn’t react in “the opposite manner,” because with people other than me, you could lose more business. I really think the proper response would have been to make some kind of exact plan as to when some or all of the tapes could be shipped, rather than to say this stuff. WhatEVer, but look, how long does it take to copy a tape?

This is a serious question. Really. If it really does take a long time to copy a tape, then I should multiply that by 13 and add the handling time. But if I had such a busy business that “there are a bunch of people in front of you in line,” I think I would get some kind of pro dubbing equipment or make some special plan for turning out the stuff quickly. He was having a sale, yes, but I can’t imagine droves of people turning out for copies of the old Jack Benny TV program or “He and She.” It’s got to be a limited market. And really, I would have told people, “I now have six others in line in front of you–be patient with me,” or something like that. Instead, I’m getting this kind of defensive/aggressive response.

I don’t think I should close the complaint until I get the stuff. It won’t hurt the guy’s business if it’s closed satisfactorily within a week or so, will it? I mean, if he does ship me stuff. *NOW* I feel paranoid and really don’t know what he might do . . . I don’t want to get a bomb in the mail, or have him pee on the stuff, or whatever. Sheesh! I’m supposed to be HAPPY if I’m getting something cool from a store!

Well, anyway. AM I being unreasonable? I can go close the complaint and kiss the money bye-bye, along with any support from PayPal, but I suspect that would feed right into a person who was running any kind of a scam. NOT THAT I THINK for sure THAT THIS IS A SCAM. But I can’t help being a bit wary. Can I??

I haven’t e-mailed him back yet. When I do, I’ll be perfectly nice and tell him I’m sorry he’s upset, but that I do think it’s taking an awfully long time. Unless y’all think I am wrong and that it could take up to a day or two per tape. I mean, I could be wrong!! If I am, I’ll take proper action.

I hate this. This is exactly why Hubby doesn’t buy from online vendors, except WalMart, Sears, Penneys, and (mumble) Amazon. They may have their flaws, but customer service is not really one of them at any of these huge businesses. What I may need to take into account is that this guy is working alone and doesn’t have a million-dollar business, so maybe I should cut him more slack. If so, I can do that. But still, he should take a different attitude, I think.

Have you ever noticed that if someone here on my blog gets cranky and makes an attack comment or a cranky comment, I usually go out of my way to make them feel happy again? At least I try to. I try to be the one who apologizes and explains, even if I don’t feel I’m completely in the wrong. That’s my idea of customer service (in a sense.) Even if the person still goes away mad, at least I tried to make peace.

Grump.

PHOTO ESSAY, sort of: I suppose you’re wondering–or perhaps not

I suppose you’re wondering whether I’m stretching the truth like a plastic eggful of Silly Putty when I say that I had boyfriends and suitors and such like in the past. After all, you’ve most likely seen recent photos of me, and I agree, most people would not only run the other way, but would hold up crucifixes and garlic. However . . . I didn’t always look like an Irish Roseanne. (Roseanne’s lookin’ pretty good these days, actually; we saw her interviewed briefly in some news clip or another.)

Who wants to see this crap anyway

Your post-Valentine’s Day love message

You don’t have to forget about love of all stripes just because Valentine’s Day is officially over!

Remember, there’s more than one kind of love. Even the ancient Greeks knew it.

Eros: sexual love/lust and desire

BUT ALSO

phileo/philia: brotherly love, friendship
agape: the Holy Spirit love/selfless wide-band religious-type love that expects nothing in return
storge: familial feelings and fondness/love

For more information, see _The Four Loves_ by one of my heroes, C. S. “Jack” Lewis.

Here’s your psychedelic “Love Generation” icon of the day. (A great album for weirdos like us, too! I’ll bet you haven’t heard it!)