Anger, venting, frustration, redirected hostility and much vulgarity.

May 152011

Today we’re going to talk about something I am surprisingly earnest about; stitch in the ditch quilting.

Rant on.

For those of you who already know what this is, go ahead and skip to the next paragraph if you’re in a hurry. If not, read on. Once you have a quilt top finished, a back set up and the batting (wadding for the grey-coloured anglophiles in the centre), then created your sandwich of those three, you are ready for quilting. This is done by stitching through all three layers in various designs, patterns or plans, whether by machine, by hand or some combination or variation. Stitch in the ditch quilting means that the stitching is to be fit IN the seams of the top pieces. Where two pieces of fabric meet, the seam is the ‘ditch’ and the stitches are supposed to fall there. It seems (PUN!) that the stitches are meant to remain unseen, sunk between the seams like that (although most physical evidence is to the contrary). The reality is that the stitches don’t like to funnel themselves into the seam easily.

[Very occasionally, rarely, you will find a definition of stitch in the ditch quilting as BESIDE the joined seams, parallel to the seam and generally to the non-seam folded bulk side. This is not what I or most people consider stitch in the ditch and not at all what I’m talking about.]

So, stitch in the ditch quilting might seem like an easy design and execution choice. You don’t have to measure, there are no lines to draw or mark in any way, minimal spacing decisions are needed and the color of thread merely needs to be roughly similar to your top, as the idea is to hide them. It is simple – and it looks it. Plus, no one can work themselves into too much of a tizzy about whether you hand quilted it or not, as the whole point is to hide the machine stitches in the seams anyhow. Maybe you think that another type of quilting would take away from your top piecing or design. You lovely baker’s dozen of readers understand by now how very lazy I am, but I assure you that this is laziness at an unreasonable cost.

Let me show you this example I saw recently at the quilt show in Loveland.

Close-up of some quilting, both in and out of ditch.
Pretty, right? I took this shot because I loved the metallic thread and the way it sparkled against the top colors. Once I got this close to it, I saw it had a combination of proper quilting and stitch in the ditch quilting.

See the swirls and designs – they’re nice.
Now, see the right side, the barest edge of yellow with the thread right next to the edge. See the circle design, where the patchwork wedge edges meet the outer fabric. Some of the patchwork wedges even have it. The kicker is that this quilter is really good. Her stitches in the ditch are mostly in the ditch. But where they aren’t, they simply don’t look good. They look mislaid.

Well, hell. I find I have no other pictures of how ugly stitch in the ditch can be, so just keep in mind that the photo above is a well done sample. This is the best it would ever look.

And here’s a valid question: if you’re so eager to hide your stitches in a seam, why are you making a quilt? The quilting is one of the beloved characteristics of a quilt. It is the thread evidence of the creator’s hand, a signature over the fabric pieced together.

Besides looking sloppy, the worst part is that stitching the ditch has a chance of stitching through your seam stitches. That needle could hit your thread between the seams, breaking it and unstitching your patchwork seams. You are potentially destroying your own work for no reason.

[Yes, there are a few times you need to actually stitch in the ditch for things like facings, bindings, linings, generally on clothing, but that is not the discussion here.]

In summary, don’t stitch in the ditch. Put on your big girl panties (yes, male quilters, too) and do some real quilting. It will look better and you can feel better about yourself.

I said so.

Rant off.

Sep 272010

I can understand someone not being “a computer person”. I can understand someone not knowing all the different file types and what programs use them. I can understand that it might be confusing and intimidating for someone uncomfortable with their computer.


How – HOW IN THE NAME OF DARWIN – can a person be so resistant that they cannot read you off the three or four letters at the end of the file name?!? It is the fucking alphabet, for fuck’s sake!! Fucking hell, it is almost the definitive LEAST you can do!!!! As opposed to simply denying any competence. YOU CAN READ THESE WORDS enough to DENY the ability to answer!!!

zFuckity fuck.
People drive me fucking crazy. I’m going to have a spiked lemonade and watch something semi-mindless.


 Posted by at 19:23  Comments Off on And then the computer bit them.  Tagged with:
Sep 162009

Cheyenne will be ticketing cell phone holding or texting drivers. I’d say that the law and government doesn’t need to be involved in this, but people don’t seem to be interested in stopping their own dangerous cell phone use. This is another front of humanity I am ashamed of – the inability of people to take personal responsibility. I constantly see people driving while yapping on their cell phone and they drive WORSE than drunk drivers. I’ve even blogged about some of those morons on here to you folks. So, I’m for it. Of course, I don’t know why they think it is a good thing that they have allowed non-WY plates to be excepted from the law (mentioned elsewhere, not in the below article), but I am taking this as is because it is better than what we’ve got right now. Get those Bluetooth headsets ready, guys.

Cheyenne outlaws cell phoning while driving

Associated Press – September 15, 2009 1:45 PM ET

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – The Cheyenne City Council has voted to outlaw talking on hand-held cell phones or texting while driving. Talking on handsfree devices is still allowed.

Councilman and former police chief Don Pierson was the only member to vote against the ordinance Monday night, saying Cheyenne already has careless driving ordinances.

Supporters argue that studies show talking on the phone while driving contributes to accidents. Opponents say the ordinance is unnecessary and will be difficult for police to enforce.

A city spokesman says the misdemeanor ordinance will take effect Saturday. Violations will be punishable by a fine of up to $750.

Mayor Rick Kaysen says signs will be placed at the city’s major entrances warning visitors of the ban.

Rock Springs enacted a similar ban in May.

Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle – Cheyenne, http://www.wyomingnews.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

I know, I know. It says I can’t redistribute the article, but if I don’t copy it here for you guys to read, the damned news website will take it down and then I’ll have a broken link and no article at all. So, yes, I’m breaking copyright law for the purposes of information preservation. Sorry.

What do you guys think? About the article – not me breaking the copyright statement directives thing.

Jun 192009

Written while waiting for my delayed flight last week in DEN

Yes, like most things in life, stuff is better with spice and fat. Take that all you damned healthy people.

TSA agent rudely pulled trays out of my hand as I reached to put them on top of the stacks on the cart. WTF? Then, a different agent had the nerve to say, loudly and in my direction, “That’s okay, I’ll get these for you!” at me as I walked away from the recombobulation area and the many trays laying there. They were not my trays he was holding. I don’t know what prompted him to assume I was leaving the trays; I could speculate. However, maybe it would be more likely that the family with the stroller that was STILL repacking, or that overdone, leathery lady reassembling her entire jewelry wardrobe. Maybe the guy who was still picking his items up. Maybe the TSA guy didn’t intend to be an enormous ass. Maybe he had an unfortunate inflection that made it sound snarky. I’ve had that happen. In the end, it wasn’t worth it to say anything, so I turned and continued on my way. Upon later reflection, I’m certain it was an unfortunate inflection or maybe he was saying it to someone else while incongruently looking at me.

Why does the loud, loud, hick lady come all the way over here to me in my quiet, non-trafficked corner to sit with her husband and YAP YAP YAP? He isn’t listening. I don’t want to be listening. Please go away!

Yeah, that is why those seats were turned over. Serves you right for mucking about.

I am appalled at the size of luggage people are carrying around as if it were really carry on size. Bad travelers!

Oh man! That damned loud, hick lady will not get away from me. How does she keep going everywhere go, even a wrong turn inside the HOU airport due to construction?! Go away!

 Posted by at 23:28  Comments Off on Haphazard thoughts from DEN  Tagged with:
Jan 122009

Dear Colorado Department of Transportation,

I’m writing (this open letter) to alert you to your severe lack of accuracy in reporting road conditions for I25 south of WY, north of Ft. Collins. When checking road conditions for said location before my travels, your report was for “[wet] [slush]”. This proved to be completely incorrect. You had neither wet roads nor slushy roads on that stretch. What you did have, however, were a few miles of completey dry roads bracketing 12 miles of solid packed snow, a.k.a. ICE. Yes, TWELVE MILES OF ICE!!! Somehow, I think 12 miles of ice would warrant a “[ice]” on your little page. Instead, you had no signs or indications at all. Wait, that’s not entirely true. You did have one sign. One sign, a full mile AFTER the ice which stated “Icy roads, slower speed advised”. Mind you, there was no ice after that sign, only before.

Also, not to rub it in, CO DoT, but WY DoT did manage to have two signs within 11 miles stating “Icy” and “Icy in spots, slower speed advised”. And guess what? That’s what their roads actually had – icy spots. Not clear roads, not solid packed ice, not slush; just what they stated. So don’t try telling me it is impossible to do – because it was done by someone, just not you.

I understand it is silly and naive to think you’ll be able to know the conditions of all of your roads all of the time. But, I think 12 miles of ice would constitute some kind of warning, if only on the website where wary travellers would go to learn such conditions. Also, since 9 miles south into the ice stretch there was a pickup truck upside down in the median with four emergency vehicles and a tow truck – SOMEONE KNEW about the 12 miles of ice. I’m not asking you to predict every single mile of my trip through your pretty state, but if you’re going to have a website with road conditions, it would be good if you could accurately and in a timely manner state those road conditions. I merely want to be a responsible driver through your lands and plan my travels around any ill weather. Like, for instance, 12 miles of ice.

Thank you for your time,

Sep 092008

Thanks to American Airlines and their miserable existence, my flight has been delayed an hour. I’m tired of walking around DIA aimlessly, so I’m going to chat about the DIA environing me. I’d say I’d regale you, but I don’t think the material will warrant accurate use of the word.

When the security folks open up a side of the canvas strap maze and tell you that the line is only a five minute wait on the other side (north/south), be wary. If you are the first bundle of people who have heard this line, go for it. If you heard it a minute before to a bunch in front of you, don’t go for it. They’re only trying to balance out the lines. You will wait the same amount of time, but you’ll also have to walk to the other side of the airport.

On the other hand, if the volunteers (in cowboy hats) tell you one side is faster while you’re still on the 6th floor, I think it’s a good bet to believe them.

When you’re in a controlled traffic area, like escalator or flatscalators, slow or non-moving people keep right and faster people keep left. This shouldn’t be difficult, but I suppose lots of people still have problems with this on the highways, too. I watched a guy in a bright pink shirt give lip to a woman who had to weave around him because he couldn’t grasp this concept. His neo-yuppie friends all snickered at whatever dribbled out of this guy, who was (in case everyone missed it) way in the Wrong. Pink shirt neo-yuppie guy: you suck.

I’ve now seen the same guy, wearing a black casual suit and a guitar case strapped on his back, running through both sides of this terminal. I hope he eventually makes it to wherever he’s running.

Guy wearing hiking boots, pants, jacket, skull cap and backpack. Looks cold. Maybe he is from Florida or somewhere warm and DIA is cold to him.

Why are airports/airlines okay with bombarding their customers with loud, loud news shows? This only disturbs me and makes me hold a more negative opinion of the airline & airport. Also, I don’t think I’m the only one disappointed by the way CNN HLN recently sounds more like Fox News. This is not the way I want news to go; it is the opposite of what should happen.

Why must people crowd the gate area when the plane pulls up? Not only do all the existing passengers have to depart, the crew has to “clean the plane”* before they’ll let anyone on. All those crowders are doing is making it a little more awkward for the passengers exiting the plane. Oooh! That guy just impatiently stuck his head around the corner in a “what is taking so long” gesture! Yeah, that’ll work. Do that again.

I’m supposed to be boarding according to the delayed time, but there isn’t even a plane here yet let alone the unconcerned gate agent who was here before, tapping her foot and talking on her phone. I have a small, tiny trickle of doubt about this flight. It is going to be a long night for me. Wait! There is a plane. I might make it only a couple hours late.

* Yes, I’m quoting them because that’s what they call it, but some airlines (like American) don’t seem to do much cleaning, straightening or anything. I don’t know what they’re actually up to.

Jun 232008

Which is why I should have texted it to myself using my cell phone, or jotted a note to myself. Because of this.

Today has been a day of flight snafus. I’m flying United today, only because Frontier couldn’t get me where I need to go on the days I need to get there. I’m not particularly fond of United, but they’re miles better than American, so … who cares. I was concerned about a four hour layover in Boston in the middle of my day. I toy with the idea of taking a cab to the nearest sight and actually seeing the town, but know I’ll probably stay in the airport and partake of my designated time-filling activities.


The flight took forever to board. Usually it is due to people blocking traffic while they try to shove their oversized non-carry-on into an overhead bin, then tuck in all the straps, then straighten and tuck away they’re “personalized” baggage tags, then get their drink out and then get their laptop/book/who gives a shit whatever they want out of said bag, then begin their search for a pillow and blanket. I hate those people. Today was not entirely their fault. Today’s boarding took forever because of the old folks. Mind you, I don’t have any necessary prejudice against old people. But they just can’t move very fast and they seem to get confused easily. Neither of those things helps them get their bag put away (although they tend to pack light, I notice), find their seat, move when others need to get through and figure out what has gone wrong when something inevitably does or what people are talking about. Le sigh.

Thus, we were still boarding at departure time. The attendants tried to help, but short of pushing people out of the way or taking their bags away and stashing them for people, there was little they could do. Finally, we were boarded – including the lady with a cast, two bags and a cat. We were ready. And we stayed ready. For about 10 minutes we all sat there, properly stowed, upright and buckled while the attendants beamed brightly at us but did not close the doors. Hmmm.

A few minutes of this makes people restless. Talk volume increases and you can see hands reaching for the air controls. Then, a gruff looking fellow in a fluorescent plastic vest comes onboard. He doesn’t say anything to the passengers (no one has yet) but everyone overhears him inform his radio that “we’re holding the flight until we get this resolved”or some such. Groans erupt from the middle of the plane. The guy goes to the back of the plane, takes someone’s seat top (the top part your ass squishes on during the flight – it comes off) and leaves. Oooh Kay! A few minutes later he comes back with a new seat top then leaves. The eagerness in the air increases. Still, we do not leave.

Shortly after this, the captain finally announces something to the passengers. This morning, arriving in DIA, they (and this plane) hit a couple of birds with the right engine and “well, they’re gone.” Everyone chuckles. He proceeds to mention that they’re going to delay until they can fire up the right engine to make sure it is okay and that it will only take another 10 minutes. Predictably, this will prove to be a lie. 18 minutes later, the plane moves.

As the plane reaches sight of the runway, we are 14th in line. Sheesh. At least we’re finally moving. Many passengers are snoozing already, including the extremely tall teenager sitting next to me. Almost as soon as he sat down, he was out. Head lolling to the side, mouth wide open, the kid was out. I was concerned about getting drooled on for a moment, but the guy was so tall that his lopped over head came no where near (or above me). Safe.

At last, we are the first in line. Now comes my favorite part. I love the part of the flight when the plane actually leaves the ground. You can almost always feel it if you pay attention. The plane accelerates, roars and speeds and there is that tiny moment when the wheels no longer touch the earth and the plane is entirely dependent on the air. It is a beautiful thing to me, but then again I like traveling. It is my first favorite part of a flight. The second is when (often in foul weax) the plane drops suddenly and everyone floats up for part of a second. But, I digress. I didn’t get to have my favorite part of the flight.

We are just beginning to gather speed when everyone is flung harshly forward. A moment later all the flaps on the wing stand right up like a line of skunk tails warning you that something has gone wrong. A booming voice overheads, “remain seated, remain seated, remain seated!” and we are all deafened and awake – even the kid next to me. A minute later we are fully stopped on the first section of our takeoff runway and the overhead booms again, “Stay in your seat, this is the captain; stay in your seat, this is the captain!” A voice from the back of the plane says loudly, “we’re not going anywhere!”, which is true. No one is moving or upset, but everyone wants to know WTF is going on. The attendant button dings. An attendant announces that they’ll get to everyone as soon as they can and to hit the call button again if it is a real medical emergency. The attendant call sounds again. An attendant comes out and speaks with the passenger then returns to the shadowy depths of the cabin they hide in. Another attendant comes out and does the same. And again. I have no idea what is going on, but we’ve now rolled off the runway and to a side lot. I look back to our stop point to see thick, black lines and wonder if those are ours. We slowly roll back to the terminal.

Finally, an attendant harrasses the captain enough to get an answer. They announce that they noticed a burning smell when the plane powered on and safety is their first priority. We don’t know if we’ll continue on this plane or not, because safety is their first priority. Meanwhile, I’m wondering: did they notice the burning smell when they tested the engine to begin with? Did they notice a burning smell right there on the runway? What burning smell and when and WTF is going on and if safety is their first priority, how did we get all the way to near takeoff? We wait. After a few more minutes we are told they’re taking this plane out of rotation (because safety … blah blah) and that we’ll be deplaning. Fine. We deplane. The kid next to me is still out. I poke his shoulder. Nothing. I poke his shoulder harder and his head rolls towards me. I try to tell him we’re deplaning but he’s back asleep already! I poke his shoulder hard and repeatedly. He wakes, looks around, says, “that was fast!” and deplanes. I wonder what kind of time was in use in his dream if he thought this was a fast deplaning.

Amazingly, we get another plane in about 30 minutes. Great luck. We board almost as before, but now there is a gaggle of overeager, desperate-looking travelers crowding the gate as we reboard. As my row fills in again, the sleepy kid asks the gal next to me what happened to the other plane. She explains and he responds that he thought we’d finished the flight to Boston. He was confused when he got off and found himself in DIA.

The flight is uneventful, everyone is friendly and light about the whole thing as far as people can be. We arrive in Boston, which is unfortunately one of those damned airports where you have to completely check out and travel around and then go back through security anew. Fuckers. Conveniently, the flight has been delayed due to storms. We all make it to the gate in time – relief! The flight ends up delayed a total of 2 hours, but I make it to my destination at last.

You know, this all seemed really interesting when it was happening and when I started typing it. Now that I’ve finished it sounds trite and dull. But I’ve already typed it, so that’s what you’re getting.


Apr 292008

To the three rednecks in the green Civic this morning: I don’t mind so much that you are baseball cap wearing, scenic-touring idiots, really. I do wish you would go the speed limit though. 20 is not the same as 30. Just 30 mph would be good with me. Thanks.

To the bleached-blond guy who thinks WY is just a less-populated CO and drives a gray Jeep SUV/penis compensation/car/truck/status symbol: when you are in a turn lane, you should watch for a solid green arrow. When someone honks at you for sitting at your green arrow, I recommend looking at the traffic situation instead of glaring at the honker in your rear view mirror while CONTINUING to yap on your cell phone. Also, going 45 in a 30 followed by 20 in a 35 does not balance out. It doesn’t work like that, you loser.

To the junker red sedan who was actually watching for the deer back by the refinery: thank you. I know when it gets really late at night people tend to forget about the deer just because they can’t see them (and speed down the straight bit). I’m very relieved you saw the deer that half jumped in front of you so that I didn’t have to explain to the police/EMT/coroner what happened. Thanks.

Nov 072007

Despicable Mr. Weasel Face,

Hello, I hope you’re having a miserable day. I think you must be, as you are such a miserable asshole and complete loser. I just thought I’d use my fairly anonymous blog here to express my sincere and pure hated of such an oxygen thief as you.

I’m not sure what exactly the root cause of your weaselness is; maybe your mother didn’t love you (don’t blame her on that). Maybe you weren’t breast fed or maybe you were breast fed too much. Perhaps you were dropped as an infant a few times. I suspect you never really recovered from being a loser in public school. That’s too bad – many people learn and grow; it is possible. Maybe you like to torture small animals and are angry that It Is Wrong. I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that you are pathetic. You are a sad (probably severely under-endowed), sad, little man. You don’t seem to have any positive qualities. You’ve stumbled about your life and through other people’s lives making things difficult and desperately trying to establish some purpose or meaning for yourself. Let me help you! You don’t have any. You are worthless. The only good thing you could do would be to remove yourself from all contact with other humans. Actually, away from any sentient beings or animals of any kingdom would be better. Plants too. You should give all your possessions to charity and leave for a trek around the world, via the bottom of the great oceans. That would be fantastic. Plus, the oceans can handle pollutants like you. (SHARK BAIT!)

As the cheeky Ymabean likes to say, “He isn’t worth the flesh he was printed on.” I can think of no more apt expression to sum up your existence, blight that it is upon this planet.

Choke and die horribly,

P.S. Don’t walk in front of my car! The temptation to run you down and back over you repeatedly might outweigh the protectiveness I feel for my car and I could end up damaging my bumpers! I don’t want that – you aren’t worth damaged bumpers. You idiot.

P.P.S. Fuck off!

Hummer = asshole

Oct 232007
Hummer parking job, takes up two spaces.

Ever since they appeared in shiny colors on common streets, I’ve maintained that Hummer owners/drivers are categorically assholes. I have yet to be proven wrong. As an aside, if this is what you use as a compensation tool, maybe you should just deal with your issue(s) instead of driving a big, neon beacon pointing to them.

Dear Heat n Bond

Aug 212007

Thank you Therm O Web, for producing such fine products. Your HeatnBond hem tape and rolled sheets have taken me quickly through many otherwise improbable experiments and projects. You enabled me to whip up an entire set of curtains in less than five minutes when I was a teen without a sewing machine. Your iron-on vinyl is a seamstress’s dream.

You gave me fair warning, I know. You clearly stated on your package that I should not stitch through your product. Did I heed your print? No. Warnings? Piffle! I didn’t even blink, but stitched right on through. For a few inches anyway. Fortuantely, I only needed a few inches and that was okay.

Did I pay attention the second time? A little, yes. But really, can you blame me? Products are full of pointless, silly warnings designed to protect companies from the rampant idiocy of a litigious nation. Recommendations are just that – not really requirements. You know how it is. I know, I ended up rethreading my Suzy three times as the embroidery thread broke repeatedly, but I made it through! It couldn’t be that bad!

But, I admit; by the third try, I’ve learned my lesson. Spending half an hour rethreading my entire top and bottom threads four times or so has finally driven the point home. I’m hardheaded sometimes. Stubborn, some say. I yield. I give. I will take your calmly printed advice from here out. I will not stitch through Heat n Bond.

I promise.


These bricks are sound,

USPS: We care, kinda.

Jul 262007

Smashed mail.

When the USPS smashes your box, they will put it inside a bag to prevent any further items from falling out. The bag is printed with “We Care” in large print, followed by an explanation of how much they care, how it is their emotionless machines that do the smashing, not them. Now I personally happen to know this is bullocks, but I’m really not upset. This little box was a thin, flexible layer of cardboard, not at all fitting for USPS handling. I was confused at first as to why my dad (a mailman) would pack something so weakly, until I opened the box and discovered it held only a stuffed animal inside.

I firmly believe that the USPS offers a pretty good deal. For a few bucks, they’ll take your box all the way to wherever you address it in only a few days. For about half the cost of a can of soda, you can send a fat letter anywhere in the US, again in only a few days. It isn’t as fast as email; true, but there is still something to be said for the tangible communications. Mail carriers bring mail to your home or neighborhood section every day, which is choice. Carriers do this despite inclement weather, vicious dogs, bees … well, let me stop right there. If you had mean dogs or bees, I’d throw your mail over your front gate and move right along. So, go carriers.

Common complaints I hear:

* The USPS smashed my box!
= Well, fucking wah!
The back room of a USPS SCF (which Cheyenne’s Converse Ave office is) is like a factory. Your box is handled by anywhere from three to twelve people. They have to move it quickly from a little bin into a giant bin to get it out the door and they aren’t putting it on a pillow. The big bins are often about 12′ high and if that bin is empty, your box is taking an aerial trip up about 6′, then down for 12′. Then, every other box (all of which could each weigh 20 lbs) is taking the same trip down on top of your box.
Lesson: pack your items well. Use sturdy boxes. Use firm padding and as much as is needed to fill the box completely. Use strapping tape or plenty of packing tape. Make your address labels correctly and cover them in clear tape to keep them safe. Put the address inside the box also in case something bad happens to the outside or integrity of the box. It’s not difficult.

* The USPS DC number hasn’t been updated and I sent my package yesterday.
= Sheesh!
The DC (Delivery Confirmation) is just that, delivery confirmation. It isn’t a tracking number like DHL or UPS. They really are being truthful in their advertising; they will confirm delivery. That’s it.

* They keep changing stamp prices!
= Oh, stuff it!
Yea, stamp prices change. Gas prices change. Stock prices change. The economy is an amazing creature! Get the hell over it. If you are so rut-bound and change-resistant that you can’t do small math, just put two old stamps on it and send it off. Or buy the new forever stamps and don’t worry about it ever again.

* The postal clerks are so rude!
= Well, yeah. They are.
The postal clerks are bitches. [Don’t think they’re all women, they’re mostly men – they’re still bitches!] Out of the 12 or 14 clerks that always work at the two post offices close to me, only one is nice and competent. One is nice, but incompetent. Two out of a dozen is just pathetic. Every single time I go in, the clerks are rude. “What do you want?” is a common greeting from them. They huff and sigh. They don’t want to bother looking to see what stamps they have available. They cannot be bothered to listen to your answers, even if it would have answered the very next question they ask you. If you pay with a card it will be snatched from your offering hand and tossed carelessly across the counter when they are done mutilating it. Heaven forbid you ask for a Priority Mail box if their stand is empty, as it almost always is. Now, I could understand if I were rude first or if I were unprepared for my mail transaction, but I am not. I am always friendly; I am always prepared. The USPS has a very informative and instructive website that I am eager to use to my (and my mail recipient’s) benefit. I cannot grasp why they seem to see me, their willing customer, as the enemy. I have come to dread interactions with them, after waiting in line for 20 minutes every time. I use the automated postal machine every chance I get. The machine is so much faster, easier and FRIENDLIER than the USPS clerks.

So, to sum up: USPS, get your clerks in line. Or just install more automated machines and keep your Priority Mail stand stocked – that would be fine with me.

Hell and bending reality

Jun 202007

It is little secret I don’t like Texas. So yesterday was my own personal hell called the Dallas Airport.

Texas is hell.
Dallas Airport is a fiery pit in hell.
American Airlines are the snotty little demons that float around and stab you with stingers.

The entire day was so bad, I can’t bear to repeat it in type. Several times I was on the verge of frustrated and exhausted tears, wavering between fury, despondency, fatigue and hopelessness. It wasn’t until today I escaped from hell, but I’m feeling much better now.

Thus forth, June 19th of 2007 does not exist. The day now enters into complicit denial of all and is only mentioned for data specification purposes – after all, mass denial of an entire day is a dangerous thing. No such date did exist, neither then nor now and never shall. Sic.

Thank you.

Me, in the hell that is Dallas.

Me, just hours before I lost hope.

Comments rock

Jun 152007

Before reading this post, you might take a minute to review the comments on a previous post so that this post makes more sense. I figure this is long enough and involved enough as a response to warrant a new post.

Firstly: Random I like the baking idea – next time you should get off your ass and Photoshop!! You could win something cool, like BOJ did.

Secondly: scot and Random, I sadly doubt it (consideration) as well, but I cannot stop hoping for the better, for people to think. People individually are often intelligent and thoughtful. People in groups tend to be astoundingly stupid.

Thricely: arguments can still be beneficial despite one’s intent – winning is often the goal in arguments. As long as actual listening and processing is going on, it is still potentially somewhat valid. Some people listen only deep enough to find points to counter and devalue. But, even in this, there is consideration. Many of us have gone into an argument or discussion playing Devil’s Advocate or simply taking a tack different from the one we personally align with, whether for amusement (of ourselves), annoyance (of others), or pure whim. This is completely useful – you are able to find and back thoughts other than the same ones in your head. I firmly believe that no matter how smart you are, how much time you have or how ‘open-minded’ you think you are, one cannot effectively hone their systems of thinking, beliefs or views only inside one’s own head. There must be some outside, introduced influence (which does not necessarily have to be a person in an argument with you). Even if a person spends hours vehemently and genuinely expounding on some point countering yours, they will still have to consider your views, even peripherally. Some tiny seed will from then on exist in their minds. It may shrivel, untouched and it may never thrive or grow, but it is there. Espousing your beliefs with intelligent conversation, putting your meme (not in the new, blogish definition) out into the world, even if that is only by living your beliefs in good stead; these are some ways to effect some hope of change in our existence.

Fourthly: I think many businessmen, politicians and lawyers are satanists, even if they are still looking for the religion. The philosophy mostly fits, even if it comes with a lot of mythical baggage in tow. Also, yes, a good read. A new take and turn on a hashed and rehashed set of ideas.

Fifthly: Psychic vampires, energy suckers, histrionics, anorexics, all the pretentious, self-important sympathy/attention seekers everyone has encountered = sad. Everything is about them and how they have suffered, or been singled out, wronged, blah, blah, fucking blah. They need self-confidence. They need to stop seeking the validation and acceptance of others and get over their shit. They are very much their own enemies as they seek and seek, dramatizing and agonizing (others) while the response only furthers their weakness. I don’t know how to help these people and have no idea if they ever improve. Everyone has times or phases when they seek approval, acceptance, love, reassurance, comfort and some bolstering of self on occasion. Remotely healthy people (in this respect) can ‘pull themselves up by the bootstraps’ and get on with it, while these broken people only further their abyss. I don’t know. In the end, I’ve cut these people from my life and not regretted it, but have regretted that I could not do something to put them on a better path. MandEvil and I have a wish for anonymous “Seek Help” emails to some, but even that doesn’t seem like a useful end if the sucker is unwilling to acknowledge their problem and actually work to solve it. It seems that (in one case, for example) the therapy only encourages and reinforces the ‘poor you, it isn’t your fault, these other people fucked you up, you are fine and such a unique snowflake’ mentality. I just don’t know, but I am remorseful for the otherwise useful and (plausibly) contributing members of our society.

Sixthly: I am repeatedly amused, astonished and curious of all the factors, events, reactions and people in one’s life that help form a person. Discovery of self, of others, reasons and tales; people are fascinating creatures.

Seventhly: As far as favored (especially to mock) religions go, I like wiccan, since they embrace the internet, have a holistic approach to health and yeah, dancing naked in the night, bonfires, happiness and fulfillment – sure thing. Also, when scot said “…a bunch of outraged wiccans riding your case about…” I swear I read it the first time with a broom image in my head.

Eighthly (this number + adverb thing is fun): Yes, “Christians”. I try to include the quotes as I would include the dubious emphasis on the word IRL as I speak it. All religion is bullshit. I am deeply disconsolate that what should be the most obvious behavior in humans must be laid out as rules set forth by a mythical character. I despise religion. I despise people who push religion. I despise anyone who makes judgments of others based only on their religion. I understand that millions were unfortunately brought up to believe that God, gods, fictional historic accounts are real, instead of rebuffed like the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus all were after they’d served their moral purpose. Religion can serve a purpose, but as it is held, it is far too dangerous a thing in the hands of man. Religions were/are created by man, for man and thus, fallible as man is. I wish we could all behave as humanists, instead of relying on some false, enforced morality of fiction. It angers me. I have hope, though. All the people who are generally good people, who try to not fuck up, who try to do what they believe is right, whether or not they label themselves religiously, give me hope. For every person that does good despite their religious label, is to me a humanistic atheist that just has a few more childhood stories to dislodge. This gives me hope. People should do good because people should do good, not because of a title or because of the name of a building where they go sometimes to be social and consider philosophical lessons. I am regularly lachrymose that religion and morality are considered inexorably linked, especially in America where the whole damned country was founded on the idea of open betterment that the founders could not hope to place into words and wisely, with purpose, did not specify instructions or restrictions.
[ On the same tirade, I am also disappointed that so many accept belief structures that set up man as a shameful creature, needing salvation and forgiveness. As if by existing, one had wronged! Man is an incredible, capable race that could do so much – it can be a scary thought. So scary that many feel there must be some limitation, some dampening of potential and being. Simply requiring a life of sacrifice and proper behavior (again, fallible man, manipulative man systems) to earn your life is much less scary than the wide open universe of potency. The thought that you are responsible for your own life, your happiness, your self – that is a lot to consider if you’ve been taught it is not in your control! ]
So yes, “Christians” are the ones who take a religious label as a statement of given morality and goodness, those who further the blind idea that belief in a largely fictional, yet often education grouping of tales from the far past equals the goodness and right of a being, of a group. “Christians” are the reason so many bristle at the very word and associate them with fundamentalists (of all religions and philosophies of belief, it is happenstance of location that the christian religion comes under fire in this discussion). “Christians” are the ones who segregate, judge, condemn, ostracize, who foolishly take something as pure as love, in action, and twist it into a set of laws, books, rules, pronouncements, buildings and labels. I have nothing (or not much) against Christians (non quotes to emphasize the difference, as in speech) who use a set of myths and tales as a general guidance for their behavior and philosophy of life. Honestly, I wish they could use these tales and acknowledge them as tales only, but in the end, it is a small point for me. The reasons behind the actions, for me, are vastly more important than the names of the characters or the paths to betterment. scot said, “Stupid people follow ritual and habit and never question it. What this world needs is more skeptics. Question everything and don’t let yourself be bullshitted, because sure enough, as soon as you turn your back, some bastard will be trying to grift you” and I cannot agree more. Thank you, scot, for once again being brave and genuine enough to bring up a sticky, beautiful subject (like this) in a (partially) public forum where words can be twisted and faulted and so much of one’s self can be questioned heartlessly.

I realize that entire section above probably angers many, but I hope that I’ve put enough of the right words up there to make my meaning clear, clear enough to gently waft past the triggers and buttons that may be.

Ninthly: There is no ninthly, I just wanted to get to nine.

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