Internet Issues, Barn Owls & Pool Parties

September 20th, 2021 Comments off

Friday (9/17) we woke up and our internet was down. I don’t know if I wrote about it, but a few months ago after our Comcast contract expired, and they wouldn’t give us another deal, we switched our internet service to T-Mobile. It worked pretty well, although not quite as fast, but for $50 per month (no added taxes or fees), we figured it was worth trying out.

When Joe called T-Mobile they really couldn’t do much to help other than offer to send out a new device, aka trashcan (nicknamed as such by the T-Mobile internet community on Reddit). T-Mobile Trash Can

The problem? They estimated it would be a week. Unacceptable! Joe warned them that he’d be cancelling if it took that long and they called his bluff, so he immediately contacted Comcast and sure enough, we were able to get 200 MBS for $50/month for the next 12 months, so we signed up. We have our own router and modem so it was all done online, although Joe did have to chat with someone for them to do something on the account to get it to actually work, but we were up within a half hour.

A manager at T-Mobile called around that time to say they were expediting the device but Joe explained we were cancelling and not to bother. T-Mobile ended up giving us a $25 credit for our trouble anyway, and I guess they couldn’t stop the shipment because UPS is saying we’re getting something from them today. I guess we’ll have two devices to send back to them now.

If only Comcast had given us a better rate months ago, we would have stayed with them.

I feel like T-Mobile needs to do more work on their device/service before it’s a viable alternative to cable internet. Just like with their failed T-Vision streaming cable service, which they never invested in because the user interface sucked, they are rolling stuff out that is inferior to their competitors and consumers are paying the price in frustration. It could just be a coincidence, or Apple TV being particular, but we could never watch Ted Lasso on Fridays (the night new episodes are released) under T-Mobile because halfway through an episode it would lock up and crash the Roku. We tried it Friday on Comcast and had no such issues. I think it’s still partly Apple, since none of the other streaming services ever give us issues, but it’s also T-Mobile for being too slow as well. Perhaps in a few years it will be different. I hope so, since there are a lot of rural customers who would benefit from 5G internet and we personally do not like giving our money to Comcast.

Saturday (9/18) we decided to check out the local plant nursery’s open house. Not before stopping at White Castle for breakfast, however. I got a sausage slider, but also wanted to try the chicken and waffles slider based on the description on their website:

White Castle - Expectation

Imagine my surprise/disappointment when what I got was this:

White Castle - Reality

So of course I had to go online and air my grievance with them. We’ll see whether they reply back.

White Castle Feedback 20210920 - 2

(I contacted Meijer well over a month ago to complain about the quality of their broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken (the broccoli is really hard/sharp recently) and they never bothered to acknowledge it, so hopefully White Castle is more responsive).

Barn Owl (the nursery) wasn’t too crowded when we first arrived, so we ate our breakfast in the car and then took a look around. They had a whole building of just bird houses and bird food! I ended up getting this cute hummingbird palm feeder.

Hummingbird Palm Feeder

I doubt I’ll get any birds to feed directly from my hand this year, but maybe next year when I’m planning on putting everything up in April. As it stands now, we’re already seeing fewer visitors to the feeder as they start their migration south. *sad*

They had live owls on display which was really cool!

Yesterday (9/19) we decided to check out the community garage sale at the nearby park. They also had a car show and craft fair going on at the same time so we figured there would be a lot to see. Not so much. Joe wasn’t very thrilled with the cars, there were hardly any craft booths, and only a few garage sale booths. With the amount of cars parked in the area you would have thought more was going on than there was. Oktoberfest in a tent further back is going on right now too, but that doesn’t open until noon and we were there just after 10 am. Needless to say, we were back at home by 10:30.

At one of the booths the owner trapped me in an impromptu demonstration of her product and forced me to take a business card. I can appreciate people wanting to sell their creations, but I really think they should ask you first. I didn’t want to be rude by walking away, so it was very uncomfortable, not to mention a waste of her time since I wasn’t interested.

A good thing came of our little excursion, though! On our way back to the car we ran into our friend D who was walking over (she lives a few blocks away from the park) to check things out and she invited us to come over for a swim later. I enthusiastically agreed knowing it was due to be very hot that day and I have been wanting to go swimming one more time before it gets too cold to do so. We went home to do some light cleaning, ran to the store to grab some snacks to bring over, and took a shower. After getting everything packed up and ready to go I went to use the bathroom and BAM, the time of the month said “SUPRISE, I’M HERE!” It couldn’t have waited just a few more hours, right?

We still had fun hanging out with our friend, but I was only able to deep my feet into the pool. She made us some cheeseburgers and we lounged on her awesome patio furniture under a big tent away from the blazing sun. It really made a difference since my weather app said it was 85 and felt like 95 yet we were very comfortable.

We interrupt this entry to display pics of our friend’s two dogs who love getting pets, particularly the all brown one.

Dog 1

Dog 2

D’s ex, a guy we used to all go to Bingo with back when they were dating, hit her up later on since he was also at the nearby park, and she invited him to stop by, so we ended our afternoon chatting with him before taking off around 6 pm so we could walk Wookie before sunset.

Speaking of, she was so unbelievably excited when we go home she was literally vibrating and panting a lot. She’s been fine being left alone for hours but this was perhaps just a bit too long for her liking (5 hours). Usually she’ll sleep when we’re gone which is what she did most of the time since I checked in our her once in awhile via the cameras. About an hour before we came home I noticed her pacing around the house, however.

Pandemic Thoughts

August 27th, 2021 Comments off

I’ve reached a point in this pandemic where I’m perfectly fine never speaking to certain people ever again. This is big for me because I’ve always done my best not to cause conflict with people because I do not like being disliked. But then it occurred to me – why do I care what someone who I have lost respect for thinks of me anyway? I do not value their opinion, and I disagree with their world view enough that I do not plan on speaking to, or spending time with, them so why do I even care? Answer: I don’t.

Look, it’s one thing if you’re vaccine hesitant because of *reasons*, although hopefully those are legit reasons and not stupid shit like “I don’t know what’s in it” or “it’s not FDA approved” (ahem, as of Monday Pfizer is so I guess those people will need to find a new goalpost). But if you’re going to be plastering your Facebook wall with conspiracy talk and putting stuff up that says “I have an immune system”, “I stand for medical freedom”, or “unmask the children” I think that a) you’re a moron and b) a selfish one at that and I have no interest in interacting with you in any capacity moving forward.

I seriously cannot wrap my head around the mentality that the government is trying to kill us with this vaccine. If that were true, why were they one of the first groups to get vaccinated? And why would the government want to kill all the scientists and medical professionals? Do these people ever stop and think logically? Because if every single one of the vaccinated people dies within 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years like these wackadoos are saying then all we’re going to be left with are people with IQs in the double digits who refuse to listen to authority. Do you really think those are the people the government wants left standing?

Besides, if that’s the case, well, I’m ok with my fate because I don’t want to live in that world anyway. We’re well on our way to a real life Idiocracy if things don’t change. If anything, the government is hoping all these “my body, my choice” (unless it’s to stop others from getting an abortion, of course, because *hypocrisy*) people will die off.

I’d just like to know whether these people have ever done any true research and/or watched a single video of a real doctor explaining how your immune system and vaccines work. Because I just can’t believe that anyone with a shred of intelligence would still think the crazy things I’ve seen people posting out there. They must be getting all their information from Facebook memes and it’s really sad they cannot be motivated enough to at least look at reputable sources before parroting the same old rhetoric.

The anti-mask anti-vaccine people are like a toddler who throws a tantrum because you won’t let them stick a fork in a light socket. We have parents actively fighting against school administrations so their children don’t have to wear masks. Do they want their child exposed to a deadly virus? Do they not believe it exists? Oh wait, it must be that, until their kid does get sick and then they’ll be asking you to donate to their Go Fund Me for their medical (or funeral) expenses.

I’ve seen too many videos of people saying they changed their mind about not getting vaccinated, but only AFTER they’ve caught COVID. Apparently if it doesn’t happen to them directly it’s not real. So how does that work for Christians, then? Last I heard they haven’t personally met Jesus or God so…

If the consequences of not getting vaccinated and catching COVID rested solely with the infected individual, I wouldn’t care. You made a choice and there are consequences that go along with that. But this affects everyone. It’s a public health issue. It’s not political, it’s not a way for the government to control you, and it’s not a mass culling. There are children dying now thanks to the Delta variant, not to mention hospitals being overloaded to the point where they have to turn away people having heart attacks and strokes because the unvaccinated COVID patients are taking up all the resources. Innocent people who did their part are dying thanks the selfishness of these people and that makes me very very angry.

I am livid that this is the world we live in. The lack of empathy and personal responsibility is higher that I ever thought possible and it’s frustrating, disheartening, and disgusting. I’m sure there’s levels of this bullshit in other countries but I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. has the highest concentration of nut jobs. The same people who have been crying about their freedoms and refusing to wear masks are the reason why we’re still dealing with this today. Now they are going to see even more of their “freedom” stripped away as cities institute vaccine passports for things like bars, clubs, restaurants, concerts and other events. If only everyone had done their part we wouldn’t be in this position. But they’re all too up their own ass to even see it.

The worst part is there’s nothing I can do about any of this. I have tried to talk sense into one family member and was told “I’m stubborn so the more you try to convince me, the less chance I will do it”. Seriously!?!? So I assured them I wouldn’t bring it up again, and I haven’t. I guess they’ll either suffer the consequences of their inaction, or they’ll get lucky and feel justified in it. Either way it’s a real shitty outcome.

I’ve made peace with the fact that I may very well lose family members to this virus, or at least see them disabled from it, which is still terrible when your quality of life is affected. But what else can I do? I have to let go and let the chips fall where they may. And that’s the worst part of this past year and a half.

Categories: Health, Rants & Observations Tags:

Puddle Jumper

August 25th, 2021 Comments off

The other day we ordered Red Robin for curbside pickup and it had just stopped raining so it was pretty wet outside.

As we’re waiting outside for them to bring out our food there was an older woman with a toddler. At first we were like “oh look how cute she is walking with her hands behind her back like a little old man” before we realized it was because she didn’t want to hold the woman’s hand to walk through the parking lot back to their car. The little girl briefly took the woman’s hand but then let go and ran back onto the sidewalk. Then she ran into the lot toward the closed Sears (this restaurant is attached to a dying mall) and started jumping in the puddles near the curb, getting her pink leggings soaked in the process.

The woman looked completely defeated and got on her phone, so we started making up her side of the conversation to entertain ourselves. We imagined she was saying “I’m never babysitting this little bitch again because she DOES NOT LISTEN”. All the while the toddler just kept running in and out of the puddles having the time of her life.

I really wanted to film it since they were far enough away they wouldn’t have noticed, but it felt like an invasion of privacy so I decided to write about it instead.

Categories: Life Tags:

All The Other Things

August 19th, 2021 Comments off

Figured I’d post a mish mash of things that have happened recently. I really only keep up this blog for my own memories at this point so if you find this boring that’s why.

Sat 8/7 – We tried Wendy’s breakfast for the first time in years because T-Mobile Tuesday had a deal where you get a free breakfast sandwich with any purchase. I got the Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant and a small order of Seasoned Potatoes. I thought the sandwich was pretty good. Reminded me of a chicken version of McDonald’s McGriddles. So good, but not great. But those potatoes were amazing! They remind me so much of the potato wedges KFC used to have. It’s too bad you can only get them during breakfast. I might have to plan ahead so I can get some in the morning, grab some KFC in the afternoon, and reheat the wedges in the air fryer.

Fresh Picked Tomatoes

Sun 8/8 – Our neighbor came by asking if we’d like to pick some tomatoes from his garden since he had too many. Joe picked four and we used most of them to make the most delicious bruschetta.

Bruschetta

Wed 8/11 – The Woodman’s finally opened by us on Tuesday, August 10th, so we headed over there the next day around 8 am to check it out. Observations: there’s no deli (weird), they only take Discover (in addition to debit and cash), the liquor store has a separate entrance but can also be accessed via the store, but you have to pay for everything there separately, their selection is off the charts. Needless to say, we spent an hour going up and down the majority of the aisles. It will definitely be a place we shop at often, particularly because they’re open 24 hours.

Subaru Outback Outback Screen

Thu 8/12 – Took my Crosstrek to the dealer to address two recalls and was given an Outback loaner. Observations: I like the dual climate control but found the radio annoying to operate, and the fact that all the controls had to be done on the screen other than adjusting the temperature. The Auto Start-Stop feature to conserve gas is hella annoying because the car would jerk when starting back up. If my car had that I’d be disabling it real quick. I did like that the doors automatically locked once the car reached 15 MPH, though, and you could open the door from the inside without having to unlock the door first. That’s the single most annoying thing about my car and I still don’t understand how me having to manually lock and unlock the doors is supposedly a safety feature. It’s stupid!

Herrick Lake

Sun 8/15 – We got up early to visit Herrick Lake & Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton. It’s been years since visiting either one.

At Herrick we saw a Tussock Moth caterpillar, a Cedar Waxwing, and heard woodpeckers and blue jays, which I was able to identify with the Merlin Bird ID app. They recently added a feature where you can have it listen to birds in the area and give you a possible match. It’s remarkably accurate.

Most of the horses at Danada were eating in a pasture not really accessible to the public (and had their eyes covered which I thought was interesting; I read it has to do with flies). There were two in the barn that we saw, and we were visited by two curious barn cats too, and saw some barn swallows, although I wasn’t able to get a good photo of them.

Vito & Nick's Frozen Pizza

Later in the day we decided to make one of the Vito & Nick’s pizza we picked up at Woodman’s and when I tell you that we were blown away by how good it was I am not exaggerating. We’ve never had a better frozen pizza. The amount of toppings they add is insane!

Pizza Slice

Each slice is very filling even though the crust is thin. We intend to keep one on hand at all times for lazy dinner days.

Tue 8/17 – I met my friend, C, for lunch at Culver’s to catch up. We initially sat outside, at my request, because that Delta variant of COVID has got me worried and I’m not really comfortable being indoors without a mask, and that’s kinda hard to do when you’re eating. Unfortunately, a few bees found our food very interesting, so we were forced to retreat inside to get away from their relentless buzzing around us.

Rueben

We were planning on visiting my friend, K, today, and we usually get Culver’s, so I decided to have something different than a burger during this visit, and got the Rueben. It looked better than it was, although it wasn’t actually bad. It was average, I’d say. I would eat it again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to do so.

After we had been at the restaurant 45 minutes I asked my friend if we could go back to my place since I wasn’t comfortable being there any longer (it was getting busier) so we hung out at the house until she left around 3:15. Right before she left we were standing by the patio door hoping to see a hummingbird but none came by. I told her they’ll probably come right after she leaves, and that’s exactly what happened. Not only that, but I pointed out that they don’t seem to like the new red Pentas we recently got, and of course now they do! Are they trying to make me look bad?

Famer's Market VeggiesCinnamon Roll

Wed 8/18 – We decided to check out Warrenville’s farmer’s market and spent nearly $40 between blackberries ($4), veggies ($5.50), sweet cheese pierogi ($12/dozen), a gigantic cinnamon roll ($4.25), and two rolls ($12 total) from a food truck called Roll With It.

Rolls

The Oreo roll is on the left and a caprese roll is on the right. We really liked the Oreo one and the other one was ok, but not good enough we’d get again.

I made some icing for the cinnamon roll by mixing powdered sugar, milk, and a little almond extract. It came out delicious, particularly because Joe heated the roll in the air fryer before we added the icing.

We used the poblano and yellow peppers to make southwestern stuffed peppers for dinner. They came out amazing, particularly the poblanos.

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

We are looking forward to making them again soon.

Today we were supposed to head to K’s house for a puppy play date but Wookie isn’t feeling well so we’re taking it easy and keeping an eye on her. I fed her some canned pumpkin mixed in wither her wet food, which she loved, so hopefully that will help her belly. She’s currently lying on the floor right next to my chair.

General Stuff

My left shoulder is still slowly getting better. I can almost raise my arm all the way up, reach behind my back again, and sleep on it with minimal pain. Crazy how long it’s been since these issues started – a year now, I believe.

We haven’t been using our master tub/shower in the last month because the drain hole is messed up and Joe is having a tough time removing it to replace it. We are planning on using this opportunity to redo the master bathroom. It’s sorely needed – the tub is old, the grout in the wall tile is falling apart and I fear water has gotten behind it and might be harboring mold, and the grout in the floor tile is coming apart even though Joe redid that a few years ago. Might as well do a full gut and install all new stuff. We’ve been dragging our feet on it though because picking out materials is stressful! I can’t decide if I want to do a shower surround or do tile again. Tile would definitely look better, but the wall surround would be easier to keep clean.

The Cure… Break Up?

August 18th, 2021 Comments off

Saturday during one of the Cure watch parties on Twitch, Simon Gallup, one of the main members of The Cure, announced on Facebook that he’s no longer with the band.

Simon Gallup's FB Post

So of course everyone in the comments was freaking out and speculating that the two albums Robert has been saying were due to come out any time now will never be released. I’m not sure why Simon’s departure would matter if they are nearly complete, so long as Robert pays him accordingly. Fans were saying this could be the end of The Cure altogether since Robert has been known to say The Cure couldn’t exist without Simon. I’m pretty sure if he wanted to continue touring he could find a willing bassist, though, but even if they do break up, they’ve had a good run.

Either way, I’m not all that upset. If the last ever Cure concert I’ve been to ends up being the 2016 Chicago show, at least they went out on top in my eyes. Not to say I wouldn’t pass up a chance to see them again, but with my ear issues I’d be really scared to attend an indoor concert anyway, so my only hope for seeing them again was if they played outdoors so I can get lawn seats.

As far as whether or not we get another album from them – well, as far as I’m concerned, The Cure hasn’t put out a truly good album since the 90s so my expectations of any new material has been low for a very long time, so again, not that upset.

I didn’t say anything of this in the chat though, lest I be ripped to shreds. Some people were literally crying over the news. I will always love them, don’t get me wrong, but I spend more time listening to Sofi Tukker these days. Now if they broke up, I might cry.

Oh, and Simon apparently deleted the post sometime in the past 24 hours, so who knows what’s going on. Temper tantrum after an argument? Realizing that probably wasn’t the most mature way to make an announcement? Change of heart? Who knows. I guess we’ll stay tuned and see how it plays out.

Categories: Music Tags: