Category Archives: Misc

This Must Be My Night For Goofing On Customer Service

Yes, this is a most urgent message, indeed. As it happens, I have no cell phone service. Heaven knows who has tried to contact me during the time that my cell phone was off. But why am I contacting you? You’re the bank, not the phone company.

Well, if you must know, my phone bill is automatically paid each month. Or it’s supposed to be. Today, upon realizing my phone service was down, I contacted the phone company and found out the bank declined the latest transaction to the phone company.

My phone company is XXXXX, a Florida based company. I’ve been with them for years and I’m happy with them. Now, there were times in the past when you had declined my payments to XXXXX. I’d have to contact you and tell you to send the payment through. You always did when I told you to, thank you.

I remember your explanation as to why my payments were being declined. Your explanation was that Florida has a high rate of fraud and because of that, you’re taking extraordinary measures when making transactions with all Florida based companies.

All right, great. But, XXXXX is my phone company and I pay for the service monthly, using their automatic payment option. Because you were constantly declining my payments to XXXXX and making me contact you to have the payments put through, I requested that you stop declining my payments to XXXXX. I mean, it’s a real hassle to have to contact the bank every time I need to pay my phone bill.

For a long time after that, there were no declined payments, no interruptions of phone service. Life was good and we all rejoiced. But now, it seems my request that you stop declining payments to XXXXX has expired.

Please, I beg you, don’t decline anymore of my payments to XXXXX.

Thank you, and peace out.

Your humble customer,


Getting Tired of My Bank Looking Out for Me

Hi! How may I help you today?

Me: It seems I have no cell phone service. I can’t call or text.

Angel: Hi Rob. Thank you for visiting.

.Angel: I’m sorry to hear that.

Angel: Let me check on your account. Are we working for the phone number that ends with XXXX?

Me: Yes.

Angel: Okay.

Angel: May I please have your address?

Me: XXXX Annibal Dr. Lapeer, MI 48446

Angel: Thank you. Please bear with me as I review your account.

Me: Ditto

Angel: Thank you for waiting. Please bear with me as my system is running slow.

Angel: Thank you for waiting. Upon checking, it shows that you already reached your scheduled service end date. To restore your service, you need to refill your account.

Angel: Do you have an airtime card with you or are you going to use your credit card?

Me: It’s supposed to refill automatically.

Angel: Let me check further. Please allow me a moment.

Angel: Upon checking further, it shows that your last transaction was declined by your bank.

Me: Oh, Jesus. My bank has done that in the past. I’m furious. Thank you, Angel. You’ve been very helpful. I’ll give my bank, yet, another earful.

Angel: You are welcome.

Angel: Is there anything else that I can assist you with?

Me: Nope, that’s everything. Thank you. Best wishes and warm regards.

Angel: You are welcome.

The problem is, I thought my phone bill was already paid and it’s not, because the bank declined the scheduled payment and didn’t notify me. So, now I won’t have phone service until I can get in touch with someone at the bank tomorrow and tell them to send the payment through.

The problem is, I already told my bank to stop declining payments to this particular company. There were no problems for quite some time, but now it seems the bank has forgotten my request and is back to declining payments to this Florida based company simply because it’s a Florida based company.

But don’t get me wrong. I don’t have many complaints about my bank, just some of their measures drive me up the wall.

A Good Dog

Yes, I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again. Luci is indeed the best dog ever.

Yesterday, while I was doing yard  work, I noticed the gate in the picture was bent back and there was a wide gap between the cuff and the post it grips. Because the cuff never gripped the post very well, I have big rocks, one on each side of the gate, so it won’t open inward or outward.

So, the gate was still closed, but the way it was bent yesterday, the gap was wide enough that Luci could have easily slipped out. For a moment, I thought she had. But then I looked behind me and saw her lying on the patio. I was so proud that I immediately told her, “Good dog, Luce.”

I don’t know how long the gate was like that. Definitely more than a day, possibly more than a week. Luci has been spending a lot of time in the backyard. She could have gone out through that gap anytime and she didn’t.

I shouldn’t be so surprised. She doesn’t even follow me out through the front gate unless I tell her, “C’mon, Luce.”

I managed to straighten the gate a bit, and then my dad came over and helped me straighten it better. But I’m still WTFed about it. How can this gate get bent like that? It was like folded down and back. I don’t think the wind could have done that, so I’m suspicious.

I think someone bent the gate on purpose. Why might they have done that? Possibly so they can cox my dog out and steal her. My friend Megan’s dog was recently stolen and my friend Brooke’s dog was stolen a couple years ago. Also, someone stole two dogs from my mom and dad about ten or fifteen years ago.

Dognapping is a reality. While I hope that’s not what this was about, I don’t have anything else of value in my backyard that isn’t locked up in the shed. I ought to hang BEWARE OF OWNER signs on the fence.

I’m not one of those gun owners who will shoot to kill anyone who enters their territory. But, if I ever see someone trying to steal my dog, I won’t let them leave until the police take them away.

Hating on Mike Rowe?

Are people hating on Mike Rowe because he’s telling us that there are a number of jobs out there that don’t require expensive college degrees and there’s no shame in doing dirty jobs? Or is there some other reason that people are hating on him? I never saw Mike Rowe as particularly conservative or particularly liberal. To me, he always seemed evenly balanced between both of these mindsets.

I scrolled Mike Rowe’s Facebook page and I see what it’s about. He responded.

The Last of the Venison

Just ate the last of the deer I shot in October. Steak. It was good. Hope I get more meat this coming fall.

Not sure if I’m done for the day, but I might be. In my earlier post, I told you I was using the stopwatch on my phone to time how long it takes me to get each page down and that I was trying to beat the previous times. In that post I told you that the latest time was 00:19:30:02 and that was for one whole page. Since then I got down three more pages. Here’s the times.

1st page – 00:19:30.02
2nd page – 00:17:01.76
3rd page – 00:16:20.42
4th page – 00:13:37.41

I successfully beat the previous time every time. Each of these were full pages. I would say the writing quality is fair, but probably will be cutting out a bit when I go over the finished rough draft and there are many typos. But the story is getting down and that’s the important thing at this point.

I would like to get it down to ten minutes per page, so I’m still striving for more speed. But that 13 minutes and 37 seconds time is a new record for me.

Also, I need to take shorter breaks after completing a page.

In any case, today’s work was fun. Think I’ll be doing it like this for a while. It’s real sporty.

Tigers at 10.


Been up since 6 AM. Though I don’t normally drink coffee, I have coffee supplies in the kitchen so my brother, or anyone else,  can have some when here. But to assure I stay awake this morning, I decided to make myself a cup. Since my dad recently gave me some pointers on how a cup of coffee should be made, my coffee isn’t as terrible as it used to be.

I’m trying to pick up speed on the novel. I can often get a whole page down in under twenty minutes. I’ve been using the stopwatch feature on my phone to confirm that. I know that’s not bad. Any writer would be proud of that score, and I am. But. I. Need. More. Speed.

I know of writers who can nail down around 2,000 words, about ten pages, in an hour. I would love to be able to get my projects done that fast. Sure, they’ll be messy rough drafts  But that’s what the clean up process is for. I have a lot of projects planned and I want to get them done.

So, I’m working on that. Trying to beat my old time every time. The latest time on the stopwatch is 19:30.02. That was for an entire page of exactly 266 words.

Jay Lake once said, “Writing is an endurance sport.” I’m trying to build up my ability to endure high speeds like Jay did.

In other news, my cousin Josh just finished medical school. That’s a huge accomplishment. If I’m understanding correctly, he’ll soon begin his practice as an orthopaedic surgeon. I might have to  see him about the finger Mr. Ed tried to eat thirty years ago.

Cleaned Up the Attic

Well, my attic was always pretty clean. It doesn’t even get dusty up there. But I had some junk. Today I threw out what I didn’t need. The few things that I did need, I was able to fit them behind the wall by the stairs where they can’t be seen. So, now there’s just a couple end tables, a bean bag and two chairs.

I just got the flip out chair today, so my brother can sleep up there when he stays the night here. He stays a night here every now and then. The attic makes a good guest room.

No Advance

I haven’t been blogging much lately. Haven’t been getting to it and don’t really have anything to say. There has been no movement in the novel since the latest update. I was stuck, couldn’t figure out how to go forward and decided to read the thing from the beginning.

I have a couple more scenes to read, and then I’ll be where I left off at and can resume writing. The read from the beginning was effective. Ideas came to mind and I see how to continue for the next chapter or so.

I’ve also been cleaning up a short story that I finished a couple months ago. I wrote this story really fast and made a big mess. When I write fast and sloppy, the edit process takes more time, but it’s not that difficult to do. I find that pretty much all I have to do is cut out the crap and fix typos. I don’t see much that needs to be rewritten.

So, while the fast and sloppy approach will give me a lot of work when I edit the story, the story is down. I like that. The reason I had to read what I got down on the novel so far is that I was writing too slowly and forgot about things from the earlier chapters that I needed to keep the story going.

I’m going to try speeding up the novel when I get back to the writing.