Charlywalker's Blog











{November 24, 2011}   To Err is Human, to Blog is Divine

My television is on it’s last tube and needed to be laid to rest. We owned this antiquated boob-tube for fifteen years and it followed us through-out our trans continental locations with out obtaining one scratch from the moving company.( Even the remote laid intact, batteries included…….).  This ancient analogue helped raise my children and provided entertainment(?) for our family  during Prime Time…………and not for prime time.

I don’t know where this TV ‘s final resting place will be, because…well….I don’t know where TV’s go when they run out of their power supply and forfeit their vertical stance for a horizontal time- base.  I guess the amplifier is out cold and syncing into the contrast as it separates the demodulator which will never flyback in order to transform…..

In other words I am  now faced with having to purchase a replacement.

I hate shopping for Large Electronics. Unless it is a life-like robot of Brad Pitt.    I particularly do not like to shop for  a large electronic  housed  in a giant ware -house that offers the Cost- Consumer, what they deem,  a  fair and balanced deal.  

  Unfortuneately, one day while unloading my five gallon olive jar onto a conveyer belt during checkout,  my membership was inadvertently upgraded to a higher level. This was LED by princess Leah wearing a yellow see through vest wielding a laser ,holding me at gun point, which I later found out is  disguised as  random price checks….

SO…. now I get to make  Executive decisions when I spend on items that nurture a shelf span of eternity and could possibly supply a small nation. 

I have been a member of this giant house of Cost-Containing surplus since their conception, and never took the opportunity to investigate their backlog of electronic offerings, until our faithful Panasonic died.

I entered the wear-house in anticipation of leaving with a new TV. A new and improved TV.  A   television of our times. A television that my children can be proud of that contains the current mechanisms to import whatever attachment they may need to export for their viewing pleasure.  Something that will tickle their little pixels…..

I spent two hours pacing through the television aisles with various brand names and notable features staring at me. I had fragments of the alphabet swirling in my head, with the likes of:

LCD…LED…HD..CRT….DLP..HDTV…..all those abbreviations gave me a thriving ADHDS………Attention Deficit (to) High Density Systems.  Soooo many choices and my time was running short.   I immediately ruled out Plasma,…….. who wants to watch a clear yellowish fluid flow out from the screen……..

Finally, a Cost-Courtious employee approached me, well I think it was an employee, this one had on a red vest. I was grateful that  it wasn’t security as I had been  occupying the  same area for  hours with out assistance, possibly raising a height of suspicion around the store.  (Yes…I’m sure to them, I was a candidate to conceal a 60 inch  SMART-HDTV under my  Victoria Secret Hoodie and shuffle out the wired doors wearing platform booties onto the lot, where I inevitably always forget  where my car is parked…… ). I guess I could have pitched a tent in stead of a fit, but I wasn’t in the camping aisle….

Even under non emergent  shopping days I spend a leisurely   2 plus hours trolling the hallways  of this giant ware-house.  One day in particular I noticed a tall  man with dark hair following me about as I meandered between the 50 lb coffee bags and dancing on through the plastic utensils that can service a table of 500. It wasn’t until I lingered too long in the women’s necessity aisle that I caught a glimpse of him eying me through a peep-toe shoe, and I waltzed my flat-bed of items to the front desk to complain.   I ranted about the blatant obviousness of their security methods and do they really think I can smuggle a frozen King Salmon in my spanks………unnoticed????  Chilling thought.

The manager listened intently and had me describe the man to him that was following me throughout the store. I did this with intense detail from his cologne  all the way to his fake pinky ring.  The manager gave a slight chuckle and exposed to me that his store only has  women security agents employed today.  I  thanked the manager and asked him  that when I am ready to check out would he kindly furnish me with an escort to my car as I do not want to end up sleeping with the frozen fillets…….

Meanwhile, I was LED back to the Electronic ranch to listen to the courteous  attendant start to describe the differences in the various makes and models of the HD haven that was spread out before me.  I stood there in my TV trance and I snapped too when I heard him utter the word “Smart Television”. 

  Hmmmm.. I am tired of that adjective being attached to items of every day use………… Smart tv, Smart phones, Smart washers & dryers, Smart clocks,……. Smart Alec’s………..I’m not playing this Panel Game Mr. Smarty pants…..

I don’t want to own anything that is smarter than me.   I might lose control. And God knows how often the Control’s get lost in my house……

After a long and arduous meeting of the neurons, I opted for the Smart -TV costing a bundle and causing my wallet to smart.  The Cost-Conscious employee loaded the flat screen into my car and off I drove into the sunset toward the reluctant  teen at home awaiting to help me assemble this work of art.  This ART that carries a 90 day return policy. This Smart -piece-of-crap-de-resistance hung flawless in our home up  until the 99th day when it decided to use it’s craft and emit distortion and ghost figures followed by pixel interruptus……

My Panasonic never gave me any back talk…

I went through the proper Channels to remedy the problems which ultimately LED me to dismantle the Hair-brained TV and lug it back to the giant Cost-consuming store.  I stood in line with receipt in hand and was approached by a Blue vested worker who loudly announced that I was “past the ninety days for a return”. ( At this point I was thinking maybe  I should have opted for the Plasma, at least the blood pulsating through the veins in my head would have been replenished….)

The large mouth bassy flopped over her deck of returns and handed me a business card with a toll free number of a concierge unit belonging to the giant Cost-conglomerate and fished out the words “good-luck”.  

Luck I don’t need….a working TV…..I do.

I tried to remain calm and not activate the spare key on my key chain to the wine cabinet…….but I  realized I was  not in the confines of my own  home, and I don’t have key roaming…..

I was instructed to “step aside” for the other customers as I stood guard of my flat screen and dialed the number issued to me for problem resolution.  I explained the situation to this Cost-concierge in grave detail and was LED to the  call center of the manufacturer of the Smart-TV,who told me to:

“Go home and set the the TV back up and we can troubleshoot and call the repair person for replacement parts”.

O.K.  let’s re-cap: “I spent mega-bucks on an electronic item from a Cost-corrupt environment that is barely 3.5 months old, who is waiving their responsibility to assist me in exchanging this faulty TV and passing me on to the Maker who produces this product , who want to send someone to replace a part which has not yet been determined if that is the root of the problem?  In other words….you are telling me that my  brand new  recently purchased smart -TV  is in need of repair”.

I buy a Brand spanking new TV.  I go home and plug it in.  I turn it on and it works, it works for the first 90 days.  Now they want to put parts in it with out investigating the TV.  They will not give me another one. They will not give me my money back.  I am stuck with this Brand New HDTV that, even if parts are exchanged or repaired , could still cause issues after the warranty expires. Then what? More repairs?  Hmmmm…..how very Smart of them……

I walked over to the Armoire sitting across the room that carried the old Panasonic in it’s cupboard and looked at the bare shelf and pondered at the changes over those 15 years. Changes involving the advancements in our society.  Changes in the products,the people, the customer service from Neverland, the hand-off of accountability, no more dumb TV’s…….

Changes that LED me to turn that empty cabinet into a wine closet where I will sit and toast my Brand New Flat Screen Smart HDTV  with all it’s ghost like manner  spewing  fireworks of distortion, while I wait for the Smarty-Pants repairman……..

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{November 5, 2011}   Blog Wars

As I mentioned briefly in my last post, my son is in the process of filling out applications to various colleges of his (?) choice.  I am glad that we are now in the techno- age and this tedium can be completed online instead of the hoards of paperwork covering the floor like confetti.

My son has mastered the first few lines of the application, and I thank God for all the education I paid for so he can fill in his name, address and phone number correctly.  On one of the applications his mouse tripped over a tab asking for his ethnicity.  He clicked on the menu and viewed the drop-down of options that proposedly describe his inherit make- up.  He scanned the itemized arrangement of nouns and adjectives covering the world and turned to me and asked:

“What is my ethnicity?”.

I internalized his question and tried to visualize our family tree to see if I could manage to shake out some Ancestry in under 30 seconds to supply him with a proper response to adhere to the applications request.  He interrupted my mental search engine and asked:

“What do I place in the Race?”.

I said: ” Just tell them you won by a nose”.

Finishing his eye rolling he darted back:

“Am I White- non-Hispanic?”

I stated in return:

” See if they have beige with freckles and completing  your fourth year of  Spanish…….”.

He returned to the menu options and scrolled to the end of a long checklist of titles until  he spotted a selection dubbed Caucasian.

Then  asked…….:

“What about Caucasian….click that?”

I stood over the sink scrubbing  the burnt remnants resting on the bottom of a pot from last nights dinner and peeled my Rubber- Maid gloves off my fingers and  raced over to my sons computer.  In doing so, I started to examine  his statement: What about Caucasian..

I have to admit I don’t even know what that word describes or means, but I was taught as a kid to check that  category….no questions asked.   I never liked checking that box or any other box for that matter. What difference does it make.

  Caucasians, I later discovered through my sons investigation on the Web,  evolved from a dividing line between Asia and Europe with some added spice that included Polynesia.  They settled in an area called Mount Caucasus and produced Caucasoids and Europids. (Caucasoid? Europid? These sound like something you need an ointment for……..).   This group harbored the likes of Russians, Hindu, Azerbaijan, Armenian, Iranian, Turkey, and North Africa. My son also found that this Mt. Caucasus, in it’s time, “produced the most beautiful men”.

So…where were  the women in this mix?  I don’t know who lead that Caucus……….

My son interrupted the rant going on in my mind and asked again which option to select.   This opened the door to discussions of family genes and the history of our clan.  The Ancestry showed we derived from a menu of  a Heinz 57 variety and could not be narrowed down to just one Box.

So??” He continues, ” Which box do I mark and what is the one called Other for?

I don’t get why they  have a need for any classification in the first place. What difference does it make and who set that standards anyway, and he’s right in asking about the “Other”.  I never knew what that category includes and I still don’t, and I think Everyone filling out applications should check that Other box. I think we all fall into that category one way or another. I thought having to check the Caucasian selection was odd , but who are the Other’s?    I know The Other’s is an old movie set in a haunted New Jersey Mansion featuring a mega star from Australia and directed by a man from Santiago, Chile.  I wonder if they checked the Other Box when applying for this movie.

I snapped out of my telepathic tirade and tried not to harangue myself as my son chimed  in :

“MOM, mom, moooom….chill”.

I don’t think this application  process was meant to be this overwhelming within the first paragraph and I wonder if there are any OTHER teens contemplating the categories offered on this collegiate menu. Or questioning it.

I told my son to leave that section blank and write in his own box and mark it:

POPEYE…I yam what I yam…..AAAHuuUUHGUhGuhGuh

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{November 4, 2011}   Blog Under Water

My teenage is son is trying to kill me.  I believe it has been a slow ongoing scheme ever since he popped out of the birth canal and handed the Dr. the chili peppers I ate that caused the first contraction…..

My son is in his last year of doing time in his posh private school and now faces the drones of filling out college applications.  His High School is aiding and abetting in this procedure and along with the paper chase , they advise the child to visit the colleges of choice to get a “feeling” for the environment and experience the “college” atmosphere.  This is a little too touchy- feely for me.

My parents did not play a major role in our college adventure, unless one needed a phone call to a senator  to help the child with the low GPA to get a “leg-up” onto the collegiate saddle.  ( That wasn’t me).   During my high school  days, a student just filled out the ONE page application with a few recommendations , put a 10 cent stamp on it and held your breath until the rejection letter came…….OR  until the acceptance packet arrived and your parents gleefully packed your belongings and shipped you off to your University  in a foreign land where you would spend the next four years with a roommate from hell, while sleeping in a room that was built for munchkins.

Now the schools “suggest” you take your teen by the hand and “visit” the college they might be attending………..”making sure it’s a “good fit”.

My sons college choices were ( and I stress the word WERE) : The University of Hawaii and any College that offers snowboarding as a credit……

 Right now I am trying to Turn over a new Leaf and not jump to unsolicited temperament and possibly reach for the key to the wine cabinet………..

I decided to take a disciplined approach and research the demographics of his chosen educational destiny.  After careful consideration of calculating the costs of  “visits” to Vermont, Colorado, Maine, and some outback in Michigan in order to obtain grounds for Mastering an  SBA…(Snow Boarding Achievement),…………I opted to send him to his sister’s Apartment Dorm in the Pocono’s.

My daughters University is nestled near mountains, harbors over 40,000 students, and just made history last weekend with a Major Coach’s 409th Football win. Just the kind of weekend you want to send your teen son for a visit…….not.

The one thing I have learned in life is to take it one day at a time and if you are raising teenagers……….. take it  Every minute of the time, or keep replenishing the wine glass……

Firstly: Never,  Ever send a seventeen year old to a University located in a town called HAPPY VALLEY…….especially during the Halloween weekend. My mistake was instructing my coed daughter to show her brother the campus life, the town, the University, the Dean of Students, and possibly, the Admissions Office.

Oh, my son did witness and participate in what the campus had to offer via his hooded- Sister of the Pants  that Traveled between Main street and Frat houses with my son in tow wearing a purple Morph-suit.  He did happen to  make one  very important connection  with some State dignitaries;  a blue man group approached my sons six foot frame encased in spandex and asked him to join their Lycra Fraternity……..Tappa-New-a-Keg….along with their sub chapter…….I-Felta-Thigh…..

When my son returned home that late Sunday night from his fortuitous academic adventure, I  greeted him with a warm smile and  clenched teeth as  I asked him  how his College visit went:

“Awesome Mom,  I’m going there!”

Oh lovely. I am so happy that this visit enhanced your educational choices for your future of academic success in order to meet the challenges that will mold you into the person you have deemed yourself to be.

click and open below…  oh and spread the humor.   

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