Ed’s Weekly Rant – Computer Woes

photo-1517430816045-df4b7de11d1dWe have the technology. Too bad it’s always way ahead of us in what we can understand or comprehend. Thank God for kids who live on electronic devices and computer nerds like the Geek Squad.

I mentioned in my previous rant about electronics how guys like Bill Gates stay rich by making your gadgets obsolete and disposable. Take our desktop PC for example. It was my fourth or fifth computer, which was bigger and better and faster than all the previous machines put together, but those hidden update fairies jammed it with so much magic dust it was almost as slow as my first dial-up.

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Ed’s Weekly Rant – T.V. Commercials

downloadThere’s something I just have to know. Has anyone ever bought any product or service because they saw it advertised on television? If so, I have to wonder how many millions of dollars are spent on those products that we couldn’t care less about.

But how do we ignore commercials? They are everywhere and competing broadcasters sync them with each other so when you channel surf to avoid commercials on one station you only have to watch them on another. And sometimes it’s the same ones!  This is why some of us love recording shows and others binge on Netflix.

What really pisses me off now is how the station has their logo permanently emblazoned at bottom of your screen. What’s even worse is they know you’re going to hit the bathroom at a commercial break so they’ve taken their sales pitch a step further and now advertise across the bottom of the screen during your favorite show.

And those pop-ups seem to be getting bigger all the time. My guess is next we’ll be watching a split screen like we do on the internet, with our show on the left and a shit load of advertisements on the right. It’s bad enough they now listen and look in on everything we do electronically so they can suggest the right ads for us.

Just mention the word pee around one of your devices and you’ll be bombarded with ads for bladder control pills and diapers. Where will it all end? Why can’t we just google it if we’re looking to buy something.

And on a closing note, I just love how pharmaceutical companies have a list of side effects for their products that outweighs any health benefits. I’m truly afraid of what comes next.

Ed’s Weekly Rant – Shopping Cart Etiquette

oI know it’s not just me, because my wife comes home from shopping and bitches about stupid people and their shopping carts. Let me vent and share my experience at Zehrs yesterday, while picking up a few groceries.

Considering myself a prudent shopping cart driver, I stay to the right in isle-ways, seldom tailgate unless someone suddenly stops in front of me, and I never abandon my buggy in the middle of an isle. The later ticks me off and is what happened yesterday.

Me and another guy were approaching each other in our proper lanes, doing the appropriate speed limit when a woman in front of us dumped her cart right smack in the middle of our isle. Her gaze fixed on the prices of canned brain matter, she was concerned about nothing and no one else.

The other dude and I exchanged looks – rolling our eyes and shaking our heads. He decided to park and wait for the woman to clear the road. I handled the matter a bit differently. My ‘excuse me’ fell on deaf ears so I gently nudged and sideswiped her cart so I could get by. That caught her attention and a dirty look was thrown my way. I pushed my way by and the other guy smiled from ear to ear.

A couple weeks ago at another store a woman with a full shopping cart of groceries cut in front of me in the express lane that was for 10 items or less. She had the audacity to ask the cashier if she could go through that lane. Maybe she couldn’t count or read.

Then there’s those lazy bastards who abandoned their buggies right beside or near their cars because the cart station is another twenty feet away. And I always love seeing project people pushing a $200 or $300 shopping cart down the road and all the way home, only to leave it there and bring another one home on their next trip.

Perhaps the government should get together with grocery stores and offer driving lessons for the proper operation of shopping carts. They’re complicated devices and should at least have driving and parking instructions posted on them.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

downloadI think Cathryn and I may have felt this way about the last Quentin Tarantino movie we went to see; it sucked and was one of the worst movies we’ve ever seen. The best part of the movie was the soundtrack – lots of great songs from the 60’s and 70’s. Those responsible for set locations and wardrobe did a great job in reviving memorabilia and the fashion of the time.

To be fair we enjoyed some of the acting and the interaction between Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Small parts or cameos by other big names weren’t enough to make this movie enjoyable. It started out slow and continued to painfully drag along right up until the explosive ending that was completely different than the real life events it mimicked.

Two other people in the audience left about half way through the yawner and we both considered following suit. I almost nodded off twice. Cathryn finally bailed about fifteen minutes before the ending which I thought was completely ridiculous. The whole movie was too long and drawn out.

In considering the little things we liked about the movie we’re each generously giving this flick a 2 out of 10.

Ed’s Weekly Rant -Disposable Electronics

DocumentI’m not one to complain about the amazing advancements in technology that I’ve witnessed in my short lifetime, but at what monetary cost are these wondrous inventions delivered to us? I know I’m not the only baby boomer who’s noticed how disposable our electronic devices and gadgets have become.

Let me start with my personal computer. I’ve recently switched carriers, going for newer and more advanced fiber optic service that promises faster internet speeds than their old style cable competitors. My installation went smoothly but the service technician found my computer was running slow. A speed check on the new line confirmed it was my hardware.

My computer is about 5 or 6 years old (had to replace the previous one cause it was slow) and I added RAM about a year ago to speed things up. Slow response times on the internet was one of the reasons for switching companies. So why, I asked my friendly installer, is my computer continually getting slower. Updates, was his first response – think about your cell phone he said.

I’d already learned long ago not to add all the suggested updates to my phone because it becomes completely locked up and you have to get a new phone. If you think that big companies like Microsoft would never do something like that on purpose, you’d better think again. They need to sell new products to make money so it’s only good business sense to make your devices obsolete because they know you’ll buy new ones.

Just in the last couple years we’ve had to buy new computer components and  replace audio equipment because the old stuff wasn’t compatible to our new smart TV. If it’s so smart why couldn’t if communicate with our other electronics? We had to toss our Blackberry because they’d no longer service it and the Kobo because they don’t make parts for it – so much for buying Canadian.

We also have an old wifi router sitting in the basement, along with an old stereo and DVD player…who uses those anymore? We just stream everything now and ignore the hundreds of DVD’s that I wasted money on. The good news is that I made some good cash selling a bunch of movies to a pawn shop. The bad news is that now I have to buy a new computer so we can enjoy all of our other helpful gadgets that we’ve come to depend on.

Ed’s Weekly Rant – Turn Signals

left1In addition to my daily posts of our travel photos on my Facebook Author Page I thought I’d do something weekly in an attempt to make you laugh, cry, pump your fist in the air in agreement, or just say ‘chill dude.”

This will be my forum for the little things that irritate, agitate, frustrate, infuriate or just plain piss me off. I’m sure some of you will be able to relate to these things – we experience them or have them happen to us every day.

I’ll start with a traffic rant. Turn Signals. I can already hear your wheels turning, thinking about the last idiot who had you shouting at your windshield, honking your horn or flipping the bird.

I traveled east on Tecumseh Road (4 lanes) from Lauzon today, and being what I believe to be an astute driver who looks way up road I moved to from the curb to the left lane to avoid the lineup of about a dozen cars that were stopped for the light at Forest Glade Drive. There was only one car in the left lane, which I would have avoided if the lone car had his signal on – there is no turning arrow there.

I patiently waited behind the car in front of me and casually noted the Alberta licence plate (old cop habit). Less than a minute later the light turned green and I’m sure you can guess what happened next. The car in front of me remained stationary and put his left turn signal on. F*%&!

I did a shoulder check to my right rear and saw there were now fifty cars in the right lane. It’s a good thing I’m retired and was in no hurry. Summer almost became winter while I waited to go through the intersection, but I remained composed. Until the idiot turned and I laid on my horn…just a little bit.

Tune in each week for more good stuff to make your blood boil or to have a good laugh at my expense. I promise the posts will be shorter than this one (no preamble).

The Mother Road – Part 2 – Amarillo Texas to Santa Monica California

IMG_3354We started the second half of our westward journey on Route 66 on Sunday, June 16th, in Amarillo, Texas. Not too far out of town I had to throw out the anchor and do a u-turn to stop at the infamous Cadillac Ranch. For those unaware of the legend and song that refer to the unusual site, this one boasts ten old Cadillac’s that are standing on end, partially buried, looking like the American version of Stonehenge.

For years, tourists have been stopping at the eyesore or work of art, depending how you look at it, to spray-paint or write their names or whatever on the empty shells of the once-classic cars. We entered the field through a gate in the fence, careful not to touch it, since eager tourists start tagging right there. Every color of paint you can imagine decorated the gate, fence, and packed dirt path leading to the monument.

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