Archive for May, 2013


So I have been using Straight Talk for almost a year now and in that time the service has been pretty amazing but renewing each month is a chore.  Let’s start off with I never set anything to Auto-Renew or Auto-Bill because I just do not trust the companies to be honest and we have all heard about billing mistake nightmares.  I am not even sure if I can access my account online and getting through to a live representative who not only speaks English but truly understands it is difficult at best.

So I know tomorrow is the last day for my cycle and decided to pay today.  Well, the automated system wanted to ask too many questions to verify my identity to pay with a credit card that they had on file and that I had previously used to pay for my service.  That personally identifying information, the zip code for the billing address is often asked for in Pay At The Pump situations, where they business does not know you.  I have never had this problem with any of the other carriers or service based businesses in my life.  So I asked for an operator, who in the middle of the transaction says she needs to verify my security information and my account information.  I ask her why she is wasting my life and making this transaction so difficult.  She says she is following procedure and I ask her how their procedure could require me to go through these hoops just to add airtime to my plan when I can go to the store and purchase them, and add them without providing any additional information.  So I ask for a supervisor.

The supervisor comes on the line and asks for my phone number, keep in mind the automated system asked to verify it.  The first operator asked for it again as well.  Three times I have had to provide the same information.  Why?  I know that call monitoring software and help desk tracking and customer service software all allows for this to be done, I worked for a company that wrote software like this.  I explain that I just want to add air time and I do not want any automated payments or anything else, just a one time $45 Unlimited Monthly Airtime to add to my account.  I tell him the last 4 of the credit card and that I can provide the security code but I am not going to provide anything else.  He says ok.  Then he tells me that my service will expire on June 29.  That is when I decide that to hang up is better then to continue to waste my life.  I tell him I am done wasting my life and hang up.  Rude, yes.

He calls back.  Asking if he can please explain.  I tell him there is no reason to explain, either he does not understand something or he is being dishonest.  There is no way that I am going to pay for a month of cell phone service and get less then a month.  He explains that the service is only for 30 days and that it will be added today, the last day of the month and there are 31 days in the month.  I sit in stunned awe as he explains this to me.  My friend was sitting across from me and I made eye contact and he looked as bewildered as I did.  Now keep in mind, oral agreements like this can be contractually binding if all of the requirements for a contract are met.  I explained this to him and then asked him why he was wasting my life that it had now taken more then 30 minutes of my life to not refill the service on my account.  That I did not want to hear his explanation and that I would call the American Office tomorrow where I can speak to someone who understands how this works because they do not discount the service for February and that means they owe me two days.  Please do not call me back.  And I hung up.

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Dry Creek Community Park

This is in an unincorporated section of placer county. It was originally a public open space with a multi use path for bicycles, walkers, and horses. Now it adds a sports complex. This is where I went on Memorial Day weekend and it is a few hours from where I am staying with a friend.

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Rules rules rules

Unfortunately, public trust often creates a situation where percieved bad behavior is dissuaded by public rules that are only in place because of prior instances of abuse by a few. Sad.

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Grafiti Vandalism

The rules are necessar because people cannot control their impulses and since they think no one owns it or the government owns it or society owns it they rationalize away defacing the tree to etch something in to it.

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But protecting the public trust are the government in conjuction and partnership with the local community. People police the area on their own to pickup and cleanup most of the stuff left behind by those who just do not realize that those who love, appreciate and enjoy this area on a regular basis also expend their resources to keep it pristine and as beautiful as when they first saw it. This is the nature of natural conservationalists and those of us like me who believe we should leave it how we found it or slightly better.

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Beauty In Nature

This is the foothills at its finest, temperate rainforest in the midst of a very arid environment. An green and cool oasis in the golden color of the valley landscape in the dry hot summer summer. Horses use the multi use path. See.

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Flowers

The native flowers still alive on the leading cusp of summer. Notice that the grass has already turnes golden brown as the spring sun has drawn all of the moisture from the flowers that nature gave them during the winter rainy season.

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Awesome trees

There are these amazing trees that I am assume are local and native because they are so prolific and seem to be part of the native ecology.

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They have thesr epic solar panels for leaves. Note the size comparison. This is a California oasis and amazingly beautiful to me and literally the temperature near the water in the shade can be twenty degrees cooler on a hot day.

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The hungry, hungry caterpiller.


This caterpillar is part of the local fauna and more then likely eats the local plants and other small fauna on its journey to the cocoon.
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Yellow flower


The variety of local wild flowers is spectacular here in the spring where it seems nature is always having a veritable orgy full of flora and fauna debauchery of the worst order.
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The trees are spraying there seed all over like some wild manga bukaki scene all spring and after the flowers wither and die the fruit begins to grow and mature all summer long while nestled in the womb of this little oasis where it will feed birds and ground squirrels alone with a plethora of other indigenous life or become fertilizer fo the next spring when the rains awaken newly dropped seeds.
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Tree sex


This is the tree that produces the fruit above.
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There are a myriad of ground cover that provides leafy green material for the herbivores in the local ecology. This is awesome park and all I can do is hope thay those who love it outweigh those who are just there to use the resource.

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Yard work is being done so Gruden has been delegated to the front porch and to ensure that the wanderlust that is in the nature of dogs and the driving destructive force of puppies required a tether. Normally he is free to roam and be near his people but this requires that the said people be ever vigilant because Gruden has a puppy recall which is to say no recall.

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The roses are in full bloom in Roseville this rainy, chilly Memorial day. The sun ia shinning yet it is raining at the same time.

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Back in the 70’s when the Disco era was at full swing, women used to have mirrors that could simulate the same lighting as the event they were attending so that they can apply their makeup so that it looks right. My friends bathroom has one.

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The friend that I am staying with has this amazing painting on the fence in his yard. It is a beautiful piece of Native American art. I am not sure if I will ever be able to repay my friend for his friendship and kindness that he has shown me.

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So in the midst of all the turmoil and uncertainty in my life, I am being blessed with a little bit of tranquility and normalcy.

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It seems that misquitos hate rosemary and this is why it is used in landscaping in northern California.

I went to San Francisco the weekend after my birthday to visit my friend. We went to this bar and these two women sitting at the table.next to me agreed to let me take their picture so I could post it on Facebook. Then one of them asked me to send me the picture and made a comment about this being a pick-up routine and before I could say it was not she added that she was married. It was not a pick-up routine and I posted it to Facebook.

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But really it was just to share the adventures real time with my friends and followers on Facebook. I have an amazing group of Facebook friends that I have met via Facebook and friends of friends that I interact with regularly. I was in a political group the other day and another member and I were having a discussion and he admitted he creeped my wall and could see the photo which is shared with friends and friends of friends.

 

He explained that he knew one of the girls in the photograph and how they were good friends.  It is amazing how much smaller the world has become because of the internet in general and due to Facebook to be more precise.  Social Networking plays upon the real life links that were made popular in that game where you link Actor’s to Kevin Bacon.  People are beginning to realize this link really exists and it reminds me of the 80’s move starring Jon Cryer called No Small Affair and there is a line "Someone said, if you stand in one spot long enough, the whole world will pass by. I don’t know who said that, but he’s an idiot."

So in the middle of the 90’s, during the summer, I was thinking about graduation and how all of the people I knew would be in Ocean City and one night while I was at work this young girl came in to the store where I worked in Sacramento.  She looked familiar and I did not want to mention it because it is so often used as a come-on.  So I politely assisted her and when it came time to check out, she payed with a Check, which required me to check her ID.  It was an out of state check, from a bank in Maryland that had been my bank as a kid growing up.  Then I saw the name on the check and realized the last name was very familiar and I asked about the person I knew with the same last name.  She explained that it was her sister and then I explained that I had thought she looked familiar but I could not place where until now.

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So the reason I wanted to take their picture was because they seemed to be having a great time together, just celebrating as only friends can.  The fact that they were attractive, friendly and in a really cool pub just added to the amazing interaction.  At one point, one of them asked me to send her the picture and gave me her number.  The other, said that this must be a pickup line for me and I laughed.  The one who I was sending the picture to informed me jokingly that she was married and I laughed because it was the furthest thing from my mind. 

So John, when you talk to your friend again, thank her for sharing her happiness with me because it was the weekend I was supposed to be celebrating my birthday but in reality I just went because my friend Mike just kept pestering me to do it.  Then when we landed at this bar I was unimpressed until they began the mustache game and then I was amused.  So thank them for making me smile.

Tree Sex Revisted

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There is Citrus tree sex all over the ground, the dry crumbling remains from natures spring bukake….

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But the resulting fruit, in this cases Oranges are delicious.