Customer Service…or not

Hello and Merry one week until Christmas (Monday to Monday).

Today I have had two encounters with two different companies for issues that required engaging these companies’ customer service departments. The first one, after a 23 day wait and second impatient Tweet, resulted in the desired outcome to replace my damaged iPad from last month’s flight to Atlanta. The second interaction was not as successful, even though this bout of customer service is on its sixth e-mail response on top of a verbal call that came while standing in the TV room of a tire replacement business. Continue reading


I Need A Little Patience

So many things whirl around in my head. All the time. It’s like a non-stop vortex that’s not really there but yet always there. Round and round she goes, where she stops no one knows…

As usual I’m sure you are not completely following my gist and that is quite OK. Some days it is like two children with interlocked hands going rapidly in a circle. At first there are some giggles as the sensation is exhilarating and then as the speed increases and the awareness of potential harm rises…the laughter stops and they look for a safe way out.

…this is an excerpt from a story I have had in my head for a few months now. There are many things trapped inside my brain and the rate of release is far too slow for allow for a safe and slow stoppage it feels like most days.

From a very young age I turned introspective. This was mostly due to absent parents (who needed to work to support us), a mentally challenged older brother and very limited vocabulary dogs. Aside from school where I didn’t blend well with the majority of my classmates, I spent a great deal of time by myself. I taught myself my mechanically awful and yet at times beautiful softball swing. From the springboard of my Commodore 64, I learned by trial and error rough computer programming and an enjoyment of video games. Through punishments I dove into reading and used that as a vehicle to eclipse the time served as best as possible.

Fast forward to the here and now. At times I still feel like that 10 year old kid, banished to his room for youthful offenses, with so many thoughts and self-doubts ever present. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change my life the way it is now. What would be the point? The glass half empty mentality reasons: It could always be worse. Everyone has their own journey and baggage and inner sanctum.

With the last few grains of sand left in the August hour glass, about to flip over to September, I need to mentally look around 360 degrees. It has been a pretty good year for the most part. Yes, Kristi did injure herself and I had to say good bye to two amazing musical artists gone too soon but otherwise there have been more good days than bad days. I’ve gotten to make some new softball friends and on the wings of my two podcasts reach so many more people that I most likely never would have. For these things I am grateful, very grateful.

If, and some days that is the largest word in the English language, I can stay out of my own way, the days to come have so much potential. Self-doubt and self-sabotage typically do far more damage than external forces in my opinion and experiences. So if I can stay focused on my goals and the good things in my life, there will be even more good days to outweigh the negatives. A huge key to this plan is patience. Rome was not built in a day but it was finished on a day. I do not know if I will ever accomplish anything noteworthy or memorable but I vow to at least try…until my breath stops forever. To everyone around the globe who reads my blog or once read my blog, thank you. Truly.

Patience and peace.

Swing Away If The Rain Will Go Away!

Tonight I am supposed to play league softball at Fenton Park. As I type this, the windows here are being pelted with strong wind and rain. This may translate into a rain out and no softball for me. If that happens I will be sad because I was really looking forward to getting in BP (batting practice) to divert some of my inner frustrations and depressing thoughts.

What do I have to be frustrated and depressed about? Too much to type here and for the record no one cares anyway so why bother to waste the energy expounding on the topic. Normally I would shunt this kind of post to my Tumblr account but today I’m just in give up and don’t care mode.

I hope your day is going better than the pathetic mental progression I was stepping through last night at the Dollar Tree in Arnold (MO).


For the record I am not perfect, nor have I ever said or implied that I am.

Cue the Jaws movie theme…

Occasionally my mind travels in weird loops instead of the normal linear process that most people enjoy. It’s not all bad. Sometimes I get an idea out of the blue and run with it. This morning it was shark cages.

Now I didn’t say Shark Tank like the popular TV show. I said, shark cages, you know like the metal ones they drop into the ocean with humans inside who want to ‘swim with the sharks’? Crazy mofo’s is all I’m saying there. But nonetheless, the idea of shark cages kept darting at my brain like a moth to the softball field lights at Wolffs Softball Haven during the late games of league.

Shark cages. How much does a ‘nice’ shark cage cost? How much does a cheap shark cage cost for that matter? Who makes a quality product and who has negative reviews (if they survived to post about it)? Can I get one on and get free two day shipping with my Prime membership? Does it come pre-assembled or is there like an 80-page booklet of instructions to go with 361 unique parts to put together? Do they offer an extended warranty?

With the miracle of Google, I was able to cultivate some rough information but most of it is skewed towards people just wanting the dive experience with a company that has existing cages. For example, this one company near San Francisco offers a special $825 price per diver in the cage (max 4 people in cage) but they also do not guarantee that you will see a shark. No refunds for shark no-shows or equipment malfunctions (air tank failure? boat sinks?) to boot. Although, for that $825 price it included a boat charter, time in the water (in the cage) and wet suit with air tank rental. So all-in-all that seemed like a decent time unless Megalodon comes along and swallows your cage with you safely still inside! In hopping from site to site, I did see one place overseas that offered “kids swim for free” (in the cage). Sounds like a great traumatic experience for impressionable young minds!

But eventually I did find some rough pricing for buying a cage. Depending on what size and what bells and whistles you wanted, you could get a ‘personal’ cage for about $8000 and other more industrial cages went for about $25,000. The caveat being that you needed to have a vessel capable of first hauling, then dropping and withdrawing the cage from the ocean.

Hopefully you found this post both informative and enlightening. If you were on the fence about purchasing a shark cage or swimming with the sharks and this piece didn’t sway you one way or the other, perhaps watch the movie 47 Meters Down.

Glub Glub Glub GLUB!

That was me underwater saying to have a great day.


Leave Out All The Rest…

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

All the hurt inside you’ve learned to hide so well
Someone else can come and save me from myself
I can’t be who you are


Eerily this is one of my favorite Linkin Park songs and this passage is tragically appropriate today. It was only two months ago I posted a tribute to Chris Cornell acknowledging his suicidal passing. Today, on Chris’s birthday, the world lost a tremendous talent and creative force from within the band Linkin Park. Chester Bennington has passed from this world and the world will never be the same.

As someone who has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts since I was 14 it’s a hammer blow to absorb. On many of my darkest days, I used music to help me ride the roller coaster of emotions that tormented and eroded my spirit. It’s a highly sensitive subject and not one I’m looking to debate today.

I noted in my piece on Robin Williams that it is amazing how someone you have never spoken to or met can have such a profound effect on your life, philosophy and emotions. To Robin, Chris and Chester…RIP and thank you for what you have given me.

A moment for everyone’s loss…