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April 22, 2019 / themrtinney


robotI’ve been getting a ton of those robo calls/solicitor calls on my cell phone lately.  Man, are they fun.  If you thought I was going to say annoying… then you’re probably just doing it wrong. The way I figure it is, if they are going to take the time to call and bother me, I’m going to get something out of it.

Robo call:  Congratulations!  You qualify for affordable healthcare!  Press 1 for more information!

Me:  #1

Person:  Hello.  So I can quote you these low rates today, can I get your first and last name please?

Me:  Robert.

Person:  and that last name?

Me:  Caravanopolistinitis

Person:  Uh, ok, well… can you spell that last name for me sir?

Me:  Sure:  S-M-I-T-H.  The pronunciation is just really different.

Person: Ok Mr. Smith

Me:  It’s Caravanopolistinitis.  Don’t disrespect my heritage please.

Person: Oh – yes – I’m sorry sir.  That’s certainly an interesting name.

Me:  Yes.  I’m half Italian, half Swedish and half Druid

Person: Uh – ok – so let’s move on to your other information so I can complete your quote.  When were you born?

Me:  It was a cold and windy night…  the stars hung in the sky like a blanket of bulbs and the chill in the air could freeze your thoughts…

Person: Sir.  What DATE.  What date were you born on?

Me:  Oh.  My bad.  I thought you wanted the whole story.  I hadn’t even got to the cool part about arm-wrestling my twin in utero.  I was born September 20.

Person: Yes sir.  What year?

Me:  1901

Person: Ok.  So you said 1901?  Is that correct?

Me:  Did I stutter?  I went to high-school with Clark Gable, Walt Disney and Marlene Dietrich.  Boy was she a handful.  You should’ve seen what she could do with rope.

Person: Oh.  Well, but that would make you…

Me:  118.  Yup.  I was there for the crucifixion honey.  I only look about 108 though.  I work out.

Person: Ok.  Well sir, our guidelines don’t allow me to…

Me:  Oh.  Here it comes.  Discrimination!  Is this because I’m half Druid, because I get that all the time.

Person: No sir.  I don’t know what Druid is, but our guidelines…

Me:  Don’t know what a Druid is?  Geesh lady, you calling from under a rock?  Never seen Star Wars?

Person: Thank you for your time, Mr. Smith, but our guidelines don’t allow for a person of your age.

Me:  Caravanopolistinitis.  CARA-VAN-OPOLIS-TINITIS.  Ok.  I misspoke.  I’m only 117.  We good here.

Person: Good bye Mr. Carvenoplinitis.

Me:  Not bad.  You only missed one syllable.

April 18, 2019 / themrtinney

I’m Hip… or at least Half Hip

ive-fallen-and-i-cant-get-up-19866609You know those odd moments in life where you stop and reflect on the things that happen to you and ask yourself the questions that come to mind during such a time of reflection, like:

What is the meaning of life?

Is there a God, and does he like dark or milk chocolate?

What’s the process for making chicken-hawks?  I mean – is there a whole dating thing, or do chickens and hawks just naturally do things like that?

What happened to all the animals Michael Jackson had?

It was during one of these times of quiet reflection that I started thinking about my upcoming surgery.  Most of my Nebraska crew knows about this… so for those in Virginia and elsewhere, here’s a quick update in bullet-form because I like bullets (both kinds):

  • It snows in Nebraska.  Like a lot of snowing went on.  I was like: OMG look at all this fricking snow.
  • I walked in some snow.
  • That devious snow was hiding some water.
  • This water was frozen.
  • I fell so hard on my right hip that I was instantly eligible for Senior Citizen discounts at nearby restaurants and AARP sent a representative to help me get up.
  • Did I mention I fell really hard?

So next Tuesday I’m having some cartilage removed, some holes drilled to grow some new cartilage like a lizard, some bone scraping, a tendon repair and am pushing for some liposuction but not winning on that request.  I’ve gotten a little fat being hobbled for six months.

I started having the normal concerns popping into my quiet revery. Will I regain full use?  Are the pain pills going to be good?  Should I wear something slinky to the surgery or something conservative?  I decided on loose-fitting but conservative:  I’m no ho.

So here are the top five things I’m hoping to achieve from having this surgery and, hopefully, a full recover:

  1.  No pain
  2. Being able to tie my shoe or pick-up something I’ve dropped
  3. Squatting a world-record amount of weight OR just being able to squat (either/or)
  4. Picking up my leg to get into my car.  Using my leg and not my arms.
  5. That liposuction… I’ve gotten pretty chunky

So – if you’re near a bar next Tuesday around 1pm CST, get a drink and wish me good fortune.  If you have to go back to work after the drink, just tell them Mr. Tinney said it’s ok.

April 14, 2019 / themrtinney

Offline click-bait

wine lady

Photo by nappy from Pexels

It’s difficult being married sometimes.  By that, I mean it’s difficult to get it right.  You know, like when you’re wife throws you that off-line click bait?

She’ll give you a look, you know the one, that says your about to get lucky and get a sandwich after.  The one you use to see when you were dating… even when she was unconscious?  Right?

Picture it:  The two of you are sitting in the living room enjoying some adult beverages and a 60 episode binge on Netflix.  That’s right:  it’s Netflix and chill my man.  So she gives you that look from across the living room.  So now, you’ve got to get up out of your lounge chair and make your way to her separate lounge chair, being careful not to step on one of you seven kids/dogs/cats/iguanas.

So you get to her, and you lean over her.   She’s still got that look, so now you’re starting to plan this out, because it could be a while before this kind of luck comes your way.  It’s like the Superbowl – you may never get back here again bro.  So you’re planning… you’re having thoughts like:

  • Do I just go right for a boob grab, or is there kissing required?
  • How am I going to get my leg over the side of this chair without it tipping over?
  • I wonder if I left the lights on in my car?

Meanwhile, while you’re measuring up the velocity of a leg lift vs. the number of inches the arm of the chair is off the ground like a mfing math major… that look changes to a sly grin, she puts her hand on your chest in a very non-affectionate manner, and proceeds to hand you her empty wine glass because -like click bait- you were drawn in for A but you’re now looking at C and wondering why.  That’s off-line click bait.

So there’s only one way to recover from this, right?  No – crying is not it.  So now you’ve got to begin the negotiation phase, right?  Like, explaining you thought you were about to get A and now here C is and you’re feeling kind of left out in the cold.  So your grand thought is to negotiate for A by handling C.  Tit for tat, pun intended.

So you hit her with the “I’ll get you a refill on that wine, but it’s gonna’ cost you.”  Now one of two things happens at this point, and, spoiler alert:  neither is good for you.

  1.  She’s offended, as in, “am I a piece of meat to you?” offended or to a lesser degree “you can’t just do anything for me without needing something?” offended.  You could choose to argue that she was giving you “the look” and it’s on her, but just don’t.  Fill the glass if you want to live.
  2.   She makes a promise to deliver A if you handle C.  Sounds good, but keep in mind there are several built-in clauses that you are contractually obligated to assume, not the least of which is her right to withhold A due to cause… as in because she says so.

So if you’re sitting in the living room and you get the sex and sandwich look, proceed to be a good dude and pull up on her like you’ve been invited to the sex olympics… because results may vary.  Just be prepared for C when clicking…


April 10, 2019 / themrtinney

Silence of the mice…

mouseI don’t always write product reviews, but when I do, you can be damn skippy it’s a GREAT PRODUCT.  The last product review I did was for a cigar, and I only did that because the cigar was really good and so was the 1/2 bottle of whiskey I had before writing the review.  I don’t remember the whole thing but the words “hell yeah!” were definitely in there multiple times and probably a couple of “yups” as well.

Any way, I recently purchased the “Logitech “Silent Mouse.”  Let me tell you, there’s nothing that get’s an OCD freak with severe Tinnitus twitching faster than an unnecessary and unceasing noise. Unless it is complete silence.  Complete silence is brutal.

Click, click CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK – Didn’t like that did you?  No big deal you say?  Reading it doesn’t count – you have to sit next to me while I’m doing it – it’s like waterboarding without the gagging.  And no water.  There’s also no board… but it’s just as irritating.  To me it sounds like two champion Clogging dancers double-time performing the drum beat to Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna’ Take It!” on a tin floor in a 2’x2′ cubical with a sound proof ceiling during a hangover.  My hangover, not theirs, although they might be I wouldn’t have time to ask.

Yup – that little click in a confined office space is LOUD.  NO Longer… this silent mouse has all the click feel and none of the click real (yes – I just went there).  Here are my favorite features:

  • No click noise
  • Clicks – without the noise
  • Fricking silent clicking
  • You push the mouse button down and when it would normally click… you get the idea

It’s kind of like de-barking a dog.  I am not advocating de-barking your dog.  Maybe my neighbor’s dog, but not yours.  Unless you’re my neighbor… if you are stop reading two-sentences ago.  Anyway, below is my full review on the Amazon website, which will be removed by the time this post is finished because Amazon lacks a sense of humor… but has some pretty silent mice (mouses?).


It’s Awesome Sauce – This mouse is silent. No clicking. You could waterboard this mouse while threatening unsavory ways to harm its family… and it would stay silent. The review form asked about portability: yes – you can carry it around. I’m not sure if Amazon thought this thing was extremely heavy, but if they looked in their own description they would see it’s advertised as quite small and portable. Anyway, I would have paid twice what I paid for this mouse for the silence of the darn thing (did I mention it’s silent? I called it every name in the book and pushed it around for hours and it was just as stoic from the first click to the last). What else can I say? Oh – BONUS! BOTH the left AND the right button are silent, not just one. I know right? Buy… this… mouse… unless you value CLICKING CLICKING CLICKING CLICKING (insert CLICKING forever here).  

April 2, 2019 / themrtinney

My move to Nebraska (Wagons West!)

So, as many of you know, I moved from Virginia to Nebraska.  (For the two people looking surprised right now… we need to talk more often).  Here is a brief list of things I have learned, observed or discovered in the past 5.5 months spewed out in no particular order:

I am bad for Nebraska weather.  When I first arrived last October, people couldn’t hold back telling me how unusually mild the past several winters have been.  Like “snow?  what snow?” Turns to the guy next to him “Hey man – when did we last have a bad winter?  Wasn’t it 1897 or something?”  These people now assume that I am either an evil wizard or just plain bad luck since we have had 2,512 feet of snow, ice or random hail since I came here.  Sorry about that Nebraska…  possibly my bad?



I don’t understand proper racing.  Nothing is more exciting than bringing up Nascar with a group of fellow bearded men and being looked at like I came from another planet.  In Virginia, the rules were simple:  beard, whiskey, Nascar.  I now have conversations about Nascar with myself and anyone who doesn’t suddenly have someplace they are supposed to be immediately after I say “Nascar.”  That would be nobody.  Evidently, the core issue is all those left turns.  Here, real racing means going really straight really fast then suddenly stopping – if the car doesn’t blow-up.  I get it – I even started watching some straight racing on television, but I just kept feeling like they never made it to turn one and had to turn it off.

I’m having pop out of a sack with supper at 10am.  It isn’t Soda, it’s Pop.  You can buy it and they’ll put it in a sack because a bag is what you get under your eyes from sleep deprivation.  You can enjoy that Pop at 10am for Supper unless it’s 6pm Dinner and I have no idea where the hell Lunch went, but it’s missing.

Red is the only actual color here besides yellow corn.  I was a Nebraska Cornhusker fan before moving here.  My lovely bride, who is from here originally, always said that I am a foster-fan and it’s just not the same.  She was right.  I should have known this when early on in our marriage over 30 years ago I was nearly murdered for walking in front of an active Cornhusker game on the television.  Other early signs included random yelling that was probably heard in Nebraska from Virginia, a habit of never missing a minute of any game, and 5.7 million “Go Big Red” items purchased from 1985 to date.  I get it now.  Maybe I can go from foster-fan to adopted fan someday…
Until next time.

December 30, 2011 / themrtinney

Customer Service… or… My name is Michael, can i chelp you?

I am a patient person.  If you don’t believe me, just ask my lovely wife .  I did, however, one day meet my ultimate match. Just when I thought surviving some of the big, blockbuster patience tests of life assured me a place in the “Can’t Rattle Me Hall of Fame,” I met:

1-800 Customer Service Personnel Hell  <insert dramatic music here>

I have endured many patience tests over the years, including, but not limited to:

1.  The United States Military Service well-known for making us stand in line for two-hundred hours in order to obtain anything lasting less than 13 seconds, including complete meals. Also known as the “hurry-up-and-wait” system.

2.  My daughter when she was 3-4 years old.  Yes, believe it or not, hearing “no!” six-hundred times per hour in a high-pitched screech does try the staying power eventually.

3.  The Neighbor War of 2006, another article in itself, but suffice it to say that the neighbor’s army of dogs are all finally gone and my wife’s criminal record remained clean, though it was a close call!

4.  Flat tires multiple

5.  Bad drivers daily

6.  Life in general

However:  I may have met my match!  I discovered the one thing that can, and will, cause me to actually yell at someone through the phone.  I have found that one particular call where you are relieved that you cannot actually physically reach the person on the other end of the line because murder is illegal in most states and India.  DIRECTV once assaulted me with:

THE $4.00 OVERDUE BALANCE, PHONE MARATHON, EXTRAVAGANZA! (movie rights are available for a fee)

To make this easy to understand, I have set up the following short list of events leading up to this overdue balance so that we can concentrate on the actual effort taken to remove it:

1.  Ordered expensive pay-per-view MONTHS before

2.  Pay-per-view never actually came on the television despite a phone call actually lasting longer than the event itself with “tech support” person who kept saying “are you sure you can’t see it?” over and over.

3.  Promised credit to account for total amount.

4.  After not receiving credit two months in a row and being told it was “pending” by operator numbers 1034, 4458, and 8288 respectively, was charged late fee for not paying the “overdue” amount relating to said “unapplied” credit.

5.  Whopping overdue fee? $2.00 per month

I then spent approximately one day of my life, if you count all of the calls, hold-times, and tech support from the actual first night, trying to basically avoid this $4.00 fee.  Why not just give in you ask?  Why not just pay the stinking $4.00 you might wonder?

I have an easy answer:  I don’t know.

I digress.  The menu system when you call DIRECTV is a typical one where you can choose “one of the following options” at any time.  However, it is worthy to note that:

1.  You cannot, at any time, actually choose good ‘ole zero for an operator; and

2.  You cannot, at any time, breath or otherwise make a sound because the system is also a “speak to me” system.  If you fart during the call, you will end up with a pay-per-view movie.  Don’t fart.

What this means, for those of you who are not mute, don’t have zero children, no animals, or never breath out of your face, is that some noise, cough, or scream from any neighboring house causes the voice activated system to take over.  The following is what occurs when this happens:

System:  “Hello, and thank you for calling…”

Me:  Small cough

System:  “OK.  You said you want to order Girls Gone Wild? Is this correct?”

Me:  What?  Hello?

System:  “OK.  Can I help you with anything else?”

Me:  No!  I mean Yes!  I don’t want that!

System:  “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that?”

Me:  Operator!

System:  “OK.  But before I connect you with an operator who can assist you, please provide the phone number of the billing account”

Me:  ###-###-####

System:  “You said 334 892-0099, is that correct?”

Me:  Huh?  (Child says something about chocolate milk in the background)

System:  “OK.  That’s Hot Chocolate Babes on channel 150 for $69.95.  Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

After saying “Operator” four hundred twenty-two times in sixteen different call attempts during which everyone in my home is playing “freeze and shut up,” I finally got Otto on the phone.  Good ole Otto! My buddy from, as he said it, “cruchtomer serbice”:

Otto:  “Tank you for calling DirecTV, how may a chelp ju?”

Me:  You guys keep charging me an overdue fee even though I have a credit pending.

Otto:  “Ok. Let me look at your achount Mr. Trimey, sir.  Can I am pleasing to place you on hold pleasing?”


Otto:  “Ok Mr. Trimey, it appears dis credit has been akplyed to chor achounting.  Is there anything elsing I can service to you this day?”

Me:  Huh?

Otto:  “The credit has been akplyed to chor achounting.  OK?”

Me:  Are you sure, because the last seventeen people have told me the same thing.

Otto:  “What?”

Me:  Huh?!

Otto:  Click

Otto did not get the credit applied.  Neither did “Robert”, who’s accent was so severe he confused himself, “Susie” who’s English resembled someone running on a treadmill set on nine while talking, or “Bill” who understood only the word “credit” and hung up on me in frustration.  Sorry about that Bill.

I ultimately, after several attempts, got Oliver on the phone.  Oliver spoke in a clear voice I could understand, apologized on behalf of DirecTV, and presumably, Otto, Robert, Susie, and Bill as well.  I’m not sure how I got Oliver, who was somewhere in Texas, I belive.  I fumbled through the “speak” system to get him by continually chanting “Billing Department” for several minutes and hiding in my office.  I found if you yell “Billing Department” intermittently while placing your hand on and off the receiver speaker you will:

1.  Get through eventually and get an “Oliver” vice a “Susie”

2.  Get a hand cramp

3.  Get interesting looks from your co-workers

If I have learned anything from this experience, it’s these three things in particular:

1.  I hate automated systems and the person who created them

2.  Their stance on outsourcing U. S. Jobs overseas is now one of my major considerations for picking candidates in any political race

3.  I have a headache

So.. the next time you call one of these automated systems and hear the “speak” system take over, remember this important fact:  you are screwed.

G bye