In which I tell you nuffink! NUFFINK!

I have no idea what that line is actually from, but it’s running through my head.

I met with my therapist on Tuesday.  My wife had the day off, since she’s a state employee and it was election day, and when I got home she asked me how it had gone and what we’d talked about.  And then she got this weird look on her face and said “Well, unless you can’t really talk about it, or something like that.”

“I’m a blogger,” I said.  “I tell 20,000 people what happened to me today three times a day.  Yes, I will share my discussion with my therapist with my wife.”

And I did.

And, uh, here’s the problem: I’ve got a hell of a lot I want to talk about, but damn near all of it is embargoed for some reason or another, most of them having something to do with my real life and counting unhatched chickens and various things like that.  So instead I’m going to just write this frustratingly ambiguous blog post and leave you with a music video, since it’s Friday no goddammit it’s Thursday screw it you get a Friday song anyway.

Hah.  I’m a rebel like that.



…aaaand I’m spent.

In which I eat lunch and make it a post again

d023d_o-YUMBO-570-570x330I swear, every time I eat at Burger King, it turns into a post.  Every single time.

Two things, before I start: first, I used to work at Burger King.  It was, in fact, my first job.  Now, when you work at Burger King, particularly if you work at the Burger King I worked at, which had an unofficial policy that you had to be a pretty girl in order to work a register, you’re going to spend a lot of time behind the grill.  What this means is that your entire life smells like grilled meat after a while.  It also means that the people who work back there will do just about anything on their lunch breaks to avoid eating burgers.  So I’ve been perfectly aware that the ham and cheddar (American?  Probably American, actually*) sandwich was a secret menu item of Burger King’s since forever, even if I don’t ever order it.  That said, when they brought back the “Yumbo,” making it official, I thought to myself damn, I used to eat a lot of those back in high school, and cravings took over, they way they do.  Here’s the second thing: If you happen to follow my Twitter feed you may remember my asshole cat preventing me from eating them last night; he was unable to do so today.

Anyway.  I begin every reference to Burger King by pointing out that I don’t eat there often; I have in fact not eaten Burger King since the last time I posted about it.  Maybe once, but not more than that.  The drive-thru experience is just too goddamn creepy even before you get to me not actually liking their food very much.  So as I’m pulling up to the drive I’m sorta mentally preparing myself to be aggravated for the next couple of minutes.  Burger King is all about SERVICE!!!!!!! to a degree that is actually incredibly off-putting, and I can’t believe that their corporate douchebags haven’t figured it out yet.

So you can imagine that I was thrown for a loop when my interaction with the cashier through the speaker begins with her shouting “Whatchu hungry fo’?” into her microphone.    There’s a moment of sorta shocked silence where I’m struggling to keep myself from laughing, and a second or so later, she just says “Hi!”, and I swear I can detect a note of embarrassment at the other end of the conversation.  I don’t think she meant for me to hear the first bit; call it a hunch.

Anyway, here we reach the second problem with ordering food from Burger King today: I am a grown-ass man, and I don’t really want to say “Yumbo” to anyone.  There is a delicious menu item at Denny’s that is called “Moons Over My Hammy,” and to this day I have eaten it several times and have never once said it out loud.  I point.

“I’d like two of the ham and cheese sandwiches,” I say, and pause for a second.  “The Yumbo?” she confirms.  “Yes,” I say, and finish my order.  She proceeds to tell me no less than three times in the next thirty seconds that I’ve made a “good choice” with my lunch today, which appears to be a new, unnecessary wrinkle that the overlords have added to the script.

Hey!  Burger King!  I don’t need your cashiers to validate my lunch choices.  I need them to record my order accurately, bring it to me, and charge me the proper amount and give me the proper change.  That’s it.  I don’t give a damn what they think about what I ordered, and furthermore it bugs me that you feel the need to make them reassure me about them.  This is bullshit.

She asks my name.  I lie.  We’ve already had this conversation.

I pay the lady at the first window without incident, other than her being super happy that I report that I am well when she asks me how my day is.  The woman at the second window manages to call me “Luther” four goddamn times in the process of giving me my food.  Fucking stop it!  It’s not folksy or friendly or whatever the fuck you think it is!  No one fucking talks like this.  It’s fucking weird and you need to stop.

And then I get a look at my receipt, and this is the point where this moves from me having idiosyncrasies to this shit being actively offensive.  Look at this:




At this point you have crossed a fucking line.  “Ultimate service” is getting killed for someone.  That phrase has a very fucking real and very fucking specific meaning in American culture.  Putting yourself between someone else and a bullet is “ultimate service.”  Not handing me a fucking bag of french fries.  I don’t want your “service.”  I want my fucking food.

I am at the point now where I cannot wait for this corporation to die.  I seriously can’t.  I’ve scratched my ham sandwich itch; I’m done.  Burger King has the ugliest corporate culture of any corporate entity I ever have to deal with– hell, Wal-Mart doesn’t offend me as regularly and specifically as they do– and I have to be done with this.

(How were the sandwiches?  Delicious, obviously; it’s ham, cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise on a toasted bun.  Kinda hard to fuck up.  But, still, fuck this; I’m not eating at BK again and I look forward to dancing on their ashes.  It can’t be that much longer.)

* This alerts me to the fact that I don’t actually have the slightest idea what the difference between “American” and “Cheddar” cheese is.  They are, to me, effectively interchangeable, but I doubt that’s actually true.

On that password protected post…

So my son, who has been obsessed with scarecrows lately, just spent a while outside playing his “stand by the tree and pretend to kick hats” game.  Only this time he did it with the straw hat we’re using as part of his Halloween costume on.

I thought it was cute.  I took a picture of it.  And then, after making sure that certain identifying details like my house number weren’t exposed in the picture, and after thinking about it a bit, I posted it on the blog.

There aren’t that many pictures of my son on here.  There are a couple of posts specifically dedicated to parenting that include pictures, but in general I try to err on the side of not posting pictures of him here unless I have a reasonably good reason.  I felt like this picture was cute and funny enough that it was worth it.

And then, an hour or so later, I got a Twitter notification that an online newspaper website was sharing some of my content.  “Oh, cool!” I thought, going to look, wondering which of my recent posts they were sharing and sort of hoping it was the series on school clothes.

It was the picture of my son that I’d shared.

It was listed under “Adult.”

Now, I’m willing to believe that the category was a mistake of some sort, or even possibly auto-generated based on some sort of ‘bot trolling the site– I do use an awful lot of profanity around here, right?  But it was a picture of a three-year-old in a silly hat standing next to a scarecrow.  And I understand how the Internet works, too, and how once you put something out there what people do with it isn’t really up to you.  Hell, once I tag this post it will probably auto-populate something with a picture of him in the links at the bottom of the page.  And in some way I actually sort of appreciate whoever it was that shared the picture– these sites don’t pull their content out of nowhere; someone had to submit the picture for inclusion, and then an editor thought it was cute or funny or something and slotted it in.  And I appreciate both of those things.

But still.  No thanks.  Even without the “Adult” issue, there are nearly nine hundred damn posts on this blog– I think #900 will come tomorrow, and this may well be it if I’m wrong– and I think I’d prefer it if any posts that get shared out off of my own little corner of the internet not be pictures of my kid.

The password is my real name, by the way.  No caps, shortened form, no spaces.

This may be another idiot parent moment; I dunno.  But nonetheless:


what is this I can’t even

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 3.05.05 PM

Did I just have to, as part of a job application, digitally certify that I wouldn’t provide any genetic material to the people I’m asking to hire me?  What the actual fuck is this nonsense?  How about you make the interviewers not ask for genetic material?  I feel like that might be more effective than making me pinky-swear that I won’t give them any.

(As if.  I walk out of interviews if I find out that there’s a piss or blood test required to get the job.  You do not have a right to know the chemical makeup of my blood, thank you.  If I’m impaired at the interview, don’t hire me; if I show up impaired on the job, fire me.  Incidentally: I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs, so there’s nothing to find.  I’m just not going to prove that for you.)

I did not, by the way, have to digitally sign an affidavit stating that I’ve never been convicted of a sex offense.  Just FYI.  You see where their priorities are, apparently.

I thought the personality test the other day was as weird as this was going to get.  What’s next, do you think?

In which I wasn’t mad until you apologized

target-data-breachI haven’t talked much about the Great Target Data Breachenationing of 2013, mostly because, honestly, I haven’t been terribly concerned about it– I was one of the ones theoretically affected, because there’s a Target basically in my back yard and I shop there all the time, but I also generally keep a really close eye on my bank account and so I would have noticed any suspicious charges basically immediately. I feel like for the most part Target has behaved as a relatively responsible corporate citizen while all this has been going on, my bank hasn’t made the decision to fuck me unduly like some other banks did; no big deal, right?

I got an email from Target a few days ago; so did my wife and so did, very likely, a whole lot of you, offering me a free year of credit monitoring as a way to make amends.  I’d love to know how much coin Target had to shell out to make this happen or if Experian is just figuring they can make it up on the back end by convincing a shitton of new customers to keep going after that year is up.  I don’t currently have any kind of credit monitoring turned on, although I have in the past, and I’m considering taking them up on their offer. The email is, generally, very apologetic about the whole affair, and it appears that they’ve located a seventeen-year-old (of course it was a teenager) in St. Petersburg who wrote the malware that made the hack possible.

It didn’t hit me until yesterday that, at least for me personally, there’s sort of a big question hanging over my head about the whole thing, and that question didn’t come to light until I got that email:

How the hell did Target get my email address?

I have never ordered anything from  Target doesn’t ask for emails as a part of doing business.  I have– and I checked, and since I use gmail my email archive goes back to forever— never received any emails from them before.  I don’t have a Target credit card, and never have, and certainly didn’t in December when the breach happened.  We had a wedding registry with them six years ago, but that was with my wife’s email; mine wasn’t on it.

I can think of one way and one way only that they might have it, which is that I applied for a Target field trip grant for the DC trip this year– but that wasn’t attached to any bank or debit card information, and the address and phone number I provided them was my school address and phone number, so even if they’re cross-matching databases the address and phone number wouldn’t match what they (might?) have through my debit card.  They could, maybe, have done a match with my name and town and made an assumption– but that itself assumes that they’re willing to have a pretty fair number of false positives, and also that they’re working their asses off to collect and consolidate customer data that they have, in turn, then never used until this data breach.  If they got it from my bank, I kinda feel like my bank ought to have told me that, and they didn’t.

I find myself more curious about how they got my email than I am about how the hack was able to happen.  I don’t know if that indicates skewed priorities on my part or not.  And maybe if you’re going to send a giant email to millions of people about how your data collection process got screwed up and compromised, you include a line somewhere about how you got the information that allowed you to contact them in the first place.