complaints

If you’re too busy to read, you’re too busy to comment…

Today’s topic is about one of my many pet peeves, which will probably seem silly and very petty to some people, but is a genuine irritant to me. If you’re not in the mood for pointless griping, you might want to move on. Here goes.

A few days ago, I shared a story with my Facebook friends about a raccoon who went to one of Germany’s many Christmas markets and got drunk on Gluhwein. The story’s headline was “Drunken raccoon staggers through German Christmas market, passes out”. Unlike a lot of people who saw that headline, laughed, and moved on, I took the time to read the article. I knew it wasn’t going to end well for the raccoon, because just under the headline, there was a sub-headline that read,

“The tipsy raccoon apparently couldn’t hold back from having a good time at Erfurt’s Christmas market. However, the furry creature’s daytime drinking binge ended in grisly fashion.”

It turned out the raccoon, whose welfare had been safeguarded until the fire brigade could pick it up, wasn’t taken to an animal shelter as expected. Instead, the raccoon was given to a hunter, who then shot it. I was reminded of a discussion I’d had with a college friend who had friends under the impression that there are no guns in Germany. I tagged him in the post and wrote, “Now see… there are guns in Germany after all.”

What did this friend do? Like so many other people, he laughed at the headline without reading or even skimming the article. My comment about guns wasn’t even enough to tip him off that maybe he should read the article to see why I mentioned guns. The piece, by the way, wasn’t even behind a paywall. But I empathized with him, since I had the same initial reaction of laughter at the headline. I was almost tempted to share the article without reading it myself. So I wrote this:

You would think he might change his reaction after this comment, but he didn’t… I guess he still thinks it’s funny.

What made this even more annoying to me, though, were more laughter reactions from people who didn’t even bother to read the comments on the thread. After a few more laughter reactions, I edited the post thusly… and I know it sounds petty and stupid, but I can’t help it. I was genuinely irked.

I know… I know… but dammit, this bugs me.

I remember ranting on my old blog about how much it annoys me when people chime in without reading. Years ago, there was a great site called Television Without Pity, which had snarky commentary about television shows. TWoP also had lively forums with hilarious, witty comments about the featured shows and their recaps. Those boards must have been run by a very anal retentive lot, because there were many rules about posting there and actual consequences for those who broke the rules. One of the cardinal rules was that posters must read the previous comments before posting a new one. I wish I could find the actual rules now, because I liked the way the moderators explained why reading before commenting is so important. Basically they wrote something like this:

“But I don’t want to read fifty comments before making my own very important point!”

“Oh you don’t, huh? You want people to read your thoughts, but you don’t want to give them the same courtesy? Well, fuck you.”

And then there followed a very good explanation as to why the moderators stringently enforced their rule about reading before commenting and why it’s so rude not to take a minute to read. Unfortunately, since the forum was dismantled, I can’t find the TWoP rules spelled out anymore. I’d like to frame them and hang them at the top of my Facebook page.

Since I can’t find Television Without Pity’s rules, here are a few reasons why I think it’s important to read first, and then comment or react.

  • There’s an excellent chance that your point has already been made by an earlier poster and thoroughly discussed by other thread participants.
  • Perhaps you don’t even have a clue what’s being discussed.
  • Maybe you’re about to make a jackass out of yourself by reacting inappropriately.
  • It’s the polite thing to do. It shows people that you’re interested in what someone else has to say and are paying attention to them.
  • It saves other people’s time and energy, since they don’t have to explain that your point has already been covered, is irrelevant, or inappropriate.

Think about this. If you were talking to someone face to face, how would you react if a third person came up and inserted themselves in your conversation without any concept about what you’ve been discussing? Say, for instance, you’re talking about how the weather led to a fatal car accident and someone else came up and started talking about socks. Or they said the same thing that you said five minutes ago. Or they started laughing about the weather, not knowing that someone had died because of it. It would be awkward and rude, right? Well, to me, it’s rude and awkward when this happens on social media. It really bugs me, even though I know I’ll never change it. I know… I know… build a bridge and get over it. Or start deleting the worst offenders.

A couple of days after the raccoon post, I wrote that Peter Frampton is coming to Frankfurt. I wondered if I would enjoy the concert. Several people opined. I like Frampton, but I have one of his more recent live albums and I didn’t care for it, even though I love Frampton Comes Alive! from 1976. At the same time, I know this would probably be my one chance to see him play, because he’s going to be retiring soon. He has a disease that affects his guitar playing. I knew about the disease, because I had read about it some months ago… probably when I bought that album I hadn’t enjoyed very much and wanted to know if something was up with his health. So when a friend was offering her opinion about Frampton, I mentioned that he has health issues and linked to the article about it. Then, the next day, someone else chimed in with this:

It wasn’t even a long thread. It wouldn’t have even taken a minute to skim over it to see that this point was made the day before. I can see not wanting to read 100 comments, but this thread had a fraction of that many responses. A quick glance at the earlier responses would have revealed a link to People.com with a headline about Frampton’s health issues.

On that same Frampton thread, someone left what seemed to be an inappropriate reaction– an angry emoji. I was puzzled, so I wrote this:

Lots of people scroll through their feeds and hit the reaction buttons without really reading first. Sometimes it’s simply someone who accidentally hit the “wrong” reaction, but I think a lot of times, it’s someone who isn’t actually reading but still feels the need to respond somehow. Not everything requires a response… especially if you aren’t paying attention. I’m not just picking on this friend. Many people do this. I’ve probably done it, too.

I pretty much hate the Facebook reaction buttons, anyway. They often end up being misused. I mean, I use them myself a lot, but I don’t think they’re very effective because most people don’t pay attention to what they’re reacting to. A lot of them seem to be in a trance, scrolling through the many conversations and postings, listlessly clicking as they scroll, halfway cognizant about what they’re “reacting” to. I go on Facebook and see that I have a ton of notifications, but they’re all “reactions” from the same person. And half of them don’t indicate any understanding of what was posted… they’re just reactions to be reactions. Like, the person just wants me to know that they saw my post, even if they didn’t actually read or understand it. It’s depressing, because the random “reactions” have a negative effect on effective communication. Personally, I find it disheartening when someone “reacts” inappropriately, making it clear that they didn’t even read. It seems oddly dismissive to me when I post a sad article about something and I get a laughing reaction. Or I post something I think is thought provoking and someone reacts with a sad face. I supposed I could just preface all of my posts with a request that people read and/or think before reacting or commenting, but that would seem hyper-controlling. And I don’t want to be hyper-controlling.

People are busy. I get that. And I tend to cut slack to certain people whom I know may not be as attentive as they otherwise might be. For instance, yesterday I shared a ten year old Facebook memory, because it happened to be the anniversary of the day we brought Zane into our family. I’ve been missing him a lot.

The person sending vibes probably doesn’t know about MacGregor, who was Zane’s “daddy” and best friend. MacGregor died in 2012, and Zane died on August 31st of this year. I know she had good intentions, since we are thinking of getting another dog.

If you think about it, posting before reading because you’re “too busy” to read what’s already been said or explained is likely to waste other people’s time. There’s a good chance you won’t be leaving a high quality comment that adds anything to the discussion and might even irritate the anally retentive types, like me. If you don’t like it when people waste your time, you should alter your behavior accordingly. Do unto others, and all that. If you’re too busy to read, you’re probably too busy to comment.

I read another article about a woman in Wisconsin who walked with a cane and had gone to renew her driver’s license. For some reason, the examiner told her that she needed to prove she could walk across the room without the cane before she could get her license renewed. The woman tried to walk without the cane, fell, and broke her wrist. The headline was this: “DMV made a woman walk without her cane before it would renew her license. She fell and broke her wrist.” I had a feeling that headline would prompt inappropriate comments, so I posted this to head them off:

Actually, I’m relatively pleased by these comments, which were appropriate.

The reason I suggested reading first is because the headline doesn’t reveal that Mary Wobschall, the woman in this story, died a few months later from other causes. I didn’t want to see people posting about her as if she was still living. Her estate is now suing the DMV because they didn’t handle her appropriately or do things by the book. The broken wrist and subsequent surgery could have been avoided, and the examiner wasn’t qualified to make a determination about the Mary Wobschall’s health. Taken from the article:

“According to the suit, if a DMV worker thinks an applicant needs to be seen by a medical professional, he or she is supposed to issue a 60-day temporary license. Wobschall’s suit says his wife was not issued that license and was told she had until the end of the month to renew or lose her license.”

“Making applicants who use canes or other “personal mobility devices” like crutches demonstrate they can walk without the device as a condition of getting a license violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and Wobschall’s constitutional guarantees of due process, according to the suit.”

I know I’ve said it before. I’m losing my patience with social media. It’s probably time I gave up Facebook and Twitter and any other platform that has me interacting with strangers. I’ve even been giving thought to giving up blogging, since I don’t think most people care about what I write, and some people only seem interested in using my writing against me– like the woman who lived in our previous house before we did and was keeping me under surveillance for four years. If she’s reading this, she should know that she’s not as anonymous as she thinks she is and two can play at her game. 😉 But really, I have no desire to stalk other people, and I completely understand that this is a petty grievance that I should probably let go of for my health’s sake. It would probably be a good thing if I went to a “Fuck It” retreat or learned yoga… or maybe got into drinking hot tea.

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complaints

Do you mind? I wasn’t talking to you.

Happy Friday, everyone. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and I’m a bit cranky. I feel this way, even though it’s Friday, and we’re leaving town. Eh… I’ll get over it eventually… perhaps even after I’m finished writing this post. It’s another one of my venting posts, so brace yourself for negativity, inappropriateness, and bitterness. Here goes.

Recently, USAA has decided to employ an annoying new security feature on its Web site. It wasn’t enough for USAA to force its customers to answer their two security questions with every log in. Now, you must have them send a code by text or email. This is supposed to help thwart hackers.

One would think I’d be all for thwarting thieves from plundering my bank account, and of course I do want my accounts to be secure. However, this new system is really annoying to me, because they send a different code with every log in. The codes are usually on a time limit and sometimes they don’t come immediately. Sometimes, I’m not in a place where it’s possible to access private email accounts. For instance, Bill can’t get on his Gmail account when he’s at work, neither is he allowed to have his cell phone with him. I don’t want to have to go to my email account every time, just so I can access my banking information. Then, there are people who are low or no Internet users, like my mom. This new level of security could be onerous for a person like her.

Bill and I have a few joint accounts which are accessible from my account, but every once in awhile, I need to get into his USAA account. With this new system, they would be sending the code to his email instead of mine, which would not be helpful. That’s annoying, too, especially since we didn’t ask for this new level of security. By the way, Bill is fine with me accessing his account when I need to. Sometimes, he goes to places where he can’t get to it himself, so it’s good that I can. We’re married, and he trusts me.

So anyway, I have endured this new system for just under two weeks. Yesterday, I decided to make my displeasure known to USAA. I know… what nerve! But how to do it? I started with the obvious.

I went on their Web site and looked for a way to leave a general comment. I searched for several minutes for a simple email link or comment form. The only way I could leave a comment, though, was by using a form that restricted the subjects only to comments about investments or insurance. I could find no way to offer general feedback using a form; I would have had to engage in a chat, which is not what I felt like doing yesterday. Oh, I guess I could have also called them– or Skyped– but I didn’t feel the need to engage with a human over this. I just wanted to make my voice heard without a big “to do”. It seemed an impossible feat, which I’m sure is entirely by design.

Frustrated that I couldn’t send a simple, private comment to USAA, I went to their Facebook page. I left the following comment, which was answered by a USAA customer service rep, and then rebutted by another customer…

Who asked you?

All I wanted to do was leave a simple comment about the new system. I would have preferred to be able to do it privately, but since that wasn’t an option that I could find within a few minutes of looking, I posted on Facebook. I got what I wanted when the rep said he would forward my feedback to the right people. Whether or not he actually does it, I will never know. But it made me feel better to make my voice heard. This is how systems improve. If no one ever raises issues or complains, the system stays the way it is– inconvenient, annoying, and not functional for everyone. Speaking up is a very useful American value. It’s how things evolve.

But then, I get a comment from a total stranger, who feels the need to invalidate my comment with her praise. The new system doesn’t bother her; ergo, I should shut up and color, or… since I don’t like the new security measures, I obviously don’t understand them and need her to explain them to me. At least that’s how it seemed to me in my cranky, pre-caffeinated state of mind this morning. I was tempted to leave a response that matched my crabby mood, but decided to simply be blunt. Hopefully, she’ll get the message that I wasn’t talking to her and don’t necessarily value her input. She can always leave her own positive comment to USAA, which I guess would nullify mine.

I’m sure the lady who left her comment thought she was being helpful. I guess she thinks USAA needs someone to defend them from little ol’ me. She apparently assumed that I don’t know about two party security systems. She has no way of knowing that my husband has an advanced degree in cybersecurity and has already told me all about it, plus I can Google with the best of them. I get that. However, I find it very irritating when someone basically tries to tell another person to “shut up” by contradicting them, trying to school them, or both. I do understand that this is the way of the Internet. People are always going to “chime in” on these things and meddle in other people’s business. I can’t change that, and I know it. It’s still exasperating. Mind if I vent?

This probably wouldn’t have bothered me so much if it hadn’t been a running theme my whole life. People have been trying to shut me up since birth, even when I’m being polite. It only makes me more determined to communicate.

I’m sick and tired of people trying to silence other people whose opinions they either don’t appreciate or haven’t considered. And, maybe it’s childish of me, but I’m especially tired of people telling me how I should respond, what tone I should be using, and what my feelings should be. As a fellow member of USAA, I have as much right to be heard as anyone else does. Most of the time, I don’t even leave a lot of comments or complaints. When I do speak up, I’d simply like to be heard and acknowledged. To USAA’s credit, they did hear and respond to me, and quickly, too. Responses from the peanut gallery are not required.

Yeah, I know this rant probably makes me sound like a nut. Fortunately, I don’t go out unsupervised very often.

Sigh… ah well. I need to pack my bags and get ready to blow out of here for a much needed respite. With any luck, my Scottish friends will make me laugh with repeated and unapologetic utterances of random swear words as we walk down the street. Maybe I’ll find time to write. Maybe I won’t. Bless my sweet husband for putting up with his sourpussed wife.

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complaints

Thanks tips…

I remember when I was studying for my MSW, I had a professor who was a real stickler about people who state the obvious. He taught the Capstone course, which was basically about tying together all of the skills and methods we learned during our program to solve problems. The class required writing a lot of papers rather than passing tests. Not surprisingly, I excelled, because I like writing more than taking tests. I got an A in the class, while a few of my friends struggled to pass it. I remember the professor was very harsh about grading the papers and would mercilessly take off points for those who “stated the obvious”.

Years later, I’m sitting here thinking about that class I took seventeen years ago and how this professor, whom I recall was not popular with my colleagues, would talk about how we should avoid stating the obvious. Why was it such a big deal to him? Probably because time is a precious commodity and stating the obvious is a waste of time. There’s no need to say or write something as a point if people already know and understand it to be a given. This professor had been both a licensed professional counselor and a social worker– he had master’s degrees in both disciplines, as well as a Ph.D. in social work. He was also an Army veteran. I can imagine that he was very busy. Reading master’s level papers full of poorly written drivel, particularly when the analyses contained mostly obvious points that everybody already knows, was probably extremely irritating for him. And so, to teach his students what not to do, he graded very harshly and took off massive points for “stating the obvious”. Hopefully, a lot of his students quickly learned a valuable lesson.

By the way, although my colleagues didn’t like Dr. W., I enjoyed his class very much. I even liked the weekly papers. I found them challenging and even kind of fun. Basically, he would give us narratives of a client we might be working with and we had to come up with a plan for them. I seem to recall that we’d also trade our papers and have our colleagues read our plans and offer comments on whether or not the plans were viable.

This topic comes up this morning, which has gotten off to a somewhat rocky start. I had trouble sleeping last night, so I was up earlier than usual. I did my normal Tuesday morning chore of cleaning the bathrooms. Then I read some comments left for me on Facebook that stated the obvious.

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t ever work as a “ground zero” social worker with individual clients. I don’t have a lot of patience for some things. A few days ago, I posted a picture of a glass of non alcoholic beer I had at a sushi restaurant. A friend of mine, who knows of my love for beer, wrote, “Don’t they send people to prison for that sort of thing in Germany?”

I responded that this was the only kind of beer they had available at the restaurant. It was actually not bad at all. I could barely tell it wasn’t the usual leaded version of beer. I probably ought to drink more of it.

But then… days later, I got this comment from someone else who wrote: “Near-beer or table beer, with minimal alcohol, is widely available in Europe, mainly but not exclusively, for children.”

I don’t know why, but this comment irritated me. First of all, I’m not sure what it had to do with the subject at hand. We weren’t discussing the availability of non-alcoholic beer in Europe. The first comment came from a friend who follows my travels and knows I really enjoy beer and wine. He was making a joke about my choice to drink non-alcoholic beer. What the hell does the availability of “near beer” in Europe have to do with anything?

Secondly, the comment was posted days later, after the discussion had already died. I wondered what prompted the guy to chime in, especially since his comment didn’t seem to have much to do with anything except to inform us of something kind of obvious. I mean, I’ve been living in Europe for several years this time, and I lived here a few times before this latest stint. I know there’s near beer here– just like I know there’s a telephone. So, I guess, I’m just sitting here scratching my head.

I probably should have ignored the comment, but I chose not to. Instead, I wrote “Thanks for the tip.” Remember, I have kind of a low threshold for annoyance.

That led me to wonder if someone had posted “Thanks for the tip” on Urban Dictionary. I find that a lot of times, when I’m being snarky or sarcastic and I leave a comment to that effect, someone has already posted a hilarious definition of my comment in Urban Dictionary. Surprisingly enough, this time no one posted “Thanks for the tip.” However, someone did post “Thanks tips”. I hadn’t heard of it before this morning, but now I’m informed, and I’m sharing my new knowledge with all of you.

Maybe what happened wasn’t really someone stating the obvious, per se. Maybe it was more akin to “chiming”. I wrote a post about that phenomenon on my old blog. It’s basically when someone butts into a conversation on social media, particularly when they haven’t read other comments. The end result is that their comment is non-sensical, has already been stated (and usually more than once), or is completely irrelevant.

Although social media is different than talking to someone face to face, I tend to see unrelated comments in a Facebook thread the way I might see someone butting into a private conversation. For instance, say you’re having a discussion with a friend. You’re in public, but the chat is just between you and the other person. Suddenly, another person comes up and offers an opinion or a comment that has little to do with your conversation. He or she kind of smiles at you and acts as if you should appreciate their input, even if it’s irrelevant, inappropriate, and/or pointless and stupid.

I will admit, I probably notice these things a lot more than other people do. And I will admit that most of it probably shouldn’t faze me as much as it does. I probably should call myself the “oversensitive” housewife, because I am sensitive about a lot of things that probably shouldn’t annoy me as much as they do. But everybody has their quirks. I have a couple of friends who suffer from misophonia, which is a condition that causes people to become annoyed or even enraged by certain sounds. A lot of people with misophonia can’t stand the sound of people eating, or babies crying. Actually, now that I think about it, I probably have a touch of that myself. I can’t deal with really off key singing, although I don’t get annoyed when people chew loudly. People who don’t have that condition might not be able to understand it or empathize with people who have it because it’s beyond their comprehension. However, just because you don’t have it, doesn’t mean it’s not a real thing.

Anyway… just thought I’d share this today. If anyone’s wondering, yes, I do feel sort of bad when I get irritated about these things and write about them. I know from experience that sometimes people’s feelings are hurt when I vent like this. If it helps anyone to know this, I’m sure I’d be upset if I read anyone’s thoughts about the many things I do that are irritating. But, because I know I’d be upset, I make a point of not searching out other people’s thoughts about me. They’re none of my business, and reading them is not likely to lead to anything good. On the other hand, I’m sure people can relate to today’s gripe. At the very least, they’re the kind of people who would post snarky definitions on Urban Dictionary.

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condescending twatbags, overly helpful people

It’s my money, dammit…

Yesterday, after Bill worked for a few hours, he came home and installed our new robotic lawnmower. I wrote a post about it on my travel blog, and am in the process of making a video of our dogs’ reactions to the new toy. Zane, in particular, was a bit freaked out by the robot. I was surprised Arran wasn’t more upset, since he used to go crazy whenever hot air balloons would land near our old house in Jettingen. But Arran actually got used to the new intruder quickly. Zane was still barking at it two hours after it started mowing.

I shared some raw video of the dogs on Facebook. Most of my friends were intrigued by the mower and asked questions. One person asked me what we paid for the robot. I knew that when I told him, he would make some comment about how much the robot cost. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened.

Our new toy wasn’t cheap. I paid 599 euros for it. I know very well that I could have gotten a push mower much cheaper. It might have been the better thing to do, too, since a push mower would take less time to accomplish that much hated task of cutting the grass. But the new robot is extremely quiet, runs on clean energy, and does a pretty good job. I hate cutting grass, so spending the money was worth it to me. Still, this guy felt he need to point out that for that price, he could cut my grass all summer long. But he lives in Texas and I am in Germany, so no, he couldn’t cut my grass for me. That job is mine, entirely.

I guess I can understand why some people might think a robotic lawnmower is a waste of money… however, it’s “our” money, dammit. If I want to spend a lot of cash on a lawnmower, why is it anyone else’s business? And why do people feel the need to make such comments, anyway?

This is a recurrent theme in my life. People question certain personal decisions I make, like when I buy new computers, cars, or lawnmowers. On my old blog, I used to write about a woman I referred to as Ms. Overly Helpful. Those were the days when I didn’t have a lot of readers and felt pretty safe in venting as I pleased on Blogger. Ms. Overly Helpful got on my last nerve, because she’d often offer unsolicited advice or opinions on things. And she’d do so in a way that implied that I needed or wanted her help, even though I’d already made my decision.

For instance, when I bought my very first iMac, she gave me a ration of shit about it, asking me if I’d done all I could to salvage the computer I was replacing. When we bought my Mini Cooper back in 2009, she asked if I’d considered buying a used car, because “they’re so much cheaper”. Duh. By the way, I still drive the Mini and it’s been paid off for years. Same thing with our Toyota RAV 4, which we bought brand new in 2006. I remember getting a shitty comment about that, too, because we had a high car payment. But we refinanced and paid that car off early, just as we did with the Mini.

Personally, I think it’s kind of rude to make comments about what other people spend their money on, particularly if you don’t know the other person offline. I’ve never met Ms. Overly Helpful offline, and never will, because she pissed me off so much a few years ago that I blocked her. The guy that made the comment today, likewise, is someone I don’t know offline. I ran into him on RfM. If I knew either of these people in the flesh, maybe I’d be more interested in their opinions on my buying choices. But I don’t know them, so their opinions about my purchases are meaningless.

I know at least one of my regular readers, someone I have met offline, would tell me to just ignore these folks. That’s easier to say than do. I think, thanks to having been raised by a control freak, overbearing, alcoholic father, I tend to have a “psychological sunburn” (to use a Dr. Phil-ism) about people who meddle in my affairs. In fact, another person’s meddling is one of the main reasons I moved my blog.

I am feeling a little bit bolder about directly telling people to mind their own business. I’m getting older and crankier and a lot less interested in what other people think. I suppose I could go all gangster and say this…

Some people probably would have thought this would have been a great answer. But I notice that people tend to get butthurt when you return their rudeness…

I totally admit that a robotic lawnmower is a ridiculously extravagant purchase. But if it’s not your money paying for it, then why not just say “Awesome” and be done with it? I don’t need to consult anyone about my money decisions. If I did, I’d pay someone who knows what they’re talking about. I don’t tell you what to spend your money on, so you should respect my choices on where to spend my money. I think of it as my way of stimulating the economy. Besides, the mower is paid for, anyway.

If I point this out, even if I do so politely, people get all shitty. It seems that in my case, I attract these folks who feel compelled to offer commentary on my choices. I used to have one “friend” who loved to pipe up on any thread about college. He didn’t go to college and managed to have a good career; therefore, he thinks college is a scam. And every time that topic came up on my Facebook page, he’d offer his thoughts on how college is a scam. He also made comments about buying cars and how he never buys them new. Obviously, that’s what everyone else should do, too. Finally, he got to the point of even annoying Bill with his “overly helpful” comments. Bill finally and pointedly told him to mind his own business. I had told him that many times myself, but it took a comment from laidback Bill to get him to read and heed.

I’ve found that the types of people who offer commentary on people’s purchases are also the type of people who “chime in” on topics without reading or understanding context. I really don’t like to unfriend people, but some folks make me so twitchy that I have to drop them for the sake of my own sanity. I did that a few years ago with this one clueless woman who kept offering her unsolicited advice and opinions on everything. This chick was especially irritating to me, because she’d often invoke her profession as a social worker– claiming to be my “friend”, but not realizing that I also have social work background. In fact, I got my MSW years before she got hers. Or she’d pipe up about military issues as if I’m ignorant about them, not realizing that I am the wife and daughter of military veterans. People like that aren’t really friends, are they? Real friends actually know something about their pals.

A nice way to cut the grass.

Anyway, the new robot is pretty cool. Our robot got started at about 5:00pm yesterday and the lawn was pretty high, so it wasn’t quite finished two hours later. Bill finished the last of the mowing with a weedwhacker. However, now that the lawn has been cut to a reasonable length, the robot can mow for a much shorter time a few times a week, thereby shortening the time needed to get the job done. It will probably get to the point at which keeping the grass cut will be something I don’t have to think about. Or… maybe I’ll get fed up with the time required by the robot and buy a push mower. They’re pretty cheap. The point is, it’s my choice and my money. Your input about my extravagant purchases isn’t necessarily valued or needed.

Here’s a video I made of our adventure putting in the mower. Arran was lovebombing Bill as he was laying down the boundary wire. Zane was freaked out by the robot and later seemed to want to play with it.

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