Archive for the 'Personal / Rant' Category

DIVORCING A NARCISSIST

Parting ways with a narcissist, regardless of whether they left you or you left them, is HELLISH!

It is a hellish and painful experience that leaves one exhausted – mind, body, and soul. They isolate you from all former social circles. Narcissists are charismatic and come across believable, while being adept liars who do so with no guilt or remorse. They tend to enrapture the court to their will.  They will make a false claim that requires you spend hours collating evidence to debunk. Then once you have evidence to debunk, the court will suddenly cease to care about the issue. Issues you raise of a far more serious nature will be ignored by the courts. 

I have had to deal with reports of my children being choked, sat upon, having their nose and mouth covered, and hear them share being called derogatory names.

Meanwhile, you will be attacked about everything. What you feed them. The quality of their poop. If you’re 5-10 minutes late dropping them off when they’re court ordered to pick them up, but don’t.

They will seem to be handed EVERYTHING with ease, and you will have to struggle and be exhausted to just retain the bare minimum.

It will feel insane. It is insane. Your heart will break. Your soul will crack. You will lose friends and be alone, because people will not understand.

They will just think (a) your divorce is just two bitter people who wont forgive  (b) that you just need to move on and ignore your ex – they do not understand that you can’t simply ignore things because of the court system. And that a narcissist ex never forgives and wages a constant and continuous vendetta.

Years after you have parted, when they have a new lover, new house, new car, while you’re struggling to just survive…they will still be attacking.

Years later they will contact or post utterly baseless statements on the walls of facebook friends that were your friends prior to marriage. You will think to yourself “why don’t they simply live their life, instead of focusing on attacking you” – but Narcissists do not know how to forgive. They will NOT be content to simply part ways. They are intent on your ruin. They need you ruined in order to justify their own actions against you.

You see, they view the time with you as lost, or more aptly, stolen by you. And you can’t restore that time to them. Therefore you will NEVER be forgiven by them. Narcissists need to have control (of their environment and those around them).  They also have need of being seen a certain way, and anything or ANYONE who tarnishes their image or puts it to question is immediately painted black.

They will create a version of you that they portray to others, in an attempt to justify their treatment of you. If abusive, the version of you cotinuously and deliberately did things to make them abuse you. It was your fault. If they abandoned you, they will seek your ruin so that they can justify having left you just in time.

Although routinely denigrated by the Narcissist and demeaned and called names, and perhaps even physically abusivr (be it occasional, as my cade, or routinely as in far too many others), the narcissist will attempt to portray you as the abuser and themselves as a victim. Garnering sympathy while simultaneously isolating you further.

NOTE:  Narcissists are instigators.  Don’t let the times they pushed you to react cause you guilt.  (I had to question a past ex, in order to get reinforcement and affirmation that in the year and a half we were together,  i was NEVER like what my dynamic with my Narcissist ex was like, nor what my narc-ex portrayed and claimed me to be like.)

Yes, even you may have done some of the same in retaliation or defense. same You may have shouted back or cussed them out too, (as i did), you may have even responded to physical attacks with the same (something i am grateful that i never did).  There were a few times after an argument that i kicked a trash can or slammed a door – i am not proud of those moments. And you likely are not proud of your moments of failure. 

However, please remember it is very hard to continuously endure such abuse and not be pushed to react on occasion. Especially as often the Narcissists entire goal is to push you to react so they can then swap blame for the situation onto you. That being a common Narcissist strategy, they pick at your bones continuously, starting conflicts over anything and everything. Small inconsequential matters are made into soul crushing criticisms. Then guilt and gas light you once they finally manage to push you to reacting. And most of this will happen in the shadows, happen indoors, not when people are around.

I call it church  door syndrome. My father could be a monster, and the drives to church were often the worst. But once we walked thru that doors the genteel polite helpful disposition was put on for show.  And a narcissist often will make a statement that will seem inconsequential to the others standing around, but will be a sharp stab related to the prior hidden conflict. So when you throw up your arms and exclaim “you’re done, you’ll be in the car” they will look to the others standing and sequester affirmation ” Did I say something horribly wrong? Or did she/he overreact?” And the Narcissist will be told nothing was wrong with their statement. They clearly overreacted. And the public image will be of the Narcissist’s spouse being at issue. Unaware that a subtle game of undermining was orchestrated by the Narcissist and that their seemingly mild words were in fact merely a fuse lit to set off charges they planted earlier. This is how Narcissists and the like work.

Narcissists rarely apologize. When they do, it is often for the sake of dropping the issue at hand. And if you attempt to inquire and discuss their action further, why they did it or how or hurt you, they will blow up on you and decry that their apology wasn’t enough. You quickly realize from the anger that they were not apologetic nor interested in your hurt nor remorseful for their actions, rather they simply wanted the matter dropped. I

Likewise, “Affection”  is meted out in controlled doses to reward, and withheld to show displeasure. Even asking for a kiss goodnight or goodbye can be refused, asking why will blow up into a confrontation. And you’ll be left to go to bed or drive home in a torn mental state having been belittled, criticised, and made to feel a failure. They will give you the silent treatment but not express why they are displeased. They will tell you nothing is wrong, while interacting with you in a way that is cold, harsh, and clearly says something is wrong. Because that enables them to control you, and leave you questioning yourself. You’ll think back to any recent situation in which you made a mistake or let them down. You’ll inquire of that is the issue. Their response “No, i already said there was NO ISSUE! But since you mention it.” (Having manipulated you into searching for and handing them ammo to now assail you.)

And if you think that separating ends these behaviors, you are quite misguided. Regardless of whether you leave them or they abandon you, they will use the divorce system to take as much as they can from you. Their idea of a compromise is, i gave into one thing and you have to give into all of mine. If you give them 90% of what they ask for, they still feel that they only got half of what they asked for, and less than they feel they deserve and are entitled to. And if you have children, you are cursed to 18 – youngest child’s age of being dragged into court and the entire family court system being a club they can wield against you. And since Narcissists tend to have a charismatic presentation, each time you have a new judge or court magistrate (which in my case is nearly every time) entails starting from scratch with the Narcissist immediately swoon them to their favor requiring you to have to spend hours of labor to defend from their accusations and substantiate your claims. The process will leave you feeling like Alice in Wonderland – all their accusations will seem to accepted at face value as truth, and any of your claims will be passed over.  Taking the high road, being passive, seeking an equitable 50/50 are sadly losing strategies when dealing with a Narcissist in family court.

This detail of what it is like to part ways with a Narcissist is based on my personal experiences as well as anecdotal observations of family/friends who have parted ways with a Narcissist. Sadly, i suspect that others who have similarly parted ways will relate to a large portion of what i have described above. 

It is my personal opinion that these behaviors are typical of  Cluster B disorders (Narcissist/BPD/sociopaths).

For those who have parted ways, be it spouse, significant other, parent, or a family member – do your experiences line up with what I have described above?

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Thoughts and Tips from our Disney Trip

Disney Tips

Where to stay? Our trip was off season in September.We stayed at Parkway Resorts. It was like $595 for 5 days. Beautiful 2 bedroom suite, master bath with spa tub and large shower. 2nd bathroom. Living room which pull out bed. Kitchen….where we cooked the catfish we caught in the parking lot after a big rain.  Extremely clean and luxurious. And not much more than a standard hotel…cheaper than most actually.

https://www.expedia.com/Orlando-Hotels-Parkway-International-Resort-By-Diamond-Resorts.h692651.Hotel-Information

Highly recommend checking their rates out for your trip.

TICKETS

 

  • Tickets are tied to fingerprints. And limited to one individual.
  • Parkhopper can be beneficial if you want to see a park that closes early, such as Animal Kingdom and then hop over to a late night park
  • Waterpark tickets let you visit either of Disney’s two waterparks.  Note, that if you buy a 4 Day Ticket + Waterpark. You receive 4 waterpark days. So this makes for a rather economical deal. 3 Day Ticket + Waterpark = 6 days of activity.
  • Military promotions require a military member or their spouse to attend the first day. After that you can continue to use your tickets regularly. This is nice, because it can be very difficult for servicemen to get a week off for Disney. But it’s nice to attend with family the first couple days and continue your stay for the rest of your tickets.  The discount is fantastic. Thank you Disney. We had 4 day + waterpark. So 4 park days + 4 days at waterpark. 8 day + waterpark = 8 park days + 8 days at waterpark for 16 days.

PARKING

Parking is $15/day. Magic Kingdom is kind of crazy. You park. Take a tram, which gets you to the monorail. Then you take the monorail. I didn’t try it. But I was almost thinking that parking at Animal Kingdom or Epcot, then taking the monorail/busses (free) might be easier.

Another thought….I noticed that the waterparks had free parking. But I also saw some busses. It made me wonder if one could in fact park at the water parks for free, and take the bus to Disney parks – downside risk. Waterparks close at 5pm, so I expect bus service to stop by 6pm-7pm (I think they said 2 hours). Your hotel may have shuttle service. Good to find out. But this might be a way to save $15 on parking for a park that closes early like Animal Kingdom.

FASTPASS: All tickets can get fastpasses, they do run out. It’s good to hit up the ones you want early. There might be a limit to how many you can get.  

NOTE: Disney allowed you to bring in outside food. The container/cooler has to be within a maximum size. So we usually had some snacks and drinks with us. That said, my understanding is that all of the eateries must provide you with a cup of ice water if you ask. And we did that a few times.

Download the phone app, it will show you times and waits. Most of the time, the waits were estimated higher than actual. 5 minute = time to walk through corridors. 10 minute = 5

Buy ponchos at the dollar store. It rains A LOT in Florida. And they’re like $5-$12 for ponchos in Orlando.

***

I really enjoyed Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Blizzard beach. We hit the Magic Kingdom on a Tuesday….very low crowds. I would suggest trying to do Magic Kingdom on an off day like

that. I’ll list rides and attractions that most appealed to me – and which didn’t.

Magic Kingdom

First thing first…summary:  Amazingly, when I arrived earlyish (about 1/2 hour after opening). the second time Magic Kingdom was fairly empty. Wait times for almost every ride was 5-10 minutes (or less). That said, by 11pm, all those struggling to get the kids out the door arrived and boom…it became crowded. Do a Tuesday or non-weekend and you’ll probably be able to do the whole park in a single day.

Oh, Starbucks on Main St. is expensive, but only in the fact its Starbucks. In fact most drinks were priced the same or about 50 cents more.

Ride Review:

Haunted Mansion – still amazingly fun with all the optical illusions. This is one of the few rides from my childhood that remained and was still as fun.

Pirates of the Caribbean – still fun, not quite as awe inspiring as when I was a kid. But worth going. Short wait.

Space Mountain – big disappointment. I remember going on this in Disneyland, CA. It had floating moons, etc. This was really just a roller coaster in the dark. And not even the greatest. Go on it if not busy, but really, if it’s crowded….skip it. Probably the ride I was most disappointed in.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – decent fun, typical train coaster.

It’s a small world – okay, worth doing for the history. Not too bad of a wait.

Peter Pan’s flight – this is pretty neat, it’s a gentle ride but they have like a miniature Peter Pan world and it’s kind of cool.

Splash Mountain – okay, this is a freakishly cute weird surreal world. And well, it as about as close to being in Toontown as one gets.

Monsters Inc Laugh Floor – moderately entertaining, worth going but not super.

Stitch’s Great Escape – Ok, it’s an experience not a ride. But it’s kind of like a 4D show with smellivision.

Tomorrowland Speedway – Basically go carts. Not much different than the game, except you’re locked in a path. I’d skip. You can’t even really race a friend. Only go if zero wait.

Under the Sea/Little Mermaid – rather fun, especially if you’re a Little Mermaid fan. I am not, but everyone seemed to enjoy (even me). (Epcot’s Finding Nemo is similar and way cooler IMHO.) But if you like Ariel, this is a must.

Railroad – I didn’t go on, but my 2 year old daughter loved it.

Swiss Family Treehouse – a walkthrough but I thought it was cool.

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin – Okay….but line can be long.

People Mover in Tomorrowland – Nifty tram ride, go on this first and you’ll get a whole overview of Tomorrowland. Then see if you spot it while in other rides. Then you’ll have a better idea what you want to do.

Light Parade/Light show: They had a really cool lightshow on the castle itself. These are worth seeing once.

DID NOT DOs:

Hall of Presidents – Didn’t do, but would of liked too. Kids were a little small I think.

Riverboat – Could of been fun, and I think romantic.

Jungle Cruise – Closed

Tom Sawyer Island – Didn’t make it.

I’m skipping the kiddy rides btw.  

FOOD: Magic Kingdom food was so so. Burgers were eh. A number of the more ethnic restauraunts were closed already. (Consider using your park hopper to head over to Epcot or Animal Kingdom for better food selection. It’s just a short bus or monorail ride away.)

***

EPCOT

In a lot of ways, Epcot was one of our family’s favorites. Ironically, because most said the kids would be bored. And yet it was where my daughter wanted to go a second time.

First off, the villages…these are pretty cool. Will highlight.

China – MUST SEE when the gymnasts are there, this is like a mini-circ de solei. Ever seen women drumming with their feet and passing the drums around in the air? VERY COOL

Viking Village – Really fun little Viking Ship ride (Maelstrom). Looks like Jim Henson built it.

Canada – Nifty presentation on a 360 degree screen for Canada. Was pretty fun I think. And somewhat humorous. Worth doing IMHO.

Ellen’s Energy Adventure – Kind of hokey, but the dinosaur section made it worth it.

Soarin’ – I did not go, but wife and daughter did. They said it’s fairly cool. It’s one of those TV screen/motion rides I believe.

Mission Space – DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT go on the “orange” path. Green only. Took 3 hours to recover. This is a ride with a screen that makes you feel like you’re moving on a spaceship. In fact, it is a giant spinning ride that while kind of cool in the green. Is totally torturous in the orange, and really has zero added fun factor. Orange will make you sick, feel like your blood pressure shot up. And is the only ride I came away going “I DO NOT LIKE THIS SAM I AM”.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends – AWESOME!!! One of my favorites in all of Disney. So it starts of “Nemo” but then you realize there are real fish. There is an entire aquarium, dolphins, and more. So I’d give yourself an hour for all this.

Spaceship Earth (Big Ball) – This was actually really cool. Has some of the most amazing Animatronics I’ve ever seen. Subtle hand movements of some were amazing. It’s a tour of human history from caveman to modern day. Some really cool light effects. Night sky and a grid of LEDs that feels like an endless expanse.

Test Track – Cool coaster ride, but you can go into the group line and you get to “design”your own car and see how they compete. Plus tons of GM cars you can check out afterwards. Sit in a Camaro, Silverado, etc. This is a must do, and can be a bit of a line.

There were other rides we did not get too. Some of which I think would be worth doing. We did Epcot on a Sunday as our first park because we had a late start. 1pm – night. We came back on another day when Magic Kingdom surprisingly closed at 7pm for Trick Or Treatin ($60 per person ticket).

FOOD: First off, Epcot has some of the best food for reasonable prices. There is a lot of ethnic food in the villages. There is a middle-eastern restauraunt with reasonable prices for souvlaki, falafel, etc. And fancier dining with shish kabobs.

They do have a food and wine around the world for a few weeks. Not sure if that will still be going on when you arrive.

FREE DRINKS, that’s right. Coca-cola has a mini “world of coca-cola” with soda fountains that distribute samples of sodas they sell elsewhere in the world (France, Italy, China, India, Africa, etc). Some are really really good. And it’s free.

Magic Kingdom food was mostly sucky, since you have park hopper. Consider hopping on the monorail to Epcot for lunch/dinner, then returning back to Magic Kingdom. You might be able to take a boat across as well. Your stomachs (and tastebuds) will thank you.

Cool fireworks display and a nice light show. Be near the lake to really enjoy this.

***

Hollywood Studios

We did a bit of character seeing at this. Hit like 4-5 characters. You can mostly avoid this.

Honey I shrunk the Kids – Closed… 😐

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow – Stand up show. But actually a lot of fun. The guy had Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow down to a T. Better than the one in Magic Kingdom show.

Muppet Vision 3D: Loved it, except for one thing. Some stupid 3D animated creature that was the plot. But ALL the Muppet stuff was great. Especially Waldorf and Statler. But if you remember the old Muppet studio/theater. This is a really cool recreation.

Rock N Roller Coaster: Fun, one of the better coasters. This is way better than Space Mountain. And far closer to my memories of Space Mountain in Disney World. It is an indoor coaster in the dark. I think you’ll want to do this ride at least twice.

HUGE HUGE HUGE TIP HERE: I had a fastpass, and it took me forever to get one. This is a “two by two” ride. So I went into the “single” vs “group” lane thinking it would be faster. I watched 300+ people in the group lane go by. I realized, the “single” lane is not fasterif it is a narrow seat ride. Basically, no matter what size group. They almost always filled it in. So us singles waited for 20 minutes longer. It was funny, I saw one guy who when reached the group line and was asked, how many….”Oh just one, then he looked at us, smiled and basically winked”. This probably stands true for ANY ride in which the rows are only 2 people wide.

Star (Wars) Tours – Okay, it’s just a screen and tilting seat ride. But its worth doing.

Studio Backlot Tour – Kind of fun, especially if you like Indiana Jones. Go early and talk, and perhaps you can get selected as one of the volunteers. They bring a group of like 8 out.

Toy Story Midway Mania – Think carnival shoot the duckies but on a ride, then multiply by 100x. This was fun, very competitive. Trick to it is that you yank the ball on the rope back and forth like a pop-gun. I blew away my family. By extending, and then just wiggling my hand back and forth really quickly. Aim for the higher point targets. It is a 3D ride too.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Really nifty, it is a haunting experience with a sci-fi “Twilight Zone” twist. We now want to see this episode. Followed by a very large bounce ride. My 6 year old daughter was terrified of the Haunted Mansion ride but loved this one enough to go on 6 times.

There are a few more exhibits and activites. We didn’t get to do all. But did most we wanted too.

FOOD: Okay, here I am going to do something shocking. I am going to recommend you book a lunch at “Hollywood and Vine” restauraunt. We did a “character lunch” with a bunch of kids characters like Handy Manny, Jake the Neverland Pirate, etc. Which the kids enjoyed. But mywife loved the food. It’s a cafeteria arrangement. But man, the food was rather decent. (No Texas de Brazil, but…it was good). My wife loved the lobster mac and cheese, they had a lot of seafood. A lot of meat. ) She was still raving about it like three days later.

There is also a 50’s Prime Time Cafe – we didn’t go here but it looked nifty, the entire decor is a 1950’s style cafe. So maybe hit this for lunch and the Hollywood and Vine fordinner.

***

Animal Kingdom

Okay, this was cooler than I thought. And also has Disney World’s best coaster. We were only here for a half day due to a late start…argh.

The Everest Ride – Is an amazing roller coaster. I put it in the top 10 I’ve been on, along with Superman, Shockwave (first stand up loop de loop coaster). Fun story too. Walkway is almost a museum

Dinosaur – Cool fun, bumpy coaster ride. Much cooler dinosaurs than Epcots Energy ride.

Kali River Rapids – Fun typical big tube ride, but I’d go on it just for the fake fire/smoke scene.

Maharajah Jungle Trek – We did this, really cool. I think this is where we saw the bats. Seriously, take like 5-10 minutes and just watch the beautiful fox bats.

Did not see….

The Boneyard – Sadly, didn’t get to make it to this.

World Tree – looked really cool

Kilimanjaro Safaris – Didn’t make this

I feel there was more to see. We did see a weird parade. But I think if we go again we’ll plan for a bit more time here.

Note this park closes earlier. So consider going here and hopping back to Epcot or such with your park hopper pass.

FOOD: There were a few ethnic choices, both for quick and sit down. There was a Thai restaurant and an African one (that sadly we had missed for lunch).

Also, there is a Rainforest Cafe that is pretty cool And has a lot lot lot shorter wait than the Volcano Rainforest Cafe in “Downtown Disney”.

***

Downtown Disney

Can we sell you something? anything? everything?

Okay, this had some cool stuff though. Definitely catch the Volcano Rainforest Cafe (it literally erupts).

Lego Store was AWESOME!!!!!

There are a few other rides, activities, etc. We didn’t get to stay here long due to kids melting down. But I definitely think you could spend an evening or afternoon or two.

Best of all, it’s FREE!!!! Just a mall really.

***

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon – fun park, we did this one as our first waterpark but got rained out. We re-visited it. Excepting two items, I must preferred Blizzard Beach.

Castaway Creek – This is a nice lazy river, I love these things. But it can be hot on the tubes. Get some of the noodles. Put one or two under your legs. And one or two under your neck. And you get to drift AND be cool

Crusn N Gusher – Three tubes each named after fruit (Pineapple, Coconut, Banana as I recall), but here is the deal. There are single, double and triple tubes. And they’re only allowed in certain pipes for weight reasons. The one on the right (as I recall) is the only one that allows “single”, it is also like twice the wait or no better experience. So go in the middle and left ones. I tried to tell a couple, they didn’t listen. Boy did they regret it. Had about 100 people in front of them – we had none.

Gangplank Falls – Really long wait. Only ride we skipped.

Humunga Kowabunga – Fast drop water slide, much preferred the neighboring Storm Slides

Storm Slides – Twisty, turny, fun…

Surf/Wave Pool – Okay this is one area that is far cooler than Blizzard Beach. This is a huge wave pool with like 6ft waves. Intense. Fun.

Shark Reef – Bring a waterproof camera/corder. And swim with the Sharks and rays. Yes, real sharks. There is just something very cool about being in a pool with a hammerhead shark. Downsides, the water is much cooler (for the animals) and well they loan you snorkels, and clean them with a chemical solvent. Which doesn’t taste so great. So first wash it out in the showers near the exit. But seriously, when else are you going to swim with sharks?

😉

Oh, and you can buy an oyster with a pearl.

There are a couple of other water slides with tubes. Mayday and Keelhaul. These are okay…

And there was one other I forget the name that was pretty cool. It too was a one or two person ride. Different tubes could only go down different channels. We were nice, when we went up, we brought extra tubes.

****

Blizzard Beach – Okay, as for the two waterparks. This was by far my favorite fun wise. If not for the shark tank and the giant wave pool. I’d go here all the time.

Chairlift – As long as the line isn’t too long. This is a nice way to get up to the top. Leave your water shoes behind for most of these you can’t take them with you. You can still walk up to the top of the mountain btw. But it gives your legs a break from climbing all those steps.

Creek/Lazy River – Not as big as Typhoon. But still fun. These are a great way to get around the park.

Downhill Double Dipper – short, fun, shows you your time. Did it once. There were more interesting rides IMHO.

Bay – Smaller, kind of more relaxing wavepool.

Summit Plummit – Imagine a Nazi swedish masseuse, uh ya, this drop beat my back up. But that was probably because I was cruising at 40mph at the end. Thing bouncing on water when waterskiing. It’s cool to do once, and to see your “MPH”.

Slush Gusher – Fun, but scared the crap out of me. My mass seems to be faster down these type of slides than average. This is slightly small than the free fall slide but with a couple big bumps. The first go me an or two in the air. The second? I was probably close to a foot in the air. I could see the trough below me. Oh my…. it was fun/scary.

Steamboat Springs – round raft, 6 people, big pipe…this was fun and we did it a couple of times.

Toboggan Racers & Snow Stormers – Okay, these were simple, but actually my favorites. They used these foam toboggan like things. The twisty turny ones were fun. But the Toboggan Racers were my absolute favorite. For whatever reason, my dense body mass just thrust me down. Even when I let everyone have a bump or two head start, I would beat EVERYONE at the end. The downside? I believe it was like 87 steps to get back to the top.

TIP: If you want to go REALLY fast down a tube, press your heels and head down, and raise your back/butt off the ground. It’s like hydrofoiling. Only your heels and head are making contact so far less friction.

WATERPARK TIPs: These parks close at 5pm. While you could burn one of your 8 day park tickets after a waterpark to return to Epcot or Magic Kingdom. Consider one of these a good day to explore Downtown Disney.

Or if you want to re-visit one of the Disney parks, with 8 days. You may find you decide to use a ticket on a late night. (Some parks have late nights). So if you time a water park (close at 5pm) with a Magic Kingdom close at 9pm/11pm. You can still get 4-6 hours in.

Also, I recommend alternating “amusement park” … “water park”…”amusement park”. You use very different walking muscles.

Bring your own food and snacks. There is much fancy. But you can bring a backpack and leave in one of the sitting areas. No one bothered our stroller.

***********

Outside Disney…

Kabob Express on Rt 192 (I forget, the route number, but it’s one of the main ones in Orlando/Kissime). But extremely tasty food. Got Lamb/Goat curry. They have kabob sandwiches on Naan bread for like $5.

LASTLY….super big favor. If you pass by the Emporium on Main St in Magic Kingdom in the evening. Ask if Enrique is working? Tell him Jason and Jericho say thank you for the Tinkerbell Doll. (On the off chance you find him, it’ll probably floor him with surprise.)

PS – If you’re driving, and pass the “South of the Border” weird Mexican shopping / amusement center. One of the novelty shops had whips for $3. 😉

But I presume since it is just the two of you that you are flying?

Also there is a really good cup cake place in Orlando http://www.sweetbyholly.com/

If you have any questions, and haven’t fallen asleep yet. Feel free to ask. And yes it has been known to rain catfish and dogfish in Florida.

😉

 

***

And please read about our amazing “Magical Moment” at Disney.
https://thesaj.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/the-magic-of-disney/

 

 

Dear TV Network

When are you guys going to stop being stupid?

Seriously, I do not understand why all of you networks “just don’t get it”.

1. Internet programming – I will never buy cable again. I watch a handful of shows and am tired of paying $150 for mostly nothing I want to watch.

2. Discovery Channel is actually one of the content providers that has shows that I want to watch. (ie: Dual Survival & American Chopper)

3. I am a busy computer programmer with 3 children under the age of 5. This is not the 1950’s, I don’t get to come home after a long day at work and just sit in front of the ‘tube.

My TV viewing is sporadic. I might watch 2-3 episodes of a show in a row as I do bills, and other tasks.  I want to watch my shows when I want to watch them.  And just what do you think happens to a viewer who misses a few episodes of a linear show?  We quit watching, that’s what.

3. Networks seem afraid to make all shows available. Often they only have 1-4 of the most current shows of the season. The problem, I might go a whole month and not get the free time to watch one of my favorite shows, and then I’ll watch 5.  But they’re not available…WHY?  What are you losing? Quit with the stupid licensing.

4. TV Everywhere….my preferred method of watching TV is streaming through my Xbox or iPhone (and/or outputting it from my iPhone to a TV).  Please allow for this easily.

And stop with stupid “this show isn’t licensed for playback on devices”. That’s just stupid. What difference does it make if I watch the show on my computer, my phone or streaming through my Xbox/Roku.

5. Commercials – I really don’t mind commercials, as long as they’re not too excessive. In fact, I often like commercials. What I don’t like seeing is the same commercial 5 times.  But I really like it when a company sponsors a particular show, and then has 3-4 unique commercials.

But seriously, don’t think commercials are the big problem. I’d much prefer easy access and availability with a few more commercials.

6. Quit lying in bed with Comcast and other cable networks. They’re not the future – WE ARE!!!

Seriously, my understanding is that Comcast pays the average network between $1-$3.  Well, I’d be willing to pay $2/month for the Discovery or History Channel.  But I’m not going to pay a ton per episode.  iTunes wants to charge $2 an episode. That’s $2 for what I could mostly get free, and for what I am unlikely to ever watch again. And why pay $24 for a season of a show. When if I buy it on DVD I can at least re-sell it and have a hard copy.

No, keep it simple.  Do a flat rate (no more than $5/month) for the entire network. And $2 per show per season. Remember, you can still make money on commercials.

7. Remember, I like your shows, I want to watch your shows. Keep it easy and flexible. Let me watch the way I want, where I want, when I want and how I want. The result is you’ll get a lot more viewership. Oh, and guess what’s great about the internet. No survey and guestimate on rating. You’ll know every view. And if you got reall smart you’d start linking the ads right from the TV show.

***
If your old AARP CEOs don’t get the above, then they need to be fired/retired, and replaced with someone who understands the internet.  I don’t care if they’re 20 or 70, as long as they understand the internet, and modern day American lifestyle – the fact that things have changed.

QR code, Google believes it’s a buffalo. But Google’s wrong!

Google Kills Off Those Little Square Codes You Scan With Your Phone
http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-03-31/tech/29979593_1_qr-codes-android-nfc-forum

Why Google is completely and moronically wrong….

NFC tech has it’s uses, buy a coke from a vending machine.  Hoorah! But seriously, the appeal of the QR code is the simplicity in use and creation – it’s ubiquitous. 

ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE can create a QR code. Heck, an artist can even paint one on a wall.  If a deli shop wants to, they can create one for their menu. Put them on flyers, and post them around town. It can even be a coupon.

But NFC, where am I going to get a chip.  How am I going to embed that into my resume when I send it off? How is an add in a magazine going to place that NFC chip in the page? How is it not going to be confused by 50 other NFCs in all the other ads?

Seriously, this is a brain fart on the part of Google.  Not to demean NFCs in any way. More tech the better.  And it’s probably just what we need for more advanced transactions. But I view the two technologies as complimentary, rather than exclusive. Both serve different roles and have their advantages.

 
Google Kills Off Those Little Square Codes You Scan With Your Phone

OnAIR Bus Tour Revisited

There must have been something in the AIR yesterday!

Yesterday, I wore my OnAIR Bus Tour t-shirt on to realize my project manager was wearing the same shirt.

Then when I got home I noticed that my wife was also wearing the Adobe OnAIR shirt too!

What a curious coincidence…

– The Saj

“my first iPhone blog”

Apple + AT&T = Worst Service on the Planet (RANT)

I am now convinced that when you combine Apple’s super-secret policies and AT&T employees trained in anti-Customer Service you get the worst experience on the planet. THANK YOU STEVE!!!

Okay, so Friday I was one of those geeks standing at the opening of the nearest AT&T store to get my iPhone.  We waited in line…they came around and asked us to fill out a preliminary form, and to inquire as to which model we were interested in.

Around 9:40 after about 15 people had gone thru the store we were informed that they were out of stock. Apparently this store only had 30 iPhones in stock. And I swear the lady with the four little kids left with 5 of them.

It was quite annoying as the AT&T employees repeatedly refused to specify how many phones they had in stock. Even though they knew that they had twice as many people outside the door when they first opened.  So we waited for a possible 10 o’clock UPS delivery which never came.  The sales guy then offered people to sign up for a drop shipment to arrive in 2-10 days.   Of course for many of us, including the guy from New Jersey standing in line, this was not the best store to drop ship too.

When someone asked when they might next expect a shipment. The salesperson stated 4pm.  But then went on to say that they won’t be selling those until tomorrow.  When asked why, he said because it’d be unfair to us – seeing as we stood (needlessly I might add) in line all morning.  So I then asked, what if we stayed until 4pm.  “No, we still won’t sell them until tomorrow.” So his answer was total balogne.

So a couple hours later I then went to another store nearby, this one happens to be on my way to & from work. And therefore much more convenient to drop ship to. Only to be told they’re not taking any more fulfillment orders.

So fast forward to Monday.  I stop into a store nearby my work. They still have no iPhones.  Ask about fulfillment but turns out I need my wife to be involved as well. Problem, I work in a different city than we live in.  A couple hours later I then had my wife (with 1 yr old daughter in tow) go back to the store near us to do a fulfillment order.  They tell her they’re no longer accepting fulfillment orders because the warehouse is backordered.

So then I talk to Apple customer service, waiting 15 minutes for a manager. The customer service rep was quite nice, but when she didn’t transfer the call properly.

Can we say five ***** for failure?

————

For those wondering why I didn’t just wait and to answer Mathue’s very valid question/comment on why I’d wait in line for an iPhone.  Essentially, my contract with Verizon has been over for a few months.  Both my wife and my phones are on their last legs. My wife’s super crappy Chocolate phone died.  We got an old Verizon phone but it’s very basic and the battery doesn’t hold a charge. My PDA phone had died, I got sent a replacement but this particular unit is really buggy.  (Beyond normal Windows Pocket PC bugginess.) It’s battery is also starting to wear out.

My wife also gets a 24% discount on her AT&T wireless bill. So we’ve been planning to switch. Knowing that the iPhone 2.0 was just around the corner – I did not really want to get another phone. So I was looking to finally get some new phones for my family.  Otherwise, I’d not be so intent on purchasing nor so impatient.


December 2022
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The Saj... "Dark Lord of the SWF"