I'm waiting for a washing machine repairman to come fix what I couldn't. Sears gave me one of those "we'll be at your house sometime between 8 am and 5 pm to fix it. Make sure you're home the entire time." The cost of the hours I'm missing from work is likely more than this repair is going to cost me, but I tried and failed to fix it so this is my next best option.

So I'm sitting on the couch reading my mail. My car insurance company sent me a lovely letter. It says I can have greater "control" over the cost of my insurance. People tend to like that word - Control - so when I hear it from someone wanting my money I instantly get a tad suspicious. My brother-in-law is the most anti-government paranoid person I know and this letter would send him over the moon. The insurance companies have built one of the biggest and most powerful political lobby machines in the country over the past few years so naturally people are increasingly distrustful of them. My insurance company says that I can have more control over the cost of my car insurance. All I have to do is give them permission to link into my automobile's onboard computer. Have you read about the "little black boxes" politicians are trying to mandate be installed in all new cars? The insurance lobby is the money behind that, so you know it's going to happen no matter what The People say. So they want my permission to link into my new car's computer and monitor my every move. They're ASKING ... for now. Of course I'm going to say "no." But soon they won't ask. Soon they'll just do it. The politicians who have accepted their money are going to make it the law of the land, and then they'll just spy on you through your car as much as they want.

I shouldn't have sold my dad's old stationwagon. No computers on that old thing.

Think it'll stop there? Oh no, my wonderful bloggie friends, it won't. How much do you love all those traffic cameras installed all over the place, recording your every move, especially in larger cities? Do they make you uncomfortable? Well here's the thing, they cost a lot of money. Governments don't like having to spend that money. They like taking your money, but they hate spending it on things that cost them a significant portion of their budget. They'd rather make you buy the cameras and install them and then they just monitor them and ticket you with them. Soon that's exactly what they'll do. Once they make it the law of the land that insurance companies can spy on you through your onboard computer, guess who else can? That's right, your local police. They'll be ticketing you for ever single minuscule error you make. You'll be getting tickets in the mail for things like going 1/2 mile per hour over the posted limit on a given road for 2 seconds on one particular day. Your license will rack up points so fast you won't even be allowed to drive before the year is out. But don't worry. The government will offer solutions for that. If you pay enough money they'll "forgive" you your trespasses and ignore the points on your license. It'll be like the good old Roman Empire, where those with enough money could buy immunity and the rest of the people suffered. Or like Washington DC, where donating enough millions to a Democrat's campaign means you don't have to pay any taxes.

So it's 3 pm and the fucking repairman from Sears still isn't here. I try to reach them, but every single point of contact with Sears is a computer. Call them on the phone and a computer tells me that my repairman may arrive anywhere between 8 and 5. So helpful. Go to their website and open a 'chat' window and another computer says "hello Steven. What can I help you with?"

No matter how I respond it gives me the same answers. It's like playing one of those old computer games where you hunt for clues to a mystery by typing in questions and reading answers.

"Where is my mother fucking washer repairman?"

"Our repair person may arrive at your residence anywhere between 8 am and 5 pm today. What else may I help you with?"

"So, this is costing me a fortune wasting my whole day like this. Do you know where the fuck he is?"

"Our repair person may arrive at your residence anywhere between 8 am and 5 pm today. What else may I help you with?"

"I just would like to know where he is and about what time he expects to be here? I want to know if he's coming at all. How are you not getting this? Are you fucking stupid?"

"Our repair person may arrive at your residence anywhere between 8 am and 5 pm today. What else may I help you with?"

"Apparently nothing."

So I called every number, clicked on every chat link, tried every means of communicating with Sears. It wasn't until 3:30 that I finally got a person, someone in Mexico who barely speaks English. He told me the repairman would call me and would be here between 4 and 5 pm. 4 and 5?? Seriously? I could have worked almost an entire day instead of wasting it sitting around waiting on you jerkoffs!!!

So, I won't be doing business with Sears again in the future.

Right now I'm watching a DVD of "Jonah Hex", a DC comic turned movie starring some guys and Megan Fox. I'm pretty sure the only reason anyone ever went to see this movie was for Megan Fox. I can't say I've paid any attention to it much. Mostly I've been defragging my POS laptop and trying to reach someone at Sears about my washer repair.

So, The Crisis, what's that all about? Well here it is:

When I use Microsoft's Internet Explorer, I can't click "Reply" on blog comments and write anything. I have so far been able to leave one big comment at the very bottom, but I can't reply to each individual comment. Increasingly, I am unable to do more and more things on Blogger using IE. They say if I would just upgrade to IE9 all my problems would be over. But in order to upgrade to IE9 I have to upgrade my entire operating system to Windows 7. That's lovely, but I don't have Windows 7 and I'm not sure this crappy old Dell laptop could handle it even if I did.

When I use Firefox I am unable to leave any comments at all on several blogs. Vapid Vixen is just one example of a blog whose comments I can't use. I can read the comments and I can see a big blank space where the comment box should be available for me to write in, but there's nothing there. When I write a blog post using Firefox it warns me that Firefox is not compatible with Blogger. I already have the latest version of Firefox according to Firefox itself, so I'm not quite sure what more I can do about this.

When I use Google Chrome, which I switched to after the other two failed so badly, it just crashed. I'm not quite sure what to say about that, but I'm back in Chrome now writing this and it hasn't crashed again so far. I guess Chrome is the browser for me from now on. Until something goes wrong with it and I have to look around for something else.

Oh, and since I ranted about the repairman at the beginning of this, I guess I should mention that while I was writing it he actually showed up, figured out what was wrong, and fixed it. It only cost me $100. Most importantly, though, is the fact that what the problem turned out to be is something that I never in a million years would have figured out. So it's a good thing I called someone and wasted an entire day waiting for them.


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