Kick The Tires & Light The Fires

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I would like to say that I’ve been itching to get back here to The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog, but there would only be about 3% truth in that statement, and I would like for everyone to know that my year or so vacation has been just that, without one single withdrawal symptom to count. I know some of y’all are asking how could I not miss blogging about whatever crossed my mind at a given moment of a given day, and I would say it was actually easier to walk away from than I first thought because I was pretty addicted to doing as I pleased how I wanted to and when I wanted to. So, with that being said let’s kick the tires and light the fires. Yes, I will probably still misspell words, use improper grammar, cuss allot, and give my unwanted opinions. And no, I will not be announcing any kind of fucking format changes, I like the fringe too much to charge ahead changing shit that doesn’t need changing. I do, however, want to thank everyone for visiting over the past months, when I was posting I averaged 1200+ visitors a day and when I stopped that dropped to an average of 800+ visitors. Come to find out older material was still being re-blogged and commented on, people were still using links from other blogs and searching the world-wide web to find this blog. I would have to guess that 90% or better of the searched terms landed y’all here by accident because I tag the shit out of my posts and have something like 30,000+ tags in the cloud. Before I get started I would like to reach out to thank everyone who has continued to email me, text me, comment here, or just flat-out call me. It has been a constant reminder that I have left y’all hanging, that I abandoned my blog along with friends and followers, and that even though I may have been finished with one part that I wasn’t even close to being done yet.

Which is where we begin, deciding whether one is finished or one is done. I see your face already, giving me the looks of a disappointed parent before even giving me a chance to explain. But some of y’all already know the difference, some of y’all even use it on a daily basis, but the rest of y’all may think you’re learning something new, only to find out that it has a purpose in life. Most things I teach my children are lessons taught to me over the years, of course I’ve had the luxury of picking and choosing what works for me, but I have a nice collection of “tools” in this weathered shed that have come in handy over the years. The best example of all of this nonsense we call living out our lives is knowing without fail if I am finished or if I am done. While i find it super simple, I will explain. Imagine if you will, for those who can, that you picked up a great book to read, a thick book with many chapters, a book which will probably take weeks if not months to get to the end. You’ve set aside a few hours to read and decide at the end of the first chapter that you need a break. Now ask yourself, are you finished or are you done. For those playing along, you are merely finished for the time being. To be done one needs to make it to the end, signifying being done. Being finished or done applies to everything, yes I said everything, from conversations and conflicts, from getting dressed to showering, from going on a trip to doing your daily routine, it applies everywhere. Just think how much simpler life would be if everyone on the planet applied being finished or being done to everything they do. It simplifies my life to say the very least.

Is is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it really has been an entire year. A year without blogging? A year without any social media? My calendar says it’s true, so it must be true, right? Getting back into gear has proven to be rather challenging to say the very least about the matter. Anyway, I think the vacation has done me well, as well as well can be, it’s been a crazy busy year with many twisted turns, some expected and some real surprises.

Before I get into the past year let’s look at the present, today is a great day to discuss. So, it appears my blogcatalog account is still up but I can’t get into because I don’t have the password so I’m trying to get it resolved or reset. Same goes for Twitter and Google+, I can see the pages but can’t get logged in. As far as Facebook and the Facebook fan page, same scenario, with the exception that they want me to update my information with proof of photo identification to show I’m a real human or something to that extent. Personally, I say piss on it all because in reality it was the chore up updating social media which was one of my biggest problems, leaving me very out of focus doing my blog. For what I ask? To promote something that nobody cares about, that’s the answer we’re going for. I knew since day one that this blog was merely one in billions or more. So, my decision has been made, if I’m to give this shit a go again then it’s going to be on my terms alone. I’m taking it back to basics, taking it back to my boring ass life and lifestyle, and writing about the shit that matters to me personally and what might be in or around my life.

Now, as I mentioned above, many people have continued to email and text me and for some reason it has convinced me to try again. I know, I’m trying to figure out what it is that they or y’all are missing, but thanks for the encouragement and the poking and prodding and general enthusiasm, I really do appreciate it, so we can see how it goes. I guess the next thing to do is bring everyone up to speed and then I will get into some really deep shit in coming posts.

Well, I recall mentioning that I became a “minister” so I could fulfill the request of my oldest daughter to officiate her wedding up in South Dakota. And, last summer I did exactly that. In all, the ceremony was easy, it was the whole marrying off my daughter that proved to be the challenge. It was an eventful trip to say the very least, but that will be the next post, because we had the wedding, but we also had a very life altering medical emergency with my wife as well. Just know everyone is well now. So, speaking of marriage ceremonies, something I figured I would not be doing again until probably my son’s marriage if that would be what they wanted, but I found out that plan had quite a few holes in it as it would happen. Therefore, to date, not counting my daughter’s wedding, I’ve officiated 6 other marriages and 3 same sex marriages (female to female). Not that the kinds of marriage ceremonies actually matter, but there are still a few of y’all out there that have the idea that I’m anti-gay, a racist, anti-religion, and against so much other shit. All I can say is live your life as you see fit. Anyway, all the weddings mentioned approached me personally through word of mouth. This is not why i was ordained, but I considered everything and moved forward. Let’s just say I was given the opportunity to witness the other sides of people as they prepared for the big day. We’ll discuss more later in regards to weddings, trust me.

So, a quick review. I’m still married, just celebrated 18 years last month. I’m still working at the same place doing the same thing on the same shift, more to come on that topic too. I’ve just started parent taught driver’s education with my soon to be 16 y/o son. We, as a family, as a whole, are just living life one day at a time. In one of the next posts I will elaborate on my medical health.

But I think for now this can end as a post since I actually do know how boring I really am. So, I guess this is my way of saying that upon my return I don’t really care if the haters have their big girl panties on or not. My opinions have not changed much, if any, there are still too many fucktards out roaming around out of control that I come in to contact with more often than not. With that being said, remember boys and girls to eat it every day.

Brand Loyalty vs. Customer Service

Over the years, that’s over many many years for you young pups, I tend to buy the same name brand repeatedly when I find one that offers quality. Usually I am not too picky on price since I take care of my stuff and I usually get my money’s worth. Y’all have read, here and before, that I have found brands that I’m loyal to as well as brands I steer away from for one reason or many reasons. Which is why I’m here today, I have been an Oakley fan since back in my days in the Air Force. I still have a pair of clear safety glasses as well as a pair of impact resistant racquetball safety glasses I bought in 1989 and they still function as brand new, no scratches on the lens and only minimal wear and tear on the frames. Up until about a year ago I had bifocal prescription lenses in a pair of sunglasses and a pair of safety style glasses both provided by Oakley. I have always been pleased with the Oakley brand altogether. I don’t know that this has changed now, but I will definitely consider my latest experience with my latest pair of sunglasses. About a year ago I started wearing contacts after 20 years of wearing glasses, 10 of that wearing bifocals, so I needed some new sunglasses without my bifocal prescription in them. Easy enough, I knew what I wanted and I knew what I was going to get, a pair of Oakleys of course. I have wore the pair pictured for around 10 months. I wear them all the time when out doors, especially when driving or riding. Right around three weeks ago the coating on one of the lenses began to deteriorate. I contacted the Oakley customer service and they instructed me to send the glasses to them with my original receipt and they would determine a course of action. Fair enough. Done. Overnight FedEx because this was my only pair.
 
After eight days I had a box from Oakley waiting for me. I was very excited to get this box. However, my excitement was squashed when I opened the box since the glasses I sent them were indeed the glasses they sent back to me in the same condition. Enclosed in the box was a nice form letter explaining their decision not to repair or replace my glasses.
 
“Dear Valued Customer.
ref: Inquiry # XXXXXXX-XX
 
It has been determined that there is not a defect with the lens or the coating on the lens. Oakley does not cover or repair intentional damage(s) to Oakley products. All returns are subject to the following criteria.
 
—RETURN POLICY:

Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please call Customer Care for a Return Authorization (RA) number within 45 days of receipt of product (15 days for wearable electronics). Customized product or product that has been abused may not be returned under any circumstances. For all other products, if the item is returned in the original packaging, we will exchange it or provide you a refund based on your original method of payment. The product must be returned to us within 30 calendar days of the issuance of the Return Authorization Number. All products must be packed in the original, unmarked packaging including any accessories, manuals, documentation and registration that was included with the product. Returns that do not meet these conditions may be subject to a restocking fee.

 
Oakley would like to offer you a 15% discount on your next pair of Oakley glasses if purchased on-line within 10 business days. Please use promotion code XXX-X-XXXXX-XXX when checking out.
 
Questions? 1-800-XXX-XXXX
 
Thank You!
Signed: Bla Bla Bla”
 
I was a just a wee bit disappointed. In fact, I felt just a wee bit insulted. Why? Simply because when these glasses are not on my face they are in the protective back provided by Oakley when I originally purchased them. One might say, as my wife does, that I baby my glasses. I looked at my original receipt and invoice to remind myself what I paid because I couldn’t remember, I just recall they weren’t freaking cheap. Ah, yes, on 12 Feb 2012 I purchased this pair of Oakleys on their website for $190.00 with $17.93 for shipping. Making this pair of glasses worth $207.93 and I intentionally damaged them? Granted, I am way out of the “return by” days by a long shot. But, I did contact the customer service, I did give them my original purchase date, I did give them the invoice number for them to verify, and they did provide me an RA with all the information I provided. That right there I find, after getting them back, very misleading. The customer service lady could of explained all of this to me on the phone. Now, I will never badmouth Oakley, I have always been pleased with their products and mine tend to last forever. In fact, soon after I got mine I bought my son a youth pair since he went to wearing contacts at the same time. I spent $60.00 on his and he abuses his pair. Yet, his still look brand new, well, slightly used and worn. They are pretty damn durable glasses. I just wonder if I got the one pair out of millions that didn’t hold together well. I cannot be upset with them because of their return policy or their price since I have always had a good experience with their glasses. But, damn, I cannot get a break here.
 
I don’t know what I really expected. I know I did nothing to cause the degradation of the coating on only the one lens. I know it is a product quality defect. However, it’s a bit irritating, based on what I paid for these glasses, that they are not willing to cut me some kind of deal on a lens replacement or something. If y’all are thinking I will buy myself another pair of Oakley glasses then y’all are probably right. They have a loyal customer solely because even though I had one bad experience with a pair of their glasses doesn’t erase close to 25 years of good performance I have got. Anybody who wears Oakleys knows that they are worth the money. I know now to never try to return them after 45 days of purchase. It might make this all easier to swallow if I did abuse them and was at fault. If I stop buying them out of protest the only person that will suffer will be myself. This whole thing is such a paradox. But, I envision myself going in to an Oakley store later today too see what they got and if I want it, if not I will do it all on-line again. I hate going to the mall to shop. I also hate high pressure sales people, which is how the Oakley sales people are in this store here locally. Just let me look, just let me browse, and if I have a question I will ask. When I am ready to check out or leave the store empty handed it will all be based on those people. It’s sad but true.