The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Category: complaint department

If I Ruled the iOS World

The latest Apple operating system is due out this week. Or soon. I can’t keep up, to be honest. Anyway, I decided this would be a good place to list my pet peeves and almost all of them are related to music apps, which is interesting. In particular order:

1. I hate hate hate how the Music app just does whatever the hell it wants when the phone locates and connects to a Bluetooth device. A good half the time, when I start my car, the music app just starts playing, even if I was using Spotify last. And it just starts playing in alphabetical order. I got to hear the first 5 seconds of the ABC Cafe from Les Mis until a song called “A Thrill of Anticipation” pulled in first. Hey, Apple, nobody includes the articles when determining alphabetical order. WTF.

Either way, stop auto-playing, and stop going back to the top of the song list.

2. Almost worse than that, why can’t I set the default for shuffle? Sweet baby Jesus, turning off shuffle multiple times a day is pure horseshit. If I turn it off, LEAVE IT OFF.

3. iTunes: STOP SUCKING. Music App: maybe force the developers to USE it so they’ll understand how unintuitive they’ve made the damned thing. I loathe Music now and listen to Spotify EVEN when I own the album and have to use data because the Music app sucks hard.

4. Spotify app: you need to let me change the order my playlists are in from the app. And set the default to add new songs to the top of a list (from within the app). (I figured this one out. Pull down on the playlist and the sort order is upper right.) Also, MyMusic would be far less annoying if it let me view by album. I hardly ever want to play every song by an artist, but I may want to play a whole album. Your UI makes me take 4 extra steps. And bring back the original concept of “Starred” songs going into the Starred playlist.

5. LastFM app: Get your shit together. Who on earth releases a whole new version of their software with all the functionality turned off? You weren’t ready to go live? Roll back to the previous version. The app is pretty much useless right now, listing only song title (not artist). Knowing I listened to Luce 22 times last week is different from knowing I have listed 322 times total. A weekly view should be a weekly view. Period.
Lastly, I don’t know if this is on Apple or you or the 3rd party app I’m using, but I shouldn’t have to listen to every second of a song for it to scrobble. Listening to 5:45 of a 6 minute song should count.

Is that a full wish list? Hardly, but addressing these issues would remove 80% of my iPhone frustration.

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Broken Links…Will You Notice?

Amazon changed the URL structure for affiliate links, and if you don’t fix them things will go wacky and I think the sun will be extinguished and the sound of affiliates wailing will fill the skies.

Or something.

I haven’t made a dime off you people in years. Pretty sure nobody would even notice if all my links took you to a “how to become a cannibal” wiki. Which is probably a thing but I’m not searching for it.

  • This post is a pre-emptive “ya, I know” in case people discover the problem. I may try to fix them, but I’ll be honest. There are almost 20 years of links on this website and I’m pretty sure most of them are 404ing all these years later.

 

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My Evening

I just spent 3-4 hours of my evening undoing all the harm I did to this website. I couldn’t tell you if I fixed it, or put it back to the way it was, say, yesterday. I broke the hell out of it, I did. If this looks close, we’ll call that a victory.

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Forgot To Press the Magic Button

I wrote a post a while back and it was sitting in draft mode. I may publish it with a previous date. I just might do that, don’t you try to stop me!

I have really ignored my site and that’s a shame because next year is the 20th anniversary of bigdumptruck.com and maybe I’ll have to fire things up and offer prizes to people who actually read my posts and can answer questions. Or people who send me money or diamonds. They could get a prize as well. Amazon has a whole thing now where you can offer items as prizes, which makes me laugh when I’m looking at something particularly expensive. I think I get seven visitors a day (probably because I update so infrequently, what with Twitter taking up the ten minutes a day I used to devote to writing here.

If I offer a prize, it will likely be something incredibly useless. I think those are the best prizes of all, don’t you?

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A Staples Death Rattle

Did you ever encounter a situation that was so unbelievably silly that you can’t even really get mad as it’s happening, but you get more and more angry about it later? Let me tell you a little story about my Staples adventure!

 

I had been thinking about getting an external keyboard for my iPad mini. Because my printer is low on black ink I ran to Staples and thought I’d see what they had. I’m kind of a Goldilocks when it comes to keyboards so I like to try them out.

 

I found the section with iPad keyboards pretty quickly. All the boxes had “Display Unit” on them (one box per brand/style) so I walked around looking for the display, which didn’t appear to be anywhere in the store.

 

Sales guy approached and I asked to see the keyboards.

 

“We used to have them on display but they took it away.” (Who is they, and why would they do that? And how is this a valid explanation for anything?)

 

“Oh, because the boxes all say ‘Display unit.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“…so there aren’t any in the boxes.”

 

“No.”

 

I wait a moment, because surely he’s going to help me, right? I’m pretty sure it’s his turn to offer up information.

 

But no.

 

“So I can’t even take one out of the box to try it because you literally don’t have any on the shelves.”

 

“Right.”

 

“Just empty boxes.”

 
“Sorry.”

 

Okay, Staples? How is this even remotely acceptable? Aren’t you in the business of selling things?  What is this nonsense of filling shelves with empty display boxes? Watch me walk out the door and not come back the next time I need something tablet or computer related. Because “Display only” boxes with no display is one of the most stupid things I’ve run into in months. And I can go to Target or Walmart or Best Buy and get a damned keyboard and I’ll bet the boxes aren’t empty.

 

Also, train your sales “people” to anticipate my follow-up questions and not give a one word answer to a reasonable line of questions if you want us to bother driving to your store instead of just ordering things online.

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The Owner

I just got a telemarketing phone call from an uptight-sounding woman. These people call often, according to my missed calls list, so I wanted to answer to get on their do-not-call list.

Me: Hello?
Them: May I speak to the owner?
Me: Excuse me?
Them: The owner.

What would possess anyone to call ANYBODY and start a conversation that way? No identifying who you are at ALL?

You get nothing but a “Please Add me to your Do Not Call list.” We are through here. Thank you for playing. Goodbye.

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The Trauma of “New”

I love new gadgets, but I detest change. So the excitement of having something shiny and new is offset by the pain of the unfamiliar, the disappointment that things are different, or worse than the old. Eventually, I will get used to the new and there will be no more trauma, so I have hope.

Given the above information, you can imagine the horror I am enduring right now as I deal with not one, but four new major appliances. For 19 years I’ve had the same stove and fridge, and my washer and dryer were in the 14 year range. Now they are all new. They are all different. I don’t know how to use 3 of them (the fridge is the one joy in all of this, because really, how difficult can it be to “learn” a new fridge.)

The washing machine, while a lovely machine, is very different from my old front-loading Maytag. The cycles take longer, for one thing. And I think it uses more water. (Is this just the difference between a top loader and a front loader? Maybe I bought the wrong style?  Too late now.) I really disliked the “bad” things about the front loader, but I wish the washing was faster. Or maybe it took just as long, but I didn’t have a countdown clock telling me how long it would take to wash a load of towels (over an hour). On the other hand, there’s a lot to love, and some day I’ll finish reading the manual and understand all the settings. Maybe by the end of the summer. The good news? It plays an ice cream man-like song at the end of every cycle. I can barely hear it in the other room, but it’s so happy the load is done it sings!

The stove has a lot of new bells and whistles and I had to finish getting it unwrapped and prepped for use before I could boil water last night. Slight panic over the “new”. I also have to check all my pots and pans to make sure I can use them all (the difference between a piece of crap electric and a nice electric? You have to be careful on the nice one).

All of this bitching is probably making you hate me. I can live with that. I probably won’t even notice you hating on me as I try to memorize all the features and functions of my new toys, just to do a simple load of laundry and cook french fries. Priorities, people.

 

Four went in, four came out. They met in the middle of the street.

Four went in, four came out. They met in the middle of the street.

 

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Honey, I Blew Up the Website

Wow, did I make a mistake this morning. I updated my WordPress themes, which were woefully out of date. I then remembered that I had customized the code a bit for my site. I think that is the reason why the entire thing blew sky high after the update. I had created THE UGLIEST WEB PAGE ON THE INTERNET! And that is saying something.
I think it’s fixed. I don’t know if everything works, to be honest. As you can see, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve updated this page. When the domain came up for renewal, I did renew it, but I seriously wondered for a moment if I should. I think I did it to keep the email addresses I’ve had for 17 years. I’m sort of attached.

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Smelling Nice for Jesus

I touched a product at Bed, Bath and Beyond and now my hand smells like the lining of the coat of the old lady sitting in front of you at church. You know, she wants to smell nice for Jesus. I don’t know that he can smell her, or anything else for that matter. If my interpretation of the Bible is correct, Jesus is no longer in human form, and I’m pretty sure spirits don’t have the ability to smell a darned thing, so the drug store eau de toilette was wasted on the church crowd trying to desperately block their noses. Of course, Mom always said you should offer your suffering up to Jesus. I like to think that if Jesus was born and raised a human, even in spirit form, he’s got a lot of human in him. And as a human, he’s probably had it up to here with people offering their suffering up to him.

“Sweet Me, would you just cut it out? I mean seriously, ENOUGH. I don’t want it. I don’t need it. You people are crazy, and I am going to give you all shingles if you don’t cut the crap.”

In my world, shingles is a punishment from Jesus. That would explain why I’ve never had shingles and a lot of other people have. I have never made crazy demands of him for my team to win a major sporting event. Or for some chick at a public pool to show a little bit of boob. Or death to an in-law. I’m good people when it comes to bothering Jesus, and so I remain shingles free.

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Coming Clean

I need to get something off my chest. It’s been bothering me for decades now, and that’s not good. But I have decided coming clean will free me up to be guilty about other aspects of my life.

I have a degree in English. It’s actually an English Lit degree with a minor in writing, based on what I studied. Sounds impressive, huh? I wanted a degree in creative writing, but couldn’t afford any of the colleges that offered that degree. Specifically Emerson. Oh how I wanted to go to Emerson.

So I spent four years at a private Catholic college deep in the heart of Connecticut, studying prose and poetry. I have the paperwork that proves I did.

However, I know nothing about literature. I know what I like to read, but I don’t know why I like it. I don’t know anything. I can’t believe I faked my way through college like that. I couldn’t tell you why the Great Novels are great. I don’t even like most of Shakespeare. I suck at English Lit.

Because I have this degree and I feel like certain things are expected of me, especially when I write. That’s the part that throws me into a panic. I keep thinking that having this degree should make me a better writer, but I don’t think it does. I fear it doesn’t. I don’t even like to talk with people who are actually good at this stuff because it’s so intimidating to me. How did I get through four years of college learning to analyze literature and not like good literature? I don’t even have drugs to blame this on, as I am clean as a whistle. I mean, I’m betting the Pope has smoked more pot than I have (which is none).

So the funny thing about this is that I used to write a lot of poetry. I edited my college’s literary magazine my junior and senior years. And get this! I have actually had a poetry reading (with a professor of mine and a friend of his) in a real live bookstore in Hartford. My parents even drove down for that one, which was fun because it was an “alternative lifestyle” bookstore run by some ex-nuns. This was 1987 or so, and I think my parents were shell-shocked, but maybe not.

So even as I’m being asked to participate in a public reading of my poetry, I’m convinced it’s absolute shit, because I cannot tell if it is or not. I like what I’ve written, but I like a lot of things that aren’t good. I enjoy crappy romance novels like there is no tomorrow. I find slogging through most of Dickens a chore (I enjoy the movie versions, though). I have no idea if my poetry is any good, and I’m afraid to find out. One of the other poets had written stuff that sounded completely alien to me. Where his poems good? I have no freaking idea. I didn’t think so, but I think he’d had books published, and I was selling computers, so who was I to judge with my unjustly-earned lit degree?

15 years ago, I actually had my own e-zine called “Block Lines”. Remember those? I was so cool. I published poetry I liked (and some of my own, but other people’s poetry as well.) I don’t know if I was a good editor (I didn’t really edit, I just selected what to publish) but it seemed like a hip, happening way to get some of my work out there. I had a lot of fun with it until I got pregnant and exhausted and put it on hiatus. For 15 years.

Every year as my birthday gets closer, I get a burst of inspiration to write, and this year, for the first time in a decade, I’ve been writing poetry again. I’m not going to share it here because I’m still too terrified that it’s crap. Well, I’m not terrified that it’s crap, I’m terrified that YOU will find out it’s crap.

So that’s what I wanted to come clean about. I’m a possibly crappy writer who can’t use the skills her degree should have given her to validate one way or the other the quality of her writing. There. I’ll start to feel better any minute now.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go write a crappy poem about how this makes me feel.

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