Re: Status Updates!

ireactions wrote:
RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

She definitely handled it poorly but ebay could have at least given her a heads up as not everyone has the funds to lose a sale like that.

I can assure you that I warned her and did so before asking eBay to intervene. I sent her a message quoting passages from eBay's specific policies, including:

  • "Even if you specify no returns accepted, under the eBay Money Back Guarantee, the buyer can still return an item if it doesn’t match the listing description"

  • "In some instances, we may not require that an item be returned to the seller"

  • "For example: if the return request was opened because the item was not as described"

  • "Or if the seller did not provide a return shipping label"

  • "This User Agreement, the Mobile Application Terms of Use, and all policies and additional terms posted on and in our sites, applications, tools and services (collectively "Services") set out the terms on which eBay offers you access to and use of our Services."

I seriously doubt she didn't know she was selling a 16GB item as 32GB because she refused to apologize for it and insisted that she wasn't responsible for the accuracy of her own ad when eBay policy is pretty clear that ads have to be correct. I think she was angry that she got caught. And angry to discover that selecting "No returns accepted" would not prevent consequences for fraud.

I told her that she could either give me a partial refund to cover the cost of a microSD expansion or she'd pay out the cost of the sale, the cost of the shipping, and the cost of the return shipping. She refused, shrieking, "No returns! No refund!" I reset and reboxed the laptop for a return and contacted eBay.

After eBay refunded me and told me to keep the item, I told both eBay and the seller that I'd still return her laptop even though eBay's terms no longer required me to do so. I just needed a prepaid shipping label.

She replied, "He wants to return it! He pays for shipping!" eBay responded to say, "We advise you not to pay for the shipping." She responded to say that she'd sue if I didn't return the laptop and would sue after I returned it if she wasn't happy with its condition.

At this point, I ran out of patience and had a lot of data entry to work on, so I decided to reopen the box and get to work on my $0 laptop and not worry about this person who seemed pathologically incapable of taking responsibility for her mistakes or taking action to amend them and who thought it was a good idea to threaten me when I had (a) the money (b) the item and (c) less and less reason to return either with each new threat.

Sorry to hear that.  Some people are entirely unreasonable.  And though it's not common to run into them, you never know what you're gonna get with these sorts of things.

Re: Status Updates!

I went eight days without internet and only dial-up speed on my phone. I may never be the same again.

Re: Status Updates!

Dinner with one of my favourite actresses over Zoom! Wait, hang on. Recently had to fire someone. Everyone got promoted. Dinner with my favourite actress over Zoom!

ELLIE: "Dinner over Zoom! Is this new for you?"

IB: "It is indeed, but I take comfort in knowing that we'll have exactly the amount of physical contact that we do when we eat together in person."

ELLIE: "Haha!"

IB: "Oh, I have to ask you -- have you recently joined a -- " (makes air quotes) " -- pyramid scheme, self-actualization program, potentiality unlocking process or anything that might be construed as a cult?"

ELLIE: (air quotes) "No. I've just been working on my self-tapes. Did one today!"

IB: "Oh thank God. Otherwise, I'd think that dress was for my benefit."

ELLIE: "Aren't you wearing a suit right now?"

IB: "It's a sport jacket!"

ELLIE: "I am so sorry for not knowing the difference as I can tell that really matters to you."

IB: "It makes me feel like we're in a restaurant instead of eating delivered meals."

ELLIE: "Yeah, always use the environment to assume your role."

IB: "Oh, Jezebel tells me that all my favourite actresses will be deprived of their usual botox injections and fillers and that the lines in their faces will start to deepen and their faces will be more sunken. Are you experiencing any of that and do you need sympathy?"

ELLiE: "No. And no. I figure you'll come up with some magic skin care routine for me."

IB: "Thank you, I will take you off the list, Ellie."

ELLIE: "Who's Ellie?"

IB: "Oh, I just have to call you that once for the transcript so Slider_Quinn21 won't know who you are and have to guess."

ELLIE: "Is this about that TV show you like? The one about time travellers?"

IB: "You KNOW it's not about time travellers! I think you say that just to annoy me a little."

ELLIE: "Yeah!" (snickering) "But your niece and I notice it annoys you a lot."

Re: Status Updates!

ireactions wrote:

ELLIE: "Is this about that TV show you like? The one about time travellers?"

https://s-marketwatch-com.cdn.ampproject.org/i/s/s.marketwatch.com/public/resources/images/MW-IG176_DocBro_ZH_20200508152409.jpg

lol - you two sound like a lot of fun!  smile

Re: Status Updates!

An actress knows who I am!  I'm not even going to try and guess now! smile

Re: Status Updates!

Informant once remarked that I had more tech accidents than anyone he'd ever met. It was true: I smashed my Samsung S3 screen on three separate occasions, dropped my Samsung Note 8 tablet into a bucket of water, cracked my iPad screen -- but then low-cost tempered glass protectors came onto the eBay market. I would crack my Samsung S7 phone's screen protector 2 - 3 times a year and smash my iPad screen protector once a year -- but the $7 glass protectors and the plastic case would absorb any impact and leave the device underneath unscathed.

But recently -- my Samsung S7 case tore open after a drop on some sharp-edged rocks. I got a new case, ordered a new protector -- and discovered that the raised edge of the case would always slip UNDER the tempered glass protector and raise it off the screen. The thin-edged case I'd found before was no longer on sale. An edge-less case was available -- except that this new case no longer held the screen protector in place. The S7 has a curved edge to the screen. Adhesive is only on the edge of the protector to prevent distortion on the illuminated display. Without the thin-edged case to hold the protector down, it had a tendency to fly off every time I dropped the phone. Liquid also got under the protector every time I wiped the phone down with disinfectant, causing the glass to fall off the screen. I went from losing three screen protectors a year to losing three a month.

And my new iPad tempered glass screen protectors seemed to be slightly wider and thicker than previous models -- and would also not fit within the confines of the plastic case. I could apply the protector, but then I'd put on the case and it would raise the protector and sweep it off the screen.

I've found one last set of iPad screen protectors that fit under the case -- and the seller has sold out at this point, so if I smash these last three, there will be no more 360 degree protection on the tablet. There are liquid screen protectors that supposedly add a layer of silicon dioxide, but I have some of that on my watch and that hasn't prevented fine scratches. That said, my iPad rarely leaves my carpeted home these days, so I'm not too worried.

It's the phone that worries me. I've had to stop buying tempered glass protectors for my Samsung S7; it's too expensive to buy a new one every week. I'm down to my last two. After that, I have a hydrogel protector lined up. It is a layer of flexible plastic. The adhesive side of it is made sticky by spraying it with water and then sliding it onto the screen where it can bond to the curved edges of the device. It looks good and it has a thinly sponge-like surface that can 'heal' from scratches, but there is only limited impact protection. At this point, it seems likely that the phone will break soon once the last glass protector falls off and the hydrogel fails.

But I could be wrong. I'm basing this bleak prediction on my constantly breaking my Samsung S3 phone, but the screen on that had Gorilla Glass 2. The Samsung S7 has Gorilla Glass 4 which is (supposedly) eight times more resistant to breakage than the S3. I've never tested this as I always had tempered glass as a loss leader.

Protecting phones and tablets has become difficult: cases are being made more and more cheaply to increase margins, so the precise engineering and fit of previous years to allow a screen protector to fit on seamlessly is absent and even if it were, my iPad from 2017 and my phone from 2016 are unlikely to have new accessories designed for its protection.

Tempered glass depends on flat surfaces for strong adhesion; curved screens prevent this. Part of this is manufacturers wanting to create fragile products that need to be replaced, part of it is manufacturers trying to make generic slabs of rectangular glass seem more distinctive amidst a lot of competition.

I think my next phone needs to be something with a flat, uncurved screen even if it has a poorer camera or a weaker processor. Or it needs to have a readily available case that has a built in protector.

Re: Status Updates!

Grizzlor? What's Nicole Eggert like? I've always wondered.

**

Found a new case for the Samsung S7! Very thin. So thin that it doesn't intrude on a tempered glass protector and doesn't peel it off, so I got a new set of tempered glass protectors and the first of this new batch has lasted five weeks and counting. Since I could be sure to keep the phone intact through drops and falls now, I got a battery replacement and now have to keep the Samsung S7 for the next three years to justify the expense. Locked in now!

**

I haven't been to the dentist in seven months as they shut down when my April cleaning was scheduled and rebooked to August. Six weeks ago, I looked in the mirror and was shocked by the savage brown stains across my front teeth. And with my bottom teeth, surfaces unmarred by stains were also disturbingly translucent as though the enamel and dentin had eroded from too much citric acid in soda. I was horrified. I put on some Crest Whitestrips and I could see they would slowly remove the stains over the course of a 10 day treatment, but stain removal wouldn't address how my bottom teeth were rapidly becoming transparent.

I switched from an anticavity toothpaste to an enamel rebuilding toothpaste and switched from an antibacterial mouthwash to a fluoride mouthwash. Neither promised to do anything other than "reharden" worn enamel and were advertised as preventatives for translucent teeth. I switched to drinking my sugarless fruit sodas (and their citric acid) from a steel straw, rinsed my mouth with mouthwash after every cup of coffee -- but again, all this was to prevent what had already happened.

Desperate and six weeks from my dental appointment, I began taking collagen, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D supplements which were supposedly helpful for remineralizing teeth on dubious health and lifestyle websites. It was a long shot as most dentists' websites declare that one enamel is eroded, it can't be restored.

But I've been taking the pills for six weeks and looking now -- my teeth are recovering. I have a dental appointment for tomorrow, and as of today, the translucency in my teeth has filled back in by about half. The translucency isn't even visible unless I'm right against the mirror.

I'm always very suspicious of wellness articles written by people who can only offer anecdotal evidence and this single experience is no less anecdotal, but it's worked out. Hopefully, with a few more months of ongoing supplementation and fluoride use, my teeth will be fully restored.

Re: Status Updates!

On turkeys:

My favourite actress, last year, gave me a bit of a crash course in Turkeyology, explaining to me that cooking a turkey requires a bit more thought and preparation than a chicken.

Turkeys are MASSIVE. These are 20 pound birds. And, being poultry, they are extremely difficult to prepare safely and edibly. A twenty pound bird will not cook evenly in an oven. But poultry must be fully cooked or the bacterial load is toxic to the point of severe illness if not deadly. However, the low fat content of a turkey means that cooking all the flesh thoroughly will result in a dry, overdone, tasteless, unpleasant result with all the moisture content roasted out of the bird.

In addition, turkey is easily contaminated; it has a lot of surface area for bacterial growth that quickly spread to the entire body. And a frozen turkey must be defrosted while still remaining well-below room temperature to prevent bacterial growth; the huge volume and the need to keep it refrigerated even when it's no longer frozen solid means it takes a huge amount of fridge space.

Roast chickens have given home cooking enthusiasts the severe misimpression that roasting a bird is simply a matter of defrosting it in a microwave, throwing it into an oven and coming back an hour or two later to slice and serve it. That does not work for a turkey. While the principles of cooking a turkey are similar to a chicken, a turkey requires a greater degree of preparation and continual attention to ensure a good outcome. The best way to produce a tasty turkey is to determine when dinner is to be served and then work out the steps in reverse order.

A 20 pound turkey will take about four days to defrost inside a fridge and won't fit into a microwave. In addition, a frozen turkey will have dried out significantly from its time on ice and roasting will further remove all the moisture that makes it enjoyable.

A defrosted turkey needs to be submerged for a day in a solution of salt water to break down the proteins and soften the meat, while staying refrigerated during the entire time. This requires some preparation of the necessary space and containers to hold and soak the bird.

Afterwards, the turkey then needs to be dried for another day while still keeping it inside the fridge to prevent bacterial contagion. The salt water must dry off to ensure crisp skin. And then, the turkey must be cooked within the next 1 - 2 days, so scheduling is paramount.

Prior to roasting, the oven must be preheated so that you can season the bird with a rub of butter, mixing powder, herbs and spices, stuff it with water-heavy vegetables and get it under heating elements before the bird warms to room temperature and risks poisoning you and your dining companions. A 20 pound bird roasting for 20 minutes per pound needs about six and a half hours to cook. But that's not the end of it. Even a brined turkey will turn out too dry if roasted without treatment.

A turkey in the oven must have fluid injected into the inner cavity every 20 minutes after the first hour of roasting. This will restore the moisture that's being cooked out of it by the oven. That fluid is best a combination of fat and poultry broth, kept just below boiling point to prevent solidification and ready to be distributed to the chicken in precisely the right state to be absorbed by the meat. And in the last third of the cooking time, the upper skin should be covered by foil to prevent drying and retain crispness while continuing to add fluid.

Turkey doesn't have to be the dry, tasteless cardboard it's infamous for being, but it requires considerable thought to preparation, scheduling and space to cook safely and serve effectively. It's not something you can throw in a microwave and toss in an oven. You have to start thawing the turkey a week in advance and line up all the subsequent steps. I know I've made murder mysteries a task to be taken very seriously, but that's fiction and an improperly stored or cooked turkey could actually kill you.

Anyway. I told my sisters that I would roast this year's Canadian Thanksgiving turkey, but they would have to handle EVERYTHING else. I will not be stopped except by salmonella. My meat thermometer is ready. May God protect those who dine on fowl, and may God protect our troops.