CenturyLink Marketing Promo’s

While a customer of CenturyLink I started to realize they enjoy wasting money on marketing materials.  I began collecting the materials, so here’s a compilation similar to my previous Election 2016 Political Ads posting. I’m no longer a CenturyLink customer and the marketing materials seem to have stopped. I want to clear some space so it’s time for the results.



66 large flyers promoting Prism TV service.

I thought it would be interesting to compare the pricing and services offered across the different marketing materials.  (Preferred plans included Showtime and Starz)

Service Name: Essential
Channels: 150+
HD Channels: 100+
Set Top Box: 9.99 per month
Whole-Home DVR: Included
Monthly Price: $70

Service Name: Essential
Channels: 150+
HD Channels: 100+
Set Top Box: 9.99 per month
Whole-Home DVR: Included
Monthly Price: $62


Service Name: Essential
Channels: 150+
HD Channels: 100+
Set Top Box: 9.99 per month
Whole-Home DVR: $9.99 / $11.99 HD per month
Monthly Price: $40


Service Name: Preferred
Channels: 300+
HD Channels: Tons (unspecified additional monthly fee)
Set Top Box: 9.99 per month
Whole-Home DVR: $9.99 / $11.99 HD per month
Monthly Price: $55

Service Name: Essential
Channels: 140+
HD Channels: Doesn’t say it includes any or is available for upgrade
Set Top Box: 9.99 per month
Whole-Home DVR: $9.99 / $11.99 HD per month
Monthly Price: $40

Service Name: Essential
Channels: 140+
HD Channels: Doesn’t say it includes any or is available for upgrade
Set Top Box: 9.99 per month
Whole-Home DVR: $9.99 / $11.99 HD per month
Monthly Price: $40

Service Name: Preferred
Channels: 290+
HD Channels: Free HD for 12 months
Set Top Box: 9.99 per month
Whole-Home DVR:  Free for 1 year, $9.99 / $11.99 HD per month after
Monthly Price: Doesn’t say, but you get a $200 gift card

Service Name: Essential
Channels: 140+
HD Channels: 210+
Set Top Box: 9.99 per month
Whole-Home DVR: $9.99 / $11.99 HD per month
Monthly Price: $49.99 and you get a $50 gift card

2 large flyers promoting Smart Home service.

7 large flyers promoting high speed internet service (10mbps for $20 a month)

12 letters promoting auto bill pay.

9 letters offering a free account review.

2 letters promoting Smart Home service.



Election 2016 Political Ads

This year, I collected all the political ads that were in my mailbox.  I live in North Carolina, and am registered Independent.  Check out my analysis of the numerous flyers in my mailbox this election season.

First up is an complete picture of all of the ads.


Lets get into some more detail.

The NC Senate race between Gil Johnson vs. Chad Barefoot were the subjects of the majority of the ads this year.  Check out the ads that were pro Gil Johnson:


Flip them over to the backside and you can see some are more pro Gil wording, but some also throw in a section against his opponent Chad.


Now, lets check out the ads against Gil Johnson.


Flip these over and you can see they feature more negatives about Gil, or positives for Chad.


Let’s take a look at all the ones that have positives for Chad Barefoot.


Flip these over and you’ll see a mixture of the negatives for Gil, and just a few that are all pro Chad.


The next set is for the big race, Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton.  Here is the collection of them all combined.  You would think this larger race would have sent more ads from both sides, but the count was less than the Gil vs Chad above.  The ones on the left and middle column are against Trump, while the three on right hand column are against Hillary.


Flip sides, they’re all still negative towards the other side, and none that are positive to any of them.


I received 2 ads regarding another local race, against Richard Burr versus Deborah Ross.  Of the 2 ads I received in this race, they both were against Richard Burr.


Flip these 2 over, and they’re still against Richard Burr.  Note, none of the ads mention his opponent Deborah Ross.  So there’s ads to tell you not to vote for Burr, but none give you the alternative candidate.


I received 3 ads that weren’t about the election at all, but timed appropriately.  These 3 ads warn of terrorist attacks.


The back sides mention Richard Burr, but notice none are saying you should vote for or against him.


Instead, if you open each up it reveals an upcoming legislation they would like you to encourage Richard Burr to enact  S.2943 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017


A few other ads I received for local elections, one David Williams.


Another local election candidate Caroline Burnette.


And finally local candidate Shelly Dickerson.


2 ads for North Carolina Treasurer candidate Dale Folwell, but no information from an opponent.


I received an ad from the NRA encouraging me to vote.  It does not endorse one candidate over the other, and even includes a handy voter registration form that I can fill out and mail in if I’m not registered.





And finally, my favorite ad.  This is a handy guide from the Faith & Freedom Coalition that lists the Presidential, U.S. Senate, Governor, and Lt. Governor races. It lists each candidates stance on a few key issues.  This ad does not endorse one candidate over the other other than stating their positions, and also giving their sources for the stance.  Of course these simple Yes vs No stances are more complicated in real life political voting, I enjoyed that it made an attempt to be impartial.  If they were not being impartial and they clearly mean something in these selection of stances and issues, then the message was lost on me.


Panasonic support chat not helpful at all

Shakema D (11/9/2016, 8:58:08 PM): Welcome to Panasonic Live Chat!
Shakema D (11/9/2016, 8:59:07 PM): Thank you for contacting Panasonic. How may I assist you?
Me (11/9/2016, 8:59:16 PM): hi
Me (11/9/2016, 8:59:22 PM): I have a brand new DMC-GX85
Me (11/9/2016, 8:59:56 PM): I have a message on the screen that To begin charging, turn off the camera.
Me (11/9/2016, 9:00:09 PM): I was told you could operate this camera and charge it at the same time
Me (11/9/2016, 9:01:21 PM): to begin charging turn the camera off
Shakema D (11/9/2016, 9:01:51 PM): I apologize for any inconveniences and I will be happy to assist you with this today.
Shakema D (11/9/2016, 9:02:47 PM): Please
Shakema D (11/9/2016, 9:03:09 PM): I apologize for the above error.
Shakema D (11/9/2016, 9:03:47 PM): It is recommended that you allow your unit to be fully charged at first use.
Me (11/9/2016, 9:04:00 PM): ok,and then after that?
Me (11/9/2016, 9:04:06 PM): can i operate it and charge it at the same time?
Shakema D (11/9/2016, 9:05:21 PM): I would not recommend that you do that.
Me (11/9/2016, 9:05:33 PM): is it possible or not?
Shakema D (11/9/2016, 9:06:26 PM): I would not recommend that you do that.
Me (11/9/2016, 9:06:35 PM): that doesnt answer my question
Shakema D (11/9/2016, 9:10:15 PM): I would not recommend that you do that.
Shakema D (11/9/2016, 9:10:20 PM): Is there anything else I can help you with the unit today?
Me (11/9/2016, 9:10:32 PM): you have not helped me but i give up
Shakema D (11/9/2016, 9:10:39 PM): Thank you for chatting with Panasonic. Have a nice day.


Sometime around maybe the year 2000, my then girlfriend’s dog had some puppies, and we kept one.  She named her Murray, and Murray stuck around longer than the girlfriend.  She’s stuck around longer than any other girlfriend, being a very loyal companion.  Today, Murray passed away.

20071124_03020080112_036  20080315_007 20081001_127 20081001_064

1 Year

1 year ago today I arrived in in Lac La Biche, Alberta Canada.  Which is about here:


6 Years

6 years since I got married.  About 6 months since I’ve been divorced.  Just haven’t had the energy to write about it.  But I need to write a little something now, because I need to transition this to my next.

Writing can be my therapy.  I’ve done it for years.  I have stuff posted here from 20 years ago.  20 years?  Am I that old?  Hm.. I was about 17 then.  Did computers even exist then?  Not sure when I started writing exactly, but it was in English class in high school.  There was a writing contest announced for the school.  And I remember I had pretty much never written anything, but I had an active imagination, and a good friend who wrote, so I felt I should give it a try.  I did, I wrote 2 short stories.  Only one was supposed to be entered, but my teacher liked both of mine so much she entered them both.  I won the school.  My stories went up to the County level and was compared to the winners in each of our other counties schools.  I won that too.  So I got sent to the state level.  Went to some fancy building in Raleigh, NC and sat in a room with other kids who would write on the spot something for the final contest.  But, it wasn’t that I could write anything.  I didn’t realize this going in, but they gave a specific topic, and I had to write about that.  And it was about something out out of a popular book, my thoughts on the subject.  I don’t like to read books, and I didn’t care anything about the subject, so I gave it a half assed shot and just tried to throw my creative ideas in where I could.  Failed miserably.

Anyway, didn’t discourage me.  Kept writing, moved into poetry, with the occasional story.  Eventually moved to writing here in my blog.  Before blogs were blogs.  It was just my journal. Those were my creative days, that I miss so much.  Lately I write more about how much I miss writing than I do writing anything else.  In fact, lately I haven’t written anything at all.  Other than for work, which I write a lot of communications every day.  I mean creative writing.

Being in love prompted a lot of my writing.  Falling out of love was some, and lack of any love was a lot too.  It’s easy to write about love.  Hard to write about failure of it.  For about a year and a half now I’ve considered how to write about the last failure.  Still, no clue where to begin.

Why should I even do it?  The pain caused isn’t even worthy of the text on this page.  I can’t possibly articulate such strong feelings in letters, it’s a blur of unlimited potential. I’m very symbolic and sometimes things, words, pictures, feelings seem to mean more to me that others.  Eh, everyone sees what they see.

I’ve moved on.  I have, forcibly, but also willingly with who I hope is the right person.   So going forward, I’ll try to post about my next in posts after this one.  And posts about the previous I’ll try to keep in this posting and update it when I write more. I need to document it for my own therapy.  For now sleep.

4 Years

Today is myself and my wife’s 4 year wedding anniversary.  We’ve officially known each other since February 19, 2007.  That’s five years and about 6 months.


not so long now

i can count the hours not days

until i see you

in just a little ways

off in the distance

and you’ll run towards me

i hope

and i’ll run towards you

you hope

and we’ll collide


we’ll learn how to stay alive

in this world becomming

us.   together

can’t come too soon


I’ve been a bit busy lately to write here. But with 2 weeks alone at home I’ve had the chance to relax and I had a goal from the start to update my blog with something. Anything. It’s not that I’ve been too busy, but I’ve not been in the mood. It takes a complete relaxation and mindset for me to do this. And I haven’t done it in so long I’m not sure how to start again. So I’m rambling. When I first started my blog, before blogs had names, my intent was to write a lot. Quantity would eventually lead to quality, with my thousand monkeys eventually turning out a paragraph or two of worthwhile nonsense. It seemed to work for a while. Even with not writing anything original for a very long time, this place still gets visitors. Mostly for con pictures and an article about finding an iuser password in windows. But still visitors. So with the wife and kid gone for a while I’m going to force this out. So what if I’ll probably not write again for another 6 months. Maybe that will not be the case.

Edit – Most of this turned out incoherent and hard to read. It ended up being a bunch of rambling. Please don’t waste your time reading this. really.

So let’s create some topics. Why haven’t I wrote. Well mostly I’m not in the mood. So let’s fix that. I’ve been able to sit pretty much undisturbed at home for 2 weeks now. The wife and kid are gone. Mylene went back to the Philippines and Dion is in Virginia Beach. It’s been quiet. Nothing moves in the house unless it’s my doings. Nothing makes noise unless I start it. I’ve got to set my mood. Right now the only light on in my house is the glow of this lcd screen. The stereo is playing trash80’s faces of a fashion. on repeat. I’m setting my cell to silent mode. I’m turning off all chat programs. I’ve got a big bowl of red grapes beside me for fuel. My wife will text soon. I’ll say not now. If it progresses much more than that I won’t be in the mood any longer. Because that’s the main reason; interruptions. I can’t concentrate with interruptions. Writing takes all of my concentration. But it’s a relaxed concentration. I have to be so relaxed that the slightest concentration is concentrated on concentrating on writing concentratingly.

I grew up alone. I spent about all my time in my own room doing whatever I enjoyed. Reading, writing, coding, playing games. I spent years creating a system hundreds of people in the area used, from my crappy 386 in my room. The one towards the bottom, Basically, was mine. That publication was pushed out about monthly to all us nerds, and I was happy to be on that list. Where am I going with this? I dunno. Nostalgia I guess. So anyway, I spent a lot of time working on that Basically, first internet email addresses, online games, custom code I submitted to the WWIV mod board, integrated with the distribution networks and usenet. Then all of a sudden I left home and never returned. The board stayed until I was forced to dismantle it leaving everyone wondering what the hell happened to me. Then, years later I accidentally threw the computer away in a cleaning frenzy. I hadn’t looked at it in years anyway. But there are a few things on there I wish I did have back. So, the content that was created during that time is mostly gone. I sent Jason Scott of textfiles some of my oldest collections not too long ago introducing a few new items to his collection.

Damnit where am I going with this. I thought it would find it’s way eventually but it hasn’t. I know my goals for this exercise, and I’m getting there slowly. I’m getting tired of listening to this song. Let’s try this. So, to write, I had to be in my zone. Above was a zone. Afterwards above, my zone became hmmm I guess my bed. I would lay down on the bed, notebook and pencil in hand, and write. The only interruption my cat. Who would perform writers block by laying down on top of the notebook and grabbing my pencil. I always wanted to get a picture of her doing that, but I never brought the camera to bed. And besides, I really needed the picture to be taken by someone else, so you could see me trying to write but the cat clearly blocking my attempt. Can’t get that picture any longer, the cat left. Ran out one day. She didn’t like her new roommates. Never came back.

Now I don’t have a zone. I’ve created one for now. But soon that will be gone. The house will be filled with noise, motion. Part of the goal of this exercise is to outline some thoughts on my life now. I love my wife, and I’m sure she loves me. I’m not sure why, but I’ll take it. I’ve been lucky enough to find a girl that shares a lot of the same interests as I. We play games together, watch movies, etc etc. But I enjoy my alone time too. I’m not sure she feels the same way. She grew up with many other people around her constantly, as outlined above I didn’t. So having other people in the house to me is odd, but not to her. And with these other people in the house I feel obligated to not hole up right here in my cave. But that removes my zone. At least she enjoys playing guild wars, and I can pretty much zone into that here since she has her own pc in another room. Sometimes I’ll pull up another window as well and attempt to read something while she tanks. But there’s too much concentration involved in playing to create. So I don’t write any longer. My zone is gone. I’m not sure how to get that back. And based on the quality of this post I haven’t lost anything.

Perhaps we should set some times. Give me a night alone weekly. We can do dinner then I lock myself in my room to do whatever. Maybe I’ll just read all night. Maybe I’ll play games all night. But maybe I’ll eventually get back in a zone and write. But then again, I would also like to be able to devote more time to work activities. I’d like a night for that. And I guess we should devote a night to dion, and another to mylene. And another to our friends. That leaves 2 other nights for wildcards. I’d like to go out and do stuff. I really miss going out to hear music. Sigh. but in past experiences scheduling like that does not work. If I have a scheduled night to myself, I spend all night trying to decide what best way to use that time. By then it’s over, or too late and I don’t want to start anything I can’t finish. Speaking of can’t finish, if I don’t finish this post soon it won’t make it to publication.

Let’s go to the next goal. Mylene. I’ve got a beautiful wife. She adores me somehow. I secretly adore her too. But she can freak out over nothing. I’ve always heard of the bat shit crazy filipino woman, and she can become that. And she will bitch for 3 hours over that nothing. And that is what drives me fucking crazy. All I can do is sit there and listen to her bitch, she doesn’t stop. She doesn’t know when to shut up. The last time it happened, I had to drive home listening to it the entire way and another 2 hours after that. That’s the last time I brought her to work with me. At home she came in my room and continued to bitch, grabbed my monitor and tried to throw it off the desk. I told her to get out of my room. So she packed up some things, took Dion and left. She got people involved in things they didn’t need to get involved in. Reminds me of one of my exes who would pack up a bunch of her shit and live out of her car for a week when she got in a mood. That 3 hours of bitching? Because I didn’t say “please” apparently and she wanted to tell me how wrong i was and how right she was. Another time she insisted I was cheating on her. She told her son I was seeing someone, i didn’t love them anymore etc etc bitched for 3 hours that night. I don’t think you understand the way this works. I sit at my desk. And she stands between me and the monitor and bitches. non stop. I don’t even talk. i’m like wtf is going on here. This has to end soon. but it doesn’t. on and on. i laugh at the absurdity of it. and I can’t stand it. Next time, i’m the one leaving. And to prevent this, she doesn’t come to work with me anymore. We can’t work together apparently. We can remotely, but not together. I’m not riding in a car for 30 minutes listening to bitching any longer. Then she nearly crashes my car into the light pole when i let her try driving, saying it felt good to rush the pole. To prevent that, she’s not driving my car, she can get her own car to wreck.

Now, besides the above bullshit, I feel I’ve got about the best girl for me. All the things I enjoy that none of my previouses gave a damn about, she also enjoys. So we actually get to do things together, watch anime, go to anime conventions, play games, play guild wars at that. She really tries her best to take care of me, but she doesn’t realize I don’t need a lot of taking care of. I’m not exactly sure how to react at some of the nice things she does for me. I feel they are unnecessary, but it’s cute nice that she put effort into such and such. But the things she does don’t occur to me to do. So I feel not as affectionate I guess. But that doesn’t have the occurrence of me not caring, or not loving. You see, some of that is because I like to express my emotions creatively. I’d like to do something nice. Write a poem about her. Write a song about her. The above bitching doesn’t help that for sure and puts any effort of such far in the back of my mind. But when I may be ready that all goes back to way above where I’m not in the mood. Even though I may feel it, I can’t express that into a tangible form.

Next goal. Dion’s 3.5 or so now. I’ve never been around kids so having Dion here is very new to me. Overall it’s not so bad though. It’s fun to me to teach him stuff and see what he does with it. He likes to help out with things, and generally follows direction pretty well. When teaching something though I’m careful not to give too much direction. I especially enjoy teaching and watching him play games. I tried to get him to play super mario brothers on the nes, but he just wasn’t interested. Tried several nes games, I really wanted him to start there. Games help develop motor control of the hands and the old nes games would be great for that. But since he didn’t care for them I noticed he did enjoy watching me play guild wars and just cause. So I showed him how to use a mouse and wasd keyboard control scheme. He stretches his arms out as far as they will go to use both, and he has acquired a pretty good control of them.

His mom and family don’t care for it though. Because he’s playing shooting games. Ok Jack Thompson. What you’ve got to understand is you can’t just sit a kid down and say here go shoot these people. You get them involved in why. In just cause I explained to him the reasoning for the game. You are a member of a rebel group trying to overthrow a corrupt government. The soldiers are the bad guys. So you explain that these are the bad guys and you can shoot them, but you don’t shoot the good guys. And you show all the other people in the city, the town residents and things that you don’t shoot. And he understands that. So when you go and say oh dont shoot anybody he questions why don’t you remove the bad guys? Because your mom wants you to be ruled by a corrupt government I guess. teaching him how to play games, i incorporate real world knowledge into.

So at 3 years old he now knows how to read a map from just cause and guild wars. he knows the concept of the solar system, with the star, planets and moons from mass effect. He understands the concept of resource management, when he runs out of bullets he understands why he can’t shoot anymore. With this teaching he is starting to learn and will eventually know all the letters of the alphabet and numbers as I tell him to press a particular key on the keyboard to do something and he has to find it. He will know how to count when it says you have to find 10 coins, or whatever. He will know how to add and subtract when he learns to get x he has to spend y and that leaves him with z. He knows colors that show the way. He already knows recognition as he can instantly pick out myself and mylene’s characters by glancing at a screen full of people in guild wars. Very importantly, he understands the concept of trying again upon failing. Playing Winnie the Pooh picks up jars of honey is stupid to me. Pooh picks up the jars whether you actually get them or not. There is no fail in these games. The games themselves are fail. They are a constant reinforcement you did good mentoring that gives unsuspecting kids false hopes and entitlements.

He can also successfully navigate on a computer: things like google images, flickr, netflix. he knows the concept of opening and closing windows, how to full screen, how to pause and start. how to go back to something he had before. By playing games as above, his mind can understand a 3d virutal environment and navigate within it. At 3 years old I find that pretty impressive. He’s not just knowledgeable about what is in front of his face, or what you put in his face. He’s able to work outside of that close reality. Now, another part of this is that I keep him focused. If he’s doing a task, or I’m teaching him something, we’re going to be focused on that. No multitasking yet. Because it distracts. And as above, distractions kill it. No TV. A constant distraction and brain rotting device. I believe the issues most kids have these days with whatever mental problems theyre taking drugs for are caused by constant distractions as a kid. The kid crys for some reason, the parent shoves something in their face. Or turns on the tv. And they say ohh look over here. Look over there. And if that doesnt work they continue distracting. The kid is not focused on anything at all, and when upset or wants something, will wind up getting whatever that is due to the constant tries of the parent to push into their kid various things to please them.

When Dion crys, I sit his ass down somewhere uncomfortable. He sits on the washer machine. Or a stool. And he crys, sometimes for hours. And i explain if you want x then you have to do y. If you don’t want to eat your dinner, then you have to understand you won’t get any more food until morning. Now stop crying, then you can go play. And he has to sit where ever we put him until he stops crying. Or if he’s been really bad, say once you stop crying then you have to go to bed. Sometimes he’ll say he wants to burn down the house. Or kill one of us. Or send his mom back to the philippines. I guess she bitches at him like she does me. so then he gets to sit in the chair all night and stare at us while we play games or whatever. I’ll even eat cookies or something I know he wants just to show him his punishment is he can’t have any.

So, it’s getting late and I’m getting bored and unhappy with this. With my goals accomplished of outlining some good and bad in my life recently I’ll stop this experiment now. In a few days my wife will be home, and then a few days after that Dion will be home too. Things will be back they way they were about 2 or 3 weeks ago, and I guess I can say they will be about back to normal.