Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix 2016

Max Verstappen Wins Brazilian Grand Prix, 2016

Lewis Hamilton inched a little closer to Mercedes stablemate Nico Rosberg taking victory at Interlagos, Brazil. However, Rosberg is doing what he needs to do to win the world drivers title. He just needs to finish second to Hamilton for the remaining races; which he has done so far, just one more to go.

The race started off as a damp squib; starting behind the safety car on full wet weather tires and round and round they went for seven laps. The safety car came in at the end of lap seven and we went racing but only for six laps; which was enough time for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to slide down the inside of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari for third at turn one on the restart. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson brought out the safety car again after he lost control coming out of turn 14, hitting the wall coming to rest at the pit entry.

Sebastian Vettel also lost control at the same spot a couple of laps earlier but unlike Ericsson managed to gather it up and continue. The German went on to whine over the radio to his team about the conditions and that a red flag should be thrown and lo-and-behold after team mate Raikkonen lost control on the main straight, hitting one wall, then the other, a red flag was thrown and the race was halted.

I’m just going to pause here for a moment to raise the subject of full wet tires and their lack of effectiveness. Back in the day; it was fairly rare that rain stopped the race as we had monsoon tires. Modern Pirelli full wets are not even close to those tires and according to Kimi Raikkonen, whose crash caused the lap 20 red flag suggested current full wets are not as good as years gone by.

The race restarted under the safety car for a second time when the rain subsided; only for the cars to circulate for 8 more laps behind Bernd Maylander before the race was red flagged for a second time.

After another red flag break for the drivers; the race restarted for the third time behind the safety car; this time for four laps before the track going green and we went racing in anger on lap 32. Verstappen pounced again on the racing restart; this time it was world championship leader Rosberg that fell victim. The young Dutchman clean drove around the outside of turn 3 to snatch second place from the German.

Vestappen himself fell victim to the turn 14 curse; having a half spin and narrowly avoiding the barrier at the pitlane entry. Watching the replay of the incident; it shows how he worked with the steering wheel to regain control with no brake lock ups while sounding cool as a cucumber over team radio.

Rosberg also spun in the same section of track but recovered while Williams’ Felipe Massa’s final Brazilian Grand Prix ended in retirement, bouncing off the wall out of turn 14. There was a nice moment in the pitlane where all the teams lined up and applauded the home town favourite in his penultimate F1 race.

Massa’s accident inevitably brought out the safety car for the third time and stayed out for eight laps. And on the racing restart; turn 14 claimed another former world champion; Fernando Alonso losing the back end, spinning onto the grass before recovering to the track. Prior to the green flag lap on lap 56; Verstappen stopped to change back to full wet tires which dropped him back to outside of the top 10.

Then came the mighty fight back from 11th to third from the young Dutchman; firstly picking off team mate Ricciardo, driving around the outside of turn 13 and 14 moving him back into top 10. On his way to the podium, the year 2 rookie overtook Kvyat, Ocon, Nasr, Vettel, Sainz and finally Perez all within 11 laps.

Outside of the podium, it shook out as follows; Sergio Perez, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz, Nico Hulkenberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Felipe Nasr and finally Fernando Alonso. Solid drives from Perez, Sainz and Nasr who scored Sauber’s first points of the year. This is a huge boost for the team and their chances of claiming 10th place in the constructors championship and the millions in prize money that goes with it.

42nd Street Photo, Misleading Advertising False Advertising

I’ll start by saying that I will not tell you to buy or not buy from 42nd Street Photo. However I will write about my experience shopping with them and you can decide for yourself. I was in the market for a new DSLR as I had reached the limit of what I could do with my Canon T3i. I was browsing Facebook like I do most days when I saw an advert for a Canon EOS 80D for $899; which is $300 less than the MSRP.

With a deal like that; it’s hard to turn down and I found myself buying the Canon EOS 80D body, EF-S 10-22mm USM lens and EW-83E Lens Hood. On Monday afternoon I receive a phone call from 42nd Street Photo with their salesperson starting off with the soft sell of saying my kit would arrive by Friday, 11/11. Before trying to sell me a $250 memory card, telling me the 80D does not take standard SD cards.

He moved onto the biggie; telling me the $899 deal is for an imported Canon EOS 80D, which does NOT come with a United States warranty, firmware updates or English manuals; which explains the 25% lower price, more than likely originating from Asia. I said to the rep that I felt misled as their website, nor Facebook advertising indicated that the $899 80D was an imported product. He assured me the website does state that it’s imported, I went back to look again and the word import is nowhere to be seen.

I did end up getting a deal as I was ready to cancel the entire $1,500 order due to these dubious marketing techniques; I ended up getting the $1,199 camera for $999; which is $100 more than their website led me to believe. A search on their website doesn’t even bring up the $1,199 80D, suspicious? If I saw it priced at MSRP; I would have bought it from Amazon instead of a company I’ve never heard of.

Going back to the 42nd Street Photo salespersons claim that I needed a 120MB/S SD card for the 80D to function properly; which he claimed cost $250, but he could get me a deal for $200; I have looked up the costs of these cards and a 64GB card rated upto 150MB costs just over $30, which is not close to $250.

However I did look up the specific model that is being sent to me and that is $244.99 from Amazon.

The salesperson said that if I bought the US EOS 80D, which cost $999 for me; it would come with the afformentioned 120MB/S SD card; which in fairness, it does seem to do according to the invoice online; but for the life of me; I don’t get why a 120MB/S card costs 8x more than a 64GB card rated to 150MB/S?

Now, I have to wait and see what I receive in the mail; hopefully, they have not charged me $100 extra for the same model as they were going to send to me. I will not shop with them again as clearly they are deliberately misleading people, luring them in with the 25% cheaper prices. As I said at the head of this blog, I’m just telling you my experience, yours maybe different, I just want you to be informed!

[Update: Dec, 20 2016, 11:08]: To give the full story, I am updating this blog; the camera I received is a genuine US product, I registered my EOS 80D with Canon USA without problems. However, on page 5 of the 80D instruction manual, it states that UHS Class 3 cards are only required for on-card editing; a SD Class 10 card is perfectly adequate for recording 1080/60p which is the maximum possible on the 80D.

IMPULSE BUY: Canon EOS 80D, EF-S 10-22mm Lens, EW-83E Lens Hood

Canon EOS 80D w/ EF-S 10-22mm Lens

I’ve just cleared all of my credit card debt via a personal consolidation loan and then I was browsing Facebook and BAM! something I had been considering for a while appeared in a Facebook ad for $300 less than other retailers. I click on the Facebook ad and suddenly I am clicking add to cart on three items; although I did pause for a moment while I applied for 42nd Street Photo credit from a link in the cart.

I was provisionally accepted for credit and they said they would call me shortly to complete the order. But, after 20 minutes there was still no call; so I went ahead and put it on my American Express card. It’s now two hours later and I still have not received a call, so they have lost out of that interest on the credit.

So what did I buy you ask? well, it’s in the title of this write-up… I have been wanting to move upto a prosumer DSLR camera as I have reached the limit of what I can do with my current consumer DSLR.

I would say that I am a professional real estate photographer as it’s a large part of my work as an Internet Marketing Specialist for a property management company. I could have gone for an older full frame camera; but I elected to stay with the APS-C format as I already have multiple EF-S lenses.

Now, this is where I justify the cost to myself, which is close to $1,500. My current EOS T3i and EF-S 10-18mm reflects it’s $800 price; the lens does not have the best glass; frequently creating ghosting and flaring of light sources, which I have to Photoshop out, adding extra processing time after the shoot.

This upgrade also provides me a higher dynamic range, better video recording functionality and the ability to have more than three auto bracketed shots, the EOS 80D allows upto seven brackets; which will help with my use of HDR photography. The EF-S 10-22mm lens is a straight replacement for my 10-18mm which has caused me so many issues with flaring and ghosting over the past two years of property shoots.

I do some shoots outside of my full time employment; but I am looking to expand on that. Wichita really needs some good property photography; trawling Craigslist reveals the terrible state of real estate photography, even million dollar homes have dark and blurry photography. I think there is money to be made if I price my service correctly. I was thinking about $100 per photo shoot, plus mileage over 25mi.

Of course, this means I need to get my shit together and create a portfolio website and start marketing to real estate companies here in Wichita. I hope that these companies want to step up their game and not be content with the horrible photos they are using currently in their marketing online. Point and shoot cameras focusing on bright windows, which also is the light metering point does not cut it in my view.

Maybe I am misreading the market for quality real estate photography and the upgrade may not make me any extra cash; but I want to improve my photography and this new camera and lens will allow me to do that. Knowing I can personally do better, but being limited by equipment frustrates me immensely.

I will write a full review of the Canon EOS 80D and EF-S 10-22mm Lens after a few shoots.

Refinancing My Life + Life Without Sugar

 Refinancing My Life + Life Without Sugar

I have talked about it previously but had not taken out a personal consolidation loan until now. So I decided on a round figure of $24,000 which pays off my wife’s Discover, my Discover, AMEX and our bank VISA credit card. The interest rate is not the greatest in the world at 13.99%; although I thought that over the phone we agreed on 11.99% because I chose automatic payments, but I am not 100% sure on that!

My payment is just under $500 a month over 72 months, which is a little more than the minimum payment requirements; but less than what I was actually paying on the credit cards. The aim with this consolidation loan was not to reduce the payment amount; but to create some structure with a single payment instead of four separate payments while limiting spending on the four credit cards.

Due to a slight miscalculation of not factoring in interest accrued while the loan was processing; I still have a small balance on my bank VISA; but that is manageable; I can zero that balance in a few months.

The downside of taking out this loan at such a high interest rate is that I will be paying close to $12,000 interest; but that is less than the interest rates of the credit cards that ranged from 16.24% to 20.24%.

From a personal point of view; I feel much better about my finances. Before I felt that our spending was out of control due to mostly medical bills and short term unemployment; bills continue to come in even if you don’t have cash readily on hand. I require structure in my finances and credit cards don’t offer that.

Moving onto my [ almost ] sugar free diet; since the scare with my eyesight, I have been trying really hard to limit my sugar intake. Which means no more Pepsi, which is the toughest pill to swallow, I previously had too much blood in my Pepsi stream. I was not much of a candy eater; but now I can’t have the candy; I suddenly want it more. It is amazing how much you take things for granted until they’re gone.

I have even started taking Splenda in my tea and coffee; which is taking some getting used to. But it’s all for a good cause; that cause being saving my eyesight. Yes, I should say that I have type 2 diabetes, hence the sugar free diet; something I did not take that seriously until it impacted my visual acuity.

I also suffer from depression at times and this sudden change to little to no sugar in my diet has made that depression worse. I find myself to be short tempered, especially with the kids constantly in and out of my office while I am trying to work. Another example, which happened just this morning is my office door doesn’t always latch first time; I found myself getting angry with the door as stupid as it sounds.

I’m hoping that this irritability will go away in time as my body adjusts to a very low sugar diet. You wouldn’t think giving up sugar would be so tough, the Pepsi in particularly had become like a drug for me, drinking upto four liters a day. I guess for a couple of months I will be saying sorry to my family a lot after I snap at them for very minor things. I don’t like feeling this way, but I must stick with the program.

Vision Care 4 Life + New Glasses

New Glasses, October 24, 2016

I’ll start with my experience of Vision Care 4 Life and Wendy Foster, O.D. I really don’t have a bad word to say about my whole experience at Vision Care 4 Life; everyone was friendly and professional from the moment I made the appointment through to picking up my glasses. If I do have a complaint, it’d be that they overcharged me; but they were honest and refunded my money when the mistake was noticed.

Doctor Foster was amazing, she listened to what I had to say about how I felt my eyesight was and did thorough testing of my eyes. This is an experience I have never had before, my previous optician at Greene Vision Group dismissed my opinion of what I was seeing, which could be a major cause of my current diagnosis of diabetic macular edema. Now diagnosed, hopefully we can do something about it.

As I said above, I was overcharged by a significant amount of money; over $350; but the mistake was found and a refund issued so I can’t ding them too hard for that. But I did have a shock when a new pair of glasses and a thorough eye exam came to $1,004. Despite the shock, I accepted the amount as I did not have dedicated vision insurance; this being the only year I hadn’t been covered by vision insurance.

The new glasses; despite not improving the distance I can see; they have cleared up my vision, everything is sharper and clearer with a combination of Transitions and Crizal. I was shocked while I was driving home while the sun was setting; normally driving into the sun blinds me; but with the new glasses I could still see clearly despite the sun immediately in front of me, which is a completely new experience for me.

Later after dark; street lights and car lights were sharp and in focus with zero glare; a huge step up from the Teflon coated lenses that these glasses replaced. Overall I am very happy, let’s hope that the reason that triggered this visit to Vision Care 4 Life, renewing my drivers license goes smoothly, I spend all this money to be able to continue to drive, my livelihood depends on it as I need to visit properties.

PS: Apologies for subjecting y’all to my ugly mug in the feature image; it’s really me, greying beard ‘n all.

UPDATE [Oct, 25 2016, 23:21]: I went to renew my drivers license today and I barely scraped through the vision test. It took me three attempts to pass the vision test and frankly I was guessing for the most part, I could not see line 5 clearly. I’m good for another six years; but I want to see what I can do to improve my visual acuity for the next time. The idea of losing my eyesight is a very scary prospect.

I have a follow up appointment with Dr. Foster next Monday, so I will be discussing my options with her. My vision deteriorating has really scared me into taking action over my diabetes and general health.

I Should Have Stayed In Bed…

Glasses On A Rack In Opticians Office

Today has been an exceptionally bad day for me and a financially costly one to boot. This morning I went to get my eyes tested for new glasses as I knew my vision had deteriorated since my last exam about three years ago. The news was not good; I found out I have multiple vision issues and all the various tests plus frames and lenses came to a whopping $1,004, I know I went for Transitions and Crizal, but wow.

First I discovered that I have cataracts developing, but that is nothing, I have diabetic macular edema, which is borderline and unless I take drastic action with diet in addition to what I have already done with diet and medication, it could end up all but blinding me. This is very worrying as I am just about to turn 40; which is very young to be having these sort of issues with my eyesight, it’s definitely a wake-up call.

My vision is considered to be 20/30 with my new glasses, which I should get in about 2 weeks. This is OK, it means I am able to drive safely and perform everyday tasks for my professional and personal life. I will be getting progressive lenses, which are bi-focals without the visible line. Previously I was able to get a single prescription, but my long and short sight has diverged so much I need progressives in a single lens.

I’ll need to take some steroids in conjunction with eye drops for two weeks before I have another appointment to see if that had helped. After another three months, I have another appointment to check up on my vision, so that’s probably another $400-$500 in costs, but my vision is important to me. I don’t want to go blind and be a burden on my family as I won’t be able to drive and work in future years.

I am very annoyed as Greene Vision Group completely failed to notice any of these problems as my current optician said that this sort of damage is long term, not just a few years. My experience with Greene Vision Group was not good, I felt their optician was dismissive of my issues and don’t believe they got my prescription quite right, even after taking close to four weeks to deliver my current glasses.

Fast forward to 3:40pm, I was backing out of my garage to pick up my daughter and because my vision was still impaired from the dilation of my eyes, I clipped my drivers side wing mirror and broke it. I know this will cost a little under $500 to fix as I’ve had to have it fixed twice before, once when an unknown driver hit the mirror while I was in a property and again when my wife did exactly what I did today.

I’m really angry with myself for trying to drive, my visual acuity was nowhere near upto driving, but being stubborn, I tried to power through and bang; another $500 down the drain. I wanted to reduce my credit card balances, but that will obviously not happen for a while with these new charges incurred today.

Review: Dell Ultrasharp U3415W 34″ Ultrawide Monitor

Dell U3415W Sittiing On My Desk

After five years of dual 1080p displays, I finally made the jump to 1440p; and not just plain old 1440p, but 1440p ultrawide, that’s 3440×1440. I decided to purchase the Dell UltraSharp U3415W PXF79 34″ Curved LED Monitor. After five days of use, I’m very happy with my purchase, a big step up in image quality.

First thing you notice is the U3415W’s size, it takes up almost as much space as two 24″ 1080p monitors. But in my view it does not 100% replace a second monitor; especially if you are used to dual screens. I decided to keep one of my 1080p panels as a secondary screen for Email or video streaming. But I do find myself only using the U3415W panel often as I can have two 900p windows side-by-side.

The biggest difference other than size is the amount of pixels, close to five million of them. That’s 800,000 more pixels than the two 1080p displays that the U3415W replaced. The image is much sharper and despite the Windows elements being smaller than the 1080p screen, text is easier to read in general.

Unlike some other ultrawide monitors available now; the U3415W only supports a 60hz refresh rate, which I believe is enough for everyday use; yes, others are able to “overclock” to 75hz or 100hz, but those panels come at a premium of over $1,000. The U3415W has a GTG response time of 5ms, although you do have to change a setting in the menu from “normal” to “fast” to get that 5ms response time.

Color uniformity is excellent, I didn’t notice any issues with color uniformity across the screen. Backlight uniformity looks as impressive across the whole screen, however like many IPS panels, there is significant corner light bleed. This is not noticeable in normal lighting conditions, but in darker rooms, there is a distinct glow in the corners of the screen, but it’s not so bright that it’s overly distracting to my eye.

The curve of the screen is not noticeable at normal distance. However the curve is more noticeable moving back away from the screen. I’m not convinced by the claim that curved screens make gaming more immersive. I played UT3 with a friend and felt no more immersed than when playing on a flat panel.

Where the Dell Ultrasharp excels is productivity work; which was the main reason for the U3415W purchase. Having close to 3,000,000 extra pixels makes a massive difference to my effective productivity. It’s nice to be able to maximize Photoshop and editing an image with more pixels displayed onscreen. The color accuracy looks pretty good to my eye, it’s light years ahead of the Dell ST2421L it replaced.

If you consume streaming media such as Youtube, it produces thick vertical black bars. Sadly there is not too much content outside of Bluray/DVD that takes advantage of the 21:9 aspect ratio and games often stretch to fit the aspect distorting the image. This does not bother me as online video was not the driving force for my purchase; I use my secondary 1080p screen for consuming online streaming video.

Connectivity is excellent, it has inputs for mini-DP, DP, HDMI and USB, audio in and out. The only thing missing is DVI, which doesn’t matter as DVI only supports 2560×1600. Although, from my perspective, finding the inputs and inserting the cables can be difficult without laying the panel on it’s front. Speaking of cables, the U3415W comes with USB, mini-DP to DP and HDMI cables to get you started out of the box.

Final thoughts are; if you are thinking of buying this for more immersive gaming, skip it, save some money and get a flat panel. If you want to use this panel for productivity; particularly for graphics/photo work, I recommend it wholeheartedly. The U3415W is a good monitor, but you could buy a 16:9 1440p monitor for a lot less money and get almost as good an experience as using an ultrawide like the UW3415W.

Upgrading To 1440p Curved Ultrawide (Dell U3415W)

Dell U3415W Ultrawide Monitor

After a lot of internal conflict, i.e. justifying the $750 cost compared to sticking with my two Dell ST2421L 24 inch 1080p LED monitors. I have made the decision to buy a Dell U3415W 34 inch 1440p IPS Ultrawide monitor to have a single main display with secondary 1080p display for Email or maybe streaming media.

I have always kinda skimped on monitors, my current setup only cost $300 for both screens, and I also skimped on getting IPS in favor of the cheaper LED LCD technology. Rather annoyingly, my current setup has a different color balance on each panel, which bugs me, but I have managed to live with it for three years, it’s now time to change that mentality, which is why I decided to make the leap to the U3415W.

I just hope that my current Sapphire R9 270X 4GB will be able to handle pushing almost twice as many pixels. I’d rather not have to purchase another graphics card at this time. I don’t care about 1440p gaming, I’m happy to play at 1080p like I currently do as I am not a serious gamer, I probably log less than 3 hours a week on games. The reason for the upgrade is better productivity and work related tasks.

My occupation involves photography and I would like a better display, specifically IPS technology for better color reproduction and also a larger work area in Photoshop. 1080p really doesn’t cut it anymore and 4k is overkill; I would need a 40+ inch display to be able to read the text without scaling enabled; which negates the extra 4k screen real estate. I couldn’t even imagine using a 28 inch 4k screen.

I will write a review of the Dell U3415W once I have received and used the display for a few weeks.

Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix 2016

Hanilton Blows Up At The Malaysian Grand Prix 2016

The Malaysian Grand Prix could be a pivot point of the season with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton suffering an engine failure while team mate Nico Rosberg fought back from 17th to third place after being tipped into a spin by the fast starting Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel at turn one on the opening lap of the race.

The race started with a bang, Hamilton got away cleanly to lead out of the first corner while Vettel got a fantastic start to find himself on the inside of Max Verstappen and Rosberg going into turn 1. As Rosberg turned in to take the racing line ahead of Verstappen, Vettel clipped the right rear of Rosberg’s car tipping him into a spin while Vettel suffered broken front left suspension ending his race before turn 2.

The first lap incident caused the VSC to be deployed which triggered an inevitable series of pit stops before the restart on lap 3 in which Verstappen caught Force India’s Sergio Perez napping to snatch third place away from the Mexican. From that point, Perez only went backwards tumbling down the top 10 as faster cars moved passed him, but the Mexican recovered to sixth place by the chequered flag.

Rosberg was involved in another collision as he made what could only be considered an optimistic overtaking attempt into turn 2 on lap 38 clattering into Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari. Which rightly earned the German a 10 second time penalty which ultimately didn’t hinder him on route to taking third place.

Lap 41 brought the game changing event, while comfortably leading, Hamilton’s Mercedes power unit blew up spectacularly with flames shooting out of the exhaust as he entered the turn one breaking zone. Obviously this ended his race and maybe his hopes of a fourth world championship allowing Rosberg to extend his championship lead to 23 points, which might be tough to overcome in the last five races.

Suddenly we found ourselves looking at the prospect of a Red Bull 1 – 2; which was decided a couple of laps prior to Hamilton’s retirement. Daniel Ricciardo managed to defend what turned out to be the battle for the lead against team mate Verstappen. When Hamilton’s stricken car activated the VSC, Red Bull elected to stack their drivers in the pits, which created a 4 second gap between the dueling team mates.

The young charger, Verstappen managed to close the gap to just over a second despite being on scrubbed soft tires while Ricciardo had brand new soft tires. But I suspect that the Red Bull team called the battle off to avoid a “multi-21” situation. Hamilton’s bad luck (or otherwise if you believe the driver himself) meant the Malaysian GP ended with the first non-Mercedes 1 – 2 for three seasons.

The sole remaining Ferrari of Raikkonen claimed fourth place ahead of Williams’ Valteri Bottas and Force India’s Perez in fifth and sixth. It was a good day for McLaren Honda with a seventh and ninth place finish, which shows improvement overall, especially with Fernando Alonso who started from the back due to engine penalties to recover to seventh with an upgraded Honda power unit in the back of his McLaren.

The second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg claimed eighth place after a somewhat anonymous race while Briton Jolyon Palmer earned a rare point for Renault, bringing his yellow machine home in 10th place.

So that’s the race that was the Malaysian Grand Prix; now a personal view. The first lap incident was a racing incident in my view, despite the FIA stewards feeling differently handing Vettel a three place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix. Although with the similarities between this incident and the incident at Spa, I think Vettel should feel some verbal pain like Verstappen did, from Vettel himself after Spa.

More Defiance From My Son

Breaking The Rules

The level of disappointment I have for my son is off the scale right now. I recently wrote about how he consistently lies to my wife and I. Now we have issues at school coupled with defiance of our wishes.

At the end of last week, I get a phone call saying that he was placed in the D & F list at school for failing grades. It later turned out that he had done the work in the class that he received an F and that changed to an A as his teacher allowed the assignments to me handed in late, one was over two weeks late.

If it wasn’t for the notification from the school; we would never have known and it would have remained an F. Our son just does not care about school, all he cares about is video games and computers; he does his school work to get to the electronics, without that to incentivize him, he’d fail every class.

Yesterday, I received an Email from his math teacher explaining that when the kids finish their math tasks early, she allowed free-time on the school Chromebooks. She continued on to say that our son kept pestering her to use the Chromebook several times daily and then he became argumentative when she said no. To add insult, our son threatened to not do any school work unless he got Chromebook time.

I printed out the Email and made my son read it and his response was “I guess I won’t get any Chromebook time then”, completely unrepentant. When my wife arrived home and we tried to talk to him, he simply stared at us impassively, like what we had to say was not important in the slightest.

The third issue, remember, all this has happened since 9/16, our son has continued to use up his lunch account to eat breakfast in school, despite us telling him to stop, he had plenty of time to eat at home. Bottom line, we told him two weeks ago to stop eating school breakfast, if he continued, we would not refill his lunch account, he ignored us, now he’ll go hungry for the rest of this week, he had been warned!

Our son is 12 years old; he knows exactly what he is doing. I’m sick of bailing him out, he will have to face the real world consequences, which in this case is having to go hungry while at school. Maybe this will pull him back to reality, I will not tolerate any more of these behaviors. He’s about to be a teenager, it’s about time he took responsibility for his actions and stop making excuses for his behavior.

Update [Sep, 22 2016, 17:28]: Now I am pissed off with the school, despite having no funds in his meal account due to the issues above, the school has allowed him to keep charging the account despite it being -$8.65, it’s now -$10.95. I didn’t authorize these charges and I don’t intend to pay, I will be visiting the school tomorrow. My daughter’s school has a better system of calling when her account is negative.

I’m also pissed at my son, who made the decision to ignore me and take lunch anyway. Ultimately I don’t like the system, charging the child’s account regardless of whether parents have the money or not is unacceptable. If an account is negative $8.65, chances are that they cannot afford to pay, so adding more charges to the account makes the problem worse and could end up going to collections, ruining lives.

Our situation is different, I am trying to teach our son a life lesson, clearly a lesson that won’t be learned because the school gives him lunch and bill us despite being almost weeks worth of meals in arrears.