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Formula 1 French Grand Prix 2019

No Racing Allowed

The French F1 Grand Prix was a new low for Formula 1, it had as much interest as watching paint dry, in fact watching paint dry might have been more enthralling. Mercedes won the race without breaking a sweat, with Valtteri Bottas following Lewis Hamilton home. After some initial hope that Bottas might take the fight to Hamilton, that challenge has faded away, just like F1 viewership over the past few years.

For the second race in a row, the story was not the racing, if we can call it racing these days? The story is, what myself and many others consider, overregulation of the sport. There were two, well, technically three events, for which race stewards handed out 5 second time penalties, which would have previously been considered hard racing. But no more in the overregulation era of the “pinnacle” of motorsport.

The first incident was on lap one, between turns 1 and 2, when Sergio Perez, left the track, seemingly of his own accord, then followed the ‘penalty box’ route around the inside as instructed to do by the race director, and came back on track two places ahead of where he left the track. The penalty was leaving the track and gaining an advantage, which technically is correct, but, what was Perez supposed to do?

It seems like Perez was caught between two rules, rejoining the track after the marker and gaining an advantage after going off track. I think the punishment was incredibly harsh, a better solution would have been to instruct Perez/Racing Point to give back the two places gained within, say 3 laps. Or was Perez supposed to stop his car and wait for the entire field to go through before rejoining the track?

The second and third incidents were on the final lap. both involving Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian driver had been chasing the ailing McLaren of Lando Norris, who was suffering from failing hydraulics. When finally, Ricciardo dived into turn 8, understeered into turn 9, cutting the corner, forcing Norris off track as he rejoined. Obviously, the FIA had to penalize Ricciardo, as otherwise there would have been cries of foul play, in Mercedes favor after the events of the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks earlier.

For the record, I think that Vettel’s penalty decision in Canada was also a bad one, instantly killing what could have been the most exciting race of the season. It’s almost like the FIA and F1 wants to kill the sport.

The third incident happened seconds later when Ricciardo went to the right of the white line that delineates the track limits to overtake Kimi Raikkonen, who had slipped through when Ricciardo understeered off and Norris was pushed wide. Again, I believe that this is hard racing, not rule breaking. The constant investigating every minor incident and penalizing drivers is really starting to grate on fans.

Formula 1 Viewing figures have been steadily dropping over recent years with the dominance of first, Red Bull/Vettel and second, Mercedes/Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, the sport has become a snoozefest. The perceived overregulation, engine, fuel and tire limitations, meaning drivers are unable to race balls to the wall, are all killing Formula 1 in my opinion, big changes are needed very soon to save the sport.


My Blog Got Hacked!

My Blog Got Hacked

My afternoon was spent going through my blog and reverting to previous versions of my articles, as my username and/or password had been compromised, and the hacker had made subtle changes to my write-ups to add links to various business websites, which were loosely related to my write-ups.

Obviously, the first thing I did was change my password, which is kinda annoying as I had been using this password for the best part of 10 years without an issue. I have tracked the date back to early October 2018 that I got hacked, and found 29 posts had been edited to add links. Some edited posts went back as far as 2006, while others were posted more recently, as recent as just one month ago.

The only reason I noticed the hack is because I received a rare pingback, and the pingback text made no sense in relation to the post on my blog that was linked to. When I investigated, checking my blog, I found a link to a website I had never heard of before. So, I investigated further and found another post with links I did not create. Keen to find how bad the hack was, I searched for and found a plugin, which allowed for sorting by last modified date, amazingly, that’s not a stock feature of WordPress.

And once sorted by last modified date, 29 of my posts had been edited with the aforementioned links, going back roughly eight months. Thankfully WordPress has a feature that allows you to compare and restore revisions of each post, highlighting the changed content, making it easy to spot the edits. Despite this, I still spent more than 90 minutes checking and restoring posts to remove the links.

I’m not sure whether the hacker used my Email/password combo on my server, or if they got into my blog via WordPress.com, which is linked to my blog via Jetpack. The password was different on my self hosted blog and WordPress, either way, I changed both, which will hopefully stop any further intrusions.

If you’re a WordPress user, be it self hosted or otherwise, I would recommend checking your blog for these links to random businesses, especially, if the hack did originate from WordPress/Jetpack.


Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix 2019

Canadian Grand Prix 2019

We are seven races into the F1 season and we’ve had 7 Mercedes victories, and this one should not have been. In my opinion, the only real talking point of the Canadian Grand Prix is the 5 second time penalty for Sebastian Vettel for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner and forcing another driver off the track.

The only question to be asked is “did Vettel intentionally drive back onto the racing line to block Hamilton?” Having watched multiple, onboard and trackside replays, I believe that Vettel was struggling to control his car after his turn 3 error doing all he could to avoid contact with Hamilton or the wall.

But first, the start, which was nothing to write home about, no change of position in the top five, Valtteri Bottas did lose out to Nico Hulkenberg, who had a traction advantage starting the race on the red marked soft compound, whereas Bottas started the race on the yellow marked medium tires. Max Verstappen, who started lower than normal due to a red flag in qualifying compromising his Q2 lap, also lost out to Lando Norris on the long straight from the hairpin to the final chicane, due to the same tire advantage.

Norris, later on lap 9 had an overheating brake problem, which caused his McLaren’s right rear suspension to melt and fail, forcing the Briton to pull off the track at the end of the pitlane and out of the race. This was after McLaren pitted Norris for an early precautionary stop to try to avoid this very issue.

Nothing to do with racing, but Kevin Magnussen was being a massive dick to his team complaining about his car saying “this is the worse experience I have ever had in any race car ever”, over the team radio, for everyone to hear, after his HAAS team worked late into the night to give him a car to drive after he smashed up his car in qualifying. Magnussen is not that good a driver to be pissing off his employer, there are plenty of other drivers that would be chomping at the bit to replace the Dane at HAAS F1.

So, back to the main talking point, Vettel’s penalty for what I would class as a racing incident. It destroyed the grandstand finish that we F1 neutrals were hoping for. Once Hamilton knew he only had to finish within five seconds of Vettel to ‘win’ the race, the race was over, as is the drivers and constructors championship with Mercedes claiming seven victories from seven races. I think the FIA scored an own goal with this penalty for what I consider to have been a Vettel mistake, not a deliberate attempt to block.

If it was a clear action with the intention to block or push Hamilton off track, then I would say that the penalty was justified, but you can clearly see in the onboard replays that Vettel was sawing at the wheel as he came off the grass, indicating he was struggling for control of his car at more than 100mph.

There has been a lot of talk of the FIA being in bed with Mercedes, which I had dismissed, but I’m starting to wonder about that now. There always used to be the meme about FIA standing for Ferrari International Assistance, and I think there was some truth to that, and I really disliked it. Now, it seems to be the same with Mercedes, a hell of a lot of marginal decisions have gone the way of the German team, including the thinner thread tires, that benefitted Mercedes last year, being used all season in 2019.

I would say that Vettel’s behavior after the race was somewhat petulant, but it’s understandable and I might have done the same myself if I was put in the same situation. However, I did like when Vettel switched the position marker boards in Parc Ferme to make a statement. I have been reading many people online labeling Vettel ‘cry baby’, but all F1 drivers are like that these days, Hamilton included. Let’s kill team radio and get back to racing instead of the constant crying over the radio, woe is me.

Ultimately, the FIA had the opportunity to rejuvenate interest in the 2019 F1 season as we move into the second third of the season, but now with only one team winning in the first third of the season, fans will be losing interest as the season result is a foregone conclusion. The FIA overregulation is killing the sport, the governing body needs to have a more hands-off mentality and let drivers race, instead of penalizing drivers, often inconsistently, ruining the first true battle between Mercedes and Ferrari of the season.

Canadian Grand Prix 2019 Results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:29:07.084
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +3.658
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +4.696
4. Valterri Bottas (Mercedes) +51.043
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +57.655
6. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +1 LAP
7. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +1 LAP
8. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +1 LAP
9. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) +1 LAP
10. Danill Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +1 LAP

Ascension Via Christi Fails Us Again!

Via Christi, Dr Denise Huskey Tells Erin She Will No Longer Be Her Doctor

When my wife called her doctor’s office, Via Christi Clinic, E 21st St to request a refill of her medication, she was informed that her doctor, Dr. Denise Huskey will no longer be her doctor because they claim that my wife had missed 3 appointments in the past 12 months, which is news to us, we are aware of one.

Today, we got the letter from Ascension Via Christi (see image at top of article).

The first thing to say is that Erin is at the doctor’s office at least twice a month, sometimes weekly. Erin has Fibromyalgia and Lupus, and needs extensive PCP care. This has come as a major blow as Erin was unable to find another primary care physician, it seems that no doctors are taking on new patients, so she will be stuck with a nurse practitioner, who will have limited ability to provide the level of care that Erin needs, and Erin’s health is not going to get any better, it will get progressively worse over time.

We are thoroughly confused by the alleged missed appointments, we are aware of only one. The only thing we can think of is that after an emergency room visit for a Lupus flare, Erin made an emergency appointment to see Dr. Huskey. And because of the frequent visits, often the emergency appointment is within a day or two of the next scheduled appointment, which might explain possible late cancellations.

After I tweeted my displeasure with Via Christi, they responded asking Erin to call. And when she did, they said she missed two appointments on the same day, just 2 hours between them. This sounds like a clerical error to me, why would Erin make two appointments to see the same doctor on the same day?

Dr. Huskey and her staff have not been perfect themselves, on multiple occasions, they have forced my wife to wait for her medication, including her pain meds and insulin. Despite having been in the doctor’s office just days before, when the pharmacy calls the doctors office, they get told that Erin needs to make an appointment to get her prescriptions refilled. My wife is in the doctor’s office every 1 to 2 weeks, but nothing is ever mentioned about issues with prescription refills until the pharmacy calls the doctors office.

My personal experience with the same doctor’s office has not been positive, my doctor, Dr. Timler, never saw me at my appointment time, despite being there 15 minutes early. Usually, 5 – 10 minutes after my appointment time, I would be taken to a room and the nurse would take my blood pressure, temperature and ask the reason for my visit. Then, I sit there for anywhere between another 15 minutes and an hour, to be seen by the doctor for 3 – 5 minutes. So, I decided to drop them sometime ago, seriously, they complain when you miss an appointment, but no apology when they inconvenience you, repeatedly.

While I am bitching about Via Christi, about 4 years ago, when getting a CPAP machine for my wife, we were told that it would cost no more than $200 after insurance, so we made the assumption they had checked with our insurance. But, no, they had not and our insurance would not cover it, and we received a $1,000 bill. In the end, we never paid anything, because I kicked up such a public stink about it.

But, wait, there’s more, after we were involved in a car wreck back in 2010, which jacked up my wife’s back, after the at fault drivers insurance liability ran out, we were stuck with a huge bill into the 3,000 dollar range, and Via Christi’s collections department, tried to force us into a high-interest loan, so we could pay them what we owed them. This was at a time when we were on a significantly lower income, and of course, my reaction was one of anger, telling them to stick their offer where the sun doesn’t shine.

And remember that Via Christi is supposed to be a Christian organization, where care is supposed to come before profits, but this is bullshit, of course, any company that takes actions like those described above is not Christian in any way, shape or form. I refuse to give another red cent to Ascension Via Christi.

I don’t know what we are going to do, a nurse practitioner is not going to cut it for the care Erin needs, if only there was a website where you could find doctors that are taking on new patients. Erin called several doctors offices and none are taking on new patients, which leaves us in a sinking boat up shit creek.


Too Much Of A Risk!

Mel Hambelton Ford, Co-Sign, Not Buy

Last week, a friend of ours asked if we could co-sign for a car loan, which I was non-committal about, I said I would meet with her the next day at the dealership, Mel Hambelton Ford. But we never got that far, as my wife decided to go out to the dealership, with our friend, to pick out a car the same evening.

From there, things escalated quickly, it got to the point of having run my wife’s and our friend’s credit, our friends have poor credit, the wife and I have excellent credit, in the high 700’s. The deal was progressing rapidly, to the point of signing on the dotted line, when my wife, stopped and asked, why is our friend not signing anything, that’s when the bombshell dropped, that we’d be buying the car, not just co-signing.

Thankfully, my wife called me to explain and that was where I said “absolutely not”, there is a significant risk with being a co-signer, let alone buying a car, being responsible for registration and insurance. Friend or not, I am not willing to jeopardize my family’s financial security. We have loaned these friends money before, and, they did pay us back, but not at the agreed time, leaving us hanging for two added weeks.

Since that evening, I have found out more information about our friend’s financial situation, which, to say the least, is not healthy. I’d like to help them out, but buying a third car, relying on them to make the payments on time, reimbursing us for registration and car insurance costs, is too much of a risk, we are not that financially wealthy to be able to make another $350 payment, plus insurance and registration.

I’m especially annoyed with Mel Hambelton Ford, while talking to their finance guy on the phone, I mentioned the term ‘co-sign’ numerous times, and not once did he clarify that we would be buying the car. He later apologized to my wife and our friend for not making this clear. But I have my own opinion on this; the dealership wanted the sale, and were going to do whatever they had to do to secure that sale.


Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix 2019

Spanish Grand Prix 2019

Another race, another Mercedes 1 – 2 and Ferrari look further off the pace than ever, 0.8 – 0.9 seconds a lap off the pace set by Mercedes. This will probably be a short write up of the events of the Spanish Grand Prix 2019, like the Azerbaijan GP two weeks ago, which I didn’t write about, it was a snorefest.

So, the start, Lewis Hamilton got a better start than teammate and polesitter, Valtteri Bottas to lead into turn 1 with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel also getting a super start to squeeze Bottas between himself and Hamilton, only to drift wide while Bottas had an armful of opposite lock on as he stepped on the gas. As Vettel recovered from his off-track excursion, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen drove around the outside of Vettel’s Ferrari, to claim third place and demote the German back to fourth place going into turn 4.

There was clear discontent in the Ferrari pits, cracks are starting to appear at Maranello. Charles LeClerc was clearly being held up by Vettel who was suffering from a flat-spotted front left tire, but Ferrari took four laps to make a decision to let LeClerc pass Vettel, all while losing time to the Mercedes duo. And again, later in the race, Ferrari did the same thing, with the roles reversed, taking five laps to decide to allow Vettel to pass LeClerc, who was on the slower hard tires, with Vettel on the medium tires.

For me, driver of the Spanish GP was Toro Rosso’s Danill Kvyat, who finished in ninth place overall but was the most entertaining driver of the race, literally every time I saw his Toro Rosso on screen, he was making an overtake. The safety car was deployed on lap 47 to cover the recovery of Lance Stroll’s Racing Point and Lando Norris’ McLaren after tangling through turn 2, ending the race for both drivers.

This did bunch up the pack, but other than a spirited attempt to overtake on the restart by Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly, who got a run on LeClerc’s Ferrari, but was ultimately rebuffed by the Monegasque driver and that was the top six finishers set. Bottas had no answer for Hamilton, and likewise Red Bull and Verstappen, were just not fast enough to overtake the Mercedes and the same goes for the Ferrari’s.

One point of controversy, which the race stewards elected not to investigate, was HAAS’ Romain Grosjean’s use of the escape road on the outside of turn 1 as a means to defend. On lap 58, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was alongside on the inside of turn 1, and Grosjean took to the escape road, rejoining the track after the bollard, as per the race directors instruction, clearly having gained an advantage. Maybe the stewards didn’t take action because Sainz did overtake Grosjean on the very next lap before turn 1?

And that’s the highlights, if you can call them highlights, in what was a ZZZzzz race.

Spanish Grand Prix 2019 Results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:35:50.443
2. Valterri Bottas (Mercedes) +4.074
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +7.679
4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +9.167
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +13.361
6. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +19.576
7. Kevin Magnussen (HAAS) +28.159
8. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)+32.342
9. Danill Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +33.056
10. Romain Grosjean (HAAS) +34.641

Snooker Nation Championship 2019

Snooker Nation Championship 2019

A friend of mine, James, A.K.A. Copper Ice and I have been playing Snooker Nation Championship, originally released in 2016 for almost three years online. We play online because we are on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, which makes in-person gaming somewhat troublesome as you’d imagine.

James and I have always liked the game, which should be obvious as we have played it almost weekly for three years. But, it does have a few issues, the first of which is the AI, which frankly is barely intelligent. For example, in one game, on the hardest AI level, it took the same shot, a simple snooker escape, more than 40 times, giving me the frame without me potting a single ball. In general, the AI would miss so many simple shots, giving me chance after chance, after chance with absolutely zero safety play.

The other issues were related to online play, first of all, no matter what settings you used, the guest, non-hosting player would have “Snooker Nation” overlaid on the table, which was highly distracting. Another issue was a weird echo through the guest players headset like a secondary, delayed mic feed was being sent through the Snooker Nation game while using Skype. And, finally, the game would randomly crash, indicating to both James and myself that it was the other players turn, leaving the game hung.

Now, yesterday, in our usual Friday chat and game, there was an update, which we immediately downloaded and installed from Steam. Immediately upon loading the game, the experience was much more polished, no more coming soon placeholders, which had been ‘coming soon’ for three years.

The differences in online play are that all the things mentioned above have been fixed, and we experienced no crashes, although the 3 – 5 second pauses after each shot made me nervous.

Gameplay changes are mostly related to mechanics and physics, the ‘cloth’ is much faster, making it possible to hit the ball more than twice as hard. A new, what James and I have dubbed the black hole, appears on the table, which we soon worked out was where the cue ball would end up, assuming there was no contact with another ball, and we found this to be accurate. The shot guides are less accurate than previously, it’s harder to assess shot power, which I do not mind, it makes the game more interesting.

Finally, the AI is improved, it now feels like a challenge, especially at the higher levels, like the semi-final, and final, during the first round games, the AI is still dumb, like the pre-patch game. I played a best of 11 frame match and the AI, set to hard level in the final, and the AI won 4 out of the 10 frames played, including three clearances, not allowing me back on the table after I made a mistake. The safety play from the AI is also better, but still not great in my view, after 3 – 4 safety shot exchanges, the AI would break up the pack, leaving multiple balls on. The AI still leaves me wanted an uber setting for us better players.

So, overall, after a three-year wait, I’m very positive about the changes, I want to play single player now, which was not the case before the update, because it was stupidly easy to beat the AI and win the championship. I also like the new physics, making me have to work harder to win frames, allowing for the potential for mistakes because it’s not so easy to predict what will happen when you strike the cueball.

So, a shout out to Cherry Pop Games for the update, it was a long time coming, but it was worth it. That said, I cannot finish this write up without mentioning that I believe this unexpected update was a reaction to the release of Snooker ’19, which I tested and wasn’t very keen on, so I got a refund from Steam.

Read James’ remarks about the changes on his blog, Copper Ice, Blogger, Gamer, Nerd.

UPDATE [May, 9 2019, 12:38]: There has been a further update to Snooker Nation Championship 2019, which has rolled back some of the changes, including the restoration of shiny balls and the cloth speed, back to pre-patch levels. Which is kinda annoying as I had gotten used to the new cloth speed. The table brightness has been fixed, although, at least on my monitor, it feels too bright [click for screenshot], and room lighting has been improved, which might be why the table seems brighter. None of these changes really changes what I have written above, us players just have to readapt to the table speed.

UPDATE [May, 10 2019, 20:10]: After playing just one frame of Snooker Nation 2019 online with my friend, James, after the 5/9 update, we abandoned playing, as the game was so buggy playing over the Internet. First of all, the Snooker Nation logo is overlaid on the table for James, who is my guest, with me hosting as I have the superior upload speed, regardless of decals setting. This was previously fixed in the 4/30 patch, only to be undone in the 5/9 update. Second, is the glitchiness, the balls appear to be moving sluggishly, and between shots, even for the same player, there was a 3 – 5 second delay, with the game displaying, ‘waiting for other player’. I think a little more internal testing by Cherry Pop is needed..

The glitchiness was bad enough for us to roll back to the 2016 version to have a truncated best of 5 frame game as we had lost so much time faffing about rolling back to the previous 2016 version. I appreciate that Cherry Pop is trying to improve the game, but it seems they are having an issue with premature release, the game should get better, not worse, I had high hopes, but feel disappointed instead.

Here are my friend, James’ views of the 5/9 Snooker Nation Championship 2019 update.


Why Do American’s Fear Gun Regulation?

Why Do American’s Fear Gun Regulation?

The BBC posted a video entitled “Family fire: When children find guns in the home“, to which I commented about how parents should be held criminally responsible, and that the US needs real gun regulation. For which, I got a lot of positive responses, but all the 2nd amendmentists went on the attack as I expected, this is not my first time at the rodeo and the same tired arguments ensued.

I truly fail to understand why some people think that owning a gun makes them safe? I don’t understand why anyone would be opposed to any laws that make us safer, a law that will reduce the risk of mass shootings. No-one is coming for your guns, but we want to stop any Tom, Dick or Harry from purchasing a lethal weapon, some people, simply should not be allowed to have a firearm, it’s really that simple.

The second amendment states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” A series of individuals with dozens of guns each does not equate to a well-regulated militia. The second amendment does not need to be amended, it just needs to be followed as written, not to mention it was written for a different time.

Certain commenters in response to me continued to say “because, the constitution”, which is something some people like to either follow or ignore based on their own beliefs. but that’s another story completely. The constitution was designed to be a living document, the founding father’s understood that the world changes, so they built in a system to amend and update the constitution as America evolved.

One commenter, who clearly had no counterargument, said “Yeah, you should prolly [sic] head on back to England then mate. You guys are good at submitting”. I’m submitting to nothing, I do not concede to any of his arguments, and of course, he thinks that insulting me will make me concede to his infinite wisdom [sarcasm]. Honestly, I would love to take my family back home to the relative safety of the UK.

Organizations like the NRA love to propagate the tired old mantra of “they are coming for your guns”, while using every mass shooting to push their fear agenda, claiming gun ownership as the only way to keep yourself and your family safe. And, of course, there’s the classic argument of a good guy with a gun, with the good guy always killing or incapacitating the bad guy, more guns is never the answer.

Yet another commenter on the BBC’s Facebook post suggested that because I am from the UK, I don’t understand the way the states work, which is of course nonsense, I have lived here in the US for over 10 years now, I understand just fine, I simply do not agree with the nonregulatory, pro-gun stance.

Just in the last 8 months, three times I have got a notification from my son’s high school about a gun being brought into school. Thankfully, the weapon was not discharged, but the probability of someone being shot and/or killed is high. Another bullet came flying through my garage door and embedded into the firewall at the back of the garage. Every day I fear for my family’s safety in this gun crazy country.

Bottom line, the facts are that countries that have lax laws on gun ownership have a higher percentage per capita of shootings, many of which are fatal. The UK basically outlawed guns after the Dunblane school massacre and since that time, gun crime and gun related deaths have been almost non-existent.

So, back to the question of why Americans fear gun regulation? Maybe it’s because they know that if we had regulation, they would not be able to buy guns. We always hear after every mass shooting, about mental illness being the cause. I wonder how many people with mental illness legally own a firearm?

I would argue that anyone that thinks they need a dozen guns and semi-automatic rifles to protect their family, has a paranoia complex, which is a key indicator of mental instability. If we can save one life with laws to regulate and control gun ownership, it’s worthwhile, but sadly for many Americans, the right to bear arms is more important than a person’s life, including their own family members in rare cases.

Finally, while looking for a featured image for this blog, I see this article, talking about how school teachers can now arm themselves on school property, Sigh! How long before we hear about a teacher panicking, pulling their gun and shooting a student, because they thought that student had a gun, which turned out to be a cellphone, it will happen, to quote Cenk Uygur, hear me now, quote me later.

A teacher from the Florida school where a recent mass shooting happened, Parkland, left their loaded gun in a public bathroom, which was found by a drunk homeless man, who discharged the weapon. Another teacher in California accidentally discharged his weapon in class, injuring a student.

Sure, arm teachers, watch the accidental killings happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to an experienced trained person, maybe former military, being armed onsite, to protect the children and teachers, but do not arm teachers, who are not trained to assess the situation and determine a threat.


ARGH! I’m Taking Control Of This Situation

Money Down The Drain

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my wife’s spending habits, causing me significant stress, spending close to $1,000 on her Discover card, causing the minimum payment to jump to $122/month with almost $100 of that being interest payments. I requested that she cancel the card, she said she would, then completely failed to do so. I tried to cancel it myself, but Discover would not do it as I am not the account holder. So I have done the next best thing using the online system, freeze the card and report the card as stolen.

When the new card arrives, I will be confiscating it to stop the spending, giving me a fighting chance of clearing that debt over a number of years paying the minimum payment and using tax refunds to significantly pay down the debt, with a plan to have it paid in 2 years. I took this action, because, the card was not canceled and another $80 of charges were added, which given that only $22 was credited after interest last month, the balance has increased by $58 and the minimum payment is now $139.

The charges made were recurring charges for her real estate career, for Supra Key and Keller Williams. Obviously, if my wife canceled the card as I requested she do, these charges would not have been added. My wife decided today that the real estate career is a non-starter, 3 years after that career started, we have spent three times more on fees than the income we have generated from the real estate venture.

My wife did stop spending on the Discover card, with the exception of the recurring charges, but spent around about $500 on the VISA card instead, outside of the usual $220 of charges and a $170 for a new health system my wife is trying. So the balance on that credit card is now $959.19, it had a zero balance on April 1, 2019, so the trip to Colorado is now in question, as the money I had set aside for that will be used to pay off the VISA credit card, leaving $2,000 in savings which are slated for repairs to my wife’s car.

I plan to go to my credit union, Meritrust and attempt to cancel the VISA credit card, to stop the spending of money we don’t have. Whether Meritrust will allow me to cancel on my own without my wife’s consent I don’t know. I want to cancel it because it’s a joint credit card and I’d rather not have my credit score dragged down when we inevitably default, as wifey seemingly is unable to live within our means.

We are losing hundreds of dollars every month because of the extortionate interest charges from various credit cards. Until I moved to America and got married, I had avoided credit cards like the plague. And I really wish that I had kept to that mentality, instead of going down the road of credit, even if it was initially supposed to be used as a buffer, to use in case of emergency, like unexpected bills and costs.

Update [Apr, 28 2019, 17:02]: Today, I check the online banking and what do I find, yup, another $96 spent on the VISA credit card. I tell her today what I plan to do; she asks if she can buy a burger, I check our account balance ($64.43) and say yes, instead she spends another $20 at the movie theater after dumping the kids with me. Do I need to just cut my losses in this relationship, separate our finances and let her manage her own money? It honestly feels like she is taking the piss out of me, she asks me what I want her to do, I tell her and she doesn’t do it, continuing the same reckless spending behavior.

Also, upon further inspection of the wife’s Discover statement, I find the actual balance increase is $219.23 because of the now, $119 interest charge + purchases – last month’s $217 payment I made.

Wife's Discover Statement, April 2019

I do love my wife, more than words can express, but when she is working against our best interests financially, and seemingly not taking what I say seriously, my thoughts veer towards not just separating our finances, but also our relationship. This constant financial stress is making me so unhappy, when it does not have to be this way, my wife needs to live within our means, I spend next to nothing on myself, maybe $15 on Pepsi and snacks per week, and only when we have disposable money in our checking.


It’s Official! My Body Has Developed A Negative Reaction To Beer

Killswitch Engage, The Cotillion, 4/23/2019

Last night I went to see the Killswitch Engage show at The Cotillion and they were freaking amazing live. But my suspicions that my body has developed some sort of negative reaction to beer was confirmed.

As my wife was also attending the show and I did not need to drive home, I took the opportunity to have a few beers to help loosen me up a little before Killswitch Engage took to the stage, and about halfway through their set, I felt the rumblings of something bad happening in my stomach.

I tried my best to ignore the rumblings in my stomach and enjoy the rest of the show, which I managed to do successfully. But, while I was sat down waiting for my wife to get out of the bathroom, that’s when the nausea kicked in and on the journey home, I was doing my best not to throw up all over the car.

We arrived home and I laid down to try to get the nausea under control, but the worst was still to come. I spent the next 3 hours with my head in the toilet bowl vomiting. I eventually got to sleep a little before 5am, still nauseated, which was still present at 7am when I had to get up to take my son to school.

Even as I write this; 24 hours later, I still feel nauseated, finding it hard to eat anything without the fear of seeing the food again. This is the third time after drinking 5-6 Bud Lights that I have felt like this immediately afterward, so I will stay clear of beer, it’s not worth feeling like this for a handful of beers.