April 9th 2019

What a World

Over the last week or so, I’ve had some of the most exciting things happen to me that I think I could ever ask for.

I think what I’ve always wanted was to provide lots of people with something I have created myself, and simultaneously make myself happy while making everyone else happy, too. I’ve had a taste of this with my YTP+ project. In just a day I’ve gained about 150 followers and I’ve gained about 2,000 likes on the release post. That’s pretty damn good for something I didn’t put a lot of effort into. That being said moving forward I would really love to continue working on that program and making it, well, worthy of its following, because it’s far from it. I’ve never made something that has caught on this much. So it’s seriously a bit of a culture shock to me, I guess. I’m still trying to understand what the hell I should be doing with myself now that I’ve gained a somewhat substantial following that wasn’t centered around LittleBigPlanet. In a way, I’m glad I’ve come to terms with the idea that I can totally wipe myself away from something so easily and jump ships into something new that doesn’t leave me feeling, well, depressed.

I have lots of ideas. I have lots of plans. I have lots of things I want to try and create and do. It’s exciting. For quite some time I had my ambitions in the wrong place and I’ve now accepted that I have much more potential than I believed I had. I probably sound like I have a big ego, but I think it’s more of a confidence thing.

That being said, it’s beyond important that I don’t forget about my life. I put off a bunch of assignments and coursework that’s due this week (and some overdue by a week) so please give me some time to catch up with my important stuff before there’s any updates or new projects on the way. Just know I’m excited as hell to move forward with stuff I’ve wanted to do for years.

Thank you all.

P.S. I’m sorry about the lack of blog posts. I’ll get back to it!

March 2nd 2019

Work In Progress, Part II

On a more positive note, I sent in an application for Harvard two days ago (just a few hours before the deadline). Unfortunately, by the time I submit the application, I didn’t come to the realization that I needed several other documents from my school sent to the college. Damn. Harvard’s a no-go for me. But there’s always still Stanford, and I’m pretty dedicated to getting into that, despite the fact that it will probably murder my bank account in cold blood.

Anyway, aside from all this nonsense, my computer is finally complete. I built it yesterday.

My computer, complete with USB Penguin RGB light because I live on the dark side where RGB lights inside my computer don’t exist.

This baby’s running a 3770k i7, and I clocked it up to 4.4 GHz. My graphics card came in, it’s a Sapphire RX 580 with 8GB of VRAM. I can finally play video games from a decade ago at pretty much maximum speed…

I had a bunch of issues getting the computer to work initially, and I think I enabled some bad setting in the BIOS so for a while my computer was refusing to POST and I had no idea why. Still a little bit skeptical of my computer being 100% fully functional, but we’ll see. I get pretty damn good temperatures. Idling with a Chrome window open and a Discord window, maybe Spotify runs between 30C and 40C. When running Prime95, the max temperature I saw it go up to was 90C, which is risky but that’s Prime95 being a big meanie. Realistically, I never see it go much past 75C-80C when doing hefty things. And I never stress out my computer, so I think my current overclock is working great.

In other news, we’re supposed to get snow tomorrow. 3-6 inches. I’m calling out of work because I’m pissed off at what happened today, and I’m totally using the snow as an excuse.

February 27th 2019

But, no

No. Why am I feeling discouragement?

Tonight, I am going to apply for Harvard and Stanford.

I hit a sudden realization point that I look down upon myself too much. I view myself as somebody who isn’t capable, or that I believe I’m not putting enough into what I want to accomplish. Why can’t I apply for these schools, get into them, and move onto getting my master’s and having a half-bright future? Why have I always settled for less?

I doubt I’ll get into either school. Yet with that mindset, I won’t. So I believe I am able to get into either school. And if it doesn’t work out, regardless, I believe my future will be bright. Mark my words.

February 24th 2019

Fraud

Salut.

Let me start this post off by giving some back story for those who don’t know. I work retail; I work in the electronics department at a specific retail chain that I will go without mentioning for the sake of privacy. I’ve been here for about five months, and I’ve put in my two weeks as of yesterday. I frankly can’t tolerate my job. You’d think working in the electronics department would mean that you help sell electronics to customers who need them, but mostly, it means cleaning up and managing the Toys section, the Sporting Goods section, the Baby section, the Seasonal section, Movies, Books, and lastly on my priorities list, Electronics. In addition to cleaning these sections by the end of the night, I am also responsible for returning items to their original locations (“Go-backs”) from other parts of the store, answering customers’ questions about said sections, and lastly, doing everything phone related in electronics. This means I’m responsible for signing customers up with major phone carriers like Verizon and AT&T.

News flash: nobody comes to the store for cell phones. If they want a phone, they go to Verizon or AT&T. And the people that do, are either moms looking for the extra $100 store gift card that comes with activation, or are total frauds looking to cheat the system. Guess what composes almost 75% of the activations I come across.

Imagine the word “thugs.” Take whatever image you have in your head when you think of the word “thugs” and apply this to what I’m about to say. Tonight, around 8:30 PM I had a tall dude who obviously worked out with tattoos on his arms and one on his face, alongside a scrawny 40-or-so year old with a beard, come into the store and meet me over in electronics. They wanted two iPhone XS phones, both 256 GB in storage, in Gold. So I’m sitting here like “red flag, gonna be a fraud” right off the bat, considering this happens so often that I can pretty much immediately tell that expensive phone = fraud. I don’t remember the last time I sold a phone of such an expensive caliber to somebody who wasn’t a fraud. I’ll get into what “fraud” means later because this guy exemplified its definition perfectly.

So guy wants me to sign him (and his “son”) up with two of these phones under Verizon. So I ask them for ID, I ask for all their personal info, everything checked out as legit so I pushed through with the activation. Until the credit score check came into play, and immediately stopped my system from continuing. The reason for this is because even though his ID was legit, the SSN he gave me was most likely false or stolen. Red flag #2.

I told the man “hmm, doesn’t seem to have worked, sir.” with a prompt “no, it did work, I worked at a phone store, I know how this stuff works. It’s called a validation check, did nobody train you?” from him. So, to correspond with his persistence as I knew telling him no wouldn’t get him away, I called the number on screen. Additionally on screen was a six-digit PIN which I would give to the person over the phone system (this is important). Phone system asked me for his information, I gave it to him, and they ran a test on it. Not sure what they did, but test failed. Red flag #3.

They asked me to put them on the line. I did. They gave him a number and a second PIN to call. The guy tried to get me to do it on my in-store phone, but I refused and told him it was his job to call Verizon and get that sorted out and that there’s nothing I could do. Red flag #4.

He angrily stumbled to pull out his cracked Samsung Android phone and called the number provided. After several automated security questions, he started getting mad and calling this “bullshit, why are you putting me through this?” He failed the several various questions that the Verizon hotline had asked him (“What’s your primary bank?” “Where did you work in 2014?” so forth..) the second line denied him as well. Red flag #5.

So I told the phone system that he had failed this check, and they put me on hold while they “ran another check which might work.” Thankfully, one of my coworkers took note. He looked at me and mouthed the phrase “fraud?” and I subtly nodded my head. A few minutes later, while I was still on hold, my manager came over. She immediately came in and said to guy #1, the guy with the tattoos, “sorry sir, we can’t sell you this phone” which totally contradicted whatever it is I was doing to try and help this customer out. So he got mad and said “you’re not the sales associate, you don’t mean shit. That doesn’t mean shit. He’s been helping me all this time, you have no say in this.” Red flag #6.

They butted heads for a little while and then I finally came off hold. They asked to speak to the customer, when I handed the phone over to guy #2, the scrawny guy. I felt scared at this point, frankly, because guy #1 was pretty pissed off. Guy #2 talked to the line for a few minutes, my manager and guy #1 kept butting heads for a little while longer, and I believe at this point the line had straight up told guy #2 that the transaction wasn’t possible. So both of them got mad, complained that “we’re going to talk to whoever is above you and get you fired” and stormed off. My manager let the phone line (and me) know that these people were known criminals who had been visiting other stores in our chain, and she knew about them the entire time, which is why she stormed in and told them straight-up that it wasn’t possible to sell them a phone. I stopped counting the red flags.

About 30 minutes later, I receive some hearsay from a coworker that guy #1 supposedly did two things following our denial of his phone. First, he went up to a coworker (who isn’t even a manager nor do they work in electronics) and started harassing them, getting in their face and threatening to hurt them. Second, he called this store from the parking lot and started yelling and screaming at the person in customer service. In addition to this, I hear that this person began threatening not only the customer service representative, but also me and my manager, saying that they were going to, and this is paraphrased from hearsay, “beat our asses” and “you messed with the wrong guy” and “I’m outside right now, come fight me.” So my anxiety levels raised up. I wasn’t really sure what to think. These are empty threats, totally, but these guys looked pretty shady, and I think above all else, persistent. So, being nothing but an electronics guy, I had no idea what to think. Do these guys have any sort of weapon? Will they be outside my place of work when I’m leaving tonight? Unlikely, but do they have a gun? Will they shoot up the store? I had no idea where it would lead.

The cops were called by my store by around 9:30. They came in and interrogated me, my manager, and a few of my coworkers. Unfortunately, the cops said there was nothing but empty threats being thrown around here, and that there wasn’t much they could do by Massachusetts law that would help us. They said however that they would wait outside around closing time to ensure we all get to our cars safely. So damn, no justice for the criminals. But at least we knew we were, to some extent, safe.

We managed to pull the criminal’s name, address, and license information from Verizon because I had left the page up on my computer which told us to call the support line, earlier. We used that information to get his name. The cops had left the area by the time we had written it down, but surely it’s going to be reported at some point.

I got nothing done tonight. I was too afraid. It’s a good thing I’m leaving this store in two weeks, I’m really really tired of running into problems like this one because people think they can cheat my store to get a fraudulent phone illegally using someone else’s information. Thankfully, though, we got out of the store without any problems. There were two cops sitting outside the store watching us all get to our cars. There wasn’t anyone outside with a bat like my mind was thinking might happen. Frankly, I take all threats seriously. It’s hard to deny that your livelihood for any reason could be at stake, especially over something as stupid as an iPhone XS.

October 31st 2017

Weather

Salut.

We were hit by a pretty massive nor’easter the other day. So far we’ve been out of power for two days, we have no water, and there’s a massive, dead tree digging into the side of our apartment that came down Sunday night.

I’ve let pretty much everyone I know aware of this, but life’s been pretty hellish since this happened. It made a pretty hefty dent into our gutters so there’s a bit of water leakage through the ceiling in a few rooms, including mine. We rent so we’re reliant on our landlord to actually help us remove the tree and restore power but considering the nature of rental apartments it might be a while before we get power again.

Currently, I’m taking makeshift showers using water from gallons of water purchased at Dollar Tree. I’m just glad I’m not dead.

 

In other news, I have the ability to drive now. Happy Spooky day.

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