Growing up without a cell phone

If you are 36, or older, you might think this is hilarious! When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning….Uphill… Barefoot…BOTH ways…yadda, yadda, yadda. I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it!

Well now that I’m over the ripe old age of forty and about to become the parent of a bonafide teenager, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today. You’ve got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a freaking Utopia! I hate to say it, but kids today, you don’t know how good you’ve got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn’t have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter – with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn’t care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3’s, Napsters, iTunes or torrents! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We’d play our favorite tape and “ejected” it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that’s how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

We didn’t have fancy crap like Call Waiting either! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that’s it and then our parents would ground us from the phone, for like forever.

There weren’t any freaking cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn’t make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your “friends”. OH MY GOSH !!! Think of the horror… not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there’s TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

We didn’t have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent… you just didn’t know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn’t have any fancy PlayStation or XBOX video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600 with games like ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Asteroids’. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen.. Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what’s the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I’m saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

We didn’t have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

Our parents told us to stay outside and play… all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside.. you were doing chores!

And car seats – oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the “safety arm” across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling “shot gun” in the first place!

See! That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn’t have lasted five minutes back in 1970 or any time before!

The Over 40 Crowd

Scammers Ripping Off Mobile Customers Via Text Messages

Apparently the cellphone companies are all in cahoots with scammers to rip off their customers and the FCC is powerless to do anything about it. That’s right and it’s all nice and legal like. Have you ever gotten those unwanted text messages from some company offering you some service you don’t need or want? Yeah, we all have. Have you paid much attention to them or just ignored them like most telemarketing calls? I pretty much ignore them.

So here’s the scam. Whenever you get one of these text messages from some company like Flycell, offer anything from ringtone downloads to celebrity gossip or some other nonsense, if you’re like me you just ignore it. I mean logically, if it’s offering something and you don’t want it, ignoring it should be the same as saying “no I don’t want it” right? WRONG!!!! Somewhere in the message is usually a statement that says something to the effect “please reply if you DON’T want this service”. By ignoring the message, the company is assuming you DO want whatever it is they are promoting and charge it to your cellphone account. Which AT&T and most other service providers seem to allow with out any further confirmation.

Right now you’re going WTH!!! right? I know. After calling AT&T they removed the charges but said it wasn’t their system, it was the customers problem because that person (ie: me) didn’t respond to the text message. Is it just me or does that just seem bass ackwards? It means any Joe blow scammer can sign you up to any service via a mobile subscription and you’d never know it until the bill arrived. What a crock. They did say they could put a mobile purchase block on the line but that would also block purchases made from iTunes or the Apple App store which isn’t very reasonable if you’re an iPhone user.

This same type of thing happens on Facebook as well. Those wacky surveys that your friends are “supposedly” taking? Well pay attention to those if you’re playing around. NEVER give one of them your cellphone number or else. In many cases they ask for a cell number at the end of the survey which in most cases automatically subscribes you to some service.

……… and still wonder why I miss my StarTac from circa 1999 so much.

11 Awesome Snow Scenes

Snow makes for such a backdrop doesn’t it? We missed out on any significant snowfall this year (again). It’s been several years since this area of North Carolina has seen a good “Snow of the Century”. You know, a good 2 to 3 inches and the world would shutdown for a month. Oh and bread & milk, forget about it.
Sun kisses Mountain
Creative Commons License photo credit: 8#X

Aglow in the Snow
Creative Commons License photo credit: Pear Biter
winter brightness
Creative Commons License photo credit: Grant MacDonald
vancouver snow
Creative Commons License photo credit: .mused | maziarh

Neve notturna E
Creative Commons License photo credit: Iguana Jo

Creative Commons License photo credit: Marko_K
St. Columb_Z11055XLV
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ennor

Creative Commons License photo credit: josef.stuefer
Snow Fence (last Winter)
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lutz-R. Frank
Swamp Creek Valley
Creative Commons License photo credit: road_less_trvled
The Mountain Exhaled
Creative Commons License photo credit: laszlo-photo

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day people. Remember we have so much to be thankful for this year. Our health, family, friends, pets and much, much more.

If this is your first time or 100th time passing by my little section of the blogosphere I thank you. Hope you have a wonderful day fill with food, fun and cheer.

Onward and upward!

Be Prepared With The Emergency Zombie Kit

Because you just never know when your going to find yourself in the midst of a Zombie attack you should always be prepared. I keep an Emergency Zombie Kit under the seat of my Toyota Tundra just in case I take a wrong turn and end up in “Night of the Living Dead” or some other place infested with Zombies. Seriously folks, you just never know when you might have to go all Resident Evil on a gang of undead humans hellbent on having you for dinner. The kit itself includes a shotgun, shells, a knife and the lid doubles as a riot shield.

Remember your Boy Scout training: Be Prepared. You Girl Scouts, I hear Zombies like “Brownies” so just throw them.

Welcome to my world!

Hello there. I see you finally made it through all the nooks and crannies of the internet to find your here to my blog.

For those of you that are stopping by for the first time, my name is James Pegram and this is my little slice of the blogosphere. Basically I started this blog to have a place to rambling about various things, sometimes they make sense, most times probably not.

A little about me. I’m just your average guy who spends way to much time on the internet. I live in Albemarle, NC (where??). Basically we’re out in the middle of NC farm country about a half hour NE of Charlotte. It’s the home of American Idol 5 fifth place finisher and current country music star Kellie Pickler. I’ve spent the past 13 years working for First Union -> Wachovia -> Wells Fargo, up until a few weeks ago when they decided my services were no longer needed. Now, I’m a full-time internet mogul which allows me to maintain my own schedule and work from home.

I’ve dabbled in the internet for years but nothing ever really took until back in January of 2005 while watch the auditions for season 4 of American Idol and having witnessed the audition of this cute blond country girl (and proclaiming her the winner right then) I started a fan site called Carrie Fans. Now, five years later, Carrie Underwood is a country music SUPERSTAR and Carrie Fans is the largest dedicated discussion forum on the net. Currently the site has over 2 million posts, right at 10k members and gets around 35,000 page views a day.

I also operate another forum for Stampin’ Up! crafters and demonstrators. Stampin Addicts as conceived in an attempt to help my wife (she’s the demonstrator) and her friends from around the country keep connected. It quickly overflowed to the rest of the stampin community and is currently on it’s way to being a prosperous community.

Besides these two site I also do a fair amount of PHP/MySQL development, mostly for my own benefit and from time to time I’ll build a website for someone. When not in front of the computer I’m usually still online playing Halo 3 or Call of Duty 4. My XBLA account name is RustedBucket. Sometimes I canbe found on one of the local lakes and occasionally I’ll get tired of the internet and do some real work around the house, but that doesn’t happen too often.. lol

So that’s it really. Plenty more stories to tell but those are for another time. For now, thanks for stopping by and feel free to drop me a line.