Daily Archives: March 18th, 2010

Gerbils crunching numbers

Don't worry - I'm sure his number crunching was more complex than this

Editor’s Note: This report filed by shoutabyss is another piece in our ongoing series of team coverage of False Empty Nest Syndrome (or FENS). If you’ve missed our previous coverage, “gerbil” is the term we’ve come up with to describe a youngling who fails to leave the nest, thus triggering the onset of “False Empty Nest Syndrome.”

Did you know we have two gerbils? Our previous coverage has primarily focused on gerbil #2 who still lives in our home. (More on that later.)

Today, however, I’d like to introduce gerbil #1, who paved the way for gerbil #2 by being an excellent research subject in the area of FENS.

A brief dossier on gerbil #1: Subject is male, about 24 years old, a high school dropout, and has never worked on obtaining his GED. (As you can see there are remarkable similarities to gerbil #2.) Characteristics unique to this subject, however, include: Became a father a little over a year ago, left the mother of his child, and now resides with a new girlfriend in a nearby city. (In FENS terms, any situation resulting in the gerbil taking up primary residence in a domicile other than the parent’s is considered a major breakthrough.)

The events leading up to fatherhood are noteworthy in this case. The gerbil and his girlfriend made a deliberate and conscious decision against the use of birth control while opting to engage in sexual activity. (Our scientists are still baffled by this one.) Not baffling, however, is the result: A bouncy baby boy we have identified as Gerbil Gen III. Shortly after the birth of this baby, gerbil #1 left his girlfriend (the mother). One of the reasons he stated for doing this was because he couldn’t handle having a baby around. Naturally, he immediately obtained a new girlfriend and moved in with her. She already had a baby and was pregnant with another. (This is a prime example of gerbil logic.)

These events were noteworthy but were not of direct consequence to us since we were enjoying a period of extended FENS avoidance. Gerbil #1 actually had a job and hadn’t attempted to return to the nest for almost two years. As far as gerbil #1 was concerned, FENS was in remission.

About a month ago I spoke to gerbil #1 on the phone. He informed me that after discussion with his new girlfriend and “crunching the numbers” he had decided to quit his job (at Burger King) without any new prospects in sight. I asked, “So you just gave your two weeks notice?” He said no. His preferred strategy was to get angry and walk off the job. Admittedly this is a classic gerbil maneuver. He assured me that their budget would withstand the loss of income. They had crunched the numbers and money would be tight, but they’d be okay.

Fast forward to this week. I received a phone call from the gerbil. (A highly unusual event prompting our scientists to begin recording data.) It seems the gerbil had no auto insurance and was seeking a loan of $100.

Although technically not living at home, he somehow manages to cling to gerbil status and still is prompting FENS symptoms in our home. Our scientists are beginning to question if FENS can ever truly be cured.

Stay tuned for what I’m sure will additional developments as they become available from those of us here at the Gerbil Research Institute of Parental Edification…

Ancestry.com can eat my ass #sucks

Ancestry.com Sucks

Ancestry.com has an advertising campaign in full swing right now. I’ve seen them on TV and I’ve seen their ads plastered on websites.

I’m as curious about my roots as the next guy. I decided to take a look.

First I created my “family tree.” They allowed me to enter my name and “start my tree.” What a green friendly website. Lots of trees and leafs and such.

I then tried to add my spouse. Bingo! The first hurdle. They want me to fill out some form before continuing. Let’s see. It’s a “save tree” function and it only really wants my email address. I think I can live with that. Let’s continue.

I then went to add my father. That seemed to work as well. Here they had some “good news” for me. They had found an “ancestry hint” on my dad. I opened it to take a look.

Yep, that’s my dad alright. They had his birth date and place of birth correct. They also had the correct day he died, although the location was wrong. He didn’t die in the United States. He was in Mexico at the time trying some weirdo funky treatments for cancer at a rip-off medical resort. Ancestry.com said the information about my dad came from “2 public member trees.” Apparently some other Ancestry.com members were the source of their information about my dad.

I tried adding several more members of my tree. I never received another “ancestry hint.”

I then clicked the “review hint” button back on my dad’s record. BINGO! That took me to the Trial Membership page. Of course, I knew all along that this was my eventual destination where they were guiding me. I kept my mind open and went to look by clicking the “continue” button.

That’s when I landed on this little nugget*:

World Deluxe Membership 14-Day Free Trial
You won’t be billed if you cancel online or call before your free trial ends. Your price after the 14–day free trial is $299.40 for your annual subscription (plus any applicable tax).


To get my “free” trial I have to sign up for a $299.40 payment? And, here’s the kicker, you actually think your website is worth $24.95 a month??? I’ve spent some time on this planet and never in my entire life have a seen a website ask for that kind of money.

It’s my humble opinion that a free trial shouldn’t require a credit card. Of course, they want that payment to trigger automatically unless you do something to stop it. That’s how they get you.

Sorry, I can’t really afford $24.95 a month and for inaccurate information to boot. If I can find your online axe tool I’ll be chopping down my family tree. Of course, there is probably a charge for that, too. If George Washington was one of my ancestors maybe I can borrow his hatchet? That would make it a family heirloom.

Goodbye expensive tree website. Eat my ass.

* This was apparently their default offer that I reached by clicking the “continue” button. I logged in later and noticed you can also pay by the month. It’s $29.95 a month for the “World Deluxe Membership” and $19.95 a month for “US Deluxe Membership.” The difference is access to their world database.