Thursday, April 30, 2009

Alliterator Animal Sh*t List: The Letter 'U'

You guessed it. The letter U. Animals that start with U are hard to come by. I think sometimes we used some kind of mythological horse.

I've decided to stick with this:
Unsavory Undulating Urchin Under Uglies

My apologies. Internet access sucks.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Blah Blah Blog and Travel

Tomorrow afternoon I board a plane for Italy.

I'll be flying into Roma. Then I'm going to wing it to get to Lamezia (further down the West coast).

I'm thinking I'll take a 5 hour train ride. I could take a 1 hour plane ride, but where's the fun in that. I'll get me a first class seat on a south bound train! I need to be in Lamezia by Monday evening.

I'm going to go give one of our customers warm fuzzies so they don't ask for a refund. I'm good at handing out warm fuzzies. Although I don't think I've ever given warm fuzzies to an Italian before. It may be more difficult.

The frequency of my blogging may be slightly interrupted. I tend not to think on connectivity problems when I'm doing something I've never done before. They have requested Internet access in my hotel room though so I'm thinking it'll be fun.

When I travel, I don't like seeing things. I like meeting people. I mean what's more fun? Going to see The Sistine Chapel or meeting some locals for dinner and then hanging out with them at a pub underneath The Sistine Chapel? I'm fairly certain there is not a pub underneath the chapel. That comment was purely for example.

My friend Ed seems to be rather good at this type of thing. He visited Sri Lanka not too long ago and he wrote about his tour guide. I really can't give you more details than that. You should really read it for yourself if you are interested. I'd end up discrediting Ed's creative writing style.

Stephanie gave me a 5 minute crash course on Italian last night. I don't remember any of it except that it was an easy language for me to speak. But my vocabulary skills suck. I can say most words correctly but I can't remember which words go where. Stephanie can speak 6 languages. She was my wedding planner because one of the languages she speaks is German.

So ciao for now. Unless something inspirational hits me in the next 24 hours or so my next post will probably be from Italy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blogging and Whining and Drinking oh Why?

I've been blogging for over a year now. I think I started during the first week of April 2008. It seems like only yesterday. I'm sure you agree.

Time progresses so quickly when you are being relentlessly entertained.

Alliterator Animal Sh*t List: The Letter 'T'

I've got an entertaining announcement concerning next week's blogs. I'll have to write about it later.

But today is all about the letter T. The T's started it all. I think my dad probably used it as a nickname for my sisters and in a bout of random wackiness decided to come up with like minded alliterations for the rest of the alphabet. You have to say it out loud to fully appreciate it. I'll wait while you do.

Tough Tiny Turkey Turds

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

John Adams

After yesterday's escapades, I decided to sit down with a nice dinner, tea and a DVD from Netflix tonight.

If you haven't seen the HBO mini-series, "John Adams", then you should. There is a description on IMDB.

The entire mini-series is in my Netflix queue, but I'm thinking of purchasing it.

I don't know how much of it is historically accurate, but I figure it's close enough. Not long ago I watched a PBS documentary on Thomas Jefferson. The writing of the Declaration of Independence was represented a bit differently in this mini-series than it was in the documentary.

The 2nd installment entitled "Independence" almost made me shed a tear. I'm sure there is something meaningful I could say about taxes, tea parties and Obama, but after listening to actors portray the thoughts and words of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Frankin, and George Washington, I don't feel qualified to write much more than I already have.


I must apologize for my, as Ed said, "Chimablogging".

I was tempted to delete the blog post in question out of some misconstrued fear that someone would actually read it and take it the wrong way. I have decided to leave it as a reminder.

I woke up this morning and meandered down to the kitchen to check the label on the bottle of beer. Let me just tell you that it's a good beer and I didn't drink it fast. It lasted me through an hour of Braveheart and an hour of a History Channel documentary on Shiloh. But that stuff is potent. 9% alcohol by volume and 75 CL. Far too much for a Tuesday night and far too much before blogging. My experiment was near disastrous.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Random Thoughts After A Quiet Period

Do you ever drink then blog?

I was at Target the other day. I think Durango has once pondered how Target stays in business. Well, I'm glad they do. I love Target. Wal-Mart charges 2 cents too much for Milk.

Oh yeah. I was at Target the other day shopping for groceries. I had a $5 off coupon for groceries if I spent over $50. I hate coupons that have a minimum dollar amount. Like cars that say, "You save $1000 for all purchases over $20,000!".

I left my coupon at home and by the time I noticed I left it at home it was too late. I was already there.

Target had some beer on clearance. All kinds of beer. I bought me some bottled brew that had little wired-on cork tops. I must say it was very good. Well, it still is very good. I'm about 80% done with a bottle. I think it must have been about a liter of some very potent brew. Chimay's the name. I'm thinking of going back to Target and buying some more. But not now. Maybe tomorrow.

I watched a history channel show about the battle of Shiloh. For those of you who went to Texas schools to learn history from a football coach, that's the name of a Civil War battle up in Western Tennessee. It got me to thinking.

The governor of Texas recently mentioned seceding from the union. It has caused lots of undue drama. I personally believe he was joking. Now, I've never liked Perry, but I don't think he's stupid and seceding would be beyond stupid.

But, it got me to thinking. Back in 1861 when the Confederate seceded from the Union, it started a civil war. The way the armed forces are today and the size of the federal government, nothing similar will ever happen again.

People, like Ted Nugent, who I blogged about earlier are pro-guns. They want to maintain their rights to carry fire arms. A large number of these people claim that they have this right in order to protect themselves from oppressive government. In today's world, you can sit there with your rifle all day long, but if the government decides it's your time to go, you'll be sitting on your couch with your rifle when Mr. Smart Bomb comes through your window and desintegrates your sorry ass. So, protection from the government has nothing to do with gun laws. Drop the argument.

People that are anti gun-laws (read that carefully) are normally too fanatic for my blood. Fanatics always turn me the wrong way. However, I am of the opinion that the government has too many departments and too many rules. They should let us do anything we want as long as we aren't hurting other people.

Obama recently encouraged various department heads to make cutbacks in an effort to save $100,000,000. If you do the math and look at the federal government's budget, they are spending $100,000,000 every 13 minutes.

When Obama was elected I had high hopes that he might actually shrink the size of the federal government. Everyone must agree that it's way too big. It you're not a fan of "business as usual" then a sure fire way to win popular opinion and save money is to shrink the size of the federal government. Obama created a department to shrink the size of the federal government. He grew the federal government to shrink the federal government. Very disappointing.

My friend at The Whited Sepulchre has a long list of departments that should be done away with (18 comments). It's a good list. My friend Durango recently posted a story about how government cutbacks have allowed petroleum industry to pollute our drinking water. What a conundrum.

In a capitalist country, the little people must ban together to prevent the evils of industry and the power they wield via wealth. But what happens when the little people's broker (the governmet) becomes, itself, corrupted by the evils of power and wealth?

I think we all hoped by some miracle that Obama would make appropriate cutbacks in the federal government and make the little people feel safe again by reigning in the evil industrial empires. I'm still waiting for this to happen, but at the same time I'm not giving up hope. My last drink of Chimay goes to Obama and to the power of the little people. May he really shrink the size of the federal government and quit bailing out industrial empires.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tea Party with Top Guitarists

While I am on the subject of guitars, I guess I should swing back and do some more of my Libertarian duties and mention the Tea Party that happened in San Antonio. Ted Nugent was there: The Motor City Madman, TNT, Terrible Ted, etc.

My fellow friendly political blogger has more on the Tea Parties (in general)
. You can go there is you want to read more and join in the lively debate.

The first video is a music video. Ted doing the Star Spangled Banner. From listening to it, I've decided that you have to be a Nugent fan to really appreciate it. Else you'll be saying "Oy" a lot.

The second video is the only video I could find where you can understand Ted although you can't see him. You just get to see two bald guys standing in front of the camera. The imagery is frightening so you might just want to close your eyes and listen. I like the alarm clock analogy. I also like that this particular recording cuts off when Ted starts his gun rant.

Rolling Stones 10 Top Guitarists Have Anything in Common

This post takes some background history.

I like playing with Astrology. I also like finding things that people have in common that you normally wouldn't look for. For example. I weighed 10 pounds when I was born. When I was 12 I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. So do fat babies have a better chance of getting Type 1 Diabetes?

A few days ago I posted a video Tommy Emmanuel and Jake Shimabukuro. It occurred to me later that they are both living on islands. So do islanders have a higher incident of stringed instrument greatness? I think you get the idea.

One thing you should remember about the top 10 guitarists as ranked by Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone is a rock magazine. If it was just the top 10 of all time, these guys probably wouldn't even be in consideration. But, do they have anything in common? What can I easily go to Wikipedia and check for without having to do weeks of research? I'm experimenting as I type. Here we go.

Number 10 is Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. He was born December 18, 1943 in Dartford, Kent, England. He's from England. He was born in the 40's. He's a Sagittarius although you could say on the cusp of Capricorn.

Number 9 is Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. He was born January 9, 1944 in Heston, Middlesex, England. Once again from England and born in the 40's. He's definitely a Capricorn.

Number 8 is Ry Cooder. He was born March 15, 1947 in Los Angeles, California. He was born in the 40's. He's a Pisces.

Number 7 is one of my faves, Stevie Ray Vaughan. He was born in October 3, 1954 in Dallas, Texas. He's got nothing in common with the others. He should be closer to number 1. For the curious and/or lazy, he's a Libra.

Number 6 is Chuck Berry. He was born October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri. Yet another Libra. First one from the 20's. Maybe this isn't going anywhere.

Number 5 is Robert Johnson. He was born May 8, 1911 in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. May 8th is Taurus. Most of the good musicians I've known personally have been Taurus for some reason. He and Chuck wer both born in states that start with Miss :)...

Number 4 is Eric Clapton. He was born March 30, 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England. Another Englander, but I'm starting to think that this is not a fair categorization. March 30th is an Aeries.

Number 3 is B.B. King. He was born September 16, 1925 in Itta Bena, Mississippi. Well, we have two from Mississippi now. Who would have thunk that Mississippi was a breeding ground for guitarists! September 16 is a Virgo. Interestingly (or not), he and Chuck Berry are both still playing!

Number 2 is Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band. He was born September 20, 1946 in Nashville, Tennessee. This also makes him a Virgo. Number 2 and 3 were both Virgo's. That's fairly interesting (or not). He was born in the 40's as well, although I'm starting to think that the number of people born in the 40's may just be a "sign of the times" type thing. More a product of when the article was written than anything else.

Number 1 is, of course, Jimi Hendrix. He was born November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington. Yet another Sagitarrius born in the 40's.

The interesting thing about number 1 and 2 that I didn't bother to follow too much is that they both died at a young age. Jimi died at the age of 27. Duane at the age of 24. Duane in a tragic motor cycle accident, Jimi because of drugs or a party or a woman or something.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our Founding Fathers -- Who Were Yours

My mean-spirited fellow blogger, Durango, is getting a kick out of this billboard.

I must admit that the first time I saw it, I thought it was a religious billboard as in, "Even if you don't believe in God, He is still with you so you are not alone." They need to replace the clouds or flowers or whatever that is with a heavy metal band or something.

But that is not apparently the point. Anyway, I was most astonished at the letter criticizing the billboard and how it was "a mockery of our founding fathers". I was glad to see a glimmer of hope in the follow up.

It amazes me that people without a clue profess to know our founding fathers. It also amazes me that people accept it. So I went to this website and found a bunch of quotes from our "founding fathers" (I'm just going to copy it here -- pardon the font mess):
George Washington, 1st President (1789-1797)
"... the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion ..."

"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." and "I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature." ~ Thomas Jefferson

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." -- Thomas Jefferson (letter to J. Adams April 11,1823)

"Christianity ... (has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man. ... Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers ..." -- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President (1801-1809) Source: Six Historic Americans, by John E. Remsberg

"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot ..." -- Thomas Jefferson:
Source: Thomas Jefferson letter to Horatio G. Spafford, 1814. ME 14:119

James Madison, fourth president and father of the Constitution, was not religious in any conventional sense. "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."
From: The Madisons by Virginia Moore, P. 43 (1979, McGraw-Hill Co. New York, NY) quoting a letter by JM to William Bradford April 1, 1774, and James Madison, A Biography in his Own Words, edited by Joseph Gardner, p. 93, (1974, Newsweek, New York, NY) Quoting Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments by JM, June 1785.

"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." ~ James Madison

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church." ~ Thomas Paine

"The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma." ~ Abraham Lincoln

"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religions in it. -- John Adams, 2nd President (1797-1801)
Source: A letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 15, 1817

Benjamin Franklin:
"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."
Source: "Toward the Mystery"

Thomas Paine (1737-1809):

"I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible)."
The Age of Reason, Part 1, Section 5

Thomas Paine (1737-1809):
"The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion." From The Age of Reason

Ukulele For The Win

I think I mentioned being a fan of Tommy Emmanuel before. Jake Shimabukuro is new.

Before you turn it off let it get to about 1:50 in time. You'll be glad you did.


Alliterator Animal Sh*t List: The Letter 'S'

With prolific letters such as our guest letter today: the letter S, the only way to get past it is to come up with something simplistic. Simplistic starts with S. See how that works. To me the S's aren't very funny. But stay tuned for next week! The T's are what started it all!

Soft Stinky Stallion Stool

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good Bier, Gut Food, Bavarian Grill

I think I tantalizingly mentioned something last week hinting at an exciting story that I needed to post. I feel I've toyed with your emotions long enough so here I am to spill the beans.

One of my favorite eateries in the DFW area is the Bavarian Grill in Plano. The food is good, the beer is better and every time that I go there I am entertained. My wife, being from Germany, says she likes to go there when she is homesick because it's the one place in this area that reminds her a bit of home.

I encourage anyone coming through the area to stop by one evening and have a Franziskaner Hefe Dunkel (on tap) and listen to the antics of Alan, the accordion strumming, lederhosen wearing maniac. They have other entertainers as well. You can get to it from their website.

Last time I was there with my brother and sister-in-law, Alan did a reggae version of "Edelweiss" that brought tears to my eyes. I believe because it was funny. The beer fogs my memory. You have to go there to appreciate the sarcastic quick witted humor. I have none of it. Don't forget to order some authentic German beer.

When I went there about four years ago with my German colleagues (both of whom are from Bavaria), one of them stole Alan's accordion so he could play some "authentic" German music.

In all seriousness though, Alan's show is the best mix of German and American music and humor. Although, you can't be serious. Seriously.

My wife recently accepted a job at the grill. Maybe if you go there, you can find her and say hello. She'll be the one in the dirndl.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pandora and Preston Reed

A few weeks or months or something ago, I posted a small note about Pandora and how they force me to buy new music thus lining the pockets of musicians, producers and record execs everywhere. But then the record execs decide to try and put Pandora out of business. It seems completely insane or inane or both. Anyway, in that post I listed a bunch of artists that I had purchased and discovered via Pandora.

I bought a Preston Reed CD last week. Good stuff.

Monday, April 13, 2009

RTS, RPG, Big Huge Games and Ensemble

RTS is "real time strategy". Ensemble Studios brought these to my attention with Age of Empires. Some are historical, some are science fiction, some are mythological. There are all kinds. You basically start as a leader with next to nothing and through real time strategy (as opposed to turn based), you conquer all.

My favorite RTS of all time? Rise of Nations by a company called Big Huge Games. In that game you start out with sticks and stones and about 20 minutes later you have aircraft carriers and nuclear missiles (if you know what you are doing). It's a fairly fast paced RTS, but it's a lot of fun. Their follow-up was something called Rise of Legends. It was different, but I never could get into it much. The graphics were pretty and the concept was cool, but the playability suffered.

My second favorite RTS of all time was Starcraft by Blizzard. I've spent countless hours playing video games and in the last 20 years I'd have to say that Blizzard has eaten up the most of those hours. Prior to that it was Sir-Tech, but that ages me. I don't like being aged. Starcraft is a science fiction based RTS with 3 unique but very well balanced civilizations. Blizzard is working on Startcraft II, but they aren't telling anyone when it's going to hit the shelves (December 3, 2009 is the latest rumor).

Age of Empires is probably my third favorite for the curious.

Why did I decide to rant about this today?

Well, I recently got bored with all my computer games and started shopping around for some new game to occupy my time. I burnt out on RPG's. I played World of Warcraft, then Age of Conan. The last RTS I got hooked on was Supreme Commander.

I decided it was time for a new RTS. Ensemble Studios recently shut its doors so there will be no new games coming from them. I went to the Big Huge Games website and hear that they are possibly shutting their doors too. Big Huge Games was almost 2 years into an RPG (aptly named Big Huge RPG) when their financing dropped. I must say that based on Rise of Nations alone, I would have pre-purchased a copy of any RPG developed by Big Huge Games.

Apparently it takes quite a lot of money to develop a game. I'm not quite sure where all the money is spent. I am fairly confident that with a team of ten really good people, I could lead a team to a successful game in short order (less than 2 years). The "idea" for the game is only about 20% of the battle. I've got lots of ideas.

What people expect from games is playability, ease of use, and stability. You leave out any of those and you are going to be fighting an uphill battle after launch. There is an intangible to the customer that I think a lot of software companies miss. Maintainability. People like for their games to be enhanced or upgraded or fixed if there is a bug. Software can be written such that it can be easily fixed or upgraded and thus maintained.

Even if you launch an RPG and 4 million people purchase the game. If the game was architected, designed and written in such a way that the maintenance costs are prohibitive, I believe that the cost of maintenance will eat up any profits almost immediately. It's almost impossible to ship a product that will work in every concievable configuration without problems. Therefore, maintainable code is key.

I suspect that Funcom, the makers of Age of Conan, are losing this fight. I don't know how many subscribers they have paying monthly fees to play online, but it takes them so long to fix problems that they must be losing a significant number of players. They forgot about maintenance when they were implementing.

If you want to see a company that does things right? Blizzard. If I had to start a software company today, I'd model it after Blizzard. Their turnaround on fixes are fast and they don't have to make many. I suspect they somehow have something in place such that their developers write very maintainable code and the shipped product has limited defects. I could theorize that maintainable code is also stable code.

Does anyone want to finance me? Or maybe finance Big Huge Games as long as I'm offered a position as lead designer/architect? I'm real good at it. I don't know about living in Maryland although their office parties look like fun.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Britney Spears, Tina Turner and Amy Winehouse

You know when you have something cool to blog about, but you lost your pictures or you don't feel inspired to put it all down on paper. Today is one of those days. I think I left my pictures describing the event at work. I won't be back to work until Monday. Hopefully, I'll still remember the story on Monday. It just won't be the same without my pictures.

Instead, you get to read about this thought that's sort of been tickling my noodle for some time now. That being Britney Spears. Yeah, she's cute with her little midriff baring outfits. At least she is now that she got the little fat rolls under control. And she was before (the kids).

However, she did something in between that completely made her the lowest kind of scum. She decided to have children with no intention of taking care of them. I know women who have had kids (by accident) and they cry, work a second job, and do what they have to do to make sure their children get by the best that they can.

Britney is/was a multimillionaire and she planned to have kids. She said she was going to put her music career on hold to make time to start a family. She is the biggest kind of loser and we still pay her exorbitantly for it and give her lots of free publicity.

The other day, my daughter was complaining about Amy Winehouse because "Amy Winehouse is a druggy". I personally like Amy's music a helluva lot better than Britney's.

"What's worse?" I asked her. "Doing drugs and only hurting yourself or deciding to have kids and not taking care of them?"

She's too young to really care, but maybe some day she'll understand. Amy Winehouse is killing herself and it's too bad because she's a cool singer. But at least she didn't put innocent children in danger by doing so. She's a million times better than Britney.

And for those of you who still think Britney is a good entertainer. You ain't seen nothing. The first video is Tina Turner when she was 68 (almost 69). The second video is Britney when she was 26. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Alliterator Animal Sh*t List: The Letter 'R'

Well, I must admit, I don't believe my father ever came up with an "acceptable" 'r'. Acceptable by definition, in our case, meant that "everyone remembered it at the next family gathering". I don't think the 'r' was ever remembered by anyone.

Being that my blog title "Random Ramblings" is an R alliteration, I decided to borrow from it and create my own alliteration "on the fly". I'm quite sure you won't enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoyed coming up with it.

Randomly Ricocheting Rancid Rhinoceros Rectum Rounds

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

National Hate Week Continues

I still haven't officially confirmed that this is National Hate Week. How does one make something become National? Does it have to be confirmed by the government? Does the Senate have to give it a two-thirds thumbs up?

Regardless, I called the great Firestone total auto care last week to get work done on my car.

"Do you guys do GM warranty work?" I ask.

"Of course, we do!" a gentleman named Ken replied with all encompassing enthusiasm. We do everything.

"Ah," I replied, "so you can fix my mechanical car antenna which is stuck in the up position."

"No problem," he says, "bring it in any time."

"So if I bring it in tomorrow morning. you'll have everything you need to fix it?" My ever enduring cynicism had taken over in a big way.

Ken assured me that they had all the necessary parts in house or could easily order them and had an account with GM to get everything taken care of (charge wise).

Next day I show up with my car bright and early.

Some other guy (not Ken) was manning the front desk. I am, of course, bright and cheery.

"Good morning," I say, "I called yesterday about getting my antenna fixed on my Trans-Am."

"Oh," he replied, "We don't do that. You'll have to take it to the dealer."

It completely rained on my bright and cheery attitude and caused a conniption to occur in my happiness dashboard.

"But Ken said to bring it in anytime." I whined in my most unpleasant voice. "He said you guys fix anything."

"Yeah, well Ken no longer works here," is what he said.

"You mean he got fired between yesterday at 4 and this morning?" I asked incredulously. My blood was starting to boil. I went from one conniption straight to another.

"Well, he didn't really get fired, more like transfired." Oh great. I guess a humorous play on the English language is going to make me feel all warm and cozy!

About that time another gentleman came into the store wearing a Bridgestone shirt.

"Oh, there's Ken now. He can take care of this," the man who was quickly losing all my respect and earning much of my day's ire said.

Ken set me up and got my car in the queue and gave me a ride to work. I'm not quite sure what was up with all that. On my way to work, Ken said he was a store manager transferred from Chicago and that he had been working at that store since January. He said he had just got a notice yesterday afternoon that he was to take over a store south of there and was on his way. Thus, he could drop me off on his way to the new store.

I picked up my car that afternoon after work and the lame ass who tried to ruin my day before was the man in charge (apparently). He said that he didn't like signing up for warranty work because it's hard getting the warranty companies to pay for anything (I guess he thinks he can take it out on the customers).

He also said that car companies sucker people into paying for extended warranties and then don't want to pay for anything. I suspect he was elegantly trying to call me a gullible fool. Idiots piss me off and he was approaching severe stupidity.

He said in my case that the total charge was $356, but that the warranty company would only pay $311. $356 to put a new freaking antenna on a car? And he was complaining that GM would only pay $311? No wonder GM is having financial problems! Oh my god!

Ken warned me that I might have to pay $45 of it because I asked him to have them inspect it for any more warranty work. I didn't tell the Lame Ass that. He can suck it up like a big loser.

Monday, April 6, 2009

National Hate Week and Two is Better Than One

This week is supposedly National Hate Week. Of course, depending on who you ask, this week may occur several times during the year. But, if you ask around long enough someone will surely confirm that you, in your patient badgering, are correct. This works with all things. Sometimes it works in reverse as well. You have to be on your patient badgering toes at all times of need.

Yes, I've got examples. I knew you would ask. The wonderful D/FW based airline. The one known to most Americans as American Airlines is probably the best at the patient badgering until you hear what you want to hear approach. Don't forget.

Several years ago, when my wife and I were still dating, I was trying to buy her a ticket from Frankfurt to Dallas. I bought it for, let's say, $600 (round trip). A week later, my wife-to-be called me and said that things had changed and she needed to push the whole trip out one week. "Damn," I thought, "this is going to take a whole new level of patient badgering!"

I called American Airlines and the first person I talked to (a guy) said, "Well, we can move things around, but since you bought a non-refundable ticket, it's going to cost you a $150 change fee and if the date you want it more expensive, you'll have to pay the difference."

That wasn't bad, but not exactly what I wanted to hear, so I said, "Ok. Let me think on it and call my girlfriend and see what she says."

Next day, I call back. This time a woman answers. I say, "Yeah, I bought a ticket for my fiancée to come visit me next month, but her boss changed her plans and I really need to push it back a week. Can you help me?"

She piddled around a bit, came back and asked me my ticket number and the dates I needed it changed to and said, "Ok. The new dates are actually cheaper than the old dates so we'll be crediting you card $120. Here is your new confirmation number..."

Last week, I called the local Firestone to do warranty work on my GM car. I hate taking cars to the dealer. I'm going to save this for tomorrow. This week of hate must continue.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Special Weekly News Post

I find that writing my little blog is fun. It's more fun when people read it. If I had millions of readers it would be oodles of fun.

When I post personal tidbits, very few people read them. When I post informational topics (like video game comparisons, settings up virtual machines or repairing windows vista) lots of people stumble upon them via search engine results. But these kinds of postings are not as much fun to write.

What to do? Do you write the stuff that has people from all over the world accidentally reading your ramblings? Or do you post the stuff that is more fun to write but less read? Perhaps there is a perfect harmony. I doubt it.

I've gotten behind in my reading. I am reading my history book and "The Three Musketeers" at the same time. At one point I was reading a chapter from each every night before bed. Now, not so much.

My history book has just started in with the history of Africa. The most interesting thing about Africa it that it has the oldest evidence of modern man, but the technology lagged way behind. They skipped the bronze age and went directly to the iron age because of invasions from the north. I guess it's hard to fight off iron weapons with a wooden stick. The invaders brought iron weapons and the knowledge of how to make it to Africa. The people there were isolated in the stone age. Diversity and open communications brings ingenuity. We should remember that.

On April 1, I posted my April Fools joke on the coat tails of Durango's April Fools joke. That was another little tidbit that was fun to write, but not much fun to read. For those of you that might have been a little bit fooled: I'm not moving anywhere (yet).

Occasionally, I have to delete a comment. Sometimes someone will just post a link. I assume these are ads. Last week (or maybe two weeks ago) someone posted a link under the anonymous name of Ed. I thought it could have possibly actually been Ed, but I deleted it anyway. Then, when I got home from work and went to the linked website, I figured it really was Ed. Should I apologize to Ed for deleting his link comment? I haven't heard from him since I deleted his comment, but I think he might be "away".

Another friend of mine from high school has been posting comments on some of my crazy opinionated writings. For the most part it seems as though I am ignoring them. But for those of you playing along, I am actually cataloging them for future blog fodder. Like the one about the two party system insuring that the elected officials get more than 23% of the vote. I started to comment back and then it got long-winded, so I cataloged it instead. Sometimes I never get around to writing the post after the idea is cataloged. I'm working on that as well.

I met another semi-famous person the other day. I've been thinking about how to write about that. Not that anyone would particularly care. A few years ago (well, more than 10), I met a guy that pretended to be Steve Buscemi. I still don't know who he was. Maybe he was Steve. Not many people look like Steve. The movie Steve starred in afterward, he played an insane serial killer with my name. You'll have to research that one. I'll get you started. Maybe I'll post more about that later.

Police are supposed to keep us safe. They work for us. If you work at Wal-Mart, it is your job to make the customers happy. Without customers, you don't get paid because you don't have a job. Robert Powell should have been fired immediately for his video taped harassment of his customers. The fact that they let him resign is a testament to the lack of common sense and intelligence of our public servants.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Alliterator Animal Sh*t List: The Letter 'Q'

The Q's are not humorous. There are so few things that start with Q that it was difficult coming up with an appropriate brand of feces. I even had to make up a new word. It's very sad. The R's might be better.

Quite Queasy Quail Quap

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Exile In Texas Comes To An End

Today, I decided to move with Durango to Washington. I've lived in Texas long enough. I want to live on the liberal west coast with their wild black berries (the fruity kind, not the gms kind), mountains and rain. Lots of rain.

I haven't told him yet that I'm going to go with him. I don't remember if I still have his number. I'm hoping he'll give me a day or two to finish packing and sell my house. I hear every one is moving to Texas so maybe I can trade my large house for a fleeing Washingtonian's hut by the Puget Sound. Location is everything.

As I leave the belt buckle, I'll feel like I'm moving closer to Hell. A place where they don't kick people out of their houses to build football stadiums or shopping malls. It'll be brutal.

I still won't have to pay state income taxes. That'll be nice. I hope I can find a job. Maybe Durango will mentor me as his apprentice blogger. I really should have planned this a bit longer before making such a rash decision. But sometimes spontaneity leads to more fun.

Now I have to quit writing and get back to packing before Durango leaves without me. He may need my help against Lord Voldemort whose home is in the dreary Pacific Northwest along with the vampires and werewolves.