Archive for March, 2007

Hypocrite

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Hypocrite.

This is worth a read. http://www.thestranger.com/blog/2007/03/fuck_garrison_keillor

After reading it, I think I agree with the blog post’s title.

I am tired of politicians, celebrities, and other people holding the rest of the country or rest of the world out to a standard they’re not even upholding. Maybe it’s "do as I say, not as I do," but why should ANY of us do what any of these people want for us? Who are they, and why do they want anything in particular for me? How do they know what I need or what’s best for me?

So to all the

  • politicians against abortion who once upon a time paid some woman they impregnated (but who wasn’t their wife) to have an abortion
  • politicians who go on and on about the holiness of marriage, monogamy, and how bad gay people are… but cheat on their wives or maybe are gay and in the closet
  • celebrities who have been married numerous times and have the nerve to put down people who they feel is outside of their system of "healthy" marriages and families
  • clergymen ruining children’s lives while telling everybody else how to live without sin
  • politicians taking human rights away because you took something you read in a very long book to mean that these people didn’t get rights
  • parents crying about how much they love their sweet little children as they are being locked up for abusing or neglecting them
  • politicians who have gay children but are against gay rights (and supposedly love their children)

F U. Hypocrites. If there is a hell, I hope there is a special place reserved for you and the very special way in which you hurt loved ones and strangers.


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Irish Stereotypes Are Not OK

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Now that I have someone Irish (from Ireland) on my staff, I’m more sensitive to Irish stereotypes. But I think I’m the only one. Here are some that I can’t believe still go on.

  • The Irish are not about luck and leprechauns. In fact, if you read the history of leprechauns, they are deceitful, ill-natured, and used to be pictured wearing red. I’m in no big rush to associate an entire country of people with a character that’s ill-natured and deceitful. It would be like associating a whole group of people with someone who is lazy and unintelligent.
  • That means kiss goodbye the insulting nature of the whole Lucky Charms cereal. When my bank manager sees my Irish staff guy, she always says something stupid about, "Get your hands off me lucky charms," making reference to the cereal. As she is half-Mexican, I finally told her that this would be like me telling her to go put on a sombrero and eat a taco.
  • What is with Americans of Irish descent saying that they’re Irish and they were raised with Irish pride? They speak no Irish, they haven’t been to Ireland, and in many cases, their parents haven’t been to Ireland. This is like me saying that I’m Polish (because my grand-grandparents came from Poland). But try to tell an Irish-American that they’re Irish-American, and you’ll probably be barked at that they’re IRISH. They’s IRISH. No, my staff guy is Irish. He was born and raised there. You are Irish-American, and you can be proud of that.
  • I can’t imagine getting a Party American catalogue giving you Rabbi costumes because it’s Hanukkah. Yet, Party America just sent out a mailer showing a Leprechaun costume for your Happy Shamrock Day party.
  • According to Wikipedia, more people attended the St. Patricks Day parade in New York than in Dublin last year. I think this may just be more of an American thing, and like other things, Americans have turned it into something it probably wasn’t originally meant to be.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. All I can say is that I feel more sensitive about this. I think people should be more aware of stereotyping.


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No Potential For Abuse

Friday, March 16th, 2007

A commercial for Rozerem, a sleeping pill of some sort, says that there is, "No potential for abuse or dependence."

I’d think that any drug has potential for abuse or dependence. Maybe their logic is that if you attempt to abuse the drug, you will then be sleeping. You can’t abuse drugs while you are sleeping.

??


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Groove Wins Over Carbonite

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

I tried Carbonite backup service, and I didn’t like it. I tried it twice, and I still didn’t like it. It was insanely slow, it didn’t give me many options, and I just found it annoying. If you don’t mind those qualities in a product, then you’ll love the price. The price is low!

I would suggest Microsoft Groove, which I think you can get for around $80 a year. We got it as part of Office 2007 Enterprise, and we are LOVING it. It’s giving us all the tools of a file sharing server without us having to run a server. Initial setup and syncs are slow, but I find it to work smoothly after that. As my staff are located all over the place, I find it’s working really well for us sharing files. It also acts as a backup in that if I lost data, I could set up Groove and ask it to sync those folders again. That data would come back.

We love Groove! Sorry, Carbonite.


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You Know, Mushroom Sauce

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

I was out of town in January. I tried to have a meal in a casual place that seemed to specialise in things dumped on top of baked potatoes. Well, I love baked potatoes, so this seemed right up my alley.

One potato said it had a "couch mushroom" sauce. I hadn’t heard of that before, so I asked the waitress what was in the couch mushroom sauce. "You know, it’s like a mushroom sauce," she said. I replied that there are wine mushroom sauces, creamy mushroom sauces, buttery mushroom sauces, I really couldn’t know what mushroom sauce this was.

"You know, mushrooms."

I got up and left. If the waitress can’t tell me what’s in the mushroom sauce, and treats me like I should already know, I don’t need to eat there. I didn’t go there for mystery.

I just Googled "couch mushroom" and didn’t find anything that looked like a recipe. It looks like that’s another term for "couch potato," which I guess goes with a couch mushroom mystery sauce.


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Trading Diseases

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Have you heard the commercial for Humira? This is a drug for moderate and advanced arthritis and other joint/bone problems.

The commercial says, among other things, "Don’t take if you have heart failure. Causes tuberculosis and lymphoma." Well that’s great! You can go from joint pain to TB and cancer. I’d have to think that joint pain is better.

But ask your doctor about Humira.


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Protect Our Environment

Monday, March 12th, 2007

Here in AZ, many people have huge pickup trucks. We have plenty of unpaved roads, so depending upon where you live or what you do for work or hobby, a vehicle that can go off-road may make sense.

We also have lots of available vanity license plate designs. Arizona Wildcats. "Pets Enrich Our Lives." Purple Heart. Veteran. Alternative Fuel Vehicle. And we have one that says, "Protect Our Environment."

I got a smile the other day when I saw a HUGE Chevy Avalanche with a Protect Our Environment license plate. With a claim of 15 mpg around town, I sure hope that guy is doing other things for the environment! :)


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Change to eBay Affiliate Program

Friday, March 9th, 2007

Many years ago, I signed up for the eBay affiliate program. I had a hard time using it because at the time, the rule was that you could NOT link to listings for sellers you knew. eBay staff told me that it made things an unlevel playing field because I was promoting one seller rather than the items on the site. I was like HEY, if you don’t want me to use the affiliate code with one or a few sellers singled out, don’t make the code able to show items just from selected sellers!!!

But no, that was the rule. But not anymore! eBay has changed the official terms and conditions to say that you can now link to your own listings or those of people you know. So you can make money by linking to your own listings from your website, blog, and other areas.

Go check it out!


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I’ll Never Forgive American Express

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

American Express is advertising their OPEN Network a lot lately. Have you seen the ads on TV? I feel like there are more of them than before. The point is that it’s specially for small businesses and their owners.

I used to have American Express cards. I used them a lot, and I was happy with them. I liked the protection they claimed to offer and the rewards points system. I was happy until October of 2002.

I stayed in London for a long weekend, and when I checked out, my bill was wrong. They were looking to charge me nearly £300 (man that’s a lot) for long distance phone calls. The problem was that I had used a calling card that first dials a toll free number. The hotel phone system didn’t recognise it as a toll-free number, but it was.

I fought with the people at the desk. I told them to walk over to their pay phone and dial the number to show that it’s toll free. They wouldn’t. They told me there was no manager on duty and nobody there would be able to adjust my bill anyway. I was in London, UK, and I had a plane to catch to New York, USA. These people weren’t budging, and I didn’t feel like getting arrested for leaving a hotel without paying. I signed the bill and told them I would dispute the charge since the charge was ridiculous. After all, if the hotel isn’t going to be billed by their phone provider for the toll free calls, and if toll free calls are free (which they were), then I shouldn’t have to pay just because their system thought I was calling Malta or something.

I got back to the states and immediately disputed the charge. Amex wouldn’t let me dispute it yet since my bill hadn’t even come out. Once the bill came out, I sent a long letter explaining why I was fine with all the charges I had incurred at that hotel EXCEPT for the roughly £300 in long distance phone calls that were toll free calls. I must have written a 3-page letter explaining this.

Amex didn’t stand behind me. Evidently what the hotel sent in was SO compelling that I had to lose my case. What did the hotel send in? A copy of my signature on the bill. NOTHING else. No letter. No sentence. No explanation. Just my signature on the bill with the implication of hey, you signed for it, too bad.

Amex, who ran all these ads telling me how they will stand behind me, didn’t stand behind me. They didn’t care that was charged when I shouldn’t have been charged. They didn’t care that I can prove that it was a toll free number and that the hotel doesn’t charge for toll free calls. They didn’t care that the hotel would not have been able to produce a bill from their phone provider showing that the hotel paid for the toll free calls. Amex cared about nothing but getting their money.

So go ahead and use Amex if you’d like! Join the Open Network, and see if it lives up to the promises. I hope you get better treatment than I do. As of now, my plan is to never again have a single American Express card. In a world of crappy customer service and products that often don’t live up to hype, I don’t need another thing wasting my time with broken promises and inconsistent customer service.

I’ll never forgive American Express for promising to stand behind me in disputes, for reading my 3-page dispute letter, for getting NO evidence back from the other party, and deciding in favour of the other party.

Tell a friend my story.


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Crackdown on Engrish

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

I recently saw a segment on The Today Show that China is getting scholars to help them with the many bad English translations that exist around China. You can see these types of things on www.Engrish.com, which has been collecting images of products, signs, shirts, and more for years.

But now there is a push to make these translations better and more like American/British English so that when people come for the 2008 Olympics, they’re not offended or laughing at anything they see in English.

Amazing that it took this long for SOMEBODY to do something about these things!


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