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For the Sanity Inspector, Since I'm on the road.

7/27/2008

Adderall 20mg

The Rooster crows at midnight. The fat man sleeps alone. Three dogs ate cheese.

....and I'm spent.

Off to the races for the next three whole weeks. If you see me here, it's because I'm not trying hard enough.

Knew Math

Took this Sunday afternoon, folded it twice, and used it to drive Dangeresque to Camp. He's taking the late session this year, it's only two weeks before school starts. A nice drive up to Brown County, through the woods and over the hills. Nice day for it. We got him there and unpacked, took a few pictures, all of which are still on the camera, because the camera is still in the car. But we saw bats and a snake, and Skippy and the Beast spent the time trying to fill in the creek with gravel. A good time was had by all.

On the way home we did some back-to-school shopping, and I bought some new work clothes. My "traveling sales guy" duds were getting a little long in the tooth, fussy and, yes, too big. So I bought new.

And I hate that.

I'm just not a clothes buyer. I'm a clothes getter. I get clothes for Christmas, my birthday (Christmas), when my mother buys something too small for my younger brother, or too colorful for my older brother. When my wife finds something she likes, etc... I wear it. I assume, people give me things because they think they will look good on me. I do...really.

Now I know sometimes people give you clothes so that they don't have to wear them themselves, and that's fine too. I have four kids and a wife, if I look like an ass one of them will let me know. Otherwise, I'll assume I look OK. Trust me, they have and they will let me know.

But today I had to actually pick out clothes to wear for myself. maddmom won't be around, I have to be as generic as possible, no waves, no pink shirt/white tie combos. I have to dress the white collar version of the mailman. A big "Please ignore this guy" sign on my forehead might do, but I'm supposed to also look "nice".

Like the girl at the dance with the boyfriend in Basic Training.

So I picked out some stuff and I...I...I tried it on. Yep. I tried it on. In one of those little rooms with the ten thousand watt fluorescent lamps and the funhouse mirrors. It took forever.

Look, I know women do this trying on thing all of the time, and that is why I think they wear skirts. Because all of the packaging, pins, tags, buckles, plastic wrap and string used to keep menswear looking good on the hangar takes days to unwind, and if you miss one piece you've got a straight pin through your whanger and a date with a tetanus shot.

Besides, do you have any idea how much talc you need to use to get on a pair of black rubber low-rise assless chaps?

I quit working out as of today...

7/26/2008



I totally give up. 32 kilos per arm? 10 reps? Not breathing hard? Can't he just levitate the damn things with the power of his...I don't know what it is exactly...

I do know that there's no way this skinny/fat chubby fuck does 70 pound one arm dum bell curls. Not one, not for ten reps. Or 32 pounds for 30.

I'll alert the media...

7/25/2008

 


At some point I realized that my children can communicate among themselves, but I don't really ever understand how it happens.

As a parent, I hear them refer to each other mostly in the third person; "He did that". "Tell him to stop." "He ate my food." "Get him out of my room." The rest is usually background noise, only noticed when it gets too loud. I always have one ear cocked for the seven deadlies, but most of the time, the house is full of a comforting hum of white noise and the guitar riff from "Smoke on the Water." I drift in and out of focus while maddmom and the Prince have terrifically long conversations about...I don't know...stuff, I guess. Dangeresque and I can sit in the same room for hours and not say a word, merely pointing and grunting at each other. The Beast and I, well, the Beast talks to me. A lot. And Skippy pretty much just orders me around. But how they communicate to each other? Hand signals...maybe? I dunno.

So when I find an artifact like the one above, I treasure it like it's Egyptian papyrus. An Egyptian papyrus from King Tut's frat house, maybe, but treasured nonetheless.

I'm pretty sure Cleopatra would not call it a "dukey"

Wonderful

7/23/2008



He's good.

via Boing Boing.

I'm a sucker for puppets

Happy Birthday Skippy!

7/21/2008

 


And what's a better birthday gift than to have your father publish a photo on-line of you dunking a hot dog in your lemonade at the county fair?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Happy Fourth Birthday Number Four!
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So, I'm late to the party, what's new?

7/18/2008

Via Joe Sherlock,Lileks and Boing Boing, comes the story of a guy who likes cold coffee and the snob who wouldn't sell it to him. Well, it's a little more complicated than that, but you'll have to read the whole story, in three or four parts, starting here, a response here and a third version, by a witness, here.

The comments on that last one are really interesting, especially the one that ends with this little gem:

"They will never by as synonymous with peoples’ lifestyle and culture as Hummer and a Big Mac, but that’s not what their after."


The first part of that sentence is correct, the second is not. Nobody spends that much effort at "branding" for nothing.

Unless the brand is supposed to be "We're the store full of the most arrogant and obnoxious coffee snobs alive". In that case, they succeed, and I bet they get several hundred new customers, and probably an uptick in visits from Senator Obama's staff.

Take the owner's spin: every excuse the owner posted for his employees attitude is garbage.

1) It's policy. Not if the customer already paid for the drink. Why didn't you kick him out of the store, he's got a "to go" cup already. Sure, your store won't get as many loafers, but you won't have to deal with the sleepers any more and the only people in the store will be regulars as snobbish about coffee as you are. This is known as "local bar" syndrome, and it works OK if you charge $10.50 for a six of bud cans, the Mob owns half of the joint and runs book from the back end of the bar. Not so good if you're trying to get that yuppie, "$5 for Hot Chocolate?! I'm buying!" crowd. To put it a little more clearly, people with jobs don't like to be reminded of the unemployed when they want to relax. Super cool coffee snobs who have all day to hang out in coffee shops tend to be unemployed grad-student types or IT contractors between gigs. You don't tell Maynard Krebs how much soy milk to put in his cup, don't tell anyone else how much ice to put in theirs.

2) It makes the espresso taste bad. So what? Why not suggest the other drink, you know the one with ice and espresso in it? Same drink, made different. This argument falls flat anyway because sugar, cream, etc are free. Does adding three packets of Equal not make espresso taste bad to purists? What if the customer likes the way it tastes? Your guy was an ass.

3) The "ghetto latte" argument. Either charge for the cup of ice, charge for milk or have the counter guy add milk and sugar "the right way". That is, if proper taste is that important to you (see #2). It doesn't matter,v in none of the versions of the story I've read did the counter guy mention that he thought the customer was going to add "too much" milk to his drink. He told the customer that it was "Not Okay" to pour his own drink over his own ice because it made the coffee taste bad. What's "too much" milk anyway?

Coffee isn't art. It's not fine wine, whiskey or even chocolate. People who think it is, don't understand that what they really like about fancy coffee is the trouble it takes to make it. Coffee drinking is ritualized by these people the same way taking heroin is by junkies. The more difficult a cup of coffee is to make, drink or order, the better these people would like us to believe it is. Good for them. I used to do the same thing with cigarettes when I smoked. I had an elaborate ritual I'd step through before I'd light one up. Sure, sometimes I would have to just "smoke 'em if I got 'em" but it wasn't the same and I knew it. What's really telling that the "best coffee around" is usually bitter, undrinkable sludge doctored with any amount of chemical sweeteners and liquid phytoestrogens. Hell the most expensive coffee in the world is, as everyone knows, actual shit.

This is nothing new. Cool kids have been pulling this stuff for years, with everything from cars to bikes to clothes to music. Hell, I should know, I bought that Sugarcubes album. With real money. Now that there's no good music any more, and you can get good wine in a box, independent movies are on basic cable and freaky porn is available to all for free on the intartubes, what's left to be a snob about? The cheapest crap imaginable. Daily workaday stuff. Coffee, beer, leafy green vegetables, cell phones, to-do note books, water, hot sauce and, now vodka. That's right, vodka. Booze famous for not having any taste is now snob-bait.

So go on, be an asshole because someone likes their coffee different than you. Tell all your friends about it at the newest dive bar you've "discovered" over your PBR's and your Grey Goose and Red Bull. I'll be home in my house with my wife and kids drinking a Dark Eyes and Cranberry out of a plastic cup from Wal-Mart. And still coming out $60 ahead on the night.

Thursday

7/17/2008

*ring ring*

"This is maddad,"

"I need you on a call to explain how product x can do y, in five minutes"

"Product x can't do y, and I have another meeting in five minutes."

"Oh. Well this deal is worth eleventy-billion dollars. What can do y?"

"Competitor z"

"Competitor z? Shit! Why didn't we know that?"

"Because you guys fired all the product specialists?"

"Who did? What? How do we get this to work."

"You can't, I got a call now. You need to talk to product management."

"OK, I'll do that"

*bing bong*

========================================================

From: Salesguy
To: maddad;maddad's boss;maddad's bosses boss;customer;customer's boss
Subject: Meeting to discuss product x

Dear Customer's Boss

Good talking to you. I confirmed with our engineer that our product x can do y. Please attend this phone call with me, maddad's boss, maddad's bosses boss, and your boss and we'll discuss maddad's recommendations. maddad won't be on the call because an eleventy-billion dollar deal isn't that important to him.

It's in five minutes,

Salesguy

===================================

*ring*

"This is maddad"

"maddad, this is your bosses boss. I need to know everything there is to know about the customer's product x install. This is an eleventy-billion dollar deal."

"I don't really know anything about it, I just got a call from Salesguy. He said..."

"OK. I'm on my way out the door. Put it in a email to your boss, I'll be on site with the president of customer's company trying to save this deal."

"uh..."

*click*

*bing bong*
================================================
From: maddad's boss
To: maddad
Subject: FW: CUSTOMER ISSUE ELEVENTY-BILLION DOLLAR DEAL!

FYI...see attached

Looks like customer is going to return product q if product x can't do y.

maddad's boss

Forwarded message attached
From: Customer's boss
To: Salesguy;Salesguy's boss
Subject: Ongoing issues with product q

Salesguy,

We have eighteen support tickets open for product q. In the three years we've had it installed, it's never worked. Last week it caught fire and killed my mother. I'm going to return it if it kills anyone else, can we get some movement on this?

PS: Does product x do y?

========================================================

*ring*

"this is maddad"

"Hey maddad, Salesguy, are you getting on this call?"

"I've got a conference call right now, I have to be on."

"Hey well, my boss and I are going to be on site with the customer and his boss and your boss will be dialed in. If you can, try and dial in"

"Oh, OK"

*click*

*dial dial dial*

"Hi, this is maddad."

"Hi maddad, this is customer 2..."

"Hey, can you hold a minute..."

*hold music*

*bing bong*

===================================
From: maddad's boss
To: maddad
Subject: FW: FYI Customer issues

FYI...

From
: The President of maddad's company
To: Everyone who could possibly have anything to do with maddad's career
Subject: FW:Our commitment to you

Get this maddad asshole on the phone with the customer now. If I have to make good on this, I'll feed his balls to my cats.

Forwarded message attached
From: The President of the company maddad works for
To: The President of Customer's company
CC: Everyone who could possibly have anything to do with maddad's career
Subject: Our commitment to you

Dear President of customer's company,

I've been assured by one of our top engineers, maddad, that your problems will be fixed or I will send you a million dollars cash from my personal account.

Sincerely,
The President of maddad's company
=========================================
*hold music*

"Hi, customer 2?"

"Yes, I'm here. I have sixteen other people in this conference room, many who have flown in from overseas for today's meeting."

"Oh geeze, I'm sorry. I'm having explosive diarrhea. Can we re-schedule? Is the Project Manager on the line?"

"No, he's not. Look we've rescheduled this seven times already.."

"I know, Sorry...Look...."

*bing bong*

==========================
From: maddad's boss
To: maddad
Subject: customer call

Hey maddad, Jesus Christ just called me to ask if you'd be dialing in to the call with customer today. He said something about your divine soul. I tried your phone and it said you were on the other line, have you dialed in yet? I'm at the driving range with the president of our company. Make sure you tell them product x does y.

maddad's boss

==========================

"I gotta go"

"This is the last time customer 2 will ever do business with...."
*click*

*dial dial dial*

"Hello, who's on the line?"

"Hi, this is maddad, from the company maddad works for. Salesguy and Salesguy's boss asked me to join in this meeting..."

"Hi, this is customer. Salesguy and his boss just called, Hooters ran out of blue cheese sauce so they aren't going to make the meeting."

"What?"

"Yeah, they've decided to wait for a new shipment to come in. They're drunk anyway and wouldn't be much help."

"Um...I'm not actually in front of my PC right now and I don't have my notes, can you refresh me..."

"Sure, you know, we've been having problems for years..."

"OK"

"And we've had multiple support tickets open for out product q..."

"Uh-huh..."

"But this morning we figured out it was probably just not a good idea to let that family of indigent Italian tailors live in the data center. I think...I mean...I'm pretty sure the cooking fires were having an effect on the system."

"Really?"

"Yeah. And I think the tall one killed my bosses mom. So we kicked them out and the system's been working great."

"Is your boos on the line?"

"No, he left to get his back waxed, it's just you and me."

"Oh. Have you had problems with product x?"

"No, no problems. I guess it can't do y. I read it in the manual"

"Right, it doesn't do y."

"Good, we didn't want it to do y anyway."

*click*

End of an inside baseball era

7/15/2008



How you like that? Here's the deal, I inhereted a set of golf clubs from my parents basement when I moved to Indiana nine years ago. I'm no golfer, but my dog likes to chase, chew and eat those little practice golf wiffleballs. So I would take out the nine iron and whack the hell out of them, and the dog would go and eat them, and every couple of months, I'd buy some more. Fun.

Well, since my back surgery I haven't done that. But, since my back has been feeling great and I've been able to do pretty much anything else I've wanted, last weekend the Prince and I went down to the former Madison Country Club to play nine holes. I had a nice drive on the first tee and that was it. I was done. Golfing is, evidently, out. So is baseball. I can throw, but I can't hit. I found that out yesterday while teaching the Beast a proper stance. Twisting is bad. Ow. Ow Ow Ow. So I've been limping for the past few days, and looking up exercises to help with twisting motions. We'll see.

So I can't golf, but the Prince can, and he has been since it's cheap around here. He's been doing it a lot, with my old clubs augmented with a few new ones he's picked up at flea markets. He's got a nice graphite Big Bertha now, it's really sweet. I can only assume he'll fill out the rest of the bag when he gets back from camp. And there's the rub...

I don't know how old my clubs are, but they are probably from the 60's. Old Persimmon woods and Jimmy Demaret McGregor irons. There's an old McGregor blade putter too, that's fun to play with. Anyway, the thing is, these clubs have been in my family for ever, and the other day, the bag broke. It's an old leather bag, made by Wilson and weighing in at about 10,000 lbs. But, like I said, it's been around for ever. It's a fixture. I've personally moved between four houses, God knows how many times my parents moved it. It's like the scenery from an old movie, it's just been in the garage, basement or shed, all my life. It's a shame it had to go.

The pictures are of the evidence tag that was on the handle of the bag, put there by the Philadelphia Police in 1971. Actually the day before maddmom's first birthday.

I remember when my mother's Chevy was stolen when I was a kid, but I'm going to assume this was a different theft. Because I remember my mother's car being stolen, and the shape it was in when it came back, and I wouldn't remember that if I was six months old. Unless someone's been lying to me all these years about it being my fault that my mother was in the hospital during the first Christmas after my Dad got home from Vietnam. (Oh yeah, they went there. My fault. Like I could have waited to come out or something. Nevertheless, I am well adjusted and haven't killed any teen aged runaways in years.)

So when the bag broke I was a little sad, but at least the clubs are getting more use than they have in years, even if the bag isn't. And to the Prince's credit, he did go out and buy a bag of a similar vintage. Just as ugly, heavy and smelling of mildew, so maybe I won't miss the old one.

I been quoted!

7/14/2008

Wow.

Anecdotal evidence? Sure. But true nonetheless. There ain't no gas shortage.

OK. This would seem to be rather important...

This story is a big deal.

A really big deal. I've posted on this before, I think, but it's worth repeating.

Honestly, it's frightening in an almost Hollywood movie way.

For years we've been hearing about the "oppression" of the Palestinians, the vicious brutality of Israel and the lies and torture of the Bush administration. But stories like this one, the staged photographs in Lebanon and Iraq show that there is more than just "outrage" at work. to be kind, the people publishing these stories are dupes, if they aren't then they are on the other side.

Quite frankly, if this kind of stuff were really happening, it wouldn't need to be faked. The Abu Ghraib photos came out, leaked from within the Defense Department's ongoing investigation. My Lai, the Pentagon Papers, all internal leaks. If the Israeli army was murdering civilians, if there were really massive civilian casualties to the tune of millions in Iraq it would not be able to be covered up.

Just look at the "most secretive Administration ever", granted, a lot of hay was made over not very damaging information, but still, these guys can't keep anything secret. How exactly are they covering up genocide?

Simple answer, they aren't. You are being had.

That should taste like crap you know. If you can't taste it, you've been eating it too long.

Rebuke? Bullshit.

7/13/2008

By the way, I'm just messing with you, man.

Is not a rebuke. Unless, something has...well...changed.

And if Barak Obama could name one song by Wilco before last night, then Newt Gingrich's favorite rock group really was Nine Inch Nails. I'll let you decide.

Hope

7/11/2008

Take small bites Skippy..

7/10/2008

...or you'll never finish it.

 
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One of these things, is not like the others...

Quick! Who found the cool bug, and who has the cool cellphone? You have ten seconds...

 




PS, crappy picture? Looks good on my CRT monitor, looks bad on the LCD. I brightened it up for the CRT, that's the one I post from. Printed, it looks OK.

High School dreams

OK, maybe early college dreams, since I didn't drive until High School was nearly over. But oh, that last summer...

This could have been me.

Instead I was stuck in the Schuylkill cattle chutes with dry rotted hoses and a bad thermostat. One Friday rush hour I broke down in the "chutes" right after City Line. I caused a backup to the Turnpike. It took them two and a half hours to get a tow to me, he had to back up all the way from Girard Ave. People hated me.

That was the day I realised two things; always have cash in the car and in a pinch, you can pee in the radiator.

I did eventually do a couple things to that car, I changed the air filter, which I believe was original, it had rusted to a fine powder. I changed out the thermostat, all you needed was a screwdriver, who knew? Replaced the blown dash peaker with one that didn't fit. And I changed out the hoses, one at a time.

You've got to admire a car that could overheat so often and live to fight another day. That car had gumption. Once a homeless guy spent the night in the back, and crammed a whole bag of Hydrox cookies into the gas filler neck. Aside from the lingering pee smell, the car ran OK after stalling a few times. That's what you get for parking a car that doesn't lock on 63rd street overnight.

The last time I drove that car wa the night I broke up with my High School girlfriend. It was hot as hell, the windows were down, it was spitting rain and I had just had it. (Honestly, I never figured out why someone who obviously didn't like me would be so upset when I didn't want to date any more. Wasn't like I was some kind of a catch.) We finally pulled into her street, I spun the (bald) tires on the wet pavement at the stop for about 30 feet, they caught, I shot forward and ran over her dog. Her whole family was out looking for it. Mom, Dad, sister and brother. All standing on the lawn by the side of the car, HSGF in hystrerics, dog limping, maddad, wet, mad and smelling like stale MGD. Ha! HA! Good times...good times...

Off to the County Fair!

7/09/2008

To start my new diet. Fried and deep fried food served at room temperature with maple syrup and powdered sugar on the side.

I'm really just hoping I get crushed when the Trabant goes off the track. It'll be quick and I'm assuming maddmom remembers what I told her to do should I die in an accident.

Sue everybody.

Cholesterol Screening Is Urged for Young

7/08/2008

Please. For God's sake. Stop now. Here's the article, about an "epidemic".
Cholesterol Screening Is Urged for Young

So, what does maddad, who's blood type is "butter positive" think? He thinks it's bullshit, that's what he thinks.

I've been doing a lot of looking in to my personal cholesterol problem. And while I do have inherited high cholesterol, I also have a version of Metabolic syndrome.

I'm not obese, but I have insulin resistance and high triglycerides. I'm significantly more lean than I was three years ago, but...my cholesterol is still way too high. My HDL is around 68 (good) but my LDL is still over 150 (151 to be exact). I'm lucky not to have high blood pressure as well, but might have something to do with my diet, I'm not big on salty food.

I have changed my diet to include mostly whole grains, veggies and protein and I supplement. I eat lots of fruit. I exercise four or five times per week and I've lowered my weight, but I'm still carrying abdominal and back fat. A ring of love handles that has been there my whole life, no matter how lean I get, and right now, I'm pretty lean. But I will get blood sugar swings and cravings for carbs that so far, I haven't been able to squash. Trust me, I'd love to. I only have so much self control. I quit smoking, limited my desert to one scoop of ice cream per week, I eat smaller portions and try to be picky about what's in them. I NEVER drink soda. But it's extremely hard to keep up. Especially with four kids.

Why? Because the least expensive foods are the most carb loaded. That's why. The food that is considered "healthy" by schools and such is full of white flour and corn syrup. Or potatoes and sweet corn. Or Carrots and fruit juice. The Food pyramid wants you to eat "whole grains"" Try finding "whole grains" at a reasonable price in your supermarket. You can't, and if you do, the "whole grain" bread, muffins, cereal, or whatever is packed with high fructose corn syrup. Anything without it is unreasonably expensive. The single brand of corn syrup free bread sold in our town is almost four dollars for a twelve-slice loaf. I can get four 24-slice loaves of "oat bran" bread for the same cost, but it's got the added sugar. Pasta and Canned tomato sauce, catsup, canned vegetables, canned soup, any low-fat packaged food, peanut butter, cold cuts, bread and just about anyting else you see in the store has added sugar in the form of HFCS. Hell, even sugar-free stuff causes insulin response. So what's causing the "epidemic" of kids with high cholesterol?

Ask the Journal of Lipid Research. It's our diet, and it not the fat. Take it from Dr maddad(not a real Dr, but knows one or two) if your kid is fat, I bet you think it's because he is eating fatty foods, I bet it's because he's eating cereal, bread and juice instead of cheese, fruit and water.

What am I going to do? Well, I'm going to try an experiment. I know my Dr will want to put me on statins. I don't particularly want to be on two prescription drugs for the rest of my life if it's possible to treat the underlying disorder with behavior modification. So I'm going to start pushing the max dose of Omega 3 through my system and trying to cut out as many carbs from refined sugar as possible. I'm also looking into supplements that might help with insulin resistance and liver health.

I'm going to have my aura cleansed, my chakra adjusted and have a EDTA colonic (kidding, just kidding). I'm not going to go nuts, I just think that I can get myself to normal levels without statins, at least until I get older and can't keep up any more. I just can't see having to take these pills every day for the next fifty years.

And I've been thinking, I've got level term insurance. Good for another twenty years. In the old days, I'd be drinking, smoking and eating like shit, then I'd drop dead at 55, and I wouldn't feel a damn thing. Now I'm probably going to linger until my prostate is the size of a bowling ball and people will try and sell me diapers to wear while motorcycling. But since I had to sell the motorcycle to pay for my room at the Shady Acres managed care, grocery and tanning facility, all those damn things will be good for is to guarantee that my deposit on the power chair gets returned when I can't sit up by myself any more. I'll probably be reduced to selling my government mandated Viagra ration to the high school kid who mops up so I can afford black marked oxycontin for my back pain. Shit, by the time I'm 55 all my kids will be in their twenties, because I had them when I was supposed to, maybe I should just give up on this health crap now.

Happy Fourth! Ka-POW!

7/05/2008







This got me thinking...

7/03/2008

Customer Service: Why You Should Write Snail Mail for Product Complaints

From Lifehacker.

This kind of got me thinking, there are some companies that have customer service that I think can't be beat. And I'll tell you who they are and why I think so.

Because it's exciting, that's why. And you like it. Now suck it up and read, both of you.

Spire laptop bags. I bought a Spire bag in 1999 or early 2000 and had it through 2007. The shoulder strap broke a few times after getting caught in x ray machines at the airport and Spire always replaced the strap, no questions asked. All I had to do was e-mail them. I ended up out growing my original Endo and passed it on to a friend who is still using it. Hell, I'd still be using it if it had a luggage strap. If they still made red, and had a luggage strap (to go over the handle of a rolling carry-on), I'd have four.

Price Pfister. They aren't top of the line, but they have given me great service. When we did our remodel we had a new faucet installed, one maddmom had bought at auction. The directions were missing and the plumber installed it backwards, then our contractor tried to fix it, and basically, the thing just didn't work right. I was going to replace it, but another guy told me to check if the ant-scald ring was set wrong. When I took the thing apart I found that the hot water valve was jacked up. I sent an email through Price Pfister's website asking how much a replacement would cost. That was Sunday night, Monday morning by 8:30 the CSR had answered my email and shipped the part for free. Classy and quick. I sent a mash note to his boss and gave him a shout out on the survey all CS websites send. He deserved it.

Chamberain Lift Master. They make the garage door opener that came with my house. Our garage door is, how should I put it nicely? A piece of shit. It's rotted on the bottom, the wheels have rusted out of the tracks, it's heavy and needs replacing. 30 years of bad guttering and water ponding on the driveway has destroyed it. The opener is probably late 80's early 90's vintage, chain driven, loud slow etc... but... I wasn't going to get a new garage door until I got roof, gutters and the driveway fixed. So when the opener burned out its gears trying to pull the door when it was off the tracks, I was in a pickle. Do I replace the door, tracks and opener? Or can I fix it? I pulled the thing apart, got on the web and found the Chmberlain site, sent an email. Within a day they got back to me, told me my opener hadn't been in production in years, but there was a company that sold parts and got me the contact information. I ordered the part and the guy from Lift Master followed up and cc'd me on his email. I got my part for $20 and I'm still using the opener. And the garage door as well. I kinda fixed that too but that's another story. I'll buy another Lift Master when I replace it.

That's three, I got more, but three is the magic number so I'm stopping here. Did you notice that none of these companies are real high-end? I did. Middle of the road works. Some of the worst customer service I ever got was from a very high profile name in expensive consumer electronics. Done with that noise. May be an outlier, but if I spend a lot ofmoney on something, I'd like it to work right.

Then there's GM. The worst, hands down. On a whole different level of suckitude, wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire. Crappy products, crappy dealers, crappy parts, crappy warranty, crappy support, crappy management. No exeptions. Nothing good about GM, period. Someday I'll contrast my GM experience with my KIA experience, that will probably explain to the masses why I think Obabma's stance on the trade agreement with Korea is a pile of bullshit. Happy Fourth autoworkers! Remember, Honda is hiring in Indiana!

Almost...

7/02/2008

I'm in the basement, grouchy because the conference call I'm on is taking much longer than it should, and they don't really even need me on it. I tried to cancel but no one would return my calls or email, so here I am.

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maddmom and the boys are off with friends who stopped by for a couple of days. They are camping in an RV and having a blast. We drove over there this morning and then I had to get back for this damn call.

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Oh for Christ's sake.

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It's a beautiful day, there's steaks and beers and explosives and all sorts of cool stuff over there and I'm in my freakin' basement with the dog. The dog who ran away, found some kind of elephant shit to roll in and now smells like Newark at low tide.

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I'm hanging up, turning off my phone and leaving.

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No really. I just heard someone say the stupidest thing 've ever heard, I need to go. If I don't, I'll have to spend the rest of my life wearing a bike helmet, a cape and velcro sneakers. I'll be...

STUPIDMAN!!!!

Now off! To help others!