Oct 2

Facebook has helped me connect with a lot of my friends but one thing keeps happening over and over:

  • Message to Peter - Hey, how have you been? Tell me everything you've been up to.
  • Me - Well I've been (sums up the last 15 years of my life). How have you been?
  • *crickets*
Yes, the SOBs or DOBs make me write an essay of what I've been up to since the last I saw them and rarely do they respond back. What shitheads. I wish I could reach through the computer and sock them in the eye. If you're one of these people, you better write back before I punch you in the neck...

Posted by Peter

May 29
Why? Because I just heard a statistic that Los Angeles animal shelters got 7,000 cats in a week. IN A WEEK! We need to get the pet population under control or many of these animals will be put to sleep. If you need a pet, adopt from a shelter or rescue and don't support the puppy mills and bad pet stores.

Posted by Peter

Jan 21
With our new president, Barrack Obama now in office, collectors are buying up newspapers with the hopes of preserving a piece of history and possibly cashing in.  Let's face it, collecting is pretty much dead.  The reason people used to get huge amounts for the first issue of Superman or a mint Babe Ruth card is because no one collected them in those days and they were rare.  Now, everyone collects EVERYTHING!  If you're a collector it might be time to give it up.  I have a box full of mint comics that are worth probably less than I paid for them 15 years ago.  There are other saps who have a closet full of worthless Beanie Babies. I remember a naiive friend of mine saying his collection was his retirement plan. Now it's worth less than Sirius stock.  If you choose to collect anything, make sure it means something to you because it most likely won't mean anything to anyone else. 

Posted by Peter

Jan 19

There were a lot of people who were thinking they'd get a great deal on a big TV or computer yesterday at Circuit City.  The location near me had a big sign on it promising huge sales but I wasn't fooled.  With our poor economy I'm always torn whether to mourn the death of a huge business or be happy because the existing businesses will thrive but when does it ever work that way?  Best Buy should thrive and improve but the most likely scenario is that they'll continue to have underpaid, untrained and rude staff members that threaten customers like I witnessed at a recent trip for a car stereo.

Back to Circuit City.  Never be fooled by the closeout sales because any of the good stuff was already taken and their "discount" prices weren't any better than you could find in many stores or online.  And don't forget that if you have any problems with the merchandise, there are no returns or customer service.  So pretty much you're paying full price with the risk of wasting money if your purchase breaks.  Stay home, go to NewEgg which I love or heck, even go to Best Buy but don't believe the hype of a closing store, they're not really cutting you any deals after all.

Posted by Peter

Feb 20

I have Time Warner cable so that means if I get internet service through them I'm really going through Road Runner. My connection has been so bad lately that I had to call in and boy does their customer service suck. I'm incredibly polite on the phone so I calmly explain what's going on. The first operator seems annoyed from the start, clearly not believing that I have any problem. He almost accused me of lying because everything on his end looked good. After a while, he was convinced I was telling the truth and his tone changed.

I understand that doing customer service with grandmothers and computer newbies is frustrating but clearly the attitude should be one of first believing the customer actually has a problem and doing what it takes to guide them through the troubleshooting process. So finally the first guy admits that there's something definitely wrong on their side and that they should send out a guy to swap my modem which is the last thing that these guys want to do because I'm sure that they're told that that's the last, last, last, last resort. So he says he's going to transfer me to another guy that will take care of me. Instead he transfers me to another customer service rep with an accent that I can't recognize or understand and we start over. In fact it didn't really sound like an accent as much as it sounded that he was so lazy he couldn't bother with saying full words or enunciating properly.

Road Runner customer service "Dere is no problem, it's your computer"
Me "The last guy on your end confirmed the problem"
RR "Cik on stard 'n choose wun"
Me "Pardon?"
RR - silence, then "Stard meneww 'n choose wun"
Me - "Oh, Click on start and choose run... OK."

Then 20 minutes of the exact same diagnostics the first customer service guy did with me only with me asking this guy to repeat stuff because I can't understand a word he's saying.

RR - "OK you computer fixed, no more problems"
Me - "Uh, no my computer still isn't connecting to the internet"
RR - "What website you trying to do"
Me - "Time Warner's"
RR - silence "Your computer is broken"

At this point I realize that this guy isn't going to be any help so I thank him and hang up vowing to call back the next day and hope I get a better customer rep that will send a guy out. Better yet, it's time to go FIOS for less money I'm paying for their crap cable internet. So I guess I have to access my internet at a few minutes at a time since it keeps cutting out every 5 minutes.  Road Runner, you suck. 

Posted by Peter

Feb 19

I went to the grocery store just a little while ago and I have to say that people are jerks. From the lady who stood in the middle of the aisle blocking it with her cart instead of moving to the side to the people who push their cart right in front of yours, it makes me want to use my years of kickboxing training to kick them into the freezer. But even worse was the guy with talking way too loud on his cellphone and when he got cut off his phone would ring with the sound of a truck horn as a ringtone. Man, I wanted to cram that phone right up his... But the worst was the slow woman buying the ice cream in front of me (she really didn't need it) that didn't have the common courtesy to put the grocery divider on the conveyor belt so I could unload my groceries. I did so anyway and made sure that I put a divider behind my stuff for the person behind me. Then she stood there putting away her change for a couple of minutes blocking me from the credit card reader while the cashier was trying to ring up my purchases.

Now I'm the most friendly and polite person you'll ever meet so I guess I expect people to be the same and that just isn't so in most instances. I can only remember one positive interaction where a guy with a whole cart full of stuff let me go in front of him because I only had a few items. I thanked him when I left and took some of the small grocery baskets to the front of the store (which I do from time to time to help out the workers) and I heard the cashier remark about us being so nice that it was like one of those TV commercials where one good deed inspires another. Too bad more people couldn't be friendly and polite when out in public.

Posted by Peter

May 24

Even though American Idol 2007 had a nice, sweet ending it had a feel that it was also very controlled. If you're going to have a reality TV show, you have to really let it be reality. I don't for a second believe that Sanjaya Malakar went from being the top vote getter to getting voted off the very next week. It was obviously planned by FOX to get rid of him before the big charity event since sponsors were giving according to the number of votes. They didn't want Sanjaya's votes to affect their sponsors in a negative way and I can just picture their sponsors seeing the show being turned into a joke and saying they might pull out if it went that way.

This whole year seemed too corporate, not that last year wasn't. The special guest spots seemed to go to people who were friends with the show and not the most current artists. That's the only way we can explain Lulu and Peter Noone. Let's have some current stars and some real rock legends come on next year. At least they had Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez on but both of them weren't necessarily great coaches. Jon Bon Jovi did a pretty great job with the contestants and I'm not even a fan of his.

Going back to the whole Sanjaya thing, this is exactly what killed the UK version of Idol. Fans started to vote on things other than voice and skill and instead of letting it make interesting TV, they stopped the show and started the X-Factor which allowed the judges to pick. I think reality TV starts to suck when the producers try to steer the outcome of a show like this year's American Idol. I can understand that they don't want their shows to become a mockery but you can't fool the audience for long. After a while, the show will become overly predictable and plain and viewers will drop off. There were drops in viewers after Sanjaya and Melinda were off the show. You see, people aren't idiots, they can smell something fishy but they're just not as suspicious as I am. Yet.

So the producers will evaluate this year's show and make changes for next season. Will they try to rule out any Sanjaya's early or will there be more. We'll have to wait and see but I'm predicting a more bland, sterile American Idol in 2008.

Jordin Sparks - Jordin Sparks - EP

Posted by Peter

Jul 25

If you're a Cingular customer, you've received mail and text messages telling you to upgrade your SIM card at a nearby Cingular store. The good news is that in the two stores I visited, neither pushed new plans on me which I figured was the "real" reason behind the upgrade. Instead they were nice and moved my information over. But if you're going to do this beware! There are a couple things you should absolutely know before you do this!

  • Your saved text messages will not be transerred.
  • Your saved voice dialing audio will not be transferred.
  • Really, it only looked like the raw telephone numbers & names were transferred and nothing else.
  • Here's the real one to look out for - if you're the owner of an older phone, the new SIM card may not be compatible with it!

My phone is no longer capable of receiving incoming calls! My friend told me that when he calls me, my phone is just dead. No ring, no voice mail, nada! If I turn my phone off, at least incoming calls will go to voice mail. I'm pissed at Cingular for not warning me that this could be a possibility. When I went into another Cingular store, they didn't believe me but I let them test out the phone. They told me that they couldn't/wouldn't downgrade the SIM card and that it was my phone's fault. That's when they tried to sell me a new phone. After that, they told me to go to the original store.

When I called customer service they didn't believe me either and after 15 minutes of convincing them plus a 15 minute wait to talk to them, they were stumped. It looks like this is a forced upgrade.

I expect a free replacement phone or SIM card downgrade. Until then, leave me a message or call me at home. If Cingular really wanted to make this up to me, I'd get a new Motorola SLVR L7 or Treo 650! Seriously, I just want a SIM card downgrade or maybe it's time to shop for new plans.

Posted by Peter

Feb 27

Everyone knows that figure skating is a hot event. Knowing this, NBC could've really set the stage for a great TV show that highlighted the final showdown last Thursday night but they didn't. Let's face it, NBC has really dropped the ball on the whole Olympic broadcast. They needed real schedules, not just dropping in bits of this and that around the clock. The shows were delayed anyway so why not group them together in a specific time. People AREN'T going to sit around all day for a glimpse of Sasha Cohen. NBC, you blew it! The biggest event of the winter Olympics and it went by with no fanfare. They should've produced a show with hosts, put it on at 9:00pm right after American Idol and spent the 8:00pm hour with back stories on all of the skaters.

I've wanted to produce the olympic games for TV for ages. I'd hype all of the athletes 6 months before so by the time the games roll around, every competitor is a household name. People still remember Dan & Dave from years back and that's what I'd seek to do. Create memories. It's not about if they win or lose, it's about people's lives.

So next Olympics there needs to only be a few things added:

  • Backstories on all the American athletes and a few top ranked foreign athletes.
  • A solid schedule. People want to know exactly when events are happening so they can plan their night.
  • Professionally produced events. They have so much time to produce custom graphics, intros etc... We want things in 1/2 or 1 hour increments and we need them to look as good as other sports events or TV shows.
  • Promotion. Everyone should know when every event is on. Let different companies promote and produce different events.
Doing these few things will guarantee a great show! It couldn't be any worse.

Posted by Peter

Jan 26
A while ago I reported on a story that implied that asbestos wasn't necessarily dangerous.  The topic recently came up in conversation with some friends who are contractors.  I remember when I was removing asbestos from an attic and I'm sure I inhaled some.  Should I be worried?  I don't know.  I've heard some people say that it was mostly hype, like the avian flu is now.

OK, so I just went on a web site that looks up medical conditions and a search for asbestos brings up the following: Lung Cancer, Mesothelioma, Cancer Causes, Larynx Cancer, Pleurisy (Pleuritis), Pulmonary Fibrosis and Kidney Cancer.  That's not what a hypochondriac like me wants to see.  And what the hell is Mesothelioma anyways?  Wasn't that just after the Paleozoic Era?  Nah, it's some form of lung cancer.  Upon reading more, I'm starting to panic because of the following - From Medicinenet.com: How much exposure does it take to get mesothelioma? An exposure of as little as one or two months can result in mesothelioma 30 or 40 years later.

Yikes!  What now?  In 25 years I could get mesothelioma?  Now is where I have to start thinking about the odds to stay sane.  The chances are less than I'll go down in a plane crash.  Wait, that didn't make me feel better.  Let's try again.  The chances are less than winning the lottery.  Hmm... I'm actually planning on winning the lottery so maybe I'd better try one more time.  The chances of me getting some sort of asbestos related cancer are less than Rob Schnieder winning an Oscar.  There, I feel better now.

The thing that sucks, is that I couldn't even sue anyone if this happened.  The fee to retain an attorney would be more than the guy who's asbestos I removed from his attic makes in a year.  So no lawyers, no lawsuits no nothing.  Hopefully no cancer.  But that's just me being paranoid.  Just thought I'd share.

Posted by Peter

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