Category Archives: Rants and Complaints

Stupid things in life that piss me off.

What a joke, everyone is broke. Our pride doesn’t let us talk about it.

It is no secret, everyone is broke. Simple things in life, paying rent, a mortgage, grocery shopping, or a Friday night at a pub has to be a big deal in our budget these days.  Everyone thinks it is only them that is having hard times.  Just because you don’t talk to your neighbor, doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling the same pinch.

We’re too proud to admit things to the people we smile at every day. There is a real issue going on with EVERYONE.  Yes, we have shelter, and we can eat. But we’re all struggling right now, all of us.  No one likes to be the first one to admit it.

Think about it, you work hard each and every day, and every week to get ahead.  It’s fine to try and just pay the bills, and that seems to be the focus of what everyone around you is doing “let’s just pay the bills and wait for things to get better”.  Well, to be honest, things aren’t getting better – they are getting worse, much worse.

People are getting foreclosed on every single day. Everyone is pinching their pennies. The proud thing to do, is to NOT talk to your neighbor and act like the deep depression (officially called recession) is not affecting you. But it is… It is affecting you, your neighbor, the guy three doors down, and the family two streets over.

Wake up people. Where does pride end, and realism take over?

To give an example. While your finances aren’t going as far these days – while your purchasing power of your earned wage seems to go less – has your bank lowered their service fees? Of course not. Has the government lowered their taxes on what you owe? Of course not.

You, and me both, are getting downgraded financially, and no one is talking about it.

The stuff we buy, whether it be potato chips or coffee, the price increases, and the content volume is decreased. We feel like the dollar is still worth a dollar, but is it?  Pay attention, we’re on a downward spiral to never never land…  Who has money to go on vacation anymore?  Who has money to buy something silly and stupid like we use to? Every single expenditure we do these days has to be a calculated effort.

The world is different now. You won’t hear that from your neighbors, but you will hear it from me. I am not afraid to talk about it.

Grocery shoppers who use to walk away with 4 bags of groceries are walking way with only 3… That is soon to be 2 bags… Don’t think it isn’t happening. It is an incremental amount over time, that you are not suppose to notice.  10 cents here, 25 cents there, its not even noticeable until you walk away from the cashier and realize “gee, my dollars aren’t going as far as they use to”..

So now that I’ve called it out – what is the real solution?

Unfortunately there isn’t one.

What there IS though, is the fact, that everything you’ve noticed is exactly true and happening. While the major news media outlets won’t officially call it, I will. WE ARE IN A DEPRESSION. THE FIRST ONE SINCE THE 1930’S. YOU’RE LIVING THROUGH A DEPRESSION RIGHT NOW.

OMG (oh my god), could it be true? The answer is YES. Just because you don’t hear it on the TV, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

This is a depression. Hard working individuals with decent jobs are struggling to survive.

THAT IS A DEPRESSION.

So, granted, your TV may be on, your internet connection may be working, maybe even you were able to get a McDonald’s meal this week.

YOU”RE STILL LIVING DURING THE 2011-2012 DEPRESSION.

Where is your savings? Where is that bundle of cash you have worked so hard to get?  Money in, money out, it goes quick doesn’t it?

We’ve become a society this day and age, where it isn’t ideal to share what is happening with the person next door. They don’t talk to you either. We’re all isolated. Is that a good thing, or bad thing?

What I will tell you is this…

I’m posting this on my blog for 72 hours. If I don’t get a few decent comments from people out there, ranting about this problem, then I’m going to be that neighbor next door that pretends the world isn’t actually happening. I’ll delete this blog post and act like everyone else is — it’s all in our minds, it’s a conspiracy theory, and anyone that points out the obvious deserves to wear a tin foil hat.

I’m broke, and so are you.  Admit it.

Who’s making money here? Banks with their service fees, car insurance with mandatory charges, think about it. Key organizations are doing well during this depression. You and I? We’re fighting to get rent, mortgage, utilities and groceries paid.  Yeah, life is just rosey isn’t it, but no one talks about it.

If you are upset, SAY SOMETHING.

This is the first step in getting the real issue recognized and maybe people realizing where we are.. the sooner we admit it, the faster we can all get to a solution.

Youtube videos can’t go viral when a user chooses the wrong license!

This is an ironic example I came across today on Youtube. If you make videos yourself, don’t let this happen to you.

Quite simply, someone got legitimately upset, when the advertised price of the Baltimore Sun was $2.12 but a particular store was charging $3.12 instead.

Armed with a video camera, the person walked into the store and confronted the staff about it. He said that the video would be put “all over Youtube and that it would go viral”. After the initial shock, the staff proceeded to do something quite surprising (watch the video to see for yourself).

Now, as of the time of this writing, the video only has 58 views. That’s not very viral, is it?

Watch the video and read my explanation below as to why the initial standard Youtube license chosen for this video was incorrect.

There is something that is not understood by people who shoot videos and want them to go viral. There are two different licenses that each Youtuber can choose to release their video under as follows:

Standard License (reuse NOT allowed) :

While fair use laws still exist, this is a much more restrictive license.  It basically means that the video uploaded may be accessed through Youtube and it cannot be incorporated into other mediums (like in someone else’s video, tv program, etc) in its entirety.  For instance in this blog, I can embed the video, but the person still has to go use the Youtube service to watch it. If Youtube decides to remove the video, or the person deletes their channel, or get if they get suspended, the video is lost forever.

In addition, some parts of this particular video, the camera was held “sideways”.  Someone else might want to edit the video and fix that. According to the standard license, the moment you import that video into your movie maker software and start making changes and subsequently re-distribute it, you’ve violated the standard license agreement.

Ever see a television program where they reference a video, but they don’t play the entire thing? Some of the time it is simply because the video on Youtube has a “standard license”, so all they can do is use little pieces under fair use laws to reference the video. Do everyone a favor and use Creative Commons License, it makes a world of difference!

A MUCH BETTER OPTION:

Creative Commons License (reuse allowed):

You retain your copyright and other users get to reuse your work subject to the terms of the license.  Which basically means that the video can be incorporated in part, or in WHOLE, as part of another work (like someone’s own video, TV program, etc).

If you want something to go viral, I highly suggest you release it under the Creative Commons License.  You will have a lot more people interested in using your video and helping it spread.  Not everyone wants to link back to your Youtube channel. Some people want to redistribute the video their own way, by broadcast, by adding it to a DVD compilation for example, etc.

 

To encourage your video to go viral,  select “Creative commons license” when you upload it.

Content creators would love to use your creative commons video to help you spread the word. Give them that opportunity.

“There is more where that came from” — an evil saying – stay away from it at all costs!

When I had more that I needed, and spent it without a care, I believed in the old age saying There is more where that came from.. now, after there is “no more”, I realize how foolish I was.

There was a time that I was making money faster than I could spend it.  NO – I wasn’t rich – I just had a solid income. My bills were paid, all of the staples were covered. I had money for taxes, my accountant, my medical bills, insurance, house payments — everything was paid.

So I would end up with “extra” every week or two. That meant to me (at the time) it was extra I could spend carelessly, because…

“THERE WAS MORE WHERE THAT CAME FROM”

..and I believed in that adage.. As long as money was pouring in, and I met my expenses, and things should only get better, there was always more where that came from – I was free, happy, and deserving because I had worked hard to get to that point in my life.

So we use to go to fancy restaurants, and tip good servers (Waiters/Waitresses) well. We use to stay in above average Hotels, and enjoy the good life. We spent the first half of our years working like dogs to finally get to the point where we had extra cash, and there was more on the way.

That worked for awhile, when we were ahead of the game. It felt great. I never saw an end in sight.

I’d do silly things like accidentally blow $600 in a night at a local casino, but I wouldn’t worry. “There is more where that came from”. — All of this was legal. I had a small business, that was growing to become a medium business – it was all legit. $600 casino nights were par for the course.

 

          ..then it happened..

 

 

 

The economy turned. Competition moved in, we began struggling to keep even. Then it got even worse. No longer were we struggling to keep even – we were struggling to just pay the bills. Then it got worse. Now we were not only choosing which bills got paid, but we were wondering whether we could keep the house, the car, and whether or not we could keep our fridge full of food.

That’s how easily it happened to us — and how easily it could happen to anyone.

So whoever invented the phrase “there is more where that came from” was obviously drunk, disillusioned, or just plain stupid. That is one phrase or cliche we could all do without.

Never should you believe that there is more where that came from – because that only holds true for a short period of time. It may be weeks, months, or even a couple years. Eventually the MORE stops – and there is no more WHERE THAT CAME FROM.

Instead, things like “SAVE FOR A RAINY DAY” or “PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE” are real solid pieces of advice that people need to hold true to their heart.

Just when you work so hard all your life to have the “extra” — no one is there to tell you to save it, and keep it, because life as you know it today, can change on a dime tomorrow. That’s pretty much on how fast life turned for the worst for us – on a dime.

One day we’re sitting pretty, and the next day, we’re wondering what’s happening.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE – LIFE IS FULL OF SURPRISES.

If I would have read a blog post like this – maybe I wouldn’t be in the boat I’m in…

I feel better about sharing this information – if it helps you, please take the 2 minutes to comment.

Thanks.

People – and the do gooder attitude

With this blog post, I’m going to take a different turn. I want to be open and honest to call out certain people (let’s see if you are one of them).

People Type #1: “Saved by attendance”

Saved by attendance people are those that go to Church, feel they are saved. They have a Bible, they read the Bible, and go to Church every Sunday. Not only do they go to Church, but they ALWAYS contribute to the offering. They know the 10 commandments and live by them (or so they think). They pray, they believe in God. They are members of a local Church, and believe that all you have to do is believe in God, or Jesus, accept him into your heart, and you’re saved.

 

 

 

          WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

 

 

 

I suppose the pastor of the Church hasn’t had the opportunity to explain this to you yet, but God doesn’t take attendance. If God exists, he’ll be a lot more interested in the way you live and conduct your life – not who was sitting in the piu, or what type of offering or donation you gave to the basket.

There are people (by the thousands), who think that God somehow takes attendance at Church every Sunday, just like elementary or middle school. He doesn’t. Yes, it could be considered by some, that it is God’s house — but if he exists, he can see past the superficial being that you are.

To explain in detail:

IF you are someone that attends every service, AND gives a generous amount to every offering – that is not enough, because both of those are superficial acts. Even a murderer could attend Sunday Church and give generous offerings — does that mean they will be saved?

No – the truth is quite simple. How you live your life on a daily basis. Not how you live your life on Sunday – or how you put on your best Church clothes or what type of offering you give. Those that don’t even go to Church, or give an offering, but do a kindness to their neighbor, stranger, or fellow citizen have a much better chance at the gates of heaven than you do..

BE VERY CAREFUL that you’re not following a stereotype. “Have a bible, go to Church, give an offering, I’m saved”. I am surprised about the amount of people that live in this plastic concept that there is a simple road to heaven this way.

HERE’S WHERE I CAN EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE

The same Church person will generally have a routine, and after they’ve dressed up, attended the sermon on Sunday, gave at the offering, they will leave the Church and go out for a family breakfast at a local restaurant. I know this is true, because Church generally gets out at 10:30am, and by 11:15am, ALL RESTAURANTS ARE PACKED EVERY SUNDAY BY PEOPLE IN THEIR CHURCH CLOTHES.

…so talking like this, means I know something — don’t believe me? Go to your local iHOP Pancake house at 10am on a Sunday and watch the sudden crowd in Church clothes that appear at 11:30am – it’s very obvious.

Now that being said, and agreed upon..

This same Church crowd that visits the International Pancake House at 11:30am after Church has let out, will do certain UGLY and UNGODLY things:

1) They will honk and give curse expressions with their hands and arms while in bumper to bumper traffic

2) They will be selfish and try and race to get into a parking spot without concern to the other vehicle in the same lot, irregardless if they have their 80 year old mother with them.

3) They’ll sneer and think they’re above people of different color, race, financial position, or social status. You could almost hear them talking to their kids, saying “We were at Church, look at that drug addict bum. We were at Church, look at that FAT disgusting person. We were at Church, what would the Lord think of that gay couple?”

———-

So if you are one of those people, who go to Church every Sunday, and thinks God takes attendance — he doesn’t. He’s not watching the offerings you gave, as much as he’s watching how you conduct yourself outside of his house. Your thoughts, your demeanor, and not what clothes you wore to iHop are what matters.

I am really tired of seeing hypocritical people that believe that to love thy brother is to love one’s self is a concept to live by.. Immediately thereafter walk out in public and think their obligation ends as soon as they leave the Church steps.

God doesn’t take attendance – but he knows.

People Type #2: “I’m good because I did this simplistic action”

This is the most dangerous type of person. Those that aren’t necessarily “Bible thumpers” – excuse the rude comment, so I can prove my point. It sounds derogatory, and I don’t mean to be so obvious about it. However, it helps to make a clear line between people that believe in God, and that’s why they try to do the right things, verses people who DON’T go to Church regularily, but think they’re equally entitled to similar entitlements.

These are the people that walk around thinking “I’m good because I did this simplistic action”

Here’s a few things these people do, figuring they are worthy in life, of getting their just desserts later by simplistic actions:

1) They see someone standing on a concrete island at an intersection holding a cardboard sign saying “God Bless, Please Give. Hungry” — They immediately roll down the car window, hand $5, and figure not only did they do a good deed for the day, that proves something to themselves and everyone else they’re a decent person. After that split second donation, they can continue on their life path for the next 6 months and not feel guilty.

TRUTH: Most of the time (90% or greater), you’ve just handed your $5 bill to a professional con-artist / scammer. While you sat in traffic for that 2 minute RED light, what you didn’t see, is that he’s been there for the last 58 minutes, and found that everytime the light turns red, he gets $2 to $5. Over the course of an hour, he makes $40 to $50 for standing there with a cardboard sign. The problem is, he had a job, but quit it, and left for this business. He saw that making $19 an hour was peanuts. He’d rather pretend to dress in old clothes, stand at an intersection with a cardboard sign, and make double his annual wage.

Look closely. You might see the latest iPhone bulging in his pocket, or a chrome bicycle a few yards away.

2) People that travel in urban city areas and see an unkempt person, dirty, struggling and hungry and hand them spare change. What you don’t often realize is that same spare change will buy a case of beer of a 1/5th of Vodka that same night. When you give spare change to an individual, it doesn’t mean they are going to use it to make photocopies of their resume for a badly needed job.

Yet these same #2 people “I’m good because I did a simplistic action” will walk away smiling. I gave this person $2 for no reason, just to help them [buy wine] and that means I’m good.

WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG

You would have been much better off giving your $2 donation to the local soup kitchen, who turns that $2 into food (instead of wine or beer).

You walk away thinking you’ve done great, by giving a homeless person spare change.

Instead, you’ve enabled them to purchase alcohol or drugs, and without you, they may have been unable to afford those substances.

So if you’ve reached this point in this blog post, my question to you is:

Which of these are you?
PEOPLE OF TYPE #1: NICKNAMED “Saved by attendance”
PEOPLE OF TYPE #2: NICKNAMED “I’m good because I did this simplistic action
PEOPLE OF TYPE #3: I don’t fit into either of these. I’ll explain below in my comment

A huge percentage of the population, can usually fit into one of these 2 categories.

For me, I’m type #3 – which I haven’t discussed, but soon will.

Your comments are appreciated.

Mowing Lawns – the OCD Neighbor

On our block we have some OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) neighbors — two of them, who care more about their lawns than life itself. Not only do they pull out the mowers and mow when their lawn is only 2″ high it’s worse.

Most normal people will mow their lawn when it is a certain height. They take 30 to 40 minutes and put the mower away.

 

 

 

 

 

NOPE. Not these two neighbors, that is too simple.

My neighbors love it when the mower is out and they take extra special moments with it. One neighbor would mow his 2″ lawn (because you can’t have a single blade of grass higher than the rest) relentlessly.

He’d move his mower to the sidewalk, put it into neutral (still running) and take a cell phone call. He’d chat happily away for 10 or 15 minutes on the phone, while the mower sat infront of him idling away spewing tons of noise pollution.

He’d then put the phone away and start mowing. Three minutes later he’d stop the mower (stop moving not shut off) while it sat there running and pull the bag off the mower. He’d shake it briefly, there must be a full 2 oz of grass in there because the lawn didn’t need to be mowed to begin with, and walk around to the back of the house to empty it.

Meanwhile the mower, still buzzing sat in the front yard.

He then comes back, re-hooks the bag and the sun shines on his left ear. Yes, the neighbor is wearing ear buds, so the lawnmower noise isn’t bothering him whatsoever.

He mows another foot and sees a pebble. He stops the mower again, picks up the pebble and throws it near the house where he has some gravel. WAIT! The pebble didn’t land in the right place.

He walks away from the lawnmower (still buzzing) and finds the pebble he threw. He moves it 4″ over to an acceptable spot that makes him happy. Wait! He didn’t realize there were some weeds next to this big large rock he has in his garden bed, so he starts pulling those weeds.

 

Yes, the lawnmower is sitting there, still buzzing and idling away.

 

 

Wait, he found more weeds, picks those, and then finds more, picks more weeds. Can’t have that in his garden. He spends 3 or 7 minutes picking weeds out of the garden with his ear buds in his ears. He can’t hear the lawnmower, and neither should his neighbors.

After he’s done weeding his garden, he returns to the idling lawnmower. He continues mowing the lawn, going over the grass that is only 2″ high. His lawn is already so short you can’t tell the difference between where he’s mowed already, vs where he still needs to mow.

Finally he’s done. He stops the mower (an hour later after beginning for a 15 foot area) and puts it away.

Now he has about 25 grass clippings on the sidewalk. He brings out an electric leaf blower and starts blowing the sidewalk. This takes him about another 15 minutes, making sure he blows every grain of grass away.

Think he’s done? Not quite.

He puts the leaf blower away and brings out the garden hose. He saw some dust on the sidewalk. Can’t have that.. He starts using valuable municipal water to wash the sidewalk. Gets every grain of dust, and any grass to wash away. This takes him 30 minutes, with about 300 gallons of water.

Finally he goes inside. He feels that his nice cultured lawn will be loved by many.

After watching him noise pollute, waste electricity, water, and be totally annoying to the neighborhood for the last 3 hours, I am wondering why I don’t want to see him jailed or killed.

Your comments?

Food – Restaurants – and abuse

I’ve always wanted to talk about this, and I don’t know if anyone is listening, but my words are in cyberspace now, so hopefully some is seeing it.

Anyone ever had a fantastic meal? The taste and flavor was awesome, your body felt warm and fuzzy by it, and you totally enjoyed every morsel and every bite?

In addition, anyone ever had a nasty meal? Just the sight of it was unappealing. Someone served you something and you look down on the plate and think “are they kidding?”. You ate it, and the flavors and spices were all over the map. You did eat and filled your hunger, but immediately worry about the next 12 hours how your body is going to react while you digest it?

Most people, at some point in their life, at one time or another, have had those two moments. An amazing meal, or a meal that was basically nothing more than an insult and later, a health concern. 🙂

Now you are probably wondering where I am going with this, now that we’re on the same page. It is a very distinct point. The title of this blog is “Food – Restaurants – and abuse” and for good reason.

In point form – not for a particular recipe, but for how food is abused in general:

1. Tomato – It’s not the tomato’s fault it was sliced, left in the refrigerator for 3 days uncovered and then served. Meanwhile upon close examination, it was growing white spiney things throughout, has a pungent taste and obviously left to expire from its freshness

2. Chicken – it clucked around, and gave its life to please people. What do people do? They freeze it until its freezer burnt. Or even worse — they cook it until every ounce of moisture is cooked out of the darn thing. Even with a blind fold, you’d have a hard time telling the difference between sawdust and chicken.

3. Tomato Sauce (spaghetti sauce) – on Pizza, on Pasta, etc. Personally, I don’t think anyone even understands tomato sauce anymore. Twenty years ago people use to joke about canned or bottled sauce, RAGU was the comparison for that.. Now, you have every restaurant within 20km having “Chefs” abuse this basic item on the menu. Let’s examine the importance of this — if you RUIN the tomato sauce — the pizza sucks. If you RUIN the tomato sauce — the pasta dish sucks. If you RUIN the tomato sauce — the lasagna sucks.

So how do they do they ruin tomato sauce? Oh that’s easily figured out. TOO THICK, TOO RUNNY, or its unnoticeable things like WRONG SPICES, or even worse, TOO MANY PRESERVATIVES. That’s right. We’re all use to getting Ketchup out of a bottle, because — who wants to make Ketchup? But tomato sauce, just because tomatoes is the main ingredient, doesn’t deserve the same treatment!

If I could teleport myself around the world. I undoubtedly could find 29,000 variations where tomato sauce / pasta sauce was just “nasty”. Didn’t deserved to be just bottled, but sunk to the bottom of the ocean like toxic waste. During that same trip I could probably find a hefty 30 awesome tomato sauces in use today, that deserved attention.

————-

Rather than rambling, here is the point:



IT IS RARELY the raw ingredient’s fault something comes out bad.

 99% of the time, the chef just ruined the food!

 

When you are served something in a restaurant, and it tastes putrid — don’t blame the ingredients – always blame the chef. People sometimes want (or need) to believe that “well the Pizza” in this region of the world just isn’t great because it is “that region” of the world.

Nonsense! With globalization the way it is today, you can get Bananas in Iceland as easy as you can in Australia. Albeit, at a different cost, but the movement of raw ingredients globally is attainable.

So the next time you get a nasty meal on a plate in front of you — realize, it isn’t the ingredients fault – it is the people who prepared it. That’s what food – restaurants – and abuse is all about. It’s about abusing fresh raw ingredients (which goes on everyday).

As the public we need to realize “that’s not a bad restaurant” — instead — “that’s an establishment that abuses raw ingredients and turns out crap on a plate”

It’s all about abusing raw ingredients that took the time to be born, grow, and be harvested, whether it be fruit, vegetables, or meat.

In human terms, we have “child protective services”

In animal terms, we have “animal rights activists”

Who is out there for fresh raw food ingredients who get abused and turned into slush in the frying pan and served on a plate? No one! 🙂

It sounds like I’m overworking this issue – and I also am self aware that I am – but the point is there.

Next time you are served a bad dish in a restaurant — who do you blame? the restaurant? NO. The ingredients? NO. The person that abused the raw ingredients was given to them? A BIG YES.

Cost of earning a dollar is expensive.

 

Here’s a realization:

Sometimes in business we just do things without realizing the impact involved. Let me give you an example. In my business if I invoice someone $100 and they want to pay me via credit card, guess how many fingers there are in the pie:

1. If they keep that balance running on their credit card, they pay anywhere from 12% to 20% each month

2. As the merchant, I pay 1.75% of the fee to the credit card processor

3. In order to process that charge, I have to have and pay for a phone line to do the charge

4. In order to process on something, I either have to buy my own merchant terminal, or rent one each month

5. I deposit the funds into my bank, but at the end of every month, I pay bank fees in order to have an account.

6. By completing this sale, I must pay a book keeper to record the transaction

7. At the end of the year, I have to pay my accountant to file my taxes

8. Finally, the government gets to look at my books, say “oh, you made $100”, let me tax you on it.

I am the one providing the service, I earned that $100, but I must share it with credit card processors, the telephone company, the merchant terminal provider, my bank, a book keeper, an accountant, and the government.

 

By the time all of that’s done, I get to keep what’s left. Maybe by the time it’s all over, I get 50%.

Then what do I do with my half? I go out and buy something, But then I pay sales tax as well.

As business people, and as customers, there are way too many people involved in grabbing “their share” from us. Not only that, but the rate of inflation and cost of living goes up and down, so the dollar I earned is subject to whatever people think it’s worth that particular day.

Too many fingers in the pie I am trying to create for myself.

Anyone feel the same way?

 

Cell phone fees are too expensive, here’s why…

I watched a Verizon TV commercial today. They were saying something about 80 million Verizon customers.

(1) The guy hits a pinata and thousands of candies tumble to the ground illustrating how many Verizon customers there really are..

(2) Another variation of the commercial is when he is in an ice cream shop and dumps a whole jar of sprinkles on the counter

STOP – LET’S REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT 80 MILLION CELLULAR PHONE CUSTOMERS– Really means..

Consider what your cell phone bill costs.

The average cell phone plan is around $20 a month in my guestimate. That’s without bells & whistles and extended airtime. 80,000,000 cellular customers paying their $20 a month cell phone bill is $1,600,000,000.00 a month in cellular phone revenue.

That’s 1.6 billion dollars in service fees a month! By Verizon alone!  How many other cellular networks are in business?

Here’s my question:

What ever happened to supply and demand?  If there is that many of us using these networks, shouldn’t the cost go down once the demand is so high like this? Why isn’t there more competitors undercutting each other?

Why I can I buy a 99 cent cheeseburger, but I can’t get a $5.00 monthly cell phone plan?

The cellular towers are already erected. The connection to the regular telephone networks is already in place. Does it really cost 1.6 billion dollars each month to keep the system running?

Of course not.

I am reading this 2008 financial report correctly, they took in $97 billion dollars of consolidated revenues in one year.

I mean, that’s fine — a company should make a profit.

But at some point, when is profit becoming a little excessive?

While the economy is hurting, how many of these large organizations are still well off? I know many of us are running around trying to keep our bills paid and watch our spending.

Why can’t some of these larger corporations lower their prices temporarily until the economy picks back up again?

I guess I am expecting too much.

But $1,600,000,000.00 in sales each month!

WOW!  If only I could run a business that sold $1.6 billion a month in services.

For now, I’m going to try and pay my cell phone bill.

 

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Disclaimer: I don’t want to attract Goliath here. These numbers are estimates and forecasts, done by an uneducated consumer that doesn’t know better. Please enjoy this blog entry as a form of entertainment. Do not take my statements as being actual fact of anything. Feel free to research and investigate what you want on your own. Or better yet, leave a comment.

Celebrities Die: Why is that a big deal?

 

CELEBRITIES DIE – SOCIETY IS IN SHOCK – WE WANT TO KNOW MORE – AND WE PAY ATTENTION – BUT WHY?

So the latest is that Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson both died on the same day. But neither one was making huge amounts of money before their death. Now that they’re dead, everyone wants to know about them.

Why is it that society cares more about the dead than the living?

I know the way I am writing this, it seems like I’m uncaring or that I have no compassion.

But at some point we have to realize, when you start being interested in someone "after it’s too late" and after they are already dead, then there is really something wrong with that.

The funny thing about Michael Jackson in particular, is that the majority wrote him off as a freak for all his plastic surgeries and for being charged with child molestation.  How many jokes was he the punch line of?

But he really did bring a lot of music to the masses — he was great at what he did.

The famous moon walk came from him — he deserved a lot better than the credit that society gave him.

Now he’s dead, and everyone seems to care more than they ever did.  Michael Jackson went bankrupt, and many people thought it was funny. A celebrity in despair knocks them back down to our level, and yet we’re all a bunch of nobody’s that enjoys it when that happens.

Society isn’t healthy when this kind of mindset seems appropriate and acceptable.

I watched a four hour movie tonight on TV about Michael Jackson and thoroughly enjoyed it. But that’s because he’s dead, and I’m interested before "it’s too late" and I don’t get another chance.  But — the fact that he’s already dead — makes it too late already. Showing interest in his life, after he’s dead, makes me a hypocrite and same with the rest of you who are now interested in knowing his life story after it’s too late.

There are only two times that society idolizes a celebrity — when they are reaching the top — and when they die.

This is plain wrong — but that’s how society works. None of us in our wildest dreams could even imagine being the one to bring music to the masses when Michael Jackson was the top of the charts. Do you realize how hard it was for him?  But every mistake in his life had to become public knowledge.  Everyone had the opportunity to judge him.

Celebrities do not have it easy. Every move they make — every public sentence they say — is out there to be evaluated, re-evaluated, judged, taken apart in pieces and analyzed. Any normal citizen of society could not handle that — but our attitude is that — they’re celebrities, they’re rich, they have to accept what is coming to them.

Listen to me closely.

It’s not celebrities that should be judged.

It’s society..

For we have it ALL wrong.

We’re the ones that need a learning lesson.

Respect celebrities – give them leeway to make mistakes, and stop being so critical judging them. Above all, let’s hate the intrusion they get in their lives — they should be able to live their lives off-screen without us watching their every move. If any of us filled their shoes by gaining success and popularity, we’d want the same thing.

I hope one day, people have a higher respect for celebrities than we do — if that ever happens, it means civilization has evolved.

P.S.

Michael Jackson, rest in peace. You did wonders in your time, and it’s time you rested without any of us judging you anymore.

Economy, jobs, and unemployment for 2009

Well, irregardless of what you are watching on TV, there is no secret that everyone is feeling the effects of the economy, job losses, and unemployment this year, 2009.

It was just a few months ago, we were all celebrating New Years Eve — everyone was hoping this year would be better — well frankly it’s very clear — 2009 is about economic survival.

That’s right.

Holding onto your job (if you’re lucky enough to have one) — putting food on the table, having shelter, and keeping that used car running as long as you can, is about all you can hope for to have a successful year.

Everyone is cutting back.

They are ordering food less, and eating in restaurants less..

They are avoiding tourist attractions, and staying local, near home.

They are lowering their cell phone plans. They’re cutting back on Cable and Satellite TV packages.

We’re removing the “extras” in life that we’ve all taken granted.

A dollar saved here — a dollar saved there — and we feel better about our situations.

So what’s the answer? When will this economy improve?

As soon as we all stop saving our money, and we start spending it! Isn’t that ironic?  In order for the economy to improve, we must go back out there and live lavish carefree lives. Buy stocks, go on Vacation, order food in or visit a restaurant 3 or 4 times a week.  Once that happens, and everyone starts spending — guess what? JOBS GET CREATED — not lost!

So…. who wants to be first? Who wants to bankrupt their wallet and then wait and see if it works?

Well not me — and probably not you..

So guess what? The economy will get worse. Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost or cut-back.  Unemployment will rise, maybe even double what it is now in the next year or two.

Then that spells the right conditions for an Economic Depression.

About 2 years ago, I remember going through a fastfood restaurant, ordering a Deluxe burger, fries, and a drink. It came out to $8.96 and I couldn’t believe that cost.  Probably 80% of that was profit.

Now the same restaurant, is touting their dollar menu. Their normal meal combo is only $3.99 – Probably 35% of that is still profit for them.

So what does that mean?  Large Corporations who have been making huge profits all along — now are making smaller profits — but they will ride out this Recession which may very well soon be a Depression.

But the little guys — the regular middle class of society, are going to go through life changing experiences. We have to sell that second car or truck. No more boats or ATV’s.  Our channel line up will dwindle. We’ll only use our cell phone minutes in emergencies.  No more travel to remote destinations. Save, save save. Pay bills, and get hounded by credit card companies.

The best thing you can do, is stop watching the news, and talk to your neighbors, friends, and family members. That is where the real story is…

TV media will go on and on all day long about how well things are, how things are short term, and how things will improve.  But that’s selling optimisim to the masses. Luckily we have the internet, YouTube, and blogs to really reinforce what we all see.

I don’t need a TV with scripted news anchors telling me something different than what is actually happening out there.

Be careful, and good luck.


Snow in April — What’s going on with Spring?

A lot of places have reported getting snowfall this year during the month of April when they should be getting the first signs of Spring.

Is this Global Warming, or is it the impending 2012 pole reversal that is coming into play early? Will these same places be getting snow in May 2010 next year?

It’s becoming impossible to predict weather patterns these days — it is just too chaotic.

I live in the Northwest, and here we are usually just getting lots of rain. But we’ve been getting heavy spurts of damaging wind, hail storms, snow… and if we’re lucky, the rare sunny break.

I think this type of weather pattern is starting to take its toll on people’s emotions too! Starve people from the Sun, and society starts to get easily angered and intolerant of one another.

I hope we see a good summer this year — I’m craving it already.

Have you noticed the same weird weather in your area? I’m interested in hearing your comments..

Texas Holdem Poker: Idiot Donkey Players RUIN the game.

Let’s get this out of the way, first and foremost:

Ok, YES, YES, and YES….

1) In Poker you can legally bluff
2) In Poker you can get lucky

Here’s the thing… No one likes to play against people who have very little knowledge of the game. People who use little strategy, or skill. People who work on the premise “my wallet is larger than my poker skill” and then flood these online poker rooms..

It completely takes the fun out of the game.

It is akin to a Dart Tourney for money, where some idiot walks in, pays the entry fee, and covers his eyes and throws darts and accidentally constantly hits triple 20, or the bullseye. It’s an insult to the skilled players of the game, if someone who has more money than brains, wins by sheer luck.

Let’s say we train an ape to say “call, check, raise and fold” and follow the appropriate chip guestures. Meanwhile the ape has no knowledge of what the CARDS mean.

The ape ends up winning the WPT (World Poker Tournament) by sheer luck.  Do we salute the ape, and have a new respect for poker because an ape happened to get the right cards at the right time?

Let me give you an example of a poker hand I experienced tonight “online” for REAL MONEY:

The fish or donkey has 2, 3 suited of spades. 

Blind is $1/$2

He’s first to act, and calls $1

It goes all the way around, someone raises to $2, he calls…

It goes all the way around, 5 players in the pot.

Flop comes out, 10 hearts, 9 diamonds, 5 spades

Ok, this donkey no longer has a flush draw…

He also has no straight draw…

He also has not made a pair of any sort…

The pot is at $10, first person bets $6.00, second person folds, third person folds…

It eventually gets to him with 3 players in the pot, he CALLS with nothing at $6

This isn’t even a good bluff, because, he has absolutely no “outs”.

Fine, the moron calls, a 2 comes up on the turn.  Pot is huge now, like $28

The aggressive player bets $25.00, second person folds, the moron calls $25.00

Pot is massive now, its $53.00

River is a 3… the moron makes 2 pair… the aggressive player checks, the moron checks…

The aggressive player had 10’s…

The moron made 2 pair on the turn & river, but sat through the heavy betting with calls & checks.

That’s not bluffing… since there was no raising by the idiot.

He rode out the cards to the river with complete “junk” with a 3% chance of winning the entire way.

So  what fun or skill does this person bring to money games? NONE…

People would say “hey, we love donkeys and poker fish like this… eventually they break and we get their money”

True..

But the odd night you don’t — and it’s those nights that are hard to handle. Its very frustrating to play Texas Holdem Poker with people who do not understand the game, and win by sheer luck on a constant basis.

It’s this concept that turns away many good players from seeing the game through and making the game what it really should be…

I lost money tonight, on three different tables “online” with idiots and morons like this…

I makes me not to want to go back, which means that unless your playing for high stakes online.. there isn’t any point to playing for less than $100 buy-ins. Which ruins the fun that online gambling could be..

So I’m just going to have to hit in-person tournaments I suppose.

I am just having a hard time dealing with my frustration.

Store Hours: Posted on the Window in Tiny Text

I hate it when you’re in a rush, at around 5pm or 6pm in the evening, and you drive up to the front of the store, and see a big sign titled “STORE HOURS”

Then it proceeds to have the days & times in a tiny font. This leaves you having to find a parking spot, get out of your vehicle, walk up to the sign, only to find out the store is closing in 5 minutes, and you won’t have any time to shop.

What is the point of posting store hours in such tiny text? Don’t they realize that the majority of their customers will drive to the store in a vehicle of some sort?

Its a small rant for the day, but something I’ve never been able to figure out.

New Years Resolutions: Quitting Smoking – How hard is it?

Many of you will make a New Years resolution to QUIT SMOKING.

The benefits are obvious… health and cost…

So how hard is it to quit smoking? It all depends on what angle you are looking at..

Is it possible to do it without “quitting aids”.. like nicotine gum, patches, etc, etc..?

Sure.

The best way to quit smoking is to have ONE SIMPLE CARDINAL RULE:

“Stop smoking 100%”

Sounds simplistic, but I really mean it..

1. No “can I have just a puff?”

2. No “I had a real bad argument, I just need one cigarette today.. only one”

3. No “Well if I cut back to only 1/2 a pack, its better than I was before”…

4. No “Ok, I’ll let myself have up to 4 cigarettes a day, after meals, that sort of thing, it’s better than where I was before”

5. No “I’ll only smoke when I drink. Or.. I’ll only smoke among friends”

6. No “I won’t buy my own, but if someone gives me one for free… well.. that’s a control in itself isn’t it?”

SEE.. the brain addicted to nicotine will play with your thoughts. I will rationalize a 100 ways from Friday why it is perfectly ok to have just that one puff, that one drag, that one cigarette.

Infact, your emotions will become so sensitive, and you’ll argue with people around you to the point your body cries out “just have a smoke. Look how bad things are right now. You have every right to have a cigarette at this particular point eventhough you quit”

Life is full of drama. But when you are detoxing from cigarettes and nicotene Your mind WILL play tricks on you. Your emotions WILL run wild…

Everytime I’ve managed to quit smoking, it has always been “cold turkey”, which simply means, no aids of any sort. I simply stopped putting a cigarette to my lips and inhaling.

People who don’t smoke, don’t understand. There are 3 types of people in this world:

1. Non-smokers. They have never smoked, have no desire to smoke, and secretly are disgusted and despise people who smoke. They don’t understand them, think it is a filthy habit, and “how could you”

2. Ex-smokers. These are a very specialized group of people that totally demand the upmost respect. They were non-smokers at one point. They also became totally addicted smokers. They understand both sides of the social coin that dictates that smoking is no longer socially or ethically acceptable.  Do they crave cigarettes to this day? YES THEY DO.. ALL OF THEM. There are records of people who have smoked for 10 years straight, then abstained and quit for 20 years, and then one day, out of the blue, something major in their lives has put them back to smoking again.

Ex-smokers, deserve respect.  They are fighting a day-to-day battle. Albeit, some of them are hurting more than others.. But any ex-smoker could be a smoker again tomorrow, given the right chance, opportunity, situation, and want.

Ex-smokers have it the worst of all 3 types.

Now the next type….

3. SMOKERS. These are people who are still smoking everyday. There are varying degrees of smokers. Some are up to a pack a day… some are only smoking on the weekends, or while drinking. Nonetheless, these are people who need to smoke cigarettes as part of their normal lives. The nicotine levels in their bodies dictate how often they smoke, and how much they crave to smoke.

Some of these people have quit before.. the majority have not – they have smoked all their lives, and it is the one daily routine that they have that they depend on..

Smokers who have tried to quit, and failed numerous times, have it the worst. They have not proven to themselves that they have the willpower to stop the addiction. They may admit to you, “yes, I want to, need to, and will do whatever it takes to… QUIT SMOKING”.

But some of these smokers just can’t. They’ve tried cold turkey, they’ve tried nicotine gum, they’ve tried the nicotine patch, and they’ve tried all kinds of aids.. nothing works.

———————

Unless you’ve been a smoker, successfully quit, and remain a non-smoker to this day, please don’t volunteer or suggest anything to these groups of people.

Tobacco, nicotine, tar, and 3,000 other chemicals (including formaldehyde) are prevalent in cigarettes today. It is a very ugly and terrible addiction, but the surprising part is that it is taxed and made legal by our government to this very day.

To understand who is writing this blog post. I will let you know that I had successfully quit smoking for 8 years. That’s a very long time. At some point I went on vacation where everyone smoked around me. After 8 years of abstaining I figured I had the strength and drive to be able to smoke with them, and stop when I returned home.

Guess what?
Nicotine back into my blood stream… the addiction came back just like I was a smoker yesterday.

After returning home from my “vacation” where I thought I could smoke and flirt with cigarette death and stop at my own will power.. I proceeded to keep my “high” going for another few months, to another couple years, buying cartons of cigarettes upon cartons of cigarettes.. until one day I realized “I thought I could stop it anytime, but everyday I wake up, I find myself saying “not yet”.. maybe tomorrow”.

Cigarettes, tobacco, and nictotine, are sister families to cocaine, heroine, and alcohol.

Don’t be fooled…

Cigarettes are legal

Cigarettes are $10 a pack or less, affordable in most families

Cigarettes will eventually kill or maim you

Cigarettes are a drug

Cigarettes are extremely difficult to quit

Cigarettes haunt ex-smokers everyday, and should eventually be contra-band.

The addictive nature of cigarettes is enough for people to realise that they do not smoke “because they want to”.. but instead, their bodies indirectly crave and tell them “you need another smoke”.

So what is left to be said?

It’s New Years Eve, and you want to make a New Years Resolution infront of family & friends. “I’m going to quit smoking” you say.

Well compare it to some other socially acceptable things, and see how hard, and stupid your statement sounds…

“As my New Years Resolution, I will only watch TV programs for 12 minutes and then change the channel”

DUMB? YES! HARD TO FOLLOW PERMANENTLY? YES

“As my New Years Resolution, I will only take 2 bites into any hamburger I encounter, and throw the rest in the garbage”

DUMB? YES! HARD TO FOLLOW PERMANENTLY? YES

“As my New Years Resolution, I will only sleep 3 hours every night, and eventhough I am still tired and sleepy, I will wake up and stay awake for the remaining 21 hours everyday”

DUMB? YES! HARD TO FOLLOW PERMANENTLY? YES

“As my New Years Resoluttion, I will no longer smoke cigarettes. The pleasure, relaxation and history I have smoking cigarettes as party of my daily life will now stop, like a train hitting the side of a mountain. My whole daily life will change, on a dime without any friction or problem.”

DUMB? YES! HARD TO FOLLOW PERMANENTLY? YES

Please understand what smokers who try to quit, go through. Their salvation and pain is only a toke or puff a smoke away. When your body cries out for a dose of nicotine, and it plays with your mind why “it should be ok, just this once” realize those that quit smoking cigarettes as a result of a  New Years Resolution are heroes to themselves.

Is quittting smoking important? SURE

Can everyone do it? DEFINATELY NOT

What is the problem? Unless you’ve been a regular smoker and quit for many years, there is no point in talking to you?

Are you saying that nicotine addiction is like cocaine addiction?

YES, YES, AND MORE YES!

Any addiction is exactly that — an addiction.

Stopping a cocaine, crack, or heroine addict is the EXACT SAME THING as stopping a nicotine addict. But it is never presented to people that way…  Illegal drugs seem so wrong, and the addictions that go with them make people seem like outcasts of society. But since tobacco and nicotine are legal, it is perfectly ok, for a daily smoker to have trouble quitting — thats’ our norm.

The crap they put in cigarettes — the prices they charge — the socially unacceptable situations — smokers that need to quit, want to quit, and want to do it cold turkey…

Find someone that is quitting cold turkey, pat them on the back, smile at them, and say…

“I really DO understand what you are going through”

That’s plenty it itself.

A New Years Resolution to quit smoking sounds noble and special.

But people who actually follow through, quit cold turkey, never smoke a cigarette ever again, and fight the daily thought of “maybe if I could just have one, I wouldn’t want another”

……….all of us would have a better understanding of one another……..

Smoking is more than an addiction. Smoking is more than a legal privilege. Smoking is more than an anti-social activity, and smoking is more than a health risk.

Smoking is an epidemic, and the victims of it should NEVER be shamed. The tobacco companies who profited from it, and had early research on it, should be shamed.

If you walk down a local street tomorrow — see someone puffing on a cigarette. PLEASE DO NOT hold contempt for that person, but the exact opposite. Have a feeling that you want to help. You are sorry that they are addicted, and you know how hard it is to break the habit of quitting smoking.

To be honest, New Years Resolutions sound prim and proper, but deep down inside.. all they are, are common day issues that people find a time and date to deal with them.

If anyone who has read this blog, from top to bottom, who is addicted to nicotine, who feels that they have someone out there understanding them.. who can quit cold-turkey without aids..

Can register, respond, and leave a comment..

I am totally interested in hearing from you. Typing all of this, feeling all of this, and saying it all, will not seem like a waste of time if I can reach that one person out there.

Are you that person?

Gas prices, and oil

I live in Canada. I’ve bought Gasonline at a whopping $1.42 a litre. Today, I bought gas at 74 cents a litre. That’s a huge savings..

I’ve watched videos that explain what “peak oil” prices are..

Gasoline (gas) is suppose to increase and cost much more as demand increases vs supply..

BUT GUESS WHAT

No it doesn’t. If a hurricane is imminent, it goes higher. If its a Friday before the long weekend, it goes higher. If the gas station down the street raises their price, the rest follow.

I’ve seen diesel (which the truckers use) be more expensive that gasoline. But from what I’ve heard the thick diesel is actually a bi-product of manufacturing gasoline! So why would gas be cheaper than diesel, ever?

Same with propane…

Propane is a natural gas that is totally unrelated to gasonline (or fossil fuels).. SO..

When the gas price goes up, so does the propane price. Why is that? As the general public, we should demand answers to this escapade..  Gas, Diesel, Propane, all different commodities.. so why is it when the price of gas goes up, so does the rest of it?

Here’s the ironic part. If you buy a litre of oil it may cost you $4.29… but when gas prices are jumping all over the place at the pump, guess what? A litre of oil still costs $4.29 while it sits on the shelf.

Has no one released this phenomenon?