December 11, 2007

Color me unsurprised

by @ 7:52 am. Filed under Politics, Theocratic Party

Apparently some people are up in arms because presidential candidate and Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee has, in absolutely no uncertain terms, claimed that he wanted to lock AIDS patients away from the rest of “normal” society.  Having had the misfortune of a Baptist upbringing, Huckabee’s statements do not surpise me in the least.  What does surprise me is that people get upset when a Baptist preacher acts like, well, a Baptist preacher.

The Theocratic Republican party, predictably, is lapping up Huckabee’s comments with relish, as he has just passed the Moron Mormon in the national polls.

Again, no surprise there.  It is just more proof that what I have been saying about the theocratic takeover of the Republican party has been accurate.

December 9, 2007

This is talent

by @ 11:16 pm. Filed under Entertainment

December 1, 2007


by @ 1:28 am. Filed under Podcast

My very first podcast is ready.  Quicktime or iTunes is needed.

November 28, 2007

State of the Blog

by @ 2:46 am. Filed under State of the Blog

No, I have not forgotten about the blog.  In fact, there are some things going on in the background that I have been working on for a while.  The roll out of these changes will take place soon, and I am sure my loyal readers (all four of you) will appreciate those changes.

November 16, 2007

BSG Season 4 promo

by @ 3:43 am. Filed under Battlestar Galactica

November 8, 2007

Today’s Music

by @ 8:54 am. Filed under Music

Today’s lyrical choice is “Friends” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

I hope the day will be a lighter highway
For friends are found on every road
Can you ever think of any better way
For the lost and weary travellers to go

Making friends for the world to see
Let the people know you got what you need
With a friend at hand you will see the light
If your friends are there then everything’s all right

It seems to me a crime that we should age
These fragile times should never slip us by
A time you never can or shall erase
As friends together watch their childhood fly

November 2, 2007

File this under “Priceless”

by @ 1:49 am. Filed under Politics, Random Stuff

The Queen’s military band plays a tune for the king of Saudi Arabia.

October 19, 2007

Customer service woes

by @ 7:48 am. Filed under Pissed Off Rants

I work in a heavily customer service oriented business.  One of the truisms in the industry in which I work is that customers will take their money elsewhere if they feel their needs are not being met.  This holds true for many businesses; companies that treat their customer with respect and address the customer’s issues are rewarded financially.  Those that do not find themselves going bankrupt sooner or later.

I do not expect the company with which I’m doing business to hold  my hand or to coddle me; I do, however, expect a certain level of service for the money that I pay.  This is true whether I’m talking about the electric company, my phone company, or my cable/internet company.

My expectations are simple:

I expect a reasonably quick resolution to any issues that may arise.

I expect the company to have a knowledgeable staff that can address any complaints I may have.  Related to this, when I call in a complaint, I expect to be able to understand what the employee on the other end of the line is trying to say.

Most importantly, I expect the service for which I am paying to work.  Periodic outages are inevitable.  When the outages become common, I begin to suspect a lack of dedication toward the customer on the part of the company.

Comcast, since its recent takeover of Time Warner’s Houston market, has fallen flat on its face in every single one of these expectations.  While Time Warner may have been barely tolerable in the customer service department, Comcast fails to meet even my most basic expectations.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Since the takeover, my cable and internet bills have gone up while the level of service fell through the basement floor.  I have had daily outages with my internet and cable services, ranging from 5 minutes to more than four hours.  Whenever I would call to complain about the service, I would inevitably get to talk to “John” or “Mike” who could barely speak English, let alone understand it.

True to form, when a company fails to meet my expectations, I take my money elsewhere.  From what I hear from others, I am not the only one who has had it with the very shoddy customer service from Comcast.  Several friends have ditched the company and have moved on to more reliable services.  Personally, I would love to get a look at Comcast’s customer churn rate just to see how many other people have reached the end of their patience with Comcast.

As frustrated as I have been with Comcast’s service, I have never taken a hammer to their office, though I can certainly sympathize with those who have.

October 17, 2007

Writing Faux Pas

by @ 6:46 am. Filed under Pissed Off Rants

I have tried a number of different cures in my never-ending battle with writer’s block.  Friends have advised me to do a number of things, from writing about my feelings, to free writing, to brainstorms, and so on.  I have even used writer’s tags to spur the writing process.  One of these tags was to write about something that really annoys me, so, here we go.

I tend to be the quintessential grammar nazi.  Generally, when I read something that is grammatically incorrect, I cringe.  Most of the time, the errors are fairly minor, and I just let it go.  Sometimes, however, the errors hit one of my pet peeves that really raise my hackles.  I freely admit to being slightly obsessive/compulsive about my own writing; if I see an error that I have made in something I have written in the past, I have to go back and correct it, no matter how much time has passed since the piece in question was first written.  Since I started working on my degree, and being forced to write paper after paper, this level of obsession/compulsion has increased dramatically.

I believe that a person’s writing is one way to measure that person’s intelligence.  This is not to say that grammatical perfection means that a person is a genius, but it at least shows that a person is smart enough to form a coherent sentence.  Clearly written statements make it easier to separate facts from nonsense.

Rhetorical ability is another measure.  What good is writing a grammatically perfect piece if the writer is unable to properly convey the thoughts writer is trying to communicate?  Understandably, some ideas are more difficult to convey than others, but I think that is the challenge all writers should aspire to meet.

In an effort to get it off my chest, i am going to rattle off a list of some of the pet peeves that really stab me in the spleen:

  • “Irregardless”  There is no such word.  Every time I see this word, I want to smack the writer in the face with a thesaurus.
  • “Would of”  That should be “would’ve”.  This particular error shows a lack of understanding of even the most basic grammatical rules.
  • Incomplete sentences or sentence fragments.  Most of the time, these are caused by improper punctuation where the writer substitutes a period for a comma.  These are annoying, but not nearly so as when a writer completely drops his or her point in the middle of a sentence.
  • Misuse of homonyms.  It really reflects on a person’s education if that person cannot distinguish between they’re, there, and their or to, too and two, as well as any number of other homonyms that commonly get substituted for each other.
  • Spelling.  I have a friend who is very intelligent who makes proper use of punctuation and sentence structure, but his spelling is nothing short of horrendous.  I find myself unable to read far into his writings because his spelling errors are almost physically painful; they make him look far less intelligent than he really is.
  • Excessive profanity.  Okay, I admit to not being the best messenger on this one.  As a former sailor, I can drop f-bombs (and other profanities) with the best of them.  However, overusing profanities in what is supposed to be a serious piece tends to distract from the point the writer is trying to make.
  • Excessive wordiness.  Some writers go on and on and on in an effort to make themselves look more intelligent, and use more words than is necessary to make their points.  Using more words does not always make one’s point more clear.  In fact, such wordiness often distracts from the point as the reader tries to distill the writer’s meaning from the sea of words swimming before him or her.  It has been said that those who use the most words often have the least to say.  From my experiences, this adage is quite true.

This list does not encompass all of my pet peeves, but it does list the most common and the most aggravating.  I do tend to be more forgiving when it comes to speaking.  Many intelligent people who can write well tend to be poor speakers.

October 13, 2007

Seven years on

by @ 4:09 am. Filed under Pissed Off Rants, Politics

On October 12, 2000, the USS Cole was bombed by Islamic terrorists in what was only one of a long stream of terrorist attacks that have been carried out against American military personnel.  When the War on Terror began, I remember thinking that it was about damned time someone stood up to these murderous 7th century savages.  Finally.

Here we are today, some seven years later, and the much-hyped War on Terror has become anything but.  President Ken Doll Bush is more concerned with fellating Mexico’s president than he is with maintaining national security.  Having failed to learn the lesson of Vietnam, we are making the same mistakes that cost us that war so long ago.  That lesson is as simple as it is true: you don’t win a war by being the nice guy; you win a war by making the enemy wish he never pissed you off in the first place.

There is only one kind of effective warfare, and that is Total War.  General George Patton understood this, which is why his enemies feared him.  The Islamists of today also understand this, but somehow in the years between WWII and today, America, along with the rest of the so-called civilized world, has forgotten this fundamental truth.  As a result of President Ken Doll Bush’s spinelessness and the Democratic Congress doing everything they can to provide moral support for a murderous ideology, we may end up facing the same disgrace we faced when we withdrew from Vietnam.

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