Let Me Get This Straight

Let me get this straight…

Obama is committing to stem the tide of illegal weapons crossing the boarder from the US to Mexico…yet does nothing to get a commitment from Mexico to stem the tide of illegal immigrants to the US?

Let me get this straight…

Obama promised that those making under $250K per year “will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime.”…yet steeply raised the tobacco tax (a regressive tax on the poor), is letting the 2001 tax cuts lapse (that’s a tax increase folks), and is proposing increasing the capital gains tax from 15% to 20% (ummm…people making under $250K per year invest too).

Let me get this staight…

Obama is closing Guantanamo Bay and releasing terrorists back on to the streets…in some cases in the US…while demonizing the dissenting voices of the peaceful Tax Day Tea Protests and in so many words calling them terrorists?

What the hell is wrong with this country? Things are so upside down. We’ve got to take our country back and restore the Constitution.

Passport Fiasco

The Older Daughter has been invited by her grandma to take a 15-day European cruise this summer. (I am very jealous, but that’s another story.) Her passport expired a few weeks back, so we needed to get it renewed. We went to the State Department’s website to find the requirements. It said that we needed to bring her old passport or her birth certificate, and that we could pay by cash or check. Knowing how the government operates, I asked The Wife to call the local office to make sure the details from the website were correct. She did and they confirmed everything. Great, right? Not so much.
 
When they got to the office, they were told that she needed her old passport and her birth certificate. Well that sucks. My worst fears were realized in that no matter how hard you try to make dealings with the government easier, they always go awry. Anyway, they headed back  home to pick up the birth certificate. They made it back to the office, got all the paperwork filled out and processed. Then it was time to pay. The Wife forked over the $100 fee in cash. That’s when they told her that they don’t accept cash. You’re kidding me right? This after they said that was an acceptable form of payment on their website and The Wife double-checked over the phone? Not to mention that every Federal Reserve Note says “THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE”.
 
I just wanted to rant about this to you and I hate to turn this political, but think about this for a moment. Think about this experience at the passport office; think about what a nightmare the DMV is; think about the IRS. You may have had other experiences interacting with the government. It’s nearly always a nightmare. The crush of massive bureaucracy and rampant incompetency is staggering.
 
How can anyone out there really think that the federal government can do a better job with health care? Universal health care would be an unmitigated disaster. Think of your DMV experience…that’s what going to the doctor or hospital will be like. We’ve got to stand against this.

Forked Up

Okay, I get the whole airport security thing. We can’t allow real knives and forks inside the secure area because some wacko will use them as a weapon. But is it too much to ask for heavy duty plastic utensils instead of ones that break? Particularly considering the outrageous prices? $31 for dinner and a couple of drinks. And that was for one person!

By the way, can you tell I’m bored at the airport?

fork

Driving Mr. Bryan

Sign seen by the side of the road: “Drive carefully” Crap. There go my plans to be reckless and get my road rage out of my system.

Customer Service?

I was at the self check-out at Albertsons this afternoon. I looked over and saw a paper cut-out of a hand. On it was written “Good customer service? Give us 5!” You’re kidding me, right? I’m serving myself and you want a good customer service rating? Rather than giving them 5, they deserve 1 (and with the finger of my choosing).

Fun Car Gadget

You may recall from a previous post that I would like to develop a small tactical nuke to take out drivers that piss me off. I’m still working on that, but have had another idea in my mind for quite some time: an LED sign for the rear car window. That way, I can let the person behind me know what I really think. Well, as it turns out, someone stole my idea. For $60, you can get a 10″ by 2″ LED message board that mounts in the rear window. This is fantastic!

I might just have to get one. I was sitting here tonight thinking of what messages I would like to program in. After all, it can take up to 98. Here are a few I thought of:

  • The 60s are over hippy freak
  • Get the frick out of the left lane
  • Buckle up your kid, moron
  • Nice headlights
  • Your gas hatch is open
  • Ha, ha, passed you
  • Have a good day
  • Life sucks
  • Why do you want your dog dead?
  • In a wacky mood
  • Bet you can’t catch me
  • Slow poke

Toothpick Guy

What the heck is the story with guys walking around with a toothpick hanging out of their mouths? It’s dumb. Those guys piss me off. Either stop it or I’ll start walking around with a spoon hanging out of mine. It’s no less dumb. So there.

Posted in Rants. Tags: , , . 4 Comments »

Greetings

Why can’t we just say hello and goodbye to each other? You know, like the good ‘ole days? But no, we have all these “creative” greetings that make little sense and just serve to piss me off. Let’s have a look at some of them.

“What’s up?”: Okay, moron. If we’re outside, it’s the sky. If we’re inside, it’s the ceiling.

“How are you?”: I know you really don’t want an honest answer to that, so don’t ask. If you do ask, expect me to spend the next 10 minutes detailing every negative thing going on in my life. So there.

“Later”: Last I checked, you are not God. You cannot just decree that it is later. Nor can you know for sure that we will ever see each other again.

“Take care”: Wow, I’m glad you said that. I had planned on going out and doing something horribly reckless and endangering the lives of myself and others. Thankfully you have talked me out of it.

“Have a good one”: Thanks you stingy bastard. I can only have a single good one? What if I want three good ones? Not on your watch, eh?

“Godspeed”: You really think highly of yourself if you can tell God what to do. I, for one, don’t think he’ll do something just because you tell him to.

“Yo”: You’re kidding, right? You have the IQ of a gnat. One syllable, two letters. Pathetic.

Okay, I guess that’s enough ranting for now. Let just keep it hello and goodbye, okay? Thanks and take care.

Advertising Rant

I’m so tired of seeing companies brag that they have 80 years of combined experience with yada, yada, yada. This is a meaningless selling point. That could mean that they have 240 18-year-olds with 6 months of experience each; or it could mean that they have just one really old dude that is on life support. Neither extreme would make me feel comfortable with the company. I know that the truth is somewhere in the middle. Give me the average years experience per person–that would be a much more telling statistic.

Concert Rants

Several nights ago, the whole family took The Wife to the Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson concert at Taco Bell Arena. This was to celebrate her (mumble)th birthday. It was a great concert. We’ve have been Reba fans for years and Kelly Clarkson is also quite a talented performer.

However, attending this concert reminded me of some of the things that really bother me about the whole concert experience. Mostly, I’m reminded that people suck. Anyway, here are a few of the things that bug the heck out of me:

  • Okay, does the security check really accomplish anything other than slowing me down, driving ticket prices higher, and giving the ignorant a false sense of security? The Wife had to open up her bag, but the revolver I had in my jacket pocket went completely unnoticed. (No, I didn’t really have a weapon. But I would have gotten through with no problem with one.)
  • What’s with these people that have to leave their seats like 57 times during the concert? They paid $60 to see this thing and they are leaving every 5 minutes for food, drinks, potty breaks, or whatever. Sit your butt down and watch the concert. I’ll give you just one courtesy coupon to leave your seat over and above intermission.
  • Then there’s those three gals (yes, call me sexist but they usually are of the female persuasion) sitting behind me at every concert that talk and giggle the whole time. Again…you paid $60 for this experience. Shut up and watch.
  • Oh, and then there’s that guy that can do the really loud fingers-in-the-mouth whistle thing. He always seems to do it as I turn an ear his way and it is so loud that it physically hurts. I’m always tempted to break this guy’s fingers. But maybe I’m just jealous because I don’t know how to do it.
  • How about that one lady? You know her. She’s in her late 60s, maybe early 70s. She has her fingers in her ears the whole time and is scowling over how loud it is. Hellooooo. Concerts are loud. Get over it. It wasn’t a good concert unless your ears rang for several days.
  • Okay, let me reiterate an earlier point. You paid 60 hard-earned dollars to attend this event. You’ve gone through the hassle of parking, long walks, security checkpoints, as well as the other pinheads I’ve already discussed above. After all this, you decide to leave before the concert is over? What form of insanity are you in the grips of? For $60, security will be dragging me out at about 2am after the place is all cleaned up and they are trying to lock the place up and go home.
  • Finally, what is with this stupid encore fiasco? What a stupid, contrived little game we all play. I imagine that in the early days of concerts (whenever that was) that the crowd loved a performance so much, that their excessive applause genuinely made an act decide to sing a few more songs. But now, we all know that it’s a given. The house lights don’t go up when the act says goodbye. More importantly, they have not yet played the 2-4 songs that we really want to hear. Cut the crap and just do the concert. Let’s end the encore game.

It really was a good concert, but I had to get these things off my chest. They’ve been bugging me literally for decades. Thanks for listening!

I Kissed a Girl

If I hear this song played just one more time on the radio, I might swerve my car into the the nearest power pole in hopes of dying in a fiery crash. What is so appealing about this song? Yet it is so catchy that my brain radio keeps playing it and I can’t seem to change the station.

For the record, I have also kissed a girl and I also liked it. I have also eaten a cheeseburger and I liked it. But I didn’t write a song about it.

If you haven’t heard it yet, please have a listen so that you can join my tortured world.

Grumpy Old Man

Am I becoming a grumpy old man? You be the judge.

Okay, I have no problem with the Muscular Dystrophy Association–in fact I have given money on and off over the years. I also have no problem with firefighters. These folks are heroes that are always there and stand ready to risk their lives to save ours. I have no problem with streets–they are a wonderful tool to get us from point A to point B.

What I can’t stand is the one time every year where these three wonderful entities converge to piss me off. Yes, it’s the annual Fill the Boot campaign. This is where thousands of firefighters across the country take to the streets to clog up traffic and endlessly badger motorists to throw some money into some smelly old boot for MDA.

How can this be legal? Who else can stand out in the middle of the street, beg for money, and get away with it? That’s right, no one. But apparently law enforcement looks the other way because it’s the firefighters. For like the last 5 years, I’ve threatened to complain to law enforcement to get this harrassment stopped. But I never have. And I probably won’t this year. And probably never will. I’ll just keep complaining to anyone else that will listen.

Lithia Sucks

I have never hesitated to use my blog as a sounding board to point out when a business just sucks. Boise Goodlife recently experienced horrible customer service when buying a car at Lithia. From being treated rudely by the salesman, to taking 2 hours to complete paperwork, to having a car that was not detailed, to a missing key and owners manual to boot, it was a nightmare experience.

But here’s the one that bugs me the most: They told her that they don’t fill the gas tank on a used car that is at least 1/4 full. Is that not outrageous? It’s standard practice for major dealerships to fill the tank of any car purchased–from the high-end models to the ugly duckling on the lot. Stay away from these jerks.

Grocery Shopping Rules

Aaaaagh! I recently had another frustrating supermarket shopping experience. It was quite similar to the Grocery Shopper From Hell tale I told several months back. I’ve had it with people too stupid to efficiently navigate a grocery store. Therefore the DITH Supreme Council has handed down several rulings–effective immediately.

Checks are now forbidden: Really? A check? Come on, at least update yourself to the 1990s and get a check card. It’s simple, quick, easy-to-use, and secure. I don’t have the time or patience to wait for you to painstakingly fill out your check and then the register before finally handing the check to the clerk. Then the clerk has to run it through the crazy check validating machine to make sure it’s legit. I bet that I’ve cumulatively spent 5 years of my life waiting just because people are too backwards to use a check card.

Cash use is severely restricted: Give me a break! Cash is even more ancient than checks. What, did you pull some cash out of your mattress for this shopping trip? However, never let it be said that I’m not tolerant. I’ll allow the use of cash with some restrictions. Supermarkets can still accept cash, but only paper money–no coins whatsoever. Purchases will be rounded up to the nearest dollar. I’m not about to stand around while you figure out if you have the correct change in your purse or pocket and/or have the clerk count change back to you. One exception: supermarkets can allow coinage if they have a separate “Cash Only” line. Regardless, shoppers will be encouraged to shamelessly ridicule cash users.

Middle-of-the-aisle stopping is prohibited: There’s nothing more frustrating than to have the person ahead of you stop their cart in the middle of the aisle. Common courtesy would call for moving as far to the right as humanly possible when you stop. However, the absence of common courtesy has necessitated this mandate. Violation is punishable by summary execution.

10 items or less means what it says: Not even one item over is allowed. Once again, violation is punishableby immediate, torturous, painful death.

Thanks to the DITH Supreme Council mandates, you’ll be able to once again enjoy shopping.

Murder, He Wrote

Every once in awhile, when I’m driving down the road, I decide to go on a murderous rampage. In particular, this happens when someone doesn’t signal a turn, cuts me off, drives 10 miles per hour under the speed limit, etc. When things like this happen, I stalk the offending party. I will follow them until they make a turn or go around a curve. Then I bump the back of their car so that they spin out of control and slide off the road. It’s a bonus if there happens to be some kind of drop off; that way, the car rolls down the embankment and the folks are killed in a spectacular, explosive fireball. It’s a very satisfying form of revenge.

Today, this jerk passed me and cut me off. I was pissed. I put my road rage hat on and followed for a couple of miles. Soon, we were coming up to a curve. Even better, there was a nice drop off on the other side of the curve, so I would get my ultimate reward of the fiery crash. I zoomed up on the car–ready to inflict my punishment. Just before I was to hit the car, to my horror I saw a Baby on Board sign in the back window. Crap. I may be a killer, but I’m not a baby killer. I backed off and took a deep breath to calm myself down.

Seriously folks, why do people waste their money on a stupid little sign (most likely made in China by the way) announcing to me that they have a human less than a year old in the car? Don’t get me wrong, I love babies. But when I’m driving or doing anything else, I don’t put any less value on the lives of people that are not babies. All life, young and old, is precious.

But wait, maybe we’re on to something here. Let’s turn this program around. Let’s mandate signs for those that we do want to exterminate. (Pay no attention to the fact that this contradicts my previous statement about all life being precious). That way, they are clearly identified so that we can run them off the road to die in fiery crashes. Here are some good starter ideas:

  • Child Molester On Board
  • Ax Murderer On Board
  • Al-Qaeda Member On Board

What do you think? Yes, the good ideas to improve life in the USA just never stop here at DITH.

The $2,200 Burger

Bryan Sampson just wanted a quick, cheap meal for his family. So he sent his wife to a Burger King in Meridian, Idaho. Sounds like a great Saturday afternoon meal right? Well, it was until he checked his bank account the next day and found that he had been charged $2,243.33 for a $22.43 meal!

He went back to the restaurant to get the problem resolved. However, the bk2.jpgassistant manager on duty cancelled the debit charge rather than reversing it. Apparently, this causes the charge to still show pending for 3 days. To make matters worse, the manager is out of town until Tuesday and apparently no one can fix it. Meanwhile, as of Sunday, Sampson has 7 overdraft charges (at $35 a pop) and rising on his account.

This is not the first time Burger King has done this. In 2006, they charged a man in Glendale, California $4,334.33 for a $4.33 meal. Now I get it–people make mistakes. But that’s why they should have safeguards in place for this. It would be a unique to each restaurant, but there should be an upper limit above which it prompts the cashier to confirm that the amount is correct. For Burger King, $50 would be a good limit before it requires confirmation. Of course, this just makes too much sense.

What, Now I Can’t Bring My Grenades onto the Plane?

A member of the military was arrested today after trying to go through airport security with two grenades in Yakima, Washington. Okay, they were training grenades. They had live fuses but no explosives in them. But really, what was this guy thinking? I know, I know, it was probably an “honest mistake”–pipe down. But was it really an honest mistake?

When I pack for a flight, I first go through each pocket of the luggage and remove everything. That way, I know I’m starting off legal. Then as I’m packing, I’m thinking about each item to make sure it’s going to pass happily through security. Once the kids are finished packing, I do my own separate security search of their bags. They last thing I need is a full body cavity search from an oh-so-friendly TSA agent brought on by the kids loading up their luggage with guns, bombs, and knives–just to see how much fun it is to get dad in trouble.

Sorry, I don’t give this guy a pass. For the privilege of flying, you need to take a few extra minutes to exercise some responsibility in how and what you pack.

I Thought You Wanted Change

Today Mitt Romney announced that he was suspending his campaign, paving the way for John McCain to win the Republican nomination. On Super Tuesday the Democratic race was pretty evenly split, but Hillary Clinton did finally pull into the lead on delegates. The race is far from over on the Democratic side, but Clinton now has more than 50% of the delegates needed for the nomination.

I thought everyone wanted change. If we end up with McCain and Clinton, that’s about as far from change as we can possibly get. They won’t even have to hire a moving company–they can just carry their boxes from their Senate offices over to the White House.

Gas Prices Headed Up Again?

Well, strap yourselves in. It looks like gas prices may be headed steeply higher over the next several years. It would really save me some time if I could just have my paycheck direct-deposited into the oil companies’ bank accounts. I’ll have to check into the feasibility of that and get back with you. Meanwhile, reason #160 that this country is doomed: cheap cars in Asia.

Indian automaker Tata has introduced a 2-cylinder, 4-passenger car that will retail for $2,500. With the rising incomes and the introduction of cheap cars like this, automobile ownership in Asia is expected to skyrocket over the next several years.

There are 2 billion people in China and India compared to 300 million in the US. While these cars are extremely fuel efficient, the sheer number of new cars on the road will sharply increase demand for oil when supplies are already tight.

But just look at the car. It’s a death trap. But hey, it will save on burial expenses. The car can easily double as a casket. They will be able to dig a hole and just place the car (with deceased occupants inside) in the grave.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/30/news/international/mini_cars_gas/index.htm

Naming Rights for This Blog Now Available

Apparently the Rose Garden Arena in Portland (home of my beloved Portland Trailblazers) is one of the last NBA arenas that has not sold naming rights. I just found out from John that this will not be the case starting with the 2008-2009 season. Yes, the beloved Rose Garden sign will be removed forever and replaced by the corporate logo of the highest bidder.

I am really conflicted on this. The sentimental, near-life-long fan in me definitely does not want this to happen. The Rose Garden name has meaning; Nike Arena (or whatever it turns out to be) is meaningless. However, the capitalist in me says go for it and make every penny you can. That’s the American way.

It’s not likely anything I or anyone else says will change their minds. I’m going to just give up and join in the cash bonanza. So this blog is announcing the sale of naming rights. I understand that the oil companies and Microsoft have lots of spare cash. Perhaps they’d be willing to throw some my way. As soon as the check clears, the Dad in the Headlights moniker will be removed forever and replaced by the winner’s company name and logo.

Now Mr. CFO, you may not think that this would be a very good investment on your part. On the contrary; you need to be aware that this blog generates tens of hits per day. This will indeed be mutually-beneficial partnership. Make your bid today in the comments section.