Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The sky isn’t falling, get a grip.

Monday, August 14th, 2017

So over the weekend I spent some time with family, and got to experience first hand the lunacy of establishment media indoctrination.  An 11 year old passionately expressed to me that because of “the wall” there will be “no more Mexicans” or “Mexican food.”  This is what the establishment media counts on.  This is what the “Progressive” Left relies on.  When the claim of dishonesty arose, I asked for an example and got “After the boy-scouts speech he said the head of the boy-scouts called him” which had since been whittled down to statements made in person, not over the phone.  Ah hah!  A lie!  If someone told you something, and you happen to say it was in person or over the phone, but it was the opposite… does it really fucking matter?

We’ve got Kim Jong Un firing off rockets like it’s the 4th of July, threatening nuclear destruction on the USA and its allies, and who does the media focus on?  Trump and his response.  24 years ago, on the topic of North Korea’s saber rattling President Clinton stated: “we would quickly and overwhelmingly retaliate” and “It would mean the end of their country as they know it.”

Where was the media outrage?  Where were the cooler minds asking him to calm his rhetoric?  Is it just that nobody takes a Democrat seriously when they make threats?

The sky isn’t falling.  Get a grip.

A day in my life… illustrated by classic cartoons.

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

It doesn’t matter what I do…

Or how hard I try…

The safest bet… is to just stand and take it.

Money doesn’t matter… possessions don’t matter…

Beating myself up doesn’t help…

I can’t run…

I can’t hide…

I can only endure…

Long for the days when things were better…

While not falling victim to the fear and anxiety…

As I am torn apart by forces that seem larger than life…

Forsaking all I held dear for so long…

Just so one day… I can try again…

And maybe… just maybe… live the life I’ve earned.

The lottery

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Don’t buy that lotto ticket, sure – you might win a few dollars, but lets be serious, you’re going to sell yourself on the delusion that the next ticket may yield even more quick found money but in reality your windfall is going to turn into an empty pocket which is nothing more than a reflection of your empty life that sadly cannot be fixed with free cash.

Device – You Think You Know

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Come on!

Don’t hang me, on another problem
I really don’t give a fuck if you believe me
I can see that you were not the one to confide in
I cannot abide by you anymore
Can you shut, down the funky vibe and (get)
The fuck up, yeah, better believe me.
You aren’t heard anymore
You weren’t able to silence
Resorted to violence
I’ve seen it before
Now get your ass out the door
Won’t take shit anymore

You think you know, but you’re horribly blind
You think you know how this story’s defined
You think you know that your heart has gone cold inside

Get off me. You don’t know where I’ve been
I’m all fucked up. Better believe me
I didn’t care anymore, I opened up the device and
I gave into vice with you, little whore
God damn this, no one could believe that
I am this monster you believe in
There’s nothing left anymore
You were the one who decided
Our souls were divided
I’ve heard it before
Won’t take shit anymore

You think you know, but you’re horribly blind
You think you know how this story’s defined
You think you know that your heart has gone cold inside
You think you know, but it’s all in your mind
You think you know just whose fate has been signed
You think you know just whose heart has gone cold this time

Well you can blame yourself
And you just might be right
For there is nothing left
Do you think its time to say goodbye?

You think you know, but you’re horribly blind
You think you know how this story’s defined
You think you know that your heart has gone cold inside
You think you know, but it’s all in your mind
You think you know just whose fate has been signed
You think you know just whose heart has gone cold this time

There’s a world out there, and I really don’t give a crap.

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Can’t say I’ve ever really been a positive or happy person, in general I think my emotional progress peaked at “content.”  I don’t go against the flow, or with the flow, I just bob on the surface…  I don’t lean left or right, I just play the averages, avoid extremes, avoid latching on to anything for too long.

I’ m bored.  I can’t really put into words just how bored I am, but it’s both excruciating and comforting at the same time.  There’s a lot of freedom to be had in not giving a crap about anyone or anything, but one huge side effect is of course boredom.

All the stuff I used to enjoy now bores the crap out of me.  I’ve never been able to focus on just one thing at a time, so now I find myself focusing on many things at once all of which bore the crap out of me.

Video games were always my hobby, any time life gave me lemons I fired up the ‘ol Xbox and buried myself in a world where I didn’t share a house with someone I’m trying to divorce but won’t fucking leave me alone, where I had little tasks and jobs that actually excited me and got my brain working…  I could never just play a game though, I always needed something else going on, either music or something on TV.

Right now, I’m actively playing Sim City, Defiance, Just Cause 2, Fallout New Vegas, and Mass Effect 3.  None of them can keep me interested for long.  Eventually I get bored, and my attention focuses on something shiny… It used to be an escape, now it’s just another pile of things to do… like pay bills, mow the lawn, do the laundry, clean my room… it’s relentless.

Most days and nights when I’m not taking care of necessary things I’m in my room, like a goddamned teenager.  Laying down, watching TV (while playing a game on my laptop, my ipad, or my android tablet), endlessly switching through games hoping something will light a fire in me and at least make the days not seem so long.

I’ll go out still… most days I’ll go to my favorite bar or the local coffee shop… Whichever one I’m at, whether I’m eating, drinking, or both – I’ve got some electronic device on me where I can read the news or play some pointless little game to pass the time.  I even talk to people – something I never really had a problem doing – but now when I talk to them I genuinely don’t care where the conversation goes, what it’s about… I just play the part and move on.

Hell, I used to love getting on my motorcycle and just ride it from dawn till dusk, and as was the case last summer – right through till dawn again (1200 miles on a bike with a 2.9 gallon fuel tank, who’s hardcore now?).  Music, politics, games, religion, the great outdoors… I don’t give a crap.  Last night I was watching “The Family Man” – a Nic Cage movie from 2000… I got about halfway through it, up to the part where he started to see how happy his ‘other self’ actually was with the life he didn’t want…  I’m sick of seeing that hollywood happiness, it’s a load of crap.  I could just sit in my room and watch the pull string on the ceiling fan swirl around all day and get as much satisfaction (read: none) from my day as if I actually did something that involved using my brain.

So yeah… there’s a world outside my window, and I honestly could care less.  The only thing I’m hoping for at this point, if anything – is for my ‘instant family’ to finally leave and take their goddamned psychosis with them.  I have enough trouble sorting out the crap in my head without having to guess when the next bipolar outburst is going to have me wishing I had a damned escape ladder in my room so I can find a nice quiet place to escape to.  Maybe a new job where I can make enough to move out, hire a lawyer instead of a mediator and put this shit to rest forever.  I can’t tell you how much I’m waiting to start making alimony payments.  I’d sell a nut today if I could start paying alimony tomorrow.

Hell, I think I’d feel better if I knew more divorced people.  Last one I knew was a coworker, and that crazy SOB moved to RUSSIA to get away from the bullshit.  My grandfather divorced my grandmother, my uncle divorced his wife, but they’re all dead.  My wife… I’m really sick of calling her that… she’s divorced, but hardly an expert as her problems became mine and generally speaking I’m going to blame her for my current state of being until I’m free of her and can’t use her crap as a bullshit justification for my crap.

Recently I ran into my ex (who is divorced) twice at the local coffee shop.  Thankfully I wasn’t spat on or hissed at either time, honestly I didn’t even recognize her either time until I was ready to leave.  I’d ask her how her divorce went, but the last time I said hello she emailed my parents and brother to accuse me of doing some pretty vile shit… None of which was true, as anyone who actually has to support a family and raise kids doesn’t generally have the time to do what she thought I was doing.  I always figured that, and her spitting / hissing at me was an attempt to evoke a reaction, start a conversation… but that leads me back to the whole ‘perks of not giving a crap’ thing.  I don’t care.  Spit on me, hiss at me, try to make people think I’m the bogeyman outside your window while I’m busy being a “dad” – shrug.  Have ya considered saying “Hi?” lol.

I want to be left alone and rescued at the same time.  Nothing interests me anymore, but at the same time if I actually get invited to do something… the effort required to actually do it is excruciatingly exhausting.  There’s no bright sides anymore, just a few things I’m waiting to happen so maybe my life will be a little less crappy and a whole lot less complex.

I need something new, I know I’m looking… I must still care at some level if part of me hopes that one day I’ll actually be able to see the sun again through this foggy haze of bullshit, boredom, and apathy that’s become my security blanket.  No clue what it is, where it is, but there’s got to be more to life than walking into the same old walls every day just to see how much less I can care once the swelling from the impact finally subsides.

I’ve still got some hope left… no fucking clue why… but until I discover the justification for that hope I guess I’m just perfectly content not giving a shit about anyone or anything.

Delving into the 2nd dimension of sandbox gameplay…

Monday, April 1st, 2013

For years now I’ve had a healthy addiction to Minecraft, even going as far as developing my own mods for the game.  Still, night after night, collecting resources, building, fighting, etc… in the nearly infinite sandbox world eventually grew repetitive and tiresome.  That put me on the search for something new to whet my sandbox style appetites, and with that in mind I’m hoping to build a fairly complete list of what I’ve played so far as well as a brief review of what I think is worth playing.

Terraria: terraria2As of last week, my primary addiction was Terraria.  I picked it up for my PC via Steam for $2.50.  It has all of the boxes checked as far as feeding my addition… mining, crafting, fighting, etc… The worlds range from small to massive with a massive inventory of items to create and quite possibly the best lighting I’ve ever seen in a sandbox style game.  One of the best aspects of this game are the number of bosses and enemies, and that defeating bosses such as the ominous sounding “Wall of Flesh” will reshape your entire world and provide a whole new set of challenges to face.

Junk Jack:


This game is in the same vein as Terraria, but only available on iOS for $2.99 I believe.  It has some IAP options, but nothing necessary to actually play and enjoy the game.  It also provides large open worlds with copious amounts of crafting and exploration options.  Enemies are fairly diverse and provide even more resources for crafting.  The worlds aren’t as large as what you’d find on Terraria, but there are many different biomes available which always keep things interesting.



My first experience with 2D sandbox games, also only available on iOS, it follows a traditional ‘pay to play’ model.  Crafting options are much more limited than either Terraria or Junk Jack and my biggest gripe with the game is the general requirement of IAP (In App Purchases) in order to progress through the game and accomplish anything before the next generation iPad arrives.  The graphics are done very well and I also enjoy the ability to queue several actions, but there aren’t any threats in the game besides the environment (ie, gravity and lava if you go deep enough).  It has potential, but this one is strictly about mining, crafting, and if you want to do anything really cool – paying.



This was a game that sucked me in quick, sucked some cash out of my pocket (the basic worlds are free, but if you want premium access as well as better tools and resources, be prepared to perform some IAP’s).  Constructed in a “steampunk” open world, there are a handful of enemies and while it offers a fairly large amount of resources to craft with – what you can craft in the end is also pretty limited.  Every world starts out polluted, and in order to purify it and create life the player must defeat dungeons teaming with insanely overpowered boss characters.  Most worlds are generally harvested by their player base and stripped clean with very little consideration for actually purifying the worlds.  I dropped $10 on my own private world to collect resources from, as well as another $30 in IAP points to upgrade my available tools.  It’s not something I do on a regular basis (I blame the tax refund).  It’s fairly fun to play and offers PVP, but overall needs a lot more content.

Epic Inventor:


I’ve only played about an hour into this game so far.  The control and crafting setup is pretty cumbersome.  You start out with an open world and a robot sidekick that can both defend you as well as provide some advanced transportation options.  Resources are gathered by holding down a keyboard key and the duration of collecting the resource is determined by the level of the tool you use.  Graphics are much simpler than Terraria, and so far I do not see any real options as far as being able to “dig” your own world.  The biggest problem that I had was the crafting interface as there are MANY crafting options and even with the ability to filter down a specific type of item to craft, you’re limited by a single line side-scrolling selection of what to craft.  I need to spend some more time in game to see if it’s worth even a temporary addiction, but so far it hasn’t really hooked me.



Honestly I logged in to this game for about 5 minutes then logged right back out.  I’m going to give it another shot but the graphics were seemed dated and I didn’t quite grasp the controls right away.  There are both free and paid versions of the game.

That’s pretty much my top list as far as your “traditional” 2D sandbox style games that I’ve played through so far.  Up next? 2d drilling and resource collection titles. 🙂

Current Movie List

Monday, April 1st, 2013

10 Things I Hate About You
200 Cigarettes
27 Dresses
28 Days
28 Days Later
28 Weeks Later
30 Days of Night
50 First Dates
A Bronx Tale
A Christmas Story
A History of Violence
A Man Apart
A Nightmare On Elm Street 1984
A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 Freddy’s Revenge
A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010
A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors
A Nightmare On Elm Street 4 The Dream Master
A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 The Dream Child
A Nightmare On Elm Street 6 Freddy’s Dead
A Nightmare On Elm Street 7 Wes Cravens New Nightmare
A Time To Kill
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
Addams Family
Addams Family Values
Along Came Polly
American Beauty
American Pie
American Pie 2
American Psycho
American Reunion
American Splendor
American Wedding
As Good as It Gets
Austin Powers
Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me
b and the b
Baby Mama
Back To The Future
Back To The Future 2
Back To The Future 3
Bad Santa
Bad Teacher
Batman Begins
Batman The Dark Knight Returns Part 1
Batman The Dark Knight Returns Part 2
Battle Los Angeles
Battlestar Galactica – Blood & Chrome
Bee Movie
Behind Enemy Lines
Big Daddy
Big Fish
Bill And Teds Bogus Journey
Bill And Teds Excellent Adventure
Bitter Moon
Blade 2
Blade Runner
Blade Trinity
Blazing Saddles
Blood Diamond
Bride Wars
Bridget Jones The Edge Of Reason
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Broken Arrow
Broken City
Brother Bear
Brother Bear 2
Bruce Almighty
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Camp Rock
Can’t Hardly Wait
Captain America The First Avenger
Cars 2
Casino Royale
Chances Are
Charlie Wilsons War
Charlies Angels
Chernobyl Diaries
Children of Men
Circle Of Friends
Cloud Atlas
Collateral Damage
Con Air
Couples Retreat
Cowboys & Aliens
Coyote Ugly
Crimson Tide
Cruel Intentions
Daddy Day Care
Dane Cook Isolated Incident
Dane Cook Viscious Circle
Dark Blue
Dark Shadows
Days of Thunder
Dead Poets Society
Death Race
Deep Purple Live at California Jam
Dennis Leary Lock N Load
Dennis Leary No Cure For Cancer
Despicable Me
Devil’s Advocate
Did You Hear About The Morgans
Die Another Day
Die Hard
Die Hard II
Die Hard III
Die Hard IV
Dirty Work
Domestic Disturbance
Don’t Say a Word
Donnie Darko
Dr No
Dream House
Dukes Of Hazzard
Easy A
Eddie And The Cruisers
Eddie And The Cruisers Ii
Edge Of Darkness
Edward Scissorhands
Ellen Degeneres
Euro Trip
Extreme Measures
Fair Game
Falling Down
Fast And The Furious
Ferris Buellers Day Off
Fight Club
Final Destination
Finding Nemo
Fire With Fire
Flight of The Navigator
Flight of The Navigator
Forever Young
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Formula 51
Four Weddings And A Funeral
Friday Night Lights
Friends With Benefits
From Paris With Love
From Russia With Love
Fun With Dick And Jane
Ghost Of Girlfriends Past
Ghost Rider
Gi Joe The Rise of Cobra
Gone in 60 Seconds
Good Luck Chuck
Good Morning Vietnam
Gran Torino
Grave Encounters
Grave Encounters 2
Grosse Point Blank
Grumpier Old Men
Grumpy Old Men
Half Baked
Halloween 1978
Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle
Harry N Hendersons
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone
Herbie Goes Bananas
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Herbie Rides Again
Herbie The Love Bug
Hollywood Homicide
Home Alone
Horton Hears a Who
Hotel Transylvania
House at the End of the Street
House on Haunted Hill
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
Hunt For Red October
I Am Legend
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Independence Day
Indiana Jones and Raiders of The Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull
Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade
Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom
Inglourious Basterds
Iron Man
ironman 2
It Could Happen to You
Jeff Dunham – Minding The Monsters
Jeff Dunham Arguing With Myself
Jeff Dunham Controlled Chaos
Jeff Dunham Spark Of Insanity
Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special
Jerry Maguire
Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park 3
Jurassic Park The Lost World
Just Married
Kick Ass
Kill Bill 1 2003
Kill Bill 2 2004
Killing Them Softly
Knocked Up
Kung Fu Panda
Kung Fu Panda 2
Last Action Hero
Law Abiding Citizen
Lawnmower Man
Lawnmower Man 2
Legally Blonde
Legends Of The Fall
Les Miserables
Lethal Weapon 1
Lethal Weapon 2
Lethal Weapon 3
Lethal Weapon 4
Lewis Black Unleashed
Little Nicky
Lord of The Rings – The Fellowship of The Ring
Lord of The Rings – The Return of The King
Lord of The Rings – The Two Towers
Love Actually
Madagascar – Escape 2 Africa
Madagascar 3 – Europes Most Wanted
Maid In Manhattan
Man On Fire
Matchstick Men
Matrix Reloaded
Max Payne
Maximum Overdrive
Mean Girls
Meet Joe Black
Meet The Fockers
Meet The Parents
Meet The Robinsons
Men In Black
Men in Black 2
Men In Black 3
Mickey Blue Eyes
Minority Report
Mission Impossible
Mission Impossible 2
Mission Impossible 3
Mission Impossible 4
Mona Lisa Smile
Murder By Numbers
Music And Lyrics
My Best Friends Girl
My Best Friends Wedding
My Cousin Vinny
National Treasure
Natural Born Killers
Next of Kin
Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Night At The Museum
Nine Inch Nails And All That Could Have Been
Nine Months
Notes On a Scandal
Notting Hill
Office Space
Old School
On The Road
Once Upon A Time In Mexico
Over The Top
Patriot Games
Pirates of the Caribbean
Police Academy
Poolhall Junkies
Practical Magic
Pretty Woman
Public Enemies
Pulp Fiction
Quantum Of Solace
Queen of the Damned
Rebel WIthout a Cause
Red Dawn
Red Dawn 2012
Red Dragon
REPO The Genetic Opera
Reservoir Dogs
Resident Evil
Resident Evil Afterlife
Resident Evil Apocalypse
Resident Evil Extinction
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Road to Perdition
Road Trip
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
Rock Of Ages
Rocky 1
Rocky 2
Rocky 3
Rocky 4
Rocky 5
Rocky Balboa
Rush Hour 1
Sam Kinison Breaking The Rules
Save The Last Dance
Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan
Scream 1
Scream 2
Scream 3
Scream 4
Seeker Dark Is Rising
Seven Psychopaths
Sex And The City
Sex And The City 2
Shakespeare in Love
Shallow Hal
Shanghai Knights
Sherlock Holmes
Shrek The Third
Sleepy Hollow
Small Soldiers
Smokey And The Bandit
Snow White & The Huntsman
Something Something Something Dark Side
Source Code
Spiderman 1
Spiderman 2
Spiderman 3
Star Trek
Star Trek 1 The Motion Picture
Star Trek 10 Nemesis
Star Trek 2 The Wrath Of Khan
Star Trek 3 The Search For Spock
Star Trek 4 The Voyage Home
Star Trek 6 Undiscovered Country
Star Trek 7 Generations
Star Trek 8 First Contact
Star Trek 9 Insurrection
Star Wars A New Hope
Star Wars Attack Of The Clones
Star Wars Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Return of The Jedi
Star Wars Revenge Of The Sith
Star Wars The Phantom Menace
Stir of Echoes
Superman 2 Richard Donner’s Cut
Superman Doomsday
Superman Returns
Taken 2
Taking Lives
Terminator 2 Judgment Day
Terminator 3 Rise of The Machines
Terminator 3 Rise of The Machines – Fan’s Cut
Terminator Salvation
The 5th Element
The Adjustment Bureau
The Amazing Spiderman
The Avengers
The Aviator
The Boondock Saints
The Boondock Saints II
The Bounty Hunter
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Legacy
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Break Up
The Breakfast Club
The Brothers Bloom
The Brothers Grimm
The Butterfly Effect
The Butterfly Effect 2
The Cabin In The Woods
The Core
The Craft
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
The Day After Tomorrow
The Dead Zone
The Departed
The Devil Wears Prada
The Divide
The Expendables
The Expendables 2
The Fighter
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Godfather Part 1
The Godfather Part 2
The Godfather Part 3
The Golden Child
The Goonies
The Grudge
The Hobbit
The Hunger Games
The Incredible Hulk
The Island
The Karate Kid
The Last House On The Left
The Last Samurai
The Ledge
The Lion King
The Little Mermaid
The Lorax
The Lost Boys
The Matrix
The Matrix Revolutions
The Mummy
The Mummy Returns
The New Guy
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
The Others
The Patriot
The Polar Express
The Postman
The Proposal
The Pursuit Of Happyness
The Recruit
The Ref
The Replacements
The Ring
The Rock
The Running Man
The Silence Of The Lambs
The Terminator
The Thing Called Love
The Transporter
The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2
The Ugly Truth
The Untouchables
The Watch
The Wedding Date
The Wedding Singer
The Whole Nine Yards
The World is Not Enough
The Wraith
They Live
This is 40
Time Travelers Wife
Tomb Raider Cradle Of Life
Tomorrow Never Dies
Top Gun
Total Recall
Total Recall 2012
Toy Story 1
Toy Story 2
Toy Story 3
Trading Places
Transformers Dark of The Moon
Transformers Revenge of The Fallen
Transformers The Movie
Tron Legacy
Tropic Thunder
Trouble With The Curve
Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1
Twilight Eclipse
Twilight New Moon
Two Week’s Notice
Underworld – Awakening
Underworld Rise of the Lycans
Underworld- Evolution
Urban Legend
Urban Legends 2 Final Cut
Urban Legends 3 Bloody Mary
V for Vendetta
Varsity Blues
War of The Worlds
Wedding Crashers
Wedding Planner
What Happens In Vegas
What Women Want
White Christmas
White Noise
White Oleander
Whitesnake In The Still Of The Night Live
Wild Things
Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory
With Honors
Wizard Of Oz
Wreck It Ralph
X-Men 2
X-Men 3 The Last Stand
X-men First Class
X-Men Origins Wolverine
Young Guns
Young Guns 2
Zero Dark Thirty

It’s not hard to keep a kid from buying something on your phone or tablet…

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

How To Avoid Handing Your Tot A Blank Check Made Out To Apple

I keep catching stories about how unwitting parents hand over one of their (fill in the blank) electronic devices which are capable of making In App Purchases (for the uninitiated, many games on Apple / Android / Windows based devices allow you to make real purchases in game of various tools, supplies, etc…) only to discover that the child has racked up thousands of dollars of purchases in a very short time.

This is completely avoidable.  There are a few ways to avoid it.

* Don’t let your child use the device.

* Don’t associate a credit-card with the account on the device.

* Log out of your account prior to handing it over.

* Disable the internet access on the device.

Personally, I think Apple should take the initiative with this by adding a few new options to the App store…

* An option to disable IAP.

* An option to prompt for the account password with *every purchase* instead of caching it for a short period of time.

It can’t be that hard.  I realize that innovation doesn’t come easy to Apple these days, but if they put as much effort into raising the bar as they do in suing their competition – they wouldn’t have to worry about competition.

The customer is almost always an idiot.

Friday, March 15th, 2013

eBay’s VIN System Error Costs Me $1,000, They Don’t Particularly Care

So apparently Ebay Motors has a feature that lets you punch in the VIN of a vehicle you are selling, and it looks up the information in order to populate your auction.  Pretty cool feature, right?

Well this guy California decided to buy a Prius via Ebay.  He bought the car, and shortly thereafter realized that while the car was advertised as a Prius III, he actually got a Prius II.  The big differences beyond some trim differences?  A “solar roof” and a “nav system.”  Once he realized that what he bought wasn’t actually what he wanted, he tried to get the seller to resolve the $1000 price difference on the sticker between the Prius II and Prius III.

What has me scratching my head here is… you bought a car on Ebay, but didn’t realize that the car you bought lacked a nav system or solar roof?

I’d like to think that most people who decide to buy a car sight unseen via Ebay would actually do their research and make sure that the car they are planning to buy has all of the options and features that they are looking for – this yutz obviously skipped a few steps.

Most auctions have pictures.  Most auctions have a full list of the features on the car.  If it doesn’t have the feature you want, or the color you want, or the trim you want… DON’T BUY IT.  If anything this guy probably impulse bought the car and then afterwards realized “Hey!  For $1000 more I could have had a nav system and a solar roof?!  Let me whine to the seller and Ebay about it!!!”

The customer isn’t always right, many of them are idiots, and I don’t see why Ebay or the seller should care unless it was advertised as having specific features that it didn’t actually have.  This looks more like buyers remorse or an attempt to abuse the system to extort money from a seller.

My advice?  Don’t buy a car online without seeing it and making sure it has everything you are looking for, or that you can afford to add those features after the fact.  If you do – enjoy driving a car that does more damage to the environment in the process of creating its battery pack than you could ever offset by driving it. 🙂

Bailouts are for losers.

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Community Raises $80,000 In Attempt To Save Local Toy Store

While on the surface this appears to be a heartwarming story of locals rallying to support a failing business, there is an underlying problem here which despite the effort to help them pay off a bank loan which was not being extended/renewed – will likely doom the business to fail anyhow.

There are a ton of different opinions on the topic of big business vs small business.  I know far too many people who complain that when a big business like Wal-Mart comes to town, the smaller businesses get driven out.  I can’t argue this – it’s true… but nobody stops to ask “why did the small business fail?”

Simply put – they didn’t compete.

Within 45 minutes of my  home there are 3 Wal-Mart and innumerable other big box stores which sell the same exact or similar products to what I can find at local businesses.  In some – not all – cases, the big stores offer lower prices.  Still, most days if I need something and know I can get it 5 or 10 minutes from my home, I will forsake a few extra dollars or cents and buy local.


* I use less gas when I buy local.

* The local business knows me.

* The local business offers a selection of products to satisfy my requirements.

* The customer service is generally superior.

* The prices may be higher in certain instances – but the marginally higher cost is worth the convenience and service.

This toy store owed nearly $76k on a bank loan, the bank wanted its money and refused to extend the loan.  The toy store didn’t make enough money to pay back its loan because it didn’t attract enough customers in order to satisfy its financial requirements.  Once the publicity from this passes, unless they come up with new initiatives and ideas in order to stay viable despite the presence of big box and Internet stores – the same management and the same policies will put them right out of business.

They need to expand their market, lower their operating costs, and streamline their business model in order to keep going.  I don’t always shop local – case in point when I needed a snow blower this past winter, the local hardware store had an electric for over $350 while a Lowes another 10 minutes down the road had a more powerful similar model for under $300.  It’s a fine line between paying more for convenience and service or less, especially in this economy… When businesses can’t compete, they can and should fail.  Kudos to the customer base and business community that helped clear up the current financial issues, but without significant change in the business itself – all they’ve done is buy them a few more months before the “going out of business” sale starts.