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Illegal Alien Costume

October 21st, 2009 2 comments

There’s been quite a bit of talk these past few days regarding a halloween costume called “Illegal Alien Adult Costume”, manufactured by Forum novelties.  Frankly, I don’t see what all the fuss is about:

Apparently the immigration activists are up in arms about this costume, strutting around in feigned exasperation and anger, because they perceive this costume as an attempt to mock illegal immigrants.  Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but this costume appears to be of an extraterrestrial in an orange jumpsuit.  On the jumpsuit of this extraterrestrial are the stenciled words “Illegal Alien”.

Get it?  Extraterrestrial.  Alien.  Hence, “Illegal Alien”.

How is this a swipe at terrestrial illegal aliens?

I think that the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, the people most “offended” by this costume, lack a sense of humor.  Honestly, if they want to play this game, let’s be fair across the board and demand that stores stop selling other tasteless, inflammatory, and offensive costumes such as:

The Indian snake charmer costume

The African-American costume

The Japanese sumo wrestler

and the ugly America tourist costume.

Where is the “anger” and “frustration” from any activist group regarding these costumes?  Each and every one of them takes a condescending, disparaging dig at stereotypes, belittling a wide swath of the American populace, yet I don’t hear word one from any so-call activist group demanding that these costumes be removed from any and all stores immediately, and that a public formal apology be offered to anybody who might have been offended by these vulgar, objectionable costumes.

Come on, guys.  It’s either all or nothing.  Where do the activists stand on this?  Do they at all?  Or is this a case of them cherry picking a “so called” controversy to drum up support for their pet cause?  What if this alien costume was trying to bring to light the issue of German, Swedish, or Samoan illegal immigration?  Why does the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles automatically assume that this costume is poking fun at Mexican illegal aliens?  I wonder…

Categories: holiday, Politics, Rant Tags: , ,

I Have Seen The Face Of Evil…

October 14th, 2009 3 comments

…and it belongs to Bank Of America.

A few weeks ago the wife and I took a trip to Wisconsin to visit her folks.   We made all the necessary preparations, thinking that everything had been accounted for, but little did I know that there had been a large late payment made on a check I wrote long ago which dipped my checking account down to depths not typically seen.

While on holiday I was making charges to my debit card, and all seemed fine until I got home and checked my account balance.

Bank Of America, in their infinite wisdom, hit me with an overdraft charge 15 times over the course of a week. At $35 a pop, the damage added up to $525 is fees.  That’s fifteen times they charged me, the vast amount of the purchases were for less than $20 each (many were in the $6-$12 for food on the go).

Needless to say, seeing that figure was like taking a series of rabbit punches to the kidneys. One would think that BofA would stop accepting payment on a debit card after a few overdraft charges, but talking to one of the soulless drones working behind the counter this afternoon I was told that Bank Of America will allow up to 10 overdraft charges per day without blinking an eye, then start the whole process over the very next day.

Now, I know that it’s up to me to keep track of my money, but you would think that Bank Of America would be intelligent enough to say, “Hey, something’s up here. We’re concerned about this customer, so let’s put a stop on payments until we can sort this out.” But unfortunately Bank Of America simply does not care about anything other than making money (surprise!).  In fact, US banks made over $38 billion dollars in overdraft fees last year alone. These banks no longer see or care about the human element in their equations, and that became abundantly obvious as I sat behind the desk at my La Jolla, California, BofA trying to explain my situation to Cynthia who stared at me expressionless and unmoved. When I asked Cynthia if she thought that this string of overdraft fees was reasonable, she didn’t bat an eye, but instead ran back to her “supervisor” much like a used car salesman who, while making a deal, skulks into the back office to discuss with the “mystery man” every counter offer you give.  Like a patient in a hospital bed being fed a steady drip of propofol, she sat emotionless to my plight, staring at me as if I were wearing the uniform of the enemy, and I could detect the very palpable sense that she wished that I would just shut up and die.

I don’t see how she sleeps well at night.

These overdraft fees, coupled with Cynthia’s lack of empathy, really brought home the stark realization that Bank Of America could give two flips about me, and by extension, any of its customers.  What makes me sick is the fact that the bank I’ve chosen to protect my money winds up robbing me blind, and for how Cynthia treated me, making me feel like a ten dollar whore.

Now, I did manage to get back a portion of my money, but I’m afraid that I’ll be moving my account over to a credit union in the very near future. This was a harsh lesson in Bank Of America’s business model, and one I hope none of you ever have to experience. Again, I didn’t keep track of my checking account, so the fault on this is mine, but the way in which Bank Of America treated me was a ruthless wakeup call, and it really forces me to reexamine my attitude towards big business (it’s funny how that happens when the shoe is on the other hand, no?).

If you bank with BofA, I’d suggest that you opt out of their overdraft protection plan. It entails a simple phone call that could possibly save you hundreds of dollars in the future.  Trust me, it’s worth opting out.

Oh, and if you think that you’re immune from the ravages of these bloodsucking leeches, you’re not.  Even if you have perfect credit, they’ll still stick it to you.

Animal Cruelty, Part Deux

October 13th, 2009 1 comment

Whelp…it’s happened again.  Some lowlife piece of waste duct taped a cat from head to tail, then threw it over a fence and into a vacant lot, leaving it to die.  And again I must ask, “What the frack is wrong with people?”.  What kind of mental defective piece of human garbage could be so cruel to another living thing?  Is this what the world is coming to, where psychotic behavior such as this is becoming more and more prevalent?

And I don’t think this was a case of a feral animal playing the role of the victim here.  If you watch the clip from this link, you’ll see how happy and well behaved this cat is.  Doing something so wretched and foul to an animal such as this goes beyond the unthinkable.  I can only hope that karma catches up to this individual, delivering him/her a healthy case of what for.

Now, don’t get me wrong here.  I’m not condoning violence on the guilty party here (yeah, right), but I can totally understand why mob rule was such a driving force in the old west days.  Back then when somebody did something so heinous which transcended all rational thought, a group of citizens would rise up en masse, grab their torches, and march on down to the jail and demand that the prisoner be turned over to them for some good old fashioned street justice.  

I get it that some of my readers would consider this animal as “just a cat”, but this sort of behavior points to some deeper set form of pathos that only a swift kick in the ass can correct.

Exercise Makes You…Fat?

September 11th, 2009 4 comments

Oh, come on now…that has got to be a put on.  Somebody is pulling my leg, yankin’ my chain, and putting one over on me.  This must to be a joke:

Now, I know that CNN.com isn’t the bastion of deep think that they wish they were, but did someone over there actually think that this was a solid enough of a story to give it pictorial front page coverage?  Jeezy Creezy…of course exercise makes you hungry.  You’re converting stored energy into movement, thus requiring your body to replenish its spent supplies, but exercise does not make you chow down on pork rinds, Big Macs, or sugary soda drinks.

To quote from this ridiculous “article”:

But like many other people, I get hungry after I exercise, so I often eat more on the days I work out than on the days I don’t. Could exercise actually be keeping me from losing weight? 

Listen to me Mr. John Cloud (if that is indeed your real name), I’ll repeat: Exercise does not make you fat.  Your eating habits do.  

Put down the Cheetos, step away from the Slim Jims, and push yourself back from the deep dish pizza.  

Exercise is good for you.  If you don’t believe that to be an absolute truth, Mr. Cloud, then you’re more obtuse than I give you credit for.  Seriously, I believe the “WTF” tag was created for stories just like these.  Man…they’ll let anybody write for CNN / Time nowadays, won’t they?

Hey, I have a nifty idea.  Give me the opportunity to contribute an article to CNN.  I have several solid leads that would make for banner headlines; drinking water leads to hydration, puppies and kittens are cute ‘n cuddly, and skydivers jump out of perfectly good aeroplanes (yes, John Cloud, that’s spelled correctly).  Don’t ask where I get these Earth-shattering stories from.  I refuse to give up my sources, and will protect them to the death.  I swear, on the holy FSM, that I’ll make more sense than this John Cloud character.

So…whatdoyasay CNN…do I gots the job?

Categories: food, Rant, Sports Tags: , ,

The Auto Shop And The Smelly Car

August 26th, 2009 2 comments

So there I was, minding my own business, tearing around the local industrial park in my S2000 yesterday afternoon, running over squirrels, cutting elderly people off, and parking in every handicap spot I could find when my clutch pedal starting feeling a little spongy.  I had to push the pedal almost to the floorboards to change gears.  Today during lunch I could barely get my car into reverse.  I could tell in my heart of hearts that this did not bode well for me or my wallet.

Jamming out of work a bit early, I dropped my car off at the mechanic and picked up a rental.  Then, the waiting game for “the call” began.  Luckily I didn’t have to wait long to get the bad news.  Turns out my master cylinders are shot.  Leaking.  Dying the slow death.  ”Oh, and by the way,” the mechanic said in a whispery, purring tone, “your rear brakes need replacing.”

And so, to make a long story stuffy, that’s how I spent $800 in the course of an hour.

Oh, and the rental car I managed to pick up from Hertz is a Nissan Rogue.

I felt lucky to get this rental.  It was the end of the day and this was the last vehicle left.  Throwing my computer bag on the passenger seat I buckled in and was immediately overcome with the smell of cigarette smoke.  Looking around the car at that first stop light I could see that this car was covered in ash.

Way to keep your cars clean, Hertz.

Pulling into the garage I took a second to reprogram all of the spanish channels to something a bit more appropriate, cut the engine, and resigned myself to the fact that tomorrow I’ll be $800 poorer and smelling like a cigarette.

I miss my car so much…

Categories: cars, Rant Tags: , ,