G.H.E.Y. IN. H.D.

"God Hates Euroranger, Yes INdeed He Does"

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Archive for the ‘Amusing’ Category

Open Letter to Mustafa Sualp and AEFIS

Posted by Euroranger on October 26, 2014


[Preface: I am sharing an event I am experiencing as an example for why we have laws and rights and why it’s important to not simply surrender them in the face of intimidation.  The following post (and I need to make this so clear even a Philadelphia lawyer won’t fail to discern it) IS MY PERSONAL OPINION AND OBSERVATIONS OF EVENTS MIXED WITH FACTUAL EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THOSE OPINIONS THAT HAVE AFFECTED ME AND MY FAMILY.]

Dear Mr. Sualp:

I am in receipt of your lawyer’s, Stephen Goldblum, emails from both 9/24 and 9/25 of this year regarding exceptions you took with portions of a post on this blog dated June 10, 2013 wherein I related my company’s experience doing business with you and your firm, AEFIS, Inc early last year (2013).  I note, with much amusement, your demand that I provide you written acknowledgement that I have removed said post by September 30, 2014 or that I will be in peril of “institution” (fancy word, that) of a suit against me.  As you may or may not have noted, the post remains unchanged.  I assure you, I did the presumably anticipated quaking in my proverbial boots at his threat of filing suit and seeking fees and expenses “pursuant to Section 9(d) of the Independent Contractor Agreement” which, incidental to Mr. Goldblum’s surely rapier-like attention to legal detail, is the section concerning Notice…as opposed to what I presume he meant to be Section 9(e), the Attorney’s Fees part of the contract.  I will thank your lawyer though for bringing up a salient point which I’ll remind you of here shortly.

Anyway, my post remains where it is.  It is my opinion and clearly does not come even remotely close to a disclosure of confidential information (do you or he even read these contracts?).  I will thank you for the momentary smile I enjoyed at the ludicrous stupidity of such a claim, though.  But hey, let’s break this letter for a moment and let everyone see what I’m talking about.

Let’s start with your opening shot. I’ve decided to informally reference this as “fuck you Exhibit 1″…because, well, fuck you.

 

I’m gonna follow up with this, our exchange, which I’m entitling “fuck you Exhibit 2”

 

And finally, my response of the next day which we can refer to going forward as “fuck you Exhibit 3”.

So, Mustafa, I did, tragically, miss that September 30 deadline.  Before you and your learned legal counsel get all lawsuit-y, I want to say this one thing: PLEASE, do me the favor of suing me for all the things your letter threatens.  I want you to man up and actually follow through on your assertions because, in front of a judge in a court of law, we both know which of us will actually bring evidence of their claims and which will not.  We both know I have a transcript of our entire Skype chat history, and amongst other damning FACTS (because, hey, to a judge this kind of shit will actually matter) the email from your “operations coordinator” explicitly acknowledging that I had indeed worked in excess of 40 hours (46 to be precise) and to not perform further work until requested (hours for which I was never paid).  Oh look, here that email is now:

We’ll go ahead and entitle this one as “oops”…because fuckyouExhibit4 would be just so cliched by now.

Anyhow, I have to make one correction to our ongoing conversation because I believe, and pretty much any and every court in this country will agree, facts and accuracy matter.  I had originally advised your counsel that my claim for unpaid wages (the 4/24/13 email I and he refer to in “fuck you Exhibit 2”) was $2675.  I regret to admit that amount is in error and we both have your esteemed Counselor Goldblum and his manifest inability to correctly identify pertinent sections of a binding contract to thank for prompting me to greater accuracy.  I was so moved by his adroitly applied legal blustering that I went and checked Section 9(d) of our contract.  Guess what I found?  Oh, fuck you, let’s not guess:

Since we already called one “oops” I guess we’ll go ahead and call this one “massive fucking fuck up Exhibit 1”.

Would you believe it?  You and AEFIS never did “deliver by hand or mailed by certified or registered mail” your notice of terminating our contract?  Did you send an email to that effect?  NO!  You didn’t!  But your fucking “attention to detail” lawyer did!

Kind of running out of clever titles to apply this. Let’s just note how it’s explicit in that it’s being delivered “VIA EMAIL” which is pretty much not keeping to the contract…which, in itself, is at least consistent.

Guess what that means, Mustafa: the contract is, legally, still in force.  So, with that in mind, remember the part where I admitted that the amount of my claim for unpaid wages is incorrect (I hope so because it was just up the page here).  Well, if you remember that then I’m sure you’ll remember our negotiations wherein I accepted your lower than normal rate of pay for a guarantee of a minimum of billable hours per week (to make working for you actually worthwhile because I was assuming you’d be a man of your word and honor your contractual agreements) which was enshrined in the addendum to the contract (which Mr. Goldblum helpfully supplied me in this recent resumption of our communications):

How many “oopsies” do you and AEFIS commit annually? Hope it’s not this many.

Oh hell.  Does that say a minimum of 20 hours per week at the stupidly low but still mutually agreed to rate of $50 per hour?  Well, let’s see now…time for some math!  So, if I’m generous and use April 30, 2013 as a start point that works out to…lessee here…oh, my…that’s exactly 80 weeks today.  Hm.  80 weeks.  So, at 80 weeks times 20 hours minimum per week times $50 per hour PLUS the back wages you owe me of $2675 the total amount you owe (as of today anyway) comes to:

 

$82,675

 

And let’s be clear for a moment: your smartmouth lawyer suggested I could bring this situation up when “when we sue you for defamation…if the defamatory post is not removed and you fail to provide written confirmation to this effect by September 30”.  Let’s forget for a moment that such a suit would be frivolous because the statute of limitations of your claim has clearly and unambiguously elapsed.  Let’s say I don’t immediately assert that slam dunk defense and let’s say the judge sees some kind of merit in equating what were clearly expressed personal opinions to defamation (which he/she won’t but hey, we’re playing fantasyland here).  Guess what: we won’t be trying such a claim in Philadelphia.  We’ll be trying it in Georgia.  The doctrine of personal jurisdiction is actually a thing (ya’ll might want to look that up) and should you bring your frivolous lawsuit for defamation in any place other than a court that has jurisdiction over my location, it’ll get tossed out.

So, in the event you were hoping your empty, specious threats of legal action against me for discussing my experiences and reactions to your theft of my services and nonpayment of my entirely valid claims would work…they didn’t and don’t and fuck you for thinking they would.

Mustafa Sualp, if you don’t want to see your name or AEFIS’ name come up in a vanity search for the same and discover things like this, there is a much easier way to ensure that this doesn’t happen: honor your agreements, abide by your contracts, and act with a veneer of at least some pretended decency.  The money you failed to pay me for services I rendered is the same money I use to pay my bills and feed my children.  If you think for a single moment that your lawyer and your ridiculous threats relayed through him mean anything in the face of the ABSOLUTE FUCKING TRUTH then you need to attempt to associate with people possessed of dignity, integrity and honesty because this isn’t how you deal with us effectively.  A lawyer friend of mine whose counsel I value once told me of the legal maxim “the truth is an absolute defense”.  The post of June 10 was such a truth mixed with my First Amendment right to express my opinion and this post if more of that.

You have three options as I see it (this would be an example of an opinion about to be expressed):

  1. Pay me what I am owed and, as I generously offered in my 9/25/14 email to your mouthpiece, I’ll remove the offending portion of the June 10, 2013 post as a kindness.  NOT in consideration of your payment…but because you eventually decided to act honorably and decently and I’d consider myself to be mean and vindictive to continue to display my opinions of a complaint amicably (if ridiculously tardily) resolved.
  2. Stop with your fucking threats and sue me for either breach of contract or defamation.  Bring your “evidence” and I’ll bring mine and we’ll ask a judge to decide.  You know how that will work out and I will, of course, also tack on a claim for legal fees and costs I incur for even addressing your outrageous assertions.
  3. Shut the fuck up and put up with this post and the previous one and take it as a lesson for what could happen when someone thinks you’ve defrauded them for services rendered.  I essentially wrote off what you owed me long ago…but fuck you if you think I haven’t purchased the right to complain about it.  I have.  You want to buy that right from me?  Contact me and I’ll be happy to discuss a mutually beneficial agreement.

Either way, take your own insipid advice and don’t underestimate MY fucking resolve.  I am the wronged party here and I do not bend knee to idle threats or compromise my personal integrity or principles.

Oh, and by the way, per the combination of the contract addendum and Section 9(d)…the meter’s still running, asshole.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in Amusing, Coldfusion, Errata, Web Dev | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Watch Where You Step

Posted by Euroranger on August 16, 2013


GIFT

This is known as the Greater Internet F***wad Theory. Seems funny or amusing but the more time I spend on the net (and I spend a ton) it becomes less “theory” and more “law”.

As most of you know who do roll through here, I’m well into my forties, am married, have kids, 2 dogs, a mortgage and so on.  I also own my own internet consulting business, am an application developer, game online and have a fairly juvenile sense of humor.  In other words, the first factual statement doesn’t typically have a large Venn diagram overlap with the second but, that’s me and I like it like that.  Most days anyway.  It seems I’ve managed to successfully master being a responsible adult and parent while still retaining my enjoyment and occupation with things that normally draw younger and, typically, much less mature folk.  And while I have no idea when or how that happened, I’m okay with it.  Sometimes, though, I forget that I used to be one of those very people until I run into one (almost always online) and then I’m reminded of just, well, how much I’ve aged I guess.

You see, a couple of posts back, I got to enjoy the attentions of someone though, who they are actually employed as a chief information officer, seemed to know remarkably little about how the internet actually works.  She stalked me to this blog, read something she didn’t like and up and terminated a development contract on that basis…and that’s fine.  It was entirely their prerogative to sever the relationship anytime they so chose.  What was interesting though was rather than be up front and honest about why they did so (they said it was work performance which, as of day 9 of a contract, is kind of a joke and despite moving more support tickets in those 9 days than they’d moved for probably 6 months) she lied to me in an exit interview whilst thinking she was being sly and crafty with her internet skulking around.  I like to imagine she had the Mission Impossible soundtrack playing in her head while she did her digging.  I also imagine she was less than amused when I penned an article about her complete with a hidden message that I only advised her about AFTER she decided to ask her HR people to “add it to my file” (as though a file on a 9 day employee will amount to anything anywhere to anyone).  Because she decided to copy everyone, I was kind of pleased to see her hoist by her own petard, so to speak, when I hit “reply all” to expose her idiocy to everyone who bothered to look (and yes, they did).  Now, in all honesty, I thought her particular kind of ignorance of a medium for which she was employed to be at least semi-knowledgeable about was probably a rare thing.  You can imagine my surprise when I encountered it again today.

As normally happens when it comes to braggarts and those in general who are far more impressed with themselves than facts would normally allow, this fellow felt he was safe behind the invincible banner of internet anonymity when he should know better that he’s not and so he proceeded to bluster about as though he were more than he actually is.  And you know what, where I might once have cared about such things, these days I know that imbeciles like that are literally a dime a dozen and that the internet is rife with assclowns like that.  It’d be like getting miffed at a raindrop in the middle of a downpour so I resolved to pity the turd and move on.  And that’s where it would have ended even after I got to have this poor excuse for a boy actually trying to threaten me earlier (if making silly boasts on an internet message board qualifies as this generation’s “threats”):

Now, in all fairness, when he says he’s “coming for me”, it could just be one of those terms kids use to declare his undying gay love for me. I have no idea what he meant by “growing eyes in my ass” though. I guess it was supposed to be threatening.

But see, I’ve HAD kids threaten me before with the whole “I got yer IP” and such.  Normally, such outbursts occurred in gaming servers and simply expressed the outrageous amount of butthurt they were enduring due to something I did, was doing, or was continuing to do.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen this but I normally chalk this up to being 11-14 years old, prepubescent, little rage machines but even with this, it was all kind of sadly amusing and entirely dismissible as someone who lacked even basic impulse control.  That was, til he decided that making minor humorous threats on a chat forum wasn’t enough…and so he came here to continue:

His best shot I suppose. I especially like the line about “white women”…as though that’s some kind of special qualifier. It’s just so darn precious.

Or maybe “awkward chinless turtle”. Whatever. The turtle’s got himself a “real assault rifle”…although I doubt an adult was around when this pic was snapped.

Now, as most folks who know me personally will likely attest, I’m a kind of laid back guy and will let most slights roll…but damn if that’s just not how I feel today.  See, for a dude who likes to make threats and go about calling himself “Apoplectic Ape”, when you actually cast a glance at Eric Giroux, “ape” is probably the last animal you’d likely ascribe to his general appearance.  Maybe “skinny weasel”.  Or perhaps “dimwitted jackass”.  Whatever you come up with, it’s hardly likely to be a synonym for “hardened, ass-kicking, internet tough guy”…but that’s apparently the way he sees himself.  What’s truly impressive is that he’s apparently a “digital marketing specialist”.  This suggests he ought to know something about how that whole internet thingy works.  Which is surprising because it takes little to no effort to unmask my sinister stalker.  See Eric here, well, he lives in an apartment in Lawrence, Kansas (awful long way for you to “come for me”) but works for a company called “DealerFire”.  I wonder how they’d feel about one of their recently hired account managers posting juvenile inane crap like he seems to enjoy doing.  Wonder how they’d feel looking at all the time he spends on social media sites being a smartass, repellent dick in general?  Maybe someone should ask.  I’ll bet they’d be interested to know.  I mean, outside of throwing cash, pouring gold bottles (“gold bottles”?) on white women and “stomping on the homeless when the cops aren’t looking” (establishing his “badass” cred I’m guessing here), Eric stays busy pissing away a fair chunk of his day spouting all sorts of puerile bulls**t whenever the mood strikes him…and that appears to be “frequently”.

What’s more amusing is his attempt to spread what he considers his “dopeness” (yeah…really…it’s a word he uses to describe one of his “notable” web properties) as though some 20 something, former KU frat boy douchebag whose entire claim to fame to date was sticking his folks with his offspring while he goes recording himself drinking beer (gasp!) outside (Gasp!) IN THE SNOW (GASP!) whenever he’s not laying down his essential brand of internet toughness on those he clearly has established to his own satisfaction that he’s superior to (read: “everyone who ever beat his geek ass in school and those who can’t actually reach him to do it today”)…all in orange crocs.

So, word to you Eric: I promise…really REALLY promise…I’m veritably pooping in my drawers at the very thought of you coming for me via my IP address (which of course you don’t have because, hey, you can’t get one simply because you wish REALLY hard and hold you breath for it).  Yep, I’m trembling in abject fear of your gangly, gawky, awkward self “coming for me” despite the eyes I’m furiously growing in my ass this very second in breathless anticipation of your arrival.  Before you head out on your quest for epic internet retribution for calling you out as the spineless, ignorant, boasting dumbass you simply had to double down on to emphatically prove me right (I didn’t need the assist), maybe you should share your evil plans with Mommy, Daddy, Ashley and little Jackson.  Mommy and Daddy will likely chuckle with mock levity at my impending doom at your assuredly fearsome hands…and then offer you a juicebox and cookie and send you out to play.  Ashley might take you more seriously and wonder if this is yet another ill-considered battle she’s going to go need to rescue her eternally deluded little bro from.  Jackson, well, if you don’t come back, he can probably succeed in changing his name to something that doesn’t link his future to his daddy’s idiotic past.  The kid needs a better chance than that.  Maybe you shouldn’t sell your uncle’s couch.  It’s not likely your new “girl”friend will want to keep it…what with all the stains on the upholstery and such.

But anyway, enough of this.  I have no plans to roll into Lawrence anytime soon (especially not since you’re up in Oshkosh right now) so let’s go ahead and call a truce.  You stick to being a back-flipping, pretentious, string bean, bag of douche with delusions of grandeur that exists as an object lesson to…well…everyone who isn’t you and I’ll stick to me being me.  However, if you’re still going to go about casting yourself as some kind of internet marketing specialist, go ahead and learn how pathetically simple it is to dig you and every facet of your insipid life up in a matter of a few minutes.  Oh…and “bland life”?  LOL!  Yep, guess I’d have to tip the hat to you on expertise on that, sport.  You’d be best to judge…from either Lawrence or Oshkosh.

Pictured above, Eric Giroux of Lawrence, KS. Proud graduate of KU and holder of the prestigious May 2012 cover of (what the hell incestuous mag was that called?…oh yeah) AutoSuccess Magazine. Thrower of cash, pourer of bottles, stomper of the homeless, seller of other people’s furniture, comer for motherfuckers, and general all around bad ass of the intarweb tubez. Also, proud possessor of the Orange Crocs That I Wear While Attention Whoring (some more…for crissake, give it a break kid) On My Mommy And Daddy’s Front Lawn. Yeah, I know you thought I was kidding about the orange crocs. Sadly, not even close to kidding. Are you really surprised tho that my newest nemesis dresses via Garanimals? I’m not.

Addendum:  So, for those who don’t read the comments, young Eric here has chosen “bluff” rather than “man up”.  I myself have a stepson in his 20’s who also makes exceptionally bad decisions (except he’s learned from his for the most part).  All kids that age do.  Eric, however, was given a couple of chances to accept what is patently obvious and sail away relatively unscathed.  I gave him a clear route for taking this post down…he responded by switching accounts on the site where this all started and then posted…hell, I’ve lost count…quite a few comments to this blog today starting from begging and pleading and eventually running straight to outright lies, more ignorant and offensive language and finally to outright daring me to inform his employer (whose time he has wasted in exceptional amounts today).  I truly would have preferred he not push it to this point…but hey…so be it.  Maybe his employer won’t care.  Maybe they’ll be cool with his smack talking and acting like a prick on the web.  Maybe they won’t care they’re paying a salary for some kid to internet stalk people while he should be doing company business.  I guess we’ll find out.

Trace 1 – This is the account he uses to post his particular brand of insult on the social media sites he whiles his days away on. http://disqus.com/Apoplectic_Ape/ Make note of the link to his web property sneakhype and that he lives in Lawrence, KS

Trace 2. This is sneakhype.com’s contact page. Notice the 4 Twitter accounts (we’re down to 4 people). Anyway, 2 of them are Kansas with one specifically Lawrence.. 

 

Trace 3. This is the one specifically matching Lawrence, KS just like the Apoplectic Ape account. Gee, what are the chances that of the 4 accounts, 1 of them would feature a background image of an ape, contain tweets referencing the site he visits as Apoplectic Ape and both this account and the Ape account are from Lawrence? Pretty close to zero.

Trace 4. Unfortunately, while also talking smack, referencing clear connections and such, our genius of social media uses this same Twitter account for his actual job (as opposed to the one where he curbstomps the homeless).

Trace 5. Of course, when you’re too lazy or stupid to use a different Twitter account for your repellant social media tendencies, people who you threaten and harass might decide to follow that up. This here is the account he’s speaking to, in this case, Corey at Dealerfire. But surely that’s not enough to go on right? Nope, you’re right…

…but this probably is. Says it there bold as day. Also claims the sneakhype site as his as well.

Anyway, this is how someone who decides to follow, harass, threaten and then finally dare someone gets famous on the internet. Or, you could just call it “bad judgement”.

My name is Euroranger and I was dared to approve this post.

Posted in Amusing, On the web, Web Dev | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Dear Diary…

Posted by Euroranger on April 17, 2012


My pre-Vegas prayer

I'd just wished I'd happened across this image BEFORE I went to Las Vegas...

So, I have waited to accumulate enough of recent happenings to fill out a decent sized blog post.  I won’t be going on about Treyvon Martin or Zimmerman or Iran being perpetual douches or the Secret Service banging Colombian whores or how Obama might try and spin that as “the Secret Service created/supported 15 new jobs”.  No, I figure I’ll just toss out the latest items in the life of Euroranger because, I know you guys hang on my every word like that.  Prepare to be riveted!

Item 1: Starting about 3 weeks back, I applied for a life insurance policy.  Don’t know what in particular prompted it but I’m thinking it was the amount of time we spent with Mrs. Ranger’s uncle and aunt in Las Vegas a little over a month back that finally pushed me over the line.  I made passing mention of it here somewhere but my wife’s uncle (who is a year younger than me) has been diagnosed with Stage 4 adenocarcinoma and is actually classified as “terminal”.  He’s cashed out his life insurance policy, has the family fairly well set up and he’s now kinda sorta doing a “bucket list”.  Las Vegas was on that list and when I mentioned many moons back that I was taking the lovely and talented Mrs. Ranger to Vegas for her milestone birthday, he announced they’d be attending.  Turned out, my mother in law and her husband, my brother in law and his baby mama (God in heaven I fucking can’t believe I just used that term) and a couple more couples from our neck of the woods ended up going.  We had a blast and…well…I have no idea how that inspired me to thinking about life insurance.  Anyway, that process has gone mostly smoothly and the phlebotomist came by this morning bright and early to my house to lance me and take the drippings.  I now have a new hole in my arm.  Oddly this was the second time in a week I’d been lanced thusly because…

Item 2: …I now have a new physician.  While this news isn’t of particular import (switching doctors) I did so this time because, while I was in Vegas, I had yet another gall stone/gall bladder attack (this would be my third).  In the midst of the 4-5 hours of feeling like someone had run me through with the world’s largest steak knife, I pledged that “by God, that’s enough” (edited to remove the copious, newly invented profanity I was producing in truly heroic amounts at the time).  I said that as soon as I got home I’d start the process for getting rid of the damn thing if it was going to do this to me.  Anyway, I had my first appointment with the new doc last Wednesday and they too have a fondness for leeching or blood gathering and whatnot.  Anyway, they took an amount and got back with me to tell me that a previous blood glucose level that was high (I had my annual physical with the previous doc back in…December I think it was) was now not high and that a pesky liver enzyme (that had come back also as out of range high) was now back in range.  I now believe my gall bladder, liver and pancreas are plotting against me and simply didn’t suspect a second check of their activities so soon after the previous one.  And I have a second new hole in my arm.  Anyhow, I also went back on Thursday of last week…

Item 3: …for an ultrasound.  Because I had described the experiences of my recent gall bladder episode in such glowing and exquisite detail, the new doc thought it prudent that I should undergo an ultrasound to ascertain my bile organ’s villainy.  He also felt the need, for some unknown reason, to assign Nurse Jackhammer to this task.  Nurse Jackhammer is clearly from the “no pain, NO PAIN?!?!” School of Spanish Inquisitorial Medicine as she sought to remedy the clearly mistaken notion that an ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure.  In addition to her somewhat unsurprising discovery of my gall bladder secretly producing two more stones for my future surprise “ago-nastics” routine I was also gifted with a series of bruised ribs, a well kneaded liver and possibly a punctured diaphragm…and a referral to a surgeon for preparations to have this offending piece of bilious tortuous gristle removed (as an example to my other internal organs as to what’ll happen to them if they don’t shape the fuck up).  So, I have to complain that Nurse Jackhammer hurt me…

Swingset

Our swingset wasn't quite this gold standard of bastardry but it still needed to go all the same.

Item 4: …but not nearly as bad as the kids’ backyard swingset.  Pursuant to my foolishly unguarded stated desire to be rid of the wooden monstrosity from my back 40, my ever so attentive wife arranged to give the structure away to some unsuspecting strangers.  In the future I will need to exercise studious care in my expressions as my version of “be rid of” involved visions of chainsaws and vigorously burning wood or pretty much anything that resulted in the swingset’s demise that did not also involve excessive physical effort on my part.  The lovely and eternally talented Mrs. Ranger however felt that the edifice deserved another good home and astonishingly, even after having to come see it themselves before agreeing to beforehand, some other couple from the next county over agreed to come remove it.  They showed up Saturday afternoon to, nimble as you please, pluck the offending recreational device from my yard and whisk it onto a rental truck they brought especial for the occasion.  They’re also Jewish and Israeli so I discovered that the words “nimble”, “pluck” and “whisk” either aren’t in the Hebrew dictionary or, if they are, they are used only in a sarcastic manner.  Describing the removal of the behemoth as “physically taxing” is like describing the Great Flood as a “couple of sprinkles”.  Nurse Jackhammer would have heartily approved in any case.  As is my habit with much of humanity to whom I generously ascribe the basic IQ levels you would take to be common amongst steaming piles of dog crap, I assumed that had the people actually come to see this thing first they might have considered measuring it to…oh, I don’t know…see if it fit on their truck.  I am frequently disappointed with much of humanity however and no such foresight was exercised.  That these folks are Israelis REALLY doesn’t speak well about Palestinians who find they are consistently outwitted by these Colossi of Planning and Execution.  Anyway, in addition to 2 new holes in my arm and a series of abused and indignant ribs I am now also the proud owner of a virtual insurrection amongst most of the musculature along my back left side as well as a right elbow (coincidentally the same site chosen for the exsanguination merriments) who, I believe would very much like to call 911 to press charges against me for assault and battery.  The swingset did indeed make it onto the truck but I am also now without a side gate and accompanying fence panel.  This would be the same gate and fence panel my dumb-as-a-sack-of-hammers Golden Retriever has been diligently excavating for the past 5 or so years…surely in far-sighted anticipation that I would one day like to move something the size of the Titanic out of my backyard but lacked the requisite iceberg to make it happen.  I wonder if he realizes that digging down just another few inches would also qualify his proud archaeological “piece de resistance” as a “shallow grave”.  He is undoubtedly incredibly fortunate that should my hand even likely approach a shovel my entire central nervous system would likely implode just from the anticipation.

Item 5: Mrs. Ranger broke her wedding/engagement band.  This has actually happened before and we have actually had it repaired before.  She hadn’t actually selected a weekend like “pay-the-government-every-single-penny-you-have-left” weekend on which to announce the destruction of the physical manifestation of our vows love and eternal devotion…that is until now.  We are now awaiting the return of said ring set from the jeweler and my wallet has already suffered a grievous although not-lucky-enough-to-actually-be-fatal wound.  As a pleasant aside, the nice lady who took the ring advised Mrs. Ranger that her band combo has, apparently, skyrocketed in value since last we discussed it’s possible replacement price.  This lady gave her reason to believe that the ring set that we had, once upon a time, been told was worth somewhere around $2500 was now dancing somewhere in the neighborhood of $12K – $13K.  This naturally necessitates a new appraisal for which we will need to advise our homeowners insurance so that we are adequately covered should the Mrs. actually lose this small fortune from her finger.  It would be rude not to give State Farm a chance to prepare an adequately worded rejection of our claim in advance, you know.  Anyway, I mention this because some of you too might find that your jewelry has appreciated in value (mostly due to the ridiculous prices for precious metals these days) and you may wish to consider having them re-appraised for that reason.  Lord knows, the only reason the pantheon of hateful Gods has deigned to let me know of this change in value is likely so I cry all the harder when my lovely wife manages to lose it in the next few months.

Anyway, that and playoff hockey started this past week.  I may have mentioned it before but if I hadn’t: playoff hockey is, by far, the best and most entertaining sports available on television for your viewing enjoyment.  You don’t have to like hockey, know how to spell hockey or even ever having witnessed iced in its natural habitat (outside of a highball glass) to enjoy playoff hockey.  It’s that good.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in Amusing, Sports, Various | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Have gun, will rant

Posted by Euroranger on February 10, 2012


It's a Glock 30

Pictured above: a working reliable pistol. Not pictured above: a Hi-Point .40 that I own.

I founded this blog, way back when, to provide a cathartic and relatively harmless outlet for my less than socially acceptable Tourette’s-like tendencies to the various things I encounter in life that piss me way the hell off.  I’ve even used this blog from time to time for just such effect and have found it to be a satisfactory release mechanism when I’ve had the need to.  However, I’ve never had need to use this forum as a proxy for a public service announcement.  Well, that changes today.

Back in the summer of 2010, I decided I was finally responsible enough to be trusted to own a handgun (I was 43 at the time) and, so, I ventured forth into the world in my exceptional ignorance to acquire such a device.  I wasn’t flush with cash at the time and lacking any “associates” in the neighborhood who’d sell me a Saturday Night Special on the down-low, I ventured forth to a local gun show to see what I might come home with.  What I came home with that fine July day was a .40 Hi-Point pistol.  Now, to forestall the smirks and head-shaking chucklers out there I already admitted to “exceptional ignorance” so I really don’t wanna hear it.  Anyway, to make a long and (if you’re familiar with the “quality” of Hi-Point firearms) probably predictable story shorter, I immediately experienced problems with my new purchase.  Problems like: it didn’t fucking work reliably.  It had feed problems, misfires, ejection problems…you name it and Hi-Point covered it like a lactose-intolerant dog covers your living room carpet after a bowl of ice cream.  In short, it was an unmitigated piece of shit of a gun and one that today I am utterly ashamed to even admit I own.  Anyway, why mention this?  Well, back then I thought that maybe perhaps it was all me.  I was, after all, a total novice with a handgun and thought there might have been something I had done wrong (aside from having paid actual money for this dog).  One of the places I went was the Hi-Point Firearms Forum to see if I might get some advice from other owners of this fine, well made paperweight.

To summarize the result: I posted a thread explaining my problem.  That thread immediately turned into a flamewar between those who disliked Hi-Point guns in general and who used every opportunity (like my thread asking for help) to run down Hi-Point’s products (I have chosen to call these people “assholes”) and those who owned a Hi-Point and thought it the pinnacle of human firearms technology (I prefer to call them “even bigger assholes but with a side order of being fucking delusional”).  Feel free to bask in the glow of assholes arguing with even bigger fucking delusional assholes here.  Point is, I got nowhere with any of my efforts with that first thread and so I made a second one.  Now, remember folks, this is Hi-Point’s own public forums staffed with their own employees.  The purpose of the forums is to provide community and assistance to their customers (at the time, namely, me).  So, you can guess what happened after I posted a second thread asking for some kind of assistance in trying to make their product actually, you know, work.

That’s right, I got banned.

Screencap

Of course it was an automated message. If it was from an actual person at Hi-Point, it would have been way more condescending

So, why bring this up today?  Well, just a little bit ago, I got the nice email above from an admin on the Hi-Point forum.  Let’s call him “Austin” (because that’s what he called himself).  Anyway, Austin was really nice, said he’d noticed I hadn’t been on their forums in awhile (banning does tend to have that effect) and was wondering if everything was all right and inviting me back to share my opinions.  Silly Austin, inviting me to respond like that.  Seeing as how I’m not one to let a good rant opportunity pass me by, I did respond to Austin…and the response forms the basis of this blog post/PSA:

Well, hi Austin! You’re absolutely correct…I haven’t been on your forums in some time. Want to know why?

I was banned from your forums back around the end of August 2010. At the time I sent several emails to a Clifton who never responded with a reason for why I was banned. In fact, due to your contact, I went and dug out the 8/23/10 email I sent to Clifton Jones (randomnumber81@gmail.com). It is quoted verbatim below:

Hi Jones:

My name is [Euroranger]. I’m the guy who registered the account “Euroranger” on the Hi-Point forums back in August looking for help for an issue I’m having with my pistol. It appears I’ve been banned from the Hi-Point forum sometime over the past 2-3 days and I haven’t been advised as to why or the duration of the ban. The ban appears to be tied to the IP address that I had been accessing the forum from as I can access it fine from other IP addresses.

I would appreciate your assistance in either rescinding the ban or providing an explanation as to why I was banned in the first place. I’ve posted to the Hi-Point forum a total of 5 posts. All have been polite, non-profane and have been simply seeking help for the issue with my pistol I had mentioned earlier. As I’m sure you’re aware I could simply access the forum with a proxy and register with a new email address and circumvent the ban myself but I’m bringing this to your attention as I’m somewhat concerned that a forum that is managed by the firearm manufacturer would ban a forum account by the manufacturer’s customer who was there seeking answers or assistance for an issue with the manufacturer’s product.

If I had contravened a forum rule would it not be equitable to at least inform the offending user/customer of their infraction? You know, something like the moderator posting a message into the offending thread and locking it as opposed to banning the user and leaving the thread open? An action like this does little to enhance the reputation of Hi-Point and I’d like to give someone there the opportunity to fairly address any issues.

I look forward to your reply.

Euroranger

I got this back the same day:

Ill look in to this [Euro]. I do recall seeing your username “euroranger” mentioned in our private mod/admin area. Ill let you know what I find out.

Thanks for your patience,

Jones

…and then nothing despite five further inquiries. Rather than rehash that all, you can read my final email:

Clifton,

So, nearly a week later and still no response. I’ll go ahead and assume the forum admins have no intention of addressing this issue. Five separate requests and with no resolution or explanation is enough for me and is a clear indication where I, as a customer, stand with relation to Hi-Point: utter contempt and disregard.

I’ll make sure to go out of my way to mention such to anyone I’m speaking with when/if the topic comes up in the future. I’ll thank you to continue your diligent campaign of apathy and negligence as my patience with requesting a resolution has come to an end. A response from you at this point is pointless and won’t be welcome.

Euroranger

So, while I appreciate this wasn’t your fault or even your issue (and I’m sure the email I received from the Hi-Point forum under your name was automated), I hope you can appreciate that I won’t be wasting my time on the forum of this manufacturer. I still shamefully own the Hi-Point pistol but only because it is of such inferior quality that I wouldn’t feel comfortable selling it to another human being.

I have since purchased a Glock 30 with which I have had zero issues despite much use. In stark contrast to the Hi-Point product I was posting about, I didn’t need to do ANYTHING to my Glock in order for it to provide me with protection beyond using it as a club (which was what my Hi-Point was reduced to in terms of capability). I indeed paid more for the Glock but hey, when you buy a pistol you…you know…WANT IT TO F***ING WORK.

I have told dozens of people about the absolutely awful product I still own from Hi-Point and was met with nods of sympathy from those who didn’t already know the reputation of Hi-Points abyssmal products to snickers from those who did.

Thank you for reaching out to me but I hope you can understand that the next time I’ll have anything to do with Hi-Point’s crappy, dangerous products is also spelled “never”. I’ve done you the favor of replying privately rather than polluting your board with vitriol so I hope this concludes our association (not you personally, Hi-Point). I simply feel incredibly lucky that I was never put in a position of having to defend my or my loved ones’ lives with a Hi-Point product…and I guess that’s about all I can say to summarize my feelings about this.

Eat shit

Artist's concept of actual Hi-Point employee posing as a Hi-Point forum mod.

Now, entirely in poor Austin’s defense, his account there is only around 6 months old and my exchange occurred about a year before he even got there.  Still, he asked so I answered and it provided me a good opportunity to pass along this very valuable piece of information that I learned the hard way:

DON’T BUY A FIREARM FROM HI-POINT…EVER…NOT EVEN AS A BAD JOKE

As circumstances would have it, about 6 months after that shit-tacular exchange and the general “fuck off” send off at Hi Point, I purchased a Glock 30 from a neighbor of my Dad’s over in Alabama.  I’m not even possessed of the language skills necessary to try and describe the absolute gulf of difference in the quality of the two manufacturers’ products in comparison to one another.  In fact, there really isn’t a comparison because my Glock 30 shoots and the Hi-Point does not.  You can’t really compare guns when one is a gun and the other is a glorified club.  It’s just not fair.

So, anyway, there you go.  My public service announcement.  Avoid Hi-Point firearms like they’re the fucking plague…or a lactose intolerant dog.  When it comes to Hi-Point firearms, my experience tells me that you really don’t want to be caught dead with one…because you’ll have one and when you need it, it’s entirely possible that the outcome will be your untimely demise.  Seriously, it’s your life.  Take the extra couple of dollars you could save and buy something you can at least not have to wonder about when the local air circulator begins to distribute the solid waste.

Truly, take my advice and you’ll forever thank me for this wisdom.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in Amusing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

How To Do Business

Posted by Euroranger on February 2, 2011


Fuck Dish Network

Isn't that cute? Look again. He's not wearing pants and he's scooting on yer couch with his ass. Yes, he's skidmarking your furniture.

As has been revealed here many times before, the Gods truly do hate me.  Case in point: at my house, mere weeks after Christmas depleted our savings accounts, we have been presented with dual demands on our finances.  To wit, our living room television formed a suicide pact with the washing machine in the garage and they both committed appliance hara kiri last week.  Now, to be entirely fair, both were old, decrepit things and they both had long ago surpassed their normally expected life spans.  But, damn it, they both break within days of each other?  Really?  They couldn’t stagger their respective dirt naps by even a couple of weeks apart?  Since the Gods who hate me are clearly involved here, that last question is uproariously rhetorical, by the way.  So, anyway, for the past few days we’ve done with laundry piling up and having our living room abandoned.  Being the proper husband I am, I assumed that the washing machine would take replacement precedence with the lovely and eternally talented Mrs. Ranger.  Just when you think you know someone…we’ll be replacing the television in the next few days.  Turns out, when it comes to a choice between “bored” and “naked”,  “bored” is worse with the missus.  Believe me, that one got written down as “she’s good with being nekkid”.  However, to make it two points in my manly favor, I got to go TV shopping with my son this past weekend.  We’re replacing an ancient Sony 54″ rear projection big screen TV that’s roughly the size of my first car.  It’s only around 17 years old or so, so I’m not all that distressed that it finally gave up the ghost.  Long before “Old Faithful” kicked the bucket, I’d had my eye on a nice 55″ LCD high-def TV.  This bad boy ran around $1700 which was approximately $1700 more than I could justify in our budget given that the old TV still worked fine.  Now, the title of this post is “How To Do Business” and my little adventure with replacing my TV will illustrate exactly how this applies. Illustration 1 follows:

HH Gregg Mascot

Most annoying mascot on TV? Maybe. But at least he doesn't exist to cover up shitty service or prices.

I found myself this past Saturday at the local HH Gregg shopping for a new TV.  I had a friend who’d bought three (that’s right, THREE) big flat screens last year to outfit his man cave/basement sports bar and he said they had done right by him.  Lesson 1: do right by the customer and they will tell others how good you are. It’s like free advertising, you know?  Anyway, I enter HH Gregg to look at TVs with Mini-ranger in tow.  As is his habit, he is biologically incapable of passing a functioning toilet without making a deposit so after we locate the store’s mens room, we pass by a wall of plasma TVs as we make our way toward the LCD and LED TVs.  Mini-ranger sees a big ass plasma TV with an exceptional picture and says “daddy, how about this one?” and I reply “I’m not interested in buying a plasma TV sport…come on”.  Anyway, the store salesman Al, overhears us and while he’s professionally extolling the virtues of the $1700+ LCD and LED Tvs that I’m interested in, he says to me “I overheard you telling your son that you’re not interested in a plasma TV.  Why is that?”.  I proceed to tell him of my recollection (albeit admittedly dated) of the problems with longevity and maintenance of plasma TVs and that while I noted the plasma TVs were quite a bit more affordable than the LCD/LED TVs, I don’t want to be replacing it in 5 years.  Al proceeds to inform me that while it is true that around 9-10 years ago plasma TVs did have those issues, they have largely been rectified and that they are now as reliable and long-lasting as any LCD/LED TV.  Suspecting a sales tactic I ask Al bluntly “then why the price difference and don’t you make commission on these sales?” and he tells me it because there’s lots of people like me: their first impression of plasma TV quality persists and they simply won’t consider them and that his job is to sell me the best product for my needs despite the effect on his commission.  Al discloses that he himself owns a plasma TV despite being able to purchase any TV in the store at the employee discount price.  I like to think I’m a relatively open-minded guy and admit that I am NOT an expert on TVs and so I invite Al to show me the plasma TVs and sell me on them.  Lesson 2: serve the customer’s needs, act in their best interest and treat them with respect. I am pleased to admit that Al did indeed sell me on the superior qualities of plasma TVs over LED/LCD TVs and the fact that the price is about 1/3 less didn’t hurt one bit.  I will be returning to HH Gregg sometime between tomorrow and Saturday to purchase my new 58″ Samsung plasma HDTV and I will specifically be asking for Al so that he can receive his commission for the sale.  Lesson 3: loyalty is a two way street – if you want loyalty, you must give it as well.  Needless to say, the family’s anticipating having a ginormous high-def TV for this weekend and the wife is pleased to hear that it won’t cost near as much as I originally thought it might.  Al and HH Gregg have earned themselves a new customer and we WILL be shopping there for our new washer in the next few weeks.  Unfortunately for me, this story of How To Do Business has two illustrations and so, in the interests of balance, I must present the illustration for “How NOT To Do Business”.  Illustration 2 follows:

Prior to the untimely demise of “Old Faithful” my household had three televisions.  About 4-5 years ago we decided to go with Dish Network’s satellite television service for our home TV programming.  I have to say, their service has been adequate and was of sufficient quality that I assumed I would simply be calling Dish to have them upgrade our service.  We were no longer under contract with them and are a customer of long standing who pays their bill promptly each and every month.  You would think, given the volume of advertising you see on TV between Dish, DirecTV and our local cable service Comcast, that Dish would be keen to retain their existing customers (like me).  As this is what comprises Illustration 2, I’m sure you can figure out that this story doesn’t go like that.  Earlier this morning, I contacted Dish through their website’s online chat service.  That chat transcript is contained in it’s entirety below, edited only to change names and remove personally identifying info.  Without further ado, behold: How To Piss Off And Lose An Existing Customer by Dish Network:

Customer Chat
Please wait while we find a representative to assist you…
Welcome to DISH Network Chat.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): Hello Euro.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): How can I help you today?
Euroranger:  Hi Sultana.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): Hello.
Euroranger:  I’m needing to speak with someone about upgrading my service to HD.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): I’d be happy to assist you with your request.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): For security purposes, can you please verify the last four digits of the Social Security Number on the account?
Euroranger:  XXXX
Sultana (ID:  B9B): Thank you.
Euroranger:  The programming package we currently have is fine. We’re replacing one of our 3 TVs with an HDTV in the next day or so.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): Okay.
Euroranger:  I’d like to find out how to go about that and what the cost would be to do so.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): I will help you with that.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): What type of HD receiver are you interested in? An HD receiver that records or a basic HD receiver? Would you need it connected to 1 TV or 2?
Euroranger:  Right now we have a DVR receiver that connects to 2 TVs. One of those TVs is the one we’re replacing with an HDTV.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): Okay.
Euroranger:  So, the setup we’ll have is 2 TVs hopefully connected to a DVR but one of them will be HDTV.
Euroranger:  The third TV is standalone and we can leave it as is.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): Okay.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): We have a great Existing Customer Lease Program, Dish’n It Up available with a 24 month agreement and a credit card qualification. This allows you to upgrade your existing receiver or add a new receiver.
Euroranger:  We don’t currently use a credit card for our service with you. We simply pay our bill.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): Okay.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): But for this promotion you have a agreement as well as cr.card qualification.
Euroranger:  So am I to understand that although we’re existing customers in good standing that Dish won’t extend this promotion to us without both a 24 month commitment and handing over a credit card number? Is that correct?
Sultana (ID:  B9B): I am sorry, but its true.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): IF you want than you can purchase the receiver.
Euroranger:  Does Dish not want our business? I’m curious as I do have alternatives and this seems kind of a short-sighted attitude for an existing customer.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): I am really sorry for the inconvenience.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): Let me check that information for you.
Euroranger:  Please do. I’d prefer to stay with you guys but I don’t pay bills by credit card for anyone.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): By providing a credit/debit card to qualify, you authorize Dish Network to automatically charge or debit your card for any unreturned equipment fees and cancellation fees if applicable. The name associated with the major credit or debit card used to credit qualify the account must match the name of the customer listed on the DISH Network account. A temporary hold of $1 will be placed on the debit/credit card used to qualify. You will get this $1 back within 72 hours.
Euroranger:  I’m sure. However, we seem to be trusted enough with Dish’s equipment now and we don’t have a cc with Dish.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): I am sorry, but credit card qualification is mandatory to lease the equipment.
Euroranger:  Hm.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): I understand your concern.
Euroranger:  Then I guess Dish will lose a customer because neither Comcast nor DirecTV do this.
Euroranger:  So’s we’re clear here…
Euroranger:  I’m an existing customer of relatively long standing…
Sultana (ID:  B9B): I understand your concern , However we need to have a credit card qualification is necessary, for the most of our promotions.
Euroranger:  I contact Dish to see about upgrading my service within the same terms that we already do business…
Euroranger:  Dish’s response is that my existing business relationship is insufficient to waive contract commitments or credit card use in order to simply upgrade my service with them.
Euroranger:  Is that about right?
Sultana (ID:  B9B): A credit card is necessary to recover the cost of the equipment, in the event the equipment is deactivated but not returned to DISH Network. We use this option instead of a deposit, making leasing equipment much more convenient.
Euroranger:  What if I do not have a credit card?
Sultana (ID:  B9B): In that case the option you can purchase the receiver.
Euroranger:  As, in fact, I do not. I have debit cards for my accounts.
Euroranger:  I see.
Euroranger:  Well Sultana, I understand these aren’t your rules but I hope you’ll understand that this will likely mean the cancellation of my service with Dish in favor of a competitor.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): I understand, but the system won’t allow me to permit for further.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): Your satisfaction is very important to us, so I would like to transfer you to a special department for further assistance. Is it alright if I transfer you?
Euroranger:  I suppose you can.
Sultana (ID:  B9B): Thank you.
Sultana (ID: B9B) has left the session.
Please wait while we find an agent from the (20) Loyalty department to assist you.
Thank you for contacting the Customer Loyalty Helpdesk, I will be handling your request today. Please give me a few minutes to review the agents previous chat so that I can help you with your issue.
Euroranger:  Please, take your time.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  Thank you for your patience Euro, we have been very busy today but I will make sure your issue is taken care of in a timely fashion.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  I will be right with you.
Euroranger:  As I said, please, take your time.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  Thank you.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  Thank you Euro. I see that you are looking at upgrading your equipment and do not have a credit card.
Euroranger:  Indeed.
Euroranger:  I contacted Dish as we are replacing an existing TV with an HDTV and would like to view HD programming on that TV.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  Please give me another moment while I review your account.
Euroranger:  I understand this will require a different receiver than the one we currently use.
Euroranger:  As you do so, let me lay out my request as simply as I can.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  Ok
Euroranger:  I’d like to upgrade our service to HD programming for the new television while retaining the existing programming for our other 2 TVs. We currently have a receiver with DVR that serves 2 TVs. One of those TVs is the one we’re upgrading to an HDTV. I’d like to retain DVR service for both TVs as well.
Euroranger:  If any of that wasn’t clear, please let me know.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  Ok, You want to replace the dual tuner DVR receiver with a new HD Dual tuner DVR. I can try to set this up using your Debit card to qualify. I can not promise the debit card will work but they do sometimes.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  This does require a new 24 month agreement and there is a cancellation fee of $240 which is reduced by $10 for each completed month in the commitment.
Euroranger:  So, I have no agreement now but I will be having a new 24 month agreement?
Euroranger:  And you require my debit card?
Euroranger:  I prefer to keep my service with Dish because Dish has given us satisfactory service but I am not interested in a new contract agreement and certainly not interested in using my debit card.
Euroranger:  I have neither restriction now and see no good reason to assume them…not when I have alternatives that cost no more than Dish.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  Ok, that is your choice Euro. I can not upgrade your equipment without either a credit or debit card to secure the return of the leased equipment.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  How else can I help you today Euro.
Euroranger:  Perhaps you might answer a question for me?
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  No problem.
Euroranger:  We have Dish equipment now and you have no card. How is your current equipment secured?
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  When you signed up for service you gave us a card ending in XXXX to secure the equipment.
Euroranger:  So far as I can tell, it’s via my being a loyal customer. I dislike the inference that an existing customer is LESS trusted by Dish via a request to upgrade their service. Comcast cable has called my home twice this morning asking if they can schedule new HD service per a call for a quote for their service last evening.
Euroranger:  Ah.
Euroranger:  XXXX is long dead.
Euroranger:  We no longer carry credit cards.
Euroranger:  I see.
Euroranger:  Well, I’m sorry to have wasted your time. It’s apparent that Dish has determined that the relationship with an existing customer is insufficient to continue that relationship.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  I wish that we did not have to take credit cards to secure the leased equipment either but that is our policy and I can not change that Euro.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  Please keep in mind that Dish Network is the leaders in HD and DVR services; we do have the lowest all-digital price in America.
Euroranger:  Indeed. Well, if cost were everything then this conversation would be moot, wouldn’t it?
Euroranger:  Comcast will be glad to hear of the inflexibility of your policies…especially when it comes to existing customers.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  If you purchase the equipment they there would be no commitment or need for a credit card.
Euroranger:  I have an existing relationship with them for internet and they’re simply going to send me the equipment I need and the existing relationship we have is good enough for them.
Euroranger:  Dish might could learn a thing about not insulting their existing business.
Euroranger:  Can you arrange for instructions to be sent to my billing address for how we might return Dish’s currently unsecured equipment?
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  I can set that up for you now Euro. What day would you like the service turned off.
Euroranger:  That will depend on when I can get the new service activated. I’ll contact Dish then.
Euroranger:  Thanks for your time Gary.
Euroranger:  I have other calls to make.
(18-20) Gary M.C5N:  Ok, Thank you for contacting Dish Network. Have a great day Euro.
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Official Dish Network headgear

Contact Dish's Loyalty department today and get this nifty token of our appreciation for our loyal customers! Don't rush though...supplies are unlimited!

You can imagine my surprise at discovering that “Have a great day” also apparently carries the lesser known meaning of “Go fuck yourself”…at least at Dish Network anyway.  As you might imagine, this pretty much marks the end of my business relationship with Dish Network.  A loyal customer for around 5 years who wants only to upgrade their service (and incidentally, pay them even more for it) and this is how Dish rewards such loyalty.  Am I thrilled that I’m being pushed towards Comcast?  Not really.  However, I did indeed speak with them last evening to get a quote for HD service similar to the programming I have with Dish and THEY’RE delighted to send me the equipment I need without the use of a credit card or other such deposit.  They just want my business and they don’t allow idiot internal rules to reign supreme in the quest for said business.  With Dish, I get roped back into a contract and have to provide access to a credit card, which in my case, is a debit card.  If you’ve ever used a debit card as a means of securing something, you likely don’t need to be told just how awful an idea THAT is.  To be fair, I’ll have a 24 month contract with Comcast…but that’s because they’re discounting the bill for the first 12 months and again in the second 12 months but for just not as much.  Since I’m getting something out of it, I get that and can accept the contract rules.  Dish was offering nothing of the sort.

So, so long Dish.  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.  Hope you know this blog post will stand as a testament to your idiocy and complete contempt for your customers.  I know I’ll make it a point to mention my experience to everyone I know when the topic comes up.  Good luck with that winning business model of “fuck the fucking customer”.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in Amusing, Plug | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Christmas! Ugh!

Posted by Euroranger on December 4, 2010


Why no!  I don't think we're overdoing the whole "whoring out Christmas to make a buck" thing!  Why?

Why no! I don't think we're overdoing the whole "whoring out Christmas to make a buck" thing! Why?

Ah!  The Christmas holiday season is upon us and the 25th is fast approaching.  I do so very much enjoy the season and all the festivities.  I like all the traditional trappings of the holiday ostensibly celebrating the birth of the Baby Jebus.  I like the caroling.  I like the wreaths.  I like the stockings hung by the chimney with care.  I like the gift giving.  I like the annual reminder that people should be kind and generous with one another.  I like the tree (I hate putting it up…hate even more to take it down).  I like the Christmas feast (although I decidedly do not like figgy pudding).  I like the Charlie Brown Christmas Special (“A Charlie Brown Christmas”) where despite pressure on ABC from atheists and other assholes to cut it out of the cartoon, Linus still walks out on stage and tells us what Christmas is all about.  I even like the tales of reindeer and flying sleighs and a fat man in a ridiculously scarlet suit performing break and enters on every home in the world on Christmas Eve…and being welcomed to do so by every kid and everyone who remembers enjoying being a kid.  These are all the things Christmas was meant to be.  However, as this is my blog and its very existence is dedicated to acting as a cathartic release for my typically unsocial and repellent opinions, you can likely guess that this dash through the Christmas snow in a one-horsed open sleigh is about to result in a holiday DUI or something.  You’re so right!  Lots of people complain about the commercialization of Christmas.  To some extent I can kinda get behind that…when the “buy, buy, buy” mentality overcomes the purpose of the holiday (which is to celebrate the birth of the Baby Jebus who winds up meeting a pretty awful end on our collective behalf years later…not as a baby but as a full grown hippie…cause nailing babies to crosses would be wrong…even to Romans) and turns the entire occasion into greed and avarice instead of compassion, understanding and love of your fellow man.  However, if it doesn’t swamp those messages entirely I’m actually okay with the whole “buy a shit-ton of stuff for your family, friends and loved ones” (particularly when I fall into one of those three categories).  To that end, I’m okay with ads and commercials for things like toys and clothing and such.  But I’ve noticed that Christmas has the most odd effect on advertisers.  And by “odd” naturally I mean “teeth-grinding and homicide-inducing”.

For instance: when else other than the holiday season do you see ads for perfume?  I get it that it can be hard to buy mom,  your wife, your girlfriend, your booty call or other special, cherished woman in your life that perfect gift…especially if you’re a man (because we just don’t pay attention to shit like that, you know?).  So perfume is kind of like the “fallback” gift if all else fails.  Think on it a moment: you want to buy your special woman that “just right” gift.  A vacuum cleaner or new mop?  Only if you’ve been dying to embrace the celibate lifestyle from the doghouse, buddy.  How about clothing?  Do you know her size?  God help you if you don’t cause that’s a no win situation.  Buy it too big and she’ll read that as you saying she’s fat.  Buy it too small and she’ll see that as you don’t really know anything about her.  Lingerie?  Double danger points when it comes to the size issue and you throw in the added hates of “you didn’t buy this for me, you bought it for you” AND the off chance that you’re not paying attention on Christmas morning and she opens it in front of the kids or your in-laws.  Yeah, smooth move.  Slippers and robe are nice but how many years in a row can you get her slippers and a robe?  So, see how perfume works out?  It’s smells nice, has no size, is reasonably affordable…and you still retain some small shred of a chance that despite the fact that you just demonstrated you have as much imagination as a rutabaga when it comes to gift giving, you might still get laid sometime in the next 12 months (which, for men, is pretty much what everything is about).  So, to recap, perfume ads only show up at Christmas but I’m understanding why (to help out every person unfortunate enough to be both in possession of a functional penis AND the company of someone else they like to put it into from time to time).  This advertising has the laudable twin goals of keeping the male suicide rate down and perpetuating the species.  However, there are ads that run during Christmas time that induce, in me anyway, an almost immediate intense hatred that it makes me almost wish we all didn’t pose as Christians each December.  I speak to you now of my twin holiday hates: jewelry commercials and luxury car commercials.

Sweet wrathful Gods-who-love-to-spend-their-spare-omnipotent-time-tormenting-me, I hate these commercials with a level of malevolent hostility I find difficult to muster for few other things in life.  There are three advertisers in particular I could wish every malady known and unknown to mankind upon and still probably be dissatisfied with their resultant agony:

  • Jared (they even have the smarmy, I-want-to-pulp-your-face tagline: “the Galleria of Jewelry”…know what a Galleria is?  Yeah, it’s another word for “mall”.  Way to keep it classy there Jared.)
  • Kay Jewelers (“every kiss begins with ‘K'”…guess what, so does the word “kill”)
  • Lexus (oh how I detest thee…BTW you smug fucks: who do you think you fool by calling a used car “pre-owned”?)
Diamonds get you where you wanna go

There's only two reasons to buy jewelry: one is to get out of the dog house. This would be the other.

Yes indeed, few advertisers rouse my righteous ire like those three at Christmas time.  They all share one glaring characteristic: the products they hawk are all for rich people.  Now, I have no particular hated of rich people because I hope to join their ranks one day and share their view from the top of the food chain.  However, even when I’m there I doubt my lofty perch high atop my incredible wealth will be enough to drive the spiteful revulsion from my soul that ads from these three generate whenever I am exposed to them.  I get it that rich folks can afford expensive things to give their loved ones/concubines as gifts during the holidays.  But seriously, do you need to have it drilled into your head at EVERY SINGLE COMMERCIAL BREAK on television?  Isn’t it enough that we’re inundated with their “spend, spend, SPEND!!!” ads a hundred times per day and not the 5000 or so they try as hard as they can to stuff down our throats?  And the ads themselves…egad!  “He went to Jared”.  Oh Good God…it’s at times like this that despite my advanced skill with the English language, I find myself at a complete loss for a turn of phrase to adequately describe my complete and utter loathing of that ad campaign.  You know what that line says to me?  It says “he’s a cheap bastard and went to a jewelry store in the frickin’ MALL for a gift that’s about as unique as sand at the beach”.  I guess if he went to Jared you could say something like “well, at least he didn’t buy your bauble at Walgreen’s”.  So there’s that I suppose.  But the ads themselves are just so repellent.  A whole bunch of people smiling and saying to one another “he went to Jared!”.  Yeah, it was right next door to the clinic at the mall where he gets his “special problem” treated and it’s his way of saying “oops, my bad, you got it too now”.  The loathing I feel for this company has even spilled over onto another company.  Because of the jewelry ads, I can’t stomach the thought of eating at a Subway now either.

Kay Jewelers is in the same category but they’re not nearly as bad as Jared.  They too hawk crappy, cheap-ass, gaudy fripperies from THEIR exquisite mall locations to those who can’t decide between a cheap piece of crap tin necklace or a cheap piece of crap tin can of Natural Lite as a suitable gift for that “special” (read: “likely retarded”) woman in your life.  I suspect they both induce the same end: the sounds of vigorous porcine copulation in a rocking trailer later…but damn, the commercials are just so odious.  And the fact that they blatantly smack their ignoramus target market in the mouth with their tagline (“every ‘kiss’ begins with ‘K'”) by reminding them that if they’re swayed by such an awful commercial that they also likely failed 2nd grade spelling just makes the contempt all the more palpable.  Somewhere there’s some ad executive sitting behind a desk with his feet propped up thereupon and celebrating his clever little jingle that they put those words to in every commercial.  The kind of jingle that bores its way into your brain and acts like a parasite feeding on your good holiday emotions.  Hopefully one day he’ll be smirking his humanity-hating smile in a burning sea of demons and fallen souls in hell.  After all, every Hades begins with “H”.

Is that a look of shame I see?

Is that a look of shame I see? Good! Now do us all a favor and go kill yourself you pretentious dickless asshole.

But Lexus…oh my…where do you begin with a product that, in itself is nothing more than a trumped up Toyota such that it’s the very epitome of the word “pretentious”?  Are they nice cars?  Sure…just like Toyotas are nice cars.  Do they truly believe there are people out there who are simultaneously so vacuous and so wealthy that they’d consider leasing one of these as a “gift”?  Well, joke’s on me I guess because they keep running that god damned “December to Remember” campaign…you know the one, the one where some dumbass LEASES a car, slaps a gigantic red bow on it and then”gives” it (naturally, they don’t own the damned thing) to some other dumbass who thinks this is a great gift.  Of course, if I could give gifts of things I don’t actually own but am simply renting, it’d make things a shit ton easier as long as you could rent jewelry or perfume I suppose.  What’s worse is that Lexus doesn’t stop with their insipid television commercials.  No they carry their particular form of soul erasing, season whoring to the radio.  Ever hear that guy’s voice who does the voiceovers for their TV and radio commercials?  Have you ever wondered, as you drive down the road moments after punching the off button as though it owed you money, how many “men” they had to go through in voice tryouts before they found the perfect voice that personified the entitled, assuming, suave-with-silver-hair-but-not-too-old-to-still-get-a-stiffy, pretentious asshole your mind simply assumes he is because of the breathy way he talks while extolling the virtues of a hopped up Toyota?  No?  Well…that’s probably because you knew I had already done all that for you, I’m sure.  Sweet Baby Jebus…of all the holiday ads I hate, I hate Lexus’s the most.  With the fire of a thousand merrily blazing Christmas trees I hate the very sound of their ads.  What’s worse is this year, Cadillac and Infiniti both are copying the style.

And here to think I actually wanted a new TV for Christmas.  All it would do is bring all that crap even further into my home as it is.  In fact, the only thing good about the holiday season is hearing Burl Ives sing the carols and do the little stop motion Rudolph special that’s been airing since they invented fire.  Well, that and Linus actually telling us all what the holiday season is actually all about.  In fact, take it away Linus:

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in Amusing, Errata, Various | 1 Comment »

“So so wrong”

Posted by Euroranger on July 27, 2010


No shit?

This just in...

Just a brief post today as I’m in a hurry, am running on little sleep and my natural lazy streak is running full blast.  I’m also actually working so I really don’t have time to craft the appropriate frame for the work of art I’m about to leave here.  As we all know, God hates me.  This has been proven beyond a shadow of any reasonable and rational doubt and will soon be held up as the long-awaited proof of the existence of a divine being.  People will say “there MUST be a God because no one person can suffer so much misery and misfortune naturally…the odds are astronomically against it”.  They will also say “sucks to be you” but they already do that but they will do it from then on with a kind of pitying knowing look on their faces.  Oddly enough, this could elevate me to the same level as Jebus or Mohammad so I need to start working out the tenets of the new religion I’m going to found.  In short, it will be good to be king…somewhat less good if you’re anything below king.  So anyway, as part of his never ending campaign to express his displeasure with my persistent existence, God has declared that my cellphone, which I have had for well over a year now, will be the next instrument of his delivery of woe until my cup of that verily runneth over.  Why he chooses to act in mysterious ways when his motive and intent is as subtle as a flying brick is beyond the ken of merely mortal men.  Suffice to say, he’s doing it, I don’t know why and my Palm Pre is now the tool he will use to bludgeon my soul further for his entertainment and celestial mirth.

The means by which he has determined to torment me via my cellphone is to ensure that the number I was assigned was previously used by a drug dealer.  Now, on the surface this may not seem like a big problem.  I mean, all I have to do is tell people I’m not the guy they’re looking for and they quit calling right?  Well, consider that the people calling this number are looking to acquire such delicacies as crack cocaine, meth and weed and you might agree with my assessment that we’re not dealing with the sharpest crayons in the box.  So you tell these brain-fried idiots that they have the wrong number and you discover that the brain cells they would normally use to store that nugget of info have been co-opted to hold all sorts of other handy info like their new name (“baby momma” is a common one), their bail bondsman’s cell number and the name of their latest kid (probably something like “Ekstra Tcheque” or “Trick” if they named it after the father).  Suffice to say, they call back.  A lot.  Like 3-4 times per week…which is a lot for me.  Anyhow, to make my sacred persecution more complete, I have been allowed to discover a few things about the previous owner of my current cell number.  In no particular order the previous owner:

  • is a purveyor of fine narcotics
  • lives in the St. Louis Missouri area (due to the area code of his callers)
  • drives a Chevrolet Suburban (I get automated service calls from Jim Butler Chevrolet)
  • is a young black male
  • goes by the name of “pee wee”
You have no idea...

You have no idea...

Now, I don’t know about you, but there’s no way in hell I’d let even my closest friends call me “pee wee”.  I mean, I’m a drug dealer slinging rock and other shit in a dangerous part of town.  I need all the respect I can get.  Having complete strangers calling me on the phone or walking up to me on the corner calling me “pee wee” out loud in public just ain’t cutting it.  “Pee wee” does NOT imply street cred worth a shit.  What it implies is that despite my 6’4″, 230 pound impressive physique, I’m hung like a fucking TicTac.  That’s just bad for business, youknowwhatI’msayin’?  So, back to why I’m posting this.

This morning I’m at work down in the unholy bowels of a particular bothersome code issue when my cell phone rings.  I’d been expecting Mrs. Ranger to call to apologize for blaming me for not setting the alarm clock this morning so she could get up early to go do whatever PTA related business it is that dictates that she goes out and lays on a lavish breakfast for other PTA staff and school luminaries whilst I get leftover cold coffee from the day before, un-ironed pants and an attitude.  Instead I get this phone call, realize what it is and proceed to have fun with it because I’m just flat out tired of answering the phone, pissing away my minutes and getting nowhere with my helpful “this ain’t pee wee’s phone no mo'” public service announcements.  At the conclusion of the conversation I naturally share this experience with my buddy Shades via IM:

(10:37:13 AM) Euroranger: Did I mention that my cell number used to be owned by a dude that others call “pee wee”?
(10:39:58 AM) Euroranger: Well anyway, I get calls for “pee wee” all the time.  I get this one black chick so many times now that I recognize the number.
(10:40:23 AM) Euroranger: I’ve told her at least a dozen times that the number isn’t her favorite drug dealer’s anymore.
(10:40:35 AM) Euroranger: Anyhow, she called a few minutes ago.
(10:40:55 AM) Euroranger: I see the number come up and know who it is so I answer.
(10:41:32 AM) Euroranger: Sure enough “is this pee wee”?  Now normally I say something like “no, you have the wrong number”.
(10:41:43 AM) Euroranger: Today I say “yeah it is…whachu need”?
(10:42:16 AM) Euroranger: She says I need “a couple”.  Now, I’m not into the drug parlance but I’m figuring a couple is a reference to rocks.
(10:43:42 AM) Euroranger: I said “I don’t wanna sell you none” and she’s like “why” and I say “you remember last time”.
(10:44:00 AM) Euroranger: She pauses again and then busts out “I’ll suck yo dick”.
(10:44:18 AM) Euroranger: The conversation got worse from there.
(10:44:34 AM) ShadesOfGrey: lol
(10:44:41 AM) ShadesOfGrey: you need to record these
(10:44:57 AM) ShadesOfGrey: better yet.  call yer local law enforcement office
(10:45:01 AM) ShadesOfGrey: tell them of the sit
(10:45:03 AM) Euroranger: Dude…
(10:45:37 AM) Euroranger: She’s going over to “pee wee’s” later and is fully expecting to get assfucked by “pee wee” and two of his friends.
(10:45:46 AM) ShadesOfGrey: roflol
(10:46:37 AM) Euroranger: I told her not to bother wearing underwear cause she’s just gonna be in, get fucked, get her shit and get out.
(10:46:41 AM) ShadesOfGrey: I’m weeping… I’m loling so much
(10:47:17 AM) Euroranger: “You just show up with that short jean skirt and nothin’ else…you fuck it up, you get nothing”.
(10:47:31 AM) Euroranger: I swear, by the tone of her voice, she’s looking forward to it.
(10:47:34 AM) ShadesOfGrey: so wrong
(10:47:38 AM) ShadesOfGrey: so so wrong
(10:47:49 AM) Euroranger: Yeah, but that little fucker “pee wee” owes me.
(10:48:12 AM) ShadesOfGrey: this turns my stomach a little
(10:48:30 AM) Euroranger: I got a text message from some guy the other day and I deleted it without responding…wished I hadn’t.
(10:49:25 AM) Euroranger: But he was just looking for weed so I doubt he’d be game.
(10:50:33 AM) Euroranger: I’ve been putting off a blog post for awhile…this may push me over the edge.
(10:50:34 AM) ShadesOfGrey: dude
(10:50:48 AM) Euroranger: “whachu need?”

Surprise!

Surprise! "Pee wee" is false advertising you say? That seems like kind of a stretch...literally.

So, later today, somewhere in the greater St. Louis metro area, some strung out black chick is going to show up at pee wee’s door in a jean skirt with no underpants and expect that in exchange for a few rounds of vigorous “back door loving” with pee wee and two of his anonymous buddies she’ll get a couple of rocks of crack, a lesson in listening to the nice man that tells her “this ain’t your drug dealer’s number” and perhaps a couple of phone numbers.  She also may be able to finally answer that age-old question that has haunted humanity: is “pee wee” so named because he is insufficiently supplied with male external genitalia?  For her ass’s sake, she better hope so.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in Amusing | 1 Comment »

Educational film about spiders

Posted by Euroranger on July 12, 2010


You learn something new everyday.

Posted in Amusing | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Thank God…it’s finally here

Posted by Euroranger on September 6, 2009


When you were a kid and were raised anywhere in the northern half of the globe (and this quite possibly holds true as well for large swaths of the southern half but I haven’t been there so I wouldn’t know) and were anything like me, there were only two dates on the calendar against which you measured all others.  Much like what most of civilized man does with that handy “A.D.” and “B.C.” gimmick (and for those who insist on using the politically correct secularized “B.C.E.” here’s one you can go figure out: “E.A.B.O.D.”) children the world over reckon the passage of time by describing the amount of elapsed time from set waypoints.  In the case of children that tends to be “Christmas” and “Birthday”.  In other words, two auspicious days wherein they are pretty much allowed to do whatever they want while others shower them with gifts.

Well, yesterday was the first Saturday of college football…and such is regarded on my mental man calendar much higher than birthdays and Christmas are now.  Scientists haven’t yet figured out why this occurs as part of the aging process…but they haven’t figured out how to cure cancer or how to isolate and remove the organ responsible for “snot” so what do they know?  Point is, it’s College Football Season and if you’re a southern man, living in The South, you are expected to identify yourself by the following common basic means:

  • name (hyphenated, last)
  • gender (sometimes the first bullet point doesn’t make this obvious)
  • favorite Nascar driver
  • make of truck you drive
  • brand of beer you drink
  • college football team you follow

You’ll notice that I didn’t include “where you live” as a possible identifier.  This is useless because one the most common means of shelter in The South is a narrow, elongated box on wheels known as a “mobile home”.  They’re not called “mobile” because of the wheels.  Indeed, once a mobile home is located in the trailer park of choice (depending on the terms of the court order) it is virtually cemented there as a permanent addition to the landscape.  Adorning such an edifice with Christmas lights also meets a similar, permanent fate.  Science has no explanation for this.

Oh hell...

Oh hell...

They’re called “mobile”, however, because they exhibit a peculiar motion-based quality in the presence of a meteorological phenomenon known as a “tornado”…a subject science seems to know more about but which is more properly ascribed to the whims of a vengeful deity like God…or Jim Cantore.

Oh, protip from The South: if Jim Cantore and the Weather Channel van pulls up in front of your house and he hops out and starts talking to the camera, even if it’s a bright, cloudless, sunny day…you’re pretty much fucked.  Take it to the bank, man: yer house is fixing to “relocate”.  God you can doubt…but don’t question the power of Jim Cantore.

Anyhow, they call them “mobile” because before a storm they’re here and after a storm, well, they’re not.  They don’t exactly “move” as in “mobile” they more…well…explode and scatter their contents (inclusive of people, empty beer cans and Dale Earnhardt memorabilia) from here to Mobile, Alabama.  So they call them “mobile homes” in a clever marketing ruse because calling them “likely-to-disintegrate-in-case-of-a-strong-storm homes” would, apparently, make them even less desirable to live in than they are now.  Southerners are shrewd businessmen like that.

Besides, in The South we can discern your current address or, more accurately, your place of birth by what college football team you root for.  This is convenient as it saves a whole lot of time trying to determine who you can befriend and who you can safely ignore.  Why bother with conversation, getting to know someone, spend time in their company and discover interesting and fascinating things about them when all you need to do is check out which stickers they have on the back window of their truck?  As an added bonus, to see whether they have the potential to be merely a passing acquaintance or can be elevated to “good ole boy” you get to confirm the make/model of their truck, their favorite Nascar driver and which brand of beer they drink (from the empties in the truck bed)…all by viewing their means of personal conveyance from the rear.  Much like a dog makes friends with another dog, you can check out their compatibility by sniffing around their back ends.  It’s like the redneck version of eHarmony.  Southerners are fiendishly clever like that.

What a southern trucks ass end might look like

What the ass end of a southern truck might look like

Anyway, for instance, if you have an Auburn sticker on the back of your Ford, you’re almost certainly from Alabama and are likely into self-inflicted pain.  I’d mention what the Auburn team is called…but even Auburn fans don’t know.  It’s either a Tiger or a War Eagle.  Mascots are supposed to be fear-inducing avatars designed to cause your opponents to pause in reflective contemplation of whether they really wish to engage in manly contests of derring-do with you.  The Tigers option I understand but nobody believes because there are no Tigers in eastern Alabama.  And “War Eagle” is just silly.  An eagle is suitably fierce looking and can be especially terror-inducing if you happen to be a small rodent.  But to make it fearsome to man you need to tack “war” on the front of it?  Why not have simply called themselves the “War Tigers”?  I can’t seem to gin up enough fear of a bird I can kill with a bb gun…even if said bird is a member of some imaginary bird nation who’s declared war on us because of the failure of our diplomatic efforts with BirdLandia.  You’d think Hillary could have handled that one better…

As another example, if you have a picture of an elephant rampaging through a red capital “A” you also are likely from Alabama but are a fan of The University of Alabama football team who call themselves the “Alabama Elephants”.  Ha-ha, no I kid, they call themselves the Crimson Tide.  Why do they choose to represent a “Crimson Tide” with the picture of a mad, rampaging elephant?  Well, most fans of the University of Alabama are married.  This is due to the habit of most Alabamans getting married young (around age 12 or so)…so by the time they’re old enough to legally drink and congregate in large drunken masses (notice I did use the word “legally” there) most have been married for some time…and their wives have attained a specific mass such that they have their own gravitational pull.  In other words, they’re large enough to have shit orbiting them.  Also by that time, the spouses of these large land-bound females have been associated most intimately with their wives’…um…monthly visitor.  This leads to their familiarity with raging, homicidal, exceptionally large beasts…and a “crimson tide”.  The two come together naturally in the mind…especially when that mind is polluted with a case of Natural Light beer…at least to a ‘Bama fan’s mind anyway.

By final example, if you have a picture of a big blue “M” on the back of your Toyota Prius, you’re almost certainly a Michigan fan.  You’re also probably a damnYankee, have likely shaved some part of your body other than your face at least once, and may consider taking your wife’s last name when you get married…if you’re not already gay.  You don’t have a hyphenated first name (you may have a hyphenated last name however), you have an open mind to gender identity, you follow tennis (not Nascar), you drive a Prius (prolly because the truck salesman couldn’t stop laughing long enough to tell you he couldn’t sell you a Chevy truck) and you have a favorite variety of wine whose identifier isn’t also a color.

I can wax poetic about teams and fans in places other than Michigan and Alabama but people in those other places tend to be able to read and have access to the internet and so, I decline to do so.  Suffice to say that I am a fan of college football and very much enjoy watching it on Saturday afternoons.  Because of my geographic location, the teams I root for are local and, despite the bizarre, misguided ramblings of fans in other parts of the nation, are the best football teams in the country, bar none.  Essentially, if the college football national championship doesn’t pass through the team representing the SEC, it’s really just a sham designed to make the rest of the nation feel better about their inadequacy on the gridiron.  And yesterday I got to witness opening day examples of why it’s good to be a football fan from The South:

  • Florida won handily as they should have but didn’t cover the spread.  This is good however because they won by FIFTY NINE FREAKIN’ POINTS but didn’t beat the spread.  That means that lots of people thought the Gators should have won by more than 59 points.  Simply awesome.
  • Alabama beat Virginia Tech (another school from The South) in a great back and forth game
  • LSU won…despite looking completely lost and despite the fact that the University of Washington obviously swapped their team out with some competent school’s team AND likely sacrificed virgins to some unholy deity in order to not suck…and yet they STILL lost
  • Do you know what a "buckeye" is? It's a tree nut. Like "pistachio" or "filbert". I think that pretty much ends the whole "respect us" conversation, doesn't it?

    Do you know what a "buckeye" is? It's a tree nut. Like "pistachio" or "filbert". I think that pretty much ends the whole "respect us" conversation, doesn't it?

    Oklahoma lost to BYU.  Yes, the papers are all saying it’s because their star QB got hurt in the second quarter and had to sit out.  But still…all the hype last year for that program…and they arrive in the National Championship Game…and proceeded to be the $2 ho to Florida’s sailor on shore leave.  All the smack talk, all the Big 12 is the best conference bullcrap.  It wasn’t enough that Florida stamped “PAID” on that account.  It is now enough that BYU beat them yesterday.  No more smack talk from Sooner Nation this year…or at least I can dream.

  • Notre Dame won in a walk over Nevada at home.  This is a good thing because nothing is better than to see Fighting Irish fan’s hopes get crushed…but you have to give him hopes to begin with so you can crush them later.  As God is my witness, I didn’t even know that Nevada had a “University of” and that they had a football team.  I wonder if anyone has checked yet to see if that wasn’t a boarding school for blind, spinal injury victims.
  • Ohio State nearly lost to Navy….hahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaa!!!  NAVY?  Really?  LOL!  And what’s with their coach wearing that damned sweater vest?  It’s freaking 5 whole days removed from August!  You’re wearing a short sleeved NASA nerd shirt but you put a sweater vest on over it?  You know the only other place on television you see a sweater vest?  The next time you see an Imodium AD commercial…you know, the product designed to address explosive diarrhea?…look at the pathetic, stereotyped dude they have who runs to public restrooms, desperately clenching his ass-cheeks together in an apparent bid to outrace an involuntary geysering shitstorm in his double-knit polyester slacks.  Guess what he is ALWAYS wearing.  You got it: a sweater vest.  Actually, now that I think on it, the mental association between the imploding Buckeyes and an exploding browneye linked by the sweater vest is entirely appropo.

Anyway, I did manage to watch some of the games on the friend’s drive-in-movie-sized high def projection TV.  I sandwiched early games and late games around the trip to my visiting college buddy and a forced pilgrimage to the American Girl store.  It was like “good…gawdawfully awful…good again” for the day and it made me appreciate my “man time” all the more.

I don’t know what people in the north do on Saturdays.  Being that they’re damnyankees I normally don’t much care…but they have schools of higher learning up there and those schools keep staffing football teams with some local talent and specimens of Southern Football Primacy either kidnapped or drugged and convinced to play up there…so, for a few months at least, television is worth watching for a few hours, one day a week.  And this is a good thing.

Thank God…even if he does hate me the other 6 days of the week.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

Posted in Amusing | Leave a Comment »

This Public Service spleen-letting was brought to you by me

Posted by Euroranger on September 4, 2009


No caption necessary

No caption necessary

When I started this blog, I have to readily admit, I did it as a therapeutic exercise.  You know, a place to vent anonymously and say, if even just to myself, the things I so desperately want to say to others but cannot.  Societal constraints against offending people are apparently too ingrained in me to allow me to jump up into people’s grilles and exercise my 1st Amendment right to free speech in their faces.  With profanity.  And possibly spittle flying.  The reasons I cannot overcome these genteel conversational rules are simple and easily enumerated:

  1. I was raised a polite person by parents who, whenever they weren’t beating the evil out of me for torturing my little sister, wanted to instill superior etiquette rules and behaviors in their only son
  2. My health insurer advises against me doing so
  3. I’m chicken

So, this blog serves as a dumping ground for my less polished emotional outbursts.  Just like reality TV, a blog is a great place to do it because others are entertained by bearing witness to some stranger’s misery.  Just like those people who slow down when driving by an accident.  Just like those people who go to Nascar races.  Watching someone else’s life pile itself into a wall in turn 4 going around a brazillion miles an hour is somehow strangely entertaining.  Anyway, I figured if I gotta unburden myself, why not do it where others can vicariously view it and then feel better about themselves primarily because they aren’t me?  In essence then, this blog is a freakin’ public service…and just like Civil Defense facilities, this thing outta come with its own air raid siren or at least a backyard bomb shelter.

However, I digress.

I have determined that it requires only 1/2 workday of my existence to pile up enough material to produce one, probably-longer-than-necessary blog entry.  As it is around mid-day, that makes it half a day…so let’s see what I have so far:

Euroranger [11:44 AM]: So…wanna hear what I’m doing?
ShadesOfGrey [11:44 AM]: ya
Euroranger [11:45 AM]: Okay…so, since Day 1 with the new job, we’ve been working from an XP box that’s located in the boss’ living room. He’s running IIS off it and that’s actually what the sites are running from as well. A real sketchy setup, right?
ShadesOfGrey [11:45 AM]: ugh
Euroranger [11:45 AM]: So, I’ve been telling him about hosted solutions (because his alternative was to drop around $10K in hardware alone and then co-lo that).
ShadesOfGrey [11:46 AM]: k
Euroranger [11:46 AM]: Anyway, long story short, he asked me a month back to research viable CF hosts.
Euroranger [11:46 AM]: So I did and sent him an email with a couple of options…this, however, was CF8 with MySQL5.
Euroranger [11:46 AM]: …naturally, him being the boss, he did nothing with it.
ShadesOfGrey [11:47 AM]: of course
Euroranger [11:47 AM]: So, a few weeks go by and we hire Dumbass.
ShadesOfGrey [11:47 AM]: I remember it so well
Euroranger [11:47 AM]: Now, as has become exceptionally clear, Dumbass, despite his claims to the contrary, knows jack and shit about MySQL.
Euroranger [11:48 AM]: So, out of the blue, about 2 wks ago, suddenly we need a hosting solution…oh, and it needs to be using SQL Server…
Euroranger [11:48 AM]: …I don’t participate in any discussion about this…as really, I could care less, I’m equally capable in either db.
Euroranger [11:49 AM]: However, rather than even speak with the recommended hosts I researched, boss (probably aided and abetted by Dumbass) pulls some hosting solution out of his ass and purchases a contract with them.
Euroranger [11:49 AM]: …that was 2 weeks ago.
ShadesOfGrey [11:49 AM]: oh lawd
Euroranger [11:50 AM]: …I got called in yesterday PM to see if I could figure out how to get our server set up and running.
Euroranger [11:50 AM]: Now, Dumbass has been supposed to be doing this since Monday…however, I discover not only hasn’t he done it, he hadn’t even logged on yet.
ShadesOfGrey [11:51 AM]: makes perfect sense
Euroranger [11:51 AM]: Still, me being the great guy I am, I work out all the RDS kinks and late yesterday I managed to successfully log onto the box.
ShadesOfGrey [11:51 AM]: why would he do the work, when he can wait and you will do it for him
Euroranger [11:51 AM]: Now, this box is Server 2008…something I’ve not seen before.
Euroranger [11:52 AM]: …however, the way this host is set up, I need access via a web control panel interface to set up the database…which, I was advised, was on another box…which is normal.
Euroranger [11:52 AM]: So, to briefly recap, I logged onto the box and set up the site, moved files and created and tested the FTP connection. The last element is…the database.
Euroranger [11:52 AM]: …and who better to leave THAT to than Dumbass…our “expert”?
ShadesOfGrey [11:53 AM]: so.. did you set up the db yet?
Euroranger [11:53 AM]: Oh no…check it…choice exerpts from the chat transcript with the boss this AM:
Euroranger [11:54 AM]: BossMan [11:25 AM]: when you try to setup a Data source in coldfusion using any account it errors and says Connection refused
Euroranger [11:55 AM]: Euroranger [11:21 AM]: He (SALESMAN AT THE HOSTING PROVIDER) was telling me you guys had installed a SQL Server instance on the 240.107 (THE CF SERVER) box. Is that not the case?
BossMan [11:21 AM]: Yes
BossMan [11:22 AM]: Their hosted SQL would only handle 500megs (OUR CURRENT DB IS BUT 210MB…AND AROUND 3/4 OF THAT IS LOG FILES AND GARBAGE TABLES)
Euroranger [11:55 AM]: Euroranger [11:27 AM]: Well, one step at a time…
Euroranger [11:27 AM]: Is there a database on the new SQL Server deployment you guys added?
Euroranger [11:27 AM]: Something like XXXXX?
BossMan [11:27 AM]: YYYYY
Euroranger [11:28 AM]: Okay…and the user account you’re trying to set up the datasource under…does it have access to that database?
BossMan [11:28 AM]: yes
Euroranger [11:29 AM]: Is is the default “sa” account?
BossMan [11:29 AM]: have tried all accounts. sa, ZZZZZ, and a new one we created
Euroranger [11:29 AM]: Hm.
Euroranger [11:56 AM]: BossMan [11:30 AM]: the crazy this is the server cannot resolve “localhost” you have to type in the IP address of the server
Euroranger [11:30 AM]: Do you have access to their shared SQL Server database (THE SOLUTION THEY SOLD US)?
Euroranger [11:57 AM]: BossMan [11:31 AM]: no
Euroranger [11:31 AM]: No, you can’t access it?
BossMan [11:32 AM]: no we were never give that because we told them from the beginning we would install our own (WHAAAT????)
Euroranger [11:33 AM]: Oh, I see. (COMPLETE FUCKING DEPARTURE FROM ANY SANE WEBSITE DEPLOYMENT)
ShadesOfGrey [11:57 AM]: lol
Euroranger [11:58 AM]: Wait for it….
Euroranger [11:58 AM]: Euroranger [11:37 AM]: Want a suggestion?
BossMan [11:38 AM]: I think I know what the issue is
Euroranger [11:38 AM]: They host CF, they host SQL Server and they have people right there…tell them to configure it so you can use it. Have them set up default passwords and then when they’re done, we change them to something else.
BossMan [11:39 AM]: this is a vertual server. probably shares a NIC and thats why it goes off server and back in to the IP Address
BossMan [11:40 AM]: virtual
BossMan [11:40 AM]: or atleast appears that way
Euroranger [11:41 AM]: I’ve never dealt with a virtual server before…
BossMan [11:42 AM]: what was the name of the hosting company you sent me
ShadesOfGrey [11:58 AM]: brb
Euroranger [11:59 AM]: So, to recap, I sent them a perfectly viable hosting solution with more than enough database space. Dumbass comes along and, because he’s a fucking liar and because my boss is apparently too dense to notice, we have to change the fucking database product from MySQL to SQL Server.
Euroranger [12:00 PM]: But, as if that isn’t enough, our existing 210MB database will apparently be too large to fit on the allocated 500MB of space on the shared SQL Server deployment this host normally offers. Again, I detect the effects of a Dumbass conversation.
Euroranger [12:01 PM]: So as to make this entire situation a complete disaster-movie-worthy epic fuckup we go out and BUY SQL Server 2008 and then install it on the same fucking box as CF8…
Euroranger [12:02 PM]: …on a hosted machine…
Euroranger [12:02 PM]: …which is running in a virtual server environment.
Euroranger [12:02 PM]: …which, surprise surprise, none of us seem to know anything about…especially our database “expert”.
Euroranger [12:05 PM]: I’m wondering if there’s an entity even more omnipotent than God…and whether he too hates me.
ShadesOfGrey [12:09 PM]: lol
Euroranger [12:10 PM]: I mean…man…you can’t make this up.
Euroranger [12:10 PM]: It’s just CF8 and a fucking database…how much more complicated can you make it you ask? Who knows? But stay tuned and find out.
ShadesOfGrey [12:11 PM]: he he he
Euroranger [12:11 PM]: I swear, I fully expect to be told next “hey, the server’s language pack is just Sanscrit…can we work around that?”…

You see, I’m a man of normal temperament just trying to do my job, get paid, take care of my family, get lucky every great once in awhile with Mrs. Ranger and pretty much just live my life in the most calm and personally pleasing manner possible.

May he rest in peace...in a heavenly home for the hard of hearing

May he rest in peace...in a heavenly home for the hard of hearing

However, omnipotent deities everywhere obviously have it out for me as there’s no way, not even taking into account I may be suffering the karma accrued in a previous life by someone like Adolf Hitler, Vlad the Impaler or Billy Mays, I should be receiving this much cosmic torture.  You, gentle reader, no matter how much you think your job sucks, should feel better bearing witness to what it is I have to put up with on, what is becoming obvious to me will be, a daily basis.  Unless yer that poofy tiger-trainer fella in Vegas who nearly got eaten a few years back, chances are your job is merely mildly annoying and not enough motivation for you to know that even if you hawked all the shit you owned you still prolly wouldn’t make bail for all the acts you contemplate committing on your “co-workers” everyday…not that I’m admitting to anything like that…just sayin’ is all.

For instance, today it’s the Friday before a long weekend.  I have friend from Canada coming into town tomorrow.  He’s returning home from Florida and he’ll be stopping nearby with his family for the night and wants us to come visit him right in the middle of the day.  He has a daughter around the same age as my own (9) and they’ve chosen the hotel they’re staying at (around 25 mi away) as it is close to a store his daughter wishes to visit.  Now given the demonstrated proof of supernatural interest in turning my life into a blooper reel of sitcom outtakes superimposed on images of suicide victims, what store could you imagine he wants to visit?  On a long weekend (which means I can’t flee town to the hills as I would normally be doing)?  On the first Saturday of college football (the first universally accepted “man day” on the calendar)?  When I have a standing invite to attend a friend’s all day college football party wherein the games are viewed on a home theatre with surround sound and whose screen area is best described using the word “acreage”?

American Girl Doll Store…that’s where.

I look normal on the outside…it’s only on the inside that I’m crying.

My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.

craig328 [11:44 AM]: So…wanna hear what I’m doing?
Rudi [11:44 AM]: ya
craig328 [11:45 AM]: Okay…so, since Day 1 with the new job, we’ve been working from an XP box that’s located in the boss’ living room. He’s running IIS off it and that’s actually what the sites are running from as well. A real sketchy setup, right?
Rudi [11:45 AM]: ugh
craig328 [11:45 AM]: So, I’ve been telling him about hosted solutions (because his alternative was to drop around $10K in hardware alone and then co-lo that).
Rudi [11:46 AM]: k
craig328 [11:46 AM]: Anyway, long story short, he asked me a month back to research viable CF hosts.
craig328 [11:46 AM]: So I did and sent him an email with a couple of options…this, however, was CF8 with MySQL5.
craig328 [11:46 AM]: …naturally, him being the boss, he did nothing with it.
Rudi [11:47 AM]: of course
craig328 [11:47 AM]: So, a few weeks go by and we hire Dumbass.
Rudi [11:47 AM]: I remember it so well
craig328 [11:47 AM]: Now, as has become exceptionally clear, Dumbass, despite his claims to the contrary, knows jack and shit about MySQL.
craig328 [11:48 AM]: So, out of the blue, about 2 wks ago, suddenly we need a hosting solution…oh, and it needs to be using SQL Server…
craig328 [11:48 AM]: …I don’t participate in any discussion about this…as really, I could care less, I’m equally capable in either db.
craig328 [11:49 AM]: However, rather than even speak with the recommended hosts I researched, boss (probably aided and abetted by Dumbass) pulls some hosting solution out of his ass and purchases a contract with them.
craig328 [11:49 AM]: …that was 2 weeks ago.
Rudi [11:49 AM]: oh lawd
craig328 [11:50 AM]: …I got called in yesterday PM to see if I could figure out how to get our server set up and running.
craig328 [11:50 AM]: Now, Dumbass has been supposed to be doing this since Monday…however, I discover not only hasn’t he done it, he hadn’t even logged on yet.
Rudi [11:51 AM]: makes perfect sense
craig328 [11:51 AM]: Still, me being the great guy I am, I work out all the RDS kinks and late yesterday I managed to successfully log onto the box.
Rudi [11:51 AM]: why would he do the work, when he can wait and you will do it for him
craig328 [11:51 AM]: Now, this box is Server 2008…something I’ve not seen before.
craig328 [11:52 AM]: …however, the way this host is set up, I need access via a web control panel interface to set up the database…which, I was advised, was on another box…which is normal.
craig328 [11:52 AM]: So, to briefly recap, I logged onto the box and set up the site, moved files and created and tested the FTP connection. The last element is…the database.
craig328 [11:52 AM]: …and who better to leave THAT to than Dumbass…our “expert”?
Rudi [11:53 AM]: so.. did you set up the db yet?
craig328 [11:53 AM]: Oh no…check it…choice exerpts from the chat transcript with the boss this AM:
craig328 [11:54 AM]: stephen.heckel [11:25 AM]: when you try to setup a Data source in coldfusion using any account it errors and says Connection refused
craig328 [11:55 AM]: craig328 [11:21 AM]: He was telling me you guys had installed a SQL Server instance on the 240.107 (THE CF SERVER) box. Is that not the case?
stephen.heckel [11:21 AM]: Yes
stephen.heckel [11:22 AM]: Their hosted SQL would only handle 500megs
craig328 [11:55 AM]: craig328 [11:27 AM]: Well, one step at a time…
craig328 [11:27 AM]: Is there a database on the new SQL Server deployment you guys added?
craig328 [11:27 AM]: Something like rpodc?
stephen.heckel [11:27 AM]: mvrdc
craig328 [11:28 AM]: Okay…and the user account you’re trying to set up the datasource under…does it have access to that database?
stephen.heckel [11:28 AM]: yes
craig328 [11:29 AM]: Is is the default “sa” account?
stephen.heckel [11:29 AM]: have tried all accounts. sa, sheckel, and a new one we created
craig328 [11:29 AM]: Hm.
craig328 [11:56 AM]: stephen.heckel [11:30 AM]: the crazy this is the server cannot resolve “localhost” you have to type in the IP address of the server
craig328 [11:30 AM]: Do you have access to their shared SQL Server database (THE SOLUTION THEY SOLD US)?
craig328 [11:57 AM]: stephen.heckel [11:31 AM]: no
craig328 [11:31 AM]: No, you can’t access it?
stephen.heckel [11:32 AM]: no we were never give that because we told them from the beginning we would install our own
craig328 [11:33 AM]: Oh, I see. (COMPLETE FUCKING DEPARTURE FROM ANY SANE WEBSITE DEPLOYMENT)
Rudi [11:57 AM]: lol
craig328 [11:58 AM]: Wait for it….
craig328 [11:58 AM]: craig328 [11:37 AM]: Want a suggestion?
stephen.heckel [11:38 AM]: I think I know what the issue is
craig328 [11:38 AM]: They host CF, they host SQL Server and they have people right there…tell them to configure it so you can use it. Have them set up default passwords and then when they’re done, we change them to something else.
stephen.heckel [11:39 AM]: this is a vertual server. probably shares a NIC and thats why it goes off server and back in to the IP Address
stephen.heckel [11:40 AM]: virtual
stephen.heckel [11:40 AM]: or atleast appears that way
craig328 [11:41 AM]: I’ve never dealt with a virtual server before…
stephen.heckel [11:42 AM]: what was the name of the hosting company you sent me
Rudi [11:58 AM]: brb
craig328 [11:59 AM]: So, to recap, I sent them a perfectly viable hosting solution with more than enough database space. Dumbass comes along and, because he’s a fucking liar and because my boss is apparently too dense to notice, we have to change the fucking database product from MySQL to SQL Server.
craig328 [12:00 PM]: But, as if that isn’t enough, our existing 210MB database will apparently be too large to fit on the allocated 600MB of space on the shared SQL Server deployment this host normally offers. Again, I detect the effects of a Dumbass conversation.
craig328 [12:01 PM]: So as to make this entire situation a complete disaster-movie-worthy epic fuckup we go out and BUY SQL Server 2008 and then install it on the same fucking box as CF8…
craig328 [12:02 PM]: …on a hosted machine…
craig328 [12:02 PM]: …which is running in a virtual server environment.
craig328 [12:02 PM]: …which, surprise surprise, none of us seem to know anything about…especially our database “expert”.
craig328 [12:05 PM]: I’m wondering if there’s an entity even more omnipotent than God…and whether he too hates me.
Rudi [12:09 PM]: lol
craig328 [12:10 PM]: I mean…man…you can’t make this up.
craig328 [12:10 PM]: It’s just CF8 and a fucking database…how much more complicated can you make it you ask? Who knows? But stay tuned and find out.
Rudi [12:11 PM]: he he he
craig328 [12:11 PM]: I swear, I fully expect to be told next “hey, the server’s language pack is just Sanscrit…can we work around that”…

Posted in Amusing, Web Dev | 2 Comments »