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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Recently, after deciding I was much more productive before my overpriced cable TV, I made the decision to cancel. In truth, there was more to the story: the DVR I was also paying for failed twice and that was enough to irritate me to the point of canceling. I had intended to purchase an subscription so that I could still watch the Red Sox, the only thing I really had the TV for. I was just reviewing the subscription plan, only to discover that ALL local games are blacked out for live broadcasts. This is asinine to the Nth degree. I could understand it if they were broadcasting for free, but if you're going to charge for the service, how, in good conscience, can they black out the broadcast? Of all the low-brow, back-handed broadcasting maneuvers, this might be the lowest. Here's an idea:, just charge me to watch online -- I don't want a fucking TV! Instead, I'm relegated to the WEEI broadcasts. That wouldn't be so bad if the signal were a bit stronger at my house. Not that MLB actually gives a shit about its fans, but this is something they should seriously consider fixing. Hell, charge three times what your charging, but let me see my team.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dunkin' Donuts (Yankee Curmudgeonism)

Okay, flat out -- I do not like Dunkin' Donuts. Somehow this has become a mortal sin for people from New England, but really, they suck. Their coffee sucks, their donuts suck, and their alleged "consistency" is highly overrated. If you really believe their donuts are the same ones that we grew up with, you're either nuts or brainwashed. Their current product has as much to do with the product we grew up with as Coca-Cola Classic has to do with what we drank in grade school -- legitimately nothing.

On our way out last night, I decided to grab a coffee, figuring it was bound to be a late night. I pulled into the drive thru [sic] and ordered a Dark Roast, one cream, one sugar. I can drink their dark roast because it's not quite the flavorless swill they typically pass off as a cup o' joe. When I got to the window, I was served an ice coffee. Given the evident combined IQ of the drones at the window was somewhere in the vicinity of 41, I opted not to complain, but was still annoyed. No matter, I choked it down and plotted my blogger's revenge.

This morning, leaving the hotel we stayed at, we hit the Dunkin' Donuts across the street before trying for brunch at Pepperland. I tried for another dark roast, this time specifying hot. To my horror, I was informed that it was only available as an iced coffee. This is particularly asinine. I'm no Starbucks fan, but I'll be much quicker on the draw to go there for my emergency fix in the future. I ordered a regular coffee and a muffin. The muffin was biscuit-dry and the coffee, while molten hot, was predictably flavorless. Dunky's, you've got a captivated market; why do you insist on producing a sub-par product and hiding behind the excuse of "predictable consistency"? McDonald's is predictable, too -- that's why I don't eat there. Puh-lease! Somebody step up and displace these shitbags and their horrid, sub-par products. The market is ready to be taken, but somebody needs to take a little pride in their product to pull it off. I will not hold my breath.

It's more likely that a developing nation will capture this market -- that's about par for the course. Indonesia, what do you say?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pulse on BP

Is Tony Hayward Satan? No, he's just clueless. Hayward showed up at a yacht race off the coast of England this weekend, as the idle rich -- particularly Brits -- are known to do. However, most of those in attendance probably are not the face of a company involved in a major environmental catastrophe, at the moment.

Tony Hayward merely has horrible judgment. I'm not condoning his "testimony" in front of Congress, and I'm certainly not condoning the actions of his company. However, he isn't evil, he just doesn't get it. He needs to be on ultra-best behavior until well after this issue is solved. The public needs a whipping boy, and that's why he's getting that huge salary. He needs to pick up his oil-sopping cross, sling that thing over his back, and be a good little whipping boy until the leak is stopped and every bird is cleaned. This is BP's problem and the reason they should be replacing Hayward.

Since we're on to BP, despite my somewhat Libertarian leanings, I have absolutely no issue with the U.S. Government going after BP. In fact, I firmly believe this is precisely the time when the government should seize a company's assets. You only have to know me about four seconds to know how much I hated the bailout of the auto and insurance industries. One of the main reasons was the precedent created by the fallout of that decision. There is no way that the government can save face if they make a move to seize BP's assets.

Let me be clear: I want BP to pay the ultimate price, I want them to fall on the sword. BP should be out of business over this, that is how sinister I view the repercussions of their actions. I use the word 'their' intentionally there. I understand that this is people's jobs and that BP, the corporate pariah, is actually made up of people. Nonetheless, they need to pay and they need to pay dearly. Those people all made the choice to work for a particular company, and they are culpable for that company's decisions. That's the way life should work. It gets back to the rights-vs.-responsibilities argument: if you work at BP, invest in BP, or buy your gas there, you bear some of the responsibility for this issue. For that latter group, you get a break, but if you're still buying your gas there, you are as guilty as Tony Hayward.

So, Tony, I hope you enjoyed your day with your son. My guess is, many of those actually getting their hands dirty cleaning up your company's oily mess were not afforded the same luxury on Father's Day. The fact that you used that explanation to explain your ill-timed day off, my friend, makes you an ass. It is my hope that someone in this colossal failure of what we deem a government will step forward and hold BP accountable for paying the ultimate price. Not surprisingly, I'm not covering any bets on the issue.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day all you motherfuckers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Truth About The Desire For Diversity and Acceptance

"We just want everyone to be heard and respected for what they believe." No, you don't. It doesn't matter if you're liberal, conservative, black, white, man or woman; you may pay lip service to this idea, but in reality, you're full of shit.

The next time you're at a gay pride rally and you hear someone bellowing about how we all need to be accepted for who we are and what we believe, drop Rush Limbaugh's name and see what happens. Don't get me wrong -- I'm no Limbaugh apologist, I think he's an asshole and should be unemployed. However, he certainly has the right to his views and there certainly is a proven market for said views.

Being tolerant means allowing Rush Limbaugh the same right to his opinions as Sandra Bernhard. You don't have to like either one, and you don't have to listen to either one, but both have the right to express their opinions. That's the amazing thing about this media-driven world in which we live -- everything you watch, surf or listen to you are doing by choice. If you're offended by Rush Limbaugh, shut him off. If Sandra Bernhard makes you cringe, change the channel. Don't want your kids to watch Broke Back Mountain? Do your job as a parent and say, "No." Worried they'll do it behind your back? That's your problem. There are parental controls on the TV now, and back when I was growing up there was a thing called a father; my father said no, he meant it. Which reminds me, marriage is another rant I have to address, but I'll save it for another time.

Being tolerant of diversity means being accepting even of those views that are in stark contrast to your own. Nobody wants that; you want tolerance for those who share your views and ideals, and you want everyone else to be quiet and leave you alone. Guess what -- they want the same thing from you. Contrary to what most readers of this blog will think, this is not directed to any person, persons, or group; it's directed towards everybody. Al Franken is as guilty as Glen Beck. In my world, both are assholes, just from a different set of criteria.

Don't get me wrong, there are times when I will let someone know when they've crossed my comfort line. I typically say something along the lines of, "Not on my time; I'm not interested." They can choose to comply with my request or not, and then I can react to their decision. For instance, I'm not a fan of "the 'n' word." (Egad, I hate that phrase) I don't use it and I'm not comfortable with others using it. If someone around me uses it, white or black, I'm likely to ask them to stop. If they choose not to, I can push the issue, leave, or just deal with it. In any given situation, I might choose any one of those options. The point is, the individual has the right to make choices about his/her language. The person doesn't need diversity training, sensitivity training, or therapy; could just be that he or she is an asshole. That is allowed.

Likewise, people sometimes ask me to tone it down. Depending on the setting and situation, I may comply, or tell them to stuff it; it's a judgment call. Sometimes I'll get a bit loose with colorful language around my family and those with kids will ask me to cool it. Typically, I do. Other times, I'll do it on a webpage or at my house and get a similar request that I choose not to comply with. That is my choice. Again, the point is, if you don't like it, you have alternatives.

So many cause-driven people spread themselves so thin on their myriad causes that one can barely take them seriously. If you feel you MUST correct my every decision, statement, personality flaw, or perceived thought, perhaps the problem actually lies within you, not me. I got some good advice from one of my professors at UNH, Jerry Howe. He said, "Battles use social capital, so choose your battles carefully." I learned something from that.

In the coming weeks and months, I will rant about many things on this blog. You are free to read them or not -- that is your choice. Just remember, I am not forcing my views on you, you are here and reading by choice. In the words of the immortal Darren Imbeault, "Don't like it? Don't look."

Thanks for reading.