Saturday, July 19, 2008

Congress says: Let's raise gas prices more!

This is unbelievable: everyone is complaining about gas prices, so we tell the government "DO SOMETHING!".

What's their solution? Raise federal gas taxes by 10 cents per gallon.

Yes, as unbelievable as that is, they want to raise the price of gas, not lower it.

And guess who is all for it? Barack Hussein Obama


".... lawmakers quietly are talking about raising fuel taxes by a dime from the current 18.4 cents a gallon on gasoline and 24.3 cents on diesel fuel....With gas prices setting records daily, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain and former Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton called for a 90-day suspension of the federal fuel tax.... Barack Obama, the likely Democratic nominee, opposed the idea from the beginning ...."

I couldn't make this up if I tried. And why on god's green earth do they want to raise gas prices you ask? Simple: more highway maintenance.

Highway workers average $43,000/yr in Illinois (for example), which is full of cheap housing (Median price of a IL House: $89,000) and they need more money? I'm tired of seeing people... oh I'm sorry, "highway maintenance workers"... stand on the side of the road holding a sign that says "SLOW" and they make $21/hr for that. How many years of school do you need to hold a sign that says slow? That's complete crap. They should make a dollar or two more than a McD's employee at most, but instead they make almost triple the starting McD's employee (assuming a McD employee starts at the IL minimum wage of $7.50/hr). But because we elected some idiots to Congress they keep getting pay raises.

I think instead we should stop the pork barrel spending. That page has many examples, like a government project to "combat "goth culture" in Blue Springs, Missouri ($270,000)." And I'm sorry, but spending $18 billion a year on NASA is a bit much. I love NASA, I think it's cool, but 18 billion? And what does NASA do for me personally? What am I getting from this 18 billion? And don't tell me "oh great inventions came from going to space!" If that was the case, why does NASA still need government money? Shouldn't they be rolling in the dough from all their patents?

Alright I'll stop, I went from "Congress raising gas prices!" to "Cut the space program", but it all comes down to one thing: our government is broken and needs to be fixed. Everytime I turn around they're finding a new way to screw the people with a new tax or increasing existing taxes. Did you know taxes didn't even exist 150 yrs ago? The first federal income tax started during the civil war to pay for the war, but even then it didn't become law until 1913. So 100 years ago there were no federal taxes and now the average family pays roughly 9% of their income to federal taxes. Doesn't sound like much but then you pay income taxes to the state. Then on top of those two taxes you're paying taxes every time you spend that money on bills or gas or food. And on top of those taxes you might be paying taxes on things you've already paid taxes on like cars and houses and land. It's called property taxes and it's charged every year in most states.

So let's see: Taxed by govt, taxed by state, taxed to buy things and taxed for property. It's tax on top of tax on top of tax on top of tax. I wouldn't doubt that when you add it all up the average american spends 50% of their income on taxes. It's amazing we don't revolt.

Friday, July 18, 2008

eBay no speaky english

I've had a bit of a problem with ebay lately: my account of 10 years has been suspended indefinitely by mistake.

This is what happened: I logged onto ebay using a shared PC that a suspended ebay member had been using earlier. After 10 years on ebay I've used many shared PCs and I've never had a problem, but this time within hours I recieved the following email:

Gasp! My 10 year account gone in the blink of an eye! So I did what anyone would do, I contacted tech support. One would imagine a company with 7.4 billion in sales could afford technical support right? Wrong: ebay does not have a 1-800 number, and when you contact "Live Help" this is the "help" you get:

Wow ebay, thanks for the help, that engrish really cleared things up.

Come on ebay what's the deal? Maybe if you spent one of those billions on creating a call center in America that ebayers can call and actually be helped you wouldn't have such a bad wrap.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fake employers? Great, what's next?

I recently responded to a craigslist ad for a job:

and got this in response:

So I'm thinking, ok, I'll click on the link. And I get this:

and everything looks official, looks like a real website looking to hire people, right? The text on the bottom of the page is too small on the photo above but it says:
"We value and support higher education. If you would like
information about educational opportunities in your field, choose below.

Well who would tell a future employer that you don't think you'd benefit from more education? If you click "I would like to receive information" you're brought to a page that says:

"We are delighted that you are interested in exploring additional educational opportunities. You will be directed to several pages of information regarding educational programs...."

Creepy isn't it? If you're not interested in further education you're brought to this page:

and if you search the site there is very little there, no jobs at all. If you google you'll find numerous complaints. So now spammers are preying on poor job-seekers?

What's next?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Customer isn't always right: When it's time to cancel a customer

We've all heard the old adage "The customer is always right". Although that sounds great in theory, it doesn't work in the real world. We'd all like to help customers as much as possible, but when you spend much more effort helping a customer than the profit you make from the product they're purchasing then it's time to cut your losses.

Cellphone companies have canceling customers down to an art:

You call Sprint too much with complaints and they'll cancel your service. Why doesn't everyone do this? Why keep a customer around that's just going to complain constantly and post messages online saying how much your service sucks? Isn't easier to just cancel the customer so they go online and post "OMG MY SERVICE CANCELED!" just to get a dozen responses of "Really? I've been with them for X years and never been canceled, what did you do?"

So please, all those companies out there who haven't been canceling customers, start doing so. It'll make life easier for everyone.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Star Wars: Force Unleashed for Wii!

The most anticipated game this year (anticipated by me, at least), is coming to the Wii! It's Star Wars Force Unleashed. Basically you get to play as a sith lord and have amazing force abilities like picking planes out of the air and crashing them into buildings. Here's the youtube video of the official trailer that got me excited:

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Trailer

And here's a interview of the creators of the Wii version. Skip to about 1 minute to see the Wii functionality:

Looks amazing! Can't wait to push with the Wiimote and send storm troopers flying! :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

How to get great gas mileage

I know I know, with gas above $4 a gallon everyone has written on how to get great gas mileage, but I thought I'd put my 2 cents in.

Buy a Scangauge

It's a little device that easily plugs into your car's computer (same way mechanics do) and, among other things, computes gas mileage:

Basically it teaches you how to drive, better than any Top 10 list could ever do. My gas mileage went up 20% just by using a mpg trip computer.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ionic Breeze is worthless, Sharper Image sued for millions

Anyone else miss the news that the Ionic Breeze and all these ionic air purifiers are completely worthless and actually harmful?

In 2003 Consumer Reports did a review of a Ionic Breeze calling it "ineffective". Sharper Image sued, but a court dismissed the suit because Sharper Image had not proven the findings were false. Sharper Image was ordered to pay over half a million dollars in legal expenses to Consumer Reports.

In 2007 Sharper Image was sued again, having to pay 1.8 million in legal fees in a class action lawsuit by everyone that bought a Ionic Breeze since 1999. Each of the 3.2 million customers only got a $19 credit though.

So if you're thinking about buying a Ionic Breeze don't, they suck.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Crazy Kindergarden teacher allows students to "vote off" mentally disabled boy

This is simply unbelievable. After each classmate was allowed to
say what they didn't like about Barton's 5-year-old son, Alex, his
Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo said they were going to
take a vote. By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted Alex — who is in
the process of being diagnosed with autism — out of the class.
The other students said he was "disgusting" and "annoying". Alex left the classroom and spent the rest of the day in the nurse's office. "He was incredibly upset," Barton said. "The only friend he has ever made in his life was forced to do this."

Please email or write the school and tell them what you think of this crazy teacher:
St. Lucie County School Board
District Offices
4204 Okeechobee Rd.
Fort Pierce, Fl. 34947
Phone: (772) 429-3600

The teacher: Wendy Portillo

The principal: Mrs. Marcia Cully

Saturday, May 24, 2008

first page of my blog

I just created my blog today and I don't have much to blog about except that I'm a little miffed that I couldn't find a decent blog name. Allthingsblogworthy was not my first pick. I wanted something easier to type. When my first picks weren't available I just started typing all kinds of random names in there trying to find one available. When I typed in allthingsblogworthy it didn't even tell me it was available, it just assigned it. I wonder if that's what happened to all the other names I tried? I wonder if someone was like "crap! I need a blog name and all the good ones are taken! Let me try this...." and suddenly they're stuck with a blog name they didn't want.

oh well... i suppose allthingsblogworthy is good enough. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue but it'll be hard to misspell. At least I don't have any '4's that could be "four" or 'for' or something like that or misspellings like "pur" instead of "pure".

I'll stop ranting, maybe tomorrow I'll post some real content.