Friday, December 28, 2012

CFE: The One Where The Atheist Has Irony Expained To Him

The Background: io9.com had the usual masturbatory Gawker network anti-religious screed using a Harvard report about how American students are falling behind as a launch pad to bash some silly Christian textbooks. (Because crappy teachers unions and the government indoctrination system has no effect, right?) I don't even know if the example shown was referred to in the report or some extreme example to illustrate how crazy them Sky Man Jeebus freaks are because them snake handlers is crazy, amirite?

Anyhoo, one of the unevolved chimps in the comments section chittered:

Eventually those kids will grow up and realize they've been lied to, right? 
 To which I replied:
The irony of your anti-religious sneer is that the real rude awakening is when the poor victims of our pass-along, everyone gets a participant ribbon, therapeutic, feelings-based, outcomes-based government indoctrination programs run into the real world and discover that they're not prepared for reality and their entire birthright has been mortgaged in order to buy the votes of moochers and socialist government cronies. We're seeing it now as all the chumps who voted for Obama now can't find jobs, but are so ill-informed that they re-elected him because they've been programmed to slobber and pull the lever next to the picture of a donkey. Wait until you try and collect on all that free stuff you were promised. Suckers.
Doubly funny is how the atheistic jackwagons who sneer at "Creationism" or "intelligent design" or "Sky Man" beclown themselves as they initially chin-stroke and murmur about the second law of thermodynamics only to solve the serious problem of where the matter of the Universe initially came from by saying, "Oh, it just appeared." Anyone who takes Steven Hawking seriously after that brain fart is a fool. How do you bash people for believing God created everything when you believe the seed matter for the Universe just materialized from nothing.
The truth is that neither of the Coke or Pepsi stories explaining how everything is here holds much water. Sorry, but it's true. We can't explain where God came from and we can't explain where the matter for the closed system of Big Bang and then billions of years of random occurrences leading to Earth, grass, birds, fish, trees, and Anne Hathaway came from. We are simply here despite the evidence and thus choose which story feels better. The difference between overtly religions people and atheist assholes is that the former understand that they are engaged in a faith whereas the latter are hardcore religionists using "science" as a cudgel with which to beat people into worshiping their belief system.
Atheist assholes believe that faith is the enemy of reason. The fact there are many scientists who are expressly in their fields because they wish to understand God's design of nature is unknown to them or a novelty like a conservative in Hollyweird.

As I commented, we are here despite the evidence, but of the two choices available, the idea that an Almighty created everything is far more plausible than the whole "lucky random series of events" proposal. At least I know there's no "proof" for my beliefs. The atheist jerks don't, yet they pretend they're not engaged in their own religious practices. Just because you've removed a central deity doesn't make what they're doing any less a religion; see the global warming/ManBearPig cultists for a perfect example.

Friday, August 03, 2012

I Bought That For A Dollar!

One of the cool features about Android devices are the Live Wallpapers - snazzy, interactive and/or animated wallpapers that really liven up your home screens. (That my Samsung Galaxy S II phone has part of the functionality crippled by the petty harassing lawsuits by Apple is a rant for another time.) Many of these wallpapers are available for free from the Google Play store, but to encourage people to pay a buck (i.e. 99 cents), many developers lock customization settings on the free versions. It's a decent trade-off: Cheapskates like me can get some basic cool papers for no cost and people who like to tweak are welcome to pay.

Why looking around for some new walls, I came across the Mystic Halo Live Wallpaper Free which looks a little like this (not my video; from Play page):



As usual, when changing wallpapers I hit the Settings button to see what options were available and was greeted by this:



The listing of what features are unlocked for your penny less than a dollar is the usual stuff. The picture of the puppy thinking, "So hungry!" and the promises that buying the wallpaper would feed the dog, capped off with the button text is sheer genius. I'm a cat person and I wanted to feed the puppy and felt a little bad when I canceled out the first time. I posted about this on Facebook, but it merited some pictures to make the point, so this.

Since I had credit from my Nexus 7 purchase, I decided to spend 4% of my balance to feed Lizzy. He should buy her a kitteh to keep her company!

This is a useful lesson in marketing. When so many people are using the same "freemium" technique to distribute - and hopefully monetize - their wares, you need something extra to differentiate one's self. If he'd just put up the usual nag screen, I wouldn't have bought it. By being different and memorable, he made me say...



...and pried a virtual dollar out of my hand where none* had done so before. Bon app├ętit, Lizzy!


* To be honest, I've paid for a few other freemium wallpapers when Play had a sale with stuff for 10 cents a pop. I'll buy anything for a dime; a dollar, not a chance.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Royal Oak Ford Can Eat A Dick!

Background: I'd never had a new car until 2000 when, in the aftermath of a ghetto mechanic puncturing the fuel tank of my old (but paid-off) GMC Jimmy, I took on a lease for a Ford Explorer. When that was up a couple years later, I leased another for three years and another for two years after that. Rising fuel prices made me switch to a 2007 Fusion for a couple of years then a 2010 four-banger for the past three. My lease is up in a few months.

Every time I did a deal with the dealership, which has been my default go-to because it's literally a five-minute walk from my home, I felt slightly screwed-over as if I ended up paying too much or something. Every time I swore it'd be the last time I'd lease from this dealership, even when they changed ownership and switched from McLaughlin Ford to Royal Oak Ford some years back. As much as I disliked them, the sheer convenience of the location and the fact it was a once every two or three year pain kept me coming back.

No longer. F*ck Royal Oak Ford in their f*cking ears. They can eat a dick.

The fun begins three weeks ago when I took my car in on Good Friday for an oil change and a recall involving my wheels. When I called to schedule the recall look-see, they said it involved the wheel studs. My sunroof had also stopped retracting, but they wanted $105 to just examine it (applicable to the repair) and since it was going back in a few months, I passed on the opportunity to hand them another C-note. They called me several hours later to say that there was a small leak from the transmission boot that was covered by the power train warranty, but they didn't have time and people to do it that day, even though it was only noon. It wasn't a pressing emergency, so it could wait.

When I picked up the car, they asked if I'd like it washed for free and then sent me on my way after paying for the oil change, which for a dealership is actually cheaper and better-quality than what I get at the local Valvoline quick change place. Wheels fixed, oil changed, car washed, life was good.

Or so I thought.

The next day, while pulling into a diner lot to get some breakfast, I noticed that there were lug nuts in my cup holder. Huh? Closer examination showed they were the locking lugs that I'd purchased in the aftermath of my previous Fusion's wheels being ripped off. Um, why were these here and not on my wheels? I got out and checked my wheels and they had five lugs on them, so WTF? I have a four-way lug wrench in the trunk, so I went to make the switch and discovered that the locking lugs weren't tightening up. Huh a second time? What gives? It was then I realized that they simply didn't fit - they were spinning freely because the posts were too small. How the heck did this happen? Aren't wheel studs pretty much the same size?I called the dealership immediately, but since it was a Saturday and nearing 3 pm, there was no one around to ask about this. I put it on my list of things to do, but kept putting it off for one reason or another; I figured I'd stop in sometime.

Last week, a survey request was emailed to me and having a little spare time at work I completed it, blasting them in the comments for not telling me about the wheel locks being left off. Someone from the dealership left a voicemail on my home phone the other day asking for a callback and I was going to give them a jingle, but some asstackler managed to call my work phone first. This is when it all went to hell.

This jackass - I think his name was Jerry, but let's go with Jackass - basically came out of the gate like a shrill little bitch, whining that I had not called to complain to them before dinging them on the survey. Oh, so the problem is that you were content being jerks until Ford corporate types got tipped off? Oh, it's on, muthaf*cka!!! In the course of a five minute long conversation, he managed to be sporadically insincere about my concerns before lapsing back into whimpering about his butthurt over my not calling and talking to them before ratting them out to daddy Ford.

Now, what was the purpose of Jackass's call? To address customer concerns or make me backtrack from my offending his honor? I pointed out that no one mentioned the lugs to me either on the phone or and he nearly screamed that it was on the paperwork and so I can just shut up my stupid mouth! (I don't have the papers handy, but it's irrelevant for this discussion.) When I asked what the deal was with the differing stud sizes and he claimed that only the lugs had been changed. Between his hysterical squealing and demands someone apply Tucks to his inflamed hemorrhoids, I realized there was no talking to the clown and wrapped things up by telling him that he'd sealed Royal Oak's Ford hopes of ever getting my business again.

What's exceptionally stupid about this jerk's call was that it presumed that he was the only Ford dealership I could get my next car from. Um, no. He's the only Ford dealer ON MY BLOCK, but there are other dealers, all of whom haven't had their a-hole service manager call me up at work to bitch about my temerity in complaining about their crap service.

Last Labor Day, Dean Sellers Jr. himself of Dean Sellers Ford called me up at home and arranged an Arts, Beats and Eats ticket package for me and really put himself out to help this total stranger who'd left a voicemail in his box. I'd never leased a car - much less FIVE cars - from them, but they were willing to help. What did Royal Oak Ford do but be bullies? I pay the same price for cars wherever I go due to my work, so the ONLY thing that Royal Oak Ford offers me is locality. NOTHING MORE and that was before they pulled this stunt. Anyone have a good reason why I shouldn't give Dean Sellers a call?

It didn't occur to me until I started pounding out this rant that Jackass the Service Manager was flat out lying about the locks being the wrong size because not only did they transfer the locks from my old ride to this one, but I've had the oil changed - WHICH INCLUDES TIRE ROTATION - at least twice at the dealership and NO ONE MENTIONED THE LOCKS BEING THE WRONG SIZE before. I'd also had a flat that needed plugging and had changed the tire, not to mention that if they didn't fit as claimed, they would've fallen off sometime in the previous 45,000 miles. (I had mentioned that to him and he started screaming again.)

Royal Oak Ford can eat a dick and so will Jackass. I'm going to check the paperwork, clean up this post's language and trim it down, and send it to the general manager of the dealership under the title, "Why I Am Not Buying My Sixth Car From Royal Oak Ford. (And You Can Eat A Dick!)" (OK, the last part won't be on there.) I specialize in the Wrath of God Complaint Letter® and when you're as militantly stupid as Jackass was, you are profoundly inviting an air strike onto your position.

It's raining dicks, Royal Oak Ford and Jackass! Eat them!

===========

UPDATE: 2/11/2015 - I never bothered sending the GM the note, but last summer I spent over THREE HOURS trapped there on a Saturday morning to get a freaking OIL CHANGE. They had the waiting room TV set to MSNBC which was a treat for the customers who may've been lacking hours of extreme liberals one-upping their horror stories about Republicans. (Stuff like, "The reason Republicans oppose abortion is because they like to eat babies." This is barely an exaggeration.) Hoo boy, now they'll never get my service business either, though I did have them do the repairs on my last car when it sustained $13,000 in damages when it was stolen for its wheels. There was a recall on the car too, so as much as I hate ROF, I needed things fixed someplace close.

Since this post originally went up, I leased a Fusion from Fairlane Ford in Dearborn because it was close to my work and after a job change put me on the other side of town, got another Fusion from Roy O'Brien Ford in St. Clair Shores. The only reason I didn't patronize Dean Sellers is because it was too inconvenient to work and home.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

CFE: Act of Valor Makes Liberal Critics Sad In Their Pants.

The Background: Drew McWeeney at HitFix reviewed Act of Valor and simply couldn't restrain his liberal knees from jerking. (My review is here.) This prompted the following comment:

I saw a screening of Act of Valor in early December and found it to be an odd mix of superawesomeincredible action and painfully stilted melodrama. Using real SEALs made the action feel hella more authentic than pampered Hollyweird stars who've had a few days of "boot camp" training with Dale Dye would deliver, but the plot parts suffered from tired tropes (e.g. if you can't immediately spot which one has the call sign of "Dead Meat", you've never seen a movie) delivered by earnest warriors with the looks and acting skills of Peyton Manning. I tried to imagine how it would've played with all real actors or more of a pseudo-documentary "found footage" execution and couldn't decide which would've been better. (It's like how Clerks probably wouldn't have worked as well with real actors as Mallrats showed.)

However, the movie is the latest political football for hyper-liberal commentators to get their hate on for the military, war in general, and "BUSHITLER! WAR FOR OIL! LIES!!!" The Huffington Post has been wringing their dainty hands over the idea that our soldiers be portrayed as anything but the raping killers (as seen in Redacted), duped victims of corporatist war (e.g. Lions For Lambs), damaged thrill jockeys (Hurt Locker), and/or ticking time bombs threatening civilians back home (In the Valley of Elah) they imagine soldiers as being, not that they actually would deign to know any real soldiers. War is bad, mmmkay, and anyone in the military is either a fascist skinhead warmonger or a poor exploited minority. Right. (It's ironic that the same people who are hating on this movie are cheering Obama for "getting bin Laden" and on the night of the State of the Union a month ago, SEALs were rescuing an American held hostage by Somali pirates in a manner similar to a rescue dramatized in this very movie.)

On the other hand, conservative pundits are wildly overpraising Act of Valor as the greatest thing since film stocks moved from nitrate to acetate bases. It's easy to understand why: When the only positive depictions of the military to counter the narrative detailed in the previous paragraph seems to show up when we're fighting robots or aliens. (Not that Battle: Los Angeles was roundly bashed for being too pro-soldier, cuz we all know they're crazed Nazi timebombs rapist murderers.) Act of Valor isn't as great as the Right says and as terrible as the Left wants to smear it.

Drew's review is revealing in how allergic he is to values that exist outside of the Hollyweird bubble of liberal secular humanism. For someone so close to the movie BUSINESS as he is, he seems deeply offended that there are Christian (gasp!) and pro-military (to the fainting couch!) filmmakers who aren't militantly dedicated to offending the Flyover rubes who watch NASCAR and drink domestic beer and are actually making a buck doing so. I'm sure it's due to his deeply-held beliefs and not just because he lives and works in an industry where political affiliations are literally make or break for one's livelihood. However, reviews like this one with its, "Can you believe there are morons who fall for this stuff?", tone indicates that he can't even imagine anyone who doesn't align with his personal views being here and reading and if there are, they should have their incorrect thinking slapped around.

I've never understood why Hollyweird has chosen insult their customers and hand each other trophies for movies the unwashed rabble have no interest in seeing when there are piles of money for the taking if only they could mask their utter contempt for the paying customers. The self-anointed enlightened liberal elites can't stop vomiting over the success of movies like The Blind Side - let's not even mention a certain movie that Mel Gibson made which sits at #17 of the all-time domestic chart - but I can give you 309 million reasons they're fooling themselves. The denizens of Hollyweird doesn't need to actually become conservative or practice any of those archaic Judeo-Christian values in their own lives; they just need to stop screaming, "WE HATE YOU PEOPLE AND ALL YOUR STUPID BELIEFS!!!", with their movies. Stop insulting the customers and they'll give you money. Just fake it and take it. Is that too hard?

The commercial success or failure of the film is going to be spun by each side. If it flops, liberals will crow that it's because it was a terrible movie and if it succeeds, they'll dismiss it as being red meat for Red State bubbas who are terrible people. Conservatives will say....aw, who cares what THOSE PEOPLE think, right?

The polarization is even effecting evaluation of the most impressive and least political part of the movie, its look. Shot mostly on HDSLRs (Canon 5D MkII and 7D), it looks SLICK - Michael Bay slick. The HDSLR has been the indie filmmakers best friend since the Canon XL1, but it's typically been used for shakycam mumblecore stuff, not Big Action Movies and if I hadn't been tipped by the intro my screening had that HDSLRs were used, I would've been even more stunned by learning that. However, when noted photographer and HDSLR prophet Vince Laforet blogged about how remarkable a technical achievement achievement the film was, his comments section was overrun with comments like this: "Hey.. great another macho film… Yep show it to kids in the school, so they can serve as front line meat again. It seems we’ve had enough of that Vincent. There’s nothing glorifying about these guys." Lovely.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Death To Coupon Printers!

I have an old Norelco - or is it Philips since they bought Norelco? - rotary head shaver. I've had it perhaps 3-4 years and probably paid $30 for it at Beast Buy. Nothing fancy, just a razor. It's gotten dull and rather than buy an all-new razor, I shopped around for replacement heads and was surprised they were about $24. Jeez, may as well by a new razor for a few bucks more, right? Sparing the landfills be damned.

Well, this morning I saw on Slick Deals a Target coupon for $1 off pain relievers that run for less than a buck, so they'd be free. Nice. While selecting the coupon, I saw another one for $5 off replacement razor heads. Double nice, right? WRONG! When I went to print, I was greeted with the bane of anyone who's ever tried printing in a corporate environment: The coupon printer program/add-on/plug-in/show-stopper. Even if you can get them installed (which I can), they never seem to actually work. I'm out of toner at home, so printing at work is sort of a necessity and these stupid doodads make it impossible to take advantage of the deals.

Now what I don't understand is the logic behind these things. I'm guessing they're intended to prevent people making multiple prints to clean them out on "free" ibuprofen, but what about bigger ticket items? I still have to pay for the blades and they're expecting coupon redemption, so why not just present a printable page in my browser? There's a sound (if evil) business case for making rebates hard to redeem or using them instead of marking down prices (i.e. a percentage of buyers won't submit for the rebate), but what's the point of making it so hard to get a discount coupon that the sale ends up lost? I want/need blades and Target could've made a sale, but instead isn't getting squat because they made the coupon unavailable. Jerks.