Sunday, December 01, 2013

76 Pandas - Day 5 of 76

Still not really much good at painting a straight line, and the ears here are rather lopsided. But then, considering the face, I suppose that's just fitting. :)

Finally laid in a supply of sketch paper, so bye-bye little blue lines!

  • If you'd like to view the pic full sized click here.
  • If you're so inclined to do so, feel free to head on over to the WWF's donation page and make a donation.
  • If you'd like to help but are short on cash, you can Take Action here.
  • Saturday, November 30, 2013

    Day Four of the Poorly Painted Panda Series - 72 to go!

    This is my fourth attempt at a panda painting. I think I'm coming along, and definitely notice improvement over day 1. This is my first panda to look like it wasn't painted by an alcoholic elephant, so there's that. :)

  • If you'd like to view the pic full sized click here.
  • If you're so inclined to do so, feel free to head on over to the WWF's donation page and make a donation.
  • If you'd like to help but are short on cash, you can Take Action here.
  • Friday, November 29, 2013

    20 Hours of Pandas - Day 3 of 76

    My third attempt at painting a panda. I'm working on the theory that if you spend 20 hours practicing something you'll eventually get good at it. So far that theory remains to be proven in my case.
    Please pardon the lined paper. The whole "panda project" thing was something of a whim for me so I haven't laid in a supply of sketch paper yet.

  • If you'd like to view the pic full sized click here.
  • If you're so inclined to do so, feel free to head on over to the WWF's donation page and make a donation.
  • If you'd like to help but are short on cash, you can Take Action here.

  • Thursday, November 28, 2013

    20 Hours of Pandas - Panda #2 of 76

    So after painting my first panda on canvas, I realized it would get pretty expensive painting each attempt on canvas. I only had lined paper on hand so I will have to paint on lined paper until I can grab some sketch paper.

    Panda #2 isn't the prettiest panda in the world, but a definite improvement over #1!

    • If you'd like to view the pic full sized click here.
    • If you're so inclined to do so, feel free to head on over to the WWF's donation page and make a donation.
    • If you'd like to help but are short on cash, you can Take Action here.

    Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    20 Hours of Pandas - Day One

    I heard somewhere that if you spend 20 hours doing something, say painting, or learning the guitar, etc. you will get good at that activity. I'm not a very good painter and decided to put this theory to the test. I wasn't sure what to paint, and definitely didn't want to tackle anything too ambitious, so I did an image search for a simple black and white drawing.

    Eventually I stumbled across a simple panda painting which, at the time, I erroneously assumed was the logo of the World Wildlife Fund. It wasn't, actually, but I decided I liked it and would paint my own version. I wasn't expecting much, and I wasn't disappointed.

    So here it is, without further ado, my very first attempt at painting a panda.

    • If you'd like to view the pic full sized click here.
    • If you're so inclined to do so, feel free to head on over to the WWF's donation page and make a donation.
    • If you'd like to help but are short on cash, you can Take Action here.

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    The Difference between my Cat and my Dogs

    Feeding a piece of hot dog to my dogs: 
    Actual pets not as pictured.
    1. Take a piece of hot dog.
    2. Hide it anywhere in the house, so long as it is on the floor.
    3. A dog will find and eat the piece of hot dog within 15-45 seconds of release.

    Feeding a piece of hot dog to my cat:
    1. Take a piece of hot dog.
    2. Find the cat.
    3. Show the cat the piece of hot dog.
    4. Hold piece of hot dog directly in front of cat's nose for 15-45 seconds until cat realizes piece of hot dog is edible.
    5. Place piece of hot dog on ground directly in front of cat.
    6. Point to piece of hot dog. Tap on the ground several times until cat notices piece of hot dog.
    7. Wait until cat decide to eat piece of hot dog. This can take several minutes. Do not leave before cat eats piece of hot dog, or else a dog will it it in 15-45 seconds.

    Saturday, August 03, 2013

    Netgear is Stoopid

    This is not my NIC, but it sure looks like it.
    I needed drivers for my Netgear USB wireless network thingy. I know I can easily get the driver from any number of 3rd party sites, but I figure, hey, what the heck, let's give the manufacturer a try, shall we? Because I'm motherfucking optimistic.

    I hit Netgear's site and I find the device driver download page quickly and easily enough. I think, "Good for you, Netgear. Have a biscuit."

    But Netgear isn't about to let me  have my file so easily. No, no. Netgear want's something in return. Netgear wants to trade. Netgear's website informs me that I can have the driver, but first I have to register on their website, giving my name and address and email address and stuff.

    And I think, "Really Netgear? Ya gotta get all up in my grill and require a login when like, a bazillion other sites have your drivers just sitting there, no registration needed?" Is this customer service? I ask you! No really, I do.

    So now I'm like, great, I wasted my time and tried Netgear when I should have just visited a reliable 3rd party drivers site. Fuck you, optimism.

    But then I think, "Hey, maybe I can lift the driver download url directly from the page's source code." I figured it was highly unlikely that a multimillion dollar company would be foolish enough not to hide the link.

    But, as established earlier, I am an motherfucking optimist, so I looked at the source code. Did a search for ".zip" and lo and behold, there was the direct download url for my driver.

    So to sum up:
    1. Netgear makes it easy to find drivers on their site.
    2. Netgear demands your personal info in return.
    3. About a BAZILLION third-party websites have the drivers without demanding your personal info.
    Conclusion: Fuck you Netgear.

    Thursday, June 20, 2013

    Why I love the TV Show "Archer", by Asher Hunter, age 47

    [Note: I'll try to keep this spoiler free, but there are a few I can't avoid.]
    [Another Note: I refer to those involved in the show as “them” and “they”, and not to any individual creative element, because I believe the show functions as a team, and every aspect and element of the team behind “Archer” excels. All the factual information you need on the show can be found here.]

    I love "Archer" because it evolves. I tend to enthuse so much about Season 1 because I look at it through my "now" eyes instead of remembering back to my "then" eyes. It is true it took them about 6-8 episodes to really find their stride, working through some basic character elements, etc. Pam, for example, is by far NOT the person she seemed to be in the first few episodes.

    That said, they do find their groove quickly, and once they do they don't make the mistake of letting it turn into a rut. They're not afraid to offend, and yet the characters retain an essential humanity that makes me like them all. God help me, Dr. Krieger is everything I would hate in a real person, and yet love in Krieger.The jokes themselves evolve, and although they do go the same well fairly often, they always come back with a new variation on the original that keeps things fresh and organic.
    "Uta!" That's how you talk.

    The litany of bad guys has only one flaw. SO many villains I love come and go so quickly I never really have time I need to enjoy them all. I want more Conway! More Mannfred and Uta! More Spelvin and Chan(s)! Charles and Rudy! Honestly, these characters are so great it's almost a crime this show isn't spitting out spin-offs like some sort of spitting thing that spits out a lot of other things.

    Now, don't get me wrong folks, I love Ray and Woodhouse, but I'm going to focus on my favourites.

    As for the main characters:

    First of all, it's "Dr. I'll Solve Your Ant Problem."
    Dr. Krieger. I should hate this guy. Like really, really. No spoilers, but jeez, the more you find out about Krieger, the more you keep wondering why the FBI hasn't made him Public Enemy #1. And yet, for some reason, I like him. He definitely keeps things interesting. He is the Venn Diagram where chaos and science overlap.

    I didn't care for her at first, but once Pam found her backbone, I was like, wtf. Looking back, I think maybe she was playing possum at first, trying to fit in at ISIS, and keep her private life a secret. Eventually she realized that you probably can't keep secrets from spies. Luckily she had also realized everyone else working their was bat-shit crazy, she saw fit to unleash her inner bad-ass.

    It has to be your place. Mine totally reeks of ocelot piss.
    It's a damned good thing Cheryl's rich, because there's no way she could function in society without effectively-limitless wealth behind her. Her idiosyncrasies are bizarre, dangerous, unhealthy, and yet somehow cute, like say if a puppy was somehow firing a .50 caliber machine gun at a bus full of grade-school bullies.

    Now Cyril is the kind of guy I love to hate. He seems straight-forward and honest at first, but soon reveals his inner douche. His neediness and insecurity act as feedback loops guaranteeing he'll live the exact life he fears to live, and yet he seemingly revels and rejoices in his own downward spiral. So yeah, it's a laugh when bad things happen to him.

    Malory Archer I believes sets the adage: you can't be a good parent and a good spy. Malory appears to be okay with this, and has no problem enjoying making life bad for her son. Her parenting ranges from criminal neglect to deliberate, pointless cruelty, and yet she somehow manages to maintain a precariously-balanced dysfunctional relationship with those around her. I believe Malory Archer and Lucille Bluth would love meeting one another.

    Baby, I AM putting you in the corner!
    I would say Lana's the closest to an actual functioning adult at ISIS. She's bad-ass, and knows when to apply excessive force, and isn't shy about redefining the word "excessive" based on the situation. When someone acts irrationally and things get messed up as a result, Lana's among the first with a barb. However, act irrationally and somehow manage to achieve actual positive results, and Lana is smart enough to go along for the ride ... while still slinging a few piercing barbs along the way.

    Archer. I would love this guy in real life. Don't get me wrong, he's a dick, but he knows he's a dick, is happy being a dick, and doesn't really care what anyone else thinks about that. Malory's parenting provides us with the ability to still love Archer, because no matter how bizarre his behaviour gets, we can't help but believe - in light of his upbringing - that he's actually a pretty well balanced guy. And he really is a good spy. A bit like “Get Smart” was a good spy, but he gets the job done. Archer may also be autistic, which is awesome.

    Something something danger zone. I know. I'm not even trying anymore.
    Despite their various severely deformed personality flaws, I like all the main characters. First, because they're funny. Secondly, and I think most importantly, because they are, for the most part, honest about who they are. They own their idiosyncrasies proudly, and (apart from Cyril) they don't try to hide from who they are. If they do something that offends, they don't hide behind false apologies (well, except again for Cyril). Their attitude is basically: “That's right, I did do that, now what are you going to do about it?”

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    The Story of Why I Hates Me Some Chickens

    Chickens are Racist.
    I helped on my grandmother's farm for one summer. I got to know the animals. Cows are gentle and stupid. Horses are fun and surprisingly friendly. Pigs are smarter than I'm comfortable with. Goats are tough, but fair.

    But chickens are little jerks. Like, if you took the meanest girl in high school and bred her with the most psychotically violent guy and then cloned that baby over and over again, the covered the offspring with feathers and gave them beaks and very sharp claws.

    You know what chickens do when one of them gets injured? They peck it to death. You know what chickens do when one of them gets sick? They peck it to death. They fight constantly, violently. Pretty much any situation which involves a momentary disadvantage to one chicken will result in all the other chickens pecking the first chicken to death.

    When collecting eggs I learned quickly that you wore the leather gloves, not to keep bird poop off your hands (but yeah, that too, because chickens shit on EVERYTHING, including seed they themselves are eating) but to protect you from violent pecking. Because chickens want to peck you. They're not like cutesy Disney farm cartoon chickens that cluck Beethoven's Fifth as they pump out nice clean eggs. They are evil, malicious twat-demons that are, I am reasonably certain, descended directly from velociraptors.

    Even chickens hate chickens. I'm sure now and then a really nice chicken is born, but then the others peck it to death. I'm actually thankful that chickens are such little shit-Hitlers (shitlers?) because I don't feel guilty when I eat them. And it's like all that hate and anger somehow makes them very, very tasty. Which I do appreciate.

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013


    Restauranteur Cal Cooper defends from allegations his 'vegan' meals contain beef.

    ATV News, Los Angeles - Apr 24, 2013
    Is beef poisonous? Just where in the law books does it talk about irony? These are the questions being asked by Arnold Schwarz, lawyer to accused "vegan unfriendly" restauranteur, Cal Cooper. Said Mr. Schwarz, "There is no such thing as a beef allergy; people simply are not allergic to beef."

    Mr. Schwartz's defense for Mr. Cooper capitalizes on two basic facts: beef is not toxic, and irony is not a legal concept. Mr. Cooper's "Hug-A-cow" restaurant menus do clearly state that meals contain beef. Critics of this defense point out that the menu was written in a deliberately ironic style, indicating to the sophisticated reader (through frequent use of italicization and quotation marks) that meals did not contain beef. However, when read literally, paying no attention to these so-called "indicators of irony", the menus do, in fact, state that all meals contain beef.

    At the bottom of each page in the Hug-A-coW menu (a copy of which was liberated by reporters) is printed the following disclaimer.
    Warning: All 'Hug-A-cow' meals contain "beef" so delicious we call it "beef". Our "beef" contains tofu, black beans, lentils, and one extra super-secret "special" ingredient. (Don't worry allergy sufferers, there are no real secrets here. All ingredients are listed in this menu.)
    Actual Hug-A-coW Menu
    "Read literally, the menu does indeed inform the potential diner that meals contain beef," Mr. Schwartz said in defense of the menu. "While the use of quotation marks may be a literary allusion, they have no special recognition under the law."

    According to legal rights expert Professor John Connor, Mr. Schwarz is "...technically correct." Professor Connor went on to say, "While the use of italics and quotation marks may be a literary allusion indicating irony, they do not connote any particular legal meaning. Indeed, the concept of irony itself is not recognized under the law."

    As for Mr. Schwartz's health claims in regards to beef allergies, according to medical expert Dr. Lena Headey, he is right. "While an intolerance may have very similar symptoms as an allergy, they are different. Allergies produce Immunoglobin antibodies in response to the substance in question. A food intolerance does not."

    "Furthermore," Dr. Heady continued, "actual cases of food intolerance are extremely unusual, and are usually caused as the result of a tick or chigger bite. The fact is, allergies to soy and tofu are far, far more common than beef intolerance. Far, far, far, far more."

    "The facts in this case are clear," said Mr. Schwarz. "My client did not put anyone's health at risk. He did not violate any laws. The choice to be vegan is, for most, a moral decision. Moral decisions are decisions of individual choice, and individual responsibility. No business owner can be held responsible for his customers' moral and/or karmic condition."

    We spoke with Mr. August Crew, noted area vegan and one-time ardent diner at Hug-A-coW. Mr Crew is president of AMIBM (All Meat is Bad Meat), a grass-roots organization that arose in response to the discovery that their so-called vegan burgers contained very real cow flesh. AMIBM is currently considering launching a class-action lawsuit against restauranteur Cal Cooper.

    "Look, that guy, Cal? Cal Cooper? His menu is literally dripping with irony. I mean, you'd open the menu and irony would literally drip down into your lap and stain your pants. Every time Cal said the word 'beef' he would always wink, or tap his nose, you know? The whole restaurant was built out of irony."

    Can beef be declared unsafe for human consumption? Should our laws be written to take the concept of irony into consideration? These questions remain yet unanswered as state prosecutors continue to examine the case to determine whether or not to press charges.

    Hug-A-Cow is located at 819 Ocean Avenue Road, down the street from the Sun&Stroke Suntan and Personal Massage Boutique. Due to increased local demand they are now open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 1 am, Saturday from 7 am to 2 am, and Sundays from 10 am to 11 pm. Reservations are strongly recommended.

    Photo Credit: uhuru1701 via Compfight cc

    Saturday, April 20, 2013

    Top 10 Tips for Success

    Success. It's important, because without success, nobody would know who was better than whom. So, if success = yes, then how do you and I gain success? What are the steps to success? Can I google map it? If not, is there a place where I can learn how to success? The answer is yes to all those questions, no to several you didn't ask, and none of your gosh-darned business to that one you were thinking about in the shower.

    Follow these tips and you will be rolling in it. For Real.
    So wait no more. Just look below and read these, the Top 10 Tips for Success, which are more-or-less guaranteed* to make you successful beyond your wildest dreams of avarice. Which is a good thing.

    1. Don't Think - Do It! Take risks! Risks are fun, and profitable, and often times lead to orgasms. If you want something, go for it! Do not try and justify every action you make. Morality is just a word, and if we didn't have dictionaries we wouldn't even know what it meant, so ergo morals are stupid. Why settle for safe and secure when you can have more than you need or deserve? Why ask yourself "What If"? Instead, ask yourself "Why the fuck not?"

    2. Make your Own Opportunities. Why wait for opportunity to knock? Head outside, figure out which door he's currently knocking on, and take the success-hoarding whoremonger out from behind.

    3. Have a Plan. Plans are good. Especially escape plans. That's just like, rule number one. Ok, it's rule number 3 here, but still. Have a plan, and stick with it. Never improvise, because that means your plan failed, and that means you're a failure, and that means your dad was right about you. Set goals that are just a little bit out of your reach, as unachievable expectations fuel your psychosis drive to succeed.

    4. Stay Motivated. Find the parts of you that are lazy and unproductive and kill them with your motivation. When you start getting what you want you may be tempted to slow down and actually enjoy them. Fuck that. Keep your eyes on the prize, the prize being that aforementioned unattainable and unrealistic goal that prevents you from actually reaping the benefits of your hard work.

    5. Be Patient. Rome wasn't built in a day, but it only took Alaric the Visigoth three days to sack it.

    6. Reward Yourself. As we work and strive to obtain our deepest desires we often forget to stop and reward ourselves for doing what we want in the first place. Each time you reward yourself, try to outdo the last reward in style, value and substance. Remember, this is your own love you're buying, so don't be stingy!

    7. Do not Stop Learning. Learning may sound stupid, but smart people take things from stupid people like, all the time. Even if you already think you know everything, chances are someone knows something you don't, and you need to know that thing if you are going to use it against them.

    8. Learn to Delegate. It's surprising how much unpaid labour you can get out of friends and family, especially if you use words like "favour" and "a quick hand" rather than "help me move" or "collate those for me".

    9. Raise your Standards. Always live one step above what you can actually afford. Money is attracted to money, and the richer people think you are, the more things they will give you for nothing. No matter what you achieve, you deserve better. No matter what car you drive, you really wanted the one you couldn't quite afford.

    10. Be Thankful. No, seriously. Stop laughing. Be thankful you're one of the achievers, the gainers, the leaders and drivers of society, and not some useless bearded tit who thinks it's funny to make fun of people who could buy and sell him.

    * Far, far more less than more. Like 90% less. Well, 100% less to be more or less totally honest. This guarantee is in no way shape or form a guarantee.

    Saturday, April 06, 2013

    Faux-Faux Pas! So-Called "Vegan" Restaurant Caught Carving Cow!

    ATV News, Los Angeles - Apr 7, 2013

    When Cal Cooper first opened his all-vegan restaurant Hug-A-coW last year, neighbourhood residents were thrilled. While there were already many restaurants in the area offering a large and varied vegan selection, Hug-A-coW was the first to restaurant to cater entirely to vegan-only cuisine.

    "The vegan Shamburger was incredible," says Dakota Washington, a local-area dental hygienist. "You could not tell the difference between the Shamburger and real meat."

    This turned out to be more true than Dakota and other area-residents could have imagined. Independent laboratory analysis of a Hug-A-cow "Shamburger", obtained undercover, indicate there's a lot more going between the gluten-free buns (which, incidentally, tests indicate contain gluten) than just tofu.

    After spectrograph analysis and testing, we have determined that the provided sample contains primarily 100% Grade-A, extra-lean, high quality cow meat." This according Dr. Samuel Snakopan, a gastric microbiologist at UCLA. "There's some other stuff in there too, like some onion, garlic, a surprising amount of bread crumbs, and a very small amount of what we are pretty sure is parsley. So to be fair, it's not entirely 100% non-vegan either."

    Be that as it may, many local vegans have a mock-beef with Hug-A-Cow owner Mr. Cal Cooper. Mr. Cooper himself could not be reached for comment, releasing only a brief press release through his lawyers.

    "While Mr. Cooper does not acknowledge or even necessarily believe that these vile and hateful claims are true, he does hasten to point out that beef isn't actually poisonous or anything."
    Photo-insert from a menu liberated from Hug-A-coW.

    Unfortunately the Shamburger was not the only ersatz-pseudo-meat on the menu. Another local favourite was the Mis-steak and Kidney-Bean Pie which, according to the menu, contained soy, kidney beans, and other tasty vegetables.

    Said Dr. Snakopan, "It's got steak and kidneys in it."

    Local residents have been picketing Hug-A-coW ever since word first hit the streets some three days earlier. Protests have been mostly peaceful, but tempers have flared from time to time, with several reported incidents of pushing, pinching, and hurtful name-calling.

    One resident, Mr. August Crew, went so far as to stage an impromptu one-man show on the restaurant's front step. The performance was largely allegorical, with a surprising amount of dancing, and ended as Mr. Crew pretended to eat  a Shamburger, put his finger down his throat, and vomited on the front door of the establishment.

    Samples of Mr. Crew's vomit were later presented to Dr. Snakopan at UCLA. "Subject's vomit contained soybacon, tofurkey, some actual meat, pasta, a baked potato, and some gum. And, for some reason, a button."

    Some of the more passionate vegans amongst the protesters have formed a grass-roots organization known as AMIBM, or "All Meat is Bad Meat". There are rumors amongst the picketers that AMIBM may be considering launching a possible class-action lawsuit against Mr. Cooper. When asked if they had chosen legal representation, August Crew, Chairman of AMIBM, said, "While lawyers are throbbing parasitic leaches attached to society's teat, there comes a time when someone does something so vile, so abhorrent, that the only sensible thing to do is to throw him into a pit full of throbbing parasitic leaches."

    Hug-A-Cow is located at 819 Ocean Avenue Road, down the street from the Sun&Stroke Suntan and Personal Massage Boutique. They are open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 11pm, Saturday from 7 am to 1 am, and Sundays from 1 pm to 7 pm. Reservations are recommended, but not required.

    Photo Credit: uhuru1701 via Compfight cc

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    The Answer, My Friend, Is Blowing in the Wind (Mobile, that is)

    I've had a cellphone with Wind for a couple of years. I've been generally happy with their service, even though coverage has been spotty at best. However, I loved the price - $40 a month. That covered unlimited calling in North America as well as a whole bunch of bells and whistles, but the important thing from my perspective was the unlimited data plan. Because I am a data whore, and I'm an all-you-can-eat kind of data whore.

    I hate the in ridiculous price gouging that most major cell phone providers engage in when charging for internet access. When I got my Wind phone, I checked around, and the cheapest comparable plan with unlimited data was $95/month with Bell. Wind was a great deal.

    Times change. Now pretty much everyplace I go has free wi-fi. I didn't really need the data plan anymore. I decided to change my monthly Wind plan to the $20/month plan. Like a virgin on her wedding night, I asked myself, "How hard could it be"?

    I went to Wind's website. I read webpages, I looked in faqs, I used the site's help and search features. Nowhere could I figure out how to change my plan online. There was a LOT of useful information about how I could sign up if I wasn't already a customer, but I couldn't find out how to change plans if you were already signed up. Which I was. So the website couldn't help me, but if I wasn't already a customer, it could have helped me. I guess Wind prefers to stress "potential customer service" over actual customer service.

    So I sent them an email. Wind responded promptly the next day, telling me I had to call the customer service number and they could change my plan for me. So I called customer service number. A nice recorded message came on telling me that, instead of bothering a nice Wind agent, I could go to their website and do whatever it was I had to do online. This annoyed me a tad, because (a) the website had already failed me, and (b) I just want to talk to person, dammit.

    After being gently scolded for not doing my business online, I was allowed to access the automated menu. I listened patiently to the options. Then I listened to the options again. Then I listened to the options a third time. Nothing about changing plans. The closest I could come was "If you are a new customer and would like to sign up for Wind mobile, Press 5". I pressed 5, and got a person right away, whom I will call Steven. Even though I wasn't a new customer, Steven was happy to help me.

    Here's a bit of background: my old plan was $40 a month, billed monthly, on a pay as you go basis. The great thing with Wind is there's no contract, so if you don't pay the bill one month, the only thing that happens is your phone doesn't work for that month. If you top up half way through, you're charged a pro-rated rate for the remaining time in the month, which is quite fair.

    I hadn't paid for the month of Feb 13-Mar13 (my billing period) until today, so the automated system  charged me $13.00 for service (that's prorated for 3 days of service). I tried to change my plan before I paid, but I was told that I had to have an active account in order to close it and change to another account. Don't ask me why.

    So I paid $13 to get my phone working, and called Wind and finally reached Steven. I asked Steven to change my plan from the $40/month to the $20/month. He said sure, no problem. Very polite fellow. He clicks a few buttons then tells me "We'll have to add an account activation surcharge (or some such gobbledygook), so with your next month's payment, surcharge and taxes, that will be $31.00".

    I was confused. I explained to Steven that I just paid $13 not twenty minutes ago. I told him I was changing to a plan that costs $20, so it seemed to me like you take my 13, subtract it from 20, and I owe you seven bucks.

    I can't exactly replicate what Steven said next, because frankly it wasn't making much sense. What it did boil down to was Wind was going to just keep my $13 bucks I had paid not 20 minutes earlier. That was gone. Then they were going to close my old plan, open a new plan charged at $20 a month, then charge me a further $11.00 penalty.

    "No sir, it's not a penalty, it's an activation fee," says Steven, one presumes with a straight face.

    "Well Steven, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and costs me $24 bucks like a duck, it's a penalty. You're really starting to make Koodoo sound like a good idea."


    "Well sir, I will tell you, what I can do for you today sir is I will close your old plan and apply your $13.00 to a new $20/month plan. You will be charged $7.00 for the difference."

    "Thank you Steven. Let's do that."

    It saddens me that I had to threaten to change to another company to get reasonable help. Wind, why must you make "customer service" a house of lies?

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    ROMINS (Reviews of Movies I've Never Seen): Les Misérables (Semi NSFW)

    Nell Misérables
    Wow. I have to admit, I have never been so moved by a movie I have never seen before. Right from the beginning, people talking about how stirring Les Misérables is grabs hold of your heart and wrings every bitter-sweet drop of joy/sorrow from your heart, then fills it up again with sadness and death. Quite uplifting.

    Les Misérables tells the story of Becky, a young French Prostitute and part-time kiln played quite ably by television's Nell Carter. Becky had trained in school to be a nanny, but had all chance of a normal life stolen from her by an unfortunate accident involving a footstool, a hand mirror, and a vat of chemical lobotomy fluid.

    Forced into a life on the streets, young Becky runs into Fagan or something (played by Wolverine). They get up to all sorts of shenanigans, comical kerfuffles, and humorous hullabaloos, but always remember to take time to get deeply depressing again and sing about it.

    Watch for cameos from such famous people as Christopher Lee as Captain Fancypants (Note: The scenes starring Captain Fancypants were later cut from the finished film. Rumour has it, Mr. Lee was furious), John Stamos as Mr. Inexplicablynude, and John Travolta as the Magical Revolving Outhouse, who sings the stirring "How Long Before Jersey Shore does Porn?".

    Apparently before Les Misérables was a movie, it was a big hit with the musical theatre folks on Broadway. Of course, back then it was called "Sweeney Todd", only when they made the movie they took out the bits about  killing and eating people. I think. Come to think of it, there were some hungry people in Les Misérables, and some of them do disappear without any kind of explanation...

    I give this movie two thumbs down, in the traditional Roman way.