Friday, January 25, 2008

You've Reached 911. If you have just discovered an unresponsive body, please hang up now and call an Olsen twin

NYPD: 4 Calls to Olsen Instead of 911

Heath Ledger's death is tragic. For that reason, and pretty much only that reason, I'm not going to continue the riff about the Olsens or any of the Full House cast members. I could, oh I could, but I choose not to. You're welcome.

Instead I'll suggest you, if you are ever faced with even a vaguely similar situation, call 911 first and your mutual acquaintance second.

Please apply the same rule to car accidents with injuries. Please call 911 first and your spouse second.

Pretty please?

One more thing about Heath Ledger's death: it brings to mind the death of another young actor, Brandon Lee. Perhaps it's the curse of the make up artists.

Heath Ledger as The Joker

Brandon Lee in The Crow

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

Here's the response to my request for old watches. Fantastic, you guys are great. Special thanks to LC !!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

All Tied Up - My Take

To Untie or Not To Untie... Here's the question

My thoughts:

1) I am certain I would call 911.

2) In the time it took for the phone to be answered I would take a look around and confirm where I am. This is a must. There are so many folks who call without knowing where they are.

3) I’m pretty sure I’d stay there, definitely if I was in a vehicle. My dog is little and she’s blind so she would not provide me any security.

4) My personal security trumps the security of the tied up person. I am not going to walk into the garage. No effin’ way. I’m happy to call for help right freakin’ now but I’m not going to put myself in a house not my own where the bad guy is potentially still there.

5) I’m not so sure I’d untie the person in the car. Here’s why:

a) it’s a crime scene

b) in my jurisdiction, help will be there pretty darn quick

c) someone took the time to tie this person up. Was it so this person wouldn’t get away or was it so the other person *could* get away.

If you see an older white male with kind eyes and excellent diction tied to a hand-truck do you think it’s robbery victim grandpa or that it’s Hannibal Lecter?

Which then leads me to think about race and age. Would my actions change based upon these things? I’d hope not but I honestly think I might make a snap judgment based upon the subject’s number of tattoos, piercings, and clothing choices. Does this make me a bad person?

Dunno but it makes me a cautious person. How about you?

~~ And to answer John: these scenarios are based upon real events. In the style of Car Talk Puzzlers, I've added a heaping helping of obfuscation. This is to avoid the potential of spilling beans.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

All Tied Up

These situations are fictional. Any resemblance to past, present, or future situations are completely coincidental. That being said, what would you do?

Situation #1: Say you are walking your dog and notice a neighbor’s garage door is partially open. Nothing else appears amiss so you continue your walk. Several hours later you walk the dog again and the garage door has not been closed. Being curious you look, from the street, under the door and notice someone tied to a chair which has been knocked over. The person is squirming to untie him or herself.

Situation #2: As you drive out of your neighborhood you notice a car parked along the road. There’s nothing special about the car but the fact that it’s parked along the road instead of in a driveway makes it more noticeable. When you drive back home hours later the car is still there so you drive past more slowly and look inside. In the back seat you see a subject hog-tied and when they see that you have stopped, they look at you pleadingly.

I’m going to assume that you are going to call 911 in both situations. This is not a business-line police call and I’m assuming you agree that you shouldn’t just go home and blog about it without rendering some sort of aid.

Under those rules, I have a couple of questions and they apply to both situations:

Assuming the subject was restrained but not having any difficulty breathing would you attempt to untie the person?

Would it make a difference whether the person was a male or a female?

Would it make a difference whether the person was a young adult or an elderly person?

Would it make a difference whether the person was Caucasian or a minority? Would any particular minority change your mind?

I have definite thoughts but I’m curious what YOU think.

photo: Severance - British Horror Movie

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's Too Cold For Little Paws

Yeah, she hated this at first but it has been below zero for a couple of days and her little feet freeze pretty quickly when she walks through snow (which she likes to do). It's either this or have to carry her home mid-walk.

And the booties are a crowd pleaser.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Toilet Bowl

Mr. Pasta needed a suitable trophy for the person in last place in his fantasy football league. Mrs. Pasta was unable to find a Barbie toilet bowl or some similar gag gift without purchasing the whole Barbie interior design and home decorating package. She offered me the challenge of creating a Toilet Bowl trophy.

and here it is:

I'll add that the lack of refinement and precision in the toilet bowl itself is actually on purpose. I can't very well spend a week sanding and buffing and reworking a last place trophy, can I?

The trophy base itself was purchased at Value Village for $1.99 and originally included a big silver guy bowling. Of course I kept the bowler. One never knows when he'll need to create something involving a silver guy bowling.

Friday, January 11, 2008 + TLG*GREATFN = I'm still angry

What really pisses me off about being suckered by TLG*GREATFN, Trilegiant,, or whatever they call themselves is that we walked into a transaction with clean hands and were burned.

It would be different if I was buying, for instance, used panties online. After all, if one traffics in used panties one can expect some shitty service.* Similarly you cannot expect great customer service and integrity from your drug dealer or favorite prostitute.

But my lovely bride was buying SHOES! Not even some kind of crazy expensive Sex in the City shoes, just plain ol’ Skechers knock-around shoes.

So it’s especially off-pissing** that it would be a shoe distributor who would try to screw the citizenry by sneaking in a shady deal by TLG*GREATFN, Trilegiant,, or whatever they call themselves.

Can you tell that this irritates me to no end?


*I’m not even apologizing for this pun.

** “off pissing” is probably not grammatically correct but it should be

Thursday, January 10, 2008

TLG*GREATFN = Sneaky Sons of Bitches, part 2

Yesterday Kelli called Trilegiant Great Fun to cancel the bogus monthly membership fee foisted upon her when she attempted to buy shoes at and boy howdy was it fun.

She reached a lovely woman who identified herself as Rachel. Evidently Bangalore, India Television must carry reruns of ‘Friends.’

‘Rachel’ asked Kelli why she wanted to cancel her membership. Kelli said that it was because she was tricked into it, don’t want it, never wanted it, and believes it’s a scam.

“Bearing that in mind,” read ‘Rachel’ from her computer-prompted sales script, “do you realize that by continuing your membership that you can save 50% on blah, blah, yadda, yadda, eep op ork ah ah…”

“I realize it and still don’t want it,” Kelli replied.

“Bearing that in mind,” ‘Rachel' continued undeterred, “we’ll continue the membership, okay?”

Kelli paused just a second, gobsmacked by the incredible gall of these people.

“No. No, I don’t want to continue the membership. I called to cancel the membership so I want the membership cancelled and I want that $11.99 charge refunded to my card. And I’d like that done now, thank you.”

At that point 'Rachel' agreed to cancel the membership and refund the money. But still…

Avoid these folks and avoid the companies that are affiliated with them, which I now understand include:,,,,, and possibly and

Oh and say you want $20 in free gas from Exxon / Mobil :

Simple & Secure Enrollment with Continuous Savings, Easy Billing, and a Money-Back Guarantee. Try the service with the first month, for $1. Your membership will be extended automatically for an additional eleven months at the $119.99 annual membership fee, and automatically renewed annually at the then-current fee, billed to the credit or debit card you provide unless you call toll free during your 1 month trial to cancel. You can call any time to cancel and get the unused portion of your then-current annual fee returned. The $20.00 ExxonMobil Cash Card is yours to keep.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

TLG*GREATFN = Sneaky Sons of Bitches

Kelli was balancing her checkbook Sunday and came across an $11.99 charge on her debit card from a company called TLG*GREATFN posted 1/02/08. Since the 2nd was a Wednesday and we run a lot of errands on Wednesdays, she was only curious at first which one of the couple of stops we made bill their charges as TLG*GREATFN. We conferred and couldn’t think of anything. She called the 800 number listed on the bill but only reached a recording saying that Great Fun was not open on Sundays.

By then we were a little concerned about credit card fraud so we looked up TLG*GREATFN on the internet. Bingo. It turns out many people have found charges ranging from $8.99 to $111.99 on their cards and have tracked it back to buying products online from,, et al.

Kelli ordered a pair of shoes from in November. Several weeks later they emailed her saying that the shoes were out of stock and they order had been canceled.

Upon further review she remembered that after her order had been completed on there was a pop-up window offering a $10 rebate on her shoes. Had she opted out of this offer there would have been no problem but the fine print, which she admittedly didn’t read thoroughly, said that the $10 rebate was courtesy not of but of this company called Trilegiant. By leaving the opt-in box checked on that pop-up, Kelli agreed to try out a membership service which offers discounts on blah, blah, blah – certainly nothing in Alaska – and that while the first month was free there would be a monthly charge and they would use the SAME CREDIT CARD SHE USED ON SHOEBUY.COM.

One little checkbox authorized them to take the credit card info from one company and use it for theirs.

Is this fraud? Probably not. There was some fine print and we could have opted out.

But is it ethical? No Fucking Way. They obviously count on people not canceling their subscription and not noticing such a small monthly charge. Fuckers. If you Google TLG*GREATFN you’ll see how many loudmouthed people they’ve taken. I can only guess there have been many many more that haven’t posted online about their difficulties. The only positive comments I’ve read mention that they remembered to cancel in time so it was worth their effort for the $10 rebate.

How’s that for a ringing endorsement of a product? “I didn’t mind because I canceled their service immediately. “ That should be their company motto.

We immediately disputed the charge and are in the process of contacting Trilegiant to cancel the service which we never used and didn’t want.

Sooooo. Two lessons learned:

1) We’ll both be very careful that when buying products online we are only ordering the product in question and not some added “service” at a monthly fee. Those rat bastards at Trilegiant are not going to get any money from us.

2) Neither is,, or any other e-merchants who have any relationship with Trilegiant. If we see a pop up offering us anything after the fact, we’ll cancel the original order and find another place to buy our products even if it costs us more money.

And one lesson reinforced:

Check your bank statements and question yourself about those little charges.

Don’t let the bastards win!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Skinny G for VP ?

This is going to be a fun year. We’ll have a new president.

At this point (and yes it’s very early still) it appears that no candidate is either all that innovative or exciting. However, it also appears that unless something crazy happens our new president will be less arrogant and more responsive that the current administration.

That’s me being polite.

One exciting thing is that our own governor: Sarah "Skinny White Chocolate Latte Gets It All Over Town" Palin (aka "Skinny G") has been mentioned as a possible running-mate to the eventual Republican candidate.

The thinking is this: Republicans have an image of being old, male, and corrupt. Skinny G is young, female, and is so ethical that the Alaska Republican party disowns her at every opportunity (because she’s called them out on their corruption).

Plus, in comparison to all the other Republican candidates, she’s smokin’ hot.
Everyone but Romney is pretty ugly and Romney seems a little plastic.

A lot of folks see Mitt Romney and think “Big Love”

but I see him and think “Nip/Tuck.”

And if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, how better to undercut her femininity than to provide your own female – but younger, prettier, and with less scent of corruption?

I’m not a Republican but I voted for Skinny G with great enthusiasm. I’d likely do it again in a Presidential election.

On the other hand, if it comes down to Clinton vs Guiliani or Clinton vs Huckabee, I'm going be hard pressed who to vote *against*. Obama is an interesting candidate and I'd vote for him but we'll see if he can pull off the rest of the primaries.

I think I'd actually become a campaign volunteer if I was offered the bold bipartisan ticket of Edwards/Palin.

Johnny E and Skinny G.

Has a nice ring to it, don't it?