Will the Comcast/Time Warner Merger Result in Better Customer Service?

Will the Comcast/Time Warner Merger Result in Better Customer Service?

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The website Funny or Die has done it again, putting out a short of how most of us figure Comcast really feels about us, the customer. Yes, there is a merger coming between Comcast and Time Warner which results in a company where competition really isn’t an issue. Much like there wasn’t a choice in phone companies, and there really isn’t that much of a difference now even with all of the “breakup of the telephone monopoly” from way back when, we are at the mercy of the major players when it comes to cable TV or internet service. Really, what are you going to do? Sure, you can go for the digital antenna and still get broadcast TV, sort of if you aren’t that close to your city, and a company called Aereo, who had an interesting way of trying to bring broadcast TV to people who wanted to get rid of their cable TV, now finds itself heading to the Supreme Court to protect their business model, but when all is said and done, until the next technology breakthrough comes along, we are tied to the giants with the infrastructure, and political contributions.

Funny or Die probably gets it right in the video below, and really, why should Comcast, or Time Warner for that matter, care about us that much. We need them, they have us by the balls, and they really, probably don’t give much of a F&%k. I know the answer is probably moot, but I would like to hope it gets better. I wonder: Will the Comcast/Time Warner merger result in better customer service?

That’s it for this one! I’m Andy!! L8R!!!

Do You Think Warren Buffet Would Start a Chain Letter?

It’s been going around for years, at least in some version, and it starts something like, “Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list…”, and then there is the text of a purported, proposed Constitutional Amendment asking for Congressional reform.

This email goes around and then gets forwarded by lots of people on Facebook just about every time our wonderful members of Congress seem to get their panties all in a bunch and can’t seem to agree, or get along, or get work done. There is a lot of finger-pointing, a bunch of name-calling, and along with that a lot of people complaining about congress, wanting something done, and then forgetting the mess come election time. This time it’s going around thanks to the government shutdown, the closing of memorials so even Veterans can’t visit, and the impending “hitting the debt ceiling” which seems to come around every year lately.

The thing is people seem to have a short memory as this email, according to Snopes, has been circulating in one form or another since 2009, and then enhanced when yes, Warren Buffet did do an interview on CNBC commenting about how members of Congress should be ineligible for re-election when there is a deficit problem. The thing is, since the Buffet quote about the 3% deficit problem is technically true, Snopes lists the quote as “True”, but I’m going to guess most people fail to read the rest of the Snopes analysis detailing the falseness with the rest of the email, and the supplemental link to the deconstructing of the proposed amendment and most importantly, whether or not Warren Buffet asked people to share the email.

I used to tell people when they forward things that they are fake, or partially fake in this case, but most of the times they just seem mad that I corrected them, sometimes write back something like “Well, he should have said this.”, or just don’t care, so I’ve pretty much tried to stop the urge to tell people to stop forwarding things that aren’t true. I was going to plight more along the lines of “Do you care if you send emails that aren’t true?”, but I’ve found most people don’t care, so instead I’m going with “Do you think Warren Buffet would start a chain letter?”

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Has a Music Video Ever Ruined a Song for You?

This plight makes me admit a few things I don’t know if I really want to out here on the internet. First off I’m a fan of girl pop music. Yes, I’ve been a Deborah Gibson fan back when she was Debbie, like me some Avril Lavigne, and yes, you can catch me singing some Miley Cyrus every now and then. Miley Cyrus’ latest “in the spotlight” escapades aside, I’m usually able to separate the crazy from the music, and for whatever reason I’ve been liking her song “Wrecking Ball” that has been hitting the airwaves, not to be confused with the Bruce Springsteen anthem, “Wrecking Ball.” The Miley song is catchy, in that girl pop kind of way, and then there was talk about the video, how Miley gets naked, and this, that, and the other thing. Not really caring that much, and with MTV not airing videos anymore, I didn’t really try to search it out.

Then the other morning I was up early, popped the Vevo (The go-to place for music videos now) on, and decided I would catch up with some music video watching while I was doing some writing. There on the menu was the Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball” video. Deciding I should see what all of the hubbub was about I decided to watch it, and I have to say I don’t know if I can listen to the song anymore as I think the video ruined the song for me.

Sure, Miley was in her short hair (which I don’t like), in underwear, and sometimes naked, in a video with a wrecking ball and a sledge hammer, and she’s slithering around, which is fine. Then she starts that creepy “tongue sticking out” thing that had grossed everyone out when she was on the VMA’s, and this weird sneer thing is going on as well. I know I’m an older dude now, and maybe I’m slowly losing touch with the youngins, but the entire video just creeped me out, and her prancing around in her underwear just didn’t come off sexy at all. That and the fact that it’s just a crappy music video for a song that actually had some potential to make a decent music video.

The bummer part now is that whenever the song comes on the radio all I’m going to think of is Miley, with that tongue, licking the wrecking ball. Sure, she needs to grow up and out of her Hannah Montana persona, but hopefully she’ll get over this phase quickly, or stop making videos, or else I’m going to have to turn to radio station so the image doesn’t make me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth. I’m also worried that she has the potential to now ruin Saturday Night Live for me, as she’s hosting and singing, and if there is a lot of tongue wagging I have a feeling I won’t be able to watch. Miley, please stop with the tongue!

With the song “Wrecking Ball” now ruined by a slithering Miley and her tongue (an hopefully not Saturday Night Live this weekend), I’m plighting: Has a music video ever ruined a song for you?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Did you eat something off of a barbecue grill on Labor Day?

It was almost a weird Labor Day for me as the unthinkable almost happened. Sure, it was the “official” end of summer with the Labor Day Weekend coming and going, and although there might be another chance or two for another summer-time corn dog (best chance right now is something called Sandwich Fair here in Illinois, also known as the Dekalb County Fair, but we’ll see), this year’s final corn dog came about thanks to Naperville’s Last Fling, where they actually had hand-dipped corn dogs, though still not as good as the Channahon Three Rivers Festival.

As things are wont to do, though, my wife and I started to have our discussion about dinner, and at first things centered around things not barbecue. There was some talk about chicken parmesan, I thought a little bit about pizza in my head, but then, thankfully, things turned around and went to hamburgers and macaroni salad, the latter thanks to a sample at Trader Joe’s, and the former being a perfect combination for the latter. And, oh yea, our other local grocery story had sweet corn at 10 for $1.00, so corn also became an option.

And so, my summer finished off with hamburgers topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, onion, and tomato, with grilled corn and macaroni salad on the side, and all became well with the world, but I wondered, and so I plight: Did you eat something off of a barbecue grill on Labor Day?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Did You Try to Watch the MTV VMA’s Online?

So it’s a Sunday night, and I find myself not being able to watch MTV on TV and remember it’s the night of the VMA’s. That’s right, the Video Music Awards. What am I to do? How am I to catch the likes of a Lady Gaga, a Katy Perry, a rumored *nsync reunion complete with Justin Timberlake? As I have a decent internet connection I do some quick online searching and every news story seems to say that MTV will have a live stream of the VMA’s, and I thought, “Sweet! I’ll just watch the show online!” I head to the MTV.com site, there is some kind of All Access feed, and I’m ready for some awards! “Hmm? This is peculiar.”, I think to myself, “Did I click the right feed? All I’m getting are these weird camera views that I could care less about. What the hell is this Stage Manager cam? I don’t care about the audience. Where’s my Gaga?!?!?” I try again. And again. And because I keep thinking I’m clicking something wrong I head back to some of the news stories that had links to the VMA feed. I click. I get the same feed of everything except the actual awards, only in the corner of the video is a view of the awards, but no sound, saying to watch on MTV.

All I can now think is that MTV either screwed up their feed online, or they did a great job of hoodwinking every news outlet, saying they were going to have a live feed of the VMA’s, but not explaining that it won’t actually be a feed of the show, but rather feeds of camera views no one really cares about, unless, of course, Will Smith was caught picking his nose on the Audience cam.

And so it was a night when I realized why I really don’t like MTV any longer. I guess, mostly, it’s because they don’t show music videos like they actually used to, and that they haven’t had a decent TV show in years, but thankfully the company Vevo is starting to take over the video market, and actually show me everything from a Gaga, to Iggy Pop.

The press people for MTV did a great job at getting people to actually go to their site to watch the VMA’s. I’m thinking they also did a great job at pissing off 99% of the people who went to their site actually trying to watch the VMA’s. Either way, I’m plighting: Did you try to Watch the MTV VMA’s Online?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Have You Posted a Review in an App Store?

I have a few apps in the Apple app store. For a shameless plug, head to the App Store and check them out. It’s kind of a hobby. Some people collect stamps, others go bowling (That went away for me with my “bowler’s knee” as I call it), while I play around with some iPhone app development. I am a geek, I suppose.

I only bring this up because I’m also a fan of apps, and a fan, usually, of when apps get updated, but it always boggles my mind when updating, or rather full redesigns occur, and there doesn’t seem to be any real testing of the core features of the app, or understanding the repercussions of changing an app. One app I regularly use is called Remember the Milk, and about a year ago they did a full redesign. I originally didn’t like the redesign, but much like Facebook changing things, if it’s something we use all of the time, and we like the core concept, we’ll get used to it, and eventually I got over it and am still a fan of the app. The thing was, in the end, it worked like it was supposed to.

There were updates to two app recently that for whatever reason I keep following the slew of 1 star comments on. The first is for a local grocery store, Jewel-Osco, that recently changed ownership. Their old app had a function where you could reorder your prescription, which I guess was easier than using the automated phone feature, but what do I know because my prescription is on auto-refill so they just call me every month and say my pills are ready. The new app took away the prescription reordering feature and people are livid. Comments of the app being useless now, comments of why they changed it, comments of they suck, and out of 52 ratings there are 2 at five stars, 1 at three stars, 1 at two stars, and 48 at one star of people upset they can’t refill their pills any longer with the app.

The other app I regularly use is called OverDrive Media Console. It’s used mostly to read digital version of library books. They, too, recently did a full re-design of their app, and again, people don’t like it. Sure, there are some that don’t like the new look, although most see to be able to get over it. The problem with their redesign is that this is one they didn’t seem to do much testing on as some of the core functionality that was present in the old version, namely touching the end of the screen to change a page, or the page changing at a relatively normal speed, are gone. Complaints about slow page turning, about having to “swipe” to turn the page which then sometimes causes the sidebar to appear instead of turning the page, and about how audiobook listening is practically non-functional, among others, seem to be the majority of the complaints. The interesting thing I find, though, is that the OverDrive folks seem to have a slew of people posting questionable reviews because along with the 81 ratings of one star, pretty much saying the new version sucks, there are 47 votes of five stars with reviews stating that this is the best app, ever.

I’m not sure why, but things like this fascinate me.

I get a few reviews for my apps. Nothing crazy, some people like them, some don’t, but I always do my best to at least make sure any revisions are functional, and test updates on everything from my iPhone version 1 to the latest one out there just to know how slow/fast/if things work things are. Sometimes, though, I think testers are only on the latest and greatest device and forget that there are thousands of users still on older devices, and they are probably going to piss them off. Now, I haven’t submitted any ratings for apps, nor reviews, although I am tempted to write one for the OverDrive app as I’m having the same problem as the 81 people who now hate the app, but with my thought to post a review, I plight: Have you posted a review in an app store?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


Is it Wrong to Think “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity!” before Saying “Amen”?

Last week a buddy of mine on Facebook was in a posting mood and for most of his musings he was finding a “shmoyoho” songified video (Gun control), or the “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” Sweet Brown classic to go with a thought. It was the “Smash, Smash, Smash” post, however, that spurred me to finally chime in and defend Justin Bieber, and also link to one of my favorite auto-tuned clips, namely Pastor Joe Nelms giving a prayer at a NASCAR race, where he so lovingly comments about his “smokin’ hot wife,” and liked to proclaim “Boogity, boogity, boogity! Amen!”

As it is quite a catchy tune, and having watched it again just before going to church, I couldn’t help but find myself humming it, whistling it, and all around annoying my wife with it on the way to mass. Then, as the service was going on, I was, in my head, trying to fit “Boogity, boogity, boogity!” into my thoughts prior to every time I said “Amen!” I thought to myself how much more enjoyable a mass would be should we change the proper response from a plain, ol’ “Amen,” to now including the “boogity,” but then I thought maybe I should head right to the confessional as, when I get to The Pearly Gates, there would be St. Peter, and I would either be met with him humming and smiling along, and welcoming me in, or cursing me for getting the song stuck in his head and pointing me in the other direction.

Alas, as mass was ending, and not really wanting to annoy our Pastor with the question, I simply decided to plight: Is it Wrong to Think “Boogity, boogity, boogity!” before saying “Amen”?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Does a Waffle Taco Sound Appetizing?

Okay, to be fair, it isn’t really a taco as you are thinking, that being a waffle, shaped like a taco shell, and filled with taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and some hot sauce. Nope, Taco Bell has been trying out this thing they are calling a “Waffle Taco” because they, too, are looking to get into the breakfast market. The sad thing is, to me, the thing actually sounds kind of tasty, in a gross kind of way, kind of like the McGriddle concept at McDonald’s.  It seems the “Taco Waffle” is a waffle, and yes, shaped like a taco shell, but filled with breakfast goodness like scrambled eggs, sausage, and a side of syrup. I guess it’s been a hit in Southern California, and Taco Bell is now expanding their test markets to fast food meccas like Nebraska and Tennessee. I’m going to guess it’s going to be a hit in those locals as well, which means, coming soon to a Taco Bell near you, breakfast food, including a Waffle Taco.

I guess my plight question is a little misleading because if you just read it, well, it might sound gross and not tasty, but in any case, I’m plighting: Does a Waffle Taco sound appetizing?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Do You Eat Cereal for Breakfast?

I waiver on my choice of food for breakfast. As a kid growing up my breakfast could range from about 10 Chips Ahoy! cookies and a tall glass of milk, to Pop-Tarts (Usually chocolate something or other), and then a cereal kick with my favorites being Frosted Flakes, Count Chocula, and the occasional Frosted Mini Wheat, or Cheerios with about a teaspoon of sugar. Growing older things got a little different as for the longest time I was in a “two eggs with a piece of wheat toast” phase, and then my wife convinced me I should go back to cereal, so Cheerios it was, only this time it’s plain, no sugar, that is unless it’s Halloween time in which case I’m back to Count Chocula. I guess I only bring this up because as I was grabbing for my box of cereal this morning, on the Cheerios’ box, it read “Carefully selected oats that can help LOWER CHOLESTEROL.” There was the part of me wondering how they actually carefully select the oats, and I’m always leery of their boasting the lowering cholesterol wondering if it is actually the carefully selected oats causing the lower cholesterol, or is it because when someone who has been having a crappy diet for the longest time, including, maybe, eggs and buttered toast for breakfast, and they start eating healthier, wouldn’t their cholesterol naturally go down? Was their study conducted on people who only changed what they ate for breakfast? Why do I really care since my cholesterol has always been fine?

I guess it doesn’t really matter too much, as long as I’m eating breakfast, but I do wonder, and so I plight: Do you eat cereal for breakfast?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Can You Tie a Decent Knot?

Once again my knot-tying skills have been put to the test, and once again I realize I’m pretty lousy at tying knots. I’m not talking about tying my shoes, I’m good at the bunny-ear thing. Nope, I’m talking about putting up a banner on some posts and needing to secure said banner to some pieces of rope to further secure to the posts. Putting up this banner time after time makes me happy that I don’t go camping because I’m pretty sure I’d have my tent blowing away with even the slightest gust of wind, or huff or puff from a bear. You would think that after having to do this a few times a year that I would take some online course (I think I get overwhelmed not knowing if I need a Klemheist Knot, a Monkey Fist, a nice Yosemite Bowline, or maybe just a Cow Hitch), or ask our staff member, The Mystery Dude, a decorated Platinum Platypus of the highest order, for a tutorial, but alas, the task creeps up on me, and there I am, looping the ropes into these big, blobs of knots, hoping that they hold long enough for the banner to do its bannering.

I must say that I get a little jealous watching those dudes on boats, manipulating the ropes into these fine-looking knots that never seem to come loose, and who knows, maybe in preparation for the next time I have to hang some banners, or go camping, I’ll do some practicing beforehand, but for now the big, blob o’ knots are holding, but that’s not stopping me from plighting: Can you tie a decent knot?

That’s it for this one! I”m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!