|STUFF I DON'T LIKE!
This is my complaint department where I list my gripes and pet peeves.
If I try complaining by telephone, I only get to press buttons and listen to electronic
voices or elevator music. When I send an email to support, I get an automated response
that my business is important to them.
My wife is tired of listening and pretends she is sleeping. So I write my beefs here for
everyone in the whole world to read. It surprises me that you have read this much!
I am convinced that in order to get a government job in the highway department's planning
and designing division, you must provide an affidavit from your doctor declaring that you have
no brain. In addition, you need to sign a statement promising that, should you ever come into
possession of a brain, you pledge not to use it on the job.
I could give specific examples of why I believe this to be true, but nothing would change.
The main objective of the highway department seems to be spending our money and in this, they
are quite successful.
Have you ever wondered how it came about, that a handful of people who were never elected to
office, can dictate what millions of "free" citizens can and can't do?
Politicians try to keep their subjects dumb, poor and dependant in order to get their votes. It works!
Seniors get repeatedly ripped off by the local, state and national governments. Trying to live on
Social Security is not easy, yet government milks us for every penny it can get, giving little in
return. The more we try to save, the more our government takes.
I have considered giving up my citizenship, leaving the country and returning as an illegal alien.
Then everything is handed me on a silver platter. The government even provides a free interpreter
and assistance if needed.
But that probably wouldn’t work for me. I tried that with our car insurance. The agent asked
me how much coverage I wanted in case I was hit by an uninsured motorist. “Half the cars on
the road have no insurance.” I said that I would prefer to be one of the uninsured motorists
and let the other people pay.
I still haven’t figured out how half of the people do it, but they wouldn’t let me do
it. I guess it also has something to do with the privileged status of illegal aliens.
Our only vehicle is 15 years old. We wanted to protect it from the elements and carry in our groceries
without walking through the rain or slipping on sidewalks in winter. We are getting old and need to
take care of ourselves, not just the car!
So we counted our pennies and talked to relatives about our plans. They volunteered to help with the
construction of a garage. I drew up plans and took them to the township office to get a building permit.
“We want to build a garage onto the house for our car.”
Our township building code says that if the garage is connected to the house, we must pay the same
property taxes on the garage as we do for the house. We paid $3000 in property taxes for our tiny
rancher. Adding a 2-car garage (one side for lawnmower, tools and Christmas decorations) would almost
double the size – and the taxes!
We decided to build a pole barn garage next to the house. We would get wet carrying groceries and slip
on the ice and snow, but the car would at least be protected and the taxes affordable.
Or so we thought!
In our township you are not allowed to build a detached garage NEXT to the house. The front of the
garage must be behind the farthest extremity of our existing house.
I asked what the reason for this ordinance is and was told that “Someone up there made
I really didn’t need to ask, for the answer is obvious.
“Is there a chance of getting a variance?”
“No one has ever gotten one yet.”
We wound up building the garage in our back yard where we have to walk twice the distance to our house
and shovel twice as much snow. Because it doubled the size of our driveway, we paid twice as much to
have it paved.
It might have been better to condescend to the local mafia and build the garage onto the house.
The bank would get our house sooner, but we will probably die first. Our kids are doing okay and don’t
need to inherit anything. The bank needs money.
Because fuel bills were increasing and we didn’t want to freeze to death, we looked at all those
oak trees in our back yard and thought, “There is a lot of firewood in those trees!” One of
the larger trees had braches that hung over our roof, so leaves always clogged the rain gutter and acorns
fell on the roof, waking us up at regular intervals. Having fewer leaves to rake was not such a bad idea
We called a tree service and had 5 of our 16 trees cut down, cut up and stacked to cure. A year later,
we decided to build a chimney and airtight fireplace. I have had experience in construction and two
brothers are builders by trade. They offered to help. I did everything legally and got the zoning
approval, permit and inspections.
We built the chimney and fireplace to save on fuel costs, but the increased property taxes more than
compensate for fuel savings. Go figure!
Most of our property taxes go for schools. Our three children received their education in private schools
which we had to pay for. Now that we are retired and living on Social Security, we have to pay for the
inferior education of kids whose parents own $500,000 homes.
How is it that Comcast is allowed to have a monopoly but Ma Bell was not?
I tolerated my old analog internet connection much longer than I would have if Comcast had offered
broadband service for a reasonable price.
They kept offering me all three for only $33 each per month. That is $99 for the package deal, but
Comcast correctly assumes that most people are too dumb to read carefully or do their math. They
probably went to public schools.
The average American just sees $33 and bites. The offer is of course limited to one year,
after which the cost soars to new unspecified heights. I dare you to find out how much it will
cost after the first year. But most people don’t, won’t or can’t read,
especially fine print. Some of us have trouble because of our age, but the younger generation
reads only SMP.
I told Comcast that I didn’t want cable TV and VOIP (stands for web-based telephone but they
use a different abbreviation). All I wanted was a broadband internet connection. I finally found a
real live person on the Comcast telephone service who said that it was available – for near
the price of all three!
People kept telling me to try Verizon.
Like Comcast, Verizon spends millions of Dollars to advertise its cable TV and broadband services.
Verizon is only different in that when you apply for it, it is not available in your area.
We don’t live in Death Valley or on the Bonneville Salt Flats. We live in the state with the
highest population per square mile of all 50 states. We can look up in the sky at any time of day
or night and see dozens of airliners ascending from or descending upon Philadelphia Airport. We
live where three major highways converge and where four counties meet. Ten thousand cars a day pass
through here daily, on their way to the Jersey shore. Most of them are on their way to Atlantic
City for a charitable cause. (Read all about it under “
I must be fair and tell you that Comcast finally made an offer I couldn’t resist. They offered
broadband alone for $29 per month for three months, after which the price would go up to $58 a month.
I signed on. Because they goofed and billed us for the whole amount, I let my wife deal with it. She
has more patience and a woman gets better results. The man she finally spoke with was apologetic and
gave us an additional three months for the same reduced rate. Thank you Comcast! That is how it should
The windows in your house have screens, but computer screens have Windows. The screens on your house
windows are designed to keep out bugs, but Windows on computer screens invite them in. Once they are
in your computer, a smaller window opens to inform you of the visitor which often becomes resident.
Microsoft calls this an “Error Message.”
You will note that "windows" is not capitalized but "Windows" is. Even though
windows may be produced by Windows, opened by Windows and used by Windows (capitalized), windows
are generic and not copyrighted. Neither Windows nor Microsoft is responsible for the problem named
(more often numbered) in the Error Message.
After Microsoft tells you that it has discovered an error, it asks if you would like to tell them about
it. If you are new to hi-tech and the computer still functions and you happen to be connected to the
http://www, you may click on the “Yes” box. Otherwise you pull the plug. There is no “Off”
button on a Windows computer. To stop the computer, you must press the “start” button.
Chances are, if you plug the computer in and restart it, everything will function as usual. (Read my article,
If software doesn’t do what it is advertised to do and does things it isn’t supposed to do,
you call support. An electronic voice on the software company’s hot line blames Microsoft; Microsoft
blames the user, and the user says, “Oh, my God!” It’s the same old blame game that
started with Adam and Eve. He blames her, she blames the serpent and in the end, it’s all God’s
fault that people go for Apples.
It’s a shame they print software documentation manuals. If they would just leave the pages
blank, they would make great writing tablets (actually notebooks, but some people might confuse these
with the electronic suitcases that important people take on airplanes).
Terminology in software documentation is different from that used in program file menus. The reason for this,
is because documentation manuals and programs are developed simultaneously in order to be released
simultaneously. Different people are responsible for developing software and writing documentation and they
seldom communicate with each other.
Authors use a language that only they understand (perhaps).
The worst part of software documentation is the index. It is generated automatically. Every word used in the
manual is sorted. and listed with the page numbers that it appears on. That is why software documentation has
so many pages. Because every word is listed twice, half of it is the index.
Fortunately, they don’t index indexes!
Microsoft Windows demands faster and faster computers which run slower and slower so you need a faster computer
that comes with a new version of Windows that is not compatible with your old programs so you have to buy new
If you want to delete a file, you must be very persistent. Microsoft opens message windows that ask “
Are you really sure?” These must be closed manually before you can delete the file, and even then,
it goes into a trash can where you can retrieve it in case you change your mind or still didn't understand.
If you made no mistake and really wanted to delete the file, you must go through the routine all over again.
Considering this, I wonder why it is so easy to accidentally hit a key on the keyboard which destroys a
Incidentally, you can trick Microsoft into allowing you to delete without all that fuss. Just press the delete
and shift buttons together. You shouldn’t get into a habit of doing this, because it works like a shredder.
No questions asked!
Honesty used to be considered a virtue but now it is perceived as a serious threat to success and profit.
Lying in advertising, as in politics, pays big dividends. You can make a false claim today and no one will hold
you accountable or even question your integrity. Dishonesty pays and honesty does not.
Americans get cheated, disappointed or hurt repeatedly. They complain loudly when it happens, yet fall for the
I think I know the reason for this phenomenon.
Americans have generally abandoned the concept of absolute truth. Even most church members have a liberal, tolerant
concept of truth. Everything is relative and dependent on a given situation. People who are dogmatic about what
they believe to be true are seen as old-fashioned and intolerant.
Although these individuals reject the idea of absolute truth, they want desperately to believe. They want to believe
that there is truth, honesty and dependability. Like the slot machine player who hopes the next pull of the handle
will hit the jackpot, they place their hopes in the next good-sounding promise.
Banks, insurance companies and businesses are aware of this longing and capitalize on it. You have all heard
of “Free Credit Report Dot Com,” a company that is eager to give you something absolutely free. It
wants so badly to give you your free credit report, that it spends millions on advertising and even sponsors a
NASCAR race car. That is only one of many examples I could share with you, but it clearly shows our problem.
(For more on this subject, read “Truth or Tolerance
I have a customer card from a large hardware and building supply chain which I often use when making
purchases. From time to time, I receive great offers in the mail from this company. The most recent said
that if I make a purchase of $299 or more on my card, I won't have to pay the money back for six months nor
will I be charged any interest. Special sale items are of course excluded from this generous offer.
Now, stop to consider that In nearly every store you visit, with the exception of Lowes and Home Depot,
most items are on sale. Clothing, furniture and other stuff is always at least 20% off. In the above named
stores, few items are on sale. Bank interest on $299 would come to perhaps $15 for six months, so the special
offer at best, represents a 5% discount on your purchase. But if you decide to accept the offer, you may be
surprised as we were, that monthly "fees" are deducted from your credit card!
It is not terrorists who threaten to destroy our nation, but greed. Greed is public enemy number one. We have
nice names for greed, like “profits,” “income,” “winnings” or just plain
“money,” but that doesn’t change the character of greed. The Communists called it “
capitalism” and others call it “materialism.” We object to this blatant defamation of our “
American way of life.” But anyone who is not completely deluded must readily admit that most businesses,
banks, political parties and even churches, are not as motivated by genuine concern for our welfare, comfort,
health and spiritual well-being as they claim. An epidemic of greed is destroying America.
There is nothing wrong with nice names for nice things, but when you call bad things nice names, that is unethical
and deceptive. We have given to several charities and now these and many other charities who bought their mailing
list flood our mailbox with letters asking for money to save America. From what? I am normally a charitable,
caring person and want to help where and when I can. But when charities, churches and religious organizations
that are out to save America are motivated by greed, I balk.
Recently I got a phone call from a Police organization seeking donations. I was invited to become a platinum member
by donating $75. Or I could receive a gold membership with a donation of $50. I declined. The caller then said that
he would just put us down for a $20 donation like we gave last year. They probably assume that husbands and wives
give donations behind each other's backs, so we will not recognize the deception. The man said we would receive a
decal to put on the windshield of our car. He didn’t say it, but the hint of possible financial benefit in
event of being stopped by one of the beneficiaries was evident. I hung up, but in the following weeks I received
two letters reminding me of “my promise” to send a donation which they had not yet received.
My wife receives mailings from a Christian organization that repeatedly asks for donations to save America from the
liberals. She gave once or twice and started to get phone calls. After explaining our dire financial status that
prevented us from giving, she received a starter package for becoming a telephone solicitor.
It is neither the Democrats nor Republicans, the liberals nor the religious right, the Muslims nor the illegal
aliens, who threaten to destroy us. Greed is our greatest threat.
Politicians talk about putting a cap on what victims can sue doctors for, but the lawyers can get all they want.
That is because most politicians are lawyers.
Corrupt politicians, lawyers and judges are worse than criminals, terrorists and traitors. They destroy America
for personal gain and get away with it.