Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

Windows – Sticky Notes = Useless

Posted: March 26, 2018 in Rant

I had been writing my “to do” list on Notepad, but was getting sick of finding it underneath the other windows. And without it constantly being shown, I would sometimes forget to check it. So I thought I’d try “Sticky Notes” which I found in my Start menu.

Uh, guys? This is the same as Notepad. Except for the pretty colors, and the fact that you can’t have a million lines of text (which I don’t need for this anyway). So it’s a yellow Notepad. Useless.

A quick Internet search determined that there were free options available, so I went to downloads.com (the only place I download programs from, to save me from viruses) and found “Always on Top”. Downloaded it – perfect. It stays on top of all windows. I have three screens so I keep it on my right one on the far right side. This is just what I was looking for. There is even a bar you can shift from left to right to make it more/less transparent (if you so choose, but I don’t need that – just found it cool).

Thought I would share in case anyone else had this problem. Couldn’t leave feedback or a review on the Microsoft Sticky Notes page, but it would get a ‘one star’ for sure. What’s the point of Sticky Notes, really? It’s the same as Notepad! It does everything I was already doing! (minus the pretty color background, of course!)

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As I approach the four-year anniversary of cutting the cable (i.e. canceling my satellite subscription), I started musing about what it would take to bring me back.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely happy with status quo. I have the NHL Centre Ice package, and anything else I need I simply stream it. The kids are happy with Netflix and don’t seem to be in need of anything more, and ditto for my wife. It would appear that, on this issue, I’m in the driver’s seat.

So what would it take?

The Big 2 Canadian companies will fight to the death for status quo. They’ll try to change the laws.  Even at the expense of free speech. As long as it makes money. They’ll fight any new laws that try to make things just a tiny bit fair for consumers.

Since my main wish – of just wanting the greed to stop – will never come true, I’ve come up with an alternative list of things.

  1. I don’t want “deals”. I don’t want $50 a month for a year and then regular price ($75 a month? More?) to kick in after that. I just want a fair number. I’d rather pay $65 per month right from the get-go and lasting forever, than get a deal in that first year. Stop it. It’s not done overseas and no, Canadians don’t like it. They agree to it because you don’t give them an option. And your stupid ‘closing’ sales pitch of “well, you can just call after that first year and get them to extend the deal” is annoying bullshit. Compete with each other based on your regular price, rather than requiring consumers to hire a math major to decipher how these “deals” will shake out.
  2. Let me pick and pay for each channel. Charge me $6 for the most popular channels (per month) and $2 for the least popular, with everything else falling in between. I would come back. And I know thousands would also come back. I would probably pick out 15 channels that I’d pay for (and likely add more as time goes by). You’d be getting $60 per month from me – and that’s $60 more than you’re getting now.

Right now, ‘apparently’, Network providers have to offer a basic package and then after that we can pick for each channel after that. But take a look at how it’s presented!

https://residential.rogers.com/ontario/tv

Wow.

“Take our Popular Package” right now and get this list of channels. Or…

“Take our Better Bundle” right now and get this list of channels.

Oh, and by the way…you can get the basic package and pick your channels…but for details on that you have to call this number.

Just…wow. Still trying to stick to the old dinosaur way of doing business and pigeonhole consumers into your stupid packages. The ones where TSN is in one package, and Sportsnet is in another…and therefore getting both costs double. Where getting TSN requires you to also get the Ballet Network and getting Sportsnet means you must get the Cooking Channel. And if you want to pick by the channel, as per the new law…then you have to actually call us so we can talk you out of it. Likely by offering you a deal*.

(*deal expires in one year)

Keep playing your games, Rogers and Bell. And I’ll hang onto my money. It’s here for you when you want it. Just simply wake up to 2017. Change your business model. You have thousands, no – hundreds of thousands – of consumers waiting to sign up, and probably for about the same money you’d get from them anyway. All you have to do is let the 60- and 70-year old dinosaurs who are running the company under the old dynamic with their old-fashioned 1995 ideas to retire into the sunset and let the 30- and 40-year-olds who are aware that it’s 2017 to take things over.

We can stream now. You can’t stop it. And fighting it is an unending and costly battle. We can choose our shows and choose our time to watch them. Not ‘some’ shows with strings attached (such as having ‘other’ shows forced on us). But any show, any time.

So let us pick the channels. No “basic” package to start. No “access” fees. No “introductory price”. Nothing else. Just pick the channels. Yes, the less-popular channels will die. That’s capitalism.

Capitalism. You’re seeing it at work here as you lose more and more subscribers each month. How long will you fight it? Keep your head in the sand, grandma and grandpa.

http://www.businessinsider.com/cable-tv-subscriber-losses-q2-chart-2017-6

http://fortune.com/2017/06/15/netflix-more-subscribers-than-cable/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cord-cutting-convergence-group-1.4075486

 

The wrong way to deal with the above news (see links): “Hey, let’s offer better bundles!” or… “Hey, let’s call our competitor’s subscribers and offer them an introductory deal!” or… “Hey, let’s see if we can change the CRTC law to help prevent streaming!” or… “Hey, let’s see if we can get the law involved and fight piracy!”

Wake up, grandma and grandpa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m offended! Fire him or I’ll…

Posted: September 13, 2017 in Rant

Why is society’s first reaction to political incorrectness/brain fart always “Fire him (or her)! Or I’ll stop buying your product/watching your show/supporting your cause!”? You do realize that there are other options and punishments available, right?

Do people stop and think about what firing a person means? Loss of livelihood, stress in a marriage, loss of income – often impacting future earning in future work, depression, or even loss of life itself. Do angry people understand this? A person says something that is horribly offensive. Unforgivable. Completely off-base. But 99 times out of 100 would never say such a thing. He or she, for one micro-second, thought it would be a funny joke. Or misspoke. Or perhaps he or she even truly felt that way (racist, sexist, homophobic, etc). Does that one statement, sometimes only offensive if you truly dig into the details and twist it a certain way but usually is pretty obvious, warrant the loss of their job? One statement out of 10,000 statements carried out over a five, 10 or 20-year career (or longer) offends and – “oh you gotta fire that guy. Fire him!”?

Let me ask you this. Would a two-week suspension plus several months of weekly sensitivity training address the problem? Or do we need to go straight to firing?

We all know someone who has been fired. How did it impact that person? Do you know someone who has been fired since turning 30 (when the life path is often somewhat established)? I do. I know someone close to me who was fired from a job that they dearly loved in a sector that they wanted to stay in for life. This person was fired based on a angry, absolutely fuming person who insisted on the firing or their business will be taken elsewhere.

What resulted was a downward spiral unlike anything I’ve ever seen. After weeks of dwelling in worsening depression, there was a suicide attempt. Two months later there was another one. There was a full year of trying to find a job in the same field with no job to be had. Slim pickings in that sector in that particular year. So a job in another sector was taken. For less money. Suddenly rent was a struggle.

Doesn’t make it any easier to come out of that depression, does it? I won’t continue listing the events that happened because you get the idea – one bad thing resulted in another, which impacted another, etc. This person is happy now with a good job in yet another sector and everything is great. But essentially three years of this person’s life was filled with misery, or 10% of this person’s time on this Earth – gone. And it could have literally been gone – for good – had either suicide attempt worked.

All because a person went straight to “fire” instead of “suspend” or “written up” or even “give me a discount”! Just – fire this person, or else.

Why do we do that?

I’ve often mused about this over the years and lately it’s starting to really bother me. Recently a Georgia cop told a terribly offensive joke. Really stupid statement. “We only kill black people” he said to a Caucasian woman who was terrified at being pulled over. I don’t guess to be in the cop’s mind, but I’m pretty certain he didn’t honestly believe that he and other cops only kill black people. He made a tasteless joke to calm a woman down and if he has any good in him at all then he regretted it as soon as he said it. Obviously a person in authority, or any person, absolutely should not imply killing of any sort let alone singling out one race like that. Especially in the current racial climate in that particular area. This officer was on the job for 28 years and had no record of saying racist comments. Is it possible for us to chalk this up to a very nasty, regrettable brain fart? Or we must go straight to firing?

Citizens and media alike were clamoring for him to be fired and when the Chief announced that he would be, the “black community leaders…applauded (the Chief’s) commitment”. So…that was the only route to go in order for you to “applaud” the action?

He’s in his late 40’s. Is he married? Kids? Just what would be destroyed here? (Note: the officer retired, so he technically didn’t get fired, but that veers from my point). Could it lead to straining the marriage? Kid’s college fund? One stupid sentence, a bad joke. And that’s the punishment that fits?

Let me offer an alternative. Three week’s of unpaid suspension. The entire staff of policemen at that location attend a sensitivity class. The officer himself must attend this class weekly for two months. Ten hours of community service helping under-privileged black children. Would the “black community leaders” applaud this? Or a man’s life must possibly be destroyed instead?

Today was the straw that broke the camel’s back. ESPN and Jemelle Hill. Hill is the co-host of one of their Sports Center programs, but on her Twitter she doesn’t just Tweet about sports. She tweeted about Donald Trump:

“Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.”

“He has surrounded himself with white supremacists — no they are not “alt right” — and you want me to believe he isn’t a white supremacist?”

“He is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected”

All the Trump-backers came out in droves. The White House Press Secretary called this a “fireable offense”. The right-leaning users on Twitter were frothing at the mouth: “fire her or I’ll never watch ESPN SC again”.

Are the statements appropriate on Hill’s Twitter account? Given that she built her 600K+ followers as a result of the media company she works for (had she been a lawyer, would she have an audience of 600K to hear her political opinion?) I would say that it’s not. She should have a personal Twitter account for those things. Just like I have this blog for my personal rants, rather than rant on DobberHockey.

Should she be fired? Should you threaten removing your business if she’s not? Let’s see…you and 100,000 others pressure ESPN to fire her and they do. Do you feel better? The sad thing is – you probably would feel better. And then within 24 hours you would forget about it.

Meanwhile, she’s unemployed. No income, and likely no chance of landing something in that field for at least a year because any hiring would result in the angry Internet people raising a stink. So then perhaps she finds something local. Like city news on the local TV channel or perhaps radio. Meanwhile there’s stress, anxiety, and her personal situation. Does she have a boyfriend? Is it serious? Does this anxiety gradually end that?

Would something more fitting be, I don’t know, ESPN have her remove the Tweets? Could the haters say “ESPN – have her remove the offending Tweets or I won’t watch SC again” instead of “ESPN – fire her or I won’t watch SC again”?

In today’s world, with social media prevalent as it is, people get heard. The problem is, within an hour 100,000 people can be heard. And they’re angry. And that means there is a lot of pressure to comply. With that in mind, knowing that the company just might do it, can we stop with the knee-jerk “FIRE HIM”? Calm down. Think about what firing means. And instead insist on discipline, not firing.

 

 

As with all Air Miles collectors, I was shocked and worried. They expire after five years? Uh oh. Starting when?

Turns out that it starts after this year. December 31st. Which is a blatant bait-and-switch, but by the time the courts get that figured out another five or six years will go by. That’s when the class action lawsuit gets rolling and finally wins. And then factor in a couple more years for Air Miles to make good (and the company may just decide that filing for bankruptcy is easier than doing that).

This is an obvious indicator that Air Miles is in financial trouble. And I use the term “financial trouble” loosely here, meaning that the company could either be losing money or the millionaire bigwigs aren’t making enough to finance their 10th home. One of those.

Besides taking away your strategy of saving up Air Miles for 10 or 12 years (so you can get something really, really nice), Air Miles is up to some pretty shading stuff. Their website is tough to navigate, but there is also speculation that they are hiding some of their rewards from people who could redeem them. I thought, when I was trying to find something to order (because I felt pressured to, but more on that later), that the rewards offered were pretty shitty. The selection was horrible – far worse than in prior years. But with the speculation above, it all makes sense.

Back in May or June, I went to the website and requested an Expiry Statement. I had (only) just then heard about the points expiring at that time. I’ve been a collector for over 22 years and this news was alarming. Anyway, I waited a couple of days for this report to arrive in my inbox and when it did not, I spent several minutes going through my junk mail. Still nothing. I went back and requested it a second time.

Two months passed, it was a busy summer, but then I was reminded again of Air Miles. So I went back in and requested another Expiry Statement. A month went by and I realized that I again didn’t get one. I requested another one, this time double-checking my account to ensure that the right email address was there and everything was in order. It was. And my email account doesn’t block or filter junk at the server, because I don’t use hotmail or any big email account – I have my own server and domain name. Last week I ordered another Expiry Statement. The next day I tried to contact them. After weeding my way through their “help” (term used loosely) section, inundated with FAQ’s and other useless obstacles, I clicked their live chat and was told I was third in queue. Thirty minutes later I had to get back to the kids, so I had to give up waiting.

The next day I tried again, with a similar result. Except this time I also called their phone number. I waited 20 minutes this time, with no result. On November 30th I requested yet another Expiry Statement and it hasn’t come as I write this the next day.

A month ago I redeemed 5000+ Air Miles for a snow blower. It was the best of a bad selection of rewards. But I would have rather just left my Air Miles in there. I’d like to stockpile a big amount and get something (or some things) nice at my own leisure. But I felt tremendous pressure to redeem. Maybe I would lose 3000 Air Miles on January 1st? Or maybe I wouldn’t lose any at all – I had been three years since I last got something (Espresso Machine) so maybe that burned off the older Air Miles. But the point is – I didn’t know. And had no way of knowing. Trying to get an Expiry Statement is apparently as difficult as stealing documents from the CIA.

This morning I got a notice from Air Miles informing me that the snow blower has shipped. I replied to that notice and explained my difficulty in getting a hold of someone and getting an Expiry Statement. I was so happy to finally have an email address for someone I could actually talk to over there! But no, I got an automated email back that provided me with a link to their fantastic Help section!

This whole thing is a disgusting moneygrab that is probably illegal – but by the time we (and the courts) get it all figured out, most of us will have moved on. Which I think was the point. I spoke to my Dad about this the other day and he said that he tried to get a statement about expiring points as well. Didn’t get one, so he’s pretty much shrugged his shoulders. He’s done with Air Miles and doesn’t care that he loses them all for nothing. Air Miles is relying on this very attitude. If two million users just shrug and give up their Air Miles, and move onto other loyalty programs, then Air Miles makes millions of dollars in the short term. All those miles unredeemed!

When I began this post I had the Chat window open and I was “number 4 in line”. Here I am 40 minutes later…and I’m “number 4 in line”. There’s probably no line at all, and that’s just an automated statement. Is anyone even working in customer service?

capture

Update: 70 minutes waiting now. I’m still “number 4 in line”.

 

Transcript of my Online Chat. The wait time turned out to be 100 minutes:

Welcome. You are number 4 in line. A specialist will be with you shortly.
Christina has joined the chat session.
Christina: Hi Darryl! My name is Christina, how can I help you today?
DARRYLD: hi
DARRYLD: I have requested an Expiry Statement on 8 different occasions dating back to May. I have not received one as of yet.
DARRYLD: I have checked and re-checked the email address in my account.
Christina: I am so sorry it hasn’t yet arrived. I am just going to pull up your Account to see if I can figure out what is happening.
DARRYLD: Anyway, the pressure I felt from having air miles expire, and having no way of knowing how many will be taken from me, caused me to rush a redemption request.
Christina: Have you checked your junk mail folder to see if it is there?
DARRYLD: All eight times, yes. But the email is under my own domain dobber@dobberhockey.com – my own server, and nothing gets filtered.
Christina: Do you have another email address I can try sending it to?
DARRYLD: I’ve tried the live chat and phone before, but gave up waiting. Today I waited 100 minutes and finally got someone. I feel like Air Miles is trying to keep the information from me 😉
DARRYLD: dobber@***.com is another email address
Christina: No I promise you we are not trying to keep it from you. You should be getting it right away.
Christina: I am going to send it there and see if you get it.
Christina: I have just sent it to your other email address.
Christina: Can you check to see if it has arrived?
DARRYLD: nothing yet
Christina: Can you just see if it has gone to a junk folder there? I have sent it to both.
DARRYLD: I’m in the junk folder
DARRYLD: The inbox will tell me if something new arrives, so I’m staring at the junk folder.
Christina: What about an email on a major domain like a gmail or a hotmail?
DARRYLD: No. And those domains block emails at their own discretion – I know this because my website sends out a newsletter to subscribers that sometimes gets blocked. Not junk mailed – completely disallowed. I know that my server doesn’t do that. I get all the other Air Miles emails – newsletters, notifications, etc.
Christina: I just know because those ones have been successful previously for myself.
DARRYLD: got it now
DARRYLD: to my dobber@*** address
Christina: Perfect! You really had me stumped 🙂
Christina: I am glad it was received. Did you have any other questions for me today?
DARRYLD: Any thoughts on why the wait was 100 minutes? Seems extreme, even in a busy season
Christina: We never usually have had waits in chat this long. It is due to the expiry approaching. We have more Specialists being added and do hope that will help reduce some of the long wait times.
Christina: I am so sorry for the inconvenience and will be posting 25 MILES to your Account. I really do appreciate your patience Darryl.
DARRYLD: Thank you
Christina: You are very welcome.
Christina: Thank you so much for chatting with me today.
Christina: Take care and enjoy the rest of your day today!

 

I feel like I went easy on her, and I did. But she can’t be blamed for what her manager’s manager’s manager decided to do.

As for expiration – I have zero Air Miles expiring between now and next September. I wonder what it would be had I not redeemed for that snow blower?

 

Update: All for nothing! Take a look at this. Air Miles has decided to cancel the expiration policy altogether. They smartened up, but was it too late?

And now I have to decide if I actually do want that snow blower (hey, it was bought under duress!)

The Good Wife Spinoff Should Be…

Posted: June 23, 2016 in Rant

The Good Wife Spinoff should be about Eli Gold, come on. A fantastic character. Quirky, funny (unintentionally) and very interesting. His character is interesting and his job is interesting. If Better Call Saul can work, so can Eli Gold as a campaign manager for someone else. Peter Florrick is not a politician anymore, so Eli is free to move to the next candidate. Unlimited story ideas!

 

Instead, we get this. Ugh. Diane Lockhart was a necessary character in The Good Wife. An important one, even. But interesting? Nope. Lucca Quinn has some potential, so maybe as the ‘serious one’ Diane could work in support. But why push so hard for an interesting story when one is being spoon-fed to you? Eli Gold!

 

Let’s be honest. A story about Diane and Lucca, and I’m sure David Lee, is not a spinoff. It’s The Good Wife Season 8 without Alicia (i.e. your best character). Pass.

 

I’m sure it’s too late. But if not – please reconsider. Eli Gold is the character that will give you three or four quality seasons on his own.

 

Why I’m Leaving Wind Mobile

Posted: November 17, 2015 in Rant

I’m not your typical cell phone user. The main reason for this is that I don’t really need one. And by “need” I mean in the first world sense of the word. I’m not a teenager. I’m not single. I’m middle-aged with a young family, so socially – I don’t really need a phone. I run my own business from a home office (which I rarely leave), so professionally – I don’t really need a phone.

I hate the way wireless is set up in Canada (i.e. the duopoly). We pay the highest rates in the world. So when Wind launched in 2009, I was first in line. December of 2009 I signed up and have been with them ever since.

Now that’s loyalty.

Those times when I do need the phone are when I’m away from the house, which isn’t often. Several times per month – but maybe twice per month when it’s for any reasonable length of time (perhaps an hour or more). I use it mostly for email and Twitter, as I have an online business. Service with Wind has been 60-40 at best. Data service indoors is often non-existent (downtown Toronto hospitals? Forget it – need to walk 50 feet from the building to get a signal for calls, texts or data). If you look at the WIND map for home vs. away coverage, my house is inside the home part – but barely. What that means is that my signal for “home” is shitty, but it’s too good to switch to “away”. So using my phone in my own house is a 50-50 proposition. But it’s the cheapest option so I’ve stuck with them.

I get my bills online. I don’t bother logging in to check them because they say the same thing each month – very little usage, minimum payment. So every month I pay $60 or $80 and I’ve been fine. Last month, however, I was cut off for not paying $15 I owed. Huh? So that caught me off guard because all this time I figured I was paying “extra”. Either way, to cut off a loyal customer over $15 is not exactly customer friendly. (Suggestion: cut people off at $100 two weeks past due, instead of just two weeks past due for even $1.00).

Recently, I had to investigate some older bills for tax purposes so for the first time in a couple of years I had to actually study my WIND bill and guess what I found? I was paying $15 per month all this time for a chat plan on my wife’s phone – a phone she lost over two years ago. She’d had a new phone for 15 months.

I called in and had to be transferred to “Loyalty” (ironic name) to cancel that particular service and see about obtaining credit. WIND had no record of my cancelling her phone. So perhaps I didn’t. Sounds like something I’d miss. Nav, the “Loyalty” agent, would not give me credit. Understandable, but fortunately she cared enough about my situation to offer me $60 in credit (four months of my mistaken overpay) in good faith. She understood that as a long-time (near original) and loyal customer, the gesture would go a long way.

Wait a minute, wait a minute – no she didn’t.

In fact, not only was a credit of any sort not offered, but what was offered was a repeated mantra of “it’s not our fault that you didn’t check your bill”. I already feel like an idiot. I certainly deserve that statement. Once. But repeating it six or seven times in a condescending voice is something that your friend (or enemy) does – not what a customer service (“Loyalty”) agent does. Anyway, she didn’t cross any line of rudeness. She pressed up against it, but didn’t cross it. She was probably better about it than I would have been, in her shoes. But then again, I would have thrown the customer a bone.

I put up with six years of weak service with little complaint. And now I’m leaving. A $60 “feel good” gesture on their part would have saved a customer. I don’t feel valued. I never have, in fact. So here is valuable feedback, WIND backoffice@windmobile.ca – customer retention can cost as little as $60. Just something to make them feel less of an idiot. Yes, it was my fault that I paid $15/month extra for what was 18-24 months without realizing it. But here are some things that I did for you, in good faith, over the last six years:

  • I gave you upwards of $200 for services that I didn’t use and you didn’t provide (because you didn’t have to, because I don’t have that phone).
  • Service has been spotty in my own home, and very bad elsewhere. It has improved over the past year (new towers?), but I put up with service that nobody in their right mind would put up with for a good four years. I’d rate the last two years a 7.5/10 but the first four years a 4.0/10. My friends around me with Rogers/Bell/Telus get 9.5/10 service.
  • For tax purposes, I need bills for 2013 and 2014. I can’t get those bills, and after being told by your customer service rep that there is nothing I can do, I then discovered that I could actually have the third party auditor email backoffice@windmobile.ca and “request” them. Nice. Just more hoops from a company that doesn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to creating hoops.

For this, I didn’t ask for a refund. I didn’t cancel. I kept paying. Blind loyalty.

Anyway. Justified or not, I’m done. The situation was salvageable, but your trained “Loyalty” expert was unable or unwilling to salvage. Reference C24400620

 

UPDATE: WIND contacted me immediately after this post (I’m guessing because I tweeted them, perhaps they noticed all of my followers) and gave me $100. A very nice gesture, and it gives me two free months to cool off and decide if I want to stay. I so hate to cave in and give business to Rogers or Bell, who force us to take a “plan” and have the gall to state that Canadians prefer “plans”. (no, we don’t)

Add my name to the list of fans of the genre interested in more female superhero paraphernalia.

This guy had to make his daughter a Ms. Marvel costume because there wasn’t one available anywhere.

And that’s the way it is with Marvel right now. They’re not believers in the power of the female superhero. After all, Supergirl did poorly. Catwoman did poorly. Elektra did poorly. Not because they were shitty movies, but because the movies starred a female superhero, right?

Listen. You have fans of female superheros and lots of them. My six-year-old daughter is a huge fan of Black Widow. Huge. She bought a big pack of Marvel stickers because there was a tiny sticker in the top corner that was Black Widow. Fifty other stickers of Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, etc. But she bought it with her Tooth Fairy money because there was a fingernail-sized sticker of the Black Widow.

And check this out. Toy companies took Black Widow right out of an entire (really cool) scene? Yikes! #wheresnatasha indeed. The first Black Widow toy I find on the shelves, I’m buying it for my daughter. Hasbro? Mattel? Anyone? MARVEL?

Black Widow

You will see the potential, if DC does it right, thanks to the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. And I know you have Ms. Marvel in the works. But you need to market the ones who have already made appearances. Storm. Kitty Pryde. Black Widow. Scarlet Witch. Push them on their own, or as “Women of Marvel” t-shirt. But there is a market here. You’ve just been too scared to try it…because you didn’t like how Supergirl performed at the box office? Snap out of it.

How I Would Handle Paparazzi

Posted: February 19, 2015 in Rant

Just a thought that popped into my head recently and I thought it was funny (clever?) enough to put out there. If I was a celebrity who was relentlessly stalked by paparazzi – I’m talking outside of restaurants and public venues, or waiting on the street outside my house, or at the resort with me on vacation, or even in my own backyard (!) – then this is what I would do.

I would hire the most three most relentless paparazzi out there. Full time. And their only job was to get me pictures, personal pictures, of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth most relentless paparazzi out there. I’d give them a nice base salary, and a great bonus for every quality picture they can bring me. Pics of them with their family, or enjoying dinner with friends, or on vacation, or going to the bathroom (!). The more my new hires push the envelope, the higher the bonus. And if the paparazzi my guys are stalking try to complain, my guys would just throw the ol’ “it’s my right” line in their face. My guys would even be taking pictures of the other paparazzi taking pictures of ME! But right in their faces, to the point where it’s blocking their camera from taking pictures of me. An extra bonus for getting close-up, camera-to-camera pics of their camera while in mid-flash. LOL the paparazzi would be so frustrated with me.

The nine most annoying, relentless paparazzi would be pretty much out of the picture. And they would get a taste of their own medicine. And it would be funny as hell. I’d even publish a ‘Paparazzi Monthly’ in which I publish the most embarrassing pictures of the paparazzi that my guys/girls take – and distribute the magazine, free, to the other celebrity buddies of mine.

Would it be costly? Sure. Paying three people to do a job that I don’t need, plus bonuses, plus publishing costs of a 100-issue subscription based pamphlet would run upwards of a million bucks. But like I said, I’m a successful celebrity and I have money to burn. I’d be wiping my ass with $100 bills anyway, may as well have some fun with it.

Impact of Public Shaming (via Social Media)

Posted: February 17, 2015 in Rant

I found this article interesting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/ma…life.html?_r=0

I’m paranoid about this stuff. I’m careful with what I say, but I’m also prone to brain-farts (which is no secret!). The wrong joke or statement out of context and that’s it. Every one of the ‘infamous’ mistaken Tweets of the past several years deserved to be insulted. A handful of people tweeting the culprit a “You’re an idiot” statement is well-deserved. But if the issue goes viral, it’s no longer a handful of people. It’s suddenly thousands. Hundreds of thousands. And then TV newscasts catch wind. Demands for loss of employment, and the smearing that’s easily found with a simple Google search is there forever (hurting chances of future relationships, employment, etc). Suddenly, just being called an idiot by a couple of people evolves into this life-destroying juggernaut.

Anyway, an interesting perspective on the other side of things. I have over 12,000 followers on Twitter, so saying something wrong (by mistake or otherwise) can go viral in an awful hurry. I do believe you reap what you so – but that’s within reason. You say something blatantly racist or hateful, you deserve hundreds of people shouting you down. You deserve to lose your job. But how terrible and hateful does it have to be to deserve thousands of people shouting you down, and losing a job and being unable to find a new one for a year? And how terrible still does your mistake have to be before millions stalk you and hate you back, and you lose not only your job but prospects of another job (short of flipping burgers) for the next decade? With Twitter, things can reach that point quickly, and Twitter doesn’t see levels of stupidity. It sees two levels – right and wrong. And ‘wrong’ can be blatant and hateful and disgusting, or it can be taken out of context, or said ignorantly. The punishment is the same.

I’ll preface what I’m about to say by saying that The Great One is my idol and has been since I was five. And Wayne Gretzky’s is probably my favorite restaurant in downtown Toronto and this experience won’t change that.

I went there Sunday with the family before going to see the Blue Jays. We were in a bit of a rush but not so much so that we didn’t have time for a meal there. We got there and there didn’t seem to be any air conditioning. It was as though the restaurant wanted to re-create the environment in Brazil…hot and humid…since the World Cup was on! The table was sticky, the food didn’t come after 40 minutes (so we had to go) and they didn’t include drinks with the kids meal. So here are some comments.

1. Sticky table – that happens. No biggee. You wiped it, my wife still wasn’t happy, but still – no biggee.
2. Late meal – that happens too. You were short-staffed and your manager was great in explaining and apologizing. He covered the drinks and did right by us. As far as I’m concerned, you’re still the place I want to go to before a game.
3. No air conditioning? Come one! What, was the person in charge of pressing the A/C “on” button at home sick? Patrons don’t want to sweat while they eat. If the A/C was broken and you were getting fixed, then great. But if it was for some financial reason, I’m extremely disappointed. It just made me want to get out of there.
4. Kids meals don’t include a drink? Really? You can’t fill a mini-glass with half ice and half fountain pop at a cost of three cents to you and include that in your kids meal? It comes off as cheap and petty.

Anyway, fix the latter two, I forgive you for the former two. And I hope we can still be friends.