Little Willie's senseless ramblings

Sunday, August 23, 2009


My favorite adultswim show is Venture Brothers (in fact, it's the only reason I watch it at all), and this has to be one of the funniest bits I've ever seen...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bad Idea?

Have you heard about the "Cash for Clunkers" campaign being offered by the car companies these days? You trade you're old gas guzzler in for up to $4500 off the price of a new car - thanks to the American Taxpayers. But who is this supposed to help? Take me for example -- my PT cruiser doesn't qualify because it gets good enough mileage according to the program, but my truck supposedly does (it's hard to be sure, because the official MPG website doesn't list the specific engine on my truck -- the high output version of the V8 magnum). Of course, since my truck is a 2006 with only 6000 miles on it, it's worth a lot more than $4500. And, since it only applies to new car purchases, people without new car budgets can't take advantage of it either. I've read a little bit about what happens with the cars you trade in -- they get retitled to the name of the program, certain parts can be removed and recycled, but the engines have to be destroyed (the oil is removed and replaced with an abrasive substance to cause the engine to seize up). The program isn't going to help wealthy people, because their vehicles would all be worth more than $4500, and the poor probably can't afford new cars. As a matter of fact, this program will take the cars the poor could afford off the market -- I looked at list of probable candidates for the program and notice a lot of those cars driving around the poorer sections of town. And the real clunkers ('70's era LTD's, Caprices, Caddilacs -- genuine clunkers) are all to old to qualify.

So who knows? Maybe it will help -- and maybe it will be a big boost for middle class America. It can only help the car manufacturers, so maybe that will be a good thing too. Or maybe it's too narrow in scope to do much of anything really constructive. Time will tell.

Friday, April 17, 2009

and another thing...

Why is it that the political party trying the hardest to outlaw cigarette smoking is the same political party wanting to legalize marijuana smoking?

the "TEA" Parties

It's actually kind of strange -- watching everyone on FOX news acting as if they don't know why the main stream media was, at best, ignoring the tea parties and, at worst, leveling slanderous and insulting accusations against people that participated.

Barack Obama was the first president genuinely elected by the main stream media -- so they have an extremely large stake in him being successful. Large groups of people, across the entire nation, protesting his policies might lead middle of the road voters to wonder if the man is as wonderful as the main stream media told us he was. They have to play up all of of his good points, bury every mistake he makes, and try to discredit anyone who disagrees with him. As a result, you get "news reporters" turning into partisan commentators (people like Rush, Hannity, and O'Riley freely label themselves commentators - not impartial news reporters), news anchors making insulting sexual innuendos, and Janine Garofalo calling anyone who disagrees with Obama a racist.

They say that the participants don't know what the Boston Tea party was about -- presumptuous on their part, but I suppose to be a true repeat of the original, people should take a commodity that the government has placed outrageous taxes on -- cigarettes for example -- and throw them in the ocean as a protest. It will be harder to destroy items that will get slapped with a heavy carbon tax -- particularly electricity. Of course, had the main stream media reporters gone to the trouble to find out that TEA stood for Taxed Enough Already, instead of the actual commodity -- never mind, that would have taxed their objectivity too much...

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Sad Irony

At church, we've been doing a book study called "One Month to Live" by Kerry and Chris Shook. It's all about living your entire life the way you would if you found out you only had 30 days left to live -- doing things that count, not regretting things -- stuff like that. An admirable goal to shoot for, but since we've started this study...

1. The man who was our pastor's mentor -- the man who got him started in the ministry -- was gunned down by a deranged nutbag while giving his Sunday morning service.

2. A vocal supporter and part time minister in our church died suddenly from a heart attack.

3. A long time church member, died from a mysterious ailment he contracted after having cataract surgery.

I could also mention the strange death of Natasha Richardson, but she had absolutely nothing to do with our church. Still, it is odd to have so many deaths happen while doing a book study called "One Month to Live".

Don't you think?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Christmas Story

It's that time of year again, my yearly telling of the real story of Christmas...

About 2000 years ago (around 3 B.C.), during the time a man named Cyrenius was governor of Syria, the Roman emperor Cesar Augustus called for a census of the empire so he could issue a tax. Everyone living in the empire was required to return to their ancestral home in order to take part in this. So, a young couple living in the town of Nazareth named Joseph and Mary traveled the 70 miles to their ancestral home Bethlehem, because they were descended from the line of King David. At the time, Mary was pregnant and nearing her due date, and at the end of the long trip the only shelter they could find was in an animal stable (all the other places to stay were filled with other people returning home for the census). While they were there, the time came for Mary to deliver, and she gave birth to a son. They gave him the name Jesus, she wrapped him in cloth, and arranged a bed for him in the hay in the feeding trough.

As this was happening, there were shepherds outside of town watching their sheep grazing during the night. Suddenly an angel appeared in front of them, giving them the scare of their lives. But the angel told them they had no need to be afraid, because he had come to them to tell them some wonderful news. The long awaited Messiah had been born in the nearby city of Bethlehem. They could find the Saviour of the world in a stable in town, resting in the hay of a feeding trough. After he had said this, the heavens opened before the shepherds, and thousands and thousands of angels began singing praises to God and his glory, and wishes of peace on the Earth. When the songs had ended the angels returned to heaven, and the Shepard's decided to find the child that had been the reason for such an announcement. They went to town and when they found everything exactly as the angel had said, they knelt and worshipped and praised the child. After they left, singing praises as they went, Mary thought quietly on the meaning of it all.

8 days later, the new family travelled up to the temple at Jerusalem to follow the practices mentioned in the Law (offering for the first born, sacrifice for the uncleanliness of Mary's pregnancy, the bris, etc...). While there they met up with Simeon and Anna -- Simeon was both old and very righteous, and was promised by God that he would live to see God's salvation for the world -- Anna was a woman who had spent most of her adult life as a widow, who spent all of her time serving and worshipping at the temple. Simeon recognized the child as the one he had been waiting for all his life, and after praising God, he blessed the child and his mother, and also gave some prophetic warnings of His future. Anna went around praising God and sharing the news with those who where there at the temple.

Meanwhile, far off in the east (possibly in Syria) there were several wise astrologers and scholars, studying the skies and seeking wisdom. They noticed when a new star appeared in the far west, an event that the ancient texts foretold would indicate the birth of a new and powerful ruler for the country of Judea. They decided to make the long journey to visit this child, and honor him with gifts worthy of a king -- gold, expensive perfumes, and expensive spices. Back in Bethlehem, time had passed, the census crowds had returned home, and Mary and Joseph decided to remain in town. They found a home where Mary could care for baby Jesus, while Joseph resumed his work as a carpenter.

The wise men finally reached Judea, and going to the capital (Jerusalem) went to the court and asked where the new new king of the Jews was, so they could honor him. This was a bit of a surprise to the old king of the Jews, the Roman appointed King Herod, and he was more than a little concerned. He took the wise men's question to his scribes and scholars, and they reported that the scriptures said He would be born in Bethlehem. So Herod gave the wise men the news, as well as an instruction to return and tell him so he too could "honor" the child. The wise men went to Bethlehem, and by following the star that started their journey, found the house where the child and his parents were living. They presented their gifts, and on the advice from a vision from God, returned home without visiting King Herod first. When Herod found out, he was furious! He ordered all the male children in Bethlehem 2 years old and under killed (Herod was famous for murdering any possible rival to his throne). Joseph, Mary, and Jesus had already left for Egypt though, warned by a similar vision as the wise men. They stayed there until Herod finally died (unpleasantly, if I remember correctly), then they returned to their old home in Nazareth.

And that, my friends is a relatively, chronologically accurate story of the birth and early childhood of Christ. Doesn't quite match what you're used too? Then read the book for yourself.

And have a Merry Christmas...

Friday, December 12, 2008

There is no clean coal...

Maybe not, but when you get right down to it, there is no clean electricity -- period. You can find a reason to object to just about every method of producing electricity that currently exists. Whether we're burning coal or natural gas and putting more CO2 into the air, or we're burning Uranium and creating radioactive waste, or we're damming rivers and killing fish and wreaking havoc on the environment, or putting acres of solar panels up just to power 3 houses, or erecting wind generators that kill birds and ruin the scenery out by Ted Kennedy's house -- there is no clean electricity.

So, what do we do? Could there be a clean way to use coal -- a resource we have in supplies enough to last for centuries without having to give all our money to politically and mentally unstable portions of the world? Do we invest money to try and find out -- or do we start running ads ridiculing the mere prospect in an effort to stifle the attempt to make us energy independent.

I guess you already know the answer to that...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holiday Wonders

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I'm sure we all have many things to be thankful for. I have one that may seem a little odd...

I'm thankful that I get to turn off the alarm clock for 2 days in a row.

You see, as a stay-at-home dad, I get up every morning to help get my son on the school bus. Saturdays, I have to get up and go to work, and Sundays I have to get up for church. So basically every day I get up to the beep beep Beep Beep BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP of my alarm clock going off. The only days I get a rest from the alarm clock are days the kids don't have school - like the next 2 days.

Of course, then Saturday comes around and the alarm clock comes back on. But I'll enjoy it while it lasts...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Real world intrusion...

I really need to spend more time in the real world -- at least as far as my online life goes. Offline, I'm a fairly normal person - I have meals with my family, do the things that need done, run my errands -- online though I seem stuck in pirate mode. I've been pirating so much I can't even keep up with my pirate blog! I am still trying to keep the Star Trek fiction on twitter up to date, most of that stuff I write in big chunks, then dole out 140 characters at a time until it's time to watch the next episode and write the chunk for it. But the pirate stuff has been impeded by additional creative burdens -- creating pirate pages for the pirate wikia, and entering a contest for pirate goodies (grand prize is an Octopus familiar, a very expensive in-game item). But with all that going on, this page has languished -- extremely odd considering we endured an election cycle. I managed to not vent any of my opinions about the candidates at all. I never said anything about the mainstream media painting Sarah Palin as far less qualified than Joe Biden to be vice-president, while ignoring the fact that she was more qualified than Barack Obama to be president!! I said nothing about feminists all but crucifying her for being the ultimate achievement of their goal - except for that pro-life stance, and her being a republican of course. And now that he's elected, Mr CHANGE -- Mr. LETSWORKTOGETHER, has started hiring former Clinton staff members, all under the guidance of one of the most rabid bar-fighter democrats (and fellow Chicago Democrat) -- Rahm "Rahmbo" Emmanuel. Yeah, good way to start changing and brining people together. And just because the Clinton people managed to not screw up the prosperity Reagan had lead the country to, doesn't mean they can build a recovery plan for a country ravaged by terrorist attacks, war, and questionable regulatory practices.

Stay tuned for our next episode...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gas Prices (sp)Ike

OK, it's not like we didn't expect it to happen - and darned if the gas stations didn't sink to our expectations. Yes, I know it all goes back to those greedy idiots on Wall Street getting rich by driving oil prices up - but I can only grumble to the poor slobs sticking it to me out here. The annoying thing is, that once the hurricane leaves and everyone sees that oil and gas production is just fine, prices won't drop back down like they should. I read about it in the paper - oil is continuing the down hill price slide - yet gas is up. In some ways it doesn't really matter too much, because we - as a nation - are using less gas. On a personal level, my truck stays parked most of the time (12.7 MPG is not something you drive very often - the 2 year old truck only has 5100 miles on it). I drive my PT Cruiser only when I have to go somewhere when the weather is questionable (or I'm carrying something that doesn't fit in the saddlebags of the Harley). Most of our family's driving gets done in the wife's new Camry hybrid. She says she fills the tank once every other week now, instead of every week. If and when I go back to working full time, the truck is going to get traded in on another hybrid (35 MPG beats the stuffing out of 12.7).

Only I'll get blue instead of red...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Time passes....

My ex-fiance was just in the store with her sister. I was engaged to her a long time ago - 24 years ago - and time has not been kind to her. Oh sure, I'm no spring chicken - my hair is turning gray at my temples, getting a little thin on top, the mustache is mostly white, and the gut is mostly large - but most people guess my age younger than I am. This woman looks at least 50, and she's only 42! She makes a good argument for staying out of the sun and not smoking.

I guess I should thank father time for being kinder to me.

Back to school

So the kids are back to school now. Alex seems to be adjusting well to an all day routine. I take him to his bus stop, where he gets together with Miles (the little boy across the street, they had a kindergarten class together last year) and a couple of other boys to goof off until the bus arrives. Then he comes home, and regardless of what has happened during the day, he's still in a good mood. Laura has already gotten homework - her geometry class. They're doing conjectures - something I know how to do, just not how to explain anymore. I guess that's part of getting old. Her showchoir routine starts full steam next week, with the after school practice every Monday afternoon. This year they'll have a costume change, and the girls are wearing shoes with higher heels. It will be interesting to see if the $300 showchoir price tag jumps up because of the new additions. Even more annoying is the note about the 8th grade trip to Disney World - only $840 paid in 3 easy installments of $280 -- starting NOW! We just paid $25000 for a new car - the only money that came in this month was $115 payment from the late mother-in-laws IRA, and my piddly one day paycheck from work. And they want $150 deposit now. Yeah right.

The adventures with the new hybrid car continue as well. We've been doing consistently better than the EPA sticker, until last night, where it had dropped to 25 mpg. I asked Sharon what happened, and she sheepishly answered that she'd left the car on all day while she was at school. She said she knew something was wrong when she got in and the AC was running. I'm going to have to get her into the habit of leaving the radio on, just so she knows the car is still on.

And that's been the week for the most part, waiting to get Alex on the bus, waiting for the kids to come home, playing puzzlepirates every so often, and an odd couple of hours at work.

Pretty quiet really...

Friday, August 08, 2008

It's actually pretty easy being green...

The hybrid has arrived! The neatest part, of course, is that it's a new car. It's also got some neat bells and whistles on it (there is no ignition key, just a radio box that handles unlocking the door, starting the car - even turning on the interior lights when you get close). The weirdness is the electric motor part. I drove around the WalMart parking lot while my wife was picking something up. It was like driving around in the worlds most expensive golf cart - only quieter. Coming home last night, we got stuck behind an old guy driving so slowly, the car shut off the engine and we rolled along behind him on the motor alone. I find myself leaving stop signs and stop lights slowly now, just to see how long I can go before the engine kicks in (unless there's traffic coming up).

We're going to St. Louis next week for a last vacation - that should prove a nice test of the system on the road.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


We've been waiting to hear from the dealership about our new car. My wife's old car was inherited from her parents - and it's a stereotypical AARP members car, a bronze Buick LeSabre. It's not a bad car mind you - about 25MPG, plenty of room for the family, quiet, etc. But it had 70000 miles on it, the driver's seat was completely sprung out (making it a back breaker on a long trip), and every time we see one the occupants are twice our age. Sharon was looking at Pontiac's, but in this age of $4 a gallon gasoline (and frequent low ratings in consumer reports) I managed to interest her in a Toyota Camry hybrid. The Prius is a very fuel efficient car, but it's (imho) ugly, and not big enough to do what we want to do with it. The Camry is the size we need, the hybrid gets almost as good mileage as a Prius, and the consumer reports ratings are good for most Camrys.

Unfortunately, Camry hybrids are almost as hard to find as a Prius - we scoured the websites of local Toyota dealers, and decided to try KC Summers in Mattoon. They showed that they had 2 - and they did, until we got there. We drove in as the last one drove out! We lucked out though, because they were scheduled to get 2 more, and one of them was available - it was also too expensive. So the salesman got most of the expensive stuff taken off the order (leather and a moon roof), got the color changed to red, and we put a deposit on it.

And now we wait - the car was scheduled for construction on 8/01/08, so it actually should be assembled by now. All we have to do is wait for it to be transported up here, and the dealer to get it ready.

We just have to wait...

Sunday, August 03, 2008


I seem to have a problem with moderation lately. First, it was spending hours at a time writing the story for the RedShirtSquad twitter feed -- I mean, I've got a lot written -- right up to his final demise. What I don't have written are the events leading up to "The Menagerie" and what happend during it, followed by the events afterward that lead up to "Catspaw". Then that epsiode and events that tlead up to "Shore Leave" (which actually is written up). But then there are 11 episodes and Stardates ranging from 3033 to 3372 ("Amok Time") with nothing written, then a bunch after that as well. I do have stuff written for "The Doomsday Machine", before and after "Journey to Babel", after "A Private Little War", "The Immunity Syndrome", "Specter of the Gun", "Return to Tomorrow", "Enterprise Incident", "And the Children Shall Lead", and the entire episode "The Way to Eden".

There's a lot left to write. Which means I have to stop going back and re-reading stuff.

I also need to stop playing pirate...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Unrepentant Sinner

That's what I call Jesse Jackson. It somehow seems sacrilegious to call him the Reverend Jesse Jackson, seeing how he seems to feel no remorse at being the most public hypocrite around. I used to think he was almost cool - especially after this

Of course, a lot has changed since then. He and his organization invaded my town after a group of young black men were caught on tape causing a major riot at a high school football game. They were expelled, and his group descended to protect their right to wreak havoc amongst innocent students. Then there was the little matter of his adulterous relationship with an employee, and the bastard child that resulted from it. Other pastors are run out in disgrace, Jesse just claims it's nobody else's business and keeps going.

Until the first African American presidential candidate states that perhaps life would be better for the African American community if Black men would stick with their families and the children they father. Since the unrepentant sinner, Jesse Jackson is one of those black men who fathered a child and didn't stick around, he felt guilty. How dare someone from the community He (thinks) he is in charge of imply that he might not be perfect. So he decides to vent about it to a sympathetic ear. Too bad for him there were other ears listening too - his (less than Christian) comment was recorded for posterity, and broadcast around the country. Ooops.

The irony for me is - well, it goes back to his invasion of our town. He tried to convince the country that our community was railroading these boys out of school. It was our fault they turned out like they did. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of the 7 boys and their families. On the legal document it read something like this:

Mrs. Boy number one, on behalf of Boy number one
Mrs. Boy number two, on behalf of Boy number two
Mrs. Boy number three, on behalf of Boy number three
Mrs. Boy number four, on behalf of Boy number four
Mrs. Boy number five, on behalf of Boy number five
Mrs. Boy number six, on behalf of Boy number six
Mr. and Mrs. Boy number seven on behalf of Boy number seven


The Decatur Public School System

Do yo see the pattern? Do you suppose some fatherly influence may have prevented the riot? Do you suppose the unrepentant sinner, Jesse Jackson is just as guilty as Mr. Boy number one through Mr. Boy number six? Not that I like Barack Obama (he's a Chicago politician, the worst possible kind), but he's a lot more right here than the guy who wants to cut his nuts off.

Maybe the unrepentant sinner, Jesse Jackson should have cut his own nuts off before committing adultery and fathering his own bastard child.

Friday, June 20, 2008

why I avoid ebay - part II

Well, my auctions are finished on ebay - my main items sold for about half of what I was expecting, but I had several others go out for more. Then there was the old synthesizer that no one looked at last year that sold for $152 (Wow!), so I came out about where I was hoping to overall. Since I was done, I was seriously considering taking one last potshot at Cristofe - but decided instead to share it with you folks instead....

Hey cristofe, I sure hope you read this before you construe this as harassment and report me. Cause here's the deal - my auctions are over, my goods are delivered, and my money has been collected. You've seen my feedback rating - I've been here several years longer than you, yet only have a tenth the rating you have. That's because I don't need eBay as much as you. I don't care if they cut me off, you might. After all, if they accuse me of harassment, I'll have to give them the entire transcript of our communication (including this) and they'll see that: 1) You sent unsolicited email criticizing shipping costs on an item you didn't bid on. 2) You said I had a "piss poor attitude" and told me to "have a nice life little man". Since you don't know anything about me at all (except that I've been on eBay for 10 years, and have bought and sold some music gear and at least one phone) the little man crack can only be interpreted as an insult. 3) You unjustly accused me of gouging my customers (who didn't seem to feel that way - and I never heard from eBay, so I guess they didn't either), and threatened to report me for harassment if I stood up for myself. Well guess what, I learned a long time ago that you don't back down from a whining bully. I'm not saying you're one, but I've read your feedback. So unless your next message is an apology, just keep it to yourself - or I'll do what you threatened to do. Either way, I'm done with you.

And so I am.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Joy of Axe

I've been playing guitar for a long time, at least 30 years, and while I'm not the best by any stretch of the imagination, I'm good enough to play in public each week at church. I started out with a generic "Student guitar" - it had 6 strings and functioned mostly like a guitar was supposed to, but it didn't sound particularly good, nor was it the easiest to play. The strings were about 1/4 inch above the fretboard at the bottom, and it sounded like it was made of cardboard. Years later, I was playing music with my friend Phil, and he loaned me his dad's old Epiphone acoustic guitar. It sounded better (with the right strings) and was a little easier to play, but since it had been used for slide guitar work, the strings were still fairly high. Then I bought a used electric - small, single humbucker - that had an adjustable bridge. That made it a little easier to drop the strings more, but the neck wasn't exactly the best. I also got a used Applause acoustic electric which had a better quality neck, but had annoyances of it's own.

Time passed, and I picked up some NEW guitars, a pair of Danelectro guitars. Guitar magazine had called the new Danelectro line the best cheap guitar you could get, so at some local shops I picked up a black and white DC3 and a black Convertible. I also traded the little white electric guitar and some cash to the neighbor for his Ibanez RG170. I worked with those 4 guitars for a while, and it came down to the fact that I played the Ibanez the most, the Applause the least, and the Danelectros somewhere between. So I sold the Applause at a rummage sale, and the Danelctros on eBay (I paid $200 for one, and $225 for the other - they sold as a set for $500! I guess they were a wise investment) I took that money, and bought an Ibanez Talman TCY20 and an Ibanez GSR200 bass guitar (I'd wanted a bass guitar to begin with, but mom got me a guitar instead). I was pretty happy with this arrangement - I play electric guitar Sunday mornings, bass guitar Sunday nights, and had the acoustic electric at home.

Then I got a guitar synthesizer.

The Roland GR1 guitar synth isn't a synthesized guitar, but rather, a synthesizer you play with a guitar (instead of a keyboard). It uses a special pickup that sends a signal for each individual string to the synthesizer, where it detects the pitch of the string and sounds the corresponding note on the synth. It works great, and when our keyboard player moved to Indiana, there was no one to take his place - except me. The only drawback is the pickup - you have to stick it (and the largish control box) to your guitar. I did, it worked great, but was a bit clunky. Then one day, I was looking through a Musicians Friend catalog, and I saw a listing for a Godin xtSA guitar for under $1000. It had the same pickup arrangement as my Ibanez (which I liked a lot), as well as acoustic piezo pickups in the bridge (which I had been seriously considering adding to the Ibanez). The real kicker was the built-in Roland compatible interface (which meant no more box stuck on the front of the guitar). One income tax refund later, I am the proud owner of a transparent red finished xtSA. It's almost as pretty as my curly maple finished Talman, and sounds better than anything I've yet owned. In the past I always bought the best guitar I could get with a limited amount of money.

This time I bought the best guitar for what I wanted to do. I really should have done that a long time ago...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

This is why I avoid ebay...

You attract some real a$*****$ on ebay. I get this in my inbox...

Dear tuesdayniteink,

$17 to ship two ounces of plastic???

- cristofe

So I send this...

Dear cristofe,

If that's what the shipping calculator says. You don't have to buy it...

- tuesdayniteink

But that's not good enough for our correspondent....

Dear tuesdayniteink,

The eBay shipping calc is pure BS. It does not work properly. I ship hundreds of pieces of musical gear all across the US every year. I KNOW what it costs to ship a GK2. But you are so very right. I don't have to buy it. You can keep
your broken pickup. Best of luck, you'll need it
with that piss-poor attitude.

Have a nice life little man!

- cristofe

So I respond...

Dear cristofe,

Really, how did you get such a rating and still think shipping is always what you expect? 8 time out of 10 the ebay shipping calculator estimates low and you end up spending more to ship than it estimated (yes I too have done a lot of shipping on ebay sales - you're not the only expert). And even though it may be 3 ounces of plastic, it's in a box that UPS says is 1 pound, and they'll charge $8.00 to ship. Then there's the fact that I live in the sticks, and I have to pay more money to get the package to UPS in the first place (whether I drive it in or UPS picks it up on my request). Then there's the chunk ebay charges me to use their service, and the tape I have to buy, and the boxes I have to scrounge up, and the time I spend doing all this stuff anyway.

But you know all of this - you just want to slam me because it makes you feel superior. And someone else has already decided that the shipping quote was fair...

- tuesdayniteink

and he comes up with this....

Dear tuesdayniteink,

"Then there's the chunk ebay charges me to use their service"

And that gives you the right to gouge your prospective buyers? Au contraire, eBay has VERY
strict guidlines regarding attempts at circumventing fees through the use of excessive
shipping charges. Since you've insisted on being a smartass about this, I've decided to let eBay
Security deal with you. Don't be suprised if your
auction gets pulled. DO NOT reply to this mssg.
Any further attempt at communication from you
will be construed as harrassment and will be reported as such.

- cristofe

Gee, do you suppose I hit a nerve? I know what was going on, he wanted to buy it (it being a broken Roland GK2 MIDI pickup), but he was hoping to pay a lot less than $17.00 to get it. But here's the real money outlay on it...

UPS shipping will be around $8.00 - I know this because I am constantly shipping small boxes conatining 1 lb cell phones to Motorola and that's what it costs. The UPS office is 15 miles away across town (30 mile round trip) - My car gets @19 MPG, so it's 1.5 gallons of gas at $4.00 so there's another $6.00, so we're up to $14.00. Ebay charges fees, and if the GK2 only sells for $.99 (the current bid) nearly all of that will be eaten up by the ebay fees. Do I have to buy a box? Is the 20 minutes I spend driving across town have a value? I doubt ebay will do anything in response to his threat, otherwise they'd have to dump over half the sellers (I ship enough phones to know $25 is way the hell more than it costs to ship any phone, Nextel only charges $12 to ship next day. I use the calculator because it puts a fair shipping estimate up from and personal so you can decide if you want to bid on the item or not. I don't sneak extra fees in after the fact - and on several item I used the same flat rate other people were charging for similar items (including wonderboy) - I guess we were all price gouging, but since he wasn't interested in those items he doesn't care.

The guy's a whining putz - as I discovered looking through his feedback. Sure he had a lot of positive feed back, he also had several suspicious deletions, and bad bids from people he probably pissed off. Even when people left positive feedback he'd whine about something else they said. He's a real prick.

And that's why I avoid ebay...

P.S. Do you like the little bit at the end - Don't try to tell me I'm wrong again, or I'll go crying to mommie. What a wuss...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Things change

It's kind of funny. When I was young there were things I thought I would get if I ever got a chance - the car I wanted was a Ford Cobra II Mustang (black and gold) with Cragar SS rims, I wanted a Kawasaki Spectre motorcycle, and I wanted a Les Paul guitar. I've never actually had a chance to get a mid to late '70s Mustang (much less a black and gold Cobra II), but when I bought wheels for a car, they weren't Cragar (OZ Racing 18" Record wheels, with Pirelli P Zero Nero tires). I actually did have a chance to buy a Spectre - when I bought my first bike, I had a choice between a Kawasaki 305 LTD, a 550 Spectre, and a Honda 650 Shadow. The Shadow (the one I should have bought) had been dropped and had a dent in the upper corner of the gas tank - the Spectre was several years old, so I got the nearly new LTD instead. Now I have a Harley - something I never even thought of owning until I actually bought it.

And now, when I spend a $1000 on a guitar, do I buy the fabled Gibson Les Paul - king of the rock guitars? No, I buy some semi obscure brand (Godin) loaded with all the features I've been trying to get on my guitar for the past year - HSH pickup configuration (my old Ibanez has that, and I like the sound), piezo electric bridge pickups (for that acoustic sound), and a built in Roland compatible interface (so I don't have to deal with that clunk box stuck to my guitar anymore).

I guess it pays to remain flexible...