Evil Exists

Let me preface with a reminder—I’m neither Democrat nor Republican. I proudly have No Party Affiliation. With that out of the way…

There is Evil in this World

I’ve worn many hats throughout my life, and without hesitation I tell you Evil exists, it’s real, and most of the time in this world, you will be the only person capable of defending yourself.

When you have a mass shooting, like the shooting in Orlando, people are very quick to assign immediate blame. People want to blame radical Islamics, gun control, Obama, Bush, or what have you. Continue reading “Evil Exists”

Thoughts on Shaving

Shaving—that time honored tradition of holding an extremely sharp instrument to your head when you’re still half asleep.

I started loosing my hair at a young age and by 30, I declared my hairstyle to be “bald is beautiful.” As such, I’ve bought a few razors overs the years and I can get into a shaving discussion with the best of gents.

When people ask me if I’ve used the Dollar Shave Club and seem surprised when explain that it’s (1) too expensive and (2) I wasn’t happy with the razors. Continue reading “Thoughts on Shaving”

A Lesson in How Not to Twitter

When Yeni and I were dating, her apartment used Comcast for Internet. Like armies of other customers, I experienced numerous problems and after hours on the phone expressed my outrage on Twitter.

I didn’t expect assistance. I simply wasn’t happy and wanted to express my anger, to… well, to the entire world. Surprisingly, my small tweet was noticed by Comcast, who replied to me, contacted the appropriate people, and actually resolved my problem.

Shocked? So was I. Continue reading “A Lesson in How Not to Twitter”

Independence Day

Tomorrow is July 4th, or Independence Day here in the United States — where we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

At the time, what is now the United States existed as 13 colonies of Great Britain. For many reasons, none of which I’ll discuss here, the colonists decided to declare themselves a new nation, independent from British (or any other) rule, with certain unalienable Rights — including Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Continue reading “Independence Day”

There You Go vs Thank You

Recently, Yeni sent me to the grocery store to grab some milk for the bakery. So, like most people in the Sunshine State, I headed to Publix and went to the dairy case. A minute or so later, after fighting my tiredness and the tempation to buy a Twix, I slid my card through the reader and got ready to leave. When the cashier handed me the receipt, her words instantly awakened me.

“There you go,” she said, with my receipt in her extended arm.

“There I go,” I replied as I walked away.

When exactly did “There You Go” replace “Thank You?”

Continue reading “There You Go vs Thank You”

American Express / Non-American Call Center

Today, I attempted to use my American Express card as a replacement for an old card that had expired. I entered the card info, hit “renew,” and was told it was declined.

Within a minute, I received an automated phone call from a toll-free number. The automated message stated (paraphrasing here) that this was the American Express Fraud Department and that I needed to call the 800 number to confirm card activity.

If I hadn’t just made the charge attempt, I think I wouldn’t have called… but in this case… I called and a person (with a very heavy accent) answered, said that this was American Express, and asked for my card number.

Now, I actually believe this was American Express. That being said, this same scenario is textbook scam.

How can you tell the difference? (Short answer is that I don’t know.)

I asked if the call agent was in the United States; he said he was in Bombay, India. He wouldn’t transfer me to the United States, so I thanked him and called the number on the back of my card.

The automated system couldn’t understand me (they never understand Yeni) and I was transferred to a call agent… in the Philippines. They also wouldn’t (or couldn’t) transfer me to a call center in the United States.

After a few more attempts I reached a call center in the USA… who was unable to get me to a fraud specialist outside of India.

At one point, I asked “Isn’t this American Express?”

He politely let me know that American Express was a global company, servicing many outside the United States.

I get it. I really get it — hell, I have many clients that operate call centers. There is only one reason to outsource a call center outside the United States. Money.

American Express has a duty to it’s shareholders… but then again… it’s a company that’s benefited greatly by the United States (again… it’s American Express). As a merchant, I know AmEx charges American businesses twice what other cards charge for processing a payment.

The least they can do is keep jobs here in the USA.

As for my card? It’s unresolved. AmEx says it’s for my security that I talk to someone in India. I say it’s not.

Your Phone Company is Watching

Back in 2012 or so, I posted a video hidden within a rant I had made. I rant from time to time. Scratch that. I rant a lot. I blog my rants from time to time.

Anyway, I think about this video often.

Malte Spitz asked his telephone company what type of data they had been collecting on him. An innocent question… what type of information are you collecting?

The results astounded him and he effectively communicated why we should all be concerned.

For those of you out there who don’t find any significance to the Snowden releases, the information our NSA collects, and why blanket collection of data is a dangerous tool… I ask you to watch the movie.

It’s a quick 10 minutes. If you’ve seen it before, it’s time to watch it again.

Malte Spitz asked his cell phone carrier what it knew about him–and mapped what he found out.

Facebook: I'm Breaking Up with You

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Missed it. Was on Facebook.

Listen… I’m grateful for our relationship. I do not regret these past 7+ years. After all, you and I have shared some significant events.

When we first got together I was single, had an amazing dog, and was finishing up my degree. You were great in helping me connect with other students in my classes and even helped me keep track of assignments, projects, and more.

You helped me through some rough times.  Continue reading “Facebook: I'm Breaking Up with You”