Thursday, January 22, 2009

Citibank Can Kiss My Ass

I arrived home today to find a notice from my credit card company Citibank informing me of a rate increase. If my memory serves me correct, this is the second increase in less than a year. Now, this really doesn't affect me as I pay my balance in full every month. But, the action basically smacks me in the face for two reasons.

1. I've been a loyal customer for years. I've always paid my balance. I've always paid on time. They've basically never had a problem with me. No fraud. No lost cards. No shady purchases. I always call before I go on vacation. You get the picture.

2. This is the even more distasteful one. Citi has begged for and received at least $20 Billion (with a capital B) of taxpayer funds to pay for their horrible business decisions. We are also on the hook for $100 Billion (that B again) of bad assets should they fail.

Now, has any of the decision makers been fired at Citi? No. Has Citi performed any goodwill services to the citizens of this country? No. Have they even THANKED us? No.

Why should they? They can sit in their executive offices and make horrible greedy decision after horrible greedy decision with no accountability whatsoever.

So, in my anger I called Citi to express my displeasure. I told the customer service representative that my forthcoming vent was not directed at her and that I sympathized with her because I've been on the receiving end many times. She gave me some spiel about the price of borrowing money has increased and blah blah blah. I gave my $0.02 (probably $0.002 with inflation though Citi would charge me $20 for it) and was asked if there was anything else. I told her no and to have a good day.

Well Citibank, you've definitely lost a customer today. I will still keep the account open to keep my credit score up, and since it is tied to my American Airlines frequent flier miles (who I have a bone to pick with too), but rest assured I will use my State Farm Bank card when I need to use one. At least they haven't asked for a bailout.

Monday, January 19, 2009

And we are friends with them because.....? Part 2

You may remember an article I posted a month ago about a Saudi judge refusing to annul a marriage between an 8 year old girl and a 47 year old man. Well, the saga continues with a cleric saying it is ok for girls as young as 10 to marry.

Please note the following passages
  • "A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she's too young are wrong and they are being unfair to her."
  • "We hear a lot in the media about the marriage of underage girls," he said, according to the newspaper. "We should know that Shariah law has not brought injustice to women."

Ummm...I call Bull Shit on the second one. While I can't supply specific cases I do remember these interesting happenings because of Shariah

  • Women being stoned because they were raped
  • Women not being allowed to drive
  • Women not being allowed to own property
  • Honor killings being upheld
  • Women being raped because of the actions of their male relatives

So, I think Shariah law is a litttttle against women. I will be glad to ride a bicycle to work if that is what it takes to avoid giving money to the Saudis.

As for the age limit the cleric proposes, words escape me. I can't fathom what twisted logic one must have to think that is ok. Perhaps this cleric should spend some time being treated as a woman under Shariah law. I would like to see how he liked it after a year.


This weekend was pretty fun.

Friday night we played Settlers of Catan with the Schicks and the Roethles. If you've never heard of Settlers of Catan I highly recommend you try it out. It's similar to Risk without the in-game fighting. As for out-of-game fighting, that's a different story... The great thing about the game is the board changes each time you play so it doesn't become routine. Anyway, I lost both games (as did Rachel), but we still had a good time.

Saturday night we went to a surprise birthday party. It was for Rachel's sister's sister-in-law (follow that?) and the party was held at Jupiter's Pizza lounge in Champaign.
The place was set up like an upscale Chuck E Cheese, although, sans cheese maze (a missed opportunity if you ask me). While the concept is a good idea (one that Dave & Buster's have already exploited), the execution on this night failed. Here's my review on a scale of 10 trees, 10 being the highest.

Selection of drinks - 8 - bonus tree for having Stella Artois on tap
Food - 7 - The pizza selections were very...hip with spinach and artichoke being the common ingredient. The wings were very good
Games - 4 - for a place that prides itself on entertainment they should have more video games - the availability of an air hockey table was good
Decor - 7 - nice and clean (unlike most Dave & Buster's) though we were packed into our tables
Staff - 7 - staff was friendly but we had a waitress who had only been there a week - not very nice of management to give her a big party that early in her tenure

End score 6.5 trees - I'm not dying to get back but would give them another chance if I am in Champaign and want to play pool

Sunday was spent watching football. Condolences to my friend Chad (Eagles fan), but that Philly-Phoenix game was excellent. I'm rooting for the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl. The Steelers have had their time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Where do they find these morons?

And why do they give them driver's licenses? For my adoring fans who do not live in the greater Bloomington-Normal metro area, we had 4-5 inches of snow last night.

Now, living in the snow belt, one would think drivers would be used to driving in the snow. Nope, not a clue. Now yes, there are some drivers who have attained a proficiency in winter driving but for the most part, we have a plethora of morons on our roadways. People driving way too fast. People who don't realize their rear wheel drive will cause them to fishtail. People who think their 4-wheel drive Landcrushers make them invincible (just because your car handles better doesn't mean it stops that much quicker).

Several times on my way to work the cars behind me didn't even let off the accelerator while I was turning in front of them. Fortunately, through my years of driving experience, and because I follow my father's advice that everyone is trying to kill you on the road, I slow down quite a bit before the turn. Thankfully, no one hit me, but not from a lack of trying.

Monday, January 12, 2009

We Are The Champions!

This weekend we celebrated Christmas with Rachel's sister Laura's family. The food was excellent, the gifts were thoughtful (thanks for the Wii Rock Band guitar), the game play was fun. We had chili (yum!) and vegetable soup (Rachel was salivating in anticipation).

As for the games, we first played Fact or Crap (gift to me from Laura), which I won. It was a pretty fun game with some very hard and interesting questions. We then decided to play Pictionary. Now, I love Pictionary and like to think I'm pretty good at it. However, I'd never played the game with Rachel so I didn't know how in sync we would be. After a couple of bad clues we proceeded to catch on fire. We won the first time before the other two teams got half-way and then won again (at the behest of the other teams) by lapping them. Needless to say, we won't be playing Pictionary again against them while on the same team.

The highlight of the games was when I got the clue 'Fargo'. I tried drawing the states with Fargo highlighted but Rachel couldn't think of a city other than Bismark. I then tried to draw two stick figures near and far (get it,Far-go?). When that didn't work I had a stroke of genius. I proceeded to draw a wood chipper with a stick figure going in headfirst. Rachel immediately got it after that.

You betcha

Thursday, January 8, 2009

TFW is back

After a long absence TFW (The Furious Wiper) is back. This morning I overheard (as did those in the neighboring building) TFW sanding away at his son's Pinewood Derby car. I hope I never see who is because that would spoil the mystery.

On a related note, I encountered a gentleman with ultimate faith in State Farm's cleaning crew. For you see, this courageous man let his expensive belt buckle jangle on the bathroom floor multiple times. Almost like he was trying to play a tune with it. All I could think of was Seinfeld throwing away his belt because it hit the side of the urinal.

As my idol George Carlin said, "These are the thoughts that kept me out of the good schools."

So Long Crash

Well, the Thunder let Don "The Crash Davis of Hockey" Parsons go the other day. As I've said before, I know just enough about hockey to be dangerous. In my opinion, he had lost a step (skate?) or two this season and didn't always handle the puck the best. That said, the Thunder will definitely miss the revenue from sales of his jersey. He was also a recognizable name to the general fan. With that in mind, it must have been a difficult decision by team management to let him go.

I've also read/heard that his leadership skills were less than desirable and he rubbed several teammates the wrong way. Nonetheless, I wish him well. I'm sure he will find another team as a player or coach. 15+ years in the minors should have given him some would hope.

At least they waited until he got the minor league scoring record. Hopefully his wife is as hot as Susan Sarandon.....

FYI, for those who do not get the Crash Davis and Sarandon references, do yourself a favor and rent Bull Durham. And while you're there, rent Slap Shot and Strange Brew hoser. Okay Coach.

Hippocratic Oath?

Anyone need a doctor in Long Island with questionable ethics and a chip on his shoulder? I realize he is hurt but by requesting his kidney back (or equitable compensation) he is only making himself look bad. I'm sure this will sit well with his kids.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A step forward?

Well, it looks like the GM of the Prairie Thunder resigned last night. I don't know anything about the guy so I wish him luck in whatever he does next. Let's hope this is a step in the right direction and that we can get some Ws.

January Disc Golf

I got off of work early Friday and on my way home I stopped by Mark's house. We admired his roommates new TV and shot the shit when his friend Ken called with an offer we couldn't refuse, disc golf in January. Who would think it would be nice enough outside for disc golf? It was 35 out but sunny and no wind whatsoever. The ground was a little soggy but we had a great time. Plus, I had a very good round (for me) and a couple excellent putts. Have no fear though, I still mucked it up on a couple holes, along with hitting the chains several times only to have it bounce out.

Later that night Rachel and I went to Officemax to finally buy a desk. Hopefully it takes up less space than the table and is a little more ergonomic. We then went home and watched the rest of the 3rd season of Lost. I can't wait for the new season.

Today (Saturday) I'm contemplating whether to go to the Thunder game. We'll see...


Well, another NYE has come and gone. It was a pretty good one this time around. We went to the hockey game with our friends Amy and Scott. Of course, the Prairie Thunder lost (more on that later). After the butt whupping the Thunder got we went back to our place to play pool, darts, and Rock Band. All in all, a pretty good night. Plus, Kathy Griffin was on CNN with Anderson Cooper, always good for some laughs.

New Year's Day was a little harsh to us but we soldiered through. Unfortunately El Porton (best Mexican restaurant in B-N) was closed so I went to Zorba's to pick up some breakfast. The rest of the day was spent laying around the house watching TV and taking naps. Quite a productive day if you ask me ;)

Now on to the hockey game. I sincerely hope the Thunder make a New Year's resolution to start winning games or at least get some better puck handling skills. Oh, and can we get an enforcer sometime soon? It's crazy that the littlest guy on the team (Standish, about 5'6"...on skates) has the most fight in him. He even took on a 6'5" guy! Anyway, the games are a good time but it would be nice to win every once in a while.

One more thing, any parent who buys their child one of those f'n plastic horns should have a giant Bud Light (I'm not wasting good beer, come on!) dumped on their head. I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to snatch one of those horns away from a kid and blow it directly into their mom or dad's ear. And don't get me started on the bloody cowbell people. Have we forgotten how to cheer or be obnoxious with our voices? If you are going to cheer your team and/or annoy others, at least do it the old fashioned way.