recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Doctor was wondering why my blood pressure went up. Gee, heh. I posted the below as a comment to [livejournal.com profile] badmagic's journal, and figured why not post it here too. How DARE our President and the Republicans say it's ok for these weasels to make this kind of money while the rest of us lose their homes? If any of US screw up on the job, we get fired. MAYBE we get unemployment.

Hurry up, right now...must pass this without oversight. Haven't we heard this all before? Can you say "Patriot Act?"

However, what boggles me the most is that the bastards that DID all of this are not going to have to give up a dime, and that includes bonuses. Wouldn't 700 billion given back to the taxpayers buy most of us out of debt completely? But NO...the Republicans won't vote for a cap on what these people make, which could pay THOUSANDS of "regular" employees. (take just the Fuld's salary for a start. 34 million. Let's say the average person makes 50,000 per year. His salary alone would employ 680 people).

According to the Phoenix Business Journal here's some of what our lovely CEO pals are making (NOT INCLUDING BONUSES)

* Lehman Brothers Chairman and CEO Richard Fuld Jr. made $34 million in 2007. Lehman (OTC:LEHMQ) filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection earlier this month.
* Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), which Sunday gained Federal Reserve Bank approval to become a bank holding company, paid its Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein $70 million last year. Co-Chief Operating Officers Gary Cohn and Jon Winkereid were paid $72.5 million and $71 million, respectively.
* American International Group’s chief executive Martin Sullivan got a $14 million compensation package in 2007. He was ousted in June. The insurance giant (NYSE:AIG) is on the receiving end of an $85 billion federal bailout. Edward Liddy took over as AIG’s chief executive earlier this month.
* Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack earned $1.6 million. Chief Financial Officer Colin Kelleher got a $21 million paycheck in 2007. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) also received approval to become a banking holding company, a shift that allows Morgan and Goldman to bring in bank deposit assets which offer more solid financial footing.
* Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was paid $17 million in salary, bonuses and stock options in 2007. Merrill (NYSE:MER) is being acquired by Bank of America (NYSE:BAC). BofA CEO Kenneth Davis earned $25 million in 2007.
* JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chairman and CEO James Dimon earned $28 million in 2007. Chase (NYSE:JPM) acquired troubled investment house Bear Stearns earlier this year with the federal government promising to take on as much as $30 billion in Bear assets to help get the deal done.
* Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd received $11.6 million in 2007. His counterpart at Freddie Mac, Richard Syron, brought in $18 million. The federal government announced earlier this month it was taking over the mortgage backers with Herbert Allison to serve as Fannie CEO and David Moffett the new CEO at Freddie.
* Wachovia Corp. Chairman and CEO G. Kennedy Thompson received $21 million in 2007. He was succeeded by Robert Steel as CEO in July. Steel is slated to get a $1 million salary with an opportunity for a $12 million bonus, according to CEO Watch. Wachovia (NYSE:WB) is one of the banks that could be sold in the midst of the financial crisis.
* Seattle-based Washington Mutual (NYSE:WAMU) will pay its new CEO Alan Fishman a salary and incentive package worth more than $20 million through 2009 for taking the helm of the battered bank, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Are you sick yet?
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
I can't get the iPhone out of "connect to iTunes" mode, and when I DO connect, all iTunes wants to do is access the iTunes Store, which errors out (likely due to billions of people trying to get to it). No summary or anything else shows up under iPhone in iTunes, and therefore I can't do a restore. Trying to get back to the old software on another machine, but thusfar unable.

Are we having fun yet?

A company like Apple, who USED to be known for customer service and stable software, is beginning to become tedious.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
BBC NEWS | UK | England | Wiltshire | Vandals in attack at Stonehenge:
Vandals in attack at Stonehenge

Suspected souvenir hunters broke into Stonehenge and vandalised the ancient monument, English Heritage said.
A small chip the size of a 10p piece was taken from the side of the Heel Stone with a screwdriver and hammer.
English Heritage said further damage was prevented by security guards who spotted the two men at the 5,000-year-old site in Wiltshire.
Police believe the men could be the same two people caught on CCTV acting suspiciously a few days earlier.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Anyone who's watched "Big Trouble in Little China" can tell you that there are many Chinese hells. I surmise that now there is a new one - the Chinese hell of plastic packaging. I've ranted on this before, but damn, it seems to be getting WORSE rather than better.

Today I had to open 4 of these horrible packages. One had a clever perforated back that, when the tab is pulled, does nothing because the perforations go maybe 1/4 through the plastic. So I cut through it, finally pulling the tab up to find....you still can't open it because underneath it is ANOTHER plastic barrier with no perforation. Ok, so I cut through that. And, you guessed it, ANOTHER plastic barrier. That was worth an email of complaint.

Next, a travel adapter that advertised itself as "grounded." Well, wanting a grounded adapter, I bought it. Upon finally cutting through the plastic (painfully, I might add) we find that the UK ground prong is plastic. Uh, interesting ground that plastic... Another email of complaint.

Next, Monster's iSplitter. A LOVELY idea and a great product. You can put it in your iPod and 2 people can listen and have separate volume control. Excellent! Cept for one thing....you can't open the damn thing.

Last, but not least, the travel charger for my nifty little new Nikon camera. every....piece....was....encased....in...different.....impenetrable.....plastic.

I HEX YOU ALL, you EVIL PLASTIC PACKAGING PEOPLE!!!!!
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
There has recently been much hoopla about Zyrtec, the lovely antihistamine that helps me to keep breathing, has gone OTC. Many have praised this as a wonderful advance and ever so progressive. Funnily enough, I'm not finding it such a panacea.

I've been on Zyrtec for several years, after Allegra and Claritin decided to stop working for me. I've suffered from chronic allergies pretty much since birth, and have found great relief through the magic of modern chemistry. However, as with Prilosec before it, changing Zyrtec to OTC has resulted in demand > supply, and difficulty finding it.

Add to this wonderous fun, the fact that I was getting my Zyrtec for a small co-payment while now I have to pay up to 1.00 per pill, and you have a mixed bag of goodness and badness.

I run out of my Zyrtec in 15 days. I can't get it as a prescription anymore, even if I were to pay for it. So I tried to go to the ever so helpful zyrtec.com page where I found that there were several places "authorized" to sell it OTC. Interesting that many of them said that it's unavailable until the end of Feb, or even March. Heh.

This is similar to the time my insurance company swore up and down that Nexium is the same thing as Prilosec (it's not) and I should use Prilosec. Trundling down to my local CVS there was a big sign that they couldn't keep up with demand for Prilosec and so they may have it....sometime.....not sure when...... uh....try the Internet.

Gotta love it when you have to jump through hoops in order to get your meds, pay through the nose (pun intended) and yet our health care system is so great. Pass the Benedryl, will ya?
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
I got a letter today from our health care insurer and could only say "WTF?!?!?"

This is the happy fun insurer who decided it was not going to pay for Nexium under any circumstances (saying it wasn't any different from Prilosec OTC despite chemical breakdowns that are different, and despite FDA approval, so either the FDA is utterly stupid and "in the pocket" of the drug industry, or the insurer is grasping at straws so as not to have to pay for expensive drugs).

So, because they won't pay for the drug I need, I've been on protonix. Imagine my surprise when I got a letter regarding my protonix:

We placed generic Protonix in Tier 3 because it is more expensive than the brand based on discounts we have with the manufacturer.

Now wait a minute... there are many things wrong with this picture. 1) Generic costs more than brand name? What's THAT about? 2) Insurance companies get huge discounts? Why don't those discounts go to my co-pay? Why can't those without insurance get those discounts? 3) Now I have to make sure the doc prescribes brand name until/unless the generic cost goes down, else I will have to pay a higher co-pay for generic than for brand. That's so strange.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
I have another blog I use for my political ranting at Psycho Sensei. Yet another blog I use for my Wiccan blatherings at Non Fluffy. However, sometimes something just pisses me off to the extent that I get SO ANGRY I have to rant.

I get a lot of my daily information via RSS feeds. As I was scanning along my usual fodder today, I came across this from Boing Boing:

A five-year-old boy was taken into custody and thoroughly searched at Sea-Tac because his name is similar to a possible terrorist alias. As the Consumerist reports, "When his mother went to pick him up and hug him and comfort him during the proceedings, she was told not to touch him because he was a national security risk. They also had to frisk her again to make sure the little Dillinger hadn't passed anything dangerous weapons or materials to his mother when she hugged him."
It's a case of a mistaken identity for a 5-year-old boy from Normandy Park. He had trouble boarding a plane because someone with the same name is wanted by the federal government. Mimi Jung reports from Sea-Tac Airport.
You know, if you wanted to systematically discredit the idea of a Department of Homeland Security, if you wanted to make an utter mockery of aviation safety, you could not do a better job than this.


It's precisely this type of "by the book" inability to think for oneself bullshit that allowed what happened on 9/11 to transpire the way it did. Remember, back then box cutters were ALLOWED on flights. Nobody on duty that day questioned the idea of allowing people on one way paid with cash tickets to board an aircraft carrying deadly instruments. Nobody, except one man who later "felt bad" about it.

Michael Tuohey, of Scarborough, Maine was a US Air ticket agent that day:

"I said to myself, 'If this guy doesn't look like an Arab terrorist, then nothing does.' Then I gave myself a mental slap, because in this day and age, it's not nice to say things like this," Tuohey told the Maine Sunday Telegram. "You've checked in hundreds of Arabs and Hindus and Sikhs, and you've never done that. I felt kind of embarrassed."


So he thought for himself but rejected his conclusion, maybe because he thought he might get sued, or maybe because it was easier not to question the rules. Nowhere am I saying that if this man had done something the tragedy would have been averted - we can never know. For all we know the other terrorists would have gone ahead and committed the horrible acts. But it's that kind of questioning that shouldn't be stifled, but should be encouraged.

Maybe if someone had bothered to question the stupidity of detaining a 5 year old child while perhaps someone else carried something lethal on board an aircraft, this incident and others like it would not occur.

Just maybe. Otherwise, we might as well stand up and surrender right now, for surely we have lost. Questioning authority is the cornerstone of what "they" hate most about us, and we are prohibiting our own people from doing so in any meaningful fashion. [livejournal.com profile] calanish asked me whether regime change would make any difference. Sadly, I don't think so. Since 9/11/01 we've been trained to be systematically afraid, to not question, and to accept whatever we were told "for our own safety."

How many more 5 year olds do we have to frisk before we get the message?
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
So what cha think? Free speech? Religious rights? Assholishness disguised as Free Speech or Religious Rights?

Full Story Here

BALTIMORE, Maryland (AP) -- A grieving father won a nearly $11 million verdict Wednesday against a fundamentalist Kansas church that pickets military funerals in the belief that the war in Iraq is a punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.
art.westboro.gi.jpg

A member of Westboro Baptist Church protests outside a veteran's hospital in Maywood, Illinois, in April 2006.

Albert Snyder of York, Pennsylvania, sued the Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
After my rant yesterday about dumbasses on the reef, this guy came up to me as we I was sitting on the dock waiting for the boat to leave (I don't get on til the last possible second due to my seasickness issues). He asked me if I was on this boat. I said yes. He then launched into a diatribe about how I was "hogging" the frogfish and blocking him from taking pictures and I really shouldn't have been in that spot for so long and blah blah blah.

I have been an underwater photographer for 12 years now. I believe I've been taught by some of the best, and each one of them instilled a kind of "photographer's etiquette" in me that I continue to follow. Part of that etiquette involves shooting the critter for 2 minutes, then moving on. I shoot 2 minutes of video, move out of the way, and if I really want more, I wait til the end of the line and do another 2 minutes.

So what happened with the frogfish? Dumbass and his paparazzi friends with point and shoot cameras and bad buoyancy came swooping in on the frogfish, causing him to move in front of ME. I followed the frogfish moving, shot for 2 minutes, then moved. These same people scared the turtle to a spot in front of me, then scared the seahorse to a spot in front of me. Gee, how horrible of me to be in the right place at the right time for good video.

Grrrrrrrr. Good thing I didn't see this guy on the dive or I would have shot much video of him to use on YouTube as an example of bad buoyancy on the reef making photographers look bad.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Ok, WTF. I fail to understand why I am somehow not allowed to have fun without some kind of payment. First it was my small fish tank....now it is problems with the large one. Ok...I admit that I was having way too much fun. I was even highly amused by the downpours causing enough pooling water in the parking lot that we named it a dive site complete with wreck diving (and were preparing to create the trademark yellow rock with dive site name proudly emblazoned on it "Parking Lot"). I was amused by those afraid of the rain because they might get wet before diving. All of this, and the fun diving, was giving me many giggles. Then, last night, I noticed the tank temperature dropping. I remotely turned the lights on to stem the tide. This didn't work. The temp kept dropping. This morning it was down to 72 from its normal 80. We tried to get hold of the house sitter to no avail. We finally got her this morning. Apparently, the breaker in the controller box itself popped out. *ARGH* I have no idea if the fish will be ok or not.

Meantime, the hot water heater has failed at home.

I give up. I'm going diving.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
On the good side, it isn't 100 degrees. On the bad side, I just got a return receipt letter from my neighbors complaining about my dogs. Yep, they can be noisy. Nope, they are not noisy at 10:30 at night because they are in their cages at 9 inside the house. Nope, they don't bark for 2 hours at a time, and nope, they don't bark when these people have a phone ring in their house. I doubt that it is possible for them to hear what goes on in the neighbor's house given the distance and the trees between. They also claim their overnight guests have complained. Strange, because I'm a very light sleeper and they don't wake ME up, mostly because they're in their cages in the house until about 10 AM every morning.

In any case, it's time to do something about trying to keep them from barking so much, despite the exaggerated claims of the neighbors. I've ordered an anti barking collar that emits a tone that increases in volume as the barking continues. Anyone got any other ideas?
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
So here we are, occupying a Muslim country, and playing games about blowing away the 'Antichrist'? Why would anyone think that it's an ok thing to send religious games to troops? Of course, this was going to be CHRISTIAN religious games, and you can be certain those of other faiths blowing away unbelievers would not even have been considered. I have to wonder whether these games would have just been silently shipped over if the evil left wing media hadn't reported on the issue.

ACSBlog: The Blog of the American Constitution Society: News Round-up: Religion, Spy Satellites, Death Penalty, National Security:


ABC News reported "Plans by a Christian group to send an evangelical video game to U.S. troops in Iraq were abruptly halted yesterday by the Department of Defense after ABC News inquired about the program." (H/T Religion Clause) From RC:

The Department of Defense has stopped plans by a Christian evangelical group to send soldiers in Iraq a video game in which Christian believers fight the Antichrist in the Battle of Armageddon.

recalcitranttoy: (Default)
As the blood trickles down my finger, I curse whomever thought it would be a lovely idea to encase product in armor like hard plastic nonsensical packaging that needs a jackhammer and construction crew to open. A POX on you I say!

I now go in search of where I last left the band aids from my LAST encounter with such ridiculous packaging.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
This answer is nothing but garbage. I sent another query with it. I'm wondering if a class action lawsuit shouldn't be forthcoming by Mac users. Grrrrrr.

--------------------------------
On Jun 12, 2007, at 8:49 PM, Verizon Wireless Customer Service N wrote:

Dear Me,

Thank you for contacting our Verizon Wireless website. We are sorry to learn that you are having difficulty with using iSync with your LG device via Bluetooth connection. We understand that this can be an inconvenience, and we are happy to provide you with information about the Bluetooth capabilities on your device.

Our handsets include Get It Now, our virtual store of ringtones, games and productivity tools that customers can download. The agreements we have with our Get It Now content providers preclude our allowing anyone to download these applications beyond the phone. The open architecture of Bluetooth could allow customers to download Get It Now applications beyond the phone. It is for this reason that our Get It Now enabled Bluetooth capable handsets do not have Bluetooth Object Exchange (OBEX) or file transfer capabilities enabled. We understand and apologize for any frustration or inconvenience this may cause you.

If you have further questions or concerns, please write to us again through www.VerizonWireless.com. We appreciate your business and thank you for choosing Verizon Wireless.

Sincerely,

Shacova
Verizon Wireless
Data Technical Support

If you have received this e-mail in error or are not the intended recipient, please notify us immediately by replying to this e-mail and deleting it and all copies and backups thereof. If you are the intended recipient and are a Verizon Wireless customer, this response is subject to the terms of your Customer Agreement.

Gee, wonder if this means that they'll freak cuz I posted this or claim some type of copyright in the response to tech support questions. Damn, I'd LOVE to see those contracts cuz I bet it says something different from what they think it says

My response:

Sorry, but that doesn't parse. Why is it that OTHER Verizon phones are usable with iSync and the LGs are specifically precluded from using the STANDARD Bluetooth feature set. Why is this something that LG purchasers are not warned about? What in the agreements with content providers prohibits me from putting my address book, my calendar and contacts, and my own photographs from my computer to my telephone, which is possible for Windows users? What in your contracts could possibly allow for Windows users to enjoy features that Macintosh users are prohibited without so much as a warning?
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Seems I have found the reason why LG phones will not sync with the Mac. The service provider will not let them. I am utterly FURIOUS! So I wrote to them. We'll see what happens.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Why has Verizon asked LG to limit its Bluetooth capabilities to Windows Operating Systems only? I inquired of LG and received this:

The bluetooth ability of our handsets is designed to work solely with Windows Operating Systems. No data can be transferred via bluetooth between the phone and a macintosh unit. This is simply the design of our handsets as received per our direct customer's requets, with the direct customer being the service provider.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may present.

Please contact us again if you have additional inquries.

Ms. Tyria
Electronic Correspondence Executive (ECE)
LG Electronics USA
800-243-0000
----------
The idea that you artificially 'dumb down' your phones is appalling. I am a Macintosh only user and cannot sync a perfectly good telephone because Verizon forces the company to limit a standards implementation?

And why do you not disclose this prior to the purchase of LG phones? There should be no reason why I cannot transfer files back and forth or use iSync.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
In response to Grail76's thoughtful post regarding how women bloggers and writers are sometimes stalked, threatened, and/or harassed over the Internet, I offered the following comment, which [livejournal.com profile] badmagic asked me to repost here. So here it is....

And the most frightening thing about this, and one that many of us have been fighting for over a decade, is public dissemination of "whois" information. Everyone who registers a domain name MUST now have their information available to the public. Many of these women, and women owned businesses, are unfairly placed in the position of having their information available to anyone in the world who types a command into a terminal window.

Why? Because the intellectual property cartel insisted on this in order to more easily go after people who might infringe trademarks. Trademark protection is more important than protection of lives. They COULD subpoena the information from the ISP if they have probable cause, but they'd rather not take that much time.

I, too, have been stalked via the Internet. I blame the intellectual property cartel along with the idiots who do this. And it totally pisses me off.

Send comments to ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. They make the whois policies (sort of... the intellectual property cartel generally makes the policies and ICANN adopts them). Let them know how you feel about these kinds of things.

Addendum: ICANN's latest findings re: whois are posted in .pdf form on their website. I could find zero occurrences of the word "privacy," "stalking" or "protection" in any of the report.

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