Category Archives: Rants

Chris Brown should NOT have performed at the Grammy’s

What is wrong with our society, y’all? How is Chris Brown back on top? Sunday night while watching the Grammy’s, I expressed to the hubs that I hated that Chris Brown was performing at the Grammy’s. Why?! Why did his album debut at number 1? Why do people love him still? I LOVED him about 5 years ago. Loved. That all changed that night before the Grammy’s that he beat Rihanna up. I’m sure she’d like any attention to that night to go away and for people to forget that it happened, but I can’t. I won’t. I cannot stand for people to support a woman beater. Not only support, but idolize. Just look at these reactions from Twitter to CB at the Grammy’s. They make me ill.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Sasha at Hello Giggles seems to have broken into my mind and put my thoughts out on her blog for all to see here. Well, all except for the supporting Planned Parenthood part. (There are plenty of other organizations that provide cancer screenings for women, but don’t provide abortions.)

Also, so glad celebrities spoke out against the Academy. Chris Brown beats women.

Baby, it’s cold outside

So, I like snow. After growing up where snow was plentiful and then moving to the south where snow was non-existent, I missed snow. Then, I moved to NY and was so excited about snow again. However, with the snow comes the cold. Why is it that the most miserable weather (cold & rain) always happen on the weekends? Low of 16 tomorrow and they’re saying “Real Feel” 12 and Low of 5 (5!) on Sunday with a “Real Feel” of -5! Can’t this happen during the week when I’m in my office all day, not on the weekend when I want to get out, see friends and run errands?

Ugh – Mis!

Macy’s Customer Service

For a company that is struggling so publicly and trying so hard to stay afloat, you’d think they’d spend more time on their customer service and not just their advertising.

I see Macy’s advertising everywhere. I always see that they’re having a one day sale or a red apple sale or whatever it is they have.

They have a throw that I’d like to purchase and this weekend it was on sale for $35 (from $80!). Online you had to spend $99 to get free shipping and I didn’t care to buy anything else, so I called the 34th St store, the only one in Manhattan that I’m aware of, to see if they carried the color I wanted. It rang and rang and rang for probably 5 minutes before I hung up. I decided just to brave the tourists and make the trip to the store. When I got to the bedding floor, a woman organizing some things confirmed that they, in fact, were sold out of the color I want. She assured me though that they could send it to me if they had it in the warehouse. I said something about that being great because I didn’t want to order it from the site and have to pay the $10 of shipping. They did have it in the warehouse, so she started to check me out.

The throw wasn’t coming up the sale price in the system, but she said if I had a print out, she could honor that. I did not, but I did have the site up on my phone. She said she needed an actual print out (why?!) and that I could go up to the wedding registry and print one out. While I was gone she said she’d get her manager to make sure they could honor it. I said, well, rather than wasting my time going up there if you can’t honor it, maybe we should find the manager first. She said that would take longer than me just going, so I went.

When I came back with the print out, I guess they could honor it and she rang me up. It was coming out to $44 before tax. I kept saying, what about the sale price? I don’t understand. She finally said it was for shipping. *bug eyes* Shipping?? I told her that if I had to pay shipping I didn’t want it. Surely, I can find something just as nice without having to pay shipping because they don’t have what I want in store. She apologized, said she didn’t realize I’d said before that I didn’t want to pay shipping, and I went on my way.

What store now-a-days makes you pay shipping for having something they don’t have in store shipped to you?? I can’t tell you the last time I was asked to pay shipping for an item like that. I can tell you the first time I remember not having to pay shipping to have something sent to me that they didn’t have in store though. It was my first year of grad school – ’05/’06.

Macy’s, I want to keep you in business. I want to purchase items you carry. However, I will forgo items when I cannot get shipping for free and when I’m asked to pay for shipping of an item I am paying for in store that is being shipped to me because it is not available in the color or size I want. If you want business to get better, keep up with your competitors – people will go elsewhere to get what they cannot get from you. Live in the now.

“Urgent”

!

It’s amazing to me what people mark as urgent in emails. I very, very rarely make use of marking an email “high importance” or “urgent.” There are people who do it for every email they send. Do they really think they’re that important to me? It’s amazing. Unless something significant happening depends on your email being read or responded to, it’s probably not that important. Billing is not one of those things. A red exclamation point in my in box means nothing to me – similar to “asap” (shudder).

Chase’s Minimum Interest Fee

So I just took a look at my Chase account (checking and credit card) and saw that on my credit card, I had a balance of $1.50. I wouldn’t have charged $1.50, so I took a look at the statement to see what it was. Chase now charges their customers a “Minimum Interest Fee” if you have a $0 balance between the end of your month statement month and when your statement is sent to you. I paid mine off a few days before and was apparently penalized for having a $0 balance on my credit card. It’s total bullshit – just a way for Chase to make up the $$ they’re no longer making from the new restrictions the government has placed on them. When I called they removed it as a courtesy. Courtesy my foot, it’s just supposed to make me feel better. All these made up banking and credit card fees are so ridiculous.

What is terrorism?

I can’t get over the way the media portrays things to control the emotions of the general population.

One that has particularly bothered me is in relation to the man who crashed a plane into the IRS building in Austin to basically make a point. Most of the news articles about it have a statement that read something similar to: “The Department of Homeland Security said it did not believe the crash was an act of terrorism.” That sentence is from this article on Fox News. I don’t mean to rant twice in a row about Homeland Security (and maybe because of it, the FBI will come knocking on my door), but doesn’t the Dept on Homeland Security know the definition of terrorism? If not, they need to print it out and tape it to their computer monitors as a reminder.

Straight from dictionary.com:

ter·ror·ism
   /ˈtɛrəˌrɪzəm/ [ter-uh-riz-uhm]
–noun
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

Just because this many was not an islanic extremist from the middle east does not mean this was not terrorism – they’re just trying to make people feel better. Maybe I’ll send the DHS a dictionary.

Regardless of the stupidity of people who have to cover and manage this awful situation, I feel terrible for the people who work in this building, their families, and people in Austin specifically who were affected by it. Someone died because this guy was a wacko. It’s so sad.

TSA Fail

Seriously, who runs the TSA? (that’s a rhetorical question) I have 0 faith in them or their ability to keep me safe in my travels. Hopefully I just don’t get on a plane with some guy who wants to kill a bunch of people.

TSA to Swab Airline Passengers’ Hands in Search for Explosives

Washington (CNN) — To the list of instructions you hear at airport checkpoints, add this: “Put your palms forward, please.”

The Transportation Security Administration soon will begin randomly swabbing passengers’ hands at checkpoints and airport gates to test them for traces of explosives.

Previously, screeners swabbed some carry-on luggage and other objects as they searched for the needle in the security haystack — components of terrorist bombs in an endless stream of luggage.

But after the Christmas Day attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit, Michigan, the TSA began a program of swabbing passengers’ hands, which could be contaminated by explosive materials, experts say. The TSA will greatly expand the swabbing in the coming weeks, the agency said.

“The point is to make sure that the air environment is a safe environment,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN. “We know that al Qaeda [and other] terrorists continue to think of aviation as a way to attack the United States. One way we keep it safe is by new technology [and] random use of different types of technology.”

Security experts consulted by CNN said swabbing hands is a good move, and privacy advocates said they support the new swabbing protocols, provided the agency tests only for security-related objects and does not discriminate when it selects people to be tested.

It’s a “very good idea,” said security expert Tony Fainberg. TSA screeners currently swab luggage handles and parts of bags that are likely be contaminated by human hands, he said, and swabbing a person’s hands increases the chances of finding explosive materials. “Looking at the hands means you will probably get a better dose,” he said.

Under the new protocols, tests will be conducted at various locations — including in checkpoint lines, during the screening process and at gates. Newer, more portable machines make it easier to conduct tests away from fixed locations such as the checkpoint.

The TSA has more than 7,000 explosive trace detection (ETD) machines and has purchased 400 additional units with $16 million in federal stimulus money. The president’s fiscal 2011 budget calls for $60 million to purchase approximately 800 portable ETD machines.

Napolitano said the tests will not significantly increase wait times at airport checkpoints.

The American Civil Liberties Union has “always supported explosive detection as a good form of security that doesn’t really invade privacy,” said Jay Stanley, an attorney and privacy expert with the organization.

Stanley said the ACLU is chiefly concerned that the TSA does not discriminate when selecting people for enhanced screening — something the agency said it does not do — and that it treat people with dignity.

“We would not want to see it implemented in a discriminatory fashion, for example, in a disproportionate way against Muslims and Arabs or, for example, people with red hair or anything else. Security experts from across the spectrum will tell you that that’s not just unfair and unjust and not the American way, it’s also a terrible way to do security,” Stanley said.

Swabbing also should not be used to test for nonsecurity-related contraband, such as drugs, he said. “Under the Constitution, searches in airports are only for the purpose of protecting the security of airline transportation; they are not general law enforcement stops. And so it wouldn’t be permissible for the government to use these trace portal detectors to look for drugs,” Stanley said.

The TSA said the machines test only for explosives. It declined to specify which explosives, citing security reasons.

Because some legal substances — such as fertilizers and heart medicines — can result in “false positives,” Stanley said the ACLU also wants to ensure that people who test positive be treated respectfully.

“It’s important that the government treat people who do show up as a positive — fairly and with dignity — and not parade them off in handcuffs and treat them as terrorists, but do rational things to investigate what the problem might be,” he said.

But swabbing hands does not, by itself, raise civil liberty problems, Stanley said. “There’s really not a big privacy interest at stake here,” he said. “They are basically looking for particles of explosives, which is not something that people normally have.”

Do they seriously think swabbing peoples’ hands is going to keep things safe? Won’t the “bad guys” do whatever they need to do and then simply wash their hands now – scrub them, maybe?

In my opinion, the TSA is simply attempting to alleviate peoples’ concerns and fears by putting on a show that they’re doing something. Scanning my shoes hasn’t stopped attempted bombings. Nor has limiting the liquid and gel quantities passengers are allowed to take on planes (that has only caused a pain in the ass). Scanning electronics hasn’t helped. Metal detectors haven’t helped. And now I am 100% convinced that swabbing peoples’ hands will do nothing but cost money.