Jun 09


So we passed the ‘day of Armeggedon.’ Again. Isn’t it really one big case of Boy Who Cried Wolf now? I mean, let’s say that the Rapture that everyone is so hyped about happens tomorrow. We’re all gonna be standing around going “huh…?” We weren’t expecting it TODAY!? You’re here already?

It’s a lot like the guest who shows up late for dinner.

I couldn’t get excited about Day of the Beast. June 6, 2006 marked the 20th anniversary of my paternal Grandfather’s death. It’s strange, only having childhood memories of someone. He died when I was 11.

We lived a couple of hours away from both sets of grandparents, so seeing them was always a special occasion. Once a summer and on major holidays we’d schlep ourselves into the Oldsmobile and make the seemingly ENDLESS drive from Joplin to Kansas City.

Grandpa smoked like a chimey for most of his life. My earliest memories of him always include him in his rocking chair right by the kitchen entry way, rolling his own cigarettes. He had this funky ashtray on a tall stand with a little push button on it that would open up so the butts could fall way down to the bottom. He almost always wore a flannel plaid shirt, in either blue, or my grandmother’s favorite red. He’d roll the sleeves up halfway up his forearms and you could just see the edge of the blue tattoo on his arm. I don’t know what it was of, it was an old military tattoo. He was a WWII veteran, who was injured on a ship. He ended up having to have his ulna removed.

I remember only fragments and wisps of him… his seat at the table, the way he would call my grandma ‘mommy.’ I remember walking to the pond on a neighboring farm and fishing with him. Almost all of my memories of him were very serious. Not that people weren’t joyful around him, or that he never smiled… just that things always seemed to be ‘under control’ when he was around.

I say almost all of my memories of him were serious, because there’s one that I will never forget. The last time that I saw him.

He and my grandmother drove to Joplin to visit us at the beginning of May. They took my bedroom, and I moved myself into the den to sleep on the pullout sofa. That night after all the lights had gone out and I was almost asleep, my bedroom door opened and Grandpa walked out and slipped into the bathroom. When he came out into the hall again, he saw that I was awake. He stood there with the light spilling out of the bathroom making his white teeshirt and boxers seem luminescent… He gave me his widest smile, raised his hand and waved enthusiastically. He said, “Good night kid!” and turned out the light.

They left before I woke up the next morning.

We were packed and ready to leave for our annual vacation to Table Rock Lake on the morning of June 6th. I had slept on the couch in the living room, excited to go. The phone rang before the sun rose… never a good sign.

That early morning, Grandpa sat up in bed and scrambled for his nitro pills. He took one… then woke Grandma up when he needed another. She called the ambulance, and my youngest uncle. She says she hung up the phone, and Grandpa laughed, and fell backwards onto the bed. She said he was gone immediately.

When the ambulance arrived, my uncle was already performing CPR, they scooped him up and rushed to the hospital. Grandma took her time getting dressed, putting on her favorite outfit, bright red pants, a red flowered blouse, and matching keds.

Every June 6th after that, Grandma would put on that same outfit. Down to the shoes. She never wore it any other time, because she didn’t want it to wear out. My grandmother spent the next 17 years saying she was ready to join him in heaven. The 18th year, she did.

So this June 6th, I put on the brightest red shirt I could find and ignored the doomsayers.

Jun 07

Glad someone said it

Lou Dobbs has an article out today called, “Gay Marriage Amendment: Sheer Nonsense.”

Says in part:

[…]President Bush and the Senate have decided they should take up a constitutional ban of gay marriage. Polls tell us most of us oppose gay marriage. Those same polls are also shouting to our elected representatives in Washington that we want real leadership and real solutions to real problems.

The president and the Senate’s Republican leadership are now claiming that an amendment to our Constitution is necessary to save the American family. No matter how you feel about the issue, and many of us feel deeply, a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is utter and complete nonsense. It’s an insult to the intelligence of every voter, Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative.

When will the religious right understand that “marriage” is no longer a sacred term tied to religion? It is now a matter of law, and of state’s rights. It has been for a very long time. If you have a “church wedding” and do not file the proper legal documents, you ARE NOT LEGALLY MARRIED. However, you can have a ‘ceremony’ consisting of an Elvis impersonator at a drive-thru window in Vegas, and as long as you file the proper paperwork, you ARE.

You don’t like gays? Fine. Don’t associate with them… that means doing your own highlights, producing your own plays and films starring, well… yourself, since you really never know about anyone else… stuffing your wages earned from your own business where you are the only customer into your mattress because that bank teller is probably a “pinko” too. Do your own taxes, but don’t file them, since your postman, and the IRS agent are probably a couple.

I’ll paraphrase Jon Stewart from last night’s Daily Show where he totally OWNED Bill Bennett in the debate on gay marriage: The fact is this argument boils down to whether you believe homosexuality is a part of the human condition, or just a random fetish.

It is not a slippery slope from Gay Marriage to Polygamy and, this one always makes me laugh, marrying animals. Polygamy and beastiality are CHOICES. There is no inherent NEED to marry multiple spouses, or mate with animals.

I would like to propose a solution, though. Let’s make this debate actually BE about polygamy and marrying animals… at least then the horse fuckers in Kentucky will have an issue they can really (pardon the expression) get behind.

Jun 07

How NOT to steal a SideKick

How NOT to steal a SideKick II

Have to love the power of the internet to humiliate and otherwise smack people around who deserve it. You know… like I’m trying to do here and here.

Jun 07

Uh… Say again?

Drugs Are Bad, MmmKay?An old drummer friend of mine joined us for the David Mead / Glen Phillips concert at The Great American Music Hall tonight. I’ll write about the concert over at N2Notes.com, but I have to share this story first.

This friend, let’s call him Eddie, showed up high. I’m not sure what he was on exactly, but it wasn’t just the pot pipe in his pocket that was controlling his behavior. He wandered off while we were waiting outside for the doors to open, apparently in search of his car… I called him after we found seats to let him know we were inside, and he didn’t seem to know who I was, or what I was talking about. He rambled about global warming, republicans, skiing, his ‘wife,’ the war in Iraq, and a laundry list of other topics. He asked me the time every 20 seconds, and I wasn’t sure if he had any idea where he was, or how to get back to us.

He did manage to make it to the show about a half hour into David Mead’s set. He mumbled under his breath about who knows what… all of which lead up to the following conversation:

Me: So, Eddie, what are you on?
Eddie: I’m high on love baby!
Me: Ok, but besides that….?
Eddie: Seriously, I’m high on my wife.
Me: Are you actually married?
Eddie: I’m thinking about getting the condom..err… diaphragm… whatever you call it.
Me: Diaphragm? What on earth does that have to do with getting married?
Eddie: Everything. It has everything to do with it!
Me: But, Eddie, isn’t your girlfriend already pregnant?
Eddie: Exactly why I need it.

A bit later:

Eddie: I think my dad is suffering from dementia.
Me: Apparently it’s contagious.

Drugs are bad, mmmkay?

Jun 06

Honesty, Integrity, and Quality Revisited

If you haven’t read the original post, I suggest you start there so you can follow along at home. If you’re not new to this channel, then you know I’m talking about the amazing customer service offered by VirtuosoNetSolutions.com.

I have received a few emails from lurkers out there in the blogosphere expressing complete disbelief at the exchange that transpired between Chad Abezid, owner of VirtuosoNetSolutions.com, and I. Let me assure you, dear reader, that every word is true. As a matter of fact, my new friend Woodsy from Australia just posted a similar exchange over at his site. Proof positive that atrocious customer service knows no political, geographical, or religious boundary.

Woodsy has gone so far to compile a list of similar articles that he has discovered in his net travels. In the interest of increasing the visibility of even one of these articles in a Google search for Virtuoso Net Solutions, or cheap windows and unix/apache web hosts, I will copy his list verbatim. (And include his nice compliment about my original post. ::wink::)

I researched this bastard a bit, and it seems he’s got a big reputation for doing this to other people. I found numerous ‘bad encounters’ and have colaborated a list of them.

Virtuoso Net Solutions – STAY AWAY
A Seven page thread from a customer who had a dedicated box. Virtuoso was changing data centres then after 8 days they provided the product minus the agreed HDD space and IP addresses. When the customer only payed for the amount (minus 8 days downtime), they suspended the account and refused access to the data until he payed in full. It also features several other customers who have had similar issues. Scary huh?

Virtuoso Net Solutions – HORRIBLE COMPANY!!!
The customer signed up for a reseller account and failed to recieve WHM details. When speaking to ‘live’ support he talked to the customer like a child and suspended the account. All logs are included. The word ‘virtuosonetsolutions’ and their company are banned from webhostingtalk.com completely. Says something doesnt it..

What an awful webhost – virtuosonetsolutions.com
After realising the service kept dropping out he asked for a refund, also saying the box was also only 3Ghz not 3.4Ghz as Advertised. Chad proceeded to call him a liar and (as-per-usual) suspended the account without any access to backups.

What do you think about VirtuosoNetSolutions.com Reseller Packages
A potential customer asks a community forum for information about VNS. Needless to say, it was quickly replied to with customers stating the product was ‘ok’ but the support was disgraceful. It even features Chad himself from VNS defending his services with personal account information and an opening line of “I just want to clarify this person is a liar”. Another quote from Chad, “Please, refrain from obvious sarcastic lies to impress yourself and others. No one is going to be stupid enough to believe you.” Good england and professionalism at it’s best…

virtuosonetsolutions – has destroyed my life
Another customer gets abuse and suspended through a ‘live’ chat. Our christian friend Chad ‘accidentally’ lost his SQL database. Also includes info about possibly false testimonials on the VNS site…

Honesty, Integrity, and Quality. Yeah, Right!
You go girl! This one is my favorite, it’s the best read, and i can relate to it considering what happened in my case. Chaddie, while following his Christian beliefs, says to the customer “Your a fool” and “Now because of your low class attitude your account is suspended until you apologize”. ROFL, thats simply beyond belief…

Virtuoso Net Solutions
Chad from VNS decides to show his wonderful website to other Webhosts for comments and feeback. The replies look innocent enough until you see the last post on the first page with red bold text “This company is among the worst I’ve encountered!” OMG LOL! One of his ‘ex-friends’ (talkjesus.com) confirms this and then another guy says it’s true. Here’s a good quote…

Far from a Christian . He has sent me emails complaining about how stupid his clients are all the time . He is rude and obnoxious , and no kind of Christian at all . Virtuaso Solutions is a jerk hosting company run by a spoiled mommas boy . Oh , by the way . He threatened me with a lawsuit also if I said anything here or anywhere about his service . And threatened to call the police because I have copies of his ignorant emails . Customer service at it’s finest . Mike Sawyer

Thats just pure gold!

Here’s a web host to stay far away from.
Another version of the first link with info about possible CC fraud..

So there’s some good reading for you. Avoid Virtuoso Net Solutions Web Hosting at all costs.

And no, I haven’t received my refund yet. I’m still waiting, Chad.

Jun 05

Oh no she didn’t…

In an otherwise unimportant, uninteresting, and totally unnecessary article on the Sex Men Don’t Want, comes this piece of wise advice:

Just-Lie-There Lovin’

We’re pretty sure there is no mention in the Kama Sutra of a position wherein you must lie motionless on your back whilst staring blankly at the ceiling. There’s good reason for that – unenthusiastic loving has zero erotic appeal. Move around. Climb on top. Be an eager beaver.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.