Archive for the Rants Category

Public Service Announcement

Posted in Rants, Taz with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2009 by tazspaz

Due to recent budget cuts and the cost of electricity,
gas and oil, as well as current market conditions,
and the continued decline of the U.S. economy,

The Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE!! (Heartland Payment)

Posted in Rants, Taz with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2009 by tazspaz

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
We have been notified that a data breach occurred at Heartland Payment, a company that processes credit and debit card transactions nationally for restaurants and small businesses. Please keep in mind that data breaches seldom lead to fraud and rarely identity theft. For your security, please monitor your statements and account activity thoroughly.  If you suspect suspicious activity, contact your bank immediately.

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Above is the note I received from my bank today.  I felt it was important to share with you, the readers, and hope in some small way it helps you at least be alert for any suspicious activities on your credit/debit cards.

At this moment I’m trying to see if I can get an idea of restaurants that would have been using Heartland Payment as their provider to help further if possible. 

I do feel that it was a disservice to mention that data breaches’ “seldom lead to fraud and rarely identity theft” by the bank that services my accounts.  I personally take any data breach seriously and would want all of us to protect against fraud and identity theft.  The fact that the data security is breached is enough to be concerned.  If it wasn’t of concern financial institutions wouldn’t be asked to report on it.  A good place to start is to balance your bank statement and keep receipts until you do.  Otherwise you really never know now do you?

Welcome to 2009!

Posted in Rants, Taz with tags , , , , , , on January 2, 2009 by tazspaz

Everyone:

Welcome to 2009!!

This year there is a need for many changes.  I don’t just say this because, personally, I want changes.  I say this because the world has gone to hell in a hand basket!

War, political tensions, finances – to include government/markets/business/individual, and complete idiocy world wide.

2009 is the year of changes geopolitically; and if you chose to it is the year of personal financial changes.

2009 is not the year for the world financial markets.  This would in turn mean it is most likely not the year of “turn around” for most businesses either.  It is not the year for the markets to make a drastic turn around.  Are we seeing a trend here?  This is not the year for the governmental budgets (Federal, State, nor Local) to become balanced; no matter how much we desire that.

What do I mean by geopolitically; simply put we all will see changes.  Regardless of your geography, demography, economics, and most importantly in foreign policies of nations.  Now I’m not geopolitical college grad, nor am I the smartest match stick in the box at times albeit.  However, if you do not see these changes already steamrolling ahead beware, you’re about to get run over by a very large train!

As for personal financial changes, up to the individual of course, I feel that we all need to look at our personal finances.  Learn from the past decade of financial debauchery.  How do you see your finances?  Do you see being able to retire when you’d like to retire.  Be realistic about your retirement age when thinking about this.  Did you know if you were just to put away $25 a week you could live off the dividends by the time you’re around 35?  Why not start that now?  How did you fair with your 401k/personal investments; is it time to make changes there for your future?

Regardless of where you stand today please know that 2009 is a new year.  You can start now no matter your situation.  Become prepared for your future and the looming changes in the years ahead.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

“The Dwelling” a review

Posted in Rants, Reviews, Taz on December 29, 2008 by tazspaz

I’ve mulled this over for some time.  I’m even putting this post on a “delayed” entry status so that it posts in the afternoon after I have had a chance to decide if I want it to post or not.

I usually don’t do “book reviews” as it were here on this site.  I share insights with friends about authors, content, etc.

This time, however, I feel drawn to write a review of this particular book I have recently read. 

“The Dwelling” by Susie Moloney is a great book.  A haunted house/horror fiction read that kept me turning pages until it was complete.  I must admit that it has been a long time since a book has had such an affect on me.  I started reading Steven King when I was in the 3rd grade (Ricahrd Bachman too!;) ) and this was the only other author that has ever been able to give me nightmares.  Those happened when I was a kid!!

Now I’m a bit older *ahem*.  However, this was the first time, when I finally went to sleep, since 3rd grade, I had nightmares.  IT WAS GREAT!!

I know sounds twisted right?

I’m one who likes to get into my reading.  I like when an author can draw you in and just when you think that you can find a point to stop because the read is “ebbing” out of you you’re inexorably drawn back in.  If a fiction book can make me think “outside of the box” we put reality in;  I greatly enjoy it.  If a horror book makes me check the closet before going to bed, or look for “Chucky” under my bed, it was a great read.  However, if a book can induce me to dream in it’s context … I don’t dream; there was a period in life of nightmares of remembered past … but I haven’t “dreamed” since I was a kid … that book is stunning and a world apart.

“The Dwelling” by Susie Moloney is one such book that is a world apart.  I personally was drawn in by the first family’s experience moving into 362 Belisle street and how the realtor is interwoven throughout the whole story.  The second part where divorcee Barbra and Peter (he prefers being called Peter and not Petey you know) is riveting and in the end somehow touching; albeit in a disturbing way for most.  The third person to move in is Mr. Bramley and he is hit full force with his past and present circumstances.  Of course there is also the realtor and the house; let us not forget their tales.

After reading “The Dwelling” I have asked that my local library place a hold on Susie Moloney’s other two books she has written:  “A Dry Spell” and “Bastion Falls”

I eagerly hope that each of the other books she has written entice me such as “The Dwelling” has done.

I’ve been looking for yet another good author to read!  😉

DIRECTV – The Saga Continues …

Posted in Rants, Taz with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2008 by tazspaz

Well it’s with regret that I’m writing this post.  I once adored DIRECTV and told all my friends how great it was.  Over the past couple years I heard horror stories about people in dealing with DIRECTV.  I use to tell them that it must just be them and usually felt it must have been something they did wrong.  The vendor just did what they had to do.

Now enter my issues with DIRECTV.

Come July of 2008 my complex found cabling wrapped in coils around the side of my townhome.  I called DIRECTV and let them know to which they stated it was an incorrect setup and they would comeout and fix it.  I confirmed that this would be at no charge and they verified that.  I asked about mounting the dish to a tripod instead of the side of the building as the property owner was changing policy procedures and was informed that I’d have to pay for the tripod.  That was completely fine as I’d already negotiatied with the property owner that I just needed to show the receipt and it would be taken off my rent due.  So the repair tech (contractor for DIRECTV) came out and agreed that the last person did a horrible job, I paid for the tripod, his phone died while on the line with DIRECTV support and I let him use my cell to call back in at which he used on speaker phone while he talked because it was “hard to hear” and hold my phone.  At this point he verified I was not to be charged for the service call.

August 2008, I get a bill that includes a charge for the service call AND a late fee because I was to “pay at the time of service”.  I called DIRECTV and tried to talk with them about what the heck happened.  I was informed that since I did not have their “protection” plan that I was liable for the service call.  I even had them go back and I gave them the service tech’s name, employee number, and call back that had come out on the call.  To this they still informed me I was liable.  I told them to cancel my account and to send me my final bill.  2 weeks later they directly debit my account from my checking account saying it was valid to do because I had used that debit card 2 times to pay my bill.  Not valid at all in my mind.  They over drew my checking in a huge way.  I called to complain, I went to my bank, both to no avail.  Then as I explained that even the amount they charged me was way to much they had to “investigate” that claim.  This took them all through October and the first part of Novemeber.  They finally agreed they owe me money.  Although much less than they owed me I agreed and said they just needed to send me the check.  Here is where I get livid … “Sir, you should expect to see payment in 6-8 weeks.”  What the heck?!?!  REALLY?!?

So here I sit six weeks later.  Still getting $0 bills saying that they owe me money (3rd month now) and still no repayment from DIRCTV.

For all those I use to shun, I’m sorry.  For those of you that have DIRECTV, I caution you to watch them very carefully.  For those of you that are friends of mine having trouble with them, I advise you get a lawyer.  They are not helpful at all.  Even when they are at fault.

Quick to draw large amounts from your account, customer service seriously lacking (unless you want to be a new customer), and if they owe you … good luck on ever seeing a resolution.

NOTE:  I was a DIRECTV customer for 6 years, took a 3 year break while moving around and used cable, then back to DIRECTV for 1 more year.  This final experiance with them will ensure I never go back.  Please note, as I stated I never had any issues with them until this date.  However, the manner in which all the calls I have place on this issue have been managed gives me enough reason never to work with this vendor again.

Again, some of you may end up looking at this the way I did when others complained, I may just be a sorry luny.  Then again, there are others of you out there that KNOW what I’m talking about.

Always remember, these posts are about MY experiances.  This does not reflect on how YOU may experiance service with the mentioned vendor.  As they say YMMV!

My Birthday Today

Posted in Rants, Taz with tags , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2008 by tazspaz

lol, well I guess I should put up a note here as several people have asked why I haven’t told anynoe it’s my birthday.

Well hey, if you know you know.  If you don’t you don’t.  That’s always been my approach to it.

For those of you asking if I feel old, nope.  I’m still 21 at heart.

For those in the area, if you have my number, feel free to give me a call and join in the festivites tonight!

Dallas City Council Passes Smoking Ban

Posted in Politics, Rants, Taz with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2008 by tazspaz

Yes you heard right, Dallas city council passed a new ordinance!  On April 10th smokers, you are banned from the establishments you chose to go to in which you enjoy a smoke. 

REALLY?!?!?!

Why is it that we can infringe on others rights?  Even when I was a non-smoker, yes I smoke now, I didn’t get it. 

So if you smoke, you are in a bar/pool hall/entertainment venue, and I don’t like it would I go to that establishment?  Nope.  Would you? 

Let’s try and put this in a different light; forget the smoking part.  I have stores, restaurants, venues, etc. that I chose not to go to.  Yup, imagine that, places that do a type of business or provide services or just DO something I don’t like.  I chose not to go there and spend my hard earned money.  Do you go to places that you don’t like the atmosphere, that you don’t agree with their type of business, that you just don’t like something about it?  Please, if you answered yes you are an idiot – stop reading now.

Come April 10th your Dallas City Council elected officials (let’s exclude “council members Vonciel Jones Hill, Steve Salazar, Tennell Atkins, Sheffie Kadane and Mitchell Rasansky opposed the measure”1) have decided, citing health reasons, that they need to ban smoking.  Taking it in their own hands to lose revenue from their businesses not only for the city in overall budgetary revenue garnered from those businesses but in effect several businesses will be adversely affected and will close.  Businesses that chose the Dallas venue based on type of clientele.  Now that clientele will be forced elsewhere.  Go ahead, raise the “Sin Tax”.  You know, that tax you won’t be seeing much revenue from because they won’t be needing that in your area any longer.  Proven fact, the bar industry in Dallas will drastically decline.  “Sin Tax” sales will decline.  Where do you think that “ecosystem” is made up?  Property owners watch your taxes in the coming years.  It may take a full year or two but the impact will be felt.  Where else do you get revenue for the city from?  Sales tax, property tax?

If a city such as Plano can negatively feel the impact of a single bar with large revenue being shuttered how much more do you think the city of Dallas will feel multiple bar closings, venues closing, lower sales in tobacco products, etc?  If Martini Park’s closing in Plano has that big an effect as to change a “dry county” policy for the city… I’m just saying.

Guess the next question is, will Dallas residents remember this when the time comes for elections next round?

This message is brought to you for your health and well being; if you are worried about your health and well being please do not frequent establishments where people are smoking.  We promise not to come to your health shake establishment and order a soy, extra protein, extra creatine and light up a smoke beside you at the military press.  Do us a favor and stop infringing on our rights.

 

References: 1TXCN.com

                   DallasNews.com