Friday, December 14, 2018

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

He did sing the classic "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"

So Meatloaf got fired in a more classy manner by Trump than the Secretary of State did.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

"Put it next to my drawing of the doggy"

He always looks like a slow-witted third grader showing off the cursive he's learning in school. And not learning very well, at that. "Mommy, hang it on the refrigerator!"

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Good luck, lady

There's a story in the Times today about how the proposed Republican health plan would affect millions. One of the people it spotlights is a woman in North Carolina. I guess I'm supposed to feel sympathy for her but I don't.  

She "said she voted for President Trump in the hope he could make insurance more affordable. But on Tuesday, Ms. Brawley, 55, was feeling increasingly nervous based on what she had heard about the new plan from television news reports. She pays about $260 per month for a Blue Cross plan and receives a subsidy of $724 per month to cover the rest of her premium. Under the House plan, she would receive $3,500 a year in tax credits — $5,188 less than she gets under the Affordable Care Act. “This is my second year with the Obama insurance,” she continued, “but before then, I didn’t have any and didn’t go to the doctor.” She and her husband voted for Mr. Trump — the first time she had voted in her life — she said, because “I thought he would make it better.” 

Oh, and "she underwent a liver biopsy on Monday after her doctor found that she has an autoimmune liver disease. “If I didn’t have insurance, these doctors wouldn’t see me.” 

So to recap: she had never had insurance before, and was finally able to get it under Obamacare, which is providing generous subsidies, and likely saving her life. She had never voted before but decided to cast her first vote for Trump, in the hope he would "make it better." 

Good luck, lady.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fucking with telemarketers

I'm on the Do Not Call list and somehow they keep coming. My favorite part is when the supervisor she transfers me to says, "You're wasting my time!"

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Amazon's famed help dept finally fails

I really like Amazon. I've been a member since 2003. (Oy, that's a long time and a lot of purchases.)

I am an Amazon Prime member. I have an Amazon Fire HD. I pay for Kindle Unlimited. I have an Amazon Echo.

I like the Amazon infrastructure.

Oh wait. What's that? Amazon Echo?

It may be the one that finally turns me off a system I really enjoyed.

I got my Echo back in December. Magical. Much more responsive to voice control than my Moto X Pure phone which uses the Google Now system.

Ok, the Echo's search and intuitive responses weren't quite as good as Google's - how could it be - but the way you could speak to it and have it respond was much better.

I got a kick out of showing guests how I could just casually say, "Alexa, what's the weather for tomorrow" without having to speak like a robot or shout, and it would respond immediately.

But mostly I used my Echo for music playbacks.

And it was never a problem until now.

It has developed a strange bug and, although it seems easily corrected, there seems to be no way to fix it, and - this is the frustrating part - apparently no way to make the people at Amazon understand what the issue is.

After seven emails to the help desk at the Echo app over the last week trying to explain the issue, I tried one more time. I got passed around to three reps this time. I especially enjoy the snark from the rep at 10:48 PT saying he didn't want to waste my "precious time."

Below is my last online chat with them. And, again, this is my eighth time trying to get help with this issue.

(Jeff Bezos, maybe take a break from the space shuttle stuff and take care of your main business?)

Conversation opened. 1 read message.

Your Chat Transcript from Amazon


1:54 AM (29 minutes ago)

to me
Amazon Your

Message From Customer Service


Here's a copy of the chat transcript you requested:
Initial Question: I have had recurring problems with the Echo and it never seems to get solved
10:19 PM PDT Ashok(Amazon): Hello, my name is Ashok. I'm here to help you today.
10:19 PM PDT Me: Hi
10:19 PM PDT Ashok: Hi James
10:20 PM PDT Ashok: I'm sorry to hear that you have a problem with the Echo
10:21 PM PDT Me: Will you be the correct dept to take care of it because it really seems to be a tech issue that no one there seems to be able to fix?
10:22 PM PDT Me: Hello?
10:22 PM PDT Ashok: I can understand your concern.
10:23 PM PDT Ashok: No worries, please hold on a minute while I check on that for you.
10:23 PM PDT Me: ok
10:27 PM PDT Me: Hi how long do your responses take? Are you still connected?
10:27 PM PDT Ashok: A member of our Amazon Echo Specialist team will need to help you with this; however, they don't have chat support and unfortunately, phone service support is also out of hours. .
10:27 PM PDT Me: Well thats why I asked if you were able to help
10:28 PM PDT Ashok: Please hold on a minute while I forward this information to our Amazon Specialist team on your behalf.
10:28 PM PDT Me: I've sent a lot of responses thru the Echo app about this issue over the last week and no one has got back to me it's very frustrating
10:30 PM PDT Me: Just so it's on the record - I have asked Echo to play the artist Mel Torme it keeps coming back and saying "here is a sample of "Melt with Me" - this just started happening. It always played Torme with no problem before either thru prime or through my Amazon library
10:30 PM PDT Ashok: Yes, I'd like to help you, please wait, let me connect your chat to our Appstore team. 
10:31 PM PDT Swetha(Amazon): Hi James!
10:31 PM PDT Me: Hi there
10:31 PM PDT Swetha: I'm Swetha from Amazon Digital Support!
Yes, I'm with you!
Hope you are doing good.
10:32 PM PDT Me: Thanks. And Hi Swetha are you able to see what the issue is?
10:32 PM PDT Swetha: Yes James! Please allow me a moment while I check your previous correspondence.
10:32 PM PDT Me: Ok although i seem to get put on hold a lot with these chats but ok
10:32 PM PDT Swetha: I'm sorry about that!
10:33 PM PDT Swetha: From the issue what you have described, I understand that you are having a problem while accessing Amazon Echo app.
10:34 PM PDT Swetha: My sincere apologies.
10:35 PM PDT Swetha: Are you referring to the Order #116-4325902-7753841 placed on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 9:01 PM (PST) ?
10:36 PM PDT Me: NO! did you get any background on what the issue was? It is about Echo not responding correctly
10:37 PM PDT Swetha: Sorry about that. I understand the problem. Let me connect you to the Mp3 specialists.
10:38 PM PDT Me: not MP3 it is ECHO do you know what that is?
Amazon Echo?
Have you heard of it?
10:38 PM PDT Amit(Amazon): Hello my name is Amit. I am a part of Amazon Mp3 support team. I'll certainly try to help regarding your concern.
10:39 PM PDT Me: Why?
It is not an MP3 problem it is Echo is anyone there on the ball?
10:40 PM PDT Amit(Amazon): I'm sorry we were disconnected. I can pick up where we left off.
10:41 PM PDT Amit: James, Echo is also a part of Amazon music.
10:41 PM PDT Me: hey thats good will you actually realize what the problem is or this a joke for Amazon?
10:42 PM PDT Amit: May I know the problems you are getting with your Echo Device?
10:42 PM PDT Me: Ok I have explained it about 8 times I guess i have to try again?
10:45 PM PDT Me: I am asking Echo to play the artist Mel Torme. This was never a problem until last week it now says "Here is a sample of Melt With me" a song I have never heard of and have no interest in. I have Torme in my library and he is on Prime music I am enunciating normally
It keeps playing a sample of this song instead of Mel Torme
10:45 PM PDT Amit: James, I don't want to misguide you but Echo troubleshooting team is available on call only. You can reach Echo Customer Support by phone directly and toll-free at 1-877-375-9365 or by e-mail at They're available from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m Pacific time, seven days a week. If you need to troubleshoot your Echo device, we recommend that you contact Echo Customer Support by phone. When you contact them, please make sure you have the device and any accessories that came with your device with you.
10:46 PM PDT Amit: You can also contact them directly from the Alexa app on your compatible phone, tablet, or desktop browser. From the app, open the left navigation panel, and then select "Help." You'll see options for emailing or calling us. If you choose to call Alexa Customer Support through the app, this allows them to have your account information ready when they call you. To learn how to download the Alexa app, go to:
10:46 PM PDT Me: Ok. Thats what I asked when the original rep came on and they kept saying sure its MP3
And you said that too I clearly said its a problem with Echo
10:47 PM PDT Me: what is going on there?
10:47 PM PDT Amit: James, its a part of mp3 but really we do not have necessary tools to troubleshoot the echo issues.
10:48 PM PDT Me: It's NOT mp3 is an Echo problem
10:48 PM PDT Amit: So I request you to please contact the Echo Team directly on call.
I do not want to waste your precious time.
10:49 PM PDT Me: Ok I responded to an email asking if I needed any help and you and your colleagues came on you are clearly useless on this. Amazon really has to get its act together
10:49 PM PDT Amit: I've passed your feedback to the Amazon technical team for consideration as we make future improvements. Customer feedback like yours really helps us continue to improve our products and provide better service to our customers.
Thank you.
This email was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reality? We don't need no stinkin' reality

As we have seen in issues ranging from climate change to evolution, Republicans do not let reality interfere with their chosen political message.

Even with that Texas Grand Jury refusing to indict Planned Parenthood and instead indicting the perpetrators of the video "sting," even after countless Republican-led Congressional and state investigations of PP finding no wrong-doing by the organization, the GOP candidates running for president continue to lie - there is no other word for it - about PP "harvesting" and "selling body parts."

They will not admit their horror stories are wrong. They will not admit PP is legally providing fetal tissue for much needed research and charging small fees to cover their expenses.

Reality does not matter to these people.

At the next GOP debate, Carly Fiorina should be asked why she continues to lie through her teeth about the "gruesome" Planned Parenthood videos she supposedly saw. Videos that DO. NOT. EXIST.

Sadly, I doubt she will be asked.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The differences in the guest list

If you ever want to see an example of the stark difference between the two political parties, sometimes you can find it in little things: just look at some of the guests invited to President Obama's State of the Union address last night.

The Democrats invited a Syrian refugee who has been taken in by the U.S. as he fled the carnage in his homeland. The Republicans invited Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who tried to stigmatize gay couples and treat them as second class citizens when they sought a marriage license in her county.

One represents kindness and mercy. One hate and bigotry.

And not just hate and bigotry, but proudly willing to announce it to a national tv audience.

Blog Archive