Thursday, April 30, 2009

How NOT to conduct a mayoral campaign

Not content to alienate people in Austin, Brewster McCracken has decided to tick off the entire city of St. Louis as well. His latest ad (referenced in this St. Louis Post-Dispatch column) references the decline of St. Louis's urban core. Not surprisingly, the residents of St. Louis aren't thrilled with Mr. McCracken, as seen in this KMOV report.

Mr. McCracken's ad is no longer embeddable (although it was previously...go figure), but you can see it here.

Note: the above is not intended to endorse any specific candidate for Austin mayor.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Taxes Aren't Going Up - O RLY? - Part 2 of infinity

Let's make things perfectly clear. President Obama and the Democratic Congress do not want to reform health care. They want to transform it. Want proof?

Yes, government-rationed health care, coming soon if it isn't stopped. And what does it mean? Higher taxes, worse care.

(Hat tip: Hot Air)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

An Open Letter to Anderson Cooper, Janeane Garofalo, Mike Dahmus, and way too many others to mention

Dear people who think that the use of the word "teabagging" (in talking about the over 300,000 people nationwide who attended the various Tea Parties on April 15) is the funniest thing since President Obama insulted the Special Olympics:

It's not: 1) funny; 2) original; 3) worth responding to. Mr. Dahmus, at least, had a point to go with his slam. (Said point was, however, totally irrelevant, and if Mr. Dahmus believes that taxes really are going to be decreased for 95% of the American people, he seriously needs to research how much cap-and-trade policies will cost the average household.) As for the rest of you, feel free to continue to destroy whatever credibility you guys still have. I'll probably not be watching you, because I'll most likely have to cancel my cable to help pay for our portion of the cap-and-trade tax.

City Council Place 1 Candidates: My Impression

The Place 1 City Council candidates appeared on KVUE's Daybreak yesterday morning; however, most of Austin was asleep at that time, so as a free public service (and worth every penny), I provide my quick-hit thoughts on the two, along with links to the archived videos of the interviews, courtesy KVUE:

Perla Cavazos: Truly came across as a one-issue candidate. Really, just how many times can one say "affordable housing" in a four-minute interview? (Answer: a lot.) Quita Culpepper tried to keep Ms. Cavazos's interview interesting, but to no avail.

Chris Riley: Made an effort to hit multiple issues, including affordable housing. (He, however, only said "affordable housing" once.)

So who came off better in my eyes? Well, being a voter concerned about multiple issues, rather than just one, I'd have to say Mr. Riley looked much, much better.

Reminder: early voting starts tomorrow, y'all!

Friday, April 24, 2009

How NOT to conduct a sales call

The following is as true as I remember it...the gist of it is correct.

(ring, ring, ring)

Me: Hello, Snowed In Industries.
Absolutely Brilliant Salesperson: Hi, this is Absolutely Brilliant Salesperson with [some company]. We're just calling to update our records, so we need to confirm your copier's model number.
Me: I'm sorry, who did you say you were with?
ABS: I'm with [some company].
Me (getting suspicious): And what do your records say about us?
ABS: We don't show any record for your office. That's why we need to confirm your copier model.
Me: Have you done any work with us before?
ABS: First time I've ever called.
Me: Then why do you need our copier's model number?
ABS: We need to update our records.
Me (speaking slowly): Why do you need our copier model for your records?
ABS: (mumble mumble mumble)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Unfairly Forgotten Song #5: Here We Go by Minnie Riperton

Minnie Riperton is pretty much universally known for her #1 hit "Lovin' You", but quite honestly, I prefer some of her other, lesser-known songs. Sadly, Ms. Riperton died, way too soon, in 1979. A final album, Love Lives Forever, came out in 1980, featuring some tracks Ms. Riperton had recorded before, along with other tracks contributed by several artists as a tribute to her.

"Here We Go" was the first single released from Love Lives Forever, and as far as I can tell, it hit the top ten of what was then called the Hot Soul Singles chart. Check out how Ms. Riperton is able to enunciate "here we go" clearly in the "whistle register".

And as usual in this feature, no station in town has ever played this as long as I've been here, to the best of my knowledge.

(Note: most information in "forgotten songs" entries comes from the always-reliable Wikipedia; as such, its veracity may be questionable.)

Here's My Earth Day Contribution

What am I doing for Earth Day this year? Unlike my activities the last several years (namely, forgetting it), this year I will be doing my part, or something.

And what will that be? Trading in the junker on a Prius? Yeah, right. Riding Capital Metro? Only if the junker is in the shop again. Turning off my lights? Sure, starting at bedtime.

No, this year Mrs. Snowed and I will each be taking five leftover plastic grocery bags to HEB for recycling, and assuming they haven't reached their limit, we'll each get a reusable bag in return. Why not? It's quick, it's easy, and we have something like a hundred plastic bags that we were eventually going to take to HEB for recycling anyway.

Be sure to check it out this Wednesday between 3 and 7, if you'd like a free bag too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

An Open Letter to Senator McCain

Dear Senator McCain:

Thank you for your service to this country, both in its military and in Congress. I have a great deal of respect for you, even if I don't agree with all your policy positions. I was happy to support your ticket last fall.

This is why I am so concerned about the treatment that your campaign staff, and even you and your family, have given to your former running mate, Sarah Palin. Your selection of Governor Palin inspired me to support your presidential campaign because of her stand on the issues that concern me most. Governor Palin's selection seemed to invigorate your supporters, drawing tens of thousands to your campaign rallies. And yet since Election Day, statements have been made by "unnamed McCain staffers" denigrating Governor Palin. You yourself have seemingly refused to make any definitive statements regarding any future support of Governor Palin, as has your daughter Meghan. In your April 13 Tonight Show appearance, your omission of Governor Palin from a list of potential GOP leaders appeared to be deliberate. Jay Leno's failure even to ask about her after you gave your list left the impression that your handlers had spoken to Jay's staffers, requesting that he not mention her.

Obviously, not everything that happened behind the scenes in your campaign last year are not publicly known. However, your seeming disloyalty to Governor Palin is very troubling. As Republicans oppose the wasteful spending of the current Congress and the current Administration, we do not need to be turning on each other; rather, we should unite and pursue our common goals. I believe you can help in this manner by refuting the most outrageous statements that have been made about Sarah Palin, and also by giving Governor Palin the credit she deserves for her role in your campaign, and in this party.

Thank you again for all the work you have done for our country. I know that you and Governor Palin, along with a Republican Party presenting a united front, can work together toward a more prosperous America.



Zo Puts It Better Than I Could (Part 2 of infinity)

If you don't know Alfonzo Rachel, you should. Who knew that someone could display so much charisma while articulating a decidedly conservative viewpoint while standing in front of a bare wall in his basement? (Mark Sanford, among others, could learn from him.)

Anyway, Zo is now at PJTV, where he has a much better backdrop than he did previously. His most recent video is now available here, and I'd advise everyone to check it out. (I'd embed it, but the YouTube version suffers from a fatal audio glitch.)

In this video, Zo takes on the liberals who need to "get out of the way" and let situations resolve themselves. One could argue whether some situations cannot resolve themselves, but do you really think throwing $4,000,000,000,000 a year around and doubling the national debt in ten years is going to help in the long run? (But Snowed, W did that too. Yeah, and that was misguided at best and irresponsible at worst. The Republicans forgot how to be conservative, and it bit them in 2006 and 2008.)

Zo also takes on those who would crucify Sarah Palin for Bristol Palin's having become a single mother. As he basically states, just because people don't follow certain advice (such as, for example, abstinence) doesn't invalidate that advice. He goes on to explain why some people hate Sarah Palin, most likely stepping on a few toes in doing so. Good.

Oh, just watch it. If YouTube ever fixes their version, I'll update and embed it.

Update 4/20: Finally!

Monday, April 13, 2009

B of A to Customers: Drop Dead

Bank of America, in its typical manner of biting the hands that feed it, has decided to tick off the Snowed family once again. Because we have made the choice not to use their card (or any other credit card) but to work as hard as possible to pay it off, and because we had an interest rate less than 10%, B of A has told us that our rate will jump to almost double what it was.

It apparently is not just us; B of A is apparently (per several sources) raising rates for about four million customers. Mind you, these are customers who have not defaulted or missed any payments. (No, those people get their mistakes paid for by the rest of us.)

So, what is one to do when one still is paying a balance and is about to get hit with an outrageous interest rate increase? First of all, don't use the card! Cut it up. Second, call B of A and decline the changes to the card's terms of service. You will still be able to pay off the card under the old terms (including your old rate) as long as: 1) you never use the card again (which is why you should cut it up!); and 2) you continue to make at least the minimum monthly payment (and hopefully you are paying a lot more every month).

I got the impression when I called to decline the change in terms that many people were doing so; the representative on the phone did not even try to talk me out of it, but simply made the change and closed the account. If that many people are dumping B of A's cards, that can't be great for B of A's bottom line. Way to treat your faithful customers there.