Sunday, August 31, 2014

The last handicapped parking spot

A few minutes ago, feeling a bit guilty about taking the second-to-last handicapped parking space (I'm under a knee specialist's orders not to do any unnecessary walking, because he thinks I am too young for the knee replacement he says I need, and he doesn't want the new one to wear out before I do. He has also told me to use a walker, which I refuse to do choosing instead, to use my shopping cart as a sort of rolling crutch.). I was feeling guilty because I took the spot closest to the store, when I know there are other people who have more difficulty than I do. Just then, as I was getting out of the car, another vehicle pulled into the last handicapped spot, and yet somehow the driver, who was the only person in the vehicle, RAN across the parking lot before I had fully finished getting out of my car. Angry, I checked to see whether the vehicle had a disabled driver lanyard or a disability license plate. It had neither, but it did have a PBS television station advertisement on the side of the vehicle. Angry, I got out my cell phone with the intention of taking a photo of the vehicle in the handicapped parking spot, with a view of both the license plate, and a view of where the lanyard would be, if there had been one. It was my intention to also take a panoramic shot of all the empty "regular" parking spaces in the parking lot, but in the bright sunlight, I couldn't see the screen to make that selection. Then, when I got home, I accidently deleted the photo of the van with it's non-disability plate, parked in the disabled-only parking space. The last thing I remembered seeing as I pressed the delete button instead of the share button that was right next to it, was admiring how the blue paint of the reserved parking space stood out so well for the purpose of my photo. I recently turned off the "trash bin" feature on my phone because I never use it, and my free space on the phone is limited, and I deleted it too soon for my auto-backup software to copy it. I decided it must have been providential that I accidently deleted the photo.

After all, it only seems fair to warn people of my intentions before I do it. In addition, this is Blueberry Festival time, when parking spaces are hard to find, and people park illegally all over town (although there were plenty of empty parking spaces where I was.)

So, all of you illegal handicapped parking space stealers, I'm onto you, and the next time I catch you taking a handicapped parking space, expect to see a time-stamped photo of your car, with the blue paint on the pavement, and the handicapped parking sign, along with your license plate number published on my blog, and on Google+, and on Facebook, where everyone can see it. If there are other spaces available that you COULD have taken instead, expect to see a second panoramic photo showing those options you could have chosen instead! It's not libel if its factual. You have been warned.

Image adapted from:

Not handicapped. N.d. Photograph. n.p. Web. 31 Aug 2014.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Today, August 22, 2014, I am posting this final draft of my comment to the FCC about the proposed merger between Comcast and Time-Warner. On August 14th, I published a rough draft for my letter to the FCC regarding the proposed merger. I requested comments and suggestions about how to make my letter more effective. I did not receive any posted comments in reply to my request, but I did receive a couple of private comments, which I considered.

As before, I request that all of you write to the FCC to express your concerns about this merger. The deadline for public comment is Monday, August 25, 2014 (FCC, 2014)

Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS:

Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. Filings may be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,


FCC. Federal Communications Commission, (2014). Commission seeks comment on applications of comcast corporation, time warner cable inc., charter communications, inc., and spinco to assign and transfer control of fcc licenses and other authorizations mb docket no. 14-57 (DA 14-986, Docket No. 14-57). Retrieved from website:

This is an open letter, published to my blog at

Comcast's abysmal and consistent nation-wide reputation for poor customer service is evidence of monopolistic behavior. Consequently, I cannot imagine any concessions that could be demanded from Comcast that would eliminate the need for anti-trust action against the company, and I certainly cannot imagine any circumstance that would justify allowing Comcast to grow larger when most rural areas across the country, which account for 87%* of this country's population, already have no alternative for high-speed internet service other than Comcast or Time-Warner.

Many of Comcast's customers have no other company to turn to when faced with the arbitrary and cruel customer service personnel Comcast cultivates with its incentive programs that reward employees for not remedying fraudulent charges.** Comcast is the only realistic provider of internet services in much of the country, and in areas where there are more than one provider, Time-Warner is most commonly the only alternative high-speed internet provider.

While I have no personal experience with Time-Warner, I have read enough negative information about the company over the years to realize the company is second only to Comcast for its reputation for abysmal customer service. A merger between these two juggernauts should not be under consideration at all. Rather, the issue at hand ought to be how to best address abuses by both monopolies.

*13% of the US population live in cities and suburbs with combined populations of 500,000 or more, according to the 2010 census.

** I personally have years of telephone recordings that can document Comcast's consistent malevolent treatment of customers, its disregard for commitments made to customers, and its attempts to "negotiate" out of getting sued for its routine policy of fraudulent treatment of customers, which can also be demonstrated by all of the public recordings of customer interactions with Comcast that can be viewed by anyone on You-Tube and similar public media streams. These recordings also document comments by Comcast customer service that indicate Comcast penalizes customer service representatives for providing refunds, regardless of the validity of claims against Comcast.

See also:

Seven pages of Comcast Customer-uploaded videos of their horrific experiences with Comcast customer service (I have not uploaded any of my own recordings, but I've been storing recordings of these conversations on Evernote for years.)

Similar yet much more vulgar recordings exist for Time-Warner's customer service. Due to the graphic nature of some of those recordings, I chose not to include a link to those recordings.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Angry with Amazon

I am angry. All I wanted to do was to get a quick idea of what a gift idea would cost on Amazon. They had a lot of selections, so I narrowed the selection to items with free shipping. Then I selected order by lowest to highest price. Then I waded through 12 screens without seeing one example of the kind of item I was searching for. The item I was looking for should have cost about $100, which would have been more than I was willing to pay, but I was hoping I would find an item for just above $20. I realize that's unlikely, but I thought I would check to see if it was possible. However, after 12 screens of items that had nothing to do with my search, and the price and gradually gone up to $4.00, I got got angry. I'll find some other retailer that won't waste my time.