August 22nd, 2001 - I've decided to give these old pages a new home. The content is old, but perhaps it is still useful.
There are certain things that nag at us all, and this page will serve as a monument to some of the "roots of all evil" we encounter in every day life. This page will be updated as I encounter new roots of all evil.ICQ Forwards
If I see another forward on my ICQ that says "ICQ is trying to find out how many people are using this, forward it to everyone in your contact list" I am going to scream. Folks, don't you think they know how many people are using the service? You have to be online to run ICQ, since it goes out and registers with the ICQ server. Think about it. They know. Forwarding things just helps bog down the server and make things slower for everyone. And NO, no little animation will happen if you forward it to ten people, nor will a little cat run across your screen, or anything else. This stuff is driving me NUTS lately. And while I am ranting, STOP FORWARDING MESSAGES! Before you pass along any "important true story" stop by www.snopes.com and read up on whether or not it is a hoax or urban legend. There are some pretty stupid things being passed around today. Doesn't anyone think on their own anymore?
I feel a bit better now. Thank you.Telephone Companies - Phone Lists
DISCLAIMER: In the following rant, I mention my local telephone company by name. I am stating my opinions about this company, and that is all.
It has been far too long since I have updated this page, but don't think that is just because I am happy with how things are. Lately, something has started to bother me so much I just have to rant about it a bit here.
My target this time is the local phone company, U.S. West, which is currently on strike but that is a different subject. I moved into a new place and the first week I was here I received a phone call from a local insurance agent. They knew I was a new tenant and even knew whether I was renting or owned this place. When I asked what made them think that, they informed me that the phone company sold them a list of new numbers. You know, I don't really gripe that much when someone goes through the phone book and dials all the numbers -- after all, they are published and publically available, but when the phone company is selling lists with demographics such as "renter" or "home owner" as well as "newly moved in" among other things, I get a bit upset.
Some, pickier than me, insist it is merely wrong for them to be making money off of me by selling my number and details to others. When I think about this, I tend to agree since it would actually cost me money to have my number unlisted and then, I assume, removed from these sold lists.
Am I over-reacting? you might ask. I think not. Today I came home with three calls on my Caller ID box, all "Unavailable." *69 never helps either to call whoever the last one was back. Each day I tend to find three or more such calls on my box. Currently, about 90% (or more!) of the incoming calls I receive are phone solicitations. They, of course, never leave a message. Currently, my home voice mail system actually says "If this is a telephone solicitor, or special offer, or request for donations...remove my number from your list." Do I have any right to request someone not call me?
For now, no end is in sight. I plan to file a complaint with U.S. West as soon as their business returns to normal (I have no opinion on the strike at this time). In the mean time, I just put up with an abundance of calls that are not from people I know. I believe I have had more solicitation calls in the past month I have lived in this new location than I had the entire three years I spent at my previous address. Why this is I don't know, since the old place was still under U.S. West. Perhaps this selling of names and demographics is some new "service" they are giving to us?
There is one nice thing about all of this. I do have a choice in who provides my local telephone service. I can always switch to the other carrier and remove some of the profits from U.S. West.
NOTE as of 9/1/98: Today my phone has already received SEVEN junk calls. AT&T was one, but the supervisor at Aegis Communications who makes the calls for them gave me an incorrect number to reach AT&T customer service (not intentionally I believe). The other call I answered belonged to another donation raising group. I normally particpate in a few of those a year (about $75 worth) but a scam that hit this area recently has made me over-cautious. If they would just leave a message and let me decide if I want to speak to them... I do believe repeatedly calling and hanging up on my answering machine is some sort of mechanical harassment ;)Former Roots...
Someone once said "evil will never die", and unless things change dramatically, neither will my feelings towards the previous roots of all evil. Details may shrink, but the topics remain...roots of all evil.Overpriced Hotels
Sorry if you cannot relate to this one as much, but I just have to rant a bit. I travel alot with my job, and get to spend weeks in very nice, and sometimes very expensive (to me, $130-$150 a night) hotels. Most of these are very nice and at least you can tell where the money is going. However, I recently had the displeasure in staying at a $135/night hotel that didn't quite get the concept. Sure, there was a fridge in the room, but two lights didn't work (one bulb was out, the other had a messed up plug), and it took an hour to get them to "fix" the problems. The bed spread looked all rough and worn out, and the front desk was less than helpful when I asked how much a phone call would be (seems that even though the phone book said the number I dailed was a local and free call, they insisted on billing me $6 for the call!). Fortunately, I was able to change to another hotel right down the road which was $65 a night, had a free continental breakfast and even a microwave in the room. More for less? Only in America!
And just what's up with continental breakfasts? What does that really mean? Econo-Lodge thinks it means a box of pre-wrapped pastries and coffee. Some places insist it means cold cereal, milk, and fruit juices. Others actually offer real food. It's just so hard to tell about these things...
Oh, one more hotel rant... Why is it that the expensive hotels always seem to charge the most for local phone calls, while the cheap places typically offer free local service? Grrr. One "ritzy" place charged me a buck for each 800 number I dialed! Ack.
Oh! And speaking of phones... What's up with areas like Chicago and California which have local 7-digit phone numbers that get billed as long distance calls? So unfair. So wrong. Only in America...Web Page Designers
No, don't worry. I'm not talking about the TRUE artists that make some of the most wonderful sites. I am talking about these bozos who get paid (apparently) to design websites which, frankly, make me want to hurl. What gives them the right to charge money for something that even I could do better, with one arm tied behind my back, in my spare time?
Bigger isn't better, either. There are many large companies with truly dreadful web presence, while many non-paid college kids working with primative text editors can create a site so wonderful it makes the world a safer place for all. But really, why are there so many bad web sites done "professionally"?
[Example web site deleted. I've given up on them. I first spent an hour and fixed all their links and typos and made ALTs for the images, then sent it to them. They didn't use it. I redid the site twice, sprucing up the graphics, making it easier to navigate, making image files smaller, and adding some neat new touches to enhance it and make it more enjoyable. They didn't use it. What more can someone do? At least I did more than just complain!]
NOTE: As of sometime in late 1997, the site I previously mentioned has dissappeared. Would things have worked out better if the site was pretty and useful?Web-Page FRAMES
Frames are the root of all evil. Now, instead of just having one page on my screen that I cannot see all of and have to scroll through just to look at, I can have multiple pages on my screen at the same time which I cannot see all of and have to scroll through just to look at.
If you agree, please e-mail me your comments. If you disagree, feel free to start your own page about how great frames are, and I'll put a link to it here.
NOTE: As of 8/30/98, several years after my original posting about disliking frames, not a single person has offered a rebuttal. I do, however, receive a few comments on this page every now and then, and they have all mentioned how they, too, dislike frames. Hmmm....