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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Denise Richards is at it again with her PAS'ing of her kids

The saga of the Sheen/Richards divorce continues.

To refresh your memory, Denise Richards sued Charlie Sheen for divorce and has, thus far, been a text book example of a mother using the court systems to manipulate her ex-husband. Her latest ploy has been to accuse him of molesting his kids.

When is the court going to see this is a vile, mentally ill woman who is using them to cut Charlie Sheen off from his kids so she can get more money? Charlie Sheen plans to sue her for defamation and to change custody. I hope he wins!

For those of you who don't know what PAS is, it's Parental Alienation Syndrome. Alec Baldwin's ex is a perfect example of someone doing this. It was in the news some time ago about his daughter ignoring him and his blowing up at her. The message he left was pretty scathing but understandable. The fact that it made it to the press told me everything I needed to know about Kim Bassinger, that she's using her child to manipulate the courts and her ex-husband. Denise Richards must have gotten advice from Kim on how to treat your ex like shit and control his life.

However, Denise is doing this to the wrong person. Charlie Sheen is part of a dynasty. This is a family that is extremely close and given they're also Buckeyes, probably somewhat devious as well. See, I'm also from Ohio. I remember being at a baseball game when I was in High School where my school played a game against Charlie's school. He was an amazing player and while his dad wasn't there, the rest of his extended family was. Buckeyes could be credited with creating the saying, "If you're not with me, you're against me."

I've been waiting for this day, the day Charlie Sheen finally had enough and started fighting back. He's tried for too long to take the high road, be the good guy, and the problem has only gotten worse. Also, Charlie is FAR more successful than is his ex-wife. He's an Oscar winner and has the ability to pull in millions with one movie while she's still a Grade B actress who is lucky anyone knows who she is once you get past the fact she's Charlie Sheen's ex-wife. Charlie could lose a million a day and STILL have more money than Carter has liver pills.

I can say with some authority that the path Richards has chosen is one that will eventually separate her from her kids. It might be the courts that do it, it will be the kids themselves. Eventually they will grow up and see the truth for what it really is, that their mother went out of her WAY to alienate them from their father. She'll probably still have a relationship with them but it will be one filled with resentment and hatred. Charlie, on the other hand, will enjoy a good one with his kids and will eventually be a grandfather who is enjoying his life with his children and their children in it.

I know Charlie will never read this but I do have a personal note for him... Keep doing what you're doing, stand up for what's right, move forward with your life as you've been doing and all will be well in the end. Your ex will end up a bitter old woman, she's probably already considered damaged goods in her world by the men around her due to her indifference and cruel treatment of you. And if you ever find yourself in SE Arizona, needing to toss a baseball around, get in touch.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I am in Dell Hell...

This is an excerpt from an interview of Dick Hunter, VP of Customer Experience at Dell...

"We want to give our customers more tools to fix their own problems and make it easier to call on us for help. My ultimate goal is to create this Dell as a trusted adviser role for our customers. I want it to be so that the reason people will buy from Dell is because of our service. It used to be that way, we lost it, and desperately and very eagerly want that back."

Um, bullshit...

I've been on the phone with Dell since 6:45 this morning, it's now 1:55 in the afternoon, and I STILL don't have any kind of resolution to my problem.

What's my problem, you ask? Here it is, delineated:

  1. In March 2007, I ordered from Dell an Olympus Evolt E-500 digital camera. At the time of ordering, I also ordered an extended warranty, 2 years at a cost of $34. At the time of ordering, a Friday, the website showed the camera in stock. By the following business day I received an e-mail to tell me the camera was on back order and would be delayed two to three weeks. Okay, no problem. I can wait that long.
  2. In June 2007, I still didn't have my camera in spite of the fact my Dell account had already been charged for $700+ and I was paying interest on it, though I didn't have the camera yet.
  3. I finally talked to someone who lives in the good ole US of A who actually spoke English well enough to discuss the problem with me (Texas accent aside...) In his system, my order showed another SIX weeks of back order and we were already on month three. At that time, we decided to cancel the original order and make a new one, exactly the same. I was assured at that time my extended warranty was on the order.
  4. Okay, problem solved, right? Nope, this was only beginning of what I now call "Dell Hell".
  5. On June 23rd, I received two cameras - identical in order, same lenses, same camera, same additional memory card. I refused one, accepted the other and spent two months arguing with the finance department to have interest removed from my account. It took me TWO months to straighten that out since I was paying now for TWO cameras.
  6. Okay, problem solved, right? Nope. Not by a long shot.
  7. Fast forward 15 months. I have my camera, I'm taking pictures, every thing's fine, I'm thrilled with my camera. Two weeks ago, I was changing out the memory card and a pin got bent so now I can no longer use the camera, getting a card reader error.
  8. No problem, right? I ordered a two year extended warranty. I can get the camera fixed tout suite. Nope. Seems somewhere along the way, some idiot at Dell cancelled BOTH extended warranties when the mistaken order was cancelled. I have been quoted by Olympus that it will be AT LEAST $300 to fix the camera, which I don't have. I can't order a new camera since I don't have that kind of room on my charge account. I now have $1000 in camera equipment that would be more useful as a doorstop.

I need this camera for my work. I take my own photos for my articles and to not take my photos means I lose a couple thousand dollars on this gig. I've not given up on this. I WILL get satisfaction even if it means paying for it myself and squeezing something out of Dell to make it worth my while... Dell sucks, Dell couldn't care less about the customer, Dell is one of the crappiest in customer service, so much so they have now replaced Sprint in my heart for the worst. Sprint's a cakewalk compared to Dell.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

When a friend isn't a friend...

I don't know if I mentioned it here but I'm going to West Virginia this fall to do some articles on the area for some magazines. In previous posts here, I've mentioned a friend who left here a few months ago and it was because of my friendship him I even pitched the idea of West Virginia at all. He lives in the area I'm going to be visiting and there's a good chance I'll run into him while there, though I'm going to work on avoiding him like the herpes.

I'm sure you're scratching your head thinking, "Wait, a couple months ago she was missing him?" You are right, I did miss him since he left but some things happened to change ALL of that.

In researching my trip and arranging things with the state, I spoke to a woman who has friends in the middle part of West Virginia, more specifically, she knows a game warden there. When I dropped my friend's name, it wasn't remotely familiar and he wasn't on any listing of employees in the area. She got curious and started talking to friends of friends of friends and found out the following:

1. My friend told me he was a DNR (Department of Natural Resources) game warden there...

Not only is my "friend" NOT a game warden, his association with the DNR is shaky, at best. He is a certified game verification location, meaning he is licensed by the state to verify the kills of hunters and fishermen to make sure they are within state guidelines, but he is NOT a game warden. He owns a "metal recovery and fabrication" business in central West Virginia, which I "think" is a glorious way of saying "junk yard owner". I think it's a place where they take cars that have been in accidents and are being junked. I could be wrong on the specifics of what the place does, given I'm not privy to the inner workings of the "metal recovery and fabrication" world but it ain't DNR, that's for damn sure. He also let it "slip" once that he only made $30,000 a year as a Game Warden but the man drove a nearly new Ford F250 and lived on post in a 5th Wheel and those aren't cheap. He is an officer in the Army Reserve but he's a lower ranking officer, having come to it late, following nearly two decades as an enlisted person, and there is just NO WAY he could afford those two things on his salary. No way...

2. My friend told me he was Special Forces...

There IS a Special Forces Reserve/National Guard unit in the area of West Virginia he's from and he IS part of it, but apparently he's just a desk jockey and not the Rambo he'd have us all believe. I had made a joke once to a mutual friend that this guy seemed to have a Walter Mitty air about him. I thought I was just kidding-apparently I wasn't.

3. He told all and sundry he was half American Indian

He was very clear on that point, that he was Native American/American Indian, but when I asked, he never told me what tribe, just that his mother was from Oklahoma. Turns out he's half Asian of some kind. No one was really clear on that since it seems my "friend' lies to everyone, not just the good people of Fort Huachuca. I always wondered on this point since he said he used the military to go to college. As a Native American, he would have had all kinds of scholarships available to him. Once, I DID ask him about this, that he was certainly on a tribal roll somewhere, why didn't he go to college that way? He looked at his watch and said something about having to get out of there to "work".

4. On his last day here, he announced to us that his wife was leaving him, getting a divorce.

The reason he told us she gave was that he was deploying again rather than coming home. I don't know if this is true or not, I suspect it's not since the man couldn't find the truth in the bible. He did mention once that he had an ex-wife but not much else. He also told me he was giving his wife everything she wanted, excepting he wanted full access to his young daughter. Come to find out he has walked away from his offspring before. That first wife? Oh, yeah, they had a son together whom was never mentioned to us in the nearly six months he was sharing his life with us. Apparently he walked away from that family as well. People in West Virginia did some checking at the courthouse in the county this guy "lives" in and there is no record of anyone filing for divorce in the last year with his last name; nor is it anywhere in the state since it's a state record and part of the public record. Oh, and the deployment? Turns out his unit was deactivated and he's in West Virginia as I write this.

My "friend" and I had a huge blowup regarding my dropping his name to the good folks in the government of West Virginia. As a writer, sometimes you have to kind of do that to show solidarity of some sort, especially to people who are as notoriously suspicious as Appalachian folks can be. He was pretty nasty to me, accusing me of things I didn't say or do. I was upset for quite some time and carrying the blame to the nth degree. After finding out all I found out, I figure my "friend" did this, created this huge problem, in the hopes I wouldn't find out what exactly was going on. He didn't want me to learn the truth about him, that he's a liar, a loser and a variety of other superlatives to describe someone as dishonest as he has been. He is all of these things not because of who or what he is but because he lied about it from the beginning.

The saddest part of all of this is: I, and the rest of those who knew him here at Fort Huachuca, would have liked him no matter what he did for a living, no matter what his past was. He was a funny and intelligent person who was a genuine joy to be around. But, my "friend" didn't trust anyone enough to be honest about who and what he was, creating a web of lies so intense and complete it's hard to know if any of it was true at all.

Oh, well, there's no way of knowing why he did what he did. It was selfish and childish of him to treat me the way he did rather than just come clean... At one point, before I contacted the state about my visit, I DID tell him that if there was anything he needed to tell me before I started making contact, now was the time to do it. He assured me there was nothing and I went on with my work. Had he come clean, I would have forgiven him and moved forward from there. I can forgive a lot of things. Lying, for me, is a tough one, but I CAN and HAVE forgiven it. People do things for a reason, which I might never understand, and until I walk a mile in their shoes, I can't judge them.

I guess there's not much more to say about this other than I'm glad I found out the truth. I wish it had been my "friend" who had told me but it wasn't. Too bad for him; he's missing out on a great friendship.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The AP Style is no longer the AP Style

I belong to a website of writers like myself called Absolute Write. On this website, someone posted a link to an article about the new Washington Bureau Chief changing the way reporters at the AP write their news stories.

See, when I went to college and took the appropriate journalism classes, when I wrote for newspaper, when I learned what journalism really was, I was told, "Just write the news. Let the public make their own decisions as to how to feel about it." This has always been true, and the AP has done it this way for 162 years.

The new Washington DC Bureau Chief, Ron Fournier, thinks Americans are too stupid for that kind of news. He thinks Americans need to be told how to think based on the opinions of his reporters. He calls it "accountability journalism" but I call it horse shit. You know, you can put a fancy name on horse shit, something like, eau de Secretariat's bunghole, but it's still horse shit.

Fournier seems to be telling the news reading public that they can't be trusted to read the news. They can't be trusted to formulate intelligent thought and decide how they feel about a particular issue simply after reading the news. Fournier is telling the American news reading public that they are too stupid to do this on their own, that HIS reporters are the ones that need to tell you how you should feel now.

Another website, Bring it On! is also reporting on this new trend of "people are too stupid to understand the news". If the commentary there, as well as responses from readers, is any indication, Fournier's tenure at AP won't be long.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Daisy's doing better...

I should probably post another photo here, and still might tomorrow, but I wanted to get the word out that our dog, Daisy is doing better.

As I posted previously, Daisy was bitten by a rattlesnake last week. We rushed her to the vet and hoped for the best. It seems she is going to get past this with little consequence. The swelling is almost completely gone, just a small amount in the saggy skin below her mouth, and she seems to be healing. She seeped blood for several days but it wasn't anything serious. The bleeding stopped for good over the weekend, probably around Sunday, and she is stealing food again. I think it's safe to say our little girl is going to get past this.

Her lip where the snake bit her is still healing but is scabbed over. Now we just have to worry about necrosis, which is common after a snakebite. However, the vet thinks given her youth and health, that she should make it through with no necrosis either.

She was a very lucky doggy and I love her all the more for her strength.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Illegal Immigrants lose chance at college - Um, this is a problem why?

I just read the article linked to the title of this post and my first thought was, "Who gives two flips?"

In reading the postings people made following the article, I'm not alone in feeling this way and it's probably time politicians started paying attention.

Recently, I was reading an article that discussed the correlation between identity theft and millions of dollars abandoned to the United States government. When illegal aliens come into this country and steal someones social security number in order to work, they are committing identity theft but it's of a kind that is more difficult to track. When this happens, Social Security doesn't credit the wages or hours worked to the original owner of the SSN. If the illegal alien uses the SSN to buy a car or, God forbid, a house, the credit bureaus simply open another file for the illegal alien. Usually, what alerts a person to their identity being stolen is when the IRS wants to collect unpaid taxes or someone applies for unemployment and is told they already have a job in another state. See, we're not allowed to know when someone is using our identity until the government wants their cut and then it's no holds barred.

See, the media reports things like this so we can all feel sorry for the poor illegal immigrant. They're here illegally, they're a drain on the public coffers, my tax dollars are supporting them in the form of social welfare programs and I'm supposed to feel sorry for THEM? When does someone feel sorry for the poor people who have their identities stolen? How about the time and money lost to illegal aliens when they are found committing another crime, having already committed two in the form of entering the country illegally and stealing someones identity?

Americans, true Americans, need to stand up and let politicians know this needs to stop. Start electing officials who take a strong stance against illegal immigration. Write letters and make phone calls. A good first place to start is a place called Choicepoint. Choicepoint is a company that sells information about you to marketing companies. On their site is a form you can fill out to request your full file. This file will tell you who else is using your SSN.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Daisy gets bit...

One of the more horrible aspects of living in the desert is rattlesnakes. I truly hate the things and can find no purpose for them on God's green earth but they continue to live here and do things like what happened to my Daisy. Now I should mention that I love this dog to distraction. She is one of the sweetest animals on the planet and she hasn't a mean bone in her body, unless you happen to be a rabbit and then all bets are off.

Anyway, Daisy was bitten last night around 8 o'clock and we tried valiantly to get a Vet to take care of her. We use a vet the next town over from us in Sierra Vista, Coronado Animal Clinic. We called the emergency line like we have in the past and there was a piece of crap little punk working the line who decided she wasn't going to do her job. She refused to call the vet for us, telling us we weren't customers even though we had our pug there three weeks ago to be neutered. No matter what I did, she wouldn't do anything for us. I begged, I pleaded, I cursed, I threatened and I wept. The most emotion I got out of this girl was for her to say, "My dog died last month, why should I care about yours?" At another point, Daisy was wailing for the pain, and if you've ever heard a coon hound wail, it's the most soulful sound you can hear and it breaks your heart. The brat on the phone heard this and said, "Wow, that sounds terrible. You must feel really bad that you can't do anything." I swear, if I could have gotten through the phone, I'd have choked her.

We DID have the option to take Daisy to Tucson, two hours away, at the cost of $1500 just to walk in the door, which we don't have. At one point, I suggested to the brat at the answering service that since we didn't have that kind of money, she needed to hit a street corner and start hooking it until she got that money and then give it to us (yeah, like we have that kind of time, a dollar at a time).

We finally found a vet that would help us out, about one and a half hours after Daisy had been bitten and they are angels. We took her to the Sierra Animal Hospital. The vet happened to be in, a tech happened to answer the phone, we happened to be able to leave immediately. They gave her an IV, some antibiotics, some pain meds and took care of an upset mommy as well as an injured dog. They were a beacon.

We opted to NOT use the anti-venin primarily because it's so expensive, $1500 a shot. However, after seeing Daisy, the vet didn't feel she got a big bite. Apparently the swelling can get MUCH worse than Daisy's did.

I would recommend to all and sundry that they stay away from Coronado Animal Clinic. I told the this morning about this and also said that while I understand THEY didn't do this, the people they hired to represent them DID. I also told them I was done with them as a vet. Sierra Animal Hospital has my business from this point forward. The most important thing they did, when no one else would, was they worried more about the animal than the money. We didn't leave there until after 11 o'clock last night and they were still all smiles and all business.

Thank god for people like Sierra Animal Hospital and Coronado can go to hell.
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