Checking In

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When reptiles slither in groups, they look like this…

President Trump and Political Hand-Wringing

I’ve read some articles lately wherein the writers accuse President Trump of losing his “America First” zeal. I don’t see that happening. Life – and clearly the US Presidency is a negotiation. As Mick Jagger said. I believe that the president is trying to do the best that he can for the nation and its people. 
There are things that I’d like to see happen in the interest of justice. I don’t know if they will:
  • Impanel federal grand juries to subpoena, receive and consider evidence relating to Operation Fast and Furious, Susan Rice and “unmasking” and political spying, the Clinton Foundation, $500 billion in missing HUD funds, etc. I would like to see DOJ create a section to deal with these large investigations, which would move forward as separate task forces on each issue, fairly and impartially. However, since all roads lead to Barack…
  • Replace FBI Director James Comey.
There is a world of difference between Congressional investigations and good old fashioned grand juries with aggressive prosecutors and investigators. It’s tough for political partisans to reign in grand juries once they’e about the business for which they were created…


I drove into the parking lot at Costco today (yesterday as you read this) and the very front parking space was empty. I said to myself, “Well that’s good karma, but I spent it all on the parking space.” Sure enough, I wrenched my back lifting one of those 36 packs of water bottles and pivoting it into the shopping cart, which was bumped and moved as I was trying to put the water bottles in it. I need to practice prudence and not burn up the luck so fecklessly in the future – park farther back?

Tomorrow (today if you’re reading this) is Good Friday. I hope that it turns out to be a good Friday.

When Will the Bleeding Stop for United Airlines?

I don’t know. I think that there will be more memes for this than there were for Harambe, the monkey that was shot in the Cincinnati Zoo while it hauled a little black child around inside its enclosure/cage.
One person on a Facebook posting (I think that he is a lawyer) was encouraging United Airlines to take the injured 69 year old Chinese doctor to court because they’d eventually win in trial. While that may be true, UAL stock would be lining the floor of bird cages by then.
Then there’s the Transportation Safety Administration – that misses 95%+ of bombs and weapons in controlled testing.
I was showing the house today to prospective buyers (I’m trying do to a sale-by-owner before I list it and have to pay the real estate vampires 6% commission) and thought about the house that the kids grew up in. The photo (right) is of my two youngest girls goofing off. 
They grow up too fast. That’s all I’m saying.
Indian Call Centers
If I’m asked to call a corporate call center for whatever reason, I’m likely to get an Indian on the line. I always ask to speak to an American and if I insist loud and long enough, they get somebody who speaks the lingua franca on the line. Indian call centers are a pet peeve of mine.

24 thoughts on “Checking In

  1. So, we got ourselves a genuine Punjab-a-phobe here. My suggestion: just watch about 100 episodes of 'The Simpsons', and pay particular attention to the Quicky-Mart manager Apu. Once you get the hang of his accent, you will be good to go with any call center operator named 'Brad.'

  2. That's Doctor Apu, Fredd! Show some respect for a fella with a PhD from S.H.I.T. While it can be frustrating dealing with a heavy Indian accent, it seems that some American-origin accents portend a worse experience, or at least a worse outcome. On the other hand, some of the most professional and expeditious call-center interactions I've had were with people physically in Nova Scotia. (I usually ask "where" — and often they tell you.)

  3. Mike_C, I haven't had the best of luck with Indians from India dealing with my problems. Whether it is cultural or whether they're too far down the food chain to effect the change that I'm looking for is something I can't address.

    Fredd, sadly, I can do a very good Dr. Apu accent. "Would you please like to buy a cherry slurpee?"

    I get along with Indians (red dot more than feather) and have written for Indian defense journals in the past as well as interact extensively with Buddhists (refugees from Tibet) living in India, and have spoken at Interpol about Indian money laundering (and national monetary) policy. Having said that, the call center experience is different than that.

  4. Feckless using of one's luck is a lot easier nowadays.
    Too late, Karma can speak Punjabi.

    Have a blessed Good Friday.

  5. I have a hard time dealing with red-dot's too. All I do is keep saying "What? Say it again, I can't understand you." They eventually get mad at me, but will get there 'senior agent' or some other title to work with me. You know the red dot on the unmarried girls is for? On their wedding night the husband gets to scratch it off and see what he has won… his own 7-11 or motel as her dowry.

  6. United, being the biggest and most arrogant, is sin eating for an industry most travelers dislike. Poor babies.

    I'll deal, for awhile, with red dots if I'm the caller. Need to use ear buds to try and understand them. They call me? Immediate disconnect.

  7. I want to make sure that the horseshoe is pointed in the right direction to insure proper luck.

  8. I receive calls as do you and I was polite in speaking to the Hindus. Now, I just hang up. Their system of exploitation of phone numbers doesn't respond to a polite "no".

  9. If I have to, I'll use your strategy of saying, "WHAT?" to get somebody else. But spending that much time on the phone arguing with somebody who doesn't understand that "the customer is always right," is not my preference.

  10. I can usually understand the heavy accent, but don't like it any better than you for the same reasons…nothing gets fixed!
    I think United is already lining birdcages, and the other airlines had better be paying attention. United's stock dropped like a rock the other day.
    A hot shower and some Motrin should help your back. It is a drag to get old and not be quite so flexible as in years gone by.
    I wanted to say thank you for the China/N. Koran columns, I learn a lot here. Thank you 🙂
    Have a blessed Easter.

  11. United certainly didn't play that very well but then again it never pays to stay put when the police say it's time to skedaddle.
    Kids, hopefully they'll stay close.

  12. The first and top infographic was especially disturbing. I guess it counts as extra penance on Good Friday.

  13. With respect to your pulled back, a chiropractor that I used to go to told me a good muscle relaxant is 1oz of ethanol every hour for a few hours since he couldn't prescribe anything from the phramacy. My favorite way to take that is a good sipping whiskey (or whisky) or a reasonable brandy.

  14. Or take the beating and cash that $5,000,000.00 for the broken nose and chipped teeth that United pays out.

  15. And don't jump into bed right away after that bath- stay up for while and stretch out a little or those muscles will set rock hard by morning. That's my experience anyway.

    I never did get that bottle prohibition with the discard bin right in the line of a constant mob- always struck me some guy could toss his "bottle" , or several, in the bins with a delay, be on an airplane to various places far away when the bottle "overflowed". Imagine that in 20 different airports at the same time. I am seldom more worried than when standing in a security line.

  16. That wouldn't have happened if you'd bought 36 packs of tequila and some margarita mix. Punishment for wasting valuable luck.
    Such pretty daughters.

  17. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    I'm still waiting for one of the TSA weenies to go berserk while I'm stuck in line.

  18. That's likely true. Something distilled means something fish never swam in, and even though fish is good luck on Good Friday – the karmic balance was screwed up when I pulled the Toyota FJ into the parking lot right up front.

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