Category Archives: Family

Safety like vacation. Trying not to get lost, trapped or otherwise inconvenienced

Filed under Erin, Family

Finally bought a GPS , Finally bought a seatbelt cutting knife that doesn’t say “weapon” as much as my m16fd does, least that’s what paranoid idiots hear…

We changed the brakes on the Aerio and on the bike. Oh and saw a cop throw a guy to the ground and draw on him for  , what looked like rather non threatening  behavior but hey  you can’t believe your own lying eyes so I’m sure it was entirely reasonable.   Oddly  3 of the party saw this,  my  mother from the UK  totally oblivious   interesting:)

Product: 911 First Response Knife

Widely considered a highly effective emergency tool, this knife features a 1/8″” thick high-carbon stainless steel serrated blade with screwdriver tip, easy-grip handle, solid tungsten carbide striker-punch and spring loaded trigger for high impact. Blade easily cuts thick seat belts. Includes a nylon carrying case with belt loop and clip. Length: 8″” open, 4.5″” closed. One of our most popular items! Designed by Blackie Collins. Made in USA.

Another “ethical” fish sign business breaks the law to serve it’s material goals. Morals? Religion? HAHAHa

Filed under Arizona, Bad CS, Family

Yet another plastic bag with crap thrown on my driveway by a company that thinks that breaking the law is good practice. The receptionist said it works, it’s their only form of advertising.

It’s gratifying that they offer clean up services for yards but a little ironic that the method chosen to advertise that fact by tossing plastic bags of gravel attached to paper onto my yard is the way they are going about it. At which point did they decide they had a right to place garbage on my property in a bid to further their material wealth?

Even if question wasn’t asked try this. Why have they ignored the no solicitation signs ? Why have they a fish on the bottom of their leaflet suggesting that somehow their ethical foundation is a selling point? Seemingly when I called them the most they can do is to remove me from their tossing shit on my yard list. Lovely.

Sec. 3-5. Prohibiting distribution of handbills at private premises where properly posted.(a) No person shall throw, deposit or distribute any commercial or noncommercial handbill upon any private premises if requested by anyone thereon not to do so, or if there is placed on said premises in a conspicuous position near the entrance thereof, a sign bearing the words “No Trespassing,” “No Advertisement,” “No Unsolicited Newspapers,” or any similar notice, indicating the manner in which the occupants of said premises do not desire to be molested or have their right of privacy disturbed, or to have any such handbills left upon such premises.(b) Subject to the conditions set forth above, the deposit or distribution of any commercial or noncommercial handbill on private premises shall be done in such a reasonable manner as to prevent their being carried or deposited by the elements upon any adjoining premises, street or sidewalk or other public place, or upon other private property.(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the distribution of mail by the United States.(Ord. No. G-717, ยง 1)


Seemingly I wasn’t the only person having issues. ย 

Shocking news.. Used car dealer’s suck! How we failed to buy from Front line Trucks on Camelback Road

Filed under Bad CS, Erin, Family

Here’s another tale of going beyond the call of duty to elevate a poor customer experience into something gloriously awful.

For those of you keeping track Erin’s recovering from a motorcycle accident which has made it difficult to walk/stand around. In the short term we’re going to get an SUV with auto transmission that she can get in and out off until she’s able to get back on a bike. Friday: We went to Frontline Trucks on Camelback road and saw a suitable vehicle but it’s stuck way in the middle and would require quite a bit of effort to get it out. Erin was already sore and we couldn’t wait for that eventuality. Called them back today to arrange a test drive , set a time.. got there.

By now you know they hadn’t moved the truck, didn’t seem to fussed that they’d wasted our time or start to provide any resolution on perhaps maybe moving the fucking thing. So the impression of a dealer that won’t even move a vehicle to let you test it when it’s in there interest to do so suggests staying far far away.

4610 W Camelback Rd, Glendale, Maricopa, Arizona 85301, United States – Google Maps

Next up:Glendale Pontiac

Salesman told our max price… comes back with a figure nearly double it .. lovely. Just say hey sorry you’re not spending enough ,you’re not providing us a means to rip you on a trade in and with no finance frankly It’s not worth my time talking with you rather than insulting us.

Quiet eh…How I wish that were the case.

Filed under Family, General

I’ve been a little underwritten lately  which is odd as there’s a lot to say and I’m puzzled that one of my posts has gone missing.

Since getting back from CA, the Aerio was vandalised, shot rear window.   The Phoenix council will pay for people to do weed complaints and notice items like  doors under repair being publicly viewable  ( naughty)  and send nasty grams and then a follow up.  The car gets shot at, the street lights are shot at and the prior car that was vandalized?  Nothing  no cops, in fact they had “lost” the first report too.   My rates went up 15% for the house this year  which is odd given the market value is NOT indicative of the services received by the occupant.  Seemingly I now must pay this fee or the same police that aren’t interested in  people firing guns at our house( maybe only a BB but the kid’s room is pointing to the street)  will  arrest me eventually for failure to pay for their protection.   I am looking forward to engaging the elected official for this district soon. 

Secondly, Saw my first NHL game which will get another post.

Lastly .. there’s the write up of the  New Media Expo  I attended last weekend.  Stay tuned.

Aerio SX rear brake shoe replacement ( Aerio 1 Haltse 0)

Filed under Family, rants, reality

Well this weekend is turning into a phase that hits me every  few months “modern life is  rubbish”. While it’s a ridiculous notion I’m frustrated by the  annoying manner in which cars are “hacked” together to make even basic servicing difficult.  E.g The Suzuki Aerio’s rear brakes.

This is the first car I’ve owned where I couldn’t  maintain, repair or replace the braking system  for example we just replaced the trucks master cylinder and servo( and it still stops) so a consumable part  wasn’t going to give me too much hassle?

Firstly if the brakes were a revelation in extreme stoppiness and the handbrake didn’t need constant adjustment  I’d  be less likely to whine but… these are basic drums yet with more springs,pins  and clips  holding them together  than I’ve ever encountered on a small car.Given that we only have the one car presently ( legal to drive one anyway)  I gave up and  since the wear was about 50%  have deferred that for another 20k miles.

Mime legend Marcel Marceau dies –
Marceau, who revived the art of mime and brought poetry to silence, has
died, his former assistant said Sunday. He was 84

The moment of silence could take a bit of hashing out but we’ll bring you updates ..really. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Food on the coast and thereabouts ( San Diego trip part 2)

Filed under Family

Okay onto the eating. Firstly, please let me make clear that the presence of the toddler seriously affects where you dine. Here’s a hint, if there are crayons and a placemat. You’re not in a fine dining establishment I would insert a joke about the south and going to Applebee’s for special events but that wouldn’t be fair. One could easily level the same criticism at people in Scottsdale, visiting the cheesecake factory, oops I just did:)

It’s behind a cut since it’s pretty DRY sorry , just too tired

Read More »

San Diego getaway: Sea World ( concentration park) immigration check points and other wonderful things by the sea shore

Filed under Family, JBT

Random jumble of thoughts from the weekend.

Erin and myself spent the last few days in San Diego, California.  While ostensibly for my birthday, which was in August, it was a family vacation.  Our aim was to take our progeny Dobhran to meet the Pacific Ocean as well as take in the Sea world park.  The journey to California was mostly uneventful and relatively close to the posted speed limit.  One thing that was annoying, an immigration checkpoint, an internal border checkpoint  the kind much beloved in every other country that’s not the USA ( if you’ve watched the movies from the ww2 and cold war era a point that was made quite clear) Had the same on the way back though this time with drug sniffing dogs..   thanks I like my family  being treated like suspects  it reminds me of the visit to Sea World,  Search the backpacks and then make you go through a scanner and provide a biometric from your fingerprint , er WTF  we just gave them over $100 for the privilege of entering their park and this is how they treat their guests.

Usual libertarian excuse follows.

They are perfectly within their rights to do so  just as we are to not attend. Sadly that would have  required a degree of respect from their side showing this to be the case prior to taking the money.  

I did write Sea world asking them how long they retained the information from the scans and what was stored with them alongside the general question of why they feel the need to do this.  It will be interesting to see if I even get a reply.

I also think the sea world has quite literally jumped the shark in terms of being anything other than an entertainment than educational establishment.  It seems that the trend in aquariums and zoos in general is to tell you   fairly little about the animal themselves and provide explicit detail on how  man is fucking up the planet I’m not sure that’s the correct way to go about this. Honestly, if people have a better understanding of ecology and to quote to Dirk gently.  “The fundamental interconnectedness of all things” we wouldn’t need a bully pulpit to tell us about our failings.  When we could be concentrating on the animal’s success in getting this far.

Hotels and parking

Erin found a hotel using Priceline which got us a good deal for the class of establishment.  We were staying in one major failing, however Priceline  fails to take into account the ancillary charges, such as parking, which was billed at over $16 a day.  Paying for parking in San Diego sucks, oh wait I’m assuming you found some to park in, but we did find a nice little loophole. By parking at the mall, close to a Ben & Jerry’s store, we could go eat in the gas light district and then return for the car several hours later and validate our parking by buying something from Ben & Jerry’s. Technically this is getting free parking, but that is not as cool as getting free ice cream. 

Next up.

The Food and the sea.

B-day blog. It Posts, random fluff..

Filed under Erin, Family

Today the meanie, myself and  Erin ( you didn’t think I called her the former did you?) took the bike’s out for bagels and brooming down to South Mountain to navigate some single lane roads with delightful drop offs.  The  fat ass ( the bike, not me ) acquitted itself well and the  speedo seems to be stuck at 80 for some reason.    I still am not sure if this is the bike for me.  I have this  love hate relationship with it that’s  partly based on how happy the bike’s appearance makes others feel. Seriously there’s something weird about the image that the Meanie projects versus it’s capabilities of my other bike,an SV65O which can rape it’s ass in everything apart from shit eating grin factor, that non riders get.  

Dobhie is so cute that he’s bordering on illegal.

It’s my birthday, no don’t worry  few others cared either, and we had a nice lunch thanks to Erin’s parents at Pappadeaux’s  where I can  get my boudin on , a rare event in Cajun eateries in Phoenix which are rare in themselves , and to be fair most are crap.   Food and service was as usual slower than advertised but generally excellent.    And then  settle down to have a  nice game of C and C 3. Kane better win this time:)

She’s a brick and I’m taking your eye out. LEGO as a WMD

Filed under Culture-internet, Family, General, reality, science

Seemingly I was not the only one with a misspent childhood.  With access to guns, a scrapyard , welding gear and about any dangerous farmyard tool that have caught the unwary  over the years I still wanted to make my toys more , well, interesting.  So it’s with great joy that I  find that there’s a book coming out devoted to the art of the plastic projectile launcher.    I managed to get an  2  x 12  to stick into drywall using rubber bands x 3 and a massively and in retrospect  a wasteful  design that was more likely to me having a face full of bricks than forward motion.  How long till the TSA bans blocks;)

Boing Boing: Forbidden Lego: dangerous Lego projects!

Forbidden Lego, a new book from No Starch Press, is a compendium of recipes for building anti-social Lego projects — looks like good, eye-removing fun.

It’s getting late for scribbling and scratching… It’s another trip to the playground of the broken heart.

Filed under Family

Damn I am so wrecked   Stayed up to 7am  after launch, kid to Daycare,  2 hours shitty sleep, work, then  buzzing,  breathing and generally more things  on the negative side of stress than I am good at dealing with.  

Did I get rest.. er no.  Am I even allowed to be ill, actually no , this is becoming a big problem.

Late weekend round up: Daywatch , shopping, Rula Bula Tempe

Filed under Culture-internet, Family

 Ok ,  well it was a trying weekend for  quite a few personal and professional reasons. First up .. Rula Bula   an Irish pub, it was next to the theater that would be showing our movie for the afternoon.  Place, like Tempe was dead at 1330 on the kind of day St Patrick would be outside  shouting about reptiles. The ones smarter than him  that had left that godforsaken isle by never going there:)  Anyway  they did have cider but  not on draught and certainly you could taste the storage mechanism..  boo. Their fish and chips though are pretty damn good, reasonably priced  but the  rest of the fare is the usual let’s attach cute names to food and find a tenuous link back to the old country ( their’s not mine).    No black pudding on a menu.. sorry  you’re not Irish anything at that stage.

Movie was  part dva of a Russian trilogy called Daywatch which  takes the perennial G vs E  ( I miss that show) storyline but set in contemporary Russian ( mainly Moscow) which is a nice change.  I should talk more about it later since there’s a nice cross between the Matrix, LOTR with much that’s missing from the US variants which  have G and have E and  apart from those turned or twisted, you know excused from responsibility, you pretty much stay in the camp you came in with.  

Prior to this we’d been to Helmet Harbor  to peruse safety gear for the bike,   wallet got into quite a collision here.  I left with nothing other than  proof that at  least two helmets fit me,  both not available in white ergo no sale made. I don’t mind  buying locally to keep people going but I’m not going to drive 20 miles to not find it  and then order it to go back.The alternative is     getting it $20 cheaper with  no tax online + $6  saved on gas mmm no brainer.

Sunday:  little work, lots of Dobh and then off to another bike shop that was   open on a Sunday,  seemingly they don’t read their website ๐Ÿ™

Oh boy has it been a long while since I had a bitter coded post to write.

Filed under Family, rants

I was physically sick today on three occasions and that was the highlight of my work day. Events that I had forewarned came to pass and like all the best kinds of warning  the messenger gets it in the neck.      I am  of course responsible for raising this on several occasions, had presaged , to the DAY, when the hit pieces would take place and  then had to suffer through continual restatement of a minor case that’s akin to a person having their  Ford Focus replaced by a Mercedes but the tanks a couple of gallons shy so they are really unhappy and won’t wait till next week to get a top up.

Going to repeat that I, woke up , threw up x 3 , and while it’s probably ill advised to do that again it’s based on  a genuine desire to see us succeed  and knowing that the amount of flack headed for those covering my absence wasn’t something I’d wish on them.  Also I’m close to a toilet at work , and I has mah  bukket  handy.

The worst part , The extra hours all get lumped on my team while, due to having families ,they ( you know them!)  can’t possibly work at the weekend. Well fuck you very much.  I hate having to have the kid in daycare  longer than is necessary, or at Grandparents more than  twice month since we get One day a week together with him and people that get in the way of that are certainly not on my happy tree friends list.

Seemingly my willingness to cover the work was “dumping the kid” and that’s the point  I didn’t attempt to insert the entire MSDN catalog sideways up his arse even though I was happily entertaining that.   Well jeez,  everyone of my team has kids  and seem to be quite attached to them yet somehow that’s ok that we should be penalized.

WTF you mean I have to sit my licence

Filed under Dobhran, Family, General, sv650

WTF you mean I have to sit my licence

WTF you mean I have to sit my licence,
originally uploaded by haltse.

He was in such a good mood tonight was the wee one. He was not in a good mood when he had to depart the bike I think he knows this thing is fun already.

Next to security theater the next thing I detest is Auto purchase theater. Our attempt to buy a motorcycle at Town and Country Motorsports.

Filed under Arizona, Bad CS, Erin, Family, motorcycle

This isn’t car purchase theater but it involves wheels and salespeople so it’s about the same thing.  Erin’s convinced that the way to save money on her commute is to acquire a motorcycle and reap the lovely lovely  rewards of 50mpg returns for the gas dollar.  It’s also massively hot outside and for some reason she wants to be a speedy baked potato.   So that being said let’s look at the bikes that fit her and he short inside seam.

Suzuki Sv650, Katana, GS500  and Kawasaki’s 650 ninja ( just ask it) and everything else  would need  a drop kit or surgery for her to work.  So  we kinda have a limited range of choice and these are mostly good sensible choices.  The Gs500 is a little too sedate and  it’s   the kind of woman you’d sleep with if none of your friends found out.   In the end the SV has the best features/ price mix and we found one at  Town & Country Motorsports on Arizona Ave in Chandler. Last years model discounted $1700 and  all in all it was worth having a discussion on whether we buy it or not. ( I want to ride it too and my last bike was in the same class and a boat load  of fun)   We went to lunch, called the dealer and this is where it started to go downhill.  Wouldn’t give a price over the phone which to me is just odd.  “Hey I want to bring a cashiers check / cash to buy a bike  how much?” Sorry   can’t tell us..  unless we go back..

We went back.  The out the door price on the bike priced at $4499 on the floor was $6150  which included the usual doc fee poop  delivery and then setup fee.  Too high, so buying theater starts.  They want to see that I have a credit card so they can show it to their boss to show we’re into buying the bike.. HA fucking HA  Sorry I called them on mind games, referenced a book on the subject and suggested that we forgo the bullshit and  give an answer to our offer.  Well the offer we made was +$100 for home delivery  ( we’re both sitting our licenses in July , in the heat because  you can add Scots and wherever the fuck Erin’s from  to the list of things out in the midday sun.)  Offer came back as accepted as the price that had delivery included   to one, that didn’t and I think we had to clarify that that point with them. At this time   the game was over,  and the salesguy told that for the sake of $100 they’d lost the sale and that we’re leaving.  Erin rather enjoyed the look on his face because I’ve  just fucking had it with people that can’t deal honestly with me.  By all means tell us that it’s not reasonable offer and  either sell us something else or part on good terms , we may be back to buy something larger, faster more expensive:D  Idiots. 

But no , somehow the idea that  I can’t find out what the price is , nor the finance options or sample figures for  payments/time of loan is piss poor customer service and I can only surmise that bike shops are not hurting for sales. 

Wells Fargo again prove they train people to apologise for the inconvenience of dealing with them.

Filed under Bad CS, Family, rants

 There are  5 major currencies  Dollar, yen , Yuan, Euro and the Great British pound. I turned up at my bank Wells Fargo and their system didn’t have, so they claimed  pounds sterling, British pound, UKP or any other names that would let them accept the money until Monday where they call another office to validate the currency.  Every time, three to date, I’ve tried to convert  UK money within their branches it’s frustrating to the point of the , Hey why not just call me a fraud and get it out in the open.  Do I want to spend a day changing all my accounts and standing orders just to be free of these nincompoops  that but me bi-annually?