Archive for December, 2011
Posted by middlerage on December 29, 2011
Posted by middlerage on December 21, 2011
So this damnable Wash State telemarketing firm keeps robo-calling my cell phone. Cell phones (and fax machines) have always been on the Do-Not-Call list even before there was a such a list. It is federal law that any device for which the consumer has to pay money just to receive incoming calls, is a no-go for telemarketers. When the Federal Do-Not-Call list was enacted for landlines in 2004, there was lots of confusion about whether you needed to add your mobile number (you didn’t); firms were always required to check their telemarketing lists against cell numbers and not fucking call them. Ever. (There is a very recent movement by some dickhead republicans to allow telemarketing to cell phones, but that is a subject for a different post).
Somewhere in my murky memory I know I have read articles on how you can combat rogue telemarketers. I remember reading about one Florida gentlemen who had made a-not-insignificant amount of money taking telemarketers to small claims court. Supposedly, each violation is worth $2000 and at the beginnning of the Do-Not-Call registery there were a lot of miscreants who thought to give it a go anyway.
But this one telemarketer is only a minor annoyance. I recognize the number, I don’t pick up, I’m not charged for the call. Because I’m middlerage, it is more my principle and personality that are bothered than my actual life. I wish I could sue the pants off the asswipe. However, that requires work – doing some research into how exactly I document the violations, trying to figure out who exactly to sue, filing with small claims, etcetera and yadda. (As an aside, I think this is peculiar to America. In Big Brother Europe, some lofty EU bureaucrat would do the work for you. Here we make certain biz practices illegal, but leave it to the consumer to fight the battle. I guess I’m proud? sigh)
At which point, I said to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a one stop online place to fill in a form, and submit my beef/protest/suit electronically to the local court.” Self continued, “Why, it could be some sort of wiki engine…WikiSue! Yeah that’s the ticket!” I started thinking about all the mundane legal processes that could be made easy and cheap by a self service wikisue. For instance, who hasn’t seen the adverts for uncontested, amicable divorces, on the cheap, from ham-n-egger attorneys. Or maybe process your own estate trust without the $500+ fee? Such a service would have the double benefit of serving mankind while simultaneously making lawyers writhe in agony. Then I decided, WikiRedTape would be a better name, since “sue” has negative connotations. Plus it could incorporate other life hassles beyond just the legal.
I know what you are saying – there are places all over the web where you can download self-service legal forms. So I’m not sure what I am envisioning, but it would have a certain streamlining, a certain “X factor” that would make the process easy and guided and totally lacking a need for effort. (Just imagine all the injustice we could fight if only no effort were required). There are lots of mp3 players and tablets on the market; all Steve Jobs & crew did was put in some curvy corners and stylish interfaces, and now they outsell everyone else. What X factor did they get right? Let me clarify, I am envisioning a free wiki service, not a product.
So there ya go. WikiRedTape, for all of life’s little hassles. Now…what to do, what to do about this irksome telemarketer. Sigh.
Posted by middlerage on December 16, 2011
So I was toodlin’ along in the minivan, listening to one of the local Jazz stations, when this came on. Unfortunately, you are at a computer, and won’t be able to re-enact the perfect mix of enclosed listening space and new tune. But the on fire mix the producer gave the drums in this piece just kicked it in my car and I was hooked. The tune as a whole has a good driving pace and makes a person want to put on their windbreaker, and rock it Steve McQueen style, in a1970s car chase. The song just has a forward pace that doesn’t break would make a good workout tune. Invoking the cinema is appropriate because band leader and bassist is none other than Clint Eastwood’s son Kyle. Anyway, try to adjust your speakers for maximum punch on the drums and let ’em kick it for you.