About Greg Note: I've had some very poor treatment from some of the institutions below. Vote with your wallet, it's clear that they do not treat their customers well, and they will never get a "human conscience", but they will care if business drops off. Even a "fake" conscience is better than none, often the best we can do these days. Latest whine: Political talk shows are turning into yelling matches by people of no integrity. All these people seem to talk over each other rather than have a real intellectual conversation about the topic. I wonder if a show with "rules" of courtesy, like a debate has (or is supposed to have) would work. No matter if I am watching Fox or MSNBC it's the same stupid stuff. Even if the discussion is "on my side", it's still irritating. If you have an interview, and your guest has agreed to attend, apparently the guest reserves the right not to answer the question, but to respond with something else, or ask a question back. When either side cannot get the upper hand, they start talking over each other. Recently I watched a show called "the Five", and numerous times they are all talking at the same time. I don't enjoy conversations like that when I'm talking to someone, and I certainly do not have to pay money to see this. TV Bugs taking over the screen: Discover channel, PLEASE reduce the size of your bug and quit putting huge ads in the middle of programs. Lately, the Discover channel has INCREASED the size of their channel "bug" in the lower right corner, It's even larger and has a picture of a spinning world. Why do stations insist on taking space away to tell us what channel we are on? We are not all mentally challenged, and really do not care. I don't sit there watching a show and go "OH GEE WHAT CHANNEL AM I WATCHING", I don't think this any more than the possibility of a Zombie Apoclypse. What's even worse is now the bottom of the screen seems to be fair game for large banner ads for upcoming shows. WHY DO I HAVE TO WATCH ADVERTISING DURING A SHOW? Again I am not mentally challenged, I have a small computer that finds shows for me, I have a program guide, and I have free will. I really take exception to Discovery taking more and more of my viewing space. Already, I have made a commitment that any "network" that over uses ads DURING a show, I will email the advertisers/sponsers and tell them I am asking DirecTV to remove their channel for this abuse, and I will also not purchase any of the advertiser's products. Shows are about 1/3 advertising already. Don't do business with these people: Union Bank I have been with Union Bank since 1969 (my original bank was Southern California First bank, and eventually merged into Union Bank). WIth my personal affairs and being the trustee of my late step father's estate, there was a tidy sum in this bank. I have several personal accounts including a money market account, which of course paid next to nothing. I've been the executor and the trustee of the family trust for a number of years, and all of my mom's and step dad's assets were in a living trust, such that all of the beneficiaries are also part of the trust. This way, if anyone "leaves" the trust, the assets of the trust do not change ownership. Most importantly, when my parents passed away, there are no taxes, no probate. We transferred everything to the estate years ago. The terms of the estate were updated several times, but everything was "in" the trust. Well, not everything, while my step dad was still alive, an investment of his, went bust, it turned out to be a Ponzi scheme and he lost $1M. There was a lot of activity among the other investors to recoup anything, but the principals were bankrupt, although they got to keep their fancy homes and cars. Go figure. My step dad and I went to the La Costa branch of Union Bank in San Diego. There was a very nice manager there, who had been there for 30 years. We explained to her that there could be some monies coming from the class action suits against R.E. Loans (this Ponzi scheme made the news and even the FBI was investigating). She said no problem and we set up 2 accounts, one with my step dad's name and one in the name of the family trust. This was early 2014. In late 2014, my step dad passed away, and I began the responsibilities as executor of the will and trust, also being the trustee of the trust. A few checks came addressed to him just a few weeks later, and my La Costa branch of Union Bank cashed or deposited them, maybe a few hundred dollars each. A couple of months later another 2 small checks came just about 20 or 50 dollars and they cashed them. Now, in 2016, wonder of wonders, the class action suit completes, and there are awards, only a few cents on the dollar, but it's something. I get 2 checks addressed to me in the mail, since I am the trustee for his IRA and for the "shares" in the Ponzi scheme. I trot over to the bank to deposit them, and the BRAND NEW manager of the bank says: "Oh, we can't cash this, he's dead". WHAT??? I tell her about all the preparation, the conversations I had that this settlement may happen after my step dad's death, the 2 accounts with my step dad on it, she does not care at all. WTF? So now I start calling Union Bank HQ. There is a "customer advocate" group, and they are going to help. Every week they call and give me status, but they tell me it's up to the branch manager. After several months of going nowhere, I receive a letter saying that Union Bank will accept the check (made out to my step dad c/o me) if I meet 1 of 4 conditions. Well this is great, because I meet 2 of the 4 conditions, which are proving I am the trustee, the executor, copies of the will, the trust, and a bunch more paperwork. Great. I submit all the information and wait. 2 weeks later, they cannot deposit the check. Now they want something different. WHAT? I have a signed letter from the bank that they will deposit the check if I meet 1 of the 4 conditions. The customer advocate admits that I met 2 of the 4 conditions, but "Legal changed their mind"... what the heck is "legal" about a written committment and then changing your mind? Now they want letters of testamentary, wich are to prove I was the executor of the will, but of course this is the estate, and the estate is part of the trust and I have the notarized copy of the trust, signed by my step dad and witnessed by an attorney. I have all the incarnations of the trust back to 1996, using the same attorney, when my mom was alive. I can provide all of this, but ultimately they refuse to accept the check. So, nothing Union Bank has said can be counted on, even written and signed letters. I eventually solved the problem by having the IRA check re-cut to my name (just a couple of forms changing the beneficiary), and the bigger check was deposited to a new trust account opened at Wells Fargo, all I had to do is sign a form stating I was the trustee of the trust and estate, and give a copy of that to them. Interestingly, the Wells Fargo people stated: "We don't understand what the big deal was, since the form you signed is a standard form used by all banks". So it just shows how little Union Bank cares about it's customers after even almost 50 years as a customer. NASCAR covering information with biographical junk OK, NBC has taken over the broadcasting of NASCAR at mid year. Unbelievably they are WORSE! The have a "top 3 banner" on the screen, but it is an advertisement a lot of the time. Most infuriatingly, when they are on commercial, and leave the screen up, they turn it into a commercial, so you can't see who is leading when they are doing "continuous coverage", how crappy is that. To top it off, their number boards during qualifying disappear half the time. Dear NBC (and FOX), we are not idiots, we know what channel we are on and what race it is. I don't give a damn where these guys went to high school, or any other fun facts, I have my brain, a computer and a phone to look up stuff if I want to stop watching the race. Also, when I want to be looking at race data and I get the Twitter address of some moron in the pits interviewing the racers, it makes me crazy. I don't give a damn about the reporters in the pits, so quit overwriting the information I need with useless and uninteresting facts. If I'm going to tweet something to a woman reporter, I'll pick someone a lot cuter than Jamie Little, and NOT during a NASCAR race! Watching NASCAR is getting like watching CNN, a small central window surrounded by animated and distracting crap scrolling on the screen, taking up 25 to 50% of the viewing space. Right now watching the Daytona race, and the top 3 informatino is overwritten with the idiot pit reporters and their twitter accounts... irritating, NBC, we don't give a damn about their twitter addresses, their names, and most of the time their stupid opinions. I like NASCAR racing. Fox Sports does most of the broadcasts. One of the most fast paced and interesting parts is Qualifying. Typically the entire field of 40+ comes out, and the fastest 24 are selected, then the next heat narrows it to 12, and then the final 12 race for best time. So as they are qualifying, there is a "cut line" where you have to be above to go to the next round. Used to be fine, on the right hand side of the screen the list of drivers and their postions are shown: But now they keep over-writing the last part of the group with some stupid "human interest facts": Who cares? What I do care about is seeing the guys that are going to do more laps to get above the cut line, and how far down they are. Stupid Fox keeps covering them over with crap. Come on Fox! There'a already enoug crap on the screen, including your stupid "Crank it up" with some ghetto-looking boom box picture on the screen, and the sound does not change at all, the same poor audio, just that the announcers shut up for a minute or two. Cameras at the checkout lane: My latest whine is the cameras at the self checkout stands in stores. I don't really like having my face recorded for every transaction, and what really pisses me off is that there is no sign that says "if you want to buy something, we will videotape you" (yeah, I know it's not tape). So, I have been bringing little round adhesive stickers to the store and sticking them on the camera lens. Fight back! There was indeed something very cool in the 60's, the refusal to stand for stupid stuff. Why bend over now? Cool Stuff The Germans at Max Planck Institute (where else?) have made strides in sustaining a fusion reaction. The video below shows the brief existance. 12,300 amps about 3 degrees Kelvin and thousands of watts of radio frequency power. Why is this cool? Because a sustained fusion reaction will be safe, efficient power production, with only using hydrogen for fuel. .be Idiot driving embraced: Watching tv today, saw an Infinity commercial for their model 50. I cannot believe it every time I see it... This guy is driving and thinking and you are hearing his thoughts. "Did I turn the toaster off, did I send that email, on and one..." During this, he almost has an accident THREE times, drifting over the white line, changing lanes when a car is right next to him, and finally he is shown looking off to the side as he almost rear ends a big white truck. Then the commercial goes on to tell you how the car protects you so "you can get back to driving" This is the most incredible horseshit I have ever seen. So "driving" consists of a complete lack of attention to driving, and daydreaming until a buzzer tells you are about to have an accident? The Nissan company should be sued for endangering life, and every person that believes that this is how to drive should be removed from the gene pool or sent to a country we don't like, so they can self-annihilate. Just unbelievable. Who am I? Well I like off-beat humor, for example from Max Cannon's cartoon character called MilkMan Dan, the The Three Stooges, Marx Brothers, etc. If you can't enjoy life and laugh frequently, what the heck is the use? I think a lot of things are funny or interesting. I like to understand why people do things, and how stuff works. A pet peeve: people not paying attention to what they are doing/quality of work. For example, I've had a lot of landscaping done around my house. For almost every 5 things fixed, one thing is broken. I have to do a "recon patrol" to find the broken sprinkler heads, cans of coke mere feet from the trash cans (feeding armies of ants), cigarette butts in every nook and cranny... hmm.. Here's a funny picture of a guy we were behind on the way to work: this dope was actually reading the paper while he was driving, and oblivious to everyone giving him strange looks as they passed. What happened is that the cardboard tube could not handle the weight of the carpet, and eventually bent. Pieces of carpeting were flying off as it ground on the freeway. We had to pull off, but I would imagine about 5 more miles, and all of it would have unloaded. I wonder what happened when he got to the installation location: " uh, it was on the truck when I left, I don't understand". This dope could be carpeting your house next week! Another vote for the minimum wage. Some recent things that really irritate me (we should not stand for)... Watching a good movie on the Sundance channel. The bottom right corner has "sundance"... like I am retarded and don't know what channel I am on. Well, guys, let me say that if I am so stupid that I cannot tell what channel I am on, then I deserve to live in ignorance! But it gets better. Above that is a continuous ad for a show on the channel, "All new Tuesdays 10p", well that is even more irritating. I have tons of channels, and an online guide, and I can search by keyword for shows, and record them... stop advertising, I'm already watching your stupid channel. Oh, but it still gets better, the show name is "girls who like boys who like boys"... like I really need to see this continuously. I'm straight. I have nothing against gay men. I have nothing against women who like to hang around gay men. I think it's stupid, but it's their choice to do this. But I sure as hell don't need to have the bottom right corner of my screen filled with this junk continuously! So, it gets even better, go to the sundance web site to complain... have one heck of a time finding where to leave feedback.. find it, and it's now a discussion group.... fine... (chickenshit really)... now it's a blog/forum... instead of a place to send an email or post a comment... finally find it and notice all the dates on the posts are 2007 to 2009... guess what, they left all their old discussion crap on the site, but it's no longer open for feedback. So, I'll post it here: SUNDANCE, YOU SUCK, just like the rest of the stations that are slowly cluttering up the movies I pay to watch with advertisements. I'm going to go all netflix and dump DirecTV and/or Cable so you can go out of business. America, remember when we would not stand for things and stood up? Well the "encroachment" of ads into everything we see and hear is just out of control.