Saturday, January 26, 2013

Awarding some kudos

Once in a while, you get some customer service that is just astounding for these times, or perhaps you run into a product that is just something special.  I've been fortunate to do both recently.

First, a big hats off to Springfield Armory.  Very shortly after the current gun grabbing lunacy hit, I decided that perhaps I ought to buy a few more high capacity assault magazine clips for my evil black assault pistols.  I checked my usual suppliers; everyone was already out.  I looked at Springfield's online store and they had them, and at pre-panic prices, which interestingly enough were equal or lower lower than my usual suppliers' prices. So on day 3 after the noise started, I ordered 5 magazines from their on-line store.   They were in my hands in a bit over a week.

A few more days pass, the noise is getting louder, and I decided that more magazine would be in order.  This time I uncorked an order for over a dozen for 4 different pistols.  Their site was really slow, and I just said to myself, "Uh-oh...."  It's also worth telling you that they were quoting 6 week delivery times at this point.

A couple of days later, I get an email from them that their site had drastically malfunctioned and while the orders were in the system, the credit card payments weren't, and that to complete them they would need the middle 8 digits of my credit card emailed to them.

I work in IT, and there is no way I'm buying an email like that.  I checked the email source carefully; nothing appeared wrong.  I sent them an email and told them nicely that there was no way I was doing this by rmsil and I wanted some other method, one involving a live person, to get the information to them.

The next day, I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognize and let it go to voice mail as is my habit.  Checking, it was a nice lady from Springfield, calling to complete my order.  I back checked the phone number she gave me; it was their customer service number.  So I called and we got things straightened out.  We also talked just a minute about the situation, and told her thank you for the efforts they were expending, not just for me but for all of us.

A week later, I got my magazines.  A week when they are quoting 6 weeks.  Folks, that's how you make happy customers.

Second, a big hats off to the folks at iRobot and the loyal customer base they have built.  I've had a Roomba for some time now, and have been relatively well pleased with it's performance in a house with 5 cats.  That's a lot of cat hair to deal with, and it does so quite well.

Well, today it started making a loud clicking noise, then stopped and spouted off an error message.  I Googled it up and found it on their web site.  Their suggestions didn't work, so I started going down the result list.  The next one that looked good was one that required some significant dis-assembly of the unit.

Now, as Mountain Man and I have lamented to each other for some time, everything these days is meant to be replaced, not fixed.  If it breaks, oh well, time for a new one.  Not a Roomba.  It's all put together with screws and tabs that can be lifted without breaking.  Rather than chintzy plastic strips for hinges, things have proper hinges (still plastic, but a hinge).  Screws are almost all of the captured variety so they don't get lost.  Having seen the guts of the thing, the materials are top quality, even where they don't show.

With he instructions from the community, I was able to solve my problem (I had to take the drive train apart for a good cleaning and lube).  It took about 15 minutes.  The Roomba is now happily running around the floors of my home, cleaning up cat hair as I type this.

Color me impressed.

As seen on Say Uncle

Publicola has returned home, found the place trashed and is threatening to ground us.

Damn.  We hadn't even gotten around to throwing the grill into the pool yet.

Welcome to Obamacare, Episode 125: Let the Health Sinners Die

(Via the Drudge Report)

Faced with the high cost of caring for smokers and overeaters, experts say society must grapple with a blunt question: Instead of trying to penalize them and change their ways, why not just let these health sinners die?

It's amazing, actually.  We've heard for years how smoking is an addiction (I've read that quitting smoking is roughly as hard as quitting heroin).  We've seen alcoholism go from something seen as a character weakness to a diagnosed disease, and in some medical circles, advocacy for treating smoking the same.  We've found that a host of factors, ranging from poor lifestyle choices to genetics, can lead to being overweight.

So someone like me, diagnosed with hypothyroidism and having a hard time keeping my weight in check, will join with those cursed with a genetic predisposition, those unfortunate addicted souls who can't kick that monkey off their backs and all we'll all go out on the ice floe together.  But at least we can take comfort from being joined by those who simply have no self control and decided that a diet of junk food was a good idea.

Hell, maybe while we're all standing out there in the cold, waiting to freeze to death, we can all join hands and sing our praises to this wonderful new world, one where the race is to the bottom, rather than to the top.

With apologies to Martin Niemöller:

When they came for the smokers, I didn't speak out, because I was not a smoker.

When they came for the overweight, I didn't speak out, because I was not overweight.

When they came for those with coronary disease, I didn't speak out, because my heart was healthy.

When they came for the mentally ill, I didn't speak out, because I was sound of mind. 

But one day, they came for those with asthma.  No one said anything--because there was no one left.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I'll say this for the new gun ban proposal

I've never seen a more cynical press conference to introduce a piece of legislation in my entire life.  I may have never seen such a cynical piece of legislation in my life, but at least there is some question in my mind on that one.

Oh, and Sen. Feinstein?

Hell fucking no.  We're not giving an inch.

No, this isn't a starting point for negotiating some less restrictive bill.  We're not negotiating.

No, we aren't going to be scapegoats for the acts of mad men and criminals.

No, we're not going to give in so you or anyone else can fell all warm and moist in their panties.

You've reached the line in the sand, and you're not going further.  The gun culture is going to stop you and you ilk here, and then we're going on the offensive and you can be the one to compromise.  Because we don't want to eliminate all the BS gun laws out there--we'll settle for half.

After all, it won't solve the problem, but it's a good first step.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Been busy at work this week

So the blogging has been non-existent.  However, I have taken time to contact both Senators and my Representative again.  Have you?

We need to keep hitting them with this message:

  • As gun owners, we refuse to allow our freedoms to be restrained because of the actions of man men and criminals.  If you want to "do something", do something about them.
  • As gun owners, we are not interested in any compromises on our positions.  We're telling you not no, but Hell No!  No more gun laws that don't work.  No more surrendering our rights so that someone else can feel good.  No, no, and no again.
  • Remind them that in 1994, the most restrictive gun law in US history was passed.  A lot of those who voted for that law lost their job shortly thereafter.
We're playing hardball.  Don't worry about hurting the Congresscritters feelings; they have them surgically removed before running for office the first time.   Stay on message and hit them right between the eyes with it every week.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

You're not helping

So yesterday, in a single day, we manage to have not one, not two, but THREE IDIOTS shoot themselves or someone else at three different gun shows.  Luckily, all the injuries seem relatively minor.  If I was more of a conspiracy theorist, I'd be worried about mind control rays about now.

I love gun shows, but the things always worry the hell out of me.  There's more unsafe gun handling going on at one show that I care to see in a lifetime.  Everyone just "knows" all those guns are unloaded, so ol' Rufus feels perfectly free to aim that .300 Win Mag down the aisle at 50 people so he can look through the scope.  Hey Rufus--that thing over your head is a ceiling--how about aiming that puppy up there?

Added to that, we've had a huge influx of gun owners who aren't like us old farts who grew up around guns and were taught from an early age how to handle them safely.  These new folks are coming in through the concealed carry route, and unfortunately, most of them have but a brief introduction to proper gun handling.  Watching some of them, I think that most of what they know they learned from watching the exceptional gun-handling skills we see on TV and in the movies.  It will take years to break some of them of those bad habits.

We all need to step our skills up a notch, but right now in particular.  These three incidents just set us back a week or more.  Wise up, double up on the precautions and let's keep the momentum going our way.