Then Do it Yourself!

It’s a classic scene from pretty much every genre of film: the bad guy forces his henchmen to do some task (kill someone, steal something, guard against the enemy, etc.) and when the henchmen fail, the bad guy kills them for failing.

This drives me crazy. First of all, killing isn’t acceptable, but he’s a bad guy, so they probably don’t care. Also, killing your guys is wasteful since you now have to find a replacement that you can trust which isn’t easy for bad guys.

Most importantly, the bad guy has no right to punish his people for failing at a what in this scenario is usually an impossible task. If the task is essentially impossible, then they did not actually fail, so where do they get off punishing them as though they expected them to succeed. Why do they have such unrealistically high expectations? If they actually do expect them to succeed because they think the task is achievable, then they should just do it themselves.

It is infuriating when they execute henchmen for failing an impossible task. What do they expect to happen when they send another guy to do it? Will they just keep killing their own guys each time they fail? Will they execute themselves if they try it and fail?

Stupid bad guys; typical.

Extreme Couponing is Fake

“Couponing” has become quite popular in the past couple of years. With sites like Groupon, RetailMeNot, and such, as well as shows like Extreme Couponing, using coupons is no longer looked down upon (as though it was such a bad thing in the past).

The problem is that shows like Extreme Couponing where you see “professional couponers” who buy a thousand dollars worth of merchandise and end up paying only a dollar or two are a complete crock and total fake. It is flat-out impossible to do that because companies are neither stupid, nor established yesterday. Pretty much every coupon specifically says that it cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. That means that you cannot get 75% off with an in-store discount, then use a 50% off coupon, and then add a $5 off coupon, and then get $3 back with a mail-in rebate to get a $100 item for $4.50. I really had stretch reality to get even that much of a discount which isn’t that impressive compared to what you see on the show.

There is absolutely no realistic way that these people can get such massive discounts and pay with just change like they do in the shows. Yes, you can occasionally get an item for less thanks to floor-model discounts and mail-in rebates, etc. but nothing like the shows. In all likelihood, the more realistic explanation is that the show’s production company calls ahead and makes arrangements with the store or at least when the store employees see the camera crew, they play along. For all we know, the people in these shows don’t even take the merchandise home and it’s all put back on the shelves after they shoot the scene. Alternately, the producers may pay the difference after they stop filming.

These shows are fake, plain and simple.

Wendy’s coupoons
Like almost all coupons, these cannot be combined, so no, you cannot get a combo meal for $4.

“What happens in Vegas…”

I absolutely abhor the expression What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. It is supposed to be a clever, catchy phrase used to promote the cesspool and encourage people to do bad things by implying that there are no consequences for their actions. Bullshit!

Just because you go on vacation does not entitle you to do whatever the hell you want; bad, immoral, or criminal behavior is wrong no matter where you ware.

Here’s just a few examples of things that definitely do not stay in Vegas:

  • Damages – If you “pull” a Hangover and get your car smashed up, the dents won’t come out as soon as you leave the city; you’ll still have to pay to have them fixed
  • Debt – If you gamble with impunity, your losses and debts will not stay behind, they will follow you home
  • Diseases – You can’t slut it up just because you are on vacation in Vegas; anything you catch will go home with you
  • Legal – If you get into legal trouble, you don’t get out of jail free just because your vacation is over; if anything, you might stay in Vegas
  • Death – If you get yourself in trouble and get maimed or killed, it might stay in Vegas if you get buried in the Mojave, otherwise it will stick with your corpse when it is shipped back

Meat Ads that Use Anthropomorphized Animals / “Turkey Day”

I absolutely despise it when commercials that are advertising meat use talking animals to promote their product. It is bad enough that the poor animals being murdered so that people can not only eat to survive, but rather to enjoy a treat. It is bad enough that the commercials glorify killing and eating animals (I can’t stand the ones that show sizzling chunks of dead animal flesh, trying to make it look appealing), but to actually use them in the commercials is just wrong. It is immoral and indecent and often encroaches on cannibalism.

The steak-sauce commercial that has a cow singing to lure you into eating it is sick. The commercial showing cows and chickens trying to convince humans to eat the other is disgusting. And the rest…

In a similar vein, I really hate it when people call Thanksgiving “Turkey Day”. First of all, it masks and dismisses the whole point of Thanksgiving which is to recognize the good in your life and that others are not so lucky, and to be grateful for what you have and to help others. Second, it is even more disrespectful to the turkeys who die on the day. It is bad enough they are dying, but to give the day a “cutesy” name like that makes light of and demeans their deaths.

Everything is #1! Yeah right.

I am so sick of every network and channel constantly calling everything The season’s #1 show, Canada’s favorite new show, The best show on television, The biggest hit on TV, The new #1 hit, and so on. These claims are b.s. for at least two reasons:

  • Don’t tell me what is a good show or not! I’ll decide for myself whether a show is any good and I hate being told by others that something is good, particularly when I already know it is not! I can’t count the number of times I have seen a commercial for a show I hate being called #1. That is incredibly aggravating.
  • How many #1/favorite shows are there‽ How can every show be #1 or the favorite? How can every new show be a hit? The claims they make are statistically and logically ridiculous and garbage.

America and Metric

It aggravates the hell out of me that America eschews the Metric system for several reasons:

  • The Metric system, while not perfect, is vastly superior to and much simpler than the Imperial system that America uses. It is consistent with equal intervals of 10 instead of random ones, which makes it easy to memorize. It uses decimal units (intervals of 10) which makes it easy to use by multiplying or dividing to make larger or smaller units.
  • America always makes such a big deal about how they revolted against the British and abjured their ways, and yet they keep using the Imperial system which, you guessed it, is British!
  • Every other country in the world has had the brains to switch to Metric except for the United States and a couple of third-world countries.

CDRWin Vigilantism

Something that I have been wanting to complain about for a long time is CDRWin from Golden Hawk. Back in the days when CDs were still common (and most piracy was with CDs), burning CD images to blank CDs was a task that some people did often. There were plenty of programs and image formats, but CDRWin was a popular one that worked fairly well, at least that is, until version 4.0.

To deter piracy (which is of course a Sisyphean endeavor), Golden Hawk chose not to increase the complexity of their licensing system, but rather, to play vigilante and sabotage users’ system when they suspected an attempt at piracy.

What happened was CDRWin basically had three modes of operation:

  • Unregistered/evaluation
  • Registered
  • Vigilante

When you enter a serial-number/key to register CDRWin, if the key is invalid, then it will complain and remain in evaluation mode. However, if the key is valid, then it may accept the key and say thank you and display a Registered stamp in the titlebar and About dialog, but secretly be in vigilante mode whereby it pretends to be registered and appears to be in all manner, except that whenever you burn a disc, it corrupts it, resulting in a “coaster”.

This is unacceptable for several reasons

  1. The method that it uses to detect if the key was created using a “key generator” instead of from Golden Hawk themselves seems to be flawed because legitimate customers were incorrectly affected.
  2. The surreptitious nature of the anti-piracy tactic (it gives not warning whatsoever) prevented identifying the problem and made it look like the software is simply buggy, thus damaging the developer’s general reputation (imagine that, reviews from pirates having a big impact on sales!)
  3. This is essentially vigilante behavior, not anti-piracy techniques. If vigilantism is illegal in the real world, why would it be acceptable in the digital one?
  4. The sabotage it does is actively harmful to the user. By corrupting (apparently all) discs that are burned with the software, they are causing the user to have to throw them out because they are now useless. Would it be any more acceptable if the software were designed to fry a user’s CPU, burn out their monitor, or print hundreds of pages of solid black/color with their printer to waste their ink cartridges? Of course not! Wasting blank CDs isn’t any more acceptable.