Friday, May 22, 2009

Alltel “Air Quotes” Commercial: “Make It Stop!”

Before I go on my “rant of the day” I have a “disclaimer.” I recently “switched” my cell phone “carrier” to “Alltel.” And I am very "happy" with my "choice."

Now my “rant.” Will “someone” please make "Alltel" “stop” airing that "ridiculous" commercial where the “curly headed” guy speaks in “air quotes?” It is really getting “annoying” seeing it 4 times an hour, in just about “every” show aired in “prime time” and even not in “prime time.” It’s worse than reading a “Zagat Survey” book.

When watching a show using a “DVR” on can “zip” through these ads, but when one watches “live” only a quick “flip” of the channel with the “remote” will “spare” you. These are the only “choices” you have, unless “leaving the room” is a quicker for you.

After seeing what seemed like a “million” of these commercials “air” this week, I wanted to “throw” my Alltel phone “right out the window.”

Please, can “someone” tell “Alltel” to “make it stop?"

For your “enjoyment,” here is a clip of an old “Saturday Night Live” sketch with the “late” (meaning “deceased,” not “tardy”) Chris Farley, which the “Alltel” commercial has clearly “ripped off.” (By the way, even if I could “find” the Alltel commercial on “You Tube” I am not sure I would “torture” my “regular” readers by including it here. )

Chris Farley “Air Quotes” Skit

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stop Driving While Texting, Phoning

It seems a daily occurrence lately when one hears about a vehicle accident – car, bus, train – where an accident occurred because someone was talking on his or her cell phone and/or texting while driving.

I am tired of driving behind or next to someone who is driving 50 miles per hour on a 65 mph stretch of freeway because they have one hand on the wheel, the other on their phone/BlackBerry, their eyes not on the road, and their vehicle not clearly in their lane.

Some communities are making it illegal to talk on a cell phone (unless it’s hands free) or to text while driving. This is a worthless endeavor, since the person has to be caught in the act, and really won’t prevent anyone from not doing it while there isn’t a police car driving right nearby.

Cell phones and BlackBerries are nice tools that can help people become more efficient in their jobs and stay in touch, but really, one CAN put them down for a while. There is no excuse for someone whose job is a train or bus driver to be texting – it’s just not part of their job. People who travel by car for their jobs should either check their messages before they leave or wait until they can stop their car.

Maybe what we need for cell phones and BlackBerries is something like what we do for young kids when driving in a car – strap them into the back seat while we are driving. I am just kidding, of course, but if people can’t keep cell phones out of their hands for more than a few minutes, then maybe someone has to force it out of their hands.

By the way, if you’re so busy that you can’t put down that cell phone or BlackBerry down while you’re driving, you are a slave to technology and you need to get a real life. Seriously.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Recession? What Recession?

On Monday, I planned for a day of yard work. The weather was supposed to be nice so I figured it would be a good day to move a few shrubs I planted a few years ago and hated how they looked as they got bigger. After I dug the 2 shrubs out and replanted them – it took less than 45 minutes – I decided to head over to the local Lowes store to check out what I could put in their place. It was before 10 AM, and usually on a Monday the stores are somewhat empty, even considering my hometown is one of the largest retail cities in the state of Ohio.

Well, I was in for quite a shock, because the Lowes garden area was packed - packed! – with people. Not only that, my ride down the city’s main drag to get there was also clogged with traffic, more so like it is at noon on a Saturday. I blew threw the store and saw nothing I liked, well, at least nothing worth standing in line for a long time to buy it. So I hopped onto the freeway and headed to the nearest garden center in the adjoining city, and found that at 10:15 they were also packed - packed! – with people. (Doesn’t anybody work anymore?) I made my purchase (two very nice large golden thread cyprus) and stood in line for about 15 minutes. I found myself wondering, if this is what this place looked like on a Monday, it must have been a zoo on the weekend.

On the way back home, I stopped at the local Wal-Mart, and one would have thought it was the day after Thanksgiving. The lot was jammed with cars, and again I had to stand in line for a while to make my purchase. On the way home, the main drag was even more crowded than when I was first driving it at 10 AM, and as I glanced over to the parking lots at the local Kmart and other stores in the area, they appeared to all be filled with cars.

Clearly, there is no recession in my hometown. People still seem to be very willing to spend money, whether they have it or not.

Granted, my one experience is not necessarily what it is like everywhere else. News of a community much like my own that is about 25 miles away just got word that their local Chrysler plant is closing. This will deal a severe blow to that city for sure. So while I may bemoan the traffic, the crowds, and standing in line, I realize that I am very fortunate to live in a city that can still draw big crowds to shop and spend money, along with a large business corridor to help bring in jobs and more tax dollars. What has happened to cities that are very dependent on one industry for support will hopefully teach others that they can’t put all their eggs in one basket. It seems clear that the decline of the auto industry will continue to affect other cities across the country until they find their way to economic stability. In the meantime, I will be thankful that I live somewhere where people still seem to have money to spend.

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