Posts Tagged ‘rant’
Monday, July 11th, 2011
… or, is that price gouging on the Internet or American Capitalism at its finest?
I have very stubborn dandruff.
For a while, tea tree oil shampoo (a recommendation from a stylist) was enough to deal with it. Then I went through several flavors of ordinary dandruff shampoo: the salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione (Head & Shoulders), selenium disulfide (Selsun Blue), and coal tar (Neutrogena T/Gel). Finally I tried Nizoral, which contains a pretty powerful antifungal agent called ketoconazole. Worked great. Kind of spendy, for sure (around $10 for a 4 ounce bottle or $15 for a 7 ounce bottle) — but I didn’t have to use it every time I washed my hair, so it wasn’t such a bad deal.
For a while I thought I’d beat the problem permanently so I didn’t buy more. Buta few weeks ago the trouble came back so I went looking for more Nizoral.
None of the stores had it. Some had an empty section of shelf where it was supposed to be.
What was up, I wondered. So I went to Google, typed in “Nizoral shortage” and hit the enter key. The best information came in the form of a product review on Amazon — it was not so much a review of the product but an explanation of the shortage, written by someone who had called the manufacturer directly. The manufacturer had shifted production to a new plant and was waiting on FDA certification of that new plant. Supplies should be getting back to normal in July if all goes well.
In the meantime the sellers on Amazon were charging $26.95 for the 4 ounce bottle and $52.95 for the 7 ounce bottle. That’s 2.5 to 4 times the usual price. And that was the low end: the upper end was $39.95 for the 4 oz and $59.97 for the 7 oz!
I’m all for the entrepreneurial spirit, and it’s a free country with a modified capitalist economic system (so it’s not illegal to jack up the price of this stuff when the supply is low) that I don’t particularly want to change.
But 4x the price just because you can?! Seems to me some folks need an ethics transplant.
As for me, I think I’ll endure the flakes and itchy scalp for a few weeks.
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
(With apologies to Monty Python and anyone else who’s already worked this gag on this subject.)
Dear Mr. President,
Once again this week you have spoken of bipartisanship, and how you still see the possibility of bipartisan cooperation in addressing the needs and desires of your constituents, the American people. With regret, I must bring to your attention a very simple fact regarding bipartisanship.
Specifically, bipartisanship is dead. It may have died as early as November 3, 2008; without a doubt it was dead by January 21, 2009.
Please allow me to repeat myself: Bipartisanship is dead.
Dead. DEAD. No longer living. Inert. Deceased. Kaput. Expired. Extinct. Perished. Lifeless. Bereft of life. Defunct. Finished. At rest and resting in peace. Inanimate. Gone to meet its Maker. It is no more. It has ceased to be. Departed, passed on, passed away, shuffled off this mortal coil, rung down the curtain, joined the choir invisible. It’s a stiff, a corpse, a cadaver. The worms are playing pinochle on its snout. It has made the ultimate sacrifice and suffered the ultimate incapacitation. God called it home, so it has called it quits and laid down for the big sleep. If it were a cartoon, it would have big Xs for eyes. It has crossed the river, gone the way of all flesh, gone to its reward, and gone to that great Legislature in the sky. It was liquidated, offed, taken out, wasted, knocked off, bumped off, whacked, and put out of its misery. It has checked out, bought the farm, and is pushing up a lovely crop of daisies.
Please, act accordingly.
Thursday, November 20th, 2008
This was one of the three quotations on Google’s Quote of the Day gadget today:
Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
- Flannery O’Connor
Never were more apt words spoken in the age of Twilight.
I am not a violent person, but if I hear one more gush about the books or the movie, I’ll break something. If I see one more clip from the movie with dialogue that would make Ed Wood say, “Uhm, not so sure that’s gonna fly,” I am going to scream.
No, I haven’t read the books. No, I won’t. I’ve seen enough reviews from a wide enough variety of people, and seen enough passages from the book excerpted in those reviews, to know that I’d be wasting my time and raising my blood pressure for no good reason. The only reason I can see for bothering would be to know how not to write bad romance. And I have read enough other bad romance to already know what to avoid.
My advice to the Twilight junkies: Go read Chelsea Quinn Yarbro‘s Saint-Germain books. You’ll get vampires that can walk in daylight (without sparkling!), amazingly researched and historically accurate settings, romance that is rooted in the way people really relate to each other, and horror that has a lot more to do with what human beings are capable of doing to one another than anything else.
Wednesday, January 9th, 2008
This is the sort of news story that just gets me so mad. When I get really mad at a story on the radio, I’ve been known to start yelling back at it. I can’t do that here, but I’m going to try the next best thing.
Back in the heyday of Mystery Science Theater 3000, fans had great fun taking Usenet postings — mostly spam and bad fanfic — and setting Joel (or Mike) and the Bots on them. You can find many of these at The MSTing Mine.
What I’m doing here is similar, but not necessarily intended to be funny. The article is written by Deborah Zabarenko, and appeared on the Reuters newswire yesterday. I’ve pared it down a bit.
WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - The United States delayed
a decision on whether global warming threatens polar
bears, saying on Monday new data and public comment
required more time. Environmentalists vowed to sue
for quicker action.
New data? Like, maybe, the polar bears are dying even faster than you thought? Public comment?! How many people do you need telling you “Bite me!” in order to get the message? Here’s one more: Bite me!!
The deadline for deciding whether to list the big white
bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act is
Wednesday but Dale Hall, head of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, told reporters it would take as much
as a month more to analyze all the information.
This is the first time you’ve ever looked at the information? Dude, you’ve been part of the Fish and Wildlife Service since 1978! You put 300 species onto the Endangered Species List between 1991 and 1997. Come on.
This is the first time global warming has been a factor
in proposing threatened status for any U.S. species,
Hall said, and that has added to the complexity of the
It won’t be the last. You should have been prepared for this. Oh right, I forgot. Your boss and his cronies don’t believe global warming exists.
The act indicates the one allowable reason for a delay
in adding a species to the list is "substantial
scientific uncertainty" but Hall denied in a telephone
news conference that this was the reason.
Of course. Your boss doesn’t believe global warming exists, but you don’t dare actually stand up and say that.
"I'm not saying that there is scientific uncertainty
under the act and it's unfortunately one of those
times ... we'll have to miss the deadline in order to
provide the quality product that needs to be provided,"
Quality product?! We’re not talking about Gund bears here! It’s a pretty sounding excuse for foot-dragging and stonewalling, is what it is.
While all the other 1,300 or so species on the list
were clearly threatened by deforestation or vanishing
wetlands, Hall said the climate connection to the polar
bear case required help from government scientists to
understand the various impacts of global warming.
But we can’t really trust those government scientists. At least not until someone other than George W. Bush is signing their paychecks.
The Endangered Species Act defines a threatened
species as one likely to become endangered in the
foreseeable future. Hall said the scientific data
would "help us understand that 'foreseeable future'
question: what's going to happen in the next 45
years, because that's really the question."
Oh, come on. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Or a biologist.
"The Bush administration has squandered seven years
denying the devastating scientific evidence of global
warming," Kert Davies of Greenpeace USA said in a
statement. "Stalling has cost us dearly, putting the
polar bear at risk of extinction and jeopardizing the
future welfare of billions of people around the world."
Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council and
the Center for Biological Diversity said in a joint
statement they plan to start the legal process on
Wednesday with a formal notice to sue, as required
under the Endangered Species Act.
Thank goodness someone’s doing something.
P.S. The walrus are dying too.
Saturday, November 3rd, 2007
In the spring of 1980, for an exercise in my eighth grade class, we were asked to name our heroes. In front of my whole class, I named you. I didn’t live in San Francisco. I never had. But even at the age of thirteen I knew who you were and what you had done for the city you then served as Mayor.
When you became a Senator I voted for you with pride, and continued to do so until I moved out of California in 1997. Even after I moved, when your campaign fundraisers called me, I contributed. Not much, perhaps, but I did what I could.
But over the past few years, your positions politically have shifted from center to so far right I no longer recognize you as a Democrat. The right wing screaming heads on the radio wouldn’t know what to do if they couldn’t characterize you as a “San Francisco liberal” — which they can only do because you still live there, more or less.
When you authored the PERFORM Act in 2006, I quit sending money to your campaign. To gut the principles of fair use to benefit the profits of record companies is terrible.
But yesterday you decided to endorse the appointment of Michael Mukasey, despite the fact that he will not acknowledge the fact that waterboarding is torture — and this after it was revealed that former Deputy AG Daniel Levin told President Bush it was — because he had undergone it himself!
With that move, you lost the last of the respect I once held for you. I have nothing left but contempt.
I’m sorry, but your argument that “first and foremost, Michael Mukasey is not Alberto Gonzales,” is not good enough.
Not. Good. Enough.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
You should be ashamed of yourself, Senator.
So what if the President makes Mukasey the AG in a recess appointment? That argument isn’t good enough either. The Senate managed to stand up to the President in the case of John Bolton, and the world didn’t come to an end. And that was when the Democrats were in the minority! What’s the good of having a majority in Congress if you are just going to roll over for the President anyway? It is no wonder that Congress’ approval ratings are less than half the President’s, and his are pathetically low.
From hero to contemptible in two short steps.
Wednesday, May 4th, 2005
Joe and I went to see The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy last night. I think this is the first time we’ve been to the theater this year — the first movie to come out this year that we’ve actually wanted to see in the theater, as far as I can remember. (Joe, please feel free to step in and correct me if my memory’s off on this one.)
So the movie was quite good — not perfect, but very, very good indeed. Three and a half stars, or a B+ grade, in my book.
But I think we’re going to have to see it again. It was really, really hard to concentrate with the people sitting two rows back, yacking constantly.
FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, PEOPLE, YOU ARE NOT AT HOME WATCHING A DVD!! YOU ARE IN A THEATER! There may only be ten other people in here with you but they all PAID MONEY to watch the movie and they have the right to watch it in PEACE without you yapping every few seconds, “Oooh, there’s the Vogons!” and echoing EVERY THIRD LINE like a three-year-old. One of you looked like a teenager, and the other looked like she was my age. NEITHER OF YOU HAVE ANY EXCUSE FOR ACTING LIKE THIS!
The theater management has seen fit to tell people at least three times to shut off cell phones before the movie starts. I think they need to remind people a little more firmly to shut their mouths too. Yeesh.
Oh, by the way … you missed another joke, a classic excerpt from the Guide, by not staying to watch the credits.
Friday, November 12th, 2004
For all those who are protesting the movie Kinsey, to those who compare Kinsey to Josef Mengele, I have one question:
How many people did Kinsey murder?
P.S. I’ll give bonus points to anyone who can tell me why it is that people who don’t like the subject of a biographical movie invariably say the movie is “glorifying” its subject? I don’t think I ever heard any of these religious righties talk about how Mel Gibson glorified Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, and you’d think they should have!
Tuesday, September 24th, 2002
This is getting to be too much fun.
- The only person who shows any interest in buying my cats wants one cheap and wants it declawed
- Maxis has finally added pets to The Sims, but you gotta buy an add on and when am I gonna have that kind of money?
- Certain twerpy kids are patently ignoring complaints
- I’m probably going to have more night shift work next week
- this damn headache STILL won’t go away!
On a more serious note, my grandmother is still in the hospital, not getting better when she should have been days ago. I have a bad feeling about this. I’ll miss her. Maybe more than my mom will, but I have to wonder how she will react if the worst happens soon. She hasn’t had much good to say about her mom lately, but … you never know, do you?
Monday, September 23rd, 2002
Okay, so here’s my whines for the day.
- I’ve spent over $700 in the past year on advertising for the cattery, and haven’t sold cat one from any of it
- The harder I work, the more in debt I am
- Just for one night, I’d like to sleep without constant weird dreams
- This damn headache won’t go away
- No one seems to want to answer my email, especially when it comes to working together on a project of any kind
- I’m tired of cleaning three or more spots of cat barf off the carpet every single day
- I’m tired of being talked down to over the net by little twerps who are half my age and who decide to disappear as soon as I get mad
- Why the hell doesn’t anyone want to buy my cats? Even the folks who asked me to call them back when I had a cat for them won’t return calls
- I can’t even call back the damned telemarketer to tell them to stop calling me
- My feet hurt all the time and my calf muscles are so knotted they feel like bad macrame, and won’t loosen up
Well, I guess that’s enough for going on with. Maybe if I make a habit of venting here, I’ll start to feel better. I guess it can’t hurt to try.
Current cat count: 14