ultraspare change

all sorts of things


free service...

This time from a network engineer in Florida:

Thank you for everything that you have done and that you are still doing. I have been fighting with AT&T for three weeks now. I have several current tickets with AT&T engineers and have been promised 3g service now on 5 different dates. Every time I call and complain about crappy service (no phone service, no data service, I can’t do two things at once, etc) they keep telling me that I am in a great coverage area and that I have no problems. After running test on my phone and sending them screen shoots of my phone they finally understand. Their service sucks. They keep telling me that Destin, FL has 3g service per their coverage map. I finally told them they are full of shit and the CSR laughed and finally said that I was right. She even told me that service sucks so bad in Atlanta that she has T-Mobile service.

The dates that they promise me every time come and go. Nov. 16th, Dec. 1st, Dec. 31st, Jan. 1st and now Jan. 13th. I told the engineer that I will not hold my breath and she said if I did I would be holding my breath for a long time. I asked for a copy of AT&T’s coverage map and she was not able to send it to me. Her manager got on the phone and told me the same line of BS, that per their map I have 3g service and was hung up on. I called back and got the same girl. She then put the same manager on the phone. After a total of 6 hours on the phone, nothing changed with my phone service. I have 4 iPhones on my account and they told me that I have bad phones. I have 2 3gs 32 gig phones and 2 3g 16 gig phones. So two different models are bad.

Long email but I want to tell you about the shitty service and line of bull AT&T is giving us. I have lost money and business due to their crappy network. After speaking with the right manager I now have FREE service for all 4 phones till they get 3g in this area and get what their ads say I can do. Can you think of the amount of money that AT&T will lose if we can get everyone to call in and do this? Per their contract they have to provide the service that they promised you when you sign up.

I went out today and bought 2 Verizon Droid phones for my IT company so I do not lose any more money or customers.

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at the 5th st market

, originally uploaded by iquanyin.

i really like this one.


A Modest Proposal To Combat Overcriminalization: Imprison Lawmakers


William Doriss said...

This is brilliant. I have had similar thoughts, but could not formulate them nearly as well. You have just performed an excellent public service, and this should set the tone for the new year in the 'political' arena, not only statewide but nationally. Thanx.

January 3, 2010 8:52 AM

Norm Pattis said...


Thanks for the kind word. Actually, something you said in a recent post inspired this. So I owe you yet another thanks ...


January 3, 2010 9:13 AM

monstrance228 said...

Happy Healthy New Year Norm. Yes, it would be interesting to see what, if any, the experience of 'imprisoning' some of our 'lawmakers' might have. I also wonder how they would handle (and I'm sure some must have) the life destruction, isolation and terror of being the parent/loved-one of the 'convicted.' I read your Blogs everyday as a means of knowing that there is 'someone' out there who identifies and can put into words the hysteria rampant in our courts, society and present culture. Right now, because of my family situation with the justice(?) system, we are practically 'hermits' - lost in Salem. This New Years weekend was spent watching - of course - Twilight Zone Marathons. Alas, "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" I'm sure most people are familiar with this episode. But, I needed to have a reason to allow myself to 'feel' and so the epilogue:

"...The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions or fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children and the children yet unborn. And, the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone..."

Thank you for your Blog.......

January 3, 2010 2:31 PM

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eugene, oregon

photo, originally uploaded by iquanyin.

this is one of the ones that was in myeugene (local blog) the other day. good blog, run by a good woman. i took this with iphone, on my first venture outside since coming to my son's here.

Anger and the American Rule


William Doriss said...

Too many lawyers, not enough honest ones. Too many judges, not enough competent or courageous ones. See essay on Judge DumKopf below.

The legal profession, as I see it, is all about dividing-up the pie, while reserving the largest share for itself and members of the 'bar'. It is a totally nonproductive enterprise. In what other profession can you get paid for making mistakes, not doing your job and/or performing badly?

If I am an average trades-person--pick any other occupation--say, and I perform badly, I get fired or laid-off. If I am a private contractor or merchant, I may not get paid for my labor or paid for my merchandise. That is the real reason why all attorneys want to get paid upfront. That is the first thing they teach you in 'law' school. Because, I know full-well that if I lose or fail somehow to satisfy my client, I may not get paid. It is a totally dishonest profession from the getgo, a profession full of sound and fury but often signifying nothing.

Think Justice Antonin Scalia, who this week is being featured on PBS along with the other S.C. justices. Just as war is too important to be left to the generals, so too is the 'law' too important to be left to the attorneys and judges who torture and distort the English language to suit their private inclinations and achieve predetermined results.

This is easily demonstrated. And if you do not believe me, read some appellate and supreme court opinions, both state and federal. Some are brilliant, and many are little more than gibberish, gobbledygook and codswaddle. The legal profession encompasses both the brilliant and the deficient under the same tent. The declining career of the dottering Justice William O. Douglas comes to mind as an example of the latter. (I certainly would not want him flying my airplane or building my house.)

I have personally heard Mr. Pattis say, at a public forum, "We attorneys work hard! We have to get paid!" Yes, Mr. Pattis, we hear you. But how much? And when is too much not enough? Or, did I get it backwards?

Is it any wonder that the legal profession consistently ranks at the bottom of opinion polls? Having said all of that, I'm thinking about taking up the profession myself--in retirement--so that I can re-open my own grotesque CT cases as a 'member' of the bar, where no attorney will come to my aid for anything near a reasonable fee. Attorneys engage in the obfuscatory arts for a reason. The reason is, more often than not, treason.

January 3, 2010 8:22 AM

Norm Pattis said...

This just in from Chicago:

Norm, I tried to post a response on your blog today (with my name attached) but had difficulty. I guess my computer IQ is too low. I wanted to respond to your post about the "American Rule" and your suggestion that plaintiff's attorney's post bonds.

In any event, this is what i wanted to say:

Norm, I always value your opinions and comments but I hope that you will reconsider your position on this issue. Civil litigation is not a roulette wheel. And the cost of pursuing civil litigation is hardly minimal. To the contrary, it probably costs at least $10,000.00 in litigation expenses to try the SMALLEST personal injury case in the Chicago area, which is where I practice. In major cases the litigation expenses can reach the six-figure range. Indeed, the significant cost of litigation is the greatest deterrent to the filing of so-called frivolous lawsuits. No lawyer wants to throw his or her money away. So your premise is wrong from the onset. And in any event, there are rules in place to impose sanctions should an attorney indeed file a frivolous lawsuit: Federal Rule 11 and its state equivalents. If the truth be told, the deck is already stacked in favor of the insurance companies. By requiring a plaintiff's attorney to purchase a bond as a condition precedent to the filing of the lawsuit, you are putting up another hurdle that must be jumped, if it can be jumped, before justice is achieved. And who is going to finance these bonds? The insurance companies that we are indirectly suing? Seems to me that they wouldn't want to do it. As you have no doubt observed in your own practice, even the most meritorious cases with catastrophic injuries are aggressively defended by corporate America. How often does an insurance company come forward and say, "We owe on this one. Let's settle it without litigating." You'll find more snowy days in Hawaii.

January 3, 2010 12:04 PM

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Junction Produce of VIPCAR

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YouTube is apparently worried that it's not successful enough. Even though...

Hunter Walk, the director of product management for the company, told the New York Times: "Our average user spends 15 minutes a day on the site. They spend five hours in front of the television. People say, 'YouTube is so big,' but I really see that we have a ways to go."

Yes, friends, that thing you call a life is still not media-heavy enough yet. You're consuming professionally produced video programming (including news, sporting events, reality shows, dramas, comedies and oh so many advertisements), but you will soon consume an equal number of indescribably weird videos produced by almost everyone - if Hunter Walk has anything to say about it.

And maybe that's a good thing. Nobody ever killed anybody while watching a video. (Well, probably that's not true, but it's a very rare occurrence.) If all the managers at Lehman Bros. and Citigroup had been watching cats flushing toilets and restaurant workers falling down holes, there never would have been a subprime mortgage crisis. I mean, would you rather earn $1 billion a year in bonus money or see a guy on a skateboard hit his head on a garden gnome? Dumb videos could have made our country financially secure.

Of course, not all the videos on YouTube are dumb. Some of them are professionally produced and look exactly like videos seen on television, because they are. But if YouTube just offered stuff you could see on TV, it probably would not be the most successful Web site in the history of everything (except Google, which owns YouTube, so there's a distinction without a difference).

Have you ever gotten an e-mail from a friend with a link to YouTube and then started browsing around looking for other videos by the same person or starring the same person or related to the first video in some way, and you suddenly looked up and it was 4 a.m. and you hadn't eaten anything since lunch? Yeah, me too. If YouTube really wants to rule the world and make "American Idol" an irrelevant cultural backwater, it needs to find a way of featuring those videos with narcotic qualities. Then it could sell advertisements and no one would mind.

The best YouTube videos, in my view, are the ones that combine such a peculiar mixture of attitudes and visuals that you can't figure out why they exist. You can't trace the idea for the video back to any human impulse that you recognize. You suspect that maybe aliens do really walk among us, and they are uploading like crazy.

My example today is a video review of "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" (tinyurl.com/yct5lug). Not everyone likes this video, I know that. It's sophomoric in places; even offensive, in the way that, say, young male comedians can be offensive. Also, it comes in seven segments and is about an hour long. It was produced by Red Letter Media, which is apparently just a guy named Mike in his home in Milwaukee.

Mike (I'm going to assume that every aspect of the video was created by Mike) assumes a weird, nasal monotone for delivering his critique. Certain asides suggest that Mike is, in his other life, a serial killer. Mike really hates "A Phantom Menace," and he explains why in tedious and yet interesting detail.

Perhaps it will not interest you. I am not an avid George Lucas fan, but I did see "The Phantom Menace" when it came out in 1999, and I pretty much agree with Mike that it is not a very good movie. But Mike's review (and the other offerings of Red Letter Media, which I skimmed) is just the sort of thing that could only appear on YouTube. Television would never broadcast it, even in the middle of the night on a channel with four digits.

But here's the thing: Mike is very smart about movies. He understands a lot about how they're made; he understands a lot about plot and characterization and narrative structure. The review gets more serious as it goes along. Plus it's funny. I guess it's sort of a niche video, but niches are all the rage just now.

So if you're the kind of idealized customer that Hunter Walk is envisioning, the one who will spend five hours a day on YouTube, you might want to give this a shot. And then, maybe: personal hygiene.

If you're going to YouTube, please tie a piece of string to your desk and hold tight to the other end.

Every time I try to destroy that clutch of scab-eating mouth-breathers, it only comes back stronger like some sexually ambiguous horror movie villain. Here I am, about to turn 30, and I've sacrificed everything, only to be shanghaied by the bi-curious machinations of a cabal of doughy misshapen teens. Am I missing something, jcarroll@sfchronicle.com?

This article appeared on page E - 8 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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