Sunday, May 30, 2004

Finally Good Cops

CALGARY -- A man who called police to complain about young
people playing street hockey was even angrier after officers
picked up sticks and joined the game. "I was pretty choked,"
said Derek Salituri. "The teenagers ... were playing street
hockey and they were smacking the ball off of my car and my
wife's car."

Salituri said he feared for his private property and was upset
about the loud music the six to eight teens were listening to.

He said one of the officers phoned to say the teens had been
told "to be careful" and added that "if we were still concerned,
to move the cars or talk to the kids ourselves."


A Calgary Police Service spokesman said the officers were put
in a no-win situation in a hockey-mad city cheering on the
Calgary Flames in the National Hockey League final.

"We break up a street hockey game during the Stanley Cup finals
or we can tell them to be careful and let them enjoy the game,"
said Sgt. Darryl Vanaalst.

"All we can do is put on a friendly face ... and try to enforce
the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law."

The Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightening are tied 1-1 in the
best-of-seven championship final.

This story restores my faith in police services everywhere. Finally some cops that use their heads. Really, Salituri just wanted the kids to avoid hitting his cars. The cops came by and told them to be careful. What more could they do in the situation?

Salituri should have just moved the cars or asked the kids to move down the street a little, so as to provide more protection to his cars. As for the music, yes it's a pain, but there are bylaws about noise pollution. He should have waited until they were breaking the bylaw instead of causing trouble.


Friday, May 28, 2004

I Fixed Our Dryer

The heating element in our clothes dryer stopped working yesterday. Since I am home alone today while Tracie is at work, I decided to fix it. There were two pairs of wires that had been obviously joined some time previously, so I joined them both together.

I plugged the dryer back in, and started a drying cycle. There was an enormous spark, like only 220 (volts, watts, amps, or mhz?) can provide. I couldn't figure out how to shut it off for a few seconds, then I realized that I had to open the door asap.

One of the leads to half of the heating element got zapped. Two little pieces of it landed on the lino and burn holes in the floor.

Now when the timer is running, so is the good half of the heating element, regardless of whether or not the fan and drum are spinning. You can actually hear an electricity buzzing noise. That can't be a good sign. I wish I had paid more attention to the dryer before I "fixed" it. Maybe the heating element is supposed to come on, even if the fan and drum aren't going.

Maybe it is fixed after all. I don't think a huge spark is a good sign though. Fixing it sure would have put me in a good mood. Nothing make you a real man like actually fixing something you know nothing about, and having it actually be fixed.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Creepy Search Engine Requests

My blog tracker gives a list of the last 20 search engine queries. 19 of the last 20 were requests for "Calgary Flames Flashers" or variants of that. The lone query not related to breasts or boobies, "Darr Maqbool".

Darr Maqbool is the A-Channel weatherman here in Calgary. He is from india.

I hope that the person found my page by coincidence and not some odd attraction to Darr Maqbool.


Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Google Re-Indexed Me

Hi, everybody! Great news! Google indexed the blog again. The last time was way before I used the terms words flames, flashers, flashing, or red mile. Can you guess what day Google indexed my site? To make it easier, I have included a graph of my hit counter for the last 20 days.

Considering the fact that I am not an expert on the Calgary Flames, Female Fans Flashing, or 17th ave (aka The Red Mile). It seems odd to me that I would be considered as such by google.
To add insult to injury, there are no pics of flashers on this sight. There isn't even a link to female Flames fans flashing.
Talk about marketing the blog, I received two more hits in the time that it took me to write this. It looks like I may be getting a lot of hits for the next little while. Just a question to all the people searching for flashers, why don't you just go down to 17th ave and see the real thing?

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Birthday Fun

Today was my birthday. Here is the rundown of the day.

1. Slept in. Gary was fighting his ticket downtown, so I stayed in bed. It was nice. I didn't shower until about 10:00.

2. Had a barbecue lunch out on the deck with Gary. We made steak, noodles and fruit salad. For desert we had cinnamon buns. Very yummy. Thanks Gary!

3. Had a nap. I can't explain it, but every day for the last few weeks I've been getting really sleepy in the early afternoon. It doesn't seem to matter what time I went to bed or how long I slept the night before. It's been tough fighting the urge when I'm working. The phone kept ringing though, so it wasn't the best nap.

4. Went to the superstore...bought some groceries and looked at clothes. I need some new shorts and I thought that Superstore might have some decent clothes...afterall, Walmart and Zellers sell some good things. I was wrong.

5. Went out for dinner with Gary to Chianti's. We'd never been there before, but I heard about it through some people I work with. Not a nice (aka:fancy) restaurant, but definitely nice (aka:tasty).

6. Hurried home to make it in time for my parents' visit. It's my mom's birthday today too. We visited for a bit, but they weren't able to stay long, and headed back out. They bought me a weed whip for my birthday. It was a joint present for Gary and I since his birthday was two weeks ago. Our yard will hopefully be ship shape in no time.

7. Watched the last period of the game. Wow. 4-1 for Calgary. Not a bad start.

Well, that's about it. It was overall a good day...certainly not my most exciting birthday, but good anyway.

-Tracie...Another year wiser...

Stupid Ticket (Fighting a traffic Ticket in Alberta)

I went to the courthouse today to fight my ticket. I plead guilty and asked the Crown Prosecutor to reduce the amount of the fine. He told me I could pay the fine and not get any demerits or reduce the fine to $70 from $115 but keep the demerits.

Right off the bat, I got a $45 reduction just for asking. I didn't even really say anything else to him about the incident. Just, "Can you reduce my fine."

I said, my student loans are all coming due next month, can you do $50. He thought it over for a second and I figured he was going to say take it or leave it, but he offered $60. I told him that if that was the best he could do I'd take it.

The Justice of the Peace rubber stamped the new fine, and asked if I needed more time to pay. I said no, and paid.

This time was a lot better than the first, the people sitting beside me were much more friendly. I chatted with a commercial realtor about various tickets we have had. A prison guard from the Bowdon Pen sat down a while later and joined the conversation. The general consensus in the waiting area was that we were all innocent.

One kid said he felt like he was in the penalty box. I shouted over to him that I would have rather been in the penalty box. Everyone laughed.

Here is my advice for fighting tickets or attempting to get the fine reduced. Get to the place Early. Get there at least 30-45 minutes before it opens. If you get there right when it opens, you will be there several hours. If you are early, you will be out in less than an hour. I was there at 8:15, they opened the doors at about 8:30 and there were about 30 people in front of me. I was done at about 9:00. Bonuses for arriving early are: You get to have one of the 30 chairs, and the people who get there early are generally nicer than the people who show up late.

Plan what you are going to say to the Crown Prosecutor. Always tell the truth, the Crown gets paid to decide if you are lying or not. They are good at their jobs, they hear the same lies constantly, and you are probably not a better liar than the three million people that came before you. While talking to the other innocent people who had been wrongly accused, just like me, there were three other people planning to beg for mercy using the starving student gambit. That makes four people claiming to be poor students in the first 30 minutes of the Crown's day. They don't need any more B.S. than they are already getting.

My other advice is to be nice to everyone who works there. They don't know you, they don't care about you, and they would rather give a pleasant person a break than a jackass.

Last but not least, chat with the people who are in the waiting area. Chances are they can give you some advice, plenty of them have been there before. It also gives you something to do while you wait to fight your Alberta traffic ticket.

It's totally worth it to ask for a reduced fine. Think about it, murders get years taken off their sentences. Why not get fifty bucks taken off your fine? I can almost guarantee that you will be one of the nicest people that the Crown Prosecutor has to deal with all day.

-Gary Milner, I fought the law and I won.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Bike Odometer

Tracie and I purchased a pair of odometers for our bikes. I installed mine yesterday, but I haven't gotten around to putting Tracie's on yet. It only takes a couple of minutes to do, and Tracie hasn't had a chance to go on a bike ride yet, on account of the poor weather we have been having and work.

The odometer is a fun little toy to have on your bike. It tells you how fast you are going, how far you have gone (both on the current trip and total distance), your average speed, if you are accelerating or decelerating (it detects if you have eaten celery that day, and it tells the correct time. You can also have it display in km or miles.

I found it interesting that on flat ground, I like to travel around 20 km/hr. Going 30 km/hr is pretty easily accomplished without much effort and going down a slight hill, it is quite easy to break 40 km/hr.

On trails around town, most are marked with a speed limit of 20 km/hr down hills. It seems to me that even the most responsible riders would have a hard time justifying going that slow down a hill, even if they were able to know how fast that they were actually going. 20 km/hr is actually quite slow.

Maybe someday I will ride my bike across Canada. If I could average 20 km/hr for 10 hours per day it would take me about 38 days. BC might cause some problems, but once I hit the continental divide, it's all downhill, and I think that I could make up a lot of time.

After awhile, I would be in prime bike riding shape and I could probably kick it up a notch and maybe hit 25 km/hr average speed. It would mean completing the cross Canada trek in a mere 30 days.


ps. I'll call you from Halifax in July.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

They Call Her Bumpy

Today in church, we were sitting behind a family with a 3 or 4 year old daughter. The daughter seemed a little un-coordinated. She smashed her head into the bench about 8 times whilst we were sitting there. The first one of the day was the worst though. I wouldn't have knocked a door with my hand as hard as she hit her head.

It seems that every kid hits their head on a pew once in a while, but I don't know how she escaped without a concussion. From personal experience I found the back side of the benches where they keep the hymnbooks, to be the most dangerous for kids. The little girl, however, hit the back rest of the bench. It kind of just jumped out at her I guess.

I can't even imagine the goose eggs she is going to have on her head.


Friday, May 21, 2004

Pop Goes the Weasel

I was at the University today and I saw that PepsiCo had replaced all the pop machines in the entire campus. They are all now Dasani Water and Gatorade. I though wow, Pepsi is taking this whole "society wanting to be healthier" a little too seriously. It was then that I noticed that there was actually no bottled water or Gatorade in the machine. It was mainly Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Root Beer.

The old bait and switch strikes again.

Computer Lab Etiquette

When you come into a computer lab with 30 or 40 computers, don't do what the dumas (French for dumb-ass) sitting beside me just did. Which is sit beside the only other person in the whole lab and much on potatoe chips as you surf internet pr0n. I mean, I like seeing female Flames fans flashing their boobies on 17th avenue just as much as the next guy, but please if you are going look at the Calgary Flames flashers do it at home or in person on the "red mile" after the game.

ps. Yes I know that I will disappoint lots people looking for breasts but that's just too bad.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Mary Kate = Gollum

Shave that head add a little grey makeup and it's like you're watching "The Lord of the Rings". I first noticed it on the cover of one of the tabloids at the supermarket. I think it was the star. Mary Kate has really gone downhill lately, on the cover of the paper (I use the term loosely), it looks like she has a bad case of anorexia. You can count all bones in her spine.

In other news, Tracie and I came to Medicine Hat last night. Having cruise control on the car is really nice. This morning we went for a run on one of the many paths. It was very nice. Medicine Hat seems to be about a month further than Calgary into spring. I've always really loved living in Medicine Hat, and I really would like to move back here. It's such a nice little town. I'm not in the most spectacular shape, but I could probably jog across it in about an hour or so. I don't know where I would work though, that's the main problem.

Medicine Hat does have other problems. The drivers are pretty bad. The person who edits the photos for the paper is either mildly retarded or blind (maybe he has just given up the will to live). Skateboarders have apparently been causing such a problem downtown that they have recently been banned in a 5 block radius (a 500 word article in the previously mentioned paper).


Monday, May 17, 2004

Please Kick Me in the Face

On Friday May 14, 2004 Calgary Police Service members
responded to a fight in progress at Lester B Pearson High
School as students were leaving the building for the lunch
hour. Upon arrival several youths were engaged in a physical
confrontation in front of an audience of over 100 people. The
responding officers acted to stop the initial fight when a
large crowd of youths turned on the officers. One officer
was kicked in the face during this altercation, which
prompted calls for further police assistance. This larger
altercation was quickly diffused by police, the necessary
arrests were made, and the situation was brought under
control without further incident.

When members of the crowd turned on the police, officers
utilized O.C.spray to help repel the attackers. Those
persons who were struck with the O.C. sprayed were
decontaminated or offered decontamination.

There were no reports of weapons in this event, and no
further injuries were reported.

When you are observing a fight getting broken up by the *Police* what makes you as a member of the crowd turn on the officers? Maybe you are so mad that you didn't get to see blood spilled by the two combatants that it becomes incumbent upon you to kick a police officer in the FACE.

All day on the news yesterday, they had one of the kids who was arrested whining that the police punched him and kneeled on him as they were arresting him. In order to sound less racist and more xenophobic, all I am going to say is that it is lucky the kid was in Canada.

As much as I have complained about the police in the past, I have to admit that the only times I have ever even had any contact with them is when I have been breaking traffic laws. They have never physically harmed me or accused me of doing something I never did. Then again, I have never attacked a police officer or kicked someone in the face.

-Gary Milner

ps. If anyone knows how to program in VBA, please let me know in the comments. I am looking into taking a course and I am wondering which one would be the best for me.

Saturday, May 15, 2004


According to a political cartoon in the Medicine Hat News Sadam Husein is busy these days ordering huge pictures and statues of himself for when the Americans move out of Iraq and turn Iraq back over to the Iraqis. I'd laugh if I wasn't already crying.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Pics I Promised

Tracie and I went for a little hike in the mountains today. We went about 3 weeks too soon, but we had a good time even though it was a little cold and a little snowy in the trees. While we were there, I took a picture of the new car.

This is the car. I'm not sure if I'm actually going to be calling it the Coca-Corolla or not yet. I get the feeling that I will probably be calling it the Toyota.

The other picture that I have been meaning to post is the spectacular cake that Tracie made for my birthday. She got the recipe from her Grandmother in Cardston. It was one of the best cakes I have ever eaten.

In case you are wondering, those are almonds covering the cake, not potatoe chips. I made the mistake of asking Tracie's Grandma if they were chips as a joke, and she gave me a really dirty look. If you ask her, she'll deny it, but I know the truth.


About a week ago Donald Rumsfeld said that he accepted full responsibility for the American prisoner abuses in Iraq. Now just what does full responsibility mean anyway? It means, my friend , that Pres. Bush is worried that people might think that "he", pres. Bush is a bit responsible---thus Rumsfeld, if he knows what's good for him takes full responsibility. Well, why if he is fully responsible, isn't he in deep trouble? They think that the people are too stupid to wonder about this.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Miss Spelling Things

I've noticed lately that we've been getting a lot of hits from things that look like they are spelled correctly, but are not. For example, the word hachet looks very similar to the word hatchet. The funny thing is that the word hachet is flagged as being incorrect but the word hatchet is not.

I admit sometimes I mix up quite and quiet but at least those are actual words, and neither of them are flagged by the spell checker.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I Fell Into a Burning Ring of Fire: Roasted Shark

Tracie and I have been watching more hockey since the Olympics. By more, I mean we have seen 4 or 5 games. It's getting even worse now that there is such Flames fever running rampant through Calgary.

It's funny, we've lived here for almost 4 years, and there hasn't been a word about the Flames spoken in all that time up until they hit the playoffs. Not that I haven't jumped onto the Flames bandwagon myself, and not that there is anything wrong with jumping onto the bandwagon.

In a way, I wish I new more about hockey. I know the basic rules, but I really don't know the finer points of the game. I'm not sure exactly what exactly makes icing icing, or why icing is bad in hockey but so good on cake. I don't know why sometimes you are allowed to hit the other players with your stick but not other times. I do know that a two line pass is bad, but it slows down the game, and makes breakaways that much harder. A coke addict once told me to never pass on two lines, but I figure he was talking about something else.

In any case, go Flames go!

-Gary Milner

Monday, May 10, 2004

Stuck in a Cart

At 9:30 AM Calgary EMS responded to Southland DR / Horton RD
SW for a bizarre call where a 52-year-old male was stuck
inside a shopping cart, laying at the bottom of a gully on
the north side of Southland Drive. It isn’t known how the man
became stuck in the cart, but it appears that he had been
there for an extended period of time, as he had become
moderately hypothermic. With the assistance for firefighters,
paramedics cut the shopping cart apart to free the man. He
was transported to the Rockyview Hospital in stable
condition. Alcohol was a factor in this incident.

Did they really need to add the part about alcohol being a factor? How could it not be? Hey I know, I'm going to climb into this shopping cart and ride it to the bottom of that gully, alone. How long does it take to get hypothermia in 2 degree celcius weather? An extended period of time apparently.

Now I know that riding in a shopping cart can be fun, even quite hilarous, and I've seen quite a few episodes of Jackass, but if I ride a cart down a hill sometime in the future, I will not become stuck in the cart. I will not be doing all by myself. I will not spend the night or get hypothermia.

Imagine if he had died.

"So how did your father die?"
"He froze to death in a shopping cart at the bottom of a gully. Alcohol was a factor. His buddies just left him there to sleep it off. When he woke up, he was stuck. The fire department tried to get him out using the jaws of life, but the cart was too strong."

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Future Shop Update

Saturday the 8th was my birthday. I turned 27 years old. As it turns out, it was a day filled with firsts. It was the first time my parents visited me in Calgary on my birthday. It was the first time Tracie has baked me a cake for my birthday. It was the first time I missed my birthday phone call from my wonderful Aunt Celanie, she calls every year but this year had to leave a message on my machine. Last but not least it was the first time I have ever been fired for no good reason on my birthday.

I didn't tell my parents when they were here because I didn't want them to worry. Kind of funny really. You would think that that is something I would want to tell them. But I didn't.

The awful truth is that I tend to make the best of things. I hated that job since day two. You have to wear a (most people would enter a swear here) uniform! Stupid people yell at you all the time.

What's that sir? You want to return a $50 diskman you bought in September 2001? It still works, but it skips sometimes?
What's that ma'am? You bought these batteries, they worked for a little while, now they don't anymore and you want to exchange them?

Anyway, it's for the best. I couldn't take lying to Tracie about how much I love my job. It was starting to make me feel guilty.

When it comes down to it, I got that job as a lark. I saw their information fair poster in the MacEwan Student Center on my way back up to the Gauntlet after buying a slush. It said free pizza and a chance to win a MP3 player. I figured I already had a slush, I might as well get some free pizza and see what they had to say. At the end of the night they were signing everyone up for interviews in the morning. I figured what the heck, I could use some free interview practice, I didn't actually have to take the job.

Well, as it turns out I interview very well and the black shirt my Mom bought me looks really nice on me. Which led me to a second interview. Did I say that I only signed up for the interviews because of the free Pizza? Anyway, up until this point I hadn't even had a call back so I took the job.

I didn't think that I would be getting a customer service job though. They made it clear when they hired me that I would be in a merchandising role, far away from any stupid customers and shyster salesmen. The Future Shop bait and switch strikes again.

When the manager made it clear that he was "letting me go" (he should grow a pair and say "you're fired!" like the Donald) I felt my the muscles in my chest literally loosen. Physically my lungs relaxed. It was like one second I was having a heart attack and the next I was fine. Having a Future Shop job one moment not the next. When he told me I could stay the rest of the day, I told him it was my birthday and that I would be going home early. Which was really funny because for a second there, he seemed a little embarrassed, like he was feeling a twinge of guilt.

Anyway, I'm looking for a MIS job again.


Ps. I don't need any condolences, I'm actually glad I didn't have to quit. Feel free to post any stories about the Future Shop that you want now. Oh and I'm changing all the instances of electronic retailer back to Future Shop.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004


The following has been mentioned before but the knowledge of it is becoming more and more mainstream. After 911 all flights to and from the States were grounded. In the case of incoming flights, the flights already in the air were diverted. Here is the interesting thing: Dozens of rich Saudi Arabians many of them with the name of Bin Laden were allowed to fly out of the States. Nobody else was allowed. It has been well known for a long time that the Bin Ladens along with the Saudi Government have been the principle trouble makers on the international scene. The Saudi Government was giving Osama fifty million dollars a year to help finance terror. In a congressional investigation one official involved in letting the Saudi's leave was asked if the list of Saudi's that were allowed to leave was classified. The official said no, it is not. The official was then asked to start naming the names on the list. He said, well I don't have the list with me. He was then asked to bring it the next day. Well guess what. The list magically got classified that same night. The question this raises is why was it suddenly classified. Could Osama Bin Ladens name be on that list or other prominent Al Quida members.

Saudi Arabia would have been a much more logical target than Iraq except that is where the States gets it's oil from . Also gazzilions of dollars of the same money that it took to buy that oil ends up back in the States in the form of investments and bank deposits. It is in the interest of many rich people in power in the States not to cause any form of irritation to the Saudi's . George Bush is one of the rich guys. It'll sure be interesting to see how this all plays out. I hope about 100 million viewers were watching 60 Minutes on TV tonight.

New Car

We got the car last night. Yeah! I love it. I love everything about it. I'm so sad that I have no where to go. I think I'll go for a drive anyway...tour the neighborhood or something.

Tracie - pictures still to come

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Kilkenny's review

Gary and I went to Kilkenny's the other day for brunch with the staff from the Gauntlet. I have never been there before, or even heard of it to be honest, but I will definitely be returning sometime soon.

It is an all you can eat buffet-style brunch with everything you could possibly imagine. Eggs, sausage, ham, bacon, fruit, croissants, hashbrowns, salads, french name it. It also included omelets, which you could order the way you like them. For dessert there was cakes, cookies, and squares. Yummm.

I'm not sure how much it cost, since I didn't pay or see the bill. But whatever the cost, it was worth it. The one huge disappointment is that people were smoking in there. If there's one thing I hate, it's second hand smoke. The only thing worse is smelling it while I'm eating. Eating breakfast, no less. Who smokes while eating breakfast anyway? Or drinks beer for that matter. There sure were a lot of beer drinkers for such an early hour. That being said, however, the food was so good that I am actually willing to overlook it.

Tracie, highly recommends Kilkenny's


CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed a man who professes to be an interrogation expert. This expert says he thinks that the people who carried out the interrogation atrocities in Iraq were probably suffering from "Prison Guard Syndrome". This expert sited a study that was done in the psychology department at Stanford University in 1971 . In this study a group of regular students were recruited to take part in an experiment in which half of the students were mock prison guards and the other half were prisoners. The study was to last for two weeks. However, by day six the guards were getting so sadistic towards the prisoners that those in control of the experiment halted the experiment. They called it prison guard syndrome.

I'll make you a bet that prisoners have a natural animosity toward guards as well, and resent them no matter how decent the guards are and the guards soon feel this animosity and want to retaliate. I think it's probably like the common situation in which one child hits another child and the other child feels that in order to get even he should hit the first child "harder" than the first child hit him, and the situation rapidly escalates from there.

My real opinion of the Iraq affair however, is that the guards were just plain sadistic and faggy. I hope part of their punishment involves being driven in the privates with a rifle butt. This punishment I respectfully reserve only for those who have themselves done the same thing to someone else.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Stabbing Downtown

Just after 9 PM tonight a 22 yr old male was walking downtown
after withdrawing money from a bank. He was approached by a
male and two females who begged for money. He gave them some
money and left. He walked a short distance and was attacked
by these three people, one of which stabbed the victim twice
in the back.

The victim chased the culprits for several blocks ;until he
lost them around 12 Ave and 1 St SE.

He then returned to the scene of the assault in the 100 block
of 7 Ave SE.

A short time ;later police picked up a suspect at 12 Ave and
1 St SW and are questioning another suspect.

The victim is in serious condition in hospital. The injuries
are no considered life threatening.

That's what I call stabbing the back that feeds you. Would they have not stabbed him if he hadn't given them money? It seems backwards to me.

But the victim, now there's one tough s.o.b. Who chases a group of three people after being stabbed? I bet if they had been pit bulls, he would have pulled out his pocket knife and killed them just like Symington.

Dear robbers,
Stab and rob the guys that don't give you money. Give safe passage to the guys who do give you money. But maybe I've seen too many episodes of the Sopranos and I think that the protection racket is a good racket to be in.

-Gary Milner,

Salesmen Continued...

Lee, the Honda guy. He didn't seem to want to explain to us what makes the car good. How the things that Honda has done will benefit us. For some reason, he kept explaining how the drivers seat could be raised and lowered. I felt like telling him, "Fifteen years I drove in a car with seats that go back and forth, not up and down. I don't care about that feature. It's just stupid. I'll duck, and Tracie will sit on a phone book."

When he wasn't touting the greatness of the adjustable height seats, he was saying that it came with power windows! Like I'm going to say, "Oh it has power windows? That's that final straw we'll take it!" Lee, if you are reading this, pay attention. EVERY NEW CAR IN THE ENTIRE WORLD CAN BE FITTED WITH POWER WINDOWS! It isn't a selling feature, it is an add on. Once you have sold the Civic, you convince them to spend an extra $500 for the power windows.

Another annoying thing was when we said that we wanted a standard transmission, he said, "Most people can't tell the difference between how an automatic and a standard drive, but you really know how to drive a standard." He went on to tell us how good we were at driving a standard transmission car several times. I'm thinking to myself, "This guy met me five minutes ago. What am I stupid? Like I don't know he has no fricking clue about how I drive." Really the flattery started to get a little embarrassing.

We told Lee that we only cared about two features. Cruise control and air conditioning. He didn't seem to realise that we wanted him to find us a car with those features. Not some other random features. Did I tell you that he found us one with power windows and adjustable height seats?

The final thing that made me switch from being a lifetime Honda driver to being a Toyota driver was when we told him that we had tested a Jetta. Now, the Jetta is a whole different class of car. Really there is no comparison between the Civic and the Jetta. The Jetta is way better. It also costs $7000 more. The first thing Lee did when we told him that we tried a Jetta was to grab his lemon book. He didn't actually flip to the Jetta page, (if there even is one,) but he did say, "Ooooh, I don't know, they make Jettas in Mexico."

The Mexico comment offended me. I consider myself to be somewhat well traveled, having lived in Argentina for two years. At the time I though, "Boy if I had gone to Mexico instead of Argentina, I would have been really offended not just sort of offended." It's like the guy thinks that Mexicans are stupid or something. Like they can't weld as well as people from Detroit, Ontario, or Japan.

The bottom line is that Lee didn't explain how owning a Civic would benefit us, how we would find value for our money in the car. His sales pitch was basically was, it's a Honda, the seats and windows go up and down, and a lot of hand waving. Hand waving instead of actual thought makes me very mad.

Lee has single handedly cost Honda at least $100,000, because now instead of buying four or more new cars from Honda, I will be buying Toyota or VW.

-Gary, Owner of a Coca-Corolla

Ps. This post was getting a little long, so there will be parts 2 and 3 for the other two good salesmen and a crappy closer.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Superstore....Not so super after all!

I really hate going to superstore. I hate everything about it. Unfortunately, their unbeatably low prices trump the fact that the entire rest of the experience is awful.

We ran there to get a few things, and I was reminded of some of the reasons why I hate it. Here are the top three:

#3: Their produce is always bad. Well, almost always, but definitely more often than not. The few things we wanted (green peppers, pears, tomatoes), were not looking too good.

#2: It's always crowded. Disgustingly crowded. I guess no one else can resist the low prices either. The worst thing about the one in country hills though, is that there are giant pillars down every third or fourth aisle. So giant that only one cart can get by at once. This does not make for a pleasant experience when it's so crowded to begin with.

And the number one reason I hate Superstore is.......(drum roll)......

#1: Bags. That's right, bags. No, it's not that I have to pack my own groceries, which I do. Or even that I have to pay for each bag I use, which I also have to do. What bothers me is that the stupid cashiers cannot seem to start scanning the groceries without knowing the exact number of bags that I will be needing. Let me explain.

I start unpacking my groceries on the counter. Immediately out of the cashier's mouth comes the phrase "How many bags do you want today?".

This is my pet peeve. How am I supposed to know?? Most of my groceries are still in the cart. 5, 10, 15??? Your guess is as good as mine, lady. This was not a one time occurence either. No, it has happened to me everytime I have ever shopped at Superstore. The worst of it is that they seem unable to start scanning groceries until I give them the number. They leave the groceries on the counter and stare at you until you give them the number. I feel like saying, "Why don't you just start already. I'll let you know about the bags later".

Tracie, Unable to properly convey the frustrated emotions that go along with #1.