Category Archives: rant

The trouble with Gerry (not his real name) the Petty Tyrant (aka Karma is a bitch!)

No petty tyrants

I am so mad I can’t sleep.

I’m literally writing this post at 2:34 am Thursday morning.

To be honest, I’m probably more disappointed than I am mad.

But I’m mad.

Why? You ask?

Because the world is full of petty tyrants.

And unfortunately, I’ve had a run-in with one that has my stomach in knots.

If you know me, you know that I’m an easy-going person.

I’m pretty unflappable.

I’ve dealt with ’nuff PTs in my day, and come away unscathed.

But this one here…

Indulge me, if you will, and let me spin you a yarn.

I believe in paying it forward, and for the past few years, I’ve been working with several not-for-profits, helping them to build their digital and social media chops.

One not-for-profit (which shall remain unnamed because we still work together in spite of said PT) has been the recipient of a lot of my attention.

The great thing about them is that they serve kids.

Hundreds of thousands of kids.

And like most not-for-profits, they are somewhat behind the times.

A lot of their current programming is steeped in the old school.

So from day one, my objective has been to bring them (kicking and screaming if need be) into the modern age.

At the end of the day, if you’re an organization that serves kids, it behooves you to offer programming that speaks to the increasingly technological world in which these kids live.

To their credit, most of the organization has been willing to change, in order to get with the times.

But not Gerry (not his real name).

Who’s Gerry?

That’s the petty tyrant.

Just so we’re clear, petty tyrant (an expression coined by Carlos Castaneda), refers to individuals who simply live to frustrate, exasperate and annoy others to distraction.

They’re two-faced backbiters and gossips.

Your modern day hater.

Now Gerry (not his real name) is new to the mix at this not-for-profit.

Before dealing with him, we had run several programs with the kids.

Based on feedback we’d received from kids in our previous programs, we put together a new program that the kids (in our initial session) really responded to.

But somehow, between this first session (held last Thursday) and the second (which would have been held today), Gerry (not his real name) put the kibosh on the entire program.

Just like that, a program for which numerous individuals invested countless hours to bring to life, has been deaded.

Over some straight BS.

Mind you, Gerry (not his real name) has been trying to throw salt in the game for a hot minute.

My strategy for Gerry (not his real name) has been pretty consistent.

I deal him with kid gloves.

He has a fiefdom, which he guards jealously.

Any threat to his authority is dealt with by excising it from his fief.

Prior to dealing with Gerry (not his real name) I got the 411.

I was regaled with tales of his treachery.

Apparently there were a host of individuals, no longer working for said unnamed not-for-profit, who owe their untimely departures to Gerry (not his real name).

In fact, Gerry (not his real name) is currently engaged in smear campaign against a new target, another one of his colleagues.

But that’s another story for another time.

Since I don’t work for the not-for-profit, I took the intel about Gerry (not his real name) under advisement.

And since Gerry (not his real name) wasn’t particularly discreet about his scandalous behavior, I figured it wouldn’t be long before he was exposed for the wretched snake he was.

You’re only going to be able to get away with talking shit about folks in your organization before there’s a target on your back.

Karma is a bitch!

Anywho, Gerry (not his real name) has apparently trained his sights on our program.

And now the 13 kids signed up for it are going to be extremely disappointed when they find out that its been scrapped.

That’s really what has me up in the wee hours of the morning venting to y’all.

I could give a fuck about this Gerry (not his real name) fella.

We all have to deal with petty tyrants in life.

It’s the fact that he’s taking away something very valuable from these kids that has me all up (literally) in arms.

Our program teaches real world digital skills, an area in which this not-for-profit is woefully deficient.

Our instructors – Ivy Leaguers, computer geniuses, music and entertainment industry veterans who work (and have worked) with big dawgs: think Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Jay Z, Beyonce, Mos Def, Common, and the list goes on – were essentially giving their services away, to make this program happen for these kids.

And Gerry (not his real name) is throwing away an opportunity for these kids to work with people and projects of this caliber.

Why?

Why indeed.

To hear Gerry (not his real name) tell it, the logistics behind our running the program were proving too difficult to manage.

Bullshit.

But who knows why petty tyrants act the way they do?

All I know is that I’m going to try to get my program back.

For the kids.

Fuck Gerry (not his real name).

His treachery is (eventually) going to catch up to him.

Like I said, karma is a bitch!

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iPhone 5 + AT&T + Nigeria = FAIL.

Never the twain shall meet.

I just got back from burying my father in Nigeria and I’m thoroughly disgusted with both my iPhone 5 and AT&T.

You see, I was originally going to buy a burner for the trip.

A throwaway phone that I’d cop at the airport in Nigeria, load up with minutes and give to one of my relatives on my way out of the country.

Simple.

But noooo…I had to get all fancy.

I remembered that the iPhone was a GSM, which meant I could use it abroad.

I had used my iPhone 4 in Cannes, France with great success.

I simply had to switch up my international plan, set up a global data plan and I’d be set.

I didn’t even have to call AT&T to make the switch because I could do it all within the AT&T app.

So as I taxied on the runway at Newark airport, I set up my joint and felt secure that I had made the right choice.

When I got to Frankfurt, where I had a brief layover, I was rocking.

I was making calls, receiving emails and texting like a champ.

I was imbued, however, with a false sense of security.

Because when I arrived in Nigeria, nothing worked.

I couldn’t make calls.

I couldn’t send or receive texts.

I couldn’t surf the internet.

Nothing.

Effing.

Worked.

Cellular data on – nuthin.

Cellular data off – nada.

Wifi on – bupkis.

Wifi off – nyet.

Every once in a while, I would get an errant text message.

Frequently, my ‘No Service” would become “AIRTEL” or “Glo Ng”.

But my hopes of cellular connectivity were quickly dashed as calls routinely failed.

And then (somehow) I got a text message that almost caused me to lop off my own head.

Due to high international data usage your data service was suspended, including in USA.

WTF!?

Enraged, I immediately called the toll free number listed in the text.

Remarkably, the call went through.

Me (icily): “Yeah…I just got a text message saying that my data service was suspended because I was over my limit. But I haven’t been able to use my phone since I landed in Nigeria.”

AT&T: “It appears that you’ve used 51.6 Mb on your data plan.”

Me (seething): “When? I haven’t been able to use my phone since I got here!”

AT&T: “Well that’s because you’re not set up for international use.”

Me (on the verge of losing my marbles): “But I did…I used the app…”

I had to stop myself.

Ol’ girl was about to have her ass handed to her.

Clearly, whatever I had done (for which I received several email confirmations), hadn’t taken.

And rather than harp on what I had already done (to ensure that I wasn’t where I was right now), I decided to work with miss thing to get my shit straight.

I was on with an operator, and she was helping to ensure that my account was properly configured for international use.

After confirming my requested upgrades, we parted, confident that I could get my dial on.

First call – the wifey. Let her know I’m set.

Dialing.

Dial assist message.

Call failed.

CALL FAILED?!!!!

It took every sinew in my body to suppress the urge to fling my precious iPhone across the room and test the efficacy of my Otter case.

To add insult to injury, my younger brother, who still rocks an iPhone 4 (with AT&T) had no problems whatsoever.

The entire time we were there, he was chilling on his joint.

Texting folks in and out of Nigeria.

Calling.

Posting pictures to Facebook.

Mind you, he reminded me that I could simply have AT&T switch up my stuff so that my phone would work outside of the US.

But clearly something was lost in translation between the 4 and the 5.

Because both my other brother, The Doc, and I have the iPhone 5.

And we were both screwed.

Now, I don’t know how many of we iPhone 5 owners travel internationally.

Or how many have experienced something similar.

But I can’t accept that stepping up to the 5 means stepping down in performance and utility.

And I’m certainly not checking for spending more money to do so either.

So AT&T I’m fully expecting a credit of $5.99 for the so-called ‘world traveler’ international calling, $30 for the global messaging, and $60 for the global data – that I never got to effing use.

And if you do plan on taking a jaunt to the continent – get yourself a burner.

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Filed under iPhone, mobile, opinion, rant

Don’t Eat At Joes. John Wynne, for shame.

You never want to find this in your Sunset Salmon.

I just left Joe’s Crab Shack on Route 1 in Lawrenceville.

My wife found a black object in her Sunset Salmon, which we initially believed to be a piece of black plastic.

After summoning the waiter, who in turn, brought the manager, we learned that what we thought was plastic was (in his opinion) actually the charred remains of a bun.

Apparently, a piece of a bun became dislodged when it was cooked on the grill.

Buns are grilled on the same surface they use to grill the fish.

Cross-contamination anyone?

This dislodged piece went undiscovered for a period and achieved it’s blackness and hardness over repeated cooking.

Undiscovered? Was it hiding out?

The burnt piece lodged into the salmon must have been swept up onto the plate when it was being cooked.

Should you be telling me this?

Sounds…how do you say…unhygienic.

So it wasn’t a piece of plastic, he concluded, it was just a reeallly burnt piece of bun.

I was genuinely relieved for the manager’s forensic analysis of the foriegn object.

But I was more interested to learn how he intended to resolve the solution.

As he prattled on about why, if it were a piece of plastic, it would have burned immediately upon contact with the grill…

I realized that he was not intent on doing the right thing.

As if reading my mind, he began to fumble about, attempting to reach his rear left pocket.

He explained, digging furtively in his pocket, that he was the manager of the establishment.

John Wynne, Assistant General Manager, Joes Crab Shack. Boooooo!!!!

Placing his card on the table in front of us, he said (and I quote) “My card’s not worth anything, but this one is.”

After fumbling through the stack of cards pulled from his pocket, he placed another yellow business-sized card on the table atop the previous one.

Joe’s Crab Shack. Free Appetizer. And why would I eat here again?

“You can use it the next time you dine with us.”

What makes you think I’m going to dine here again?

I was stunned.

Not only can’t I used this voucher for my CURRENT appetizer, you’re not even going to spot me an ENTREE?!

The afflicted dish was an ENTREE!

I was twisted.

Mind you, when our waiter left to retrieve the manager, he clearly knew the severity of the black charred discovery.

I told him to be glad he wasn’t bringing his manager back to see Gordon Ramsey.

Cause we know how Gordon gets down!

I was clearly not pleased with that my wife’s meal was ruined.

But ol’ Wynne didn’t skip a beat.

With a “enjoy the rest of your meal,” he was off.

When my check arrived, I was was thermonuclear.

The salmon was on the check.

I had held out hope, that despite the manager’s flacid response he would have still shown me the courtesy of removing the offending dish from our bill.

Alas, twas not the case.

I’ve NEVER complained about finding something in my meal that didn’t IMMEDIATELY result in that item being removed from my check.

Or an offer to replace it.

Typically the waiter just handles it.

The escalation to mister manager immediately signified that someone was coming to HANDLE the situation and make it right.

Wynne did neither of these.

Even though I was ready to read both my waiter and Mr. Wynne the riot act…

I chilled and paid the bill.

Was with wifey.

Didn’t want to cause a scene.

But I couldn’t let the situation lie.

So I signed the receipt and left Mr. Wynne, this little note:

Tip for John Wynne. Notice the shameless plug.

I’m posting my crappy dining experience for posterity.

I doubt anyone from Joe’s Crab shack will find this post.

And if they do, they’ll probably offer me more Wynne-ian flaccidity.

I’ve given up on contacting brands directly, because I’ve found that they NEVER do the right thing when you do.

Dominos Pizza failed the test.

So did Louis Vuitton.

Now Joe’s Crab Shack is on the list.

BTW Joe’s…

You should have Mr. Wynne take some additional managerial courses.

His current customer relation skills suck salmon balls…

….or burnt bun pieces.

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Filed under opinion, rant, Smack talking

Ode to a lightning cord.

20121017-222355.jpg

I’ve had my iPhone 5 for several weeks now, and I’m slowly getting used to it.

It’s become a staple in my gadget arsenal, stepping in smoothly for its predecessor, The 4.

I can genuinely say that I’m happy with it.

Except for one thing…

That damn lightning charger!!

On three occasions since I’ve owned The 5, I’ve been without my lightning charger.

And I’ve paid for my omission with a dead phone.

Unlike back in the day (aka three weeks ago) where I could approach anyone in the Apple iPhone tribe and borrow a charge cord, today I am constrained to seek out the rare iPhone 5 user, for on-the-street relief.

Gone are the days when any ole iOS compatible device would do.

Now, it’s lightning charger or nothing.

I’m a bit peeved about it, to be honest.

Instead of being able to just rock out with my new joint, I’ve got to be judicious about my energy consumption.

Now I find myself turning off notification services, dimming my screen, using apps sparingly, all in a misguided effort to extend my battery life – or rather, how long I can use my phone.

Oh the angst I feel whenever I belatedly discover I’ve left the crib without my lightning cord.

My anxiety grows as the percentage of battery indicator decreases.

I find myself desperately scanning the hands of strangers to see if they too, might be sporting The 5, and perhaps, the keys to my depleting battery salvation.

I curse Apple whenever that bloody 20% pop up pops up, alerting me that my phone is on its last leg.

I feel shame when other iPhone users ask me if I’ve got a charger on me, both for the fact that I don’t have a cord on me AND the fact that if I did, it’s not compatible with their’s.

What’s truly wack about my dilemma is that it’s not going to get better any time soon.

The tipping point, when every other Apple user you run into has a lightning charger on stash, is a long way off.

Even if I shelled out the extra 20 bones for the adapter, which would let me use current cords to power my device, I’d probably forget it like I do my cord now!

I knew, when I copped the 5, that it had this new cord.

I was fully aware that claims of 250 hours of standby and 80 hours of talk time were an absolute farce.

But I never thought it would go down like this.

I’m killing my battery every day.

Even though I don’t feel like I’m using my iPhone any more frequently now than I did before, the frequency with which my phone dies, says otherwise.

At the end of the day, I’m really just mad at myself.

If I wasn’t always forgetting my cord, I wouldn’t be complaining so vociferously now.

I suck.

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Filed under iPhone, mobile, rant, technology

Well eff you then! iOS 6 ain’t all that anyway! A review, of sorts

After a much awaited…uh…wait, yesterday, iOS 6 finally arrived.

Everyone in the office with an iPhone broke out their joints and copped the update.

Everyone except your boy, that is.

You see, long ago, I became a Jailbreak disciple.

And the first rule of Jailbreaking is that you never automatically update your OS.

Updating a jail broken phone without first acquiring the secret sauce to preserve your jailbreak, renders it obsolete.

So there was no updating anything until my crew had successfully implemented a jailbreak for it.

Consequently, I watched curiously, from the sidelines, as others eagerly updated their devices.

Like giddy children, they clutched their iPhones and sat through the (painstakingly long) process of getting the update to their devices.

Unblinking, they sat, eyes glued to their screens as slowly (oh so slowly), the progress bar made it’s way across the screen.

Muffled gasps escaped their lips, as the updates completed and they were presented with the shiny new iOS 6 welcome screen.

Wide-eyed, they stepped through the balance of the set up wizard.

Apple Id sign-in. Check.

Location services. Enabled.

Set up complete!

But wait!

What’s this?

There’s more stuff to update?

iBooks, Map, Calendar, Address Book…

Well okay…

More updates.

More wide eyes.

The anticipation was palpable.

And then…

The same old home screen.

No…no…

Wait! What do I spy?

Passbook?

What is this passbook?

Is this the thingamajiggy that lets you store all you loyalty cards and accounts?

Whoa! Somebody’s all fancy schmancy!

Is that a…

A new map!

Stop the presses!

Hmmm…interesting, no navigation dock or buttons on the bottom…it’s all map!

And they’ve re-arranged the buttons behind the map, how nice.

I wonder how turn-by-turn works…

Dude, who’s calling you?

What?!!

There are updates to the phone too!

In addition to “Accept” and “Decline” buttons there’s a little phone icon, that pulls up a bunch of options.

Don’t want to take a call, now you can (politely) tell the caller to piss off!

What will they think of next?

Ummm…you can hit “decline” now.

I’m done with this update.

Was? (“What” indignantly, for my German-challenged)

Is that a slight tint to the color of the status bar I see?

Those sly devils!

Hold on…don’t put it away quite yet…

What are you doing?

I haven’t finished reviewing iOS 6…

There’s no need to get back to work…

The clients can wait…

What about Siri?

And all the other stuff?!

What about all the other stuff!

C’mon! Don’t put your phone away!

Why you gotta be like that?

You’re right.

I shouldn’t be breathing all down your neck.

I didn’t even realize I was drooling.

Don’t worry, it won’t stain…

And you could have just told me I was wolfing…

Anyone got an Altoid?

Seriously, my eleventeen readers need this review!

Well eff you then!

iOS 6 ain’t all that anyway!

And you have dandruff!

Note: What you’ve just read was pure nonsense. If you want a real review (albiet a self-serving one) check out the What’s New in iOS 6 page at Apple. And for a step-by-step walk through to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 6, check CNET’s insightful article.

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Filed under iPhone, mobile, rant, Smack talking, technology, Uncategorized

uniqlo gets it right. Customer service with a smile.

My recent experience with Louis Vuitton has left me a bit…jaded.

But today, an interaction with two extremely helpful store associates at uniqlo brought me back from the brink.

The wife sent me on the unenviable task of finding some innocuous sweater at the uniqlo store on 34th Street, that she had seen online.

It wasn’t an ordinary piece of uniqlo clothing – oh noooo.

She was looking for an exclusive promotional item from the uniqlo undercover line.

Apparently, she spied this fashion forward line, that was only going to be here for one more season, and simply had to have a piece from the collection.

So off I went, on my lunch break, to try retrieve a bauble for my boo.

Imagine my dismay when I walked through uniqlo’s doors, and saw the sheer expanse of store stretching out before me.

The store legend on my immediate right told me that there were three floors in this labyrinthian space.

Undaunted, I forged ahead.

Women’s – 2nd floor.

Up the multicolored stairs went I.

2nd floor.

The massive women’s wear floor  beckoned.

Excuse me. Where can I find the ‘uu’ line?

Couldn’t remember the name of the line…uniqlo uniques?  uniqlo uniforms?

Damn! Damn! Damn!

“Um, that’s back downstairs, on the left side. Near the kids’ section.”

Back downstairs?

We’ll she seems to know what I’m talking about.

So down the stairs I trudged.

To the left…

Aha!

uniqlo undercover!

Now, where are the sweater tunics?

Was that what they’re called?

Damn! Damn! Damn!

I can’t remember what she wanted!

Text her.

What’s the name of the sweater you wanted? Was it a sweater tunic?

Send.

No response.

Call.

No answer.

Voicemail.

“Hey babe. I’m at uniqlo. What was the name of that sweater thingy?”

Nothing.

Search frantically through the racks.

After several minutes of fruitles search, I caught the attention of one of the many black clad store associates, to ask for assistance.

With a wide smile, she bounded off to see if she could help me locate the item I so desperately coveted.

Hither and tither, she weaved through clothing racks, trying to find me the tunic sweater?

To no avail.

Then, she asked if I had a picture of the item.

Whipped out my handy-dandy iPhone, pulled up their site and navigated to the ‘lounge dress’.

There was no ‘tunic sweater’ after all.

Still confounded, she snatched up a store manager, who happened to be passing by.

After a brief rundown from Nancy, he asked to see the picture of it on my phone.

I whipped it out, once again, and showed him.

“May I?” he asked double-clicking on the image.

How polite.

He pulled up the PDP (product description page), got the product number, and was off!

Like a bloodhound he went.

Up the stairs.

Down the stairs.

To the back.

To the rack.

Back to the back from the rack.

And then (after what seemed like an eternity – but was only about four minutes) be beckoned me over to the rack he had previously gone to and fro…

And there, in neat little bins, were the lounge sweaters!

My quarry.

They were folded and tucked into thin plastic bags.

I would NEVER have found them on my own.

I was elated!

I thanked him profusely and asked for both his name (Martin) and the name of the associate (Nancy) who had originally aided me.

I’m sending a letter praising them to whoever runs uniqlo so that they know how DOPE their store associates are.

I’m just saying.

A little customer service goes a long way.

Dude could have easily given up on his many searches around the store to help me find my item.

But he didn’t.

He went above and beyond the call of duty.

And for that, I am truly grateful.

Wife was pleased that my trip was successful.

And my faith in store-associate kind has been redeemed.

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Louis Vuitton. Customer service. FAIL.

This is what my Louis looked like in it’s prime. Today, not so much.

Note: You can read this long and rambling post or skip to the end and watch the video.

I’ve just got to unburden myself.

I do that occassionally.

I went to Short Hills Mall today, to drop off my Louis Vuitton messenger bag for repair.

I’ve had this bag since 2001, when I bought it for the wife as a diaper bag for our first child.

That bag has been through 3 more children and several trips to the Louis Vuitton store, to fix one defect or another of the bag.

The first two trips were to fix the elastic band, which had snapped.

This third trip was for the handle, which was literally hanging on by a thread.

The leather loop, which held the strap to the bag, had separated at the joint.

I thought it was a simple repair and was quite taken aback as <the unnamed person at the counter> told me that the canvas was so stiff that she doubted it could be repaired.

I didn’t think the fabric was all that stiff, as she attempted to ‘assuage’ my concerns by ‘checking in the back’ to determine whether her assessment was off.

She then walked away, and (I guess) beckoned me to follow her.

I was slightly unsure because she seemed to have been distracted by the appearance of <some long-lost-or-favorite-friend-or-associate-that-was-clearly-more-important-than-providing-me-her-undivided-attention>.

I was therefore (again) taken aback when she came back around the corner she just disappeared behind, with annoyance beckoning me to…the back?

She had placed my bag on a counter around the corner from where I had first encountered <the unnamed person at the counter>.

She then proceeded to tell me the same thing she had previously stated less than 30 seconds ago.

Perhaps her desire to reunite with <some long-lost-or-favorite-friend-or-associate-that-was-clearly-more-important-than-providing-me-her-undivided-attention> was such a distraction, that she forgot she had just given me the exact same rundown.

I racked my brain to see if I had missed some critical detail in her initial assessment, as she once again explained why she thought the bag couldn’t be repaired…because of the stiffness of the fabric.

“They won’t touch it because it might crack, and they wouldn’t want to damage the bag.”

Ummm…the bag IS damaged, that’s why I’ve brought it in.

Okaayyyy…

Then, as if to clear Louis Vuitton of any further responsibility for the condition of my “rather old” bag, she whisked the bag from my clutches and marched around another corner…presumably to “the back”.

And this next point is literally from a movie…

She came right back out of the same around-the-corner doorway she disappeared into five second earlier, proclaiming, “Yeah, it’s too stiff. They won’t touch it.”

And it was done.

My beloved bag was deemed irreparable.

“You want a bag?”

My mourning over my old friend was broken by the thrust of a crisp brown Louis Vuitton shopping bag into which, was deposited my (now) retired friend.

Can’t have the walking wounded on fully display of potential LV owners.

My shame was tucked out of sight in a sleek bag that would have all who gazed upon my departure from the store, see me outfitted with the signature brown bag (with my ‘broken’ messenger bag tastefully hidden away).

She handed me my bag and traipsed off to join <some long-lost-or-favorite-friend-or-associate-that-was-clearly-more-important-than-providing-me-her-undivided-attention>.

There was no, “Can I interest you in another bag?” or “Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

Just her back.

When I walked in, I had spied several replacement bags, in the event that the news I received was, in fact, the case.

I’m past the ‘diaper bag’ years, and so I was looking to acquire a new Louis.

My wife has at least seven different pieces, acquired over our 12 year marriage, so I’ve been super loyal to the brand.

The only reason I took the bag there was because of their (formerly) superb customer service.

And the pride (they formerly seemed to take) in their work.

So I was committed to acquiring a new piece.

But this chick pissed me off so bad…

I told my three kids, who I had with me…

Oh yeah, I had my kids with me.

…that we were leaving and hoofed out of the store.

Where I paused, and called customer service to get their response to my repair situation.

I had been so thoroughly dismissed by old girl, that I felt I couldn’t rely on her perfunctory assessment.

When I got through to <an unnamed operator> and ran down the situation, she confirmed that Louis Vuitton would not take for repair, any item that was deemed not sufficiently supple to withstand a repair that could potentially rip the fabric.

She apologized and hurriedly asked me if there was anything else she could do.

I barely finished saying “No thank you. I..” and she was gone.

No, “Can I get your name and email?” or  “Can I send you a catalogue of our new line of messenger bags.”

Just dial tone.

I kid you not.

No effort at all made to assess whether they could help me replace my (obviously) now useless Louis.

I couldn’t believe how bad these guys were flubbing an opportunity to sell me another bag.

Mind you, you’ve got to drop coin to get these stupid brown canvas bags.

Oooo…it’s stamped with an L and a V.

Ahhh….the pink leather patinas over time and takes on this rich tan hue.

Kick rocks!

But here I am, with a bag I can no longer use and not one person at the store or on the phone, even interested in helping me buy another bag.

And so now, in my heart, Louis Vuitton has stepped into the place of poor customer service.

I pay homage to you, old friend Louis Vuitton, with a video.

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Filed under opinion, rant

Ummm FBI…what are you doing with my UDID?

When I first heard about the recent hack of 12 million Apple device UDIDs, I wasn’t too concerned.

I caught a sound bite on Fox 5 News, on my way out the door, so the details were necessarily sketchy.

But hackers hack.

So what?

In my mind, the 12 million hacked UDIDs was a drop in the bucket relative to the total number of Apple devices out there.

I felt my nonchalant attitude was warranted.

But then I learned that these IDs had allegedly been lifted from a FBI laptop that hackers had somehow gained access to.

And then I started to be a little more concerned.

Why is the FBI just leaving laptops with sensitive information laying around?

And why the hell does an FBI laptop have 12 million UDIDs on it?

What legitimate purpose could the FBI possibly have for acquiring the UDIDs in the first place?

And then I learned that it wasn’t just random UDIDs.

The laptop allegedly also contained specific information about the users connected to those device IDs, including their names, email addresses and credit card information.

And now I’m concerned.

My colleagues, in the office, were following the story and passed around the link to the site where you could check to see if you were among the victims of this latest digital security breach.

We joked about how not being on the list didn’t mean that you were any more secure, than if you had been.

All jokes aside – I immediately checked to see if any of my devices were among those compromised.

Luckily they were not.

But despite my relief, I can’t help but be a tad ticked off.

The infamous hacks and blatant privacy policy violations of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Chase, et al, can leave no doubt that ‘online security’ is a misnomer.

With this latest gaffe, we’ve learned that even the Feds are in on the chicanery.

And although both the FBI and Apple have denied that any such leak occurred, in light of the frequency with which hacks occur it’s hard to believe either of them.

It seems like every other day, we hear about some major leak of private or secure data.

And if it’s hackers, doing their thing, then so be it.

Hackers serve a legitimate role in keeping these corporations, who have a fiduciary duty to safeguard our information, on their collective j-o-b.

Without hackers exposing the flaws in corporate firewalls and security protocols, our shit would be a whole lot less secure than it is.

On an aside – I’m waiting for September 29th – the day after hackers have threatened to release Romney’s tax returns.

I digress.

This latest incident has exposed a reality that few of us really consider…

That online information is inherently insecure.

Each time you fill out an online form, use your credit card to make a purchase from your mobile phone, or create a digital profile on some site, you compromise your data.

And in this increasingly digital world we live in, this compromise is virtually inescapable.

Of course, most many some a few of us take steps to safeguard our information online.

We use services like 1password to avoid the trap of using common passwords for all of our online accounts.

We change our passwords frequently and don’t share them with anyone.

We do whatever we have to do to avoid having our private info floating around in cyberspace.

At the end of the day, I pray that these cats get their acts together.

And despite the denials, if this hack is real, then Apple and the FBI, you’ve got some splainin’ to do!

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Filed under digital advocacy, opinion, privacy, rant, technology

Dudes give the best advice.

I’m siting with a bunch of friends grilling for Labor Day.

There are nine children among the three married couples here.

Bob Marley is on and we’re chilling island style.

Conversation among the womenfolk turns to the various issues the ladies’ unmarried girlfriends are going through.

And soon the menfolk are called in to provide the male perspective.

It’s become a sort of ritual at our get togethers.

So much so that our wives have repeatedly asked us to write a blog or advice column.

You see, when we give advice on this homegirl or that’s particular man problem, we go in.

We break down the who, what, where and on why dudes roll the way they do, and what we think old girl needs to do to handle her business.

Unlike the advice most women get from their girls, our advice cuts to the chase.

In the world of online dating networks, social media and texting, the game has changed.

Steve Harvey, is the quintessential authority on dating, but his perspective doesn’t necessarily translate to a younger digitally savvy advice seeker.

Which is where we’re planning on setting up shop.

We’re about to tag a couple of hot online dating and social spaces, and start dropping jewels!

So I’m letting you know affirmatively that we’re planning on dropping an Bruhman Advice Network (working title-gimme a sec).

We flirted with the idea months ago.

The ill-fated The5Bros was the result.

At the time we were gung-ho, but under-invested.

So The5bros became digital fodder on the landscape of abandoned Ethernet ideas.

But the second coming is…coming.

That sounds sexual.

But I digress.

I’ve dug in on this whole blogging thing.

And the problem that stalled our last effort…consistent editorial output is no more.

So ladies (and gentlemen) check for straight-talk coming to a blog near you.

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Filed under opinion, rant, Smack talking, social media, technology

Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, Stevie J makes me feel dirty.

I can’t do ‘reality shows’.

They’re just too base for me.

Folks acting like pure idiots, trying to outdo one another with outrageous behavior.

Behavior that, I suspect, wouldn’t likely occur if the cameras were turned off.

One show, that I believe, achieves all-time lows, is Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.

I’ve watched a sum total of 15 minutes of the show.

And that 15 minutes was all I could stomach.

Mind you, it was 15 minutes watched cumulatively over a few episodes.

In one segment, a guy by the name of Stevie J was meeting with a therapist with his girlfriend Mimi, and his artist Joseline (who he was apparently having relations with).

The doctor who they met with, Dr. Jeff Gardere (the same doctor from The Maury Povich show – hmmmm) was trying to help the aforementioned Stevie J see how his behavior wasn’t fair to his women.

At one point, the artist, Joseline Hernandez, is invited into the session with Stevie J and his girlfriend, and promptly starts whupping on Stevie J, when he reveals that he’s been living with his girlfriend, while sleeping with Joseline.

When security rushed into the room, I thought, “How many doctor’s offices have six beefy security guards on call?”

Reality television my ass.

In another clip, on a different day, Stevie J is talking about how he has invited Joseline to to the studio meet his new artist.

The new artist looks like a combination of Joseline and Keisha Cole, and we’re shown clips of Stevie J, rubbing her arms as Joseline walks into the studio.

Things promptly go south, as Joseline verbally chastises Stevie J, and suggests that the new artist start “sucking his d*#!” since that’s what she’s there to do, before storming out.

After Joseline leaves, Stevie J and the new artist high five one another (celebrating him being byatched on national tv perhaps), before she stands up and starts twerking in front of Stevie J, who responds by smacking her ass.

Doesn’t this dude just look like a scumbag?

Cut to Stevie J remarking about how Joseline doesn’t realize that the Stevie J bus can just go down the road and pick up another girl who’s ready to ‘get on the bus’ and ‘take a ride’.

I couldn’t make this stuff up people.

After watching this second segment, I felt…dirty.

Like I had to take a shower and wash my eyes out with bleach.

Stevie J should be called Sleazy J because he comes across as a lecherous pig.

I’m all about one getting his or her man on.

But give me a break!

Have some class…a modicum of respect.

For yourself, if for no one else.

But Stevie J takes the cake for being the grimiest, most low down, nasty bastard on tv.

It doesn’t help that cats are putting this fool on camera, strangely validating his particular brand of sleaze.

Thankfully, this season has come to a close, and we can allow our eyes and psyches to heal from this particular brand of televised filth….

Until next season…

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Filed under opinion, rant, reality tv