Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day

I was not impressed with this years Earth Day.

That's no real shock because I have never been impressed by Earth Day. It seems to have no value at all. "What did you do for Earth Day?" was not heard once today at work. Out of the hundreds of people I see every day, there was only a small few that even knew.

I woke up that day to the sound of robins singing outside at 4:30 A.M. It was really annoying, I don't remember them being up this early before? I found out that the singing was so loud because
the damn bird was signing at the top of my chimney. I missed it with the rocks I threw only because it was so early and so dark. But I scared him away!

I see that the province of Ontario wants to ban all private use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes. I'm not gona like that since I have Hay Fever and all I don't need is more ragweed. Maybe I should make a note of that and ask for an exemption for medical purposes? (writing note to self....)

And Damn-it-all, I better get a new gas lawn mower, because it sounds like they will be banning them next in the cities. Maybe I'll just buy a goat and rent him out to the neighborhood?

I just can't get used to all the new bans that keep popping up because groups of self-righteous zealots want to control the world one neighborhood and city at a time. I'm sick of the anti-smoking Nazi's (Yes I said Nazi!). They were fascists just like the global warming fanatics.

Screw this. I'm going to light a nice big tire fire tonight.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dealers Are Criminals

I'm not talking about the ones selling drugs. I'm talking about the bad kind...

Car dealers.

My girlfriends lease was coming to an end this month and we decided that it would be best to buy the vehicle. The other option was to just give the car back and pay the penalties we've all heard horror stories about, such as tire wear, brakes, trim damage, scratches etc.

I thought that the dealer would be happy to sell the vehicle and go out of their way to accommodate the transaction. Well, my assumption couldn't have been further from reality.

My girlfriend called the dealer 2 weeks ahead of time to ask what is required on our part to complete the deal (such as price, ownership transfer etc.) . Well, she spoke to the receptionist who told her than noone in finance was available and transferred her to the managers voice-mail.

She did this 3 times over without a response. So without a response and the deadline closing she decided to call GMAC finance for the details which they were happy to provide. This was important because although there was a guaranteed buy-out price listed on her lease agreement, we forgot about sales taxes and a $51 penalty she was assigned at the start of the lease.

So now she has a price, but still no response from the dealership. She asked me to call because she was at work and very busy. She was also getting nervous because of the time ticking away.

Anyway, I go through the same problem with a receptionist and a finance managers voice-mail. I leave a message with my cell number. I get a response the next day while I'm at work. He quotes me the exact buyout price we were told by GMAC and I find out that we need a safety certificate for the car as well as an emissions test to satisfy provincial requirements for vehicle ownership transfer. I decide to have this done near our home at a private shop for less money. Which was fine.

We go to the bank and get the loan we needed for the exact price we were told by GMAC finance and the bank provides us with a draft for that amount.

I called the dealer to let them know we will be there in about an hour.

So after all this trouble, we get to the dealer and sit down with the finance manager. I show him the safety, the emissions test and all the paperwork as well as the bank draft.
He then asks, " And, how will you be paying for the rest of the transaction?"
To which we responded " What are you talking about?"
"Well, the fees for the paperwork involved in transfer of ownership etc." He replied.

We both paused and hesitated to answer because we knew we were about to get screwed.
We were told NOTHING of extra fees and transfer costs. If we were, we would've had the bank draft include the amount. I asked how much were we talking about and it was $353 !

WTF?!? Are you kidding me? (by the way, this is where we really lost it)

I don't want to drag this on too much , but I walked out to the car and grabbed the GMAC paperwork to get the phone number to call direct. When I did this, the manager offered my girlfriend $100 of the cost. She refused until I got back.

I gave her the number and she called GMAC on her cell to find out if all this was legit. They told her that if we had the safety and emissions tested, we could just mail them the bank draft directly with the paperwork and $10 to complete the purchase. THATS ALL.... $10

Needless to say we stood up and walked out right by the prick manager. I threw in a loud "Let's get the f%# out of here!" just to punctuate our departure.

We mailed the paperwork to GMAC and should receive the ownership in the mail by next week.

We feel like we won that day. She also got the managers boss' name and e-mailed him a complaint that her calls weren't returned and it took a man's voice (mine) to get a response from the dealer. My name isn't even on the lease and they were giving me financial details over the phone.

By the way, I would suggest you stay away from Jerome Taylor in Windsor. They know nothing of customer service.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Green is costing more for nothing

Happily, I've stumbled across a news link to a current topic of interest - Biofuels.

Everyone and their brother is lining up to denounce Alberta's tarsands because of the impact the extraction of oil from them affects the environment. People also argue that the cost of extracting oil from them is expensive and has little net benefit to the economy.

All the while, something as wonderful as creating fuel from corn has been embraced by all the 'greens' as being something that is better for the environment than oil.
While I agree that Ethanol has it's purpose as an additive to gasoline (mainly to help as a gas line antifreeze in winter) it comes at a higher cost. Food prices. Because there is only so much land to grow crops for food and fuel alike, the supply of corn (for example) is limited. Because of this, the more corn that is diverted to ethanol production, the less corn is available for food. This means that food prices go up. Which I'm sure some of you have noticed.

Some people would argue that you don't need to use corn for ethanol because you can use switchgrass or some other sort of crop. The problem with that is there is still a limited amount of land for growing crops.

Petroleum products such as oil are mainly used for fuel. And while it might cost more to extract it out of the tarsands, it is not causing food prices to rise because of supply shortages.

I strongly believe that the west has to put a lot of money into research and development towards alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and nuclear. Oil, coal and gas won't last forever you know and once they are gone, we will only have alternate choices. We will always need energy. But we cannot leave all the coal, oil and gas in the ground hoping to reduce our carbon footprint. and think that china and the rest of the world are going to do the same.

You know someone down the road would find a way to sell it to China anyway while we all sit in switchgrass huts becoming the new (green) third world.

Stop pushing for more ethanol. It will only cost us more and slow the economy while delaying the inevitable. The day we pull the last tank of oil, the last truck of coal, or the last cubic meter of gas from the ground is coming, but let's not cut of our nose to spite our face.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

I'm only 36!

I never thought that I would ever be saying "I'm only 36". I mean, that still sounds so old to me. I can specifically remember being a teenager thinking ahead to New Years Eve 1999 and thinking 'Wow, I'll be 27 then.' And that sounded old to me. I hope I have alot of years left to go, but I don't think the future looks all too rosy.

What I am getting at here is that even though I am still relatively young, I am happy to say that I am jumping the gun and going for early admission into the Grumpy Old Man Club. It makes sense because ;
  • I think the world is going to hell and we're all screwed if todays youth will be in charge one day.
  • I used to find other peoples stupidity amusing, but over the last few years now I find it more difficult to suffer fools gladly.
  • I complain about my taxes and the lazy people who benefit from me working. Especially politicians.
  • I think that the difference between police brutality and a justified beating is only a matter of your perspective.
  • I think the biggest problem with youth today is parents.
  • I think they call it climate change only to describe what is being done to the data to support a troubled theory.
We will see how long it takes me to stumble across a news bit that gets my attention and makes me say " Oh come on!"

Ciao for now.