Out Of Scrilla

2196254-crybabywithsadfaceThis morning I feel like I need to come up with a way to generate some cash.  You see when I was young, I partied a lot, I spent foolishly, I made and spent huge sums of money with complete abandon.  Fur lined house slippers, electric dog polishers, cars, trucks, motorcycles … Oh well, you get the picture right?  

Now in what they call “The Golden Years” I need even more scrilla or cash.

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Whuz Up

Doesn’t pay to get nosy.  A Briton accused of hacking into top secret military computers has lost a Law Lords appeal against being extradited to stand trial in the US. Glasgow-born Gary McKinnon could face life in jail if convicted of accessing 97 US military and Nasa computers. He hacked into all of these military computers “searching for evidence of UFO’s” being withheld from the general public by the U.S. Government. If there is life in the Universe, I sure hope it is smarter than what we have here.

I guess it had to happen. Tansgender Bathrooms.  This morning I found a web story about a school in Asia that is now supplying “Transgender Bathrooms” for students.Between the girls’ toilet and the boys’ there is one signposted with a half-man, half-woman figure in blue and red. This is the transsexual toilet, and outside, in front of the mirrors, some decidedly girly-looking teenage boys preen their hair and apply face cream.

So, when the do the dirty deed … Do they stand up or sit down? I Never get all the facts, who, what, where, when and why, first thing they teach you in journalism 101.

The headteacher, (their words not mine, I swear!) Sitisak Sumontha, estimates that in any year between 10% and 20% of his boys consider themselves to be transgender – boys who would rather be girls. “They used to be teased every time they used the boys’ toilets,” he said, “so they started using the girls’ toilets instead. But that made the girls feel uncomfortable. It made these boys unhappy, and started to affect their work.”

I must be weird, all I ever wanted to be was a fireman.

Girls=Boys in Math. Researchers for the National Science Foundation have found that boys and girls now perform equally in standardized math tests. New findings indicate that girls are just as smart as boys when it comes to the subject of math. Which should come as no big surprise to a guy who’s idea of higher education was standing on the top of the Frat House, dressed in a toga and yelling …. “Bring me the virgins to wax my loins!”

 More math, just what I need.

Oil prices have dropped to about $125 a barrel this week after reaching a peak of $147.27 earlier this month. Meanwhile, gas prices are still hovering around the $3.50 mark down just a few cents from an all-time record average of a couple of months ago.

Why does it seem like gas prices go up faster than they come down?  Because they do. Analyses of gasoline economics show that when the price of oil rises, it takes up to four weeks for gas station prices to catch up, with most of the increase taking place within the first two weeks.

But when oil prices sink, it takes up to eight weeks for the savings to be passed along to consumers. The phenomenon is known as “asymmetric price adjustment” or, more informally in Washington DC, as the, “rockets and feathers principle.”

 Think about it … It will come to you.

Supporters of the 2005 Bankruptcy Act said that by punishing “deadbeats” the law would reduce consumers’ borrowing costs. (Curiously that is the statement credit card companies use to describe people who pay their balances on time, deadbeats. They would prefer to have revolving balances, and those are called, revolvers) It has seemingly backfired on them, since this bills’ passage, credit card borrowing costs have risen by as much as 17%. But this is a bankers’ bill, and we all know about bankers.

They are the only people who can understand the principle of ONE TELLER and ELEVEN WINDOWS.

This week a man in Texas complained because the credit card folks charged him a $39 charge for paying his bill two days late, and that they jacked him up 3.5 times on the interest. He said that “they didn’t send him a bill and that is why he was late.” Uh huh, sure. I believe it was Ben Franklin that said, “Those who lend money have a better memory than those who are prone to borrow it.”

I would complain about my credit card company, but they kind of scare me.  They have too much data on my personal habits and my life, and I am afraid if I hack them off, I could find myself  locked down in the Gorilla compound at the zoo wearing banana scented lingerie.

Which I suppose most of you feel that a statement like that is ludicrous.  But take time today to stop and consider this one rule of the universe.  The world is full of things that don’t make sense

The U.N.

Plus size bikini’s

Wealthy Democrats.

Yeah, that’s it.


Shell Oil Sucks Part II

Not all that long ago, I wrote a piece about my current dissatisfaction with all the fine folks who work at Shell Oil in the credit card collection department.  Here is a little footnote here to clarify.

I am not sure who it is I hate the most.  As Shell farms their credit card purchases out to Citigroup, they take the collections and issues are handled out of South Dakota.

So as you can see, I am not all that sure, who it is that I hate the most.  The number I called said “Shell Oil” so that who this is directed towards.  If Citigroup wants a piece of it, there is plenty to go around.

Here it is in a nutshell.

I call them, push one, if you are human, push two, if you have our credit card, push three, if you live on the planet earth.  I tell them that they have a problem, they put me on hold for almost 15 minutes and then dump the problem, that they have created right back on me.

That dawg just did not hunt as Billy Raye Littler is fond of saying.

At this point we get into the “language thing” (the word damn, as I am not writing YOU another DAMN check) and I get the lesson on civic’s from some sweet little tart that most likely only graduated from a South Dakota high-school because she let Butch do her algebra and she did him nocturnal favors below the belt-line, in her Daddies hay-barn on Saturday night.

I now discover that I am an “employee of the oil company” and at their beck and call.

At that time I told her no way, no check, you made the mess, YOU straighten out.  Then I get the rudeness lecture, which I did not have until I was put on hold while my first born male soon graduated high-school and finished three semesters in college before they got back to me.

So I drive the six miles to town to talk to the banker about “the Shell Oil problem” and he assures me that they can only cash the electronic payment (check) ONE TIME and says “go ahead and cut them another check for the $200 difference, I can assure you, they will not run it thru the bank twice.”

Returning to consciousness I believe I heard …. “We will catch it and deny them the money.

As I am not all that fond of bankers, and trust them about as much as the occasional snake I run across on the back of the property from time to time, I decided to sit on the whole mess and see what transpired.  As my Daddy used to say … “Sit back and wait for the dust to settle and the fur to stop flyin.”

Which has always been good advice.

This morning I checked my bank account.  You have most likely have already guessed what is coming next, haven’t ya?

The account came up, and sure as Dallas, there it was.  $25.00 debit cancelled, and redeposited as a credit to the account.  Then two lines above it  … Shell Oil $225.00 (the original check that could NOT be run twice) another electronic payment on the SAME check.

So without hesitation and because it is my site, I hereby proclaim here and now that …. It’s National ….  I LOVE THE OIL COMPANIES, CREDIT CARD COMPANIES AND BANKERS WEEK.  Find an empty chair somewhere, sit down and talk to it.  And of course …. Send this to everyone you consider A FRIEND in the above three named entities.

Someone once said: What goes around comes around. I sincerely hope that when aliens from another world come to this planet, the first thing they do to these people is find some oil soaked Arab and shove them up the ass of these American Arabs in South Dakota.

And my darlin’ little wife cannot figure out why it is that I need to get out of town?

See you later.


Shell Oil Sucks

As a typical American, I have multiple vehicles, all of which require fuel in order to use.  So this year, I applied for and was granted a Shell Oil Card for my purchases.  This card is not directly issued by Shell, but by Citigroup a credit card outfit in South Dakota.

This where the first problem rears its ugly head.  They issue the card, and then promptly put a $400 limit on the card, even when your credit rating is absolutely blemish free and stellar.  Try figuring out how to fill up three cars on a $400 limit at today’s prices and then throw in a bus with a 225 gallon tank, and you can readily see what the problem might be.

Last month I sent them $225.00 in the form of a check, my account balance at that time was $223 and some change.  They in turn, converted my check to an electronic payment (which allows them to keep the check, a practice I did not ask for), then they submitted the billing to my bank, who issued funds to them as payment.  Nice huh, now I have NO proof of payment.

This is where it all starts to unravel.

The Nimrod in South Dakota, reading the check submits it as “$25 instead of $225” and my bank pays the lesser amount.  Now I note that this error has occurred so I call them to inform them of the error.  This is when they start the process of trying to make me jump thru hoops and you are required to listen to elevator music, while they put you on hold trying to figure out what the hell they are doing?

Then the girl comes back on the telephone after what seems like an eternity of time (roughly 13 minutes) and informs you (the consumer) that YOU need to issue a NEW CHECK in the amount of $200.00.  So you ask why?  They are the one’s who caused the problem, but they dump it right back on you, and you are supposed to gladly cough up an additional $200 while they figure out the best way to handle the problem.  With no assurances as to what they are going to do with the check that they now have, which has a $200 balance still on it.

Now I am informed that they are going to dispute the payment for me and that resolution of this problem could possibly take as long as sixty days.

What a crock.

It is no wonder why America has turned into a lousy third world debt ridden country with moron’s like this routinely screwing up the simplest of business dealings and then failing (often with impunity) to stand up and correct what it is they _____ up.  (You fill in the blanks)

In this day and age, motor-fuel is a necessity of life, I don’t own a horse, and I am too old to ride a bicycle.  But one thing is for sure …. I don’t “NEED” Shell Oil Company … Like flea’s on a dog, locations to purchase motor-fuel are everywhere.

I am going to stop doing business with Shell, they most likely will just keep rolling right on down the boulevard without me and I will not be missed.  Sad to say, I kind of feel like a one armed man at an ass kicking contest, almost as if I brought a pen knife to a gun fight.

It could be Shell Oil that is messed up, or it could be the people who handle their accounts, which is Citigroup.  In the end, some sixty days down the line, you could find yourself kicking the wrong dog and starting all over.  As it stands I really do not know who is at fault here, I just know that it is bad business and they can forget mine, I am taking mine somewhere else.

One thing is for sure … I don’t need crap like this.  Both of them, can kiss the part of me that goes over the fence last.


Cartoons courtesy of AmericanProgress.org

Things Are Bad

“Congress now rates just below telemarketers or whale poop, and we all know that is at the bottom of the ocean.”

The economy is so bad, that it is rumored that Exxon has laid off 25 Congressmen.
The economy is so bad, we are putting hamburger helper in our hamburger helper.
It’s so bad, MasterCard sent us a pre-declined credit card with a zero limit.
If the bank returns your check marked “insufficient funds” you wonder, mine or theirs?

When you order a burger, the kid says, “Can you afford fries with that?”

It’s so bad, Motel Six is not leaving the lite on for you anymore.
CEO’s are now playing “Miniature Golf”
It’s gotten so bad overseas, that the Royal Family and the Queen Mummy are now officially cut back to just $50 million per year.  Your recently issued High Mileage Explorer card has been cut back to 18 miles or a trip to Gary Indiana, whichever comes first.

On the subject of credit cards.  Last month we were hit by daytime burglars and they took a substantial amount of cash, guns, and jewelry from our home.  But I did not call the cops, it turns out they were spending less on the cards than my wife, so I just sort of let it go.

When did the term “Forrest Fire” change to “Wildfire.”  When I was young, we had Smokey The Bear who was always saying … “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

Now any time a fire breaks out, regardless of location, the media deems it a wildfire.

Strange huh?

The CERN Large Hadron Collider outside the tidy Swiss city are homing in on the Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle” that imparts mass to everything in the universe.  It is supposed to be in the shape of a plate, full of money.  Awhile back some very serious people (the folks who had their science project done on time in school) voiced concern that it might generate a black hole that could suck Switzerland and the rest of the known universe into a vortex of nonexistence.

Which is kind of silly, we all know that is the J.O.B. of the U.S. Government.

(No Comment)

We have gotten so big that the U..S. Coast Guard has reduced the passenger capacity of U.S. Commercial vessels to reflect the growing weight of the traveling average American.  The standard used to be based on a weight average of 160 lbs. per passenger, but that has been raised to 185 lbs.  Most of us weigh about 235 lbs. naked and in sandals (now there is a word image for you this morning).

It was a great ride.

Three people left a bar in Steamboat Springs, Colo., mounted horses, and rode them into a Starbuck’s and Safeway.  I suppose to get some more munchies.  It was a great ride right up until the very end, when the cops showed up and they got tasered and arrested.

When you absolutely hit rock bottom … You get re-elected … Is this a great country or what?

Just read a new survey that says “64% of Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress as low or very low.”  Which of course is most likely the lowest rating on record since the ancient times of Rome.  Congress now rates just below telemarketers or whale poop, and we all know that is at the bottom of the ocean.

If you think this is bogus, consider this:  “Hillary has blond hair” … I rest my case y’honor.

A blonde goes to the vet with her goldfish.  She tells the vet, “I think it’s got epilepsy.”

The vet takes a look and says, “It seems calm enough to me.”

The blonde says, “I haven’t taken it out of the bowl yet.”

Things are bad, sure.  But they could get worse.

Never, ever, under any circumstances say to yourself, “Oh well, it can’t get any worse.”  That is not true.  One time in Las Vegas after losing a goodly sum of my cash, while standing on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Tropicana Ave, I muttered to myself, “Aw, it can’t get any worse.”

And sure enough, worse followed me across the street to Caesars Palace.



Tilting At Windmills

It seems as if “everything” shuts down during a thunderstorm.  What is the use of having all of this technology at your fingertips, if you cannot use it during certain times of the day or the week.  Tried to check my email this morning and it is not allowed, storms in the area, so therefore, information will not be distributed.  Same thing with the Dish, 200 channels, but you are relegated to sitting there watching it “search for an available transponder.”  Technology sucks.

Yesterday’s mail brought me an answer from Shell Oil Co. on my credit card snafu.  No good news to report there, and as I suspected in the beginning, “they do not care about me nor do they care about my problems.  Recently I wrote them about it and I published it here.

Yesterday the mail carrier brought me my official-unofficial-kiss off reply.

The official response was “they did not understand the nature of my problem.”  To be specific it read:  “Dear Mr. Smith   Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding your Shell account.  We are unclear on how we may assist you.  Please call us at 1-800-331  Blah-blah Yada-Yada.”  And that was it, nothing more, and I suppose, nothing forthcoming.

I mean if you cannot read, what good is a telephone call going to do?

Must be nice, to have a job, where you sit around all day and just blow people off.  No real responsibilities, most likely do not have to come in early or dress for success.  Just send off a form letter that basically says … Go Away.  I could sit down at the keyboard and fire off another missive, being very explicit (which I thought the first one was to begin with) and make it quite clear “what the nature of my problem was.”  But what is the use, they would just ignore me again.  I am trashing their card, and going back to cash sales.  Most likely I will discontinue doing business with them altogether.

Another thing I find interesting about all this, the letter was signed “S. Larson.”  I have seen this name before, when I made inquiries on a VISA card for instance.  You don’t suppose that all letters are naturally forwarded to this “S. Lawson” to answer do you?  That would be something.  I sincerely hope that when I die, I don’t get up to the Pearly Gates, walk up to a desk with an Angel sitting there and the name tag on the desk reads “S. Larson.”

If this is the case, I am going to be in some serious trouble, let me tell you.

Maybe I caught them on an “off day” or something.  Maybe they perhaps thought they were awake, but an important and overused part of their brain was asleep when the letter arrived there at the “credit card center.”  You know if you deprive rats of rest, this causes their neurons to start shutting down at random intervals.

The rats in turn, appear to be wide awake, but if you hook up little tiny electrodes to their brains this will show that the neurons responsible for eye-hand coordination are currently turned off, making it harder for them to rip sugar cubes and of course, answer letters from consumers.

Wait a minute, rats don’t have hands.  What could I possible be thinking here.

Thirty-five percent of Americans don’t get enough rest each night according to the CDC (Center For Disease Control and Prevention).  Maybe they are as my grandson is fond of saying …. “Zoned out?”

Gasoline is now on the way down, currently .16 cents below the national average here.  Wife came in yesterday and said, “Gas has gone down Honey!” as if she had some big earth shaking news, when it gets back down to say something reasonable like a buck fifty a gallon tell me about it.  At three fifty-plus per gallon, that just doesn’t seem to row my boat, I am sorry.  It sure doesn’t help having a lousy credit card from Shell Oil with a $400 limit on it either.

But they don’t understand my problem.

What they cannot tell you is why they put a $400 limit on your credit card and then turned of the pump at $376, declined the sale, and embarrassed you at the pump.  But when you have the only game in town, I guess you can do just about anything you want, that is, if your name is S. Larson.

Have a good weekend.


The Old Shell Game

If you are currently doing business with Shell Oil of North America, you might want to find someone else.  Yesterday I sent this letter to Shell Oil North America, most likely it will be filed in the round file at the corner of the desk.

What can I say … Another slow day at the Goat Farm and my prescription has just run out.

To Whom It May Concern:

I recently applied for and was granted a Shell Credit Card #003-118 —-, for this I thank you.  This month I discovered that you have placed a $400 limit on the card which I find unrealistic.

I presently own three automobiles, of the three, the combined fuel capacity of these vech. are 14, 22, and 24 gallons for a total of 60 gallons.  I also own a bus that has a capacity of 225 gallons.  At today’s pricing, a $400 limit on the card is just not a good thing for me personally.  Do the math, 285 gallons at $3.75 per gallon is over $1,000.  Just filling one car per month and the coach, eats up $400 pretty quickly as I am sure you can readily see.

Also, this month, my fuel consumption was $376 on the card, and even though the $400 limit was not met, the card was declined for use at my local shell station, what is the deal on that?  It was not only inconvenient but embarrassing for me personally, and I did not appreciate it.

It appears that even your $400 limit is no good either, it should have at least given me the $23 left on the card.  After all, “a limit is a limit” and this one wasn’t even met at the time.  I also feel you should have informed me of this action on your part at the beginning of our transaction (when I opened the account) and made it known then.

You need to increase the limits on these cards, or just do away with them altogether.

This is disappointing and frankly if this is the best you have to offer, perhaps I should take my business somewhere else?  Review the above account and make some corrections or adjustments, this is not working.


D. Smith

Then I hit transmit (send) and guess what?

The Email address printed on the billing statement is NOT valid. (I guess when you have a good thing going for you, you just naturally don’t have to give a ____ one way or the other.)