Bad News/Good News

Posted in optimism on May 22, 2009 by Travis Estell

Bad news: Plane crashes into Indiana car dealership.

Good news: Three fewer shitty American cars for that dealership to sell.


CHCURC Website ‘Hacked by Cyb3rking’

Posted in Cincinnati, shit that sucks on May 7, 2009 by Travis Estell

The official website of CHCURC, the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation, has been hacked.  Apparently, “Cyb3rking” is the Turkish hacker behind the shenanigan.  He left several gramatically incorrect taunts on the website, such as “Hey Admin ! Your Security=0″ and “There are serious Security ProbLems With Your Site To [Solve] The Problems contact Me.”


Click photo for full-sized screen capture.

Blaming Obama for Everything

Posted in casual observations, shit that sucks on April 30, 2009 by Travis Estell

Last updated May 8, 2009.

A very humorous yet frustrating phenomenon has been occurring since November 2008. On a somewhat regular basis, ultraconservative commentors on various websites blame President Barack Obama for everything they don’t like in this country — or, at the very least, use every opportunity possible to badmouth him. Some may compare this to the way liberals blamed President Bush for our nation’s problems over the past 8 years, but I would argue that this is a very, very different situation. In some of these comments, President Obama is being blamed for issues that have absolutely nothing to do with the ferderal government or even politics in general. As you can see, there is absolutely no reason why President Obama should even be mentioned in relation to many of these topics.

Poster “Liz” writes a negitive review for the Broadway musical Avenue Q:
“We have been season tickets holders to Broadway in Austin and this was one of the offerings. This is the first time in five years that I left at intermission. My husband and I usually go to the shows but my husband was sick so I read more went with my daughter – my 28 year old daughter. She was the one who suggested we leave. The actors were talented, the staging with the puppets was interesting, the pornography was disgusting and the lyrics were, well, just plain stupid. It wasn’t thought provoking unless you are so completely uninformed you just learned Obama was half white. Like OMG!”

WTF does President Obama have to do with Avenue Q?

Poster “Diogenes” comments on news story about people returning empty boxes to retailers while getting a refund for the product supposedly in the box:
“I waited behind two guys in white paint splattered coveralls as they returned three large step ladders, slightly used of course, to the returns desk and their complaint was ‘they didn’t like them’. They got to use the ladders free, more than likely for their one speciality job, and the store takes the hit for now having USED merchandise on their hands. Of course they don’t eat the cost. It gets folded into their overhead and we end up paying for it by prices that are just a little bit higher. If you understand Obama’s spreading the wealth philosophy then I’m sure you have no problem understanding this.

How exactly does fraudulently returning merchandise to a retailer relate to Obama?

“Smorgasbord” comments on a Consumerist article about Walmart accidentally pricing an item at $17.504 (yes, that’s four-tenths of a cent):
They are preparing you for what prices will be once Obama gets all of his extra taxes he is going to put on businesses. The price is actually $17,504. But keep in mind, he promised 95% of the people will get a tax cut. Only businesses and the rich will be taxed more. So if you never buy anything, you won’t be paying higher taxes.

Stay tuned for more of these posts.

breathtaking weather phenomenon!

Posted in Cincinnati, media, weather on February 5, 2009 by Chris

The local media watch never fails to produce fascinating material.

The “LIVEStream Event” this morning was the top news story on WKRC’s news scroll.  Click on the image to enlarge and see exactly what the live streaming video was all about.

I personally would have used a story such as the numerous weather-related accidents on local roadways this morning or something regarding the newly-released information on local unemployment rates rather than video of fan exhaust, but I suppose that’s why I’m not in the news business.

Casual Observation #420

Posted in casual observations with tags , on January 25, 2009 by Travis Estell

It’s comforting that, even in these tough economic times, T.I. is still giving the ladies “Whatever [They] Like.”

cupid as villain

Posted in Cincinnati, media with tags , , , , on January 18, 2009 by Chris

My endless quest to discover bizarre things on local news websites has revealed another…bizarre, somewhat awkward thing: a sex-related questionnaire on the front page of

Check out’s homepage as of the late evening on 1/17:

Cupid, don't pull back your bow...

“You may have even had it”?  Thanks for the vote of confidence,

The questionaire itself is no less awkward.

Judith...what the hell does 'hooking up' mean?

You’ll be asked to answer such penetrating questions as:

– How do you define “hooking up” with someone (in 50 words or less)? (It’s the word limit that makes answering this one difficult.)
– What is the biggest turn-off for you in a potential mate? (Aside from not being Catholic?)
– Where is the best place in town to find a date? (There are single people of legal age in Cincinnati? Don’t most families here still arrange marriages?)
– What constitutes cheating to you (in 50 words or less)? (Is this one of those questions that’s supposed to evoke the “emotional betrayal” response? LAME.)
– Describe your worst sexual experience (in 50 words or less)? (Aside from the impotence that will no doubt arise from merely contemplating the horrifying, disjointed Cincinnati singles scene?)

And so on.

Over/under on how long it takes CCV to respond to this? “What kind of city are we living if my children can’t even get their local news without being corrupted by such vile, lewd discussion of ‘hooking up’ and whatnot?”

Why Consumerist Sucks

Posted in shit that sucks with tags , on December 26, 2008 by Travis Estell

I have been a Consumerist reader for quite awhile.  A lot of the information posted on the site is very helpful.  They frequently post tips to help people save money or avoid scams that are going around.  However, there is a lot of bad content that overpowers the legitimate posts on the site.

Here are a few examples of Consumerist whining about businesses that violate their Merchant Agreements with credit card companies:

How dare a store ask to see my ID when I use a credit card to buy something? Don’t they know that their Merchant Agreement prevents them from asking to see my ID?”
Seriously, is Consumerist complaining that the Apple Store is asking to see people’s ID when they make a purchase?  Yes, they are.  Apparently Consumerist doesn’t realize that Apple sells computers which often cost several thousand dollars.
Some store has a minimum purchase in order to use a credit card! Ahhhh!”
Again, what Consumerist fails to recognize here is that the only businesses that generally require minimum purchases on credit cards are small mom-and-pop shops of some sort.  For example, one local coffee shop I visit requires a $5 minimum purchase in order to use a credit card.  Consumerist never mentions that small stores are often charged a flat fee plus a percentage of the transaction for accepting credit cards.  Therefore, these stores may actually lose money if they accept a credit card on a transaction less than a few dollars.  If you like these businesses and you shop there, why would you want them to go out of business?

I’m not saying that Consumerist is wrong, only that many of their posts come across as whiny and they rarely consider the counterargument.  For example, many Consumerist readers have commented that they do not sign the back of their credit cards and instead write “See ID” as a personal protection.  Little do they realize that this is a violation of their terms with the credit card companies.  If it isn’t signed, the card isn’t valid.  Period.

They also ignore the obvious solution: If you don’t like their policy, don’t shop there!  If you are emotionally scarred because you bought a $2000 laptop from Apple and they — gasp — asked to see your driver’s license, don’t shop there!  If you are all shaken up becuase the corner store wouldn’t let you charge a 99¢ bag of marshmallows to your Visa, don’t shop there!  You don’t have to take it to the Internet and try to organize a worldwide shakedown.

One again, let me say that Consumerist does actually have a decent amount of good content.  If they stopped complaining about trivialities such as the grocery shrink ray (and now, the TV shrink ray), they might have a good thing going.