Random Callers Are The Best

Over the past week I have been getting phone calls on my cell phone, no big deal since it is the only way you are going to talk to me unless we are face to face. Not only is it my “home phone” number but it is also my work contact phone number. Needless to say, I get allot of phone calls from numbers I don’t know personally, and since it is used for work I usually answer all calls. In the rare occasion I choose to ignore your call then it is for one of two reasons, either I’m busy or you have an out of state number. Typically I’m not hiding from phone calls, you know, like bill collectors, in that regard I seem to have lucked out. Anyway, usually, unless you are my employer, and you don’t leave me a voicemail, I’m not going to return your call. You called me, leave a fucking message about what you were calling for or I consider it not too damn important. I’m just saying. 99% of the time people call, don’t leave a message, but then text me, which is even better. So, this Houston number keeps calling, so finally last night answered it, my gift since in the 11 times they called me they left no message, well I say no message, they would let it go to voicemail just long enough for them to hang up after silence, giving me a voicemail icon to go check only to hear NOTHING. When I answered the call I also recorded the call, the following is a transcribed text version of what was said.

Me: Hello

Caller: (crickets)

Me: Hello

Caller: (more crickets)

Me: HELLO MOTHERFUCKERS HELLO!

Caller: Excuse me?

Me: Look motherfucker, you keep calling me, what’s on your mind?

Caller: Please wait…….. (places me on hold)

Me: Really? Call me, put me on hold, and make me listen to Kenny G? You fucking suck balls!

Me: (2 minutes into it) Hello?

Caller: (after I was on hold 6 minute) Is this Mr. Scorpion? (used my real name)

Me: Yes. Why?

Caller: Can you verify your mailing address?

Me: No. Why?

Caller: We need to verify who you are. Address please?

Me: No, I need to verify who you are. What company are you calling from?

Caller: Sir, before we can continue this conversation we need to verify your identity. Can we proceed with your address, street number first?

Me: No, we cannot. You tell me who you are and what you want or you can go fuck yourself.

Caller: Sir, we are trying to identify you are the person we have in our records.

Me: Well, what do your records say? If you get it right I will tell you, deal?

Caller: Sir, it doesn’t work this way. Address?

Me: Well, ok, thanks for calling, we’re fucking done here.

Caller: Please hold……..

Me: What the fuck! (I ended the call)

Within 30 seconds my phone is ringing once again, same number.

Me: What in the fuck do you want?

Caller: My name is Ann, I understand we are having problems identifying you so we can move forward.

Me: What in the fuck are you talking about? Who are you Ann?

Ann: I’m the manager here, you were speaking with Rebecca earlier, she mentioned there is a problem with you cooperating with the identification protocol and I have taken over to assist in the process.

Me: Why in the fuck are you calling me, repeatedly all week, twice a day, every day, never leaving a message? Can you tell me, is this part of your fucked up protocol?

Ann: Sir, look, we are a company hired by Ford Motor Company to gather information about the individuals purchasing experience.

Me: I didn’t buy anything from Ford.

Ann: Our records show you recently purchased a 2014 Ford Mustang, is that information correct?

Me: Yes, but I bought it from a Kia dealership, it is a used Mustang.

Ann: Yes sir, we understand that you didn’t purchase it directly from a Ford dealership, however your purchase records are forwarded to Ford for many purposes like factory warranty and statistical reasons.

Me: Ok, why all the cloak and dagger bullshit, why not identify yourselves first, then ask me questions?

Ann: If you would so kind to verify your address for me sir? We show you live at the following address (she tells it to me). Is this information correct?

Me: Yes, it is correct.

Ann: Your phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx?

Me: Isn’t that the number y’all keep dialing?

Ann: Yes sir. (followed by a dramatic pause)

Me: Are we done?

Ann: No sir, we have been trying to talk with you to see how you are liking your new car.

Me: I like it fine. Anything else?

Ann: Is this your first Ford purchase?

Me: No

Ann: (after a long pause) If you don’t mind, would you like to share what other Fords you have purchased in the past?

Me: Look, I’m in the middle of cooking dinner for my family and myself, is this really necessary? Yes, guilty, I like Ford, Ford is great, if I was a woman then this Ford Mustang would make my pussy all dripping wet.

Ann: Sir?

Me: Ann?

Ann: Sir, you caught me a little off guard with your last comment. You are aware we record these conversations for training purposes, correct?

Me: Yes

Ann: If I told you that in our appreciation for speaking with us that I have a paid trip to offer to you, would you be pleased to here about it? All I need to finalize this package is to ask you a few more questions. Can we continue?

Me: So, Ann, the entire purpose to this phone call was to politely tell me that my information was given or sold to your marketing company for other purposes than to see if Ford makes me weak at the knees?

Ann: Sir, I assure you that we received your information legally.

Me: Buuuuuullllllllllllllshit Ann.

Ann: I would like to tell you about your complimentary trip now if that’s ok?

Me: Sure, why not, hurry up, dinner is almost done, you got about 7 minutes.

Ann: Las Vegas or Atlantic City?

Me: Vegas

Ann: I have two first class round trip airline tickets, a rental car voucher for the 7 days you and your spouse will be in Las Vegas, it is good for up to $150.00 per day. Included is a preloaded Visa with $1500.00 for gas and other expenses. You will be staying at the MGM Grand with two free meals for two each day of your stay. You and your spouse will each receive $200.00 in house chips for use in the casino. Any questions?

Me: Yes, I don’t fly.

Ann: Meaning?

Me: I’m not going to fly to Las Vegas. Period. I don’t fly.

Ann: I’m not following you.

Me: Skip the flight, I’ll drive. a rental will be cheaper on y’all any way.

Ann: Please hold…………

Me: Noooooo…….. Fuck……… Bitch……..

Ann: I have checked with the booking agency, those arrangements can be made for you to accommodate your needs. You’ll need to visit our office to pick up your package, the changes can be made at that time. When would you like to pick up your package so I can schedule your appointment?

Me: Saturday is fine.

Ann: Perfect, I will put you down for 8 am, will that work for you?

Me: Sure

Ann: Please be sure to bring two forms of ID for you and your wife to the appointment.

Me: Does my wife need to be present?

Ann: Yes sir.

Me: Can I get the address?

Ann: Actually, we are not allowed to give that information over the phone. Please provide me with your email address. I will send you the information described above, please print to bring with you, and the address to claim address will be included.

Me: Anything else I need to know?

Ann: No sir, we hope you enjoy your new Mustang and your trip to Las Vegas.

Me: So….. we’re done?

Ann: Yes sir, enjoy your dinner. (Call ended)

So, I did get the email as she discussed. But, and its a big fucking but, the address is at the corner of an open field and an abandoned business. First I googled it so I knew where I was going. Unsettled by what shows in google maps, I sent my future son-in-law there this morning on his way to work, he confirmed that there is nothing there except the building being torn down. When I called the number that had been calling me I got no answer, just rings and rings. I have called several times, nobody’s home. Hmmm, seems like the pile of bullshit just keeps getting deeper and deeper. The email came from donotreply@mailmixmail.net and when I emailed it back it just bounced with a server reply that the email is not valid. No shit Sherlock! I also contacted my cell service provider to put in a complaint of the number and I was told it isn’t even a valid number. Fuck it, block it anyway.

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What have we learned? Well, after wasting 18 minutes of my life that I will never get back, I have found this is another reason I dislike giving out my phone number or email address to anyone for any reason. Trust me, your information is being sold, traded, or given away whether you consent to it or not. Personally I don’t think it was the Kia dealership doing it on “purpose”, but records of the purchase with my personal information were only given at the dealership at the time of purchase. Who really knows any more, really. I can’t wait until these gigafucks call me back to inform me I missed my fucking “appointment” or to follow up with me. Then it will be time to have fun. I will assume they will not call, but that’s just my opinion. Any of y’all have any good phishing stories? I have a special place in my heart, which is black and cold, for telemarketers and professional phishers. Y’all suck you bunch of troubled fucks! Get a real job, like a third party bill collector or something respectable. With that, I’m done, think I’ll put up a sign “Gone Phishing” and take the weekend off.

Do Any Of Y’all Play “Big Fish Casino “?

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Why do I ask? Is that what your thinking? I personally find it fun to play in my spare time and wondered if anyone else did as well. If you do then we should become “friends” and if not then you need to download the app so we can be “friends”. Next time you log in to play use my ” friend code”. As you already know, adding Facebook friends adds to the bonuses one gets.

Just a quick note. I do not get anything for mentioning this game, I just wanted to use my blog as an extra outlet to “connect” with “friends” worldwide.

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Spring Break In South Dakota

I was very excited when planning this particular spring break vacation since it would be the first time since all of my kids were very young that we would be all together for a vacation. Why pick South Dakota for spring break? Excellent question. The answer is actually pretty simple, my oldest daughter could not afford to go anywhere so we decided to go be tourists in South Dakota so we could all be together once again. I have deep roots in South Dakota to say the very least. We will get into that later and in other posts as well since that is very interlaced in our vacation because itnwasnt just a vacation it was also a trip down memory lane for me as well. First and foremost our trip was to see our one and only granddaughter. If it hadn’t been for Skype and cell phones I very well would have missed the first 2 1/2 years of her life since the last time I saw her in person was the day of her birth.

So, every vacation begins with the trip, and since I don’t fly, we drive, everywhere. Speaking of which, a brief note, the odometer in my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder flipped 100k on our drive back into town. Anyhow, we left late in the afternoon on Friday 07 March 2014 to begin our 1345 mile trek to our hotel in Deadwood South Dakota. With a gas stops, restroom breaks, and eating breakfast in York Nebraska, we made it in just shy of 24 hours. Yes we drove straight through and yes I drove most of it myself. Since I am not a great passenger I don’t sleep in a moving car. But, a rest from the wheel for 1-2 hours is just as recharching for me personally. Watching the weather the days prior we knew it was going to be a chilly drive as we were headed into a cold front. But, nothing prepares one for 7 degrees with 40 mph winds when getting gas at 3 in the morning. That shit will wake your ass up in a hurry. Surprisingly, the weather at our destination was quite nice and real similar to what we left behind in Texas, minus the 87% humidity. Although, in my opinion, the weather went down hill from that point forward. All and all it was a pleasant drive up there and luckily, we were very lucky, there were no incidents. I will get into it more but the wife and I thought we would have time to gamble a bit (something we rarely do) since the Fairfield Inn was connected to Cadillac Jack’s Casino. Little did we know until checking in that we would get $25.00 per adult per day in Cadillac Cash to spend at the casino. And the room, it was a steal for us, we got upgraded to a $729.99 per night suite and still only had to pay the obligatory contracted $9.00 per night. Yes, we have friends (family) in the Marriot hotel business so it makes traveling great for us. So, moving on…….

After checking in we went to visit my daughter so we could all get something hot to eat for a late dinner. Have I ever mentioned that I was looking forward to my first hello hug from my granddaughter? It was way better than I could have ever imagined it to be. It was wonderful and I really didn’t want to let her go. But I did, I shared, didn’t want to, but I did it anyway. We ate, we colored, we talked, we planned,new reminissed, and the we said goodbyenfornthe night. I personally didn’t want it to end but when the baby says its time then its time. Since my daughter was working Sunday most of the day we decided to make it a “rest day”, stay close to the hotel, and just do a little sight seeing in Deadwood. See, one of the pitfalls of this room was that I this 45 minutes from my daughters house. We woke up late, around 9 or so, got showered, and grabbed the local map to do a little sight seeing. First stop was Mt. Moriah Cematary where Wild Bill and Calamatty Jane are buried. After which I showed everyone where Wild Bill was killed. I know the history of this area real well so I got to play tour guide most of the trip. Now, I don’t want to sound like I am complaining, because we did come to a touristy spot in the “off season”, but the amount of things and places that were “closed for the season to reopen mid-May” became a personal joke for our family on this vacation.

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So, let me give y’all a rundown of what we did or attempted to do each day. Now, for me the closures were no big deal since I have seen all of these things many times before. Deadwood was just that, dead. The casinos were open, some gift shops were open, but things like the Adam’s House, the wineries, and the majority of the tourist like gift shops were closed. We went to Mt. Rushmore, a national landmark, and 90% of the trail was closed. One could walk down under the noses but no further and had to turn around the way we came. We also drove through Keystone, figuring Mt. Rushmore was a bust, and all but one store was closed, not even a restaurant of any kind was open. No, there was not a contingent back up plan, who expects a national landmark and park to be closed. We also attempted to visit Custer State Park, the main route (the paved road) was closed off, diverting drivers off onto the back maintenance roads. On top of that, the buffalo we did see were mere specs when viewed through high powered binoculars. Now, that was disappointing. Then, we went to the biggest tourist trap in South Dakota, Wall Drug. Of course, the “Backyard” where all the really cool stuff hides, was closed.

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There was excitement however, one night we were at my daughter’s house where I cooked them a nice meal, well all of us, and when we left to go to the hotel it was only raining, but in the mountains it was snowing like a sonofabith,nso much that overnight we got over 8″, which is allot for this Texas boy. But, that is where experience pays off for me so it wasn’t as hairy as one might be thinking. The way luck was having it we decided to go for a drive to see ifnincould find the house in Black hawk that my parents finished building the summer of 1968 and where I lived until I was 6 when we moved to Texas. The answer is yes, I did find it, but that is a post in itself. On the way out of town, to return to Houston, we had plans to spend the night in Sioux Falls, my oldest daughter joined us because vacation wasn’t over quite yet. For the first time ever, all of my kids will see where my dad is buried, none of them have ever been there, and my son has always wanted to see his namesake. This will be a post of its own as well, just know it was the highlight of the entire trip. Since we had to leave via Mitchell South Dakota and my daughter had to drive through it to get back to Rapid City, we decided to visit the world’s only Corn Palace, surprise, open for business as well as everything else in the little town. We also took a short side drive to see the house my grandparents built in the 40’s and it is also where both of them are buried.

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Then that was it, the hardest part came, saying goodbye to everyone. That part sucked worse than I could have possibly ever imagined, to put it mildly. Afterwords we did indeed begin the trek home, a long quiet trip that consisted of me driving while drowning out my sorrows with music playing to the max in my headphones. The snow, wind, ice, and rain made sure I stayed awake for the entire trip. Other than that, it too was uneventful. So, there is my spring break vacation to South Dakota in a nutshell. Stick around in the very near future because I have many expanded stories to tell that were merely mentioned today.

The Effects Of Healthcare Dot Gov

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With nearly half-a-billion dollars in government funding put behind promoting a product relatively few people seem interested in purchasing from a website that doesn’t work, Obamacare is perhaps the biggest marketing flop the world has seen in a very, very long time. The cost to build Healthcare dot gov is estimated at $319 million so far. The total amount to be spent nationally on publicity, marketing and advertising will be at least $684 million, according to data compiled The Associated Press from federal and state sources. As the Washington Post reported on Obamacare’s infamous website Healthcare dot gov, when the Web site went live Oct. 1, it locked up shortly after midnight as about 2,000 users attempted to complete the first step.

As time went by, things did not much improve. Fewer than 107,000 people had enrolled in Obamacare as of early November, even though more than 4.8 million Americans were notified their health insurance plans were canceled as a result of the new Obamacare rules and regulations. There were only 23 people per day that enrolled during the first month in the Federal Exchange. And the latest polls show growing opposition to the program, with 57 percent of Americans now opposing the Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare”. President Obama candidly acknowledged what millions of Americans had concluded after trying to use the new HealthCare dot gov website: it was not working: “The rollout of the new health care [website] has been rough, to say the least… We always knew that that was going to be complicated and everybody was going to be paying a lot of attention to it,” he said. “We should have done a better job getting that right on day one — not on day 28 or on day 40.”

A significant part of the response to Healthcare dot gov’s failures, however, has been an intensifying ad campaign. ads based on research about the uninsured have already been popping up on radio, TV and social media. The pitch: If you don’t make much money, the government can pick up some of the cost of your health insurance. If you can afford a policy, by law you have to get one. The unintended punch line is the ads direct the uninsured to sign up for a plan on the website. One health insurance company executive questioned “why would you spend $1 million sending people to a website that’s broken.” A very good question since administration officials were warned by consultants in March that the healthcare dot gov website was “at risk of failure.” Yet the Administration went ahead and signed lucrative contracts with a number of big name Washington PR firms for more than $60 million to promote the site anyway.

In July, HHS (Health and Human Services) inked a $33 million contract with PR giant Weber Shandwick. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid had already signed a $3 million and $8 million contracts. Porter Novelli also has a $20 million contract with the agency. As one Washington PR veteran noted, “you can have the greatest PR program imaginable on all different platforms — social, media, advertising and earned media — but you have to have a product that is functioning”. The states setting up their own health care exchanges “will receive proportionally more federal money for outreach, advertising and marketing than” the states where the federal government is running the program. In those states, “community groups with federal grants will lead the effort” to convince people to sign up.

ABC News showcased what it labeled “The Strangest Ads to Promote Obamacare Sign-Ups.” Topping the list is Minnesota’s ads “using legendary folklore hero Paul Bunyan (and his blue ox Babe) to show Minnesotans that the land of the north is also ‘the land of 10,000 reasons to get health insurance.’” The two appear in a series of ads  “in which the famous lumberjack suffers some kind of typical Minnesota injury — an axe wound, a water ski collision”. Nearly $28 million will be spent promoting Obamacare in Washington. One of the state’s ads has a woman playing “paper, rock, scissors” to escape the attack of a rabid raccoon.

Oregon is spending $10 million advertising Obamacare with advertisements that don’t even mention the program or how to enroll in it. One of the television ads, produced by the Portland advertising agency North, Inc., does not mention the word “insurance” or how or why to enroll in the program. Another Oregon ad does not mention the word “insurance,” but features what appears to be Gumby riding on the Beatles’ yellow submarine. Between Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, however,  just 44 residents were able to sign up for private insurance through Cover Oregon.

Colorado is spending more than $20 million to promote the program hoping to enroll 136,000 patients in health exchange network by the end of March. So far, fewer than 4,000 have been enrolled, though one of the enrollee’s turned out to be a man’s pet dog. The state’s ad campaign compares enrolling in Obamacare to winning at a casino and features an Elvis impersonator. In Kentucky, outreach workers attended a number of bourbon festivals and visited college campuses across the state to make young people aware of the program. California is spending $94 million on its Obamacare enrollment campaign, including “radio and television commercials, highway billboard advertisements, and a number of Twitter and Facebook posts” and promotion at county fairs and street festivals.

Healthcare dot gov features a tool to search through health insurance providers in your area to see how much Obamacare can save you. The catch? The catch is, those prices are all AFTER maximum subsidies are calculated into the price by the website. This is apparently the lack of insecurity you can expect from the folks at HHS and healthcare dot gov.  A level of incompetence and lack of common sense programming I didn’t even think were possible for government until today. Want to see what the prices are without subsidies? Well someone forgot to password the database the prices are fetched from.  If you want to see it in all its glory head on over to data.healthcare.gov and see it for yourself but be sure to hurry before the government shuts it down for showing the truth.

Why do we find ourselves in this healthcare pickle?  How did the federal government get the idea they could insert themselves into our health insurance industry?   People forget that government is force; and that it is force at the point of a gun.  A model for the Obamacare law can be found in the federal seat belt law, requiring car manufacturers to install seat belts in every car, just as the Obamacare law requires insurance companies to place Obama’s requirements into your health insurance policy.

Information found for this “Your Tax Dollars @ Work” post was done by using a Google search. Information compiled from multiple public websites & media outlets.

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