I hate Fantasy Football

This fantasy football recap pretty much sums up my current season. Not a great year overall and several losses by one point or less. This week was special though, mostly because of all the great entertainment that it provided. Here goes –

The game is week 8. After the 1pm and 4pm games are over, my opponent had no more players to go and can’t score any more points. At the same time I have one player going on the Sunday night game and one player going on Monday night. I am down by one point. One lousy, stinking, stupid, easy point.

My Sunday night player is Jason Whiten. Expectations are low so if I received any points it would have been a plus. Mostly because Tony Romo sucks. Plain and simple… Once again, I need one, stupid, stinking lousy point for a tie (which would be acceptable giving the mediocre season). One touchdown pass (6points) locks up an easy win. We know anything worth anything is never easy. Needless to say, Whiten threw up a goose egg. No big deal, I still have another player to go on Monday. Strike one, but plenty of football entertainment left.

My Monday night player is Vincent Jackson. Usually a decent bet on getting a touchdown pass. Again, all I need is one stupid, friggin, crappy, easy point to tie and a touchdown makes it a win. The Monday night game surely was the game of the week. KC and San Diego and plenty off offense and lots of excitement. At this point, I am sitting smug on the coutch waiting for the victory to come. I am also picturing my opponent finishing up yard work from the prevous day as he knows the weekend is surely to end in a loss. After all, he knows all I need is one stupid point.

Scoring in my league is 6 points for a touchdown and one point for every 50 catching yards. Vincent Jackson was thrown to several times early and was starting to add up the yards. By halftime – 35 yards. A tie is in sight! Woo hoo!. By this time, the entertainment level of watching Sunday night and Monday night football was high. When is this frigging point gonna come already?

Third quarter time… Jackson is thrown to but it’s picked off. Bad right? Nope! Inevitably, he makes the tackle and is credited .50 for that great defensive play. So now, I am only down by .50 and I just need 15 yards for the win! And almost a half a game to go! One stupid, crappy, fucking point for a well deserved victory. One!

So down by 1/2 a point, San Diego is down and desparate. Phillip Rivers is passing left and right. I am sure to get some catches from one of their main targets. Right? You guessed it. A couple more catches and Jackson is at 49 yards. Not 45, not 37 – 49! One yard away from victory!  Rivers drives his team and is depleating the clock. It certainly is looking for a victory for San Diego and my team. ONE FRIGGIN POINT! Let’s go man!

Rivers fumbles the snap. Noooooooooooooo!!!! Less than a minute to go and KC has the ball back! Crap! KC moves down the field, scores a field goal – strike two. Overtime. Yessssssss! One more shot to get the easy, lousy, crappy, fucking point I need.

So I had life after all of the Sunday day games, life after the Sunday night game, and another chance after the end of regulation of Monday night. It’s fate!

Yup… It was fate. San Diego lost. I ended up losing by .50 points. Vincent Jackson’s stats – one sack, 49 yards. As enjoyable as that was – strike three. I hate Fantasy Football…

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Shopping for the holidays is not something I like to do. Not because it doesn’t bring me joy, I just don’t like the whole process. The internet has made my life much more easier than you could possibly imagine. Shlepping out in the cold and snow, going to crowded stores, nowhere to park, going out in the cold… well, you get the picture. Now I do most of my shopping, especially for Christmas, on the internet. Most of the time, actually just about all the time, it goes off without a hitch and it is soooooo worth it for me. Recently though, I hit a bump in the road, but in the end, it all turned out for the better.
Two weeks before Christmas, I ordered an Ipod Nano as a gift. What pushed me over the top was the fact that I got free personalized engraving, free shipping, and it was wrapped as a gift. No brainer, especially because it was selling for the same price as I could get it from a store without going out in the cold, long lines etc… At first, there were problems with the order and processing my credit card. I called my bank and they assured me that it should go thru, call them back and do it manually. After a few tries, we finally got it to work. Don’t know if it was the bank or Apple, but it all got resolved. Now, just wait for it to arrive.
A few days later, the Ipod arrived, but missing the red bow as advertised. Not that big a deal, but looking at the picture, it would have been nice to have it. Since the gift is for my son, I figure it needed a case to keep it looking good. I headed out to Walmart, in the cold, nowhere to park, etc… to find one. To my surprise, they were selling the exact same Ipod for the exact same price, but it came with a $50 Itunes gift card. Normally, I would return the product and get the one with the extra $50. Problem is, you can’t return a personalized Ipod. All that was left to do was give Apple customer service a call. The only thing I hate more than shopping – calling customer service. Wow… were they nice and helpful. I ended up getting a $25 credit on my card and they shipped me a case that I was gonna buy anyway. Apple did the right thing and made a small problem turn into some good pr. Kudos to Apple and I will continue to shop at their online store whenever possible. You should too.

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Car business as usual

Now that I am on the other side of the desk, I can clearly understand what people hate about the process of buying a vehicle from a car dealership. A little background… I was in the car business for 15 years – sales and finance. I have always worked in highline carlines and never worked at a dealership that didn’t stress customer service, honesty, integrity and professionalism. Now I own a company that goes out and buys cars for people who are intimidated by the process or just don’t have the time. It is now clear to me why I get clients. You would think that with everything going on in the car business and the economy that there would be some kind of change in the way dealers do business. I know the movie “The Goods” is coming out, but that is supposed to be a parody, not how the business operates now! I still can’t believe that a dealer can get away with things like non-refundable deposits, treating perspective customers like they need the dealer more than the dealer needs them and just general, shady ways of doing business. And professionalism? Courtesy? Respect? Integrity? Pretty much out the window… I try to go to at least 3 or 4 different dealerships for my clients and in most cases, I am lucky if 1 of them actually returns my call. Truly shocking… Even more shocking is that the owners actually allow this to happen. How much business is being lost? It is a total shame but change has to come. It can not continue this way much longer. Soon you will be able to buy a car at Wallmart and on Ebay. Just think, all of those crappy car salesmen are gonna be selling you insurance, home improvements and real estate. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
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About 2 months or so ago, I went to an Addidas outlet and replaced my current Addidas sandals from last year with something very similar, but much more comfortable. I bought a new pair of comfort soft Addidas sandals. They were similar in appearance to my last sandals, but the cushion part was very comfortable and the velcro strap a little different. Happy with my purchase, I wore the sandals almost daily. It seemed that the velcro wasn’t staying in place like the last pair, but I thought they just needed time to break in. After almost a month, I noticed the velcro coming apart every time I wore them. If I did nothing about it, I would be walking and then the sandal would come apart leaving the shoe behind and me walking barefoot. Under normal circumstances, I would just return the shoes but I had been wearing them for some time now and for obvious reasons, didn’t think returning them was the right call. So I went to the Addidas website, found the customer service email and sent an email explaining my problem, and what I should do about it. I received the customary – someone will respond in 24 hours email, and that was it. Never heard back. OK, so I sent another email basically stating that it has been almost a week and still no response. Can you believe that no one has responded again and it has been 2 weeks since that email?
I kinda forgot about it, until I went to a carnival and one of my friends had the exact same pair for about two weeks and asked me if I had any problems with the velcro strap coming apart. Oh the irony… We laughed about it for a minute… Then we were on a mission and looked around for anyone else wearing the same sandals. It took about 10 minutes and we saw a guy with the same sandals, and the same problem. We asked if he called or wrote Addidas and he said “for what? All they are gonna do is send me another pair or crappy sandals!” So I got to thinking, should I actually care about this or should I let my $29 sandals go. It really is a matter of customer service. At this point, I really don’t ever want to buy any more Addidas apparel, not because of my quality issues, but the fact that they didn’t even acknowledge my several emails, probably because they are well aware of this problem. Email me back and apologize, or tell me to hit the road. But no response at all? For the record, I sent one more email explaining this, and still no response. Addidas quality is in question, but their customer service is unquestionably terrible!

Due to an ongoing divorce, I am taking a break from the whole blogging thing for a while. Need to concentrate on how to make life for my son a little better. Be back soon!

Cash For Clunkers?

I actually had a My Car Buddy client this week who just about qualified for this (interesting) new program. Here’s the details: His trade in was a 2001 Dodge Durango with 92,000 miles. Easily qualifies as a gas guzzling behemoth and falls well within the mpg limits. I managed to get him $3900 and with the tax savings it almost was a wash and not worth the extra paperwork. My question is… Is this really gonna stimulate car sales? Even if all it does is getting people to talk about it, I think it will help. I have had people ask about this program but after looking into it, the parameters are very limited. I think they should have gotten a little more creative with it and actually,because it is a government program, you knew it would not be very well thought out. On a side note… Infiniti announced 0% APR and lease deals on their entire line up (minus the new G37 convertible – hot!). Not only do I think this will stimulate some sales, but I will be promoting it to my clients. Great cars and awesome deals! That is how you stimulate the economy! Unfortunately, this is all because their sales are down. Meanwhile, according to my old contacts at Audi, sales are up and my old dealership is running out of cars to sell. What the heck is happening here? Is the economy on the up tick? Only time will tell.

Seriously… ! Let me start by saying that I enjoy Twitter. I signed up a few months ago and this new “time vampire” has me intrigued. Where else can you go to find out what Danica Patrick had for lunch, see pictures that Rob Dyrdek took at his fantasy factory or the latest funny one liner from Shaq? You can also follow your favorite businesses and find out about special promotions, give aways or just general up to the minute news. Pretty neat huh? And its all free on top of it! If you happen to follow me, you can find out that I love golf, stay up waaayyy tooo late, and that I also use it to promote my business by blasting out a few tweets on the advantages of Pitch Perfect in between my tweets of golf score updates and what my children have done today. It has also been a major form of communication in some third world countries to let the rest of us know what is going on when all other means of contact are shut off. Awesome!
So by now, I am somewhat of a veteran at this tweeting stuff and thru trial and error have found ways to get followers. But as of late, all of my followers are promoting none other than a get rich quick and easy scam just by tweeting. I mean seriously… It seems that whenever there is any new kind of technology, there is a new kind of scam right behind it. This is a classic case of convincing people that you can make easy money by doing little or no work. In the end, the only ones making any money are the people who start this and con others to giving them money in return for showing them how to do it themselves. Another one to stick in the “Things that make you go Hmmmmm….” file. Wanna follow me? http://twitter.com/rickbalas