11 July 2017

Removing A Broken Lug Nut

Sheared lug nut

While walking around the car the other day, I noticed something strange.  It looked like a lug nut was missing on one of my wheels.  Upon closer inspection, it was obvious that the top of the nut broke off.

The broken nut was a locking lug nut.  It is also possible that the nut was defective and had a crack in it...and while driving the vibrations weakened the nut and the top fell off. It is also possible that the last time the wheel was removed and replaced, the lug nut was over torqued and the top sheared off.  The key showed no damage and it still fits the other locking nuts.   But, there is damage to the powder coat of my whee.

Whatever.  I still have a problem here.  How am I going to remove this broken nut without damaging the wheel any further.  I did some research, and there were a few...I will just say 'options' to extracting to nut.  The best way was to get a twist socket lug removal system.

Twist socket lug nut removal set
Simple to use.  Basically a conical spiral that bites into the broken lug nut so you can twist it off.

One of the 'solutions' I found was to use a hammer and chisel turn a broken jug nut.  The idea was to place the chisel on the top of the nut and hammer it until the chisel bites.  This gives you leverage to, hopefully, spin the nut.  It works, I saw a video of it.  Obviously, there is opportunity to slippage when hammering and the chisel can cutting into your wheel.  Not a good option for someone as clumsy as me.

But, we will use a hammer for the twist socket set.

Hammer time
Hold on to that hammer, you will need it to tap the socket until it bites the lug nut.   On a side note, the above photo is totally staged...and staged poorly.  I mean, really, look how off I am. If  I really swung and hit the socket at the angle, we could be looking at more damage to the lug nut and wheel.

Anyway, it took only a few taps and the socket locked into place.  Also, look at the hammer.  I did not need to bring out the massive hammer.  This was an IKEA hammer that I used, seriously.  The conical spiral design makes sure that the socket will get a good grip on the broken nut.

Another 'solution' I found was to find a pipe that fits over the broken lug nut...then weld it onto the nut.  When use something to grip the pipe and apply torque to remove.  What?  Yeah, this has been done.  The trick is to get a wet rag and place it around the pipe so the heat from welding does not penetrate to your wheel.  Uh..no.  That just sounds crazy.  For one, I do not have (easy) access to a welder, and obviously, there is a better way.

Broken lug nut removed
So, once the socket is tapped in, take the breaker bar and twist off the bolt.  The spiral design allows the grooves of the socket to dig more into the nut.

The processes was way easier than I thought. It did not require a lot of elbow grease.  Much easier than the alternative methods I mentioned.  I am sure I bought a cheap version of this lug nut removal set, and I am sure there are professional versions that cost more than a month's rent. I got my kit from eBay for about $30, and was shipped to me in three days.

Bullet?

Totally random, but the socket leaves spiral grooves on the extracted nut, much like grooves on a bullet fired from a rifled barrel.  Check out the photo, looks like a evidence from a crime scene.

Replaced with regular lug nut
All that is left to replace the nut.  Luckily, I have extra lug nuts.  So, next time you have to extract a broken lug nut, forget those crazy methods that involve chisels and welding...get yourself a twist socket lug nut removal kit...or borrow one from a friend.

On to the next issues.

01 July 2017

FUCK YOU, STOP CALLING ME - July 2017

We have all been getting telemarketing calls from random numbers.  But recently, a lot of us have been receiving calls from local numbers. I am sure you have seen some post from me regarding telemarketing calls from the 'Beverly Hills' area.  Apparently, this is called spoofing.  If your friends and family have numbers that differ from yours, they have most likely be receiving numbers from their same area code and prefix.  This is nothing new, but the telemarketers have upped their game in the last few months.

I am sure most of you are not answering calls from 'unknown' numbers or outside your contact list. This spoofing is obviously designed to catch you off guard.

1 July 2017
  310-849-5434  Beverly Hills, CA - First day of the month, and on a Saturday morning.   Fuck you!

6 July 2017
  310-849-9946  Beverly Hills, CA - I wish had this many friends from Beverly Hills.  Ah, the art of spoofing.  Its only accomplishment is being on a list of missed calls.  Fuck you!

11 July 2017
  310-849-9946  Beverly Hills, CA - Oh, a repeat caller.  This is interesting.  A spoofed number calling more than once.  I hope the person who actually owns this number knows that their number is being used...and that I am bashing it.  Nothing personal, buddy.  It is not you, it is the telemarketer system.  Fuck you!

17 July 2017
  815-244-6440  Minooka, IL - I kinda like the name 'Minooka', too bad it the town is tainted by telemarketers.

Minooka, IL
According to this robo call, I have been pre-approved for a loan.  Sweet!  Also, fuck you!

  301-469-3733  Bethesda, MD -  I know Bethesda.  The first time I heard about the name was in A Few Good Men.  Lt. Sam Weinberg mentions to Lt.Cmdr. JoAnne Galloway that "the team's playing Bethesda Medical next week".  Since I had not heard the name before, I thought he said "teams' play the Feds and Medicals next week".  So, I was quite excited when I got a call from Bethesda.  Maybe they want to schedule a softball game next week, who knows?

Alas, this is another telemarketing call.  Looks like they have abandoned (for now) the Beverly Hills phone numbers and going back to random numbers.  I wonder what city the next call will originate from.  Until then, fuck you!

19 July 2017
   323-375-5268  Los Angeles, CA - Oh, so we are back to Southern California calls.  Great!  Kinda disappointed, I was hoping for some 'exotic' city of origin, like Bethesda, or at least a call from different state.  Fuck you!

26 June 2017

Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge - Week 2

Week two of the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge is over and completed.  Here is a quick recap from what I have experienced.  I am not sure I did everything right.  But, I did something, tried something to improve myself, and that is a start.

Daily Affirmations:  1 - Relationship:  Being nice can be hard....especially for someone like me.  I tend to get annoyed when others approach me with their needs.  I should be more open to others' needs. In the two, I realized that just a smile and/or a nod to a stranger not only makes other feel more comfortable, it makes me feel a little better.  Work well and play well with others...simple playground stuff from Kindergarten.

2 - Competition:  Well, what do you know, we won a game.  One forgets the feeling of winning when it has been a while.

As far as taking a loss in a non-game situation, I am slowly, very slowly trying to not want to win little arguments with others.  Let the Wookie win.

Nutrition and Fitness:  Meals were about the same as Week 1. I tried to eat less.  I hope I ate less.  Writing stuff down kinda helps.  Am I not writing enough?  Maybe I should record the amount of food, like actually count calories.  Maybe I can fit back into those nice pants I bought years ago, and have been unwilling to throw away...because they are nice.  I kinda keep them around to remind myself that 'I used to fit in these'.

I had a full week visiting the gym, working on everything from cardio, weights, and stretching.

We won our first game of the season.  A teammate mentioned that I was faster than anybody out there, that day. I like to think that nutrition and fitness helped.  Part of it might be the win, but I felt less tired after this game. 

Yikes, the holiday weekend is coming up, I hope I do not over eat...again.  Also, hoping to get some sort of exercise as we do not have a game this weekend.  I will continue this exercise at least through the holiday to make sure I stay on course.

Oh, I weighed in at 171 pounds.  I 'lost' about 4 pounds in two weeks.  Body fat percentage dropped about two points to 21%.  Not bad, at this rate, I should be back to my high school weight by the next Olympics...uh, Summer Olympics...maybe.

Harmony:  You know what, when you let others be, there is one less thing you have to worry about.  I kinda like it.  As long as it does not affect me directly, let others be.  But, there are still times that I have to hold back.

Of course, getting telemarketing calls does not help.  While I do not answer, I do feel the need to comment about...as I am sure you have read.

With the Challenge over, I will continue to incorporate Bruce Lee's philosophy into my every day life. I like to think that I have, like Bruce Lee suggests, "Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own".  This quote is so awesome.  If I was to get a tattoo, I might consider inking that somewhere I can refer to whenever I am in a rut.

As I continue with this, I may not write everything down as much, as in daily food intake and work outs.  But, as always, I when hear a good quote, I write it down.

Oh, the prize for this Challenge.  As Shannon and Sharon have mentioned, the ultimate prize is improving one's life.  But, there is a grand prize of being a guest on the Bruce Lee Podcast and a gift bag.  Although I have submitted my entry, I doubt I will win.  I am sure others have made more significant changes in their life.  Besides, sometimes taking the loss is more important than the win.

I just needed this Challenge from Shannon and Sharon, and really Bruce Lee, himself, to make me take a look at what changes I may need or want to make and make those changes.  So, thanks, S & S!

19 June 2017

Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge - Week 1

We are at the half way mark in the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge.  Here is a quick update from what I have experienced.

Daily Affirmations:  1 - I realized that one of my affirmations meshes with 'letting others be', and not be quick to judge others.  I did not have much encountering of new people, but I have tried to be more approachable to the people I interact with.  This also includes greeting strangers, even if it is just a head nod.

Just a friendly smile and saying, "have a nice day", to someone might make them forget (if) they are having a bad day.

2 - I (we) literally took the loss as our team loss another game.  After the game, a teammate and I analysed the things we did wrong and while minimal, the things we did right.  Build on the positive to minimize the negative.  Kinda like Bruce Lee's quote, "Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own."

Nutrition and Fitness: I did not really change my diet, but I did...well, in the process of...changing the amount of food I eat.  I am slowly experimenting with eating half of what is on my plate.  Oh, but food is so good.  Work in progress.

As far as exercise, for the first time in maybe two years, I jumped back on the bike.  Okay, it was on a trainer, but I did spin for 90 minutes.  Yes, my sit bones are sore.  Unfortunately, during the week, I have been busy at work and have not found time to hit the gym.  I tried to make up for it by doing little exercises and stretching at home.

I played my usual weekly hockey game.  As mentioned, we lost.  I also did a little gardening, meaning trimming bushes for about two hours.  Somewhere between there, I injured my shoulder.  I think it was from carrying my hockey bag.  I should be good for the next game, but I will take it easy as far as shoulder work outs for the week.

Oh, I am 174 pound.  I 'lost' one pound.  Not much progress...I should eat less cookies.

Harmony:  Let others be.  I realized...because the wife tells me...that I am a "side seat driver".  I sometimes react to things I see on the road, which can startle the driver.  I have since tried to let the wife drive in peace.

There were a few times when I wanted to give some of my teammates a few pointers, but in a not so positive way.  I stopped myself as in the end, we are just out there to have fun. There is no need to add pressure to a fun situation.

We will see how things go as we reach the end of this challenge.

12 June 2017

Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge

Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge
12 June 2017 - 26 June 2017
The Bruce Lee Podcast, hosted by (Bruce Lee's duaghter) Shannon Lee and a Sharon Ann Lee, issued a Podcast Challenge, a two week challenge to integrate Bruce Lee's philosophy into daily life.

Of course, there are prizes, including being a guest on the podcast and goody bag.  But as they say, the ultimate prize will be the improvement in health and life.

Challenge is for two weeks and starts today!  

More information can be found here.  But I will copy/paste just so I have it here for myself.
Daily Action Items for the 2 Week Challenge:
1.  Affirmations - Identify something in you that makes you feel alive, something that you want to grow.  Write at least one (preferably more) of your own affirmations (you can use Bruce Lee's affirmations to supplement if you don't come up with more than one or two).
Make a five minute daily practice of saying your affirmations aloud every morning before starting your day, carry your affirmations with you, and return to them as often as you like throughout the day.  Journal any changes in your outlook, anything that opens for you or any sudden moments of understanding that you have.
For reference here are Bruce Lee's Daily Affirmations:
Willpower - Recognizing that the power of will is the supreme court over all other departments of my mind. I will excercise it daily when I need the urge to action for any purpose; and I will form habits designed to bring the power of my will into action at least once daily.

Emotion - Realizing that my emotions are both positive and negative, I will form daily habits which will encourage the development of the positive emotions and aid me in converting the negative emotions into some form of useful action.

Reason - Recognizing that both my positive and negative emotions may be dangerous if they are not controlled and guided to desireable ends, I will submit all my desires, aims, and purposes to my faculty of reason, and I will be guided by it in giving expression to these.

Imagination - Recognizing the need for sound plans and ideas for the attainment of my desires, I will develop my imagination by calling upon it daily for help in the formation of my plans.

Memory - Recognizing the value of an alert mind and an alert memory, I will encourage mine to become alert by taking care to impress it clearly with all thoughts I wish to recall and by associating those thoughts with related subjects which I may call to mind frequently.

Subconscious Mind - Recognizing the influence of my subconscious mind over my power of will, I shall take care to submit to it a clear and definite picture of my major purpose in life and all minor purposes leading to my major purpose, and I shall keep this picture constantly before my subconscious mind by repeating it daily!

Conscience - Recognizing that my emotions often err in their overenthusiasm, and my faculty of reason often is without the warmth of feeling that is necessary to enable me to combine justice with mercy in my judgments, I will encourage my conscience to guide me as to what is right and what is wrong, but I will never set aside the verdicts it renders, no matter what may be the cost of carrying them out. 
I kinda have two.  Not sure if these qualify, but I think these are things that I would like to improve for myself.


Relationship  (working well with others)
Learn to accept others as they are.  Often times their story is deeper than what they show on the surface.  Welcome them with open arms as they approach you.  See the situation through their eyes before reacting.  
Competition 
Sometimes, taking the loss is a better alternative to winning.  Failure is an option...sometimes.
2. Nutrition and FitnessAnswer this question: “I would feel better in my body if I…..” Be specific.  Once you’ve identified the answer, practice this every day. Journal any changes in your outlook, anything that opens up for you or any sudden moments of understanding that you have
For me, "I would fell better in my body if I..." move more, move better, move with ease.  This includes reducing that tubby gut by getting more exercise; weight training, cardio, stretching.  Reduce the amount of 'extra' food (especially junk food).  For each serving of junk food, drop and do 20 push ups or hold plank (for at least 30 seconds).  Try not to stay stationary for too long.  Once in a while, get up and...walk on.

As of this morning, I am 175 pounds.  I would like to think that is muscle, but the scale also tow me that have have about 23% body fat.  This is the most heavy I have been.

3. Harmony:  Try this practice: Letting others be. Practice living in harmony by not saying anything negative about anyone else or yourself for the 2 week challenge period. Try to reframe any negative thoughts into positive ones or inquiries. Journal any changes in your outlook, anything that opens up for you or any sudden moments of understanding that you have.
This one is tough, they are all tough.  Any change is tough.

While I have occasionally tried to implement Bruce Lee's philosophy into my everyday life, I kinda need this 'challenge' to make me really do it.  I will check back in two weeks and see how things go.  As the rules state, I will be keeping a journal of my progress.

08 June 2017

Jaquet Droz BB-8 Idea

Two years ago, I purchased my Omega Speedmaster from a Tourbillon Boutique.  Omega, along with many brands, as is Tourbillon Boutique, are under the Swatch Group.  One of the brands that I saw at the Boutique was Jaquet Droz.

Jaquet Droz makes some wonderful time pieces.  I am not going to get in to detail about the Automata Collection...those are works of mechanical art worth checking out.

One of the signature looks of Jaquet Droz is the Grande Seconde Collection.  These are inspired by the pocket watch created by designer Pierre Jaquet-Droz in 1784.  They consist of a larger subdial at the 6H position, showing seconds and a smaller subdial at the 12H position showing the time.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantieme
I thought nothing of this interesting layout at the time.  Then, later that year, a little movie called Star Wars Episode VII:  The Force Awakens was released.  I noticed that the layout looked a little like BB-8.

BB-8 and Rey
Obviously, this is for fun.  But, what if Lucasfilm partnered with Jaquet Droz and made limted edition watches.  It will never happen, but what if....

Jaquet Droz BB-8
This is a quick photoshop.  Look at it, it is a natural fit.

For reference, these are some of Nixon's designs for a BB-8 watch.

Nixon BB-8 Corporal SS watch
Nixon BB-8 Time Teller Chrono
The Nixon BB-8 watches range from  $175-225.

Back to Jaquet Droz.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered
Check out the Grande Seconde Off-Centered, it totally looks like BB-8 in motion, rolling.

Jaquet Droz BB-8 Rolling
I think we have something here.   Who would not want a $20,000 Star Wars watch?

02 June 2017

FUCK YOU, STOP CALLING ME - June 2017

Ah, June. The start of summer, summer jobs, and summer internships.  Although, some of these jobs are being taking over by robots.  Do you think anyone grows up in hopes of becoming a telemarketer?

2 June 2017
  866-346-1411  Unknown - Not really unknown, according to the internet machine, this is Time Warner calling in hopes that you upgrade your service.  Why would I need to upgrade?  Oh, I know...because your service is shit to begin with.  So, I need to 'upgrade' to  something more expensive and get just at shitty service.  Fuck you!


  310-849-4392  Beverly Hills, CA - You know what they say about those Beverly Hills numbers from the 310-849.  Same shit, different day.  Fuck you!

9 Jun 2017
  310-849-4147  Beverly Hills, CA - Same area code and prefix is being targeted by telemarketers.  They are obviously routing their calls through.  Is there some kind of foreign hacking going on?  Fuck you! 

12 June 2017
  866-390-4096  Unknown - Apparently, this is the NRA phishing for money.  Even though it is a legitimate organization, this still falls under the telemarketer umbrella.  Actually, I am not sure this is the real NRA or someone claiming to be them.  Your 'guns' do not scare me.  Fuck you!

13 June 2017
   0000000000  Unknown - Yeah, that is not a typo.  The number came up as ten zeroes.  So, I am pretty sure this is a telemarketer.  Seriously, guys, a bunch of zeroes is way more suspicious than a fake number.  Go back to the drawing board.   Fuck you!

14 June 2017
  866-388-4616  Unknown -  Hmm...weird.  Search results show that this is Spectrum calling to get on e to switch over/upgrade to their latest promotion.  But, results also show that this number is linked to NRA.  Not the first call I apparently got from NRA.  So...not weird at all.  Sounds like textbook telemarketing to me.  Fuck you!

  0000000000  Unknown - Uh, I guess this is a return caller.  So, the pattern is NRA from some 866 number, then a 0000000000 number.  Got it.  Fuck you!

15 June 2017
  610-816-6004  Reading, PA - I do not want to jinx it, but if I get a call tomorrow...it will be a clean sweep for this week.  A call everyday.  Really, if you date back to last Friday, we do have a call everyday.  I am not counting weekends...although, I occasionally get that call on a Saturday or Sunday morning.  How exciting!

Anyway, this is another textbook telemarketers. Fuck you!

16 June 2017
  401-200-8645  Bristol, RI - Yes!  I knew you would not let me down. Five days in the row, folks.  From my simple search, it seems that this number had been 'inactive' for about a year (since June 2016).  Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, this number is active again.  Kinda obvious the fucking telemarketers have a bank of numbers that they put in the back burner for a while to 'lay low'.  Then, then you least expect it...well, I always expect a telemarketer to call...they bring up an old number and cold call.  Nice scam.  Fuck you!

17 June 2017
  310-849-9362  Beverly Hills, CA - Surprise!  That makes it six days in a row.  An early Saturday morning call.  This is kinda awesome.  Normally, I do not look forward to telemarketing calls, but we could have a seven day sweep hereI got so excited, I forgot to mention...another Beverly Hills call.  So back to basics.  Sunday is looking good.  Think about this, if they hit Sunday, the next week is wide open.  At least Monday through Friday, another five days, which could bring their total to twelve.  But, I am totally jumping the gun.  I should not jinx this.  Until tomorrow...Fuck you!

19 June 2017
  240-892-1456  Upper Marlboro, MD - What?  You took Sunday off?  Come on, you had a good thing going.  Now, you have to start from zero.  What a bunch of losers. Fuck you!

20 June 2017
  866-390-4096  Unknown - Return caller.  This is the one that comes up as the NRA, remember?  Wait, if this is the NRA...would the be considered a 'warning shot'?  Fuck you!

21 June 2017
  866-359-4296  Unknown - Wow, you guys are really laying it on thick.  Three days in a row!   Are you going for the record this time?  Or, are you going to fuck it up the last minute...just like how you fucked up your shitty life by becoming a telemarketer.  In this case, becoming a programmer for robocalls.  Fuck you!

24 June 2017
  310-849-1173  Beverly Hills, CA - What, three days without a call, how can this be?   No worries, Beverly Hills to the rescue.  Another call from the 310-849 area code and prefix.  Do you see why blocking numbers is pretty much useless?

Some of the calls of this month
Still waiting for that Sunday call.  Fuck you!

12 May 2017

FUCK YOU, STOP CALLING ME - May 2017

Did not get a call until half way through the month.  I can only hope that means some telemarketing cells were shut down.  Must likely they got lazy or my number was not up yet.

Edit:  First call of the month was originally 12 May.  Based purely on theory, it seems that the first call was on the first of the month...of course if was.

1 May 2015
  310-849-9946  Beverly Hills, CA - Adding back this number due to recent call, see below.  Originally thought this was a wrong number, but got a second call from this number.  I knew a two week drought of telemarketer calls was too good to be true.  Fuck you!

12 May 2015
  216-350-9030  Cleveland, OH - Apparently, these guys just call people, let the phone ring for one or tow rings, then disconnect.  What fucking purpose is that for?  Obviously, I do not know anyone in the Cleveland area and most others who have received calls from this number conclude that this is a telemarketer.  Fuck you!

13 May 2015
  310-849-5417  Beverly Hills, CA - While this seems to be a legit number, possibly wrong number.  Recent events have lead me to believe that this is a routed call.  Such as shame as I am sure the owners of this number (if legit) are nice people.  Anyway, fuck you!

15 May 2015
  310-849-9946  Beverly Hills, CA - Second call from this number, see top entry.  Again, originally thought to be a legit wrong number.  But why call a second time?  Especially, if you listen to my outgoing message.  There should be no mistaken whom you have called if you 'accidentally' call me.  What kind of an asshole does not double check a number?  Better yet, what fucking asshole, knowing that the number they called two weeks ago is wrong...calls again?  Fuck you!

   505-395-9131  Santa Fe, NM - Apparently, the "Federal Bureau of Investigation needs to contact me regarding some tax criminal whatever thing."  Also, "there are agents heading to my address right now".  If you remember, there were a few of these calls last month, during tax season.  Fuck you!

   505-395-9134  Santa Fe, NM - Really?  You are just going to change the last number and call me again?  Come on, you lazy fuck.  Are you telling me the "FBI" cannot get a better number to call me from?  One would think that the FBI would be calling me from...oh, maybe Washington DC.

Good try, but similar to how the real FBI does not negotiate with terrorists...I do not negotiate with robo-telemarketers.  Patiently waiting for the next call.  Fuck you!

  505-395-9132  Santa Fe, NM - Seriously, look at the last three numbers.  All three of  these numbers, no doubt from the same "FBI" office, left the same robo message.  Pretty sure if the FBI was looking for me they could find me. Heck, a fucking mall cop can find me.

Obviously, they are using scare tactics to phish for your information.  Unfortunately, (I am guessing) some have been tricked by these assholes.  The closest FBI headquarters to me is not in New Mexico, so I have no idea why a robo agent would be calling me from almost 1000 miles away.  Fuck you!

Only telemarketers call me
Update:  When I went home, there were no federal agents waiting for me.  I know, shocking.

18 May 2017
  323-454-2976  Los Angeles, CA - Well, not an "IRS" or "FBI" call.  But, still a fucking telemarketer.  Fuck you!

19 May 2017
  310-849-7426  Beverly Hills, CA - Oh, Beverly Hills...should I be impressed?  Fuck you!

21 May 2017
  310-849-1573  Beverly Hills, CA - Last two calls coming from the "Beverly Hills" area.  This call like some telemarketing calls, left no message.  I would say that about half are no messages and the other half is automated robo messages...never a human or a legit call.  Pretty sure I have received many calls from the 310-849 area code and prefix.  I do not trust those numbers. Fuck you!

25 May 2017
  401-283-0707  Providence, RI - Another "IRS" call.  Same recording as last time, but with different number to call back.  I like how they use buzz words like "tax fraud", "legal action", "arrest", etc.  Oh, I should mention that this is a robo call with a female voice...a fembot, if you will.  Yeah, baby.  I wonder if fembot is hot.  Do other electronics get off on that robovoice?  So, if I play the recorded message to my toaster, will the toast pop up faster?  I am going to take a wild guess and say there are no agents at my door right now...and this is a scam.  Fuck you!

26 May 2017
  940-392-9473  Bryson, TX - Possibly a wrong number, most likely a telemarketer.  Fuck you!

27 May 2017
  310-849-7283  Beverly Hills, CA - As mentioned, looks like that 310-849 area code and prefix has been taken over by telemarketers.  I thought Beverly Hills was supposed to be a plush area.  Champagne wishes, caviar dreams, and now telemarketing headquarters.  Fuck you!

30 May 2017
  310-849-9946  Beverly Hills, CA - Ah, a return caller.  Check out the first call of the month at top of this post...also called on the 15th of the month. Yep, same asshole.  One would think that after the first 'wrong number', you would double check the number.  Nope, that called a second time.

Well, this is the third call this month.  So, safe to say that this is a telemarketer call, with it most likely being a routed call. Fuck you!

  412-897-9473  Pittsburgh, PA - I know these are calls being routed through 'legit' numbers.  Usually, searches will red flag a telemarketer number.  With routed numbers, that is not the case.  Besides, who in Pittsburgh is going to call me.  Fuck you!

  262-671-9473  Kenosha, WI -  This one is weird. The call went directly to my voicemail. It just showed up only in voicemail and never came in as a call.  Really what is the point?  If you are trying to reach an audience with cold calls, why only tap in to the voicemail?  I only caught the very last part of the automated message, "press one now".  That was it?  You would have had a better chance of getting my attention with a regular call.  Instead, I find a small useless message from you two weeks later.  Fuck you!

09 May 2017

Fitness Trackers - Fitbit Alta HR vs Nike Fuelband

Fitbit Alta HR
For the past few weeks, I have been wearing the Fitbit Alta HR and really loving it.  I have been using fitness trackers for a few years now.  Specifically, I wore the Nike Fuelband for over three years.  So, this will be a review of the Alta HR and a comparison to Nike's Fuelband.  Keep in mind that the Alta just came out and has way more features than the discontinued five year old Fuelband.

One of the reasons why I made the switch, other than receiving the Alta HR as a gift, my Nike Fuelband failed...again.  Since the Nike fitness tracker is discontinued, there really is no support for their Apps and operating system.  Once my Fuelband stopped working, obviously, I stopped wearing it.  For six months, I did not have a way to 'track my fitness'. While it was a relief to not have to reach 2000 NikeFuel points, I kinda miss knowing how much I moved.

Nike Fuelband - discontinued

Now, I mention failure of my Fuelband.  One day, it just crapped out, and I could not sync my data.  The only thing I could do was reset the band to factory setting, losing data since last sync.   Well, that breaks my streak of 1133 days....argh!  I was not going to start over.

The other issue with the Fuelband is the button.  I have spent a lot of time and tried various ways to repair the damn button.  I went through three bands and without failure, the button will fail.  The problem is, it is a physical button, a moving part...which will wear down after a few hundred pushes. Add to that, the silicone will also wear down and tear.  Eventually, you will have no button and will not be unable to access the information on the band.

Tap to activate.
With the Fitbits, one just taps the unit to access information.  Depending on the model, you can get information on steps, calories, active time, heart rate, battery life, etc.  Most of the Fitbit trackers do not have moving parts (buttons).

By the way, I should mention that all the images in this post were stolen from the internet.  I am too lazy to take my own photos...although, I should as it may earn me more steps.  If I borrowed your image and you have an issue with it, let me know and I will replace it with another one from the internet.

As mentioned, I have the Alta HR, it has a 'quick glance' feature.  Bring up the band to view and it displays watch and heart rate (by default). Other fitness trackers also have this feature.  I love this feature.

Charging and syncing Fuelband
The battery life of the Alta HR is about seven days, which is the same is the Fuelband.  Charging the two units is a little different.  The Fuelband can be plugged straight into a laptop or USB charging unit.  Usually, you will need an extension cord (included) to charge.  This is also the only way to sync your data to your account.

Charging the Fitbit Alta HR requires a goofy looking clip.  The charger clamps on to your tracker like it is biting the Alta HR.

Charger clamp
Not an elegant design, but hey, you only need to charge once every week.  Charging time is a few hours.  As with the most electronic devices, I let them charge overnight.  You can sync the Alta HR with the cable...or you can sync it via Bluetooth.  What!  Yeah, that is 'new tech' for me.  It has Bluetooth.

The Fuelband does not have Bluetooth, but it is no fault of Nike as it is an old system.  Obviously, there are many features that the Fuelband does not have because of cost and technology. From here, I will discuss and review the 'new' features of the Alta HR.

Alerts for calls, texts, and calendar
In addition to wireless syncing, the Bluetooth allows you to get alerts from your phone.  This includes calls, texts, and calendar events.  I like this feature.  I can set my phone to silent and quickly take a glance to see who is calling or texting.  Neat feature!  The unit it self will vibrate when an event from your phone occurs.  When you lift your wrist, the Alta HR will display who the call/text is coming from.  Only the first forty characters of a text will show, but at least you know who it was from.  This is great for screening calls or if you are in a meeting and do not want to get 'caught' looking at your phone.  I have not tried the calendar feature, yet...I am not that important.  But, I imagine it is the same.

The vibrating function is also used to give you reminders to move.  The tracker encourages you to move every hour, at least 250 steps.  About ten minutes to the hour, you will get a little buzz, encouraging you to move.  If you get your 250 for that hour, another buzz lets you know mission accomplished.

Reaching the goal of 10,000 steps a day (default) will also buzz the unit.  A little animation will be displayed on the screen to celebrate.

Fitbit Alta HR
The 'main' feature of the Alta HR is the continuous heart rate monitor.  The two green lights magically measures the wearer's heart rate.  The heart rate is displayed on the default screen with a little heart icon that tells you which zone you are in, it also displays resting heart rate when you scroll through the display.  Because it constantly monitors the heart rate, it can be used to analyse sleep.  Along with your exercise activity, you can view your sleep pattern through the app.

Back to the Fuelband for a second.  The Fuelband was a fixed semi-rigid shape.  It could be uncomfortable at times, say if you were wearing with slashguards, playing hockey.   The Alta HR has a soft rubber strap with buckle closure.  Not fancy enough for you?  The strap is interchangeable.  There are a variety of straps and bracelets available for the Alta HR, everything from rubber, leather, metal...you can even get one that looks like a traditional watch with a round dial.  Yep, accessories that cost more than the base unit.

Features
I have yet to wear the new Alta HR and play hockey with it.  It does feel like it has a better sensor and may track my 'efforts' when playing a game.  With the Fuelbnad, I got about 600 NikeFuel points a game...which is about the same as an hour of yoga.  I am curious to see how this Fitbit tracks hockey movements.  I might even get back on the bike and see how that tracks.

If you are looking for a fitness tracker, check out the Fitbit Alta HR. Ha, not like you can get a Nike Fuelband.  Those might be collector's items one day.

03 April 2017

FUCK YOU, STOP CALLING ME - April 2017

The calls just keep on coming

3 April 2017
  323-639-4497  Huntington Park, CA - I got a call from Huntington Park last month, but from a different number.  According to my sources (Google), this caller is one of those that try to get you to say "yes", so they have a recording of your voice saying, "yes".

Slight tangent:  Obviously, do not answer if you do not know the number.  If it is a legit and/or important call, they will leave a message.  Fun fact:  I used to queue up Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up and Rick Roll telemarketers, way before Rick Rolling was a thing.  Believe it or not, I may have invented the Rick Roll.  I have a buddy that used to queue up the "the number you have dialed is no longer in service. Please hang up and try your call again".  That is genius.

Where was I?  Was this call a scam?  Yes!  Of course it was...all telemarketers are fucking scams.  I think this is going to be another busy month. Fuck you!

5 April 2017
  319-214-7297  Vinton, IA - Did you know that areas of downtown Vinton was featured in the 1996 film Michael?  I totally googled that.  Yeah Michael, that one movie with John Travolta plays an angel.  I have never seen it, but I am guessing it was not a great movie.  Fast forward twenty years later and Vinton's biggest contribution to society is telemarketing.  So, the highlight of Vinton's history is a shitty Travolta movie.  Way to go, Vinton!  Fuck you!

7 April 2017
  636-278-3405  Saint Peters, MO - This might be a misdialed number (legit), or it could be a routed number.  I default to telemarketer.  What had by gears turning was "Saint" Peters.  Usually, one sees "Saint" written as "St.", although we automatically pronounce it as "Saint".  When I was kid...okay, I still do this...I would read it as "street".  "St." to me was "street" long before it was "Saint"....so, Street Peters, Street Louis, Street Martin...and they live on Lombard Saint, Bourbon Saint, Wall Saint.  And yes, I had the same issues with "Dr."...Drive or Doctor.  Dr. Drive lives on Doctor Dr. I wonder if Pete Docter (of Pixar) lives on Saint St. Fuck you!

 650-480-9777 - San Mateo - Fucking Lori.  Fucking Door Dash.  Okay, shame on me for not blocking this number.  But, I have blocked Door Dash before and they have used other numbers to contact me...uh, fucking Lori...about her order.

Lori is a cunt
So, I have blocked this number.  Only time will tell when that lazy cunt Lori orders food, again.  Door Dash will probably use another number to contact me.  I think the next time I will start giving 1 ratings to Door Dash.  Fuck you!

12 April 2017
  206-483-2712  Seattle, WA - Grungy, coffee drinking telemarketer.  Fuck you!

20 April 2017
  480-704-2098  Phoenix, AZ - On 4/20, and Arizona happens to be one of the states that have legalized marijuana.   Maybe I should have picked up and got some free weed.  No red flags on initial search, but I am sure there are some red eyes.  Ha!  Fuck you!

21 April 2017
  916-758-8675  Sacramento, CA - Known telemarketing number, a robo caller.  Apparently, if you call back, you can option to 'press 9' and get put on do not call list.  Sure...a do not call list for this number, but you will no doubt be put on other call lists.  Fuck you!

24 April 2017
  213-205-5939  United States - Remember the lesson we learned from a few months ago?  When the original of the call is "United States" it is (pretty much) a telemarketer call.  So, this call from Los Angeles...uh, United States is no different.  Fuck you!

26 April 2017
  213-212-3038  United States - Looks like they are going with the "United States" as call location.  This is good, because it makes it easy for one to tell these are telemarketers.  Now, if they can just go one step further and make the call location read, 'telemarketer'...that would be awesome.  Fuck you!

  213-212-3038  United States - Yeah, repeat call.  Fuck you!

Back to back calls

23 March 2017

Review of Spirit

Depeche Mode - Spirit
Depeche Mode released their fourteenth studio album last week. I have listened to a a few times, giving it time to 'settle in'.  I have to admit that the first listen did not go so well.  As a fan, you expect certain things and while sometimes those points are not check, other unexpected points get checked on a positive...and negative note.

The general feel is this is a good album.  There are elements that, a producer and artist, would take out.  I am talking about the overuse of distortion and auto tune.  Depeche Mode has been around for thirty six years...well before distortion and well before auto tune.  They do not need it, they should not need it.  This is the first time working with producer James Ford.

As with my review of Delta Machine, I will go track by track, writing as I am listening.  Tracks written by Martin Gore, unless noted.  Here we go.

1.  Going Backwards -  This is a good intro song.  It draws you in with a great beat and lyrics.  Although, it took me a few listens to figure out that the first like is "We are not there yet", as there is a little too much distortion on the track. I thought Dave Gahan was signing "We-anna-bey-yah"...I seriously thought it was a different language.  8/10

2.  Wheres the Revolution - It is pretty easy to see why they chose this as their first single.  After listening to this track a few more times, I think this is great.  It has a familiar 'Mode-feel'.  The only part I am not a fan of is the "The train is coming...The engine's humming" part.  I think it sounds like a nursery rhyme, a case of lazy song writing....or what I call "copy/paste song writing".  Some people mistake "repetitive" as "catchy".  Strong track. 8/10

3. The Worst Crime - This is the best track on the album.  It has that Condemnation feel to it great lyrics and Dave's voice it euphoric.  For those that think the boys have lost it, they should listen to this track.  10/10

4. Scum - Way too much distortion and manipulation of Dave's voice.  Scum is an average song with below average arrangement.  This track suffers from being overproduced...sounds like Michael Bay produced this song. Luckily, it is short.  4/10

5. You Move -  Again, a little too much on the auto tune, here.  The lyrics are fine, but gets repetitive.  "I like the way you move, I like the way you move tonight..."  Yeah, I get it.  Track written by Gore and Gahan. 5/10

6.  Cover Me - Another 'slow' track.  Dave's voice works well on this one.  Not your typical Depeche Mode track, it sounds different...in a good way, and a relief from the last two tracks.  The end drags out a bit too long, but I am okay with it, as it has an 'updated 80's sound'.  Track written by Gahan, Peter Gordeno, Christian Eigner. 8/10

7. Eternal - First track with Martin on vocals.  Meh, it just sounds like an interlude it is the shortest track at just over two minutes.  It feels that they put it in here, at the half way mark, to say, "hey, Martin sings, too".  Average track that is overproduced.  4/10

8. Poison Heart - Well, this one rocks! One of my favourite tracks off the album.  Another great vocal performance from Dave. Track written by Gahan, Gordeno, Eigner.  9/10

9. So Much Love -  First thing you notice is there is so much distortion in Dave's voice.  This would be so much better if it was auto tuned down.  Great song, just ruined by auto tune and distortion...like a exotic car with a shitty paint job.  My ears ring from the noise after this track.  6/10

10.  Poorman - Love the lyrics to this track.  But, again...it suffers from too much post production.  If not for that, it could be a candidate for a single.  Oh, I hope it becomes a single so it and be remixed...or better yet, unmixed into something less distorted. Ugh, you can almost hear Dave's voice trying to escape the grabbing hands of the auto tune machine. 7/10

11.  No More (This Is the Last Time) -  Not sure what to think about this one.  Kinda average throughout, but has its moments where you think it can pick up, but falls back down.  Not the best, not the worst. Probably better as a B-side. Track written by Gahan and Kurt Uenala.  5/10

12. Fail - Vocals by Martin.  They say you want to end with a bang, not sure it this one fulfills that criteria.  I believe this is the first ever DM song with profanity in it, as Martin sings, "we're fucked".  Still, not a strong track to end the album...fail, indeed.  4/10

If you are like me and got the Deluxe Edition, you will be treated to five remixes.  I am not going to get into these, but they are your typical remixes.  Oddly, some of the remixed are less 'remixed' than the album track themselves.

Overall the album is slightly above average with a score of 6.5/10.  There are some great tracks in the beginning of the album that really hit. But unfortunately, there are some tracks at the end that weighed down the rest of the album.  Most of the damage to the album falls on the overuse of auto tune and distortion...being overproduced.  I would love to hear a clean version of this...or even the 'naked' remixes...which would have been an awesome second disc, instead.

Hoping more of this album will grow on my as I listen to it more. Maybe these track will sound better live.

06 March 2017

The James Bond NATO Strap

Being a guy, you kinda default into being a 007 fan.  Being a watch fanatic, you kinda get into straps, as well.  Among the many James Bond gadgets and accessories is his watch, and of course, the watch strap.  In the films, Bond has worn Rolex, Breitling, Hamilton, Seiko, TAG Heuer, and currently, Omega.  In the books by Ian Fleming, Agent 007 wears a Rolex.  But we are not talking about the watches, just one of the straps.

Sean Connery as James Bond wearing a Rolex Submariner on a NATO strap
While most watches come on either a metal bracelet or leather strap, the Bond character chooses to wear their watches on a nylon NATO strap, mostly likely due to his military background.  Sean Connery can been seen wearing a nylon strap with a Rolex Submariner in many of the James Bond films.  Connery's strap is a black strap with two olive stripes, on either side of the olive are thin red stripes.  

Daniel Craig as James Bond wearing an Omega Seamaster on NATO strap
Daniel Craig's NATO strap, as seen in some of his Bond films, is a black strap with two grey stripes.

These straps are widely available from many manufactures and in different colour combinations.  Most important, they are available in the Bond style.  Some are great, some are not so great.  I have a purchase a few at different price points to compare.  

NATO straps by Phoenix (top), Cincy Strap Works (middle), and Omega (bottom)
I should mention that of the many versions out there, these are the best ones I have found so far based the tightness of the nylon weave, via images.  Others out there have a looser weave and have cheaper look, based on images.  When looking for nylon straps, I recommend ones with a tighter weave.

The images below will show the Phoenix strap on the left, Cincy Strap Works in the middle, and the Omega strap on the right.  These are all 22mm wide.

Strap ends
The Phoenix strap (left) is the least expensive of the three, at $10-15.  This is also the thinnest of the three straps at 0.8mm. Although the Phoenix strap has a tight weave, it feel stiffer than the other two straps.  It also feels a little flimsy, especially if you are wearing on a large or heavy watch. 

Nylon straps are usually finished by melting the ends to prevent fraying.  Notice that the Phoenix cut and sealing is not as smooth as the other two.  All straps reviewed have sealed holes.

Hardware
The Cincy Strap Works strap (middle) retails for about $24.  Great strap for a great price.  It is slightly thicker than the Phoenix at 1.25mm.  The version I have is the "Seat Belt" version, feels a lot like a seat belt and also has a glossy-like finish.  It has a silky smooth feel and wears really comfortable on the wrist.  

Looking at the hardware, the Phoenix and CSW are rounded.  The Omega has squared hardware, and Omega logo on the bottom loop.  

You can see that the colour on the straps are slightly different from each other, something you really cannot see and compare when ordering via images.  It really does not bother me too much.  I personally like CSW's tone of grey.

Buckles
The Omega strap is the most expensive of the three, it can set you back around $250-300.  That price gives you a thicker 1.5mm strap and noticeably smoother finish that you can feel.  

Each buckle displays the company name.  The Phoenix and CSW have etched logos on the left side of he buckle, while the Omega has an embossed logo on the center of the buckle.  The hardware on the Phoenix is locked in by (I assume some sort of) sonic welding.  The other two locks their hardware with stitches.

Conclusion:

Obviously, you get what you pay for.  

At $15, the Phoenix is a great strap.  Why not get two or three at that price?  It does feel thin, especially compared to other similar type straps out there.  I got my Phoenix strap through GasGasBones.

The Omega strap, some might say, is over priced.  But, the quality is superb.  After all, this is the Official James Bond strap. You can get the Omega strap at an Omega Boutique or Omega Authorized dealer.  I got mine through eBay.  

By far the best bang for your buck is the Cincy Strap Works strap.  At only $24, you get quality very close to the Omega strap without the Omega price.  Check out the CSW website to order yours and view their other items.

Now, go out there and save the world.



02 March 2017

FUCK YOU, STOP CALLING ME - March 2017

Here we go, again.  We get a longer month, so we should get more calls.

2 March 2017
  951-215-7230  Riverside, CA - Riverside is one of those cities that one would expect to have a telemarketing firm.  It is kinda in the middle of nowhere, way outside of Los Angeles.  I am sure it is cheaper and easier to have a sketchy business there.  Probably a good place to visit, but not a place you want to live...especially since there is a telemarketing hub there.  Fuck you!

4 March 2017
  858-208-4280  Poway, CA - "Poway" sounds like an onomatopoetic word, describing a weak punch.  You know, like in the comics.  Or, it could the lost brother of Snap!, Crackle!, and Pop!  Actually, there was a fourth brother named Pow!  But Poway? (with a question mark) is the one that represents soggy Rice Krispies that have been sitting in milk for too long.  Makes me crave for some Rice Krispies, which is what one should experience on a Saturday...and not a stupid telemarketing call.  Fuck you!

8 March 2017
  323-209-2032  Huntington Park, CA - No, not Huntington Beach...that is the good Huntington.  This is a call from Huntington Park...the not so good Huntington.  Did you think a telemarketing company can afford a plush place like Huntington Beach?  Of course not...unless they route the number.  Really why have a 'Beach' and a 'Park' with in 35 miles of each other.  Way to confuse everyone in Southern California.  Fuck you!

12 March 2017
  650-480-9777 San Mateo, CA - Remember those texts I was getting from Door Dash?  If not, step into my time machine:  February 2016March 2016, November 2016, and December 2016. 

See what I have been dealing with for over a year?  I have tried texting back and communicating with Door Dash via support@doordash.com, surprise, with no results.  The last time I got texts, I was 'lucky' enough to also get texts from the delivery guy...what they call "dashers".  I was able to communicate that I am NOT Lori, and had him tell Door Dash to check their records.  I even decided not to post that communication here.  It stopped for a while...until tonight.

Normally, one would think that this is a wrong number. But, as mentioned I asked to have this issue looked at.  Assuming that he did it, we can classify this as a mistake.  Ah, but here is where we get all M. Night Shyamalan over this.  The first five texts where from Northern California, at least the area code (650) and restaurants were.  This time, while the number is from the San Mateo ares, you can see that the restaurant is in Southern California.

So, unless fucking Lori ordered Thai food from Manhattan Beach and had that shit driven up 400 miles to San Mateo...two things are happening here.

1 - That cunt Lori is now down in Southern California and still using this service, AND did not update her number with Door Dash.  That cunt keeps using my number as here contact number and I keep getting these text...and can do nothing about it.  Oh, I have tried blocking...they just re-route through another number, so I get these fucking updates on food I am not eating. God damn it, Lori fucking owes me dinner.

2 - This is a telemarketing scam designed to 'advertise' for Door Dash.  I mean, what are the fucking odds that I keep getting updates for this "Lori" character.  I have added a new tag to my posts, "Door Dash", to help track these fuckers.

Either way...fuck you, Lori...and fuck you, Door Dash.

14 March 2017
   203-983-5988  Greenwich, CT - Ah, a good old fashion telemarketer call. No text to read, just your garden variety robo-call to ignore.  Hey, what if "Lori" is the name of the robo-calling system.  Like L.O.R.I., as in Lazy Operator Redialing the Innocent.  Fuck you!

16 March 2017
  323-454-2032  Los Angeles, CA - So, we are back to California calls.  Fuck you!

17 March 2017
  323-580-0496  Los Angeles, CA - Fucking, Los Angeles!  Given today is St. Patrick's Day, this could have been a drunk dial...but no.  As usual, a call from an unknown number is a fucking telemarketer.  Wait, what if it was a drunk robot.  Fuck you!

21 March 2017
  951-420-0576  Perris, CA - Perris sounds like Paris...and I can guarantee that Perris, CA leans further away from 'romantic city' and leans more towards shit hole.

Oh, I did see something on the news the other day regarding something about mobile phone companies given the green light to block telemarketer calls.  Yeah, right.  I real do not see this happening.  I would not be surprised if mobile providers are getting a little kickback from telemarketers.  Like I said, I just saw this on the news...and bam, I get a telemarketer call.  The government did jack shit with their Do Not Call List.  I doubt the mobile companies are going to put a dent into this.  Prove me wrong.  Fuck you!

23 March 2017
  951-420-0576  Perris, CA - Oh, a return caller.  Did you forget to route the call through a 'new' number?  Ha, you guys suck.  Uh, how is that telemarketer blocking coming along, huh?  Yeah, I thought so.  Fuck you!

29 March 2017
  323-701-0304  Los Angeles, CA - Coming down to the wire.  We are in the final days of March and this months looks to be a busy one.  Look at all these calls.  Today we have another telemarketer...surprise!  Two more days to add to one of the more busy months in recent history.  Fuck you!

30 March 2017
  310-849-8930  Beverly Hills, CA - This is what I get. I suggest maybe these fuckers call me to close out the month...and guess what happens.  Of course I get a call.  Folks, this is the real March Madness.  Fuck you!

  310-849-5780  Beverly Hills, CA - Wait, what?  Changing the suffix does not make you less of a telemarketers.  Is there some sort of event going on that I do not know about, like an election. What is with these calls.  Fuck you!

31 March 2017  
  951-331-3380  Banning, CA - Well, last day of the month and they had to get one more call in.  I guess it is a great month for telemarketers.  I remember this number from last month.  So, we have a return caller.  The city name is what really stands out to as we have all been trying to ban telemarketers. Fuck you!

  844-606-3478  - Second call of the day...like I said busy month.  So, I did a little checking and this number is leaving bot messages to the tune of "we are the IRS, you owe us money, the cops are on the way, give us a call so we can empty your bank account".  Ah, see?  It is tax season, this may explain the higher number of calls this month.  I image these calls should continue well into next month.  The fucking telemarketers are trying to scam you by using the IRS's name.  Pretty sure impersonating a government official is illegal.

Oh, I did a little more research, and the 844 area code is not assigned to a geographical location.  It is one of those toll free numbers like, 800, 866, 888, etc.  At least, if I try to call back, it is toll free.   Obviously, I did not pick up.  But, the bot did leave a message.  Now, I have one of those long outgoing messages, mainly so bots and telemarketers will have trouble leaving messages or will not be patient enough to wait it out.  In this call, the bot did leave a message, but it only recorded the tail end, basically asking me to call back at that number.

Pro tip tangent:  If you need to leave a message for someone...someone that may not have your number...say your name and give your number first, and again at the end.  Then, go into your spiel about what your call is about. That way, when they listen to your message, they can listen to what you have to say...but they do not have to listen to your whole damn boring message again, just to get your number.  So, name and number...your message...name and number...and say thank you.

Oh, but it could be legit, right?  Uh, no.  First of all, I would have to file my taxes first before there is an issue with it. I still have two weeks to file and another few months before the real IRS reviews it.  So, way too soon for someone to contact me.  Also, when I look up the number, the IRS should come up...not a site that lists telemarketer numbers. I am stupid, but I am not that stupid.  Fuck you!

  310-863-4729  Redondo Beach, CA - Third call of the day.  Hmm, I am not sure if this is a legit number.  No bot message was left and no flags come up from searches.  Or, it could be a newly routed number.  I do not know.  Just in case, fuck you!

03 February 2017

Depeche Mode - Where's the Revolution

Some people wait four years for the Olympics, I wait four years for a new Depeche Mode release.  The initial anticipation is over for Depeche Mode fans, like me, across the universe.  Today, they released the first single from their soon to released album Spirit.  This is the band's first release since the October single release of "Should Be Higher" in October of 2013.

Depeche Mode - Where's the Revolution
I have listened to the new single a few times and while it does have the distinct Depeche Mode sound, it has a little too much of it.  Meaning, it sounds a little over produced to me.  This is the first time the band is working with producer James Ford.  Some of the lyrics tend to be repetitive, a what I call "copy/paste writing", the chorus suffers from this.  There is a lot this copy/paste in recent songs (by other artists) and it looks that Depeche Mode are following that trend.  I am not a fan of that.

Anyway, there are some great parts to this track. The intro is nice, it  sort of brings you back to 90's Mode.  As mentioned, there are a few sections that are over produced, with possibly some auto tuning in use...as well as too many layers of sound, each competing to be heard.  The five minute song could easily be trimmed down to a three and half or four minute track and be much better.

Not to worry.  If we just go by the last few 'first singles' we should be okay as (I feel) they were not strong singles.  Usually the second and third singles are the better ones.  Sometimes, the best song of the album is not released as a single.  We will have to wait until 17 March 2017 for Spirit to be released.  I will have a track by track review then, as I did with Delta Machine.  Stay tuned.

Slight tangent:  For the past few days, I have been looking for a place to purchase the Where's the Revolution single.  You know, the CD single.  I want the 'import' version, but unable to find the CD even as a US.  My usual place does not exist anymore.  The only thing I  can find so far is digital download...and even that is a "get it free when you pre-order the album".  Nothing physical or digital as a single release with remixes and B-sides.

So, if anyone out there knows where I can get the UK (or European) release of the single on CD, let me know.  Thanks.

Update:  The video was released today, 9 February 2017, directed by Anton Cobijn.



This is a much better version of the song. It has been edited down to four minutes by omitting the repetitive copy/paste lyrics.  Funny how I mention chopping it down to about four minutes would be result in a better track.