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Quips and Jabs — Current

David E. Ross

An unorganized collection of wry humor, short comments on politics, jabs at commercials, predictions, et cetera. This page is always being updated, with new entries at the beginning. There is no table of contents.

Not everything here is original with me. Those items that are marked with © are original, and I own the copyright. Those items that indicate contributed by might not be original creations of the contributors.

Quips and Jabs 2007-2012

Quips and Jabs 2005-2006

Quips and Jabs 2003-2004

Quips and Jabs 2001-2002

Quips and Jabs 1999-2000

Quips and Jabs 1997-1998


During warm nights from late spring until late autumn, we are serenaded by packs of coyotes in hills of the nearby Oak Park Open Space. Occasionally, we see them in the daytime, wandering down a street or loping through a park. Coyotes are recognized here as an important part of our environment because they — along with owls, hawks, snakes, and eagles — keep rabbits, mice, rats, and squirrels under control.

Recently, the City Council in Seal Beach — about 60 miles away with a population of about 25,000 versus Oak Park's 14,000 — voted to trap and exterminate coyotes, which have been preying on residents' small pets. One woman claimed that a coyote followed her into her home and ran off with her small dog in its mouth. The City Council did not address how they will deal with any invasion of rodents and other vermin.

A better solution would be for residents to keep their small pets inside and to watch for unwanted visitors when entering their homes.

© 2014


More than once in the past, my computer mouse failed. They do indeed wear out.

I remember replacing one very early in 2006. It lasted almost seven years. I replaced it in December 2012 with a mouse from Dell. Not wanting to deal with batteries, the new Dell item was a wired mouse (as were all its predecessors).

The mouse from Dell lasted only 20 months — less than two years — before it began to fail. Unlike previously, it did not totally die. Instead, clicking the right button would often give results as if I had clicked the left button or even both buttons. This was an intermittant problem, becoming more and more frequent.

I just hope my new wired mouse from Logitech lasts longer than the mouse from Dell.

© 2014


Has anyone really tried to deal with Yahoo? How successful were you?

I use Yahoo's financial services to track market indices and my mutual funds. Lately, when I login, I often get a request for my mobile phone number. I do not own a mobile phone, and I do not plan to get one. Yahoo gives me the two options:

There is NO option to say "Forget this; I do not have a mobile phone."

After about an hour of navigating through Yahoo's Web site — mostly in circles — I finally found a web page where I could request Yahoo to stop reminding me to do something I will never do. Here is the exchange of messages:

Yahoo (failing to quote the message I input on their Web page):

Hi David,
Thank you for contacting Yahoo.
To further improve the security of Yahoo accounts, we've been prompting our users to add an optional mobile phone number and/or alternate email address to their Yahoo account. By providing this info, you'll be alerted of any changes made to your account immediately via your mobile phone and/or alternate email address, and you'll have a quick way to recover your password should you need to in the future.
If you do not have a mobile phone number or an alternate email address or would rather not provide that information, or if your country is not currently supported, click Remind Me Later rather than closing your browser window.
Please let us know if you have any other questions about your account, David.
Regards,
Ryan
Yahoo Customer Care

Me:

You repeatedly remind me to give you my mobile phone number at least once a week. I do not have a mobile phone, and I definitely do not intend to get one. PLEASE STOP REMINDING ME. Provide an option to just say "No" to the reminder.

Yahoo (obviously from a script, and then quoting my prior reply):

Hi David,
Thanks for spending the time to reach out to us today! We do our best to help you out.
We think it's a good idea to update your password at least once a year to protect your account information.
Here's how to change it:
1. Go to your Yahoo Account Info page.
2. Enter your Yahoo ID and password.
3. Click Sign In.
4. Under "Sign-In and Security," click Change your password.
5. Type your new password in the "New password" field, then type it again in the "Confirm new password" field.
6. Click Continue.
7. You'll get a message confirming that you successfully changed your password.
8. Click Continue.
Yahoo requesting your mobile number: http://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?page=content&id=SLN14535&locale=en_US&i=FnBmP7msOm72x/vJ1k6+fg==
If you need any further assistance, don't hesitate to ask!
Thanks,
Rachel
Yahoo Customer Care

Me:

How is the reply from Rachel responsive to my request below her reply?

Yahoo:

Hi David,
Thanks for getting back to us.
As we have informed you in the previous mail, If you do not have a mobile phone number or an alternate email address or would rather not provide that information, or if your country is not currently supported, click Remind Me Later rather than closing your browser window.
We're looking forward to your reply, David.
Regards,
Candy
Yahoo Customer Care

Me:

I have absolutely no intention of getting a mobile phone. Why would I want to be reminded later? Why can I not just stop the reminders?

Yahoo (finally, an honest but unsatisfying answer):

Hi David,
Thanks for your feedback.
Although the feature you are requesting is currently not available, we appreciate that you took the time to tell us about what you'd like to see in the future. Our Product Team uses comments and feedback such as yours to improve our products and services and to develop new features for future releases.
Please let us know if you need further assistance with this or any other issue, David.
Regards,
Rosie
Yahoo Customer Care

I think Rosie's answer really means "Forget it; it will never happen." Why could not Ryan, Rachel, and Candy give me such an answer earlier?

© 2014


News reports of drive-by shootings, often refer to "innocent victims". Are there such things as "guilty victims"? If so, in which court of law were they declared "guilty"? And of what crime?

© 2014


Did you know that, every time you have your car serviced or repaired, a report is sent to CarFax? This happens whether you go to a franchised automobile dealer or to an independent service garage or body shop.

There are several problems with this practice:

How did I discover this? My automobile insurance company gives me a discount if I (1) report my current odometer reading prior to renewal and (2) my mileage remains low.

In advance of my latest insurance policy renewal, I received an E-mail message asking me to use the insurance company's Web site to report my mileage. When I reported 25,065 miles, the entry was rejected with a message indicating I could not report an odometer reading less than the prior reading. On the Web site, there was a link to view the mileage history for my car. The immediately prior entry was for 241,080 miles, reported by CarFax on the date of the last routine servicing of my car. I checked the invoice for that servicing; it indicated 24,108 miles. A zero had been added to the end of the mileage, either by the dealer's service department or by CarFax! Working with both the service manager at the dealer and the local agent for the automobile insurance company, it took several phone calls over a month to obtain a correction.

A report on what data CarFax has about your own car can cost you over $30 if you go through their <http://www.carfax.com/> Web page. However, there is an alternative Web site called MyCARFAX, where you can register and view your car's history for free. To correct an error in the history, you must select the link for "Help" and then scroll to the bottom of the page.

Note that the problems here are not primarily the fault of CarFax. The fault lies with the dealers, garages, and body shops that fail to disclose that they are sending data to CarFax and that they might make mistakes in what data they send. CarFax, however, is at fault for earning a profit from data about something you and I own, data we should have the right to control.

© 2013


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Each item with the © symbol is copyrighted by David Ross in the year indicated.
Each copyright applies to the item between full ruled lines.
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