The Time Warner Monopoly

As many of you know, Amy and I are switching some things around in her apartment in order for it to be feel more like OUR apartment when I officially move in. After scheduling an appointment 3 weeks in advance, we finally had our Time Warner cable appointment last night. I don’t want to go into intricate details, so I will try and be brief. The cable guy came in rearing with an attitude … He was snippy, with a grasp of the English language that I would rate a 3 on a scale of 10. He claimed that what we were asking him to do was not on his order form. He refused to do it and told us it was our problem and not his I asked him his name about 30 times – but he wouldn’t give it to me. I am VERY even-keeled, but this guy got me heated. After he left (and Amy blocking the elevator so he couldn’t leave), I finally got him to come in and call Time Warner…. While he was on hold with them, he must have realized that it wasn’t worth the politics so he decided to implement what we wanted… He continued with an attitude, but I am confident the job he did was satisficatory. His attitude CERTAINLY was not.

This all being said – I called Time Warner this morning to report him. The service rep and the manager were both very nice and empathetic, apologizing and promising to report him. BUT … I still feel powerless. So I’ve looked this morning to see what I can do – and there are really very few options. I am writing this post so I can share it with you all.

As cable providers are controlled by the government, our only options are to complain to Mayor Bloomberg. (It’s not like I can realistically not chose to be a customer of Time Warner) Here are out options. We can:

Consumer Service Department—Cable TV
75 Park Place, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007

New York State Public Service Commission
Office of Consumer Affairs
1 Penn Plaza, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10119
Phone: (800) 342-3377

I am going to do all of the above. F-Time Warner Cable!!!


Google Video: Everybody Hates Chris

Google has teamed with UPN to offer the Premiere episode of "Everybody Hates Chris" on Google's Video site. Click Here to watch it (commercial free I may add).

It takes about 20 minutes to watch. The site will only stay up for 3 days, so take advantage while you can.

For those of you who don't know, "Everybody Hates Chris" is about Chris Rock's teenage years (and is produced and narrated by him).



Vegas Nuances

While in Vegas, there were a handful of things that stood out at me. Yes, beyond the obvious non-stop drinking and gambling going on - there were subtle things that I noticed. For example:

1) A 100 dollar bill was more common to see than a $20. And this is not becuase I'm a high roller. Anytime there is an exchange for money that is greater than $100 - you are almost certain to receive a $100 dollar bill. From the ATM, Cacino "cage" or anywhere else....What other place does this happen? I couldn't help but think that my wallet seemed unuasually light (which it typically is in Vegas), but it was only because I'd be carrying MAYBE 3 bills in total....

2) Taxi lines EVERYWHERE. Before leaving New York airports, I had never before waited in line to take a taxi. In Vegas, I feel like Taki lines are a law in Las Vegas - right up there with Prostitution and legal drinking ANYWHERE.

3) Speaking of the law - I have never seen a police officer in Las Vegas. Although my buddy DooDoo Brown swears they exist (or was it really in Delray Beach, FL?), I am convinced that the real "law" in Vegas are in the form of Casino pit bosses. Think about it...They are the only bodies in the city that actually put fear in anyone, they are almost always obied, and they never smile...

4) I had a blackjack dealer complain to me that every guy thinks she's a "working girl" when she goes out. I told her not to take it personally... When you mix testosterone and Las Vegas air, some kind of chemical mirage occurs where ANY woman under 50 looks like a "working girl"... Perhaps it's just wishful thinking for fellas, but it happens. I have friends that NEVER approach women without a clear indication that she is interested...but when they come to vegas they somehow find the courage to approach random women. I firmly believe because they imagine this so-called "mirage."

Final thought on Vegas is that I think the city finally has some smart people in their marketing department around the "whatever happens in vegas stays in vegas" theme....but this is a new thing that they actually stole. When coming up with city nicknames, they were the perfect fit for "the city that never sleeps," but New York had already taken that name...I love New York, but I think Vegas really deserves this title... Whatever ... I'm still going back even though they got stock with "Sin City"


World Championship of Fantasy Football

I write this post from Las Vegas, Nevada. Although I am out here for a business conference this week, I also had another "conference" of sorts this past weekend...It was called The World Championship of Fantasy Football. In short, it is a high stakes Fantasy Football gathering, that has 60 leagues of 12 teams a piece, all vying for $200K and a trip to the Pro Bowl.... Each league has a champion which is dictated by a week 12 Super-Bowl. This team wins $5K. From there, all league winners (plus a handful of second-place teams) vie for the big prize in a 4 week aggregate, roto-style point format.

To say I had been excited about this would have been a drastic understatement. I went with my buddy Jared, who also was a WCOFF virgin. Although we both had friends who went last year, we really didn’t know what to expect. We were equally anxious and excited to get to the event, pretty much talking non-stop the night before about players, strategies, predictions, etc.

Considering the amount I drank on Friday night, one would think that sleeping wouldn’t be a problem ….. WRONG! I was so excited for the draft, that I didn’t sleep at all. Fast forward to what seemed to be an eternity, 9 AM …. I registered for the event – joining my fellow 1400 men and 50 woman participants. They gave us fancy leather folders, an orange “lance Armstrong-type” bracelet and told us “good luck.” 10:15 the doors to the draft open, and you walk into a massive room filled with 60 tables in a large “U shape.” 30 minutes later, the organizers say a few words and have a color guard march in for the star spangled banner. Nick Bakay also had the mic for about 10 minutes and did a very funny speech on the multitude of random team names (i.e. “Seeking Suzy Kolber” among others), as well as gave props to the entire league for putting their money where their fantasy trash talking mouths were. (He drafted in Jared’s league … I wasn’t very impressed).

Anyway – the draft finally starts, and my heart is pumping very fast …. My “worst-case” scenario happens with the 8 guys I want going right before me on the 9th pick. No big deal, I pick my 9th guy in the requested fashion: “Running Back, Tiki Barber, New York Giants.” (This format continued throughout the draft, although it was a little strange, it kinda made the picks a little more formal, which I thought was cool under the circumstances). As soon as I get my first 2 guys, I text message about 3 of my friends including Jared who got Tiki AND the guy I wanted at 9 (Westbrook, who went # 8 in my draft). Jared has the 12th pick, so he came over to my table a little more frequently than I went to his … After the 8th round, they give everyone a 45 minute break. I felt like it was halftime of a high school basketball game I was playing in – but it was missing those great orange slices someone’s mom would pack. I reflected a lot on what I did the 8 rounds prior and what I needed to do in the later rounds….. Jared and I actually had many of the same players, which I was psyched about. No doubt that all the talking we did the days before influenced us both, but I think that’s a good thing….

The next 12 rounds flew by …. All 12 teams in my league knew what they were doing, which meant that every team looked scary to play – INCLUDING mine…. Although I was really happy with my squad, I was so mentally drained from the intensity, that I couldn’t really show it after the draft was finally completed ….

Jared and I agreed that best thing to do next was: Bet on the Ohio State-Texas game, buy a lot of Jack Daniels, and order as much fried food as possible. It was PEFECT. Him and I analyzed each other’s league’s in and out …. Concluding that my league was certainly more competitive (which is good for Jared), but that we both wouldn’t do anything different in the draft after-the-fact. That is a good feeling to have….

On Sunday – Jared and I were in Heaven…. Watching every NFL games, drinking and eating like fat-asses….End result … Both him and I are 1-0 in WCOFF! I’ll try and keep the blog updated with this throughout the year….

On a final note, if you know me at all, you know that the original “BigTime Fantasy Football league” is one of my biggest sources of pride. This league is different than the WCOFF in that it is 14 team, very competitive league that I started and will always be commissioner of. I can honestly say that I would rather win “The BigTime” than win the $200K at WCOFF. (that is IF I had to chose one or the other).

This being said, I really enjoyed the WCOFF experience and hope to do it again for years to come…. I will be recruiting other friends to join me next year …. Hopefully returning as the reigning champion.


What was Kanye West thinking?

In case anyone didn't see Kanye West during a telecast to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, you can check out Kayne's selfish, bumbling rant here. During this chance to raise money for victims, West instead took the opportunity to attempt to boil the racial anxiety surrounding this tragedy. In his semi-in-comprehensible babbling, he said "George Bush doesn't care about black people" .... and that the media is saying that "black families are looting and white families are looking for food ... they're giving the (Army) permission to shoot us" ...

It is interesting to me that just last night a buddy about how we thought his recent album was on a level rarely seen in music today... Him and I both virtually proclaimed Kanye a "genius" in music production.... But just as he's a genius in music production, I guess it doesn't mean he's a smart man beyond that... And I'm not saying that he's not entitled to his opinion ... I'm saying he sure as hell didn't choice the right venue/time/place to voice this opinion....

In listening to his lyrics, I've always believed that he certainly was extremely "pro-black," but wasn't sure if he was a racist .... well I guess it's almost been confirmed. No man who is not a racist has the anger built up inside of him to turn a FUNDRAISER into a racial conflict.

I suppose this makes me happy that I didn't actually buy Kanye's album, but still have the joy of listening to it on my hard drive...(although I didn't steal it)...It is a very well put together album. Seems like it's too bad that the person who produced it isn't well put together himself.