Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Everyone hates whiners, including me (meaning I hate them, not that I am one).  Which is why I made this handy little page where I can bitch about things that annoy me, and you can choose to never visit it. Perfect, si?

RANT 2 in a Continuing Series of Rantedness

People and Their Goddamn Car Alarms

Hey, mini van owner at Target, your alarm is blaring. I understand you live in a gated community with a private security patrol, so it's understandable that you would want a super-loud, obnoxious car alarm to protect yourself from the riffraff. But really, Target parking lot at 4:00 in the afternoon? Really? What, too lazy to lock your car with the key instead? Too stupid to remember? Or do you just think annoying the living fuck out of everyone else is something to which you are entitled? Perhaps you are stashing a few keys of Mexican homegrown or black tar in the back. I don't know. Just shut off your goddamn alarm, before someone kills your car (not me, of course).

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .

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RANT 1 in a Continuing Series of Rantedness

Oh, Ticketmaster, Why Hath Thou Forsaken Me? (aka Suck It)

Okay, I've never liked Ticketmaster.  Mostly because I've never favored monopolies that gouge people, show little to no innovation, and have terrible customer service.  I'm sure I'm just too demanding of a company that somehow maintains a monolithic existence, yet contribute to the giant fortune that enabled Paul Allen to purchase both the Seahawks and a yacht the size of a small city (yes, I know he made most of his fortune with Microsoft - you're on the rant page, remember?  Leave logic at the door, please.  Thank you.).  Oh, and then there's that little problem of holding back tickets to create the illusion of tickets selling out, then jacking the prices and keeping the excess - that was a bit of a problem, as I recall.  Not as much of a problem as $15 in service fees for purchasing a $45 ticket online from an electronic robot.  

But I digress.  That's actually not the thing that most pisses me off about Ticketmaster.  The two things that really chap my hide (I just wanted to say that - I think it's a nonsensical phrase, personally) are their use of the captcha, and their terrible failsafe for bad data entries.  A further description is in order, I know.  The captcha is that little phrase you have to enter when buying tickets, to ensure that you aren't an automated bot trying to buy up all the tickets and then resell them for obscene prices in the aftermarket (since Ticketmaster has already managed to charge you obscene service fees in the now-market).  I have no problem with that security measure; in fact, it's used in virtually every portal on the internet, at least any that has even a modicum of traffic.  My issue is that the stupid captcha is never turned off.  So it's on for the 1% of the time when it's useful, i.e., when tickets first go on sale, but also for the 99%+ of the time when it's just an annoying inconvenience.  

Why doesn't Ticketmaster shut off the captcha for each event's tickets after they've been on sale for, say, a day or a few hours?  Is it because it's not technically possible?  Yeah, right.  No, it's because Ticketmaster is a lazy monopoly that doesn't actually care about its customers.  This was an especially sensitive issue a few months ago, when TM's android app didn't produce a captcha that was actually legible enough for people to solve the code.  Easy answer - don't have one except when tickets first go on sale.  Why has no one else thought of this?  Please refer back four sentences.  Does this sound like an overreaction?  Perhaps.  Then again, there have been years when I've spent thousands on tickets, and have used Ticketmaster's site at least once a week.  Now multiply that out.  Paul Allen owes me at least a Starbucks cappuccino (Paul, if you're reading this, I prefer Seattle's Best - thanks, bro).  

The other annoyance, caused recently when I mistyped a captcha, is that Ticketmaster's site is+ quite unforgiving of things like that.  End result, after spending about 5 minutes inputting information on screen after screen after screen?  Back to the first screen, no information saved, when the final screen had some sort of "mismatch error."  That is only slightly more annoying than the way United Airlines' site has always adjusted the departure date for the first leg of a roundtrip, based on inputting the return date, even if you've already put the departure date in manually, but then again, that's United - I never expect anything from them.  

So that's today's rant.  Get with the program, Ticketmaster.  Even Best Buy has started to clean up its act, you should do the same. It's bad enough I have to pay you fees for something that's done almost entirely by a computer and server farm for a fraction of what you are charging me, but then you make the process annoying as well.

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