Thursday, May 4, 2017

"Hello, how may I not help you today?"

I had no idea I was so pissed off about this until I was typing back and forth with my co-blogger just now.

So, a few weeks ago, United Airlines beats the shit out of a paying customer and throws him off their airplane.  Which I guess they can do.  I don't know.  The backlash was, well, you may have heard about it.

Then a couple of days later some American Airlines flight attendant allegedly gets into it with a passenger over a stroller and almost gets in a fight with a passenger who intervened.

So I read tonight that Delta, apparently keen to get in the mix, this week kicked a family off a flight because of some mix-up with using car seats for 2-year olds and what seems to be overbooking.

Story here.

Now, I actually watched the video for this one because the comments pointed out how calm the guy was, so I didn't feel like I was just watching for the car crash.  And here's the thing:  I don't know anything about airline rules, or FAA rules, and I'm not going to even speculate on who was right or wrong or why on this one because really, I have no clue and I wasn't there.  But what I do know about, see, is customer service.  I know a lot about it.  I've done more of it than I really care to admit, sometimes.  And so I'm watching and I'm pretty "hmm, that's interesting", until the part where the guy essentially says "OK, so this is happening.  What are you going to do to help us now?" and the customer representative, the key individual at the tip of the spear effectively replies "Nothing.  Once you're off the plane, you're on your own."



After the month the airlines have had, and KNOWING you're being recorded on peoples' phones, the ONLY correct answer at the speartip is some version of "We will bend over backwards to help you as best as we can within our rules and regulations."

Nothing short of that is even remotely acceptable.  Accept no blame.  Admit no responsibility.  Focus on the aftermath.  Demonstrate competence and compassion.  Leave the customer thinking "well, the event sucked, but I have to admit, the way they handled it afterward showed they at least cared."

If I were the king of Delta Airlines right now, that speartip person would be fired.  Every member of that crew would be fired. Their supervisors would be fired.  Anyone involved in the decision chain for that incident - fired.  Every department head I didn't fire would be running around my office building the next day yelling "WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!" at the top of their lungs until they collapsed in pools of their own spew.

I'm not exactly in love with Japanese culture, and I don't know who's running (JAL) Japan Airlines these days, but if something like this happened to them I bet a pizza that the CEO would be on national TV the next day in a white kimono, opening his own belly.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Cask of Amontillado, Anyone?

So... if it's not an April Fool's thing, I guess the Fort Hood shooter creature is going on a hunger strike to protest his betters.

And I guess my response is 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

But I Was Going Into Tosche Station to Pick Up Some Power Converters!

2016 and environs.  Wow.

To start off, I like the whole "Dewey Defeats Trump" thing.  I really do.  But other than that...

Very end of 2015: Joe the Cat goes under the plunger.

Winter 2016: Friend's marriage dies.  Very sad.  Helped him move.  Bought a bag of army men for his little boy to play with when he visits.  Very sad.

Winter 2016: Friend's teenage child commits suicide.

Winter 2016: Colleague at work diagnosed with terminal brain tumor.  We're not close, but he shines like a beacon of "not done yet, mofos" just a few feet away.

Spring 2016: Soap opera-y trials and tribulations At Work.  Gawd, by now, even I find them boring.  But there they were.

Summer 2016: Sam the Dog needs me one last time.

Summer 2016: Another friend's marriage ends.  This one stings a bit more for him.  Or maybe just more deeply.

Fall 2016: "This thing" on another direct colleague's neck at work is diagnosed as cancerous.  Let the radiation and chemo begin.

Winter 2016: Close friend goes to Urgent Care then ER after a couple of weeks of suspected cold-> flu -> maybe pneumonia/bronchitis.  They immediately check him into hospital ICU for AML (Leukemia).  "One of the most aggressive and virulent" cases they've ever seen.  Goes in on December 22nd, is sedated and on a respirator by Xmas day, kidney dialysis on the 28th, and after family arrives in-state and gets the full story of how badly he's deteriorated, he passes quietly on January 5th, an hour after everything's switched off.  Spent January with another friend cleaning out the apartment.

So, that was my personal 2016.

As far as I can tell, the only good thing that happened was that I was introduced to this:

When I watch it I can't help but think of "Oh Kungas, we're going to have so much fun!"

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Some conservatives: "We should boycott lefty businesses!"

Me: "Have you ever HAD Cherry Garcia ice cream?!?!!?!?"

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Some Models

Federation Torpedo Boat:

Federation FF:


With a PL 1:1000 primary hull for scale:

Fed Old CL:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sam the Dog Final Bark

I brought Sam the Dog home almost 10 years ago.  He looked like this:

Most of the time since then he looked something like this:

And this June he managed to fool everyone and look like this for a few seconds:

Mid-July he went off his food a bit.  By the end of July he simply wasn't eating anything but smidgens of scraps of chicken and steak, and was losing weight.   In the second week in August I had him in for an ultrasound which was inconclusive, and then a CAT scan which spelled out "Lymphoma".  My vet pushed the plunger for me on 8/16.

I sure didn't expect to have to deal with all that again so soon.  I know every dog is the best dog ever, but Sam was the best dog ever.

Once again, as with Joe the Cat, thanks to everyone who's helped me with Sam over the years.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Attack of the Killer 1985

I have been assimilated.

Now that I have seen it, I can formally partition my life into BKF ("Before I saw Kung Fury), and AKF ("After I saw Kung Fury") sections.

Find 30 spare minutes.  Then watch this.  All of it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Star Wars VII

No spoilers.

From the trailers and posters I figured it wasn't a movie for me.  I was probably going to just wait for the BluRay.

But then my buddy asked me to take him to his early AM colonoscopy appointment, and afterwards he bought me breakfast and took us to the new Star Wars movie.

The experiences were similar.

After a few weeks of contemplation, and having only seen Cloverfield, the first Trek abomination, and TFA, I type the following:

To me, JJ Abrams is the knock-knock joke of moviemaking.  His stuff is watchable because I'm vaguely interested in seeing how it works out, but the dread outweighs the anticipation, and the dread is always rewarded.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

These Kids Today, My Elddaz!

You gotta figure that for at least the first 500 years, whenever Elrond heard remnants of the Dunedain refer to Amon Sul as "Weathertop", it was the equivalent of me hearing "I'll meet you at the Amonizzle Shizzle".

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Joe the Cat Final Meow

Today was Joe the Cat's sign off.  He had a great run (14 years) but in the end the combo of diabetes and kidney and spleen issues was too much.  He had another bad day and night yesterday so I made the call and took him in this afternoon.

Thanks to everyone who's fed him, scritched him, had their blood sucked by him, cooed over him, nearly been suffocated by him, had their lap warmed by him, rescued rubber bands from him, snatched dice away from him, or sneezed out dander from him over the 13 years he administered Fort Sam the Dog for me.  He will be missed.

"(2003) Hmm.  This dwelling may serve my needs for approximately 13 years after all..."

Monday, December 21, 2015



Good word.

Watch the video from a couple of seconds before launch (about 21:00) and stick with it for 15 minutes or so.  You won't be disappointed.

Nominal indeed.

There's a Balrog in the Woodpile.

President Tired of Being Better Than All Of Us says the problem is that we Just Don't Get It.

It's not that I'm afraid of ISIS, Mister President, I just don't like to see Orcs ascendant.  Especially Orcs that are coming here and killing Americans, and encouraging other people to join the Orc tribe by way of ISISing by proxy.

And it is entirely your fault and responsibility that Orcs are multiplying in the Misty Mountains.

Monday, November 30, 2015


I used to know this guy who had a manic wannabe Hunter S. Thompson youth that I caught the trailing edge of.  He survived himself and got normal, and I got lots of good-yet-sometimes-terrifying stories to tell.  One of them I was retelling many years ago involved him staggering up the basement steps of the house he was living in to scare his more straightlaced housemates into tottering off to the liquor store for more fuel for the raunchy drug-fest he was hosting downstairs.  At first they refused but he cowed them into obedience by pulling out a razor blade and proceeding to carve "FUCK YOU" into his own chest in front of them.

I saw the scars - he'd gotten through the "FUC" if I remember correctly.

Anyway, I was telling that one to a more jaded group a while later and one guy laughs and offers, completely reasonably, that he'd've wanted the whole phrase, and proper punctuation to boot.  After all, a threat's not a threat if you don't feel threatened, and self-harm can really only hurt the self.

So then there's these guys.

Anyone want to start up #sendmorethread with me?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

It's In the Trees - It's Squatting!

I don't even...


Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 26, 2015


before there was textsfromlastnight, there was

#954315 +(260)- [X]
<@LAMMJohnson> I suspect Star Trek Into Darkness will be good but not great.
<@LAMMJohnson> My reasoning for this is thus                 
<@LAMMJohnson> Perfect score because all of its words have a length that is a power of 2.
<@LAMMJohnson> Minus one point because total letters is not a power of two.
<@LAMMJohnson> Not even including spaces.
<@LAMMJohnson> However, the letters in all of the words plus the number of words is 24.
<@LAMMJohnson> Overall score for the movie: 8.5                         
<~chown> LAMMJohnson - Vice Executive of the Autism Department   
<@LAMMJohnson> The score, correctly, is a power of two marred with an ugly fraction.
<@LAMMJohnson> Although the fraction is 1/2
<@LAMMJohnson> Actually, the overall fraction is 17/20 which I pretty much hate.
<@LAMMJohnson> Which means I will initially think the movie is OK but then later change my mind and hate it.
<~chown> LAMMJohnson - Honourable Chairman of the Autism Empire