Photo of the day – Customer Service Fail

This trailer has a problem. It may look fine. It may look like it works. So what’s the problem?

The company that made it.


For full disclosure, I’ll admit that I got this trailer for free on I couldn’t believe my good fortune! Why would someone give away an almost brand new double wide Schwinn trailer? I bet they called Dorel to get a part…

That’s what has been happening to us. When we got the trailer it didn’t come with the connector part that mounts the trailer on the bike. I didn’t think much of it.

I looked up the owner’s manual that came with the trailer and the price to order it was $6.99 plus $3 shipping (to the US and Canada). I had the part number, the cost and shipping to Canada seemed reasonable! So I called the customer service line on the owner’s manual and the lady that answered started me on a month long quest that hasn’t ended.

She told me that they didn’t ship to Canada. I told her that the owner’s manual specifically stated shipped to Canada on it. She said that wasn’t the case, and gave me the phone # for Dorel, ‘their parent company’.

I’ve learned that ‘Parent Company’ means no accountability in corporate speak. Dorel told me that they didn’t deal with customers, and that I was calling their corporate headquarters and they weren’t able to get me the part. Dorel is a CANADIAN company headquartered in Quebec! Here is Dorel’s vision…”Our vision is to create the most innovative and admired company in the recreation and leisure marketplace, and to become a global leader, which is why the Dorel segment was established in the first place.” Admired? By who?

The corporate headquarters gave me a different US phone number to call.

I called this new number and they proceeded to tell me that Dorel wouldn’t let them sell the part to me in Canada due to some trade agreement. ??? WTF? Aren’t you the same company?

Yes. The same company with parts spread all over the damn place.

They gave me the phone number for Dave. Dave in Vancouver. He was the Dorel rep nearest to me. I got excited…

Until some poor lady ripped my face off for asking for Dave. I figured out right away from that response that this lady has been getting anonymous calls for Dave for quite a while and she has lost it. “Not another fucking person asking for Dave!!!!!!!!!!!!!Fffffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. This joke has gone on far too long…”

My wife went on their Facebook page to tell our dilemma with getting this $6.99 part. A nice lady that moderates their Facebook page emailed me directly to tell me she would help. She gave me the same phone number in the US that I got a month ago.

I have made at least a dozen calls to who knows where and the summer is coming to a close. No trailer part.

I finally saw a small light at the end of the tunnel, when a ‘Customer Relations Specialist” emailed me yesterday to say she could help. I stressed that I was a Canadian and hoped that wouldn’t confuse matters and make them think I was looking for a dog sled or snow shovel.

I took pictures today and have emailed them back. They asked for the model number, but apparently Dorel has problems with putting the model number anywhere on the damn trailer visible to the naked eye…

I promise you this. If I get the SA074 Coupler, and am towing around my child, I will make sure to get a picture for all the world to see. My worry is that the kid in the trailer will be 15 years old by the time we’re through…

Oh, and NEVER, EVER buy a Schwinn trailer.



Recommended Mac Applications and their slow death

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

I have been using the Mac for years now, and had a Mac Stuff page on my various blogs. Seeing that the Mac is going through so many changes, and shortly there will be a locked down Mac App store, we may be going down the path of Windows and becoming a closed platform. So, I have removed my old page and decided to simply post it as a relic of the great 3rd party development that flourished over the last 5 plus years.

Recently Gizmodo wrote an article on the big problems with locking down an operating system where all the development must be approved by Apple. That includes very popular applications like bit torrent. Steve Jobs has done a great job making sure that only Safari is approved to be used on the iPhone, no porn, strict censorship(nudity, profanity, etc…), flash gone, rejection to any competitors from making apps on the iPhone platform. The list of problems with this type of platform are endless. Apple is telling you what you get to use, and making those choices for you. Shitty. Very shitty. This may very well be the only way to run a Mac in the next couple of years. I will be slowly converting over to Linux(probably Ubuntu or Mint), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still great Mac Applications out there! This list has been reposted from a couple of years ago, but all of the ones below still stand the test of time… Continue reading “Recommended Mac Applications and their slow death”

Support Pirate Bay! Torrents aren’t just about sharing music!

Bit-torrent technology is fantastic. I have used it numerous times to get large Linux distros, free(yes, really free) software like OpenOffice, massive videos(like NIN’s videos from the band), and to sample music before buying.

Pirate Bay is the largest torrent tracker on the planet, and the founders are in court on criminal charges that they are stealing or supporting stealing. We have all heard this argument before. I remember making mixed tapes as a teenager from the radio, and from my vinyl. eventually I made tapes from other tapes. You may also remember being told that the music industry was going to come and get you and fine you for every tape they found. Fear. I also recall the same argument with VHS tapes. iPods are for stolen music, Blank CDs should have a surcharge as they are used to steal music. And so on.

Now the target is the Internet. It is evil, and must be punished for the acts of few, and to protect the profits of the shitty music and movie companies that put out absolute crap. Maybe it is my age, but I hadn’t heard of 90% of the “artists” at the last Grammys.

Pirate Bay has posted a front page comic that summarizes the current thoughts of the global entertainment industry. I wish them good luck!



Star Wars: Death Star Costs $15.6 Septillion, 1.4 Trillion Times the US Debt

It has been a relatively boring week in the news. It has been fun howerevr watching all the massive corporations coming out and saying that they are selling some of their private jets and helicoptors. That will make all the difference!

If you think the US debt and our current economic problems are big, then you never had to finance the building of the Death Star! Gizmodo has a fun page on a break down of the cost of making it. People with far too much time on their hands…

[From Star Wars: Death Star Costs $15.6 Septillion, 1.4 Trillion Times the US Debt]

And to ‘borrow’ a page element from Gizmodo, here is a funny Youtube video
of a Darth Vader comedy sketch. I think I have posted it before, but it made me laugh once again, so here you go!!

The greatest theft of a generation. Happening as we Speak.

I am sure you have heard the phrase “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.” The recent bailouts are a great example of a major shift of taxpayers money being handed over to greedy companies and bastards like the Merrill Lynch CEO. The billions of dollars being given to banks, insurance companies and the like, is shocking. Especially in a country where there are large portions of the population in poverty, starving, homeless, etc…

Is this the decline of the US empire? I think they are losing the last vestige of respect they were clinging to. IMO, what is happening right now is theft. The poor are bailing out the extremely wealthy. How nice…

[From Merrill Lynch: Merrill Lynch CEO Spent $1,220,000 On Office Renovation As Company Prepared To Burn]

Though I don’t think Obama is a saviour(you probably guessed that already…), at least he is speaking out against the crazy bonuses the US banks have been giving out to their executives. Here is an article from Aljazeera about Obama’s comments.

[From Al Jazeera English – Americas – Obama blasts ‘shameful’ bonuses]

Another evil part of corporations in general, is the ownership of the human genome. Here is a horrible story about sick babies denied treatment due to DNA ownership rights. How fucking evil is that?

BABIES with a severe form of epilepsy risk having their diagnosis delayed and their treatment compromised because of a company’s patent on a key gene. It is the first evidence that private intellectual property rights over human DNA are adversely affecting medical care. Sick babies denied treatment in DNA row – National –]

Trent Reznor is your Friend. Really.

I really can’t stand record labels. They are only out for themselves, and the artist is second fiddle. Trent Reznor realized this some time ago, and is currently without a record contract. So, he has been re-inventing the music industry by allowing fans to buy his songs, and albums right from his site. I usually buy them right away! He has also gave free albums away as a thank you for supporting him! When was the last time Metallica did that? Never.

So, I went to the latest Nine Inch Nails concert, not only because I love their music, but he has shown me that directly supporting the artist feels good! He posted on his web site that he is pissed at the industry just prior to visiting our city, and announced that there would be a “very relaxed” camera policy, and he didn’t care if you took pictures, or video taped it! Really cool. Here is a blurb by Trent(ya, we go way back, on a first name basis…) on the topic,

File this one under lost opportunities. I’m very proud of the show we’ve put together for this tour and have been working hard the last few months to find a way to capture it. I had an amazing situation lined up that would have allowed me to film the show in 3D with James Cameron’s team for a theatrical release as well as DVD / BluRay, etc. We had an extra date added to the tour that we were going to give away all the tickets for and have a filming party / thank you show.I made two critical mistakes. One was to approach a certain record company that owns some of the song rights about producing / funding. The second was to allow said company to fuck around as usual for months before saying um… no. We then achieved the impossible by finding alternate production / funding but the timetable is too rushed to get it filmed comfortably with the remaining time left on the tour. This tour and a lot of the personnel involved finish at the end of this leg, so we can’t push filming into Jan / Feb.Deep breath…This was an amazing tour and production – certainly the best thing I’ve ever been involved with and likely the final tour for NIN on this scale. Thank you to those that came out to see it and forgive me for having a Kanye West moment, but this was FOR SURE the best show of the year and any bullshit end-of-the-year poll you may read in the next few weeks that says otherwise simply has it wrong. Those of you who saw it know I’m right.The shows we have announced in 2009 and any more that may be announced will be a completely different approach with some different personnel and will likely be the last for the foreseeable future.

So, after feeling like he missed a great opportunity to film the tour, he took matters into his own hands, and certain subversive individuals filmed 3 of the concerts, and Nine Inch Nails has posted the whole lot on their site! Warning, you must have a HUGE hard drive to get it all(400 GB’s for all 3)! Here is a snapshot from the site with Trent’s thank you! The link to the forum where you can get the concert footage is posted below!


[From Lights In The Sky HD Footage Downloads!]


I know of many of my colleagues and friends that try to go on a low fat diet in order to lose weight. No one ever seems to question the ingredients in a lot of these products.

I try to avoid products that claim to be the be all and end all of health. So I came across this story on Reddit and thought you may get a chuckle or two. Don’t click the link if you are offended by “shit” stories… Continue reading “best of craigslist : DO NOT EAT PRINGLES FAT FREE POTATO CHIPS.”