Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Walmart Online Photo Service Sucks

A little vent about using the Walmart online photo service.

I should start with that years ago it was great. The service was fast, the prices unbeatable and the products were good. It helped that the staff working at the one near us were decent people, they did their job well, but also looked after the customers.

Then some policies changed, like online ordering had you paying for the product with a credit card upon ordering. I "got that" as I am sure it was rather easy for a person to place an order and never bother picking it up since the old days, you paid for it when you picked it up. That wasn't such a big deal for me until I was in the group of how many thousands that had their credit card compromised through the Walmart online service. It was only 46 dollars if memory serves me correct and my bank took care of that odd overseas charge for me. The online service was shut down for some time because of this. When it started up again, I was still wary of using it again. I'd never been a victim of such a crime before and certainly never wanted to experience that again.

Of course time passes. I ease off on that unwariness. I had just missed a sale at Vistaprint about getting a canvas done for one of my Owl photographs. I check the Walmart site and they have an even better sale on. I go for it. This was just prior to this past Christmas. I order a canvas and half a dozen 4x6 prints. I'm excited for this canvas to be made since it was of a photo of mine that I love, and just rediscovered in my ten of thousands of photos I have saved.

A week passes and I get an email about some kind of error and my order cannot be processed. This is now just days before Christmas. I'm confused about what the error may be. I am disappointed that this Christmas present to myself will not be ready. Now with the weekend before Christmas, one we are busy with festivities, and two there is no way I am going near any stores, especially Walmart.

I try to phone the store but no one answers. I called 4 times over the weekend and never got an answer. I call the 800# and after a few attempts with lengthy hold times, I finally spoke with someone. They couldn't answer me what was going on. They put me on hold to call the store. What a surprise to have them tell me that no one is answering the phone. The person asked me if it was okay that I hang up, that they will get in touch with the store that day and call me back with some answers. I said "yes". A return call never came.

I set this all aside and enjoyed the holidays.

On December 27th, I visit the store and talk with someone at the photo desk. The guy explained to me that the canvas making machine has been broken for weeks now. He doesn't know when it will be repaired. He predicted that not until later in January. Apparently this was an issue at a few Toronto stores right now. He told me to call the 800# when I got home, tell them I spoke with the store, explain about the mechanical issue and demand a refund. He said "don't ask, they will give you the run around".

I call the 800# and go through the process. Yes, there was the run around. They even offered to bump my order to another store. I said "no" as I wasn't driving out of my way for this. There was no offer of getting it sent to my local store for pick up. They then told me I had to go back to the store and they would refund my credit card. We went full circle here now. I told them again the store said to call them. Now we went back to this person calling the store and figuring this out. Another broken promise to call me back.

I started sending emails to Walmart's "heretohelp" email. It was good for me to help keep track of everything that was going on, who I spoke with and when, what they said, sending reference numbers, etc. I would get general replies and advice on what to do next which wasn't anything different than what I was doing, calling the 800 service or going in store.

Next up was that this case was being escalated to a higher department. Oooooooooo, heads are going to roll now, right? No.

Finally, 4 weeks later, while I am on the phone with someone at the 800#, and my patience was beyond worn thin, I got through to someone in a loud stern but still polite manner. This person obviously was still a human being and helped me. We went through all the bullcrap like this was my first phone call to them. He told me all the same stuff like the first phone call to them. He also put me on hold and tried to call the store, to which there was no answer. He vowed to call me back when he got through at some point during that day. I brought up to him about these broken promises from others before. He assured me he would not be like that. He gave me his name, a reference number to this call and asked me to trust him. What choice did I have? I couldn't keep him on the line.

To my surprise, about 3 hours later he did call me back. He had a conversation with the store and I was finally going to be refunded the money. It was credited to my card within one week.

I emailed one more complaint to Walmart about this poor and frustrating service. I never heard back from anyone. No apologies. No trying to make things right again with the customer in any sort of way.

I am guilty of still shopping at the store a few times a month. If I can save money off our grocery bill, so be it. I will never use the online photo service again. I will forever warn others about this service, more so about the frustration of what happened to me, not getting my product and then having to fight for weeks to get my money back.

Be Warned.

This happened at the Stockyards Toronto, Ontario, Canada store but could happen anywhere. Especially with everything tying into one call centre somewhere in the world.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Wow, it's been almost 5 years since I blogged! Hilarious reading the things I put in here so long ago. I do have a couple blogs in mind for the coming weeks. I enjoyed this blog as it was a way to vent about the annoyances in life... mainly people.

So here I am nearing 50 years of age. I still keep my hair long. Why not? It grows out the top of my head. Most people are more accepting of it these days. I hear the occasional light backlash to it but whatever. What's really funny is those who acknowledge it and run off some doppelganger bit to me. It's cool. I get a laugh at what people come up with, even if it's way off in my opinion.

Here I am with a couple longtime friends the other summer.

Now for a few short bits on what people have come up with as my doppelganger.

Early on in the Christmas season, Angie and I were at the old Canadian Tire up at the Crossroads (Weston and 401). This store is in dire need of an upgrade like most of the Canadian Tires have had. It truly is hell in that store and going that particular morning reminded me why I never go. I couldn't find what I was looking for and anything remotely similar was damaged. As I was looking in the section for window film to insulate some at home, I hear down the aisle in a light voice "Right on man, heavy fucking metal. Oz-man. Black fucking Sabbath." I ignore it. Then it gets louder. The person is right next to me. It's an older long haired guy in a trench coat. He looks like he's trying to sober up and he brushed his hair with a pillow before going out. He's like "fucking eh dude, you the Oz-man, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and he's throwing devil horns at me, then tries to fist bump me. I was in a mood, hating being in this store, especially since I was not finding what I needed to get. No air guitar, head banding, teeth grinding, devil horns up stuff from me. I was like "right on" and gave him that fist bump which he was really hoping for. He started with a bit of "generals gathered in their masses" and throwing some horns up again as I walked away from him. Right band. Wrong album. I'm laughing about this now.

Here is the Oz-man. I don't see the resemblance.

Not even as a young Ozzy.

One day while waiting in line at Tim Horton's, a couple guys ahead of me are chatting, one of them turns around and says "hey, it's Robert!" Okay, my name is Robert if one wants to be all official like but I have no clue who these guys are. I'm also not 100% certain they are talking about me. Turns out they were. Buddy goes, "hey Robert!" and he's looking right at me. I need coffee. I'm on my way to work. I am not in a social mood with silly strangers. I'm like "huh? How did you know my name?" He then says "you look like Robert Plant!" I reply with a puzzling "What?" He gets a disgruntled look on his face and says "You look like Robert Plant. You know, Led Zeppelin. You do know who Led Zeppelin is don't you?" I said "Of course I do. Plant is awesome. Thanks." Dude lets out a big heartfelt laugh and says "Right fucking on man, keep it going." then turns around back to waiting in line with his friend for their coffees. Now don't get me wrong, Robert Plant is one hell of a vocalist as is Led Zeppelin is one hell of a rock band... but I don't see it.

There was another who threw me looking like Robert Plant out there. A younger girl working in a video store. Angie was with me for that one. But I think I will leave that for her to tell if she chooses. Sorry babe, that memory just hit me.

Even this photo of Robert Plant with a dove, I still don't see it. I do love it though. Those who know me with all my Pigeon friends will get this.

More recently, another time waiting to get my coffee before work, I'm standing in line and I hear "Sister Christian is a great song." In my head I am like "oh fuck, what now?" Again I don't know if something is coming up but my gut tells me it is. I'm not acknowledging the guy until he says "hey Pepsi, do you like Night Ranger? You look like one of the guys from the band!" Jeezus! I told him I had never heard of that band and didn't know the song (yes I lied). I only knew that one song from the band and they never got my interest back in the day. In my head, along with some colorful words, I'm screaming "for the love of Lucifer and all things unholy!"

Pick me out of the bunch, I don't even know who the singer is...

Here's some others I've been told I look like.

Eric Martin from Mr. Big (2nd from the right). When their song "To Be With You" hit the video stations, that's when I heard this a fair amount from people, and from a couple even years later, many many years later. Great band. Great song. I don't see it though, not even with that video which was fun to watch again.

I think the age of the person really makes who they think I look like, going back to their music era. An old co-worker of mine said Peter Frampton and I were twins.

Back in the early 2000's when The Darkness were sort of popular, apparently Justin Hawkins and I were doppelgangers. I wasn't big on that band and envisioned a good throat punch to the person saying this.

I get David Coverdale of Whitesnake a lot ever since the Still of the Night days and even as recently as over the holiday season just passed. Another I don't see. It must be the hair.

The musician stated most often as my lookalike is Dave Mustaine of Megadeth.

Especially this photo really gets people going.

Too bad I don't have any images of me in that position feeding my bird pals in my old leather jacket. I only have images like these...

Twenty five years ago I know I would have gotten my back up at some of the people I've been told I look like. Now, well, whatever. Some are flattering. Some I just laugh at. It makes for interesting encounters with strangers and fun conversation with people I know.

Personally I don't see myself looking like anyone other than me. I never aspired to copy anyone's look. I'm just a part of the mass of long haired guys slowly dying off.

Do you have a doppelganger? If so, please tell me who it is.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Doro!

Yesterday, June 3rd, was Doro Pesch's 50th birthday. Ya, so? And for many "who is Doro Pesch?" Well she's a hard rock/metal singer, originally in an 80's hair band called "Warlock". A pretty decent act with a few hits and much like so many other hair metal bands, short lived. Anyone who remembers Warlock surely will remember their anthem hit "All We Are".

Now for me, rock stars are people just like us. They have a job, which often may be a little more glamorous at times, and in many cases not so much with all the traveling through the year and stuck on a coach bus if they are lucky going through North America.

I've not met very many rockers in my day, which is fine, because really I don't know if I'd have much to say to them. The whole "I love your music!" would just be so freakin' lame. I'd really have to think about it before I ever met one, if their music inspired me somehow other than wanting to drive really fast, down a 26'er of Jack Daniel's or do other things that best be kept to myself.

I give birthday wishes to some if I know the date, suddenly learning it on their special day through social media, and while I cannot personally wish them a happy birthday, I think a little acknowledgment through my own Facebook, Twitter and a blog for this one works for me.

So, with Doro, you gotta give it up to this woman and her band of whom some have stuck with her through much of her solo career. She's been at it for 30 years now! That's a long time in the rock n roll world, and still going strong.

I've seen Doro twice now. Funny how both shows were in the same venue and each time the crowd barely hit 100 heads. I wonder if it's a downer for the band to come out to such a small crowd? I've seen clips of Doro at Wacken Fest in Europe playing to many thousands. So coming to a double digit crowd in a tiny bar in Toronto must be like hitting a wall. But when she hits the stage, she may have 70 fans in front of her, but she gives it to us like we are 7,000. Seeing her perform, you can tell she just loves what she does, and appreciates her fans with all her heart. Now this is where my little story about that appreciation comes in...

The second time I saw Doro, Angie was with me. It was at The Wreckroom at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor. We ran into a couple familiar faces in the crowd and through one of them along with his friend, they made the night a little more special for me.

I had no idea there was a meet and greet. Would I have signed up for it? I'm not really sure. Remember above? What would I say? I'm happy to be at a show, which are few and far between for me nowadays what with work schedules and fatigue come later in the night. I'm up with the birds as most know. I have no shame admitting that. I love my music but I love my wildlife friends too, see my near weekly blog

Weird that I say I'm uncertain about signing up for a meet and greet, not sure what to say, but for some reason I brought my Doro live dvd with me in my coat. Maybe it was a premonition?

The show was in September and right around my 40th birthday (this is kinda important).

We rocked a solid 90 minutes with Doro and had a blast. Even Angie enjoyed the evening, not really knowing any of the songs.

I was pumped and suddenly found myself quite excited about this meet and greet. But that got shot down pretty quick as I learned it was pre-pay, and was actually supposed to happen before the show. There were some delays, making it happen afterwards. Someone wanted to cancel the greet but Doro is not one to disappoint, and wanted to be sure everyone got what they paid for.

Our "music friend" Allan Robertson, along with another guy (I forget his name) were doing a concert review that night and a little interview. I learned of the greet through them, they learned of my birthday and how I suddenly had it in me to wanting to meet Doro. It couldn't happen so they gave me a great back up gift of sorts by taking my dvd backstage and asking Doro if she would sign it. I thought that was very cool of them and was a great ending to the night.

They returned a short bit later, and even to their surprise, with more than just a signature on my dvd sleeve somewhere. Doro did a little note inside the cover and then made me a birthday card of sorts with one of her promo photos.

To Rob, Happy 40th Birthday and all my love with a little more at the bottom saying Rock on and Fur Immer which means forever and lastly had her signature Doro Pesch

And then the promo photo, which surprised everyone, and even had some in the back scoffing at her to not do that as people (fans) were waiting to meet her that had paid for this. She kept saying "just give me one minute!" and finished what she wanted to do for me. How awesome of her, eh?

I was more than thrilled by this, and touched.

Someone once told me it's nothing compared to meeting them. Ya, it's not the same as looking them in the face, maybe shaking their hand or getting a hug; but really, she didn't have to do anything with this, not even sign it. So a big shout out to Doro on this one and proof that she loves all of her fans. She knows without us, she wouldn't be doing what she loves so much.

So here we are almost 4 years from that night, and a day after her birthday... thanks for the memory Doro Pesch and hoping your 50th birthday was awesome. It sure looks like it was as here she is on the night of her birthday performing!

May you rock with us for many years to come.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Can I Hate This Guy?

Recently I walked into a public washroom, the music system was playing pop hits and the tune at that moment was Lionel Richie's "Dancing On The Ceiling". Twenty years ago I hated this song. I hated all poppy mainstream radio play. Metal or nothing. But mellowing out over the years, I tolerate this stuff when I hear it on rare occasions... often taking me somewhere back in time.

So, the music is playing, I walk in and am stopped in my tracks at the sight of some guy at one urinal who was seemingly trying to write his name in it. But not the case, this guy was peeing and dancing away to the song. I'm talking a good jive swing bit here, not just a little rhythmic groove on.

As the main door to the washroom closes and makes a noise, he turns all startled and looks right at me, rather embarrassed. He then says "I love this song".

I don't think much more came out of me than "okay".

He quickly finished up and got out of there.

Can I hate this guy? I never cared for this song to begin with but now loathe it to a point where visuals like this below would perhaps correct it all within me...

Where's Stewie Griffin when you need him?

I guess it was a good laugh for my friends I told the tale to on Saturday; but I still have the visual burned into my memory.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Oh my, another asshole surfaces!

Well, here we go again, another asshole surfaces in my presence this week!

I hate to add that this one is another "wildlife photographer". I don't want to paint every person out there with a camera pointed at a bird to be an asshole; I'd really like to believe it is only a small percentage. But this guy didn't even try to be nice, didn't try to hide his asshole-ness one bit. He stormed on the scene bitching and squawking and as quickly as he entered the scene, he left almost as fast.

I guess since much of my free time is out in the wild, walking and looking, carrying my camera and binoculars. And with this, I encounter most other people through this venture. If I were a person who went to hockey games every week, I'd probably find an asshole at the arena quite often. Same with a bar. Or whatever other regular adventure I had in my life. Just throwing this bit in to keep it in mind with some not to think every person with a camera is most likely an asshole.

So, the jist of it is this...

A report of a red morph Eastern Screech Owl was made almost two weeks ago west of Toronto. I was off work yesterday and took the opportunity in the morning to go see it, especially after an email from a friend who informed me the little Owl was sunning himself like he seems to do most days.

I found the area with ease. Now to find the tree. I wasn't out of my truck more than a minute when a car pulled up and this man rolls down his window and asks me if I am looking for the Owl. I said "yes" and he pointed to a tree no more than 150 ft from where I parked. I thanked him because I had another tree in mind further off from the reports. He then drove off.

So, this was starting off very well. You know, not getting lost driving out here. Finding the area with the tree quick. And then someone taking the hunt out of it for me just like that. Sure I like the thrill of a "hunt" or as I put it, a nice walk.

I noticed another guy walking around with his camera. And he slowly approaches me. He kindly asked me if I knew the whereabouts of this Screech Owl.

Normally I don't like to share Owl locations, not for selfish reasons, but because how can I trust a total stranger? There are enough horror stories of people messing with Owls and I don't like to add to this problem.

But the Owl definitely was high enough in the tree that nobody could really harm or harass it. This guy's character seemed nice and genuine enough. And the fact someone pointed it to me, I decided to pay it forward to another.

We both took some photos, looked at it through our binoculars, marveled at it's beautiful coloring, and shared our own bird stories throughout the few minutes we had with the Owl in near full view.

Suddenly in comes this guy. He's got his camera, it's wrapped in something like bandages or gauze. I guess it's his way of protecting his lens? Anyways, he pretty much storms onto the scene. His walk is fast and aggressive. And he is immediately on a tangent about how there is a shadow across the Owl's face, there are branches in the way and whatever else. It was bitch bitch bitch nonstop.

The other gent I was with calmly suggested he take another look because we certainly did not see what he was going on about. I repeated the same bit. But the guy continued to stomp through, pretty much not listening to us, and headed right for the tree this Owl was roosting in.

I spoke louder as he was nearing the tree and asked him why he couldn't just enjoy the sighting we have because how often do most of us get to be in good full view of an Eastern Screech Owl?

Seemingly ignoring us still, he stomped right towards the tree, still cursing away.

The Owl took notice of this aggressive jackass and quickly disappeared into the tree. And then this guy disappeared down the hill.

Both myself and the other guy were quite stunned at what had just happened. But then laughed at the idiocy of this character. Here he had the perfect opportunity to have a great moment looking at this Owl and he chose not to. And he didn't ruin it for us. We had probably 5 minutes of viewing before he entered the scene. We enjoyed our brief moment with the Owl. And then had some comic relief with this asshole and his attitude.

Might as well laugh at them, eh? No harm was done.

People like this make me sad (not really)... did they ever take joy in the wildlife around us or is all about the photos? Why photograph something if you don't have a passion for it? His actions and words sure screamed nothing more than photographs.

Maybe he didn't like having a couple others looking at this Owl? If he saw us as a threat to the Owl, I am sure he would have said something about that instead of bad lighting and branches. And with the height of this Owl in the tree, one would have to stand well back to get a decent photograph. The closer one gets to the tree, the higher the angle they would have with the camera and certainly wouldn't get a shot.

Perhaps the height of the Owl pissed him off? He had a 300mm lens which would have been sufficient for a nice body shot after some cropping. I was happy seeing the Owl and getting something with the lens to share with my family and friends.

Oh well, it's his loss.

Yep, just had to say "I met another asshole today!"

Here is one of my shots of this Owl. How much complaining can one have with this?

Monday, January 30, 2012

First real Asshole of 2012!

So, we are almost one month into 2012 and while a few have got on my nerves, I must say that yesterday I met my first true asshole of the new year!

A lovely morning walk turned shitty real quick after a few minutes with this individual.

As many of you know, I enjoy nature walks and almost always bring my camera along because I never know what I am going to see. Both Angie and I feel it is our "yoga" to walk in the woods, away from most people. Most often it is a nice peaceful time but occasionally you cross paths with an asshole. Yesterday was one of those times...

I usually say "hello" to whoever I pass on the trails. Most people are quite friendly and return the comment along with a smile. Some keep on walking, not even looking. And then there was this guy. "Do you know where the Owls are?" No "hi" or nothing, just hit me with this question. Of all the wildlife to be seeking, he had to ask about the Owls. For those who may not know, it is unfortunate, but Owl locations really should be kept quiet. Why? Owls can be all around us at certain times of the year but they are masters of camouflage, hiding in the woods and rarely seen by most people. If one studies up on a species, learns their preferred habitat and trees, they may luck out one day. It can be real work to see certain Owls or it can be just dumb luck. Most people it is work. But not everybody likes work and to spend a couple hours searching out Owls in a woodlot, and to come up with nothing can be a real piss off to some. Even when someone reports an Owl sighting on the internet, most times it is not that specific... so while another may end up in the same area, there's still work involved to spot it. Okay, sorry for the ramble here... point is, some people have no boundaries and especially when it comes to Owls because they are stunningly beautiful majestic creatures and so rare to see for most people. And once a boundary lacking person sees an Owl, they will pretty much sit on this bird, with their camera for as long as they feel like it. Guys like this feel it is their right to take 1,000 photos of the Owl while the bird is trying to live it's life... to rest, to hunt, to eat and just plain survive.

Owls come to the GTA through the winter. They are hardy creatures but with food lacking at times because of the snow, they store much energy by resting in between hunts, and to keep warm. Having people in their face with cameras for hours on end is not restful.

So, of course I did not offer any information to this guy but did engage in some conversation when I probably should have just said "no" and kept walking. I knew from that initial question and how he was dressed, he was as we refer to as "f**king photographer". There are birders, there are wildlife photographers, and there is a cross between both much like myself who enjoy both. And then there are as I mentioned the "f**king photographer". For them, it's all about the photographs and nothing else. They will do what they have to, often very selfish things that can put their wildlife subjects at risk, just to get those shots. It doesn't matter to them in the end if the animal was stressed to no end because of whatever they did, or even if the animal died in some occasions. The photographer got his shots, he can brag to his friends, post them on the internet for all to see, and nobody will know the dirty tricks he did to get the pics.

99.9% of my photos, I can look back at, and have a good memory. I do have one shot that has a dark story to it, but not of my doing. I will save that for another day but it did involve a "f**king photographer".

So, the conversation went something like this...

"Do you know where the Owls are?"

"Ummm, there was a Great Horned Owl here but hasn't been seen since before Christmas."

"Oh. How about the Long-ears? I know they are here but I always seem to miss them. People tell me they were right here, out in the open an hour ago." as he points to the bare trees in the woods. If his first question didn't tell me what he was all about, this sure did, and it showed that he knows nothing when it comes to Owls. All he knows is that he wants pictures.

I could feel within myself that I was getting angry. To have a person like this near me, and in a wooded area that I visit often and enjoy so much was upsetting.

I rambled on for a bit with some rather insinuating and demeaning bits of certain types of photographers that have no respect for the wildlife, you know the things I mentioned above here. I called them "selfish fuckers" and certainly not humane.

His reply was that all wildlife photographers do selfish things from time to time because they want the shot. And before I could tell him one more thing, two words that definitely weren't "Merry Christmas", he finished with an admittance that he does do "selfish things", whatever it takes to get his shots. The guy admitted his guilt! I couldn't believe it! He came by it honestly, like I would accept that. Usually this type of photographer would never admit to being guilty of doing those things they know very well are heavily frowned upon by most. They keep these secrets to themselves or share with other "f**king photographers".

I said a few more things really quick, can't really put it all together, but I made him quite aware that I don't approve of such things and it was probably a very good idea to get away from me. And he did just that... went the other way.

I walked away, shaking my head. And moments later found myself surrounded by a herd of Deer. Two at first, then three, and then a couple Bucks walked in, next thing I know there was 6, then 7 and in the end a total of 10! I stood quite still, letting them do their thing and getting used to my presence... showing respect to them and their home. And they rewarded me with a lengthy view of them going about their day, grazing wherever they could and interacting with each other. The Bucks didn't stay for long and at one point, I had three females so close to me I couldn't even take photos! Mind you, I had put the camera down well before this, and took in the moment with them.

It was me, who once again, as in other encounters with the Deer, that chose to walk away. They sure changed the vibe of my walk back to what it is supposed to feel like.

I got on Facebook immediately, changed my status to share my adventures of both good and bad. And timing was right because a buddy of mine who works at the visitor centre where I was at picked up on my status, knew where I was without me saying it, and kept an eye out for that "f**king photographer".

Take a look at this photo below. Sure this guy is holding a gun and not a camera, but pretend he is. A "f**king photographer" can have the same impact on wildlife as this guy with a gun. And the guy I met that morning is even more dangerous. The fact he is so ignorant to the Owls he seeks out is scary. He was quite harmless where I met him, well away and very clueless to where the Long-ears were roosting for the day. But if he ever found out, it would be a very shitty stressful day for those poor Owls.

I just had to say... "Yesterday I met my first asshole of 2012!"

Friday, December 16, 2011

All About Nothing... or is it?

Wow!  I really suck at this blog!  I guess I may consider myself lucky lately since I've not had an "Asshole of the Week" in some time.  And I am much more focused on my animal blog, which really is like my yoga, and I forget all the f**ktards I encounter in my travels.

How about those occasional movie reviews I've done in the past?  Well, I cannot really remember the last NEW movie I saw.  I think it may have been the final installment of the Harry Potter series...  which I give good praise to.  It was exciting and certainly made up for the pt 1 of the final chapter which I found to be very long and drawn out.

And with the closing of Blockbusters everywhere, I don't really go out and buy dvds these days.  I always enjoyed Blockbuster not for the rentals but picking up my "wants" when they became available for sale used.

Rogers Video still lingers around but none are that close and convenient for me.

So, what have I watched in the past month?

First off, Fred Claus.  Tis the season, right?  I don't mind Vince Vaughan's performances and Paul Giamatti is great overall in the movies I have seen of his.  Fred Claus is a fun Christmas flick, hitting the perfect hour and a half time span.  And I found that with this movie, I can now say I have one Sinead O'Conner song that I like, and I really like it.  She's does a great almost haunting version of "Silent Night".

From Fred Claus, I moved on to "Shoot 'Em Up".  A ridiculously fun ride with Clive Owen and once again Paul Giamatti.  It's overkill with crazy shooting, stunts and killing.  And gives me another reason to carry around carrot sticks...  not because they are full of goodness and are great for your eyes, not because of the occasional Deer encounters I have and feeding them, but man, they are a great weapon when some gangster is coming at you (if he doesn't shoot you first).

I revisited Mulletville.  A low budget fun film of an evening party with some red necks in a trailer park.  Silly stuff but anyone who grew up in the hair metal era might relate and say "hey, I think I was at that party, or one like it...  or knew a guy just like him, and him, or that one".

I acknowledged the loss of Bianca Butthole a decade ago with a viewing of the Betty Blowtorch documentary.  A hard rocking chick band that were very short lived.  Bianca seemed like a wonderful misfit who loved rock, animals and collecting lunch boxes.  Here's a snippit.

So, ya, not much else going on that I care to expose to the world here.  But if you want a bit more, you can always check out my animal blog...

I will try in the new year to be a tad more regular with this blog.  I do enjoy writing when I get the chance.

So please bear with me and see yas in the new year.  All the best through the holiday season!  It doesn't matter about how many people you spend the time with, it's the quality of the people you share the time with.