How United Airlines got their groove back

If I had to pick an airline, I’m a Delta guy.  I’m pretty cool with Southwest too, even though I kind of resent that they absorbed AirTran and 86’d all of their low fares to Virginia.  Spirit isn’t terrible as long as you plan well and understand you are literally taking the MegaBus of the skies. 

But I can’t really say that I’ve given much thought to United Airlines as an option, even when there was that period of time after they kept tripping over themselves repeatedly, and I figured they’d have to drop their fares aggressively in order to regain some customer equity, but that never really happened.

Not to mention, being in Atlanta, the land of Delta, United doesn’t really have that much of a presence here, but they are still an option for most continental destinations.  But since I don’t really feel like being racially profiled and I’m pretty sure the settlement of letting them kick my ass and throw me off a flight won’t be as good as that first Asian guy who got owned, I never really saw any advantage to considering flying with United.

That is, until this true story of heroism came out, where a United flight attendant told a woman with a crying baby that it was prohibited for her baby to cry for more than five minutes, which resulted in the following:

Bala wrote that her family “will never fly on United again.”

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Is anyone really surprised by this?

As much as I want to say that I don’t really pay much attention to the political climate of America, I feel like it’s one of those things that people kind of grow into as adults, or maybe it’s just me.  Perhaps it’s because I’m at the age where the decisions of politicians can actually affect me in some capacity that makes me a little bit more astute to them, or maybe it’s the existence of social media that opens my eyes to people I know who are all more well educated and pay more attention to them than I do, which kind of passively makes me curious as well.  Maybe it’s because I like to pretend like I’m pretty well versed in current events, so I like to read or pay attention to the news on a fairly regular basis.  Perhaps it’s all of the above.

Either way, the events of the Brett Kavanaugh saga and the ascendancy to Supreme Court Justice have been something of a big deal in the world of Washington over the last few weeks, and I’ve learned more about things than I probably really would’ve wanted to.  Frankly, there are far way more educated people in the topic of this whole story, but all I really know is that the president nominated this guy to replace a retiring Supreme Court Justice and because liberal America hates the president, they immediately hate his nominee.  Immediately, the nominee’s personal history is dug up in record time, and red flags are raised at the notion and multiple accusations that he has a little bit of sexual assault in his history and that perhaps he shouldn’t be nominated for, y’know, the highest court in the country.

Naturally, it devolves into what everything devolves into these days, a bold line in the sand drawn, and a vitriolic battle between Republicans and Democrats, conservatives versus liberals, or whatever you want to call it that embodies the stark and harsh divide that represents the United States these days.

The thing is though, and I try to be as objective as possible when it comes to stories like this, because I think it’s way too easy for people to pick sides solely based on scuttlebutt of what their social networks sound like, and not necessarily their own independent thoughts.  But frankly, whether or not the accusations are true of Kavanaugh’s past behavior, the bottom line is that surely in the landscapes of America, exist people who are vastly more unanimously qualified to become a Supreme Court Justice than him.

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The retro gaming fad is stupid

Let me clarify: I don’t have a problem with playing old video games on old consoles.  I do however, have a problem with video game companies throwing in the towel on creativity and effort, and simply repackaging old hardware and software, calling it retro and then selling them at prices that don’t exactly match the end product, all in the name of preying on the nostalgia of nerds like me and around a similar age.

Nintendo made ludicrous amounts money selling miniaturized versions of both the NES and the SNES systems that are basically glorified emulators with a safe set of classic games, most of which weren’t really that high in demand.  Sony decided to hop on the same boat and announced the creation of a miniaturized Piss1 console that will basically be the same thing with Playstation’s early library.

More recently, the software companies themselves have decided to produce such retro collections, such as Capcom releasing their Beat ‘Em Up Bundle, which is a bunch of ROMs of some of their unlicensed side-scrolling fighting games.  And just a few days ago, I saw that Konami has decided to re-release arguably the most successful Castlevania game of all time, Symphony of the Night.

Undoubtedly, all of these things have and will continue to make money, because if they were projected to not make money, they would never be happening in the first place.  But the fact of the matter is that I can’t help but think that this is all really stupid, and I can’t help but cringe at the idea of so many people, and plenty that I know personally, who are going to take the bait and spend absurd amounts of money for systems and games that we evolved and moved away from, for a reason.

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Life goals, battle mode

I came into a little bit of fuck-you-play-money recently, so I did what any responsible adult would do – I went on a mad witch hunt for a toy from my childhood that I still wanted to this very day.

It only took nearly 23 years from the day I first decided that I wanted one, but I finally got my hands on a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (legacy) Megazord.  I’m serious, when I first saw the show when I was in the fifth grade, I remember thinking “man, this show is sooooo lame,” but then the next thing I knew, I was watching every episode and it wasn’t long afterward did the want to watch the show force me to learn how to program a VCR so I could tape the show because it came on at 2:30 in the afternoon and I didn’t get out of school until closer to 3:30.

When I first saw commercials for MMPR toys, I wouldn’t have imagined that they’d become the literal hardest things in the world to get a hold of that year, but then again to a fifth grader, there aren’t a whole lot of things to imagine other than more MMPR, video games, and trying not to get bad grades so my mom wouldn’t kick my ass.  But I learned really quickly the concept of supply and demand that year, when it became very apparent that every other boy around my age also wanted MMPR toys, and getting a hold of a Megazord or a DragonZord was going to be the equivalent of trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

Suffice to say, as much as my mom tried to spoil her son and acquire one, it didn’t happen.  I literally remember articles in the Washington Post about how they were the hot item, and how no toy store in the country could ever manage to get more than 1-3 of either in at a time, and people were literally waiting for doors to open on a daily basis to get them when they did.

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Why are drivers with religious vanity plates the biggest assholes on the roads?

I feel like this is kind of a redundant question, and there’s a possibility that I’ve touched on this topic before.  Regardless, Georgia has no shortage of people who have vanity license plates on their car with subtle-to-overt religious messages on them, such as DOUPRAY, SING2HM, PRAY2HM, F8THFUL and so forth.  However, there is a correlation that I’ve noticed where the cars with the pious vanity plates are often the ones being driven by aggressive assholes and/or people with all sorts of uncharacteristically suspect accessories on their cars, from blackout plate covers, suspiciously dark tint, or any other things people put on their cars that one might not expect from drivers so god-fearing, they proclaim their piousness on their vanity plates.

And if they’re not driving like they’ve got something to hide, they’re usually the most aggressive and self-centered drivers on the road.  I really should keep a running document of ones that I’ve seen, and also notate which ones are being driven by assholes and/or equipped with less-than-reputable aftermarket accessories.

Just the other day, DOUPRAY was riding my ass hole on I-285 during horrendous rush hour traffic, as if it were me personally who were impeding their ability to get to Point B in their respective destination.  When traffic eased up after passing I-20 like usual, it took less than a second before the car whipped out of my peripheral vision into the just equally as newly vacated right lane, and blew past me going warp speed in order to pass me, and every other car that was still holed up in the left lanes.  It was here where I saw DOUPRAY on the license plate, and if their windows weren’t tinted darker than Wesley Snipes, I probably would have seen the face of some irate driver glaring daggers at me as if it were my personal fault they were stuck in traffic.

That’s where I re-realized the correlation between asshole drivers and those with religious vanity plates, and the revisiting of the question of why such is the case.  Is it because god-fearing religious people are all assholes?  Or is it because aggressive drivers believe their aggression is less suspect if they’re driving cars that have vanity plates that might make them appear more docile and religious AKA non-threatening?

All that it’s accomplishing in my eyes is that cars that I see on the road with religious-intonating vanity plates are automatically becoming perceived as combatant drivers who will probably be aggressive and inconsiderate the first chance they get, and it would probably behoove me to make the first moves and get in front of them, before their reckless nature puts my well-being in jeopardy.  Because when it comes to my own want to get from point A to point B, these religious assholes can worship their god plenty, behind me.

The effects of losing

Can you blame him: Buffalo Bills CB Vontae Davis retires from professional football – during halftime of a game in which he started

This is pretty much the greatest year of NFL in recent years.  Two weeks in and we’ve got two tie games, and guys retiring in the midst of the season, but in the middle of a game.  Much to the bewilderment of fans and teammates alike, Bills CB Vontae Davis just up and decides that he’s had enough, and calls it a career, during halftime of an actual, meaningful game.

I mean, it’s almost the plot of Bernie Mac’s Mr. 3,000 where Bernie Mac’s character collects his 3,000th hit and then abruptly stops everything and declares his retirement in the middle of a baseball game, except that this is real.

Sure, there are lots of jokes and commentary that could be made about the whole situation, and it’s really not that hard to find gobs of it floating all over the internet.  But I was thinking about the situation, and figured to try and look at it in a different perspective that might be able to shed a little bit of light to how this happened.

Frankly, Vontae Davis is simply a guy that’s tired of losing, and probably didn’t see a scenario where it was going to get any better, and before suffering through another indignity of another loss-filled season, he just decided to call it early and save himself the trouble as well as the physical toll of playing futbol americano.

After all, he was on the Buffalo Bills, which is pretty much the living embodiment of a white flag.  And they were playing against the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers which is another team that’s basically reverted back to pathetic status, and being surrounded by all this failure probably weighed heavily on his conscience, and it was the perfect storm of conditions that his frail psyche was unable to endure, and surrender was the only option.

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The unintentional greatness of opt-out clauses

When the day is over, I’m not really a fan of opt-out clauses in sports contract.  They’re like slimy, sleazy trap doors out of contracts that professionals can claim they’re really going to commit to a team for seven years, but dude-bail after two years or five years, or whenever they’ve negotiated to have an opt-out available to them.  It’s like being in a fucked-up relationship where the dude is allowed to leave after the second year scot-free, but if they pass up on that escape window, then they’re locked in for the long haul.

More often than not, we’ve seen classic examples of guys who sign 7-10 year deals, with opt-out clauses after like three years; where the fans think they’ll have a guy for 7-10 years, they’re all stoked to see him play out of his mind in year three, put up career best numbers, lead their teams deep into playoffs… and then opt the fuck out of their contracts, and then put a gun to their teams’ heads and stick them up for another lucrative long-term contract, lest they become free agents and jump to whomever else would be willing to instead. 

Off the top of my head, Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia are prime examples of guys who have successfully parlayed the opt-out clause to perfection and bilked the New York Yankees out of more money than their original Yankee contracts were originally worth.  LeBron James is a perfect recent example of a guy who has not only opted out this year, but has done it twice now, opting out of the contract he had with the Miami Heat to escape back to Cleveland, and then now opting out of his deal with the Cavaliers to go to Los Angeles.

On the flip side, there’s the hilarious example of Dwyane Wade, who opted out of a guaranteed $16 million for one year with the Miami Heat, only to discover that nobody wanted him, and then came crawling back to the Heat, where he had to sign for two more years in order to get than $16 million back.

And that’s where we get a glimpse of the unintentional greatness of the opt-out clause, because every now and then it provides the opportunity for overpaid babies we know as professional athletes to get owned.  And there are fewer things I take a sadistic pleasure out of seeing than professional athletes getting owned financially.

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