Rants


Welcome to Stu Pitt Rants

Based in America (in trendy L.A.) Stu Pitt Rants uses humor, rants and satire to poke fun and fury at stupidity and hypocrisy (and other stuff) wherever I find it.

These rants are my revenge. Our revenge. Revenge against all the wrongdoing, financial and/or emotional injury and nonsense done to me, to you, to us.

If/when something that should work doesn't, and it bothers you, rant. Don't get depressed, get even!

Live. And rant.

established google blogger

All original material copyrighted 2009-2018



No more toilet paper!

There's a new trend in my local supermarkets. HUGE rolls of toilet paper. After trying numerous brands over a long period of time, I finally settled on Quilted Northern Ultra Plush and have been buying that brand for a couple of years, in the 4-roll double roll pack. No more can I buy a 4-roll double pack. My local supermarkets always had it in stock but now, all the brands seem to make only MEGA rolls and 6, 12 or 18 or more double-roll packages and that's all that's on the supermarket shelf. I'm a guy. I go through maybe a double roll in a week, or two. 6 double rolls would last me 6-12 weeks. I do not wish to "invest" in 12 or 24 or more double or mega rolls of toilet paper and buy several months' worth at a time.
And, no, I do not have a bidet. I also do not have a family of 5 or more, yet toilet paper manufacturers are forcing non-large-family consumers, including single person households, to buy a huge amount of toilet paper at one time and spend mega bucks for mega rolls. And mega rolls are too big to fit onto my wall mounted toilet paper roller. And the 6-and-up double rolls packages won't fit on the floor next to the toilet, where I keep the toilet paper. Why don't I buy a 6, 12 or 18 or 24 pack and keep it somewhere else? There IS no other place for me to store it, unless I keep it on top of the toilet tank (it would undoubtedly get wet or damp there, from the shower). Why don't I move to a residence that has a linen closet or bathroom storage? Because, in Los Angeles, a place like that would cost me $5,000 a month more than I am paying now. Why don't I just stop using toilet paper? Not such a good idea. Maybe I will use tissues, buying a box or two at a time. Or maybe I'll investigate using baby wipes. Or maybe wear disposable diapers. Maybe tissues or baby wipes or disposable diapers are cheaper than 6 or mega rolls of toilet paper. And in my bathroom, I have room to store those kinds of toilet paper alternatives.

P.S. I went online to email a consumer complaint to Quilted Northern, the maker of my toilet paper. I spent 10 minutes filling out their online form only to find that their Submit button did not work. I could not send the email. F them! Quilted Northern is owned by a huge household products company, Georgia-Pacific. F them too!




Beware the Band Aid


I cut my finger. My index finger. The tip of my right index finger. The one I type with (I am a 2-finger typist). How did I cut my finger? On a can of vegetables. On the dangerous lid. Ouch! Time for a band aid!

My finger bled. A lot. It hurt. I washed the cut with soap and water, put antibiotic ointment on the cut and made a bandage out of several band aids. Luckily, I had an old box of band aids in the medicine cabinet. Eventually, the cut stopped bleeding. After several hours I decided to change the bandage. I went to remove the current band aids ... and could not get them off my finger. They were stuck to my skin and would not peel off. I thought I would have to cut them off but could not figure out how to do it without cutting my finger - again. Finally, I was able to pull off the band aids, except they left a number of tiny pieces of the material stuck to my skin. Those were hard to get off, I had to literally rub and/or pick off each tiny piece. It was very annoying. WHY should a band aid stick to your skin so well that you can't get it off - and when you do - you are left with a bunch of tiny sticky residue all over the area surrounding the cut???

I put on a new band aid. I had the same issue when I took off that band aid.

I changed band aids several time over several days - and had the same annoying problem each time!

Hey, band aid makers, you made the band aid TOO good! TOO sticky! Once you put them on you can't get them off! And, when you do finally get them off, there's a bunch of tiny sticky band aid pieces stuck to your skin!

UPDATE
Thanks to my cut finger, I was running low on band aids and bought a new pack at my local supermarket. It had "flexible fabric".
About a week later, I banged my elbow area on a metal door frame (bruise is circled in blue in photo)


It bled a little and soon became an ugly purple contusion. I immediately washed the wound, applied some antibiotic ointment, and put on one of my new band aids. Later, I pulled off the band aid to check the wound, and noticed another smaller bleeding spot above the contusion. I made a bandage out of a large band aid and two small ones and applied it to the area.

After several more hours, I pulled off one end of the band aids to check the bleeding wounds. What did I find? I found several MORE bleeding sores! (circled in blue)


I became scared that I had some new fatal disease that made me bleed for no reason. The bleeding sores were multiplying on my arm! Then, I looked closer and realized that the new bleeding sores appeared exactly where the ends of the band aids had been attached to my skin. Apparently, when pulled off, the band aids had pulled off my arm hair AND the skin. What? I used band aids for treating a bleeding wound and the band aids caused NEW bleeding wounds???

Or maybe I'm just getting old and my skin is getting really really thin. In any event, as a result, I can never use band aids again. Beware the Band Aid!




Traffic is number 1



from the LA Times

"Traffic remains a top concern of Los Angeles County residents, according to a new USC Dornsife/California Community Foundation/Los Angeles Times poll.

Asked what concerned them most, more than half of those polled in the online survey — 55% — cited traffic and congestion. It was a worry cited more than any other, including physical safety, personal finances and making ends meet, along with crowded, substandard or unaffordable housing."



I live in liberal L.A. and can attest to the unbelievable traffic congestion - it sucks! And what has my local liberal government done to address and alleviate this, the #1 concern of its residents? They have mandated more traffic lanes ... for bicycles. That's right, the political morons removed motor vehicle traffic lanes on major streets and thoroughfares and turned them into bicycle lanes. And they plan on adding up to 300 miles of bicycle lanes. Really? Yes. And will that reduce the horrific local traffic congestion in L.A.? No, it will make it WORSE. So why do they do it? They are doing it because they can, because liberal politicians are totally out of touch and are no longer accountable to the taxpaying citizens. What's my solution? Vote all politicians out of office ... and replace them with robots.




Goodbye Facebook


I liked Facebook News. It had a lot of good news stories from good news sources and I LOVE to add my brilliant comments to a news story I react to. No more. I am dropping the Facebook News Feed. Why? Lately, Facebook News has been presenting only some news stories and, instead, has gone heavily into presenting social media posts, promotions and advertisements - at the expense of news.

This is a big problem as many people get their major news from Facebook. No more. Facebook no longer offers enough top major news stories. Instead, on my news feed page I saw lots of birthday/congrats greeting posts, birthdays of people I don't know. I saw lots of NRA promotions (National Rifle Association). I saw lots of ads for old TV shows. I don't like it. I don't want it. I want n-e-w-s. I want to comment on n-e-w-s.

2 weeks later, I checked the actual number of "new" news stories appearing in my Facebook News Feed. There were only 5 new news stories. The rest were days old news stories. And ads.

As a result of the Facebook "No News" News Feed, I will be dropping Facebook as a source of daily news. And I will very much miss making brilliant comments on interesting and important news stories. I will stick with google news. And look for other good independent news sources, news sources that also allow reader comments.

Goodbye Facebook.




Welcome to the new economy


Lately, I can't find stuff I want to buy in stores. It isn't there. Lately, for the past year or so, I am buying more and more of the things I want, and need, online.

Even Walmart does not have my desired stuff in stock in their store, even though they list it for sale on their site. I have had to buy the shoes I want online, even though they are replacements for the same exact shoes I bought a couple of months ago - at Walmart. And, no, I am not a weird shoe size, I am a size 8.
Underwear? You would think that in Los Angeles, department stores would carry Jockey men's underwear. NOT. I went to 3-4 department stores and ended up buying the desired Jockey sport microfiber boxer briefs online. And, no, I am not a weird size, I wear a Large.


Yes, besides patterned ones, I got plain colors too: black, green. I now have 8 pairs, all purchased online. Because I could not find them in my local stores.

I needed a new pair of scissors, to clip and snip my sideburns. Simple 5-inch scissors. Local stores did not have what I wanted. I had to buy them on amazon.


And I recently needed an extension cord. A 12-15 foot extension cord. For home use. Not a big deal, right? Wrong. I went to 3 different home supply stores and could not find what I needed. They all offered extension cords with a "flat plug" or a 2-prong plug. I needed an extension cord with a normal regular 3-prong grounded plug.


Nobody had it. I spent an hour online and finally found it - in Atlanta. Yes, I bought it.

Recently, I needed to buy some more vitamin C. I like the GNC brand, 500 mg, chewable, mixed fruit, 90 tablets. I have been taking them for years.
I drove to my local GNC store to get another 90 tablet bottle. They didn't have any. I said, "You make the darn things, how can you not have any?" The clerk shrugged and said he didn't know. I ended up buying them online - on ebay. They arrived with many broken tablets, due no doubt to rough shipping.



Where's my toothpaste? It's not in stores anymore. I have been using this whitening toothpaste for years. It costs $1.00 a tube, much less than the major brands. And it works well. I went to my local RiteAid, where I have been buying the item for years, only to find out they no longer carry the item. And none of the other pharmacies or supermarket near me carry this item for anywhere near $1.00, if at all. It sells online for about $12 a tube (includes shipping). So, I can no longer use this excellent inexpensive dental product. Where does that leave me? Stuck in the new economy, where I will now have to spend $5-8 at a store for an f-ing major brand tube of toothpaste. Until stores stop carrying toothpaste altogether, then I'll have to buy it online, or stop brushing my teeth.

I also recently bought a jacket online, because Sears did not have any available in any nearby stores for me to try on. Why did I want/need to try it on? Because sometimes I am a L and sometimes I am an XL, it totally depends on the fit. That's why I wished to try it on BEFORE I bought it.



My new jacket. Hope it fits!

I had to buy this jacket online and have it shipped to me. I had an online chat with Sears and, even if I paid for it online) wouldn't even ship it to a local nearby Sears store (there are two) so I could pick it up (and try it on) there after purchasing it online. If it doesn't fit, I could return it right then and there. Now, I have to wait a week until I receive my purchase at my residence, try it on, and see if the Large fits me. It may not. I have a lot of jackets. Some of my jackets are L and some are XL. All of them are old, and fit me. And, yes, I was able to try them on - in a store - before I bought them. If this hooded bomber jacket doesn't fit me, I will have to return it, i.e. mail it back and get a refund. I was hoping to find the item online (which I could, and did) and then simply go to the local Sears store to pick it up, try it on and buy it the same day (which I couldn't, and didn't). Guess what? A few days later I received the jacket and it was the wrong style, the wrong label, and the wrong size. EPIC FAIL!

My new teapot. Not.
And this week I wished to buy a replacement tea kettle, as my 10-year-old tea kettle was getting corroded on the inside bottom. Time to buy a new tea kettle. No problem, right? Wrong! I looked up my beloved tea kettle online and saw that amazon sold it. For $12.49. Good. I put the tea kettle in my amazon shopping cart and got ready to pay for it and have it shipped. I then noticed that it said shipping time was 1-2 months. MONTHS? WTF? I called amazon to report the error. They looked into it and said the 1-2 months shipping time was correct. Apparently, they were out of stock at the moment - but still selling it! I told amazon that doing so was stupid and I deleted the item from my shopping cart, frustrated and annoyed. I then looked online again and, voila, Target had it in stock. At the same price. And they had it in stock. I drove the 10 miles to one of my 2 local Target stores. I tried to find the tea kettle and walked the entire store trying to locate it. Finally, I asked an employee and he took me over to the mini-section of tea kettles, buried among the coffee makers. I looked closely and could not find my new tea kettle. It was not on the shelf. They had a cheaper tinier one but I did not want that one. Target did not have any of my tea kettles in stock, even though their website said they did. The employee suggested I order it online via Target.com. I told him that I looked into that and saw that I could not order it online without first signing up for a Target account -- and being FORCED to receive their email offers and promotions. No thanks, Target, go F yourself! I walked out of the store, annoyed. I drove home and ate lunch. Later, I decided to try the other Target store and see if they had my tea kettle in stock, ready for me to drive there and buy it. Their website said there was 1 left, in stock, at that store. I jumped in the car and sped over to the second Target store, happy to be replacing my wonderful teapot with an exact replacement. I went into the store and looked around for the "coffee machine" section. I couldn't find it. I walked the entire store (the second one that day) and finally asked an employee where the tea kettles were. He took me over to the well hidden tiny section. There was, once again, an empty space on the shelf where my tea kettle should have been! I was outraged! Why the F did the Target website show it in stock, in the store, in TWO stores, if it wasn't available, wasn't there??? After spending hours driving to, and walking through, 2 Target stores, I had no new teapot! Welcome to online shopping and picking your item up at the store.

Based on all the above, am I a happy shopper? What do you think?

Welcome to the new consumer economy. Where you can no longer find what you want in a brick-and-mortar store. Welcome to the new consumer economy, where you have to buy your stuff online, and wait days or weeks to receive it. When I want to buy something, and I want/need to use it that day, or try it on, buying online does not work! Yes, Amazon Prime has same-day delivery (on some items) but I am not a Prime member and would rather not become one.

More and more, I am buying the stuff I want, and need, online (if possible). Because much of the stuff I want, and need, is not available in physical stores.

And the new consumer economy - online shopping - is putting brick-and-mortar businesses - small and large - out of business. Retail is dead! And that's a big problem. Retail employment accounts for millions of jobs. These jobs are disappearing.

Welcome to the new consumer economy. Welcome to sitting on your ass and shopping with your cell phone. Now, you'll have to excuse me, I am going to take myself to the supermarket. Yes, I know they'll deliver but, as a old-school human, I want to be around some other humans.




where's our TV shows?


Once upon a time, TV shows in America usually had 22-24 weekly episodes in a season. Today, it is not unusual for a TV show to have a mere 10 weekly episodes in a season. That's 10 weeks a year. Out of 52. Sometimes, there are only 6 episodes. That sucks!

I get like 100+ channels from my cable TV provider and, all too often, there's nothing worth watching. No wonder I can't find something to watch when I turn on the TV, it's often repeats/reruns. Or really stupid shows I am not interested in watching. "Sister Wives", followed by "Seeking Sister Wife". Really? Do I want to watch back-to-back shows about polygamy? No. Or a new show of only 6 episodes? (just enough to whet your appetite then frustrate you by ending). Or, "enhanced episodes" which are actually mostly reruns. Or, on my On Demand TV service and TV apps, they often only allow me to see the latest (or the last 5) episodes of a show. What about the OTHER earlier episodes, like the beginning episodes which allows the viewer to get a sense of the development of the show? No, TV does not give a s*** about us, the viewers. Or, maybe TV execs are so stupid they don't think they have to listen to the viewers, the audience that generates advertising income for the TV networks.

Not to mention that many of the shows are lousy, uninteresting, stupid, badly written/produced and/or just plain suck. Don't get me started, I could list dozens of those!

Where's my TV shows? Where's OUR TV shows? Good TV shows. Good dramas, good comedies. Good non-reality TV shows. At this point, I am seriously thinking about not watching prime time TV anymore and doing something else for those 3 hours a night, like reading a book. Or playing online poker. Or going to sleep at 8:00 PM.




Enhanced TV episode


So does TV

I was looking for something to watch on TV in primetime, during a holiday rerun week, and came across a listing for an American Pickers episode at 9 PM. I looked further and it said it was an enhanced episode and was listed as new. I then also saw a similar listing for an enhanced Pawn Stars episode at 10 PM on the same channel, which was also listed as new. I looked at the details and description for each show and realized that I had seen both of them. New? Enhanced? WTF?

Apparently, an enhanced episode means they took an old show and added some footage or something that was not in the original episode. And called the episode "new". I have tried to watch some "new" enhanced episodes of shows that I already viewed and clearly remember what happened in the original episode, now listed as a "new" enhanced episode. A "new" enhanced episode ain't a new episode, it's still a f-ing rerun! The listing of an episode that previously aired - enhanced or not - and calling it "new" is misleading and false advertising. And, if you've already seen the episode and remember it, very disappointing. Unfortunately, the enhanced episode is becoming a TV programming trend.

Enhanced episodes, listed as new. Wrong! Please label them properly - as enhanced RERUNS!




Bikes more important than cars


bike lane steals a lane of traffic

I do my food shopping in nearby Burbank. I drive. The traffic in Burbank is usually light, compared to L.A., which has the worst traffic in the world (really, it's been documented). I often go to two different supermarkets in Burbank, in 2 different mini shopping centers a few blocks from each other. Yesterday, I went from vons to Smart & Final via my usual route, Verdugo Avenue. Much to my shock, the normal 4 lane street was reduced to 2 lanes -- one lane each way -- thanks to brand new bike lanes being added. WTF? I was concerned that there was not enough room for the many vehicles who turn into the busy shopping center while many other vehicles drive through to a busy 4-way intersection. There used to be 2 lanes each way to accommodate this traffic flow. No more. Now, a bike lane took away half the lanes.

In its brilliance, the City of Burbank added what will be a rarely used bicycle lane, at the expense of much used lanes of traffic!

This bike lane stealing of traffic lanes has been anti-vehicle trend in Los Angeles for a decade. The local government seems to think that people in L.A. have a f-ing choice regarding driving where they need, or want, to go. Mass transit in L.A. sucks and often doesn't go anywhere close to your destination. And, because L.A. is so spread out (over 500 square miles) all too often you can't ride a bike or walk to where you are going. You have to use a car. Or truck. And, REDUCING the number of lanes of traffic does NOT reduce the horrific traffic congestion in L.A. and surrounding areas. It makes it WORSE!

And now my beloved Burbank has been bitten by the overly aggressive bike lane bug.



The city council, taking away more traffic lanes


Customer Disservice


In case you haven't noticed, customer service has turned into customer DISservice.

Today, as customers, many of the organizations we need help from REFUSE to talk to us - live - via phone. Instead, they give us a robot controlled decision tree to choose from (which often does NOT have the choice we need help with) or doesn't connect us with a live customer service or support person. Or, forces us to email them or leave a voicemail message or schedule a call back (at THEIR convenience). Whatever method they use, they don't want to deal with us, and don't care if they alienate their customers.

As a consumer, customer disservice is NOT what I expect, what I demand and what I pay for. When I have a problem that a robot or voice tree can't, or doesn't, solve, I want to get help from a real live human being. NOW!

How did this customer disservice come about? I blame millennials. They are not used to (or interested in) talking to anybody, including customers. They have convinced the organizations they work for to do away with actual live customer support and instead, instruct the suckers to go visit an online help forum. Or they disconnect you!

Here's a message for all organization that no longer provide free live fast customer service. It's customer disservice. And it's unacceptable.




misleading car fob


I rented a Ford Fusion and it only had one remote fob, to open and close the doors etc. I needed 2 remote fobs, to accommodate another driver. I perused the owner's manual and discovered a terrific thing. The "keyless entry".

The owner's manual showed me how to use the numerals on the door to unlock the car door and lock it upon exiting. No digging around in the pocket or purse for the remote car fob! All you need is the code, which was on a card in the owner's manual package. Keyless entry. Good idea, right? Wrong!

I tried the keyless entry code several times. It worked perfectly. I considered leaving the remote fob at home and using keyless entry to enter and exit the vehicle, a la the owner's manual. Later that day, I walked out of my residence, on the way to the supermarket, without the car fob. At the car, I entered the entry numbers and, click, the door unlocked. Cool. I got in and pushed the Start button.
Nothing. Nothing happened. The car did not start. I tried it again. The car did not start. I did not understand. I got out of the car, locked the car using keyless entry, walked away, waited 30 seconds and walked back. Via the keyless entry, I unlocked the car, click, got in, put my foot on the brake and pushed the Start button. Nothing happened. The car would not start. Then, I noticed an error message in the dashboard display that said, "key not recognized". Key? What key? I was not using the key fob, I was using the keyless entry. What was the dashboard telling me??? I was confused. And upset.

The car was telling me that it needed proximity to the remote fob to start the engine. What? What's the point of keyless entry if it doesn't also allow you to start the damn car? What's the point of keyless entry if it only unlocks and locks the car ... but won't let you drive it? The vehicle operator is the only one with the proper numerical codes to unlock and lock the vehicle via keyless entry, no one else can access or drive the vehicle. So why doesn't keyless entry let me start and DRIVE it too??? Because it won't.

Keyless entry is a misleading stupid invention. You still need the remote fob on your person in order to START the vehicle. Only being able to unlock and relock your vehicle without digging in your pocket or purse is not enough to warrant memorizing a bunch of numbers to make the keyless entry work. What's the point, we still have to have the remote fob on us. And I always keep the fob in my left front pocket and can physically take it out and put it in without much trouble. And, worse, I have only one remote fob and TWO drivers, so I can't even keep it my pocket after using the car. Each time, after I use the car, park it, and enter my residence, I have to remember to take the fob out, put it on the counter for the other driver, and remember to put it back in my pocket every time I want to drive the car. And, no, even though I will be renting the car for a while, the rental car company can't, or won't, get me a second remote fob.

Keyless vehicle entry. A minor modern transportation miracle? Or a minor modern transportation disappointment?