Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I am such an idiot. I moved the website but didn't give my still faithful readers the link. here it is. Converse It! I'm still working out the kinks, but will be posting daily come august. I promise.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


The blog is moving. I've finally taken the Nestea plunge and purchased a domain name and web host. *Don't tell my wife!* Anywho, over the coming days I'll post a link to the site once I have it as nice as I'd like it to be. There will definitely be more postings than here and of course you can always find me every now and again at peace

Monday, April 03, 2006

The IGM guy

Ok, so you're probably like me. When you're walking down a busy street invariably a person will come up to you and ask you for change. Probably doesn't happen too often, but you're not shocked by the, "Hey man, I need $2.00 for a bus ticket" line. Well in the last few weeks, it's like I've had a sign on my forehead that reads - "Yo peeps, I've got money!!!!" In the last two weeks Ive given away a monthly bus pass, a bus transfer pass, and about $10.00 worth of change. I think some folks tell others, "ok, there's this black dude - young guy - with a few grays in a black coat. Check him up for some change and you'll be set for the whole day." I really believe that in some alleyway that's going on right now. I know you're thinking why do I give away the loose change and such to these folks who have as much of a chance of spending the cash on a bus pass as do eskimoos in Alaska. I've got a general rule that I've employed since I gave away my last $40.00 as a college junior. So, here I am walking along Brown University's Thayer street when a guy came up and said, I need $20.00 for a train ticket. I had $40.00 to my name, repeat only $40.00 to my name, and I was pulling in about $80.00 every two weeks at my Orwig job, so $40.00 was a huge deal for me. But, my parents had always taught me to help people needing a hand - we often went out during the Christmas holiday and served homeless people traversing where others were afraid. I didn't learn that we were in 'bad' areas till I got older, but I admired the love and moxie of my parents. Anyhow, I felt bad for the guy and ended up giving him $40.00 knowing full well he might not really 'need' the $40.00 for a train ride, but I figured I'd help him out anyway so he knew there were still 'suckers'…err…people out there in the world willing to help. Well, no more than two days later do I see this guy's picture on the news as a swindler. "Not surprised" I thought but my friends were very surprised at my conclusion following the incident. Most thought I should forever cast off giving away cash to people who look like they need a bath more than a ride to whatever so-called destination point they're nebulously describing to a would-be target…err…helping hand. Yet, I remember the words of Jesus, 'Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.' I had more than a passing notion that the guy who needed nearly half of my two week's paycheck could be a swindler. Yet, what if he wasn't? And if he wasn't and I gave him a lift, he'd be forever grateful. I know there have been times when I've gotten a flat tire, run out of gas, or have been stranded somewhere, and not a single person gave me a hand. I know what it's like to need help and have people turn their backs. And with that in mind, I'm willing to be the IGM guy for the forseable future (IGM = I've Got Money). So tell your neighbors and your friends, that if you see a guy buzzing around Kennedy Plaza in the early morning that if they need change, my pockets are waiting.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Juno - My Complaint

I used Juno service from about April 2004 to November 2005. Previous to that I had used America Online. When I left America Online, after two years of service, they really gave me a difficult time in canceling my account. I was offered low rate accounts, free e-mail upgrades, and the like. I refused them all and ended the relationship with no-harm and no-foul. Yet, in November 2005 I saw a lawsuit against America Online detailing how some customers did not get off as easy as I did. I had this in mind when I went to cancel my Juno subscription. So, in November I was assured that my account would be canceled and that I would never see another charge from Juno again. I even received a cancellation confirmation number to boot. Heck, I even joked with the representative about the problems AOL was having. Well, a few days later Juno charged my account. I didn't notice it that month, but then in December they did it again. I was not happy. I called the customer service line and after berating a man for 10 minutes was transferred to the correct department that handled 'cancellations' I talked to a woman about my problem. She had notes that stated I was canceling Juno but said that no cancellation ever took place. I was not happy. I advised this Juno employee to credit my account ASAP. In three days the two charges were back in my account and I advised the Juno employee "you guys can't charge people when they cancel your service!" Now it's February. I looked on my bank statement today and I see a charge in January and February for a service I cancelled in November. I called and again berated the Juno team about their lack of service and 'deceptive trade practices' - i.e. saying 'your account is cancelled and here is your cancellation number' without actually cancelling the account!! This time I had it and contacted the Rhode Island Attorney General's office. I plan to take this as far as it needs to go because, yeah they'll give me my money back, but how many other people have suffered through what I've gone through. I shouldn't have to make three calls, and get two credits to my bank account in order to cancel my account. The kicker, the 'manager' refused to e-mail me the cancellation confirmation number. She would only e-mail it to the 'cancelled' juno e-mail. I said, "uh, if the account is cancelled, isn't the e-mail address dead?" She replied, "It's not our company policy to e-mail customers at any other location other than their juno account." Stay tuned for the next installment of this case. Juno has no right to do business like this, and I'm not standing for it. I hope, and based upon initial talks with the AG's office things look good, that I can help put a stop to this practice and ensure that others don't find themselves on the phone with people who seem to be intentionally not cancelling their account.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Taxpayer Relief Act of 2006 aka Election-year hoax?

I sent this to Katherin Gregg who covers the General Assembly for the ProJo in re: the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2006. Admittedly, this was just my initial reaction to it. I hope we look back this time next year and see that I was wickedly wrong. But, I don't think so:

Hi Katherine, The reforms proposed by the House, while stirring goose-bumps over the prospect of burgeoning wallets, seems to be nothing more than an election year ploy to help elect Charlie Fogarty, maintain the Democratic stranglehold in the House, and give the RI House Dems the appearance of being cost cutting super-heroes. Well, I'm not fooled and I doubt anyone else in Rhode Island is either. I'd be willing to bet a large some of money (perhaps even the anticipated savings from these reforms) that of the proposed 'relief' bills, the only things that pass are the one/two day sales tax holiday and/or the commission to study state sales tax. In any event, these reforms reek with a politically driven stench. The system needs reform, but you can't cut taxes without so much as glancing at current spending levels. And in your column as well as the House press release covering the same, no Democratic leader supporting these reforms mentioned word one about social services, deficits, and the like. The Rhode Island taxpayer desperately needs relief, but we don't need cheap tricks.
Here's the Press Release from the RI House Leaders: (Connection Broken. Link Posted Later) The story in the Providence Journal: Link So what do you think about these proposed relief efforts to put cash back into our pockets?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Major Tax Reform....or Propoganda?

Perhaps seeking to trump the Governor's budget, leaders of the RI House of Representatives will be introducing 'tax reform' tomorrow at the State House.

House leaders to unveil major tax reform legislation House of Representatives leaders will hold a news conference tomorrow to unveil a major package of legislation aimed at making significant, wide-ranging reforms to Rhode Island’s tax structure.The event will take place Thursday, February 2, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 35 of the State House.
Anyone want to take bets that it isn't that 'major'?

Little Compton School Committee Exemption

Representative John Loughlin, today introduced legislation that would exempt the Little Compton School Committee from publishing its meetings on the Secretary of State's website as every other public body in the state of rhode island now does. Instead of electronically filing with the Secretary of State, Little Compton would be able to publish the notice in a local newspaper. I've posted about the public meetings at the Secretary of State's office before noting that it truly gives the average citizen a look inside of what's going on around the state. By reversing course for one school school committe, it undermines the principle reason for electronic filing. I can't say I know the motivation behind this move, but it does not seem very conducive to keeping citizens informed.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Lobby Tracker

Want to find out how much lobbyists are getting paid and who's paying them to oppose/promote bills in the General Assembly? Then friend, look no further than the link below. Happy investigating!! RI Lobby Tracker

Governor and AG come together

The Governor and Attorney General apparently see eye to eye on at least one issue. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, they announced joint support of stricter DUI regulations (see here). The Governor stated that he had introduced legislation like this before, but I guess he's trying to bring more political pressure onto Democrats by having the AG sign along with it. I have a couple of things to say about this. This helps Lynch against his race against Bill Harsch, who will be a formidable opponent. How so? Well, the Attorney General can now claim that he has 'gone across the aisle' and worked with a Republican, the state's most prominent Republican by the way. He also doesn't lose anything with Democratic voters because RI is a bastion of DUI offences relative to its size and given recent events in places such as Barrington, this will be universally viewed as the right thing to do for Rhode Island. Thus, when the time comes for Mr. Harsch to start picking apart AG Lynch's record, this will be one less bullet in the gun. But then again 5 bullets in a 6 bullet pistol is still pretty lethal.