Saturday, October 23, 2010

Parachuting into Michigan Stadium

No matter who you root for in College Football, you have to admit this video is fantastic
Sgt. Adam Sniffen from the 101st Airborne Division delivers the game ball via parachute before the Michigan vs. MSU game at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 9, 2010.

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Michigan Wolverines adidas Gold/Navy 3-In-1 Short Sleeve/Long Sleeve Tee ComboNCAA 9750 Limited Edition Gold Series Stadium Replica of Michigan Stadium Wolverines

Friday, October 22, 2010

Eric LeGrand Believe Fund

I already put up a post about Eric LeGrand a couple of days ago but just want to share this with everyone. Rutgers University has set up the "Eric LeGrand Belive Fund" to help support the family of Eric LeGrand. This is taken directly from their website,

The Rutgers Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced the establishment of the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to support Eric LeGrand and his family. LeGrand, a junior defensive tackle for the Scarlet Knights, suffered a spinal cord injury Oct. 16 vs. Army. 
Contributions to the fund are not tax deductible and can be made by sending a check payable to the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to:
“Eric LeGrand Believe Fund”
PNC Wealth Management
Attn: Kimberly G. Kingsland, Senior Trust Advisor
One Palmer Square Suite 201
Princeton, NJ 08542
 I have seen a Facebook event named "Wristbands for LeGrand" but have no way of knowing if that money is actually getting to the LeGrand family. If you want to help do it directly through this fund just to be on the safe side. Please pass this information to others.

Rutgers has also put up this video.

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Large amounts of water located on the Moon

Remember the NASA mission from late last year where they planned on "bombing" the moon? That mission has turned out to be successful. These probes discovered enough water that could possibly be processed and used by a potential Lunar Base similar to the International Space Station.

Will this make the Obama administration (or for that matter a future administration) reconsider another set of manned missions to the moon? Would you support a NASA base on the moon? I have mentioned in the past that I want to see this happen in my lifetime.

As more resources are found on the moon and other parts of space the question naturally becomes, who owns these resources?

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

Journey to the Moon: The 40th Anniversary of Apollo 1140th Anniversary Apollo 11 Capsule

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR fires analyst for Islampohopic statement

" (Insert media outlet here) fires analyst for Islamophobic statement"
Now there is a headline you don't see everyday. I want to commend the people at NPR who made this decision to terminate the contract of Juan Williams. This was bound to happen sooner or later with his track record of appearances on Faux News. Media Matters asked last year about Williams' violation of NPR Code of Ethics. There are far too many "journalists" (if you can call some of these people that) who are trying to make a career from spreading Islamophobia.

While appearing on Bill O'Reilly's show, Williams said,
"Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
 Does Juan Williams also wonder if any of his fellow Latinos on those airplanes are smuggling drugs or illegal immigrants with false documentation? O'Reilly of course has never been shy about his hatred of Muslims. By now everyone has seen his remarks with Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg on "The View".

Faux News has been rolling out the full court press in O'Reilly's defense.

O'Reilly's own defense of his comments have been quiet stupid. Media Matters has good article pointing the major flaws in his thinking.

Once again I want to thank NPR for making the right call here.
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The Qur'an With Annotated Interpretation in Modern EnglishThe Holy Qur'an in Today's English

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blinds to Go Customer Service Part 2

Read Part 1 of my issues with Blinds to Go here.

Blinds to Go is an absolute joke. You'd think a company of that size would take every step necessary to ensure that a customer who just had a horrible experience because of the incompetence of their employees walks away somewhat satisfied. If anyone else was in their shoes would they not make an effort to try and get the customer their money back so they may consider buying from them again at a future date?

They claim on their website that "Our commitment to personal service is legendary." What a big lie that is.

This is the e-mail I received from them earlier today:

As per our phone conversation yesterday afternoon, I looked into the matter. We do apologize for the inconvenience you had encountered with the backorder due to high demand. Unfortunately there had been a misunderstanding in regards to which of the products (Mini Vintage / Vintage) was on backorder. These products are very similar in name therefore before releasing the order it was made clear which of the two is in backorder. The expected date of receiving materials is not yet known. I did call Aqueilla from our store location in Metuchenand discussed the situation.  
Aqueilla called me back explaining that she will refund you the deposit that you already made. However, in regards of the installer's service, we will not refund the money that you paid for the measurements. We only give reference of professional installers to our customers. The installers are separated contractors and this was explained to you. If you want, we can provide you a copy of the measurements which you can use again in any other company. That is the policy of our company and that is our final decision.
Thank you for your patience.
Have a great day! 
Roberta Trindade
Customer Service
Blinds To Go

I am currently writing up a response to them right now and obviously want my money back for the measurements. What good are the measurements to me without their blinds? Each company measures in their own way depending on the type of product they carry. What an absolute joke that this company wants to distance itself from the installers and measurement company. When  you walk into the store and ask for someone to come out and take measurements they give you the business cards for 2 companies that do the job for them. They staple these business cards onto the Blinds to Go brochures. Can someone tell me where I can find e-mail addresses for their executives? These are there names:
Stephen J. Shiller - President
David Shiller - Founder
Nkere Udofia - Board of Directors

I will be reaching out to New Jersey Consumer Affairs if this does not get resolved today.
Read Part 1 of my issues with Blinds to Go here.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Eric LeGrand - Rutgers Football

If you follow me on twitter you've heard me mention that I have not yet watched a game of Rutgers Football this season due to a bunch of different reasons. I've been keeping an eye out on the program as always though.

By now most sports fans have already seen the clip of it but Junior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury in the game against Army this past Saturday at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The hit paralyzed him from the neck down. LeGrand, who's a local kid grew up just a short drive away in Avenel, NJ.

The video of the hit is up on YouTube. It's the risk you take in a sport like football. We've all seen hits that looked far worse but somehow not cause any injury, unfortunately this one wasn't one of those.

Head Coach Greg Schiano did speak to the media today.

"Here's the situation: This is going to be a long, long hard road back and there's going to be speculation and a lot of friends and people who care," 
"I think it's important that we stay away from those kinds of things," Schiano said. "I think there's so much out there and a lot of it is misguided. Right now, when it's appropriate, we will make an announcement if there's any kind of change in his condition. But it's not going to be a day-to-day thing."
He appeared on ESPN's College Football Live and WFAN with Mike Francesa.

Rutgers Athletics released the following Press Release earlier today:
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (October 17, 2010) - Rutgers junior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand (Avenel, N.J.) suffered a spinal cord injury in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game vs. Army. The injury was at the C3-C4 level and emergency surgery was performed by doctors throughout the night at Hackensack University Medical Center to stabilize the spine. 
“We want to say thank you to everyone for all of your prayers, kind words, and well wishes,” the LeGrand family said. “We appreciate every single thought. Eric is in good spirits and we are praying for a full recovery.”
Eric is resting in the intensive care unit at Hackensack University Medical Center and will remain there for the near future. Currently, he has no movement below the neck.
“Eric, his family and the Rutgers Football family believe he will recover,” said Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano. “We ask our fans and the entire Rutgers community to believe and pray for Eric as he begins the recovery process.” SEND ERIC YOUR GET WELL WISHES
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Blinds to Go Customer Service

Customer Review:
Blinds to Go
143 US Route 1 South,
Metuchen, NJ 08840
Phone: (732)452-0910
Fax (732)452-0912

We placed an order for blinds at the store in Metuchen, NJ on 10/12/2010. We ordered total of 10 horizontal and 2 vertical blinds. At the time of the order we were told that the two vertical ones would be on backorder but everything else would be available for installation. We were promised temporary shades for those 2 windows in question. 

We got measurements done through a company they recommended to us. We got a call from the store on Friday to schedule an installation date because our order would be ready by Sunday. Once they told us that we arranged for a moving truck so we could move our stuff into our new home knowing that the blinds would be scheduled today (Monday). 

Today we received a call from the store after 3 PM telling us that the 2 vertical blinds were in store but everything else was on backorder and would not be installed today. When we asked them to explain how that ended up happening they didn't have an answer. We called the 1-800-Blinds-7 number and spoke to a representative who's first response to our query was, "What do you want me to do?" Does this pass for acceptable behavior at this company? The person on the phone told us nothing could be resolved today because the sales representative we originally dealt with was not at the store today. Can someone explain to me how that is our problem? Does all business at Blinds to Go come to a halt every time one employee has the day off? Do their stores not keep computerized records of these transactions? Do they not have the capability to track the progress of orders from their headquarters? The Customer Service representative told us we had to deal with the local store and when we explained the issue further their response was that the salesperson may have been confused because the name of the blinds we ordered were similar to other ones in the store. Can you please tell us how it would be our fault if the sales staff does not know the merchandise your company sells?

We decided  to go to the store to speak to someone in person. We got there at 6:15 and spoke to the person who called us from the store earlier in the day. This person told us both the horizontal and vertical blinds were on backorder when placed the order (which doesn't explain how the vertical ones were in store today when they originally called us). They said the blinds would not be in stock until some time in November. They finally called the salesperson at 6:45 and said that they told him that we were told that all the blinds were on backorder. That is absolutely not true. The store called us on Friday to ask us to schedule an appointment with the installer. Why would they do that if they knew that the blinds were on backorder? We asked them to give us the name of someone higher up in the Blinds to Go chain of command that we could get in touch with but all they did was direct us to the customer service number which was of no help earlier in the day. We asked them to call whoever they needed to call because we wanted a waiver of installation charges for the inconvenience. They went on the phone with someone but told us we could get temporary shades for now but we would have to pay for the installation of those temporary shades as well as the blinds when they came in? Blinds to Go expects us to pay extra because of problems on their end? In speaking to someone at their headquarters the person at the store told them that he was playing phone tag because neither the customer nor the salesperson was there in the store. That was a flat out lie because we were standing there right in front them. This asked us to be "grownups" about this. What part of this was our fault? 

While the person we spoke to at the store didn't solve our problem their co-worker at the time was completely rude.  Both of them kept saying that they couldn't do anything until tomorrow when the original salesperson was in the store. They had just spoken to this person 15 minutes earlier so why did they both refuse to call them again to try and get some answers? They said it was 7 PM so they could not call them. The co-worker shut off the lights to the store saying "we have to get home to your families" and forced us out of the store. Once again I ask, does this pass as acceptable behavior at Blinds to Go? Would the staff have also forced us out if we were there to make a purchase?

I've worked as a Customer Service Supervisor and store manager for 3 major retail companies. I understand problems arise with orders sometimes but it is completely unacceptable to wait until after 3 PM on the day of the installation to notify the customer of a problem with the order. Nowhere in retail is it acceptable to act the way their staff did both on the phone and at the store level today. They need to remind their staff that this isn't a charity that they are running. As paying customers we should be treated with more professionalism. 

As a result of carelessness and lack of professionalism on their end we are sitting in a new home right now with no blinds anywhere. 

Has anyone else out there had issues with Blinds to Go? 

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Customer Service For DummiesCustomer Service Training 101: Quick and Easy Techniques That Get Great Results

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Average MLB game has only 14 minutes of actual action.

This past summer we heard a lot of talk from American sports fans saying things along the lines of "soccer is boring because there is no action." The next time you hear that from someone, just send them this Wall Street Journal article. This study shows that the average Major League Baseball game only has 14 minutes of actual action.
The stopwatch would start when a pitcher lifted his leg to begin his pitching motion. The timing would stop when the ball hit the catcher's mitt or, if it was put in play, when the presiding umpire made a call or the players all stopped moving (pickoff attempts and steals were also counted as action).
The result is that during these games, there was a nearly identical amount of action: about 14 minutes. To put that in context, that's about 10.9% of the total broadcast time (excluding commercials). It's a fraction of the roughly 88 minutes the players were shown standing around between plays, nearly 45% more than the 10 minutes of replays that are shown and almost four times as much as the cameras show players lounging in the dugout.
Seriously, 14 minutes of actual game play during the average Major League Baseball game. A lot of us will stay up until past 1 AM Eastern on most nights during the baseball playoffs thanks to games that take close to 3 hours to finish. 
 This comes on the heels of an earlier study which reported that the average NFL game only had 11 minutes of action
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MLB 2K10Baseball: The Tenth Inning

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Quick MLB Playoffs Predictions

Baseball playoffs.....or as TBS refers to it "programming we air in the middle of Conan promos!"

I'm taking Twins in 5 over Yankees. Twins probably need Liriano and Pavano to come up big but Yankee pitching after Sabathia is shot. Liriano has to find a way to outduel Sabathia.

Rays in 4 over Texas. Angels dropped the ball on Vlad last off season so it is good to see him get another crack at a ring eventhough I don't see them beating Tampa.

As much as it pains me to say it, Phillies in 4. It can easily be a sweep. I want t see Halladay do well since I've always been a big fan of his but I just wanted the Jays to trade him to a team I didn't hate.

Giants in 3. Bobby Cox's career will end with yet another early exit from playoffs. I love the Giants pitching.

Rest of the Playoffs:

Rays over Twins in 5
Giants over Phillies in 7

Rays over Giants in 6

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Friday, October 01, 2010

America's STD experiments in Guatemala

I was browsing the internet earlier today when I ran across the following headline:
U.S. apologizes for STD experiments in Guatemala

The article provides some details about the experiments that went between 1946 and 1948.
U.S. government medical researchers intentionally infected hundreds of people in Guatemala, including institutionalized mental patients, with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or permission more than 60 years ago.

Many of those infected were encouraged to pass the infection onto others as part of the study.

About one third of those who were infected never got adequate treatment.

On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offered extensive apologies for actions taken by the U.S. Public Health Service.
Does this count as biological warfare? Absolutely disgraceful. Who knows what else has been done in the name of "research" over the years. Is it that much of a stretch to believe that experiments have been done on prison population here?

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Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and Its Legacy (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)
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