Commercial Business

Do you watch television? Have you seen what’s on the television?

Our family decided we didn’t want to play ball with the local cable company a couple years ago. I personally think that the service they offer is worth about half what we are paying for it.

The problem is they have local consumers over a barrel, most homes, including ours, are situated such as to make satellite service impractical. It’s cable or nothing, even cell service can be sporadic here in the mountains. We had the extended basic plan, no premium channels, with two DVR’s, in order to escape the commercials — our bill kept creeping closer and closer to the $100 mark, when it reached $96.00, we packed it up.

It was actually pretty painless. We used our cable dollars to order Netflix, many television programs are available online totally free. The online news services are found a little wanting, in my opinion, but it’s a relatively new technology, I’m certain it will continue to improve.

I may be the world’s biggest prude but I have a problem with commercials that air during the middle of the afternoon, that make me feel so uncomfortable that I am forced to change the channel, on the program I happen to be watching, and send my son scampering out of the room.

Since my viewing is pretty limited; I stick mainly with news programming, the weather channel and Law and Order; I don’t have to worry too much about offensive programming. Yes, Law and Order can be a little gruesome but that’s easily avoided by not watching the opening scenes.

I find the commercials to be a horrible unwelcome assault on my senses and I don’t plan to just suck it up and deal with it. I’m shopping for a DVR this week. I don’t know how anyone manages to live without a DVR. I simply don’t understand why people put up with these offensive advertising tactics. Can’t we please just squeeze the Charmin?

Hypocrites and Monopolies

Ready for the Rave? I hope you are sitting down; it could get a little messy today. Capitol Resource Institute wrote a piece today called “Capital Bullies.” It really got under my skin – but not for the reasons you might think.

I feel Google has a noose around my neck and keeps pulling it tighter. We run google ads on our site to help us fund our writing, but it’s very frustrating to have to work so hard to have a political voice. Matt Barber faithfully submits articles to be published by us and often they were right on, but I refused in the end to subject my readers to filth.

Let me explain. Any articles containing the letters G-A-Y in them or their close cousins H-O-M-O… etc. (you get the picture) ultimately presents offensive ads; ads that I find distasteful and out of place. This is a family oriented website written by a (often) radical host, bent on discussing real societal issues. I have found it nearly impossible to ban all of the offensive ads that get displayed whenever articles on certain topics are published.

If you believe in true freedom, the ability to make informed choices, then we, as parents, as sisters, and neighbors should be able to control our Internet experience (not to mention that of our children). A step in the right direction would be to require webmasters to check an ‘adult content’ box to avoid displaying pornography into our homes, without our consent — the owner of the domain found liable and fined for offending our delicate sensibilities.

Individuals should be able to decide for themselves, if they want access to adult themes. Face it folks, it’s not all that difficult of a request to honor.

I don’t think I’m asking for too much. Heck, I’ve got the government telling me I have to strap myself to the wreckage (of my car), they tell us that it’s for our own safety. But don’t believe it. The facts tell a different story. The truth is they want to ticket us – any excuse is as good as any, I always say. The other side of the coin is this; it’s easy to find a body if it’s fastened down.

I’ll tell you the same thing I tell the kids. My car (house) – My Rules! The day our all-powerful government buys me a shiny new Rolls Royce, is the day they can force me to buckle up. It just ain’ta goin’a happen. Facts are facts. According, to the constitution I read, the government has no right to "protect" me from my own stupidity.

I have no idea what ads are being served up to our visitors. Google, Yahoo and most other ad generating engines – all base the ads they serve up on "user" defined values, so everyone’s experience is different. A parent that views adult sites and allows their child to browse websites on that same computer, could end up responsible for the child seeing adult advertisements.

Which brings me to my next – totally unrelated topic.

Doorway to Danger

When you need shaving cream at 10pm and you live in the mountains, choices are limited, but never fear Wal-mart is always near. Such was our lot in life tonight. My dear spouse ran out of shaving cream and so we traipsed down the "hill" to pick some up.

The store, I’m told, is required to be totally remodeled every five years — this being the fifth year… if you believe a certain customer service clerk. Needless, to say finding anything was a real challenge. My son trotted off as usual to check out the toy section, to locate whatever new treasures were to be found.

When we went to find him, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was livid with the choice of their relocation of the toy department. Get this… they had moved the entire lawn and garden department outside. The childrens section was moved into its place, near one of only three sets of doors.

I inquired as to why on earth they would move the childrens section to the most exposed section of the store. The section came complete with its own exit door, without a greeter or guard, which on most occasions only has one clerk. (Though, to be fair, the customer service clerk informed me that it is Wal-mart policy to provide a greeter for each exit. I personally have never found a greeter to be present at that door. Ever.)

For those of you that can’t see our concern, I’ll spell it out: the childrens department is next to an open door. Any nefarious pedophile could use it as their very own shopping aisle for the children they’re after. Most parents let their children wander the toy aisles while they shop. The ‘temporary’ placement of this section next to an unguarded door is a huge – and unnecessary – risk. In the world this has become I would not be surprised if this were exploited before the toys were back in the main area.

Voicing concern with the minimum wage clerk didn’t get us very far. She had better things to do with her time. I hope the children that are kidnapped don’t weigh too heavy on her conscience.

Fortunately, the clerk assures me this is a temporary situation, while they work on various areas of the store. Currently the pharmacy is under siege. It looks like a war zone. If you want my opinion, they would have been better off giving the employees a paid vacation and closing the store. The work would certainly go a lot faster. Surely people can do without Wal-mart for two weeks? But what do we know? We are just lowly shoppers with an eye for safety.