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Friday, January 28, 2011

My Letter to Dish Network! ;(

To Whom it May Concern,
I'm taking the time to type this letter in the hopes that it doesn't "Fall on Deaf Ears" so to speak.
Since becoming a Dish Network Customer, I've experienced nothing but blatant disregard to the concept of "Customer Satisfaction".
First of all, Upon signing up with Dish Network, I opted for Paperless Billing, went fine until suddenly....You removed paperless billing from my account, this caused a disruption in my payment method which brings me to the point, I made a payment recently at a local Payment Center (this method causes payment to be delayed by a day or two) I wasn't given a single minute past the due date and my service was interrupted.I would be okay with this but the fact that whenever bad weather occurs and I have NO signal (yet I'm still being billed for a screen that says "Complete Signal Loss")...I'm basically told to grin and bear it.
I called your company and requested that the Dish be replaced to a location where I can reach it/get to it in order to remove obstruction (in this case Snow) without risking injury/death.
I was told that it would cost me $65.00 up front to do so. In other words, Your Technician's failure to place the Dish in a sensible, reachable location to the Paying Customer should cost THAT customer money?!!! I don't see the fairness in that at all. Your company takes and demands prompt payment (not to mention Extremely long waiting periods that end with you finally speaking to a representative that you ALWAYS thank for NOTHING) yet doesn't meet with it's customers half way. Time Warner Cable and Verizon Fios do indeed cost a significant amount more but I'm starting to see why, They provide excellent customer service, are rigid, true, but much more willing to work with the customer than people at D.N. (You don't even offer "On Demand Channels"...nothing. The biggest sales gimmick you people can come up with is a Phone App that allows you to Program your DVR away from Home. (Really?!!!!)
I look forward to my contract with you being up so that I can RUN back to Time Warner or Verizon Fios. They're Superiority to you is actually worth the higher price. Thank You Dish Network! for showing me that Quality Service is truly worth paying for!
- Rudy A. Rimpel

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Bite Me.....Please?"

Whenever I hear this song "Teeth" by Lady Gaga, It just mentally takes Me right to BonTemps, Louisiana and my Obsession. Figured I'd find Pictures (one by one picking out pics I thought You'd all Like and added a couple of "Sound Bites" for effect. Kinda makes You wanna "Do Bad Things" doesn't it?......

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

"African- American Me"?!!!

You know what?.... I don't Like the term "African-American". I'd rather just be called Black. Most Black People I know as well as their Parents, Grandparents, etc. Have never even BEEN to Africa. I was just sitting here wondering Who passed the Bill on declaring the term to be "Politically Correct"? No controversy intended and I don't mean to offend any Black Organizations with the term in their title...just wondering if I should answer to something that I can't explain the origin or reason for. Even my Friends from Nigeria and Ghana, Africa don't understand how a culture can be displaced from it's Origins for hundreds of years becoming it's OWN and then slapped with a tag based on a culture that it hasn't lived as for Centuries.
The truth is.... that when We as Black Americans visit Africa, We're not viewed as one of them. There's not even a "Prodigal Son" theme at play here. in Africa, Black Americans are viewed by the Citizens of Africa as "Americans". The irony to me is that over here in America, We are referred to as "African- Americans". Adjectives are usually used to describe a noun (i.e. "fuzzy peach", "hot day"). In My point of View...if You're going to describe an American as "African", then You should at least (if asked) be able to answer how that "Adjective" describes that "Noun" (PERSON,place or thing). Skin color is not a viable option unless there's a Crayon in the Big Crayola box labeled, "Africa". I know it's a mouthful but "American of African Descent" actually makes alot more sense to Me because there is scientific proof that makes this term accurate. Like they say, "It's not what You call Me but what I answer to that matters". I'm open to hearing reasons why some of You may believe this is a fitting name to describe Us. I may even re-evaluate my Point of view if presented with reasons that compel Me to do so. The truth is... some of You agree and some of You of course don't. However, no matter what Your point of view is...Your opinion matters. Please feel free to comment with your Point of View! Best Wishes and a Happy New Year to All of You!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tribute To The Man Who Walked The Moon Through Music

First of all, I'm writing this Blog solely on my memories of Michael Jackson so I ask you to forgive me if I jump back and forth in my recollection of events. I wanted this to be from the heart so I chose not to consult a Wikipedia or other source of chronological information in order to put my "Point of View" in print. As always, I'm reminding the Reader that this is just my Outlook and me Blogging how I feel about various topics.
Seems like all my life Michael Jackson has been a Household Word. I remember the 70's when "Rock With You" was at the top of the Billboard Charts...I was in Elementary School and my classmates were sneaking the "Off The Wall" album cover to class.
I can remember like it was Mom teaching me how to do "The Rock", a dance that was created to accompany the song. That was my first real memory of Michael Jackson.
Seems like that "Off the Wall" album (and the singles that were released from it) were etching themselves into the very fiber of who I was and would grow up to be although I didn't know it at the time.
I remember when "Thriller" was released. I was a little older (not much) and was able to figure out the hottest King of Pop dance steps myself. The entire world watched when the "Thriller" video was released as a mini-movie-esque Prime time record breaker. People my age (some much older) memorized the dance steps that are still classic choreography in some party circles today. Once again....the singles off the Album rocked the airwaves for what seemed like years.
Eventually, as the years went by...more Classics like "Bad" "Man in The Mirror" (Even his little part in "We are The World" before the recently mentioned hits..helped to form the very foundation on which I perceive music!!! Michael was Bad!!!
Millions of people gathered in front of their Television sets in order to view "Motown 25" and what Michael did that night....that futuristic, groundbreaking "Moonwalk" donning the "Glitter Glove" that became synonymous with the "King of Pop"...set tongues wagging for years to come!!!
For an era, sold out concerts around the World, Magazine Covers, Cutting edge, long awaited (much appreciated) Music Videos became commonplace for the man whom the media dubbed as "Jacko". America gasped at Pepsi Commercial fiasco that threatened to put the most revered performer in the World out of commission..only to be relieved that it was only a momentary setback and Michael went back to doing what he did best....delivering song and dance to the Globe that would break and set trends like no other artist ever has!!!
Consistently entertaining America..better yet...the World, Michael Jackson kept reaching higher plateaus than most of us imagined possible for years to come...Until his name became cloaked with scandal.
There was speculation and allegations in the early 90's that Michael was involved in sexually inappropriate acts with minors...namely, little boys. The Media Blitz and charges he was facing caused a dark cloud to form over the otherwise Pristine, child like Superstar that in some ways (even though charges were never proven) remained over his head for the rest of his life. Even his marriage to Priscilla Presley years earlier was rumored to be a sham, however, the sexual criminal allegations were far worse. Michael went into what seemed like exile after releasing very few hits but the Worldwide acknowledgement of his music and all his songs that could be heard on Radio Stations everywhere...even in Movie Soundtracks made sure Billions of his fans held steadfast in their adoration of the Superstar.
In recent news it seemed that a "comeback" for Michael Jackson was imminent. We were waiting for him to do what he always does...make beautiful music for generations to remember always. Regardless of what "might" have happened...We were ready to hear what "Jacko" was gonna do next.
On Thursday, June 25Th, Like a shot heard round the World..It was announced that Michael Jackson had died at age 50. The World is in mourning. I spoke to a friend in London as well as a friend in the Netherlands via "Skype" and they informed me that their countries were in a state of shock and grief that the "King of Pop" had his last breath earlier in the day.
Even as I write this...I still find it hard to believe that such a Super Talent (Who seemed like he would live forever) gone.
Even if you only look at the Music and not the Man, Michael Jackson was and will always be a Legend. He brought Decades of Music that filled our Hearts, Homes, Backyards, Walkmans and iTunes/iPods. Regardless of Scandal...The Man was Loved by so many. Speaking for myself, I will always love his music..there was so much. I will always remember his soft, quiet demeanor when he wasn't performing and the fact that he helped to shape my musical ear and assisted me in my transition from the clumsy kid who was taught "The Rock" by his Mother..into a true aficionado of Pop Culture. For that alone....I will always be grateful to Michael Jackson... The "King of Pop", "Moonwalker" "Jacko" or whatever you choose to call him. He'll always be Music to Me and the World will miss him but never stop playing his Music. Rest in Heavenly Peace Michael!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Embracing Our Diversity

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect.
It means understanding that each individual is unique,
and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along
the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs,
political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration
of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment.
It is about understanding each other and moving beyond
simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the
rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

It appears that in America, we are finally gravitating towards a "cohabitation" of sorts that I'm finally beginning to feel comfortable with. I really hope we continue this progress until we reach a point where we ALL feel free to be ourselves. I hope and pray we really do become a "Free Zone". Some may find this to be a "Pollyanna" outlook but when you look at how far we've's not so far fetched. We once lived in an era where Women and Blacks were not allowed to vote. Slavery and the cruelty that went with it was not only condoned but encouraged. Millions of Jews were murdered simply for their race and/or beliefs. Gays were forced to hide in obscure, dark places in order to be together. There was no such thing as Higher Education for the Poor. People with mental illnesses were put away and forced to live in inhumane conditions for the remainder of their lives. The list of crimes against humanity went on and on.

Today, we all have certain inalienable rights that protect us from such unfairness and cruelty. I don't know about you...but it looks like we've come a long way, I call that Progress.

We should give credit where it is due. Take a look at who's in the White House...that says alot.

I pray that we continue to speak out against injustice, racism and discrimination and embrace not only what makes us different but what makes us the same........Humanity!!!

An Ode To The Upper East Side

I had just gotten in from a Day's work last week when my phone rang and it was a good friend of mine calling to invite me out to Dinner. I had already gotten undressed and was in my Boxers and a T-Shirt but the idea of meeting her in the City for Dinner was really appealing. We hadn't seen each other in a very long time, although we talk on the phone almost daily. It was still relatively early so without hesitation..I gladly accepted the invitation.
I freshened up, threw on some Blue Jeans and a pair of Nike's and was on my way into Manhattan (from Staten Island) within the hour. The plan was to meet her at her Job, she was scheduled to punch out at 6:30p.m. I had gotten there just in time and was pleased to be in Manhattan's Upper East Side (East 80's at @ 2ND Avenue). The warm Spring air, the busy streets, a plethora of different aromas emanating from all the different Restaurants was so intoxicating to me. At first we were going to eat at "Trata's" but then decided we would just play it by ear.
We walked a few blocks then we approached a "Big Daddy's Burger". I was instantly drawn to it's casual. colorful all American atmosphere. They also offered outdoor dining which is what my friend and I were really in the mood for..this way we could enjoy the Spring air and take in the eclectic New York scenery. All kinds of people from all different walks of life, people walking their exotic dogs or very unique and interesting mixed breeds with lots of personality.
The Yellow Taxi cabs picking up and dropping off everyone from the young urban hipster to chic, swanky, sophisticated artsy types and even the local construction workers seemed to be silently, inwardly humming the tune of the East 80's that we all seemed to hear. We took a table for two out on the sidewalk and were greeted by Suzy, a wonderful young waitress with a style all her own.She was petite with blue eyes, blond hair, twisted dreadlocks and a look authenticated in the "Big Apple".
After looking at the colorful menu, Toeny (my friend) and I both decided on a Cheddar Cheeseburger that was stacked with avocado, bacon, romaine lettuce, ripe tomato with a side of Tater Tots and coleslaw. She ordered medium well and I of course..medium rare.
We ordered drinks and as we waited for our food I was pleased with the way people seated near us as well as the pedestrians walking by would smile and nod hello...some even spoke and greeted us warmly. I was amazed at all this because I was born and raised in New York. This is a Borough known for the surliness and constant "I'm in a hurry" attitude of it's inhabitants.
I've spent lots of time in Harlem, Times Square, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn and The Bronx.
However, this area seemed like it had been hidden from me all my New York life and I couldn't help but be amazed at the almost musical under current that permeated the air here. When our food had arrived after our pleasant exchanges with the diners surrounding us as well as the warm and friendly waitress , Suzy...I proceeded to enjoy the best Burger I had eaten in years (not to mention the biggest).
After an enjoyable meal, allot of laughs between Toeny and myself and taking in all that the area had to offer, we decided to take a leisurely walk to the Subway instead of taking a Taxi. I noticed so many things in this amazing Metropolis, A huge selection of all kinds of fine dining, Movie theaters, Gyms, Retail clothing and shoe stores (Victoria's Secret, Aldo and much, much more). The beautiful Men and Women of all races, sizes, backgrounds and various "Modes De Vie".
I was almost sad to be leaving not only the great company of my friend, Toeny... but the warm, inviting embrace of my newly found friend.....Manhattan's Upper East Side.
The whole thing was a beautiful experience that was an unexpected surprise to me. I made a mental note and promise to myself that I would make it to this part of town as often as i can this Summer. To pursue a love affair with my latest satisfy the curiosity and re-visit this place where everybody may not know your name..but you feel as though they do. I want to walk by "Jack Russell's" Pub ...where right across the street some one's walking their pampered Jack Russell Terrier. The smell of Souvlaki intermingled with Curry from the Indian Restaurant right up the Block. The long line of friends and lovers waiting to see "The Hangover" outside a local Movie Theater. This is my New York...this is my "Upper East Side". I must admit...I think I'm in Love. Cheers!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Interacial Dating?... We have the Right!!!

I was on a Gay Forum site that discusses various topics and I happened to come across a thread started by an individual who seemed to be a little vehement in expressing his distaste for Black Men and White Men dating each other. This is what he had to say:

"I know people inter racially date all the time , either it be gay, straight, men, women, whatever ..... I can tolerate interracial dating and although black men have the highest rates of inter racially dating, I can still tolerate it to an extent BUT not when it comes to black guys dating white guys. I guess the issue is further and I'll explain why ..... firstly, slavery. slavery being that it was the white mans territory to fulfill his hatred and jealousy of black men and even have his way with black men sexually and forced.. utterly disgusting.. during slavery, Slave masters used to Castrate black men (means cut their dick off) CASTRATE BLACK MEN ! It's so sickening... with all the years of abuse and torture, it's so demeaning to see a black guy with a white guy fulfilling his Mandingo fantasy's ! When I see white men lusting black guys I think "your white male ancestors were beating the shit out of black men and castrating them and now you want his 'big black d#*k" ... it's so demeaning because of the relationship and history in America between black and white males... even til this day, the white man still holds black men down and I hate that sh*t, that's why interracial dating between white and black guys is just so degrading in my eyes to black men.... you can agree with me or not, but this is just the way I see it"!!!

I found this to be ignorant to the point that it was almost Metaphoric so I replied to his post with:

"Wow!!!! How many different ways are Brothers like you gonna milk this topic?!!! Okay, you don't have a right to your opinion, however, we can't hold people accountable for the actions of their ancestors..only their own. Personally, as long it's 2 consenting adults, I don't give a damn what color they are. What people choose to do in their bedroom is their business and nobody Else's. While your spewing the bitterness of Christmas past..they're living and loving and not bound up by bigotry. Who can blame Whites for having "Mandingo Fantasies"? I love the fact that Brothers are at the Top of the list for sexual prowess and satisfaction, therefore desirable to ALL races..even our own!!! We've come a long way Baby, Highest paid Hollywood Actor- Will Smith
Highest Paid Pro-Golfer- Tiger Woods. Highest paid Talk show Host- Oprah Winfrey. President of the United States- Barack Obama!!! We are no longer slaves and we have the right to to exercise our freedom to screw who we want (provided that it's legal and safe)!!! You should stop being a slave who is whipped and chained to your refusal to acknowledge our progress. Even if my Great Grandpa was a serial killer...It doesn't make me guilty of murder. I suggest you dig deeper because I suspect there's a larger systemic dysfunction at play...Live and let live....Yes We Can"!!!

As usual...I end with...this is all just my point of view. We can not justify Racism in this day and age. Just because we are African American, Jewish or even Klingon for that matter doesn't mean there's an "entitlement" to be bigoted or biased based on one's skin color, nationality, sexual preference or religion. I despise double standards. If we don't want to be judged..then we shouldn't judge anyone ourselves.