Northwest Parkway Snafu

I received what I presume is an automated billing in the mail today from a company that runs a toll road here in Colorado. It’s from an outfit called Northwest Parkway and I found their bill a bit disconcerting since I had not knowingly traveled any toll roads in the state in the last six months (or ever).

Their Detailed Account Activity

Upon examination, their “Detailed Account Activity”  ‘tags’ me at “Sheridan” back on the fourth of May at precisely 5:21:16.   This inevitably led me to the question: “Where was I and what was I doing that time of day on the fourth of May?”, as well as, “Where the hell is Sheridan?”.  I grabbed my trusty iPhone and started scrolling back to May 4th on my Facebook timeline.

My boss chimed in, “You were off on the fourth”, before I had even scrolled back thru my latest week of posts.  As I continued to scroll (and scroll and scroll), plowing thru a feed littered with the refuse of posts responding to the various high crimes and misdemeanors of President Pantywaist, I scoured my brain trying to figure out how I could have unwittingly fallen into a tollway trap.

To be clear, the amount is nil ($2.35) and it might be easier to pay it than protest, but I’m protesting since I have solid proof I was nowhere near anyplace named Sheridan on that time of day on the fourth of May.  

I am acting as the canary in the coal mine on this one folks.  Consider this a test of the customer service department of Northwest Parkway.  They will be provided a link to this story as well as my email address thru their online customer service form.  They provide no pre-formatted options to contest a bill that I could find on their website and since I’ll be forced to ‘tell’ this story to them at some point it seemed easier to document it out here and now.  My faith in corporate nature leads me to suspect they would not believe me on the basis of a friendly telephone contact alone.  I will share their response as an educational offering once I receive their reply.

My Detailed Account Activity

Where was I on that day and time?  Sitting next to Lake Loveland most of the afternoon,  before pulling up stakes and driving around the lake to the golf course on 29th (Cattail Creek) around a quarter after five.  How can I be so sure? Blame it on my propensity to check in on Facebook/Yelp with such consistency if you must, but here are the screen shots off my iphone showing the check-in dates and times.  I checked into the course at 5:35.

Conclusion

The only “Sheridan” I can find seems to be an hour or more away from Loveland and my dear van Nelly Belle just ain’t up to those kinds of warp speeds.  I believe I have been shafted by ‘machine intelligence’ gone amok.  Now all that remains to be seen is if it’s too late for the humans to help me.
Enjoy.

Lost in the iCloud

Background

I’ve been using Rita’s aging iPhone4 since she died in Germany last September with no issues whatsoever until about a month ago when the phone started incessantly giving me the following popup screen (about every five seconds):

Lost in the iCloud While it appears that Cancel is an option, I can assure you that Apple is relentless in attempting to force their iCloud service login on this device.

If my wife were alive today and had decided that she wanted to use her phone without logging into iCloud by pressing the cancel option, it wouldn’t matter because every five seconds that popup screen reappears NO MATTER what!

To top it off, I’m pretty sure my wife never even set up an iCloud account to begin with because she was so leery of online storage in general but that’s not something I can prove at this stage of the game.

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Bacon, Ballistics and Bullshit

In Search of Bacon

Today’s post recounts my foray into the “Guns n’ Ammo” department at a Walmart in the great plains. It began when I accepted an offer to tag along to Walmart with Victor, a friend and fellow Vietnam-era (gun nut) veteran. On this trip, Vic was not shopping for gun stuff, but was instead shopping for a new “assault knife”. This seemed like a bit of overkill to me since he was already carrying a legally registered concealed firearm, but whatever.

I normally avoid situations where “Walmart and Firearms” are involved, but on that day it didn’t matter. I needed some bacon.

When Vic arrived to pick me up he was talking some “Fox News” Obama crap which I quickly spanked down. Though tarred with a bit of Tea Party taint, I knew Vic has a general disinclination for killing liberal atheists, and seeing how that overlapped with a large number of zombie meth heads wandering around everywhere, this rendered Vic’s concealed carry as an asset. I’m not sure whether it’s Zombies or Meth-heads who are attracted by the scent of bacon, but I’m sure it’s one or the other.  Best to be safe.

I kinda-sorta felt like Jay-Z out on the town with my own personal bodyguard.

You accept whatever risks are necessary when you need bacon. Nuff said.

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Best of Dodge

This is the third in an ongoing series of posts I’m doing as we approach the Christmas holiday.  I am highlighting businesses in the Fort Dodge area that I have visited and that I feel deserve wider recognition for outstanding service and merchandizing.  Parts one and two are already posted, but to be sure, don’t miss out of this merchant either, if you’re looking for good service and aren’t mad at your money!  Today’s episode highlights another Crossroads Mall store, The Other Store, specializing in Iowa team fan merchandize.  The manager (Tiffinie) made sure to remind me that they carry nearly every high school mascot for the entire state of Iowa!  Drive carefully from wherever you are located in Iowa, but get down to the Crossroads Mall as soon as you can and check out the vast assortment of fan merchadise as well as all manner of trinkets and what’s its.  Something for everyone!

The Other Store

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Enjoy.

Best of Dodge

Today’s Heaping Helping of Fort Dodge Retailers – Double Dose of Delight!

An ongoing series. Part one here.

Today’s focus is on Bath and Body Works followed by a chowing down on a delicious lunch at the JA-MAR Restaurant located in the mall parking lot across the street from Ridgewood Lanes Bowling Center.

Continuing to explore the best of the Crossroads Mall

Crossroads Mall

There are more than than a few businesses in and around the area of the Crossroads Mall that are running the kind of tight ship any business would be keen to emulate.  No offense to any of the other fine cities in Iowa, but these are the businesses in the local area that folks from as far away as Mason City ought to consider visiting this Christmas season.  I have personally visited these businesses and can attest that they offer the highest degree of service and satisfaction.  If any of you take issue with any of my selections or wish to add other personal favorites, please feel free to share in the comments section of this or any subsequent post.  Today’s Best of Dodge after the jump.

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