December 18, 2004 - December 11, 2004
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Talk About How You Value Your Customers
Do you know Mrs. Elizabeth Verdin?
She was described by friends and neighbors as a conscientious and pleasant woman. A pleasant woman. A person,
you might even say. Mrs. Verdin taught Sunday School at the neighborhood United Methodist Church. She was 89
years old, a widow, and she froze to death in her own home on Saturday, December 11th.
Why? Because Duke Power cut-off her electricity.
Now, Duke Power has a guy named Tim Pettit who gets to talk to reporters when Duke inadvertantly kills one of its
customers. He related the details that a "contract worker knocked on the door at 32 Primrose Lane on Dec. 6th to
alert Verdin her power was being cut off. When he got no answer, the worker cut the power and
left a notice on the doorknob."
He also said, Duke Power is "going to be taking a long, hard look at all of our processes to see if there is
anything else we can do to prevent this from happening."
Let's get this straight. Here is a woman that most likely paid electric bills for, let's say, 69 years. What is
that total? Let's say it is about $150,000 paid to some faceless utility. And what did she owe them? We don't
know, but let's be gracious and say Mrs. Verdin hadn't paid her electric bill for a full year -- say, $2,100.
So, without ever speaking to their customer. They cut-off her power and killed her.
For a little context, consider these numbers. Duke Energy Corp (NYSE: DUK), the parent company of Duke Power,
earned $389,000,000 on sales of $5,417,000,000
(that's $5.4 Billion) for the three months (that's twelve weeks) ended 9/30/2004. And, that is after
paying Chairman, Paul Anderson the appropriate portion of his
annual salary of $11,260,000.
Well, at least they're
going to take a long, hard look at all of their processes. Processes? How about this idea -- TALK TO YOUR
CUSTOMERS! Not all of them -- heaven's no. But, how about talking to customers that have been paying you
to do something for them for more than 40-years. That would be a great start. You know, make it one of
But that isn't what set us off. Today, Dr. James Hudgins
decides to do a puff piece on Duke
to South Carolina's technical colleges. Hudgins gushes, "These grants are made possible by Duke Power's
plan to share 50 percent of the profits from certain wholesale power sales." As South Carolina legislators
decide what law to enact to get Duke Power to care about its customers, this smiling, corporate-crumb-chaser
decided it was a good time to blast out a big, THANK YOU, to his kindly benefactor. Let's get the grants named,
The Elizabeth Verdin Memorial Scholarship Fund -- what do you say, Doc?
UPDATE: InstaPunk has learned that Mrs. Verdin had missed paying two bills to Duke Power. We will find out how much they totaled. Our guess is -- less than $400.
UPDATE II: Thanks to Michelle Malkin for pointing this story out and welcome to visitors from MichelleMalkin.com.
Note: The link off of the headline today is essential to understanding how these things happen.
miss it and the follow-up chapter, as
well. Our apologies for all the work.
Friday, December 17, 2004
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Man, the giving is really getting into high gear. And many are looking more towards the getting.
Chicago Boyz's own, Michael Hiteshew is
pointing some things out that he would really like to get. Well, we just got so caught up in the spirit,
we thought we'd point out something for you last minute shoppers as you consider what to get for the
ragged staff of InstaPunk.com.
You'll have to hurry before the Chicago Boyz get the jump on you, but this would make
an excellent new headquarters for InstaPunk.com. And, we would graciously give the donor naming
rights and a little plaque. Be sure to view the slide show in total before committing your Christmas dollars to
such a fine gift.
A special 'Thank You' is also sent out to all of you who have clicked on the little ring-ring-ring
crawler to show your appreciation during this generous time of year, even if it is less than a new
Chevy Chase -- Hill.F You.17
Remember when Chevy Chase was funny?
Neither do we.
Yesterday, The Washington Times was letting everyone in on the big deal that Chevy Chase's language was
causing "even certified Hollywood
liberals" to reel. Why? We're not sure. They seemed very comfortable using that
word during the presidential campaign and Sen. Kerry thought it was great up there in New York City when
all those filthy, washed-up comics got on stage to demonstrate how they were the heart and soul of America.
Anyway, it seems Chevy might just be a little late to help Sen. Kerry in his bid for the Presidency. Was
he making this noise during the campaign and nobody noticed? Or, is he just looking for some work. Man,
if they would only make another one of those zany, laugh-riot, belly-buster -- National Lampoon flicks.
Then, we could all see Chevy shine again. Until then, Chevy, shut the F*&$ up.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Nobody Any Louder
Happy Birthday, Beethoven -- that's Ludwig Van Beethoven, to you, friend. Today, LVB would have been just
turning 234 years old. What do you know of the old gent? Most would know as much as suggested in our
headline link today. But, I'm sure InstaPunk.com readers are more informed and will be doing something special
to celebrate. At least, you can say, "Happy Birthday" to Beethoven without getting a raft of it -- not like
that other guy.
Put on the 9th Symphony -- real loud, of course -- in your office today. And, when someone comes in and says,
"Hey, why so loud?" You can say, "It's Beethoven's birthday -- didn't you know?" Of course, you could just
go around singing in your best baritone, "Freude" over and over again for the same effect.
NOTE: We also lifted the biography of
Ludwig from Biography.com
-- who should really look into a fellow named Johannes Gutenburg who
thought black ink on white paper was just fine. Really, who can read yellow ink on a blood-red background with
one paragraph per page for 12 pages? We set it up -- black on white with a picture -- HERE.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Lots and Lots of Incredibly Powerful Weapons
I've been doing some thinking. What with all the whinning about getting more troops into Iraq -- most
notably by Sen. John McCain and, now, Congressman Joe
Scarborough is sounding off. Enough already.
In addition, the sad story of Spc.
Robert Loria and the remarks by Spec.
Thomas Wilson have me in a generally foul mood over the happenings in Iraq.
I've re-thought our party
platform, specifically section 7(B). It seems we were a bit wasteful suggesting the use of cruise
missles when, all the while, there is a very cheap alternative -- meet the MK-80 series of dumb bombs.
These little beauties range in weight from 250 lbs. up to 2,000 lbs. And, they're cheap. And, they can
be delivered from way above the ground by anything setup to carry the bombs, including, but not limited to
The venerable B-52, the more
and the super-secret B-2. And, there is
also JDAM add-on kits available.
The Islamo-Fascists do not have an airforce and there is no sign that they ever will. We do have an airforce.
We think it is time to use it.
This will reduce the number of troops required to be on the ground in Iraq and, perhaps, stop all the whinning.
But, "How would this work?," you ask. It is very simple and it is simply an expansion of the 7(B) policy which
is a marked response to the death or injury of a single U.S. service man. The 7(B) policy would stand. But,
added to it would be the demand that the Iraqi populace turn in every known Islamo-Fascist within the next
48 hours. Then, with sufficient intelligence on the location of pockets of remaining Islamo-Fascists, leaflets
should be air dropped which basically provide an additional 48 hours for civilians to exit target areas prior
to calling in the death from above.
Then, all you would need is a set of well-fortified infantry that could shoot the lucky bastards that happen
to run out of the burning target area. Now, this would continue until there was a complete cessation of
all hostile acts. "What should be said on the leaflets?" Something like, "The U.S. Air Force is coming and
hell is coming with them. Get out now. Hands up. Do not carry anything with you." If you're familiar
with Tombstone this will have special appeal.
Now, just guessing here, but, I think things would calm down quite a bit. And, if not, oh, well. This is
how we used air power in previous engagements, burning entire enemy cities along with their inhabitants. This
was started in the U.S. by the old general, U. S. Grant and W. T. Sherman and their invention of
war (You can educate yourself, as neccessary). They used it on the Confederacy, then, they used it
on the Indians. It worked. It was unpleasant. And, even today, it is regarded as barbaric in some circles,
but that seems beside the point.
what of the international outrage?" They are already outraged. The idea here is to end this conflict as
soon as possible and in the most violent manner possible. This will send just the right message to Iran,
North Korea, and anybody else that wants a piece of us.
Another benefit will be to reduce the danger to GIs traveling in Humvees -- with up-armor, or not -- and,
reduce the need for GIs to go house-to-house.
The need to have GIs wandering along roads and sitting at check points will soon be unnecessary.
Thanks to the work of the Federation of American Scientists, you can get up to speed with this staple of our
You can read, Bombs for Beginners and individual
entries for each of the MK-80 family and other
more expensive alternatives.
Sending additional troops to Iraq under the current rules of engagement will only increase the number of targets
for selection by the Islamo-Fascists. Work from the superior position of the air and public opinion be damned.
Let's finish this thing with the least loss of or damage to American life. The Iraqis are going to have to pick a side
and keep their heads down. The time is now. President Bush needs to end this thing and stop all the nit-picking
by anyone who can get to a microphone. President Bush won the election and if this whole thing is over by the
summer of 2005, no one will remember how it was done come November, 2008. Fire at will.
Persecute Those who have Motes
Some days it's just too easy. This week BoomerBible.com
calls our attention to Ned.34 which, as our headline suggests, is about finding
the mote in your neighbor's eye (the Good Word for Consolation, 2nd
after Trinity). Well, we didn't have to look far to find an example of this little direction from the
Boomer messiah, Harry. And, one search and one blog later, we had our perfect example -- Kevin T. Keith
of LeanLeft.com on the aborted Kerik nomination. Our apologies to Tom, but
we found Kevin's post first.
Following the command to hunt ruthlessly for the motes in every eye -- a wonder to behold. Enjoy.
If you don't have a copy of The Boomer Bible, you
really should get yourself one.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
TIME TO HELP PUCK PUNK.
Puck Punk actually got some email from a reader. It was utter bedlam
here since 6:30 a.m. Puck Punk has NEVER had to update an entry and it took three of us to figure
out what he was talking about so we could update
his entry. Everything is back to normal here, so we should be able to get back to work. The little guy
sure thinks the NHL lockout thing is solved now, for sure.
Not only did he get an email -- there is also a TRACKBACK! Wow. He'll be bouncing off the walls around here
for the rest of the day.
Monday, December 13, 2004
O Money, Could You Send Her Something
Every now and then it is good to remember that there are those who suffer -- everyday.
Herald (Source Archive) took the time on
Sunday to call out one particular circumstance.
Hockey -- which is an excellent way . . .
Well, just like I tell you, the President Bush really gets
the things going and we're moving closer to a settlement. My agent called to tell me I would get the cut of salary
by 24% -- but only a one-time cut. I think it comes back next year. This seemed good to me since we will not
be playing the hockey as many games. Less money for me but more hockey for you.
Bettman is going to decide if the owners can live with this. I sure hope they can because I have got to play the
hockey soon. Has anyone ever heard of NASCAR?
I had never heard of this thing of the NASCAR. I had seen pictures of cars with advertising all over them, but
did not think they were anything. Just someone who had ruined their car with stickers. Something my father
would never let me do.
Anyway. This is not so. Last month, I sat and watched the Mountain
Dew Southern 500. A big race for the NASCARs. I could not believe. People tell me that
Americans do not like the hockey because it is boring and repetitive. You can't follow what is going on
with the hockey.
Then, someone tell me why in the heck people watch the NASCARs going around in circles for an entire afternoon?
Here is where they ran the Mountain Dew Southern 500:
This is Darlington Raceway in Darlington, SC. which is halfway between Columbia, SC and Wilmington, NC. This
little oval is less than 1.5 miles long, so the NASCARs have to drive around the little oval until they cover
500 miles! Do you know how many laps that is? 367 !!!! That is 1,468 left turns. And, the winner won by
less than one second! How do people watch this? And, these people can't find a way to watch the hockey?
I found out that not only are their millions of the dollars given out to winners and people that finish. The
guy who came in 53rd place got over 50,000 dollars U.S. Plus, these guys get paid for every sticker on their
car and they put the stickers on their uniforms and get paid for that -- and, they play for the Nextel Cup
which Nextel pays to have their name put on the prize.
Why don't the anyshell do this? We could all play for the Molson Beer Cup.
Not only all these monies, they also get $400 millions U.S. for the TV rights. That is four times what the
anyshell gets. I really don't understand.
Anyway, if the anyshell would let the sponsors at the uniforms that would be a bunch more moneys. Wayne
Gretzky's jersey would have looked like this:
So, that's my suggestion. Let's have the anyshell go the way of the NASCARs. More moneys for
everybody. And, let's run ads on the NASCARs races so they can understand that there is another
sport played on an oval. Wow. Just think how much they would like the hockey.
UPDATE: Boy, oh boy am I excited. Someone sent in another great suggestions. I never
had to update a post and the guys here were so excited for me they said, "This guy must be your only reader," and
they were laughing and having a great time with me. So, they showed me how to let you all in on the new
way to help end the lockout -- since I heard that those super
spies in Canada (Source Archive) figured
out the League wasn't going to go for our great offer (PDF
Copy of Players Offer).
I mean, those hockey vendors I had on there yesterday don't have the moneys that these guys Funkstille
got to sign onto the deal. We're talking serious moneys. And -- U.S. moneys.
Puck Punk covers the NHL for InstaPunk.com -- here are his previous reports:
12/2/2004 -- President Bush gets involved
11/15/2004 -- The Bender
10/21/2004 -- World Series, big deal
10/12/2004 -- Lockout, not Strike
10/5/2004 -- First Post
Saturday, December 11, 2004
The Brits Surrender to the Yanks -- Again
Welcome weekend reader. I'm so pleased to see you have stopped by. Most everyone here is gone, except, of
course, for me, Usher. But, I did find something I thought I would display for your interest and curiosity. It
seems the Yanks have batted the Brits around quite a bit in this story from The Washington Times --
enjoy (Source Archive).
About as Important as a Snowflake
Back to Archive Index
Yes, my next item for your enjoyment is a post from the past. But, I must tell you, I laughed again when I read
it. And, I'm sure you all haven't read it, so let me offer this post election review of one the internet's
most popular blogs -- Gee, Kos.