Jonco’s True Bits – The B&P Inbox…

I get a lot of emails and spam comments directed at B&P (and other sites) for one reason or another. 

Puzzled: I used to get 4 or 5 emails a week in the form of complaints about products ordered from the puzzle company bearing the same base name as this site but using the .com suffix. I had created a canned response giving the writer the correct email address where they could contact the people who could (I didn’t say would) solve their problem. I guess they just Google Bits and Pieces and find my contact info.  The puzzle company, and many other online companies, do a pretty good job of burying their contact info.  So I did some research and found the correct email address for their customer service department and put it into my canned response. 

Since the Covid-19 outbreak started they must be selling a lot more puzzles because I get 3 to 5 complaints every day now. (The puzzle business must be good!)  I don’t mind directing them to the right place and I even get a couple of ‘thank you’ replies, but not that many.

Guest posts: I get quite a few emails from people wanting to do a ‘guest post’ on the site.  These ‘guest posts’ are almost always hyping some website, product, or niche that isn’t of general interest, or at least I don’t find them interesting. Some even offer to pay me to post them. I almost always just ignore them.  Some seem to get upset that I don’t reply to their email.

Foreign Affairs: I get A LOT of spam email and comments on posts in foreign languages and contain a bunch of foreign language links.  I just delete these. I get some that have been loosely translated to English.  I understand if English is a second language and it’s not perfectly clear but in some cases, English must be the 8th or 9th language. Here’s an example of a comment on a post that I received this morning, apparently translated from Polish:

I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.

The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish
be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

It had a link to some kind of gaming site, in Poland I assume.  I considered replying in an altered English, but ‘I ain’t got time for dat!

The Good Shit: Of course, I get quite a bit from readers/friends sending things that they think I’d like to share. I appreciate these submissions and do post many of them.  Some I don’t because I’ve posted them recently or sometimes I just don’t understand them.  I rarely reply to these submissions mainly because of the time it takes but, rest assured, I do sincerely appreciate your submissions and the time and effort it took to send them to me.

Jonco’s True Bits – Lazy Boy

I try to go to the gym three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday unless I find an excuse not to go.  Sometimes that excuse is that my joints are hurting. Normally that means my feet, ankles, knees, hips or back are bothering me more than normal and it’s just uncomfortable moving around.  When I do go I don’t do that much.  I walk around the track in the gym 11 or 12 laps which is about a mile. Then I go downstairs and spend a few minutes on a couple of machines and lift some weights for a few minutes. I’m usually in and out of there in about a half hour.

  Sometimes I decide that the weather will keep me from going (might be rainy, snowy or just cold) and when that happens I will sometimes go on Tuesday or Thursday. Now keep in mind that the gym is less than 5 minutes from my house by car.  The parking lot has three lanes and holds about 150 cars. There usually aren’t too many cars there, and rarely is it as crowded as the ariel photo shows.  

Last Friday I headed to the gym for my usual mile walk around the track. The parking lot was packed and there were only a couple of spots along the back of row 3. So I decided I didn’t want to walk from way back in row 3 to the front door so I could go in and walk a dozen times around the track. So I just drove back home.

Jonco’s True Bits – Class-Action Lawsuits

Throughout my lifetime I’ve been involved in a few Class-Action lawsuits as a consumer. They’ve all had rather disappointing results. The latest one came to my attention this morning. Apparently I had filed a claim, though I have no specific memory of that fact. The prospect of getting paid for being ripped off lured me in. I received notice that a payment had been transferred to my PayPal account. Yay! I’m in the money!!  There was no real information attached, just the name of the settlement so I mounted my trusted steed, Google, to go on a fish-fact-finding mission to discover the details of this glorious settlement.  Here’s what I discoverred.

If you purchased one or more of the StarKist Products from February 19, 2009 through October 31, 2014, this website informs you of a proposed Class-Action Settlement that you may benefit from.

The Lawsuit claims that StarKist Co. (“StarKist”) under-filled certain 5 oz. canned tuna products in violation of state and federal law. StarKist denies that it underfilled its products and denies that it did anything wrong. The Court did not rule in favor of Plaintiff or StarKist. Instead, the parties agreed to a Proposed Settlement to avoid the expense and risks of continuing the lawsuit.

Digging further into the abiss of legality I came across the actual 15 page settlement document. The fine print of this marvelous goldmine of information, and it’s all fine print, was that the Starkist Company had agreed to pay out $12,000,000, that’s twelve million dollars for those multi-zero-math-challenged people, for coming up short in the tuna packing debacle.
That’s $12Million – Sorry Charlie! 

The $12M would be divided into two categiroes, $8M in cash and $4M in vouchers, or fish certificates, for Starkist products.  

Further down this fishy fiasco of a document it states that there are attorney fees that need to be deducted first and foremost. Plus… the attorneys get reimbursement of “costs and expenses”. So, the attorneys will receive up to one-third of the settlement, so that’s $2,400,000 in cash and $1,200,000 in fish certificates for the lawyers plus costs and expenses.   Then the “settlement administrator” would get up to $675,000 to cover costs and expenses. There are a few more stipulations in the document that would disperse a few thousand dollars each to several of the original plaintiffs.

The document then proposes that the remainder of the funds be distributed to all the Class-Action plaintiffs. That’s where I come in!  The plaintiffs would receive either $25 in cash or $50 in fish certificates with this added caveat: You may choose to claim the cash payment or the product vouchers, whichever you prefer. These claim amounts may be subject to pro rata dilution if the total amount of claims exceeds the available settlement funds.

So, a quick look at my PayPal account shows that I reeled in a whopping $2.38.

Jonco’s True Bits – The Iceman Cometh…

One of my earliest memories is from when I was a young boy and we lived in a three room apartment on the second floor of a row of flats.  We were poor, or most certainly a lower income family, but my brother and I didn’t realize that.  We lived on our father’s income as a laborer working at a factory that made asbestos shingles.  

We didn’t have a refrigerator at the time but we had an ice box. 

An ice box, as I recall, was a mostly wooden cabinet that had some metal shelves and tin interior that we kept our milk and a perishable foods in.

Ours wasn’t nearly as nice as the one shown here. It had a large boxed area in it that had room for one giant block of ice.  A couple of times a week the iceman came and replenished our ice box with a new 25  pound block of ice.

My most vivid memory is of that iceman draping a piece of burlap, the kind that large sacks of potatoes used to come in, over his shoulder and then using a giant pair of tongs to grasp the large block of ice and then throw it over his shoulder.  He would then climb the stairs to our little second floor apartment.  I remember so vividly sitting on the stairs and the iceman had to either step over or walk around me as he maneuvered his way up the steep steps.  I recall seeing large drops of water dripping form the ever melting block of ice he had flung over his shoulder.   I would run my fingers or toy cars through the drops and could feel the coldness of the water.  

The iceman would collect his small fee and be on his way to his next stop only to return again in a few days.  I don’t ever remember him saying anything to me nor do I remember what he looked like but I think I’ll always remember those cold drops of melted ice on just about every one of the steps up to our home.