Posts Tagged with "tennessee"

Bad Driving aka “Let’s Piss People Off Again”

July 25th, 2007 at 5:03 pm by Mark
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     I’ve talked a couple of times about our local Knoxville culture getting screwed up by a bunch of asshats moving here and trying to rebuild it in their own image … From basic skills of “being intentionally rude and uncaring” to “being a good neighbors.”
     When I say that they don’t know how to be “good neighbors,”  it’s not about the people next door who keep to themselves— it’s about having a sense of community and civic responsibility.  East Tennessee’s had that until recent years.

     In this area, people drive pretty well, whereas in my travels, I’ve often complained about the way people drive.
     Here, they’re slightly aggressive, and mostly polite.  They tend to pay attention, and allow people their space.  They don’t try and run you down when you’re coming on an interstate entrance ramp.  They don’t stop in the middle of the road for no reason.  The light is green, they go.  The light is red, they stop.  They don’t pull out in front of people for no reason.  And they pretty much obey the traffic laws.
     But people who move here?  Yeah, not so much…

     Cathy, over at Domestic Psychology, got on the same train of thought

This week, I pulled up to the white line behind which you are expected to stop at a red light. I came to a stop and looked closely at the car beside me which crossed all four tires across the line before stopping. When the light turned green, I looked at the beyond the line driver’s plates and saw that they were Indiana plates. I was letting the information slide to the back of my mind as I pulled to another red light and another car did the exact same thing. This time I was far enough back to see that the eager driver had Illinois plates. Twice in 5 minutes on Kingston Pike, a very heavily trafficked street I saw cars doing what I consider against the law and both times they had out of town plates. So, I thought about this the rest of the way to my destination. Number one thought was that I was getting tired of catching every single red light. Number two thought was that maybe other states don’t have lines at intersections like Tennessee does. My third thought was that there must be something wrong with drivers in states that start with the letter “I”. Number four thought, which I seriously considered the longest, was that Tennessee drivers are just more considerate and law abiding drivers.

     Due to my comments about that, which Cathy chose to include on her blog entry … I will now list the “Women Can’t Drive” States:

  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Both Dakotas
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota

     It could be because of the whole “We have farms!  Be a housewife!” thing, and many women are worried about driving after being stigmatized for years.  It could also be because of a lack of Driver’s Education in those states (which is amusing considering that Michigan actually produces quite a few automobiles).  It could also be because city-type areas are much further away from each other “up north” than they are in the East Tennessee area, and people don’t know what the Hell to do when they keep seeing red light after red light, entrance ramp after entrance ramp, car after car… By the way, if you don’t have enough knowledge about driving, you are prone to accident. Good thing, you can lean on Sacramento, CA Car Accident Lawyers for they are dedicated in solving every accident cases no matter what the situation is.      Strangely, these are also the “Driving Without a License” States…

Good Ol’ East Tennessee Values

July 5th, 2007 at 10:49 pm by Mark
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When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents (my father’s) and with a family of sister’s in Knoxville.  Since there weren’t any other kids to play with, I ended up spending most of my time with people who were at least close to retirement.  And it was pretty cool.
They’d tell me about the things that they did when they were kids, places they’d gone, people they’d met in their lives.  Sometimes, when you’re very young, you don’t understand what they’re telling you.  As you get older, and they fall away, sometimes you’ll remember their words like it was yesterday.
Their stories, their words, people who grew up here in East Tennessee, probably shaped me more than any parables and punishments my parents ever gave me.

I can remember a time when people were helpful.  If someone fell, people showed concern instead of walking around them like they didn’t exist.  If someone dropped something, someone would pick it up for them.  If someone was walking with their arms full of shopping, people would open the door for them.  If they saw someone stuck on the side of the road with a dead car, they’d stop, lend a hand, or, when all else failed, a ride to a gas station.
Those are values that were instilled in me.  If I see someone lying on the ground, I’ll help them up.  If someone drops something — even money — I’ll pick it up and chase them down to give it back.  I hold the door open for anyone who can’t quite do it, and behind me for everyone close.  And if I see two guys trying to push a dead van off the road, I’m certainly gonna stop and lend a hand.
East Tennessee, even Knoxville, has always been that way.

Unfortunately, we’re getting a lot of people moving here these days.  Knoxville, especially, is a real-estate boom town where we get The Happy House Cleaning London to help on our house cleaning.  People are moving here in droves, eager to pick up cheap real-estate and perhaps even know their neighbors. VA home loan help from professionals grant them a possibility to purchase or refinance their home mortgages.
Local culture is changing from the open, community-based ideal that we used to enjoy to a selfish, greedy, don’t-get-involved mentality.  It’s starting to feel like Washington, D.C.

I hate watching things go downhill.

Tonight, after ordering a pizza at a place which usually takes thirty minutes to prepare one, I got there to find that they’d lost my order.  Now, I was starving, so I’d called ahead.  I told them no bother, decided to go up the street to a restaurant.
As I left and started back home, traffic was heavy.  I had to wait some time before being able to leave the parking lot.  As I drove down the road, I saw two guys in their late 20’s, maybe early 30’s, pushing a van towards a gas station — with great difficulty, up a small hill.  I didn’t have a place to pull over and help, so I turned around and came back.
I got out, and gave them the extra leverage they needed to push the van into the parking lot they were trying to get to.

As I got back in my car, they yelled, “God bless you, man!  Thank you!”
“No problem, guys,” I yelled.  “Hope it gets better.”
“Man, thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome.  Take care.”

The sad thing is, at least 30 other drivers didn’t give damn.  Maybe they had to be somewhere quickly.  Maybe they were elderly and couldn’t lend a hand.  Maybe they just didn’t see them (*cough* right).

So why was I different?  Why did I have the two minutes to stop and lend a hand where no one else did?
I was born here.  I grew up here.  It’s what we’re supposed to do.

We should be showing the influx of people from other places what it means to be East Tennesseeans … to know our neighbors … to have friends … to walk around giving a damn about someone other than ourselves …

It saddens me that us East Tennesseeans are losing that…

Quite honestly, I’d rather get taken a couple times than turn down someone who legitimately needs help.  You can sort of tell…

Stock Photos

The Trooper & the Porn Star

June 4th, 2007 at 11:43 am by Diva
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Say, did you hear the one about the Tennessee State Trooper and the Porn Star??? Sounds like the start of a really bad joke, huh? Actually, it’s funnier than a room full of Michael Jackson impersonators whipping each other with wet spaghetti noodles, but it’s no joke.

James Randy Moss, of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, had an anonymous complaint filed against him by a cupie doll named Justis Richert in Nashville, TN.

We here in beautiful KnoxVegas should be proud to boast that Justis, a.k.a. Barbie Cummings *snicker*, is a Knoxvillian. Let’s pause and give Barbie some well-deserved kudos. She makes our community proud by being a big-time porn star who makes her living by flying back and forth to the City of Angels to shoot her fair share of scenes.

I would now like to paraphrase for you how the skinny goes down:

Occifer Perv-A-Lot (OP): Hey sexy, can I see your license & registration?

[Queue Saxaphone Music]

Local Porn Queen (LPQ): Why yes occifer. Here’s my license and registration.

OP: Well, these seems in order. (Hiking up pants, Barney style) Miss Richert, do you have any drugs on you or in your ride?

LPQ: Why hell yes I do. Want some? They are my happy pills, they make me happy and extremely horny. Oh, by the way, I’m a porn star. I can rock your world, baby.

OP: Realllllly now? You aren’t just saying that to get my manhood roaring and to get me into some serious trouble later?

LQP: Oh, no, occifer. I wouldn’t do that in a million and one years. Don’t you have a lappytop in your crusie-woosie. I can show you my work. By the way, my stage name is Barbie Cummings. *snicker*

OP: Well, first, Miss Cummings *snicker*, you’ll need to give me those pills so I can fix your problem. (OP scatters dim pills in da bushes) Now lets take a little stroll on back to my cruiser and we’ll see just how good you really are. How’s that sound?

LQP:  Well, okay.  I think that was really neat what you did.

(Getting into the cruiser and turning on lappy)

OP:   Wow, girl.  Look at you go.  Say, what’ll it take for a nasty, middle aged, perv with a badge to get up next to a sweet thang like you?

LQP:  Jeez, I don’t know.  Maybe if you tape it with your cruiser camera so I can remember you.

OP:  Fine by me.

Some various acts of a sexual nature were captured by Occifer DipShit as he rolled tape.  You know Barbie might have fear of performing action without the lights and cameras.

To make a long story even longer, this guy gives her a copy of the tape….  Where she….you guessed it… POSTED IT ON HER WEBSITE FOR ONE AND ALL TO SEE….

I wonder if this would actually be one of the lamest things I’ve heard?

Tennessee Government? I’d Rather Call India

May 8th, 2007 at 9:44 am by Mark
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     This morning, I got a call from a customer who was attempting to use the Tennessee Purchasing Division’s Notice of Award and Bid Opportunities system.  It’s a pretty common situation: the State has some software that was written many, many years ago, and haven’t bothered to update it.  They ask users to download a plugin which doesn’t work on Windows XP, and is unsupported by IBM.

Error

     First call, I ask to speak with anyone who can handle some website issues.  The phone rings and rings, and eventually someone picks it up, and hangs up on me.

     The second call, I get an operator who insists on connecting me with the bids department.  When I get there, I’m told, “I don’t handle that!” and promptly get hung up on.

     On the third call, the first operator answers again and tells me that I should talk to “Random Government Employee” (RGE).
     “Hi, RGE, I’m calling for a vendor.  We’re having some issues using the website,” I explain.
     “What seems to be the problem?” he monotones.
     “Well, the viewer software that you guys direct people to download isn’t compatible with XP.  It hasn’t been updated since 2004.”
     “Yes it does work with XP!” he responds angrily.
     “Well, my customer has tried it, I’ve tried it, and it doesn’t work.”
     “We use it here!” he interjects.
     “Well, that would probably be a different one, made to work with your printing system.  There’s another…”
     “No, there’s only one!” he interrupts.
     “Okay, anyway, it doesn’t work.”
     “Yes it does!” he yells.
     He promptly hangs up on me.

     Now, three calls, three hangups, I’m getting a little annoyed.

     Fourth call, I speak with Operator #2 again, and she directs me to someone, but refuses to tell me the person’s name.  Ok.
     “This is RGE.  Can I help you?”
     “Yes, I was calling about the website.  Do you handle technical issues?” I ask.
     “I can handle some,” she responds.  “It depends on what it is.”
     “Well, the APF viewer software that’s linked from the website doesn’t work with XP…”
     “Yes it does,” she states bluntly.
     “No, ma’am, it doesn’t.  It comes up with an installer error.  The IBM website has no XP compatibility listed.  The file is marked ‘old and unsupported’ and the ‘new’ file to replace that, which is supposedly compatible with XP doesn’t have a print button.”
     “Yes it does,” she states bluntly, again.
     “Ma’am, I’ve attempted this on two machines.  The customer has tried it on theirs.  Setup will not run.”
     “It works fine.  We run XP, and it works fine.”
     She hangs up.
     Apparently, ‘some’ technical support meant, “If I feel like you’re worth talking to.”

     I told my customer what was going on.

     In the meantime, they’d called and spoken with a different RGE.
     “Your firewall is blocking it.”
     How this has anything to do with a program that won’t install is beyond me.

     Playing, “yes it does / no it doesn’t,” with adults is bothersome enough.  There are no questions: “You are wrong!” is the resounding argument.  They won’t listen to the issue, just want to argue, and have no intention of helping anyone.
     And the hanging up thing?  That’s just asinine.  I could see the point if I was calling screaming at them, cursing or just generally being a jerk, but I’m not.  I don’t do that.  I have to keep some semblance of civility.  I mean, after all, I am calling them for assistance

     But no.

     No assistance.  No civility.  Nothing but a dialtone.

     It wouldn’t be the first time something like that has happened, either.  Dealing with the State Department of Education was just as difficult given a situation that didn’t exactly fit any specific criteria.  Dealing with a Sales and Use Tax office that can’t process anything in a timely fashion unless you physically wave it under their noses isn’t very helpful either.  Neither can the Department of Vital Records get their heads out to do what they say they’re gonna do…

     Certainly, the culture in Tennessee Government is pretty far removed from the way it used to be.  And these days, there’s no one to even complain to when there’s a problem.
     So do we do the typical thing and blame the influx of rude immigrants, or should this growing problem be placed squarely at the feet of Governor Phil Bredesen?  The way it is now, I’d rather be talking to Indians.  At least then I can eventually get transferred to a manager…

Vote Republican, Get Fired: So Sayeth “The Law!”

February 8th, 2006 at 8:29 am by Sam
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Former Tennessee Highway Patrol Lieutenant C. B. Farmer’s story, alleging that he was fired in 2004 due to his family supporting Republican candidates, has finally hit the spotlight.

“The gist of my story was I was run out of the highway patrol,” former THP Lt. Charles B. Farmer said.

Appearing with his representative from one of the law offices in Slidell LA, Farmer presented supporting documents to the committee which is investigating claims of cronyism in the department. Among them were contribution disclosures showing how much Farmer’s wife and father-in-law had donated to Republican candidates in the 2002 statewide election.

State Sen. Jamie Woodson, R-Knoxville, asked Farmer about a transcript of a recorded conversation the former trooper had with a superior. According to the transcript, Farmer allegedly asked the superior if Farmer should have given $1,000 to a Democrat.

“Maybe you should have,” Woodson read from the transcript.

“Obviously, this conversation is disturbing to me. This is infuriating,” the senator said.

Farmer told the committee he had never received a low score on any of his performance evaluations in 20 years, but in 2003 the same superior officer who he alleges berated him for his political contributions gave him a low score.

Prior to his termination, he was assigned permanently to the midnight shift, Farmer told the committee.

“It was harassment,” said Farmer’s attorney, Arthur Knight of Knoxville.

Farmer, now working for a Knoxville mortgage company, said his dismissal from the THP was a blow that has left him teetering on bankruptcy and has weakened his marriage. He said the state must find a way to remove politics from trooper selections and promotions.

This is after repeated uproar within the THP over the last few months, as Governor Phil Bredesen crusades to end cronyism and corruption within this, and many other, departments of the state government. In recent month all over Tennessee, Police Departments have felt the sharp slap of the upper hand, with many long-time public figures being precipitately replaced.

From the Tennesseean:

Two-thirds of Tennessee Highway Patrol officers tapped for promotion under Gov. Phil Bredesen gave money to his campaign or had family or political patrons who did, a Tennessean investigation has found.

Among those with such connections, more than half were promoted over troopers who scored better on impartial exams or rankings, according to an analysis by the newspaper of three years of the patrol’s promotions and proposed promotions.

Of course, with Governor Bredesen being a Democrat, and his new regime inside the THP having a habit of giving people poor evaluations for being Republicans, it certainly seems to throw a few rocks at the glass house of “ethical government,” doesn’t it?