I Push Buttons

Whether I'm coding, writing, playing games, or pissing people off, it all boils down to pushing buttons.

September 27, 2008

Insurance Rant

So, on September 16th, some woman backed out of a parking space into the side of my car, which was directly behind her in the driving lane. How she did not see me is unfathomable. It's not like I was in front or behind her space where I would be somewhat out of view. I was directly behind her car. Observation fail.

Anyway, I get this lady's insurance info, and we part ways. I call Amica (the company) later that week, and that Friday their insurance adjuster comes out and looks at the damage to my vehicle. He gives me an estimate and tells me to call him if I want a recommendation for a body shop. I call him on Monday, and he recommends I take it to True 2 Form, since they have a direct bill set up with Amica. I take my car over there yesterday, and they call Enterprise, who comes to pick me up. We go to their office, and they set up a direct bill with Amica for the car rental. This was easily the most efficient insurance process I've ever been through.

"Matt, this is the worst rant ever."

I'm not done yet! Don't interrupt. It's not polite.

Later that day, I get a call from Enterprise saying that Amica has not accepted liability for the accident, and that I need to bring the car back. What the hell? While I'm on the phone with Enterprise, the house phone starts ringing, and True 2 Form leaves a message saying that Amica has denied the repairs, and I need to come and get my car. What the hell? So I call Amica and demand to know what's going on. Apparently they haven't yet talked to the lady that hit my car. That's right, kids. By this point it's been ten days since the accident, and this stupid woman has yet to report it to the insurance company. They can't get a hold of her or her husband.

So I ask them what happens if they don't get a hold of this person? Are you going to cancel their policy or something? The lady tells me that, no, they won't. I ask, then, what motivation exactly do these people have to contact Amica, then? She says that they would have to pay for the accident out of pocket. How exactly are they going to pay for my repairs when I can't get the damn thing fixed?! Apparently, I'm not even supposed to have the estimate that the insurance adjuster gave me. So why did you send him out?? I hang up on the stupid woman, so I can go and get my car back.

I return the rental to Enterprise, and they have to charge me for a day's rental. I'm now out $35 bucks because Amica won't cover the damn rental. They drive me back over to True 2 Form, where I pick up my car and drive home. I'm not inside the house more than five seconds when my phone rings. It's someone from another Enterprise branch saying that Amica has set up a reservation for me. At this point I'm prepared to murder someone. I tell this guy everything that's happened that day, and he suggests that I call the Enterprise branch I dealt with earlier. I call them and talk to the guy, and he says that he doesn't think Amica has assumed liability yet and to just wait until I hear from them.

(I'd like to make on thing clear: the people at Enterprise and True 2 Form were great. They were very nice and genuinely sorry for the mess that Amica had caused. I will be giving both of those companies my business when this gets worked out.)

So at this point, I've lost $35 and 4 hours of work time because of an accident that wasn't even my fault. If I don't hear from Amica by Monday or Tuesday, I am calling Allstate and having them sic their lawyers on Amica. This whole situation is ridiculous. I'm beginning to think that there is no good way whatsoever to deal with insurance companies, whether it's yours or someone else's. I hate them all. I guarantee you this, though. If I have to go through Allstate to get to Amica, they will be reimbursing me for that car rental and paying me $400 for the time I wasted because of their screw-up.

Writing this has raised my blood pressure. I'm going to go break something to bring it back down.


September 19, 2008

Football Stuff

I'm playing two online games this football season. The first is College Pick'em, where you pick the winners of ten NCAA Saturday games and rank them according to your confidence level. The second is your standard Fantasy Football. Both of these are great fun and allow me to at least have some stake in games I otherwise wouldn't really care about.

I'm doing much better in college Pick'em this year than in years past. I'm currently in second place and only behind by one point. I've been doing a bit more research this year than in other seasons, so that's probably why I'm doing better. Up until now, it's been relatively easy to pick the winners, so everyone is pretty close in terms of score. However, this week's picks are a lot more difficult. I expect there to be a decent bit of separation after this week is over. Several of the ten games we have to pick are expected to be very close.

Fantasy football has been rather interesting. We got destroyed in our first week because we had Tom Brady as our QB, and of course he's now out for the season. We picked up Jake Delhomme, but he didn't really do anything for us in week two. Despite that, though, we managed to eek out a win, thanks mostly to Plaxico Burress, Calvin Johnson, and Marion Barber. Those guys are killer.

For this week, we dropped Delhomme and Chad Johnson (who has been nothing but dead weight) and picked up both Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers, who are both having great seasons so far. Hopefully they will keep it up and help us win another in week two. We're projected to lose by a few points, but I've come to notice that ESPN's points projections have two possible states: "almost dead-on" and "off by a ridiculously huge amount". Each of these states has a 50% probability of occurring for any given player.

I'm torn between whether or not to play Rivers or Rodgers. Even though Rivers is projected to have 15 points this week (seven less than Rodgers' projection), I think he will end up outperforming this estimation. He's got Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson as targets; plus, San Diego is going up against the Jets, not exactly a powerhouse defense, while Green Bay is facing Dallas. Of course, Dallas gave up 37 points on Monday, and Green Bay's top three defense could give Rodgers a lot of time on the field. But Rivers is tied for the lead in touchdown passes this season, as well as top five in passing yards and QB rating, and Dallas' offense is killer enough to eat a lot of time off of the clock against Green Bay.


I may just flip a coin. Or let my wife pick. Women have that fancy intuition thingy, and she's been telling me to play Rodgers. But I can't shake this gut feeling about Rivers, either. One more day to decide...


September 10, 2008

Internet Publishing

It's the next big thing, kids, and it's here to stay. With the rise of YouTube, it was only a matter of time before internet publishing started to become mainstream. Some small time directors and actors have been taking advantage of YouTube to get their names out there, and it's working.

And now the big names are joining them. Tired of the way that heartless corporations treat them and their work, creators, actors, directors, artists, and more are leaving these studios to pursue self-publishing via the internet. Joss Whedon's experiment with Dr. Horrible proved a success beyond the creator's expectations (or anyone's for that matter), and shock waves have been moving throughout the entertainment industry. It turns out that people will pay for quality entertainment all on their own without the blessing of some executive in a corner office. Imagine that.

Now, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is throwing his hat into the internet distribution ring. His brainchild, Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, opened its doors today. So far, there are a couple of teasers and two cartoon shorts available on the site. Think the random segues that occur throughout episodes of Family Guy, and you'll have a good idea what this show is about. Take a look, and if you like what you see, be sure to support them with your wallet when the time comes.

The era of idiotic, out-of-touch suits in boardrooms dictating what will and will not be shown is coming to an end. Content created specifically for the internet is starting to gain traction, and you can bet the CEOs of NBC, ABC, and CBS are crapping their pants. Eventually, no one is going to need them anymore, and that scares them to death.

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September 05, 2008

It's Here!

And I have it!

The Dr. Horrible soundtrack is now available on iTunes! Be sure to download it. And while you're doing that, brush up on your lyrics by reading through the liner notes.

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