Monday, November 29, 2010

Les Schwab Tire Center the Springfield experience (part two)

Robin's commentary --

This experience is a little out of date roughly 3 years ago but still I feel worth mentioning.

It has not been very often in my lifetime when I could actually afford to buy a full set of brand-new tires, in fact, I think this was the only time in my lifetime that I had only been able to afford a full set of brand-new tires...

... and of course... it was a pain in my ass.

This time, I went to the Les Schwab tire Center in Springfield off Main Street and purchased a brand-new set of four Toyo tires.

Everything went smoothly as far as getting the car in and getting the tires put on. The problem arose when I was driving away noticed that the car pulled horribly to the right.

So I immediately turned around and took the car back and informed them about the problem.

Les Schwab solution... swap the front tires and see what happens.

Okay, I will agree with that. It was a good diagnostic call.

Now, the car pulls the left.

Now being a technician, it made sense to me that looking at the facts...

#1 -- the car drove evenly before new tires are put on

#2 -- the car pulled hard to the right after new tires were put on

#3 -- after swapping the front tires, the car pulls to the left

Probable cause...

According to Les Schwab, the front end is out of alignment.

(Okay... my personal diagnosis would have been a bad tire, but I'm not tired expert)

So they play around with the front-end alignment and get the car so what drives straight down the road and call it good.

Not being convinced that this was the proper solution to the problem, I took the car down a company that I have used many times in the past and trust who specializes in front end alignments Jerry & Walt's Alignment Services 107 Van Buren Street, Eugene, Oregon

Within minutes of having the car on the rack without knowing anything else other than that I just bought a new set of tires they diagnose the problem to be twofold...

#1 -- the toe in on the alignment is seriously out of adjustment (most likely due to Les Schwab's playing around with the front end alignment)

#2 -- one of the tires was defective with a condition known as "conicity" which means that in radial tires it is a factory defect where the cords are not perfectly aligned thereby causing a tire to pull to one side. This problem is not visible to the naked eye.

So I pay Jerry & Walt's $35 for a front end alignment and make a beeline back Les Schwab tire Center in Springfield where I point out to the person behind the counter the situation who thereby informs me that there is nothing that they can do about it.

So after "patiently" speaking with the manager, I finally convinced him to replace the bad tire.

So here's the point...

I acknowledge that Les Schwab had no control over the manufacturing of the tire that was defective. It happens.

They did have control of how they handled the situation.

Their diagnostic steps were good (switching the tire to the other side) their mistake started when they started to try to compensate for the bad tire by adjusting the car's alignment and then refusing to gracefully replace the defective tire when it was determined that was the underlying cause of the problem.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen dead at 84


Actor Leslie Nielsen, star of such comedies as "Airplane" and the "Naked Gun" series, died Sunday of complications from pneumonia in a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale with family and friends by his side.

I loved this guy.

Nielsen as Dr. Rumack in the movie: Airplane,

"Dr. Rumack:This woman has to be gotten to a hospital.

Elaine: A hospital? What is it?

Dr. Rumack: It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now ..."

"Surely,you can't be serious.

I am serious and don't call me Shirley."

Sigh...Another great gone and will be missed.

Les Schwab Tire Center Eugene (part one)

Robin's commentary --

As a rule I normally don't focus on any particular company or individual outside of the normal political arena (except for Lane community college because I have a dog in the fight and I think that they're the biggest rip-off in local education)

But I'm going make an exception regarding a local tire company in both Eugene and Springfield because I have NEVER had a good experience with them, and the more that I think about my recent experience, the more pissed off I get.

Part 1 -- the Eugene Les Schwab tire Center.

Several weeks ago in West Eugene I picked up a nail in my tire on a Sunday and of course therefore had the customary "flat" that goes along with the said nail.

Okay, nothing unusual about that.

These are virgin (non-recaps) Toyo tires that were purchased from Les Schwab in Springfield (which I will talk about in part two) with about 50% tread left on them.

Anyway, in order to make the tire hold air, I put a "plug" in the tire which I have done many times before with both bias ply and yes, radial tires with great success.

It was lunchtime when I "plugged" the tire and when I got off work at 4 p.m., the tire was still holding pressure with no air loss.

When I got off work... I decided that I would wander down to my nearby Les Schwab tire Center located on West 11th in Eugene Oregon and have the tire patched.

I arrived at Les Schwab roughly 4:10 p.m.. They were a little bit busy so I expected somewhat of a delay before they could get to my tire. I inform the person at the counter that I did not have a lot money and I only want the tire patched.

After waiting approximately 30 minutes, they pulled my car in and about five minutes later, the mechanic wants to talk to me about my tire.

So I go to the area where the mechanic is working on my car and noticed that he had pulled the donut out of the trunk (making a huge mess in the trunk by the way) and thereby informed me that my tire was ruined and could not be patched.

(remember, it only had a nail hole it.)

The mechanic had already removed the "plug" from the tire leaving me with no choice but to leave with the donut in place.

I asked if he would patch the tire anyways and I would not hold them to a warranty, and they still refused.

I returned to the front counter to finish up the paperwork where at least they did not charge me for the mess that they left me in my trunk but did give me an estimate of $338 to replace all my tires and I guess forgetting that I mentioned earlier that I didn't have any money to buy a single tire so they figure that I must have enough of money to buy a full set of four.

what an insult!

My main bitch and moan in this particular case is twofold...

#1 when I went into Les Schwab, I had four tires.
When I left Les Schwab I had three tires and a donut.

#2 my trunk is a mess. I was not asked if I was interested in using the donut, I did not give permission for the mechanic to go into my trunk and he could have at least put everything back where he found it instead... I felt like I was treated like a person who was a total inconvenience to them because I was not interested in buying a full set of tires when all I needed was one tire repaired.

if you have had a good or bad experience with Les Schwab tire centers, I would like to hear it.

I also would like to give the opportunity for Les Schwab to comment on my complaint.
By the way, I would be directing my complaint directly to the corporate office of Les Schwab tire Center except they do not have on their website any way to contact them directly.

Oh yes, what happened with the tire... I hobbled my way home from West Eugene to East Springfield and grabbed a unmounted spare tire and took it over to the Tire Factory 4157 Main Street in Springfield where I was in and out with a mounted and balanced tire placed on the vehicle in under 15 minutes. The people there were friendly and I felt like they appreciated my business.

Friday, November 26, 2010

ICE enforces Internet regulations, HUH???

The New York Times --

Immigrations and custom enforcement (ICE) seized the domain names of three file sharing websites and redirected visitors to those websites to its own takedown notice.

The file sharing website that were seized were and three music file sharing systems and

A long-term effort against online piracy, John T. Morton, the assistant secretary of ICE and representatives of the Motion Picture Association of America said "American businesses under assault from counterfeiters and pirates every day, seven days a week. Criminals are stealing American ideas and products and distributing them over the Internet."

The seizure were also covered under a new bill known as Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act which was approved by a Senate committee last week which would allow the government to shut down sites that are "dedicated to the infringing activities."

okay, first of all, what the hell is the immigrations and custom enforcement agency doing in going after file sharing websites and set up after illegal aliens?

Secondly, while file sharing can be a violation of copyright law, however, the implications of this new bill along with the net neutrality act could be a Pandora's box that could have long-term implications.

Got into an accident in the recent ice and snow on I-105 or I-126...

Robin's commentary

If you have driven between Eugene and Springfield on I-105 or I-126 anytime during the last year you would notice that the condition of the roadway is in really bad shape with a combination of micro-trenches and potholes.

Instead of properly repaving the freeway, the road has been "patched" only where the tires would hit the road, leaving this little roller coaster rocking back and forth roadway similar to a carnival ride.

While this is a money-saving half-assed effort and would suffice as a temporary repair when road conditions are favorable, however, during icy conditions where your car will slide easily into a ditch given any excuse, it did not surprise me at all when we had that freeze the other day that there is a line of cars and lots of accidents on this roadway.

So in my opinion, (if it is even possible) anyone who had an accident on I-105 or I-126 should sue the state of Oregon who is responsible for maintaining the interstates for the damages to your vehicle or at the very least, a complaint should be filed.

The money for the roadway repair comes out of our tax dollars and road taxes, and by doing the repairs cheaply only cost more in the long run.

Just my opinion... and I could be wrong.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TSA public relations blog

Robin's commentary --

The TSA is in the news everywhere... and I thought it was interesting that they now have their own "blog" to respond to the public's concerns.

here is another video in the series...

and TSA blogger Bob's explanation

Saturday, November 20, 2010

TSA national opt out day November 24

"Good, but they're not going to touch women's breasts or genitalia!"

That was a comment from my roommate made when we were discussing the TSA searches as she was assuming (as a lot of women do) guys being inherently evil that it's okay to submit them to the searches and that they would not touch women's privates.

"Ooooh….That's where you're wrong Bunkie."

When I explained to her what they are ACTUALLY doing including GROPING children, her jaw drop down to the floor in total disbelief that our government would actually go as far as it has without someone being arrested.

By now, I am assuming that most people are aware of what is actually going on during these pat downs.

That somehow the government has decided that it is okay for government officials to fondle your genitalia areas in order to board an aircraft.

But let me throw out a little reminder... IT DOES NOT STOP THERE!

If you travel by train or bus you are also subject to security checks, although they have not gotten as elaborate as air travel yet.


John Tyner at the San Diego airport going through security when the TSA decided that Tyner required a little bit more of the "personal touch." The TSA agent explain to Tyner what he was going to do and Tyner informed the agent "you touch my junk and I'm going to have you arrested"

Tyner had the forethought to switch his cell phone to record and recorded the whole incident. (See video at the bottom of this post)

After Tyner informed the agent that he would be arrested by touching him only where his "wife or doctor are allowed", the agent got his supervisor who later got his manager who then took down Tyner's personal information and informed Tyner that he would not be allowed to board the aircraft without being searched however, he would be allowed to leave.

Tyner still refused the pat down and chose to leave. As a police officer was escorting Tyner out of the boarding area, Tyner went over to the ticket booth to see if he can get a refund, which he managed to do.

Thinking the incident was over and that he could go home, Tyner was stopped by two other agents who informed him that "once you begin the search, you have to complete it. Failure to comply would result in a civil suit and a $10,000 fine."

That was the first time that I've heard about the fine for refusing to go through any of the security checks.

And here is some other food for thought...

What if during a TSA patdown, they decide that they suspect they found something in your privates?

Are you going to be taken into some back room (hopefully) and strip-searched?

How about a cavity search?

us women have this little extra convenient storage area where we can hide combustible objects you know.

The whole point of it all is that enough is enough. If we give in to this type of humiliation just to travel than the terrorists have won. If the government gives into excluding Muslim women wearing burqas based on religious reasons alone, there should be an outcry from citizens that the government has ever heard before.

Representative Ron Paul has introduced HR 6416: the American Traveler Dignity Act In Congress {LINK} which basically says that the idea which is common practice in Congress to pass laws for which they are not subject to that his legislation that he is introducing will change that.
"My legislation is simple. It establishes that airport security screeners are not immune from any US law regarding physical contact with another person, making images of another person, or causing physical harm through the use of radiation-emitting machinery on another person. It means they are subject to the same laws as the rest of us. 

Imagine if the political elites in our country were forced to endure the same conditions at the airport as business travelers, families, senior citizens, and the rest of us. Perhaps this problem could be quickly resolved if every cabinet secretary, every member of Congress, and every department head in the Obama administration were forced to submit to the same degrading screening process as the people who pay their salaries.

Lars Larson claims that we do NOT have a constitutional right to travel on an airplane, which is true, we don't.


Right now, today this type of indignity only affects air travel...

But what about tomorrow?

Think about it.

ODOT' S Camera fetish

Robin's commentary

Okay, to be honest with you, I'm not 100% sure that what's going on is actually a representative of the Oregon Department of Transportation, but what has been going on has been extremely weird.

So far, this is happened to me twice.

As most of you know who know me, I've had to take into driving a semi truck because the economy is so bad in Lane County there are not any jobs that I can find for an industrial technician.

Anyway, several weeks ago traveling on 28th Street in Springfield I come up to the stop light at 28th and Olympic on the truck route. I'm driving a three axle semi truck pulling a 28 foot trailer. When the light changes, two gentlemen standing on the street corner both are displaying badges on their chest, one of them pulls out a Camera and takes my picture. okay, that is kind of weird. I'm not doing anything wrong that I know of and I didn't see him take pictures of anybody else.

anyway I did not give it much more thought until Last week, (driving the same vehicle) I'm eastbound on 126 from Veneta going by Perkins Peninsula through a work zone, and just as I'm coming out of the work zone standing next to one of the flaggers, who I think was the same guy in Springfield, pulled out of Camera and took a picture of me again.


I went through the work zone at 25 miles an hour, so I'm not speeding.

I mean what's going on? This guy has some fetish for female truck drivers?

I'm wondering if anybody else had any similar experience.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Reminder Sunday morning
to set your clocks back an hour

This Sunday at 2 a.m. local time

this is also the time year when you realize just how many things have a clock in them and also how many digital items simply just can't go back one hour at a quick push of the button.

Something to ponder --

In a digital world... which direction is clockwise?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

blogspot Spam control

Robin's commentary

Not too long ago, blogspot (owned by Google and hosting of this blog)started their anti-spam moderation program called "automatic spam detection for comments."

Great idea except the it is still in the "fine-tuning stage" which requires your host (me) to periodically go into the settings portion of the blog and confirm that a post did not get tagged as spam.

If your comment did not immediately appear after you posted, please post an additional note in the comments section as I do read all comments that your post failed to appear and I will confirm whether or not it was tagged by blogspot as spam.

I do apologize to those people who have commented on this site whose post have not been posted as it is currently out of my control and if there is any way that I could turn off this new feature, I would.

-- Robin

"no real" identification required for registering to vote...

Robin's commentary --

During my brief travels today I was listing to the Lars Larson show and he was talking about the requirements for voting in Multnomah County and when he found out when called the registrar's office.

From their website...
" Do I need to provide identification?

* New laws require that people must provide identifying information to register to vote.
* If you have a current, valid Oregon DMV Driver's License/ID, you must provide that number.
* If you do not have a current, valid Oregon DMV
Driver's License/ID, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number.
* If you do not have a current, valid Oregon DMV Driver's License/ID or a Social Security number, you must affirm this and if you are registering by mail, you must provide a copy of one of the following:
o valid photo identification
o a paycheck stub
o a utility bill
o a bank statement
o a government document
o proof of eligibility under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) or the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (VAEH)"

there has already been allegations by callers to Lars's show where ballots had been "pre-marked" or "smudged" which would have invalidated their return.

now I am not saying that somebody is purposely going through and trying to commit voter fraud... what I am saying however is that it just would not surprise me.

What I was surprised at however is what Lars pointed out on his show today about the requirements and or lack of to register to vote.

If this is true throughout the state of Oregon, you can imagine the can of worms that it would open.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Arizona 1070 -- federal court appears willing to reinstate

San Francisco Chronicle --

a three-judge panel of the ninth US circuit Court of Appeals indicated its willingness to reinstate parts of Arizona's SB-1070.

"The court indicated that it would authorize police to demand papers from those they reasonably suspect of being in the country illegally, however, would not allow authorities to arrest and prosecute them under state law.... however those suspects would be referred to the US authorities for deportation"

the panel agreed with Judge Bolton's argument in supporting the injunction on Arizona's SB 1070 that a state law against illegal immigration would conflict with federal authority, however they saw no conflict in requiring police to seek documentation from suspected illegal aliens.

In short, if reinstated, Arizona police would be limited to ordering a suspect to produce a driver's license or other documentation, including inquiries to immigration officials.

while it apparently looks as if the law (SB 1070) might be reinstated in some form, I am quite certain that the federal government and President Obama will object 100% to anything that would detour the colonization of the United States by the "new Americans."