Friday, November 22, 2013

The Cabela’s effect.

It is pretty common to hear people complain about Wal Mart and how they come to town, drive all the other businesses out of business, and then provide shitty products and shitty customer service once there is no other option left in town.

I haven’t necessarily experienced this with Wal Mart, because the products I buy usually are not in competition with Wal Mart, so the stores where I shop don’t go out of business when Wal Mart moves in. 

Cabelas, on the other hand, is the devil. 

Okay, so they’re not the devil, but they did succeed in driving every other decent sporting goods store in Spokane out of business, and now I’ve tried to call the store 5 times today, starting at 7 am to now, leaving messages on the store machine for a call back, with a question that I need answered before I venture over there and waste my time. 

Why am I doing business with Cabelas?  They’ve left me no other choice.  There aren’t any good alternatives left, and so, here is an open letter to everyone at Cabelas.   Hope they read it and I hope something changes.

Dear Cabelas:
 Your customer service sucks.  I am constantly finding myself begging for the attention of your non-existent and horribly unknowledgeable staff on my trips to your store, and when I call your customer service line, no one ever answers.  Worse still, when I leave messages on your machine, no one ever calls back.
 So why do I do business with you? 
 Because you’ve driven every other store in town out of business, and I have no choice.
 Cabelas, do you really want your customers doing business with you only because they have no other choice?  Is that really your business plan?  Destroy the competition, and then once your customers have no other choice, treat them like shit because you know they don’t have an alternative?  Is it really your goal that the only reason an avid outdoorsman such as myself spends money at your store is because there isn’t anyone else to go to?
 I’m really considering just driving the extra 20 miles to go to Wholesale Sports in Coeur d’Alene, or Black Sheep in Hayden, rather than put up with your shit.  Is it the goal of Cabelas to be such a shitty place to do business that your customers would rather drive an extra 40 minutes out of their way than do business with you? 
Because if so, you’re doing a bang-up job. 
 RETURN MY F@#$%*& PHONE CALL you dicks!
 Love always:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Excuses, Excuses

Tam put a post up today that got me a little riled.

Essentially, it is about a wonderful young woman who is suing her college for making her take two math prerequisite courses (just like every other student on campus) to get her degree.  The article at the link goes on to say:

Valdez’s disabilities include Asperger’s syndrome, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyscalculia, which is a mathematics learning disability, her attorney, Donald Harris, said Tuesday.

The amusing dyscalculia thing aside, I note that if one reviews her list of "ailments" that every one of them, while they are real ailments that cause real suffering to the people that actually have them, are also popular ailments for people to claim to have as an excuse for being a shitty person.

Apparently, being crappy at math is now a pathology that requires special ADA dispensations now.

I did find solace in the comments at Tam's, however, in the sense that other people were dismantling her in much the same way I felt compelled to.  I think the best of the lot was this one:

Even if it's a disease and it's not your fault, it's still your responsibility. You didn't choose to be dyslexic or diabetic or whatever, but you have to figure out how to deal with it. Not make the whole world turn upside down to accommodate you.
Bingo.  If your degree requires that you take Class X, then you need to take Class X to get that degree.  If you can't pass Class X, then get a different degree, or recognize that maybe college isn't for you.  If we allow everyone to drive their own narrative on what a degree should require, then degrees will become meaningless.

How would we feel about engineering degrees being passed out to people who claim that they have dyscalculia and can't do math?  It's discrimination, for goodness sake, to deny a guy that can't do math his engineering degree!  

Who drives over the bridge first?

Found Treasures

I found this while I was looking for pictures for my 1st world problems post.

It made me laugh.  Hope it makes you laugh, too...

Outdoor Update November 13

Here goes…  Weekend before last I drove up to a place called Kettle Falls in northeast Washington State, for some walleye fishing on Lake Roosevelt.

For those of you that don’t know, Lake Roosevelt is actually an impoundment on the Columbia River, created by the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam back in the 1930s.  It is 150 miles long, from Grand Coulee Dam to just north of the Canadian border, and has over 400 miles of shoreline, a good portion of which is pristine sand beaches.  We spend a lot of time there in the summer playing in the crystal clear waters. 

In the winter, however, it is walleye season. 

My buddy, who I do most of my walleye fishing with, is the walleye guru; the walleye whisperer, if you will.  He has often told me, and I believe him, that walleye fishing is all about subtle nuance – the devil is in the details, and fishing for them requires for you to be on the “spot within a spot,” with the exact right lure, twitching it in exactly the right cadence. 

I believe him, because his results speak volumes.  At 8 fish a piece, we had our 16 fish limit easily before dark (which, since it gets dark at around 4 pm these days, is saying  lot). 

As is often the case, we also bagged a burbot, or fresh water ling, as a by-catch to our walleye efforts.  Burbot are the only gadiform (cod-like) freshwater species.  Their only close relatives are all saltwater fish.  Burbot are not anadramous, and live mostly in landlocked lakes and rivers, where they are voracious bottom feeding predators. They are more common in the mid-west, Canada, and Alaska than they are, here, so catching them is a bit more rare than catching other species in this lake.   

They have smooth, leathery skin, and are very snakelike in appearance – especially the shape of their heads.  I honestly don’t like to touch them, because my monkey brain always screams at me “don’t touch the snake!” as I’m reaching into the net. 

The one benefit of Burbot is that they are quite tasty.  Many people boil the meat in sugar water, to sweeten the meat a bit.  The point here is that the meat has a lobster-like texture, and with a touch of sweetness, it pretty much tastes like lobster.  In fact, many fisherman around these parts refer to them as “poor man’s lobster”.  I ate mine in this fashion, with some drawn garlic butter as a dipping sauce. 

As an aside, anyone that wants to try this poor-man’s lobster dish, it is really simple and you can use other white meat fish to accomplish the dish if you like – halibut is my favorite, but you can use any kind of saltwater codfish – ling, true, sable, etc.  You just get a sauce pan, fill about ¾ with water, dissolve as much sugar in the water as it will take as it heats up, and then throw the meat into the boiling liquid for a few minutes until it cooks through.  Then make some drawn butter, dip and enjoy! 

I cooked up some walleye that same night, in panko breading and deep-fried in peanut oil.  This is Mrs. Goober’s favorite way to eat them, although I’m partial to broiling them in Mexican spices and eating them as fish tacos. 

Since I’m a little hesitant to leave Mrs. Goober on the weekends right now, I took Monday off to take the jet boat up Hell’s Canyon for some steelhead fishing.  That way, she won’t miss me because I’ll be gone while she’s at work. 

As I’ve mentioned before, steelhead are the same species as a rainbow trout.  They can interbreed and everything.  The only difference is that steelhead are wired to be anadramous, meaning they travel down river to the saltwater, and live most of their adult life as sea creatures, before they turn around to come back upriver to spawn, just like salmon.  Unlike salmon, however, steelhead do not necessarily die after they spawn, and so they will often turn around and head back to the ocean and come back up several times in their life cycle to spawn.  Because they go to the ocean, they get big.  The Idaho State record is nearly 30 pounds.  I don’t know what Washington’s record is, but I’ll bet even bigger. 

They really are amazing fish.