Getting tired of the news being dominated by the Middle East…

I listen to NPR quite a bit and every hour they have the news headlines.  Over the past five years both the news and the coverage have increasingly and disproportionately been dedicated to events, topics, and stories about the Middle East.

I understand there is a lot going on over there, and has been for a while.  And I am sensitive to the volatility of the region and its importance to the United States and the world as a whole.  But the coverage seems to be disproportionate.  A prime example is on the morning after Election day here, they had a report from Gaza and how the Palestinians were reacting to the election results. 

Seriously?  That’s what’s news worthy: How another country is reacting to our election?  I’m far more interested in how WE are reacting to the election in our own country.

I don’t imagine there was a whole lot of hand-wringing in Egypt about what we thought of their election.  Nor France.  Or Greece.  Or Russia.

I listen to NPR to have a more well-rounded world view.  I guess my complain is that the domination of the Middle Eastern news is blocking out all the rest of the news that deserves coverage too.

Europe needs more coverage.  They are our biggest trading partner and are going through a major crisis.  China is hugely important to the U.S.  More coverage is needed about them.   Mexico is increasingly an important trading partner and little is ever discussed about them.  How about South America?  Harly know they even exist based on the news coverage….

And it isn’t just NPR.  All the major news outlets seem focused almost solely on the U.S, and the Middle East…the rest of the world be damnned!

This is a very disturbing trend and one I hope changes soon.

Boardwalk Empire best line of the season (so far…)

“We’ve been on the road for eighteen hours.  I need a bath, some chow, and then you and me sit down…and we talk…about who dies.”  — Al Capone to Nucky Thompson

Awesome.  This series continues to amaze me with the richness and depth of the characters.  As soon as I think i have one of them pegged, the writers zag and pull something I never expected.  

I never thought I would be cheering Al Capone on as the hero riding in to save the day when I started watching this series.

Zones…a cautionary tale of a harrassing supplier.

As an IT manage I get bombarded with calls from vendors looking to drum up new business. And that’s fine and to be expected.

But once in a while there is a vendor that, in the course of trying to drum up business, actually burns the bridge so badly that it will never be repaired (or even allowed to get a foot in the door.)

Case in point:

We try out a few new vendors every couple of years just to give them a whirl and see how they perform. Almost without fail they get trounced by CDW. But we do it anyway for due diligence and just to keep the accounts going and see what’s out there.

So back in April we did this and didn’t find anyone better so we moved on with life.

Last week I got a call from Mr. Aggressive sales guy from Zones. It started out okay, but went down hill rapidly when I told him, after listening patiently to his spiel for about 10 minutes, that we had just concluded a vendor review but I would be happy to include him on the next one. At this point he said “Well do you like paying higher prices”, to which I stated that was really our business, not his. And which point he continued to argue his point prompting me to state that I wasn’t going to argue with him and ended the call.

Fast forward to today…I get a call and it’s the same guy. He wants to “continue our discussion.” I state that the discussion ended the other day and I wasn’t interested in discussing any further.

“Well, I’m just trying to get a better idea of how Zones can help…”

“Sorry…I told you the other day we are not looking for any vendors at this time.”

“I think that….”


Here’s a tip, Aggressive sales guy…a surefire way to ensure you never get ANY business from most people is to try to badger or harass them into listening to your sales pitch. Better to just accept the rejection and move on to the next call than piss off the (potential) customer.

Zones, you can have the best prices in the world and computers that make me the envy of IT folk everywhere but it wouldn’t matter due to this guy harnessing me. Zones just made it to the very short, very selective “never buy from” list.