Archive for the ‘Information’ Category

25
Aug

I got to lead my first board of review on…

   Posted by: Garrett

I got to lead my first board of review on Tuesday night. I don’t know about the boy, but I was sure nervous. I ended up letting the others do more of the leading than I should have, but I think it went fairly well. Next milestone will be a Court of Honor. And I really need to go get trained. I feel “naked” without it.

31
Jul

Just got back from a fun day at Lagoon. We…

   Posted by: Garrett

29
Jul

I’ve been playing with an SD Card install…

   Posted by: Garrett

26
Jan

Flag Etiquette and You

   Posted by: Garrett

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Flag Etiquette

I recently saw a program where flags were displayed to either side of a person who was speaking from a podium. The US Flag and the state flag, however, were reversed.

It got me thinking about how many times I’ve seen improper flag etiquette, or incorrect use of the flag. I’m not talking flag burning done in protest, I mean things like wearing it as apparel.

So, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned about the US Flag code and etiquette. I don’t know everything though, and would appreciate any additional insights or corrections.

I will start making posts on this topic within the next couple days. Feel free to comment here about things you’d like me to eventually talk about.

2
Dec

Tis the Season

   Posted by: Garrett Tags:

Tis the season . . . to get ripped off if you are not careful.

I speak specifically of the extended warranties offered at pretty much every retailer for various electronic or other items.

These are RIP OFFS. Do NOT waste your money on them; the cashiers may say that it covers physical damage, including even being run over by a car, but that is a LIE!

Why are these such a waste of money?

First of all, the manufacturer’s warranty has to expire before you can even use the extended one.

Second, they only cover certain kinds of damage. For example, we bought a Nintendo DS for one of the kids a couple years ago at FYE. I got the extended warranty because the kids play rough with those. Recently, the hinge broke, causing the entire unit to fail (some wires got pulled out). I contacted the warranty people (Bankers Warranty group, I’m talking about you) since the manufacturer’s warranty had expired. They denied the claim because they only cover mechanical failures. They didn’t deem this to be mechanical – hinges are apparently not part of the mechanics of the device – go figure. I got my law firm involved and they decided to give another look at it. They just denied the claim again – even with pictures and my lawyer breathing down their neck. I’m waiting for a call back from the attorney to see what I can do next, but this post is a good place to start.

Now, looking at the reason for the denial, if there is a mechanical breakdown, one that would be covered, it would happen during the manufacturer’s part of the warranty. So, basically, you are paying these scams like Bankers Warranty Group to tell you to contact your manufacturer.

Third, the stores make A LOT of money on these things – commissions. So the cashiers – untrained salespeople – will tell you just about anything to get you to buy it. I am VERY disappointed in FYE – they should be ashamed of the lies they tell their cashiers. They are not alone though, I get the same rigmarole from WalMart, Target, Shopko, Best Buy, and so forth. Capitalism at its best worst!

Fourth, if you used a credit card to purchase the item, the credit card company may already be giving you an extended warranty.

Fifth, products are fairly reliable now. You have better odds in Vegas than in needing to use the extended part of the warranty.

Sixth, the cost of the warranty is usually close to or more than the cost for a repair in the first place. And, worse, about half of the cost of the extended warranty is the commission on the item! So, a huge percentage of that money for the warranty isn’t even going to cover eventual breakdowns – can you see why salespeople would lie and warranty groups (hello again Bankers Warranty Group – ) would defraud consumers?

Seventh, you’ll probably want an updated version of the item by the time you need it anyway, especially with electronics.

Now, to be fair, some people believe that there are some cases when extended warranties make sense (however, these people agree that purchasing extended warranties doesn’t usually make sense).

When it comes down to it, make sure you know what the fine print says is covered or not (regardless of what the cashier says) before plucking down your cash.

16
Feb

Cub Scout Family Freeze

   Posted by: Garrett

Earlier this year (actually it was like December 29th), I was asked to chair the committee that would put on this winter family event. I was nervous and even a bit scared at first, but I was so thankful when I’d call people and they said that they would be willing to help out. Yay me!

I was able to assemble a group of 15 or so people who are totally awesome and great leaders. They all did an awesome job. The families and kids seemed to all have a fantastic time. We had sledding runs, cardboard and duct tape sled building, snow sculptures and snow shoeing, snow bowling, and great food. We had prizes and patches for all the kids (except some kids took more than they should have, as well as some of the staff gifts – but they were excited and probably didn’t do it on purpose).

Being on this committee also helped me get back into helping my oldest son (8) work on his Rank Advancements. We sat down and marked off lots of things the day after Family Freeze.

I am contemplating doing it again next year. If we did it, we’d probably have 4 sessions spread out over 2 days so that we could get the best bang for our setting-up-buck.

There is much I would do better/differently next year if I do decide to help out.

But, one of the best things for me is that I’ve been contemplating about what things I am truly passionate about. I was having trouble coming up with anything. But, then, how could I forget about scouting? I am definitely passionate about it. If I could make a living with it (or if I was independently wealthy), I would definitely love going into work at the council office (as a District Executive or something) every day.

26
Oct

H1N1 and Party Lines

   Posted by: Garrett

I know, a weird title. But they do go together.

I was talking with my mom recently about our youngest, who had H1N1 last week (he’s much better now, thanks!).

My parents live in California, where the H1N1 stories in the news are fairly common and tend to highlight cases that seem to be people who are not in the “high-risk” groups, providing details about this pandemic. While, here in Utah, I really don’t hear very much on the news, and the stories tend to be about ways to stay healthy and about how this is just another flu and the death rate is as expected.

So, while we weren’t too worried, I’m sure my mom was kind of freaking out.

It got me thinking about why a Democratic state would focus on the negatives and a Republican state would be more optimistic. (This is where the “party” lines comes in). After all, I am a fairly optimistic person.

I’m not so sure this has to do with pessimism versus optimism as a nature of certain parties, though. While some may argue this, I think it goes deeper, into the world view of those in each party.

Democrats tend to be more focused on the poor, the downtrodden, the under-represented. Republicans tend to be more focused on free markets and improving from the top, keeping government out of our lives. These are simplistic definitions, obviously, but I feel they are useful here, if not completely black-and-white.

In California, the focus seems to be on these suffering people and how bad this is, how we need help to fix the problem. In Utah, the focus seems to be on how we can handle this problem ourselves and reassuring us that we can do it.

In some ways I think these world views tie in with how people take on the “global warming” issue, even. From the, in my opinion, exaggerated sky-is-falling outcries on the left, to the nothing-to-fear-but-fear-itself, we-are-not-the-cause anti-response of the far right. The answer here, and for H1N1, is somewhere in the middle – a complex, problematic issue that is not easily solvable, nor should it be ignored.

24
Feb

First Post Using Wordbook

   Posted by: Garrett

This is my first post using Wordbook. Should be nice to only have to post one place and have it go to Facebook (I already have a plugin for sending stuff to my LiveJournal account).

25
Jul

Links

   Posted by: Garrett

I’ll integrate these in with the rest of the blog later, but I don’t want to lose them, so here they are:

  • Liberty Hall Writers – Flash Writing is AWESOME!
  • Bean Leaf Press – My Friend, Travis!
  • NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month Site: It’s almost November!
  • 25
    Jul

    First Post

       Posted by: Garrett

    I haven’t updated my site in quite awhile. Previously, I just had a basic, plain HTML page that had some links on it. But, after a friend went to this site to see it, I felt awfully embarrassed and decided a blog would be the easiest way to get content up and presentable.

    I want this to be a place to link off to my other sites, so I won’t necessarily be posting here as much as other places (but that may change).

    This should at least keep me a bit more organized.

    Cheers!