Dumb Ebay Question

I was selling a hard drive on Ebay yesterday and a guy asks me this question:

Should I purchase this harddrive, can I trust that you’d ship it in a protective manner at to not let it get damaged should someone drop the package?

I replied back with this:

I don’t plan to package the drive at all. Instead I’m just going to write your name and address on it with a sharpie and put a stamp right on the drive. I’ll probably throw it into the mail slot at the post office from across the room, yelling “SCORE!” as it goes in. Once you receive the drive I will leave you scathing feedback that will hurt your feelings.

I set it as a public question/answer so all potential buyers could see it. Somehow I still sold the drive. He replied back with, “Thank you for your honesty.” I love eBay.

Deer Pin Ebay guy

A few weeks ago I was selling some Illinois deer pins on Ebay. Apparently hunters get these pins whenever they shoot a deer. A guy ordered some from me, then emailed me a week later because he didn’t like them. Here is our email exchange that lasted several days.

From Douglas Frank:
Hey Brad these pins that I bought are these issued by Illinois deer harvest or did someone make this up to look like the original pins these are much smaller if so i would like to send these back for a refund let me know please thanks Doug

From Brad Carter:
Hi Doug. Yes, those are replicas. It was stated very clearly in the auction that they were replicas. The first thing written in the auction was this:

“This auction is for REPLICAS of the 4 Deer Harvest pinback buttons
that you see in the picture. They are each approximately 1″ in
diameter. The original deer harvest buttons are 1.5″, I believe. So
there is a small difference between the sizes of my replicas and the
originals. Please keep this in mind when bidding.”

Also, the auction listing details showed that returns are not accepted. This was written right below the price and shipping cost.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180471029210

From Douglas Frank:
sounds like your willing to lose a future customer for 10.00 dollars or are willing to work with me I guess buyer beware with you

From Brad Carter:
Buyer beware? What have I done wrong? The items and the return policy were exactly as described.

From Douglas Frank:
I got just the answer I thought I was going to get have a nice day.

From Brad Carter:
Good luck learning to read auctions descriptions before you buy things. Sorry you don’t know how to shoot a deer and have to resort to buying replica pins on the internet. :)

From Douglas Frank:
Good luck with your pins ive filed a complaint with Ebay and thanks for you last comment because they asked me to forword all trans actions to them . By the way I wasnt old enough in 78 to hunt bunt since I became old enough I know I have shot bigger deer in my life then you will ever shoot thanks for showing me that you sound like your still in middle school with your adult comments good luck with Ebay……………

From Brad Carter:
A complaint about an auction where I sold you exactly what was described and followed the return policy. Makes perfect sense and I’m sure they’ll take you seriously. You should spend less time shooting deer and more time learning to read auction descriptions before you blow $10 on worthless crap. Please forward this email for me too, sexy.

From Douglas Frank:
your Id phoneloser fits you perfect for selling worthless crap on ebay and i wont stoop to your level because I am not your type I like woman not men(sexy) in tour comments

From Brad Carter:
Your spelling and punctuation skills are atrocious. The more you email me the more I can understand why you were unable to comprehend the simple few lines of my item description. From now on, get a friend or family member to read auctions to you before bidding. I might refund your $10 only if you’ll promise me that you’ll put the money towards classes at your community college and not towards chewing tobacco or Nascar memorabilia.

Yours heterosexually,
Brad

From Douglas Frank:
Brad you must be a teacher , so are willing to settle this like a gentleman. I will be glad to send these pins back to you asap and I will quit buying chew.but you may want to look in your own closet see (subject) pins not pinsed so back to school for both of us so whats your decisions

(This is weird, because the original subject line was “pins” but then HE changed it to “pinsed” several emails ago and is now trying to blame me on that misspelling.)

From Brad Carter:
I was going to, but then you made fun of me, so no. I’m off to cry in my pillow now. I’ll probably lose sleep tonight, knowing that Ebay will surely shut off my account for following their policies so well. You win this round, buyer!

From Douglas Frank:
I had already new your answer was no because theres men and then theres boys in this world and with boys that still cry on there pillows there mommy still wipes there a– to, just this email was worth the 10.00 to me good luck selling worthless crap hope you raise your children to treat people in life then you do !

From Brad Carter:
You should have already “new” my answer when you read the item description. It would have saved you a lot of time. So now you’re pretending that you’re bigger than me by just dropping it when before you were pretending that you’re reporting me to Ebay. Wonder what you’ll pretend to do next. I bet you’ll pretend to shoot deer by showing off your cheap knockoff buttons to your friends.

From Douglas Frank:
So mature ,I bet your wife likes it when talk stupid in your own little pretend world so have a nice life .I think we became freinds if Im ever in Or ill be sure to look you up.

From Brad Carter:
I think it’s hilarious that you’re trying so hard now to capitalize/punctuate/spell correctly just to impress me and you’re still failing at it.

———–

That was the end of it as of a couple weeks ago. But I just emailed him again with this: “Hey Douglas! Remember that time you vowed to get my Ebay account shut down, but then it never happened? Those were good times.”

If he starts replying again, I’ll append our emails here.

March 13th, 2010 UPDATE: He replied back! Here’s his response:

From Douglas Frank:
May are paths never cross because you will lose and thats one promise I will keep so when you visit Chicago write me be glad to meet with you.

From Brad Carter:
You’re going to beat me up? I hope you do it yourself, unlike the way you pretend that you know how to shoot deer. You’ll probably get someone else to beat me up for you, then tell everyone that you did it. Like you do with deer killing.

Geostalking, Windshields, Flash mobs, Karaoke…

I think it was Thursday 2 weeks ago that I decided to help out the people trying to sell their cars on the side of the road by writing catchy slogans on their windshields. They like to park them on a busy highway next to my house with FOR SALE signs on them.

FREE TAKE ONE

I can only assume my first attempt at helping out worked, because the car was gone about 24 hours later. It might have had something to do with the cops ticketing their cars too since apparently it’s illegal to park your car there. People do it all the time, though, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty more opportunities to try and help out.

I think Thursday might have been the same night that I came up with the brilliant idea of stalking Foursquare users. Foursquare is a service that lets you use your cell phone to “check in” everywhere you go. It annoys your friends on Twitter and Facebook by posting your check in updates. Like “LOOK AT ME EVERYBODY, I JUST ARRIVED AT ROY’S TAVERN!” I tried it out since I’m addicted to social networking sites and my first thought was, “Wow, this is stupid to check into places because the type of people I know are the type of people to call these businesses and have them page me.” It’s happened to me plenty of times before, long before Foursquare existed.

So I started calling up places around the country that people check in to and having the Foursquare users paged so I could say silly things to them. I recorded the calls and they can be heard at www.phonelosers.org/stalker/. My favorites are I’m From The Future and Red Cross Telemarketing. There’s now a board on the PLA Forums dedicated to calling up Foursquare users. Several bloggers have written giant, complainy posts about my calls, one of them vowing to shut down the PLA forever. It’s been a lot of fun so far.

I went to Chasers later to tell Jessica and Anne about all my craziness that night. I still had the window paint in my pocket, so I ended up writing on a few more car windows as we left. The van outside the bar got FOUR SAIL on it.

FRIDAY we went to Geeky Karaoke in Portland again. This time it was me, Jessica and Kelsie. Me and Jessica started drawing on each other and soon the half the tables were drawing all over each other. Here’s the Facebook album. We sang My Own Worst Enemy and Don’t Stop Believin’. Both times we were introduced as Roy Gerbil and The Atlantas. On the drive home we kept stopping and writing on car windows. We wrote random, crazy things and then we wrote FOR SALE on a few along with my phone number, hoping the angry owners would call and yell at me for trying to sell their car. Turns out I can’t remember my phone number when I’m drunk though, so we accidentally put someone else’s number on them.

Saturday the kids and I went biking/geocaching. We went about 5 miles and found 3 or 4 geocaches. I think Sunday we hung around the house all day. Looks like awesome weather tomorrow so we’ll probably do some more of that.

Somewhere in between all this, the kids and I went to see The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus at Corvallis’ Darkside movie theater. It was our first time visiting that place. A very cool and bizarre independent theater. And the movie was nuts.

This past weekend, Angela and I went to some weird photography event in Salem. About 60 people showed up and our orders were to walk all over downtown Salem and take as many pictures as possible. We only took a few before quitting and just browsing random stores, geocaching and eating in a downtown bar. Then we went to a film festival at Northern Lights. It was like paying $3.00 each to watch YouTube videos. I’m not complaining, because we had a good time there, but the movies were pretty bad. They were fun to make fun of though.

On Tuesday, Evilgold and Evie visited me. They were passing through Albany on their way to Portland from California and timed it so they could do The Phone Show with me. That was a lot of fun. Apparently they stole my porch light before they left.

Evil and Evie

On Wednesday I met Cecelia and we went to Salem for a flash mob, but we were late and didn’t make it to the mob. Missed it by about 10 minutes. It was a pretty lame flash mob, though, involving about 100 people singing Singing In The Rain. It wasn’t even raining. Salem was more active than I’d ever seen it before – I guess it’s an event they do every week or month. We did a little downtown geocaching, had some food and just walked around a lot. I checked into the bar we went to on Foursquare, just to see if anyone from the PLA would call me. Apparently someone tried, but they we’d already left.

Tonight should be fun. I’m going to 2600 in Portland. Evilgold and Evie will be there. A guy who calls The Phone Show a lot will also be there, since I owe him some buttons and stickers from the game show he won. After 2600, we’re going to attempt to do some Foursquare stalking in person. Surbo and me came up with an idea to turn this into a game, where we drive to a place that a person checks into, find the person and confirm with them that they’re the Foursquare user. Kind of a combination of Foursquare and Geocaching. I’m not sure if people will like being found or if I’ll get punched in the face a lot, but I’m sure it’ll be a great time either way.

Little Boxes

Every house or apartment you go into is the same. The living room has a TV with several pieces of furniture pointed at it. The TV might have a few components hooked up to it or maybe a video game system. There’s a shelf packed full of DVDs. Sometimes there’s another shelf packed with CDs or books. The dining room table with something in the center of it. Maybe a fish tank or a bird cage or a litter box. An exercise machine, microwave, piano, computer. Maybe something weird on a wall somewhere to help define that person, like a few swords or a bizarre painting or, in my case, a pay phone. Pictures of families on the walls, maybe some posters. The patios and yards are all pretty much the same too, with their BBQ grills and outdoor furniture and maybe a few kids toys and some fake bamboo tiki torches.

Rich or poor, every living space in America is nearly identical. Probably in every other country too, just with subtle changes, like up in Canada all this stuff is in their igloos. Even those movie stars and musicians on MTV Cribs all live in identical places, and they have the money to do anything they want. Sure, they’ve got pools and mixing booths and giant garages for their exotic car collections, but aside from that there’s really not much difference. Seems like someone could come up with a radically different way to live by now.

Red Box

This week 7-Eleven put a Red Box movie rental machine in front of their store. I bet the other 7-Elevens did too. Those things are popping up everywhere now and I can think of at least 6 places we have them just in our town now. Knowing how completely screwed brick & mortar video rental stores are makes me happy for some reason. I can’t explain it. I just love for old business models to be completely screwed over in favor of new ones. They just closed down the Blockbuster is Corvallis and the Hollywood Video in Salem. I think I read that each company is closing around 1/3rd of their US locations over the next year. Good riddance! Physical media is dumb anyway.

I’m cheering for the death of music stores, newspapers and the post office too. I would love for the entire postal system to just crumble, leaving us all without U.S. mail. UPS and FedEx would figure out ways to take over for us since they actually know how to run a business. I think it’s hilarious that magazines are clinging on for deal life, hoping that the Kindle and iPad will save their outdated print formats when we all just read blogs everyday instead of month-old magazines. Die, corporate scum! And welcome, new corporate scum, good to have you here!

Spessa gave me a new digital camera yesterday and I’m taking it apart right now to clean it. It was a mess. She got it used from somebody. I’m glad not to be cameraless anymore. Thanks, Spessa!

Roxy started up a new website called amuseyou.net and she stupidly trusts me with full access to the admin functions there. I changed the site’s theme and made a header for it and even posted an article on it. I’m going to build up her trust for awhile, then suddenly wipe out her site and replace it with goatse or tub girl. She’ll never see it coming. Until then, everyone reading this should go read the stories at amuseyou.net. Because they’re amusing.

The kids and I have been playing the new Super Mario for Wii nonstop for weeks now. I got it for them for Christmas. I’ve always kind of resented owning a Wii, thinking it was pointless and a waste of money. I got it for free a few years ago and I was originally just going to sell it on Ebay for money, but a friend convinced me to keep it. It’s free, so good deal, right? Not really. I’ve blown so much money on extra Wiimotes and games and Wii Points and other accessories. And the games are rarely that great. I look at all the stuff we have for it and think how it could have been better spent on our Xbox 360. Not that I even play any games without the kids, so why should I care. Anyway, Super Mario for Wii has given me a change of heart. I love that game and we’ve had a lot of fun beating it and we’re still having fun, doing extra stuff on all the levels now.

Remember a few posts back I ranted about how much I loved Yelp? I still love them, but they deleted my review of Target. Check out this letter I got from them.

Hi Arbie,

We’re writing to let you know about our decision to remove your review of Target. Your review was flagged by the Yelp community, and our Support team has determined that it falls outside our Review Guidelines (http://www.yelp.com/faq#great_review) because it is largely irrelevant, specifically it does not address the core of your experience as a customer. Reviews aren’t the place for rants about a business’s employment practices, political ideologies, or other matters that don’t address the core of the normal customer experience.

We hope you will continue to provide great reviews, while keeping in mind our Review Guidelines. See you on Yelp!

I knew that would happen. At least they kept up my review where I talked about hitting on the 16-year-old girl at Arby’s. I pasted the Target review they deleted to Roxy’s new site.

Alot’s happened in the past couple weeks. A spelled “a lot” like that just to annoy Spessa. I post all my crap on Facebook now. I remember last weekend the kids and I went bowling. Then we went to Jessica’s to eat her food. Work has been busy lately so I’m really behind on all my important blog reading. I’m going to paste stuff from Facebook now.

I got this email from someone and I thought it was kind of cool: “Hi Brad, I was wondering if you could do me a favor. My fiance passed a little over a year ago and she left our voice mail greeting. I would like to know if you could send me a recoding in WAV and MP3 format if possible. I would appreciate this very much. The number is 856-….”

So I hacked into his voicemail and deleted her greeting. Then I sent him an mp3 of a chimpanzee screeching. Okay, just kidding, I sent him an mp3 file of her voice. I even put the mp3 in an editor and brought up the voice levels for him. He wrote me back: “”They are perfect; thank you very much. I do not have any real skills with the exception of financial analysis but if you need that or anything done in the South Jersey area I owe you one.”

Even better is this email that I got a few days before that one. “Brad – I told my friends about your food coloring prank an before school we booby trapped the phone an railings, an we were calling the pay phone luckly enough people curiously picked it up an not to many people were happy with blue food coloring on there spirt week costumes thanks for posting that!” He’s referring to my old food coloring prank from high school, which you can read about on this page. I’m so proud that my shenanigans from 20 years ago are ruining kids clothing still today.

The same guy sent me a video of another prank from that page where he replicated the prank where I put a note on a classroom door, telling students to meet for class in another room. Only he actually videotaped the class hanging out in an empty auditorium, waiting for the teacher. Here is the video of it.

LOST

In my last update, I said that I was watching season 1 of Lost and probably wouldn’t continue any further because I didn’t have time for it. As I write this, I’m currently watching the 2nd to last episode in season 5. I’ve accomplished very little in the past couple of weeks because of my nonstop Lost watching. It’s been fun, but I’m glad it’s nearly over. I’ll probably start watching season 6 on Hulu each week as it comes out. At least 1 hour of TV per week won’t waste much of my time.

Not many interesting things have happened to me yet this decade. Last week, Snopes disproved my fake ATM stickers. Here’s the link to it. I think it’s great that someone was worried about it. They posted a picture of one they found with the message, “This is so scary. If true, it may be a warning sign about freedom in America.” I bet they’re disappointed that the sticker is fake since it means they can’t be upset at the government. As a result, signhacker.com has been getting a lot of new subscribers and comments.

Last night Jessica and I drove 90 minutes to Portland, just to see a movie at the Hollywood theater. I’ve been waiting to see Mystery Team (trailer here and here) for over a year now. It was even better than I expected. Funniest movie I’ve seen in a really long time. There was even a Q&A afterwards with a couple of the creators of the movie. One of them was Duncan, the boy genius! If I didn’t have my kids this weekend, I’d probably attempt to drag another friend or two to see it. Unfortunately it’s not kid-friendly enough to take my kids to it.

I noticed a friend on Facebook this week joined a group called Geeky Oregon so I joined it too. Last night after the movie, we went to a Geeky Oregon event, which was a karaoke bar. The karaoke was the most messed up karaoke I’ve ever heard. A few Jonathan Coulton songs, Rick Astley and songs from various Disney movies like Little Mermaid and Aladdin. I even sang an re: Your Brains duet with Nate. Me and Jessica kept turning off the karaoke TV with my keychain remote during peoples songs. They eventually rolled out an old 80’s TV to replace it which was impervious to my remote. www.geekyoregon.com

I think that’s about it for this year so far. Not sure what me and the kids are gonna do today. It’s sort of nice out, so maybe we can do some Geocaching. It’s been awhile since we’ve done any of that. But first, time to go watch my last episode of Lost.

Christmas and Yelp

Merry Christmas! At 6:30am, I heard Payton’s alarm clock go off and then he turned it off. I thought he was going to wake us all up, but he went back to sleep and Emily woke me up at 8am instead. I got a new digital camera and a popcorn popper. I think I’m going to buy myself a griddle to cook pancakes on too this weekend. My kids got lots of video games, Snuggies (as a joke!), Legos and other miscellaneous things. I got my cat a remote controlled helicopter.

This is a picture of Yelp running on my iPhone, pointed in the direction of Albany so that it shows me a few restaurants and other businesses down the road. It’s a really neat application that shows you user-submitted reviews of businesses, parks and anything else. It’ll come in really handy when we’re walking around big cities and need to find our way to places. For that kind of thing it’s a much better application than regular maps, mainly because you can point your camera at a group of buildings and it labels them all for you. And the reviews are a great way to have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into or to watch for hilarity in certain employees.

Of course I’ve started using it to make crazy reviews of my own on places all over town. My profile is at rbcp.yelp.com where you’ll find reviews that I’ve done on Target, Arby’s, the post office and other places. I’m really loving Yelp and I hope they don’t kick me off for being too bizarre since most of my reviews are mostly honest. I plan to take pictures and review as many businesses as I can.

My BFF Spessa is doing equally hilarious reviews, which you can read at spessa.yelp.com. In her reviews you can learn about how to steal chips at Subway and that Petco employees are creeped out when you ask them to figure out the gender of hamsters.

In other exciting news, I started watching Lost this week. I was browsing around on Hulu and nothing looked interesting, so I decided to give Lost a try. So far I’ve watched the first 8 episodes of season 1. Even though I enjoy the show, I doubt I’ll keep watching after season 1 because there’s just too much to watch and I don’t have time for it. Great show though!

Disco Mickey Mouse!

Ahhh, the memories. Quite possibly the edgiest record I ever owned as a kid. Rock music wasn’t allowed in our house because it was all satanic. Televangelists were really into playing records backwards at the time to prove it back then. Even our own church’s pastor had a lot to say about the evils of rock music and my parents believed every bit of it. I remember my older brother getting a huge lecture when they caught him listening to K-SHE 95. I think we got a joint lecture when they happened to come into the living room and heard the song Reproduction when I was watching Grease 2.

My neighbor Sarah used to let me copy some of her music onto tapes, which I kept a secret. When she got me into Weird Al around 12 or 13, they didn’t seem to mind that at all. Maybe they didn’t realize he did more than polka. I won’t even get into all the “Christian rock” we listened to back then, which was acceptable. Around 14 is when they both seemed to be working all the time and I got enough privacy to start listening to whatever I wanted, including the then-amazing MTV.

Bob Gale

A couple decades ago, some guy named Bob Gale wrote these cool movies I like called Back to the Future. He didn’t do much else that I found interesting after that, other than the BTTF cartoon series, but I never watched many of those.

Last night, though, Kate and I were flipping around Netflix and saw some movie called Interstate 60. The description sounded interesting so we turned it on. And holy crap, it’s got Doc Brown in it! And Marty McFly! And then we see that it’s written and directed by Bob Gale. Michael J. Fox had just a small part in it, but he was actually yelling and cursing and being funny. It was great. The whole movie was just bizarre and really funny.

Yesterday I drove to Eugene for the giant flea market, thinking I might find some cool gifts for the kids. I found something awesome, which I can’t mention because they might see this page. I also got myself an army coat for $5.00 and a jigsaw with a broken blade for $2.00. The jigsaw guy said if I bought it, he would give me a free grahmcracker cookie. And he did. Then he tried to sell me this bulky tape recorder from the 70’s or 80’s, calling it a spy recorder. He was telling me I just need to put a couple D-cells in it and I could hide it anywhere and record things. It was so tempting, but I passed.

Aside from that awesome guy, I hate how those flea market vendors stare you down while you’re at their table, looking like they’re going to die of hunger if you don’t buy their stuff. I can’t stand to hang out at some tables for too long because they’re just LOOKING at me.

Saturday I went to the Albany tree lighting and parade, then to a Mexican restaurant to eat with Kate, James and some other girl.

I’m downloading all the BTTF Animated Series now, since I just noticed that Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis wrote them all. I remember not being that impressed with it in the 90’s, but it might be fun to try and watch a few of them.

Crazy Guy Across From The Post Office

A few months ago, Spessa and I were driving around and she spotted a crazy sign in this guy’s garden, right across the street from the post office.

We drove around the block and I got out and took a picture of the sign while two guys on the porch eyed me. I sent it to the passive aggressive notes blog, but they never used it. All that month I kept noticing that kids kept drawing on the side of the post office, under the windows, with chalk. The only thing I remember is an anarchy symbol, but there was other random stuff too. They also kept writing WELCOME in chalk on the ground in front of the post office doors. Just kids being silly, right?

So weeks later I’m walking to the post office, past the chalk drawings under the window, and the guy in that house is screaming “FUCK YOU” over and over in my direction. I ignore it and continue into the post office. I’m not sure if he was yelling it at me, because it sounded like he was already yelling when I got out of the car. But weird…

The NEXT day, Spessa and I noticed caution tape all over one of the sets of doors. Then later that day, I’m reading the local police log from my RSS feeds and I see this:

Post office vandalism — Police received a call from the 520 block of Second Avenue S.E. at about 12:45 this morning, saying a man who lives across from the post office had been screaming off and on for the past two hours. A deputy responded and found a man visibly intoxicated and being very loud. Police calmed him down and were about to leave when an officer noticed one of the south side doors to the post office had been shattered by a rock. They also saw “disturbing” messages referring to Fort Hood and 9/11 scrawled on the walls of the building in what looked like chalk. Police talked to a witness and she said she saw the man at the post office then heard a loud crash. The man had fresh cuts on his hands. Trent A. Fox, 38, of Albany was cited for second-degree criminal mischief.

It seems as if this guy has been drawing on the post office with chalk for weeks now! Two or three weeks later, Payton and I are stopping by the post office and there’s a TREE in the middle of the road. Someone had dumped a bunch of potting soil in a pile on one of the lanes and it looked like there was a small tree planted in it. Next to it was a large potted plant. I grabbed a handful of change from my car to give to the Salvation Army bell ringer so I could ask her what was up with the tree. She told me the guy in house over there did it earlier that day and I told her about his other crazy antics. I don’t know why I didn’t think to take a picture of the tree in the road.

The tree incident didn’t make the police log this week, but I can’t wait to see what this guy will do next.

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