Gray Flannel Dwarf




Dear Governor Easley:

I am writing you this letter to bring to your attention to a quality control issue about which you may not be aware, concerning the North Carolina Department of Transportation, specifically the Division of Motor Vehicles.

I am a relatively new resident to the state of North Carolina; I moved to Apex in February of 2005. As expected, I went to the DMV to turn in my old Virginia driver’s license, take the written test, and obtain my new North Carolina license. I received this on February 17th, 2005.

Unfortunately, less than a year later, the license has faded beyond recognition. Anyone looking at this license would be wholly unable to discern that it is me in the photo and my license number has faded to near-illegibility. This, however, is by no means any fault of mine. Rather, it is a quality control issue that occurred at some point during the time I got my license. When going through security at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), the guards have remarked that they have seen this a lot, where newer North Carolina licenses have quickly degraded beyond recognition, so obviously the issue I am facing is not a one-time thing.

Indeed, I travel a great deal on business – it has been every week, Monday-Friday since mid-March – and need to show my license when passing through security at RDU and others around the country. Today I was challenged regarding my ID. This has now happened a few times during my travels, but this is the first time it has occurred at RDU. Upon this event, I decided it was finally time to call the DMV and obtain a replacement license.

I spoke with a polite woman named Melanie at the DMV call center and explained the situation to her, asking if I would have to pay the required $10 DMV fee to get a replacement. After speaking with her supervisor, she responded stating that despite the quality defects, I would nonetheless be responsible in paying for a replacement, and that I would have to bring it in to show an examiner before a replacement would be made.

Obviously, you might understand the issue at hand here:
• I do not feel that I, or anyone in my situation, should be subject to a $10 replacement driver’s license replacement fee when this is a readily-known DMV quality control issue for license production;
• Furthermore, I should not have to take time out of my extremely busy travel schedule, to “prove” to the DMV that my license has seen this degree of degradation, in order to get a replacement;
• Finally, as the DMV refuses to supply to me at no cost a valid replacement for my poorly manufactured license, I am riskily put in the position of liability when my state-issued ID fails to identify me, be this at an airport or by an officer of the law in the state of North Carolina.

I anticipate that I have made clear the issues that I, and others, am facing with regards to the North Carolina DMV, and trust that you will take this issue into consideration. Thank you very much for your time, and I wish you and your family the best during the upcoming holiday season.


Courtenay S Welton, III

cc: Division of Motor Vehicles

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 2:39 pm


Photo thieves.

I knew it would happen eventually… a simple request would’ve likely sufficed.

Ironically enough, they sell their stuff at DC area farmers’ markets.


I encountered your website today and noticed that you have used a photo of mine — resized but nonetheless the same picture and same filename — on the site without my permission.

The page and image in question:×600.jpg

The original location of said photo:

Please note the copyright notice on the aforementioned page:

“All images contained herein are contained under copyrights owned by me. Permission may be granted to use them, in some circumstances, pending my approval. ”

While it is not normally a great concern to me whether or not these pictures are used by others, I have never received a request, nor granted permission to you for the use of this copyrighted content, and this is of greater concern to me on general principle.

Please consider removing the photo or arrange to pay me royalties on its use, lest other arrangements not excluding legal remedies be sought.


Corey Welton.

cswiii @ 2:49 pm


Loudoun Bridges Falling Down.

To Whom It May Concern:

Well, I must say I was somewhat surprised when I received a letter from the Jefferson Village HOA, informing me of a of community standards violation with regards to my yard. Specifically, the violation cited was:

[ x ] Remove realtor signs from front yard.

To this, I might make a separate recommendation to the Jefferson Village HOA and to Koger Management:

[ x ] Remove my name from the list of Jefferson Village homeowners, update your records, and please refrain from sending articles which are of no concern to me anymore.

You see, if those doing the inspection had done any prior homework, if Jefferson Village’s property ownership records were kept up-to-date, if the JV HOA grounds committee wasn’t so overzealous in its efforts to nail down suspected perpetrators, it might have been noted that I no longer own the residence at xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx – in fact, I had not lived at, nor owned that residence for nearly one and one-half months when the letter was addressed to me. If half as much effort had been taken to assure ownership and residence of a property, as was taken by the Yard Gestapo to find violators, it would be duly realised that a change in legal ownership of the property took place on 8-February-2005.

Now generally, I would not have made such a case out of this, except for the fact that:

  • The JV HOA Grounds Committee and/or its members have had a history of nitpicking and, indeed, glaring hypocrisy.
  • Koger Management was enough of a hassle when trying to get the paperwork ready to sell the property, that one would think they would be aware of the transaction – well, except for the fact that Koger no longer does any of that work itself, choosing to instead pawn residents off to, which in turn raises prices for any resident wishing to request this information.

In other words – any ill-will I have harboured in the past is not new, but in my opinion, it is certainly justified. At the same time, however, as I am no longer a resident of Jefferson Village, I do not feel it is awfully relevant anymore, and in that light, nor are any further communications between JV/Koger and myself, unless they specifically reference me as a former, not current, resident of the community and thus not one to whom any (stifling) JV regulations, property-specific or otherwise, apply.

If you have any further question, please do not hesitate to reach me at the address listed at the top of this correspondence – please note, however, that it is nearly 300 miles away, so if there are concerns about my yard, please pack your bags accordingly.


Corey Welton.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 12:57 am


The Verizon Battle is ON!

“You do realize, of course, that this means war!” — Looney Tunes

I called Verizon today to get the address for their customer relations department. I got it, and the woman asked if she could help me with anything. As far as I was concerned, this was their last chance. I talked with her for a few minutes about the situation.

Well, she was nice enough… and at least she tried.

Corey Welton
Potomac Falls, Virginia

25 March 2004

Verizon Customer Relations
8149 Walnut Grove Rd
Mechanicsville, Virginia

To Whom it may Concern:

My name is Corey Welton, and I am a current customer of Verizon for my local telephone services. As it stands, I would like to get DSL on my home phone line, as well, but for seemingly unknown business policy decisions at Verizon, I am currently unable.

This is not a technological issue. I understand the issue behind DSL technology. Historically, the area in which I live has been unable to get DSL, due to fibre on the phone loop, en route to the Central Office (CO). For some, this has recently been resolved by the installation of Remote Terminals (RTs) in the area to bypass the aforementioned fibre. Customers have been specifically told that the reason for these RT installs is to resolve the DSL issue.

I recently moved from one location in Sterling, Virginia, to another, while keeping the same phone number. The former location had no remote terminals nearby; the latter is in an area where these terminals are being built. Upon moving to the new location, I talked with Verizon DSL, and was told that there was an RT within proximity to my house, but that my address was not updated in the records. They said to call back in a few weeks. Continued attempts thereafter to qualify continue to show DSL was unavailable. It quickly became very obvious to me that, after moving, Verizon did not route my number through the remote terminal associated with this neighbourhood. Rather, they took the (most likely simpler) route of just reconnecting my phone line with the new address. A few weeks later, upon calling, this theory was all but confirmed for me, when I was told that I still had fibre on the loop – and was further told that there was no record of any remote terminal in my area.

This seemed strange, but the story didn’t end there.

Indeed, the location of the RT was confirmed while talking to a Verizon engineer who was in my neighbourhood a few weekends ago; he pointed about 200 yards up the street, to an RT that had been installed. When asked if it would be possible to get my line routed through this RT, so that I could get DSL, he said it was possible, by talking to the local office.

Upon talking to the local office, the woman told me that she had heard of this situation before, that she could empathise, but that it would be very unlikely that I could get the number rerouted through the RT. She then forwarded me to the Repairs department, which she said would be the only group who would be able to do this.

Repairs, in turn, said there was no way it would be done, but that they would double-check with the Business Office. After putting me on hold to talk with the Business Office, it was confirmed that, indeed, under no circumstances would it be possible to get my number rerouted through the RT. Incredulously, even offering to pay to have the service done was to no avail.

So what we have here is a very obvious business decision to not reroute existing phone services through the RTs. I am not alone in coming to this conclusion; there are several documented cases of people in this area being unable to get their existing phone numbers routed through the RT – and thus being unable to get DSL – while at the same time, new neighbours move in, get new Verizon service, and their new lines are routed through, thus qualifying them for DSL. Indeed, it seems that if I wanted to simply get a new phone number, that the new number itself would be correctly routed, and I could get DSL on that line. I do not wish to get a new number, however, and the only constraints on my ability to get DSL are procedural, rather than technical.

This simply does not make sense to me, from a business perspective. Verizon installed the RTs primarily to overcome technical limitations in this area for providing DSL, and yet Verizon will only route new local phone services through these RTs. The only options in this area for broadband is a very unsatisfactory cable-modem provider, and thus it beguiles the mind, quite frankly, to think that Verizon is willing to pass up an easy, constant $50 a month from potential Verizon DSL customers simply because the company does not wish to reroute said potential customers’ phone lines. Does it not seem that if customers call in to specifically request this action, that they desire to pay for a service that would be very easy for Verizon to provide? I simply can’t understand the logic at hand.

As it stands, Verizon is currently getting $30 a month from me for providing local phone service. Why Verizon would not want to get an additional $50 for providing me with DSL, when it is technically feasible, is beyond me, but that is Verizon’s decision. Meanwhile, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has allowed customers to make decisions of their own as well, specifically in choosing their local phone service provider. This said, I see little reason to remain with Verizon when it provides service that is unresponsive and inadequate to the needs of its customers. Switching providers will not provide me with DSL, as the lines are leased from Verizon, but it would at least provide satisfaction in knowing I am getting the best my service money can buy.

Please note that I am not alone in this consideration, as much of my neighbourhood is similarly-aware of the situation at hand. Verizon’s inability and/or unwillingness to roll-out DSL to this area has been widely documented in published letters to the local Loudoun Easterner and the Washington Post newspapers over the past few years – we now feel it is only right to take the necessary financial steps, unless appropriate measures are taken, or at very least, a reasonable explanation is given.

A response to these issues is requested. If necessary, I can be reached by mobile phone at, but not in lieu of an expedient, written response to these issues. Failure to respond in a timely and/or satisfactory manner will accelerate the cancellation of my existing Verizon services and my subsequent boycott of services the company provides, not to mention the possibility of similar actions by others in my community, as well.

Thank you very much for your time – I look forward to reading your response.



Corey Welton.

cswiii @ 4:19 pm


Letter to Vasque

Corey Welton
Potomac Falls, VA 20165

23 March 2004

314 Main Street
Red Wing, MN 55066

To whom it may concern:

My name is Corey Welton, and have had a pair of Vasque Sundowners for about the past two to three years. I got these boots at the recommendation and observation of old college acquaintances, all of whom have been very loyal to the Vasque brand for many years now.

I too, have been generally happy with my pair � until the last few months, that is. In recent months, I noticed that my right boot started to make a strange �clicking� sound. At first I thought it was just something stuck to the bottom of my boot, which was sticking to the tile floor at my office � but then I noticed the sound was occurring everywhere � asphalt, concrete, and on soft ground.

It was not long after this that I realised it was coming from inside my boot. Perhaps it is part of the shank coming loose, I am not sure. In any case, I didn’t let it bother me too much � that is, until my left boot started doing the same thing, and is now much louder than the first.

As it stands, I now have a pair of Sundowner Classics which are audibly apparent from anyone down the hall or within proximity of me. In addition to the noise, i can now feel various bits move beneath my feet. It is not the sound which bothers me so much, or really even the movement exhibited within the sole however � it’s the seemingly larger issue of a drop in manufacturing quality. I asked the aforementioned friends, all fiercely loyal to Vasque, and they said they’d never had the same issue, but most of them had boots from several years ago, before the construction was outsourced to China, and indeed, they made known their suspicions. While I don’t want to be so hasty as to pin the blame on that, I do nonetheless suspect a quality control issue with my boots, whether it has anything to do with outsourcing or not. If only one boot exhibited the aforementioned behaviour, I might think it a strange occurrence, but the fact that both now exhibit it points to a more serious issue in quality control.

My boots have, of course, long since surpassed their one-year warranty, but they are, by no stretch of the imagination. �worn out�. With the exception of a bit of foot pronation, I don’t walk abnormally; I take good care of these boots, and, as it stands, I haven’t been able to get in the woods much over the past couple years, so it is not as if they’ve gone through a lot of wear and tear. Aside the scuffs around the toes from some a bit of hiking, the boots are in great shape � except for this problem that I suspect with the shank or insole of the boot.

Thus, it is somewhat disheartening to see this happen to boots produced by a company known for its top-quality outdoor footwear. Upon the advice of my backpacking friends, and upon secondary research, I decided to purchase the Sundowners. I now feel, however, that the quality of these boots has fallen far short of the quality or lifecycle expected of them and the brand, regardless of warranty limitations. It is because of this situation that I was hoping there would be some sort of remedy or solution for issues at hand. In that Vasque is a trusted name, I am certain you will reply with an expedient and adequate response. If you need to contact me via telephone, my mobile number is 202-xxx-xxxx

Thank you very much for your time, and for your footwear products.



Corey Welton

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 12:34 pm




cswiii @ 9:14 pm