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


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


Browser Bookmark Blues

lisa says to you, "dude, i need the link to your actual, active blog"
lisa says, "my bookmark file died, and your old LJ blog doesn't show it anymore"

Funny thing about bookmark files. You accumulate a lot of cruft there that you never look at again, yet you never realise how much you’ve stored there until you lose it.

“Browser Bookmark Blues”
(apologies to Don McLean and “American Pie”)

A long, long time ago
I can still remember
How the pages used to make me smile
And I knew if I took the hint
That I should make those pages print
And maybe they’d be safe, then, for a while
But browser crashes made me shiver
with every webpage it’d deliver
Bad news on the page load
It wouldn’t take one more goad
No, I can’t remember being brash
When I saw the blue screen crash
But something made my bookmarks trash
The day the browser died.

Bye-bye “Miss America” site,
“Driving Chevys”, “Jacques Levy”, “Feel Like Chicken Tonight”
“Da Geto Boys”, Inky Blinky and Clyde,
Browser, this would be the day that you died

Did you see the “Hamsterdance”
And did you have it linked, perchance
If the shortcut showed you how?
Now do you believe you saved the site?
Can you retrieve this page just right
And would you send the URL to me now?
Well, I knew that you’re in love with “Jack””
’cause I had it bookmarked, “Hotmail hack”
But now my links are gone,
Man, I miss that anime pr0n…
I was a lonely surfer browsin’ news
Reading soundbytes from the Reuters news
But I’m screwed now, yeah, I have the blues
The day the browser died
I’ve started singing….


Now, for five days I’ve been on my own
Can’t find that site for the Rolling Stones
But that’s not how it used to be
When it used to link emulations sites
Yes, it kept track of the hockey fights.
And it showed me where to catch my flights.
Oh, and now that things are looking down,
I can not wipe away this frown
The bookmark list adjourned.
All my “eBay cheats” are burned.
Oh my message board links, they are gone
Along with helpful tips for a greener lawn
And the flash version of 3D Pong
The day the browser died
And I am singing…


“Helter Skelter” in my ‘OLGA’ folder
As the ashes of my bookmarks smoulder
All my ways to procrastinate…
And a “Starbucks” latte coffee pass
Yes it’s hoax that failed, alas, alas.
I’ve been looking in vain but now it’s getting late.
Now the Half-Life link is M.I.A.
The “Pulp Fiction soundboard” went away.
I never got to play
The role of Shoutcast indie DJ.
‘Cause my browser went and bit the dust
Seemed my cookies caused the thing to bust
Is there anything left that I can trust
Now that my browser died?
I still am singing…


Oh, and they were all there sitting in one place
…the fanboy page for “Lost in Space“…
I’ve got to go and start my list again
So come on people, send me links
To the “Space Quest” page of hints and tricks.
While my bookmark file is on the mend…
I watched the meltdown take effect.
Goodbye to “Star Trek”, “BattleMech”
No action could help quell,
Could break this cold death knell.
And as the numbers climbed high, out of sight
I lost that sweet MP3 site
My friends were laughing with delight
The day the browser died.
And still I’m singing…


I met a girl on ICQ
And I asked her for some things to do
But she just logged off, and refused my text
I went down to the Yahoo! store
Where I’d seen the discounts days before
But without my bookmarks I was truly vexed,
And in misery, I lost my mind
The cursing flew, I went half-blind
But no scrap was recovered
The bookmarks were all smothered.
And the three sites I admire most:
Google, Slashdot, and Space Ghost
They’re all that’s left, my browser’s toast
Today, my browser’s fried,
I can’t stop singing…


Tags: , , — cswiii @ 4:30 pm



Garden Grove (Redux)

With apologies to Sublime

We took this trip to Garden Grove
Shoulda stayed inside the van, oh yeah

This ain’t just cyber-cafe violence,
Duke Nukem at the door,
It gets so real sometimes, who cut my line?
I’ve got the TCP, got the DSL,
I’ve got the gamepad, and a highway to hell, oh yeah

If you only knew all the fraggin’ I find,
It’s hard to keep my life o-offline

You’re a fool, don’t mess with my avatar
All I can see I can kill
I fill up my hard drive, cuz in my mind
Fraggin’ from the cafe, all the rage that I found
It’s hard to keep my hate underground,

It’s you, it’s that Half-Life under my shoe,
It’s the email covered with spam,
It’s that crazy new game jam,
Lots of traffic on the LAN,
Getting blisters on my hand,
Watching Quake thugs having to stand,
Getting up to take a crap
Never stop to take a nap
Getting stabbed with no delay
Starting fistfights every day
Leavin’, I always have a tail
Spending the night in a jail
Livin’ in my parents’ pad
Getting really, really mad
Sayin’ yer laggin’ when you’re not
Finding ways to slip the cops

All these thoughts, they fail
When I’m waiting for bail…

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 9:31 pm