Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Take You All to Fudging Hell!

I mean, forget the kids...adults thought this was a good Idea.

I could do a good Tony Montana back in the day. This kid sounds more like Roman Moroni.

How the fuck did Bokolis end up on Twitter, you ask?

Yo, nik, whachew doin' in a cark clowny munnicibull ambulamps? That is pretty funny though.

That's a man, baby!

I'm just saying...if Brittney Griner played on Sunday, Baylor would've beaten Duke. I don't know why she couldn't...if it walks like a duck...

Actually, I got a text from a buddy during the game on Sunday telling me that Duke looked shook. I didn't watch the game but, upon getting the result, I texted back that they couldn't have been that shook. Seeing the highlights, it seems like Baylor was having a dunk party. But, really though, Coach K decided just about 20 years ago that his team was never going to get bullied off a floor ever again. Lucky for him, they can stand 20 feet away from the basket and get three points for shooting from there...kind of why no Duke guard ever makes it in the pros, but an effective strategy when facing big black guys.

Her play kind of reminds me of David Robinson at Navy. They get UConn next, don't they? Aught to be fun.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chased away, or Cutting the Chase

I hadn't checked my Chase credit card account since (probably) Tuesday and I had thrown a couple of hundred dollars worth of charges (two fillups, dinner and drinks for me and a friend) on it. Checking my the damage this morning, I noticed that the cunts clipped my credit limit from $14,000 to $1,100. They'll probably mail this notice to me in like 2 weeks or so and hope I do something in the interim that allows them to raise my APR to like 246% or something...too bad I don't carry a balance, fuckers.

Chase picked up my account with WaMu's ashes. I don't know WTF WaMu was thinking giving me a $14,000 credit line. I mean, I used it wisely and astutely to get me out of my mess, but that thinking is probably why they are out of business. I've always steered away from Chase because I've heard from many people about what shady crap Chase pulls on them. I even called them up to get them to stop sending me offers.

Aside- getting the offers isn't necessarily bad because the company does a soft inquiry before they send one. The quality of the offer functions as a free bootleg credit report.

In this environment, this type of crap is to be expected when a company acquires your account. It happened to me a few years ago when HSBC acquired my account and soon cancelled it because I wasn't using it. Curiously, HSBC sends me offers every month. They put some effort into those things...they must have a bottomless marketing budget.

Anyway, I knew a chop was coming from Chase- I'm suprised it took them this long- but $1,100? WTF am I, a college student? It disgusted me, and writing the following made me feel better.

Furtively changing account limits shows that Chase credit cards and its parent company have learned nothing from having legislation shoved down its throat. 35 years of having the playing field heavily tilted in favor of the credit card industry has allowed Chase to survive with a flawed business model.

Chase’s actions indicate that it considers existing customers a burden, yet it spends so much money to acquire new ones. Except for cable/satellite TV, I cannot think of another industry that cannibalizes its own customer base.

Perhaps both industries believe they have a captive customer base. But, it is more likely that they are behind the curve when it comes to innovative ways to generate revenue. So, Chase resorts to bleeding its customers dry.

In my own case, when was Chase going to tell me? Were you hoping that I’d make a big-ticket purchase that put me over the limit so you could bleed $39 (or whatever the fee is) out of me? Chase is required by regulations to eventually notify me by mail, but regulation still allows Chase to furtively change the limits as and when it pleases.

It would seem to be far more efficient to make this change and send notice with an account statement, as it would both save money on mailings and possibly save face with the customer. Of course, that would assume that Chase is capable of maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with its customers, which isn’t the case.

To the merits of the action, I understand Chase’s need to give the perception that it is mitigating risk (I use “perception” because I can see that both JPM Chase and Citi are engaging in the same yield-chasing strategy that has gotten us all into this mess in the first place). My account was acquired at a fire sale from a company that went “belly-up” due to horrid risk management. Not that they (or you) were punished in my case, but I will readily admit that I have no direct use for a $14,000 credit line. Its main benefit is the positive effect on my credit profile.

Nonetheless, cutting over 90% of my credit line indicates that my credit profile- I can see that Chase does soft inquiries every month, so my ever-improving credit standing should be apparent- and account history mean nothing to Chase. Understand that the feeling is mutual; I’ve always known Chase to be the @$$hats of the industry- and, that’s saying something…its actions, while furtive, are hardly surprising.

That is why, even when I needed the credit, I blocked Chase from soliciting me. Having my account acquired by Chase was an uncontrollable circumstance, but I did my part for the relationship by using the card (when I could have been using other cards) and paying off the balance each month…and this day’s treachery is how Chase repays me.

Actually, Chase’s actions come at a pivotal moment for me. Now that I’m almost done unwinding my revolving debt, I will be increasing my autonomous spending. As such, I have been in the process of reassessing my creditors, deciding which ones to purge and which cards to acquire. Chase was always atop the list of creditors to purge. Now it has made the decision still easier.

It says that they will reply within 4 hours. I can't wait. They're actually doing me a favor. I'll be done paying off a bargeload of credit card debt (long process; I may post on how I did it when I'm actually done) later this year and plan to use the cash flow to have a little more fun. As part of the process, I'll be switching up my cards (I have 8) to ones that hook up the rewards...and get rid of those that treat me like shyte.

UPDATE: This is what they wrote:

Dear (Bokolis):

Thank you for contacting Chase.

I am sorry to hear that the service you received did not
meet your expectations. Your satisfaction is extremely
important and your comments are critical to our efforts
for continued improvement. Thank you for letting me know
that we can do better.

If you have any further questions, please reply using the
Secure Message Center.

Thank you,

Email Customer Service Representative

Typing back: c-u-n...I left out, "It took you 15 hours to come back with that?!?" It did, when they promised 4 hours. "Cunt" seemed so much more succinct.

Friday, March 19, 2010


While I'm kicking it about college basketball, St. Johns officially shit-canned Norm Roberts. I'd put his picture up, but I don't even know what he looks like.

St. Johns is the neighborhood school, so Bokolis takes a passing interest in its comings and goings. SJU basketball has been atrocious for years. So, atrocious, in fact, that they play more games on campus vs the Garden than they used to.

Norm's biggest sin was that he couldn't get anyone to come here. As the story goes, he used to be able to pull when he was at KU and other places where he was an assistant. So, WTF is the problem? Other schools in NYC have no problem pull...

Wait a minute. There are no decent schools in the NYC-area. WTF?!? Bokolis will tell you WTF. First off, no NYC schools have football teams. Columbia? Don't make me cuff you. Even Hofstra- which held it down in D1-AA- shut down its program. Now, there are a variety of reasons why NYC schools couldn't make football work. For these purposes, you need only accept that there is correlation between not having a football program and not being able to recruit basketball players. The important takeaway is that, if you don't have a football team, you're pissing in the wind.

The reasons are the same; housing, booze and poon-tang. 'Round these parts, none are available to the degree acceptable to a 19 year old college student. I've been to KU; when I tell you it is wide open, it is wide open...ample poon and hayseeds with no game. Even on the campus visit, a recruit probably fries his hard drive filing away all the talent.

St. Johns no longer has off-campus housing. Lest you think that the Brothers were jammed up with these kids living the party life, it's because, starting around 1998, real estate (and rental) prices went buckwild. Even the athletes- procured or not- have to live on campus, which is not exactly buzzing at a commuter school.

There is no longer extra exposure by playing in NYC. All manner of games are now on national cable. No one needs to come to the Garden, crap SJU or otherwise. Duke must think that a cupcake at the Garden is a great deal, but SJU can only take so many beatings.

But, you say, you can't beat the NYC nightlife. You sure can't, but what kid, even on the booster's arm, can afford it? Even if they could, they can't get into any place. What happens is, we get these underage Jersey piglets, thinking they've outgrown Hoboken, or Mahwah, or Lodi, or Garfield, or Belmar or wherever- sneaking into the Apple, getting themselves drunk and into some shit, bad things happen and we get the teeth filed on all the rules around here.

And, if these kids were trolling around Manhattan hot spots, camera phones would be running like a muthafucka. So, these guys would have to stay local...yippee!

The neighborhoods surrounding the campus are decent and not as densely populated as other areas of NYC. It certainly isn't the PJs. Since it is a commuter school and has no off-campus housing, it's a challenge to get students to the bar. The only way you get college kids into a bar is with drink specials, which bars facing heightened rents can't typically afford. As a result, there are 3 bars in the immediate area...and one is for old people; uninhabitable, nobody- even the old people- goes there.

Certainly not Bokolis...I once walked in that place and, spooked to see people 5 years older than I am on the prowl, broke thefuck out. But I do go into the other two. The one place is usually quiet (which is partly why I go), except when they have a beer special. Because this guy cards, he gets grimy 23-25 year old guys and barflies-in-training for birds. If you're 23-25 and still haven't outgrown this place for its cheap beer night, you've got problems. You're ruining my quiet night of no footie, no Manhattan or Brooklyn. Get it together.

The other place...Bokolis won't mention the name of the place because, apparently, only the Feds read weblogs. Anyway, it has various nightly drink specials. Not being a beer drinker, Bokolis heads there for the $2 Jameson. Look, you can't beat $2 Jameson. One day, the subject came up as to what percentage of the birds in there are underage. I would have put it at 20%-25%.

Aside- One of the reasons Bokolis doesn't date birds under 23 is that I can't reliably tell the difference between 21 and 16. It would bother me to think I'm kicking it to 21 and find out, you know. But, I am continually amazed as to the openings, without even trying, that are presented to me. I wonder if it's because they know I could buy them more stuff (not that I would) than the college student banging them on the side or because I could put it to them better than said college student. It's a rhetorical question.

Now that I've convinced you that I don't go there to pick up college birds, we asked some alumni from real life and got back that it's about 75% underage...and that the place often gets shut down for this. The guys that run the place are two scuzzy, perv-looking creeps. Nonetheless, truth be told, this place has the better collection of talent. If they're not driving, what's the problem?

Oh yeah, SJU. I think the best kid Norm landed was rated 80th or something. With all that, what top level recruit would want to go to St. Johns? The only worse places to go would be to the service academies.

The comparison is to WVU for two reasons...Bokolis has a plant down there and there are 3 guys from the NYC area on the squad. Assuming you had all your teeth, where would you live? That's another rhetorical question. Morgantown, WV is the number two (Milwaukee) drinking city in the country. As it's been explained, there is absolutely nothing to do there except drink. That's perfect for a college town and, while it's ironic that the head coach is on the wagon (suurrrre he's on the wagon), it presents limitless opportunity to color drunk white girls purple. That's the most important thing nyone learns in college and why those cats are down there.

People are talking up Mark Jackson as the next coach and he wants the job...like he's going to draw talent. Listen, I've dealt with the dude way back when and know him, despite the way he comes off in public, to be a good guy. Nothing tells me he can coach and still less tells me he can pull ballers, let alone in that environment.

Because, nobody seriously thinks that guy can coach, we're not even getting into Huggins being able to buy who he wants to buy. The conditions do not exist to improve recruitment. How do we solve this? Re-instate off campus housing and give tax breaks to bars within said distance of either. For that matter, if they can find the land, give tax breaks to build the housing. Hey, for all the tax breaks given around here, I don't see the problem. Lower the drinking age within 1000 yards of either to 19, of course. Of course, we would have to regulate the driving habits accordingly.

If that doesn't work, we're going to have to import SEC poon...might be cheaper than the tax breaks.

That's all the fuck I got.

Beastly East

So, we had a little action yesterday. As the story goes, the NCAA can opt out of the TV contract after this tournament, so CBS is highly motivated to give them a good show.

Of course, to CBS, that means booking the endings, not offering a better product. And, let's tell it like it is; CBS still sucks at this. They never come in and out of games at the right times and they are killing us by not offering a second (dedicated) channel. Not to worry, sports fans, the worldwide leader will surely drown the NCAA in money to take over and drown the rest of us in bracketology.

11s beating 6s (13 over 4, 14 over 3) notwithstanding, Bokolis still maintains the format offered up last year is best, with the amendment that there should be no more than 4 teams per conference. There's just no need for 7 or 8 teams from conferences, only to have half of them get clipped.

1st Round

2nd Round

3rd Round

4th Round

5th Round

Regional Final

9 Seed

1 Seed

14 Seed

8 Seed

19 Seed

4 Seed

16 Seed

5 Seed

17 Seed

13 Seed

3 Seed

6 Seed

11 Seed

12 Seed

2 Seed

7 Seed

10 Seed

15 Seed

18 Seed

Uhhh, that didn't come out looking so good, but you can still get the picture.

That's a direct shot at the Big East. People will be quick to say that the conference is a fraud on the back of that crap performance yesterday. Just as the conference was overrated, calling them frauds would be harsh. From what little college hoops I watched, I saw all of their teams struggle when going out of conference. I don't know whether there is a style difference or whether the teams treated out-of-conference games as a letdown. But, I saw it across all the relevant teams. In conference dogfights don't help the confidence, especially when you can't shoot or create flow on offense.

Granted, I don't think there is any difference between 6-seeds and 11-seeds that will cannot overcome. But, if you get in 8 teams, you are marked. A lack of intensity gets your 6-seeds clipped and puts your higher seeds in dogfights.

Nonetheless, there was no need to have Notre Dame and Marquette in the tournament. Louisville is now on the clock to earn its keep and WVU- oh, look, they've spotted the 15 seed 10 points- and the 'Cuse to step up for the power.