Absolute Towing in Lancaster, PA

 

 

 

 

Lessons Learned from dealing with Absolute Towing: (No, this is not a slam on the company, merely my experience with them)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Absolute will charge you $240+ for a tow and <1 hour storage
  2. The driver I dealt with was unaware of the exact property lines in our community.
  3. The driver I dealt with was unaware of exactly what our HoA’s rules and regs are for towing.
  4. The driver I dealt with ignores temporary Registration forms and temporary inspection forms posted on vehicles.
  5. The driver I dealt with ‘forgot’ what was said in a conversation as early as 2 hours after the conversation.
  6. The driver I dealt with repeatedly lied to myself and the police (when I called them)
  7. The driver I dealt with took, on average, 4 days to return a call.
  8. Absolute is very secretive about their chain of command. The secretary never gave me the name and/or contact information for the boss of the driver I dealt with.
  9. Small claims court filing papers had to be shown to Absolute and the driver I dealt with in order to get their attention.
  10. Even on a completely bogus tow, Absolute did not refund all of the $240 fee.

 

In summary: Absolute could tow your car from anywhere on the HoA’s common property or from your own private property, and even if the tow is 100% illegitimate, you will have to fight them to get your car or tow fees back. Their standard fee of $240 is high enough to be significant to many people, but low enough that it would not be cost effective to persue Small Claims Court…. and Absolute knows it. I was told multiple times, “Lets take this to court and see what the judge says,” which was amusing because Absolute would lose hands down, but they were trying to bluff me.

 

I want to throw a shout out to Kevin and the Exec Board for assisting me in my fight against these crooks. At first I thought it was my mistake. But when i double checked my facts and realized I had done nothing wrong, I realized it was Absolute’s mistake. So over the course of 2-3 weeks, several emails, office visits and phone calls from Kevin and myself, Absolute finally started negotiating. We settled on a refund of $160, which given the costs of going to court, seemed the best I was going to get. Thanks Kevin, I know it was annoying dealing with me and my incessant pursuit of this tiny injustice, but it just affirms what a stand up guy you are!

 

I know tow company’s deal with some pretty raw customers and have to have thick skin to stay in business, but in my case Absolute was dead wrong and wouldn’t admit it. From the many conversations I had with the driver, it became apparent that the company’s attitude is “Tow at will, because if the tow is bogus most people will just roll over and pay the $240+”. Even the borderline criminal tow companies down in Washington DC only charge $75-100. In my opinion, Absolute is a pretty shady company. I know I’ll be the minority in this, but I think our community should look around for a different company when the contract is up!

 

Review: Book of Eli

I watched the Book of Eli about a year ago, and again recently. In my book, its a great movie. It has it’s rough points, to be sure, but on the whole… wow. Sure wasn’t what I was expecting.

The movie opens up with the standard run of the mill, dreary, post apocalyptic imagery. From the beginning the writers and director are bent on driving home the point that life, even 30 years after ‘the flash’, is rough. Food is scarce, lawlessness abounds, and kill or be killed is the way of life. The first 25 minutes or so are spent establishing this fact with the viewer along with establishing that the main character, Eli, is no push over. The violence and foul language in these first 25 minutes can be a bit of a turn off, but once past that, the real story begins.

Eli is a man heading west. At first, we don’t know why, just that he is. The fact that he’s survived for 30 years in this wasteland leads us to believe that Eli knows how to stay alive. Wandering into a small town, he rubs elbows with the wrong fellows and another bloody fight ensues. The thug boss, Carnegie, decides to try to recruit Eli and in the process introduces us to the second important character in the story: Solara. Additionally, we learn that Eli has a book that he is very protective about: A bible.

Turns out, Carnegie has a fetish for books and, oddly enough, is desperately seeking a specific book. Hrm, I wonder, oh what a coincidence… he’s looking for a bible! At this point the plot direction is fixed. Eli wants to head west, Solara wants to tag along and Carnegie wants Eli’s book. I won’t spoil the ending of the movie (and I’m sure I’ve slaughtered the movie thus far with my terrible description), but rest assured that there’s a few twists in the plot that should intrigue most people.

All in all, its a good movie. Not something I’d have on repeat in my DVD player, and certainly not something I’d let the kids see. The overall theme of Christianity really makes this movie special for me, all be it, a very odd movie to find it in. Bottom line: Check it out, but perhaps fast forward the first 25 minutes of it.

What Do You Call a Little Boy Who….



So the family was partaking of dinner and the increasingly more frequent past time of trading jokes (okay, bad jokes… okay,fine: *Really* bad jokes) at the dinner table started up once again.

Me: “What do you call a little boy who hangs on the wall all day?”

Matt: “I dunno.”

Me: “Art!”

I get a goofy snicker from Scott, but an eye roll from Matt. Not deterred, I try again.

Me: “What do you call a little boy who lay in front of the door all day?”

Matt: “I dunno.”

Scott snickers because he’s figured it out.

Me: “Matt!”

Matt, slightly annoyed: “DAD!”

Me: “Okay okay, Scott stop laughing at your brother.”

Me: “What do you call a little boy who spends all day in the bathroom?”

…slight pause…

Matt: “Scott!!!”

Now, the real answer was ‘John’ but at this point Sandy, Jean and I were in hysterics, and Scott was glaring visual death upon Matt. Matt, however, was positively beaming with pride.

 

I love my kids. ­čÖé

 

Winds of Change

So there comes a time in all creature’s lives where they must endure change. Clanloman.com is no exception. After long hours toiling at an SSH Terminal, clanloman.com is now hosted on vmware virtual machine running Ubuntu Linux on very beefy physical hardware.

Of course this means very little to you, the reader. For us, the webmaster and webmistress, it means easier updating of our web site.

SIGGRAPH 2010

I had the extreme privilege to attend the 2010 SIGGRAPH Conference back in 2010 (Obviously). While my sub-par photography skills just don’t do the conference justice, here they are.

The pictures are in the order of July25th – Jul29th and include my wanderings to and from the hotel as well as inside and outside of the LA Convention Center. Enjoy!

 

SIGGRAPH 2010 - LA

The 2010 SIGGRAPH Conference held in LA

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The Hunger Games

Okay, so I decided to give in and read the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy. Man, what a twisted tale. It actually made me a little sick during parts. The lack of concern for a human life is so universally missing from the story that it’s a bit flooring. Kids brutally killing other kids? What kind of a story is that?! And published by Scholastic? Wow, just wow. What’s the world coming to?

While I get that the Author (Suzanne Collins) was shooting to drive home the point of how terrible and messed up life is in her book, I think she went a wee bit overboard. The enviornment could have been set by a bit (okay, a lot) more character development in the beginning, and a bit less blood spilling during the rest of the book.

In my opinion, the only saving grace is that the story premise *is* mildly interesting. It’s a standard run of the mill post-apocalyptic dystopian setting, but with an interesting ‘most of the people of the country are in permanent prison due to bad behavior‘ twist.

I will have to admit that I got a kick out of the ‘Game Makers’ in the book. Each time they threw in some new twist to the Game, I felt like holding up my fist and yelling, “Curse you Dungeon Master!!!!!” If you don’t understand, then rest assured: You are not a Geek.

If only the Author had added 6 years to everything, it would have been (in my onion) a much better book. A 14 year old boy impaling a 12 year old girl with a spear is NOT the kind of crud I want to read, let alone allow a 14 year old boy read. What’s on tv is already bad enough. So add 6 years: 20 year old boy versus 18 year old girl. I don’t know exactly why, but that has less of a sickening impact on me, as the reader, and yet still maintains the tragic and twisted enviornment I believe the Author was going for. Perhaps it’s the fact that a 12 year old girl is much less capable of self┬ádefense┬áthan a 18 year old girl is.

Anyways, I’m not sure I want to continue with the books. I went online and read the plot synopsis for the next two books and it’s just more messed up tragedy and blood. Not very enticing.

I did, however, look at the movie trailer. All the “young” actors and actresses, try as they might, don’t look anywhere near as young as the book gives the impression of. In my opinion, this is very good. Even Primrose doesn’t look a day younger than 16. Katniss is easily 18 and most of the boys look to be college age. This would make the movie a bit easier to partake of, I think. Then again, it IS Hollywood.

I think if Hollywood manages to tell the story without showing much of the gore but keep the action going… the movie(s) could end up better than the book(s)! We might have another Dances With Wolves here.

Oh one last thing: Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy? Perfect!

Giving it a go….


So, I’ve decided to give it a go. There’s this story that’s been kicking around in my head for some time now and it’s obviously the culmination of waaaaay to much Sci-Fi consumption. However, recently, the story line, characters, scenes, etc, all started to become very vivid and detailed. Little droplets of plot lines started joining together to form larger drops, larger drops further joining other larger drops until a small ‘puddle’ of plot exists in my head.

 

Deciding not to let this one pass me by, I dusted off the notepad that contained my previous notes on this story. After some very aggressive culling, i updated what little remained of my previous notes with the new vortex of ideas from my head. Much to my surprise, the action of updating my notes only increased the cohesion of ideas that were already rapidly forming. I wonder if this is what the point of all those ‘Note Taking’ exercises were in High School….

 

Well, I am hoping I can take the inertia I’ve developed and run with it, guiding it and adding to it as I go along. What has me intrigued is where it is going to take me!