It’s NOT Beantown.

April 24th, 2011 | Leave a comment | Sports, TV
It’s NOT Beantown.

The Whiner doesn’t expect people to know the vagaries of regions other than their own. He doesn’t even expect sports announcers who zip in and out of a city in 24 hours or less to be expert on the areas they visit briefly.


Sports announcers have been broadcasting games in Boston for many, many decades. Their bosses have been assigning sports announcers to broadcast in Boston for many, many decades. Their bosses have also been assigning in-house announcers to do promos for games played in Boston for many, many decades.

It is not too much to ask that somewhere in that collection of experience, at least one person knows that the only people who call Boston “Beantown” – are outsiders who sound moronic when they use the term. Especially when they use it on the air.

Undoubtedly, the same is true for cliches used to describe other cities; the Whiner guesses that no one who is a born-and-bred New Yorker calls New York “The Apple” and that no self-respecting Chicagoan calls his city “Chi-town.” But he knows that the only people who tell us that “TOMORROW, THE SERIES RETURNS TO BEANTOWN!” are the ones who haven’t been told that they sound like idiots when they say it.

Luckily, The Whiner is on the case. I’m telling you. Stop it.

At least they realize their limitations…

April 16th, 2011 | Leave a comment | Retail Stores
At least they realize their limitations…

Usually, stores hire kids who can’t add or subtract and put them on a cash register – probably just to annoy and aggrevate the customers who can add and subtract.

The Whiner likes to think of this as a step forward (of sorts); at least this store realizes that they hire incompetent help.

incompetent help

(Photo actually taken on a Whiner shopping trip.)

What could they POSSIBLY be thinking?

April 16th, 2011 | Leave a comment | Computers, Life
What could they POSSIBLY be thinking?

The Whiner understands that humans seek challenges.
The Whiner understands that in this digital age, “mischievous” can quickly become “nasty” or even “malevolent.”
The Whiner also understands that some people are just naturally bad people.

What The Whiner does not understand — is why some people would create a virus/trojan/rootkit package so virulent and evil that its only real purpose is to destroy the hard drives of people who just happen to “be there.”

And not being able to comprehend the thought process behind something like that is probably a good thing.

At any rate, The Whiner is back – and so is his computer.

How many customers could they possibly have?

April 08th, 2011 | Leave a comment | Utilities
How many customers could they possibly have?

I paid my cable bill today, and as I usually do, I put my account number on the check. But this time, something occurred to me: my account number has 16 digits. SIXTEEN.

There are approximately 300,000,000 people in the US. I would venture to guess that not all of them are Time Warner customers. But even if they are – only using TEN digits would give every single American their own account number, with about 700 million accounts left over for future population growth.

Why do I have to write 16-digits on my check – punch 16 digits into my phone keypad when I call for customer service – repeat 16-digits to the person who comes on the phone AFTER I’ve punched the 16 digits into the phone keypad?

Speak up. Help STOP account number inflation before it gets even more out of hand.

It’s a game, not an artistic challenge.

April 06th, 2011 | Leave a comment | Sports, TV
It’s a game, not an artistic challenge.

To: TV sports producers and directors

From: The Whiner

Re: Doing Your Job

Stop with the artistic camera angles and positioning already. We just want to watch the game.

We don’t want to watch basketball from a camera suspended over the hoop. If you were at a game and someone said “Hey – I’ll trade you my baseline seats, for your seats at halfcourt” you’d tell him to get lost. So why the F do you think we want to watch from your baseline camera? (The same goes for the Fox NFL kickoff coverage from the end zone camera.)

You’re producing coverage of a TV sports event – not putting together an entry for the Cannes Film Festival. Knock it off.

Use our automated system — please!

April 04th, 2011 | Leave a comment | Retail Stores
Use our automated system — please!

When Henny Youngman used to say stuff like that, people would laugh – realizing that it was a joke.
Now, they just follow instructions without question, and end up suffering the consequences.

Today’s specifics? The automated refill system at my local Rite Aid Pharmacy (although I’m sure the same thing happens at almost every other pharmacy in America in 2011).

Start of the month – time to call in the prescriptions.
10 am. My wife, like a good do-bee, “presses ‘1’ for the automated refill system.” Entering each of her prescriptions takes forever.
2pm. The Whiner ignores the automated refill system, “presses ‘3’ to speak with someone in the pharmacy,” ignores their exaggerated groan when he tells them “I have six prescriptions to refill,” and is done in less than a minute.
3:30pm The Whiner arrives at Rite Aid.
Guess whose prescriptions are ready for pickup – and whose are still waiting to be filled?

Has anyone ever found an automated system that saves the customer time?
Didn’t think so.


April 01st, 2011 | Leave a comment | Life

I’ll christen this blog with a small story about big cars – which may explain a little about The Whiner – and about Fine Whine.

I’ve lived in Southern California for the last 10 years. And two things became quickly apparent.
1. Most parking lots are too small – and most parking spaces in those lots are tiny. (That’s because land here is so valuable.)
2. Most cars here are big – way too big for those tiny parking spaces. (Hummers and Range Rovers used to be a major part of the mix; these days, it’s mostly mini-vans and SUVs, ranging from big to enormous and usually occupied by one person.)

At first, it was somewhat amusing to watch people try to maneuver their cars in the small lots, and park their cars in the tiny spaces. Usually, it just took them forever. Occasionally, it led to accidents.
Very quickly, though, sharing parking lots with these people became a nuisance. Then, it became really annoying. Finally, it became a nightmare.
If you’re a typically laid-back, native Southern Californian, you take stuff like this in stride.
But if you’re from an East Coast city? Not a chance. It’ll drive you nuts.
And depending on the day, daily experiences like this can turn The Whiner’s state of mind from frustrated — to angry — to almost homicidal.

It used to be enough to call out to the flummoxed drivers, “Hey! Get a bigger car!” Not anymore.
I needed a more expressive outlet for my reactions. Thus was born Fine Whine.
I hope you enjoy it.

(I was tempted to call this blog “Get A Bigger Car!” but I figured this explanation would take up WAY too much space in the sidebar.)


The Whiner is finally going public, after decades of annoying, aggravating and trying the patience of friends and family. The Whiner’s background is in media, business and the internet, so his Whines often focus on stupid or incomprehensible events in those areas. However, they also focus on the incredible incompetence and obliviousness he encounters in his everyday life.

You may encounter the same level of daily frustration as the Whiner does. However, he doubts it.

In real life, The Whiner does have a name, an MBA, and a consulting business specializing in common sense solutions to media and internet problems. Reach him via email – or join him on Facebook or Twitter.


This Will Be Filled (eventually)

What, you think I have nothing better to do than fill every little space the designer put onto the blog? Don't worry, I'll get around to it. And if I don't? I doubt it will matter very much to you or anyone else. So stop reading the sidebar already and go read the posts.

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