i writeth, you readeth

I once knew a man...


5. January 2017 | Category Observations

Can only think that 2017 will be a new adventure. The old year was a roller-coaster and I can only hope that things go upward and onward in 2017.

I am actively continuing with my hobbies:

Manufactured Spending

Mystery Shopping

I’ve spent considerable time and passion on both of these two areas in the last few years really.

I’ve also kept up my interest in technology. Now if I could meld all 3 together into a job that mints $$$ I’d be set.

Seeing as I haven’t updated this site in ages, hopefully it won’t be another 4 year gap in posts!


Thrivent Financial for Who?

11. February 2013 | Category Observations

It’s interesting to see that Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is giving up on it’s core group – Lutherans. Recently, they sent members an update asking them to change their focus from Lutherans to Christians by members voting to okay this change.

I think this has been in the works since AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) and Lutheran Brotherhood merged to create this ‘behemoth’ in the Lutheran Fraternal Benefit Society.

I have not seen any improvements from this link-up since it’s beginning. They have merged organizations, de-emphasized Lutheran in their name and have done nothing to market to their core constituency ~ Lutherans. Why don’t they spend their time, energy and money to market products that Lutherans would feel was worth their investments? Why short-change your society when their are numerous organizations already doing what you hope to do?

I’m not sure who’s getting the pay-day from this organizations slow disintegration, but I’d stand to bet it’s those that are in power and making the ‘executive’ decisions. What greed and selfishness.

For more insite, visit:

Thrivent for ???

Next, Thrivent for non-Lutherans?


Beloved Ertl now sucks!

4. November 2010 | Category Interests, Rant

Recently, I had obtained a Model Kit made by Ertl for a John Deere JD 8020. It was a kit and took some time to assemble, so when near the end, I found that it was missing parts and that removing cellophane from around the tractor’s cab removed large amounts of paint with it, I was a little unnerved.

I sent the now parent company of Ertl, RC2 an email inquiring about possible replacement by the company.

This is the response I got from ‘Karen’ in Customer Service:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding model kit parts.

The Company announced on 1/11/2007 that it will discontinue its Racing Champions, Joyride, Ertl, and AMT die-cast and model kit automotive collectible product lines. The Company plans to continue with its strategy to reposition its Johnny Lightning Brand. Production for 2007 will remain as planned at this time.

We are sorry to hear of your problem with our product. We focus on producing quality toys and collectibles, however on a rare occasion quality issues can arise.

With the wide range of products and items we market, it is impossible for RC2 Brands to keep replacement parts or stock on hand. The Company has established return policies with the retailers who purchase our products directly. Please return the product along with your receipt to the place of purchase for an exchange or refund. The return is subject to the discretion and return policies of the retailer.

You can also try contacting one of the following retailers: Gold Coast Hobby 516-759-4094 or Model King 732-240-3987 for purchase of replacement parts.

Thanks for your support of Learning Curve Brand products.

Consumer Services

to which I responded

Your response somehow didn’t surprise me.

Given that I too work in Quality Control, it’s extremely difficult to imagine that our respective companies would put out a product that is less then perfect in the eye of the customer. But it does happen from time to time, as we both can attest to. The big difference is that for my job, I have to claim responsibility for the quality of my company’s product and do what I can to make it right in the eyes of the end user/customer.

Evidently, your company does not believe in quality or customer service, based on my exchange with you. Furthermore, the fact that your product is made in China and your customer service information is not existent in any tangible way via your company’s website should have been huge red flags to me.

I am disappointed as a customer, as for a good, joyful part of my childhood growing up on a family farm in the rural Midwest was spent carpet-farming with what was viewed as the best in farm toys ~ Ertl. I attended numerous toy shows and purchased numerous toy farm machinery for my carpet-farm. All these products were made with the Ertl logo.

While it’s easy to see why you’re company continues to use the Ertl brand, I am extremely disappointed in the product you currently put out and lack of response to quality concerns. (By the way your email response in corporate speak is so vague it actually means little. Numerous mention of the year 2007 are made, but what that has to do with present day issues are not addressed. I suggest you fire your copy writer)

While we live in the age of the Internet and Social Media, I will take it upon myself to spread the experience I’ve had with your company. It should be a hoot to hear my relatives that currently own Ertl toys and their response to this saga.

Enjoy making your cheap Chinese shit, I wish your company nothing but the worst.

So, there you have it, a part of my childhood has been sold out and now peddles cheap crap under the priceless memories of a once quality brand!


Wow, an update

27. July 2010 | Category Updates

I know it’s been a exceeding long delay since the last posting. I think it’s sufficient to say that being married, working full time plus part time and being a home owner of a fixer up consumes most of my present waking hours.

Married 1 year 3 months now. That’s going good and enjoyable.


5 years at full time (got nice set of Monogrammed drinking glasses… ooh aah)

7 years at part time gig… whoa that’s long…


Numerous, numerous projects. I started with big ideas and they are slowly taking form as finished products.

First/main level completed to my liking.

Currently working on Garage wall (drywall)

Whole 2nd story
New ceilings/walls throughout, bedroom bigger, smaller bathroom, totally redo bathroom minus tub/shower, adding closets to bedroom, moving doors from bathroom to hallway entrance to back bedroom

Bits and pieces outside
Gutters, gardens, trees/plants, landscaping

Bits and pieces of basement.
Redid walls along steps to basement, remove/reroute all scary things that start/terminate in basement


Redo insulation and seal all gaps, and the list goes on forever….

98 High Ave

Wedding Update!

10. May 2009 | Category Observations

Suppose that it’s no longer ‘new’ news but having gotten married lately, pictures are being requested. I indeed have a link to them.

Try out piotter.us/weddingphotos for all of the official ones, plus a set my 2nd cousin so graciously did for us.

Also a few family/friends have posted a few to Facebook, which I now have a nifty link to facebook.com/mpiotter

All the wedding can also be seen at the wedding website: michaelpiotter.com/wedding as well!