iShuffle or Bust!

Dear Apple,

I love you! I think you are the greatest company ever! I think, and I may be just gushing here, but you may even be cooler than the Cleveland Browns. Go Browns!

You see, I’ve been a loyal Microsoft guy before I was even born. Which is really quite impossible since I’ve been around for some twenty-four-odd years now, but still, you know what I mean right? Microsoft had me right from the start, so to say. I was double-clicking in the womb. I was trying to delete Internet Explorer before Al Gore had even invented the Internet.

Ok, sorry, it is really hard for me to let go sometimes. You know how it is with long-term relationships; they kind of fade hard when you have so many share bonding moments of agony.

Last week everything changed. I tried to give Microsoft a sign that things were going south, but all I got was a letter from a customer rep named Cherlene who said she was going to “forward” my letter on to someone in the right department (still waiting on reply). I’ve seriously felt warmer in the Antarctic Ocean. Then I got my iShuffle! Let me tell you, it worked so well the first five minutes of my run I had to stop and catch my breath because I went too fast! And when I hit a hill and “Eye of the Tiger” started up I knew it was love and there was no turning back.

So thank you! You are wonderful and I hope you keep up the good work. I would love to hear from you sometime. Let’s do lunch!

Not Knowing What Song is Next and Lovin’ It,
Blake Blackwell


New Posts Coming Up...

Dear Loyal Consumer Advocates and Fans of Blakewell,

Here is a listing of upcoming letters that I plan on writing in no particular order:
  1. Microsoft: Follow-up letter with Cherlene, the customer support rep who contacted me. I will proceed to ask her if I'm getting the run-around and see if she taking me as seriously as she should. :)
  2. Apple: This will be in the form of a sonnet or love letter gushing about my new iShuffle (I may also dennounce Microsoft, I haven't decided yet. If Cherlene keeps giving me the run-around who knows what might come out!).
  3. Blockbuster: I plan on engaging Blockbuster in a deep philosophical conversation about whether the slogan "No Late Fees" is a modern or postmodern statement.
  4. Steak 'n Shake: I will be contacting Steak 'n Shake to determine the point of origin on where their sayings come from with their new Sunday Shake advertising campaign.
Consumers Unite!


The Fall of Saddam Only Opens Up New Opportunities at the Top

I am slightly under the gun at work right now, so I am pulling up an old, old email that I sent to my professor at OC asking him about lunch plans several months back. Based off of the content of this email it was written right after the fall of Saddam. I have chosen, for the sake of the professor's privacy, to withhold his name, but I think a lot of you will know who it is. Enjoy!

Letter Written to OC Professor:


I hope you are not in hiding with the recent fall of your shaggy dictator. Since I haven't heard from you in ages, my only assumption has been that you have been in a cave somewhere in the mountains. The end is rapidly approaching for your kind, so you may want to rethink your stance and perhaps become a double-agent. I say we rendezvous and discuss this next week sometime at an undisclosed location. Morse Code me your thoughts and we shall go from there.


OC Professor's Reply:

You infidel-capitalist fool! This only serves to strengthen my resolve. I will admit that I was disheartened for a short time, but then I heard the quote about our great leader refusing a glass of water because otherwise he would have to go to the bathroom, and how could he do such a thing when his people are in captivity? The thought of his bladder expanding to the size of a pregnant camel—all for us captives; doesn’t it just make you want to keep up the fight?

It is definitely time for another get-together (maybe we could find a rat-infested hole where we could share some stale bread). My two weeks “off” before school starts is rapidly being scheduled for me by those with higher power than I (as if that narrows it down). I’ll shoot you an e-mail once school starts; maybe we can rendezvous about the middle of the month.



Moving Up the Chain of Command - Maybe to Even Bill himself!

Here is my first response from Microsoft. From the looks of things, more to come...

Hello Blakewell,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft.com Customer Support. I have forwarded your mail to the appropriate Microsoft group for review and response.

Your comments are very important to us. By taking the time to write, you are helping us provide the best possible products and services.

Microsoft.com Customer Support

Here is my previous email to Microsoft entitled Please Forgive Me Bill Gates.


Please Forgive Me Bill Gates

Here is my email to Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft on my unfaithfulness to his great company:

Dear Bill,

It’s with great trepidation that I write you Bill. You see, I’ve been with you since 1995, and never once had any doubts. That’s right, I was there when things started really getting good. I loved Windows 95! And the Internet? What would we have done if Al Gore hadn’t invented it?*

But now, alas, I’m afraid I’m having the “ten year itch.” You see, I’m faltered and am not as faithful as I once was. Bill, I don’t know how to say this, but I bought an iPod! Alright, don’t beat it out of me. I don’t even use Internet Explorer anymore! I can’t figure out how to remove IE, but that sure didn’t stop me from downloading Firefox. There! I’ve come clean! I feel so much better about myself now.

I’m just writing because I hope you can forgive me Bill. Or do you prefer William? Anyways, I should know that by now, and I don’t. Wow I feel bad.

Can I ask you one other question while I have your attention? Why is hmmm spelled with two or three m’s and not four or more? Have you never let out a good “Hmmmmmmmmm”? I have. More than once. But every time I try to let out a good “Hmmmmmmmmm” in Microsoft Word or Outlook it gives me the red line of death. I really wish you would turn the red line of death into the blue line of polite suggestion. The red ink pen still haunts me from my early days in elementary school.

Bill, I really hope you can forgive me, and I want you to know that at the core I’m still a Microsoft guy through and through. I talk about you every day at work and say “Well Bill was dead on with that one.” You see I’m actually a .NET developer. As I always say, “.NET in the house!”

Yours forever,

*Funniest thing I ever saw on television: “If Al Gore invented the Internet then why does it start with Dubya, Dubya, Dubya!” What a great guy we have for a president, huh?



I am thinking that if I am going to keep this up I will need a pen name. Does anyone have any good ideas? Remember than you can always comment anonymously, no need for a Blogger account.


Let's Show We Care to all Species, Not Just Homo Sapiens

Dear RBOLTO2@hallmark.com,

Salutations! It's so awkward for me to be writing a letter to you. Please forgive me if I don't use the correct format. You see, I'm just so used to walking down your great "Halls of Wisdom" if you will, and saying it with Hallmark. You know, I should send you a thank you card with one of your brilliant epitaphs! Wouldn't that be great? But seriously, it's like I always say, "If you're going to say it then show you care with Hallmark." Every time! Wedding? Hallmark. Birthday? Hallmark. Graduation? Hallmark. Death? You better not use anything but Hallmark!

However, and I hate being critical, but your Valentine's Day selection yesterday was a bit lacking in the way of cards for pets. It could have been that I waited till February 14th which my mom has repeatedly told me not to do, but alas I still did (I'm a chronic procrastinator). When I got to your store I couldn't find a single card for my pet turtle Cartesia. Cartesia is a very special turtle to me because she has been there from point x to point y and has never missed a beat. When I broke up with my first girlfriend, guess who was there for me? That's right. Cartesia. When I moved into my apartment by myself and I was lonely, wouldn't you know it but Cartesia kept me company. She is a great turtle. Naturally I wanted to send her a Valentine's Day card.

Anyways, I'm not just being selfish here, I really think this is an untapped market that you guys may have overlooked. Here is a sample Valentine's Day card for turtles next year:

I love my turtle,
Who isn't named Mertle,
And really isn't very fertile,
But that doesn't stop me from loving my turtle.

What do you think? You like it? I won't charge you a dime if you want to use it, just put "Anonymous" at the end.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Blake Blackwell

p.s. Do you have sympathy cards for football teams? I'd like to send one to the Cleveland Browns.


Choose Your Own Adventure: The Valentine's Day Time Machine

Tonight I have something of a bit different flavor. You will find a short excerpt from our Choose Your Own Adventure Date which Stephen, Travis and I went on tonight with three very lovely, charming young ladies. Below is the introduction and if you are so inclined go ahead and email me and I'll send you the rest of the book. Guys, the girls really enjoyed themselves, so feel free to use this idea too!


The night was Valentine’s Day eve. Cupid looked down upon the fertile, mineral-rich fields of Oklahoma (official state motto: Keep Our Land Grand – unless there is money to be made off of it) and smiled thinking that all his work was done. The families of Edmond had attended marriage and children seminars at their local Churches of Christ, and life appeared serene as Cupid’s official day of celebration drew nigh. When all of the sudden his eye lingered upon the door of Heritage Heights Phase 3, apartment 222 and saw three friends shaking and quivering in their boots. They lingered by the phone, each prodding the others to pick it up and make the call, all the while trying to delay the inevitable. While Blake intellectualized in the corner, and Travis practiced “hello” in the mirror, Stephen with his usual brashness was the first to pick up the phone and called Tara who graciously said yes. Travis, finally decided upon a deep bellowing “G’Day Strangeland!” and called the sweet and lovable Carol who after insisting that wasn’t her name agreed to join the entourage. Blake, concluding that what worked for the Greeks worked for him went with the “Hello. What’s up?” philosophy that worked ever so well for those who reached the light in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Sarah replied with excitement in her voice, “Well of course!”

Thus the boys finally laid down their emotionally weary heads, thinking that the hard work was done. Yet little did they know that Cupid had other plans in mind.

Dusk began to set and 5:30 eventually rolled along the next day and after some slight tugging Stephen and Travis drew Blake away from the TV who muttered, “Well he’s no Tom Brokaw anyway.” Breaking out the family van, the boys went and picked up the suspicious girls who had been kept purposely in the dark over the details of the date. The biggest clue was given to Carol who was told, “Well I’m not sure what we are going to do, but it is certainly all planned out.”

Once everyone was picked up the girls were handed a short novel, which Tara promptly replied “I thought I was pondering skipping class tonight. Is this what you call incentive?!” The girls opened up the book which began the way so many famous books had begun before…

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

Whoops! Let’s try that again!

Once upon a time six friends thought they were going to go out on a traditional Valentine’s day date filled with over-priced dinner plans and the latest Will Smith movie when all of a sudden Cupid appeared with plans of his own. He bellowed [it is widely believed that Cupid is a timid fellow who only knows how to shoot love arrows, but in all actuality he is a man’s man with a deep resonating voice]:

“Tonight will be filled with choices, and the decisions are all yours. Choose wisely because your choices ultimately determine the fate of your adventure and the path you shall follow. Your first choice is perhaps your most important because it determines the theme of the evening so ponder carefully.”

Would you prefer to:

· Strap on your Osh Kosh B’Gosh and tighten your Velcro Ked’s (turn to page 12)

· Ride an emotional roller-coaster (turn to page 10)

· Break out the Alka-seltzer and clean those dentures (turn to page 7)

This is just the beginning of our 50 page short-story. Stay turned tomorrow when I hope to post a letter to Hallmark about the lack of Valentine's Day cards for my pet turtle Cartesia.


My first reply!

McDonald's wrote me back! What a great corporation! Check out their response under my letter to them. As I get replies I will be posting them under my original letter, so check back regularly. Those FOX people are really giving me the cold shoulder. Perhaps they don't like the Cleveland Browns?


Mixin' with the Southern Baptist

My letter to ChurchOfChristSingles.com:

Dear Church of Christ,

I have recently met someone, and I think she is the love of my life. We are almost the same height, we both like the Cleveland Browns, and she reads out of the King James Bible. There seems to be only one slight problem. She is Southern Baptist. Not only am I worried about some doctrinal differences we have, but I'm also worried about what will happen if we get married and move out of Oklahoma. What if we move up north to Chicago? Are their Northern Baptists? Or for that matter eastern and western Baptists? I'm new to this whole Baptist thing so help me out!

I think its great what you are trying to do. Down with eHarmony! Sometimes I kind of feel bad for Abraham's servant who was tasked with finding Issac a wife. He had such a long way to walk! But with the Internet I just have to press the right buttons and instantly I'm happy. Incredible! Keep up the good work!

On second thought, what do you think about arranged marriages? I bet you I would already be married by now if my parents had chosen a girl for me. Than I would be incredibly happy and feel complete. But I'll keep trying to get up the courage to type a few emails if things don't work out between the southern Baptist and I. Don't you worry!

By the way, my new love, her name is Rebekah too. Can you believe it? Wow! I guess Walt Disney was right, it IS "..a small world after all." Insightful man.

Grace and Peace,
Blake Blackwell

A little McDonald's Never Hurt Nobody

Dear Ronald,

I recently heard that there are two extremely greedy girls – let’s just call a spade a spade, shall we? – who/whom are blaming their weight problems on your quality line of products and are suing you. This is atrocious! I would never have considered my recent need to buy size 32 pants (up from size 30) as a result in partaking in a delicious 30 grams of fat, 560 calorie Big Mac. I must confess though that I think the bean burrito at the neighboring Taco Bell may have pushed me over the edge (literally and physically).

Is there any way I can contribute to your legal funds? Now I’m aware that probably 1/10th of a dime from every hamburger I buy goes directly to your crack squad of legal scholars, but if I could up the ante with perhaps a George Washington I’d be more than happy to help. This kind of nonsense must stop!

I just want to thank you for feeding the American public. I think sometimes we forget what you’ve done for us. If only we could return to the innocence of our Happy Meal days, that’s what I’m always telling my female friends anyway. I wonder if this logic is why I can’t get a date?

Thank you Ronald, for your time. I’m sure you are busy sitting on the playground bench waving to the kids. Oh, this brings up one more point. Perhaps if you rescinded the 4-foot ban on the height restriction to your wonderful playground us grown-ups could get in the ball-pen and burn a few calories. Just food for thought!

I know you are a family man so I’ll let you go.

Keep on counting!
Blake Blackwell

p.s. What do you think of this Jerry fellow? Do you think he has a personal trainer?

Response from McDonald's

Hello Blake:

Thank you for contacting McDonald's. We greatly appreciate your support.

We too believe common sense says this particular case makes no sense. The latest ruling simply delays the inevitable conclusion that this case is without merit.

The key issue remains personal responsibility and making informed choices. McDonald's will continue to offer a menu of quality and variety that gives customers a wide range of choices that can fit into a healthy well-balanced diet. McDonald's has provided nutrition information for 30 years so that our customers can make informed personal choices based on their own dietary needs.

In addition, thank you for you interest in wanting to help McDonald's. The best way you and other customers can help us at this time is by offering your continued support.

Thank you again for your supportive comments. We look forward to serving you under the Golden Arches soon.

McDonald's Customer Response Center


Please do not "reply" to this email response. All "replies" go to an unmonitored mailbox and are not reviewed. If you wish to contact McDonald's Customer Response Center again, please visit our website at www.mcdonalds.com.

No Need to Turn Your Heads This Year Folks!

Dear FOX,

I want to thank you for the excellent Super Bowl Half-Time show you put on last night. I'm from Oklahoma City, which I lovingly refer to as the belt-buckle of the Bible Belt, and let me tell you there was a collective sigh-of-relief that was felt over the metropolis last night right before the third-quarter. Before you dismiss me as a right-wing Christian evangelical fundamentalist, let me just reassure you that I am just that. But I am extremely thankful that you attempted to reach out to all people instead of a niche market of 18-33 year olds with extremely bad taste in music (how the American populous could ever consider Kid Rock or Janet Jackson talented is beyond me). It was such a refreshing, classy show which proves that it is possible to entertain all people of all ages at the same time. Typically my friends and I usually turn off the television and either play cards or sing “kum-bay-yah”, but not this year, and if next is anything similar than certainly not next year either.

In fact, the entire Super Bowl was great. The only complaint, and really I can’t hold this against you, is that my team the Cleveland Browns didn’t get a chance to play.

Might I just make a few suggestions for next year? Could I recommend Trans-Siberian Orchestra for the half-time entertainment? They have great pyrotechnics, and they are so extremely musically talented beyond just the Christmas Season. You just don’t even know. I also think that it would be ideal if you’d let the Cleveland Browns play next year. That would be fantastic.

Many thanks! Go Browns!

Your “New Niche Market”,

Blake Blackwell

Site Revamped!

I decided the whole serious thing was just not working for my blog. Thus I've decided to start posting the emails I send to various companies and hopefully their humorous corporate responses. I hope you enjoy this new avenue of , and if you'd like to ever talk about something deep, please just let me know!