Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Verizon Provides the Worst Customer Service of All-Time

I don't use my blog anymore (as I podcast weekly at ). I'm posting this so there's a public place to see it. This is my story from ordering Verizon for my new house. It is insane.

4/16 - Monday - I order Verizon DSL service online. It has exactly one question when it comes to installation. It says something along the lines of "Do you have a phone jack in your house?". I checked "Yes". When I finished the order, it said "You do not need to be home when our technician comes on Friday, 4/20 to install your DSL". Since I knew that I had two phone lines in the house, and needed Verizon to connect to the correct phone line, I made it a point to call them the next day and let them know I needed to show the technician the correct phone line.

4/17 - Tuesday - I call Verizon and let them know the situation. The woman on the phone says that she can not tell me the exact time they'll be coming, but that it would be between 11 AM and 6 PM, and that if I'm home during that time, I'll be able to talk to the Verizon technician and show him the right phone line to connect to.

4/20 - Friday - I wake up at 10:30 AM. I took the day off of work to be home for Verizon. I look at my phone and I had recieved an email at 8:48 AM saying my internet is all set. I am furious at Verizon's first mistake: they came two and a half hours early. I then go check my computer, and I'm even more upset at Verizon's second mistake: they connected to the wrong phone-line, even though I called them three days early and told them specifically that I needed to talk to them when they came. I call Verizon and am on the phone for almost an hour. They tell me they can't send anyone out, and schedule to come out the next day (Saturday, 4/21) between 11 AM - 12 PM. I then say I want to speak to a manager, and after minutes of searching for one, I'm told all the managers are too busy, and one will call me back as soon as they are no longer busy. Verizon's third mistake: The manager never called me back.

4/21 - Saturday - My girlfriend was going to be the one home when the technician comes, as I was in Boston that day. She works at the hospital and got home at 4:00 AM on Friday night, expecting to sleep until around 10:45 to wait for the technician. Verizon's fourth mistake: AGAIN - Verizon shows up two and a half hours early at 8:30 AM, calling her and waking her up. She waits as he works on the house (after she shows him which line to use). After about 45 minutes, she calls me and tells me he left, and the internet is not working. I call Verizon to complain, and they say the ticket is still open, and he must still be there. I call my girlfriend back, and tell her what Verizon told me. Eventually, the technician returns. He left and came back without telling her. She goes back to sleep and he leaves. That afternoon, she sets up the internet.
Still upset with the terrible, terrible treatment, I call Verizon on the way home from Boston at around 6:30 PM. I talk to a man who takes my call-back number and start telling him the story. We get disconnected and he calls me back. He says he's going to transfer me to a customer service rep and we get disconnected. He does not call me back. I call again and start over with a new guy and he tells me there's no way to find the previous guy I was talking to. I explain the entire thing again, and he says he's going to transfer me to a customer service rep and we get disconnected AGAIN. I call for the THIRD time, and explain it for the THIRD time to a THIRD person. This woman is extremely nice, and says she is going to credit me one month free, and waive the installation fee. This totals about $59.99. But she can't believe my treatment, and tells me to call again on Monday to talk to someone from dispatch (because they were closed at the time) and try to get further compensation. I tell her I will, thank her, and hang up.
I get home and my internet speed is terrible. I call Verizon at around 10:30 PM nd talk to a guy who tells me he's going to upgrade my speed from (I believe) 1.5mbps to "3mbps - 7mbps". He tells me it will take three or four hours to change speed.

4/22 - Sunday - I wake up around 11:30 AM (13 hours after talking to the previous Verizon rep) and my internet speed has not changed at all. I was busy all day Sunday so I could not spend a third consecutive day repeatedly calling Verizon.

4/23 - Monday - I wake up around 11:30 AM and call Verizon. I have two separate issues at this point. One was my terrible treatment, and one is my slow internet. I call first about my speed problem. I talk to a woman and tell her about the man I talked to on Saturday night who upgraded my speed. She says she has no record of my phone call or the upgrade.
She upgrades my speed for me, and says it will take four hours. I ask for a confirmation number and she gives me "RI00137287334". I thank her.
Then I wanted to deal with my terrible treatment up to this point. I explain what happened, and am transferred to another woman. I explain the entire thing to her (including the promised credit) and she says there is no record of my promised "first month free" and "Activation fee waived", but she says she will put this through. I tell her I can't believe how much unaccountability there is, and how I can't trust that any time I talk to anyone, there is a record of it, so she gives me her name and location (Lohr - Taunton, MA) and a confirmation number for this future credit (RIHM765649). I tell her I was told to talk to dispatch for further compensation. Lohr was extremely pleasant and helpful.
I am forwarded to dispatch, and I explain it all again. The dispatch guy seems unhelpful and disinterested. After another lengthy explanation, he checks his facts with me repeatedly, and says "Okay, someone will be reprimanded for this. Is that all?" I respond to this saying "I'm not looking for someone to get reprimanded, I'm looking for compensation" and he says I'll have to speak to a manager. He tells me (just like Friday) that all the managers are busy, and that one will call me within the hour. About an hour later, he calls me back, saying it will take a little longer, and that it will be another hour before the manager calls me. I never recieve a phone call for the rest of the night. I'm in disbelief that this this company acts this way.

4/24 - Tuesday - I get home from work and go online to check my speed to see if it's been upgraded. It is awful (1.4 mbps). I go online to live chat with Verizon. I get a guy named "Avtar". I'm on chat with him for over an hour.
We start by doing a speed test. We get “1.5 mbps”. He connects to my computer during this time for over 20 minutes and changes many settings. My speed does not increase, but he bizarrely says "Your speed has increased" and I get extremely frustrated with his incorrect response. He tells me to restart my computer, and since I just had done so before the conversation, I tell him I believe it won't help. I tell him I want to continue talking to him (not someone new) after I restart. He tells me at 9:17 PM that he will call me in ten minutes, after I restart.
I restart and I am correct. It does not help. I wait for an unbelievable 35 minutes. Avtar never calls me back, which I am now used to, when dealing with the liars at Verizon. By the way, "liars" is not an opinion, but is a factual description at this point. I go on live chat again at 9:54 PM, and start my conversation with Mahesh. We do a speed test and it is the same (1.5 mbps). He tells me a Verizon rep is going to call me, as was the original plan at 9:17. I don't get a call until 11:14 PM, almost two hours after I was told I'd get a call in "ten minutes".
Brijesh is the name of the guy who called me. He said “What speed are you getting?” I ran a speed test for him (this was the third Verizon rep that I ran a speed test for this evening). I told him “1.5 mbps” and he said he’d have someone call me the next day. I was furious that I had to deal with Verizon over two hours at this point (the majority of the time waiting for this phone call) and all I got was “We’ll call you tomorrow”.
Then, Brijesh said they’d get me up to “2.5 mbps”. I corrected him, and told him I upgraded the day before to speeds between “3.1 mbps – 7.0 mbps”, but he insisted that that never happened. So I told him I had a confirmation number for my upgrade and gave it to him. The guy came back and told me I was wrong. My speed was not upgraded. I asked him what the confirmation number was for, and he said “I don’t know.” I asked repeatedly why I was given a confirmation number that meant nothing to the people at Verizon. He could not give me a reason.
I was immensely upset at all of this. I expressed to him numerous times that I knew what conversation I had the day before, and that either he is wrong, or the person the day before had lied to me.
I was at my peak of anger so far in this debacle.
He told me someone would call the next day between 11 AM – 12 PM. I asked for a confirmation number for this (as I had been lied to so many times about specific times and call-backs) and he said it was take 5 – 7 minutes to generate a confirmation number. He said he’d call me back when it was generated. This was at 11:54 PM. He called back at 12:12 AM. My confirmation number: RIHM768305. He assured me the Verizon technician would call between 11 AM and 12 PM.

4/25 – Wednesday – I was up at 11 AM. I waited for an hour and forty minutes and received no phone call. Which is what I expected from Verizon at this point. I went outside to get my mail and received a flyer from Cox High Speed Internet. Right then, I decided that if Verizon would not fix my internet today (over five days after the initial install, over 48 hours since I changed my speed and it hasn’t worked) then I was dropping Verizon and going to Cox.
I called Verizon tech support and got a guy who said the same thin as Brijesh. He said I did not have the “3.0 mbps – 7.0 mbps” speed. I did not upgrade to that. He transferred me to a customer service representative. Katie Riley. She confirmed that I do have 3.0 mpbs – 7.0 mbps, and that it’s been over 48 hours since I upgraded my internet. I informed her I was going to cancel my service if the internet wasn’t fixed by the end of the day.
Katie Riley, the customer service agent said she would transfer me back to technical support. I told her I wanted her to explain to them that I did have the “3.0 – 7.0” tier of speed, because the last two technicians told me I was wrong when I told them that. Katie Riley from customer service, told me she’d transfer me over and explain it to the person with all three of us on the line. After a couple minutes of waiting, I got a technician. Katie Riley did not stay on the call, and I was forced to start the entire process over again, 40 minutes after the phone call began.
I was livid.
As I explained the situation, I got an email from Verizon. I read it. It said I was upgraded to “3.0 – 7.0 mbps”, it would be active on THE FOLLOWING FRIDAY, and I would be charged AN ADDITIONAL FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH.
I was done at this point. I had talked to someone on Sunday who said my “3.0 – 7.0 mbps” service would be available after four hours, and would not cost me any extra a month. Now, after an additional 7 – 8 phone calls, and hours dedicated to this problem, I’m being told it will be an extra five days, and cost me more monthly on top of that?
I told the woman on the phone I had just received the email and I was done with Verizon. This was it for me. I’m switching to Cox. She told me a manager would call me.
A manager did end up calling me. I told him I was done with Verizon, and brought up the extra $5 a month. He said he couldn’t help me and would transfer me to someone. I told him I’m done with the holding and the transferring and lies, and that I’d call back to cancel my service later in the week. He said “Is there anything other than this that I can help you with?”. No.
Right now, to keep me a customer, my speed would have to be actually be 7.0 mbps, and for this harrowing bullshit, I'd need the first year of Verizon 100% free. That is the type of huge compensation they'd need to do to balance out this kind of unbelievable treatment.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Presents For A Greedy Ass

Okay so throughout the year a few things came out that I'd like to get (mostly DVDs, blu-rays, and books). Every year at Christmas, people tell me I'm a horrible person to shop for, and no one ever knows what to get me. So I thought I'd post some items here to let people know some things I'm interested in getting.

Wolverine: Old Man Logan - graphic novel
My Booky Wook - Russel Brand
I Am The New Black - Tracy Morgan
I Drink For A Reason - David Cross
Tell-All - Chuck Palahniuk

DVDs/Blu Rays:
Pixar Short Film Collection on blu-ray (This movie is $14.99 at Target when using the "$5.00 off blu-ray coupon found here" - I'm posting this specifically because this title is always very expensive)
Chasing Amy blu-ray
Bruno blu-ray
Funny People special edition DVD
Perfect Strangers Season 1 and 2

a tripod for my video camera (weight limit 15 lb.s)
I don't usually collect any type of "toy" or "collectible" but there are two things I came across in the past year that I've really liked:
Back To The Future Series II Minimates Set -
Original Ninja Turtle comics black and white figure - - I just want one (they come in a set of four), and the only place I've seen one by itself is at Newbury Comics.

I really thought there were more books and DVDs but I can't think of them. I will add to the list as I remember.
Also - yes, there are video games I'd like to get, but at some point I got a surplus and I'm still playing through a bunch. I'd hate for someone to buy me a game for $39.99 and have it end up sitting on my shelf for a while, and when I go to play it the price has dropped to $17.99. I'd feel like a dick.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


This is from an email I just sent:

From: Chuck Staton
To: Abe, Arcello, B Lau, Brad Roar!, Jordan, Lou E, Patrick, Sousa, Teej, Bagley, Jenn Watts, Nic, Sierra

I don't remember if I sent this out when we did it, but I re-read it tonight and laughed out loud a few times at the wordplay, so I thought I'd send it again:
Me, B Lau, Alyssa and Teej often frequent Ruby Tuesday's where Tom's ex-girlfriend Katie works as a waitress. She's very sweet but she's twice as gullible. B Lau and I mentioned to her that B Lau was writing erotic fiction (which was obviously not true), including a story about her - and she believed it. So the next time we came in, we of course came with this little tale we put together about Tom and her trying to have sex (which really happened) and Tom proving that he sometimes lacked the ability to become aroused even as a teenager (which also really happened) - imagine what he's like in bed now!
Anyway, we put this together and I think that it's so odd and funny. I probably sent it to you back when we did it, but who cares, give it a second read. I love it. This is true B Lau/Staton humor.

Chapter 6
After Hours/A Midnight Snack

Katie was a hard-worker - not too slow, and not too fast for the customers to feel like they were being ignored. Waitressing was a way to make ends meet but, coupled with her biology class, was beginning to become overwhelming. However, Katie was quite capable of handling large loads.
At seventeen, Katie had a figure that all her friends envied, and the boys certainly noticed. But she turned her nose up at them all - besides one boy in particular, whom she had met while volunteering at the soup kitchen.
Tom Wells - the first string quarterback, and the pride and joy of Mt. Hope High School. "This guy's going places - and fast!" thought Katie, as he whizzed by her in his conversion van on the first day of school.
Now - seven months later - as the chill of winter gave way to an unexpectedly warm March, Katie knew firsthand how fast Tom liked to go, and their newfound love was blooming like so many daffy-dills (as Katie called them).
But as love blooms, so do men push. Push for the physical act of love - as Katie knew all too well. Tom was already an extremely aggressive individual, asserting his presence to every man, woman, and crippled invalid who looked at Katie's developing breasts and infectious hindquarters. But when it came to Katie's undergarments, Tom was like a magician. He was always trying to make them disappear.
Katie wasn't sure if Tom was the right guy for her - sure, he had rippling biceps and washboard abs, he had dollar bills coming out of every pocket, and his golden hair glimmered luminously in the moonlight - so much so that she often wondered if it would all disappear one day.
Nevertheless, she was living in the here and now, and had to make an important choice. As she re-filled the sugars, and moved each table out to sweep, she couldn't stop her mind from spelunking in the caves of sexual exploration. And this was one girl who wouldn't forger her flashlight.
"Will things change? Will he prove himself to have love-making skills on par with his debating prowess, as all the girls in school had rumored?" she quickly shook these thoughts away, ignoring her primal impulses and her tingly nether-regions, as the man himself walked through the vestibule, and entered the often-sexualized Swansea Mall.
Through Ruby Tuesday's archways he did enter, and what a man he was. His face smiled with the warmth of a thousand suns, despite his blackened and gap-toothed grin. His cross-eyed stare shone two beady lasers on her hot skin. His hulking, masculine frame heaved with anticipation, as he lumbered towards her, not unlike an injured moose.
"Hello Katie, I've been expecting you," he sighed
"What do you mean? I've been at work and you came here to see me?" Katie replied.
Tom was clearly shaken, but otherwise remained confident.
"Tonight is the night. I want what you got!" Tom clamored sheepishly.
Katie had never heard such beautiful poetry from her muscle-bound Romeo. Her manager's eyes filled with tears, as he understood what beauty was about to unfurl, and left the building, leaving rose petals in his wake.
"I've been thinking about you for my entire shift" Katie said, removing her apron, tentatively.
"Awww yeeea," Tom squeaked out, as he pumped his fist in the air, nearly demolishing section seven.
Katie shook her behind to and fro and she bent over to remove her shoes. She knew that Tom enjoyed the "show" she was putting on for him. She looked over her shoulder, and was about to ask him if he was ready to take the step that she was, but she noticed he was breathing heavy - either because he was aroused, or because of the short amount of steps from the parking lot into the restaurant - either way, she liked it.
Without any further prodding, Tom removed the burlap sack that served as his pants, revealing his throbbing member. At least two inches long, and nearly half as thick, Tom roared with approval at his own genitalia. Katie had never seen such an impressive display of manhood, as she had never even previously thought of taking part in any sort of sexual pleasure - but tonight was different. Tom Wells was ready for love.
Katie shed her entire outfit, as if she was a love-hungry serpent. She slithered her naked, and for some reason, glistening body over to Tom, hissing and generally disturbing him greatly. But Tom overlooked his discomfort, and they met in a warm embrace. Katie kissed passionately, Tom, reluctantly. He was uncomfortable about his first time - but he wondered if he felt too uncomfortable.
Katie threw her large breasts back over her shoulder, and Tom laid down a newspaper blanket on their favorite table. Katie laid back, completely comfortable knowing her future groom would soon enter her for the first time. She spread her creamy sun-deprived legs, expectantly.
Tom swallowed hard. For he, too, was but a simple virgin. Tales of his sexual prowess had been greatly exaggerated, and came about mostly from peer pressure, when he boasted to his football friends about which "women" he had "made whoopie " with (which would explain the mispronunciation of the words "labia" and "nipple" on Tom's part).
Tom whispered softly to her "My prick is ready for ya shit," and Katie nearly cried. She never could have imagined her first time would be so beautiful. Tom kissed and she could barely make out him saying, "Don't talk to me while I invade your Normandy," as she held him close.
Tom held his tiny warrior between his index finger and thumb (though it slipped away from his grip, repeatedly) and began his descent to enter the realms of manhood.
After brushing the brambles of her pubic hair to either side of her crotch (a laborious effort), Tom pushed his beautiful penis into her.
But alas - something stopped the entry.
Tom looked at Katie's vagina - slippery and gaping - no problem there.
When Tom's eyes reached his love-gun, he saw he had misfired - his penis was as firm as a melty ice cream cone.
The truth hung flaccidly in the air between them both - Katie was not what Tom was looking for.
Tom thought to himself, "I should have known," as he continually went over in his head the astoundingly high number of men he'd serviced orally in the past month - "I'm gay."
Katie sighed deeply, understanding the truth.
Tom withered away into the night, his hair falling out, his gut hanging out of his shirt, his pockets now devoid of dollars.
Katie waited there, wondering aloud, "If only there was someone who would deflower me in this public restaurant."
And in a vermillion flash - there stood B Lau. He moved only his lips, and looked into her eyes, as he silently screamed, "Skeet skeet skeet, muthafucka!" be continued

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another Villian Thwarted

Tonight, as I was driving back from Senior Discount practice in Fall River, I stopped at a Dunkin Donuts.
Having already been to a Dunkin Donuts (to visit my girlfriend at work), I noticed that they cleverly had renamed the "Boston Creme" donut to the seasonal "Boston Scream".
Tom Wells was in my car when I approached the drive-thru. I asked the woman for a "Boston Scream" donut. She had no clue what I was talking about, and I had to drive up to the window to explain it to her.
Afterwards, Tom Wells claimed I had asked for a "Boston Scream Bagel" - something I would never do. A mistake I'd never make. We had an argument about this that lasted a while. Since I was driving, and Tom urgently had to use the bathroom, I quickly threatened him by saying "Let's see what takes longer - you breaking down and admitting I did not say 'bagel', or you shitting your pants - because I am not taking you home until you say it."
Tom fought me for a minute, at first claiming he'd "shit all over" my car (juvenile). I then told him I'd sue him. He responded that I had no proof it was him. I immediately took out my digital camera to use the video-camera function to record the situation (for my future lawsuit).
The following is a video recording of Tom admitting I did not say "bagel" at the end of my request for a "Boston Scream".
Note: This video is not great, but the audio clearly shows you that this monster knows who is in the right.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Will Ferrel in RI

Will Ferrel, Zach Galifiankakis, Nick Swardson and Demetri Martin came to URI a while back (possibly the best stand-up show I've ever seen) and this is a portion of the Q and A part of the night with Will Ferrel:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hilarious Awful Prank on Weather Girl

The only way this horrible prank could be funnier is if it were done to Tom Wells.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Terminator Time-Travel Explained

I have called myself "the smartest man alive" in the past - this was done in a very tongue-in-cheek-way (depending on whether or not you consider Stephen Hawking alive*).
Although I know this not to be true, I believe the study I have recently conducted is done from an educated standpoint, and was done with great attention to detail.
I have dissected the Terminator quadrilogy.

"What dissecting is there to be done?" one might ask.
There is a list of problems, concerning time travel and the "rules" of said time travel, with the film, and I'm going to attempt to solve them. I'll deal with the original three first, and the fourth afterwards.
The Terminator television show, "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" is part of an "alternate timeline" than the movies in the Terminator universe, so it will not be included here.

First - a very short plot rundown.

The Terminator
(known in Poland as "The Electronic Murderer")
James Cameron wrote and directed this movie in 1984. Sarah Connor is attacked by a machine (a terminator - Arnold Schwarzenegger) was who sent back in time from the year 2029, by Skynet. Skynet is a computer-based defense system, developed by humans to have incredible artificial intelligence - because of this intelligence, it eventually started eradicating the human race, and a huge "humans vs. robots" war broke out.
John Connor (the son of Sarah Connor) becomes the leader in the war against Skynet in the future, and Skynet is taking a precautionary measure by sending back a terminator to murder Sarah in 1984 before she can give birth to John. Fortunately (no offense to any terminators reading this), John Connor and the humans found this out in 2029, and John Connor sent back Kyle Reese (a soldier) to protect Sarah Connor.
The terminator kills many people (including an out-of-character and very punk rock Bill Paxton), but fails to kill Sarah. She crushes the terminator to death, and shortly after, Reese dies from a fatal wound - BUT before he dies, he bangs Sarah good and hard, and from this, she gets pregnant with John Connor.
Final grade for Terminator (it's an old movie, so I realize it's hard to grade it properly): B -

Questions I Will Adress:
- How was John Connor born, if he was the one to send back Reese, who only fathered him because he went back in time?

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Easily the most popular movie of the series, winning four Oscars (yes, four Oscars), this film is where it all gets turned around.
In this movie, it's 1995 and John Connor is 10. His mother has been training him all his life for the robot war (which she now knows about thanks to Reese and the terminator in T1), and she has been put in a mental institution. He is with foster parents.
Again, in the future, the machines have sent back a terminator (the T-1000, a more advanced model than the original film), this time, to kill John Connor as a ten-year-old. Also, the humans have sent back another protector: except now they've also sent back a reprogrammed terminator (Arnold) who is programmed only to protect John Connor from the T-1000.
The T-1000 kills many in his attempt to kill John Connor, and Arnold, John and Sarah Connor are all trying to find the man - Miles Dyson - they believe is responsible for the Skynet uprising (which will happen in the future). Miles Dyson has found pieces of the terminator sent back in the first film, which has prompted his research towards terminators and a more advanced Skynet system.
Arnold and the Connors get to Tyson, they tell them about the whole deal with the future war, and he agrees to help them destroy his research at Skynet. They all go there and destroy the materials. The T-1000 gets killed, and Arnold lets the Connors kill him, so there will be no terminator evidence for future research to be based on.
Final grade for T2: B+

Questions I Will Adress:
- Does this mean that Skynet never figures out this technology? Does that make sense? How did they form/invent it in the first place

Terminator 3
Very similar to T2. In this movie, it's 2003 John Connor is 23 (age difference will be explained). His mother has died of leukemia and John is a piece of crap, working under the table and doing nothing, because he's scared of terminators being sent back to get him again.
Well guess what - the machines have sent back ANOTHER terminator (the Terminatrix, a an even more advanced model than in the second film) this time, to kill John Connor, as well as Kate Brewster - John's future wife - and other important officers on the future human army. Guess what again? The humans have sent back ANOTHER protector: another reprogrammed terminator (Arnold) who is programmed to protect John and Kate.
We find out that in the second film, blowing up Skynet's research (based on the terminator they found in the first film) only set them back to their original research, which eventually started a war with humans on its' own - this makes sense, as the original terminator existed in the first place.
The Terminatrix kills many in her attempt to kill John and Kate. Arnold, John and Kate are all trying to get to Kate's father - a military leader in charge of Skynet - that they believe is is at least partly responsible for the Skynet uprising (which will happen in the future).
They don't get to Kate's father in time, but he tells them to get to a military base where they believe they will be able to stop Skynet. They get there just as Skynet is taking over and kills Kate's father.
The Terminatrix reprograms Arnold, and he attempts to kill John Connor, but his conflicting objectives ("protect John Connor" - given to him by the humans, and "kill John Connor" - given to him by the Terminatrix) do not allow him to complete this task.
The Terminatrix and Arnold follow John and Kate to the military base. Both terminators get killed. John and Kate realize the base was just there for protection - there is no defense to take. The world is being taken over and they just have to watch it happen and wait.
Final grade for Terminator 3 (in terms of overall movie): B -
Final grade for Terminator 3 (in terms of action movie): B +

Some questions to answer:
"Terminator 3 sounds like a shitty rip-off of T2. Is it?"
People hated it and I totally did not hate it. It definitely was born from the T2 storyline, but 1991 and 2003 are very different in terms of what you can do with action movies, and T3 is an action movie.
It had a lot of awesome sequences, and some really cool ideas. I really thought the ending was very different than the previous "everything's wrapped up" endings and added a new, more unpredictable element to the series.

"In T3, the opening voice-over states that John Connor was 13 in T2, even though he was born in 1985, T2 takes place in 1995, and he is said to be 10 years old in T2. Why is this?"
The director of T3 (Johnathon Mostow) said the decision was made because Edward Furlong (John Connor in T2) was 13 during filming. This makes a little sense, considering that Edward Furlong was going through puberty during T2, and his voice changed very much throughout filming (which, in the end, caused him to re-record almost all of his lines). The problem was that his look also changed very much during it.
Although, in my eyes, if T2 (the movie in which he looked 13) stated he was 10, then he was 10. Don't fuck it up later by saying "No, he was 13".

"Skynet finds the Terminator arm/chip after T1 (which was left by the remains of the squashed/squished Terminator), and starts to delve into developing this machinery (as shown in T2), even though that arm/chip could have only existed there because the Terminator was sent back - how did Skynet originally send it back!?"
There is a fairly easy explanation for that problem; Truthfully, it's never stated that the Terminator arm/chip specifically led anywhere or created the Terminators (especially since this research was destroyed in T2). They never stated that this finding was an important step for them in the film, so I think it's okay that it was a small part. In fact, to be honest, it makes a lot of sense - SOMEONE had to find the dead Terminator remnants, and that someone would obviously have questions (and either give it to someone to look at professionally, or professionally look at it themselves).

"Why were Terminators continually sent back in time, if in the very first movie, the Terminator was explained to be a "last-ditch-effort" of the machines? They seemed to keep sending back Terminators pretty easily."
A. Reese said this line about the machines, so I believe it could have to do with an opinion. Reese just BELIEVES it's a last-ditch effort (or was told by John Connor, where that info could have also been opinion, or simply to motivate Reese - John Connor WAS his leader). On top of this - niether Reese nor Connor necessarily know what's actually going on behind the scenes with the machines' plans, and they also doesn't know what happens after 2029 yet (example: I know in T3, the female Terminator is sent back from the year 2032, a year that they would obviously have no knowledge of in 2029) so maybe they actually believe that without knowing, or maybe that is the case in 2029 but then things change. So it could be opinion, or they could simply be wrong that it's a "last-ditch" effort, or they also don't know what happens later.
B. I also really think that all the time-traveling changed the story of what happenned. Yeah, BEFORE Reese and Terminator went back, that may have been war the where was at that time (machines almost being completely beaten), but who knows how the time-traveling affected it? Originally, Sarah Connor didn't know anything about this machine-war, and after Reese/the Terminator came back, she was completely informed and lived a very different life afterwards. And (proven by T2) Skynet may have also gotten a jump on the technology after finding the original Terminator's arm/chip in that factory (even though the data was supposedly destroyed in T2 - there was a still a whole company of inventors/scientists working with it and must have known some things about it, it easily could have changed the timeline in development, or changed the development in general) - we don't really know, but we do know that Reese and the Terminator didn't originally exist in 1984, and definitely changed things.

Okay - so my biggest problem with these movies is this:
How did John Connor send back Reese in the original film, if Reese had never originally been there to father him?
There are basically two "sides" to take here to justify the events.
1. The theory that time doesn't really happen chronologically. In other words, if John Connor sends back Reese from 2029 to 1984, Reese has ALWAYS existed (as a time traveler) in 1984. There was never a timeline without Reese time traveling back to 1984, and Reese was always there to father John Connor. I hate this theory. This will be reffered to as the "Reese Was Always There" theory.
2. This second theory, my theory, is loosely based on the Back To The Future time travel theory. My theory is that you can go back in time and change things. If today, Brad eats a hot dog, and then later I time travel back to yesterday and kill Brad, then when I come back to today, Brad is not there to eat the hot dog, and I can eat it myself. This will be reffered to as the "Things Can Be Changed" theory.
So how does that theory explain Reese coming back from the future and banging Sarah Connor?
Reese was, simply, not John Connor's original father.
Sarah Connor and (an un-named male) had John Connor in 1985 who grew up and led the resistance. That John Connor (JC1) sent back Reese, and Reese banged Sarah Connor. Reese immediately died, and when she got pregnant from this banging, she believed the son of the Reese to BE John Connor, so she named him "John". This new, alternate John Connor (JC2) was bore of Sarah Connor, and was always taught (by her) to grow up and lead the resistance, so he did!
The original father-of-John-Connor, and the original John Connor both never existed after Reese went back in time, because Reese came back and changed the timeline completely!
I also note favoring this method of time travel because the entire point of all the movies is that there is no fate, and John Connor (and pals) is (are) writing their own future. They say in each movie things like "The future is not set in stone", and James Cameron himself has said that the moral of the story is that the future can be changed (and even that Arnold started making his own decisions - to be killed, specifically - in T2). The entire tone of the movies is that things are not set in stone.
Honestly, I do not think that this was the plan when they wrote the original movie. I think James Cameron had an idea and wrote the movie without much time-travel-responsibility-thought. I know that the studio made him "heat up" the relationship between Reese and Sarah Connor. And where could that go? If Reese just dies at the end, Sarah would be bummed but so what? She'd known him for a couple days. The only way for a romantic storyline between those two characters to hold any weight, is for it to end up with John Connor - John is the only link between the two whatsoever. Reese doesn't even have any relatives/friends in 1984. So I can see how the script kind of crappily found its way to that point, but I wish they had remedied it somehow.
1984 was a different time period for film and I think the ideas and story were original in themselves enough to be popular (obviously), without them really delving into why it was possible for Reese to father John Connor. I really feel like movies back then often didn't explain themselves, and were more just for entertainment. I know this sounds like a generalization but I really feel that way.
I also feel that Terminator was definitely not written to have sequels, and that T2 was definitely DEFINITELY written to finish the movie (and honestly, I think the ending of T2, where they blew up the Skynet research, was meant to mean that the war was avoided - which would not have made ANY sense).
Anyway - my theory us that originally it was a different John Connor before Reese came back, and I think it completely makes sense - except for one, nagging, shitty, fact.
In the beginning of Terminator, Reese finds Sarah Connor with a picture that John had given to him in 2029. This picture is taken at the end of Terminator, where she's now driving to the dessert and has given her old, normal life up to raise John Connor and prepare him for the robot war.
This picture was obviously taken AFTER she was affected and informed by Reese, and was in his possession when he traveled through time, therefore creating a hole in my theory.

Terminator Salvation
(spoilers ahead)
There's no time traveling in the new one so it didn't alter anything there, but here's my opinion on the film:
It's been said that this is the beginning of new trilogy and that contracts are signed for a trilogy. If this is so, I'm really happy with it.
It's a new feel than the older films, but I feel like it keeps the tone of the machines and the menace very similar. That's what you need with good sequels - you have to brave new ground without abandoning the roots.
I thought the action was pretty good - lots of fast paced stuff (which is not always easy when you're surrounded by desset). The fact that it was PG-13 didn't bother me much, as the previous films are really only rated R because of the word "fuck" and that doesn't always make a movie better.
I thought the story was good. I liked the new character, and I hated the fact that they revealed him to be half-human/half-robot in the trailer, because I feel like the movie could have a new element of power if that was surprise to the audience.
I thought Reese was well-cast, I thought Christian Bale (who I used to dislike) was great. I liked how they dealt with the past (John Connor knowing Reese was his father, studying his mother's tapes, etc) and I liked that they really made it feel like the first in a trilogy. By the end, you had a new story, a new atmosphere for the terminator lore to exist in, and the war is going on even harder than when the movie began.
I liked the story in general and to me, it was not predictable. I thought the CGI Arnold looked amazingly good, and I the T-800s at the end were the most frightening of the series. The Terminators were very off-putting and scary, and I think that's a neccessary feeling to convey (and definitely how the first Terminator was meant to feel). They also introduced new awful robots that were great.
Overall, very happy with it. It didn't blow me away. I liked Wolverine more, but definitely good. I really am definitely looking at it as part of a new trilogy, and as a first, I think it's the smart way to do it - they introduced stuff that was extremely important but went nowhere so far - a very neccessary element to any trilogy. You HAVE to have things in some films that aren't explained/put to use until later films, that's what makes them feel rich and actually planned out.
I feel like McG is a good guy, a very mainstream director - which does not neccessarily mean bad. I like the Charlie's Angels movies (as boob/butt-based PG-rated action-comedy) and I think he knows what he's doing and he can tell what type of project something is supposed to be - not everything is The Godfather, which is how I think he went into Charlie's Angels. I think he knows the depth of what could be a new Terminator trilogy.
Final grade for Terminator Salvation (in terms of starting a trilogy): A
Final grade for Terminator Salvation (if it's a stand-alone film): B

Questions about T4:
- "Why did Skynet go after Reese and John Connor in this movie? It's only 2018, how do they know that they'll be a threat yet?"
A. Reese went to the police and told the entire Skynet story to them in T1, so it would be recorded by the police. Plus, Sarah Connor also told the entire story of T1 and T2 in mental institutions, repeatedly, for years, while death, destruction, explosions and robots followed her and her son everywhere. There have to be tons of documents on this, and I'm sure the FBI (and whoever else) had crazy tabs on the Connors for all the murders/insane accidents that have happenned around them. Skynet would easily have access to this stuff, as eventually - "Skynet didn't take over the internet, they became the internet". They would have known simply from that.
B. If Skynet was sending back electronic murderers to 1984, I'm sure they sent back simple info to themselves earlier in time when they knew a single person would lead to their downfall.
- "Why was the inside of Skynet city developed for humans? Big glass TV screens, touchpads, etc?"
I don't know. I mean there were human-based machines (terminators, half-terminators, etc) policing the areas, so I guess that makes sense a little but it still a little bit odd.
- "If Reese dies, John Connor ceases to exist, right!!?"
I don't know - but the answer is not "definitely yes." The Terminator series has never dealt with this before so it's hard to tell - but, through everything that has happenned in the the Terminator films, nothing changed because of it. Even though Skynet and John Connor went through a lot of shit (all the time traveling murderers and different deaths and setbacks surrounding them), everything still ended up the same so far. The proof? The fact that the history remains the same - the original Terminator/Reese/the terminators in T2/etc, all still came back through time from way in the future, so everything is still leading there, despite the fact that things have happenned to alter the storyline. We don't know what happens if Reese dies, so I think this is a great thing to play off of in the upcoming two movies (although I think it will be incredibly hard to write this aspect and explain it well).
- "The movie bombed!!!! Good! I'm a gay fanboy who think they're murdering the series!"
The movie made $43 million the opening weekend. I hardly call this a bomb, but I understand it's low for a movie with a $200 million budget. I know that the PG-13 rating is an admitted mistake by Warner Bros (it drove away hardcore fans, yet only 14% of its audience were under the age of 18).
People are saying "This is surely the (deserved) death of the series" - hold your horses, Honcho. T3 made $44 million it's opening weekend ($1 million more) and that wasn't it's death so shut your mouth (T4 also grossed another $10 million on Monday). I think people are only calculating this as a failure because so many people went to Thursday midnight showings ($13 million from that one time) so it got a "projected $80 million". I think it was good, I hope it has a longer life than normal, and $43 is nothing to sneeze at (although I was a big shocked when I found that Indiana Jones and The Crystal Skull, opening last year during the exact same weekend, grossed THREE TIMES as much over the four-day weekend - $152 million). And that's that.

The questions about the series that I can't answer:
- If machines can time travel, why didn't they just send back another terminator to 1984 to kill Sarah when the first one failed? Why didn't they send one at the exact point where Reese (her only protector) dies? Why didn't they send one back every day until they knew she'd be dead?

The questions I want answered, but that no one else wants answered:
- What happens if the Terminator eats? Is it the same as when the creepy kid eats in A.I.?
- Why did they make a dick on the original Terminator? Was it to make him completely human? Why would someone see him naked? Even if it was for like, him to pass as a human in front of a doctor, wouldn't he just kill the doctor if the doctor gave him shit? The Terminator is super-tempermental. Can the dick get a boner?

My favorite fact about the Terminator:
"O.J. Simpson was considered for the role of the Terminator, but the producers feared he was 'too nice' to be taken seriously as a cold-blooded killer."

*I feel horribly about the Stephen Hawking joke. I think he has a great sense of humor, but this was too mean - yet too funny to remove. I'm so, so sorry.