CombatCritic's

CombatCritic's

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Topeka, KS: Drove 25 Miles, Arrived During Business Hours, But "Closed For Maintenance"? UNSAT!

Margarita’s Jalisco
1616 SW 17th
Topeka, KS 66604
Phone: (785) 234-1500
Website: margaritasjalisco.com
Prices: $$$$ - Don't know, never saw a menu!

We made the 25 mile drive from Lawrence, on a night and time they advertise as being open (6pm on a Tuesday - my birthday by the way), but were turned away in the parking lot. As we drove up, a man I assume was the owner knocked on the window of our car and said, "we're closed for maintenance". I told him, "but we drove all the way from Lawrence to eat here", to which he replied, "sorry!".

You cannot close a business during business hours for routine maintenance just because Tuesday evening may be a bit slower than most. For an emergency (power outage, flood, bomb threat), yes, but maintenance, absolutely not. They had 12+ hours between closing on Monday night and opening on Tuesday morning to perform the maintenance or they could have scheduled (and advertised) closing between lunch and dinner instead, but they chose to close unannounced during prime dinner time instead.

I had heard that the food was good here and the service excellent, but I will never find out because I will not be back. You had your chance Margarita's Jalisco, and you wasted our time and our gas ... you blew it!

CombatCritic Gives Margarita's Jalisco 1 Bomb Out Of 10 For Obvious Reasons And A Spot On My WALL OF SHAME ... More Bombs Are Better!









PS - We drove over to El Centenario just a few blocks away, they were open, they were packed, and we had an excellent meal ... read my review elsewhere on Yelp!

One Bomb Equates To:
Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "Elite '14/'15"

TripAdvisor - "Top Contributor" 

Tabelog - "Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato - "#1 Ranked Foodie"

View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!



Margarita's JaliscoMargarita's Jalisco

Margaritas Jalisco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Title: Topeka, KS: Drove 25 Miles, Arrived During Business Hours, But "Closed For Maintenance"? UNSAT!

Key Words: Margarita's Jalisco, margarita's, margaritas, margarita, jalisco, Mexican, Topeka, Kansas, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Tabelog, Zomato

Translation for Civilians: FUBAR -"Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"

Lawrence, KS: Aggressive Driving Was All I Had To See To Decide NEVER To Hire This Company

River City Heating & Cooling
1120 E 23rd St
Lawrence, KS 66046
Phone: (785) 841-2665

I wouldn't hire these guys if my life depended on it.

When a police car suddenly stopped with lights flashing in front of me just minutes ago, I needed to merge into the left lane to get around the officer performing his duty. The white River City Heating and Cooling van that had cut me off just minutes earlier (on 9th Street just east of Iowa) was to my left, but rather than letting me merge left, the male driver (with a woman in the passenger seat) aggressively sped up to ensure that I could not get over, causing me to have to slow quickly in order to merge and avoid the police car blocking my way.

If this is the way River City Heating and Cooling treat Lawrence neighbors while driving their clearly marked vehicle around town, you can imagine how well you can trust them with your heating and cooling needs.

CombatCritic Gives River City Heating and Cooling 1 Bomb Out Of 10 And A Spot On My Quickly Filling WALL OF SHAME ... More Bombs Are Better!

One Bomb Equates To:
Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "Elite '14/'15"

TripAdvisor - "Top Contributor" 

Tabelog - "Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato - "#1 Ranked Foodie"

View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!




Title: Aggressive Driving Was All I Had To See To Decide NEVER To Hire This Company

Key Words: River City Heating and Cooling, river, city, heating, cooling, furnace, air conditioner, Lawrence, Kansas, KS, 23rd, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp

Translation for Civilians: FUBAR -"Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Beware Of Hotwire.com's Bait And Switch Tactics

Hotwire.com
Montgomery Washington Tower
655 Montgomery Street #600
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 343-8400
Website: Hotwire.com
When we booked this hotel with Hotwire's very limited available information, there was no mention of a parking fee, but when I checked Tulsa Doubletree's website, I noticed that they PROMINENTLY listed the following: 
"Self parking: $10.00 ($10 overnight guests)"
on their website, adding an unplanned $30 to our stay. I immediately contacted Hotwire's Customer Service Department, telling them: 
"that's false advertising and I was tricked into choosing this hotel based on the inaccurate price. Please cancel our reservation and refund our payment. Thank you!"
Here is the inadequate response I received from Hotwire:
"Dear CombatCritic,  
Thank you for contacting Hotwire Customer Care regarding your hotel reservation with the DoubleTree by Hilton Tulsa Downtown in Oklahoma,scheduled for check in on November 26, 2015, Hotwire itinerary xxxxxx7731. I understand hotel will charged $10 parking fee. I would be willing to provide information regarding your concern.     
As I have checked your account, free parking is not listed on the amenity list. We can guarantee if free parking is available if it is listed on our Amenity list. If not it depends upon hotel available and fees may apply. For future reference, please free to checked the Amenity filter before booking. As I have checked your account, you have booked a Hot Rate® Hotel. In Hot Rate® Hotel, our agreement with our hotel partners is that reservations will be used as booked.  For this reason, reservations cannot be changed, transferred or refunded.   
You can find our full Terms of Use by visiting http://www.hotwire.com/travel-information/terms.jsp.  The terms of the booking are what allow us to offer the great rates you see on our site and for this reason, your reservation must remain confirmed with the original details provided at the time of booking. 
If you require further assistance please do not hesitate to can contact us, either by replying to this email or contacting our customer support line at 1-866-HOTWIRE(467-9473). 
https://www.hotwire.com/helpcenter/contact.jsp. 
Thank you for choosing Hotwire. Sincerely, Jel A.Hotwire Customer Care"

To which I replied:
"Great. I’ll keep Hotwire’s questionable policies and lack of concern for customers when I need to make reservations in the future. Kayak, Booking.com and Trivago are much more user friendly and I can see everything before I make reservations, including hidden parking fees.
Read my upcoming review of Hotwire on my blog: http://www.CombatCritic.com and on Yelp."
BOTTOM LINE: Hotwire's business practices are deceptive, providing little information about properties and services before actual purchase. They then hide behind "small print" in their lengthy "terms and conditions" like many unscrupulous companies on the internet these days. 

CombatCritic Gives Hotwire.com 1 Bombs Out Of 10 And A Spot On My "WALL OF SHAME"








Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "Elite '14/'15"

TripAdvisor - "Top Contributor" 

Tabelog - "Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato - "Super Foodie"

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!





Title: Beware Of Hotwire.com's Bait And Switch Tactics

Key Words: Hotwire.com, hotwire, discount, website, reservation, Doubletree, Hilton, bait and switch, bait, switch, deceptive CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"Amercia's Pastime", Major League Baseball, Is Un-American

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Robert D. Manfred Jr., Commissioner
Address: 245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167
Phone: 212-931-7800
Fax: 212-949-5654
Website: http://mlb.mlb.com
Prices: $$$$

As a lifetime Los Angeles Dodger fan, I have not had many opportunities to watch my "Boys in Blue" in the postseason since 1988, that's 37 years! We gave up cable, as many Americans are, because of the illegal monopolization of television as well as the ridiculous contracts and exorbitant fees charged by Time Warner Cable, AT&T, and others.

I can watch most any show on television using an antenna and pointing it toward our local affiliates broadcasting antennas. Sure, we have to watch commercials, but we have saved nearly $1200 since dropping cable. I can also watch the Kansas City Chiefs football team, live, a mere 50 miles away at Arrowhead Stadium, over "the air" for free. However, if I want to watch Major League Baseball (MLB), I have to get cable, even to purchase and stream online at MLB.com. MLB is obviously in bed with the cable companies and could care less about Americans, baseball fans, excluding those of us without cable from watching the postseason.

I have been trying for weeks to find out from MLB how I can subscribe to MLB-Postseason online after having watched the regular season online on my computer, but I was repeatedly told "we don't know if or when PostseasonTV will be available, just check our website from time to time". Really? MLB does not know if they are going to broadcast the postseason online just a few days before the end of the season? How can that be possible other than through complete incompetence or total apathy toward fans?

Finally, on October 5th, 2015, the day before the Wild Card games were set to begin, a link to PostseasonTV magically appeared on MLB.com ... HOORAY! But I celebrated too soon. You have to live outside the US/Canada or subscribe to cable (through one of MLB's limited number of providers) to watch the postseason on MLB.com. You can apparently get part of the feed, not the actual broadcast, for National League games, but not the American League series or the World Series.

I then saw a link to their forum, so I posted the following:



MLB's answer was as useless as the ridiculously unsubstantial responses provided by their "customer service", and I use that term loosely, reps gave me before season's end. Here is the MLB moderator's response and my follow-up reply:




Americans should not be forced to pay to see "America's Pastime". Baseball was available FREE for decades, but now we cannot watch our favorite teams in the playoffs without giving-in to cable's thievery. This is un-American and MLB should ensure that EVERYONE has access to post-season baseball.

I implore Commissioner of Baseball, Robert D. Manfred Jr., to fix this problem ASAP and GIVE ALL AMERICANS UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO AMERICA'S PASTIME!

C.T. Sorrentino
aka CombatCritic

CombatCritic Gives MLB.com and Postseason.TV 1 out of 10 Bombs ... More Bombs Are Better!


Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "Elite '14/'15"

TripAdvisor - "Top Contributor" 

Tabelog - "Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato - "Super Foodie"

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!




Title: "Amercia's Pastime", Major League Baseball, Is Un-American

Key Words: The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, commissioner, baseball, major, league, MLB, professional, sports, America, pastime, postseason, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review

Friday, October 2, 2015

Title: Refinished? No, I Am Finished With Amazon's Lies ... What A Waste Of Money!

I bought the three of the "Titleist Pro V1 Mint Refinished Official Golf Balls,12-Pack" from Amazon which states that these balls are "Refinished to mint condition for excellent play and great affordability". Well, they may be affordable, but they are GARBAGE! The cover on the balls scratches and cracks very easily, but the main problem is their aerodynamics. 

I'm a 15 handicap (former 9) and have been playing for 50 years, so I know a little about golf. I first started noticing the problems on my tee shots where a well struck ball would perform like a "knuckleball" through the air, moving up-down and side-to-side before landing well short of where it should have. I don't get a lot of distance these days (200-225 drives), but these balls where having difficulty going 160-170 yards. The balls look good at first glance, but if you look closely there are imperfections (bumps, cracks, smudges), particularly after a small amount of play.

I bought several boxes of refurbished balls from another manufacturer last year and was quite pleased with the purchase and performance, but DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY on these balls ... they are junk!

CombatCritic Gives Titleist Pro V1 Mint Refinished Official Golf Balls by Amazon 1 Bomb Out Of 10 And A Spot On My "WALL OF SHAME" ... http://www.combatcritic.com ... More Bombs Are Better!


Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "Elite '14/'15"

TripAdvisor - "Top Contributor" 

Tabelog - "Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato - "Super Foodie"

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Refinished? No, I Am Finished With Amazon's Lies ... What A Waste Of Money!

Key Words: Titleist, golf, ball, balls, refurbished, Amazon, Amazon.com, online, refinished, garbage, junk, internet, CombatCritic, travel, value, TravelValue

Sunday, September 6, 2015

100,000+ Visitors ... That's Our Goal!

With 2,867 blog views last month, and growing exponentially daily, we are on-track to have over 100,000+ views in the next year thanks to you!

The phenomenal growth and positive karma since my trip to meet His Holiness is a wonderful reminder of the quality, objective, unbiased products we provide, all free of charge, to our readers.

We will be expanding the CombatCritic's TravelValue eZine in the near future, adding city and country guides with tons of information, maps, and links to reviews of local restaurants, hotels, and attractions. 

So SUBSCRIBE NOW if you have not already and do not miss another TravelValue review by CombatCritic!

Subscribe in a reader

CombatCritic Gives TravelValue eZine 10 Out of 10 Bombs ... More Bombs Are Better!

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "Elite '14/'15"

TripAdvisor - "Top Contributor" 

Tabelog - "Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato - "Super Foodie"

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!




Title: 100,000+ Visitors ... That's Our Goal!

Key Words: views, view, visitors, Blogger, blog, subscribe, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, hotel, destination, review, reviews, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Saturday, August 8, 2015

I Only Support Patriot-Owned Businesses And This Is Not One Of Them

Dr. Douglass Stull - Orthopaedic Surgeon
1112 W 6th St, Ste 124
Lawrence, KS 66044
Phone: (785) 843-9125

Referred by my primary physician, Dr. Steven Dillon, for severe shoulder pain that has been going on for months, Dr. Stull's office called to make an appointment, but when they found out I was retired military (Tricare) I was told "you're going to have to pay a lot out of pocket, we don't take Tricare or recognize Tricare's discounts".

Dr. Stull accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and most other major insurances, but those who protect his freedom have to pay out-of-pocket? That seems un-American to me and I refuse to support any business that treats military and Veterans with such disdain. If a doctor does not accept Tricare, he or she has made a conscious decision that padding their already inflated bank account is more important than treating American heroes, the men and women of our nation's military, retired military, and our families.

Thanks, but no thanks Dr. Stull, even if I have to suffer a couple weeks longer I refuse to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars out of my military pension and VA disability so you can get the latest Mercedes. There are plenty of patriots out there willing to accept Tricare, even if I have to drive 50 miles to Kansas City to see my old orthopaedic surgeon. She takes Tricare by the way.

As it turns out, there are six orthopaedic surgeons in Lawrence, including Stull, but like many medical professionals, and I use that term loosely, in this extremely liberal town, not a single one takes Tricare. Not a single patriot in the bunch:
William A Bailey, MD 
Neal D Lintecum, MD 
Stephan L Pro, MD 
Jeffrey C Randall, MD 
Douglass E Stull, MD 
Kenneth L Wertzberger, MD
So I have no choice but to drive nearly 30 miles to Topeka, Kansas, a much more conservative city and, coincidentally, where many more physicians take Tricare. To prove my point, there are 15 orthopaedic surgeons in Topeka, which is a little larger than Lawrence, and 8 of them (53%) accept Tricare:
MCCOY, MICHAEL T., MD 
WALLACE, BRETT E., MD 
WILSON, BRIAN F., MD 
GILBERT, JOHN H, II., MD 
LEPSE, PETER S., MD 
MUMFORD, JOSEPH E., MD 
POOLE, BRADLEY T., MD 
SMITH, MICHAEL L., MD
Compared to zero (0%) out of six orthopaedic surgeons who take Tricare in slightly smaller and much more liberal Lawrence, the story in Topeka is telling and distressing for those of us who serve or have served our nation and happen to live in Lawrence, protecting the freedom of all 21 surgeons referenced herein.

Oh, and by the way, Dr. Steve Dillon, who I switched to in April after a rash of bad encounters with primary care managers, has decided to reduce his practice by 80% and charge remaining patients $1,650 per year (out-of-pocket) to stay with him. I finally found a PCM I can trust and now have to pony-up close to $2000 or find ANOTHER doctor? I guess I will find another doctor, but I am running out of options in a town where most medical professionals do not take military medical insurance (Tricare). The Hippocratic Oath says "do no harm", but it seems as though modern medicine does not embrace that commitment and most practitioners are more concerned with their personal wealth than taking care of patients.

CombatCritic Gives Douglass Stull M.D. 1 Bomb Out Of 10 For Treating Military Patients With Disdain And Takes A Spot On CombatCritic's "WALL OF SHAME" ... More Bombs Are Better!   









"Follow Me To TravelValue"

Title: I Only Support Patriot-Owned Businesses And This Is Not One Of Them

Key Words: Doctor, Stull, Lawrence, Kansas, 6th, orthopedic, surgeon, Tricare, military, veteran, retiree, patriot, value, wall, shame, orthopaedic, Dr. Stull, Dillon, Steven

Monday, June 8, 2015

Apple Still Sucks ... More iPhone Problems: "This accessory may not be supported"

Here is the original post regarding this problem by lexiphillips on an Apple forum:

Posted Oct 2, 2013 2:08 PM

"Ever since updating my iPhone 5 with the new iOS 7, this display message pops up while my phone is plugged in to the computer, using the original cable that came with it in the box. Researching this issue only informed me that the new iOS is no longer compatible with generic iPhone chargers. However, mine is the one made by Apple and so there should be absolutely no issues with it. While it is plugged in my phone charges on and off, never consistently charging. It's really irritating and is making charging a very slowgoing process. Does anyone else have any insight on this issue? 
While we're at it, I noticed the new iOS 7 kills the battery life much faster than the previous iOS; I don't use my phone too much throughout the day, and it has been dying consistently twice a day. If I don't use it nearly at all, it seems to last only six or so hours. 
Thanks in advance for any feedback! Hope not everyone is having these issues! 
Alexis"
Well Alexis, I am having the same problem all of a sudden (and despite your hopes, it appears that everyone else is a well) and of course it is happening while traveling (again). My iPhone 5C ($700) started displaying the message, "This accessory may not be supported", about a week ago when plugged into my Mac and my IOGEAR High Capacity Portable Battery (GMP6600P).


Here is a synopsis of my impression of Apple products and some of the threads contained herein:

1) When you pay top-dollar for a product, you should not have all of the problems, including this one, I have had with Apple products (iPhone and Macs)

2) We don't care how intelligent or tech-savvy you are, so please provide helpful comments that don't take a PhD in computer science to decipher

3) Apple obviously enjoys trapping its customers into buying only their products and having to replace parts soon after the warranty expires. It's obvious that the Chinese junk they sell is not worth the price-tag.

4) Apple also confiscates our personal information (e.g. photos and God knows what else), making it extremely difficult to take control of them again and holding us hostage by forcing us to purchase more of their products. The latest iOs is a perfect example, sucking up GBs of space on our phones and forcing us to purchase an iCloud data plan (which I refuse to do).

BOTTOM LINE: Apple sucks and I'm going to find a way to save MY INFORMATION on MY external hard drive so that when my iPhone and Mac go tits-up, likely very soon, I can buy a less costly and more reliable product that allows me to travel stress-free and purchase the peripheral devices/accessories of MY CHOICE!


CombatCritic Gives The Apple iPhone 5C A Dismal 1 Bomb Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!












Title: Apple Still Sucks ... More iPhone Problems: "This accessory may not be supported"

Key Words: Apple, iPhone, 5C, This accessory may not be supported, forum, technical, problem, problems, customer, service, accessory, supported, support, CombatCritic, review, TravelValue, travel, value

Friday, April 17, 2015

Garbage ... I Will Never Waste My Money On Apple Products Again

Review: Apple 60W MagSafe Power Adapter (for MacBook and 13‐inch MacBook Pro)

Having heard wonderful things, propaganda, about Apple products, I took the leap less than two years ago by purchasing a Macbook Pro, then an iPhone 5C. What a mistake!

Just shy of warranty expiration, my Mac's OS went TANGO UNIFORM (military speak for hard‐broke), causing me to spend countless hours on the phone with support, wiping my hard drive clean, reinstalling the OS, and recovering everything from backup ... several times. Then my 6 month old iPhone died while on vacation in Puerto Rico, stranding us in an unfamiliar area while using Google Maps to navigate the island, losing my ability to take vacation photos/video and unable to contact relatives back home over the holidays.

Most recently, my MagSafe power adapter's (plastic) "L" connector head broke off. After removing it with a pair of pliers, I super‐glued it back on, allowing me to charge my computer for a couple weeks, but now it will not charge at all. Having paid close to $3500 for three Apple products (including my wife's computer), I would expect better quality, but what should I expect from overpriced products Made in China? I was shocked to see that Apple wants $79 for a replacement MagSafe adapter. Where else would you pay $80 for a power cord other than Apple? Nowhere! Based on the reviews this product has garnered, it is a piece of $80 junk just like the rest of Apple's products, I can see that my problem is fairly common. I will buy a new adapter from another supplier for just $30 and I will never buy another Apple product again.

CombatCritic Gives Apple, Inc. and their MagSafe 60W Power Adapter A Dismal 1 Bomb Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!









Title: Garbage ... I Will Never Waste My Money On Apple Products Again

Key Words: Apple, macbook, pro, MagSafe, power, adapter, 60W, MacIntosh, computer, iPhone, 5C, Mac, phone, product, review, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, tech

Monday, March 30, 2015

DO NOT BUY! The WD My Cloud 6TB Personal Cloud Storage Device

Do you need cloud storage for all of your travel photos? I do! Do you not want to pay the ridiculous monthly or annual fees for years on end for Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, or Amazon Cloud?  I know I do not! The best and most cost-effective alternative is a "personal cloud", a wireless external hard drive (or drives) connected to your home wireless network with tons of storage space (up to several terabytes - TB - 1TB = 1,000 megabytes) that you can access either at home with your computer (or mobile device) or remotely anywhere in the world. 

After my old personal cloud failed, a 4 TB Western Digital (WD) MyBookLiveDuo, I had to find a replacement, so I decided to give WD one more chance only because of the decent price and good reviews on their new My Cloud products. I purchased a WD My Cloud 6TB Personal Cloud Storage device on Amazon for $269.99 plus tax, hoping that it would "connect effortlessly" to my network as advertised.

The WD MyCloud would not connect to my network when it arrived and after spending an additional 3 hours on the phone with tech support, 5 total, they could not help me and told me to return it to Amazon.  The only reason I chose Western Digital again after having two other products that failed, a 1TB MyPassport and a 4TB MyBookLive Duo, was because of the dearth of available products out there and the poor reviews on Seagate products. Never again WD!

CombatCritic Gives WD My Cloud 6TB Personal Cloud Storage 0 Bombs Out Of 10 ... Can't Get Any Lower Than That ... And A Spot On CombatCritic's Wall Of Shame 











Read More Reviews By CombatCritic On Yelp And TripAdvisor ... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Title:  DO NOT BUY! The WD My Cloud 6TB Personal Cloud Storage Device

Key Words: WD My Cloud 6TB Personal Cloud Storage, WD, My Cloud, 6TB, Personal, Cloud, Storage, NAS, WDBCTL0060HWT-NESN, review, Western Digital, western, digital, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, tech, technology, photo

Friday, March 13, 2015

TravelValue, TravelSafe, ValueTravel .... Follow CombatCritic To Travel Value






Title: TravelValue, TravelSafe, ValueTravel .... Follow CombatCritic To Travel Value

Key Words: Trademark, Copyright, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, TravelValue, TravelSafe, ValueTravel, Follow Me To TravelValue, CombatCritic, 3rd Wave Media Group, LLC