Dots equal bullet points equal un-numbered list items.
- Happy Birthday! - to any and all of you who might be having birthdays. But in particular, I went to the party of the 4-year old daughter of a friend of mine on Saturday. Someday, I might consider having kids, but spending a few hours with a room full of three-to-four year old girls is enough to scare me away from the idea for a while. I'm sure I was a handful as a kid, but yikes.
- Podcast Inconsistency - I know there are people more informed than I about the different models of iPods out there, perhaps you can explain this to me. I've got my iTunes downloading podcasts. That's fairly cool. I can't seem to edit certain bits of what I've downloaded (e.g. one of the podcasts I subscribe to didn't specify a "release date" for episodes 2 through 15, and it'd be nice if I were able to fix that so that the episodes sort correctly). I've got familiar with what to expect if I want to listen to podcasts on my iPod Shuffle. Now that I've got a full-on iPod, I've discovered that when I reach the end of an episode, the player stops, instead of going on to the next episode. That's not what the Shuffle does - it just keeps on going merrily with whatever's next in its list.
Is there a way to tell my iPod that I'd like to listen to all episodes of a podcast without stopping? Or, even better, all episodes that I haven't yet listened to? A couple of my podcasts are around 10 minutes per episode, and if I could just press one button to listen to a long chain, that'd be keen. I could even get behind 6 buttons up front so I don't have to press a button and fiddle with the wheel between episodes.
- Hollendaise Fish - I wrote earlier about spam I got. In writing about that, I got awfully hungry. So I went out to "Bonefish" - is that a huge chain? It's probably more popular than Gap meets Starbucks and I haven't got out enough to notice. There's one in Bothell, which seems like one of the last places that a upscale-ish fish restaurant would do lots of business, but whenever I go there, it's packed. So I often end up at the bar.
Er, I've ALWAYS sat at the bar.
And I ordered my salmon with lemon butter sauce and garlic mashed potatoes. I'm about halfway through my dinner when the bartender (cute blonde woman) who took my order goes off duty, and is replaced. I recognize the new woman as somebody who waited on me the first time I went there. I've got a bit of a crush on her, but I'm pretty sure she's in a serious relationship based on conversation I overheard - not that I was trying to eavesdrop, mind you. Sigh. Oh, well.
- When it starts to hail, that's God's way of telling you to stop gardening, dink - I've mentioned that I'm excited to get a jump on my lawn and garden chores this year. One thing that's been bugging me for the past several months is a fair amount of blackberry vines infesting one of my rhododendrons. It only bugs me because this is directly outside the window where I work during the day. It's also in my backyard webcam when I've got that thing updating, in case you're familiar with that. So Saturday morning, I got out and cut back a lot of vines, and I feel pretty good about that. I think I may take a shot at running the lawnmower over the cut vines so that they fit better into the yard waste can. After spending around an hour teasing vines out of shrub, it began to hail. There's still more to do, and I should have done some this afternoon, as it was warm and fairly dry. But I was a little lazy.
- Anybody who wasn't in 'Crash', raise your hand - or, if you haven't seen it. Come ON, Tony Danza is in it, so it must be a good movie, right?
I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I liked the performances, to be sure - but the story (stories?) was just way too contrived to really work for me, not to mention emotionally manipulative. I don't mind there being a point to a movie, and sometimes subtlety isn't necessary, but this really didn't feel like the best movie of the year.
- You're so honest - the place where I saw 'Crash' is a quaint little theatre that does limited run stuff. That's where I saw the Enron documentary, the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill documentary, and a few others. Oh, 'The Aristocrats'. They have a full bar, too. I'm not a complete boozehound, but I felt like chemically altering my mood before seeing 'Crash', so the bar was a welcome feature tonight. I wanted to pay for the drink, the popcorn, and the movie admission all at once, and after the lights came down, I knew that the $11 figure the bartender/popcorn vendor/admission taker quoted me couldn't be right. I went back after the movie let out and, sure enough, she hadn't charged me admission.
The bartender was amazed that I was there trying to give her money, but I know that the theatre can't be doing so much business that it can afford to have customers not pay.
In a somewhat different moment earlier today, I was at a game store (because I'm a geek, and I needed a roll up vinyl hex grid map for a game), and I stood at the cash register, which was unmanned, for maybe 15 minutes. The notion of taking my pile of would-be-purchases out the wide open door occurred to me, but really, I am not a thief. One thing that irks me about game stores is that they have come to be de facto community centers where kids can get together and occupy their time in ostensibly wholesome ways like taking over the world, or some other world, or leading a seige into a crypt of eldridch horror and demonic peril.
In truth, I've got no problem with those pastimes. And I'm somewhat OK with kids doing them on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon. It irks me, however, that kids aren't doing these things at home where a somewhat responsible adult might be around. Probably more than that, it irks me that these kids are taking up floorspace in the game store which might otherwise be used for a diversity of game products. Or, if the game store carried the same quantity of goods, if they didn't have gaming tables, they might fit into a smaller store, which might mean lower prices to me, or higher margins to the proprietor (which might in turn mean that the store wouldn't go out of business quite as quickly).
So, I was standing at the cash register for 15 minutes, and the store was FULL. Obviously not full of paying customers. Eventually, one of the guys playing some sort of collectible card game turned around and asked me if I needed help. Turns out, this guy had been an owner of another game store in town, and recognized me. But, and this strikes me as funny, HE DIDN'T WORK AT THIS STORE. The one person who provided me any sort of customer service was not affiliated with the store in any way.
Guh. I like supporting my local independant businesses, really. I want to keep the bricks and mortar browsing experience alive. I'll even subsidize weekend games of Warhammer 40,000 for high school kids if I have to. But let's keep the priorities straight. If someone walks into your place of business and wants to give you money, make it easy for them to do so. I'm sure I wouldn't have stolen the goods, but I was very close to leaving the goods on the counter and leaving the store angry.
I'm still a little angry - probably moreso from having recounted the experience here. I'm considering writing the management to let them know how to improve their service, and I probably will. The last time I wrote email to this store, however, I got no response, and that was a friendly email.
That's enough for now.