Archive for the 'Consumerism' Category
Last week a friend told us the story of his new Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner.
While at work, his dog crapped on the floor and the Roomba tracked it all over the carpet.
This weekend is going pretty much as unplanned, but expected: my honey is at the fabric store and I’m on the Mac and in Photoshop CS4 working on the redesign of this site.
He’s working on a secret project with a couple of friends that should come to fruition tomorrow. I can’t reveal any details yet, but it’s pretty cool and utilizing many of his skills and lots of creativity.
This has been a somewhat stressful week at work. We got notice that a percentage of our company was being laid off. For the most part, the redundancies did not impact us directly (though my boss was one of the selectees).
We were pleased to see the older lady helping us at Macy’s today was back to work after having had double knee-replacement surgery recently.
While checking us out, she asked if we were planning on voting. I indicated that we already had done so the week before.
She then lowered her voice and said, “Please tell me you favored John with your vote.”
Somewhat incredulously, I blurted, “You mean John McCain? Why would I do that?”
She was somewhat taken aback, but had the presence of mind to continue, “Because he’s the only one who can get us out of this mess.”
“Do you think it’s fair that wealthy people should pay higher taxes like Obama is suggesting as part of his plan to redistribute wealth?”
“Wealthy people already pay higher taxes”, I said, “It’s called a progressive tax”.
I then said that I didn’t have a problem paying higher taxes — or of subsidizing schools when I had no children in them. I told her that it was my obligation as an American to do so.
At that point she changed the subject and reverted back to discussing her surgery. She bragged about how Medicare had paid for most of it.
I retorted, “That’s socialized medicine!”
The look on her face was, indeed, priceless.
I had to take my MacBook Pro in for a battery-related issue to the Apple store yesterday (replaced the battery under warranty; in and out in 10 minutes) and got to the Gateway early because I was already out and about and didn’t want to go all the way home and then come back for my 5:15 Genius Bar appointment.
I had a couple of hours to kill, so I went to the movie theater, with the hopes of seeing The Dark Knight, but I was between showings, so I picked the next thing that caught my eye: Pineapple Express.
Not a movie I would normally have paid to see, but I was pleasantly surprised and laughed out loud several times. I don’t think my mom would like it, but I’m pretty sure all of my brothers would. That’s a pretty good recommendation.
So we passed by Wal-Mart on our way home from brunch with the bunch this morning and stopped in to pick up a few items.
As we waited in the checkout line, I noticed that the woman in front me me was visibly bothered by the clerk’s request to show photo ID so she could “check the signature” already entered via the customer-activated card-swiper with that displayed on her cash register.
I thought it was because she had gotten cash back and that hers was an odd response, based on that.
Then the same happened to me and I wasn’t requesting cash back.
1) I swiped my American Express card while she rang up my items
2) I was prompted to and subsequently entered my home ZIP code
3) Upon receiving the total amount, I signed my name on the little screen
4) I clicked the button
5) I immediately received approval for the purchase
THEN the clerk asked to see my photo ID to check the signature entered on the machine with that on my drivers license.
I told her, “No, you don’t need to see my ID. The purchase has already been approved.”
She started to protest (she was apparently a trainee and her manager was standing next to her, not saying a word) and I repeated that she did not need to see my ID nor compare my signature as the approval from American Express had already gone through
What was she going to do if there wasn’t a match? Call security? Explain to American Express that my already-approved purchase was not actually valid?
She had already handed my the receipt, so we placed the last bags in the cart and left.
When EVER does the signature entered using a plastic stylus attached to a twisted foot-long tether on a 3-inch monochrome screen match your actual signature?
I entered our family reunion photo — with our t-shirts — at the website where I had them printed for their weekly “best of” contest.
If you’d like to review/rate/vote for our shirts, click THIS LINK.
And as my brother said, “I gave it a five and several of the competitors twos. Every little bit helps!”
I updated my iPhone OS to version 2.0 yesterday and successfully activated it via iTunes — which apparently was an aberration — if you read today’s papers.
I think the biggest issue was that since AT&T is subsidizing the new iPhones, they wanted tighter control over the activation process and the sheer volume tanked the servers trying to do so.
Of course, Apple is blamed for the mess, but I suspect this same issue did not happen elsewhere in the world where AT&T is not the de facto iPhone carrier.
I did read one article that indicated O2, the British telecom, had activation software that would ONLY RUN ON A PC. Smart move, guys. Even the Apple stores had to install virtual Windows on their Macs in order to do in-store activations, and Windows wasn’t too cooperative (it was probably Vista).
I’m happy with my new iPhone software update and other than the faster internet connection on the new iPhone, didn’t see any reason to buy a new one (I have GPS in my CX-7).
We spent one more night in Fairview than we intended, but were enjoying my honey’s family so much, it was hard to leave. We arrived back home around noon today to a yard that needed mowed, two cats that needed attention and a deck that needed to be used.
Lee came over this evening and we went to Tres Hombres for dinner and margaritas and ended back here at the house to veg on the aforementioned deck. Perfect weather (I’m there now).
We were introduced to the Nintendo Wii at my honey’s parents’ and golfed, bowled, played baseball and even boxed (the most strenuous of the sports). What a hoot. Since we got home, I’ve been trying to find a Wii to buy online, but am stymied by the much-higher-than-list prices (MSRP $249) for “bundles”, that when you break them down, average about $100-200 more than buying the console and bundling your own extra remotes, etc. Everything on eBay is hovering around $400 for something you could package yourself (if you could find the console) for about $300.
We surprised my honey’s step-mother for her 61st birthday Friday night. She was expecting a couple of the kids, but not all of us. She started crying when my honey and his sister joined their other sister and brother who were already there — and brought along their partners and our friend Ellen from Las Vegas. It was fun to do something nice for his step-mother, as she is always doing things for others and certainly deserves the attention.
Tomorrow is “Decoration Day” — as it was called by my Dad growing up. We decorated his grave last week in LaGrange, Wyoming. I miss him.