I had two odd encounters on Saturday night. The first was some dudes sitting at a table at Lovejoy’s and the second was a guy at Frontier Bar. I get the vague feeling that I was being hit on in both cases or at least that they thought I was gay. I wouldn’t characterize either of them as particularly hostile, but they also weren’t friendly exchanges. They were just weird. Looking at the news, there was a stabbing and a shooting on Sixth Street.
Our lawnmower died at the end of the summer last year. It gave 7 or 8 years of service and will be missed. I put off getting a replacement until the Spring and I’m glad that I did after reading this story. I’m buying a Snapper. Coincidentally, I heard this story on the way home from work today. I don’t ever shop at Wal-Mart. I don’t like it. I’d love to stop shopping at Sam’s Club if Costco would get their act together and start carrying an essential staple without which I cannot function (apologies in advance for their flash-based, window-resizing nightmare of a site).
More proof that cats are evil.
Merry Christmas to all. It’s been a pretty good year if we don’t take the house into consideration. The house has been very bad. Despite giving it a new roof and a new coat of paint in January, it rebelled and flooded the entire downstairs in March. We’d forgiven it until the a/c and heat finally gave up the ghost last month. Granted that stuff was 23 years old, but how much can one household take? You know it’s bad when you have the appraiser for the mortgage refinance scheduled to show up at 10am the day after Xmas. I shouldn’t say it, but the only thing left to cause trouble is the water heater. We fully expect it to explode and take the garage with it before Valentine’s Day.
As for Xmas itself, it was a very Stone Xmas for me. My sister snagged me a jacket for my birthday along with a tasting glass from the 9th anniversary celebration and a few bottles of the 9th anniversary brew. She followed that up with a work shirt, t-shirt, and 9th anniversary pint glass for Xmas. I also scored the Thin Man DVD box set from The Wife, the Invader Zim DVD House box and Star Wars Battlefront II for PS2 from my brother-in-law.
Highlights for the rest of the family were a new Haro bike for The Boy, a Henckels 7″ Santoku knife and Will Shortz Sudoku puzzle book for The Wife and a Leapster for both kids. I continued buying the Fantagraphics Peanuts 2-book sets for my father. He’s getting those for Xmas for the next 10 years until they release them all (25 books at 2 per year).
All in all, a lot to be thankful for. Let’s hope Santa brings us a high appraisal as a belated Xmas gift.
I’ve got two data points from the past couple of weeks that prove that Amazon has kick ass customer service.
First, I ordered a DVD and had it delivered to work. I obsessively check tracking information and, on the day that it was supposedly delivered, I found nothing. I waited a day, checked with all the co-workers. Nothing. So, I e-mailed Amazon. They immediately sent out a new one, no questions asked, and I had it two days later. The first one never turned up.
The second bit of evidence is their response to the now infamous Sony rootkit debacle (Mom, if you bought the new Neil Diamond, it’s affected by this. Don’t put it in the computer). They e-mailed all of their customers who purchased one of the CDs unsolicited and offered to refund the purchase if the CD is returned, opened or not. You do have to pay to ship it back to them, which kind of sucks, but at least they’re cool with refunding the purchase.
I don’t know how to explain it. I’m generally on the somewhat leading/bleeding edge with technology. However, sometimes I’m really a luddite. I didn’t really go full-blown tech geek until 1996 or 1997, which means that I think I was a little old for the arrival of mp3s. I confess that there’s just something about holding a solid object when buying music that appeals to me. I own that disc. If it gets fucked up, it’s my fault, but I can predict the things that might fuck it up. Buying mp3s, on the other hand, is a little too ephemeral for me. So, yeah, I bought it, but what if my hard drive crashes? It’s gone, right? I can’t handle that.
That being said, I bought a Nomad Jukebox in 2001 in lieu of a band or a DJ for our wedding. My rationale was that I could program exactly what would be played and when and I’d have something to show for it after I shelled out the money for the player. If I shelled out money for a DJ or a band, they might suck or play crap I didn’t like and once I paid them, that money would be gone. It went pretty well actually. I had to pay a little more attention to what was happening at the wedding, but I think it worked. Those who attended can comment otherwise.
Anyway, I digress. I bought an iPod Shuffle at the beginning of the year ostensibly to use during workouts. That didn’t really happen. However, it did get me to finally open an iTunes account. I’d browsed once or twice, but never bought, mainly because of the reason I mentioned earlier. Well, today I needed a copy of the Dictators’ “Faster And Louder”, quick. My band has been wanting to cover it for a while and it was decided to work on it tonight. I’m not familiar with the song, so I needed to get a copy fast. Turns out iTunes had it, so I bought the sucker. Just like that, I popped my iTunes cherry. (Does that sound as vulgar as it does when I wrote it?)
It was too easy. It’s all downhill from here. Hide my credit cards.
The Boy started at a new school today. I’m guardedly optimistic. The teachers seemed cool.
I’m still behind on the Chicago posts and I should have pictures of the kids from that trip up in the next few days.
I’ve mentioned before that my father-in-law works for NPR’s Morning Edition and that I sometimes hear him on-air. Well, it seems that everyone I know is getting their NPR on this month. Sean, founder of Metroblogging, parent of Austin Metroblogging, is in two pieces by Xeni Jardin for Day to Day and Scott just recorded an episode of Fresh Air with Gregg Araki about Mysterious Skin. No word yet on when that will air.