Archive for the ‘happy’ Category

Starbucks does right

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Back on Black Thursday, Starbucks had a special promotional tumbler for sale, priced at $75.00.  Doesn’t sound that great, right?  Except that it was going to include 1 free drink a day for the entire month of January.  Now that’s pretty reasonable.  When the guy behind the counter tried to sell me one in the morning, he specifically said I’d be able to get my regular Chocolate Chai, if I got this mug, and so, after I was done with other shopping, on my way home, I picked one up, washed it, and set it on the counter to wait for the new year.

Yesterday, as I was walking through the starbucks built into my grocery store, I remembered the tumbler, and even though coming to the store once had already made my sore throat pretty unhappy, I didn’t want to waste my money, and so after I dropped off the groceries, I grabbed the tumbler and headed out to the shop where I’d bought the thing.  Imagine my surprise when the woman behind the counter says she doesn’t think I should be able to get a Chai, since it’s not an espresso based beverage, but she’ll let me.  Presumably she saw the “I am totally willing to make a big scene over $75, even if I’m sick” in my eyes.

When I got home, I wrote the company, basically expressing my frustration, politely, and asking if I should just try to return the mug, if it was going to be useless to me (my tummy can’t take espresso no mo).    I was surprised and pleased, to get a same day response, even though it was a holiday, and even more please when the rep gave me a $10 credit for my annoyance.  They didn’t say one way or the other, what to do about the tumbler, but when I went in this morning, after an initial attempt to charge, because the guy forgot the mugs were free, not because I wanted chai, they gave me my drink for the right ‘price’, and it sounded like they had already decided as policy to just honor the drinks for everyone.

Sure enough, if I look on the very tiny print on the side of the tumbler, it does say, “grande espresso beverage”, but it sounds like I am not alone in having been told something different than the fine print.  So kudos to Starbucks for honoring the intent under which these magic cups were bought, for the chai folk of the world =)

Protected: Mixed blessings

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

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Andromeda media server rocks

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

I am working a new job, and not wanting to bring my home music collection into the office, I’ve been working on setting up a new music streaming server, so I can access stuff from home, while on the go, without paying a yearly fee to Amazon, Apple, or Google. Many years ago, when doing the same thing, I played around a little with Andromeda, a PHP (or ASP) script that turns a directory of mp3s, and a webserver, into a streaming system.

Even though my paid version of their script is years out of date, it still does all I need, supporting playlists, random-access within a song, and stable locations that I can keep in my local media player and reuse day after day. It doesn’t send artist/title info, or keep track of plays/likes/etc, but for an already sunk cost, it works well enough to keep me happy.

Still moving files over to the new machine, trying to do a little cleanup as I go, when I notice a bunch of duplicated tracks go by, but thanks to the ever decreasing cost of storage, even a waste estimate of 10gb isn’t worth spending real time tracking down.

Order through chaos

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Re-organizing a house means a lot of transitory chaos, in the pursuit of final order.  This weekend, the folks came for a working visit, and completely revamped my house.  Dad fixed the handle on one toilet, but managed to put the kitchen faucet out of commission.  It’s hard to complain when he also bought me a new couch and gazillion shelves, not to mention all the heavy lifting in bringing it home and putting it together.

We certainly earned all the tasty food we ate; finally checked out the Swedish Center’s sunday breakfast, and lucky timing, turns out they don’t do them in the summer, so next one isn’t till september.

Chi Chi @ The Can Can (4-12-2013)

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Went to check out the new show Can Can Castaways show last Friday night, making it out for the mid-late show (they now do shows at 7,9, and midnight).  I’d already been in the new space, for the Bunny Bounce, but even in just a single week, there’d already been some changes to the space.  Up front, the full-size tables have been replace with fixed long-thin tables, leaving space for a catwalk down the front.  I’m still worried about the ability of anyone outside of the front row, to see anything ‘low’ on stage, but perhaps they will merely adjust their choreography to reflect a higher sightline.

As for the show itself, it was interesting to see how radically Johnny Boy’s look can change with just costume and makeup.  He does a very nice job as MC, assured banter with the crowd, a proper bit of faux-swagger as befits the persona, and of course he does get some of his clothes off before the night is over….I’m really curious what a celebration package looks like with this show (Celebration Package is a $100 add-on that a group can get, so one of their number gets pulled up on stage for an extra bit of interaction), but despite someone having a birthday party there that evening, no one had put up the dough for the extra bit-of-show.  This production has a theme, reminds me of some electro-swing albums I’ve enjoyed.  A definite roaring-20’s kinda vibe.

I look forward to seeing this show again, see what changes happen as they become more comfortable with the new setup.


Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Surprise, surprise, surprise, Jim Nabors got gay married in Seattle.  I had no i-D.

Listening to the album he did as Gomer Pyle, in honor.  It does have the song, “It takes all kinds…” =p

Pleasant surprise

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Pleasant surprised by FedEx, for a change.  I’m expecting a delivery that requires signature, today, and of course, the front door rings as I’m in a meeting at work, just across the street.  With sad resignation, I send the call to voicemail, finish the meeting, and walk home to grab the door tag, so I can go pick up my package.  As I get to the top of the stairs, I see a FedEx truck, parked down the street, guy walking towards it.  Surely not my delivery guy, still, I think, but I run to my front door, grab the tag, and run after him, just as he’s putting the truck in reverse to leave.  But he sees me, and stops, knows just what I want too =p

A nice change of pace from the guys who don’t even bother to call, just leave a door tag and go.


Archivemount in linux

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

As I was putting together yet another Linux machine, ubuntu flavored this time, cursing Unity 3D, I wondered…for all that linux has done to mimic the features of windows, why hadn’t they implemented compressible filesystem folders, like you’ve had available since Windows NT.  And it turns out they have something, archivemount.

It is not exactly the same as a compressed folder under windows, and is far from a transparent solution, but you can mount a zip file as a read/write directory, and add files to it, and it seems to work.

I had a leftover uncompressed copy of the original archive when I tried it the first time, but haven’t seen it happen again yet.  I suspect that all the effort I went to, creating my zip files with maximum compression, is wasted any time I write to an archive.  I suspect it just re-compresses at the default level.

And the example in the man page, for unmounting, isn’t correct, at least not under ubuntu.  Even though I did the mount operation as a regular user, I have to umount with sudo, or it fails with an error about the mount path not being in fstab, and me not being root anyways.

I will have to see how will it holds up under repeated uses.

Retro start to the new year

Monday, January 7th, 2013

This is starting out to be a very weirdly retro year.  I was already going to a Dada reunion tour show, and today I picked up tickets to see Suzanne Vega and Camper Van Beethoven.  I’m listening to the Eurythmics now, in hopes that whatever weird musical god is arranging this buffet of talent from my youth, is watching my listening habits, and can arrange for a reunion and tour.  I’ll settle for Annie by herself =p

Jimmy and the megastud

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

The guy was bigger than most.  Not the biggest he’d ever touched, but second largest he’d ever tried to take on, and the only mega tool he’d gone back to for a second helping.  It wasn’t like it felt better than a less heroic size would…it was all about the man attached to it.  Strong, but not scary, caring and compassionate, and more than anyone else ever in Jimmy’s life, aware.  Aware that Jimmy was a real person, with fears he couldn’t express, hopes he couldn’t voice, and desires he was afraid to share.  Aware when he was getting too excited and causing pain instead of pleasure, and capable of holding himself back when those moments arose.

Jimmy knew it couldn’t last, and so threw himself into making the megastud happy, pushing his limits, and desperately trying to anticipate the role he was expected to play.  In the days between visits, they texted constantly, sometimes sexy, more often simply passionate and considerate, like real love growing between two strangers.  Jimmy wanted to believe, to hope, that it was all real.  But Jimmy owned a mirror.