Archive for February, 2013

mind-reading

So last Friday I stopped at Burger King for breakfast. I don’t usually go there during the week, but the weather was nasty and it was convenient. I pulled up to the drive-thru and ordered my usual – a number 3 meal. When I got to work and pulled everything out of the bag I found that they had given me a different meal by mistake. Or so I thought.

Sunday is my usual Burger King day for breakfast, so today I boogied on over to my local BK (different from the BK near my work) and ordered my usual – a number 3 meal. Fortunately, I always order the same thing and the person at the window has learned that over the many months. She asked me, “Did you want the muffin meal or the croissant meal?” Huh? The croissant meal, of course – it’s right there on the menu board – #3.

“Oh,” says she, “I thought so, since that’s what you always order. They changed the numbers on the menu but they haven’t changed the sign yet.”

Sigh. How frickin’ stupid is that? No wonder I got the “wrong” meal on Friday; they hadn’t changed the menu sign there yet, either. I can’t believe that such a big company would make such a change without changing all the signage at the same time. Now, I don’t know how many menu items changed, but I have to believe I wasn’t the only person to get something they didn’t order. Nice going, Burger King.

wish it weren’t so

If I were to imagine myself at, say, twenty-five looking forward at what I have become, I would say, “No way!”

I wonder how many of us have lives that our younger selves thought we would have. Certainly not me, but then again, I don’t think I gave that a heck of a lot of thought. Long term planning has never been my strong suite. Obviously.

So, if you are not living the life that you envisioned, or anything even close, do you just give up or do you choose differently and act differently? Me? I tried choosing and acting differently once. Doesn’t seem to have worked. Now I give up. Guess I’m not so good on short term planning, either.

The Atheist Camel Chronicles – Dromedary Hump (aka Bart Centre)

This is a book of atheist commentary. Previous to reading this book I was not familiar with the author but apparently he is well known in atheist circles. As I have mentioned before, I am an atheist – one who does not believe in a god – but I’m not a crusading atheist. Mr. Hump is.

This book may be a collection of posts from an atheist blog. All the chapters are very short, as though they were entries in a blog. There are some good observations included in the book and I do find that I agree with much of what the author has to say, but I believe he may have thrown some of the baby out with the bathwater by equating all conservative views with the religious right.

If you are religious, you probable won’t get anything out of this book except anger and frustration. If you are an atheist who has done any reading at all, you will have heard most of this before. Minds don’t get changed very often when it comes to religious belief, or disbelief, and a book like this is more likely to be read by those who already support the position. That’s pretty much the way things usually go, though, so if you are like-mined you may find it worth reading.

(Finished 2/10/13)

a guarantee giggle

I bought a small camera case today that brought some merriment into my life. Reading the back of the card the case was displayed on, I find that the card was printed in China and the case was made in Vietnam. No, there isn’t much humor in that, but there sure is in the quality guarantee of twenty-five years.

I paid $9.00 for the case. The likelihood of me using that case for as much as twenty-five years are pretty much slim to none. But let’s say that in a year or two a seam blows out or something. Am I going to save the receipt and guarantee from when I bought the case? Will I even remember there was a guarantee? Will I be able to find it again if I need it? Would I be willing to go through the effort it would take to fulfill that guarantee? Most of all, for $9.00, what are the odds that I wouldn’t just throw the damn thing away and go out and buy another case? In essence, that’s a pretty damn safe guarantee for the manufacturer to make. If they get even a tiny fraction of one percent of purchasers taking them up on that guarantee I would be shocked.

On the other hand, how many of the high value things that you buy today – particularly electronic goods – come with much more than a thirty-day warranty? You’re lucky if you even get that long a term. And when you have a problem and try to take advantage of the warranty, the company will do everything in its power to find that the problem was caused by you, the purchaser, and not a flaw in the product!

There are always exceptions to the rule but those exceptions seem to be further apart as the years go by. To tell the truth, with electronic gear, unless something craps out right away, the odds are that you are going to wind up replacing it with something newer, better, more up-to-date, more whatever, before you need to use the warranty. It’s the old planned obsolescence on steroids. Who (other than me) is still using the cell phone they used ten, or even five, years ago? Oh well, I guess it keeps us all employed . . . if you live in China or Vietnam.