NEWS ALERT: Allen Brothers Delivers Steaks On Time!

In the interest of objective reporting, I must confess that I once again ordered some steaks from Allen Brothers, and –  lo and behold – they arrived the day they said they would!

Now, granted, this was a personal order for me, not a gift as has been the problem in the past. It’s also 3 weeks from Christmas.  But, I had to give kudos where kudos is due.

In other breaking news:

303 Taxi Still Sucks!

A Quick Lesson

I couldn’t help but notice all the new Hand Sanitizer Stations while shopping at my local outdoor mall over the weekend.  I am assuming that these are supposed to help us sanitize ourselves so that we don’t spread the H1N1 Swine Flu virus over the crowded holiday season.  Except for one problem:

H1N1 is a VIRUS.  Hand sanitizer is anti-BACTERIAL.  Helloooooo!

Thanksgiving (and a little Norman Rockwell)

How many times have you thought of Thanksgiving and also thought of this ubiquitous painting by American artist Norman Rockwell?  (Not that anyone in the history of time ever had a Thanksgiving that looked like this, but we like to think that we do…)  Anyway, seeing this picture again reminded me of a a fascinating article I read last month in Vanity Fair about the interesting process that Norman Rockwell actually used to create his paintings.  Rockwell used staged photographs (and plenty of them) to create the look and feel he wanted for his finished portraits.

The article is based from information from a newly published book on Rockwell called Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera by Ron Schick.  The article and the book are both really a really interesting look into the creative process of one of our most overlooked artists.

Check it out – and happy Thanksgiving!

Vanity Fair: Norman Rockwell’s American Dream
Amazon.com: Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera by Ron Schick

303 Taxi Still Sucks!

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So, for some reason, my 303 Taxi Sucks post from last year seems to be quite popular and is always in my Top 10.  (Probably because if you Google 303 Taxi, my post is the second one that comes up.)  Well, move over 303 Taxi Sucks and make room for the new and improved 303 Taxi Still Sucks!

Yes, 303 Taxi fucked us again!  You would think I would have learned, but actually it wasn’t me personally, but a friend of mine who was trying to leave a party at our house we had over the weekend.  So, you could say I was indirectly involved.

So, we have a party.  This particular friend was smart enough to figure that he shouldn’t drink and drive and took a 303 taxi to my house for said party.  Amazingly, 303 Taxi managed to get he and his girlfriend from his house to mine with no problems.  The real problem arises when he decides that perhaps he would like to do the OPPOSITE and go from my house to his at 1am. This must have set off some alarm bells at 303 Taxi Headquarters as this is what happened next:

  1. My friend calls 303 Taxi, they say they’ll be at my house in 20 minutes.  My friend and his girlfriend say their goodbyes and go wait on my front stoop at the time the taxi is supposed to arrive.
  2. 15 minutes after the original 20 is up, I realize they are still waiting and ask who they called.  When they told me it was 303 Taxi I somehow knew it would go down bad because that’s “how it rolls” with 303 Taxi.
  3. They call 303 Taxi again – the dispatcher tells us that someone called them from our house and cancelled the taxi, so that’s what they did.  We find this odd since no one knew they were leaving via taxi but them, and they had used his cell phone to call, not my house phone.  So, he re-orders the taxi.  Now it will be another 20 minutes.
  4. 20 minutes – no taxi.  My friend calls again and this time they tell us that they had called back the number he gave them to confirm the taxi and no one answered , so they cancelled the taxi.  The number he gave them (he made them read it back) was his cell, and we had been sitting outside the whole time and his cell phone never rang.   He re-orders the taxi.  Another 20.
  5. Another 20 goes by and still no taxi.  We call again and this time I talk to them.  They tell me that the taxi was farther away than they thought and it would probably be another 10-15 minutes.  At this point my friend is getting pissed as he’s no spring chicken and he really just wants to go home.  It’s now over an hour since the original call and it’s still not there.  Lucky for him,  about 10 minutes later another friend was leaving at this point and was nice enough to drive them home even thought it’s a little out of his way.  Kudos to this friend! (You know who you are!)
  6. When they were almost to his house (a good 30-40 minutes later) his cell phone rang and it was 303 Taxi telling him that the driver would be at my house really soon.  Obviously at this point my friend explains he already got a ride and is home already since he’d been waiting for so long and the caller got snippy with him because he didn’t cancel the taxi when he decided to take the ride with my other friend!

So, let’s sum up:  Almost TWO HOURS after my friend placed the original call, the taxi was still not at my house but yet they are pissed off that he didn’t cancel the call when he figured out that 303 TAXI SUCKS and would really be picking him up at 20 minutes past NEVER?  WTF?!

Yes, 303 Taxi, you still suck.  (You’ve ruined my old area code for me, too.)

The Case of Monkey Boy

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If you’ve ever flown United Airlines, then you’ve seen him.  Monkey Boy!

I first met Monkey Boy many years ago when I was still working in the corporate world and had to fly to Albany, NY on a business trip for the day.  It turned out another coworker of mine was on the same flight and we happened to discover Monkey Boy together as we studied the Safety Card while downing a bloody mary at 6am.  We were fascinated with Monkey Boy.  Who was he?  A child with an adult head?  An adult with tiny, non-proportional legs? Was that lady his mom?  His date?  He looks confused.  And his arms are way too long.  Who drew this?  Who okayed it?  WTF????

On the return flight that night which my coworker was also on, Monkey Boy became more than just a curiosity as we were delayed for three hours and then ultimately diverted to Grand Rapids, MI for a five hour layover where not only would they not let us off the plane, they would not serve us drinks.  Needless to say, it was not a fun day.  If it wasn’t for Monkey Boy I don’t know what we would have done. At one point my coworker and I fantasized that the Flight Attendant Call Button actually was a way to order beers:  (insert ding ding of call button here while saying “beer, beer.”)

Well, maybe you had to be there.   But, I owe Monkey Boy my sanity that winter night.  And it’s good to know that Monkey Boy is still with us, strong and true.  I check every time I get on a United flight.

Live long, Monkey Boy – whatever you are!

A Bag of Poo for You!

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So I get a piece of mail from MAC cosmetics last week, which I figured was junk mail since I don’t buy from MAC.  For some reason I opened it and soon realized that it was a receipt for $160 of cosmetics!  Some asshat had obviously compromised my credit card number and decided to use it to order themselves a online “gift” from me!

Well, what they didn’t know was that now I have their name and address since it was on the SHIP TO section of the receipt.  So, I collected some goodies outside courtesy of my yellow lab and will be shipping them a new “gift” from me today.

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So, enjoy your bag of poo, TRANG PHAM of TEMPE, AZ.  (Oh, and I called the cops, too.)