Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Storytime @ the library

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Big Brother at the supermarket...

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For a few years in the early part of this century, I found myself banished to the DFW metroplex and whilst living there, I was subjected to the supermarket game of having all these "Bonus Savings" cards that each store offered. At the time I found the practice very uncomfortable and had pretty much boycotted the practice by finding a neighborhood Ole Foods that I shopped at for really well priced produce and used Walmart for everything else. After moving back to the Austin Metro, I once again had access to HEB as well as Walmart so I really stopped thinking about it... until last week.

I was at the video store when I decided that it would be just so much more convenient to run into the adjacent Randalls to pick up a 12-pack of Coke that my pregnant wife was having a craving for. Imagine my dismay when I discovered at the register that since I didn't carry a Randall's card, and I couldn't remember the phone number associated with our account from when I lived in Plano, I was to be charged an additional 33.33% or $5.99 vs $3.99 (and even more if you count the 5 "free" vitamin waters included if you bought 2 offer) for a 12-pack of 12oz cans of Coke for the "convenience" of shopping at that store. Now let me remind you that I had been out running errands for a few hours and my very pregnant wife's last words before I left were...


"Be sure you don't forget some Cokes" which actually means... "Do not come home without Cokes!"



Well heck, I might as well complain at customer service to see if they could remedy the situation but as soon as I walked up, the clerk walked off and after waiting for a couple of minutes I decided it wasn't worth my time.

Long story short... these guys have it right...



let's all rise up and say NO to this shameless invasion of our privacy. Demand that they end price gouging and call it offering a discount!



Now add to this controversy the idea of RFID and you really should start to be concerned... Check out this from CASPIAN

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pet Peeve...

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Wow how the time flies. I really have meant to be more diligent in updating this but life has a funny way of getting in the way. I have many topics jarring around in my head so this will probably end up being like a pressure relief valve and I will post until the voices quiet down and then take a break and then when they start up again, I will too.

There has been something that has been bugging me for years that occurs at many restaurants around town. It occurs in fast food places as often as upscale or fine dining establishments equally. I blame the culinary arts school for instilling a need in new chefs to make their plates look cool or pretty or different, etc...

Ok, here it is...

When you are served a salad, everything in the bowl needs to be in edible form and equally distributed! I should not have to remove things to further cut them down to size, I shouldn't have to take a pile of oh, lets say cheese, from one side of the bowl and sprinkle it around the rest of the bowl with my fingers and a fork. I shouldn't have to fish out and then cut down tomatoes, cucumbers, or anything else.

Recently I was at a place that shall remain unnamed for the time being that insisted on serving me wedges of tomatoes that were 1/4 of a whole tomato. I have a pretty large oral capacity for food as my wife and others can attest and yet I found these monster wedges to be ridiculous. If you ever have tried cutting a tomato wedge in a inherently unstable bed of lettuce with a plastic knife you know what happened next.

Having been in the "business" in various capacities from busboy to general manager, I know the drill when it comes to prep standards and serving specifications. It isn't the poor pimply faced kid behind the counter's fault - they are usually just doing what they are told to do. I blame the idiot in charge who thinks it's more important to have the food look pretty than be conveniently edible.