Friday, December 30, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Lady gets restraining order against Letterman for sending her secret coded messages over the TV that instructed her to do thangs like move east and marry him. Ummm, that is funny. You can't make this stuff up!
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Already, some of the basic protections for workers are being scaled back, being wrongfully labelled as "archaic". We should be pushing world's developing nations to aspirer to meeting the challenge of copying our system of labor. We should not be rolling back our system to compete with them. As someone who is firmly rooted in white collar middle class, I can say the only thang protecting my career is the rarity of my work skills. As the world market becomes more competitive, that rarity will diminish, as with many American jobs. We need to help other countries realize that having a suitable standard of living is just as important as having one or two successful companies in their country. Henry Ford gave us clear examples of how to run companies that benefit the employees and in turn, benefit the company because employee prosperity is spent buying company products. Anyways, we are on a slippery slope that we should back away from.
This was part of the judge's finding in the case where the then Dover Area School Board attempted to cram that ridiculous notion of Intelligent Design into our U.S. classrooms as an alternative to the Theory of Evolution. The judge also had other harsh words for the school board and their actions.
I doubt there will be an appeal to the ruling since the Dover area community kicked all 8 of those guilty school board members out of office earlier this year.
I expect that religious leaders will now push for a repackaged Intelligent Design concept under some different name, and that we will be having this issue come up again within 15 years. What these I.D. proponents don't realize is that the more they try to become scientifically accepted, the more they will eventually have to adopt evolution and natural selection into their own belief systems. This is pretty much the end of the legal road for anyone that wants to dearly hold on to the traditional biblical creation myths and force those myths on everyone else. From this point on, the movement behind I.D. will eventually turn into a scienitific group that will one day turn it's back on it's own origins.
The only other legal battle pursuable by the religious faithful is to pretend that the 1st Amendment of the Constitution doesn't really forbid government tampering in a society's religious beliefs. If they can convince a judge of this nonsense somewhere along the line, they may still be able to openly get religion back into our school system. But then all hell will really break lose because every religious group in existence will claim their right to be present in our schools. I'm guessing that any judge, regardless of their beliefs will want that to be the result of their ruling. Given that, even this battle will be lost once and for all by the religious nuts one day.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
I just tried these Kissables. I assume that Hersey came out with this product to compete directly with M&M's. I tried Kissables. They are good. To me, they taste better than M&M's. I'd recommend at least trying them out. The only thang that I don't like about the candy is the odd shape, but I think that's only because I'm so accustomed to M&M's. Other than that, that are pretty good.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
I didn't like the King Kong movies. The original is just too archaic to watch. The remake was completely miserable. And what's this about King Kong vs. Godzilla? What's that about? Peter Jackson produced and directed the 2005 King Kong version. He has not only redeemed the King Kong story, he has brought it to the level that the story deserves. King Kong still isn't one of my favorite stories, but it is now one that I now really enjoy and have a new found respect for. I think Peter Jackson understood the story better than its original director, producer and possibly the original writer too.
I highly recommend King Kong!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Not only could I have got laid much earlier, I coulda prolly had a couple of girlfriends by my early 20's. But no. I wasn't ready. The longer one wants to explore these areas, the harder it gets to have the breakout experience that opens your world, such as a first love or even just getting laid. If this blog were to go back to my early 20's, the text would be filled with frustrations that I would prolly now find embarrassing. Maybe it's a good thang my blog beings in 2002. lol I was well on my way to becoming who I am at that point.
In my younger years, I fear I was loved long before I know what love really was. If not love, then at least there was girls who where attracted to me that I just didn't...I just was unable to know it. Insecurities were the main cause. I had nothing to be insecure about, but when one is young, one doesn't know that. I'm no exception, though I guess I hid it pretty well, even from myself. Intelligence allowed me to come up with reasonings that nurtured my insecurities rather than defeat them. It took me a long time to figure out that I wasn't ugly. It took me even longer to figure out that I'm actually fairly attractive. It took me even longer to understand that certain people are more attracted to each other than others types of people and that it doesn't matter what one person likes cuz everyone is different with different tastes. There should be a class that teaches children this in grammar school. lol ...nevermind, there is... ...I was screwed up by my parents like everyone else...hehe. Most of my insecurities do come from my mom and dad, or at least how they raised me. I'm not sure where my early life haze come from, though. I still slip into it once in a while, but I've learned to use it as a tool (hard to explain...saving that topic for another time). It holds no grip over me any more.
Nowadays, I feel as though I'm experiencing life on my own terms. I have great friends and great loves (past and present). Most of all, I look forward to the days ahead of me in this life.
Monday, December 12, 2005
When we finally woke up, we checked out and headed over to this nice mall and did a little shopping before heading off to San Francisco...for more shopping. We finally joined her family for a birthday dinner for her brother at an authentic Chinese restaurant in Pacifica. After that, we headed to my place and prolly fell asleep around midnight last night.
On Friday night before dinner, I found out that I'm going to be a neighbor to Dave's ex-brother at the apt complex I'm moving to. Dave, Miriam, myself, Sven and his g/f all met up for dinner. I got home late that night too. ::yawn:: Am I supposed to be getting more sleep than this?
Friday, December 09, 2005
Sounds like the police are the terrorist in this case. The war on terror doesn't seem to be a war, more of an alliance with terror.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, November 28, 2005
I get the sense that these people are the same that claim that Christians are being persecuted by this world. ::cough:: This world is under the power of Christianity and has been so for a 1000 years. Who in this world is persecuting Christians on a large scale? Other Christians, perhaps? Ridiculous. It’s as though the word persecution really means that a Christian’s crimes aren’t being ignored and other people aren’t helping that Christian to commit their crimes. What else could it possibly mean in the context of today’s world?
These issues aren’t limited to Christianity. Islam and Jewish faiths also carry this burden, but the Christians are in control, and it is they who must take the lead to stamp out the hypocrisy. Of course, for the time being, they will not, at least in the U.S.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
I took this black and white photo from the top of a double decker bus. Buses are hella cheap in Hong Kong. It costs no more than US$1.25 to travel anywhere in Hong Kong. The old trolleys are even cheaper. They cost about 11 cents (US) to travel from one area to another, though they don't cover all of Hong Kong like the buses and mass transit rail do. The roads are mostly full with traffic from buses, taxis and commercial trucks. There are relatively few private cars in the main parts of the cities.
Many parts of Hong Kong have a special type of beauty when the sun goes down. Here's a scene of Jordan Street near my hotel. Even though it's pretty late, these businesses are all still open and making their bids to attract attention. This is a heavily touristy area, so many of the businesses are notorious for being rip-offs. I have not first hand experience with this since Allie prevented me to doing any shopping in this area. lol There were a lot of inexpensive goods to be bought just a block away on one of the side streets in various Lady's Markets and shops.
This is a shot of Hong Kong from the deck of a nearly authentic junk which cruises around the Hong Kong harbor on Thursdays and Saturdays. Apparently it's pretty hard to get the free tickets for this hour long cruise. Allie and I lucked out and got the last two tickets for this cruise earlier in the week. Many people try for weeks to get the cruise tickets of their choice. I recommend trying this tourist attraction, if not for anything else than the fact it is free.
Monday, November 21, 2005
11/18/05 is offically the longest day of my life, not because it dragged on, but because it was long by the number of hours. Our flight took off at around 5:30pm and arrived in San Francisco at around 2:40pm. It almost feels like time travel to see a sun set only to have it raise on the same day 14 hours later. Four inflight movies. The new Bad News Bears with Billy Bob Thorton (so-so), an immitation of Bad News Bears with Martin Lawerance but I forget its title (horrible), Batman Returns (great) and one other film I can't even remember right now but I had to watch to keep me awake in my effort to get back on California time ASAP. I was relieved to be back in California after such a long flight. Even with my nerves and sensibility, a flight as long as this does weigh on my spirit.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Allie and I have had a long week. We capped it off with an hour trip on a cruise around the Hong Kong harbor in a converted authentic junk. A junk is a traditional Asian ship with three sails that are supported with several ribs on their masts. I learned this in school, but apparently Allie did not. She thought I was joking about the name of that type of ship the whole week before we took the ride. Ironic that she is from Hong Kong. :) Anyways, the cruise was very relaxing. We both almost fell asleep. It was a nice day for time out on the water trolling along around the harbor.
That evening, Allie and I had dinner with her mom and other relatives on her mom's side of the family. It was more traditional Cantonese food, and it was very good. Her cuzin Conan was very interesting, and only one of two males near our age group that I've meet from her family the whole time I've been in Hong Kong. It almost seems as though most of her cousins are women. Anyways, it's was a lovely dinner.
Afterwards, we did a little shopping, but didn't buy anything. We tried to find a nice formal jacket for me, but it seems that the jackets in Hong Kong are made for people with slender shoulders. It felt good be too big for clothes cuz of my broad shoulders and all, but hey, they didn't have sizes bigger than XL.
We tried to get back in time to get enough sleep for the next day's flight back.
Friday, November 18, 2005
One a side note, I should mention that I feel like a giant in my hotel room. It's very small, especially the restroom. I have to sit at an angle to fit on the toilet next to the counter. I have to stand with my feet together when I take a shower because the tub is so narrow. With all these big buildings, one would think they'd provide more room for people to live within.
Oh, and the Bird Flu is closing in on Hong Kong, or so it would seem from the South China Morning Post with headlines like "Mainland's first bird flu death confirmed" and "HK to resume border temperature checks as authorities report three cases" I haven't seen more than a few tiny birds in the city areas of Hong Kong. I don't know if the birds naturally stay away or if all birds where killed off. Maybe I'm wrong on both counts, but it is very weird not to see any birds. Regardless, the Bird Flu still cannot spread from person to person yet, so I don't see what the fuss is about just yet. Plus, my company Cepheid already has a Bird Flu detention method that can give results in under 45 minutes. That means soon anyone that is suspected can get tested and know for sure hella quick so the appropriate action can be taken.
Well, I'm off for morning tea with Allie's family.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Hong Kong isn't as crowded at I thought it'd be. I mean, there is people everywhere, but it's not so bad. San Francisco is about as crowded. Maybe I haven't see it at its worse yet, but given the fact that we've been everywhere, I'm not thinking I've missed much.
We arrived back in Hong Kong/Kowloon city area in the evening. We took a night ride on the Peak Tram to the top of The Peak, a mountain top overlooking Hong Kong. The ride was fun. At times the tram rose at about a 45 degree angle up the mountain side. I couldn't find any name for the top of the mountain other than just The Peak. The view of Hong Kong from the The Peak was both beautiful and impressive. Even at this height, we didn't stand much higher than the top of Hong Kong's tallest buildings. There was sumfin romantic about the view.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
We headed down to Tsim Sha Tsui and hit up the buffet restaurant in the International Hotel for breakfast, but Allie insisted we wait and do the lunch buffet there instead because they had a really good lunch buffet. I got a little grouchy about this cuz. I was hungry and we took the Mass Transit and also walked quite a distance to get there. All was right when we finally got to set down and eat though.
Right outside that hotel was the Avenue of the Stars which honors the stars of Hong Kong's budding film industry. We explored the area and got some information about various Hong Kong attractions. It's funny that even though Allie is from Hong Kong, we still ended up at the Tourist Information Center like we were a couple of normal tourist. Allie's Cantonese does help speed thangs along though, no matter where we find ourselves.
We then toured the nearby Space Museum. The exhibit areas where fairly basic with no significant exhibits, but it was nice to get out of the heat and stroll around. Allie enjoyed some of it and I enjoyed adding extra info to better explain some of stuff behind the information presented.
We then visited Causeway Bay to shop at the inexpensive places and in a Lady's Market.
After heading back to the hotel and resting, we ended up in Kwai Lan Fong for a night out. This is a block of streets that are shut down in the night for one big party around a bunch of European style pubs, bars and clubs. A lot of the local Europeans end up here for drinking, dancing and socializing with other White people.
Monday, November 14, 2005
On the way back to the hotel, the main route back to the main part of Hong Kong was blocked with a major accident. The delay was reported to be at least two hours, so we got out of the bus and walked for 3/4 hr, mostly downhill, back to the main bus terminal to catch a bus that was heading back to Hong Kong thru the only other route out of the area. Fortunately, Allie had discovered the only bus route that would take us back, though still through thick traffic on narrow mountainous roads and bridges. Traffic everywhere in that area was a mess as people where trying to get out. We where lucky to beat the rush of people to the bus headed out of there. Everyone else was still waiting for the main buses and didn't realized the way was blocked until everyone was started lining up for the only bus heading the other way. Felt a little like survival of the fittest and we got a jump on everyone else. :)
After getting back to the hotel, we had dinner and then visited a nearby Lady's Market. According to Allie, a Lady's Market is any alley or street filled tightly with vendors selling their goods. The walk thru a Lady's Market is usually very cramp and crowed. She added that they are also great places to get a pocket picked. At this Lady's Market I found a great deal on knock-off Polo luggage that was pretty good quality.
Both of us where beat, so we headed back to the hotel and knocked off to sleep quick.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I had only brought one carry-on bag. When I arrived in Hong Kong, all I had to do was wait in line for visitors and get my passport stamped. Because I didn't have any luggage, I just walked thru the luggage claim area to the Arrival area, called Arrival Area A or sumfin like that. Well, Alice was waiting for me at Arrival Area B. I had noticed that my Treo phone worked in Taipei when I was waiting around bored at that airport, so I tried my Treo at the Hong Kong airport, and it worked. I called her and we found each other pretty quickly. She was prepared with a mass transit card for me and we hit the Express Train to Kowloon, where my hotel is.
I was annoyed that my shades broke somewhere on my trip, so the first thang we did in Kowloon is stop off at one of the many malls while walking to my hotel. My first purchase in Hong Kong was a rather decent pair of Guess shades.
We checked in to the hotel and then headed to Northpoint to visit her uncle and meet up with her mom. Alice, her mom and I later meet up with her mom's friend and had a late lunch.
Later, some cousins, her uncle, mom and us meet up for a late dinner at a good Chinese style restaurant. Of course, here it's not called "Chinese" lol Anyways, I was so lagged that I almost passed out at dinner, so Alice and I headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.
I woke up the next morning on Hong Kong time. :)
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Anyways, we hung out on Saturday too. We ended up in SF with some friends of hers. There was couple of interesting places we hit up that I might return to. I can't remember the names of either, but I could find them again. :)
Today, I hung out for awhile with Jenn. We had a late lunch, hit up a play for go-cart racing and have a fun time hanging out. Right now, I'm catching up on chores I need to get done before my big Hong Kong trip in a few days. I'm excited.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Although I haven't travelled outside the U.S. in any significant fashion, I'd hafta say this is how I prefer to visit other regions. Many years ago, I visited Mexico with a friend and his family who lived there. It makes the experience more enjoyable and serves as a good way to see thangs as they really are. Mexico is a depressing place, but you can't know how depressing until you travel to a city's outskirts and see poor families living in tin huts made from junk (same as little as 4' high) for as far as you dare to look. It helped me realize that some countries are afraid to take the steps necessary to allow their citizens opportunities. Maybe afraid is the wrong word. Maybe it is intentional, to hold down the masses and keep them under control. I don't know, but either way, it would not take a lot of effort to charge up the Mexican economy if its government would loosen economic controls. The Mexicans that can get ahead are the ones that are able to find work in the U.S., at least along the boarder.
I wonder what I'm going to discover about Hong Kong?
Thursday, October 27, 2005
'I think that the Republican Party fairly recently has been taken over by the Christian conservatives, by the Christian right,' he said in an interview. 'I don't think that this is a permanent condition, but I think this has happened, and that it's divisive for the country.'
He also said the evangelical Christian influence would be bad for the party in the long run."
Ya'think!? This is obvious. It happened when Bush Sr. weakend the Republican Party from 88-92. They lost their way. In the void, the extreme religious right stepped in and started consolidating their power within the Republican Party in the same manner that the Nazi Party took over the Germany government. Then they used their momentum to take over the U.S. Government, and now we have a mess to clean up that will be an embarassment to American generations to come.
Anyways, three transmissions. I'm told that even my previous transmission was known to have problems, so the dealership expected to hafta replace it again. Supposedly, this new transmission will not have the same issue and last longer than 30,0000 miles.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Christopher Columbus/America Myth 2: America is named for Amerigo Vespucci. The falsehood about the discovery of America is even evident in the name “America” itself. Since America wasn’t discovered by Columbus, it wasn’t named after him. Nor was it named for a Saint or Monarch. This is very telling. So, the myth says that the name America is derived from Mr. Vespucci’s first name. However, this makes no sense in two ways. First, he is a minor historical footnote, which means it was very unlikely he would have received such an honor before the Queen or the Church. Second, despite perceived similarities in spelling, the names are completely different. If Mr. Vespucci’s name was used, it should have been his full first name or his full first name with some variation last syllable, something like Amerigosa. This would have lead to America’s name having different translations in different languages. Yet in Spanish and English, America is spelled the same even though both languages use much different naming conventions. So, it is much more likely that the name America is derived from another name or term that was already in use (though perhaps not common use) by the time Columbus set sail. The main source that qualifies for this criterion is the “Merica”, which was in use by some prior to Columbus’ first voyage to represent a promised land across the Atlantic Ocean. However, even this supposed origin is suspect. Personally, I think that the name America has its source in some mythology, whether it be from the tales about Merica or some other forgotten myth. The origin of the name America has yet to be discovered verifiably, but serves as its own massive clue that the New World wasn’t named for any of its European explorers.
More mythbusting to come.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
So, I wasn’t able to let this go. I've been around Spanish speaking individuals my whole life, and never heard the LL pronounced so strongly as J. I jumped in and asked her to repeat it to make sure I was hearing her right. Again, she pronounced the LL in her name as a J. So, now I’m even more confused. Normally a person knows how to pronounce their own name. After several attempts to get her to say it, I started up with, “Doesn’t the LL make a Y sound?” She agreed, but then said it as a J again, this time only the letter itself. Ok, so now I’m even more confused than before. I asked her to say the common Spanish question “COMO SE LLAMAS?” and it came out of her mouth as “Como say jamas”. I said, “Como say yamas”, and she corrected me, “Como se jamas.”
Needless to say, my main confusion now is how a native Spanish speaker doesn’t know how to say letters in her own language. So, we started into a rather flavorful and light argument about this. It lasted long enough to entertain a few nearby co-workers. She was all, “How are you going to teach a native Spanish speaker my own language. Let me teach you English.” So, I printed a pronunciation chart of Spanish letters with their English equivalents. She was still not convinced. She even mentioned that she spoke Castilian version of Spanish. I wasn’t buying that.
The funny thing is, I know she speaks Spanish as a first language all the time. We live in California, where one can find peoples representative of many Spanish speaking regions. I know she has had to have talked to other Spanish speakers before. But she’s convinced that everyone says the LL as a J. I’m kinda starting to think there are a lot of Latin American’s that say the LL as a J without realizing it, as an accent. I’m not sure that she (or many Latin American people) can even hear the difference between the Y (you) and J (jam) sounds. Very strange. Either way, she still insists on pronouncing as a J. After all, that’s how she’s been saying it all her life. If this is how a lot of people are talking, Latin American television must be impossible for Spaniards to understand.
Ok, so later in the evening, I met up with my friend Dave, who was raised in Spain and has a significant European background. I told him and his Latina girlfriend this story and gave the example of the J sound. He immediate laughed. But his girlfriend said, "Yes, you said it right!" I looked at her oddly. (My co-worker and Dave's girlfriend are from two completely different regions.) Dave looked at his girlfriend funny too and pointed out her error. She wasn't even aware that she was saying the J sound herself. We were both pretty amazed.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Last night's birthday party for Kate was fairly tame as house parties go, but it was a lot of fun. This picture shows Jaime's first ever Keg Stand! Just turn your head 90 degrees to see her Keg Stand properly vertical . :) There was also a permanent batting cage in the backyard. The ball hurling machine wasn't working (or at least their drunk asses couldn't get it to work), so some of the guys switched between batting and pitching. Not smart. I watched as one line drive drove right into the ribs of the pitcher. Funny thang, and funnier that he keep pitching afterwards! lol My buddy Nate randomly meet a girl (Keg Stand Jaime, actually!) who he's only talked to through Myspace and emails before. Must be fate. lol Even with all of this going on, Miriam and I still took off by midnight. I was the double-d, though I don't think either of us had any possibility of getting too drunk.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
I mention this cuz I just read a news article about this topic. The only contrarian point I can bring up is the fact the most High School kids never remember what they learn in High School besides basic skills they end up using in real life. Knowledge about history, art and pretty much any other pursuit is usually forgotten soon after the final exam (if even committed to memory in the first place). This is a different issue though.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Oh, and yes, I am actually doing my laundry, as I threatened to do in the earlier entry. lol
Friday, September 16, 2005
Next week, GREEN DAY! ::que insane cheering::
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Unchecked free market leads to instability if centralized forces work to abuse the system for personal gain, as in case of Enron’s manipulation of western U.S. electricity supplies at the turn of the 21st Century. Uncheck free market leads to too many people being hurt in recessions, and not enough people benefiting from booms. This is why America does not have an unchecked free market anymore. We have a Mixed Economy, which is free market based, but utilizes beneficial methods from all forms of economies. We use what works well for the individual, balanced with what is best for the population on the whole. Too much pull by one side or the other in the past has led our nation down roads we should not want to journey again.
Neocons live in a fantasy realm of 100% happy people, perfect conditions always persist, where up-trends never end, and everyone gets at least enough money for participating in the system at any level. They pick and choose events and quotes from American past to justify radical economic experiments. These experiments are ultimately victimizing our modern day populous for the gain of only a few fat cats.
Those fat cats are openly applying cronyism from the White House right now. They put ideological friends in charge of government agencies instead of looking for the best qualified person. This is the other reason for the failure of our government right now. Leadership positions are full of unqualified cronies, putting our country at risk and making dangerous situations much worse.
The current government is arrogant and haughty, bolstered by willful blinders preventing them from seeing their errors and making adjustments to account for imperfections in the system. This has led to a blind faith in an ideology, rather than acceptance of reality. Anything from reality that contradicts their notions is called a fluke, or even blamed on some other factor which they should’ve accounted for but pretend they can’t.
Our inability to take preventive and aftermath action at the federal level in the recent national disaster is a direct result of these flaws in our country’s leadership. This blind belief in disproved ideologies and the cronyism supporting it have led America to repeat the mistakes of our past on a monumentally grander scale. The time to correct these mistakes is soon at hand. I’m not going to say specifically who to vote for in the next elections. I will directly say who not to vote for. Do not vote for neocons or anyone that supports the neocon movement. If you are Republican, take back your party from these lunatics. If you are Democrat, vote for Democrats that have a proven record of taking on these lunatics. If you are an independent like me, vote in a way that stops the neocons from staying in power. Sometimes, this means not voting for the best person, but the best person given the circumstances.
Even though the number lost is not as high, the President's lack action early on crossed over the line of what is acceptable for a President to do and not to do. He failed to protect Americans from harm. Yes, the storm is uncontrollable, but how we act if fully in our control. It is dishonorable behavior to not act to protect America. The homeland was under attack, and the very man and agency that the President set up to protect American acted like it wasn't their job to do anything and the President accepted this and tried to defend it. Basically, he failed to carry out his duties as President when it was most important for him to step up. He failed to act when it counted, even though they was creditable warnings up to one year ago about this kind of disaster. Katrina itself posed a threat for days before it hit. Days in which the President needed to ack to make sure everything was in place. Days that he instead spend running around the country trying to collect campaign money. What was he collecting campaign money for anyway? He's not going to be re-elected. In fact, this lack of action to protect American is cause for impeachment.
Ok, enough of that for now.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
In other news, I have a trip to Hong Kong planned. Stay tuned!
Also, in even other news, please note the link to Backblog Awards in my left bar menu. Please check it out. The first winner of the Backblog Awards should be announced this week, for Aug 2005's best post.
Friday, August 19, 2005
California has a law that makes it illegal for any place that accepts
credit or charge cards to either have a minimum charge or to charge a fee for
credit card use. Some stores or restaurants owners a dumb enough to actually
post this policy (which is also separately illegal, in of itself). But more
savvy owners will simply notify you of their fee when you try to use your
credit/charge card for an amount below their supposed minimum. Either way, it's
still illegal for them to do so.
If these places are encountered, simply
refuse to pay the fee or refuse to accept their minimum. Remind then that they
are breaking the law. Remind them that you are not in their place of business as
a slave, but there as the customer. You don't need their produce, but they need
your money. They don't need the trouble you can stir up by contacting the Better
Business Bureau or class action lawsuits can come up from this sort of thing.
Ask them if all that is really worth the 25, 50 or 75 cent fee. Don't be afraid
to make a big scene out of it.
Some of these store owners are under the
strange impression that they deserve your money simply because you come into
their store. They just need to be reminded that they have to earn the right to
get your money.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
So, why tip over the counter food preparers? You’re not supposed to. This is even an IRS relevant matter. If a tip is expected, the person receiving the tips must pay tax on 8% of the sales that person handles, whether they receive the tip or not. Comparatively few people tip over the counter, so this means those cashiers and food prepares are required to pay tax on money which they have not hope of receiving. The responsible restaurant owner should not allow tipping jar placed on their counter, and should even have a no tipping policy. This saves the staff from paying extra taxes, and saves the restaurant from the headache of having the paperwork and labor to track tipping for the IRS.
I tip generously. This is because I live in Silicon Valley, were the expected tip is 15 to 20%. Where service is reduced (you take your own bill up to the cashier, or you seat yourself), the tip may be reduced in kind. In those cases, 10% is acceptable. Where there is no service, there is no tip.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Advice: To open Write files embedded as an icon within another Write document, you will need to associate .wri files with MS Word (default setting is Wordpad). Then, open the other Write document with Write. When you double click on the embedded icons, Word will open the embedded document. If you don't associate .wri with Word, Windows will try to use Wordpad even though you have Write open. If you try to associate .wri files with Write, the embedded iconed Write files will not open at all.
Anyways, I didn’t go into Wedding Crashers with high expectations. I was pleasantly surprised by the movie’s humor. It’s not in the league of Meet the Parents or Old School, but it is pretty damn funny. When the movie had to move the plot along, it did so without getting overly wishy-washy or at the expense of the overall humor. In other words, although it has the elements of a romantic comedy, it didn’t become a romantic comedy. It’s nice not to be tricked into watching a chick flick. However, I’m on the fence as to whether this one makes it into my DVD collection or not.