February 2006 Archives


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I believe I've mentioned here in the past the sorry state of Spain's attitude towards black footballers. This past weekend at a Zaragoza v Barca match was another item for the scrapbook. Soccernet has a decent piece on this: It Isn't Rocket Science...

I also found the accompanying video to what happened (11mb-so right click/save as). The visible pain on Samuel Eto'o's face is just gut-wrenching. The only remotely good thing that happened was Barca then banging in two and at least winning on the pitch.

UPDATE: Talk about a slap on the wrist...Zaragoza has been fined $10,000.

House Numbers

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In my boldest home improvement project since the glowing doorbell, it was time to upgrade the house numbers. I've long admired these numbers--but if you look at the price you can see the obvious problem. Through Lowe's I was able to get some numbers that satisfied me and at a total cost of $12.

old-numbers.JPG new-numbers.JPG

FYI: left=old and right=new. I swear the new 4 is crooked, but my level and tape measure aren't backing me up.

If Cattle Flew

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I'm by no means a Peggy Noonan fan...but this piece on airport security is absolutely spot on.

We are debating port security. While we're at it, how about airport security? Does anyone really believe that has gotten much better since 19 terrorists hijacked four planes five years ago?

I must also admit to being a fan of the Sierra Mist TSA commercial with the hilarious Jim Gaffigan and not-so hilarious Kathy Griffin.

Fun With Dell Chat

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My notebook's battery casing is cracked and requires a screwdriver to extract it from the computer. I've got the Dell extended warranty so I hit up the chat to get them to send me a replacement. To help explain things, I gave the guy this fuzzy picture.

They tried to front on me at first, but they came around in the end. Despite the nonsense, I'm still a big Dell fan and only wish I owned lots and lots of their stock. Here's how things went down:

Abdul: "I would like to inform that we would not be able to replace the battery as it's only covered for one year warranty. And the laptop is old more then one year, so we could not able to replace the battery in this case."
Abdul: "The best option is buying a new battery for the computer."
Abdul: "Your computer's indeed in the warranty, but the battery is not covered into that."
Abdul: "I would have love to replace that if I could."

BigBrownBoy: "what else doesn't my warranty cover?"

Abdul: "So, I feel very sorry but please try to understand my limitations."

BigBrownBoy: "this is very disappointing"

Abdul: "Othen then the battery, everything is covered. But the damaged parts."

BigBrownBoy: "are the details of my warranty available online?"

Abdul: "As battery is out of warranty, but still let me talk to my supervisor that what can be the best I can offer you."
Abdul: "Please allow me couple of minutes."

BigBrownBoy: "thank you"

Abdul: "Thank you for staying online."
Abdul: "I have just shown him the picture and found very impressive. The supervisor is ready give his approval to replace it for free."

Abdul: "I would say, thank you for your picture."

BigBrownBoy: "Thank you to you and your supervisor!"

Mileage Running

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I’m hooked on the traveling website FlyerTalk. In March, I’ll detail the uber-cheap weekend trip myself and four others are taking to Honolulu.. All thanks to info from FlyerTalk, of course.

Anyway, mileage running is the idea of taking a trip for the purpose of earning/maximizing frequent flyer miles. I was heading to Los Angeles to hang out with the family for President's Day Weekend and decided to take advantage--or should I say AAdvantage?

I kept it simple on the outbound and just booked a simple Seattle-Burbank on Alaska Airlines. But when offered a free ticket in exchange for giving up my seat on that flight, I gladly obliged. The gate agent was trying to send me to So. Cal at 7pm (rather than my original 7am). I suggested to her that she look at SEA-Sun Valley-LAX for me. She banged away at the keyboard for a minute and said, "I can't believe that works." It was three hours slower, but worth it. Plus there's an In-N-Out right by LAX. I won't even get into how awful my fellow passengers were heading to Sun Valley for vacay.

Things were a little more interesting on the way back home. I booked Burbank-Dallas-JFK-Dallas-Seattle for the same price as Burbank-Seattle would have cost. Upon arriving in Dallas, my flight to JFK was delayed enough that I would have missed my flight back to Dallas--which was the last flight to Dallas of the night. This is actually the best thing that could have possibly happened. I then got myself on the next flight straight back to Seattle. But not before the gate agent asked me, "Sir, why did your travel agent book your ticket like this?" The brilliance of this is that I'll get my mileage as if I had flown to JFK and back. I did my part of the deal, but American dropped the ball so it's all good.


Back in Seattle 6 hours earlier than planned and ~12K miles earned for the day. Huzzah!