31 August 2011

Vet Adventures

Our dog has had a wartlike thing on her right front paw for a couple of months now. We took her to the vet to have it looked at, and she told us there was no immediate need to remove it, but to keep an eye on it.

A few days ago the dog started licking the growth, and wouldn't leave it alone. We had to resort to bandaging it and using the muzzle we received when we adopted her. On Monday I called the vet's office and learned she's on vacation for two weeks. There's another vet on duty that could have examined her, but we would have had to wait until the regular vet returned to get the growth removed.

We decided to take her to a different vet, and got an appointment for today. They were able to remove the growth today, without anesthetizing the dog, which meant she didn't have to stay there overnight. (It also means it cost several hundred dollars less.) She was sedated, so she was a bit woozy at first, but she perked back up quickly and even had some food, a sure sign that she's feeling better.

She has two follow-up visits, one to have the bandage removed and one to remove the stitches. She just turned ten a couple of weeks ago, so it's a relief that something like this could be resolved quickly, and we're hoping we don't have to start dealing with more of these issues.

30 August 2011

Two Rights? Wrong

Last week J. Crew was having one of their periodic extra 30% off sale merchandise offers, so I ordered a couple of things, including a pair of Spring Court canvas sneakers. They were only available in whole sizes, and I had read that they run big, so I ordered size 10.

When they arrived at work, I was happy to find that they fit properly. I took them home that evening, and took them out of the box to show the Mrs. That's when I noticed that there were two right shoes in the box. Oops.

Fortunately they still had some left in my size, so a replacement pair is on the way. I was assured that they would be inspected before shipping to make sure I got a proper pair with one left and one right.

29 August 2011

That Wasn't So Bad

So, Irene blustered through over the weekend, and while there was damage and inconvenience, it sure could have been worse. Our electricity went out for all of about ten seconds, then it came back on and stayed on, so we were able to use the internet and TV, but even if we had lost our power I would have been content to read a book by daylight or candlelight.

I'm on vacation this week, and we have a couple of things planned, but nothing major, just not being at work and relaxing. I'll try to stick to a normal schedule here.

28 August 2011

This Week in Awesome (8/27/11)

Good morning, and welcome to this special wind-and-rain edition of TWiA. Obviously we have power, so let's hope it stays that way. The Mrs. took the dog out around 7:30 this morning, it will be my turn some time later this afternoon. Moving along...

Some clever wag mashed up Top Gear with an old children's cartoon. (Jalopnik via ?)

Have you been checking out Grantland? It's sort of a sports site, but there's lots of other great stuff there too. (Don't ask me what the name means; I must have been absent that day.) Solid writing all around, and quite entertaining. This is just a silly collection of YouTube videos that various writers liked.

How To Be A Retronaut is a site full of cool old things. (Gilt MANual)

And finally this week, I wasn't going to bother with anything storm-related, but then I saw this photo. I mean, you have to wonder what this person was thinking. (Jalopnik via New York Daily News)

26 August 2011

Retro Video Unit (8/26/11)

I'm about to leave work for a week off, so I thought I'd send this week off with two videos.

"Vacation" by The Go-Gos would be a bit too obvious, so how about "Our Lips Are Sealed" instead? It was fairly popular back in the early days of MTV.

(By the way, that's a 1960 Buick that they're tooling around Los Angeles in.)

I've been holding onto this one for a while, but today seems like a good day for it: "Turning Japanese" by The Vapors. I imagine most of you will be familiar with this song, but I don't think the video is as well-known (of course, I could be wrong about that).

25 August 2011


Yesterday at our weekly office breakfast, a colleague sitting next to me commented on my outfit. (I was wearing my red shorts with a blue-striped seersucker shirt.) She said I looked "very fratty," and I was mildly horrified at the idea that someone might associate me, however innocently it was intended, with anything frat-related.

Another coworker, sitting on my other side, took note of my reaction and attempted to come to my defense by saying, "I don't think he's the frat type."

The first person explained that she had been shopping with her son, who is about to enter his sophomore year in college and is in a fraternity. He told her that these were the styles his fraternity brothers were wearing, and he wanted them too. I offered my shopping advice, mentioning where I had gotten my clothes, and pointed out that since summer is almost over, she might be able to get them on the cheap.

So, does this mean that red shorts have reached their tipping point? I guess I'll have to wait until next summer and see where things are.

Not So Packble

I decided to suck it up and bring along my rain slicker today, since it sounded like things might get windy, which can render an umbrella rather useless.

When a clothing retailer describes a so-called "packable" jacket as able to stuff into its own inside pocket, they don't bother to tell you that the resulting wad of nylon is more or less the same size and shape as a beach ball, and is about as easy to fit into a shoulder bag.

24 August 2011

Music of My Life

Yesterday's New York Times contained obituaries for two important pop music songwriters. Interestingly, Jerry Leiber and Nick Ashford both died on Monday, on opposite coasts.

Leiber and his writing partner Mike Stoller were responsible for songs performed by Elvis Presley, The Drifters, former Drifters lead singer Ben E. King, The Coasters, The Shangri-Las, Peggy Lee, and many others.

Ashford, along with his wife and songwriting partner Valerie Simpson, wrote songs for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Chaka Khan, and more.

I'm of an age and upbringing where I was exposed to songs co-written by these men from an early age, and with frequency. My earliest musical memories involve Elvis and Motown, and encompass nearly all of these other performers. This was the popular music of the day, and while it's not my aim to disparage any current artist, when I look at what's popular today it makes me sad.

This short list of songs will give you a glimpse of the gifts these two men shared with the world. The first six are Leiber and Stoller compositions; the other five are Ashford and Simpson compositions.

"Hound Dog"
"Jailhouse Rock"
"On Broadway"
"Spanish Harlem"
"Stand By Me"
"Chapel of Love"
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
"You're All I Need to Get By"
"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing"
"Solid (As A Rock)"
"I'm Every Woman"

23 August 2011

Filling the Void

I forgot to post something yesterday. Oops. I mean, no one says I have to, but I've been trying to post something every weekday unless work or some other obligation (or brain lapse, apparently) keeps me from doing so.

Anyway, I just went to the salad bar like I do most days for lunch. The salad I came away with is somewhat smaller than what I usually end up making. Like, two dollars smaller. This isn't terrible; I could stand to eat a little less in general.

But what does it say about me that my first thought after paying for the salad was, "After I'm done eating this, I guess I should go get something for dessert"?

21 August 2011

This Week in Awesome (8/20/11)

Friday was deadline day, and yesterday we attended a family event in RI, so... here we are.

Since everything is mashupable these days, how about this combo? (Warming Glow via Videogum)

If you've watched Parks and Recreation, you are familiar with the awesomeness that is Ron Swanson. Some of his gastronomic preferences have inspired artistic expression. (Jonny etc. via Vulture)

Staying in the food vein for a moment, the Tumblr site Aspic and Other Delights collects bizarre food images and advertisements from the past. (The Hairpin)

Fake iPhone apps, courtesy of David Byrne. (Cult of Mac via BoingBoing)

And finally this week, the site FlavorWire complies lots of top ten lists, and they recently did several that fit nicely with my recent music video posts, with all the discussed videos conveniently embedded: videos that predate MTV, outdated videos that are still cool, and once-popular videos that are actually terrible.

20 August 2011

Orphaned Tech

On Thursday HP announced that is is ending production of its smartphones and tablets that run the WebOS operating system. HP acquired WebOS when they bought Palm last year for $1.2 billion. That's a lot of money to spend on something to throw away so quickly.

WebOS is a great platform, but the available hardware has always held it down, and consequently app development has been almost nonexistent. You know that if a company like HTC had been developing phones that ran WebOS, they would have been better, and would have appeared more frequently.

My current phone is a Palm Pre that I've had for about a year and half. There's a lot I like about it, and some I don't. Every time I hear or read about a cool new app for the iPhone, I find myself thinking that's probably what I will end up getting next. The iPhone's arrival on Verizon earlier this year pretty much solidified my feelings.

I really wanted Palm to succeed and survive, and when WebOS was first announced I thought that could do it for them. But now it's over, and my phone is an orphan. There are mumblings that HP may try to sell WebOS, but the chances of that are very slim. The next version of the iPhone is rumored to be arriving in late September or early October, coincidentally right when I'm eligible for an upgrade.

18 August 2011

More Things on the Way Home

Another interesting trip home, though not like the other day. I dropped off a package at the post office on MIlk Street, and was walking along Devonshire toward State station when I saw one of those costumed Revolutionary actors from around Quincy Market walking toward me, with tricorner hat and all, talking on a cell phone. Bit of a historical disconnect there, for just a moment.

Then, down in the T station, a young lady approached and stood near me. In the faintest of voices, I heard, "Excuse me, sir?"

Expecting to be asked for money, I turned and said, "Yes?"

"Do you like watches?" Figuring she'd looked at my wrist and seen that I was wearing a nice one, then wondering if someone who knows me might have been playing some sort of joke, I hesitated for a moment, then answered "...yes?"

"Because I have one I'm trying to sell, would you like to buy it?"

Edging away slightly: "No thank you, that's okay..." Fortunately the train was arriving at that very moment, so I got on as quickly as I could.

17 August 2011

What A Strange Trip It Was

I had a very strange commute home yesterday...

When I leave work, I have several options for how to get home. Which way I choose to go depends on the time, the weather, and the information I get from the T's web site (now with banner ads, yay!) about how the buses and trains are running. I also use MBTAinfo to check the ETA for certain bus routes.

The CT2 takes me over to Ruggles station on the Orange Line, but it only runs every half-hour or so, so it's not always the best option. Yesterday it was on the way when I was leaving work, so I walked up to the corner of Huntington and Longwood to catch it.

When the bus came, it went a bit past the stop before stopping. One person got off, and one other person and I got on. The bus was totally packed, so we really had to squeeze in. The driver told us that's why she'd gone past the stop; she was implying that if that one person hadn't wanted to get off at that stop, she wouldn't have stopped at all. While I sympathize with the driver's predicament, when a bus is approaching I can't necessarily tell how full it is. (Those of you with better vision may be able to.)

We made it to Ruggles, and I headed inside. At the fare gates the guy ahead of me did something I've never seen anyone do since the T installed the Charlie card system: he put his card in the turnstile to his left, instead of the one to his right. As soon as he'd done it, he realized he'd made a mistake, and slipped through the gate behind the person ahead of him. This threw off my timing, and as I tapped my card and started through, the gates closed on me before opening again, giving me a pretty good whack on my upper arm (those things have sharp edges).

When I got down to the platform it was much more crowded than usual, but there were no announcements about a delay, so I waited a couple of minutes and a train came. I always board at the very front of the train because at Wellington the only exit is at that end of the platform, and in a rush-hour crowd not having to walk that extra distance and navigate through the crowd can mean the difference between making the bus and having to wait 20 minutes for the next one.

When I got on the train, a woman with a baby in a stroller was taking up three seats, using her backpack on the third one. She told me I could not sit there. I asked why. She pointed to the window behind her, which was cracked in several directions. I asked why she was sitting there. She said she was a T employee, she was off-duty but was taking the train somewhere when the window was damaged a few stops before Ruggles and that had delayed the train. (That explained the crowd on the platform.) She was attempting to keep people from using the seats because she believed the window was going to shatter.

I apologized, explaining that since she was not wearing a uniform or anything else that would have obviously identified her as a T employee, I just assumed she was a typical T nutjob. After talking to her for a moment, I realized that I had seen her once before, in uniform on another evening train, talking to another T employee. At the next stop I was able to get a seat nearby, and spent the rest of the ride reading and listening to her warding off other would-be sitters. The window never broke, but the cracks did get larger.

There was also a minor altercation of some sort around Downtown Crossing, where a woman on the platform rather rudely told the person ahead of her to push into the train so she too could fit in. They both managed to squeeze on, and there was some additional back-and-forth verbal sparring, but I wasn't close enough to hear it. Too bad; it probably would have made for a nice "Overheard" bit.

At some point I realized that I would have been better off going home a different way. It's not often that the Green Line seems like the better option, but yesterday was definitely one of those days. Of course, I still would have had to transfer at North Station...

16 August 2011

Get in the Van(s)

Until a couple of weeks ago, I'd never owned a pair of Vans shoes. Like a lot of people who didn't grow up in California, my first exposure to them was seeing the checkerboard slip-ons on Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which came out almost 30 years ago (bonus: there's your feel-old moment for the day).

I was the right age at the time to think they were cool, but back then my taste and eye for clothing were not yet quite so well developed. Fast-forward to today, when I know just what I want but often have trouble finding it amid the dross of mass-market stuff.

I prefer things that are simple and unadorned, which is why I stay away from modern athletic shoes that have a tendency to look like spaceships. I was looking for plain white canvas casual sneakers, and was leaning toward Converse Jack Purcells but I have never cared for the rubber toe cap. Somehow my online meanderings led me to Vans. There were dozens of styles and colors to ponder; I considered ordering a customized pair, but when I saw that they would take 5 to 7 weeks I ditched that idea.

Further browsing presented me with the idea of the classic Vans Authentic in leather instead of canvas. At Zappos they happened to be cheaper, only $3 more than the canvas version; the slightly off-white hue looked more appealing compared to pure white, and I thought the leather gave them a slightly... well, "dressier" obviously isn't how I want to express it, so let's go with "nicer"... look.

When I first put them on I was surprised at how light they were; it was almost like not wearing any shoes. They are plenty wide enough for my problematic feet, and are easy to wear. They have no arch support whatsoever, but the insole is a half-inch of foam padding so they're fine for the amount of waling I do on a typical day.

They're also moderately priced, generally $45–50, making it feasible to have several pairs if one so chooses. I'm not saying that's going to happen; at this point I have enough other summer sneakers to rotating among that I'm fine with this pair, but I may want to add some other colors down the road...

15 August 2011

Rain Gear

On days like today I'd like to be able to just wear a rain jacket instead of fussing with an umbrella, but I get too clammy. It doesn't matter how "breathable" the material is supposed to be; I have a Gore-Tex rain slicker, but wearing it when the temperature is above 60 is like wearing a rainforest.

Do other people have this issue? How do you deal with it?

14 August 2011

This Week in Awesome (8/13/11)

Whoops, forgot all about this...

See the softer, more disturbing side of Sears in these scans (two sets) from a 1973 catalog. (The Hairpin)

Etsy hath wrought many things, including this collection of dogs reluctantly modeling things made by their owners. (Racked NY)

A gallery in New York has a show of album covers and promo posters from the punk/new wave era. Graphic design sage Chip Kidd chose a few of his favorites. (MTV Hive via Gilt MANual)

And finally this week, Jimmy Kimmel accompanied Jessica Alba to her birthing class. (ABC via Hulu)

12 August 2011

Retro Video Unit (8/12/11)

As I was saying in one of the previous installments, with many of the bands from the new wave era, there are no official music videos of their earlier songs because they predate MTV. That's the case with the band I've chosen to feature today, The Motels.

I could have selected "Only The Lonely" or one of the other, later clips that gave The Motels some deserved recognition in the 1980s, but I became aware of them in 1979 and prefer their first two albums to their later material. I did find a live performance clip for the song "Total Control" from their first album, which nicely captures the band at an early stage.

More than 30 years on, Martha Davis's is STILL one of the most distinctive voices in all of rock, and she appears to be sporting the man's-suit-with-no-shirt look about ten years before Madonna wore it in the "Express Yourself" video.

11 August 2011

Go Fish!

As anticipated, I had a food truck lunch today. I didn't go where I had originally planned, mainly because I wasn't sure that particular truck would have something I wanted. Instead I headed down to the plaza outside the Christian Science building across from the Prudential Center to try the Go Fish! truck.

I opted for the grilled tuna Caesar salad wrap, which was delicious if a little messy, even with choosing to take it back to my desk to eat. Instead of croutons there are smoked onions, which gave it an interesting bit of pungency.

I will definitely go back, because there are at least a couple of other items on the menu I would like to try, like the lump crab salad sandwich and the cod and chorizo sliders. There are also weekly specials, and the proprietor is emphasizing local and seasonal choices whenever feasible. I could definitely see myself becoming a regular customer, but I want to try offerings from other trucks too.

I noticed a smattering of small tables under the trees along the edge of the plaza, so it would be possible to visit the Go Fish! truck and eat outdoors on a nice day.

10 August 2011

Watch Wednesday (8/10/11)

It's been almost three months since the last WW, and one new watch per quarter seems a more appropriately restrained level of consumption.

I like the appearance and functionality of chronographs, and I have a few. On the ones I have, the subdials either blend in too much with the rest of the watch face or stand out from it too much, so I've been looking for one that falls in the middle. I found a Japanese-market Citizen on eBay several years ago that was just right, but it was over $300 and I couldn't justify spending that.

A Seiko is always a solid choice: they make hundreds of styles that are well-made and reasonably priced, so it's a value purchase you can live with happily. I found this watch on eBay while browsing Seiko chronographs. I'd never seen this style before, but it caught my attention right away. The rings around the subdials are the sort of accent I was after, and it's not too big or too flashy. On the wrist this one comes off looking a little dressier, with a hint of resemblance to a TAG Heuer Carerra.

This watch came on a really ugly metal bracelet, and this strap is just a cheap one I happened to have around that is the correct size, but I found a source for straps (also on eBay) that I was not familiar with, Holben's Fine Watch Bands. They have a nice selection of quality straps at very reasonable prices, so I will be upgrading this one soon. My plan is to go through all my watches, figure out which ones need new or better straps, and get a bunch of them at once.

09 August 2011

Making Lunch Easier

I liked the piece on boston.com today about food trucks. The city is making some effort to encourage these small businesses, to the extent that they have created a page on the city of Boston web site that shows the schedules and locations for the trucks. This way, if I'm feeling like I want to try something new for lunch, I can check the web page and see what truck is going to be closest to where I work. I'm planning to try one of these later on this week, probably Thursday.

08 August 2011

Short Sleeves

I'm fortunate that I can wear whatever I choose to work. In summer that means shorts and short-sleeve shirts. There are corners of the internet that frown on this, but frankly I don't care. If I was going from air-conditioned house to air-conditioned car to air-conditioned office, I'd probably wear pants. But instead of "car," for me that middle section is "public transit." Unfortunately the climate control on public transit is a huge variable; I never know how comfortable my ride is or isn't going to be.

The T has come a long way since I arrived here for college in 1981, when the only "air" on buses came through sliding windows and the air conditioning on the Green Line trains only worked in the front halves of the cars, but even in 2011 I still can't be certain that the bus that I board in the morning will have AC, or will have it on. (There seem to be some drivers who prefer to be warm, and I also believe that some of them leave the AC off intentionally, just to make riders suffer.) Therefore I need to dress for comfort in warm weather.

I like the look of button-front short-sleeve shirts. I also wear polo shirts, but the button-front shirts look just a bit more dignified without sacrificing comfort. (I've tried wearing some of my lighter-weight long-sleeve shirts with the sleeves rolled up, but they still tend to be too warm around the arms with the multiple layers of rolled fabric.) For the past several summers I've worn the same small group of shirts because it was very difficult to find any new ones that I liked. For a long time the prevailing style of short-sleeve shirt was the laid-back, Tommy Bahama-ish print with a straight bottom. Even though I wear my shirts tucked in, I hate shirts with straight bottoms and won't buy them, and I hate anything by TB anyway.

This year things were much better. Many of the places I like to shop had short-sleeve offerings in colorful, attractive plaids. I also found some inexpensive seersucker shirts in nice, bright colors at JCPenney in their American Living line, the one that's designed and produced for them by Ralph Lauren. When this line started a couple of years ago, most of the clothes were slapped with a gaudy eagle logo, but more recently I've noticed that they have toned that down, and now more of the pieces seem to be logo-free, which is great for people like me who hate logos.

I also got shirts from Lands' End, J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, and even one from Old Navy, where I rarely find anything I like. I don't like to spend a lot of money on my summer clothes, because I know they are going to get worn fairly hard and washed more frequently. But if I have enough clothes to rotate through, they are likely to last longer, and by buying stuff that isn't trendy, I'll be more likely to want to hold onto them as long as I can.

07 August 2011

This Week in Awesome (8/6/11)

Yesterday's post really should have appeared on Friday, so I bumped this back a day too. Enjoy...

It's a rainy, lazy Sunday around here. If you're looking for something to do, you might try working on some of these lovely paper dolls based on TV characters. (Flannel Animal via Videogum)

Don Cheadle (perhaps taking a cue from his character in Boogie Nights?) is branching out to explore other business opportunities. (Funny or Die)

I know many of you have been thinking, "We really like those time-lapse videos you find, but how about some other city besides New York?" I hear you, and I have you covered. (Vimeo via The Awl)

To the ongoing argument about why people have to get a license to drive a car but can do so many other things without any prequalification whatsoever, add this: the internet access filtration test. (And click here to see what happens if you get the question wrong.) (Defective Yeti via The Daily What)

And finally this week, a very funny video explaining the origin of the dreaded hipster. (Glove & Boots via YouTube)

06 August 2011

Burger Guys

Five Guys opened in Medford back in June. Somehow we had managed to not try any of their other area locations before (not on purpose), so we checked it out early in July. It was right before we went away, so I never got around to mentioning it.

We stopped in for a second visit recently, and the place was humming along as though it had always been there. The burgers are tasty, and there is a long list of toppings and condiments, including grilled onions. The fries are of medium thickness, which gives them a pronounced potato taste. When I eat fries at all, my personal preference is for thin ones.

When you order a burger, the cashier yells "two patties!" back toward the grill area. On our first visit we quickly learned that this means a standard Five Guys burger is a double. That's a lot of food, and their patties are a little thicker to start with. You can order a single, which they call a "little burger" (possibly to embarrass you into just ordering the double?). On our second visit I went with a single-patty bacon cheeseburger, and found it less overwhelming and more satisfying overall.

The biggest surprise to us was that they don't offer typical burger accompaniments like onion rings or shakes, though they do offer hot dogs, which I don't eat anyway. In this respect I have to give Boston's Uburger the edge, because their burger-shake-thin cut fries combo is one of my favorites, and also because their burgers are flatter, which I also prefer. These things just kind of go together (as long as you don't think too much about the gastrointestinal ramifications).

Of course, if Boston got a Shake Shack I'd have to split my burger consumption between them and Uburger. And I don't even dare dream of In & Out—that's best left for West Coast visits.

04 August 2011

Grooming Garage: More Still Isn't Better (For Me)

I've been using my Schick Hydro 3 razor for a little over a year now, and I really like it. In fact I like it so much that I stopped using the older Schick razor I had, even though I still had several months' worth of blades for it. (I still feel a little guilty about that, but not much.)

Recently I ordered some stuff from drugstore.com, and when the package arrived there was a free bonus inside: the five-blade version of the Hydro. I don't find that these extra blades are of any benefit to me, but I figured I should at least try it out.

Nope. The experience was about the same as when I tried the Gillette Fusion ProGlide after they offered to send me one last year. The extra blades make the head awkwardly oversize, which makes getting to the tight spots that much more difficult. (Even the Hydro 3 is a little too large compared to the older Xtreme 3.)

More importantly, I just don't feel any difference between the three-blade and five-blade shaves. There's more irritation, and no difference in how long it takes my beard to grow back. So I'm glad I got the chance to try the Hydro 5, but I'm sticking with the Hydro 3.

03 August 2011


So yeah, this is my 1,000th post. I'm as surprised as the rest of you, kinda.

When I started doing this almost five years ago, I wasn't thinking about how long it might last; I was just trying to summon the discipline to express myself on a somewhat regular basis. I found my way, tentatively at first, and got to where I was posting something about every other day. But then around two years ago, without any specific intent on my part, the pace picked up to nearly every weekday plus my Saturday link roundups, and half of those 1,000 posts have come in about the past 20 months.

It's an interesting circumstance to be in, because I enjoy doing this as much as ever, if not more so, so I look forward to it, but at the same time I feel a certain sense of obligation to produce regularly and consistently because I know people are visiting (at least, my list of followers continues to grow, which you will have to take my word for because for whatever reason Blogger doesn't feel like displaying it). It can be tough to balance work and life and find some time each day to produce something that will be worth your time.

So I'm (hopefully uncharacteristically) going to give myself a little pat on the back, and at the same time say thanks for reading and commenting and otherwise reassuring me that I'm not doing this in a vacuum. Now it's off to J.P. Licks with some coworkers to celebrate the last day of a summer worker. Coincidence? I don't think so...

02 August 2011

Track Your Package

The office where I work is located inside a building that serves various functions. When I started here, packages were left in a mail room on the first floor, but after we moved within the building four years ago, new delivery procedures were established: the regular delivery people for UPS, FedEx, and DHL know that packages addressed to our specific business entity are to be brought to the front desk inside our main door. Generally this works very smoothly.

Some of my recent Zappos orders have not been delivered directly to our office. This is a bit unusual, and the tracking info for a shipment I was expecting today claimed that the package had been left at "front desk" and signed for by a name I did not know. I went around the building and checked with other likely destinations, including the front desk, and found nothing.

When I went into my Zappos account information to look up how to contact customer service to initiate a trace, I noticed that my shipping address was not correct. The street address and business name are there, but the qualifying piece that we use to indicate our specific office area had been changed. Shippers don't like this address because it does not conform to what the postal service thinks our address should be, and sometimes they take it on themselves to change it to what the USPS tells them it thinks it should be.

At least it's likely that the package is in the building somewhere, so I should be able to track it down soon.

01 August 2011

Brain Is Confused

Have you ever witnessed something that made no sense at all? I had a moment like that this morning.

I was on my way to work on the Orange Line. The train pulled into Sullivan, a couple of people got off, a few people got on. The car wasn't too crowded overall, and before the doors closed I happened to look across and out onto the platform, where a maintenance person was wet-mopping the concrete and the rubber warning strip.

Wait, what? My brain might as well have made that noise when a needle gets shoved across a record. I mean, I'm all for the T trying to keep stations clean, or at least as clean as possible when thousands of people pass through them each day. But what's the point of mopping down a platform that's outdoors? Unless someone had barfed there a few minutes before the train pulled in? Okay. Otherwise, as Don Draper said to the London Fog people, "It is going to rain."

If I see anyone waxing the concrete, the T's gonna have some 'splaining to do.