Thursday, October 27, 2005

Don't mess with Texas

I am not a fan of the Chicago White Sox. I'm hardly a fan of baseball. But my favorite TV show the past few days has been the one where Houston is forced to eat its ten-gallon cowboy hat. My favorite part was when they showed former President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara decked out in Astros gear and mouths agape when the White Sox took the lead in game four.

(I couldn't find a pic online of George senior and Barbara when their mouths were agape, but you get the idea. That's Neil Bush next to the silver fox. Neil is potentailly your future president if we don't get our shit together and stop the insanity.)

One of the many sayings in Texas is that they do everything bigger there. Well, they certainly managed to lose the World Series as hugely as possible. Swept. Not one win. That's huge, right?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Days of Thunder

I was channel surfing the other day (taking a break from surfing the web), and "The Color of Money" was on TV. Tom Cruise and Paul Newman in a movie about shooting pool. And I wondered: When exactly did Tom Cruise fall out of favor? There was a time in his career where he could do no wrong. But now he's seen as a crazed egomaniac.

Was it after starring in a few bad movies? Top Gun? Cocktail? Days of Thunder?
Or was it later, like: Magnolia? Mission Impossible II? The Last Samurai?

Was it his breakup with Nicole Kidman? You can't hate the guy for that. But you can wonder about his sexual preferences for that. I mean, IT'S NICOLE KIDMAN FOR CHRISSAKES.

Or was it when he became a supremely vocal Scientologist? I gotta think that his rant against Brooke Shields must have lost more than a few of his fans. Beck is apparently a Scientologist, but you don't hear anybody saying "remember when Beck used to be good?" He's still good! But Beck isn't as vocal about his love for Scientology as Tom Cruise is.

Maybe if Tom Cruise picks up a guitar and starts playing the lo-fi slacker part, he'll be welcomed with open arms again. Or if he shuts the fuck up.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Witness the evolution of the revolution

At the rate new iPods are coming out these days, why would you buy the video one Jobs announced yesterday? By this time next month, there'll be one with internet connect-ability (duh). And by January, one with a built-in iSight for iChatting! I'm gonna hang onto my $299 until the one that makes perfect poached eggs and hash comes out next spring.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hello. How may I help you?

We're on the verge of buying a bed, which is long long overdue. I've researched mattresses so much in the past week that I feel like some sort of authority on the subject. Like "a little knowledge is dangerous" kind of authority.

After lying in the beds for 30 minutes at Room & Board near the old Western Images intersection of 7th & Townsend, we were about to pull the trigger on buying a memory foam mattress. Then Lily's friends Kevin and Randy ran into us and convinced us to shop around online for something that would surely be half-price.

We found an online mattress seller which had memory foam mattresses for half the price of Room & Board. Not a lot of info there, and I wanted to ask some questions, so I clicked on the "chat with a customer service representative now" button. I was looking forward to chatting with somebody as helpful as the woman on the picture of the button.

Keep in mind that an average of 5 minutes passed between each response.

Chat Information Please wait for a site operator to respond.
Chat Information All operators are currently assisting others. Thanks for your patience. An operator will be with you shortly.
Chat Information All operators are currently assisting others. Thanks for your patience. An operator will be with you shortly.
Chat Information All operators are currently assisting others. Thanks for your patience. An operator will be with you shortly.
Chat Information You are now chatting with 'ed'
ed: How may I help you today?
lee: hi.
lee: I'm wondering what the ILD rating of your memory foam mattresses is.
ed: our memory foam has a 5.3lb density

[Sidebar from LLMB: ILD does not measure the density of foam. It is a measure of how hard or soft the material is. It's generally measured in the number of pounds needed to compress the material 25% (on average). According to ed's answer it would take 5.3 pounds to compress the material 25%. At that rate, any full grown human would be lying on the ground.]

lee: is the foam made in the U.S.?
ed: our beds are made in the US
lee: is the foam bought elsewhere and the beds assemebled in the U.S.?

[20 minutes passes]

lee: still there Ed?
ed: I'm sorry for the delay
ed: our Memory foam is made in China
ed: and beds are assmbled in our plant
lee: does the foam contain fire-retardants such as PBDE or formaldehyde?
ed: they are fire retardent
lee: does the foam contain PBDE?
ed: no
lee: what fire-retardant chemicals are used in the mattresses?
ed: i dont know
lee: can you find out?
ed: not today
lee: sorry ed, but your lack of answer is not allowing me to make a decision on buying your product.
ed: i'm sorry
lee: does the foam contain formaldehyde?
ed: Call me at 1 800 xxx-xxxx ext xxx
ed: on Monday, I'll find out from my plant
lee: I'm not clear on how you would have the answer to the PBDE question and not the formaldehyde question. Do you have a list of some of the chemicals and not others?
ed: I said I'll get the info on Monday, call me then, OK?

Oh, ok. I'm just some pesky customer that might spend more than a few bucks at your store. Good thing I kept asking questions about where the components of your mattresses are made or you might think China is a state in the US.

I wasn't about to pick up the phone to speak with Ed considering his track record with answers. I went back to Room & Board to ask some questions and got basically zero help there as well. Luckily we ran into a very nice young man named Andrew at a mattress store in Menlo Park. He gave us loads of info and was ready to do anything in his power to lower the price and get us the mattress we wanted. No salesy BS at all. Nighty-night.