Tipping point at the Broad Street Whole Foods

Everyday, some manager at the Broad Street Whole Foods in Durham must ask, “How many more displays can we add, and how much can we expand the endcaps today?”

You cannot walk from Point A to Point B without bumping into something or someone.

I remember, years ago, you’d walk into Whole Foods and smell flowers and other pleasant aromas. It was a relaxing experience to shop at Whole Foods, even the small Broad Street location.

Now, it’s like a crowded subway station. You can’t stop anywhere. You’ll hear “excuse me” non-stop. The shopping experience, from beginning to end, is one of constant stress.

If you want some pasta salad from the salad bar, good luck…

I wish there was a convenient alternative. I can’t say I’m going to boycott the store. But I’d certainly buy more there if I weren’t constantly trying to get exactly what I came for and get the hell out of there. And then there have been plenty of times when I have walked in, seen the madness, and walked right out.

It’s clear I’m in the minority here, because business appears to be booming. I don’t know how people can stand it.

P.S. – And now they’ve got the Thanksgiving order table, too, just smack in the middle of everything.

I do not understand; help me understand…

I get really pissed when I see list-serv messages or flyers that express sentiments such as the following (and I’m paraphrasing):

We are about to move. Unfortunately, we have still not been able to find a good home for Lulu and Oogie. We’re not able to take our beloved doggies with us and I’ve been desperately trying to find a home for both of them ‘together’.

The owners never go into specifics as to why they’re “not able to” take their precious pets with them. I have often seen the excuse that the “new place doesn’t allow” pets, which always makes me wonder how hard the people looked for a place that would accept pets.

Have they lost significant income to the point that they will barely be able to feed themselves, which then would seem justifiable to let the pets go?

I am certain there are a fair number of legitimate cases when owners have to part with their pets. But I see so many of these listings, that I cannot help but think that there are just a lot of shitty pet owners out there who just had their pets as accessories and are ready to dump them when they become nuisances.

And I think, “Well, shit, now someone has to go adopt your awesome dogs, who seem to have been cared for very well…instead of going to the shelter to rescue a couple of dogs that truly don’t have homes”.

Or perhaps I am just very ignorant…is it really tough to find apartment and house rentals that accept pets? I always figured the ratio was about 50/50, and you pay a fair monthly fee and extra deposit for the privilege of keeping pets.

I suppose putting the ads out is not nearly as bad as the people I read about who leave their foreclosed homes with the pets left behind.

I suppose this is why pet adoptions are a bit of a catch-22. I have heard complaints about rescue organizations that seem very stringent in reviewing adoption applicants while it’s very easy to bring a pet home from certain shelters. On the other hand, a lot of people seem to adopt pets without the aim of making a lifetime commitment, as if they’ll just see how it works out. I just don’t get it…

The Mediocrity of Kate Hudson

the mediocre kate hudsonThis scathing post by Chez on the awful-sounding new film Bride Wars (11% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) led me to the following geeky exercise:

That graph is really too kind to Kate Hudson. If you couldn’t guess, the mere notion of Kate Hudson is a pet peeve of mine.

Hmm…actually, Rotten Tomatoes makes their own graphs, and this Kate Hudson Tomatometer graph shows a bit more dramatically how crappy Kate Hudson movies have been since 2001.

kate-hudson-tomatometer

Silent Night Not

This post is not in the spirit of the holiday season. It’s just a post to vent so I can go back to trying to relax, which I have not been able to do for the past three hours or so.

My neighbors across the street have insisted on playing their stereo with bass and party-level tonight. Until ten minutes ago, they had the front door open. I’d have tried to comfort with myself with the thought that “it’s Christmas”, but the fact is that they were doing this because it’s sixty-something degrees outside and they have consistently behaved as if they’re the only ones on the block with rights worth considering.

These are not apartments. They are not renters. They are homeowners I’ll potentially have to live near for several years to come. I know from other behavior that the slightest hint that I am pissed at them will make me their enemy for life.

This is similar to the problem I have at work and the street music…except I’m HOME. I’m off from work. This is supposed to be my turf. But my bleeping neighbors don’t care.

Even now, with that front door closed, the thumping is constant. The fact that there are three children in the house makes it all the more upsetting, because these kids are learning that this is acceptable.

12:30 in the morning now. No change. The kids are 3, 6, and 12. It’s a party over there.

Whenever I feel like I need to have earplugs to have peace in my own home, I feel like I’ve picked a shitty place to call home.

I was pretty much fine sitting home on a night typically associated with togetherness. But my tolerance for this stereo shit is zero.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night, except for my neighbors. I hope their power goes out.

Nor do I have an abundance of respect for CNN…

Sure, I complain about being forced to watched Fox News in a waiting room, and I would prefer to watch CNN. I do think, as Barry commented, right-wingers have little to go on in claiming that CNN is leftist propaganda, but no one ought to be forced to watch anything. I don’t happen to have much regard for CNN, but I have particular disgust for CNN.com, as I’ve likely mentioned before. A few aspects of the site summarize my loathing–the story highlights, for those readers below a fourth-grade reading level, the substitution of many written stories for video, for those with no desire to read anything, the tabloid nature of a large majority of the main stories, and, finally, the idiocy of the home page’s Quick Vote poll.

My rant today is generated by today’s yesterday’s Quick Vote, obviously a reaction to the story that British media withheld Prince Harry’s presence in Afghanistan.

Quick Vote
Should the media keep stories secret to protect people from harm?
– Yes
– No

The issue itself is irrelevant. The question’s lack of a third option, something like ‘Depends’, is insulting. CNN.com’s poll questions almost always avoid nuance, and like the rest of their website, seem to discourage any attempt to take a critical look at anything. In this respect, they’re no better than Fox or MSNBC.

I can’t think of any other examples. Trust me, the questions are always just plain dumb.

I wasn’t quite annoyed enough to post the above. But today I found fodder for a companion rant.

So I typically capture the pulse of what CNN thinks is the pulse of America by browsing the CNN.com main feed rather than going to their odious website. Here are the last five feed items. Which one of the following does not belong?

– Prince Harry back from Afghanistan
– Guns, anarchist manual found in room with ricin [by the way, I’m glad our presence in Iraq is preventing the terrorists from following us back home]
– J. Lo, Mark Anthony name babies
– Palestinians: Israeli attacks kill dozens
– Pills found in fish prompt Gorton’s recall [but, but…I trust the Gorton’s fisherman!]

I appologize…

At work, we use a VAR (Value Added Reseller) for support. They’re terrible. Anyway, for the umpteenth time, they’ve prematurely set an issue to ‘resolved’ status. I said, “Yo, WTF is up with you resolving my stuff that you haven’t resolved?” No, I was quite polite, which is a considerable effort considering their constant bumbling.

The response:

I appologize…

I make typos all the time. They frequently wind up in here. But if you rely on me for customer support, are you going to feel confident in my abilities if I can’t spell ‘apologize’?

But they’re providing technical support. Why do they need to know how to spell?

I don’t know. What if you’re running for a significant elected position? Pat McCrory’s staff can’t spell, but that shouldn’t disqualify him from running for Governer of North Carolina, should it?

Charlie Wilson’s War

Charlie Wilson’s War (overall) 9/10

Charlie Wilson’s War (as experienced at Southpoint Cinemas) 6/10

The added accompaniment of bass thumping of I Am Legend from the adjacent theater was something I could have lived without. No wonder $9.25 is better spent buying a DVD to watch at home.

Complicated password rules

I have refrained from ranting about various problems I’ve had with my new AT&T service and Samsung SGH-a517 phone. After spending a year ranting about Sprint and canceling Verizon after a day, I figure the problem starts sound like it’s with me if I hate AT&T as well. I’m not going to post about the service or the phone.

I’m trying to research my problems with the service and the phone on the AT&T wireless forums. My hiccup:

Password: must contain at least one uppercase character. Your password must be 6 or more characters, contain at least one lowercase character, one uppercase character, one digit, and no repeated sequence of 3 or more characters. Your password can’t be a subset of your login name.

As I mentioned a few months back with regard to the Target RedCard site, I’ve got a standard scheme for picking passwords for sites, and I think my passwords are pretty secure. When I’m liable to compromise my passwords’ security is when I must change my scheme because of one site’s stringent rules implemented for my own good. That’s when I have to either write down the password or send myself an email or put the damn password anywhere other than in my brain.

So, my super-secure scheme doesn’t happen to include an uppercase character. I hope that by ranting about this now, I’ll have a permanent reminder to myself that my AT&T wireless forum password is the one password that has an uppercase character. Not sure which character I’ll make uppercase. I’ll make the first character uppercase.

I think that instead of worrying about making password rules up, websites should simply have an extra box along with all the other terms and conditions I don’t read that says, “We are not responsible for any damage caused to your life because you picked a dumb password’. And then if I want my password to be “toastie” or “password” or “blank” or just plain blank, that’s my right.

N&O’s Durham News sullies another Saturday morning

Durham News from The News and Observer - litter on the sidewalkHow can I get the News & Observer to stop littering in front of my house and in the rest of the yards of my neighboring with their weekly free dumping, er, distribution, of The Durham News?

I have no criticism of the content of The Durham News. I even enjoy reading it on occasion. I just absolutely hate their method of distribution. By tossing a paper in a plastic bag in front of every house, they are:

1) Forcing people who’d prefer not to have litter in front of their homes to bend down and pick it up. I know it may sound like a petty grievance, but the simple act of bending down isn’t quite so easy for everyone, and it’s aggravated when the motivation is to pick up something that you yourself didn’t put on the group in the first place.

2) Forcing people who’d prefer not to have litter in front of their homes to find a disposal method for the delivery. The newspaper is recyclable. How about that plastic bag? I’m assuming that is, too. But they’ve just given me two extra pieces of trash to recycle, and they’ve done it willfully, not accidentally, like when the Durham sanitation department “accidentally” leaves a ton of wrappers and leaflets strwen across the streets after their morning pick-ups.

3) Becoming the main litterers in the neighborhood, since about half of the papers left out in my neighborhood after never picked up at all. They become soggy messes on the sidewalk, an eyesore on my daily walks along what is generally an aesthetically pleasing path.
Durham News from The News and Observer - eventually becomes mush

Why can’t The Durham News be distributed in bins like The Independent? Would no one bother to go out of their way to fish out a copy

Fine, then. PUT IT IN MY MAILBOX. At least that would put them on par for annoyance with Dominos. I can collect the contents on my mailbox in one fluid action.

What if my weekly coupon circulars were just strewn across my lawn? I’d resent the obnoxiousness of the distributors and toss them out without a second look. At least, since they come in my mailbox, I sometimes take a peek at them. What if any of the materials and I normally expect to find in my mailbox were tossed, in plastic bags, in front of my house? Why does no one else do this? Why does The News and Observer get an exemption?

So I need to tell The News and Observer to just stop it. I know their publication is actually of a far higher caliber than their distribution method, but they irritate me to the point of wanting to swiftly discard of, what appears to me, this trash in front of my house.