Archive for the 'Off Topic' Category

1 + 1 = 2.8

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

OK, I’m a computer programmer – a math geek. I can do fairly complex problems in my head. So maybe I’m not typical of, say, the average customer at Burger King. Still…

I stop at BK for lunch today. They’ve got 4 chicken tenders for $1, or 8 for $2.80. The former is listed in the ‘dollar menu’ section, the latter about 5 items down in the regular section. Neither is on sale – they’re both regular ala carte prices.

Is this a symptom of the inability of BK managers to add 1 + 1, or do they think their typical customer can’t add 1 + 1?

When I was in college, the popular local diner had a ‘special’, which was a combo meal of a cheeseburger, fries and soda, for $3.40. However, if you actually added up the ala carte prices of those same three items, they totalled $3.20 (plus or minus a nickel or so – I can’t remember exactly.) So, we’d have this ordering sequence:

Me: “I’d like a cheeseburger, fries, and a diet coke”
Server: “OK, one special coming up”
Me: “No, I don’t want the special – I want a cheeseburger, fries, and a diet coke”
Server: “That’s a special…”
Me: “I don’t want the special, I want…”

Links o’ the day

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

Casual Game Sales Charts

Search Engine Comparisons

Book-A-Minute reviews the classics

More Audiophile Stupidity – A $23,000 CD-Player. Since a $20 OEM CD player can read data flawlessly for a PC, what does the extra $22,980 get you?

Too much money

Friday, November 11th, 2005

Some people have more money than brains. Need proof?

Check out some of these items for high-end stereo buyers (original artcle at ILikeJam)

Opus MM Speaker Cables – $30,750

Volume Control – $6,820

Wooden know for volume control – $485

And for the bargain hunter, a CD cleaner (last seen at Gamestop for $5.99), only $99.99 here. But it’s worth it, because it will enable you to “truly experience the reality of the recorded media onthe [sic] DVD, Compact Disc, Multimedia CD-ROMs and Photo CDs”

Date Night

Friday, November 4th, 2005

My wife and I have tried to go on a ‘date’ almost every Friday since we were married (10 years ago).

Usually Leslie and I like to go to a decent, but not overly exotic restaurant, something like Applebees or Red Lobster or their local independent equivalent. A place where I can get a Pina Colada, we can share a funky appetizer, and the menus are (hopefully) paper/cardboard instead of plastic, or worse, a sign hanging over the cash register.

But things have changed a bit with the advent of one, two, then three kids.

Tonight our daughter, Katie (age 6) was demanding to get to choose the dinner destination, which we haven’t let her do for months. She quickly announced that it would be Pizza Hut. There was much cajoling and attempted bribery by Leslie and I (“Katie, if we go to [someplace good], we’ll let you get a movie afterwards…”) But nothing could sway her.

Then Danny (age 4.5) started crying that he didn’t like Pizza Hut. Danny is actually a pretty good eater, and willing to go to moderately exotic places that Leslie and I like. But Danny got fixated on the McDonalds that was right next to the Pizza Hut we were pulling up to.

So we had one kid in hysterics, crying for McDonalds, the other demanding Pizza Hut, and Leslie and I seriously trying to persuade Katie to give up Pizza Hut in favor of McDonalds (’cause at least there’d be less crying that way). Anyways, I think it’s the first time I’ve advocated McDonald’s as a date night destination.

We ended up going to Pizza Hut.

Baseball – Priceless

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

Loading Up At Sports Authority

I am not a jock. I never was a jock. Though I’m 6’1” and in reasonable shape now, throughout my childhood I was undersized (I grew late), which, when combined with physically slow and a bit uncoordinated, makes me very well suited for, well, being a computer geek, not an athlete.

But my two oldest children are now 6 and 4.5, and I’m starting to hear rumblings from other parents about little league, coaching, etc. Moreover, I fear that if I leave their athletic training solely to my wife, it will be nothing but ballet and gymnastics – fine for Katie, but for Danny, well…

Anyways, my kids have been watching a bit of the Cardinals fine season with me this year, so last week I broke out the whiffle ball and bat for my future shortstops. Following on that great success (not a single injury!), we went to Sports Authority today for a buying binge. We’ll practice on the warm days this fall, and they’ll storm the T-Ball league next spring – yeah! (and the German skinflint side of me was thinking that late September would be a great time to pick up baseball equipment on closeout)

At first I felt a bit sheepish when I told the sales woman at the cash register that I needed help figuring out which baseball equipment to get for my kids – did I miss that day at Fatherhood training school? My manhood was further jeopardized when they summoned from another department an athletic looking woman who could probably beat me at not only baseball, but pretty much any Olympic sport, all the way down to curling. But she knew her stuff, and promptly picked out the right size gloves and bats for my kids, and filled me in on the local little-league scene. Finally, I had her size me up for a glove for myself. The last glove I had was a gift from my dad at around age 10, and hasn’t fit me since about age 13. Now, though, I have a proper glove – but I need to make sure I scuff it up before I show up for any other dads-type little league event – you can’t show up with a shiny new glove that’s never been used.

Baseball Spree at Sports Authority: $197*

Two Hours Later, Your Daughter Says Baseball Is “Boring”: Priceless

OK, while she did say that, it was after our first baseball practice of the day ended in an 0 for 9 slump by my daughter. A bit later, both kids wanted to play again, and this time, they got better pitching by Dad. Where did she swing last time – ok if I can just pitch it to exactly that point… Still, it was a lot of fun, and I had to turn down my son’s request for a 4th baseball session late in the day.

As bad as I was/am at baseball, two of my uncles played minor league ball back in their time. Maybe the baseball talent skipped a generation sideways and down, and my kids will surpass their dad at this one. In the meantime, at least my kids will appreciate the Cardinals games a bit more…

* 2 bats, 3 gloves, 3 balls, a batting tee, and glove ‘moisturizer’ – yeah, like I’m really gonna follow through and use that regularly, plus a Nerf football and a Scooby Doo basketball. And no, the baseball stuff wasn’t on closeout – don’t they know baseball season is over in 3 weeks? Ahh well…

Best Sports Writing I Saw This Week

“If you believe what the White Sox manager told Copley News Service columnist Mike Nadel the other day, he might just up and retire if the Sox win the World Series this year. The way things are going for the South Siders, the qualifier seems a tad out there. It’s like starting a sentence, “If Paris Hilton becomes a nun…””

(Rick Morrissey via The Sports Economist)