|13 February 2001|
For I am out of thee
I am out of thee
With a vengeance
-- "Themes", Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
My PowerBook G4's DVD/CD drive has continued to act up, so I called Apple about it. They said "Huh. Interesting." Then they said they'd ship me a new one and take a look at mine. So, that's getting taken care of with a minimum of fuss. Thumbs up to Apple's service department.
I'm getting very used to having a wide screen now...
While not an avid car renter, I have had cause in the last few months to rent a few. I've stuck with the same vendor each time because my first experience with them was pleasant enough and I saw no reason to change. Having been told frequently in their various brochures and by their shuttle bus intercom that 'preferred' members get all sorts of sparkly shiny benefits, I decided to sign up to be 'preferred'. And I went to their web site.
Of course, I did this just as I was about to reserve another car (since that's when I was thinking of it), and I figured it would just assign me a number right there. After all, United will assign you a frequent flier number on the fly. Hotmail will give you an e-mail account right away. Surely a major car rental concern will have the capability to hand me a preferred-member number right away.
Imagine my surprise when, after filling out a deceptively web-transaction-like form, they spit my information back to me in a plain white page that said at the top "OK, now print this and mail it in, because our systems and our programmers can't handle making a real Web site". At least, that's how I read it...
I think it was sometime in 2000 when I stopped being pleasantly surprised that multinational companies provided some serious self-serve capabilities on their web sites and began to expect it. In 2001 it's quite a surprise to be told I have to print and mail something to get service from a major company. (Which one? That fourth word up there is your clue.)
Through a friend of a friend, my name was given to a Wall Street Journal reporter who was writing an article on the new titanium PowerBooks. She called yesterday and I was expecting, you know, business- or technology-oriented questions like "Why did you choose it over a Windows laptop?" (I get my work done faster and better) or "Is it really 'insanely great'?" (Pretty much, yeah.)
Nope. She was asking almost exclusively about the use of titanium as the casing and whether the metal had an impact on my decision to buy. (No, I was going to buy regardless.)
Is it, in fact, sexy? (Umm. Not a word I'd use for it... Sturdy and sleek and very cool, but not 'sexy'.)
Is it more 'masculine' than the VAIO? (...nnnnoooo...it's less curvy than the prior [plastic & rubber] PowerBook, so I suppose if one wants to attach a gender identity to it one could, but ... whatever...)
Why do I think Jobs & Co. chose titanium? (It neatly solves the problem of having a large, flat screen that won't flex; it's a thin flat metal box because there's not that much room for curviness when you're minimizing size. Function dictated form here, and titanium was well suited to the task.)
Anyway. I was a little surprised by the angle given the source.
Don't know when the article's coming out.
Lewis Black was on a Conan O'Brien repeat last night. He makes me laugh.
Apparently he's got an album out now. Hmm.
Bye-bye Netscape: My bank has overhauled its online-banking system so that it finally works with IE 5/Mac. Previously I had to use Netscape 4 for it, and that was the only time I would open it except to test page layouts across browsers. There's one less reason now.
Apparently the DC area is the biggest consumer of Girl Scout cookies in the land. This is a fun article.
Have you heard of the new Aloha Chips? I hadn't.
- Girl Scouts Make a Cookie Fortune in Washington [Washington Post]
Overall, customers of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital, which covers the city and most suburban jurisdictions, gobbled 97,091,960 cookies, or about 2 million pounds, roughly 23 cookies for every man, woman and child in the council's turf.
Five of the 15 top-selling cookies in the United States are Girl Scout cookies -- even though they are sold only three months a year.
Averaging $3 a box, sales raised roughly $600 million nationwide last year, which, after expenses, netted the Girl Scouts about $350 million.
Nice racket they've got there.
Um, where can I dig up some Thin Mints around here?
"We have no coffee, no caffeine, no alcohol, but we eat a lot of chocolate here. There's got to be a vice. It's chocolate."
-- Barb Guy, spokesperson for the Utah Girl Scout Council, on why they lead in sales per scout (222 boxes per girl last year)