Algorithm gone wild, or…?

Amazon’s “Gold Box Deals” offer up a bunch of specially priced items to everyone; if you scroll down the page, they often have additional deals that are supposedly tailored to you. Today I was greeted with the following:

Trapped Like Mice... Rats!

My first reaction was to laugh and say, “Amazon’s selection software is misfiring a bit today.”

My second reaction was to think of those reports of parents receiving coupons for those newly pregnant and getting livid, only to discover later that in fact their daughter really is pregnant.

…I hope this is just an algorithm gone wild. *gulp*

Soap Opera Comic Strip Characters

I used to think, back in the day, that no one could possibly be as stupid as a character in a newspaper comic strip soap opera. (Not that they’re all stupid, of course. I still miss Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For.) Now that I am near the very end of my 30s, though, I’ve come to the grim conclusion that yes, people really can be that stupid.

On the bright side, it’s acceptable to point and laugh at a fictional character in Apartment 3-G.

With any luck, this story will conclude with Nina giving birth to an alien. Or perhaps Nina will decide that babies need to eat human flesh and she feeds herself to her offspring. If only she’d read those books!

Gravy Rainbow

This morning I saw a post on Facebook from Gregory Feeley about an article called “Fired.” It talked about what happens when you’re suddenly (and with no warning) dropped as a friend, and I was entranced by it, in part because so much of it sounded awfully familiar.

After writing a long blog post about it, I carefully saved a draft on my computer, then deleted the post itself. It didn’t seem to go anywhere, and it was ultimately going to hurt the feelings of someone. Just wasn’t worth it.

So instead? My friend Dan just sent me this music video for “Gravy Rainbow” and he has declared it the official Thursday themesong. I am down with that. Enjoy!

Airline Safety

Let’s face it, no one (including myself) watches airline safety videos any more. They’re all the same old thing, right? Well, Air New Zealand is determined to make people pay attention, and credit where it’s due: I watched this, wide-eyed, from start to finish. Willingly.

Not Doing So Well, In Terms of Shoes

I think I pissed off the patron saint of athletic shoes.

About a week and a half ago, I went to buy a pair of cycling shoes at a local bike store. When I did so, I also asked for a pair of cleats. “I want to use these at spinning class,” I said, “so all I need is a pair of cleats to go with these.”

“No problem,” the clerk said. “A pair of cleats for spin class.” It wasn’t until I got home that I looked at what he sold me, and it was in fact a pair of pedals (that came with cleats), which cost $70 more. (And also explained why the overall price was higher than I thought.) I ended up returning the entire purchase (the manager was extremely apologetic the second I explained what happened), and I’ll try another store in the area this week to get my spin shoes and cleats.

Later in the week, I called up a (different) local running store and asked if they had my running shoes in stock. Because I need to get them in a 2E wide size, they sometimes don’t have them in and need to order them. They didn’t, but they said they’d call the other stores in the chain and get back to me. After about 20 minutes, they called back and nope, didn’t have them in, but they’d be glad to order a pair for me when their weekly order to the distributor went in on Monday.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning (today), I get a call from the running store. A different employee called to say that because this was a type of shoe they didn’t carry, they wouldn’t order it until I came in and paid a $20 deposit. And in my head, I’m thinking, “…which means the order won’t go in until next week. Great.”

So, I told them that meant I wouldn’t have the shoes in time, and to not bother. Went online and in less than 2 minutes I have a pair of the shoes heading my way and they’ll be here by Thursday, because I no longer have time to play these sorts of games.

None the less, I can’t help but feel that I have pissed someone off. If my next attempt to get my spin class shoes goes equally awry, I will get the hint. (I do have four pairs of my old running shoes in the trunk of my car right now to drop off at the recycling bin at one of the local shoe places. Maybe I need to sacrifice one of them?)

Thankful Time of Year II: The Sequel

Despite the fact that last year’s attempt to visit the in-laws for Thanksgiving was an unmitigated disaster where it took all day to end up right back where we started… yes, we’re heading out of town for Thanksgiving again this year.

But! As we are not at the mercy of the airlines this year, we should in theory actually arrive at our Undisclosed Location that may or may not involve Tennessee. So, just like last year, I’ve taken this spirit to heart and thought about what I’m thankful for.

I am thankful for . . .

Cookie Monster clearly being a shoe-in to host Saturday Night Live!

Amazon letting me know that people who play the Black Ops videogame also like to wear underwear.

Charles Schulz revealing in 1959 that Schroeder and Lucy were really just destined to be a gay man and his gal pal. (Don’t fight it, Lucy, just roll with it.)

Superman’s amazing cigar-smoking powers.

…and Batman reminding me to stop goofing off and get back to work.

Happy Thanksgiving!