Wednesday, April 25, 2007

web: Sprint bites the hand that feeds back

On Sprint's page explaining my plan details, the link for Night & Weekend Minutes explains
Night & Weekend Minutes
Caller ID shows you the numbers for most incoming calls, so you know who's calling before you answer. It even provides the number for the incoming calls via Call Waiting.
The explanation doesn't match the heading. No problem, I'll tell Sprint about the problem using their Email us form.

Ahh, but inevitably SPage's law I kicks in:
The part of every Web site with the most problems is the feedback form for reporting problems.
Sure enough:
  • The form lays out incorrectly in Firefox 3
  • The form is limited to 1200 characters of feedback, but its character counter doesn't work.
  • Once you've given feedback, if you try to fill out the form again, Sprint's botched session management jumps straight to "Your email has been sent to Sprint Customer Care." Sprint knows their form is screwed up, it warns you "To send another email, please sign off and log back in to your account."
  • All these pages have the identical title "Sprint - Welcome", making navigation and back button and bookmarking useless
Because the form is broken so many ways, few customers can stand using it, so Sprint customer service can pat themselves on the back for getting few complaints.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

dogs: Nora no more

Young pup
young Nora under table
Still up for the slide at 13

16 years 4 months, a gray ghost
last day

Goodbye, loyal companion and friend.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Look at that 'S car go'

A friend couldn't help making that triple pun. Nissan made their own triple entendre with the 1989 S-Cargo, a limited edition micro-van for the Japanese market that looks like a snail (French escargot). I finally saw one in person.
Nissan S-Cargo from side
S-Cargo logo on rear windowGet it? The owner jumps in on the pun with this dashboard tchotchke snail on S-Cargo dash

I've owned a Rabbit 'S' and the extremely handsome Honda Civic 'S', but the Audi and Porsche 'S' models have no appeal. The S-Cargo is tempting and surprisingly practical for such a pure expression of a snail shape, but no rich celebrity has loaned me a corner of her temperature-controlled garage.
Nissan S-Cargo from front corner


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

eco: depressing do-nothing attitude

On a post about VW re-attempting a 235mpg car, user rgseidl commented, and many people agreed with the sentiment:
... no consumer wants to be the goody-two-shoes sucker that cuts back or pays more while the neighbors continue to live it up in their Chelsea Tractor (aka the free rider problem)
It's actually not that dire a quote because it's in the context of an impractical expensive engineering demonstration, but it captures so much of what's wrong with US (and British? — "Chelsea Tractor" is a Britishism for a SUV in the city) attitudes:
  • It asserts an untruth (in fact lots of people spend more/cut back to a Toyota Prius or Honda Fit) without any evidence to back it up, but it seems plausible as an emotional argument.
  • If just one neighbor has an SUV, it's an excuse for doing nothing.
  • It touches on the crazy demand that higher MPG and low emissions should pay for itself. (Do fancy wheels or rear-seat electronics pay for themselves?)
  • It asserts that particularly American demand for everyone to "play fair" before doing the right thing. Yet Americans resist any taxes, cap-and-trade systems, and incentives that impose fairness.
You would think that anyone who despite all this negativity does the right thing (what a concept!) is a brave unconventional hero. Nope. Environmentalists already get accused of being smug self-fart-sniffers, and are attacked for any slip from an unattainable perfection ("You drive a fuel-efficient car but I see you wear leather!!"), now they're "goody two-shoes suckers".

Dinosaur US business interests and befuddled right-wingers may want you to feel helpless and resentful about environmental problems, but you still make hundreds of choices every day whether to help or hurt the environment. The miasma of negativity surrounding doing the right thing doesn't absolve you of personal responsibility.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

snow: best piece of gear ever

On a scale of 1 to 10, my baby's a 26
(CHIC, "26").

Arc'teryx Theta SK high-waisted pantsThe XScream had more impact, my whip-thin Scott Limited poles have yet to be equalled, but these Arc'teryx bib pants are hands-down the best winter equipment I've ever owned. I've skied, snowboarded, and hiked in these for 8 years and they're flawless. Zero color fade, everything elastic is still elastic, no damage whatsoever. Even the parts you think would break like this slim velcro closure and exposed snap are immaculate. The famed Arc'teryx surface zippers can't snag on fabric, unlike other zippers.
no defects and barely any wear after 8 years

And the design is perfect. Although there's no insulation, the high-waist design traps heat from your core. (S pities the fools in their low-slung pants, because every time they bend at the waist they pump that core heat into the jacket and out into the cold. Keep it inside.) The stretchy material at the back feels great. The articulation at the knees and the curve of the legs is perfect.

I believe Arc'teryx is still selling these, almost unchanged, as the Theta SK Pant.

And they're made in Vancouver, BC. Go Canada! ("It's not even a real country anyway")

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