Ruby Tuesdays is cheap

We (Myself and four coworkers) went to Ruby Tuesdays for lunch today.  They actually had the same menu as last time, which is a shock.  But they’ve stopped providing a bottle of ketchup at the table.  Instead, they provide a little bowl.  I just sent them a complaint through their website.  Maybe they’ll give us something free.  I told them we go there two to three times a month, and we’ll go to Fridays or Chilis instead if they don’t bring back the bottles.  That’s probably an empty threat – Fridays has no parking, and Chilis has terrible service.  But they don’t know that.

Firefox 2.0 gripe

I admit that this is a minor and easily fixable gripe, but the built in spell-check dictionary for Firefox 2.0 does not include the word “okay” or “ok” by default.  Is there some fight about whether or not this is a word?  I thought it was universally accepted as part of the English language.  It’s pretty easy to add it, and then it’s not a problem again, but it seems strange that it’s not included.

Other than that, 2.0 is pretty cool.  Memory footprint is still too big, but I like the new features.  It does break the “Alt-a” add a link in the WordPress dashboard, which is annoying but not that big a deal.

Response from Delegate Scott

You can see the response I got to my letter about Seven Corners here.  The relevant quote is this:

The main reason we in No.Va. suffer from inadequate transportation solutions is that we have not increased revenues in 20 years. Again this year, many of us in NoVA tried to obtain support for new sources of funding, but we had little support from House members from other parts of the state.

This sounds to me like a plea from Democrat to support a tax hike.  Now, maybe that’s not being fair, but doesn’t that sound to you like a plea for a tax hike?

But I’m not buying it.  If you can’t increase revenue without raising taxes when the population explodes (I don’t know what the population was in 1986, but it sure wasn’t what it is now), then it’s not the fault of House members in the rest of the state (Republican, probably, since NOVA is the only Democratic part of the state commonwealth).  It’s the fault of those who write up the budget.  I understand that increased population means increased costs, but it also means increased revenue. And seriously, how much does it cost to put up a sign?  I honk at someone almost every day at that intersection because they cut me off from the wrong lane.  Do you think they’d put up a sign if I offered to pay for it?  That’s probably illegal.  Maybe I’ll ask Jim Scott.

More Enviga

I know I’m scoring some points with the Coke people because I’m talking about their tea so much, but I have to share the last flavor. We tried the Green Tea flavored Enviga today. The wife liked it. I didn’t think it really had any flavor.

This whole Enviga experiment has so far been a huge disappointment. It didn’t make me shake uncontrollably or hallucinate or give me a twitch. It didn’t taste like used motor oil or dead bugs. Maybe I should ask Craig to send me samples of something that’s earlier in the testing process and hasn’t been approved by the FDA. I’d like something that makes me think I’m some sort of barnyard fowl, preferably a duck. I could live with thinking I’m a chicken, but I would much rather think I was a duck.

Since this hasn’t gone well, I’d like to try an experiment. I complained about Enviga, and three cans showed up in the mail. So, I’d like to tell you all that the new 6-series BMW convertibles are complete junk. They are, without doubt, the worst car I’ve ever seen on the road. The 6-series BMW convertible is absolute proof that there is no god.

However, if BMW would like me to use my super blogging power to spread the word about the 6-series convertible, I’d like a red one with a manual transmission. No skimping on the options, either.

All about Enviga

Well, I didn’t get a chance to complete my testing of Enviga over the weekend because our trip home from NYC took six hours instead of four because of traffic in New Jersey and Delaware. But the wife and I did taste two of the three flavors.


It’s okay. I didn’t notice the aspartame right away, but it definitely hits you in the aftertaste. Some people may be okay with this, but I’m not. I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding aspartame, and they haven’t proven convincingly that it’s bad for you, but I still try to avoid it. The wife said, “It tastes like those carbonated juices that we drank instead of champagne when we were kids” after she tried it. That doesn’t sound like a glowing endorsement to me, but you can draw your own conclusions.

**Peach: **

Wife’s reaction was, “I would drink these. But, I like carbonation.” She will occasionally drink carbonated water (Without mixing it with gin or vodka!), so I’m not sure how much stock we can put in her mild approval. I don’t think the peach is much different from the berry.

Overall, I’m disappointed that they weren’t awful. I was hoping to be able to spew fire and brimstone here as my heart raced from the caffeine and concentrated tea extract. Enviga contains “seven times as much EGCG as the leading sweetened green tea”. By the way, Enviga is the top paid Google result when you search for EGCG. Coke is really marketing this pretty hard. Anyway, EGCG actually seems to be good for you – it’s an antioxidant, and because it occurs naturally in green tea, we’ve had plenty of time to study the effects. Whether it’s really good for you to have that much of it in a 12 ounce can of tea, I don’t know. I have to say that I don’t think that cramming more of it into the same volume of tea is really a good idea, but that’s totally a guess, with no scientific support. It could be really good for you to inject concentrated green tea right into your veins. Coke has this to say about Enviga:

Engiva is not designed for rapid weight loss. Enviga is a choice – like taking the stairs – that can contribute to consumers’ overall goals for a healthier lifestyle.

In response to that, I say that actually taking the stairs is a much, much better choice.

Oh, have I got a treat for you

On October 13, I posted about a new soft drink called Enviga, and how I didn’t believe the marketing hype. On October 18th, I posted again about Enviga and how it sucks. On October 19th, I got an email from a guy who works for Manning Selvage & Lee, an advertising firm representing Coca Cola.

Hello, My name is Craig Eldon and I’m assisting in the launch of Coke’s new sparkling green tea – Enviga.

I’ve read your blog and thought detailed news about this new product might be a fit for your readers. I have pre-sale samples available for you and would like to provide detailed information about this new drink category.

What do you think? I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Best, Craig

Today, I received three cans of not-yet-released-to-the-public “sparkling green tea”, Enviga. Coke calls it “The Calorie Burner”. Later tonight, the wife and I are going to try it. On Monday (Because no one reads blogs on the weekend), you’ll have a full report on the aspartame-filled beverage.

It’s interesting – I exchanged a few emails with Craig, and every subsequent email had a note at the bottom threatening all that I hold dear if I shared any information. I’m actually not going to share any of it with you. The reason for this is that they obviously thought about what communication they could and couldn’t keep privilaged. That is, they knew an unsolicited marketing email could hardly be called private, but once I responded, they had some reasonable expectation for my discretion. The fact that they made this distinction suggests that they are on firm legal ground in restricting what I can and can’t share, so I’m going to listen to them.

I will have you know that I have received only a few emails, some marketing documents, and three cans of Enviga from Craig. There is no money, nor promise of money, nor any other sort of compensation. The review of Enviga you read here on Monday will be honest, and it will be my opinion, whatever that turns out to be.

I hope you’re excited.  I know I sure am.

Yeah, whatever is being sold at Web domain name auction – Oct. 27, 2006

The online address is the latest to be put up for sale in a growing market for domain names, consisting of Internet addresses people type in for Web sites, which has been fueled by the surge in Internet advertising, the newspaper said.

I don’t really care about – as search engines get better and better, the necessity for a good, memorable domain name goes down.  But the sentence quoted above is really awesome.  It’s like saying, “a growing market for houses, consisting of buildings that people live in”.  Whoever wrote that sentence doesn’t seem to have any understanding at all of what they’re talking about.  I mean, if the market for domain names consisted of cuddly little puppies and Elvis memorabilia, would it still be the market for domain names?

Ubuntu 6.1 released

Welcome – Ubuntu: Linux for human beings

Just saw on Lifehacker that Ubuntu has released a new version, which contains, among other things, Firefox 2.0. Sweet. Can’t wait to get home and upgrade my Ubuntu box.

Edit: Ooh, maybe I should have waited. Upgrade crapped out, now I’m not sure whether it’s going to boot back up. We’ll see how long it takes me to get a good install again.  Ubuntu forum users report some problems, which I guess is to be expected.  But I was so close to getting my Complaint Hub enhancements working, and now my development box is hosed. . .

Angry letters update

New update to the Angry Letters section.  I got a response from Senator George Allen telling me it’s not his f’ing problem.  He said it more politely than that.  And he actually has a point – stupid traffic patterns are not really a federal matter.  So I wrote to Delegate James “Jim” Scott and Senator Richard “Dick” Saslaw, my state representatives.  I eagerly await their responses.

Stop with the negative ads

The Year Of Playing Dirtier –

It is harder for Republicans to blame out-of-power Democrats for the current state of Washington, but they are equally eager to depress Democratic turnout and fire up their conservative base.

It may be that, after a conversation about ‘the liberal media’ yesterday with a definitely conservative coworker, I’m just looking for the Post’s liberal bias, but this line jumped out at me.  The article, up to then, had been close enough to balanced (It said that both parties are stooping to new lows in negative political ads, and the Republicans are worse about it.  That’s sort of unbiased) that I could live with it.  But if the Post honestly believes that the Democrats are completely blameless for the state of the country, I don’t even know what to say.

Back to the point of the article, though.  I’m pretty sick of smear ads.  Being near DC, we get both Virginia and Maryland ads.  George Allen and Jim Webb, running for Senate from VA, have been sniping at each other for a while.  Allen doesn’t seem to be trying that hard – he’s still focusing on some comments Webb made in 1979-80.  Allen also responded to my angry letter, which is nice.  I’m still voting for Webb, though.

I wish we’d get to hear why I should vote for one guy rather than why I shouldn’t vote for the other guy.  I’m tired of voting against the unacceptable canidate.  I’d really like to vote for someone because I think he or she is going to do a good job.  Is that too much to ask?