Starbucks is fired

It’s bad enough that Starbucks coffee tastes burnt. I could get around that by ordering, on my wife’s recommendation, the mild instead of the regular. And I can get by the milkshakes passed off as coffee by just making fun of the people who order them (A good general rule – if it takes more than 5 words to order your coffee, not including “please” and “thank you”, you’re drinking a milkshake). I even got past the first price increase that sent the largest coffee over $2 when you include tax. But now the medium coffee is $2.02, less than six months after the last price increase.

I’m done. No more Starbucks coffee. Tomorrow I’ll bring in a coffee mug and start drinking free work coffee.

On an unrelated note, I’m testing out a WordPress tag plugin.  I don’t really know what it does, but this is the first post that has tags on it.  Maybe nothing will be visible to you.  Anyway, we’ll see.

More Wubi and Ubuntu

I’ve been doing some more playing with Ubuntu and Wubi. I got the wireless working Friday, and I haven’t booted up Windows since then. This is something holding back Ubuntu for the masses. It took me four tutorials and about a week to get connected to my wireless network. This isn’t so bad for me – I don’t mind messing around with things on the computer, and now I’ll appreciate the wireless connection even more. But I hesitate to put Ubuntu on my dad’s computer, for example. He’s a perfect candidate – Windows hater, older PC – but I don’t want to have to get things working for him every time he wants something new.

Anyway, I’m very happy with my new Ubuntu install.  And I don’t know how to write a wireless manager that just works.

I wonder if Dell has something.  They’re selling machines preloaded with Ubuntu now, and they must have come up against this by now.  Of course, if the Windows wireless manager that Dell put on my laptop is any indication, they probably just threw the first piece of junk they found in there and hoped that people would figure it out.

Hippies? I love hippies.

HIDE YOUR ARMS » Teetonic are a bunch of hippies

Teetonic is a t-shirt design competition website that has decided to go organic cotton. Not sure if they’re using the omnipresent American Apparel organic cotton shirts, but they’re using something. I like the American Apparel shirts because they’re cut skinny, and if I want to wear some of my favorite shirts, I have keep my weight down.

Im on a roll with the sports stuff

The Soul of Baseball: First Base: Albert Pujols

For instance, a scout friend of mine called a couple of days ago and said that Manny Ramirez is an “underrated defensive outfielder.” Now, first of all, this may be true, in that MannyBeingManny is rated as “Putrid” defensively, and he’s actually “Rancid,” and “Rancid” is better than “Putrid,” so that would make him underrated.

I have to admit that anyone making fun of Manny Ramirez playing the outfield is likely to get on my good side, like people making fun of Condi Rice or Nickelback.  But this is funny, and it gets better from the quote above.

You should go to Fleet Feet

If you need any sort of running gear, go to Fleet Feet. However, unless you really have to (And I know I linked to it), don’t go to their website. It resized my browser window, which is absolutely unacceptable.

However, the service at the store is fantastic. At the end of May I bought a new pair of running shoes. I’ve since put probably 40 miles on them. There is now a hole worn in the heel on the inside of the left shoe. This seems a little ridiculous.

So, I went to Fleet Feet, where they promptly exchanged the pair of shoes for a new one. I hope it was just a defective pair, because I really like the shoes. And I have weird, skinny, flat, bony feet. It’s really hard to find shoes that fit me.

Anyway, I have been very happy with my experience at Fleet Feet. I’ll definitely go back next time I need something. Just hopefully not for these shoes again.

Welcome to Web 2.0, WMATA.

Metroblogging DC: Metro Unveils New Online Station Maps Powered By Google

Metro’s unveiled new online maps for their stations, which include local business listings, all powered by Google Maps.

Well, not exactly. I mean, they still have all their vowels, and I don’t think they have an AJAX “search as you type” function. But they’ve finally gotten a decent map. The next step would be to integrate local public transportation search into Google Maps. That would be cool. You could choose driving or walking or riding public transportation when you tried to get directions. They’re probably working on it.

Drugs, cheating, and incompetent management

What the heck is going on with cycling? They can’t go a month without someone getting caught doping. I can’t believe the positive feeling about cycling in the US generated by Lance Armstrong is going to last much longer, especially with the controversy surrounding him.

I’m in favor of not only a one strike rule, meaning you get caught doping once and you get a lifetime ban, but also a one year team ban. If your teammate gets caught, your team sits out a year. Edited to add:  Looks like they did kick out the first guy’s teammates, as well.  That should do wonders for team unity.  Maybe next time they’ll do a better job of policing themselves.  Or maybe they’re all on drugs.  I’m guessing the latter.

Maybe they should implement that in all pro sports. Mandatory regular tests and lifetime bans should go a long way towards getting rid of the performance enhancing drugs.

It gets pretty tiring. And it’s not just the drugs. We have Michael Vick leading a pack of guys who just can’t be satisfied by adoring fans and millions of dollars and feel the need to break all sorts of laws. We have the gambling, point-shaving basketball ref, and if you’ve ever watched a basketball game and think this guy is the only one, you’re crazy. The NBA has been a little too quick and to insistent in stressing that he was just one “criminal”. And we have Bonds on the doorstep of asterisking himself past Hank Aaron and into first place on the all-time home run list, at least until A-Rod passes him. If we lived in a truly just world, he’d get indicted this week and end up going to jail before he can break the record.

Anyway, none of this means I’m not eagerly awaiting the beginning of football season, and constantly dreaming that someone in the Orioles organization will finally wake up and trade the entire team except for Brian Roberts and Erik Bedard, rebuild with prospects, and be the 2006 Tigers of 2012.

Computers, baseball, and a lot of free time

Uni Watch » Pete, Julie, and Linc

It’s safe to say that I spend more time creating uniforms for MVP 2005 than I do actually playing it.

If you aren’t reading UniWatch, you should be.

This particular post is by a reader who painstakingly recreates all sorts of historical baseball uniforms for MVP 2005, a really nice baseball video game.

I’ve never been that interested in uniforms, but I have definitely spent unreasonable amounts of time on introducing realism to video games and whatnot, so I can identify his obsession. It started with Tomy Pocket Baseball, a little handheld game. I had a league that went on for about ten seasons (A good chunk of my childhood). I still have all the stats, and periodically I get nostalgic for the game, and I’m tempted to go find it and play another season.  I used to spend hours in my room with that game.  And it was really more the stats that drew me in than the game.

Then there was penny soccer, invented by a friend.  I played at his house for a while, then created my own league.  There weren’t so many stats to go along with that, but we did NCAA football-style rankings, which was fun.  I always loved watching the unranked no-name upset the undefeated powerhouse.

I wonder what the wife would say if I pulled out the old Tomy Pocket Baseball.  She’d probably prefer it to me playing on the computer, but not to me cleaning the house or something.

I win! Im a big winner!

Some of you may remember that I contested a ridiculous parking ticket last month. I left the response letter at home, so I can’t post it now, but I can summarize.

Dear Sir, Your relentless powers of persuasion are too much for us. We have tried to formulate a response, a scenario where you might possibly be in the wrong, even a little bit, but we have failed. As such, please do not pay us any money. We’re sorry. Sincerely, DC Adjudication Services

I’m pretty sure that’s almost word for word. I may have taken a few liberties and substituted a word here and there to get down to what they really meant, without the posturing and bureaucracy. We’re still waiting on a response for the big ticket, the $100 ticket. The wife wrote that letter. She’s a lawyer, so she should be better at convincing them, but we had a much stronger case on the one that I contested. So we’ll see.

71% is good?

The folks over at DCist write that, according to an article in the Examiner, 71% of the DC area drives alone to work.  They say this is good because we were at 74% three years ago, and the nation is at 77% and rising.

That’s kind of depressing.  I’ve been taking Metro to work since March, and I love it.  I don’t worry about traffic.  I’ve done more reading since then than in the previous three years combined.  My biggest worries are four car trains at Pentagon City and loud tourists.

I know many people don’t have the opportunity to take public transportation, and carpooling can be hard.  But only doing 6% better than the national average in a city like DC is kind of sad.  I wonder what the percentage is in London, for example, where they have huge congestion taxes.  Now that I’m an excessively smug city resident and Metro rider, I say $20 to drive your car into the city!  $30 if you’ve come from more than ten miles away!  We’ll give two monthly exemptions for people who just have to come to the city every once in a while, like they way I have to drive out to Manassas once or twice a month for work.

We can use some of that money to pay for whatever it is we’re paying for with all the parking tickets DC gives out.  I think more and more that DC gives out those tickets maliciously.  I think I’m going to start contesting them regardless of guilt, just to spite the city.