Monthly Archives: November 2011


Today Her Ladyship and I celebrate twenty-five years of marriage.

I have no illusions that this awesome achievement is due to any particular skill or quality of mine. So this is a good time to write down ten things I love about my wife.

  1. She is the consummate optimist; she sees the best in everything and everyone.
  2. She never makes me feel that I am not good enough.
  3. She always appreciates my efforts.
  4. She is a better judge of character than I will ever be.
  5. She knows the difference between reminding and nagging.
  6. She knows when my spirits need lifting, and knows when I need to be left alone.
  7. She understands my need to have the last word, even if it is “Yes, Milady”.
  8. She’s the best listener I know.
  9. She cares about the things I don’t.
  10. She puts up with my crap like no-one else would.

Thank you, My Love. Here’s to the next Twenty-Five

Doing it Right

A few weeks ago, I ordered a box of 40 Duracell AA batteries from one of those deal-a-day sites.

The order was places on 10/21; it shipped ten days later, and reached my mailbox nine days after that.

While I was expecting 40 batteries, it actually contained 42, but only 36  were Duracells — the other six were “GP Alkaline” (AKA cheapo eBay Chinese) Brand.

I then tested them with my trusty (Craftsman 82140) Digital Voltmeter

  • 29 batteries tested good (>1.4V) Including all of the GP batts.
  • 10 Batteries tested “Poor” (1.0-1.4V)
  • 3 Tested “Dead” (<1.0V)

I went to the site and sent them a message explaining what happened. To my surprise, they replied within 24 hours, saying that they would refund my month and send me another box of batteries. The refund came through a few days later. The box of batteries arrived today.

From the humblest Hot Dog Stand to the biggest Multinational Corporation, all businesses experience problems; things go wrong. I suspect that, like many deal-a-day sites, Bedeals are drop-shippers; they don’t actually stock the items that they sell, which leaves even more room for errors.

Either of their remedies – refund or replacement – would have been enough. Together they are enough to transform a would-be critic into a fan.

They have my highest recommendations. Not because nothing went wrong, but because when it did, they knew how to turn a disaster into a triumph.

How Rude

Her Ladyship sent me out to the shops to buy some items for our Thanksgiving table. Apparently I was not the only one; during the execution of this mission I experienced some heavy traffic along the way, and had to navigate some very crowded parking lots.

There were two things about this experience that I found surprising:

  1. Motorists were almost unfailingly polite. In spite of the horrendous, near-stationary traffic, they let each other out when they didn’t have to — even if it cost them. Several times I was the beneficiary of such magnanimity, which made it easy to pass the blessing along.
  2. Many pedestrians, on the other hand, were either ignorant or rude. They wandered aimlessly through the parking lot like grazing caribou, and treated motorists with disdain. When I stopped to let one lady cross in front of me, she stared fixedly ahead and did not even acknowledge my existence. I wound down my window, and said “You’re welcome”, loud enough for her to hear. She thanked me with a hand gesture that indicated that she thought I was “number one”.

Polite motorists, rude pedestrians. How strange.

Happy All Hallows!

Today, November the first, is All Hallows, also known as All Hallowmass or All Saints’ Day. It is celebrated in some quarters as “The Day of the Dead”

It is a holiday(“Holy Day”) in the Christian Calendar.

Yesterday was not.

This has been a public service announcement. Thank you for your time.