random product placement

I do not know this for a fact, but I think that Trader Joe's Italian Blood Orange Soda would make the BEST Mimosas.

Also, every year, without fail, Neutrogena comes out with some craaaazy new suncare product that I just have to buy. Damn them.

In all seriousness, though, if it delivers as promised this new Helioplex stuff is huge. It's supposed to do what Meroxyl, which isn't available in the U.S. because the FDA says it's a drug and has to be approved, does. And that is to provide UVA protection that isn't photosensitive (i.e. breaks down in the sun, which is, of course, bad in a SUNSCREEN).

I, sunscreen nerd, will be testing this out on vacation. Neutrogena also makes an SPF 55 (55! holy cow!) of their amazing Dry Touch stuff with the Helioplex, which I also picked up at Target today.

Yes, I know, vacation isn't until June. But as fast as March has gone by it'll be here before I know it. At least that's the theory...



Realized I should post an arbitration update.

There isn't much to update at this point. I think it went okay but they have to have an independent technical type person take the car for a test drive, and then after that I will get the ruling in writing.

So I won't know how it turned out for at least a little while.

Dear Bed, Bath and Beyond

I know you must read this blog since the furniture in a box I purchased yesterday (yes, I know I promised to quit but it was just a little tiny table!) was actually really well-wrapped and showed no evidence of having been punted across your store at some point. Given my past experiences with futniture in a box I have to say I was amazed to pull out piece after piece and not find a giant gash in one of the legs, or that the tabletop had split in half, or the little middle piece was missing.

However, I must correct you on one point. Nothing that involves GLUE should ever be labeled easy to assemble. I don't care if the instructions are: "Glue part A to part B. Congratulations, you are done!"

Glue automatically negates ease of assembly. It just does.

But, really, congratulations on getting that whole wrapping-the-furniture-so-that-half-doesn't-get-bought-damaged thing. If I have any other issues I'll just post them here and you can get right on them.



Oh, by the way, it's ON

I keep forgetting to post that my arbitration hearing with Hyundai is scheduled for this Thursday. Apparently I won't find out until later what the arbitrator decides, but whether I know or not I'm sure I'll be ready for plenty 'o Guinness Friday. Heh.


you knew the Apple rant was coming

It was just a matter of time.

For the first time ever, I actually bought something on iTunes because of collaborative filtering (for the record, it was "Emerge," by Fischerspooner).

In my brief time using iTunes, it has frustrated me on many different levels. I am a frequent Amazon.com user, and I've gotten used to their level of personalization and collaborative filtering. They say "We thought you might be interested in..." and they might as well have said "Put this in your shopping cart, now!" I'm used to them reminding me that I looked at Grey's Anatomy on DVD the other day and saying, "oh, crap, I was going to buy Grey's Anatomy on DVD!" That sort of thing.

iTunes is not nearly so helpful. If you were, say, listening to previews of some of the songs on the 97x Top 97 list one day, and came back the next deciding you were going to buy some, well, you're on your own finding that list again, sucker. Because search won't work and iTunes isn't going to HELP YOU SPEND MONEY by indicating what you looked at recently. They do provide other top downloads and related artists and other such stuff, but I still feel lost half the time on iTunes. And they don't have that uncanny knack for constantly knowing what you want even before you do.

And don't even get me started on the usability issues. The search text box with no button! Argh! Sure, it's all Appley streamlined and sleek, but there's plenty of space for a search button that would keep bunches of users from getting tripped up (myself included).

I've got similar bones with the iPod, although I like mine. Such as having to reformat the damn thing to get songs off. They call it synching your iPod, when you hook it up to the computer so it can have its little mind meld with iTunes. But it's not SYNCHING if it doesn't remove from the iPod the songs you've removed from iTunes. What it's doing would be better termed DUMPING. It's a good thing PDAs don't synch with Outlook this way or executives around the world would be showing up for cancelled meetings all the time.

And then there's the scroll wheel, which I use daily to blow right past whatever artist or song I'm trying to find. I thought that I would get used to it, but I think operating something primarily with your thumb might just be inherently bad ergonomics. Someone posted this critique of the iPod on a mailing list I'm on, and I found myself nodding my head to the whole thing.

But I'm going to keep the iPod for quite awhile, because it is still a hell of a lot better than my ginormous MP3/CD player, my previous mobile music solution. And I'm stuck with iTunes until somebody else comes along with something better. Come on, Amazon, you know you want to!