Chipotle Does It Right   1 comment

I’ve been on hiatus from the blogging world for a while, huh. Sorry about that. I’ve been so busy doing insert meaningful-but-lame excuse, and I haven’t had the chance to make heartfelt apology here, but today I’m back! Maybe I’ll be back tomorrow as well too, I’m not sure. One day at a time. Alright kids, what we have here is Willie Nelson covering Coldplay. Check it, yo. After that, go grow some vegetables and also tell your mum I said hi.

~C

 

 

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The Small Things Indeed!   Leave a comment

I was just reading the comments from my last post, and realized that my dear friend Linzmoe is right. Being able to appreciate the small things in life is what really keeps me happy. Coincidentally, I happened to be eating my lunch at the time I was reading Linzmoe’s comment. Today I chose to indulge (a post-summer school celebration, if you will) and drive downtown to get a baguette and a chocolate crepe from The French Market. The owners actually go to France at least once a  year (maybe more) to stock up on authentic French stuff to sell back in Knoxville. And the crepes they make are to die for. I would show you a photo of the chocolate crepe I got, but I ate it in a most unladylike manner while driving back to work.

Here are some photos of the baguette I got for lunch (yes, that is a giant piece of brie cheese sticking out of it, and also, stop drooling, it’s unbecoming) and me eating said baguette. Ooooh, how I love the little things. The fresh, delicious, cheese-filled, honey covered little things. OM NOM!

~C

Baguette A La Maison from The French Market

 

 

 

 

Me eating said baguette. I'm pretty sure you're jealous right now. It's okay. Also, how French do I look right now? Those stripes? Ooh lala!

A Moment   2 comments

I haven’t had much time over the past few weeks to post anything. I’m nearing the end of the summer semester, so I’ve been busy finishing up a monster of a project and working two jobs. Every few days I come up for air and browse the Internet for a few minutes to see what’s going on (and mostly to feel normal). The terrorist attack in Norway on July 22nd that killed 90 people and probably injured many more reminds me of 2 things.

1) Even though I think my class project is all consuming and the most important thing ever, the world still turns.

2) There are far larger problems out there than my stupid project.

Here’s a poignant photograph taken by Tommy Ellingsen for a Norwegian newspaper of Jens Stoltenberg embracing the leader of the AUF camp where so many people died. You can find more images and an article at that link too (good luck reading Norwegian).

This photo helps me realize that everything in my world is going pretty well, and I’m going to be fine. My project is going to get done. I’m sleeping well at night. I have great friends and family to talk to. Yep, things are okay.

~C

In Case You’ve Misplaced Your Heartstrings   Leave a comment

Browsing Reddit today, I found this video, watched it five times in a row, then realized I had to share with you all, stat. That is all.

And also, Here’s a great article by Drew McWeeny for HitFlix about Jim Henson, the production world, and pretty much how to make the most of your dreams.

Love, kisses, and cookies,

~C

Netflix? How About Notflix?   7 comments

Today Netflix announced on their blog and through emails to customers that the price structure for watching DVDs and streaming videos would be changing. Significantly. As in more than a 60% difference in price. Netflix customers everywhere, including myself, are PISSED.

Since the post went up this morning, and at the time of this blog post, 4,700 comments (and rising) have already been made, mostly from angry customers. The first comment alone has more than 7,500 “likes.” That’s a LOT of bad social media juju for one company to handle. Did Netflix expect this backlash? Are they prepared to deal with it? Judging by their post (which comes across as well thought out, yet still egregious in content), I’d say not.

 

[UPDATE, July 14th – Yesterday Netflix spokesperson Steve Swasey talked to AdAge about the situation. You can read the full article here – If it’s TL;DR, let me summarize: Netflix took a business approach to the changes, but didn’t create a communication plan to announce the changes and deal with inevitable customer backlash (in other news, Netflix is now hiring a team of dedicated public relations and social media experts to handle…a…situation…that has emerged). The article’s discussion about the Netflix customer service hotline is especially curious.]

Some people who have been loyal Netflix customers for longer than a decade are irate at being taken for granted. I have to agree with them. Yes, the problem is likely with movie studios hiking their prices for streaming rights, which forces Netflix to charge its customers more, but it doesn’t explain why Netflix is imposing a more than 60% price increase and such imbalanced options. Especially in this economy.

Here’s the first comment to the blog post from a Mr Scotty Fagaly, who sums up how I feel very nicely:

“the only way that this is terrific for the customer is if you plan to offer your entire collection available for streaming…. otherwise this is just yet another way to choke more change out of your customers…. I mean… are you guys really that strapped for cash? or are you just greedy? ALSO, what a great way to treat you long term customers, we REALLY appreciate it…i can understand you applying it to new customers… but please, explain to me who’s brilliant idea this was… I hear it going like this ” Hey I have an idea of how we can show appreciation to our long term valued customers…. let’s take MORE of their money, that way they REALLY feel valued!”….IDIOTS.”

Right now I pay just over $10 per month for Netflix (including taxes), which gets me one DVD at a time, and all the streaming content I want. Netflix is going to change the price structure so I can continue with the combined service I have for $15.98 (plus tax) per month, or I can choose EITHER streaming OR one DVD at a time for $7.99. I can’t have both. Netflix thinks this is a “deal.” Netflix is wrong. Here’s why:

Streaming:

The streaming content is very limited and changes frequently because Netflix doesn’t have 100% streaming distribution rights from all the various movie studios. When they do have streaming rights, the streaming is only licensed for a certain amount of time. Streaming rights are rarely in perpetuity. So if you’re half way through season 3 of Breaking Bad and the streaming contract runs out, Netflix will remove the episodes from streaming faster than you can say “Heisenberg.” No more Walter White. No more Blue Sky. No more gripping plot twists. Just a frustrated viewer that now has to rent or purchase the DVDs to finish the season.

DVD’s:

Netflix’s DVD library is vast, but as you know, DVDs take time to arrive in the mail. Mine actually get delivered pretty quickly – within two days (we have a Netflix hub here in Knoxville). But still, that’s 48 whole hours slower than turning on the telly and choosing to instantly stream a movie.

The alternative:

Cancel Netflix entirely and switch to a mix of Amazon.com streaming and Hulu Plus. In addition, many convenience stores and supermarkets these days have RedBox or Blockbuster rental boxes where DVDs can be rented for $1 per day. Pretty cheap, but you still have to walk/ride/drive to get the damn things.

The biggest question people are asking…

Why should people have to choose between two services that are the same price, yet offer such stunningly different service? And why isn’t Netflix offering a discount for customers who want the choice of both viewing options? Many irate customers feel Netflix should only impose this new price structure on new customers, not the existing ones. So what does one do? I must say, it’s a tough decision that I haven’t made yet.

If Netflix actually decides to move ahead with this ridiculous plan, it goes into effect September 1, 2011. As a current Netflix customer, I will be watching attentively as this story unfolds. If the social media world has anything to do with it, Netflix will have to pay attention and respond carefully if they want to retain their loyal customer base while also adding new, willing customers.

If you’re a Netflix subscriber, what do you think about all of this? Are you frustrated by this impending change? Did you see the price hike coming? Are you going to take the plunge and cancel your service?

~C

Aussie Slang Word Of The Day   1 comment

Word: “Esky”

Pronunciation: Ehs-kee

Meaning: This blog post is particularly relevant for my American friends this patriotic weekend, and for any foreigners who are thinking of traveling to Australia for a summer holiday in a few months. An esky is the Aussie name for a cooler. Get it? because esky is short for Eskimo, and Eskimos live in the snow where things are kept cold! HA! Like band-aid, esky is a household name in Australia. NOBODY calls them coolers. I didn’t even know what a cooler was when I moved to the U.S.

The Esky brand was created by the company Nylex, but Coleman bought them out in 2009. In Australia you can’t go anywhere fun for the day without an esky, which is why it’s so vital that you learn this word! Going to the beach? Pack the esky! Hosting a barbie? Ask a friend to bring ice for the esky! Going to the Big Day Out this year? Definitely bring a few eskys for all the beer water you’ll drink.

Here’s a video of a remote controlled esky. Normally I don’t condone this type of commercial, but I know my dad and his friends will find it highly amusing.

Posted July 3, 2011 by Elfawin in Aussie Slang Word of the Day

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G-Form And The iPad2 Cases: This Is How You Do Business   5 comments

Today is a very special day. Not only is it Friday, but it’s also the Friday before July 4th (translate: 4-day weekend for me), and is the day my iPad2 case arrived! To be exact, my “iPad Extreme Sleeve™ 2” arrived. It sounds high tech, because it is high tech. It’s made of a lightweight, foamy kind of material that, when impacted, hardens on a molecular level and protects what’s inside. Crazeballs. I’ve tested it out with my iPad2 and it fits like a glove like an iPad2 case should fit: Perfectly snug.

Some quick back story: John “Champion Boyfriend” Kennedy got me an iPad2 for my birthday with the green Apple Smart Cover. I’m highly skilled at dropping things, so the next day I bought a protective film for the screen and a pink Speck Smartshell for the back. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m extremely talented at dropping things. So I also wanted to buy an iPad2 carrying case to be triple protected. Oh my gawd, there are a lot of iPad2 cases on the market. I put a lot of thought and research into it, but after watching this video from the team at G-Force, I just wasn’t going to be happy with any other product.

Here’s the thing: I guess G-Form only just started making these sleeves, so they weren’t ready to ship them out when the iPad2 came out. So they took pre-orders and kept in touch with customers through comments on their website. The sleeves were meant to ship out on June 15th, but due to a delay in shipping, G-Form wasn’t going to be able to send them out for about another week. To make up for this delay, G-Form sent out an email to me and other pre-ordering customers explaining the situation and offering a free additional item from their website up to $39.99 value. Whatever item I chose, they would ship with my iPad2 sleeve, so it would be like getting two presents at once!

G-Form has a whole product line devoted to skate boarders and bike riders, so the iPad2 sleeve was kind of a departure for them (although they also make a 1st generation iPad sleeve and laptop sleeves). So choosing a free gift was a bit difficult at first, but then I remembered that I ride a road bike! But nothing in the road bike product category was anywhere close to $39.99. I thought about it for a hot minute, and then sent G-Form this email (at about 12:45am, still wired on caffeine from the all-nighter I was pulling to get my project finished on time for class):

___________

“Hello Awesome People of the G-Form Gift Team,

I’m ordering the iPad 2 sleeve, and got your free gift email. I would like my free gift to be a pair of your swanky Brake Hood Over-Grips.

But wait! That’s not all! Since you are offering a free gift up to $39.99, and the brake hood over-grips are only $9.99, would it also be possible to get a Saddle Gel Kit? Combined, that only makes $24.98! That’s a steal for both of us! It’s a win-win! Pretty please with a cherry on top? My bike pants could really use the extra company. They don’t really get along with my bike seat. Same story with my bike gloves and handlebars – all I want to do is go for a ride, you know? But instead, all I get is drama, drama, drama. Such a pain in my arse. Literally.

Can’t wait to see my iPad2 sleeve by the way, I am SUPER excited about it!

Thanks, Christie”

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G-Form products #FTW

I never hear back from G-Form (They were doubtlessly too busy coming up with new awesome extreme products), but I’ve been wondering since that day what might turn up when UPS came to my door. Today I got the package, and check it out – I got the iPad2 sleeve, the brake hood over-grips, AND the saddle gel kit! What a sweet deal!

G-Form didn’t have to reward my greediness by sending me both free gifts, but they did, and I really appreciate it. And because of that, I’m already deciding what else I can buy from them (I have a snowboarding brother). Oh, did I mention that G-Form is also charitable in other ways too? Last month the company raised over $120,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Pretty cool stuff.

My iPad2 and its sleeve

iPad2 inside Extreme Sleeve

Snug as a bug - iPad2 fits perfectly!

So if you have an iPad2 or a laptop that needs protecting, I would seriously recommend checking out G-Form’s iPad Extreme Sleeve™ 2 (also their website has much better pictures). It’s an effective, innovative product, and now I can finally leave the house with my iPad2!

~C

Posted July 1, 2011 by Elfawin in Random, Uncategorized

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