Archive for March, 2010

During a recent hotel stay, my wife and I used the in-room coffeemaker quite a bit. The device itself was well-designed and made fairly good coffee, but it was limited to one cup at a time. So, I found myself having to repeat the process several times in order to produce a normal amount of […]

Even when you’re armed with a Tivo, network scheduling conflicts can be a real pain. Somehow, there’s always at least one time slot that has more than two shows I want to watch at once, and my Tivo can only record two shows at a time. Of course, it alerts you when you try to […]

Like most newer construction, the building where I live has fire sprinklers placed strategically throughout the property. The idea, of course, is that if a fire breaks out, it will be contained by the sprinklers before spreading to neighboring apartments. There’s a downside, though: whenever the sprinklers go off, a huge amount of water has […]

After I got my census form in the mail, one of the first things I did was check how to fill it out online. I was rather shocked to learn that the census can’t be submitted on the web. So, I filled out the paper form they sent me, lamenting how incredibly archaic the process […]

I received at least six emails last week from some random company that insists they’ve created a free account for me. Trouble is, I’ve never heard of them and have no interest in their service. And the tone of the emails is really annoying: they insist that I requested the account and I need to […]

When you’re shopping online, it’s easy to tell if a product is in stock. The site usually indicates whether the item is available for immediate purchase, and even how many are left. But when you want to buy that item in a local store, things get a bit dicier. Some retailers are really smart about […]

Looking out the window on a Saturday night, some of the vacant office spaces are impossible to miss. The reason is simple: they’ve got all their lights on, brightly illuminating the raw floor that lacks furniture or even carpeting. Meanwhile, all the occupied floors are dark, aside from a few exit signs and other emergency […]

Ikea doesn’t advertise that much in Chicago, at least not on the billboards and other out-of-home canvases that I see in the city. Maybe they assume that they already have the market cornered, and any interested customers will seek them out anyway. Or perhaps it’s because despite having two Ikea stores in the so-called Chicagoland […]

This week, I spent several days working on revisions to a contract with a potential vendor. We actually negotiated all the major items (like the costs and timeline) before starting on the contract, and it was the vendor’s job to send me a contract draft reflecting those agreed-upon points. Well, the document I received was […]

I’ve seen plenty of pictures of excess packaging posted all across the Internet. From huge boxes containing a tiny item to multiple boxes nested like Russian dolls, documenting unnecessary packing material nearly qualifies as a competitive sport. With this in mind, I was amused to receive a package from Target that took the opposite approach. […]