Archive for December, 2004

Electronics Boutique: Telemarketing in person

Friday, December 31st, 2004

I went to the mall today to return a belt (an Xmas present which turned out to be too small). I looked around for a medium, but they didn’t have the kind I wanted, so I just made a return. Very quick, very easy, I hand over belt + receipt, till lady credits $25 to my card. No problem.

Since I was there, I took a look in the anime store. Asked about the new Black Mages album (The Skies Above). It’s not in yet (and apparently the first one is out of stock too, but I have that one already).

Then I popped into EB and picked up a used copy of Front Mission 4. I haven’t shopped in that EB before and I won’t be shopping there again soon if I can help it. I waited in line for the 5 minutes it took for the guy in front of me to make his purchase, then I stepped forward. Of course I had to endure the same script that I had just heard played to the guy before me.

Did I have an EB marketing tool, sorry loyalty card (or whatever they call it this month)? No. Do I want one? No. The only things I buy in EB are the things I can’t get in my local indy store. And even if I bought regularly in EB, I don’t want them to know all about me, thanks.

Did I want a controller and/or memory card today? No. This is a one-player game I’m buying. Almost no PS2 owner in the world would need to buy a controller for it. And it’s a strategy RPG, so I hardly think it’s going to fill up my memory card. (This question has to be the worst, I mean it’s the equivalent of the 0.1% hit rate spam – how many people actually say, “Oh, I forgot, I don’t have a controller?”)

I circumvented the script. I added that I didn’t need to pre-order a PSP either. Yes, despite the fact that “it’s going to be hot” and “very hard to find”. No thanks. No PSP pre-order. There are 3 people behind me in line, you know. I just want to buy one game, for cash. I could have been out of here 30 seconds ago. (I didn’t say that, but I was thinking it). Thankfully he didn’t offer me the “for only 2 dollars, we’ll insure this for you – if it ever breaks, just bring it back” deal. Have these people never heard of a bathtub curve? If the game doesn’t work, I’ll bring it back within the week and you will be obliged to replace it or refund my money. If it works, it’s not suddenly going to stop working 3 months from now. I look after my things.

Another store on the blacklist. It joins Gamestop and Best Buy. Although to be fair, it usually all depends on the manager/employees for these places. There is another EB in town that I will continue to use for things I can’t find in my local games store. Mostly older games that I want to pick up used, or things like the Ignition Red Octane dance pad for DDR.

Rant over (well what are blogs for anyway?)


Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

Those Pacific (yeah right!) storms really mean business, don't they? For over 36 hours now the view from my window has been a steady stream of water flowing down to the road. Thank goodness I live on a hill and the drainage around here seems to be up to the job. I'm no stranger to rain, but this really has been a storm of biblical proportions. Downtown L.A. has had nearly 6 inches of rain, and around 12.20 last night I was woken by the weather. I looked out and saw a torrent gushing down the hill. It must have been chucking it down at the rate of about 6 inches an hour! Luckily it only stays this heavy for 10-15 minutes at a time. It's sporadically heavy today, and set to continue into tonight. Hopefully by the weekend it'll be mostly cleared up.

LJ Experiment…

Thursday, December 23rd, 2004

“6 Degrees of LiveJournal”

Go to your friends page. Go to the first user. Go to their friends page. Go to the first user that you haven't visited before. Repeat ad infinitum.

– There are some strange people out there
– Most of them customize LJ way more than I do

Comedy memes

Tuesday, December 21st, 2004

Anyone else noticed that certain words, places and other items crop up unusually often in comedy routines (sketches, standup, whatever)? Wikipedia has an inherently funny words item about this phenomenon. Apparently the duck is the funniest animal. Although I would consider the badger a close second.

Recent examples I've noticed include Boggle (the game) which seems to be edging in, and the perennial favourite comedy place: Sheboygan, WI.

Credit card

Saturday, December 4th, 2004

Capital One sent me a credit card offer. I applied, and they actually decided to give me a credit card! So I can now count myself as a real person in the USA. Too bad MBNA, you missed out. (MBNA wouldn't give me a card of my own despite the fact that I've actually been on my wife's account for years. They up her credit limit practically every month – who do they think pays the bills?)

Anyway, somebody at Capital One is a human being and not a computer looking at credit scores. It is still laughable that my new card has a limit of $1000, when I have in my wallet already many times that amount of credit.

In related news, you can get your credit report online now at Annual Credit Report. Wonder what my score is? Not worth checking, I bet.

Now, I remember hearing about a credit card company that could hand out temporary numbers: the idea being that you (an existing cardholder) go to their website and get a credit card number linked to your existing account, but the new number is only valid for a month. Ideal for monthly online service signups that you don't intend to continue past the free month.