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Leaf Fri, Sep 22, 2006
This picture was taken right near the NJ/NY border during the hike a few weeks ago. 


Feedback sweepstakes Fri, Sep 22, 2006
I get pretty annoyed when the cashier tells me to "Visit our website and use this code to enter a contest for your chance to win a prize".  First of all, I don't believe in democracy.  I don't think that the opinions of one skinny, irate, white male will have any effect on the policies of a multinational, multibillion dollar corporation.  Plus, I just used a credit card to buy a pack of gum.  You actually lost money on that transaction. 

Second, I don't like entering my personal information into websites unless I'm buying something or signing up for something significant.  Why should I tell you what my household income is?  Why do you ask to know my race yet give me the option of declining to answer?  Do you want to know or not? 

Third, I don't believe in sweepstakes, contests, or trying to win prizes.  I might be a little more willing to try them out if I heard of a single person who won anything.  I know a few people.  And not one of them has ever said, "Yeah so I entered that stupid contest on the bottom of my receipt and I won $5000."  I never hear any stories on the news or through important email forwards that say something about somebody's neighbor's cousin's step-daughter's boyfriend who won anything.  When I walk into the store, they don't say, "You should really do this feedback thing.  A guy from this store just won a bunch of money by going to our website.  I'm serious." 

Fourth (I thought I was done too), I might be a little more inclined to believe these stupid offers if they were at least somewhat reasonable.  A free Coke.  A $20 gift card.  A 5 second shopping spree in the pet goods aisle.  Instead, they offer $50,000, a brand new Ferrari, and a free trip to the International Space Station.  I mean come on.  What kind of company just gives stuff away for free because a person provided some useless, biased, self-centered, racist feedback. #business

Rechargeable Fri, Sep 22, 2006
I have a rechargeable facial hair trimmer that has an amazingly stupid feature:  It doesn't work while it's plugged in.  That's right.  Some genius engineer came to the conclusion that it would be a good idea to make a rechargeable device that'll only be used while not plugged in.  To that jerk face idiot, I say this:  It's impossible for this feature to not fail.  Without question, the device will run out of batteries while it's being used.  What does this mean for the user?  A half shaved face.  And when the user plugs the device into the charger, what do you get?  An angry, half-shaved user with a rechargeable device that doesn't work while plugged in.  It would be one thing if the device had some sort of battery meter telling the user when it was time to recharge.  But no.  It's left up to chance.  Will it die this time?  Will it die while I'm trying to shave my face?  Will it die right before I shave off my mustache, leaving me with a dirty dirt-stache (yes this happened to me)? #technology

Brown sugar and cinnamon Fri, Sep 22, 2006
I always get food that's flavored with some variation of brown sugar and cinnamon.  Always.  I get granola bars of the "Maple Brown Sugar" variety.  I get "pastry bars" (funny little snack that thinks it's a breakfast food, and yet is relatively good for me) of the "Cinnamon Danish" variety.  I used to eat Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts (until I found out that they're pretty bad for me).  I was on an oatmeal cereal stint for a while there and guess what flavor I got?  That's right, cinnamon sugar.  I can't explain my obsession with this flavor, but I can say that it's the best food on earth.  And that's a fact. #food