Sunday, September 24, 2006

Blockbuster boo-boo

I don't watch much TV and only discovered my cable was out and the actual wire need to be replaced when I tried to catch season pilots the other week. I probably wouldn't watch DVDs at all if I hadn't won a player in a drawing a couple of years ago (then had to get a new TV that could play the thing).

But I love freebies and decided to take advantage of Blockbuster's free one month online trial. In addition to unlimited online rentals, I get four coupons for free in-store rentals. So yesterday I signed up, printed the first coupon, and went to my local Blockbuster that I hadn't been to in over a year. Didn't even have my card, but that didn't matter. Picked out "The Producers", took it to the counter, and got my freebie.

I did notice the yellow tab in the case when I plucked it off the shelf, but forgot about it as the kid at the register rang me up ($0.00) then added my $1 Boys and Girls Club of America donation. Only when I got home did I realize the tab was still in, and I couldn't open the case.

A call to the store gave me the permission to break in to it, since there'd be no way I'd be able to remove the tab that ran along the entire length of the right side of the case. (Yes, sidster, you're right, it takes super-strong magnets to remove it.) The operation was successful, the patient had its spine slit open, and the DVD was freed.

So was the movie worth all that trouble? I didn't even get to finish watching it because I gave up after being interrupted twice by phone calls.


Monday, September 18, 2006

More Butch

SF & Anaheim concerts

Butch Walker continues to tour, but I'm only able to catch him when he stops in California. Two of his best shows were in SF and Anaheim, and I was lucky enough to be a part of the experience!

Take a look at my googlepage for more pictures.


Brief trip, briefer synopsis

I've lamented before how the hardest part about returning from a trip is going through all the pictures and deciding which ones to use. I took the easy way out this time:


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Last Flight Out

yeah, that's the title of a Butch Walker song

I saw Butch Walker and his new band in SF and Anaheim last week, and took four planes going there and back. My suitcase barely made it under the limit, and my contact solution was confiscated (even though saline solution is permitted, according to the TSA site). I missed being able to carry on bottled water, but was able to get enough to drink on the first three flights. For some reason, the leg from LA to Hawaii was a dehydration flight, but at least Hawaiian Airlines still feeds its passengers.

Some delightful and not-so-delightful insights about airports, especially when traveling alone:

Good: Discovering the airport carries Starbucks' new Pumpkin Spice
Bad: Being forced to consume the entire grande coffee before boarding the plane
Definitely good: Sitting close to the rear of the plane and being able to tell easily when there's no line for the bathroom

Not-so-bad: Not knowing what kind of person you'll get as a seatmate
Good: Being asked to trade seats w/a person who's allergic to cats, getting to sit near the cat, and receiving complementary headset to watch a movie I actually wanted to see

Not-so-bad: Getting the attention of a cute little drug-sniffing beagle who was interested in the catnip in my carry-on bag
Bad: Breaking a nail while wrestling my 46.6 lb suitcase off the conveyer belt
Good: Warning guys who were blocking my way that I might knock them over (and break a nail) when I grab my bag -- and having them grab it for me instead

Good: Experiencing pleasant counter people and lack of crowds on 9/11
Bad: Tolerating TSA security newbies practicing on me "so they know that I know what to do"* on 9/11

* TSA agent trying to show that she knew what she was doing (after I was deafened and puffed in the chemical-detecting booth, and before she frisked and patted me down)