Category Archives: Things to Buy

Reorganized the pantry.

Holy crap that felt good. You can now see the floor in there. I even got a new shelf system so my home brew supplies are now organized. Unfortunately it took me cleaning out the pantry to realize that I had stacked a whole case of pale ale in the back of the pantry, and now it’s old and gone bad. My plants will have some awesome fertilizer at least.

The shelving is from Trinity International, and because the shelves come in two parts, I am going to build a wheeled shelf system for my garage items. Two shelves for the price of one! What a deal!

Just when you think Macy’s couldn’t suck more…

Remember my post about how bad Macy’s screwed me over? The scheduled delivery was today. I stayed home from work to receive the table, because I had no faith that they wouldn’t somehow cancel my order while waiting for the bench to arrive, the same bench which they should have been holding for me but managed to cancel.

Well, the table showed up…damaged.

Right now I am waiting for a call back from their customer service, but because I’ve already waited six months for this table, I can’t imagine anything they could tell me would make me think the situation is not so bad.

Your move, Macy’s. Fix the problem.

You suck, Macy’s.

As not to bore you with all the details, here is the timeline of the hell that we have been through with Macy’s furniture and are still going through currently.

7/21/11 – We purchase a dining room table with a bench. Macy’s doesn’t tell us the furniture is not available until October. I wish they would’ve noted that when I purchase it, but that’s okay. No major family gatherings until the holidays, right?

10/5/11 – I receive a voicemail from Macy’s to let me know that our furniture is ready for delivery so I schedule it.

10/13/11 – I receive a voicemail from Macy’s that they’re not getting the table until December 15th. They’ve moved the table to another sales order so they have to leave special notes that I want them delivered together.  They still call four times to tell me our furniture is ready for delivery when it’s just the bench, and I have to keep responding that we don’t want them delivered separately.

We pretty much gave up on having our dining room table ready for Thanksgiving, so we scrapped plans to host at our place and tell our families to come over for Christmas.

10/19/11 – I receive a call from Macy’s telling me the table is going to be available on November 5th and to schedule delivery. Holy crap, they came through! I ask them to double check, and it turns out it’s just the bench sales order they’re looking at and the table won’t be available until after Christmas.

We had Christmas dinner on a shitty folding table and an IKEA table because Macy’s couldn’t deliver our table within five months.

I got a call this week to schedule delivery, so I called this morning expecting for it to be the bench only again. I got a pleasant surprise. The table is in now! They double checked and it’s finally arrived, but to think that Macy’s could give me all good news would be too much. Yesterday they cancelled our order for the bench and reassigned it a new sales order number and that won’t be available until February 11th. That means the bench they’d been holding since October was given away to someone else.

At this point I am so angry with Macy’s. I have absolutely zero faith that Macy’s will hit that February date for the bench, and even if they did meet that date, they would probably give away our table and assign it another sales order number before then. Macy’s has offered one option to me, cancel my order. I would but I feel like I’ve come so far. I believe I will just use the dining room table as a conversation piece to slam Macy’s.

Here is my advice to you. Don’t ever buy from Macy’s Furniture.

 

My iPhone Review Thus Far

I converted over from and Android phone to the latest iPhone, and these are my thoughts in the week and a half that I’ve had the phone. Please bear in mind that my use of the iPhone is still very limited, and there may be ways to tweak the experience that I haven’t discovered yet. I’m definitely open to suggestions.

The camera is incredibly responsive and takes clean shots, one after another. That’s something I could never get the camera on my Droid to do. However, the lack of any zoom and weak flash make the iPhone camera still just a phone camera. The arguments made about point-and-shoot cameras becoming obsolete is still a ways away. It has no ability to compete with a point-and-shoot unless everything you take a picture of is within a ten foot radius and in decent lighting.

Inside each iPhone app I’ve used the experience is great because it’s uniform. In some Android apps, there doesn’t seem the be the same uniformity of user interface.

Outside the individual apps, however, there isn’t enough integration. When I am sent a Facebook link, the Facebook app should open. A Google Maps link should open my maps program. There doesn’t seem to be a way to do this. That’s disappointing.

The screen is smaller than the screen I had on my Droid. Where this becomes most apparent is the keyboard. It’s got a smaller area to display, and it makes the keys smaller. Not only are the keys smaller, but there is a lack of punctuation characters available on the first keyboard screen set. It’s odd to me that something so common as the period or question mark is placed on a second screen.

GPS navigation is sorely lacking on the iPhone. I was spoiled by Google Maps on Android. It was incredible. The search results were accurate. The turn-by-turn navigation was solid as well, and you can’t beat a free price tag. The free navigation apps are not very good on the iPhone, either missing some key features of navigation or trying to make me drive the wrong direction on a one-way street. I ended up settling on MotionX-GPS Drive, an app that costs only $.99. Thus far it’s been good on navigation but the interface is quite confusing. I’m still getting used to that.

I dislike very much that the only really easy method of pushing files to the phone is via iTunes. I really don’t use iTunes for anything except playing my music catalog. Instead of using iTunes to push my songs to my iPhone, I’m currently pushing my library up to Google Music. I’ve also sync’d up some of my files using Dropbox.

The iPhone really excels when it comes to battery life. I am getting 60% more life out of my iPhone than I was getting out of my Droid, even when it was new. All the things I dislike about iOS are probably contributing to the longer battery life.

Overall I’m very happy with my iPhone. I would have been pretty happy with a new Android phone too I’m sure. Still if I have to suggest a phone for someone to get, the answer would probably be an iPhone. I know there are other good phones out there, but if you don’t want to do the research, you know the iPhone will be solid. Plus, I won’t have to pay for my text messages if you have iMessage.

My one wish for the iPhone right now is better Google integration. Come on, Goople! Appoogle? Whatever. Make friends and make apps.

Today I am a man.

Today was a very special day. It was the day I got my first set of power tools. Drill/driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw, and flashlight. It comes with two battery packs, and a cool bag that makes me feel like a professional thief.

I can no longer tell Michelle I can’t do things around the house because I don’t have the proper tools. Now I have to tell her that I just don’t know how to use the tools.

To top off the power tool man status, this is our closet. Michelle is pushing for it to be a shoe closet. I’m winning this battle.

Now for all you people that get as excited as me about home brew, here is a video of my beer bubbling as it ferments. I’m working on my second batch of IPA. This round I was encouraged to add a whole lot more hops during the brewing process. According to Michelle, our closet now smells like lychee. This should be quite the tasty brew.

Go the Fuck to Sleep

This is my default gift now for all expecting parents. Get it here.

I have the best wife in the world!

Some of you may have seen Michelle’s tweet a couple days ago.

I don’t know what possessed her to look up the product again, but apparently it’s no longer sold out on the pre-order! While your wife will never be as good as mine, you can at least have your Han Solo Frozen in Carbonite Ice Cube Trays!

It’s like Disneyland for Michelle.

It’s no secret that Michelle loves hot sauce. She pours it onto her meals generously. When her eyes are watering and nose is running, she will tell you she feels alive. While strolling through the farmers’ market at The Grove we stumbled across this store.

It’s nothing but hot sauce and hot sauce related products. They sell bottles of hot sauce, jarred peppers, pepper powder, spicy peanuts, and spicy popcorn.

There are signs inside that say no photos, but I’m sneaky like that. Check out this store if you’re at The Grove. The sauces have hilarious names, many involving burning sensitive areas of your body.

Every hot sauce is labeled on a heat scale from 1-10, but there are even a few 10++ items on the shelves. Just to gauge what we were getting ourselves into, we asked the store owner what Tabasco would rank on his scale. He said it would be about a 5. Showing us around, he was telling us the people in China and Taiwan love the 10++ bottles. They can’t get anything like that locally, so whenever he takes a trip he takes a case of the hot stuff to distribute to the locals. It seemed like he had experience with his products, telling us some of the hot sauces were carrot based and others were tomato based, giving them completely different tastes. We decided to stick with a 7 on the heat scale, and Michelle has been happy with that choice especially since I started doing more cooking. I just make sure she at least tastes my food before she smothers it in hot sauce.

I’m a digital artist

Nintendo has put out quite a few educational games to make people think and teach them new skills, and I always wondered why anyone would want to learn on a platform that was developed for games. Michelle got to host a party to try out Art Academy on the Nintendo DSi XL. This game is designed to teach drawing and painting skills. After playing with the game for a few minutes, I was pretty impressed. While it’s not nearly as powerful of a platform as a computer, it does a really great job.

What I enjoy about this software too is that they try to mimic the actual process of painting. The software recommends you sketch out your drawing in pencil first, and it gives you choices on fine point or shading as well as the softness of the lead. When you get to painting you have choices of brushes, mixing colors, how much paint you want on the brush, and even whether you want to dilute the paint with water to make it more fluid. There is no undo button, because in real life you just have to paint over your mistakes. There also isn’t a limitless supply of paint either. After you make a few strokes, you have to pick up the stylus and put it down as if you were dipping the brush again.

This is what we were supposed to paint in the class.

These are the moldy looking oranges that I was able to paint.

Although from far away, it looks like everyone did a pretty decent job.

As far as how well it teaches you, the jury is still out on that. I haven’t had enough time to play with it thoroughly. I would definitely recommend buying one of these if you have a child and wanted them to explore their artistic side. There’s no mess to clean up in the game, and after the kids are done for the night you can play some Mario Kart.

Daft Punk Tron Legacy Kubrick Two-Pack

Does anyone else think these are as cool as I do? I’m sure the answer is no, but that’s because you’re inner child is dead.