ups tracking and natural disasters

while tracking the package of a purchase that i had made recently, i saw that the latest event in the tracking log of my package was described as NATURAL DISASTER.

i’ve never seen that before, but i’m a little concerned about what that means. does that mean that my package was involved in a natural disaster? does that mean that it is delayed because of a natural disaster? there are many fires here in california raging, so i can see how those fires might delay shipment of a package.

it would, however, be a different story if my package were to say have fallen out of the UPS plane and into a natural disaster.

wanted – blockbuster of the summer

paul, leeya, jim, judy, and i went to go watch wanted last night. jim scored us some free advanced screening tickets and we were able to watch the movie before opening day. since i don’t watch any commercials these days, i have no idea what movies are coming out and what to be excited for, so when i had first heard about the movie, i didn’t know what it was about. we watched it at the amc in saratoga and though i thought it was a small venue and not very many people would show up, there was a long line out the door waiting to get in.

a quick search revealed that this is an action movie about assassins starring angelina jolie. it probably is more accurate to say that james mcavoy stars in this movie, but, you know, she’s the hottie. i think leeya would disagree as she was fawning over james mcavoy to me before the movie started.

folks, i think this is the summer blockbuster. the movie was FANTASTIC. my jaw dropped literally several times throughout the movie. not only are the special effects amazing, the creativity of the stunts were stunning. there was this one stunt (clearly CG, but still amazing) where angelina jolie’s character, Fox, maneuvers a car to seat a passenger. awesome. completely unrealistic, but awesome. in fact, that whole car chase was pretty cool.

yes, the movie requires a huge suspension of disbelief, but once you swallow that pill, hang on for a visually stunning, heart-pounding adventure. i don’t watch very many movies in the theatre, but this is one of those movies that i might consider watching again in the theatre and this could be the first blu-ray movie that i buy.

i hear that the director has some other great special effects movies, so i think i’ll give them a whirl. wanted. i’m calling it now, i think it’s this summer’s blockbuster hit.

as an aside, is it just me or does james mcavoy look a lot like gregory smith (ephram from everwood)?

james mcavoy

gregory smith

another nail in the tire

i just happened to glance at my tire today on the way to lunch and something shiny caught my eye. not shiny like a pretty penny, not shiny like a diamond ring, not shiny like the ever-so-hard-to-find wii fit. no. shiny like, why-is-my-tired-shiny shiny?

so upon further inspection, i see that there’s a nail lodged in my tire. it’s deep in the groove of one of the treads near the sidewall. i was a little worried that it wouldn’t be able to get patched. i drove to the local gas station to see if it can be patched.

me: do you fix nails in tires?
owner: yeah. pull up over there.

(after i pull up, the owner looks at the nail for a good while, examining it from different angles. at one point, she touches the nail and then she comes back to me.)

owner: yeah, we can fix it. $10. cash only.
me: sure, ok.

(cash only? this must be one of those things that don’t get recorded on the books. it doesn’t cost them much, a kit to fix nails must be pretty cheap and the repair takes less than 10 minutes.)

so the tire is patched up and they even check the pressure in my tires. a little shady with the whole cash only thing, but still well worth it. the last time i went to get a nail fixed at some tire shop, they wanted $20 for it. i balked at how much they wanted AND they wanted me to leave the car there for several hours while they fix it. ridiculous, if you ask me. i’ve found my new place for fixing flats.

finally got my movie

my favorite movie of all time is serendipity. this should come as no surprise because i have a soft spot for romantic comedies. what is a little surprising is that i always think that i’m not really a big fan of john cusack, but i think that he does a fantastic job here. and don’t get me started about kate beckinsale…oh too late, here we go. kate beckinsale is one of those actresses that isn’t afraid to be as ridiculously beautiful as she really is in every movie she’s been in. i think that’s fantastic and i love her in this movie.

i have never owned the dvd, so i have been searching for it. most stores don’t carry it because it’s an older movie and if they do, it’s a $15+ movie. now, that isn’t really that much money for a dvd, but still, i wanted to find it for less than $10 in some bargain bin or something. earlier this month, i found it online for $8 and i ordered it. it took a staggering 16 days from the day of order to delivery of dvd, but it finally came yesterday and the first thing i did was watch the director’s commentary. i’ve seen the movie plenty of times, but i have not seen it with the commentary.

what’s interesting with getting the director’s insight into the whole process is that he points out little things that i never really appreciated in the movie. serendipity does require the audience to suspend disbelief a little and the movie certain does push the limits a little about believable coincidences, but i think that if you are willing to take that leap, it’s fantastic.

anyway, i still love the movie as much now as i had remembered and i think that it still holds as my favorite movie of all time.

amazon price fluctuations

i have been a long time amazon shopper. i shopped at amazon back when they only sold books. but it wasn’t until earlier this week that i realized that amazon’s prices fluctuate from day to day! i’ve been stalking the canon rebel xsi (not to buy for myself, but a friend wants one) and i have seen the price go from as high as $828 to now as low as $799. at $799, the body + kit lens is a steal.

it’s amazing to me that every day i check the price it changes though. i think that is so strange that it changes by so much. from what i read around the web, amazon is doing this to see how they can maximize profit. they are looking to see just how high of a price they can sell an item for before it reaches some critical threshold for people to stop buying it. there are other factors that come into play like where their supply is coming from and prices from their sources, but i never thought that there would be so much fine tune controlling in the price of items. it looks like this is applicable to new items, though, so most of my shopping should be unaffected by this sort of thing.

tricked into going to a baby shower

over the weekend, i got tricked into going to a baby shower. i didn’t read the evite carefully, all i saw was, come hang out with us before the baby takes over the house. that naturally seemed to mean that it was a little get together with friends.

later in the part of the evite that i didn’t read, i saw that there was a section that said we are registered at babies r us and pottery barn kids. what?? yeah, that should have clued me in. still, it was good to see carol, i haven’t seen her in a couple of weeks and boy, let me tell you, she is preggers!

they catered mexican food for the party, but what that really meant was this old hispanic couple that took over their kitchen and was cooking in the kitchen. it was actually pretty cool. the food was delicious.

we played bingo there. kind of random, but fun. no other baby shower games and there were other guys there, so it wasn’t so bad. it was fun.

alice summerthing

i decided pretty last minute to go to alice’s summerthing at golden gate park on sunday. i wasn’t too familiar with the bands that were playing, but after doing a little research, i realized that i really liked them. for an event called summerthing, you’d think that it would be warmer than 60 degrees, but this is san francisco and boy was it cold.

secondhand serenade is this guy who used to play all sorts of instruments until his girlfriend told him that she wants him to serenade her, but he’s not going to be able to serenade her with a bass guitar. he picked up a guitar and started to write songs for her. these were serenades that he wrote to her and that we get to listen to secondhand. and that’s how secondhand serenade came to be. we missed his performance, though, which is a bummer because i really like his music.

the second artist up was marie digby. i don’t think that i’ve heard her before, but her set was pretty good.

the last goodnight played and they were actually very good. i really like their songs too, but i never knew who sang them until summerthing.

ingrid michaelson was personable, fun, and a good singer. i was not that fond of her version of somewhere over the rainbow to close out her set, but the sun did start to peek through after she sang that.

and lifehouse sounds great live. their set was pretty good, though i didn’t recognize most of the songs.

mobile phone charges

my current plan, which i have had now for as long as i’ve had a cell phone is a super basic plan. i get plenty of anytime minutes, free nights and weekends starting at 7pm, and, of course, free long distance. what this plan does not include is a data plan or text messaging.

for EVERY text message i receive or send, i am charged 20 cents. for every kilobyte of data i incur, i am charged 3 cents. now, that doesn’t seem like a big deal, except…to check email, IM, and browse the web, who knows how much data is being sent? it just seems like it’s going to get expensive fast.

the thing is that sprint’s cheapest text messaging plan is $5 for 300 texts. the big question now is, will i send/receive more than 25 texts in a month? that’s the $5 question.

as for the data plan, the cheapest all you can eat data plan from sprint is $15. so, will i regularly download more than 500kB in a month? that seems like a pretty easy goal to meet. the thing is that i never use a data plan right now. will i use one if i get a new phone? will i use one if i get a smart phone? these are the questions to ponder.

i’ve had my current phone now for about 3 years. i think it’s about time to upgrade. it’s served its purpose and i want something that will make it worthwhile to text and browse the web. i want a cool phone. it seems like the iphone is the cool choice to get, but i’m trying to figure out the total cost of ownership here. with $70/mo recurring charges, that’s a pretty expensive phone.

i guess i could always just upgrade my current phone and stick with the plan that i have. *sigh* decisions, decisions.

now that i see all of these charges on my bill, the other big question is, “was that text that i got REALLY worth the 20 cents it costs me?” or better yet, “is it really worth 20 cents for me to reply??”

sigh, it’s bankruptcy for me, 20 cents at a time.

getting eaten alive

last night was a pretty rough night. it was hot, i think the lows were in the high 70s and the house was hot. i woke up this morning because i was so hot, i couldn’t sleep anymore. i also awoke to a ton of bug bites. i hate a bite on each foot, a couple on my arms, and one on my leg. i don’t know what happened last night, but man, i’m itchy everywhere.

after a pretty unpleasant night, i think i’m ready to start using air conditioning. i know it’s super expensive, but it just isn’t worth it anymore to be this miserable for this long.

while i was out at lunch, the outdoor temperature was 102. ridiculous, man!