Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-11-30

  • Hung above a toilet in a Korean restaurant. Not sure what it says in Korean but translation is funny. #
  • Costco is really taking a shot at Coke b/c they won't negotiate good prices with them. #
  • nice. the new memcached 1.4.3 breaks PHP's memcache 2.2.25 extension, delete() doesn't work anymore. who needs to delete anyway, right? #
  • yay, $1 ebay USB bluetooth adapter works on the mac out of the box. #
  • Lines at safeway are insanely long. All the last minute thanksgiving grocery shopping madness is here. #
  • Happy thanksgiving! #
  • An x large pizza serves 4-5 people? I think not, Extreme Pizza. Maybe 2-3! #
  • Lots of desserts tonight. #
  • Checking out a restaurant in Fremont, of all places! #
  • Eating at another restaurant in Fremont. #

setting up a shared calendar on the iPhone

christi and i have had a web-based shared calendar for quite some time now. we use it to manage our schedules, keep track of sharks tickets that we have, and any other things we need to put on a calendar. it’s been really handy to have it online so we can access it wherever we are.

i made a couple of enhancements to the calendar so that we can color-code entries that we have put into the calendar, so it was pretty handy to have.

since we got iPhones it seemed like the next step to figure out how to get this web-based calendar onto the iphone. i found that you can sync your google calendar with your phone. google calendar supports external calendar subscriptions by URL in iCal format, so i made an iCal feed that my google calendar then imports and updates.

this enabled us to have read-only access to our shared calendar and seemed to do quite well for some time. it didn’t happen until now, months since i first set this up, that we would add/edit events on our phone. the only way we could do this was through the web, so i decided it was time to chuck the old web software away and fully embrace google calendars.

i set up a new calendar in my account and shared it with christi’s gmail account. then i imported all of the events from our web-based calendar (again through an iCal file). now, we have a shared calendar syncing on our phones, and because the iPhone supports full sync support in the calendars, we can now add/edit/remove events from our phones.

i’m a little sad that the modified web calendar is being put out to pasture, but i really like the idea of having a shared calendar accessible on the web and on the device.

i’m sure that many, many people have already done this, but it’s new to me and that makes it cool.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-11-16

How Babies R Us kept me as a customer

Several months ago, as anxious expecting parents, we went to Babies R Us to order a Dutailier Glider. When we got there and wanted to place the order, we found out that Dutailier offers a startlingly large selection of wood and fabric choices for the gliders. Slightly overwhelmed, but excited, we picked our fabric and wood and placed the order for the glider and ottoman.

We were also fortunate enough to find a 15% coupon that we were able to apply to the high ticket item order. While placing the order, we were informed that this special order would take 10-12 weeks. If the delivery came in that window, it would have barely come in time for our son’s entry into the world.

At the 10 week mark, I called to see if the glider had arrived. It had not, but they said that they would call me when the glider had arrived. I patiently waited it out, but after the 13 week mark, I called again to see the status of the order. I called on a weekend and the customer service people could not check the status of the order. They said that I would have to call on Monday for a manager to check the status of the order.

I waited through the weekend and called first thing Monday morning. Someone was able to check the status of my order and they told me that it was “in progress”. No ETA, no other news. They said they would call me back when there was an update.

I waited another week and with no response from Babies R Us, I decided to call again. No update on the order. Frustrated, at this point, I drove in to the store the next day to talk to someone face to face.

I got to the store and got in touch with a manager there. He looked up the order and informed me that the order had been processed, but the status has been marked as “TRANSFER FAILED”. He explained to me that this is not uncommon, but it means that the glider and ottoman have been made, but there was some kind of failure in shipping it to the store. The status had been marked as such for the past month and unchanged since.

He said he would have to call the corporate office to find out the status of the order. The next day, I got a call from him saying that he had not heard back from the corporate office, but would call me as soon as he hears something. He said that when the glider arrived and I go into the store to pick up the ottoman, he would work out some compensation for the inconvenience incurred for me.

I waited the week out, and on the following Tuesday (one week from the time I had gone into the store), I called the store again. The person I spoke with before wasn’t there, but I asked for the status of the order. They said that the order status has not changed and is marked as “TRANSFER FAILED”. They said that they would leave a note with the person that I spoke with to follow up with me the following day. They apologized and said that they would leave a note on the order and with the store manager to work out some compensation for the tardiness of the order.

45 minutes later, someone called me from Babies R Us to inform me that the glider has been delivered and is sitting in the store waiting for me to come pick it up.

Our son had arrived two weeks early, so we were without a glider for quite some time now.

I went into the store and picked up the glider and ottoman. After they found my order they processed it and said I can wait for the glider to be brought in from the back and sit at a bench. I asked about the compensation promised to me and was met with a blank look by the employee. They checked with their manager and the manager gave us 15% off our order. That is roughly $100 back for the inconvenience.

I wanted about $100 for the trouble. The lack of communication on their part, the frustration of not knowing if and when the order would arrive, and the fact that I was the one who had to continue to pester them about an order than I had paid in full upfront in good faith was quite the ordeal. I wasn’t expecting Babies R Us to give us that much back, but it is because they did that just kept me as a customer. I was ready to boycott them because of this awful transaction, especially on a high ticket item, but at the end of the day, though I am not happy with how this transaction progressed, I am satisfied with the resolution.

You just saved me as a customer, Babies R Us!

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-11-09

  • The receipt that I was looking for ALL weekend at home ended up being in my cube at work! #
  • At 1 month, Kyden weighs 10#10oz. Peditrician said, "He's growing like weeds." #
  • got leftover candy? a group of dentists will buy it from you and send to US soldiers serving overseas. #
  • really bummed that the quality of pizza at the round table pizza lunch buffet by work is not up to par. pizza was soggy. 🙁 #
  • Kyden likes to stretch and hog the bed when he goes to sleep. #
  • Kyden is a happy baby, but is still fussy through the night. #
  • First fire of the season. It's not THAT cold, but fire is always fun. #
  • At Lowes trying to get a delivery receipt for a washer & dryer I bought last week so I can file for the rebates. #
  • Got the receipt I needed, finally. They first told me that they didn't have it but after insisting they gave me a copy. #
  • ugh, turned down playing settlers of catan because i've got too much work to do. so bummed! #
  • Orb For Mac Streams iTunes Content To Any Device (For Free) : #
  • Working on a Sunday means working from home on 4 screens. #

wireless keyboard

a long, long time ago when i first bought my ps3, i also bought a logitech bluetooth mediaboard for the playstation, thinking that i would install linux on the ps3 and would need a good wireless solution. the mediaboard was particularly of interest because it had integrated a touchpad in the keyboard, was bluetooth enabled, and had bindings for the ps3’s buttons. the keyboard works great with the ps3, but i found that i don’t really use linux on the ps3 and when i’m using the ps3, i generally end up using a remote control to access it.

as such, the mediaboard has been collecting dust for some time now. i just added a $5 USB bluetooth dongle to the media server and decided to give the keyboard a whirl. i don’t often need a keyboard for the media center, but when i do, this keyboard works great. i’ve been using the iphone as a keyboard/mouse replacement, but when you need to do a lot of typing, nothing beats a real keyboard.

fix home/end keys in mac, firefox too

this is probably more for the switchers out there and my own personal reference, but if you like your home and end keys on your mac to go to the beginning of the line and end of the line, this is what you need to do:

system-wide home/end:
Make a file ~/Library/KeyBindings/DefaultKeyBinding.dict

"\UF729" = "moveToBeginningOfLine:"; /* Home */
"\UF72B" = "moveToEndOfLine:"; /* End */
"$\UF729" = "moveToBeginningOfLineAndModifySelection:"; /* Shift + Home */
"$\UF72B" = "moveToEndOfLineAndModifySelection:"; /* Shift + End */

that makes system-wide changes to your keybindings EXCEPT in firefox. to fix it in firefox, use this add-on:

and now you have happily “working” home/end keys.

fix nano’s brightblack in iTerm

the default settings for iTerm make bright colors bold instead of having a darker and brighter color. to make use of nano’s bright black (dark grey) color in iTerm, you need to go into iTerm’s settings:

Bookmarks->Manage Profiles->Display Profiles->Dark Background

and check Disable bold.

voila, you know have dark and bright ANSI colors!

the candy dilemma

for halloween, i went to costco and bought two bags of 150 pieces of candy in anticipation for all of the trick or treaters. it turns out that about 100 pieces were given out on halloween leaving me with about a third of 1 bag and 1 bag completely unopen.

that’s a lot of candy.

i’m not sure what i’m going to do with it all. but i did find that there’s a group of dentists that will buy back your candy and sent to US soldiers serving overseas. pretty cool, idea.