30 September 2007

Why show ID?

I used to work in a record store. Great job, got discounts on all my Depeche Mode stuff. Anyway, one of my responsibilities was cashier. Did not like it too much, but hey, it was a job. A Job I sucked at. I much rather walk the floor and rearrange the CD's and help out the customers.

Where was I? Oh, the cashier part. As with all retailers, we as cashiers were told to ask the customer for valid identification upon use of a credit card. A debit card, on the other hand, did not warrant such procedure since the PIN would confirm your relation to your card. This practice was strictly enforced. I once caught a guy who used his mom's card. The name on card did not match the name on the license. The manager on duty canceled the transaction and the guy left frustrated...without his CD's.

What is my point? There is a flaw in the system. Like many out there, I hardly carry cash. Most of my purchases are made by credit card. That being said, I noticed that the cashier only asks for your ID when you are buying things. This rule does not apply to restaurants.

You can buy something for five dollars at, for example, Target, using your credit card. They will ask you for valid form of identification. Then go to a restaurant like Islands, order twenty or a hundred dollars of food, pay for it with the same card...they will just run it through, no questions asked.

This process of verifying documents is to protect the card holder of fraud and basically the unauthorized use of said card. But why check it only at retail and not at restaurants?

On a side note: Most cashiers, if anything, only look to see that the name on your ID matches the name on your credit card. Some do not even look at the picture to see if you match the photo. To prove my point, I had one of those credit cards with my photo on the front...they still ask for ID!?! Even when I pointed out that there is a photo of my on the credit card, they insist on proof of identity.

26 September 2007

Leaky Pipe

Sorry about the lack of updates, but this damn drain pipe had been leaking since day one. Luckily, day one was a little over a month ago. Still, I had to take apart a cabinet to get to these photos. As you can see, we also had a mold problem. The mold is now clean, but the drain pipe still needs to be fixed.

That one wooden wall, yeah, the one with the water stain on the bottom, is holding up a granite counter top. Thus, it cannot be removed. This make is quite difficult for one to work on said pipe. Looks like I need to cut a hole in the back wall of the cabinet, repair the leak and reassemble the cabinet. Damn it!

18 September 2007

Bat with Woodie

I do not really like baseball, but this is pretty cool.

16 September 2007

Ich liebe Kinder...Die Süßigkeiten

Kinder is a candy from Germany. I first these in the summer of 1999 while in Europe. On a limited budget, I only brought back about four. "Kinder" means children in German, like Kindergarten or garden of children.

First you unwrap the foil. I am not a big fan of chocolate, but this is good chocolate. It is shaped like an egg, which makes it really hard to transport while backpacking across Europe in the summer.

Crack open the egg and you see white chocolate on the inside of the shell. The best part is the surprise inside.

Inside each capsule is a toy. Like this one, the toys require some sort of assembly. Sometimes they cheap out and just give you stickers. Most of the time it is a cool toy like this.

This toy is some sort of grasshopper character, nicely sculpted and painted. It also has a magnet on the bottom. All this and candy for about €1.70, about $3.00 US. Little steep, but everything in Europe is.

Last year, I returned to Europe. The first thing I was looking for when we got to Germany was Kinder. the candy is long gone, but I still have the toys. I also have the toys from my first trip to Germany. The one above is from friends who just got back from Paris. The candy from this patch is gone too.

14 September 2007

It's Alive!

As promised, picture of the Frankenstein track bike that Jun helped my put together. Yeah, it has pink bar tape. Feels great, but it is like learning to ride all over again. I finally got the trackstand down...only on one side. Next, I got to learn how to slow down and stop. Here are the specs if you are interested:

- Frame and fork: Bicanch Pista 53cm, Gang Green - bought from SwarmLA
- Headset: Cane Creek - bought from SwarmLA
- Handel bar: Hack-sawed-and-flipped Sakae Custom road bar - gift from SwarmLA
- Stem: Kalloy Uno - bought from SwarmLA
- Crankset: Andle Track/Fixed Gear 46T - bought on eBay
- Bottom Bracket: Shimano BB-UN54 - bought on eBay
- Wheels: Weinmann Dp 18 Areo - bought on eBay
- Chain - Sram PC-1
- Chain tensioners: MKS Chain Adjuster
- Sprocket: 16T - gift from SwarmLA
- Seatpost: Laprade - gift from SwarmLA
- Saddle: WTB Speed V
- Pedals: Shimano 600 with custom caps - gift from SwarmLA
- Bar tape: Deda pink with custom end caps
- Tube and tires: Cheap Performance stock

Thanks Jun!

10 September 2007

Track Bike, Almost Complete

Frankenstein is almost alive. All I need is one more part, rear cog, and my new bike will be complete. I will take a picture of it as soon as it is fully operational. Thanks again to Jun for the hook ups. Looks like I owe him a few more cars.

06 September 2007

New Bike, Coming Soon...

Thanks to SwarmLA, I will soon have a new bike. The Bianchi is a track frame....which means it will be a track bike. I am really excited. Parts are coming in from all over the world. I should have a complete bike by the end of the week.

Sorry about the crappy picture, the frame is just sitting on top of my cubical at work. I have no idea what the paper rocket thing is for. That is on the other side of the wall.

04 September 2007

The Future Is A Thing of the Past

Universal Studios Hollywood closed down the Back to the Future ride on Monday. Universal Studios in Orlando had already closed down their ride earlier this year. The ride is being replaced with Simpsons themed ride. I guess you cannot have two great franchises existing in the same...time.

New Uniforms Are Here

The Calgary Flames unveiled their new uniforms today. Check it out. Looks pretty good. Love the Canada flag on the shoulder, not too crazy about the Alberta flag. Sad to see the stampede flaming horse head go away. The Flames had to get permission from Canada and Alberta government for the shoulder patches. There is a one year "contract" on the flags. The stampede horse may make a comeback next season.

Anyway, I like the new look. I am glad they did not go too crazy with the design and stuck close to what worked. Yeah, I am going to get one.

01 September 2007

Heroes Season 1 DVD Out, Season 2 Starts 24 Septmber

Yeah, I got the DVD...and I cannot wait for season 2 to start. Do you think they could have spent a little more time designing that DVD cover?