Archive for December, 2009


(The Customer Is) Not Always Right

(The Customer Is) Not Always Right is a collection of true stories from the retail and service industries all over the world.

Some of my favourite stories:

Customer: “I’d like a large coffee.”

Me: “Okay, that’ll be $1.84. Would you like me to leave some room for cream?”

Customer: “Yes, please.”

(I bring her the coffee with a little bit of room at the top.)

Customer: “You didn’t fill my coffee all the way full!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I thought you wanted some room for cream.”

Customer: “I do, but I don’t want you scamming me out of any coffee! If I pay $5 for a cup of coffee, I want my money’s worth!”

Me: “But ma’am, I can’t fill the cup all the way to the top if you want to put cream in the coffee. It will spill over.”

Customer: “I don’t care, just fill it!”

(The customer goes around the corner, out of my view to the cream and sugar counter. She comes back 45 seconds later with a large coffee stain on the front of her shirt.)

Customer: “LOOK AT ME! YOU MADE ME GET COFFEE ALL OVER MYSELF!”

(Four elderly men enter the store. They are all at least 70, balding, and at least one has a cane.)

Manager: “Hi, what can I get for you?”

Elderly Man #1: “Are those bagels hot, young lady?”

Manager: “They’re pretty hot. They’ve been out about ten minutes.”

Elderly Man #2: “But are they as hot as us?”

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Periodic Table Cookies

Chemistry and baking are very much alike, right? They both utilize precise measurements and techniques in the hopes of getting just the right chemical reaction. Sometimes while tinkering around you create something amazing… and sometimes you just get a really nasty smell.

Really the only difference is, in chemistry you never get to lick your spoon.

from Not So Humble Pie’s blog

This is exactly what I have thought about chemistry and cooking for years.  And as for these biscuits – all I need is an excuse to make them!

Merry Christmas!!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful day with people you love and presents you enjoy.

A Charles Stross Christmas Story

A satirical combination of geekiness, spy craft and Lovecraftian horror, the Laundry tales by Charles Stross are fast-paced and entertaining reads.

The wonderful Tor.com has posted a Christmas flavoured Laundry tale: Overtime.

All bureaucracies obey certain iron laws, and one of the oldest is this: get your seasonal leave booked early, lest you be trampled in the rush.

I broke the rule this year, and now I’m paying the price. It’s not my fault I failed to book my Christmas leave in time—I was in hospital and heavily sedated. But the ruthless cut and thrust of office politics makes no allowance for those who fall in the line of battle: “You should have foreseen your hospitalization and planned around it” said the memo from HR when I complained. They’re quite right, and I’ve made a note to book in advance next time I’m about to be abducted by murderous cultists or enemy spies.

Read on and be amused!

My Favourite Christmas Album

I never had a favourite christmas album until I listened to Noël by Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee.  Old-fashioned christmas carols arranged in a way I’ve never quite heard before, I find it relaxing and peaceful to listen to.

If you go to the website you can listen to excerpts from five songs. (Oh Come All Ye Faithful gives me shivers)

The Twelve Days of An Urban Fantasy Heroine

from Jaye Wells, author of Red-Headed Stepchild (I particularly like the last verse)

On the first day of my UF novel, my author gave to me a demon in my pantry.

On the second day of my UF novel, my author gave to me, two love interests–and a demon in my pantry.

On the third day of my UF novel, my author gave to me, three bullet wounds–two love interests and a demon in my pantry.

On the fourth day of my UF novel, my author gave to me four mauling hellhounds–three bullet wounds, two love interests, and a demon in my pantry.

On the fifth day of the story, my author gave to me five broken ribs–four mauling hellhounds, three bullet wounds, two love interests and a demon in my pantry.

On the sixth day of the story, that author gave to me six zombies a-shambling–five broken ribs, four mauling hell hounds, three bullet wounds, two love interests and a demon in my pantry.

On the seventh day of the effing story, what’s-her-name gave to me only seven bullets left–six zombies a-shambling, five broken ribs, four mauling hell hounds, three bullet wounds, two love interests and a demon in my pantry.

On the eighth day of the story that won’t end, my next victim (yes, you with the laptop) gave to me, eight mages a-hexing–seven bullets left, six zombies a-shambling, five broken ribs, four mauling hell hounds, three bullet wounds, two love interests and a demon in my pantry.

On the ninth day of perdition, that effing author gave to me, nine vampires exsanguinating–eight mages a-hexing, seven bullets left, six zombies a-shambling, five broken ribs, four mauling hell hounds, three bullet wounds, two bloody fangs and a demon in my pantry.

On the tenth day of this nightmare, that sadist gave to me ten werewolves attacking–nine vampires exsanguinating, eight mages a-hexing, seven bullets left, six zombies a-shambling, five broken ribs, four mauling hell hounds, three bullet wounds, two love interests and a demon in my pantry.

On the eleventh day of hell, the spiteful bitch gave to me, eleven ninja assassins assassining–ten werewolves attacking, nine vampires exsanguinating, eight mages a-hexing, seven bullets left, six zombies a-shambling, five broken ribs, four mauling hell hounds, three bullet wounds, two love interests and a demon in my pantry.

On the twelfth day of torture, the Satanic wordsmith gave to me, twelve minutes till apocalypse–eleven dead assassins, ten whooped werewolves, nine staked vampires, eight mages bleeding, crap I’m out of bullets, six brained zombies, damn it my ribs hurt, four neutered hell hounds, three festering bullet wounds, two hot guys (one of them’s a traitor), that demon drank all my beer, and–kill me now– the promise of a sequel.

Steampunk Cakes

from Cake Wrecks

“But I’m telling you straight: I think you were born into the wrong age.”

“Sir?”

“I think you are a romantic. Now this is a very romantic age, so there is no room in it for romantics; it calls for practical men. A hundred years ago you would have made a banker or lawyer or professor and you could have worked out your romanticism by reading fanciful tales and dreaming about what you might have been if you hadn’t had the misfortune to be born into a humdrum period. But this happens to be a period when adventure and romance are a part of daily existence. Naturally it takes very practical people to cope with it.”

from The Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A Heinlein

Nerd Bots

 

More super cute robots (all for sale) can be at Nerdbots

Google Earth Alphabet

Thomas de Bruin found a complete alphabet using only Google Earth and The Netherlands.

It took me about a week to find all the characters.
After only a few hours I had about most of the alphabet, when my girlfriend said, ‘you can’t use lower case and capitals in one alphabet’. Hmmm… that had already crossed my mind, and I knew she was right. So then I needed to find two full alphabets.
I also had found some characters that looked like numbers and punctuation. And when I found the &, I knew I had to include numbers and punctuation as well.

(Comment from boing boing)

Google Earth alphabet - The Netherlands - capitals by Thomas de Bruin. //  Upper Case

Google Earth alphabet - The Netherlands - lower case by Thomas de Bruin. //  Lower Case

Google Earth alphabet - The Netherlands - numbers and punctuation by Thomas de Bruin. //  Numbers & Punctuation