Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pictures of Ali and the Backyard

The Puppy had been outside for some time when I realized I heard a disturbing sound: nothing. When Ali is quiet, it normally means she's doing something bad. So I snuck to the window and there she was, chewing on a stick, trying to shake it and kill it.

Not only did she look adorable, but I felt I needed to get a picture. So I stepped out to take some.
Of course, by the time I got there with the camera, she was being much less adorable. However, by then I was in a picture-taking mood. And some of them actually came out all right.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Give Me My Money Back!!!!

I like the Electric Brew. At least, I like the atmosphere and I tend to like the people who work there. It's a reasonable distance from where live and it's easy to get to - I don't need to cross 15. The coffee, however, is somewhat below sub par. And after today, I really have a bone to pick.

I had a long morning. The puppy and work and not a lot of sleep were getting to me. I wasn't all there, and I needed a break. Coffee sounded good, so I drove to the Electric Brew, where I planned to use my "Brew Bucks" for a nice frappe. Then, I realized I was hungry, so I decided to buy the frappe and some soup or a salad or a sandwich.

I ordered my soup and then my drink. Then, I decided I didn't want the drink just then. My soup was a tomato soup type deal and tomato soup and any kind of coffee just don't mix. Mind you, he hadn't yet prepared my drink, so I said, "Actually, I'm going to wait on the frappe and get it before I leave. Can I please have a glass of water instead?"


He goes to ring me up and says, "So I'll ring you up for the drink now."

"No, I'd rather you didn't. I might forget. I'll get it later"

"You won't forget." I can't really remember how he said it. I took it as a teasing response: "I know how much you like coffee, you couldn't possible forget it" type of thing. In any case, he told me that I had $2.66 left on my ten dollars, and I thought nothing of it. Again, I wasn't all there.

After an hour and a half of editing, during which I remembered that Melody and I had plans to head to Main Street Coffee in Nappanee, so I was glad I'd not purchased the drink. When I left there was a long line - eight or nine people - and I don't do lines well in the best of times.

Once out to the car, I pulled something out of my purse - I had to go to the bank - and there are the remainder of my "Brew Bucks," $2.66, just like he'd said. Out of ten. It was then that I realized what had happened. He'd gone ahead and charged me for the drink.

This ticks me off for several reasons:

1) I have a free drink card
2) I asked him NOT to charge me
3) I didn't get my drink!

So now, I don't know what to do. At the time I was too mad and knew that hurrying back would not be to my advantage. But really, what do I say. "You know how yesterday I told you I didn't want you to ring me up because I would forget my drink? Well, I forgot it, and you owe me a drink." Probably not good. A million other scenarios have played out before my mind. and that (which is more or less what Melody suggested) is the best one so far.

How do I insist upon getting my drink? I paid for it. I want it. He shouldn't have charged me. End of story.

So now, I ask you: any suggestions????

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

John Grisham's "The Innocent Man"

Melody bought John Grisham's book, "The Innocent Man" and I'm borrowing it from her. I only started it today, so saying I'm not far into it is something of an understatement.

As Americans, do we actually know what our rights are? Do we care? The innocent man. How many people have been charged with crimes they didn't commit? Whose fault is it - the officers interrogating them or those charged?

When I worked at Steak 'n Shake, I had several late-night conversations with the cops who came in to annoy us and left several hours later, having barely tipped at all. That's not the point. The point is this: Did you know that a police officer can file a complaint against you for up to six months after it occurred?

Did you know that if you invite a police officer into your home he/she has the right to search your house? One told me that you can say, "You look thirsty, why don't you step into the kitchen for the drink," which then limits the rooms the officer can search to the kitchen.

Does it make you look guilty to ask for a warrant? Maybe. But whether or not you have something to hide, that's probably the best way to go. Does it make you look guilty to ask for a lawyer? Maybe, but whether or not you committed a crime, it sure is a good idea to ask for one.

If you don't, you could end up like dozens of others: booked for a crime that you didn't commit.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Incompetence Anyone?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought that law enforcement officials were supposed to be, well, enforcing the law. You know, tracking down the people doing bad things to protect the people who aren't. The older I get, the more of my illusions are being stripped away.

Although some police officers seem to have all the time in the world to enforce things like volume control, others can't even seem to manage stopping people from trying to run others over.
On our way home from the coffee shop today, Melody and I took a slightly different route back, and saw at least four patrol cars patrolling the streets.

Even so, while we were crossing the street, a car was coming up to a stop sign. We were already in the road and as pedestrians with the right of way, continued across the street. The woman driver (yes, I KNOW it was a woman) stopped at the stop sign, and then SPED up, swerving from the center of her lane towards us. I'm not exaggerating.

Both Melody and I turned to get the license plate, checked the streets we were at and verified that we both thought she was a woman. We called the cops when we got home.

Even though Melody said she had the license plate number, the woman didn't ask for it. Her solution? That they'd put out a patrol car. Wait a second - we'd seen FOUR. What's one more going to do?

Needless to say, I think they should have someone with the slightest amount of competence answering the phone and taking/directing calls. But maybe that's just me.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

American Idol Gives Back: Appropriate Closing Song? And The Saddest Good-bye Ever

Did you see American Idol's "American Idol Gives Back" event? I have to admit, it was better than last year. Last year, they had Simon flipping out because he hadn't known about the poverty that other people lived with. How do you not know about that?

In any case, I have a questions: How did those of you who watched it feel about the contestants singing, "Shout to the Lord" at the end of the show?

I've read a lot of reviews pertaining to it, some people are angry it was on there at all, with one blogger writing:

"Think about that when you listen to the finale song “Shout to the Lord” which is one of the anthems of the born-again movement in the world — a movement which does not support contraception and is intolerant towards gays and people with HIV/AIDS.

"I am so offended. I am so angry. American Idol should have known better and not inject religious undertones to their annual fund-raiser. Saving children in Africa and New Orleans has nothing to do with the Christian god. What were they thinking? Bah!"

Another blogger wrote, "On the one hand it doesn’t surprise me that the producers would remove Jesus from the song. On the other hand, it shocks and saddens me they would stoop so low. On the program where Maria Shriver quoted Gandhi by name, American Idol was unwilling to let “Jesus” be said on national television. I suppose they were afraid to offend non-Christians or that they simply don’t agree with Christianity. Welcome to the culture of tolerance, where every religion is accepted except Christianity; welcome to the pluralistic relativistic society that welcomes all faiths except Scriptural Christianity."

My feelings are this: I love that song. I don't think it was appropriate to sing on American Idol, and I think it was less appropriate to change the lyrics. If you don't feel the lyrics as a whole are appropriate, don't be singing any of it. End of story.

The song, which has lyrics like, "My Jesus, My Savior, Lord there is none like you," and "Shout to the Lord, All the Earth let it sing," and "Mountains bow down and the seas will roar at the sound of your name," is a worship song.

These lyrics are clearly praising God. They are meant as worship - not as a performance.

People who don't believe in God, who don't believe in his love and saving power, really shouldn't be singing them. Those are powerful lyrics. Someone whose heart doesn't mean those lyrics shouldn't be singing them with their lips.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm completely off-base. What do you think?

In other, rather more-light-hearted news:

Hello, shock: MICHAEL JOHNS went home? WHAT? How can that even be? He was... I'm shocked.
And now I'm yelling at my TV. Or... who knows. HOW? By far the best performer this year.

Melody's blaming the producers, and I think she's right. Last year on American Idol Gives Back, they didn't vote anyone off. So... maybe no one voted?
But then, I thought I heard Ryan say 31 million voters tuned in... maybe I'm wrong.

So, what you're telling me is Kristy Lee Cook, who sang horribly for the majority of the weeks, and Jason Castro, who completely BUTCHERED one of my favorite songs on Tuesday are still on? And Michael Johns is off. What is this world coming to?