Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate. Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies. He said, “The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all!”
Today Ian and I tried to go shopping. My work allows the wearing of jeans, but they have to not be too ragged. My single remaining pair of un-holey jeans has reached that desperately worn point where just looking at them will cause a hole to appear in the knees. So we went to Sears, where you can find Lands’ End clothes, in the hopes that a nice sensible pair of jeans would make itself available to me.
(My feelings on shopping and gift cards.) That hope was miserably dashed, not only at Sears, but at JC Penny and Macy’s. Actually I have to confess that we fled from Macy’s before we could find the women’s jeans — the sensory overload nearly incurred blue screens of death in our brains. Ian did find socks at JC Penny, we used the $7.88 of the $10 Bath & Body Works coupon we received for Christmas, and we determined that the Borders gift card we found lying around only had $1.38 on it. I hate that. What do you do with a gift card that only has a pittance on it? I will never, ever go back to Bath & Body Works; this was my first and hopefully only experience there. We agreed to just throw away gift cards with less than $2 on them, even though that’s giving a store money, because we don’t want to have to spend more of our money at those stores.
I hate gift cards. If you want to give me a gift, but don’t know what to give me, try CASH. If that seems impersonal, that’s because it is. But if you don’t know me well enough to get me a gift I’ll like (ex: A friend gave me a loaf of organic bread from Whole Foods for Christmas last year. What a great idea! Or ask me what I want, a rather novel idea), at least don’t give me a gift that forces me to go to a particular store, even a store you think I might go to. I hate being forced to give my business to specific big-box retail chains.
Even though we failed to find even one single pair of jeans that appealed to me, we did go to a TGI Friday’s®. As we sat in the TGI Ambiance®, we talked about how they chose the music for this restaurant. That discussion led us to hypothesize that all TGI Friday’s franchises received music by satellite, and that in all TGI Friday’s franchises around the country, at any given moment they’d all be playing the same music. This hypothesis gave us a brilliant idea, but we need your help:
We would like people all around the country to work with us to go to a TGI Friday’s wherever you are on a specific day at a specific time to see if everybody heard the same song.
You wouldn’t have to buy food there — goodness knows it’s nothing you couldn’t get at Applebee’s, Chili’s, Ruby Tuesday, 99 Restaurant, the Piccadilly Pub, or Red Robin, to name a few — but you would have to stay for at least two or three songs, so we could be sure to eliminate random chance. It would be best if we could get four or five different places, so I hope some of you will help me with this scientific test. Drop me a comment or an email if you have any interest at all, and I’ll try to find a date & time when a bunch of people can do it.
Bike stuff.I have started carrying a camera with me on my commutes to work. I would like to get a smaller one that would fit in a jersey pocket, for longer rides, but for now I have taken a few pictures along my ride.
I think I mentioned a while ago the possibility of a custom titanium bike. That is happening for real. About a month ago, I communicated my decision to the bike shop and we started the ball rolling. First they did some rather intensive measuring of my arms, legs, height, etc. and we had a preliminary decision-making session about features I wanted in the bike. About a week after we filled out the mountains of paperwork to start that ball rolling, I got an email from the bike makers, Seven. They contacted me and set up a time for a phone interview about more detail on what I wanted in the bike. Then back to the bike shop a week later, where we went over the specs Seven sent us, made more decisions, and sent it back for them to update with my changes. Finally yesterday we got the corrected paperwork, I signed off on it, and they start building the frame next week. So the new bike, of which I will certainly speak more later, is really happening. They said I would get it by the end of September. Oh boy!
Ian and I also have some other big stuff brewing, but it really isn’t Internet-appropriate. If your curiosity is piqued, drop me an email and I’ll spill the beans.