Tuesday, May 27, 2008

finish eating your lunch first...

Just when you thought that Michael Jackson or some other person was sick, the international news shocks the world with a truly sick piece of news.
Humanitarian aid workers and United Nation peacekeepers are sexually abusing small children in several war-ravaged and food-poor countries, a leading European charity has said.
What? What? What? What?


Children as young as 6 have been forced to have sex with aid workers and peacekeepers in return for food and money

There is nothing left to say.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Who's gonna rock the NBA party?

ESPN has an article in which the writer says the Detroit Pistons and the San Antonio Spurs are the teams which any "true" b-ball fan should cheer for going to the NBA finals this year. The article says to quit whining about the Spurs playing a boring game (i.e., Duncan's bank-shot), and to appreciate the Pistons' working as a team. The writer also makes it sound like SA and DET work harder than the other playoff contenders (Celtics and Lakers). How does the writer back-up the argument? With lots of assumptions, not including statistics. When it comes to quantifying boring, that's hard to do, but most people I know think Duncan is boring. We could grab stats to compare true team-basketball and hard-work: assists, steals, and blocks. (I'm looking at averages per team per game during the regular season.)

I'll rank assists first:
LAL 23.1
BOS 21.9
DET 20.4
SAS 20.0

Interesting, most people would say LAL is the most selfish team with Kobe being a ball-hog... hmm...

Now for steals:
LAL 7.6
BOS 7.6
DET 7.4
SAS 5.2

OK, so this is making the Spurs look bad, and the Lakers great.

Before I comment further, let's look at blocks.

LAL 6.9
DET 5.5
BOS 4.7
SAS 4.5

OK, maybe I'm not being fair because SAS and DET were lazier during the regular season, but LAL rocked the house. So if you think blocks, steals, and assists make an exciting game, then you are more likely to enjoy watching the Lakers or Boston. I'm not anti-Piston, but I do think the Spurs are booooring. I liked the Pistons better when Ben Wallace was at his prime.

update 5/27/2008

After talking to my roommate's dad, he suggested that a good measure of hard-working, team-play would be the shooting percentage of the opposing teams. Let's rank that stat:

BOS 41.9
LAL 43.2
DET 44.2
SAS 45.6

So once again we see that the Celtics and Lakers have had a better regular season. Why wouldn't we want those two teams in the finals? Hopefully we will.

Monday, May 19, 2008

a letter to Tucano's

Just so you are aware, I was at the Provo Tucano’s earlier today (lunch) and, while the food was great, I wasn’t too pleased with a number of employees. The reasons are below.

  1. Early in the meal, a server pushed meat off the skewer which rolled off my plate, onto the table, and then into my grasping hands. At that point I asked for a new napkin. The server politely said OK, left our table, and then never brought me a napkin. I eventually did ask another employee for a napkin, and about 10 minutes after that I finally got one. Is the system designed so that napkins are hard to find? I didn’t eat until they brought me a napkin to clean my hands, so obviously I wasn't happy about that failure. Also, after spilling the food on me, I wasn’t offered a replacement for the food that had missed my plate. Looking back, that was a surprise. I think some new employees weren’t adequately prepared to serve or compensate otherwise for their lack of skill.
  2. Then toward the end of the meal, my party decided that we had some favorite things in the rotation (grilled pineapple and top sirloin). Servers seemed annoyed that I wasn’t accepting their offers, so I told the servers directly that I only wanted top sirloin and pineapple. Some employees asked us with a stern looks if there was anything at all that they could do for us. That might sound nice, but we didn't feel at all warmed by their attitudes.
  3. After I finally got tired of eating and feeling like a major inconvenience to Tucano’s employees, I flipped the signal to red hoping to get relief. Then a friendly female offered us dessert and gave us our check. I was enjoying a conversation with my party. Then the employees began to interrupt us again and again to ask us if there was anything else we wanted. I'm pretty sure the red signal means “I don’t need more,” but still it seemed I was an annoyance to the employees. I was having a great, interesting conversation with my party, and there was no idea why the employees should have been pushing us out when 80% of the tables around us were free to any other customers.
  4. Finally when I decided to pay for the meal and fill out the credit card receipt with a tip, and an employee was watching me fill it out. Talk about horrible etiquette. I almost didn’t tip for that misbehavior. I regret now that I did.

Please, let me know what you think about this feedback. I appreciate your time, and hope for better service from other restaurants.


The day after I sent the emails to Tucanos the manager called me twice. The first time I screened his call, and then the second time he tried to call me I picked up. He was very kind. He told me he would take two basic actions because I gave him feedback:
1) He wanted the last 4-digits of my credit card so he could figure out accurately which servers were the problem. He indicated that he would fix the problem employees.
2) He asked for my address so he could mail me coupons to entice me to visit in the future.

I think those are pretty good initial steps, so I am now giving some of my respect back to the management of Tucanos. Hopefully they can use my feedback to create an untainted, positive experience for other customers.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pointless technology--bigger potential


So you might want to have shoes that have WIFI built-in, but why? So you can download your jogging trip from the hotspot at Starbucks? I'm pretty sure there is no point.

Once again I'd like to plug the idea for bluetooth multi-device set-ups: you could have flash memory in your shoes, along with a processor. Then you could have a bluetooth (BT) chip that communicated with two devices: headphones and a wrist-mounted mp3 player GUI (this could even double as a watch--gasp*).

Tada! Nike customers will pay for it. Make it Nike!

Do it Nike! Do it!

Just do it!