Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Even though I don't blog nearly as much as I want to, I nevertheless want to blog on my birthday. It gives me a chance to look back each year to see where I was the previous year and kind of take an assessment of where my life has gone.

My last year's blog seems almost prophetic. 28 was indeed a very good and very lucky year. It went by amazingly fast, I can't believe I've been in Seattle for a year, but it's been a good year. As unreal as it sounds, things are even better with my girlfriend. You would think that after almost two years together, we would hit some rough patches or get sick of each other, but I can honestly say that things are better now than they have ever been.

Bandit the Wonder Kitty is also fantastic. I think he misses Smokey at times but he seems to genuinely like being an only child. He is still fat, something I keep meaning to work on, but he is content to just sit on my lap even as I type this.

Job is good although my initial enthusiasm for the job has been tempered somewhat. Microsoft is a great place to work with wonderful benefits and some good opportunities. Like any job, it has its problems. There are times I'm frustrated, there are times I'm very frustrated. But I think back on what life was like before, and well I guess I don't have much to complain about. Do I see this as a permanent stopping point in life. No. But it has made a nice little waypoint

29. My last year to be in my twenties. Just seems odd. Am I where I thought I would be at this age? Probably not. I probably have some catching up to do, but I've been doing that all my life and I relish the opportunity to do it again. So far, I think I've taken the safe road and the road has been good to me. Should I continue to do that or should I use the last few years of my youth to take on some serious risk? The advantages of youth are a real lack of responsibility and the time to make up for anything in your life you screw up. Is it time to do it? If not now, when?

Smallville: Jumping the Shark

Friday, March 16, 2007
Last night, Smallville officially jumped the shark. In truth, the show probably jumped a while ago, but I stuck around because I'm a big fan of the Superman mythos. They kept it interesting this year by having a lot of the plot revolve around other Justice League members. Their take on it was pretty interesting.

But last night was just awful. The plot was pathetically predictable and reeked of desperation. At every point in the show I knew exactly what was going to happen next because it kept playing out as a bad soap opera plot. And sure enough, it ended with a fantastic thud. Seriously, what's going on with the show? Why on earth can't Clark fly yet? Where are the glasses? Lana Lang marries Lex?

Oh well, one less show I have to watch. Guess it's just Heroes now.

Costco Changes Its Policy

Thursday, March 01, 2007
Costco has made a decision to change it's return policy on certain electronics. Most noticeably this affects people who buy televisions and other high priced electronics at Costco.

For those that don't know, Costco has always had a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This meant that at any time in the lifetime of a product, if you weren't happy with it, you could return it. This meant that if for any reason, say the TV just stopped working, you could return it back to Costco and they would refund the money back to you.

Of course, this policy is going to be abused by some people. You can see how easily it can be abused. I can buy a Plasma TV today and then 5 years later decide I want a new TV, return it, get my money back, and then buy another TV.

Of course, most people are probably not this unscrupulous. This is clearly one of those times that a few bad people ruin it for everybody else. I was seriously considering buying a new TV from Costco. I had in fact been visiting the store a lot recently checking out the TVs that they have. The biggest reason I wanted to buy from them was the safety net it would provide in case something did indeed go wrong. I would of course not abuse the system, I wouldn't return the TV just to get a new one, but I would return it if indeed it broke. Now that Costco has changed the policy, I will probably be looking elsewhere for a TV.

I totally get why Costco had to change the policy. But I also think they could have done something to mitigate the whole problem. If it were me, I probably would have amended the policy rather than completely revoke it. They could have been creative and say give you one return of $500 or more during the life of the product. This would limit their losses from people who are really abusing the policy, but still service the people like myself who would truly benefit and not abuse the system.