November 2005
« October 2005 | December 2005 »


November 28, 2005

... actual prices "ultimate": $2.349, "silver": $2.279, "regular": $2.179

Yesterday, a group of us were heading out to our weekly pickup game and stopped for gas on the way out of town. Pleased that gas prices have dropped recently I pulled into the BP gas bar on the north side of Fruitville to fill up at their listed $2.179 per gal. At the pump was a pleasant surprise ... their high end pump was listing $2.179 while the other two levels were blank. My lucky day ... so I filled up thinking nothing of it. Heck, I remember similar situations back when I worked at Chevron where we dropped the prices on our high-end as the low-end gas ran out ...

Now, when the tank was full and I was recording things in our log and $31.01 for 13 gallons seemed "off" ... so I matched it against previous fill ups and sure enough ... $31 matched closer to prices recorded at $2.60 / gal -- though there was an extra gallon or so of fuel this time ... still, definitely not $2.179 / gallon. So I went inside to grab a printed receipt ... and sure enough ... $2.349 per gallon. Ouch! That is not what I was suppose to be paying ... "Ahhh, I have informed the company about it but there is nothing I can do at this time" was what I got from the pump jockey behind the counter -- and I am not going to fight with him. So, off to the game.

Melissa and I returned later that night to get more information, talk to management, etc ... now that we had more time (and yes, the issue had not been addressed). Again, "nothing we could do" was what we were told. In fact, the guy told us that the "owners" of the BP gas bar (which was not directly affiliated with the store) had told them NOT to put up any signs or notifications regarding any issues (though not for this specific issue alone). But, "... the manager will be back tomorrow morning".

So, Melissa returned this morning to find the pumps "out of order" (notice posted and handles taped). "Good, they acknowledged the problem", she thought. But, on talking with the manager received a, "I don't know what your talking about." - "I have heard no such thing" - "The pumps are working fine". (Obviously neglecting to look outside). However, when Melissa requested the $2.60 difference returned she stated ... "Oh! Thats it! Fine!". So ... Melissa was happy. However, I felt this story needed to be heard further.

First, the pump was acting that way for most of the day (since we returned a couple times to check) ... and possibly longer since we only noticed it at the time we filled up. The managing owners were repeatedly phoned, according to the staff at the store. And the store, or gas bar, did not close those pumps until after we logged a more official complaint. So, how many poor souls filled their car on the notion of the "good deal"? Could this be why the gas bar lists almost $0.05 lower than the other stations in the area? Is this just an honest mistake (as I hope it is)? However, it is prudent for the owners to properly notify the customers. A simple (non-digital) sign posting the correct prices would have worked ... or ... close the pump until repair crew can do their thing.

Now, I understand, in the end I received high-end gas for the price of the high-end gas ... but ... it did appear as if the other options were empty or out-of-order, and that is what I based my selection off of.

Honest mistakes happen ... character is decided not on the mistakes but on how you deal with them. So ... BP Global, the management staff of your Sarasota locations is giving you a bad name. A name that, while unknown to me before moving to Florida, was building a good reputation. $2.60 is not a big deal ... but customer service is.

Posted by csb at 1:16 PM


"$2.60 is not a big deal ... but customer service is."

I totally agree with you and hopefully BP Global will hear you and do something. I don't know what though.

I don't understand why some business owners do things like that. Don't they want service? Don't they want to make money?

Posted by: Karin at November 29, 2005 1:55 PM

For a more extreme example of bad customer service, check this out. (Via Slashdot).

Posted by: Krishen at December 1, 2005 3:51 PM

First Christmas

November 27, 2005

Dad helps Joe put his first star on the tree

After Thanksgiving has stuffed you and left you popping at your buttons, what is there to do next? Well, get ready for Christmas of course! The long weekend is primetime for Christmas shopping and everyone is in the spirit. Seriously, the day after Thanksgiving every store was playing Christmas carols, running Christmas sales, and Santa even made a stop at K-Mart ... crazy (and to think the day before it was all about the Turkey).

... and we were right in tune. This year we will be spending Christmas here in Florida and figured that it was about time we put some effort into the Christmas spirit ... with Joe and all. So, we invited over a few close friends for eggnog, decorations, and good cheer. And thanks to them, we now have a tree, lights, snow, and loads of presents ... it feels just like we were young again.

This is going to be a good Christmas ... even if there isn't any snow outside (we bottled our own for the windows and tree).

Ok Santa ... we're ready

Posted by csb at 9:52 AM


Your place looks great. We haven't done anything yet. Remember that tomorrow is Nov. 28 and that means we will no longer have any teenagers in our immediate family. We took Kurt out to the Keg tonight to celebrate as he has a meeting at the Univ. tomorrow night. I'm not sure what Kari's plans are for her big day but I'm sure Tammy and Mike will do something for her. Give Joe a squeeze for me.
Love Grandma Pat

Posted by: Grandma Pat at November 27, 2005 11:36 PM

US Thanksgiving

November 25, 2005

Thanks goes out to Jae and Cynthia for hosting the dinner. Everyone had a great time and left with no need to eat for the next 3 days. And thanks to g.grandma ... the outfit was too cute!

Posted by csb at 10:36 AM



November 23, 2005

"Come on Grandpa ... enough Dr. Suess ... what about Fuzzball?"

Well, things happen in threes ... and visits from the grandparents seem to be no different. This last month has seen my mother and grandmother, Melissa's mother, and last week Melissa's dad ... and Joe has just enjoyed every minute of it. Grandpa read stories, gave piggybacks, watched swimming lessons, and even let him drive the rig ... wow ... talk about excitement!

Now, it is time for us to sit back ... and enjoy the holidays. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and without Amy and Erik in town we thought we would try and put a little something together - and with Jae and Cynthia's help it might just happen. Ohhhh, and Christmas is around the corner ... the tree is up and decorations purchased ... all we need is a little help from friends and we should finally (after 4 years) get some Christmas spirit into our house (heck ... the carols are already playing)!!!!

Posted by csb at 3:15 PM



November 21, 2005

Posted by csb at 9:18 AM


Whee! Watch out the next time he tries to munch on your shoulder :)

Posted by: Krishen at November 21, 2005 9:22 AM

A tooth?! Already!!! Don't let him grow up so fast!!! :) Kiss and congratulations!

Posted by: Inês at November 21, 2005 9:23 AM

Just a minute now.....Joe was just a baby when I was there 2 weeks ago!! and now he goes potty and can eat steak!!! and he walks??
How does this happen??? It must have been all that shopping with the ladies!
I just remember him gumming grandma with his slobery kisses and winning over the masses with that toothless grin!
He must have gained some weight by now also?
Joe - can you write grandma a letter or maybe call me? better yet - just come for a visit(and bring mom and dad).
xoxo grandma

Posted by: Grandma at November 21, 2005 11:25 PM

Cam and Melis - can you check out my new webiste (which is supposed to go live Thursday morning) and let me know what you think.
Any navigational errors? any blatant typos?
still much work to do, but we are making progress (it's just like cutting teeth)!


Posted by: Grandma at November 21, 2005 11:48 PM

2 minutes for interference

November 21, 2005

The NHL Officials need to sit for a couple. Their horrific performance in last nights Canucks - Ducks game exemplifies what I have been seeing, reading, and hearing about in many of the games in this "new NHL". Now, for the most part ... I enjoy the changes the league has put in place. A crackdown on clutching and grabbing, hacking and slashing, and general interference was needed. But ... WOW ... has the pendulum swung in the other direction.

There were 32 minor penalties in the game last night, 14 in the first period. The Ducks at one point had 5 guys sitting in the box ... looked like a scene straight out of Slapshot. The worst offense was a penalty on Jovo for hooking - it was a complete joke as there was no impedance of movement and no strength on the stick (which had one hand holding it and it angled behind him while he skated backwards). He ended up getting a extra 2 for a "door slam" as he got into the box. The "match-up" penalty against the Ducks was almost as bad as a "tap" on the hip of Linden as he was all alone resulted in a penalty shot (in which he made a perfectly executed forehand-backhand-overtop deke).

Fans are not watching the game to see power plays and penalty killing. If the league want to play a 4-on-4 game -- then lets change the definition of "full strength". But when only 5:52 of a period is played 5-on-5 it is a horrible game to watch.

Posted by csb at 8:05 AM


Degression into Geekland

November 16, 2005

The cow from, a regular read of mine

So, last night I stayed up late ... hooked up some headphones ... and leaned back against the pillows of bedopia to watch the Evening at Adler. A conversation on Mac development through the eyes of some of the most prominent names in the community, at least in the independent Mac software community. (more info)

Just listening to these guys explain some of the ins and outs of writing and supporting applications from the point of view of one-man shops (or very small outfits) was extremely interesting. They discussed everything from current and future technologies to development best practices to how to operate as an "independent". All of which is relevant for both my "day" job as well as my fun hobby-ish excursions. With the release of the Screen Saver Menu, I have been dealing with supporting customers, defining and developing the next release, and looking to other projects I have promised to myself. So listening to these guys, the successful, is a great inspiration to continue going.

Thanks DB for putting on the show and then posting it for community at large.

Posted by csb at 8:35 AM


Nerd :p

Posted by: Kurt at November 17, 2005 12:49 AM

I went poo-poo...

November 14, 2005 my very own potty

Today was a big day. Joe went potty twice in a new "toddler" toilet ... He managed to walk around his saucer under his own power (with me spotting/catching him as he stumbled) ... And he held his own bottle during his last feeding of the day (well ... until he started falling asleep).

And all we, as parents, can do is sit around drinking tea and watching old video clips of Joe's "younger days" ... and it has been what ... 6 months. Yea ... we are pathetic!

Posted by csb at 11:26 PM


Like Father - Like Son

November 14, 2005

Krishen snapped this shot of Joe and I playing at the UPA championships

Ahh ... the end of a great weekend... and it was a weekend where Joe and I got to spend a lot of quality time together. Melissa helped Patricia continue moving in and then joined her and other friends for a Saturday house-warming. Joe and I hung out. During the work week I see Joe for about 30 minutes before work and then maybe an hour on returning home ... so there is so much I miss. This weekend was a pleasant catchup.

Posted by csb at 10:29 AM


Did you win? :O

Posted by: Kurt at November 14, 2005 2:57 PM

Well ... Joe and I were "playing" at the fields ... not actually "in" the games :) But ... we had fun pretending.

Posted by: Cameron at November 14, 2005 9:47 PM

Poked and prodded

November 10, 2005

Work can be so much fun some days.

Posted by csb at 10:25 PM


10 years ... starting now!

November 10, 2005

Shot from back at his introduction to swimming

This week Joe had his first swim lesson. Though swimming is not new to him we figured we would encourage the habit and ... heck ... he enjoys the water :) Takes you back doesn't it ... oh, isn't it good to have movies lying around for just such an occasion?

Otherwise, last week included Joe's 6 month "check-up"...

The concern is that Joe gained only 2 ounces over the last 2 months ... and looking back ... moved from the 95th percentile at about month one to the 10th percentile today. Overall ... things to be concerned about. We are suppose scheduled for another checkup next Wednesday since "the scales may have been wrong" ... however, our own monitoring has shown the same data. So, worry and stress levels around here are a bit higher as we ponder the causes ... everything from poor nutrition to Cystic Fibrosis.

Now, each child has their own growth patterns ... some in spurts and some gradually. Joe has had a couple colds (though did not really lose an appetite ). Erratic movement on these statistical charts is not uncommon. And most importantly, he has not yet lost weight. He eats plenty, developmentally seems to be on track, is quite active, and is quite the happy baby.

We will be looking to do some tests in the next couple days to ease our minds. At the very least will be talking to the doctor again soon.

Posted by csb at 12:38 AM


Hey guys! I am glad you are taking Joe back to the doctor. Its always great to ease your minds anyway. But just to ease it alittle more, Ryan went from the 80 percentile to 5th in about a month when he was about 7 months old. The next month he was back up to the 50th and that is where he has always stayed. :) So it does happen. Good luck and please keep me updated. Kisses from Auntie Theresa!

Posted by: Theresa at November 10, 2005 1:20 AM

Sounds to me like we just need to do more pizza and beer night's chez moi. Oh, wait, he just enjoys the hockey and sleeps. Well, we could still try! I think I gain weight just at the smell of the pizza, might work for him.

Posted by: Darren at November 11, 2005 7:24 AM

I wouldn't get too concerned just yet guys but it's always best to be on the safe side. Joe still looks pretty healthy to me. Just remember he is working a lot harder now in his attempts to get mobile thus using up a lot of energy.(which by the way just turns to weight if not used----just ask me) Even climbing all those stairs at your place didn't counteract what I consumed!

Posted by: Grandma Pat at November 11, 2005 11:52 PM

The ants go matching one by one...

November 6, 2005

Snapshot of the ant highway

So yesterday we found our house placed in the direct path of a newly constructed by-pass. The path started behind the baseboard by my toilet ... wrapped across the tub ... along the front wall ... across the cupboards ... through the door ... along our bedroom wall ... over our closet ... down behind our bedroom door ... out into the living room ... and along the 15 ft wall towards Melissa's bathroom.

The epic battle that resulted took our war against the "Ants" to a whole new level. It was a massacre of hundreds, if not thousands, of ants. Pets control will be called in once more this week (for the 4th or 5th time over the last 2 months). In the mean time, I have reset the ant traps and am hunting down and killing all those I find ("Shout" spray bottles work well).

Posted by csb at 11:56 AM


More grandmas

November 6, 2005

So ... one grandma (and great grandma) leave ... and the other grandma shows up. Wow, What a treat. The week was spent shopping, touring, shopping, relaxing ... and did I mention shopping :) It was a busy week that took the family to the Outlet malls, to Naples, and down to Lido (never miss a chance to go to Settimi's for Ice Cream). Thanks Grandma Bev ... we all had a blast.

Melissa, Joe, and Grandma Bev take a trip to Naples

Sunset on Lido

Posted by csb at 11:51 AM


The suit

November 2, 2005

As promised ... pictures of Joe all dressed up. With Grandma Bev arriving in town Halloween we did not get a chance to play dress-up. Recently. We did get pictures last month, but technical problems erased chances of showing you those. We are hoping to snag some shots of the evening from a friend ... but ... to reduce the wait time we dressed up for Grandma tonight.

Melissa spent weeks planning, searching, and creating the suit ... just couldn't wait for Joe to join her in the sea. Water baby through and through :)

Enjoying time with Grandma

Out for dinner with Grandma at Don Pablo's

Now, onto the more important parts of life ... what to eat!!! It was a long day with the six month doctor visit and a trip back to the Outlet mall ... and one gets hungry. Interesting note: Joe apparently does not like refried beans ... think we found the first thing he actually does NOT like. Everything else ... corn, squash, rice, barley, avocados, pees, lemons, and even limes ... can't get enough ... but those beans - no thank you!

Posted by csb at 10:12 PM


That costume is too CUTE!!! Love it!!

Posted by: John at November 3, 2005 1:21 AM

So great!!!

Posted by: Kurt at November 3, 2005 10:50 PM

What a great outfit. I love the pacifier-as-regulator :)

Posted by: Krishen at November 4, 2005 11:03 AM