December 28, 2003

Penguin Sale!

On our way up to Wash DC last night, we stopped for dinner at one of the many Cracker Barrels on the way (for no other reason than we could—a couple of years ago CB sponsored a NASCAR race, hence my affinity for them.). For those of you on the West Coast who have not had a Cracker Barrel experience, it is a restaurant of about the same quality as Denny's, but has a convenient county store as a waiting area so they can get you coming and going.

Anyway, strolling through the store while we were waiting to be seated, I spotted some cute, soft, little penguins. They looked so lonely—I just had to take one home. As I was carrying my chosen penguin up to the register, Bob wondered out loud if they were part of the 50% off Christmas sale. When the gal at the counter announced that yes, they were and that the total was $2.49, I knew it was a true Christmas miracle! (OK, OK...I really don't think that...please don't send religious email). At 50% off, I couldn't get just one penguin...I had to get 5. You can see my newest rookery members below.
Cracker Barrel Penguins!

Posted by heather at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2003

Number Portability...again

Still haven't made a decision.

Posted by heather at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

Where are you on the Compass?

A coworker showed me this site. It was a bit of an eye-opener for me. I always thought of myself more to the right... Anyway, take the test yourself and see where you are on the Political Compass.

Posted by heather at 08:44 AM | Comments (2)

December 16, 2003

Apparently I Smoke

So here I am in Denver, checking in for my job. Last time here I stayed at the Sheraton DTC (NOT recommended); this time I tried the Hilton Garden Inn. All was well and good until tonight when I got back from our book club dinner. When I walked in my room, a note was waiting for me just inside the door:


Dear Guest:

Our housekeeping staff has reported that your room smells like smoke. We would like to remind you that you are on a non-smoking floor. If you would like to continue smoking in your room, we would be more than happy to move you to the smoking floor. If you should continue to smoke in your current room, a cleaning fee may be applied to your stay, as it is very difficult to remove the fumes from the room.

Please contact the front desk if you have questions or if you would like to to [sic] change rooms.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Hilton Garden Inn Staff


A number of things struck me about this letter:

  1. I had the privacy card on my door, so housekeeping should not have even been in my room.
  2. If housekeeping had, in fact, not been in my room, how on earth could they smell smoke in my room.
  3. They are accusing me of smoking in my room, without any real evidence.

Wanting to clear up any confusion about this, I called the front desk. Not only was the person who answered the phone unable to tell me who/what/where/when/why someone smelled smoke (and unwilling to find out), he sounded like he assumed I was guilty. When I told him I don't smoke, he said, "Well, then I don't know why you got that letter. Maybe a guest smelled smoke." I suggested that if that were the case, someone should have investigated further before accusing me of such an offense. His response was, "Well, I'll tell people they shouldn't give you that letter without finding out for sure." Brilliant.

I still have problems with this letter though. I wonder how many poor, unsuspecting non-smokers have received such a judgemental, accusatory surprise when they return to their rooms. I understand the hotel (for themselves and the comfort of their guests) wants to keep smokers and non-smokers separate, but I would like to think they would also like to keep their guests happy and coming back; accusing them of things they haven't done is not the way to do this. I suggest they revise their letter to read as follows:


Dear Guest:

Our housekeeping staff has reported that your room smells like smoke. As your room is not on a smoking floor, this causes us concern. If you would like to smoke in your room, please contact the front desk and we would be happy to move you to a smoking floor. If you have not been smoking in your room, please contact our front desk so that we may find the source of the smoke smell. We want to be certain you are not wrongly charged an additional cleaning fee due to smoke fumes that you did not create.

Update: Spoke with the manager the following evening. She apologized for the tone of the letter and thanked me for my feedback. Maybe I really WILL have to smoke the next time I'm there to see if they made any changes...

Posted by heather at 08:16 PM | Comments (2)

December 01, 2003

'Tis the Season

Oh look! It is Christmas  Holiday wintertime again. Ken Schram has a great little commentary about the season upon us.

update: He has another one here.

Posted by heather at 04:02 PM | Comments (0)