Friday, September 24 2021

chocolate milk day, the amazon refund pit, and more snowpiercer



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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Man, I so feel good today, I almost feel like I could go without the coffee, and instead just work off the fumes of Friday morning energy. I'd never consider that, of course. A day without coffee - can you imagine a more ridiculous thing?

Sip. We shlepped Rodney off to school about an hour ago. As usual, I spent most of our brief five minute breakfast trying to convince him to say "TGIF" when he enters his classroom. "Dude, I think it would put everyone in a good mood," I said convincingly.

"Kids don't say that," he said. Either he's gotten good at stone-walling me, or he was in too good of a mood himself to let dad's teasing get to him. Rodney had a strong dose of new outfit swagger today, coming down the stairs in his newly purchased neon green dinosaur hoodie. "Fresh drip" like that is bound to turn heads at Kindergarten.

Friday is also chocolate milk day. Rodney buys a milk with his lunch everyday, and on Fridays we give the go-ahead to go chocolate instead of white. He's still getting used to this, of course. Up until recently, he's just been ordering chocolate milk everyday. We thought we had caught him in a lie, but the more we cross-examined him, the more he just sounded genuinely confused. How can you blame him? His teacher probably asked him "white or chocolate", and in that moment what kid wouldn't answer "chocolate" without giving much thought?

So what does your day look like today? Is today a busy Friday or a forgiving one? I have an amusing work task on my plate. The people who run engineering on-boarding at our company asked me to make a recording of my talk so they could add it to our employee portal. "This is a place for people who missed one of the talks, or just want to review the content," they explained. "Just give the talk like you would normally and send us the recording."

Immediately, my mind began to race, thinking of all the silly ways I could ham up such a simple task. I could open the recording up by waltzing into my office in slacks and a cardigan and introduce myself while I change into a pair of slippers. I could do a slow PBS style pan to me feeding the clown fish in Marissa's fish tank. Hungry little fish, aren't they? Hey, speaking of closed systems like this aquarium, I think it's time we walk about the closed system that is Zendesk's infrastructure. Oh look who's coming - it's Lady Elaine!

In other news, Marissa is back at full strength. She and Miles ran errands yesterday and they were kind enough to return a silly bluetooth speaker I had purchased for my office. The device had glowing reviews and it seemed to tick all my criteria for a frustration-free listening experience, but the stupid thing sounded like crap. The speaker sounded like an old walkie talkie. The speaker sounded like a Motorola Razr dropped in a glass of water. Ordering things online is so difficult, isn't it?

For amazon returns, Marissa likes to leverage the mysterious "Khols drop-off" option - no box or paper work required. "You pretty much just throw it at the first Kohl's employee you see and run away," explained Marissa.

For as evil as Amazon is, it's an economic wonder that they're powerful enough to just sponge up another department store's return mechanism, and it makes for a magical experience. The only way it could be anymore efficient is if Amazon dug a giant pit in the ground where you could fling unwanted purchases into. A giant refund pit - I hate it, but the lazy American in me wishes that was a reality.

Next topic - movies. I hate to say it, but I need to circle back to the movie Snowpiercer. Marissa and I finally finished it the other night, and the epic, complete ending left us speechless. After a few minutes of contemplation, I sighed "I owe Snowpiercer an apology."

To be clear, normally I'm annoyed by movies that save everything up for a big twist at the end. A gigantic twist at the end of a story just makes it impossible to fully take in the first time around, and usually movies that lean on this aren't worth a second watch. I think this is why people are annoyed with M. Night Shyamalan movies. The hints, clues, and double speak at the beginning of the movie only resonate if you know the big twist at the end, and what a bold assumption that I'm going to watch it again.

Snowpiercer was kind of guilty of this. It turns out most of the passengers already knew the answer to some glaring questions, but the movie makes you wait a whole hour before you actually learn what's going on, and on top of that there are some twists that invalidate everything you've learned up to that point. But honestly, the ending was so cinematic and satisfying that I didn't even really care. Snowpiercer, I am sorry. You are a good movie.

We're on to a different movie now. Scrolling through our Plex library roulette style, Marissa and I selected the movie Thief. It's an eighties movie shot in Chicago where James Caan plays a diamond thief. Willie Nelson makes a brief appearance too, and barring any huge upsets in the last half hour, the movie has been very tense and satisfying.

Man, I love movies. That's what I got today. Hey, I hope you have a good, relaxing weekend. Go eat some good food, watch a movie, and snuggle with your favorite pet... unless that pet is a spider, they don't like snuggling that much.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a good Friday, everyone.