Category Archives: Uncategorized

If Enterprise looked at its data…

I was just clearing out marketing emails from my inbox when I stopped on a message from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I realized now that I’m 25, I don’t need to only use Enterprise for my rental car needs. You see, Enterprise has a special page — aimed for university students and alumni — to rent a car without being at least 25 years old. Sure, you can do that other rental car firms too. But Enterprise, through this special link, doesn’t charge an extra underage driver fee in most cases. So countless times, it was my most affordable and reliable option.

I have a loyalty account with Enterprise, but I’m guessing that’s unlikely to keep me coming back now that I’m 25. There’s likely to be other options that are cheaper.

But there’s a chance Enterprise could have gripped me with a promotion or two in recent weeks. When I turned 25, some big data robot analyzing my purchases might have realized a pattern to my behavior and warned an agent that I was risk of not returning. An offer could have come my way for a free weekend getaway maybe? Not sure, but anything to get me on their good side. Or at least, a smarter reminder about why the loyalty program could pay off for me.

An Open Letter To ‘The Mentalist’

Dear Chris Long and David Nutter,

I was disappointed to see Special Agent Kimball Cho flush pain medication pills down the toilet on a recent episode of The Mentalist (Season 4, Episode 18).

Government agencies nationwide have been stepping up efforts to educate people that extra or unwanted pills should be disposed of properly. This keeps them out of the hands of drug abusers and protects the environment. The accumulation of pills in our wastewater system inject unnecessary chemicals into our water systems.

Government agencies, law enforcement, retailers and other partners have made it really easy for people to throw away pills at all kinds of locations. The fictional CBI office could have easily included a prescription medicine disposal bin. For a law enforcement officer to do something incorrectly is one thing, but for an agent as upstanding and by the book as Cho to not follow proper procedures is even more egregious. If this was an attempt to show the continuing degradation of his character which began with his relationship with his confidential informant, then I would say that subtlety is lost on most viewers.

I hope in future episodes you take into account what’s happening in this world and that you recognize the importance of characters such as Cho as role models.

Thanks for the terrific show.

 

Open Letters To City Of Alameda and BART

Dear Mayor Gilmore,

Last month, I freaked out when I realized I was biking straight into oncoming traffic near the Posey Tunnel one Saturday afternoon. Luckily, I was able to navigate to safety.

While the sharrows and “Bike Route” signage is great in the heart of Alameda, the directional cues for bikers seems to disappear on the edge of the city.

When money becomes available for the next round of bike program improvements, I hope the council puts a serious emphasis on signage to help direct riders in and around the Posey and Webster Street tunnels.

Google Maps tells me its safe to bike through the Posey Tunnel, but I’m still skeptical. Are the skinny raised pathways on the sides of the tunnel meant for bikers? I have no idea because there’s no information at that location that I could see. If they are, I hope an emphasis also is placed on smoothing out those pathways, widening them and/or bending parts of the fence.

Again, I ask that you pay more attention to bikers operating on the edges of the city.

Thanks for your service to the city.

Got a nice reply from city officials in response to that.

—-

Dear BART,

In my month in San Francisco, it’s become a common sight to see tourists fumbling around with cash, tickets, cards and luggage at the ticket vending machines at Powell Street Station. The downtown station is obviously near many major hotels. These tourists just want to get to the airport. But the seem unable to easily comprehend the machines or fare schedule posted on them.

I would suggest creating a poster dedicated to explaining how to buy a ticket for the airport. Or even better, how about installing a new machine dedicated to only issuing SFO or Oakland Coliseum tickets. Such a booth could enhance the experience of tourists and speed up queues for existing machines.

You could even recoup costs through a small surcharge for using that machine. I’m sure airport-bound folks can spare a nickel or two.

2012 MLB Predictions

AL East

Rays

Yankees*

Blue Jays*

Red Sox

Orioles

AL Central

Tigers

Indians

Royals

Twins

White Sox

AL West

Angels

Rangers

Mariners

Athletics

— Rays beat Angels to go to World Series —

NL East

Braves

Marlins*

Phillies

Nationals

Mets

NL Central

Brewers

Pirates

Reds

Cardinals

Cubs

Astros

NL West

Giants

Diamondbacks*

Padres

Dodgers

Rockies

—Braves beat Giants to go to World Series—

Chipper Jones and the Braves win the World Series over the Rays

What’s The Food Like In New Zealand?

Kiwis love their grilled sausages. They squeeze them into one or two slices of white bread — with or without condiments — and call it a meal.

For us vegetarians, most eateries have options that fit our needs. There’s lot of falafels, burgers and sandwiches. Tofu certainly isn’t as huge here as it is in California.

Many restaurants seem to blend in different ethnic flavors. So when you get a burrito, it kind of tastes like a dosa. But Mexican places are few and far in between. That’s the biggest downfall of the island. Most nationwide American fast-food chains are here, except for Papa John’s, Round Table and anything Mexican.

Meanwhile, the New York Times’ Seth Kugel did a great job of summing up some of the differences between America and New Zealand.