Posts Tagged ‘shopping’


Not The Best Buy

August 11, 2008

Last night I took all the Best Buy gift cards I got for my birthday and a RewardZone rewards certificate to buy a file server.  I was looking for something with modest specs but as large of a hard drive as I could find.  I settled on a clearenced eMachine.  When I asked the associate for the computer, he gave me the wrong one.  I noticed it right before I got into line to buy it.  I brought it back, and after some hemming and hawwing, it was decided that all that was left was the floor model.

Since it was the floor model, I got a discount.  So, we had to wait for a manager to show up and modify the price.  That is standard operating procedure.  However, I do not think it is SOP to have to wait 5-10 minutes for a manager to show up to modify the price.

The computer is now purchased.  Now, since it is the floor model, the demo software needs to be removed and the “normal” operating system installed.  Basically, it needs to be re-imaged.  I was told it would take 15-20 minutes.  That sounds reasonable.  I’ve re-imaged computers before, but those were XP installs from a single CD.  This was a Vista install, and I am sure it came on a DVD or it was on a recovery partition.

My wife and I ran off to a Borders Books across the street to kill time.  We returned almost a half hour later, and from the sheepish look the Geek Squad guy had when the associate asked him where my computer was, the re-image had not been started.  This was 5 minutes before closing.  I am told it is taking longer than expected, which is highly unlikely.

I would have picked the computer up the next day, but I was scheduled to be at work the entire time the store was open.  So, I stood around and waited until almost a half-hour after closing for the Geek Squad to work their “magic.”

I then took it home and installed Linux on it.  (I thought I would give OpenSUSE a chance, but I may switch over to Ubuntu.)

It will take quite a bit to make me want to go back to that store.


Athens, In Five Minutes Or Less

May 27, 2008

Sorry this is going to be a quick post, but we are packing to leave as I type this.  Normally, we would have had a lot more time to pack, but we got ambushed by the need to see some family in town here last night.  I’ll add links and pictures in later.

The day was another scorcher.  We realized the other day that the reason my father-in-law loves Arizona so much is that it must remind him of Greece: dry, hot, desert plants, houses with tile rooves, etc.  Despite the heat we had a good walking tour through the city.

We started at the Temple of Olympian Zeus.  It is amazing how tall those columns are.  We have a nice picture of me standing next to one to give a good idea of how big they actually are.  (Keep in mind I am six feet tall.)  We also saw Hadrian’s arch while we were there.

Then we started wandering through the city to look at churches.  There are a lot of hills in Athens.  We must have climbed them all.  In fact, I think we went uphill much more than downhill.  I would believe anyone that went to school in Athens if they told me it was uphill both ways.

Back to churches.  We saw a good five or six of them, but my favorite was Agios Nicolaos.  It was not just because it was a pretty church, but because of the caretaker that was there.  When she found out Ritsa spoke Greek, we became her best friends.  She gave us little cards with pictures of icons on them to watch over us, gave us each a loukoumia, and showed us where to get some cold, cold water.  I think the water was my favorite part.  I sweat a lot normally, but put a backpack on me and put me in 80 degree weather, and I am my own special little fountain.

We also did some shopping and found gifts for a few people.  We also picked up some embroidery patterns for ourselves.  They are really pretty and a lot less expensive than we thought they would be.  We managed to stumble across them almost by accident.  Actually, that is how we found all the stuff we wanted to buy.  When we were actively looking, we could not find anything, but when we stopped trying, we found exactly what we wanted.

Shopping was not an entirely enjoyable experience, however.  Ritsa slipped and fell in the fish market.  She bruised a knee a bit, but also got her hands and pants covered with water from a fish market.  It was not a pleasant perfume.

We made it back to the hotel around 5pm, and that was when we got the phone call telling us that the aunt and uncle we thought were in the village were actually in Athens.  A flurry of phone calls ensued, and our uncle Nico took a cab to come pick us up and bring us back to his place.  It was really nice to meet them, but everyone involved felt rushed.  I think aunt Dimitra really wanted to put out a big spread for me, but with the short notice, she only managed a really nice meal instead.

We were too tired to pack when we got home, so now we are up at 6am cramming stuff into bags so we can get to the airport to rent a car to drive to the village.  I have no idea when we will have internet access again, so until then, goodbye.