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A worn stone bench under a tree

03_09 tree and bench This afternoon, my friend, I sat on a worn stone bench under a tree. It was a glorious afternoon: sunny, warm and a light breeze wandering around.

For a while I pondered the year gone by with all its changes. And I thought about how you would have enjoyed that, mid-afternoon, I walked out of the office in the midst of crisis' and bedlam to sit on a bench under a tree. I listened to the sounds of the road to my right and observed the birds playing on my left. Every now and then I watched a car drive down the lane or people walking around with serious intent. Mostly I just sat on that bench under that tree.

Saturday at Tomaso's we will celebrate your life. One of your favorite restaurants with good friends, good food and good memories. I will probably imbibe a bit much, so be it.

But today it was just a guy, with his friend, sitting on a worn stone bench under a tree on a beautiful afternoon.  

Say what, Home Depot & Hampton Bay?

03_09 porch light We had to replace the lights on the front of the house... the front door light and the driveway light... so off to our home away from home, Home Depot, we went to peruse their selection of outdoor lights. We found a nice set of Home Depot's house brand, Hampton Bay, lights that included light sensors and motion detectors for about $70. each.  'Looked nice and appeared to be relatively easy to hang. They were, as most things are today, made in China (Hecho en China the box proudly proclaimed). All well and good because we really don't have many other choices these days and they looked like a nice product. I pulled the instructions out of the box and, being a conscientious installer, started to read them. The cover page with all the required warnings was fairly straightforward as were the assembly instructions... a couple of grammar errors but nothing untoward.

The configuration instructions.... oddly titled PIR Instruction... were something else.

There is a knob on the light named LIGHT. It's instructions are as follows "LIGHT" turn the knob to adjust day light customer desire environment conditions activate the sensor. (when turn the Knob 'light' fully clockwise, sensibility on light is poorest and the bulb is on night only.) 


Or how about configuring the TIMER knob: "TIMER" turn the knob to adjust time for need (when the knob "TIMER" is turned fully counter-clockwise, the time for the bulb being on is least about 4 sec +/- 2 sec. when turn the knob clockwise to the middle,the time for the bulb being on is about 6 min +/- 2 min.)when turn the knob fully clockwise,the time for the bulb being on is longest about 12 min +/- 3 min.

Again, huh?

And the SENS knob: "SENS" turn the knob to adjust sensitive distance for need;

Hmmmmmmm... sensitive distances... didn't know distances had feelings.

And, finally, a cautionary word: The fixture should be avoided installing in places where the temperature is above 32 degrees C.

Grammatical errors notwithstanding, 32 Celsius is 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit...HELLO, this is Arizona folks, we have entire days when it does not go below 90 degrees!! It appears we should "be avoided installing."

Lest you think I am making this up, click here to see the entire page.

Now come on, Home Depot guys: making the product overseas is one thing but how about having someone who at least understands the written language write the documentation. Obviously you have access to spell-check because all the words are all nicely spelled... they just don't make a lot of sense, not to mention being even close to grammatically correct!

You may have a quality product but the instructions sure make the company look like it is run by a room full of monkeys! If you are going to sell a product in an English- speaking country, at least take enough pride in your product to write the documents correctly!

Stupid is as stupid does...

Two news stories coming out of Florida this week:

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (March 3) - Authorities say a Florida woman called 911 three times after McDonald's employees told her they were out of McNuggets. A police report said 27-year-old Fort Pierce resident Latreasa L. Goodman told authorities she paid for a 10-piece last week but was later informed the restaurant had run out.

She says she was refused a refund and told all sales were final. A cashier told police she offered Goodman a larger portion of different food for the same price, but Goodman became irate. Police say Goodman was cited on a misuse of 911 charge.


Jacksonville <,Fla.> police say Reginald Peterson needs to learn that 911 is not the appropriate place to complain that Subway left the sauce off a spicy Italian sandwich. Police said the 42-year-old man dialed 911 twice last week so he could have his sub made correctly. The second call was to complain that officers weren't arriving fast enough.

Subway workers told police Peterson became belligerent and yelled when they were fixing his order. They locked him out of the store after he left to call police. When officers arrived, they tried to calm Peterson and explain the proper use of 911. Those efforts failed, and he was arrested on a charge of making false 911 calls.

Do they give special classes for this in Florida? And what, exactly, did the callers expect the police to do... buy more nuggets for McDonald's and add the sauce themselves at Subway?

Maybe they could have cited the locations for impersonating a real restaurant.

Seriously, having been put on hold a couple  of times waiting for a 911 operator, I hope the penalties are STIFF! Too bad we can't legislate against stupidity.  Almost everyone has fallen victim to a messed up fast food order (Ruth once actually drove back to a Wendy's to complain about an order after she arrived home to find it severely screwed up), but calling an emergency response number?