Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Final Valentine

Dear Darlene,

Yesterday, we held your funeral. More people showed up than I possibly could have imagined. I bought four dozen roses so that Amy and Shannon could hand them out to people as they came in. They were out of roses well before people stopped coming.

Most of my relatives who you have met made the trip. Even my brother came. They wanted to be there for me. They wanted to be there for you. On Tuesday, eleven of us went to dinner together. My family met your family for the first time. Much conversation was had. Much laughter was had. And I swear I caught a glimpse of you at the end of the table.

Everybody said it was a beautiful service, and I hope that was the case. You deserved it. But even though we said goodbye to you yesterday, I felt compelled to write you this one final valentine. Preparing your eulogy and flowers kept me busy these past few days. But today when I look at your pictures, I have no distractions. I just lose it.

You are finally at home now. Your ashes are in a beautiful gold urn centered on the hutch shelf, not too far from the picture we displayed at the funeral. Everybody thought it was a good picture.

I plan to keep you home for awhile. You so much wanted to just come home from the hospital, and I find comfort having you finally here. Eventually, I will set your ashes adrift in the wind high atop the mountains of the west as you wished. May your spirit soar with the Gods.

Happy Valentine's day, Darlene. I love you.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Store Nocator

Place: Taco Tico
Lunch: Four tacos (mild sauce, plus meat, no tomato), Tico Tots (with chili, cheese), large Pepsi

Everybody should eat more Taco Tico. I'm just saying.

You know what annoys me? Retail and restaurant chain websites with store locator functions that will only provide you information on locations within a limited range of your ZIP code.

For example, if you enter my ZIP code in the Circuit City website, it comes back with "We're sorry; there are no Circuit City stores within 100 miles".

I could have told them that. So where's the nearest one?

I don't care if I live in Novosibirsk, Siberia. If I want to know where the nearest Circuit City is, why wouldn't they want to tell me?

Most chains are like this. Best Buy limits responses to 250 miles. Golden Corral to states where they have operating stores. Chipotle's website (quite possibly the most annoying website ever) did the most bizarre thing...It provided two pages of locations, but Page 1 read "Showing 0 of 33 locations". And it was right...not a single location was shown. But click on Page 2, and it showed the closest 33 locations.

There are exceptions...Del Taco and Krystal will show me the closest locations even though they're several hundred miles away.

I guess they want my business more.