Monday, May 28, 2007

Random Recollection: Miraflores Park Hotel, Lima

P1000367.JPG, originally uploaded by sindlinger.

A colleague at work recently asked for any tips and info we could share from our trip to Peru last summer. Maybe I'll clean up the email I sent her to make it a bit more 'post-worthy', but for the time being just wanted to note that the Miraflores Park Hotel in Lima is something I would certainly recommend. This shot above is from their rooftop level, which has a pool to the left and some pretty cool views of the park and coastline below. We had a buffet breakfast here that very relaxing - which was exactly what we needed.

It is near a very nice shopping center, where we actually had a great dinner at an Argentinian restaurant, the name of which I unfortunately have forgotten.

In Search of Good Travel Resources
for Colombia

Image Source:

I stopped in Borders a few days ago hoping to pick up a travel guide on Colombia. No dice. This had never happened before. Their travel section is pretty comprehensive, with multiple options on almost any place you can think of. But not a single book on Colombia. So I checked Amazon when I got home to find these results:

- a 2006 Lonely Planet version with a 1.5 star rating

- a 5-star rated guide from Footprint ... from 1998

- a 4-star rated guide from Ulysses, based on one customer review by someone who hadn't been to the country

Slim pickings.

I have found a few online resources, including this article which really planted the seed in my mind in the first place. I'll keep looking and checking out more of the online communities, and will probably buy the Footprint guide, but in the extremely unlikely event that anyone (1) happens by this post and (2) has great recommendations for Colombian travel guides, please leave a comment. Thanks.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Open Letter to SNL's Jason Sudekis
re: Skit Idea

Image Source:

Stumbled across the show Don't Sweat It today and thought it was a joke. [I know this isn't new, but seriously, when did it become cool for men with hair highlights to also carry themselves as ostensibly tough & rugged?] The host, Steve Watson, does a pretty good job being a caricature of himself, but I still think this is fodder for a good Jason Sudekis led SNL skit [and I hereby waive any claim for compensation pertaining to this intellectual property ... just a little shout out during the wrap scene would be fine]. I wish I could find a link to the opening montage video. It's a cross between Sudekis' Urigro-esque smarminess and the dead-on mock absurdity of the MacGruber intros. While it's kind of a small target in and of itself, maybe there is something there in the broader 'hardscrabbly charming rapscallion carpenter' DIY show trend?

New Yelp Review: Riva

Image Source: Savvy Diner
Judy decided that we'd celebrate our anniversary with dinner at Riva. Was generally solid - my review is over on Yelp

Friday, May 25, 2007

I miss Trot Nixon

Image Source:Boston Dirt Dogs, via Edward O'Connor

It's still early, but this move isn't quite working out in the Sox' favor just yet:

Stats are YTD thru 5/24/07, courtesy of CBSSportsLine:


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Why must
people throw cigarettes out their windows?

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I was driving behind someone this morning who just threw his cigarette butt into the street without giving it a second thought. I'm sure this happens thousands of times every day without comment. But if you deconstruct it, the act is really saying that s/he who throws the cigarette believes him/herself to be more important than the rest of us who have to deal with the trash. All you have to do is put the butt in your ashtray, then empty your ashtray when you get your car home or in a garage or whatever. But no. That's too inconvenient for me. Too much work, too much of a hassle, whatever. F that. I'll just chuck it out the window and add just a little bit more stink and trash to the environment that everyone else is walking around in. Because the 10 seconds it might take me to properly dispose of the butt is way more important than everyone else's enjoyment of the planet. A-hole. [See also: people who spit on sidewalks].

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Yelp reviews from trip to NYC

Spent just a day in New York, but it involved three new places for me: the Time hotel, Landmarc restaurant in Tribeca and the rooftop bar at Hotel Gansevoort. Quick reviews of them all on Yelp.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Where are the ladies at?

If this was around when I was in college, I never would have graduated.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Another dumb marketing decision - Citibank

For the price of one letter and the 60 seconds of customer service time it would have taken to send the letter, Citibank lost my business. Brilliant.

I have had a Citibank credit card for 10+ years now. And I'm sure it's been profitable for them given the finance charges I've paid over the years. Had recently opened a checking/savings account, too, but either didn't receive or had misplaced the PIN# for it, so I could not use it or sign up for online banking. I asked for another PIN# to be sent to me. Was informed I needed to go into a branch and do it live. There's a branch about 8 blocks from me, and it's open Saturday mornings, but I'd rather not spend time on a Saturday morning visiting a bank branch to get a freaking PIN# so I could use their services.

The front line rep who handled my call was pleasant enough and seemed sympathetic, but she had to go to her supervisor on this one. Obviously this is a big call to make. So, I asked her [quite civilly, too - I wasn't one of those clowns who loses his sh*t to the unempowered CSR] to inform her supervisor of the fact that I did have a longstanding, certainly profitable credit card account with them and that I would in fact just prefer to close my checking account with them than be bothered to go visit a branch on a Saturday morning.

Held the few minutes I was asked to hold. Then was informed that, no, they wouldn't be mailing me a new PIN#.

To ease the blow, the front line rep noted that they've even told people who live 20 miles from a branch that they need to go there live rather than have a new PIN# mailed to them. I appreciate what she was trying to do, but if that's really the case, all that does is further underline how moronic of a policy Citibank has in place. Who made that decision? And who is training their customer service supervisors? Brilliant work on their part.

The story may not end there, either, as I recently learned that my employer's preferred airline is likely to change. My Citibank credit card is a miles card associated with the current airline. Might be a useful time to flip the credit card account to someone else, too, no? Something I really wouldn't have otherwise considered. But, the CSR sup did save the price of that letter she would have spent to send me that PIN# so I could deposit funds with them. So she's got that going for her, which is nice.