Everyday when I walk into the office, I usually start the coffee machine and go through its ablutions and other rituals of starting up. Machine Rinse – check! Empty Grounds – check! Fill water tank – check! FYI, the machine that we have is the fancy Jura-Capresso 13421, courtesy of Rob Quartel (our gourmet CEO ).
However, today, it threw such a curve ball – “Decalcify Coffee Machine”, that I might actually have to read the manual. This reflects some of the changes in customer support that we have experienced in the last one decade or so. The first big change is that when you buy a product, you are usually provided a CD, or at least a hyperlink to the support documentation on the web. Secondly, the products usually come with a big note: “Please do not return this product to the store! Call this 800 number.” Obviously, the return costs are so high (in term of logistics, brand reputation, charge backs etc), that it is much easier for the product manufacturer to first give the user an option to rectify a problem by calling the customer service. In some cases, they will send you a replacement free of charge, and it is still better for them rather than you returning the product to Target or Amazon.
The “Sunset Song” at the Hirshhorn Sculpture garden consists of two superimposed versions of the “Banks of the Ohio” sung by Susan Philipsz, one from a male and one from a female perspective. (Listen to the Olivia Newton-John’s version at YouTube.)
The song creates such a poignant and doleful impact that it can even transform a sunshine filled day and sunshine filled young man into a contemplative figure. The song is located right next to the beautiful “Lunar Bird” sculpture by Joan Miro, the famous Catalan sculptor.
Here, you can find the same young man next to the Lunar Bird, away from the Sunset Song, and you can see the increase in sunshine, as if the clouds have suddenly parted.
Etymology really rocks my boat. Most fun that I have is when I learn that two phrases that I have been using are actually related. Just learnt that “Jovial” is related to “By Jove”, which means “By God”, since Jove (Jupiter) is the Roman king of Gods and also the God of Sky and Thunder. Since Jupiter is considered to be majestic type who was the source of joy, anyone born when Jupiter was rising was considered to be good-natured. By association, anyone who was good-natured started to be called jovial.
Why yes, it now appears OBVIOUS, but I did not realize prior to today that “By Jove” and “Jovial” are so closely related.
It also seems that the word “joy” might be from the same root, but I haven’t yet found anything conclusive on this matter.
This was not a sports car, but a sporty sedan, and the “BZOOMN” vanity plate was quite apposite, at least when I saw it close to the Trader Joe’s.
But the next day when driving to work I came across a different one – “H8N 6T6″. Now considering the every day mad house parking lot at I-66 (and everyone hating it), I was thinking that the BZOOMN gal probably does not drive on I-66, or she would certainly not be zooming.
Oh, and I had no idea that vanity plate was my most used tag. I probably need a new hobby.
Excellent movie! Very down to earth. Love the excellent simple dialogs, and weak humor that doesn’t try to dominate the serious nature of life. There is no song and dance sequence (thankfully), although the title song is beautiful. Ranbir Kapoor gives an excellent performance.