A Starbucks Conundrum

Something I have noted in my relatively regular visits to Starbucks for my morning dose of goodness-in-a-cup is the nearly overwhelming mispronunciation of the 20oz drink option. As you may or may not be aware, this size designation is a venti, which actually means “20”. We can also see that the pronunciation, as expected, rhymes with tee or bee, but the baristas who serve me inevitably repeat my drink order as a vente instead. I was bothered by this for a while – up until the cleverly disguised sarcasm began to sink in. Wittingly or not, each of these baristas has just confirmed that I indeed had paid for a “wait” with cream, allowing them to take as much time as needed to prepare – since that is what I asked for after all. Kudos to you, Starbucks, for coming up with a naming convention that, however pronounced, will make me happily vente for my venti.

Customer Service is STILL Important

In this day in age, with all the technological advancements from entertainment to dining, many companies seem to lose track of the simple fact that customer service is still important. I know first hand how many companies have (or are) letting the simple principle of “the customer is always right” be slowly outshone by the new principle of “the customer is privileged to do business here.” I worked retail for many years in different venues from shoes to computers, and I saw this slip first-hand when I compared the divergence between what was taught during training and to what standard management expected on the sales floor. Thankfully I now work for a company that still values the customer above all, and though I’m no longer in sales, I have had opportunity to sit with customer service for an entire day and watch first-hand how things are handled – and it makes me proud to work here.
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On Blogging and Google Plus

Blogging and Google Plus (hereafter referred to as Google+) may not be as mutually exclusive as one might initially think. Not only was it Google+ that brought me back to my blog after a six month hiatus, but the more technical contacts I make on Plus, the more intuitive it becomes to use a blog in conjunction with Google+ to have the most reach. For those of you still reading, let me outline the past week of relevant activities.
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On Birthdays and Photography

So, another year has come and gone, and I find myself another year older – and hopefully wiser. Whenever a birthday is rolling closer, there are always those who want to know what I would like to receive for gifts, and I’ve found that, especially in the past couple years, I’ve really had nothing to tell them. The older I get, the more I realize that I really have everything I need already. Sure, there are always cool little trinkets I could request that would end up gathering dust with all the other treasures from years past, but it seems a bit shallow to ask someone else to spend their money on something out of which I will get little to no use.

On the other hand, there are items on the other extreme of the scale that are in a price range I wouldn’t dare ask someone else to pay. Of course, if any of you readers have a stream of cash floating around just looking for a place to be spent, I’ll be more than happy to provide to you a wish list. Occasionally, there are mid-range items that are almost afterthoughts I mention in passing that my wife files away and surprises me with. This was one of those years.
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Through the Eyes of a Child

Through the Eyes of a Child

Through the Eyes of a Child

Sometimes, the wonder of the Christmas season is lost on those of us who get caught up in the hustle and bustle or life. It often pays to relax, unwind, and try to view life for a time through the eyes of a child. Remember the brilliance and wonder of everything new. Celebrate the little triumphs like being the winner of the globally-important “Race to the Car”.
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An Amazing Opportunity

Amazon.com

On a more personal note, I wanted to write a little blurb about a recent change in employment. It is with great excitement (and some wonder) that I announce my second week of employment with Amazon.com is coming to a close. Perhaps the most common question I have received is, “Why would you give up a position working from home to commute an hour each way again?” Well, let me put it in the simplest terms: though I do commute again, my actual work day is no longer than it was working from home. My previous job had been slowly increasing the expectations over the past year, and I was averaging at least 10 hour days. Now, I get to spend just over 2 of those hours commuting and keep the work load down to a reasonable minimum.
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Tic Tacs Are Not for Snorting

Used Tic Tac

Tic Tacs before and after extraction from my daughter's nose


Well, I am grateful and somewhat surprised that we are a week past the birth of our fourth child and I am just now writing my first post like this. Our middle two children (Benjamin is 5 and Rachel is 2) were riding quietly in the third row of our vehicle on the way home from the grocery store today, sharing some orange Tic Tacs our eldest had given Benjamin. Everything seemed to be going along swimmingly until we got home and unbuckled. I looked back, and in the shade of the car, it looked like Rachel had a bloody nose, but upon closer inspection, I realized the flow of liquid was orange.
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Guahan Bakery?

Cinnamon Muffins

Tasty crumb topped cinnamon muffins


I seem to have discovered something that can be quite relaxing and a very nice change of pace from the rat race in which I find myself running every day. Baking is something I’ve always enjoyed, but recently, I’ve been really trying my hand at doing more than just pancakes and loaves of bread. While I’ve always tried to throw in the variety of a good yeast cinnamon roll from time to time, this past week has really been a fun one in the kitchen.
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Did I Really Read That Right?

Prius Crop

This Prius had a rather interesting license plate


So, my wife and I decided to go out for a nice lunch to celebrate our anniversary today, and we were quite shocked by the license plate we observed outside our restaurant of choice. Yes, I know we are in Washington state and it sometimes seems as if every other car you pass is a hybrid, but that doesn’t give you the right to go flaunting what it allows you to do while driving, does it? I mean, seriously. I must admit, while this license plate would be enough to make my children chortle if seen on any car, the fact it was positioned on a Prius raised the level of intelligence a tad — well, at least that’s the line I used to try and convince my wife why I was laughing.
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Arrival of a New Bundle

Ruth Michelle's First Portrait

Ruth Michelle's First Portrait


So, after much anticipation, my wife finally delivered our new daughter at 1:31 this morning. Ruth Michelle came into the world weighing in at 8lbs 11oz and measuring a moderate 20.5 inches long. The shortest of our 4 children at birth, she boasts the heaviest weight, and she has gotten glowing reviews from all her health tests here in her first 12 hours of life. Thanks to all those of you who have been waiting patiently with us. We will be posting more pictures as time goes on, but here is one of her at 2-3 minutes old to end out this post.
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