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Chris Corwin is a UX engineer at @salesforce who digs bourbon, beer, bikes, and beef. And pork. Aaand chicken. And asparagus. Food, really.

i got yelled at over half an inch of iced tea

yesterday at starbucks i got yelled at by a customer, for the first time.

he ordered a venti™ black iced tea, unsweetened, and he instructed me to “go light on the ice, buddy“, so i did.

now, at starbucks, everything gets measured to the Nth degree, to the point of ridiculousness.

we have separate measuring cups for putting ice into tea, one for each size: tall, grande & venti™.

we also have a special plastic container used to make iced tea with — marked in such a way so that you can precisely measure the amount of brewed tea concentrate to put in, then pumps of sweetener (if any) and then water, and then ice.

assuming you filled everything up correctly, it all comes out so that it fits into the plastic “cold” cup perfectly.

but this guy told me to go light on the ice, so i did not use the venti™ ice measurer but rather the tall one.

this means there was almost half an inch of air at the top of his cup when it was all said and done.

this was not, as it turned out, what he meant by “go light on the ice”.

i handed it to him and he informed me that i was to “fill it to the fucking top” and that i should give him “a fucking break” because he had “paid two fucking dollars” for it, so i had better give him his “money’s worth”.

i smiled, apologized, took his tea back, filled the remaining half inch with brewed concentrate, walked back to him, handed it to him and told him i hoped that this was better, and told him — very sincerely — to have a wonderful afternoon.

he realized he’d been a dick and said, “thanks buddy” and walked out sheepishly.
it is tempting, in such situations, to react with anger, and i felt the impulse well up within me.

but i did not — i took half a second and realized that getting angry over this was just silly and so i went the other way, sincerely, and reacted with pleasantness.

i truly wanted to fix it for him — the poor guy just wanted a full cup of tea that he paid $2.16 for, afterall, and i was in a position to help out.

getting angry with him over it wouldn’t effect his day any, really, but it would effect mine — putting me in a sour mood (i was already fighting a headache and we were insanely busy).

so, i reacted with kindness, and was reminded of paul’s instructions to the romans in chapter 14 (i think) about revenge:

do no seek revenge, says the lord — the justice is mine to repay. instead react to anger with kindness, and in so doing it is like heaping hot coals on his head.

i was always struck by that last phrase there — wondering at paul’s felt need to tack it on.

it wasn’t enough for paul to inform the romans that christ followers were not to seek vengeance on their own, but rather to allow god to do it (a very karma kind of thought — very eastern).

instead he went on and said “by being kind it will hurt your enemy even more than if you were mean!”

uh….

is this not antithetical to the very message of kindness and forgiveness purportedly being taught?

i do not mean to imply that i think it is bad advice — as i said above, getting angry would only have ruined my day, so reacting with kindness was a better course of action.

but it do think it odd that that last phrase is in there.

assuming there’s a creator out there who cares how we treat one another, i doubt that her motive for us not seeking vengeance on our own is so that it will be like heaping hot coals on the mean person’s head.

hanging saddam

so they’re going to hang saddam in the next few minutes, apparently.

hanging.

they’re going to put a rope around his neck, and push him off a ledge so that he hangs there struggling for breath unless, that is, he’s lucky, and his neck breaks.

welcome to the 21st century kids, we humans are some brutal fucking apes, aren’t we?

good luck in the afterlife, saddam, if there is one.

you’re going to need it.

i hope your next life is spent in better ways than this one was, you jerk.

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sad coyote

a couple days ago i saw a very freshly dead coyote on the road near my house in camby, indiana.

i stopped and toook photos:

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you can see the whole set here.

on killer bees

the time has come to discuss killer bees.

there was a time when people outside of the congo didn’t even know such things existed, but i have it on good authority that we will soon need to know as much about them as possible, as they have reached the eastern seaboard of the united states and are making plans to head to seattle via chicago.

killer bees do make plans, by the way — and scientists have discovered that they communicate their plans to each other using sixth dimensional geometry, putting them up there in the list of intelligent creatures along with dolphins, squids, yeti and pigmy sloths.

let it be known: killer bees are very intelligent creatures.

one thing that is interesting about killer bees is the manner in which they kill.

counter-intuitively, they do not sting human beings. indeed, they do not have stingers at all — unlike their far dumber (and more malicious) cousin, the north-american honeybee.

killer bees, like all intelligent creatures, have developed religion and believe (we have recently discovered by studying hive paintings dating back to year 678 BCE) that human beings are the creators of the universe.

that’s correct: killer bees worship men and women.

that next door neighbor you can hardly stand because his kid keeps shooting BBs at your cats? killer bees think he’s a god.

and like almost all religious beings, the bees have discovered a way, albeit inadvertently, to kill their gods off.

instead of the usual god-killing methods employed by religious creatures — burning alive or crucifixion or throwing into a volcano — the bees simply swarm around the incarnation of god closest to them, adoring him or her with showers of worshipful love and expressing their uniquely bee-like message of devotion and faith in a manner that gets confused by the lesser-intelligent human being with something more akin to hate.

but no! the bees love us, and they desire so much to be close to us that they swarm too close and use all of our oxygen (it takes a lot of oxygen to beat one’s wings 567,892,230,132 times per second) and we end up asphyxiating.

oops.

words and phrases i haven’t used in a long time

  • “cool beans”
  • “what’s that got to do with the price of eggs in china?”
  • “psyche!”
  • “oooooh! is that a new coke watch?”
  • “when can i get a 10-speed?”
  • “do i HAVE to go to bed??!!?!?”
  • “um… i forgot my homework at home.”
  • “bone” (as in “dude, i promise not to bone your sister”
  • “oh, wow, you have DSL?”
  • “boss”
  • “evolution is just a theory

hectic!

wow i’m busy lately.

it’s odd to have an actual schedule again for the first time in years, and not having internet access at home has kept me offline a lot, which has been very nice, actually.

😀

i posted a bunch of new photos to flickr today from the last couple weeks.

the puppy is growing soooo quickly!

starbucks is still fun, and i’m getting the hang of it purty good, i think.

i’m closing tonight, and i think we should be a bit slow after 10 pm, so i’m hoping to get some time to practice steaming milk correctly and pouring some latte art.

if i make anything pretty i’ll take and post pics.

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you don’t need that much time

We all thought she was telling us that she was pregnant again — by a different man!

And as an example of how wrong my Aunt Martha was, concerning her point of view that my mother was “a little simple,” my mother instantly saw what we were thinking, and laughed at us, very quickly, and said, “No, no! I’m not going to have a baby. I’m never going to have another baby — I have my baby. I’m just telling you that I’ve met a man. Someone I like.”

“A different man, Tabitha?” my grandmother asked, still holding the brooch.

“Oh, not that man! Don’t be silly,” my mother said, and she laughed again — her laughter drawing Lydia’s wheelchair, ever so cautiously, back to the table.

“A man you like, you mean, Tabitha?” my grandmother asked.

“I wouldn’t mention him if I didn’t like him,” my mother said. “I want you to meet him,” she said to us all.

“You’ve dated him?” my grandmother asked.

“No! I just met him — just today, on today’s train!” my mother said.

“And you already like him?” Lydia asked, in a tone of voice so perfectly copied from my grandmother that I had to look to see which one of them was speaking.

“Well, yes,” my mother said seriously. “You know such things. You don’t need that much time.”

“How many times have you known such things — before?” my grandmother asked.

“This is the first time, really,” my mother said. “That’s why I know.”

Excerpt from A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving.

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