Sunday, November 25, 2012

Covert Affairs

This show has several good attributes, but several things that are holding it back.  Below are a couple pros and cons.


  • Auggie
    There is something about the blind super agent.


  • Untouchable
    Much like with 24, the main character, Annie, continually breaking the rules and coming out unscathed and at times with honors is wearing thin.
  • Short Season and Long Off Season
    This season, season 3, we got 13 episodes that wrapped up by the end of November and then will not return for the next season until next summer.

    While I do enjoy that USA Network and other networks do their season so they run over the summer, instead of the traditional taking the summer off and having a big fall event to bring stuff back, the long break makes it hard to remember to go back to the show.  It also makes it difficult to remember what was happening when it does finally come back on.

    I believe my wife missed all of season 2 because she had no desire for the show after forgetting everything that was happening in Season 1.  I am not sure how we got back into it, but she has watched season 3, but has the same concerns that she will give up on it and not return for season 4 because it will be too stressful to not remember what was going on and too time consuming to watch episodes from season 3 again to refresh herself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Overpriced Midas

I have had some weird electrical trouble with my van over the last year.  Finally it started to have trouble starting.  It would fail and then after trying several times it would start.  That behavior started to become more regular, so I took it into the local Midas.

Midas looked at it and found it was a bad starter.  They said that the total would be over $280.  Over $200 of that was the starter itself.  I had seen starters for between $65 and $100, so I asked them if I bought my own if they would install it for me.  They said sure.  I told them I would look around get back to them.

I went to a parts place near Midas and found the part I needed for under a hundred dollars.  I told the guy at the counter that I was having Midas install it and he told me that Midas usually buys parts from them and then marks them up.

I took the part over to Midas and they informed me that they charged more for labor when one brings in their own parts.  He said the labor was going to be $75 previously, but now it was $89.99.  That irritated me.  It doesn't take any more effort to install it and I did the leg work to get it and bring it in.

At this Midas location they are very cordial, but they are just too expensive.

I have two old vans and my daughter is driving and will likely need a used vehicle.  All of these will need some level of maintenance on a regular basis and I have no talent in doing it myself, so all of those repairs will be taken to a mechanic.  I will be taking no further repairs to Midas.

I will likely find a parts house that has a garage, so I pay the same price for parts as if I was doing the repair myself.  The business will still earn money on the parts and the labor and I won't have to pay the addition markup.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Applebee's 2 For $20

My wife and I went to Applebee's for her birthday.  We decided to try the 2 For $20 menu.  When we got there we found they also had a 2 For $24 menu.  We decided to stick with the 2 For $20 menu.

The premise of this deal is that it comes with a choice of five appetizers and two entrees from a list of 7 entrees all for $20.

We purchased the Crunchy Onion Rings.  They lived up to their name.  They were very crunchy.  I am still trying to figure out if I liked them better or worse than other onion rings I have had.

One good thing we noticed was that when biting into the rings the onion stayed in place.  Other onion rings we have eaten almost always had issues with the onion sliding around in the ring and frequently the onion either pulling out of the ring or the ring falling off of the onion.  Perhaps this was due to the crunchy nature of these rings.  The way the breading was bound to itself perhaps also bound it more firmly to the onion.  It could've also been because these onion rings were less greasy that others we have had.

One thing that displeased me about this appetizer was that the dipping sauce that came with them.  It was BBQ sauce.  I'm not sure that any BBQ sauce would be what I would've chosen for onion rings, but this stuff exceptionally bad.  It was dark, smokey BBQ sauce.

My wife had the Chicken Tenders Basket.  For an extra two dollars she could have upgraded to a platter which we were told would give more pieces of chicken, more french fries, and coleslaw.

I had the 7 ounce house sirloin.  The steak was good.  I chose to take a double order of french fries rather than some other form of potato or a mixed vegetable side.