long way round

Archive for November 2009

The Green Mill

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Not too long ago, I made a trip out to the windy city for work. The wife came too and worked remotely. In the evenings we caught up with some old friends who make the midwest their residence. One of the nights, we visited the famous jazz club, The Green Mill. Once an Al Capone speakeasy, now it is a premier jazz spot for all emerging jazz artists.

Needless to say, the music was fantastic and the drinks were nice. It was a local big band orchestra that paid homage to the roaring 20s with its swing dancing music and radio-worthy silky smooth voice. 

I found it refreshing that the Green Mill still has the same html-based 90s website from back in the day. They don't have a swanky decor inside. The telephone is still a rotary telephone, and it actually works! They don't focus on the trimmings and the extras, they focus on the main thing: jazz music. So what if there's not enough seats in the room and don't serve the latest in trendy mixed cocktails. People don't seem to mind because what they came for is the music. And everyone had a great time.

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Written by shindz

November 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm

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The Sun Food Agenda, According to Michael Pollan

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I try to be minimal and simple in my living. I recycle when I can, and I commit to reducing the waste I produce. I use my own bowl, fork and cup at work so I don't need to use disposables. And most recently, I've dramatically cut down my food portions and meat consumption.  I don't mean to get on my ecological high horse, or pat myself on the back for saving the earth, but I do what I can. Mostly because I've learned over time, that the way we are using the earth at the present moment cannot be sustained very much longer. I think everyone can do something small, like not eating meat once a week, to make a large (positive) impact to the environment.

A lot of the change in my eating habits is thanks to Michael Pollan. There's quite a few good articles written by him, of which is one called "Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch" and "An Open Letter To The President". I recommend reading both. And of course, you can pick up The Omnivore's Dilemma if you want the full manifesto. He also recently spoke at the Poptech 2009 conference. It's definitely worth watch. And for all my design geek friends, the presentation was made by the same company that did Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, Duarte.

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Written by shindz

November 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm

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Man, I Love Patagonia

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This weekend was filled with chores. We moved some of our summer stuff into the closet, and brought out the winter stuff. Winter stuff in California means long sleeve shirts instead of short sleeve shirts. Yes, I know, we're spoiled. Today was a "brisk" 70 degrees during the afternoon.

We also ran some errands as a family, and went up to the city for some Sunday afternoon fun. Part of that fun entailed going to the Patagonia store to see if I can get a warranty service on one of my jackets. I have plenty of Patagonia products in my closet, and I'd probably buy a new jacket even if I couldn't get this one fixed, but there's no harm in asking so I gave it a shot. My wife was integral in making such decision.

So I walked in with my 2004 model Mixmaster jacket that had some of its outer shell deteriorating. The Patagonia employee surveyed my jacket, noticed that it was a 2004 model and that the velcro on the collar was probably the culprit for the wear and tear. And still, she proceeded to say "we can help you out". When all was said and done, I got a full credit for the jacket, which was $320. Keep in mind I wore the jacket everyday in the winters of Michigan for three straight years, and some on and off time here in California the past two years.

What can I say, Patagonia is a great company that not only makes quality products, but backs it up with great customer service. In this day and age, it's not enough to just have a great product, whether you're a small business, a church, or a club. You also need great customer service to truly stand out.

Barring things don't change at the company, I'll probably be a loyal Patagonia customer for the rest of my life. I love it so much that I've devoted time to write about it here. I don't think I can say that about other products that I use and enjoy.

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Written by shindz

November 2, 2009 at 6:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized