20 March 2008

Check for the neck!

After a weekend party and a week of carry-out, I have trash bags full of recyclable and non-recyclable materials. The question is, which is which?

To the rescue is the Fairfax County website. It even has a catchy slogan ("Check for the Neck") complete with the recycling logo done up in what appears to be giraffe fur (is that legal?). According to the website, if they get too much "trash" in the recycling, they have to throw out the whole lot. My roommate, Mike*, made a good point - why not put this information on the bin itself?

Oh, and for my Arlington County readers, see this. Though, if you don't have curbside pick-up (for example, you live in an apartment complex) you should check with your apartment management.

*Also my step-dad

16 March 2008

Don't Leave Out Carry-out

I'm fending for myself meal-wise this week. This has meant frequent visits to Pho Reston 75 and Yoko Sushi.

To avoid eating alone in public (a deeply rooted socially unacceptable way to eat), I opt for carry-out. As such, I was left wondering if I should tip, and how much.

When I dine-in at these restaurants, I tip. When I dine-in at McDonald's, I don't. So perhaps it is the wait-staff coming to the table that I am tipping when I dine-in (the analogy extends to the pizza delivery guy as well). Under this paradigm I shouldn't when I carry-out.

Well, I wouldn't necessarily be correct, according to Ask Yahoo:
Phyllis Richman, a restaurant critic for the Washington Post, says that she doesn't usually tip at a carryout establishment, although she may add something to the jar on the counter. But if she is getting a meal to go from a sit-down restaurant, she will tip up to 10%.
Tipping culture is so arbitrary!!! The 15-20% tip is so ingrained in me, that even for carry-out I feel bad tipping less, especially when paying by credit card because then you get that receipt with the "tip" line with the 10,15,20, and 25% tip calculations printed on it. That line is ingenious... it guilts me into tipping more than the "measly 10%" almost every time.

A notable exception: If the kitchen is right behind the counter, as at McDonald's (and at Plaka Grill), I find it easier not to tip on carry-out than I do when the kitchen is hidden from view.

07 March 2008

Out of Focus

To me this Ford Focus commercial misses the mark.

It shows two guys about to embark on a long trip to Los Angeles. The owner of the Ford Focus offers to split the costs of the trip, "Ill buy the gas, you buy the food?" The passenger happily agrees.

The driver then goes on to take full advantage of this deal by clearing the shelves at a roadside convenience store and ordering a tall stack of pancakes at a roadside diner.

I thought the point of the commercial was to say that the Focus gets such good gas mileage that you don't pay much for gas (hence the split working in favor of the driver in the commercial). Unfortunately, the driver bought so much food that it is almost as if he needed to be sure he got the better end of the deal, because, one could be led to believe, he is spending most of his paycheck on the gas guzzling Focus. I'd understand if this was a commercial for the F150, but not the company's most fuel efficient vehicle!

03 March 2008

MS Paint does Subprime Mortgage Primer

This PowerPoint cartoon summarizes everything you need to know about how the subprime mortgage crisis went down. Beware, the language is as poor as the companies that bought those subprime mortgage-backed securities!

HT: EconLog

01 March 2008

Why Chris Craighill should not start a blog!

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