atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4293: Good 'n' Plenty

Mrs. Fungus and I hit Meijer for sundries after I got off work last night. Over in the bulk foods section she picked up two containers of pumpkin seeds, so I grabbed a box of Good 'n' Plenty for myself.

I should not have done that.

I should not have done that because I am used to buying Good 'n' Plenty which has been on the shelf for a while, not Good 'n' Plenty which is apparently less than a day old. This candy is fresh, so fresh that it's amazingly soft and flavorful, not dry and hard to chew. And because it's so soft and flavorful and tasty and good I cannot stop eating it. It's the best Good 'n' Plenty I've ever had.


* * *

JayG has a post up about eco-idiocy. This person claims that he's figured out a way to turn highways into gigantic solar panels, by...uh...paving them with solar panels. Special solar panels, encased in tempered glass.

JayG does a rather nice job of discussing all the major engineering issues that must be solved in order for something like this to work. Myself, I think it would be a lot more cost-effective to put roofs over the roads and put solar panels atop these structures.

It's a dumb idea.

Ignoring all the mechanical problems of having semi trucks driving atop your solar panels, and accounting for wear and tear and weather, there's another issue: by driving atop the solar panels you are occluding the sunlight falling on them, and that is going to make them less efficient. They already won't be that damned efficient since the sun is always at an angle to the ground (except at low latitudes, on two days out of the year) and a solar panel is most efficient when it is perpendicular to the sun's rays.

So you end up getting the cosine of the angle times the efficiency of the solar cell, which is not greater than about 20% right now, meaning that if the sun is at--say--a 60° angle to the solar cell, you're getting 50% of 20% of the total light energy that lands on the cell out of it in the form of electricity. Since solar insolation is about a kilowatt per square meter, that means you're going to get 100 w per square meter at that location under ideal circumstances--that is to say, as long as traffic isn't flowing over that road. say nothing of all the pollution that is produced in the manufacture of solar cells. Yeah.

As I said, it's a dumb idea.

* * *

In the "I really can't work miracles here" department we have today's winner, a guy who came in with a tablet that needed repair:
1) No receipt.
2) He paid cash for it.
3) None of the phone numbers he provided was linked to the device, or, indeed, to any transactions whatsoever.
4) He didn't get any kind of protection plan or extended warranty on it.
There really isn't a lot I can do when someone is in this predicament. There's literally no way for me to track when the device was purchased, or where, and if your name does not come up in the customer database through the cash register there's absolutely nothing I can do for you unless you paid with a credit or debit card. I can search the transaction database by a lot of things, but I can't search by e-mail address, and a cash transaction without a rewards card or a protection plan pretty much guarantees that I won't be able to find the transaction in the database. I know it's in there somewhere, but there's no way for me to find it and definitively link it to you.

It's frustrating as hell for me as well as the client, of course, but there's nothing I can do about it. Certainly I am not able to give you warranty service on your device without some kind of documentary evidence demonstrating that you bought the thing when you say you bought it. I believe you, but I still can't do anything to help you without a receipt or something that shows when you bought it.

The moral of the story is save your receipts, because if you need to get the thing serviced under warranty you're going to have to prove that you bought it here and when you said you did.

(And no, we can't "convert" a COD service ticket into a "warranty" service ticket if you magically find your receipt sometime in the next couple of weeks.)

Furthermore--if I tell you that we can't search on e-mail address, that's not going to magically change five minutes later. Insisting that you gave the cashier your e-mail address isn't going to change the fact that you're not in the transaction database. I'm sorry, but if I search on your name and/or phone number and nothing comes back I can't help you.

The guy was actually pretty nice about it, but it's still frustrating when I try to tell someone that there's nothing I can do for him without a receipt and he asks the same question three times in different formats.


* * *

The other day I took some computer-based training, and the comments were full of WoW quips. That was pretty funny.

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