Browsing Tag: firstworldproblems

    Tri-Cities, WA

    The Only Thing I Miss About East Coast Living

    June 21, 2013


    That’s what I miss about living on the east coast. On the east coast (and obviously elsewhere in the country), the lawns grow in real soil.

    Not here.

    I love West Richland. I love our neighborhood. I love our house. But it’s darn near impossible to have a really beautiful and healthy lawn in this area because the homes are being built on sand and dirt.

    And rocks. Lots and lots and lots of rocks. There’s hardly any room for the grass roots to grow because of all the rocks just a couple inches below the surface.

    Have a look at this:


    That’s the home currently being built right next to us. That’s where the front/side lawn will be. It’s all rocks.

    When we bring Sparky around to the front yard and tether him to a leash that’s stuck in the ground, it’s almost impossible to get the stake down into the ground because it hits rocks everywhere I try.

    Lesson of the story?

    If something causes us to build another house out here someday, we’re going to pay whatever it takes to get a solid foot of real, dark, high-quality soil laid down on the whole property before any grass is put down. Wish we’d done that with this house.

    But I can’t really complain too much. The lawn is fine and we’re blessed to live in this home. So I’ll tag this post with #firstworldproblems for sure. 🙂


    My Google Glass Bathroom Policy

    May 18, 2013

    matt-glass-200pxI’ve had Google Glass for about two weeks now, and the more I use it, the more I like it. (It helps that Google has already updated the software it runs once, and there are new Glass apps from Twitter, Facebook and others that I can use.)

    One of the big discussions about Glass is privacy, and for some reason that discussion has often focused on Glass and public restrooms.

    Even though I have no desire to take photos in a bathroom, I’ve decided on this policy for when I’m wearing Glass at public events:

    Glass stays on, but I raise it off my face so it sits on top of my head.

    That’s what I did all last week at Google I/O, what I’ve done at various airports and what I’ve done in other public bathroom settings.

    Welcome to 2013 … where technology has advanced to the point that the phrase “Google Glass bathroom policy” needs to be a thing. (Maybe I’ll add this policy to my disclosures page.)


    Oh Tweetbot, Sometimes You Make Twitter So Difficult

    December 12, 2012


    I really do love Tweetbot. I love it enough to spend $20 on a Twitter client, even when so many other Twitter clients — including the official one — are free.

    But it’s missing a couple key features that I loved in Tweetdeck, my previously preferred Twitter client. Tuesday’s events reminded me of one of those features: the ability to formulate a single tweet by clicking “reply” on multiple tweets.

    What happened is this: I got a promotion on Tuesday, being named Editor-In-Chief of both Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. And when the news was published, a ton of super awesome people used Twitter to send me congratulations. (Thx again, everyone!)

    There were so many tweets that sending individual replies just wasn’t feasible. I wanted to reply to everyone, but in Tweetbot, you can only reply to one tweet at a time.


    I started a reply to Drew Conrad, as you can see, and what I wanted to do was also click “reply” to Aaron Friedman’s tweet and have his username added to the tweet right after Drew’s name. And then click “reply” to Bryant Garvin and have his username added right after Drew and Aaron.

    You can do that in Tweetdeck, but not in Tweetbot. And that stinks.

    I had to go back to Tweetdeck so that I could easily reply to multiple people in a single tweet, like this:

    Another thing Tweetbot is missing (that Tweetdeck has) is the ability to schedule tweets in advance. It’s very basic in Tweetdeck, but it’s useful. Since that’s missing in Tweetbot, and with Buffer just launching some serious improvements, I might have to bite the bullet and upgrade to a paid Buffer account.

    But I still love Tweetbot, despite these two missing features.


    Amazon UK Can KMA

    October 11, 2012

    As if it’s not bad enough that the second version of my book, U2 – A Diary has been plagued with printing issues and was only available in the UK/Europe … now there’s this slap-in-the-face email that arrived last night from Amazon UK.


    Do I want to trade-in my own book??? What kind of a question is that???

    The nerve….

    Thanks Amazon UK. KMA. 🙂

    airline departures

    Alaska Airlines Boarding Process is Ridiculous

    September 14, 2012

    alaska-horizon-departuresI generally love Alaska Airlines. Frequent flyer member. Use them almost exclusively for west coast flights. Etc.

    But I’m starting to rethink that loyalty because the process of getting on an Alaska Airlines flight just keeps on getting harder and harder.

    Take, for example, my flight home on Monday from Phoenix. Flight 637 (I think) from PHX to SEA. It was a full flight. Crowded gate area. People anxious to get on board and get to Seattle.

    Every airline has a couple different boarding levels — those in wheelchairs, parents with babies, first-class, etc., always go first. That’s cool. Here’s my best shot at remembering the boarding levels for this Alaska Airlines flight:

    1. Passengers in wheelchairs are welcome to board.
    2. Parents with babies and small children, or those otherwise needing some extra time to get down the jetway.
    3. Uniformed US military members are welcome to board.
    4. Some high Alaska/Delta frequent flier club — like Platinum Million Milers or something. I don’t remember what it was called.
    5. Another high Alaska/Delta frequent flier club — Gold Medallion or something like that, maybe.
    6. Passengers sitting in First Class and in Row 6 (first row of the main cabin).
    7. Passengers whose only carry-on bags will fit under the seat in front of them. (WTF? Seriously, at this point, half of the people in the gate area started cursing, sighing, rolling their eyes or otherwise venting at the process. And I’m starting to wonder what’s next … “Passengers who have three-legged dogs are welcome to board”???)
    8. GENERAL BOARDING FINALLY BEGINS with passengers sitting in rows 20 and higher allowed to board.
    9. GENERAL BOARDING ENDS with the rest of the passengers allowed to board.

    I’m pretty sure that’s close to the real step-by-step boarding process. I think there might even have been a THIRD Alaska/Delta frequent flier level in the middle, but I’m not sure. I know there were at least two.

    It took forever and it was ridiculous.

    I alerted Alaska’s Twitter account once I got on board, and they handled my bitching and moaning very well. I hope they take my suggestion to have one of their decision-makers watch the boarding process in action and think about whether it’s a great customer experience or not. (Hint: The answer is “not.”) And I hope it’s less ridiculous next time I fly Alaska.


    DirecTV, You Frustrate Me So

    May 22, 2012

    directv-logoWe’ve been DirecTV customers since 2000 and have never had a bad experience with them.

    Until this year. More specifically, the past couple months, which have been frustrating enough to leave me wondering if Dish Network is really an option or not.

    March: New Home Install

    The story begins in March, when we moved to the new house. We used DirecTV’s movers’ service, which is where you leave your dish behind and bring your receivers, and they’ll install everything for free to get you up and running at the new house.


    When we ordered that, I also said I wanted to upgrade by adding a receiver in my office. No problem. The installers came out and we got everything hooked up, except one problem: My office wasn’t correctly wired for DirecTV. It was my fault. So, we skipped that part of the install. I said I’d have the wiring done soon and add DirecTV in the office when it was done.

    Adding an Office Receiver

    It took a while, but we eventually got the office wired for DirecTV. I contacted them to setup the new service, but they indicated that I’d have to pay full price for the HD DVR and to have it installed — about $250 total.


    DirecTV gives receivers away to pretty much anyone who asks, so why did I have to pay full-price? Their phone and email support wasn’t being helpful, so I complained on Twitter about this and was contacted by someone on their social media support team.

    I said the office receiver install was supposed to be part of the move back in March, and it was going to be free then, so why did I have to pay now? After a few emails back and forth, they relented and said they’d give me the receiver for free even though company policy was to treat this as a separate install from the one in March.

    Despite their offer, I told them to forget it — I said I’d pay for the receiver if that’s what company policy dictates. I ordered it online and setup an install for two days later.

    The Office Install

    The installer shows up and gets me connected … but he installed an HR-20 receiver which was the one introduced in 2008. Can you imagine ordering a new car and the dealer giving you a model that’s four years old? The installer felt as bad about it as me and said they were out of stock of the current model (HR-24).

    The receiver worked fine, but had a couple concerns:

    • It ran REALLY HOT. Like, you didn’t want to touch it for more than a couple seconds.
    • Because the receiver is so old, the installer had to connect an extra gizmo to the receiver, along with about 4 extra wires, in order to get it to work with the “Whole Home DVR” system. The extra gear was ugly and took up a lot of space.

    I contacted support again and said, You know … since I paid full price for an HD DVR, how about you give me the current model, not one that’s four years old?

    The reply had this long spiel about how ALL DirecTV equipment is top-notch, even the old stuff, and DirecTV has the best equipment in the industry, even the old stuff, and I should really be happy with the old stuff. Oh, but since I’m complaining, they’ll order a current model from a different warehouse and ship it to me.


    The New Receiver Arrives

    The new receiver got here on Thursday and, since I just had an install less than a week ago, DirecTV said I would be able to just hook it up myself and things would work fine.


    Turns out that they sent me a lemon. Yes, it was a current model — but it was refurbished and wasn’t fixed correctly. It wouldn’t recieve any programming. Black screen. No sound, no picture. Nothing.

    I spent an hour on the phone with them and after getting nowhere, they setup a tech support visit the next day (Friday). When the technician arrived, he spent about 45 minutes here and ended up confirming the obvious: the receiver was a dud.

    So, we setup an appointment for him to come back tomorrow with another HR-24 that he hoped/thought they had in stock.

    The Other New Receiver

    He did have a new HR-24 in stock and got it all setup in about a half-hour and I’m currently enjoying having DirecTV in my office. It’s a blast to be able to sit in my office at night and watch/listen to SportsCenter while writing and getting other work done.

    I’m still a bit chuffed about having to pay full-price for a receiver that they were going to give me for free when we first moved in.

    And then last night, when I clicked on the email telling me it was time to pay my DirecTV bill, I got more than a bit chuffed when I logged in and saw this ad on my account page:



    DirecTV, you frustrate me so.