Data Guarded

Synology Health

Apparently there is a timing issue with the first  post of this month.  On the Wildlife version of this blog, the publish date went as intended on the first of day of the month, where here at the mothership, the post data ended up being late the day before the first.  This wouldn’t be a big issue, but I have a self-imposed monthly quota which is now good on one blog and bad on the other – sigh.  No worries, it has been a long time since I published a product review – especially one that is positive!  Product reviews also require limited image processing besides working up an original header image (speaking of which, kind of spiffy looking for about 6 minutes’ worth of work if I do say so myself).  How about we get to the review.

Hit the jump to read about my experiences with the Synology NAS units.

Continue reading Data Guarded

2018 Apparently in the Toilet

Happy New Year Everyone!  I am still working on my year end blog summary – amazing how long it takes to go through and get the annual blog stats.  While I am still working on that, figured I would go off topic a bit and highlight a trend that appears to be growing.  Unfortunately, this trend is not a good one, in fact, one could say it is a downward spiral (an appropriate toilet pun) … at least from my perspective.  I started seeing signs of this while shopping at various places during the earlier part of the year.  It didn’t really hit home until the November-December timeframe while out picking up presents for family and friends.   It seemed like in every store we bothered to go to this year, there it was, smelling up the aisles.  Toy after toy, decoration after decoration focused on a particular theme.  I decided it was time to highlight this on the blog as evidence in case any fake mainstream media wanted to go off on what a shitty year this was.

The weird thing is the thrust of the [bowel) movement seemed aimed at children.  I bring you example number one found at Bass Pro – Doggie Doo: When you gotta go, you gotta go complete with exclamation point.

Bathroom Centric Christmas 2018

From the look of the packaging, this particular toy involves a wiener dog that farts out smelly bees.  This results in not only the bystanders being offended, but the smell has apparently bored a hole through the ozone layer causing a fouling of the sun.  I had to know what this game was about – deep down hoping this was just a typo and they were really not offering a game of clean up poop to our children.  Nope, unlike CNN, there was truth to the story.  This was indeed an exciting game of pick up excrement (making the CNN reference surprisingly accurate).  Let me get this straight, they spin a wheel, squeeze a pump attached to a leash which eventually causes the dog to choke out pieces of crap which the kids happily grab up to earn themselves a fart token.  The kid that manages to scoop up the most crap is crowned the winner.  Linda, can I get this for our nephew and nieces!?!

Bathroom Centric Christmas 2018

Hit the jump to see some more crap!

Continue reading 2018 Apparently in the Toilet

A Whole Lotta Wrong

Since this is the season of giving gifts, I figured it was an appropriate time to FINALLY pull out the long planned post on a item my brother Ron found at a local bookstore. Upon spotting it in the store’s designated bargain area, he immediately called me knowing it would add a bit of humor to the day.  In truth it both gave me a chuckle and at the same time frightened the hell out of me – so much I asked him to pick it up for me so I could use it here.  Thankfully it had already been marked down, but let’s give Ron some credit for removing at least one opportunity for someone to do something REALLY REALLY stupid.  What is this evil I talk about, that is so heinous (.. and yes a big dose of hilarity) that warranted being added to my “Worst thing Ever” list?  I shall delay no more..

I’m guessing there were two reactions to that image.  Either you are in the Information Technology field and just crapped your pants our you are prone to identity theft and thought “Hey, that would be handy!”  I decided that the Internet is so ubiquitous these days that the “What’s the Internet” response has long since sailed.  So, someone at Piccadilly publications decided that the Internet was so ripe for money making opportunities that it was worth bringing a product out in this space.  Let’s see, a book on how to use it has already been taken by the Dummy and Idiot series, a collection of cool website has pretty much been replaced by that Googelly company.  Just then some smart-ass IT guy walks by and says .. “How about a book of post-its that you can write your passwords on and stick to your computer – that way you can STOP calling our help line every month asking for a reset” .  Light bulbs go off, fireworks light up the skies and next thing you know their designers are busy planning out a cool, sexy layout to unleash on the hordes of customers just waiting for a way to keep all their passwords handy.   All you security people just relax a little.  Piccadilly didn’t make it in the publishing world by being stupid.  They made sure to leave off any markings on the cover – you don’t want any misguided soul eying your password book and getting any ideas.

Nothing to see here, just your standard run of the mill black book for sketching.. yeah, that’s it, sketching.  Now just in case you forget what it’s for, they did put a title on the first page – INTERNET PASSWORD LOGBOOK.  I like how they were considerate enough to shout it seeing as how their target audience are likely all gray haired and deaf.   But wait, isn’t this data you might want to keep protected in some manner..

No worries, they put a lock on it!  Those Piccadilly people are geniuses.  Now if I happen to leave it in the airport I can sleep assured that all my important passwords are sufficiently protected from prying eyes.  Guessing this one was simply missing the key which is why it was stuck in the Bargain Bin – otherwise the full price of $12.99 would be a steal.  Hmmm .. but what if someone is able to make a key, would there be a way to indicate who it belongs to?  The world is so trusting these days, I’m sure anyone who found it would surely return it.  At least that is what the publisher thought seeing as how they provided a convenient place to put your name, address, phone numbers and even your email – and just in case you had a heart attack when you found out every account you own has just been compromised, they included an emergency contact area.

Hit the jump to read more about this product

Continue reading A Whole Lotta Wrong

It Just Works

Hi all, I’m fresh off of the range having let the lead fly for about 6 hours.  My friends and I are sufficiently prepared for any zombie attacks … how about you?  For my sanity, let’s just assume that answer is a resounding YES!  (if not, you might want to befriend a Republican and get them on speed dial immediately or figure out whether you prefer salt or mustard on your brains).  This, of course, has nothing to do with the post topic today unless you take into consideration that that I was cleaning my weapons last night while my mobile computing device was happily being upgraded (foreshadowing).

As a professional IT Architect, I’ve spent most of my professional career designing and consulting on large computing systems.  To grossly simplify this landscape, there are really two defined camps in this space.  One camp puts forth the mantra of interoperability is king with a nod to Best in Breed.  The other camp preaches the tight integration card with a willingness to reduce capabilities at a gain of simplicity.  The challenge is to mediate between these ideologies and come up with the best solution.  For years, the Best of Breed camp enjoyed big success riding the benefits of reduced vendor lock in and the ability to pick and choose the best answer for each specific need.  This all started changing about 10 years ago when the complexities of integration and the inability for vendors to deliver on open standards (I’m speaking to you SUN).  Suites and proprietary solutions found their weak spot in the system armor.  Since then, the Best of Breed roar has become more of a whimper and the vendor suites have become as sweet as they sound.  There is one place where this battle raging … probably the last real battleground for this argument.  Any guesses where that is?  If you guessed the mobile computing field, you are dead on… and the players?  No need for extra power to the synapse – Android vs Apple.

I am on the Android side of this colossal tug of war.  As of such I am barraged with the “It Just Works” sermons from the other camp.  Apple is so great because everything just works, my Apple products are a gift from heaven because they just work, I did not even have to do anything special to get this new feature functioning because it just works.   Hell, Apple is so cool I’ll immediately go out an buy the next version even though it doesn’t really provide me much more value, but I know it will just work even better than what I have.  Wow, I have to hand it to Apple, their marketing arm is amazing.  I can see how this would be so appealing based on the quirks and idiosyncrasies we encounter with their competitors.  Clearly there is room for improvement in the other devices, but what is the price of that discomfort over the benefit of not being held captive to a vendor that essentially limits your freedom on what can and cannot run on YOUR computing device?  To me, that price is $100.  I can say that because we bought an HP Touchpad during their fire sale.  A quick mod of the kernel and we had swapped out the WebOS for Android!  Linda now had a fairly functional tablet device she could use for her photography business and (gasp) Facebook.  The downside of this is Linda had to put up with the quirks.  Not a big deal for me, but I can understand the annoyances of not everything working all the time but some of that is due to bad programming – take for example the Facebook app requiring a location indicator before it will run – this was solved with a fake GPS app, but again, it took some effort to figure out what was wrong.

Flash forward to last month when I decided to breakdown and get Linda an iPad HD.  Her photography business was doing well and figured switching over to that platform would work out for her… and we all know .. it just works!  Eventually this showed up in the mail:

Hit the jump to read the rest of the story

Continue reading It Just Works

Just Who’s in the LEaD

Since I pulled out the bad service post this month I figured it would be a good time to produce a bad product post.  In truth, I have seen a great product trump a bad service experience, but I have never witnessed a great service making up for a crap product.  Case in point is a situation I experienced with a gift Linda gave me for Christmas (yeh, I know it has been awhile, but to say that I have too many irons in the fire at the moment is an understatement to the size of the fire).  To set the stage, the viewing quality of a movie or TV show really doesn’t rate high on my viewing experience.  Analog was just fine with me for what little TV I actually watched since it is more of a background noise device than a center of attention.  Trust me, baseball is just as exciting when you can’t see every pimple on the batters face.  What really comes out of this type of viewing experience is how good the plot is (or the talent of the players based on your viewing pleasure).  As a result, the old 14 inch Magnavox Analog TV had been a fixture in my den for years.  I’d turn it on as white noise whenever I was on the computer and from time to time catch a show while writing posts etc.  Hit the power button, turn it to channel 14 or 3 (more on this later) and with the reliability of Biden saying something stupid every time he opens his mouth, I was watching a show .. out of my peripherals of course, but it was on and playing without any hassles.  Linda decided it was time to enter the current decade so took it upon herself to purchase a new LED TV as a present.  I have to admit, the flat panel had a nice benefit of freeing up some space on my shelf top, but the hassles this brought were totally unexpected.

I hauled the new 24 inch Insignia upstairs and began the process of switching out the old TV (with a tear in the eye – like losing an old friend).

  • Take the cable off the old TV
  • Haul the old TV off the shelf and put it in the backroom
  • Take the new TV out of the box
  • Take all the protective coverings and stickers off
  • Find a screwdriver to attach the stand to the base
  • Attach the stand to the TV
  • Attach the cable to the new TV
  • Put the TV back up on the shelf
  • Unwrap the remote and batteries
  • Load the batteries into the remote and start navigating menus to program the channels
  • Wait for it to find channel 3 and 14 and ….ugh

The new TV would not find channel 14.  A quick jump back, we have Dish Network for our TV subscription on two receivers.  This allows me to watch Top Shot while Linda watches drivel.  One receiver mainlines to a the coax on channel 3 while the second receiver’s output has the channel pushed up to channel 14 and then unsplit (technical term for running a splitter backwards) to combine it back into the mainline.  Turn to channel 3 you can watch one satellite, simply switch to channel 14 and you can watch the other – add in UHF remotes and we have complete freedom to watch our shows on any TV we want.  Apparently this new LED TV isn’t recognizing the uplifted channel.  No big deal, I’ll just add it in manually.  A few menu clicks and sure enough there is an Add Channel option.  Sweet, just keypad in the number 14 and … and .. and .. umm there is no entry field.  All it provides is a list of channels it found allowing you to delete or add from what it found in the scan.  You have go to be kidding me.  A quick check on the internet confirmed this.  There was an account of someone who had a rotating aerial to pull in Canadian and American signals.  The company’s response to his issue (same as mine, not being able to add manually) was “The menu is acting as designed and simply running the rescan every time you move the aerial will solve the problem”.  His response – I’m boxing it up and sending it back immediately.

Hit the jump to see how this story turns out.

Continue reading Just Who’s in the LEaD

Gold at the Dollar Store, Halloween Party Pt 3

And then there were 4.  I figured I’d just close out the Halloween Party Series with a final post of decorations on the cheap.  I didn’t want to keep in you suspense from the last post.  Believe that?  I didn’t think so.  Actually, I am relying on images that were preloaded on our Smugmug site due to some web access limitations we are fighting through at the moment.  Since all the decoration pictures were uploaded at once, I can simply reference those rather than fighting any new image uploads.  Hopefully concentrating on this post will help take my mind off the Cardinals’ second blown game of the series.

As mentioned previously, we originally went to the Dollar Store to find specific materials for our Halloween Party Haunted Trail (link here).  The pumpkins mentioned in that previous post were a bonus find.  What I was really looking for was some round looking objects that were made of glass or plastic that was roughly 6 inches in diameter.  That was pretty much the entire description we were heading in with.  Oh, and it needed to deflect or reflect light in some manner.  “Should you choose to accept this mission …”  After the euphoria of the foam pumpkin find had fallen off we started down each of the aisles trying to find something that fit the bill.  This resulted in 20 minutes of “Nopes” until halfway down the glass and candle aisle.  Right there on the top shelf was the perfect item.

It is actually pretty heavy glass similar to what you would put on a ceiling fan light except it has a flattened bottom. I have no idea what the real purpose is, but this was going to be a nice add to my Halloween decorations … if it worked out as planned. Since this was an unproven idea, we went with 4 of them – each for a very respectable $1.00. Going this route made the decision on which of the two ways to go on the design. If they were plastic, I was going to cut out shapes and put a candle in them to help light the path. Glass as the base resulted in the second option to simply paint the globes. A quick stop at Home Depot was needed to get some paint. After a lengthy discussion with the paint clerk, it was decided that the Rustoleum Multi-Purpose Orange Gloss would work best on the glass. There isn’t enough time to go into details on my checkout experience, but it is worth mentioning I had to go through nearly the same process to buy spray paint as you do Psuedophedrine.

Hit the jump to see how this and an another Halloween decoration turned out

Continue reading Gold at the Dollar Store, Halloween Party Pt 3

Before and After – A Marketing Disaster

As an admission, I am officially behind schedule on the blog but we need to delegate blame to a guilt trip a certain person placed on me.  Apparently queuing up a few posts is second on the evil meter only to kicking an elderly woman down the stairs because she is impeding your timeline to rob a convenience store.  Being haunted by the stigma this would bring to my parents, I was forced to immediately stop using the post buffer to compensate for busy times of the month.  Of course, now I am left foregoing all charity work and our annual prairie dog mission of peace to free up enough time to bring you this month’s quota.  When those dogs take up arms and start ravaging our countryside that person is going to have some apologizing to do!

I’m to close to completing my 4th year of blogging to blow my quota now, so it’s time to get to it.  Today’s post comes to us courtesy (and by that, I mean lack of courtesy) of Bridgestone.

As a little level setting, Linda and I finally gave up dealing with all the annoying problems we were having with our Dodge Durango.  The car was actually fun to drive when it was actually working but it was plagued with electrical problems.  This was similar to problems we had with our Grand Cherokees.  During our hunt for a new car we were ignored by a dealership while trying to buy an Explorer (shocking at the time because they were in the middle of the economy crisis and cash for junkers was in full swing).  After a few other failed dealerships we broke down and checked again at Dodge – guess what, they decided to get out of the large SUV business with what appeared to be a failed attempt with the Aspen.  Frustrated, we stopped into Toyota, had a wonderful experience and promptly came home with a brand new SUV (built in San Antonio so hold the complaints).  This vehicle has been mechanically free of errors since we bought it with the exception of the special deer magnet (link here).  BMW could learn a few things from this automaker (link here).

Now is good time for the BEFORE shot:

hit the jump to read “The rest of the story”.

Continue reading Before and After – A Marketing Disaster

Galaxy Armband[it]

Holy crap, it’s almost the end of the month and I’m down one.  Time to get on the stick (or rather the keyboard) and get the final post in for April.  I can’t believe how fast this month has gone.  For this entry I am going to share a bad experience with a recent online purchase.  Earlier in the year I broke down and upgraded from the Motorola Razor to a Galaxy Mesmerize.  This was a difficult task due to how reliable the Razor was and the hell I put it through while out working in the lot.  Let’s just say both the secret (yeah right) water disks were bright red from all the sweat and rain it was exposed to.  The new smart phone finally provided me the ability to map runs to Google with the built in GPS.  Probably more beneficial, it also provided  the ability to swap out the iPod Touch for my running MP3 player with the added benefit of now being able to call for help if I get lost or (knock on wood) injured while out on the long runs.  In order to do this, I had to purchase a new armband. Having checked out all the Internet stores (Amazon etc.) I decided to go with one I found at http://www.galaxyarmband.com.  There was some hesitation since I prefer to purchase things from companies I am familiar with, but this was pretty cheap and went ahead and used our Internet only credit card in case something undesired happen.  As a note, this was the only product that actually called out my specific phone model.  All the others explicitly stated it only fit one model (which couldn’t be validated since it was using model numbers that were different from the names the cell phone providers give them).  Soon after hitting the submit button, the PayPal notification email came confirming the purchase and indicated the charge will show up under Talisman LLC.  The email also provided their mailing address:

Merchant information
Talisman, LLC
talismangroupllc@gmail.com
http://evoarmband.com

Several days later we received another email saying the product had shipped and if there were any issues to contact Talisman LLC directly.  Sure enough the package arrives and the excitement starts to rise…. that is until I opened up the package.  There was a large glue stain on the inside of the clear front of the holder.

Hoping it was superficial I tried wiping it off with water, but that was futile.  With a heavy dose of disgust I dragged the camera out, took pictures of the armband condition, hunted down the memory card reader, transferred the images to the computer, cleaned them up in Photoshop to help cut down the glare, added the best one to an email along with some comments regarding my dissatisfaction with their quality control and sent it off.  Probably an hour of completely wasted time because of their poor attention to good service.  I did not expect an immediate email response, but actually expected something in a day or two.  This was an assumption based on their webpage that had the following comment:

“We are a small company, located in the USA. We ship our products anywhere in the world. We have a customer service team that will pick up the phone. And we will ship your products to you promptly, without error, guaranteed.”

Anyone want to take a guess on when they responded?  If you answered with anything other than NEVER, you are dead wrong.  A week had passed since the defective product arrived and there was nothing left to do other than contact them directly.  Back I went to their webpage to get the support numbers.  Oddly, the support number was added at the bottom of the page as a graphic and not basic text even though there were only letters and punctuation characters.  Their contact number at the time was 608.385.7795 (verified that it still has this number on their website).  With some angst, I picked up the phone, dialed the number and prepared myself for some serious ranting.  Unfortunately, that never happened because there was only an answering machine for a house realtor.  I ended up leaving a message indicating who I was, the reason for my call and even indicated where I got the number in case this was really a realtor and not the Talisman LLC customer service number.  That effort ended up with the same results as the email did… nada.  A few quick searches on the Internet located this site http://evoarmband.com which looks almost like the Galaxy website with a few different colors, but the same Talisman LLC vendor and a different contact number.  Note, the products looks EXACTLY the same.  Thinking I was clever, I called that number hoping to be transferred to the real Galaxy number.  Failed!  That number was a Google Voice number which required me to state my name before putting the call through.  No one picked up on the other end and guessing they were using the forward or ignore voice feature.

In a last ditch effort I asked Linda to stop the payment assuming this particular vendor was not entirely on the up and up.  Guess what, according to our Visa research, we can only stop payment on a purchase if it is over $50.00.  Stick a screw in me boys I’ve been turned.  All I can do now is make sure others do not make the same mistake.  After some elbow grease and Goop I was able to get some of the glue off that makes it useable, but the quality of the product does not warrant that price tag.

This is what I get for deviating from my standard Internet purchasing process.  A lesson learned and another blog entry

She Said Yes! Introducing the BEAST

I hope my blog readers know by now that my wife and I share a photography habit… I mean hobby. Unlike Linda’s dog agility hobby and my addiction to running, this hobby is one we equally enjoy. It also gives us an opportunity to spend quality time together which is difficult in today’s hectic corporate world and what seems like an endless queue of errands and fix-its. It is also one of the few activities I willingly leave the comfort of my bed BEFORE the crack of dawn. Every once in awhile we get the opportunity to upgrade our equipment. This always a stressful event based on the fact that photography can be an expensive hobby and we have specific shooting interests that can, unfortunately, force you into higher dollar items. Lately, Linda has been shooting in low light facilities trying to capture dogs on the agility course. I am always trying to close the distance between my camera and wildlife. In both cases, the telephoto is generally the go-to glass. Up to this point, our workhorse has been the 80-200 f/2.8. This glass is solid and has never failed us, but the lack of VR can result in hand held fuzziness and probably more annoying, the inability to put a teleconverter on it (thanks Nikon) keeps us just out of optimal distance. To be honest, I will always complain that I am just out of optimal distance no matter what lens we have because that’s the wildlife photographer’s creed.

A few weeks back, we decided to pull the trigger on new glass. There were a few options in the zoom category we investigated including upgrading our 80-200 f/2.8 to the newer VR (vibration reduction), going with a superfast prime lens (300,400,500) or bite the bullet and go with a relatively fast longer zoom with VR. Linda wisely pointed out that buying another lens in the range we already have seems pointless (even if it has VR). The fast primes in the 400+ range is wicked expensive and really inhibits composition due to not being able to adjust the distance making it difficult to use for the agility ring. This left us with the longer zoom option. After much debate, sleepless nights and more than a hint of hesitation we pulled the trigger on the Nikon 200-400 VRII f/4 (end to end). The VRII offered some compensation for the uplift in aperture and fit our budget a little better than the house mortgaging below f/4 models. With that decision out of the way, the hunt was on to actually find one. The tsunami in Japan had a big hit in inventories leaving a few older models available and only ONE current model in stock across every photography retailer we could find on the Internet. Long story short, we took an availability premium hit and locked into the new lens.

After a quick inquiry as to the arrival date (since the delivery date was fast approaching without notification), we were informed it was on its way. I do not know if it was a result of the inquiry or in respect to the purchase price, but the glass was upgraded to two-day express. Sure enough, the package arrived as notified. This is when reality set in. Check out the packaging required. (Note, Rizzi was a reluctant participant, but I needed some scale)

Exactly what have we gotten ourselves into. We knew it was going to be larger than our current zoom, but this might be on a whole different level.

Hit the jump to see what was in those boxes.

Continue reading She Said Yes! Introducing the BEAST

Them Girls are Deceptive

There are a few things I really look forward to over the course of the year. This includes standing at the top of the slopes with the feet strapped into the Burton, lining up at the start of the Bix7 race and setting up for the annual Halloween cookout (oh, in case she is reading this, coming home every day to see Linda). Not to be left out, ripping into the first box of frozen Girl Scout Thin Mints is ranked right up there in the top ten. Unfortunately, it is getting harder and harder to actually order boxes. The daughters of my friends are now either to old for selling cookies or on the other end of the age spectrum. This year a friend of mine let me order from his relative and my Sister-in-Law was able to put in n order for me with one of her contacts from the school she teaches at. Once the orders came I rushed home and cleared space in the freezer and patiently waited for those babies to chill. Now I have to ask, is there really any form of food that tastes better than a frozen Thin Mint? (any answer other than NO is an unacceptable response by the way)

So, after a couple of hours, the time had arrived.  Freezer door opened with haste, the green box grabbed with zeal and seconds later I had ripped through the packaging to get to the goods.  Suddenly, the frantic pace came to a halting screech.  Have you opened a chip bag lately and been disappointed in the amount of empty space inside the packaging?  Regardless of whether the vendor feels guilty enough to add the “Some settling may occur” marketing line to the packaging, you feel a little empty inside, an emptiness originating out of a overwhelming feeling you’ve been taken.  Actually, I think the better word is d-e-c-e-i-v-e-d.  To my surprise, this is the exact same feeling I got while staring at the inner packaging … apparently some settling had occurred.  This picture below doesn’t provide the best angle for comparison, but you can tell there is a definite difference between the height of the box and the interior sleeve of thin mints. Due to the fact these cookies are like crack, I had consumed a majority of the package before realizing I forgot to assess the difference in cookie units between the inner packaging and the extra space in the box.  Post estimate has this at about 4-5 cookies x2 for the two sleeves and you are looking at 8-10 cookies that won’t be pleasing the taste buds.

However, there is more to this devious story.  My friend’s order was fulfilled by a Chicago area scout troop.  In line with how politics goes in this state, the “down-staters” once again take it on chin.  Cookies in the Chicago area are sold at a cost of $4.00 per box.  Contrast that with the local scout troop charge of $3.50 per box.  My Sister-in-Law’s order came in this week allowing me to verify that the local cookie boxes also had less than a full cookie box sleeve.  This means both investments fell short of expectations, but the empty space in the first box cost my $.50 more.  I wonder if they get a merit badge with a giant screw on it if they sell a certain number of boxes.

Okay, before someone gets all worked up, this post was somewhat in jest.  I realize it is a fund raiser for a good cause and I not at all concerned about the monetary difference between the various troop regions.  Actually, I congratulate them for embracing supply and demand principles and charging what the market can bear.  They might want to consider hanging out on streets and passing out a  free frozen thin mint to people who pass by – guaranteed people would be back drooling with money in hand looking for the next hit.. I mean bite.  I did get the empty feeling in my stomach when I saw the dead space in the packaging.  After all, per Wikipedia, the Girl Scout code consists of “I will do my best to be honest and fair”.

Before I leave this post, I wanted to mention something my brother brought to my attention.  During one of our calls, he mentioned that McDonald’s had their Shamrock Shakes available again.  Don’t ask me how we ended up on this topic, but he confessed when he orders these shakes he has them add in the crushed Oreo topping used in their McFlurries.  The resultant concoction tastes like a Thin Mint shake.  Intrigued, Linda and I ordered one while traveling to a dog show in Wisconsin.  After 15 minutes of trying to explain what I wanted to the cashier, her calling over the manager, both exchanging looks of utter contempt and a hundred buttons being pushed on the register they finally produced the augmented shake (note, based on the amount I had to pay for this sucker, I think they ended up charging for the shake and a small cone).  I grabbed the shake and headed back to the car taking special effort not to look back for any mocking that might have been going on.

Safely in our car, Linda and I dug into the experiment.  Survey says… Not Bad!  I am not entirely sure it was worth the trouble to order, but it definitely tasted like a Thin Mint shake.  Kudos to my brother for discovering this.  On second thought, we probably should not be that surprised since his repeat business has basically earned him an honorary degree from the McDonald’s Academy!

Later peeps, I’m heading down for some tasty frozen slices straight from heaven.