Louisiana

Ecco Shoes

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 

A few years back Carolyn bought me a pair of Ecco shoes to replace my old New Balance trail shoes, which I had been wearing as long as she knew me. I had two pair of those that are still marginally serviceable but, after 15 years or so, are starting to fail visibly.

They were extremely comfortable, look very nice, and seemed to wear well. Until their first winter, in Guelph, in the snow, the soles just started to disintegrate. A hole broke through the ball of one foot and snow came in–cold, cold snow. Apparently this is a fairly common problem with (old) Ecco shoes. I went to the local late-night shoe store (there is one in Guelph) and got a pair of Rockports. They’re very nice as well, though a bit less comfortable. I selected them because they could be resoled, and I did so after about two years of daily wear when the sole got so grip-less I started to slip on rainy sidewalks. Now they have a nice Vibram sole and should be good for another 3-5 years.

In the mean time, Ecco called me to ask if I wanted to return the shoes for possible warranty service. I told the nice woman that I wasn’t asking for that, but I would if they wanted to examine the failure, and that I wasn’t happy with the disintegrating sole material and I went with Rockport, but let me know if they ever change the sole material to something more durable.

A week or two later a pre-paid return mailer showed up in my mailbox. It sat on my kitchen table for about a year or so with other urgent matters. The dead Ecco’s were left behind in my Canadian office, then got mailed with my stuff to my LA office, then finally came back with my stuff from LA to Oakland. Not too many months later, off to Ecco-land they went.

About a month after I sent them in I was informed that Ecco had warranty replaced my shoes and sent me a new pair. They have latex soles, which may well be more durable and they feel, if anything, more comfortable than my first pair.

If I ever need another pair of shoes, I’ll buy another pair of Eccos.

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Posted at 07:36:33 GMT-0700

Category: Positivereviews

A week of tweets: 2010-07-11

Sunday, July 11, 2010 
  • Breakfast at the big table: heath bar ice cream with espresso. #toscanini #039;s #
  • Dear boston pops, please, please spare us the misery of the WBZ color commentary on the PA. #shutup #
  • Mass ave taken over by peds leaving fireworks. Police asking people to move to sidewalk not helping… #
  • It is 60F here in LA and it Rained this morning. WTF? #
  • RT @akieffer: Agave Lab Releases New iPhone App – Tastebud for Open Source Food http://lnkd.in/E3W9KF #
  • No power, no network in santa monica and AT&T screwed up my WWAN account. Work FAIL. Thanks PG&E. Sprinkle shorted it out I guess. #
  • Wow, nice earthquake. My monitor was wiggling http://ova.st/5 #
  • RT @dvrogers: Niki de Saint Phalle + Jean Tinguely The world began to blowup + shooting paintings via @christinamcphee http://is.gd/djcm4 #
  • Off to oakland. Fruitvale is our closest BART stop, but we're on the coliseum side, so it was quiet last time and I hear is so far tonight. #
  • Quiet in east oakland now #

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Posted at 09:11:00 GMT-0700

Category: Twitter

A week of tweets: 2010-05-30

Sunday, May 30, 2010 
  • Enough with the rain. Going to LA, better be sunny. #

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Posted at 02:11:00 GMT-0700

Category: Twitter

A Week of SUV Rentals

Sunday, January 17, 2010 

First, in Canada, I got a GMC Acadia, a moderately stupid SUV with seating for 7. It was snowing and so I suppose AWD was useful, but the only really good part about it was the heated seats. The gas expense was not so great…

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The Acadia was fine as far as it went, but then my next rental was a Lincoln Navigator. I’ve not run across one of these before (though not much different than the Escalade). It wasn’t horrible as a driving experience, though I was happy enough not to have to take it through any urban areas as I would have needed to upgrade the wheels. I mean stock rims… Seriously.

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The heated seats worked fine in that one too, but the backup camera that emerged from behind a half-silvered rear-view mirror was pretty cool. Especially as looking back is pretty useless through a forest of headrests.

In both cases I was the only passenger. This added to the value of the experience.

At least in LA at the end of the week, Hertz gave me a lovely C300. I think the exact same one I had rented earlier. A lovely car that seems far less silly.

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Posted at 18:46:34 GMT-0700

Category: photorental carstravel

Pontiac G6 with Retractable Roof

Monday, September 22, 2008 

Rental car review

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This Pontiac G6 came with a retractable hard top, one of those solid roof things that folds itself away in the trunk…  more or less filling it.  One has to choose between having the top down and having something in the trunk – there’s a small amount of room, a thin slice of trunk space under a retractable cover that can be filled and the roof still retracted, but it isn’t accessible with the roof down.

The car itself is fine – fast enough, fairly quiet, decent stereo.  Nothing super sporty though.  The handling is a bit slushy.  A lot of these inexpensive american convertibles have floppy frames after the roof connections are cut.  The GT seems a little more responsive than that other convertible rental mainstay, the Sebring, which torques around enough front to back that you definitely feel it.  The GT is just a little floppy.

Fun enough driving around LA and the trip was short enough that keeping my luggage in the back seat wasn’t too much of an imposition.

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Posted at 09:00:12 GMT-0700

Category: mapNeutralphotorental carsreviews

Big fires

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 

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Big fires north of LA.

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Posted at 16:35:19 GMT-0700

Category: photoplanes