Yahoo is terrible at googling  


If your computer doesn't have a Google Toolbar, you can just type your search terms in the URL bar and Google or Bing will pop up with the results. Most people don't realize that, but it's true. The other day, however, when I lazily did this, I must have been on a computer that had yahoo as its default search engine. The results were stunning.

Guess what I was looking for with these simple terms: "ny nj PATH".

If you think I was looking for the NY/NJ Port Authority Trans-Hudson website, you could work for Google or maybe even Microsoft. But not Yahoo. All of their results involved career paths for people living in NY or NJ. Colleges, getting your degree at home, etc etc. That kind of path.

After I got done laughing, I was still too lazy to go to google, so I added "train" to the search. To recap, I now had yahoo looking for this: "ny nj PATH train".

Information on when the band Train was playing in the NY/NJ area were the top results.


EDIT: After posting this entry, I tried to recreate the experience on Yahoo, but now it's giving me the proper results. Oh well, just take my word for it.

1834 Bar & Burger  

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Way back in Aught Nine, "1834 Bar & Burger" was a charming little wine-bar called "Perle". When news of its transformation spread, I was a bit apprehensive, as wine bars are rarer than burger joints in the area. However, their bacon-wrapped tater tots instantly hooked me, and "Perle" is now a distant memory. While there are some areas that could use improvement, I'll chalk that up to growing pains; the future looks bright for "the only sports bar in the financial district".

A review of 1834 absolutely must begin with their happy hour special. From 5 pm until close, you can get a burger and a beer for five dollars. FIVE DOLLARS. Other than street-meat and the five-dollar footlong, I challenge anyone to find a meal for that price. And while the beer may be limited to Bud-like variations, the burger is of high quality. A substantial patty with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a lightly toasted bun. It's really good, and worth the price of admission on its own. The beer is just the icing on the cake.

Have I mentioned the bacon-wrapped tater tots yet? Ok, just checking. In addition, their fries are decent and I've also enjoyed the pulled-pork sliders and mac-and-cheese. I've never had their fancier burgers, but my friends have been satisfied each and every time.

On one or two occasions, the service has been less than perfect, but I believe that's only because there are some new people working there. There is a difference between a server who tries, but makes a mistake, and a server who just doesn't care. Luckily, nobody from 1834 falls into that latter category. The intent of the new servers is clear, and they probably just need a little bit of experience under their belt before they become top-quality servers.

The only real negative of 1834 is subjective to me, and might actually be considered a selling-point to others. 1834 is a restaurant/bar on the top floor while the basement is more lounge/bar. We recently went to the basement part to watch March Madness and were subjected to a loud DJ that made watching the games impractical. I know this reeks of a "Get off my lawn" mentality, but the music was REALLY loud. And the music choices were, shall we say, interesting. It felt like someone grabbed an ipod and made a mix of all 3-starred songs. I heard music that I liked in the late 90's early 00's, but hadn't heard since. Because really, if I never hear James' "Laid" again, I think I'll survive.

But while the club-ish feel wasn't my cup of tea, there's always the upstairs restaurant as a sanctuary. So, this is really 2 bars for the price of 1. As 1834 becomes more established as THE sports bar in the area, it will be interesting to see if the basement evolves back into a sports-friendly vibe. There are a lot more TVs downstairs and they are situated in better locations.

As a final note, I had a small issue with 1834 during my last visit, and emailed them to explain my problem. I received a reply almost immediately and one phone call later everything was more than taken care of. It's that kind of customer-friendly atmosphere that has me going back there a couple of times a week. It also inspired me to write this review, as I have an active interest in seeing them succeed. And not just because I'm addicted to their 5 dollar burger/beer deal. Well, ok, that's a big part of it.

NBC really dislikes its audience (customers)  


I'll be brief, since many people have complained about this already...the way NBC time-shift their Thursday night comedies is beyond offensive. Instead of airing at 8:00, 8:30, 9:00, and 9:30, they all start and end two minutes later. While annoying, I don't begrudge them their right to make it more difficult for viewers to go watch other channels' shows.

The real crime, however, is that NBC fails to alert the cable companies of this change in scheduling. Thus, when you record one of their shows with your DVR, the last joke is cut off. Now, I happen to record all four shows on Thursday, but I watch them out of order.

So this is what my Thursday night viewing consists of:

A) Last joke of Community, almost all of Parks & Recrations

B) Almost all of Community

Then, on Friday, I watch...

C) Last joke of Parks & Recreations, almost all of the Office

D) Last joke of the Office, almost all of 30 Rock.

What gets lost for all eternity...

E) Last joke of 30 Rock.

This problem used to be much worse back when I was saving all my 30 Rocks (I was catching up on past seasons via Netflix).

I could manually add two minutes to each recording, but I don't want to. First, there's no guarantee how much longer each show will run, so it will just be a guess. And since it's a guess, I'd still have to start the next show "on time" just so the fronts don't get cut off. But if i did THAT, then I'd be using both tuners and couldn't watch another channel during that overlap.

Besides all that, I just don't want to do it mannually. That shouldn't be my job. Rather, I actually WANT to enjoy these shows incrementally less to spite NBC. Perhaps one day my interest in these shows will wane enough so I can cut them out of my life completely.

Then NBC will really get what it wants. Because clearly they aren't in the business of retaining customers.