The Escape (Video)

So far as I know, I’ve never sat through a nearly 10 minute ad before, much less share one of that length. That changes right now. The above video, produced by BMW Films, was a pre-roll ad on a video on YouTube. I thought at first that it was a movie trailer, and it looked good. Then I realized the ‘trailer’ just kept going. It’s like a mini action movie, with a slight scifi flavor.

Take a little time and enjoy.


Death Cookie Creator Deceased

Jack Chick, creator of the fundamentalist, anti-Catholic, anti-RPB, homophobic, and generally hateful Chick Tracts, is dead.

In New Mexico over a decade ago, while serving as a full-time minister of a small Christian church, I needed to start making pastoral visits to the county jail, and when I went to do the paperwork I had to take along evidence of my ordination, status serving a church, and my driver license (government-issued ID). Jail officials gave me a list of contraband that I should, under no circumstances, take into the jail. Things like knives and guns made perfect sense. I was darkly amused that rosaries had to be entirely made of plastic that would break away easily (so no one would choke another inmate with it). Chick Tracts were also listed, with one in particular being specifically forbidden. It was called ’The Death Cookie.’

When I got back to the church office I did some Googling and found the tract in question online. You can read it hear. Turns out ’The Death Cookie’ is the Eucharistic Host.

I’m the kind of person Jack would have hated. Although I’m straight, I’m a Unitarian Universalist Humanist. That makes me a conspirator with the devil, along with the whole LGBTQ crowd, the atheists, and the religious/political progressives.

Oh Jack, too bad there’s probably nothing like an afterlife. It would be nice if you knew you were wrong.


Jesus is Lucky to Have Us

Not All Apps Are Created Equal

My daughter and I have talked a couple of times recently about how we can do virtually everything through apps. She often takes an Uber or Lyft to or from work. One night last month I took her to see an off-Broadway show. I bought the tickets through TodayTix, and I made reservations for us to have dinner at a restaurant just off Times Square through Open Table. Almost every Friday evening I order dinner delivered through Seamless. Sometimes I order her Chipotle through the restaurants app while we’re on the way to pick it up. Unfortunately, not all apps are created equal, as I was reminded yesterday by Taco Bell. 

My son and I were headed home from his youth group, so we ordered Taco Bell through the official app. I had made certain to his the “I’m here” button that tells them to start making it ahead of time. It took us less than 10 minutes to get there, but when we arrived they said it wasn’t ready. Then they told us they had made it but had to throw it away because we weren’t there when they called out our order.

I’m not kidding, it was 10 minutes. We placed the order at 8:48pm and arrived just a couple of minutes after 9:00pm. This particular Taco Bell location, in Hillside, NJ, is chronically slow. That’s why I ordered ahead of time. They proceeded to make our order. In the meantime I asked for the manager, and I explained the situation to him. He just walked away. Then a couple of employees started trying to explain.

They said that it’s policy that if someone isn’t there when the food is ready, they have to throw it out. One of them explained that the tacos get soggy and people don’t want them after they’ve been sitting around for several minutes. The other one said that I was supposed to hit the “I’m here” button when I arrived in front of the counter. I pointed out to them that in effect that gives someone who uses the app no advantage over someone who doesn’t. If I order through the app but have to get there before it’s made, it’s the same as if I’d walked in off the street and placed the order right there.

They agreed. 

Then, they guy told me that they’re getting ready to offer delivery, and the app will be good for that. I asked him if the tacos wouldn’t get soggy while in the car out for delivery.

He agreed.

The employees apologized to me for the situation, whereas the manager just didn’t want to hear it. Our food was finally ready at 9:30pm. Remember, I ordered at 8:48pm. This isn’t fast food. 

Some businesses are doing quite well with apps. Others apparently just make an app because everyone else is, without considering if it really adds value for the customer.