Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bath and Body Works Shea Cashmere Body Lotion--defective bottle

My wife tried to return a defective bottle of Shea Cashmere Body Lotion to Bath and Body Works yesterday.

The bottle is transparent, with a push button dispenser cap. Somehow, the stem on the dispenser within the bottle snapped in half.

The response on the part of the Bath and Body Works store manager in the Moorestown Mall (Moorestown NJ) was to 'turn it upside down'.

Hardly a suitable response, don't you think? How about an offer to replace the item, or at least a store credit?

As to her suggested solution?

Guess what? That doesn't work. The lotion is so thick that it doesn't go anywhere when you turn it upside down. That's probably why there's a push button dispenser.

As the kids say, duh.

Also, as the kids say, Bath and Body Works sucks.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Retrofitness Moorestown

If you are planning on working out at Retrofitness in Moorestown today, watch out--it's about 100° degrees in there, and the air is 'not on'.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ritz 16 in Vorhees---Incident on Saturday, April 25th

Well, despite our previous poor experience at the Ritz Vorhees 16 on April 18th, my wife and I ventured out there once again on April 25th---this time with the assurance from Mark Elson, City Manager for New Jersey and Pennsylvania, that there would be increased 'usher patrols' in place based on my email to him last week.

We went to a 9:35 showing of the Soloist. We got there early, stood in line, and were admitted to the theater (Theater #9 I believe) at approximately 9:00. We sat in the very last row of the theater, chatted a bit, and I ate my popcorn anxiously as the theater filled, anxiously awaiting the noisy, rude and inconsiderate patron who would undoubtedly sit right across from me.

At approximately 9;15, a man of about 25 and his girlfriend made their way a few rows to the right and down from us--he proceeded to serenade his girlfriend with some kind of romantic tune (I couldn't make it out), About 5 minutes later, 4 teenage boys made their way up to the last row, and somehow, I knew this would be the prize winning group.

I was right, as they chatted and texted before the lights went out, during the previews, and during the movies.

One of the young men, apparently not wishing to disturb the crooner and his girlfriend in front of him, decided to direct his cell phone to his left--thereby shining it into the eyes of a middle aged man on the aisle, who after a few minutes of this crap, suddenly snapped his fingers at the kid, and told him he was disturbing him and told him to shut it off. Amazingly, the kid did so--at least for the next hour.

Of course, no usher was ever seen in the theater, and I half expected one to come up and escort the man out, not the kids.

Once again, I implore the Ritz 16 to do something about this---an announcement prior to the movie that cell phone usage will not be tolerated would help. Having an usher come in once in a while (as promised by Mr. Elson) would also help.

As for me, I'm getting closer and closer to calling it quits.

My wife and I easily spend $1,500 at the Ritz each year ($18 per week x 52 weeks, plus $12 in snacks). A big screen TV with some theater chairs in our basement may be the next best thing for us.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ritz 16 in Vorhees responds

I posted an email last week that I sent to the Ritz 16 management concerning rude talking and texting patrons in their theater. I received a very fast response, and I wanted to post it here.

Mr. Smiley,

I am in receipt of your e-mail and was disappointed to hear about your recent experience. I apologize of any inconvenience you may have experienced.

We do make usher patrols every show and every auditorium. Unfortunately many times, disruptive patrons discontinue their behavior while we are present and resume when we leave. If we are notified by a patron of a disturbance we are always happy to assist. I do understand your frustration and I will address with the staff to increase usher patrols.

Your reference to the “canned statement” was an announcement prior to the movie which was displayed by prior ownership and has not been on screen since May 2007.

In reference to your question about head phones, I am not sure if you are referring to our Assistive Listening Devices for the hearing impaired? These work on a special frequency and usually only work with our headsets.

It is our goal to provide the very best in the movie going experience. We always welcome comments from our patrons such as yourself which helps enable us to reach this goal.


Mark L. Elson
City Manager
NJ-PA Region

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A letter to the Ritz 16 in Voorhees New Jersey

I just emailed this to the Customer Service email address of National Amusements, owners of the Ritz 16 in Voorhees, New Jersey.

My wife and I go to your Voorhees New Jersey location every Saturday evening to see a movie, and at least half the time we are bothered by loud, inconsiderate patrons who either talk during the movie, narrate the entire movie, or talk or text on cell phones.

Prior to the previews, you display a canned statement indicating that we should make the manager aware of anything detracting from our movie going experience, but why should I interrupt my viewing of the movie to report someone who will most likely pick a fight with me for tattling on him.

In the old days, ushers patrolled movies to ensure that patrons were behaving properly.

I'm not sure you can do that easily with 16 theaters, but something needs to be done.
Perhaps you can have quiet shows, where it's understood that absolutely no talking will be tolerated.

Or quiet sections, 5 or 10 rows in the back reserved for people who can behave.

Or perhaps post a phone number where bothered patrons, like me, can text a message to management and tattle on an offending patron anonymously.

By the way, I would be glad to pick up one of those sets of earphones, but I would prefer to use a sanitary set of my own.

If I purchase a set of Bose speakers, would they work in the Ritz 16 in Voorhees?

John Smiley

People talking in movies---Part 3

Getting back to my point about people talking in movies.

Ritz 16 Voorhees, Saturday, April 18th.

Reasonably looking intelligent young couple, she wearing a Princeton athletic shirt of some kind, and what appears to be a Princeton baseball cap. Her boyfriend next to her.

Next to them what I would guess are her parents, with complementary '46' jackets (not sure of the significance of the number '46').

I guess they decided to sit in the back row of the Ritz in the belief that it's the 'talking' section--which is what the girl and her mother did for the entire movie (State of Play).

Several times during the movie, her father received either phone calls or text messages on his cell phone. Rather than disturb his wife with the accompanying bright light, he held the phone in the aisle so that it could shine in my wife's eyes.


People really need to consider those around them.

Of course, the Ritz makes this big deal prior to showing previews that patrons should feel free to report anything that makes their movie experience less than ideal.

How about providing me a phone number that I can text during the movie to report the morons talking?

People talking in movies---Part 2

I wanted to rant and rave about my movie experience at the Ritz on Saturday, April 18th--but before I do that, let me post this letter from David R. Ruffling that was printed in Saturday's Philadelphia Daily News---it expresses very well what I think of people who talk in movies...here's the letter

I really enjoy Solomon Jones's Saturday columns.

I especially related to them, as was the case with "Loudmouth Noise that Annoys."

But he forgot to mention one subset of loudmouths, perhaps the most notorious of them all---the ignoramuses who have conversations in movie theaters with their dates/husbands/wives while a movie is in progress, or the people who feel compelled to do their own running narration of the movie out loud. (Subject for a future column?)

Keep those fine articles coming.

David R. Ruffing, Phoenixville

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cinnaminson Bagel Shop

My wife loves those cards that vendors provide you as a way of getting your business.

You know the kind, you buy something and get it punched--get 10 punches and you get something free.

Rita's Water Ice has them.

Saladworks in Delran has them.

Even the small bagel shop in Cinnaminson (near the Wine Cellar) has them.

Yesterday my wife ordered a chicken wrap, which was being prepared, and the owner rang her up---when he found out she had a full card of punches, and therefore was entitled to a free wrap, he went back to the girl making her chicken wrap, and substituted one for the one she was making.

It was easily the smallest one she had ever gotten there. Ordinarily, the chicken wraps are large enough for her to share hers with me---when she got home, I asked her where the other half was. It was that small.

It was also severely lacking on one major ingredient--chicken. It would have taken a magnifying glass to see any in it.

Great way to treat a loyal customer Mr. Owner.

Why bother with these frequent buyer cards if that's the way you are going to treat a frequent customer.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Catholic Easter Service

I want to thank all of the people I didn't recognize who honored me with their presence at yesterday's 11AM Mass.

It was nice of you to attend the Easter Service, and I'm sure everyone was elated that you were there.

It would have been nice had you to stayed beyond Communion--the sound of the doors clanging shut while I was receiving Communion was a bit distracting.

See you next year.

Moron sighting of the week

I spent a great deal of time sitting in my car on Saturday (in the rain) watching my daughter's soccer team.

In front of me was a 'cool dad' from the other team bragging about how he provides his underage kids with alcohol so they can learn what it's about.

This man is a moron.

Providing alcohol to underage kids is stupid and against the law, and he should spend a few nights in jail to lose that coolness.

I'm sure his kids will have every opportunity to learn what it's about when they turn 21 (or earlier if they go to a 'cool college").

Scholarship Essays

Whoever decided that scholarships should be decided by essays?

What about a proven record of scholarship?

Why do we have standardized tests and keep track of GPA's, attendance, and discipline records if scholarship winners are determined by the quality of their parents writing :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Words---Compassion vs Sympathy

Is there a difference between compassion and sympathy? Would you rather be described as a compassionate person or a sympathetic person.

Here's the definition of compassion (from dictionary.com)

"a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering."

Here's the definition of sympathy (from dictionary.com)

"harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another."

Furthermore, Dictionary.com states that sympathy is broader than compassion and empathy--which tend to focus on sorrow and distress.

"Sympathy, compassion, pity, empathy all denote the tendency, practice, or capacity to share in the feelings of others, especially their distress, sorrow, or unfulfilled desires. Sympathy is the broadest of these terms, signifying a general kinship with another's feelings, no matter of what kind."

Moe's Deli--Frankford Avenue. No hot dogs?

I rarely eat lunch, but my wife and daughter convinced me to join them for lunch at Moe's Deli in Northeast Philadelphia.

Moe's is one of the few places in Philadelphia to offer Texas Tommy's---hot dog, cheese on a roll.

A few minutes after giving the waitress my order, she informed me that they are out of hot dogs. Are you kidding me?

Last time I ordered a Texas Tommy at Moe's, they used my hot dog for a children's platter for a party that came in 10 minutes after us.

I'm giving up--I won't be back.

I had a bowl of soup (paid $4 for it), then walked next door and got a pretzel at the Philly Pretzel Factory.

By the way, across the street, the Mayfair Diner is advertising Early Bird Dinners. Again, are you kidding me? Times are bad, but Early Bird Dinners to attract customers to that landmark.

Is the end in sight for the Mayfair Diner?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Canon Camera Powershot A95

My Canon Camera Powershot A95 suddenly stopped working 2 weeks ago---everything in the view finder was blurry, and the pictures were the same way.

I was checking some reviews on Amazon.com and someone had posted this link


indicating that the camera may be subject to recall.

I called Canon, and they told me to ship it to them (at their expense.)

I received good news today indicating that Canon will fix the camera at no charge to me.

Dear JOHN :

We have received your equipment for evaluation and repair. Based on our initial examination, we will start the necessary repairs at no charge to you. You can expect the repair to be completed and returned back to you within approximately 7 business days* from the date shown above. There is no need to respond to this notice.Please note that in the unlikely event that any additional internal damage is found due to liquid/water, sand, corrosion, battery leakage or impact (such as dropping the unit), a revised estimate will be sent for your authorization, since these conditions are specifically excluded from warranty coverage.

Thank you for purchasing Canon products and for allowing us this opportunity to serve you.

Best Regards,Canon Factory Service Center