The Soapbox Archives:
I was out shopping with some good friends at the Army Barracks on Mass Ave near Berkeley looking for something I could use for Halloween (it'll be the first time I've ever been motivated to even think about something for Halloween!).
Anyways, I just wanted to say that the Sunday crew there must have provided the best customer service I've seen anywhere. Perhaps it was the fact that we were a group of people hell-bent on *buying* something that motivated them, but they went above and beyond to call *all* their stores to find the exact products we were looking for. They didn't push for the immediate sale or tell us that what we saw was all they had. Yeah, that's what it means to take care of the customer.
Don't write to a dance organizer and ask if the band is any good. There's only one right answer to that question ("yes, they're great for dancing!") so if they give that answer, you're no better off. All you'd be doing is wasting the dance promoter's time.
If you don't know the band, go on the web. Look up the band and you might find their songs online. That's the reason why I try to include band websites when making additions to the calendars. Ask your friends if they've heard them before; I'm more likely to trust what friends say than the words of the organizer.
Every once in a while, someone gives me the idea that I should figure out a way to make money off this website. For instance, someone justed asked me what it'd cost to highlight their listing in the calendar with a colored background. For some reason, I don't think that's a good idea or I can't do it in a way that I feel is "tasteful". I certainly wouldn't want to do something like Tony Hornik's Dancing list.
Perhaps banner ads might be appropriate. I rejected this idea a while ago because I'm not sure if it's ethical to turn away ads for venues I don't like, but that notion might not be relevant here. I'm primarily a swing/lindyhop dancer so I wouldn't want this website flooded with ballroom ads. On the other hand, it might get the attention of those who don't bother to send me their information.
The sponsor list was intended to get people to support this website, yet limit it to venues I supported. Being able to turn away someone who's been a jackass to me for the last 15 years was worth the wait now that I have something they want. Perhaps it might make some dance organizers hesitate a little before being mean to a dance customer. I don't know if it's gotten anyone else to be nicer to me, though.
At this time, I'm not interested in commercializing this website; however, if anyone has any ideas either way that they'd care to share, please write to me.
As public service announcement, I'd like to remind you to check your car's tires' pressure. If you remember your high school chemistry, the pressure for a fixed volume of air goes down as the temperature drops. I just had to put air in my parents' tires; they were at just 25 psi instead of the normal 30 psi and it's gonna get colder.
I think that it'd be nice if the police departments would send out traffic details to their local schools every day (if they don't already do that) to not only ensure the students' safety but to make sure the *parents* behaved themselves. Some older schools were built in neighborhoods during a time when there weren't that many cars out there and when parents would walk their kids to and from school every day.
These days parents are more likely to do "drive-by dropoffs" where they'd clog the residental streets to either drop off or pick up their kids. Sometimes they block off people's driveways in order to wait for their kids or even worse, they *park* in people's driveways. Sure, they could park around the corner and walk a few minutes down the block but I guess they're too important to have to be inconvenienced.
It'd be nice if there was some program to modify the areas around the schools to ensure that there's a safe and convenient place for parents to drop off and pick up their kids. By convenient, I mean convenient for the local residents so they don't have to wait for people to get out of their driveway in order to put their car in their own driveway. Having police details move parents along would be a reasonable alternative.