Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mentos and Cola

Ah, the day started out serene enough with a quiet stroll across the bridge between Callicoon and Pennsylvania. From the tranquil look of the Deleware river you would hardly know that a week ago a lot of this town near the river was covered in water.

Scenes From The Bridge

But, as is often the case, serenity doesn't last. Over breakfast I mentioned the recent craze involving mentos and diet cola. Surprisingly enough, this was not common knowledge amongst my companions so, of course, we had to buy a couple bottles of Diet Coke and try it out for ourselves.

Our first attempts, using one liter bottles, did not produce the spectacular results that we had hoped for.

Steven Dropping A Load

Less Than Spectacular Results

Not to be deterred, we decided to restock our supplies and use the larger two liter bottles.

The Gang Gathering

As is natural for a group such as this, we chose the youngest member be our volunteer for the new attempts.

Andy Decked Out For Duty

Our first attempt started slowly enough.

Slow Start

However, we hadn't counted on Andy's conjuring skills.

Andy Doing His Stuff

The final results were most gratifying indeed.

Lift Off

Of course we weren't satisfied with doing this just once so we had to try it out with Diet Pepsi too, and that worked just as well if not better. We also captured the often talked about, but seldom seen, double.

The Elusive Double Geyser

Finally, exhausted from our efforts, we were able to retire for our cake and to continue to celebrate Shirley's birthday.

Happy Birthday Shirley

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Slow Start

I headed up to Callicoon, New York today to visit friends and celebrate the birthday of Shirley Stabbert who wouldn't want her age mentioned but looks mighty good for turning eighty.

Birthday Girl Shirley Being Crowned

Unfortunately I got of to a bit of a slow start due to problems with the Enterprise Car Rental in my neighborhood. I originally planned to pick up the car at 9:00 A.M. and had made reservations over a week ago to do so. I was going to pick up a friend of mine, Shirley is his sister-in-law, before heading up. He was going to be running a bit late because he was coming in from Florida so I called Enterprise at 9:10 A.M. (they open at 9:00 A.M.) to tell them I would be picking up the car at 10:30 P.M. instead. I was informed that they might not have a car available at that time. I said I didn't understand that, I had the car reserved for 9:00 A.M. and would pay for it from that time, just hold it until I got there. I was told they couldn't do this. I then asked to talk to a supervisor.

The supervisor heard me out and said there wouldn't be a problem, there would be a car waiting for me at 10:30 A.M. Well, you can probably guess where this is going. I got to Enterprise at the appointed hour and was told that they had no car available but that I could be driven to another location to pick up a car. I asked what happened to the car I had reserved for 9:00 A.M. and that they were going to hold for me and after a bit of hemming and hawing they admited that they had rented it out. I said I didn't want to go to another location, that they advertised that they could deliver a car to your residence, how about if they just delivered it here and I would pick it up at noon (Enterprise is only a few blocks from where I live). They said that would be fine.

As you can imagine, shortly before noon when I arrived there was still no car. They did call and have someone drive one over though and I finally got my car at 12:30 P.M. To add insult to injury, it only had about 1/8th of a tank of gas so the first thing I had to do was stop at a nearby gas station in downtown Brooklyn where the price of gas was $3.40 a gallon.

Luckily an Avis dealership has opened up nearby so in the future I will probably be doing business with them. Or at least I will check them out to see if I have better luck. Avis also lets you return your car on Sunday whereas Enterprise is closed on Sunday.

I will say that in the past I have never had any problems with Enterprise, except for there policy of sometimes giving you a car with almost no gas in it. And even throughout this set of intereactions everyone, except for the first person that I talked to on the phone, was very polite and friendly. I just don't understand the reasoning behind not having a car available that you have reserved in advance if you can't pick it up on time when you let them know in advance that you are going to be late. I would never use Enterprise at an airport. I imagine if your plane was delayed you could be completely out of luck in terms of having your car waiting for you.

By the way, if you are wondering why I didn't just pick the car up on time and keep it at my place until I needed it, there is absolutely no place to park a car during the week where I live in Downtown Brooklyn. Even the parking lots are filled up by 9:00 A.M.