Wednesday, July 4, 2007

No free lunch?

    There's no free lunch, but there's free dinner. What happened was my friends and I had dinner at a 99 restaurant a few days ago. One of us ordered a steak tips with "sauteed onions and mushrooms"(*1). His steak tips were fine, but his onion was a bit raw and there's only two mushrooms (mushroom halves I believe). He kinda complained his dish to our waitress so she wrote it off from our bill. After he saw the bill and found it out, he said to her that she didn't have to do this, but she said she talked to the manager and he agreed the chef didn't really sauteed the onion and mushrooms. Well, so my friend thanked her and we made sure we gave her a big tip.

    I don't usually complain about my dish, but there's exceptions. One time, I had some kind of fish and the fish was not cooked through. THAT, I had to tell the waitress because it was too hard and it wasn't something I could ignore. Another time was a deli dish. My friend and I was at a deli restaurant and I ordered a corned beef hash with egg or something. At that time, "corned beef hash" was still new to me and I wanted to try it out. After my dish arrived, I took a bite and I was curious about its sour tastes, so I asked our waitress if the dish was supposed to taste that way. She said it's home-made and if I wanted I could get something else, for free I believe. I was really curious if the food went sour or it's just their own special flavor, but she didn't really answer my question and kept saying I could get something else, so I said OK. When I was waiting for my other meal, I overheard two old ladies sitting behind me talking about their "sour" corned beef. I wasn't sure if ther're complaining about it though because they were talking in a low voice.

    I might have had other "free dinners" but I really don't remember. I'm simply not big in getting a free dinner.

(*1)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

大頭照

大頭照拍完後我本來想說這比去郵局拍省4塊錢,但是走出去後才想到我可以到藥房去拍。以前去過一次,那時是大約5塊錢。剛到一家藥房的網站查了一 下,兩張大頭照已經漲到8塊錢了。從很多年前開始這邊的大頭拍就已經是用數位相機現拍現印(我還沒碰過去相館拍,然後是用傳統相機拍攝外加打光甚麼的)。 後來聽朋友說有些連鎖藥房也有提供這種服務,因為很便宜我也去拍了一次。怎麼拍? 就店頭櫃檯邊拉下個白幕,然後店員美眉用數位相機拍,拍好後美眉說這會整張Letter尺寸相片整個印滿,所以會有很多個大頭照,然後我要自己剪裁。反正也才四五塊錢所以無所謂。

接著碰到要換台灣護照。當時照片用的還是台灣格式(些微長方形的,不是美國這邊用的正方形),然後我異想天開想到 Mall 裡頭的投幣式照相亭印出來的就是有些長方形(亭子外頭好像有說明寫說證照可以用),所以我就花了兩塊錢去拍。照出來的效果不是很好,有點過亮泛白,剛好我又是穿淺色衣服,所以拿到波士頓辦事處那時,辦事小姐直說不行,後來還是在我的堅持下收下我的照片。事後拿到我的護照才發現護照上的人頭照根本是低解析度"線條式"的陰影列印,就算我拿上好的大頭照也是白搭,真不知道這些人在想甚麼...

接下來大約兩次需要大頭照時我是到 Mall 裡的相館拍的。大概是太少拍,我居然忘了藥房那邊有便宜的... Anyway,反正拍好順便逛 Mall,我也沒去特別注意細節。這次拍大頭照時也是去同一家相館。我特意留意了一下細節:
  1. 拍攝地點是入口邊的一根柱子。柱子上貼了個白幕,然後前頭擺了個小凳子,要拍時就坐在那,然後店員也不用刻意站幾步之外直接就在短距離內用數位相機拍。
  2. 照片相關規定店員也不清楚,所以我要另外提醒她"眼鏡鏡片有沒有反光?" 她這時候才看了一下相機上的LCD小螢幕然後說"有喔,你最好把眼鏡拿掉"。我說"不行喔,規定是說眼鏡要留著"。
  3. 店員美眉拍好後就直接把 memory stick 拿到她旁邊的 kiosk 開始編輯。這一步我之前都沒去注意,所以她在操作的時候我刻意看了一下。她先把照片調亮些,然後換功能,這時螢幕出現兩條平行線,她把我的頭頂和下巴和這兩條線對好後就完成了(我本來想問照片上我身邊的店裡背景不除掉嗎?)約十秒二十秒照片印出來了,大大的上下並排的照片,然後店員用 2x2 的剪裁器直接把需要的部分切下來(難怪可以不用理那些背景)就OK啦!
  4. 店員美眉還可以再甜美多微笑一點。 



拿到美國護照後我看了上頭的照片,哈!也是那種低解析度的印刷。