It was a Spare the AirDay in the Bay Area today. Generally, what that means is that it’s going to be hot with little to no breeze to move the pollution around, and that’s exactly what we got. Fortunately, Alameda doesn’t suffer from the triple digit temperatures that other parts of the Bay Area do. We get a nice breeze off the Bay, even on really hot days like today.

In late February, I tried to use some of my Membership Rewards (a program that American Express cardholders can use to redeem points, one per dollar charged, for stuff) points for a Scientific American subscription. At the time I called, I was told it would be six to ten weeks until I started receiving the magazine. Not having gotten a single issue yet, of course, I decided to call. Well, it turns out that the order I place din February wasn’t placed by American Express until May 24th! I asked the representative who answered my call when I might actually see a physical copy of this magazine I had ordered nearly four months ago now. She said I should see it by the middle of June. When I explained that June15th was this upcoming Thursday, that flustered her a bit (“Must not deviate from party line…”), so she put me on hold. When she came back on,she informed me that it would be the middle of July. Seeing as how this was another war not worth fighting, I just hung-up and shook my head. After all, it’s not easy to order a magazine subscription. Especially when you’re a company that employs over 73,000 people, it can be difficult to spare folks for the simple stuff like customer order fulfillment.