Dear Amer­i­can Air­lines,

We all know it is sil­ly to expect legroom, food, or even snacks on long flights, but it was rather pre­sump­tu­ous of me to expect that after spend­ing only USD $1,070 on air­fare I would be enti­tled to a clean seat on your air­craft. For­tu­nate­ly, when I noti­fied your help­ful flight atten­dant that the pre­vi­ous occu­pant had smeared sticky choco­late all over my chair, he rose above and beyond the call of duty by thrust­ing a hand­ful of paper tow­els and alco­hol wipes from the gal­ley at me, cour­te­ous­ly declar­ing, “You can clean it off with this.”

As your cab­in announce­ment indi­cates, you know I have my choice of air­lines. So I would like to say: thank you, Amer­i­can Air­lines, for offer­ing me those won­der­ful paper tow­els com­plete­ly free of charge!

January 1, 2010 January 1, 2010 open-letters by Scott 5 Comments

Dear Oma­ha Steaks,

Thank you for the enve­lope labeled “Your Gift Cer­tifi­cate is Enclosed!” Unfor­tu­nate­ly, you for­got to enclose a gift cer­tifi­cate. I assume this is a sim­ple cler­i­cal over­sight. Addi­tion­al­ly, should I assume that I “could nev­er on earth get at any super­mar­ket” steaks like yours because you fail to list the USDA grade on any of your prod­ucts?

January 1, 2010 January 1, 2010 open-letters by Scott 2 Comments

Dear Vio­lin Play­er Who Just Moved In Next Door,

Remem­ber last year, after Fat Video Game Guy Sprawled Naked On Bed moved in, when I decreed that, for the love of God, every­one needs to keep their cur­tains drawn? Of course not—you didn’t live here yet—but I take it back.

Or this spring, when Shouts At Sob­bing Wife For Being So Stu­pid moved in, and I decid­ed that peo­ple in your build­ing need to either hur­ry up and get divorced or close their damn win­dows? You missed that too, but I take it back.

I don’t know who you are, but the sound of your vio­lin echo­ing through the court­yard makes me hap­py. Keep prac­tic­ing, and keep that win­dow open.

September 5, 2009 September 5, 2009 open-letters by Scott 1 Comment

Dear Ana­log IC Design­ers,

I know you think it’s ter­ri­bly clever to squeeze 20 fea­tures into an 8-pin pack­age, but please—PLEASE!—stop com­bin­ing oth­er func­tions (stand­by, shut­down, etc.) with the invert­ing input pin. You prob­a­bly think it’s total­ly cool if the cur­rent flow­ing through my loop com­pen­sator briefly trig­gers over­volt­age pro­tec­tion at turn-on. But did you think that, because of the clever way I’m using your chip, it pre­vents the damn sup­ply from com­ing up at cold tem­per­a­tures? Of course you didn’t!

September 5, 2009 September 5, 2009 open-letters by Scott 3 Comments