Which Tampa Bay grocery/department stores are open on Thanksgiving Day?

Sure, Creative Loafing may have published a list like this (in fact, that’s where I got this information), but my list is in alphabetical order, easier to read, doesn’t list stores that are closed, and gives you maps!

Grocery store Thanksgiving Day hours Tampa Bay locations
Earth Fare 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Map
Fresh Market 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Map
Sprouts 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Map
Target 5 p.m. – 1 a.m. Map
Walmart 6 a.m. – 11 p.m. Map
Winn Dixie 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Map


You may also find this handy: 10 Emergency Thanksgiving Sides You Can Throw Together in Minutes.


“Distracted boyfriend” meets “Baby Yoda”


I survived my trip to DC, but my suitcase didn’t

Click the photo to see it at full size.

When I arrived back in Tampa after a weekend visit to DC, I grabbed my suitcase from the baggage conveyor belt and immediately noticed a big crack and gouge mark down its side. Then, once I got it onto its wheels, it became quite clear that all the wheels weren’t there:

Click the photo to see it at full size.

This happened to me a number of years ago. Back then, the airline — United, unsurprisingly — refused to help out or take responsibility for my bag. This time, it was different.

I remembered reading an article from earlier this year that said that most people don’t make a claim for lost or damaged luggage. A quick search later, I found it — Travel nightmares: What to do if an airline damages your checked luggage — and it turned out that “most people” meant 87% of passengers surveyed by the passenger compensation service company AirHelp. Here’s why:

  1. They didn’t think they could get compensation for damaged luggage.
  2. They didn’t know their rights.
  3. They had no idea how to file a claim.

Here’s the thing: If your checked luggage is damaged in the time between when you check it in and when you get it from the baggage conveyor, the airline is responsible for repairing it or reimbursing you. The liability limit is $3,500 within the U.S., or $1,600 internationally (the international limits was established in 1999 at the Montreal Convention, which unified international airline rules).

The trick is to file the claim right away. You may be tempted to call them after you’ve left the airport and gone to your destination (especially if that destination is home after a long trip), but most airlines have a rule that a claim has to be filed within four hours. If your baggage is damaged, don’t leave the airport without filing a claim.

I went to the Southwest luggage office, and they were quite helpful. After a quick inspection of my damaged suitcase, they looked up the replacement cost on Amazon. They offered me a choice:

  1. A check for $120, or
  2. A $200 voucher for Southwest.

I like flying Southwest, but I don’t do it all the time. Besides, I had the Third Law of Money in mind (see below), so I went with the $120 check. They printed it out immediately, and after signing a couple of release forms, I was on my way. Thanks for handling this so quickly and nicely, Southwest!

Things to know

What to do if an airline damages your bag

  1. Go to the baggage claim office immediately. The policy will depend on the airline, but you’ll have hours to report a damaged baggage claim for a domestic flight and days for an international flights. Things also work better if you make the claim in person with your freshly-damaged bag. Better still, some airlines have replacement bags on hand.
  2. Chill and be polite. Losing your temper won’t help, and will more than likely work against you.
  3. Keep your baggage tags. The airline will need them in order to process the claim.
  4. Know the approximate value of your bag and where you purchased it to give you some negotiating leverage in case of reimbursement. Look up the replacement cost on Amazon as a starting point.

Damaged baggage policies at various airlines

The Three Laws of Money

  1. More money is better than less money. I’m sure some of you pedantic types will readily cite exceptions to this rule, but you know what I mean by this.
  2. Money now is better than money later. This is a pithy summary of the time value of money.
  3. Real money is better than fake money. The more places that will accept a kind of money, the more “real” that kind of money is. A $120 check, once cashed, can be spent anywhere; a Southwest voucher can only be spent on Southwest flights and expires within a year.

I’m celebrating a neuroscientist friend’s achievements in Washington DC this weekend

Today, I’m going to this city…

…and more specifically, this building…

…to attend this event…

…because one of the awardees is a friend of mine from all the way back in high school:

Here’s André’s writeup:

Dr. André Fenton, is a Professor of Neural Science at New York University. His research focus is molecular, neural, behavioral, and computational aspects of memory. He studies how the brain stores experiences as memories, and how the expression of knowledge activates information that is relevant without activating what is irrelevant. Dr. Fenton’s lab recordings of electrical brain activity are elucidating the physiology of cognitive control, learning to learn, and cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, intellectual disability and autism.

In an effort to integrate investigations and understanding across levels of biological organization, the Fenton Laboratory uses genetic, molecular, electrophysiological, imaging, behavioral, engineering, and theoretical methods, to investigate these fundamental and interrelated issues in neuroscience.

Dr. Fenton and his colleagues identified PKMzeta as the first molecule that maintains the persistence of memories in the brain, a discovery recognized by Science Magazine as one of the 10 most important breakthroughs in all of science and technology published in 2006.

Dr. Fenton founded the Bio-Signal Group Corp., which developed and commercialized an FDA-approved portable, wireless, and easy to use platform for obtaining medical quality EEGs anywhere, anytime, and for everyone. It is being used in innovative clinical applications, including emergency medicine, space exploration, and underserved clinics in Africa. He co-hosted NOVA Wonders on PBS, and is now developing a way to detect and warn about concussion.

Here’s the “Meet André Fenton” segment from NOVA Wonders:

We’re having a “boys’ weekend” as a group of us from high school congregate in DC to cheer André on at the awards dinner tonight, followed by touring around DC tomorrow. There may be some drinks involved.

Congratulations and well done, André! We’ll see you tonight!


This morning’s view from our front yard

Click the photo to see it at full size.

We’re on a corner lot — this is the view from one side of the front yard, looking eastward down our street. Our street has a lovely canopy formed by oak trees, and it’s probably a contributor to Tampa’s being one of the world’s top cities when it comes to tree cover.


A “Transformers G1” take on the “Woman yelling at cat” meme

Of course it would be Starscream (and Ravage as the cat). I love how they switched out the food on the table with energon cubes.

Thanks to Todd Lamothe for the find!


Competing theories of the case

Editorial cartoon comparing Adam Schiff’s case for impeachment (Trump - Ukraine - Bribe) vs. Devin Nunes’ defense of Trump, which cites multiple conspiracy theories including the Deep State, Fake News, the CIA, Hillary Clinton, Pizzagate, George Soros, and so on.

Click the image to see it at full size.