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Friday, September 07, 2012

Just Over an Hour

I went to the website for the upcoming "Pickin in the Panhandle" BBQ event.  Once I turned off my speaker to stop the loud banjo music, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this event was located "just over an hour from Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD":

Let's take a closer look.  Here are the directions from Washington, DC.  Note that the fastest route is over 2 hours!

Here are the directions from Baltimore, MD  Note that the fastest route is again about 2 hours.

This is not even counting the likely traffic for all of the people traveling to this small town.  These people have no respect for my time.  I grade this marketing three smelly pigs bottoms.

Friday, August 31, 2012

For the Children

Lately it seems that anything can be done for the protection of children.

Case in point #1.  Our Elementary school newsletter never lists the last names of students.  So you get a ridiculous article like this: "The following students have been selected as Student of the Month for September: John B., Ashley G., and Joseph S."  Seriously, why bother?  I have no idea who these people are.  Are we really protecting them by not listing last names?  Are there a bunch of pedophiles who have a directory of last names and addresses, and are waiting for the school newsletter to come out each month?  I really feel sorry for these poor kids.

Ok, item #2 is the following article I recently saw on a local website:

So it is suspicious now to watch children at play?  What ever happened to the old guy at the park feeding the pigeons?  I hope when I get old, they do not have laws about watching children play, or taking pictures of random people on the street.  All I can say is, if Norman Rockwell were alive today he would be serving consecutive life sentences for observing youth.

Saturday, August 04, 2012


A few years ago, we ordered a Groupon for a maid service.  We made an appointment and waited for them to show up.  Except they never did.  We finally got a hold of them and they said they didn't have the staff to cover their appointments (?) and we got a refund.

Forgetting about the above experience, a few months ago I decided to purchase a Specialicious offer for a garage door tune-up.  I called the guy (Ready4Repair  703-585-0422 and made an appointment for July 30.  The guy never showed up.  Calls went directly to voice mail.  E-mail was not answered.  Finally, he called back and we re-scheduled for August 2.  Guy never showed up again.  Calls went directly to voice mail.  E-mail was not answered.  Finally, he called back and we re-scheduled for August 3.  First thing in the morning, so there could be no issues that crop up.  Guy never showed up again (third time).  Calls went directly to voice mail.  E-mail was not answered.

Refund from Specialicious requested.

Moral of story - never order something from any of these coupon sites unless it is a company that you are personally familiar with

Sunday, May 13, 2012

XBOX for the Mathematically Illiterate

Microsoft recently announced a new "subsidized" plan to sell the 4 GB Xbox 360 model with a Kinect sensor for $99 and a required 2-year subscription to Xbox Live for $15/month, which cunningly comes out to $360 in subscription fees.

Total cost for the "subsidized" system + 2 year subscription:  $459.

The big catch here is that you can get the same system for ~$290 and an Xbox Live subscription for ~$50/year.

Total cost of non-subsidized system: $390.

I'd go with the $70 cheaper non-subsidized system.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rave: Lupine Dog Collars

I recent purchased a dog collar from Lupine at Webers Pet Supermarket.  I was impressed with Lupine right away because I had been searching for a while for a good Martingale style collar.  This was the first one I found that I liked.  Lupine advertises that their collars are completely guaranteed, even if chewed.  After a few weeks, my dog decided to "snack" on the collar.  I dropped the chewed remains into an envelope, mailed it to Lupine and had a replacement within a couple of weeks.  Lupine Rocks!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Security Questions

The security questions are getting more ridiculous every time I sign up at a new banking website. Here are the latest questions I had to answer:

Observe that I had to select and answer three questions, one from each list. Note the error message that said I must select one question from every list. The EASIEST questions I could find were:
  • Who was your favorite childhood friend?
  • What was you childhood phone number?
  • Where were you New Years 2000?
Even if I could remember where I was on New Years 2000 (I can't), how would I possibly describe it using exactly the same phrase multiple times?

And look at the other choices for that third question:
  • Name of your least favorite teacher
  • Nickname you gave your favorite grandparent
  • Where do you want to retire?
  • What is your dream car?
  • If you won a million dollars, what is the most expensive purchase you would make?
  • What is the name of your most memorable stuffed animal?
If this wasn't on a banking site, I would think it was some sort of cruel joke.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Costco's Flexible Pricing

The two images below show Costco's two different prices for the same product on the same day.  Sure, the packaging looks different, but after careful inspection of the ingredients, quantity, etc., it's the same product.  Of course, shortly after these pictures were taken, the $8.99 packaged version was discontinued.

I want to skewer the person who came up with this pricing trick!