I go shopping the way the Navy Seals go to Pakistan: get in fast, grab what you need, get out. And hopefully you don’t run into anybody while you’re in there.
This is why “Boscoving” is so mystifying. According to a newspaper insert that showed up at my house, Boscoving goes like this: visit Boscov’s three times a week for a month and they’ll give you a meatloaf pan worth $14.99. Your visits are verified by having your flyer stamped, like a passport, to prove you were in the store.
Really? Twelve times? To Boscov’s? For a $14.99 meatloaf pan?
Wait, I have a better idea: how about I visit your store once give you $14.99 and you hand me the meatloaf pan? Then I’ll come back… oh, I don’t know, maybe when I want to buy something else.
And since I’m ranting, let me mention how irksome it is when people try to turn their brand name into a verb, but since we’re inventing new words, let me suggest a definition for Boscoving: doing something ridiculous in return for a worthless reward. Enjoy your meatloaf.
I always enjoy rooting through the $5 DVD bin at Walmart. As it get easier to stream, download, and store films at home we’ll probably see the format disappear — which is too bad because I really like them. Better than VHS tapes, at least…
Anyway, I often see DVDs listed among the things to send to our troops, so I included some cinematic masterpieces in my most recent box of stuff for my son Alex in Afghanistan.
Here’s what’s playing:
28 Days Later / 28 Weeks Later: One disc, two great movies, the first of which was directed by Olympic opening ceremony mastermind Danny Boyle. It features the very worst sort of zombies, those who sprint like Usain Bolt.
Jeremiah Johnson: I first saw this at ten-years-old and it had a profound impact on me. At the time it was one of the coolest movies I’d ever seen, except maybe for The Great Escape and Planet of the Apes.
Superbad: Any teenager with nerdy glasses shall forever be called McLovin.
Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood at his badass best. For those of you who thought Chrysler’s Halftime in America commercial came out of left field, Eastwood plays a retired Detroit autoworker in this flick.
Pineapple Express: Dude…
Stripes: I think the Army has changed a lot since Stripes came out in 1981. What goes on in this movie is probably more like what the Afghan army looks like today. And that’s more sad than funny.
General Electric doesn’t screw around with lightbulbs. Harharhaharhar… oh, I slay me.
Anyway, less than a week after complaining that my five year CFL bulb only lasted two years, the world’s 18th biggest company sent me a coupon that may be exchanged for $8 worth of their fine lighting products.
This came from no less than the world headquarters of GE’s Lighting Division in Cleveland, also home to the company’s Lighting & Electrical Institute.
This may seem like a small thing, but in terms of customer service it’s a real home run. Getting that sort of response to my dumb little complaint is impressive — and it may influence my buying decisions on things that are bigger than light bulbs.
Like a lot of people, I’ve been gradually replacing the light bulbs in my home with CFL bulbs. When one of the old incandescent bulbs goes kaput, one of the new models takes its place.
I’m not going to go out and buy a Prius or anything — but this is a simple thing everyone can do that will reduce energy consumption.
When I first bought CFLs I recall being impressed that they are touted to last five years. “Wow! Five years? That’s amazing!” But being skeptical, I decided to test this product claim, and started writing down — on the base of each bulb — when it was installed.
The bulb in this picture was screwed in during March 2010, and I’m no mathematician, but that ain’t no five years. So what’s an outraged consumer to do? Take it to the internet.
It turns out that GE has an easy way to report problems with its lighting products; next we’ll see if they replace my so called “five year bulb” or issue a refund. Perhaps I can put the money toward a Trivection Oven…
You have to wonder what made them think it was important to put “Ideal for cooking” on this bag, as if cooking the spinach is not something you’d considered before — or maybe other brands of spinach are merely adequate for cooking, but this one is ideal.
If you’re among those just learning that spinach is ideal for cooking, here’s a simple creamed spinach recipe you can try. One note: just be sure you don’t buy the sort of spinach that is not ideal for cooking.
Some people now keep a high tech piece of equipment with their first aid supplies: an automated external defibrillator (AED). Home AEDs are becoming all the rage, but they don’t come cheap. You’ll pay at least $1100 to get the most affordable model, the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator, but who can put a price on living through a sudden cardiac arrest?
If you think this is a good idea, I advise you to BUY NOW because BJ’s Wholesale Club has an amazing deal: order the Phillips HeartStart and they will throw in an electric toothbrush. Yes, you read that correctly.
That may seem like an odd combo — and it certainly caught my attention — but if you think about it, it does make sense. You may never have a heart attack, but you’ll definitely need to brush your teeth. And if the defibrillator doesn’t do the trick, it couldn’t hurt to be minty fresh when they come to cart you away.
Maybe you’ve seen this dog toy called the Humunga Stache? It’s a big black moustache with a ball on the back for a dog to grab in its mouth. When Fido does that, it looks like he has a big huge moustache.
Hahahahahahahahaha. That’s hilarious, isn’t it?
But what’s really funny is when you spot this thing on the rug at 5am, because before coffee and in dim light it looks exactly like a huge steaming pile of dog sh… ummmm…. poop.
The people who make this thing are quick to point out that the Humunga Stache has won several major awards and it’s great fun to see your dog with a giant moustache, but they neglect to mention how much it looks like poop. And this is not just me just me obsessing over dog poop, everybody in our house agrees.
Personally, I think this is the perfect gift for your friends with dogs. It will provide hours of mirth and merriment — and it’s not nearly as slippery as the real thing.
Several people have commented to me this year about the high cost of Christmas trees. This is puzzling.
You wouldn’t complain about paying $50 dollars for an elaborate bouquet of flowers from a florist — but for an eight-foot tree that will stand in your house for a month? Inconceivable!
Maybe it’s easier if we break it down into something we all understand: cost per pound.
My Christmas tree is a cut-your-own from Bob’s Trees (“Millions of Branches to Serve You”) that cost $45. I’m guesstimating here, but let’s say it weighed forty pounds. That breaks down to just $1.12 a pound. If you ask me, $1.12 a pound for an agricultural product that took ten years to grow is a bargain.
Go ahead and do your own calculations — but I don’t think you’ll find the price of your tree to be outrageous, regardless of the numbers you plug in.
I hate to suggest that we can quantify everything strictly by price. It’s hard to factor value into this equation — and that varies from person to person. To me, having that tree is the more important than receiving even a single gift.
But if you think $1.12 per pound is too much, maybe you would be happier with an artificial tree that you can use over and over. No fuss, no mess, and — as I’m sure our anscestors might suggest — no soul.
While I don’t measure my self-worth by having the latest gadgets, my phone is beginning to be an embarrassment.
Next to today’s smart phones, mine is decidedly dumb. It’s not as if I’m walking around with one of those brick-sized walkie talkie looking things, like Michael Douglas had in Wall Street, but it’s a Flintstones phone in a Jetsons universe.
Sure, it makes calls just fine, but as for anything else, forget about it. Even sending a simple text message takes forever. This surprises people who know me as fairly tech savvy, what with all that tweeting and blogging, and such.
It wasn’t so bad before, but now the old-style phones are clearly in the minority. This can be a problem, particularly in the business world. Imagine sitting around the table with some high powered people — perhaps they are potential clients — and you pull out something that looks like a Fisher-Price Friendly Flip. They may not say it, but they are thinking, “How are we going to trust a guy with THAT phone?”
We should remember that keeping a phone in your pocket is a relatively new thing, much less a small computer. The things that would have seemed miraculous 20 years ago are now outdated. I do have one advantage over that guy with the iPhone 4S: If my phone falls in the urinal, I won’t feel bad.
Have you noticed that the grocery store provides disinfectant wipes to clean off the handle of your shopping cart? Now we know why.
A recent study found that 72% of carts tested were contaminated by fecal bacteria. Ack! Let me paint you a filthy, dirty picture: you touch the handle, touch your food, touch the handle, touch some more food, and so on.
I’ve only counted one person actually using those wipes to decon their shopping cart. Me.
Meanwhile, here’s something new: one well known local grocery store now has carts equipped with cup holders. This makes it easier to enjoy a beverage while doing your shopping. I don’t know about you, but I like having a cup of coffee while I cruise up and down the aisles. That’s how I roll.
Here’s the part where we get crazy: that cup holder is awfully close to the handle. You don’t suppose… ah, nevermind. Enjoy your coffee.