Monday, July 26, 2010

Fine Print

I know I've included a link to the angry customer letter to Proctor & Gamble about Always pads and their "Have a Happy Period" slogan before, but here it is again. I'm including this link because I've never felt more connected to this woman in my life...however, I'm not [currently] irritated with feminine hygiene (although I have spoken out on the subject before). The other day, Amy Jo and I hit up Office Depot because we're in the process of puppy-proofing the house before Lola (my new puppy!) arrives. We're trying to cover up all the various cords so that's why we were looking at an Office supply store. Although we didn't find what we went in for, I did find a portable external harddrive. I had a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase, which would've made the product about $110 or so. But when I got to the counter, I was told that the coupon did not apply to technology.

Am I the only one who is sick of this fine print bs? If I had a nickel for every time I wasn't allowed to use an alleged "coupon" on something, I'd have enough money to completely eliminate the need for coupons. This has happened one too many times. Office Depot was the straw that broke the camel's back. I looked at Amy Jo and said, "They may have caught me in just the right mood to get an angry letter." I was already writing this letter in my head when I discovered my receipt told me that Office Depot wanted to hear from me. Excellent. Here's what I wrote:
First of all, I should point out that I made this purchase a good 12 hours ago and I'm still pissed.

My problem is not with the specific store; all the employees were friendly, helpful, etc. My problem is with the Office Depot corporation. I'm a teacher and a member of the Star Teacher Rewards program. And if that's not enough, I LOVE office supplies. I've enjoyed being a part of the Star Teacher program, I receive notices about sales and various coupons I THOUGHT I could use. If it weren't for the coupons, I wouldn't go to Office Depot--your prices are FAR from the best. To be quite frank, I find many of your prices to be quite ballsy. It's paper--not diamonds.

Today, I went into Office Depot with a $10 off a purchase of $50 or more coupon. I've received several of these and with school about to start, I was planning on making good use of them. Today I was looking at portable external harddrives and was pleased to find what seemed to be a great one. The price was $119. It seemed like a good deal, and it more than met the requirements of my coupon. Imagine my outrage and irritation when I got to the register and discovered I couldn't use my coupon.

"This coupon can't be used on technology purchases," the cashier told me. "Well, of course it can't," I muttered. Because why wouldn't a coupon come with conditions? Why would a company reward a member of a program with a coupon that could be used on just any purchase? That's just silly.

That's the problem people have with big businesses. You trick us into thinking that you're being generous, only to continue screwing us in the end. Here's a novel concept: if you don't really want to give someone $10 off a purchase, maybe don't send them a coupon. It's not hard. Just don't send the coupon. Not sending coupons is one of the easiest things to do, I do it every day.

In addition to being a teacher, I also have a degree in business. So let's think about this from a business perspective. Today, you were able to keep $10. Good for you. Now tomorrow and the days to come are another story entirely. I just started teaching. There are years and thousands of dollars of office supply purchases in my future. So today's $10 gain is more of a long-term loss when I take my business elsewhere.

Now, I know that I'm probably not going to put a dent in your profits. I also know that whomever is reading this [if anyone] is not the Office Depot President and is in no way connected to prices or coupon exclusivity. I'm aware that my threat to take away my business is ridiculously cliche; and I don't care. It feels good to finally tell someone what I think about companies who behave like this.

Ironically, guess what I'm going to get by filling out this survey? Another $10 off a $50 purchase coupon. That's great, because the one I have right now is about to expire and apparently not good on half the items in the store. So why don't you do me a favor and hold onto that coupon, because I'm certain anything I'd want to buy wouldn't meet the purchase qualifications.
I'm adding the elimination of all fine print to my list of campaign promises should I ever run for President. I also plan on making a campaign promises page on this site so I can keep track of all my brilliant promises.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Brake for Blogs

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't understand why people put stuff on their cars. I should point out that it was very hard not to end that sentence with, "man, I love being a Turtle." TMNT references aside, I always see strange bumper stickers, etc. on people's cars and I just don't get it. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE reading ridiculous bumper stickers.

I feel strongly about a lot of things, but not to the point where I need everyone behind me to know about it. I will admit, I just recently put a Georgetown College Alumni sticker on my car...but I've now got 2 degrees from that place, a small Tiger sticker felt appropriate. I'm much more likely to purchase a bumper sticker and tape it up to the fridge or my "command center" at work. That way, I can explain my viewpoints to people and force them to listen to me (not to mention hear myself talk). Anyway, I saw 2 humorous car accessories today that I feel compelled to discuss.

The first was a conservative bumper sticker:
I don't have much to say about this...but when I saw it as I walked into the hair salon I couldn't help but think, "I'm pretty sure everyone still has all those things." Am I wrong? That was rhetorical, I'm not wrong...I rarely am. Other than making a mental note to tell Amy Jo about that bumper sticker so she could mutter her favorite insult (Tea-Partier) that's all the thought I gave that one.

I had been planning to blog about this ever since the moment I saw it this afternoon. And when I made it my Facebook status, people "liked" the bejesus out of it, so that sealed the deal.
The other interesting thing I saw today was a license plate frame. I should go ahead and explain that I've never fully gotten the "I brake for this and that" paraphernalia. They're usually ridiculous; it's almost never an animal you see on the road. "I Brake for Moose," who doesn't brake for a moose? Where do you live that the moose to car ratio is so intense that it requires a political stance?

I'd say that the majority of the population brakes for any animal on the road. The slogans make it sound as though everyone else on the road is just running things over like crazy. If it's on the road and in my way, I will almost always brake for it. Have you ever seen one of those stickers and completely disagreed? "Hey, check this asshole out, he brakes for zebras! Zebras can suck it, I'll run 'em all down! I'm gonna follow this guy and run over all the zebras he brakes for!" I'm pretty sure that sentence has never happened in real life. I think the only time I'd ever have that mindset would be the day I see the "I Brake for Hitler" bumper sticker.

Back to the license plate frame. "I Brake for Trains". I was unaware that there was another option. In a car v. train scenario, you can either brake or die. That's it. A car cannot run a train over...a car can, however, ram into the side of the train and endanger the lives of everyone involved. I never thought I needed to advertise the fact that I will brake for trains, but apparently I do.

You read it here first, I brake for trains. I'm also pro-puppy, firmly against cell phone usage in movie theatres and like ice cream. Sorry to get so controversial.


Yesterday I stumbled upon a CSI marathon on Spike and immediately began watching. I'm so used to watching things on the DVR and fast-forwarding through the commercials that I kept getting confused...not to mention irritated. And speaking of irritation, I kept seeing promos for the show Pros vs. Joes. I think it's where regular people have to play sports against professionals or something, I don't really care. Normally, the mere existance of a show doesn't upset me (unless it's on FOX News), but Pros vs. Joes had me pissed off.

Apparently, an upcoming episode of Pros vs. Joes will feature a "fallen sports icon": Michael Vick. Apparently, Michael Vick can win back our love and admiration by participating on some dumb-ass show. I'm absolutely appalled that the show would include that douchebag.

Michael Vick was convicted of financing and profitting from an illegal dog-fighting ring. He also admitted to assisting in the "destruction" of poor-performing dogs through methods such as drowning or hanging. He was sentenced to 23 months in a federal prison. Don't even get me started on how light of a sentence I think that is. I have no sympathy for people who abuse animals or children--I'm very "an eye for an eye" in those situations.

There were almost 50 dogs confiscated from Vick's property and many of those dogs had to be put down due to health issues or an inability to be rehabilitated. 22 of Vick's dogs were sent to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah. Best Friends is a non-profit organization founded on the belief that kindness towards animals makes the world a better place for everyone. These dogs have been successfully rehabilitated at Best Friends; they're called The VICKtory dogs. Some of the dogs will be able to be adopted, and others will probably live out their lives at Sanctuary.

The more times I saw the promo, the more I thought about those poor dogs. And that's when I decided on the only Pros vs. Joes episode with Michael Vick I would support: Michael Vick vs. Dog Fighting Ring. I think he should be literally thrown to the dogs.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Whale Wars

I just started watching a fantastic show. It's called Whale Wars and it's on Animal Planet, Fridays at 9. And sadly, nothing you see in this photo is on the show...but it's still good. When I first heard about this show, I thought it sounded silly. People who sail around the world, attempting to stop Japanese whaling ships...people who are willing to die for whales? What the what? My friend Rachel finally convinced me to watch an episode. And by "convince" I mean, I was too lazy to get out of my comfy chair when she was watching it. I was quickly hooked...or harpooned, as it were.

This show is nuts. Let's talk about the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Paul Watson. He was also a founding member of Greenpeace--until he left because he was too extreme. Too extreme for Greenpeace. That's like a cast member of Jersey Shore saying, "Hey, you're too tan." No one is too extreme for Greenpeace; oh, but wait. His name is Paul Watson.

I'm surprised I wasn't more interested in this show initially, based on my childhood love of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. If you're not familiar with this movie, get familiar. The Enterprise has to travel back to the 80s in order to get humpback whales for the future. Whales are extinct in the future and they're going to bring them back so they can un-extinct them. You should watch it for no reason other than Scotty's line, "Admiral, there be whales here!" Also, Admiral Kirk cares so much about getting these whales that he disobeys a direct order and gets busted down to Captain.

The members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society are hardcore. They go on these missions for weeks and they're only allowed to shower for 5 minutes, like once a month. They go after all these Japanese whaling ships and shoot stink bombs at them and mostly just screw with them so that they can't kill whales. If I had balls, I'd be one of these people.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I discovered a new gadget for bloggers: pages. Apparently, I can create up to 10 pages on this site. I just made the first one, Hit Those Smart Ass Books! In case you were wondering, that is a Simpsons quote. Actually, each page thus far contains a Simpsons quote. The link is on the right side of the screen, at the bottom. I definitely plan on making similar pages for movies and TV shows. I'm not sure what other pages I'll be making (maybe music?), so you might want to periodically check for updates.

I'll also try and update the pages themselves. When I read a new book, see a new movie, etc. I might have to add it to the list! Feel free to check out the pages, or not. I don't care. And it's not like I'll know if you read them or not. The ball is in your court.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Get on Board or Face Burnination

I've made an executive decision. I need to bring back Homestar Runner. Towards the end of high school and into the beginning of college, this website was the shit. Particularly, Strong Bad Email. As time marched on, I found myself with fewer opportunities to enjoy the site (ain't that always the way?). Before you knew it, it was a thing of the past. Recently, it's as though the fates have been telling me that Homestar Runner & Co. need to return to the limelight. Here are the signs:
  • A few months ago, I heard my students talking about Trogdor, the Burninator. Naturally, we had to watch the video of Trogdor (once we finished all our Spanish work of course). Trogdor and Teen Girl Squad are 2 of my favorite Strong Bad creations. I'm certain there are no less than 13 videos in existence which feature me singing the Trogdor song, in varying levels of intoxication. As a direct result of this day in class, I go home and watch 1.5-2 hours of Homestar Runner rather than accomplishing any grown-up tasks.
  • While viewing reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (aka using my time wisely), a character makes mention of Trogdor and his powers of burnination.
  • About a week ago, my friend Amy tweets that she woke up with a song stuck in her head, and included a link to the song. That song was The Cheat is Not Dead by Strong Bad. I sang that song for at least 3 days (including throughout a recent doctor's appointment).
  • ***NEW*** I forgot about this sign until after I had written this post. A few days ago, a high school friend wrote about Strong Bad & Trogdor on my Facebook page.
  • My go-to impression voice is still Strong Bad (or any member of the Teen Girl Squad). It's 7 years later, and there had yet to be another voice I've found awesome enough to impersonate everyone in my life.
Kick it old school and watch some Strong Bad right now...or I'll burninate you and your thatch-roof cottage.

Department of Natural Ridiculousness

I just got back from a fun Fourth of July weekend on Lake Monroe in Bloomington, Indiana. The most frustrating thing about that lake is the wrecklessness taken by most of the people on it. The unofficial motto of the lake is: I do what I want, when I want, "No Wake Zone" be damned. The second most frustrating thing about the lake is a little group called the DNR.

DNR stands for the Division of Natural Resources (not, Do Not Resuscitate). I have no beef with nature. Well, sometimes I do because I'm indoorsy, but I respect nature. I've always considered myself to be a Planeteer (although I wish I had a ring). I support nature, but I do not support the DNR (much like supporting the troops, but not the war--which, I also do). The DNR is ridiculous and if they did their job, the lake would be 67% less dangerous.

Sadly, the event I am about to describe was not witnessed by yours truly. Kristin and I had taken the jet-ski out for a spin and therefore missed all the action. The trusty DNR manages to make it to my family's boat (dodging drunken boaters at every turn) and then refuses assistance in pulling their boat up next to ours with the phrase, "I'm not going to hit your boat. I do this for a living." And that's when he hit the boat. He then issued a warning ticket because the registration letters on the side of our boat are too small. Apparently, they should be 3 inches...and they were somewhere between the 1-2 inch range.

I know what you're thinking, how can we live with ourselves? I'm so full of shame. As he's writing the ticket, boaters are speeding in and out of the no-wake zone to which Deputy DNR says, "Yea, they don't really follow that rule." Wow. If only there was someone...some sort of organization that could enforce lake law. I suppose this guy had been told that he could only talk to people about appropriate sticker size and was unaware that he has the power to make people obey the more important regulations regarding water safety. That's too bad.

And then, as he drove off into the sunset, seeking out other rogue pontoons with illegal stickers, he hit our boat again.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Want to Meet This Baby

I've already seen this commercial about 10 times today...and I love it every time. I want to meet this baby. He's so fashion-forward. In a world of crappy commercials, every once in awhile they manage to get it right. This one cracks me up! If I knew any babies, I'd totally buy them these diapers.

This commercial makes me think of an episode of Friends called, "The One Where Rachel's Sister Babysits". After Amy babysits Emma for one afternoon (and pierces her ears--you know, to make her nose look smaller) she decides she wants to be a baby stylist.
Amy: I'm going to be a baby stylist.
Rachel: What?
Ross: That's not a thing!
Amy: Well, it should be. I'm going to help babies learn how to accessorize, what colors to wear, what clothes are slimming...
Rachel: Babies don't care if they're slim!
Amy: Enter Amy.
For whatever reason, I can't embed the video so you'll have to settle for a link.