Nixon's Memoirs: August 2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Stinking price gougers!

In the wake of this horrible disaster, you see the best of humanity, and the worst of humanity. Here, in our very own city of Little Rock, removed from this tragedy, some stations are choosing to reap profit from this loss.

Harvest Foods/Petro Pete, formerly one of my favorite local gas stations, has decided to charge $3.14 for gas this morning!

This is immoral!

Other stations are still charging around $2.59.

I am all for HONEST profit, but this is ridiculous, and amounts to Privateering if you ask me!

Let's stand up against this!

Update: Well, it appears my crusade is jumping the gun. The few remaining hold-outs at the lower prices won't be around long, I would imagine (and dang it, I get paid tonight.) The growing trend around the country is heading right up to and over the $3 mark. I guess Petro Pete is just ahead of the curve. Doesn't mean I like it, or them.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Rainy days and Garage Sale days...

...always get me down. Especially when they are the SAME DANG DAY!

I got home from my overnight shift this morning about 8:30, parked down the street, met my wife, and we put up our Garage Sale signs. I've had the ad running in the paper for three days. I've been gathering stuff for well over a month, and today was to be the day we said goodbye to all our clutter.

We began hauling our wares out into the carport at 9:00. One person drove by and asked if we were selling our rake (the ONE item in the entire carport that WASN'T for sale.) I said no, and she drove off. Another guy came by and looked at our dressers, but they just weren't tall enough for his tastes.

And then, the skies opened up, it started pouring down rain, and our carport began to flood. We just barely got all the crap back in the house before our carport was completely covered with water.


I advertised the sale as open from 10 am to 7pm, so if it dries out, we may actually sell some stuff today. If not, ARC of Arkansas is already scheduled for a Monday pick-up. I don't know if we're going to just give it all to them, or try again on Labor Day.

Next Saturday is not doable, of course, because it is the OU home opener against TCU.

So, we've had a stinking drought and a BURN BAN for over a month now, and the day I try to have a sale, GUSHING RAIN! Splendid. And we're butt poor until next payday too. The proceeds from the sale were going to go to buying a few nice things for the house like frames and organizing boxes, etc.

I am one unhappy Nixon.

It's ok, not like I had my leg blown off or anything serious like that.

Update: We got set back up around 1 pm and sold a total of $24 worth of stuff, which was split evenly between us and our friends who are moving to New York. Everything else? It's all back in the den, where we will either give it away, or try another sale in the near future, with more signs and better advertising (and hopefully better weather)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

New Linkage

A very rare and different link over to the right today. I decided to link to the WB42 Blog. The author is quite obviously left-of-center, but the blog is so well written that I felt compelled to include it. I also happen to be a HUGE fan of the new WB 101 radio station in town, dubbed as "Little Rock's Old School", which essentially sounds as if they have stolen my iPod (if I had one) and put it on the airwaves.

So, consider the link my way of thanking Little Rock's WB for playing that great music. Plus, I think my readers will enjoy a friendly and lively debate with the site's host, or maybe even agree with him on occassion.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The new furniture arrives, sort of, at last.

Furniture Row called us last Thursday to say that our bedroom suit was finally in, and that they could delivier it Friday or Saturday. I said Saturday, so they told me they would call Friday and confirm a delivery time.

Friday morning, I called them and confirmed a delivery time before I went to bed, which was to be Saturday from 11am-1pm.

Friday night, they call and tell us that our bed was damaged in shipping. We've waited TWO MONTHS for this furniture, and were originally told it would be 3-6 weeks. So, Saturday morning after work, we drove to Furniture Row, and I demanded that they either give us the floor model of the bed we ordered, or some other bed in stock. Turns out, they don't have ANY beds in stock, only floor models, and they're not allowed to sell the floor models. Plus, the delivery truck was actually at OUR HOUSE at this point, and it was only 10:30.

The problem was, at this point our bedroom was totally empty and waiting for this stuff. Our old bed was in the carport. Finally, they offered a temporary fix, which was to loan us a standard bed frame until they can get the rails that broke on the bed we ordered. Funny thing that, since I was pretty much sold on the frame because of its durability. I was even invited to stand on the thing, which I did, and as is well noted on this blog, I'm well over 300 lbs.

So, the delivery truck came back to the store, picked up the frame, and I talked the manager into including a coffee table with the order as a make-good.

Overall, we're VERY PLEASED with the bedroom, it looks fabulous! I just can't believe we had to wait TWO MONTHS for it to arrive.

Please keep my friend CrazyBandDirector in your thoughts and prayers, she is dealing with some major issues at the moment.

Monday, August 15, 2005

A Blog Spammer?

I went ahead and "hid" the comments on my last post. It was the quickest solution I could think of to rid my blog of that stupid spam post. I certainly wish you could choose to delete individual comments, but I guess Blogger didn't think of that.

What I want to know is this. What are these *BLEEP*ing spammers thinking? Neither myself, nor anyone who reads my blog is going to seriously consider running out and buying some penny stock based on some random tip in a blog comments section. Now, I suppose if I ran some sort of investment blog and that spam showed up, someone might be fooled, but I doubt it. Besides, anyone stupid enough to fall for that spam is also too stupid to actually go out and buy stock, and most likely too stupid to have any money to invest in it if they did know how. I do make allowances, however, for the semi-sentient celebrity or lottery winner.

I also feel a profound sense of being violated by this. I mean, I open up my blog to friends and strangers to offer me feedback, positive or negative, on my world view so that I might gain a better understanding of the world around me. By having this spam show up on my blog, I'm reminded of a recent commercial campaign for some sort of internet service that featured a guy getting ready for work. There was a poster advertisement on his bathroom mirror, more in his kitchen, and then when he goes to leave the house, a giant poster depicted a bald man with the phrase "Grow hair with magnets!" The guy just busts through the giant poster and leaves for work.

Having majored in journalism, I've always had an interest in advertising and its practical application. There are effective ways of advertising that don't feel invasive, and that I actually approve of:

1: Standard commercials. Well, sure, I FF3 through these now on my DVR, but I do take note of who's paying the bills to keep my favorite shows on the air.

2: Product placement. In movies or TV shows, it seems much more real to me if the characters are using real products, and not some generic or made-up brand. If Monk were obsessed with Aquafina instead of Sierra Springs, I would be more apt to buy it. I've been interested in buying a "Smart" car ever since I saw them on "The Amazing Race". And who didn't want Taco Bell after "Demolition Man", eh?

3: Infommercials/Home Shopping channels. Sure, they are the bane of every night shift worker and insomniac in America without a decent cable system, and I'm not hooked on these or anything. But if I see a product or category of products I'm interested in, these offer so much more information than a 30 second commercial. Of course, you must temper this with the knowledge that they are trying to sell you something, and not blindly believe the claims but instead get independent information as well.

4: Magazine reviews. Ads in the back of magazines or slick one and two page ads within it really do nothing for me. But if a magazine I trust (IE: Popular Mechanics, Consumer Reports) actually reviews and rates a product, I am far more interested in buying it. If I were a company and proud of my product, I would ensure that every publication related to my product or target demographic had a free sample in their office before launch date. Magazine ads reach more people than just the subscriber or newstand purchaser as well. I know I tend to share my magazines with others, and even if I don't, if I read a good review of a product, I share it with friends and family.

5: Internet sites. No, not pop-ups, pop-unders, e-mail spam, blog spam, worms, viruses, etc. All of this nonsense is USELESS to me, and will only serve to enrage me and swear not only to never buy the advertised product again, but actively seek to inflict financial damage upon the company by way of boycott, etc. BUT. If you use one of the four conventional methods above to get me interested in your product, and you either provide a website address, or at least ensure that I'll find it on Yahoo search or Google, I'm going to your site, people. And remember, things to have on your site are: A) Online ordering; B) e-mail sign up; and C)complete product information, such as nutrition information, warranty, MPG, what have you.

This now concludes Professor Nixon's advanced advertising seminar, thank you!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Joy and Sadness in New York City.

My friend Nathaniel got a great job.

My friend Nathaniel got a great New York City.

The wife and I have so few friends in Little Rock, and it pains us to lose ones as good as Nathaniel and his wife. I'm happy for them, of course, as I'm always encouraged when people improve their lot in life, but I'm sad at the same time, for we finally had another "friend couple" to hang out with.

They'll both be working for a major cable sports network (not ESPN, but a good one) that I watch quite often.

It's this sort of thing that makes me think I'm "dead-ending" in my own career. I'm 34, love what I do, but my job always makes me feel as though my employment there is tenative at best. My industry is so infested with turnover, that it has festered, er, fostered an atmosphere that seems to embrace transient employees. Much like minor league baseball, it seems to be home to those moving up in the world, or those in the twilight of their career trying to make due.

Nathaniel has been called up to "The Show", and I wish him all the luck in the world.

But dang I'm gonna miss him.

This is my first official "Weekend off" in quite sometime. I officially begin my new shift on Tuesday night. I hardly know what to do with myself, except for right now, because I'm about to throw myself in bed for a few hours in order to freshen up for the freedom of weekends being free!

Thanks again, M-A for checking to make sure I wasn't blog-dead.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Reveal day

My wife returned from church camp yesterday, and I met her at the door. She spotted one thing before I could get her to set her bags down and close her eyes.

"Now I want you to think back and remember what this house looked like before you left for church camp..." I said. (Immitating the folks on Clean House)

"Now open your eyes!"

She reacted just like they do on the show! And just as she began to take it all in, I popped the cork on some champagne and poured her a glass.

I had cleaned, organized, and redesigned the living room, dining area, kitchen, office, and den. There is still some left to do, but the house is, IMHO, GORGEOUS!

She sipped on champagne as I showed her all my hard work.

After that, I went to sleep to rest up for my overnight shift.

It is freaking FIFTY FIVE DEGREES in the office area at work! They never can strike a medium there, it's either 55 or 95, and each time we complain about one, we get the other. Maintenance seems to think that despite our college educations, we're too dense to operate a complicated piece of machinery like a thermostat.

So, after a bone-chilling night at work, I returned home to a warm wife, who rightly rewarded me for all my hard work while she was away. ;)

It's a good thing.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Nothing to report.

Well, I haven't blogged in awhile, because not much is happening. We're still waiting on our bedroom set from Furniture Row, which is now several weeks late. THe wife is at church camp this week serving as a counselor, and other than that, it's been pretty boring in the Casablanca household. I guess that's a good thing, because excitement around here usually means something has gone terribly wrong.

We did have a fun visit with Crazy Band Director!

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