Archive for February, 2007

Car Repair Places

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

How many places would you say a town needs to fix cars? Back on Long Island, I remember seeing fewer and fewer car repair places as more and more dealers provide longer warranties.

Here in Tucson, you will find a "Car Care Center," "Brake Max," or "Brake Masters" pretty much every 3 miles. What is going on with cars here that you can have places like this every few miles and they all stay in business? They have to have parts, they employ people, they pay rent. How many cars can they be working on? And if they do GOOD work, those cars shouldn’t come back for a long time.

Maybe these are fronts or money laundering spots because I can’t figure out how our town can sustain so many of these places. New ones are being built and set up monthly. It just doesn’t make sense.


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Phone Batteries

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

When I was boarding a flight in January, I overherd two women talking. One reminded the other to turn off her cell phone before the plane took off. The other woman said that actually, she would be taking her battery completely out of her phone.

Why? She explained to the other woman that she found that on flights, even with her phone off, the battery would STILL run completely down. Just a technical malfunction? No, she was convinced that because her phone has GPS and can help her be found in an emergency, even when her phone is off, the GPS system is sendng out signals about her location. With her location changing so fast in a plane, her battery is running down.

Does anybody know if cell phones with GPS built in are sending the location of the phone even when the phone seems to be powered off?


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Did You Find Everything?

Monday, February 26th, 2007

An Albertsons supermarket near me is going out of business. Slowly. As in they’re open while they’re winding down. I rarely go in there, but went in to find out that they were closing, and to see the odd wasteland it was.

The supermarket was cavernous and half empty. Evidently they were not restocking shelves as things sold. So the place is just getting more and more empty. I guess it makes sense, but as a shopping experience, it’s just surreal.

It also means I didn’t find what I went there to get. So I grabbed a small bottle of soda and some mints, and went to the cashier.

The poor cashier STILL had to ask me if I found everything I was looking for today. The woman who was asked that before me commented on it. No, she couldn’t find everything because the store is closing and they have very little stock.

Why have your cashiers say the same thing? Why not have the cashiers say, "Thank you for shopping here. Our location is closing soon, but you can still shop at the Albertsons on West Ina or on La Cholla."


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Forget Money

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

I saw some commerical on TV for something that supposedly would be a wealth-building system. Yes, you’re going to have personal freedom thanks to all the money and success this system will bring you. Sure.

What I thought was interesting was the URL the commercial was giving out. 4getmoney.com

I think the target audience can’t forget money. The target audience needs money, and might even be anxious or desperate about money. Why would a system claiming to make you heaps of money use a URL that reads "forget money"?

Maybe they mean that you should forget about the money you will pay them for the system.


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Thank You Superpawn

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Xmas and Valentines Day means one thing for sure around Tucson. A store called Superpawn advertises the HELL out of themselves.

They are mostly targeting men looking to buy jewelry for wives and girlfriends. Commercials show men proposing and giving an engagement ring they got at Superpawn.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to think that someone pawning an engagement ring is either desperate for money or looking to turn a bad memory/event into cash. The energy of both of these things is fairly negative. I can’t imagine giving a loved one something with that past.

Maybe that marketing works in this town, but I can’t think about the whole thing without feeling sad for a number of people.


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Bad Names For Baby Stores

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

My sister pointed out two bad names for baby-related stores:

SIDS (as in a guy named Sid or "sudden infant death syndrome)

Buy Buy Baby (goodbye?)

That’s bad marketing.


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When Do You Stop Trying?

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Our government is releasing a THIRD attempt at making our dollar into a coin. Susan B. Anthony coin didn’t fly. Sacagawea dollar coin didn’t fly. Why would a Washington coin fly?

Has the problem been that nobody liked who was printed on it? I doubt it. Well, maybe if you put Brad Pitt on it. :) But I don’t think adoption is lame from who is on the coin. I think Americans are used to having dollar notes, and don’t want change.

People don’t like change. Why should people want to use a dollar as a coin when we’re moving more and more to an electronic currency society?


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Nude Boobs on eBay?

Monday, February 19th, 2007

I went to Technorati.com to look up blogs in which people might be writing about eBay. I like to read anybody who is seriously blogging about eBay, positive, negative, or otherwise (and I name them appropriately in my reader :) ).

I searched "eBay" on Technorati, and their results page included contextual ads. The first ad, which you can see full size if you click below, was for Nude Boobs (on eBay). Browse a huge selection now!

I figured this was just a way to get people’s attention, and that when they clicked, it would take them to iPods or something that they might really want to buy. After all, you can’t buy nude boobs on eBay!

Oddly enough, it linked to a search for "nude boobs" in the titles of eBay listings. There were around 50 items. How completely odd, even for contextual ads.


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Paying For Search Results

Friday, February 16th, 2007

I just got billed $18.88 from the US Courts. How did that happen when they charge 8 cents per page and I only read one 24-page document? I called to ask.

When I was looking for that document, I wasn’t sure when it was filed. So I did a search for all such filings in that court within a certain date range. Nearly 60 documents came up in the search results. I found the ONE I wanted, opened it up, and saved it. I thought I’d be charged for that one document since it was the only one I clicked on.

Nope. I was charged 8 cents per page for everything that came up in search results. I was billed for 236 pages even though I only looked at 24 pages.

Who else could get away with that other than the government?


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You’re Not Worthy of This Beer

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

When selecting an alcoholic beverage, have you ever wondered if you are worthy of it or not? Maybe you wondered if it’s worthy of you and your taste buds. That’s what expensive vodkas want you to think.

How about this bottle? I think the funny thing is that this is SO silly and in a sense challenging that people WANT to buy and drink it.

Then you tell people about it. You show them to bottle.

That makes it good marketing.


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