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Supermarket Madness

Published June 14, 2009 - 2 Comments

I read an interesting article in the summer edition of Money Sense today. It’s titled Zombies of the aisles: How do grocers turn us into buying machines? I’d always known that the grocery stores spent a lot of time (and money) trying to figure out how to get me to load up on as much unnecessary junk as possible, but I really wasn’t sure WHAT it was that they had come up with.

Of course there’s the matter of stopping by to pick up some milk. I actually didn’t realize this one until the new Sobeys store opened. I now have to plan a mini road trip through the store, from one corner diagonally across to the other corner. I guess with the smaller stores, it never really occurred to me. With this one, it’s so obvious that they want me to walk through everything to find the milk. I’m surprised that it’s not hidden in a back room, or on a moving trolley.

Then there was a mention that people naturally look to their right when they shop, so most stores put the more expensive items on the right. I’m trying to think if that’s true for me, and I don’t think that it is. I think that I spend a lot of time looking on my left, so either I’m backwards, or I’m starting down the wrong aisle. Kinda like driving on the wrong side of the road. I’m going to have to start paying more attention when I’m in there, and try to compare one side to the other.

There was also the tidbit about the expensive items being eye level. That’s an oldie, but a goodie. No wonder if takes me so long to find the Kraft Dinner or chicken noodle soup. They’re sitting on the floor.

It’s hard to imagine that there is a science to making people buy more than they normally would. It’s just groceries, right? Apparently not so.

Now to figure out how to translate that into the online world 🙂

Mr Plumber 101

Published June 13, 2009 - 2 Comments

I decided to have a nice bath yesterday. Apparently when the old farm house was built, showers ranked right up there with insulation… neither existed. I’ve become quite fond of my big old bathtub now. If I knew how to swim, I’m sure that I’d be able to do laps in it. So yesterday I ran the water, and then climbed in to enjoy a nice relaxing soak. I figured that I’d be there for awhile, so I let the hot water continue to run while I lay there. When the water started to get a little on the warm side, I tried to turn the tap with my foot. The water continued to gush from the pipe.

Hmm… odd…

I tried turning it the other way. The water kept coming. Hot water. Real hot water.

I sat up and tried shutting it off with my hands. No go. Now I understand what a lobster feels like. I got out of the tub as quickly as I could, and pulled the plug (that was a pleasant experience). Thankfully the water was draining from the tub faster than it was coming in. The new problem wasn’t so much flooding, as it was trying to figure out how to make the water stop flowing.

I’m not the handiest of men. *chuckle* I looked for a valve in the bathroom, but there wasn’t one. I ran downstairs and checked the different valves in the pantry beneath the bathroom. None of them appeared to be what I wanted. So then I did what any other inept handyman would do when in a time of need.

I called Dad.

After explaining the problem, he confirmed what I was already afraid of… I needed to take a trip into the basement…

I use the word “basement” loosely. I also use the words “dungeon” and “crypt“. They might be better suited to describe where I was now going.

After locating a flashlight, I began to descend into the dark space under the house. It reminded me very much of the scene from The Cask of Amontillado, and I had no idea what lurked behind the locked door. Oh yes, my uncle had given me the tour when I first moved in, but like all good lessons in life, you don’t realize how much you should have paid attention until you actually NEED that information.

I looked around and found the water pump. I also found the hot water tank, an ancient wood stove, several pieces of furniture, and lots and lots of dirt. Yuck. No sign of the family fortune, though. I suspect that it must be buried in the back yard somewhere.

Turning off the water pump wasn’t difficult at all. Turning it back ON after turning off the hot water valve was a little trickier because I had apparently not paid enough attention to the process when I was shown 9 months ago.

But the short of it (finally) is that I now have water pressure, but only cold water… which is great for brushing my teeth and flushing the toilet, but not so good for washing dishes and bathing… and I’ve discovered that boiling water on the stove to wash dishes in is about as effective dropping lit matches into the water.

These Penguins Ain’t Waddlin’

Published June 13, 2009 - 0 Comments

Sidney Cup What a game last night! Obviously the 2-1 outcome in favour of the Pittsburg Penguins has me pumped, but more than that… what a game… especially as the clock wound down, and pucks and bodies were flying everywhere. I was on the edge of my seat, unsure if I was going to be able to go to sleep, or be forced to sit through some intense overtime play.

And then the final buzzer went. It was all done. Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pens were Stanley Cup champions.

What do you do when you’re 21 and you’ve already reached your ultimate dream?

Would You Like to Buy Me a Hot Chocolate?

Published June 11, 2009 - 0 Comments

You may have noticed a tiny little coffee cup icon at the bottom of this post. I read about an interesting little plug-in that I’m testing out. It’s called “Buy me a beer”, but since I don’t drink beer, there is an option to change it to a “cafe” as well. I don’t drink coffee either, but I’ll consider hot chocolate to be close enough to “cafe”. I’ve looked for a “Buy me a Coke” plug-in, but that doesn’t seem to exist. (If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know)

I’m looking at testing different things with the blog, to see what works and what doesn’t, before implementing those things on some of the other projects that are being worked on behind the scenes. You might see the plug-in replaced by something else in the future. I’m still waiting for Google to approve my AdSense application, but they seem to be quite slow. Amazon approved me within 24 hours, but Google seems to be a little more picky.

Finally! We’ve got a Series…

Published June 10, 2009 - 0 Comments

I know that it’s been a “home victory” series, but I still wasn’t feeling too confident about last night’s game between the Penguins and the Red Wings. Sure, Game 6 might have been in Pittsburg, but after demolishing the Penguins 5-0 only 3 nights earlier, I figured that Detroit probably carried enough momentum to finish them off, even if it did go against the established pattern of the home team winning. I was pleasantly surprised!

So now we’ve got a Game 7. The great thing about Game 7s is that nothing else matters. Sure, the home crowd is a factor, but when you really get down to it… it’s 60 minutes of hockey, and none of the other games really matter. I’m sure that Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pittsburg Penguins are telling themselves the same thing.

Go out, play hard, and take Lord Stanley’s Cup out of Hockeytown.

Go Pens Go!

SPAM Comments?? Oh No…

Published June 9, 2009 - 0 Comments

I was so happy to see that there was a comment from someone who wasn’t a friend or family. I thought that perhaps someone else had stumbled onto my blog, and took the time to read through it. Not sure WHY… but hey, with the old blog I think that a couple of people may have tripped over it by some unknown means.

And then I read the comment.

“Hey great post. You should write more about this!”

Wow. How completely vague and useless. Then I noticed that the person’s signature file included a website for making money on the net, and a tagline about how much they made per week. Perfect! Sign me up! I’ve been looking for a way to make lots of cold hard cash! It’s so difficult to find a quality get-rich-quick scheme. Much better when they come to you!

*sigh*

Beautiful Sunrise

Published June 8, 2009 - 2 Comments

Now I remember why I put up with almost $600 power bills through the winter months…  After the thaw, eventually summer would arrive…

As I was driving home this morning, the sun was rising over the hills and lighting up the river’s surface. Who in their right mind would give up a chance to wake up to that every morning? Certainly not me! I sat on the front porch for a few minutes. I was exhausted from being up all night, but I refused to let this moment get away from me. Sleep would just have to wait.

Some things are just too important to pass up.

The Snowglobe…

Published June 8, 2009 - 2 Comments

You see it sitting on the shelf.  It looks so perfect.  So peaceful.  A picturesque setting, shielded from the outside world by a thin layer of glass.  Left alone, it exists as a thing of beauty. A snapshot in time.

But you can’t leave it alone, can you?

No.  The urge to pick it up is too strong.  You hold it in your hand and look at it one last time before shaking it violently.  Inside, the once peaceful scene erupts into chaos.  You set it down, and watch as the snowflakes continue to swirl behind the glass, gradually losing momentum…  until at last, they settle to the bottom.

And, although the scene soon appears as it once did… it is not.  The snowflakes have fallen in a completely new pattern.  A new scene has been created, leaving the old one behind. For better or worse, the change can never be undone.

realsimple-snowglobe

And there it sits.

 

Until you reach for it once more…

Shut Up and Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!

Published June 7, 2009 - 1 Comment

That’s part of the chorus from the new Katy Perry song “Waking Up In Vegas”… my new “it” song… It’s kind of a fun song for the summer. My iPod is becoming very familiar with it. 🙂

I’d like if some of my Canadian readers could click on this link and place a vote for my sister in the SavvyMom Entrepreneur online contest. She really does put in a hell of a lot of work. I don’t know how she does it. I definitely could not. So please, if you have 60 seconds to spare, please click the link and vote for Jen. Many thanks!

Bye Bye, Mon Cowboy!

Published June 5, 2009 - 5 Comments

Now there’s a reference that will probably go over most people’s heads. I’m sitting here listening to some music on my iPod. I’m in the mood for something a little different than the stuff that I’ve been listening to recently. Dust off the old 80s and 90s happy music. Happy music? Who would have thought that I even had happy music? But alas, yes.. hidden within the depths of my hard drive are a few (OK, maybe more than a few) tunes that are a departure from the norm.

Remember Mitsou? Probably not. Although I know at least one or two of you do. Oh Mitsou. What ever happened to you? Bye Bye, Mon Cowboy…. Quebec’s answer to Samantha Fox at the time… Yes, there was another Fox before Megan Fox lent her formidable acting chops to Transformers. Speaking of Transformers, don’t forget to mark your calendar. June 26th. The new movie comes out. I don’t quite get the butterflies in my stomach from these previews that I did when the first movie was released, but I will still suffer through the horrible lines and over-priced popcorn to see it. Such is the life that I live.

Ooh… Men at Work… Do You Come From a Land Down Under? Aye.. I wish!