Going Local – An Open Letter

An open letter to local businesses everywhere:

Now that you’ve started to embrace social media, it is time to take things to the next level. Yes, I am talking about you [insert local business name here]. As the big national brands have found out, you can’t ask customers to join you on social media without giving them value and respect in return. Here are some free insights (Why free? Because I really want to like you but you keep screwing up):

  1. An unmonitored Facebook page is worse than not having one at all.
  2. If you have many locations but not very many fans (less than 1,000), you’re doing it wrong.
  3. Stop treating Facebook and Twitter like marketing channels, they are communities that work on influence not brute force.
  4. Ease up on the promotions and ads (see item 3).
  5. Respond to comments in a swift and timely manner.

Hoarders: Winning

The newest episode of Hoarders, a reality show on A&E, features Phyllis and Janet. They have a problem keeping a clean house. Let’s take a look at these two hoarding ladies of primetime:

She likes dolls and stuffed animals. She has enough plush to satisfy all the orphans in Africa. Her life isn’t in danger but it is out of control.
She takes dumps in plastic bags, pees in bottles and has no heat or running water. We’re talking piles of feces inside her home. Janet might be mentally ill.

Janet is clearly the most sad of the two, but there are no winners here.

What I Really Want to Do Today

Peter Gibbons, the main character in Office Space (1999), wanted to do “nothing” all day. When we were kids, we had similar aspirations, simple or grand. From being an astronaut to eating macaroni & cheese while playing Nintendo all day. These were dreams or fantasies. But the thing is, I still want to eat macaroni & cheese and play Nintendo all day. The difference between now and then is that I don’t want to do it everyday.

The Bourne Identity

Treadstone was the CIA program Jason Bourne operated under. I doubt this building in San Diego has ever been the home of  a CIA operation.

I’ve probably watched The Bourne Identity 20 times in the last six months. I can’t get enough of the series. I haven’t read the books which inspired the movies and I don’t plan on it. I am skeptical of the upcoming fourth movie: “The Bourne Legacy” which doesn’t even have Jason Bourne in it.

Let’s Get Good Seats This Time

“These seats are saved!”, barks a surly women at the Harkins theater in Tempe, AZ. She blocks out a whole row like a mama grizzly protecting her cubs. Seating at the movies is first come, first served. We all know this. Yet, some feel they can reserve large quantities of seats for people who didn’t have the decency to arrive early enough to earn them.

What does this say to other paying patrons? Last night I arrived 30 minutes early to “Life in a Day” and found that most of the seats were being saved for patrons who had yet arrived. Jackets, sweaters and coats lined whole rows, which I find odd for a summer showing being as it is 115 degrees outside.

I’ve decided that I will no longer honor the “saved seat” command to someone who is saving more than one seat. Watch out world.


Gillette “G Facts”

While shaving my beautiful face this morning, I was greeted by a pleasant fact printed on my shave gel. “G Fact: Hair is over 40% easier to cut when it’s soaked in warm water for two minutes.”

Eureka! Most men know the above to be true, but this fact has extra meaning in my life. My ex-girlfriend did not like when I left the house with stubble. She would insist I shave immediately before we went out. I would tell her it is very difficult to shave without taking a shower first. She took that reply as an excuse. Now I have proof.

A Better Car Advertisement

I am polarized against most car commercials, but a clever ad caught my eye the other day. The ad is simply refreshing in a product category which has become stale.

Toyota Venza – “Social Network” (agency: Saatchi & Saatchi)

Terrarium – Day One

I am the proud owner of my own mini-world, I present my office terrarium! We’ll see if my plant choices were correct, hitting them with a spray bottle every 3-4 days should be enough to keep them alive.

Soup For You!

The best soup I’ve ever had was at Humphrey’s by the Bay restaurant in San Diego. Chicken and black bean in a savory stock took my mouth to pleasure town. I also tasted the corn chowder and was delighted by its remarkable quality.

Between courses I reasoned that if there was a Soup Nazi, he was in the kitchen at Humphrey’s now, away from the public where he belongs yet still mastering the art of soup.

LDS Movies at Walmart

While at Walmart I happened across a large selection of movies I’ve never heard of before. Apparently the Mormons have their own movie section at my local Walmart. There is a large temple nearby, so it makes sense. What makes a Mormon movie different from all other movies?

Why Many are Angry with Netflix

Writer Matt Peckham can’t seem to understand why people are upset with the recent Netflix price hike and plan separation. He admits he has only been a streaming-only subscriber. This admission is telling as the lack of streaming content is apparent when compared to the content available via the disc options.

Let’s pretend that it doesn’t matter that the streaming library is much smaller than the disc library. The streaming library just doesn’t stand up on its own, there is not enough content to justify a price hike.

Let’s take the top 25 all-time rated movies from IMDB and see how many of them are available via Netflix streaming:

# Title Stream
1 The Shawshank Redemption (1994) No
2 The Godfather (1972) No
3 The Godfather: Part II (1974) No
4 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) No
5 Pulp Fiction (1994) Yes
6 12 Angry Men (1957) No
7 Schindler’s List (1993) No
8 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) Yes
9 Inception (2010) No
10 The Dark Knight (2008) No
11 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) No
12 Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) No
13 Seven Samurai (1954) No
14 Fight Club (1999) No
15 Goodfellas (1990) No
16 Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) No
17 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Yes
18 Casablanca (1942) No
19 City of God (2002) No
20 Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) No
21 Rear Window (1954) No
22 The Matrix (1999) No
23 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) No
24 The Usual Suspects (1995) No
25 Psycho (1960) N0

There you have it, 3 of 25 of the best movies are available for streaming. All 25 films are available for the disc option.

Rude Quiznos Manager

The Quiznos Manager Talks on Her Cell Phone
“I would like two medium Sprites”, I said to the manager of the Quiznos inside the San Diego airport. The manager received a call on her cell phone while taking our order. She had a personal conversation while attempting to operate the soda fountain. Apparently it is difficult to fill two cups with ice and soda with one hand. She took several minutes to fill the drinks but didn’t miss a beat on the phone. I looked over at another worker who seemed embarrassed by her boss, she gestured with her shoulders.

I took out my trusty camera phone, isn’t technology great? Finally we had our drinks in hand. The manager had the audacity to joke about her phone call with me and how difficult it was to fill the drinks. I was  not amused.

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