It's been a long time since I put out a random post of things I think I think (which I shameless ripped off of Peter King... though I won't steal his convention this time by enumerating them).
I hope everyone is coming off a good Memorial Day. Just when I think I can't have any great appreciation for the military, some terrorist event like the recent Boston Bombings brings it up a notch. I've read so many great words were said about the military the last couple of days that anything I could add would just sound like a rehash and I'd probably be subconsciously plagerizing someone.
It's worth noting that we shouldn't forget the Oklahoma tornado. Living in New England, I can't begin to comprehend what I saw on the news with that. The next time we get three feet of snow and the governor makes it illegal to drive on public roads, remind not to complain.
It made me smile that the Comfort Dogs are helping the people affected by the Oklahoma tornado. Have you never heard of the Comfort Dogs? I can't believe they fly all over the country... seems like there should be a pack in every state, just ready to deploy.
One last Oklahoma and Comfort Dog thought: Should You Have an Emergency Charity Fund?
Deal of the Week
Kentucky Fried Chicken (don't give me that KFC re-branding crap) has a buy one get one free coupon for 2 pieces of boneless chicken, a side, a biscuit, and a drink for $4.99. I've been to restaurants that charge $5 for two soft drinks alone. The Angioplasty Association of America suggests you print out as many as you can and use them up by June 4th.
Did you know there were so many Great Gatsby movies? Me neither. With the new remake of that and of course the new Superman reboot, I've been thinking that it's time to remake Brewster's Millions. Most people I know don't it was originally a play, and has been released as a film 6 times according to IMDB. The last one, in 1985 had a gap of 40 years between films... and we are approaching a 30 year gap. Short of resurrecting Chris Farley and pairing him with Adam Sandler, I don't know how you can match the Pryor/Candy of the last film. Part of me says, "Why remake a classic?" when it was done to perfection. The other part of me says "How do we introduce a great concept of a movie a new generation?"
Having finished off season 3 of Arrested Development over the last week, I found the format of season 4 (streaming on Netflix) to be greatly disappointing. I suppose that getting the actors together for real episodes just wasn't possible, but I feel like I'm watching just one watered-down episode of Arrested Development. I'm only a few episodes in and the biggest highlight was seeing that many of the actors of the Outsourced make an appearance.
The three teams with the best records in baseball are all Red-based teams... the Cardinals, Reds, and Red Sox. (Okay the Red Sox are tied with the Rangers, but don't rain on my parade.)
Strange world... I can get some millions of random products delivered from Amazon in 2 days or less, but it takes the fence contractor we hired a month to get the most common fence materials delivered to him.
My "luck" with service people doesn't end with fence contractors. My wife and I tried to get a cleaning service for our home. In San Francisco, I was able to complete that task on my to-do list in about a half hour. In New England it seems no one wants my business. I called three places and my wife called five more. No one picked up or returned our calls. This includes the popular The Maids brand. We found one person who quoted us an estimated price of $135 over the phone, who offers a 15% military discount. I was expecting a price of $115. During the walk-through she asked if we were military and then came back with the price of... $135.
When I asked about the $135 price after it was quoted as being $135 on the phone previously, the cleaning service lady said, "Well a house this size is usually $150, but with the military discount it will be $135." Being a bit of a math nerd, I realized that even if it was usually $150 that's only honoring a 10% military discount. I waited a week and when no other cleaning services returned my phone calls, I decided to counter offer at $125, explaining that it is very close to a 15% military discount on $150. Weeks later, I still have no response to what I thought was a pretty fair proposal.
In the meantime, I checked with a local directory of trusted businesses and found an awesome cleaning service for $75. In all my other searches it didn't come up. They were ready to clean the same day they toured the home and quoted the price!
I know some people might think I'm living up to my Lazy name with a cleaning service, and in some ways I am. However, one of the reasons I am frugal in many areas is so that I can splurge for a cleaning service.
CNET had a great article about upcoming seemless wifi connections. The promise is that your phone will automatically use a wifi connection when it is available without you having to select it or log in... as long as you have privileges to be on that network. (Sounds a little like Republic Wireless.)
I'm sure they'll get the technology piece solved, there aren't any great barriers to storing login credentials on a phone in advance and logging into wifi. The barrier to making this useful to consumers is a unifying entity to make wifi networks interoperable. For example, if my Bank of America ATM card only worked at Bank of America, it would be serviceable, but it is much better when it works at Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and that shady place near Tijuana where Salma Hayek dances with a snake. Even if I have a pay a small roaming fee to use my wifi out-of-network, it is better than having to buy into that network completely.
Maybe cell carriers realizes that this is a good way to monetize these wifi networks and charge an extra $5-7 a month for roaming on the WiFi SuperNet (which I'll use for lack of a better name).
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