Archive for September, 2007

Amazon FREE Super Saver Shipping

This used to seem like a good deal to me back when Amazon was one of the few that offered free shipping. Now a lot of sites out there offer free 2 day shipping or free ground shipping, and in my recent experience, Amazon’s FREE shipping is worse than any of these other free options. I think they intentionally make the FREE shipping take longer than it needs to by letting it sit on the shelf an extra 3 or 4 or 6 days before even shipping it. If they actually shipped it right away, then what would people’s incentive be to pay an annual fee to get things in 2 days if the FREE shipping only takes 3 or 4 days like it used to (some people would pay for 2 over 3 or 4 but I wouldn’t). Now it’s more like two days vs two weeks. Sucks.

World Clock

This World Stats Counter is very neat. And eery. And surprising. The magnitude of it is staggering when you step back and think about what the numbers (estimated, albeit) actually represent. Wow. You don’t think about it until you see the numbers ticking by in front of you.

We did it!

Everything went GREAT! The weather was fantastic; sunny enough that a couple of us pale folks got a touch of a sunburn. The reception went off without a hitch and was a blast. We couldn’t have asked for much more from the whole thing. Now we’re off to Saugatuck for four days of relaxing.

T-Minus Three and Counting

Less than three hours to go. The rehearsal went well. Everyone knows their jobs. The photographers have their info. The videographer has his info. The museum is all ready to go for the ceremony. The hall is good to go for the reception. The caterer is making the food. The DJ knows what music to play. The bridal party knows what dance to do. We have our rings and marriage license. The officiants know what they’re doing. We have our vows written. We have our tuxes and dresses. The ushers know where to direct people. The weather looks good. Now it’s just a matter of getting through it all! Wish us luck!

Say it three times and I’ll remember (or ignore)

The radio station I listen to is growing an annoying habit. Some time in the past, radio commercials would give their spiel for 27 seconds and spend 3 seconds giving us their phone number. Then some time after that, companies realized that people may not be able to write the entire phone number down after hearing it only once while they’re driving or looking for a piece of paper or something. To combat this, they decided to say the phone number twice. So, now they’re spieling for 24 seconds and giving the phone number for 6 seconds. I think this is a reasonable and smart move. Before long, nearly all radio commercials were giving the number twice.

Then some marketing genius is running late on a deadline and on the way to a meeting with his boss decides that saying the number THREE times will drive it home even better. “People just don’t listen when we only say it twice! Anyone that’s on the fence will finally decide that they NEED to call after they hear the number for the third time!” The boss agrees and now we have a company giving the phone number THREE times in one commercial. For those counting, that’s 21 seconds of spiel and 9 seconds of phone number. Other companies listening to the radio hear their commercial play and the number is given twice, and then a commercial comes on and the number is given THREE times! “Whoa,” they say, “THREE times must be better if this company is doing it!” Before long, over half of radio commercials were giving the number THREE times.

I’m sure you can see the next part coming.

Somehow someone thinks that bigger numbers are just always better than smaller ones. Of course since this is true, then we know that if a person hears a phone number FOUR times, then they’re 33% more likely to call that number than if they only heard the number THREE times. It naturally follows that these someones have to give their phone number FOUR times in one radio commercial. Yah, that’s 18 seconds of spiel and 12 seconds of phone number.

Where does that leave me, the poor radio listener? I feel like I’m being shot at with a number machine gun. It holds 9 digits in each clip. I cringe with each digit fired. I immediately dislike and am wary of any company that repeats a number FOUR times. THREE times is borderline. I can only hope that companies don’t find a reason to fire five volleys in one commercial. They may actually hit me once or twice.

(A funny thing about this is that one of the first commercials that said the number four times was for short term memory and concentration improvement pills. Do they know their prospective clientele or what?)

I won’t (quite) hang up on you

When you finish talking to someone on the phone and have said all of your goodbyes, do you hang up immediately? Do you check to see if the other person is still talking first? If not, do you ever think the person is saying goodbye or whatever, and they look down and sees you’re not on the phone anymore and gets pissed? I think they might. So, now I say bye, pull the phone off of my ear and give the person a courtesy wait of a few seconds before hanging up. This lets them feel good that they didn’t get shorted on their farewell. I’m just a good guy like that.