Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A tale of two advertisments. . .

Here is something WAY fun for all my blogger fans. . .

First I am posting an advertisement that a friend sent me that I thought was EXTREMELY funny--and I believe it actually won an award. Oh, and please note that if you find the text hard to read--just click on the ad and it will enlarge for you.

And next we have my lil' grandson 'Sam' deciding he is ready to go into the advertising biz himself. . . here is is with his own improvisation of a child REALLY REALLY SATISFIED with his Tropicana Orange Juice Drink. . .

What d'ya think? Think they'll try and sign him up as a spokesman?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Women and the proverbial SALE!

OK. . . so once upon a time I met 3 of my gal pals to go shopping (you can see them pictured here) and let me tell you women's shopping is a contest worthy of any 'American Gladiator' or 'Ninja Warrior' competition. . . (and yes, I have a DVR now and I've familiarized myself with both these shows)

Well. . . let me tell you about this particular day. . . and the CONTEST that we went through to get the absolute BEST SALE. . .

Oh, by the way, for the uninitiated, women and 'sales shopping' go back as far as cavemen and clubs. . .
You know the men and their 'biggest' fish stories? . . . (I think I actually have an example on my blog with my own dear hubby) And if you read an earlier post of mine you will recall the 'one-upmanship' that women do to each other with their tales from 'real life' (when they get together to 'share'). . . Women are not so bold and unashamedly direct as their male counterparts when telling these 'stories'. . . they are much more subtle, catty and deceitful about it. . . (after all, it's in good fun, you know!)

Anyway--I'm digressing here--my point is that one fine day ALL of us went on an 'all day shopping spree' to find that ONE PERFECT SALE that would beat all the others. The sale that would drive lesser minions and bargain-shopping wannabes right out of the factory outlet parking lot.

And of course we met for an early dinner to discuss our prizes and gloat over our 'finds'. . .

After exchanging polite pleasantries--we got down to the real nitty-gritty and discussed the 'ABSOLUTE STEAL OF THE DAY'. . . that rare elusive find that would just drive the others crazy with envy and make us the BEST BARGAIN SHOPPER OF ALL TIME
(never mind the fact that we were completely worn to a frazzle and could barely hold ourselves upright at the table)

I'll skip to the GOOD STUFF. . . Here's how the conversation ended--and I will leave it up to you to determine the 'winner'. It doesn't take a special agent from the FBI or brain surgeon to figure it out (and I've actually had experiences with both--but that's ANOTHER story)

Gal pal #1: Oh MAN! What a day I've had. Just LOOK at what I got. (she hoists 4 giant shopping bags up to the table totaling more than 50 pounds) Check THIS one out--(she pulls a sweater from one of the bags) Can you believe this? Look at the TAG! It was marked 50% off--but I opened up a new account and got an additional 10% off AND I had a 20% coupon to boot--so I GOT 80% off this brand new silk SWEATER! It only cost me 20 bucks! Couldn't you just DIE!

I had to admit it was very pretty and just my size-and I was wondering how I could slip it into one of my bags unnoticed when gal pal #2 chimed in:

Gal pal #2: Wait! Wait! Wait! You have got to see THIS! (she ruffles through over 2 dozen bags and boxes totaling nearly 75 pounds and plops 3 giant shoe boxes on the table) The Unbelievable Shoe Factory was having an unadvertised sale in their store--buy one and get THREE FREE! Look at my new shoe wardrobe! I got these hooker red stiletto heels, chocolate cherry truffle leather boots, black as sin suede mules, and I only went in to buy some cheap, cheesey sandals for my upcoming beach trip--and I got them TOO, by the way. I only spent 10 bucks for everything!

We were all turning green with envy and very impressed when gal pal #3 spoke up:

Gal pal #3: Well. . . I didn't wanna say anything, because I'm going back right after dinner---but oh, well, I just HAVE to show you! (she goes over to the next table where she has deposited all 47 packages which total well over 100 pounds, and pulls out a long, shiny box and in one grand sweeping gesture, swipes the other gal pals 'finds' to the floor)

Gal pal #3: Would you look at THIS??? (She opens the box to reveal 3 jackets, 2 pair of pants, a belt, and 2 dresses) Banana Republic was having a 'We Might Be, But We're Not Really Sure Going Out Of Business Sale' and I got ALL of this stuff for just 5 bucks!

Gal pal # 1: (very skeptical) Come on! FIVE BUCKS? Lemme see the receipt. . .

Gal pal #3: (obligingly pulls out the receipt) See for yourself.

Gal pal #2: (looking over gal pal #1's shoulder) Would you look at that? Mark down, after mark down, after mark down. . . why I've never seen so many markdowns. How did you do it?

Gal pal #1: (still not letting go of the skepticism) Yeah, how DID you do it?

Gal pal #3: (faltering a bit) Well. . . I did promise to go out with the manager after I get off work tomorrow---and I gave him my cell number. (the song 'There's A Sucker Born Every Minute' goes off in her purse) Oops! I think I've got a text message. . . gotta run! (she starts to scoop up her treasures and begins heading out of the cafe)

Which leaves gal pals #1 and #2 looking expectantly at me. . .

Me: Well, I don't wanna brag or anything. . .

Gal pal #1: Then don't.

Gal pal #2: It's OK--we can take it. . . Come on! What'd you find?

Me: Well. . . it's not much--I mean, I don't have NEARLY the stuff you guys managed to find. . .

Gal pal #1: Quit your whining and just tell us what you got.

Gal pal #3 (pauses and readjusts her packages) Oh, I guess I could stay a minute to see what you found. . . come on 'showmethesale', did you live up to your name?

Me: (I pull out one medium size shopping bag and set it on the corner of the table. The probable weight was less than 8 pounds) Well, I went to every store that had a sale sign out in front. . .

All 3 gal pals: Yeah?

Me: And I really didn't find much of anything. . .

Gal pal #3: (not really meaning it) Oh, I'm so sorry.

Gal pal #2: Yeah, that's really too bad. . .

Gal pal #1: (not buying it and shrewder than ever) AND????

Me: And then I came to this one tiny store--way in the back of the outlet shops, where no one ever goes. . . and they were having a 'secret sale' on handbags.

All three Gal pals: (Their interest has perked up immensely) Really?

Me: Yeah, and you know how I LOVE handbags. . . so I was looking around and I found these two adorable leather handbags that I absolutely loved. . . and I couldn't decide between the two--so I went up to the sales lady and asked what the prices were on them, because the tags had so many red slashes and mark downs on them that it was impossible to read. . .

All three Gal pals: (Now they are practically salivating with anticipation) Go on!

Me: Well. . . the sweet lil' lady behind the counter said that these two particular bags were being discontinued. . .

All three Gal pals: (Gasp)

Me: And that if I would just get them out of her store so that she could have room to display her new stock that I could have them for FREE along with few other items she needed to move. . .

All three Gal pals: (sharp intake of breath) WHAT OTHER ITEMS?

Me: (calling to Rocco who was patiently waiting outside the bistro) Oh Rocco, sweetie, could you come in here for a sec? And bring the 'stuff'. . .

Rocco comes in pushing a large rack of garment bags filled with coats, dresses, tops, trousers, and a stuffed giraffe. My gal pals are speechless and about to explode with sheer envy.

Gal pal #3: That's CRAZY! You're LYING! Wait! What are you holding in your hand?
(she rips the certificate from the store outta my hand and faints dead on the floor)

Gal pals #2 & #1: (with fear and trembling) What is it? What did it say?

Me: (smiling sweetly) Oh, nothing. It's just a 50.00 gift certificate to the store for taking this stuff off her hands. . . anyone wanna go shopping?

And to all my blogger friends out there--yer darn tootin' I didn't come by this 'Showmethesale' name fer nuthin!

Monday, February 18, 2008

TiVo Madness. . . and boy, am I MAD!

OK folks. . . here's the deal. I try to be as 'up to date' as the next person and let me just say from the start that I was THRILLED when my children all chipped in together and got the ole' man and I a TiVo for Christmas. . .

What with all the comings and goings at our house after Christmas--and the fact that I was a bit hesitant to start up a learning curve on a new toy--I didn't actually open up the TiVo box and try to set it up until this past Saturday. Dear Hubby and youngest son were home and at the ready to help me. . . so I felt this would be a fun project for a Saturday night. . .


My dear daughter had showed me her TiVo and all the cool programming features--and told me how SUPER EASY it was for her dear hubby to set up. (in under 30 minutes) AND that if I ran into problems, there were such nice, friendly TiVo staff waiting at the other end of a phone call. . .

So ever hopeful and armed with POSITIVE THOUGHTS--youngest son and I opened up the box and began our crazy journey. And actually we got the TiVo all set up. As I was scrolling through the menu, answering all the appropriate questions, I came to this one where it asked if you see video in the background. I was not paying attention and I accidentally clicked 'yes' (when in reality there was no video in the background) so I tried to scroll back--and the remote wouldn't let me do it. So before I did anything else wrong---I called up the 'friendly TiVo customer service people' to see if they could tell me what the problem was.

TiVo Gal: Hi! This is your friendly TiVo person. What can I help you with?

Me: I am having a problem either with my TiVo or the remote. You see, I got it set up and . . .

TiVo Gal: (cutting in) How old is your TV?

Me: How old is my TV? Isn't that kind of a personal question?

TiVo Gal: (not getting the humor) Do you have a really old TV or something? Is that what this is about?

Me: Well, it's about 7 years old, but it works just fine and what I wanted to ask you was. . .

TiVo Gal: GOOD GRIEF! A TV that's SEVEN YEARS OLD??? No wonder you are having problems. Let me talk you through the process and see if you hooked it up properly.

Me: Uhh. . . OK

TiVo Gal: Did you use the splitter for your cable box? Did you hook the. . .

Me: (interrupting) I don't have a cable box.

TiVo Gal: Don't fool yourself! You've GOT to have a cable box for a 7 year old TV. Now follow these instructions and I will help you connect your TiVo properly.

So we proceed to BUILD some sort of 'cable box' and while my youngest son had to strip the cables from his game system to hook up to all the splitters, my poor hubby was trying to connect the mobile phone to the routers, the grafters to the bailing wire, the hefters to the TV, then to the the TiVo and back again. . .

After nearly an hour of removing wires and parts and adding new ones according to TiVo gal--she says:

TiVo Gal: It sounds about right now. Turn it on and tell me what you see.

Me: Uh. . . We can't get the TV to work now.

TiVo Gal: Is it turned on?

Me: Yes it's turned on. The TiVo is turned on too--but the screen is totally blank. Nothing works now. (I was becoming sort of upset.)

TiVo Gal: But you have to admit you have a lovely cable box now, right?

Me: Hey--what I was trying to ask you in the first place was. . .

TiVo Guy: Hi, this is TiVo Guy. TiVo Gal transferred you over to me and says you are not being very helpful and she can't figure out what your problem is.

Me: She never let me state what my problem was.

TiVo Guy: Just CALM DOWN. There is no need to panic. I am going to ask you really simple questions and all I want you to do is give me very simple answers.

Me: OK

TiVo Guy: Don't try to be funny. Don't add anything else than the answer I am looking for. And please, just CALM DOWN.

Me: (starting to get a TAD annoyed at TiVo Guy--I say nothing)

TiVo Guy: Now, in your own words--what do you think the problem is?

Me: Well, I hooked up the TiVo and when I got to the menu part, there was this screen that came up and. . .

TiVo Guy: Now you are rambling. How old is your TV?

Me: It's 7 years old, but why do you--

TiVo Guy: Tut! Tut! Tut! That's good enough. Let's go with that right there. So you have this really old, decrepit TV. Do you have a cable box?

Me: Well, I didn't before tonight--but the other person helped me and my family build one--so yeah, I guess I do.

TiVo Guy: You really aren't helping matters at all. First you DON'T have one--then you DO have one. Look, I want to help you but you are going to have to be more cooperative. If you DO have a cable box--just GET RID OF IT RIGHT NOW. You don't need it. Throw it OUT!

Me: You have got to be kidding.

TiVo Guy: Do I sound like I'm kidding? NO CABLE BOX. We can hook you up without one. But you are going to have to start over and do everything I say in the order I say it--OK?

I look at Dear Hubby who is reaching for the screwdriver to plunge into his neck, and youngest son who is retreating to his room. I scan the piles of cable, routers, splitters, chewers, bailing wire, adapters, shafters, antennas, and what was left of our TV and as politely as I can through gritted teeth say:

Me: No thank you. I think I can do this myself and how about if I run into any trouble or have a simple question, I give you a call back?

TiVo Guy: That's what we're here for! You got any problems or questions--just give us a call. And above all else--PLEASE REMAIN CALM.

The phone conversation ended, whereupon dear hubby and youngest son and I ripped that TiVo out so fast, (along with the makeshift cable box) and put the TV back the way it was. . . and viola! Once again it worked!

First thing Monday morning I call and cancel the the TiVo service I signed up for.

The customer service guy was so surprised that I canceled service only after two days!

He asks me: What went wrong? How come you didn't like the service? Why weren't you happy? Could you please tell me the reason you used the service for such a short time? I've NEVER heard of a person using TiVo for only TWO days before, for crying out loud! Why didn't you call someone to help you, if you were having any trouble? We have such nice, friendly staff to help with ANY question and problem, and if you only would have called they would have talked you through a very simple process. . .

I just smiled over the phone and told him: Just cancel my service and PLEASE REMAIN CALM!

He did. (at least the cancel my service part--I have no idea how 'calm' he was) Then I hung up, went down to my local cable company and arranged for them to come out and bring me a DVR and set it up for me. No problem! No 'simple process'! And they didn't even ask me how old my TV was! (I'm sure my TV really appreciates it!)

Sorry. . . but I'm just NOT impressed with the TiVo people.

Catchy name! Cute icon. LOUSY SERVICE!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ahhhhh. . . it's just before midnight here in the northwest corner of the country and so I am starting early to wish all my 5.7 blogger friends (yep! it's starting to multiply now--woohoo!) a GREAT BIG HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!


May you get all kinds of kisses, hugs, embraces and other mushy stuff from the ones you love. . .

May you get all kinds of chocolates, flowers, candles, goodies, treats, and surprises to thrill and delight you. . .

As for me. . . Dear Hubby knows what I REALLY want. . . and I ain't sayin' what it is yet--cuz I don't wanna jinx it. . . but it's gotta be BIG and EXPENSIVE and something that I totally don't need but just GOTTA HAVE anyway!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

So you think you're cold?

Whooo boy!

I just received an e-mail from my mother-in-law who decided that by cheering me up from complaining about the COLD RAINY weather we are experiencing here in the northwest that she would give me a little perspective on what COLD really IS. . .

If you freeze to death viewing these photos, you have her to thank for it!

These incredible photos you are about to see are of Versoix, Switzerland. (which is a town close to Geneva City)

Perhaps you should throw a parka on or snuggle up in a warm blanket before viewing these. . . I guess I will never complain about 'cold' again!

OK. . . who's ready for a nice hot cup of cocoa by the fireplace?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bucket list. . .

A good friend of mine and I went to see the movie 'The Bucket List' this week. . . and we both enjoyed it. It made me stop and think about my own 'bucket list' (or in other words: things I wanna do before I 'kick the bucket')

Without becoming too maudlin or esoteric or smarmy (those are really cool words, by the way!) I have a few things I would like to do before I vanish into the night.

Here's my personal 'BUCKET LIST'. . .

(Please be aware that this was thought up in the few quick minutes on the way back home from the movie theater--so it's still a work in progress)

Oh, and one more thing---let's assume that it's already a GIVEN that I will be spending some time with family/friends and contemplating the deep meaning of life, etc. . . OK?

OK--ready to proceed--and these are in no particular order:

1) Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

2) Write a book

3) See the Great Pyramids, Great wall of China, Tour the Greek Isles, Visit Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, France, England, the ruins of Machu Picchu,and tour the Holy Land-(and any other exotic place that strikes my fancy between now and then that I read about or think of that I haven't already been to!)

4) Go on an archaeological dig of some sort in a far away land.

5) Go on an South African safari.

6) Act in some sort of community theater production--or better yet--TV or film!

7) Take some sort of dance or movement class and get pretty darn good at it.

8) Have some sort of 'get away' place, perhaps on an isle in the Bahamas, or Mexico--or even some cabin in the mountains or along the Oregon coast.

9) Drive a targa carera porsche, Audi TT roadster, or a BMW Z4 OR have owned a mini cooper or at least one little sports-type car for at least FIVE MINUTES!

10) Go on one game show or talk show and participate and have a great time.

11) Take a bunch of different classes on all kinds of subjects and continue learning always. . .

12) Help a complete stranger change their life for the better (and not have them know who did it) and not just one person--as many as I can. . .

13) Have my wits about me right up to the end. . . oh and if possible, the ability to fly and teleport!

That's all I could think of before I pulled into the driveway and got out of the car and back into reality. . .

If any of you reading this blog have some definite ideas for your own 'bucket list'--please feel free to leave a comment and let's add them to this post and see what great stuff we can come up with. . .

At the very least--I hope this inspired you think of your OWN ideas that you would like to try or do before you 'kick the bucket'. . .

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Monday, February 4, 2008

The adorable SAM & MAX!

You know this was BOUND to happen sooner or later. . .

Here's a little tribute to my cute lil' grandbabies (whom I have been calling Sam and Max)

A little collage of some of my favorite pics:

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Words to live by. . .

OK. . . a bit of a more serious note here. . .

Did you ever receive one of those e-mails from a friend that was forwarded by someone else A ZILLION times--and just as you are about to hit the 'delete' button you actually stop to read it and have an 'aha' moment?

For some reason at that precise moment it really connects--the light bulb goes on--the elevator reaches all the way to the top floor and you actually PAUSE TO THINK for a change. . .

Well, that's what happened to me this morning. I actually got TWO forwarded e-mails that made me do a deep intake of breath (before I reached for that delete button)! I'm not going to share these e-mails because they are stories you've probably heard before already anyway--but I WILL share with you what they made me think of:

1) The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

2) Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

3) We don't stop laughing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop laughing.

Right now that song: 'I Hope You Dance' comes to mind. . . as well as a myriad of thoughts of how best to make lemonade of the lemons we are thrown sometimes--and how best to use this all too brief time period we call mortality.

Ahhh. . . that enjoy the journey and not just the destination advice we got from our 'elders' is beginning to make a lot more sense.

Sometimes you need that 'shot in the arm' from those mass forwarded e-mails that come unbidden into your inbox. . . And right now I think I need to dance!