Is That The Look You Want?

Here’s the new Sam’s Club eyewear ad that Facebook is presenting me because I am squinting in all of it surrepetitious photographs it takes of me in my natural surroundings to better serve me with relevant and interesting advertisements. Little does Facebook know, I only do this to look tough. And, well, to sharpen things up a little bit because I’m probably do for a LASIK touch-up after fourteen years.

But back to the advertisement:

Where have I seen that guy before? Oh, yeah, Revenge of the Nerds:

I spent much of my youth and thousands of dollars in LASIK surgery trying to escape that look, thanks.

Although, on the other hand, Lewis did get the girl, and the actor Robert Carradine has ridden the look and the nerd schtick even into the modern day with the game show The King of the Nerds (and by modern day, I mean a couple years ago, where the ads for this television show heavily populate the comic books I’m reading from that era).

Strangely, Star Trek Didn’t Seem Creepy

On Monday, my son and I had a little time to kill before a meeting, so we stopped in at a small grocery store in Republic, hoping to use the bathroom and to pick up a couple of things that were on the whiteboard on the refrigerator as things to pick up at the grocery.

Strangely, the store had neither orzo or Advil gel caps in stock, so I stopped at the service desk and bought a couple lottery tickets. I explained to my son, who balked because buying lottery tickets was a waste of money since you have no chance to win, that the difference between no chance with no tickets and an infinitesimal chance because you have one lottery ticket is completely different (left unsaid that buying a second ticket, now that is a waste of money). Also, I explained to him the important rule that, if you use the bathroom in a business, you have to buy something.

Suddenly, Facebook is showing me Missouri Lottery ads.

This is very interesting timing, especially since:

  • I paid cash because you cannot use a credit card on it. So there’s no electronic transaction tying my personal identifying information to the purchase.
  • I don’t have Facebook installed on my phone. I mean, I did, but I removed it. Or did I?

So how did Facebook know I bought lottery tickets this week? Science! Of some dark sort. Or luck.

I haven’t checked the numbers yet because I’m lazy about that sort of thing, not the sort of person to watch them as they’re announced on television.

But Facebook has not started showing me ads for really expensive things, so that probably indicates that I didn’t win. Again.

You’re Doing It Wrong

I have no idea what an Axis Strength Trainer is, but I can tell the models in the Facebook advertisement are using it incorrectly.

If you’re smiling when you’re using a piece of physical fitness equipment, you’re doing it wrong.

Also, if you can have a conversation on your cellular phone when you’re working out, you’re not doing it correctly (although shouting quips to passersby is apparently okay in my completely arbitrary life rules, but note that my previous post is about how I do 5Ks, not how they should be done).

Also, kudos to Facebook for either figuring out how to thwart the ad blocker I have installed or for partnering with them to ensure that the informative, helpful ads I really want to see to mock appear in my news feed instead of posts from my friends. To be honest, it sort of beats the previous method, where the posts appeared briefly and then disappeared instantly, like data-driven Tyler Durden stills in my news feed instead of posts from my friends. Also, kudos for the algorithm that determines I really want to see political posts with opposing view points from friends I have not interacted with in years instead of more relevant posts or most recent posts.

Also Not The Right Time: The Night Time

A hearing aid add asks, “Are you wanting to upgrade your current hearing aids?” and adds, “There’s no better time than now!”

Over a picture of a family on a speedboat.

I am no audiologist, but I think it might be a better time to upgrade your hearing aids when you’re at an audiologist’s office.

This is what happens when your low-budget ad shop has already purchased a piece of stock art and needs to use it.

In case you’re wondering, I don’t have hearing aids (yet) to upgrade, but I’m thinking about getting some so I can listen to heavy metal even louder.

When You Get Your Statistics From Facebook Ads

Apparently written by thirteen-year-olds.

For the record, $100,000 in utility bills, specifically electric bills, would take, what, thirty years if solar reduced my bill to absolutely zero and. Of course, the cost of installation and maintenance of said unproven systems would extend that thirty years by a, what, decade or so? So I think this claim might be a little, erm, speculative.

Oh, and add more onto it for the interest if you go $0 down.

A Blue Book Value By Any Other Name

From today’s junk mail:

This is the most aggressive Incentive Program to hit the St. Louis Market and it’s only available to 1997-2002 Model Year vehicle owners in your area. Any customer trading in a 1997-2002 GM vehicle on a like or upgraded 2004 Buick, Pontiac, or GMC will receive 100% of the factory full base model MSRP when new, less a reasonable deduction for mileage and wear!

Perhaps I try to read things too logically, but:

  • Isn’t 100% minus something not 100%?
  • Isn’t that 100% less mileage and wear typically called “blue book value”?

Poor Form, Peter

Kudos to the non-geek marketing types who composed the marketing letter for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, wherein the first lines are:

Human Space Colonies in the 21st Century?

The Viking Orbiter and the Mars Rover have brought us one step closer.

Whyever would a serious student of the space program focus on the Viking Orbiters when the program included two landers of its own. In the nineteen-by God-seventies?

I suspect the person who wrote the copy just didn’t know.

A Forthright eBay Auction

As a recovering amateur eBay seller, I can appreciate this seller’s forthright listing:

    Let me begin by explaining some very important details, this way I do not get 100’s of silly emails asking me to photograph the hind end of some stuffed animals. I DO NOT KNOW crap about these things. This belonged to my ex-wife who had about a 1000 of these Beanie Babies and when she moved, this one box of these got left behind, and now I am selling the goofy little things. Whatever money I make from them will be spent at the local Home Depot on tools and other cool stuff. I do not know which of these babies is retired or new, or whatever. I will list them in no particular order. I will tell you what its name is on the tag, if it has a plastic box or something. All these critter have been stored indoors, and are from a non-smoking home. Again, please do not send me emails asking me to photograp this or that. I am starting the auction at $10.00 and at that price I figure you all can take a chance. I understand from a friends wife that people are afraid to get fakes. FAKES? Fake plush toys? I was amazed. I thought people forged money, not childrens toys. Well I can only say, that 99% of these goofy toys were bought with my money, from eiter the local Hallmark Store, or one of the dozen or so Southern Craft/ collectibles stores I had to go to on a weekly basis buying these ridiculos toys years ago. Happy Bidding! Please take these critters from me so I can buy tools.

    Final Notice and Disclaimer: I know nothing about these stuffed Beanie Babies. I offer no proof of anything. It is a stuffed animal, get over it! I don’t think my ex-wife was in the Black Market Beanie Trade..but then again, I didn’t know she was having an affair either! Thus no gauruntees! All have theior little Heart Shaped tags on their ears.

    Ants – Armidillo
    Almond – Bear
    Knuckles – Pig
    Humphrey – Camel

    Tiptoe – Rat (I must have picked this one)
    Pig – Zodiac Pic (huh?)
    Chipper- Chipmunk or Squirrel (Not Sure)
    Neon – Sea Horse or Sea Serpent

    Goatee- Goat
    Prickles – Hedge Hog
    Steg – Dinosaur (Stegasaurus I guess)
    Manny – Mannatee
    Paul – Walrus (Hey I get that joke..koo-koo-ka-choo)
    Rabbit- Rabbit (Zodiac Critter)
    Sheets – Ghost
    Rainbow – Lizard (cameleon?)
    Batty- Bat

    Peanut – Elephant (comes in a plastic see-thru box)
    Britannia – Bear with British Flag

    Germania – Bear with German Flag

    Eucalyptus – Koala Bear

    Web – Spider (I must have picked all the ugly ones!)
    Beak – Kiwi Bird?

    Scaly – Komodo Dragon or other lizard..not sure!
    Mystic – Unicorn

    Nuts – Squirrel

    (Not Pictured) Mickey Mouse in Hockey Uniform

    ALL OF THEM HAVE THEIR LITTLE HEARTS TAG ON THE EARS!


    On Sep-19-03 at 12:47:48 PDT, seller added the following information:

    A very kind Ebayer wrote me an email and said the following:

    The valuable beanies here are Steg (dinosaur), Humphrey(camel), web (spider) and peanut (elephant). They are worth considerably more if they have the red heart hang tags and if the tags are in good shape – no creases or tears. If you wouldn’t mind giving me more info on those. Also, if you added more info to the auction I’m sure you could get more $$ for your tools!

    To answer her question: I looked and to the best of my looking at them all. None of the ones she mentioned have any torn tags or creased tags. In fact NONE of the little critters have messed up tags. People have been telling me these critters are worth alot of money. I know nothing about them, and told you everything you need to know up in the description. I make no claims on value, and to be honest. I am amazed anyine pays more then a dollar a piece for these things. What happened to collecting STAMPS? Pay what you want for them! IT ALL GOES TO HOMEDEPOT !!!!!! and BEER!


    On Sep-21-03 at 12:21:32 PDT, seller added the following information:

    Okay all you people with nothing better to do! ENOUGH WITH THE EMAILS! I thought I was clear with all that. Here is an Email that I just got from some lady who felt she will try to save my sould or something! Read Below:

    Very clever listing; however it is very likely you have some fakes (counterfeits) among the listing and I suggest you pull them from the auctions until you have them authenticated. Humphrey the camel is an example. It is a requirement of eBay as well as unde the provisions of the U.S. Criminal Cpode that a seller know the authenticity of a trademarked item s/he is selling. Also, an authenticated rare beanie will bring lots of money on the auctions. I’ll let you know the others that are likely fakes, and further it is very unlikely your ex would have left behind these rare ones. If she had 1000 beanies, she knew what she had and their value.

    To sell counterfeits of a trademarked item wold make you a common criminal. Are you being honest? If so, cancel the auction, relist the common beanies, and send the rest for authentication. It would be well worth it financially and would make you honest. Taisha

    WELL TAISHA! I don’t CARE! I told everyone in the begining everything I know and don’t know about these STUPID animals! I ahve an idea for all people that are so worried about this…..DON’t BID! I dont care! I am so upset that this clown of a woman figured out my SUPER PLAN TO SCAM MILLIONS FROM THE UNKNOWING BEANIE WORLD! I FIGURED I WOULD RETIRE FROM THIS RUSE! What a dolt she is! I have blocked her from my bidder list, that way she can cry about it. Some people are UNREAL! GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Winning bid was $860. Better than I ever did, even any single auction in the great Playboy Job of 2000.

(Link seen on Pejmanesque.)

She Wolf or She Male? Which Sub Place Tonight?

John Kass of the Chicago Tribune contrasts the current commercials of submarine sandwich chains (registration required).

Compare:

The commercial starts off with two guys holding toasted subs.

“One guy asks, `What? You don’t like it? Were you raised by wolves?’

“The other guy has a far-away look in his eyes. Then there’s a flashback, and he’s in business attire, suckling at a grown she-wolf, fighting off other wolf cubs, the only thing is, he’s not a wolf. He’s a guy, in business attire, suckling on a wolf.”

We stood there, silently pondering the image, trying to figure out why wolf milk might inspire a guy to buy a sub.

Contrast:

This one involves a tense fellow who dresses in a cheerleader outfit, and swishes his pompoms in the middle of his driveway, with the neighbors watching, including the neighbor with the video camera.

In the commercial, the cross-dresser tells his terrified daughter not to worry, that although he’s “been bad,” he had the special sandwich. He’s absolved himself with a sub.

Makes me want to order pizza, too.

A Nice Place To Keep Sodas

While perusing America’s Second Freedom, I’ve often encountered an ad from Browning touting its gun safes. How does it do so? By presenting the testimonial of Inmate #8390027, a.k.a. “Sledge”: “When I get out, I’m getting a Browning safe.”

Text of the ad indicates:

Sledge is currently serving a seven to 15-year [sic] sentence for his fifth conviction for breaking and entering an occupied dwelling (he has plea bargained away over 20 other “B & Es” and admits that he has done more than he could count in his 13-year criminal career). In a letter to Browning written from his cell, Sledge freely admits, “My partner and I broke into hundreds of houses, many with so-called gun safes, and after we tried to get into a Browning gun safe, it was the last thing we ever wanted to see.”

In his letter, Sledge cites a previous advertisement for Browning gun safes under the headline, “The Competition Hates Our Guts.” He responds, “Now that I see what goes into your safe, I see why I could never open one. The competition isn’t the only one who hates your guts!” Sledge can’t stay locked away forever. Isn’t it nice to know your valuables can?

While I see Browning’s goal with this article, which is to say a convicted burglar/home invader knows a Browning gun safe is a good gun safe, but let’s reiterate the eye-catching headline:

“WHEN I GET OUT, I’M GETTING A BROWNING SAFE.”

Class, discuss the reasons that Mr. Sledge would own a gun safe. Would it be:

  • A safe place in which he, a convicted felon, could store weapons that he possessed illegally since he is prohibited from owning guns.
  • A good way to practice breaking into Browning gun safes.
  • A cool, dry place to store sodas.

Apparently Browning must think it was the last option.