Sunday, March 27, 2011

Shopping Savvy Turns Profit

You won't find a deal like this in any store flier; how about $38 for $60 worth of  iTunes cards!

The flier advertised $48 for four $15 iTunes cards. I headed over to the sale and purchased the package of four cards last Saturday, but didn't noticed the cashier charged me $55.

Days later, Susan happened to see the bill on our kitchen counter and noticed I had been overcharged. We headed to the chain's downtown store to ask for the $7 I had been overcharged. We were told we had to go to the store where the purchase had been made. Susan reminded me of the widespread and rarely honored price policy which entitles a shopper to an additional $10 in the event of an overcharge.

We finally had a chance to drive to the original store today to ask for the $7 difference, plus the $10 to which the price policy entitled us. I was all set to bicker and bite and was getting pumped to blog about the unpleasant ordeal.

They listened to my explanantion, checked the flier, which Susan had kept, checked the bill and calmly handed me $17.

Credit where credit's due; thanks to the Unit 31 Future Shop!

Mostly, thanks to MDG, Susan!

With my $60 dollars worth of  iTunes cards, bought for $38, I indulged my podaholic cravings with the purchase of tracks by Deadmau5 and John Legend.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Giant Step for Moosekind

When Susan got up at 5 o'clock this morning to give Moose her insulin injection, she mentioned the moon was big and bright in our backyard. I got up to see. Last night, Tristan and I were on the back deck, looking at the moon through binoculars. Earth's satellite was just just over 221,000 miles away, the closest it's been to our planet since March 1993. Its proximity made it 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter. I couldn't really see the difference. To me, it looked just as impressive as it always does when it's full on a clear night.

I remembered standing at the far end of our backyard with Tristan in my arms, looking up at the Hyakutake comet in 1996.

My sister-in-law and niece were here for a few days. They left this morning. Last night, my niece won at Scrabble. I cannot win one game! I did manage to beat Tristan and that's something, since he managed to beat the nephew who, too consistently, beats me. Of course, the nephew in question relies on his mental stash of chintsy two-letter words.

There are a lot of two-letter words that are perfectly reasonable, such as "to","my","as","at","of","it","go" and so on. If he used words like those, I wouldn't be compelled to challenge them. Instead, he's smugly snapping down words like "wo", "li", "za", "qi" and "na"! I'm left with no choice but to challenge his ridiculous vocabulary, which means I repeatedly miss my turn. As the game goes on, I sit there, gathering dust! He's also pretty good with hooks, adding letters to words to make new words, thereby greedily gobbling up piles of points!

If only he could win using words spoken by real human beings!

Huh? How about it, Ryan?

We went on a shopping trip this weekend so the niece could purchase some fashionable items of clothing. Tristan and I dashed ahead of Susan, Lana and Kayla as we were all walking back to the car in the shopping centre parking lot. Hiding behind a nearby vehicle, I used the remote to unlock the door. When the ladies tried to open the door, I would lock it again. Then, for variety, I would occasionally honk the horn. Tristan and I giggled our brains out!

I had foolishly forgotten Moose would soon need her insulin injection and we should have been heading back home to make sure she got it within the prescribed twelve hour cycle. By the time we decided the prank had gone on long enough, Susan was ready to send me to the moon! As close as it was to Earth yesterday, she probably would have been able to physically propel me right to the lunar surface.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beware the Beauty Show

When I say it's a special place, consider me guilty of grossly understating the facts. Once a year, the Allied Beauty Association show rolls into Montreal. All year, Susan eagerly looks forward to its arrival. All year, I eagerly struggle to repress my memory of the previous year's show. As it turns out, I've already begun, with the help of a dedicated therapist, trying to repress my memory of this year's spree! We were there Sunday and I'm, only now, starting to feel comfortable enough to talk about it.

May I just say here that beauty takes a beating at the beauty show! The hairstyles worn by visitors to the show are, in both color and form, downright frightening! The hairdos jut, jab, blind and dazzle. Many of the hairstyles had me wondering whether the creatures wearing them had managed to find parking on the busy city streets for their spaceships.

As a feature reporter looking for visual ways to cover the event, I've been on-camera with strands of foil in my hair as stylists added "low lights". One year, a team of beauty professionals at the ABA show worked tirelessly to transform me, over the course of one morning's live reports, into a metrosexual. Sadly, by that afternoon, the sophistication had come completely unravelled. Evidently, it never returned.

At one point in Sunday's precarious mission, Susan had bought so much Bed Head product that she was reluctant to go back into the booth to buy more. The dreaded test came; she called my number and, swallowing nervously, I took two steps foward and, innocently and ever-sweetly, agreed to the task.


It turns out I botched the assignment by purchasing conditioner instead of shampoo! The sizeable error was only detected at home. In fairness to my piddly competence, was I warned not to buy conditioner? Was I told that both conditioner and shampoo were being sold? Was I told to make sure I did not pick up the identical bottle of conditioner by mistake? When she slapped the cash into my hand, I was offered no instruction whatsoever. I was forced to rely on my modest smattering of reflexes and wits. So much for those.



At the beauty show I, inevitably, end-up pushing the wheelbarrow through the aisles behind beaming Susan as she excitedly chooses products from the various shelves, racks, tabletops and bins. Skipping merrily through the aisles with dollar bills flittering from her purse, her exclamations and interjections provide fair warning that products are about to be tossed and flung into the wheelbarrow with a plop, crash or thud.

Don't get me wrong, the beauty show is thoroughly educational and, for future reference, beauty is only bin deep.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Failed Role Models Ride It Out

The reality in our messed-up world is that notoriety outshines integrity.

That's lousy news for people who genuinely try to be good because, as it turns out, screw-ups reap far juicier rewards. Whether you're a professional golf superstar or the President of the United States, there's no need to strive for good because, first, all will be forgotten and then, all will be forgiven.

Just ride it out.

There's no need for ordinary people to hold themselves up to a higher standard because in our society, sleazeballs like Tiger Woods and Bill Clinton are the role models who set the standard. Not even Michael Jordan is perfect! The excuse is entirely convenient; no one has to be a role model, not Tiger Woods to fans and not fathers to sons.

You ought to be accountable for your actions and choices. Regardless of fame and fortune, full price ought to be paid for transgressions, otherwise, what's the point of choosing good, being decent, aiming high and making reasonable, responsible choices in life?

The degree of disgust may vary, the repentance tends to lack conviction, but there's no shortage of names spewing infinitely from the bowels of society; Sheen, Clinton, Woods, Rose, Bertuzzi, Spitzer, Tillman, Schroeder, Heatley, Simpson, Giscard, Jordan, Berlusconi...

It's a veritable blur!

The reality in our messed-up world is that victims are forgotten long before criminals. I'm hoping dog-lovers have a longer memory than society as a whole.

A story on the wire today reported Michael Vick has signed a one-year contract with the Eagles. On February 15th, he was designated as the team's franchise player. He had his best season with career highs in yards passing, touchdown rushing, completion percentage and passer rating. He was voted Associated Press Player of the Year and, last month, was runner-up to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as the NFL's Most Valuable Player.

He ran an interstate dogfighting ring and routinely tortured, strangled, drowned and electrocuted dogs. Most of the more than forty fighting and bait dogs seized from Vick have been permanently scarred, physically and psychologically.

It certainly sounds like Michael Vick is over it all. Life's good again. Forgetful and indifferent football fans pour on the accolades as Vick expresses hope he'll soon be allowed to own a dog, although he freely admits it's more for his children than for himself.

Is the ex-convict still a sociopath? While he may have learned the difference between legal and illegal, Vick would have to know the difference between right and wrong to be able to answer that question.

In reference to Vick, a Los Angeles Times article suggested cruelty to animals isn't something somebody does, it's something somebody is.

To dog-lovers, our animals are dear friends and family members.

Knowing what dogs have to give to their owners, seeing these delightful creatures abused on television programs or in real life, is a source of unspeakable turmoil to dog-lovers.

I've never been a "forgive and forget" guy. Stink stays with me. Your sizeable crimes are not forgotten and will not be forgiven.

History and nations will agree, the passage of time does not make war crimes any less grotesque, or the pain and suffering they caused any less real, or pertinent.

In my book, Michael Vick equals slime dog.