Tuesday, February 7, 2012

There is a show on TV called "Extreme Couponing"

WARNING: This is long.  It takes more like two minutes to read, not 37 seconds.  But it's worth it.  In my attempt to avoid post Superbowl coverage, one of the things that has come across my television is "Extreme Couponing."  It's a show about insane people who live for "saving" the most money they can with coupons.  The first thing you need to know about it is that the word "coupon" is a verb.  For example the lady in the picture said "I feel like I've been blessed with this talent, being able to coupon is what's allowing me to enjoy my life."  The second important thing is that these people have what they call "stockpiles."  They fill their basements, bathroom closets, and sometimes children's bedrooms with enormous amounts of groceries and other products they buy in mass quantities (also pictured below is the aforementioned lady's "stockpile").  A different crackpot women on the show said "I do think my stockpile is almost as beautiful as my family."

The average shopping experience on the show involves several hours of research.  They meticulously sort through hundreds of coupons and store ads, often deciding to buy large amounts of things they don't even want/need because they "make money" on them.  For example, if the store has a sale on cat food 3 for $5, and they have a coupon for $1.25 off that cat food (and the store doubles coupons) they can technically buy one for negative 83 cents, and apply that savings to other purchases.  Even though they don't have a cat.  My favorite part of the episode I saw was when the lady above bought 35 bottles of Maalox (although looking at both her and her "stockpile" that may well be something she actually needs).

The other thing that happens is they make detailed lists in which they divide the items they are going to buy into separate transactions, because they often have several of the same coupon but are only allowed to use one per transaction.  The kook who likes her collection as much as her family split up two shopping carts of stuff into 18 different transactions.  How the staff of these stores doesn't freak out on these people is beyond me (I know it's fake for TV, but it must also happen in real life).  Sometimes the store doesn't allow this though.  In the case of the lady in the picture, she wanted to split her load into 7 transactions because the store was having a sale for $10 off every $50 spent.  However, there was a rule, just one transaction per person.  So after she and her husband went through, they decided to call all of their friends and waited until 5 of them could show up to help them finish checking out (Imagine if a friend of yours called you up and said "Hey, I need you to come down and meet me at the grocery store so I can save $10").

This lady bought $562 worth of stuff for $25.  But that's NOT what blows my mind about it.  Sure she "saved" $537.  But she bought things she didn't want.  She did several hours of research beforehand (not to mention they had to go to the store at 6 am to make sure it had everything she "needed").  She and her husband were in the store for 5 hours (one hour just to check out), plus their 5 other friends all had to take an hour out of their day to come help.  And then she had to go home and put it all away.  So my question is, what is her TIME worth?  It calculates out to about the same as if she'd just gone to work as a cashier in the store she shopped at.

Monday, February 6, 2012

My reaction to the end of football season

When my team loses a championship, I try to forget about it as fast as I can and move on.  I haven't checked facebook, twitter, or any of my other normal interweb destinations in over 24 hours now.  That is easily a record since I started writing this blog (way longer than when the Sox choked away the Wild Card last fall).  And usually I have some sort of ESPN on my TV in the background all day, but today the only thing I've got on is the music channels in the 500's.  There's a reason I picked the name LucidSportsFan.  It's because in situations like this, I like to take a step back and think about it from a rational perspective.  Sports are entertainment.  They are supposed to be fun.  Hearing/reading/seeing more of what happened yesterday (and the aftermath) is definitely NOT fun; so why subject myself to it?

I'd like to write something about the Celtics game yesterday, and how they're continuing to look better and better, but I think I am just going to take a break from the sports world today.

And I know the picture makes no sense whatsoever.  But it is vaguely related.  It's Rihanna in the movie "Battleship" that's coming out in April, and I saw an ad for it yesterday during the game for the first time.  The guy who plays the vampire "Eric" in True Blood is in it too.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My 100% ACCURATE GUARANTEED Superbowl Prediction

There is one thing that I am absolutely certain is going to happen in the Superbowl today: The New York Giants will have the ball first.  Throughout the season I was constantly noticing that the Patriots were regularly kicking off to open games.  And then I recently stumbled upon this stat: The last 29 times New England has won the coin flip, they have elected to differ.  And on top of that, the past 31 times the Giants have won the toss they have elected to receive.  So mark it down, New York will be on offense for the opening possession.

A week ago I posted a Superbowl poll (look to the right) on this blog.  So far there are only 8 votes, but roughly 700 people have visited this page since then.  That percentage sucks.  So vote if you haven't.  And I'm kind of shocked that nobody has picked the Giants yet.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Massachusetts State House has a "General Hooker Entrance"

Maybe this is common knowledge.  Back in 2002 I lived next door to the State House for an entire year.  I have walked by it hundreds of times before.  But somehow I only noticed this for the first time last week.  I don't know how I missed it.  It's not like it's hidden or anything, it's right there in front with signs everywhere.

There are so many potential jokes here... But I think I want to go with something along the lines of "Clearly this shows the difference between politics on the local and national level.  At the White House they have a tiny little passageway around back labeled Very Specific High-End Escort Doorway.  Bada-bing.

Friday, February 3, 2012

How has Toronto managed to win 7 games this year?

After going to a Celtics/Raptors pre-season game, my comment then was that Toronto didn't look much like an NBA team.  Wednesday night's game went a long way towards supporting my theory.  With just 55 seconds to go Boston led 100-60.  I thought the most encouraging signs for the Celtics were that they scored 57 points in the first half (a season high in a year where they frequently fall behind early), and that none of the starters played more than 26 minutes, while sitting out the entire 4th quarter.

The highlight of the game was probably Garnett's 3 pointer at the end of the first half, just his 5th as a Celtic.  Something I never realized though, he used to shoot from beyond the arc with some regularity back in Minnesota; even making 37 of them in '01-'02.  However my personal highlight of the game was that both "ridiculously loud guy who makes no sense" (who normally sits behind me) and "permanently angry drunk couple" (who usually sit on my left) were not in attendance.  Don't look now, but if it wasn't for that four minute slip up at the end of Sunday's game against the Cavs, Boston would be on a 7 game winning streak.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Maybe I should have read the rules first...

Apparently my brilliant idea wasn't so brilliant after all.  There is a policy with google adsense that says I am not allowed to ask people to click on the ads.  It makes total sense now that I think about it.  Oh well.  It's a good thing I didn't quit my bar job just yet.  So you can officially disregard what I said 2 days ago.  Add this to the list of things I keep learning about how the magical interweb works.

Unfortunately the SNL "Bad Idea Jeans" add is not on youtube.  I did find this one though:

And here it is on Hulu.

Most likely I'll put up another post later today about last night's Celtics game.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Awesome Old Song(s) of the Week: "Gonna Make You Sweat/Here We Go" by C + C Music Factory

First, please read my update at the bottom of yesterday's blog.

C + C Music Factory was all over the Billboard charts in 1991.  Allegedly these were two different songs; "Gonna Make You Sweat" was their first single, and "Here We Go" was the second.  When I was 14 years old I loved them both, even though I knew they were really the same thing.  And the group basically admitted as much when they went on Saturday Night Live and performed them both simultaneously:

C + C Music Factory had a bit of a Milli Vanilli controversy when it was revealed that a much larger women had actually sang the vocals in their first music video.  Also, from my various web searches today it looks like the internet seems to be implying that the C + C guys (producers Robert Clivilles and David Cole) were a gay couple.  If that is the case, it's too bad they had to hide it.  If not, oops.

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