Reminder… Don’t Quit a Service You’re Happy With Unless You’re Ready to be Unhappy

A short story about crappy customer service and persistence.
We had Dish for our home TV service. As far as pay TV providers go, Dish is a good company, in my opinion. Helpful/responsive customer service, competitive or even industry-leading feature offering, reliable, etc. But expensive once you get past the new customer discounts.

On a whim, we switched to DirecTV. The new customer rates cut our bill in half. The DVR appeared to have some superior features, features that we actually cared about. We were also sold on a few incorrect statements by the salesman, but so be it. read more

Trunk Club & The Case for Convenience Over Price

Full disclosure: This post is not sponsored/promoted by Trunk Club in any way. However, links to their site do contain a referral code. If you click on these links and sign up, you will be referred to my stylist and I will receive a $50 credit when you spend $50 or more. If you’re interested in signing up but do not want to participate in that referral program, I still recommend you work with my stylist. You can just that by visiting this link.

There are a lot of reviews out there for Trunk Club, along with virtually every clothing subscription service out there. Believe me, I read a lot of them before deciding to sign up. The big trouble I’ve had, which I’m attempting to improve upon here, is two things. One, every review I found involved the reviewer not continuing with the service or even keeping one item. Not out of dissatisfaction necessarily, but because they just wanted to write a review. Two, many are written by fashion bloggers. In my case, I needed help with fashion and happen to be a blogger, but this lengthy post was something I decided to do after signing up, not as the impetus to signing up. read more

Club W: Oversimplified Recommendation Engines

The secret to advertising a product is to make lives better or easier. Or do the same thing cheaper. So when it comes to selling wine, Club W takes the approach of making it easier to pick out a wine you like. Their concept is pretty simple. They ask you a handful of questions about your food preferences, and match your answers up to types of wine. Of course, there is a timer counting down until your new customer discount expires, just for some extra urgency.

I gave it a shot, as I know enough about wine to know which varietals I like and can generally pick out a good bottle in the store. But there’s far more I don’t know, and would love to explore new regions, grapes, etc. read more

Finding a Place to Live When You Hate Everything

I’m always interested in the idea of moving somewhere else. Milwaukee has little to offer to even the biggest optimist1, so that is part of it. But I also like the idea of finding a place that really balances fun and comfort. Not too much day-to-day stress but also an abundance of things to do. I’ve considered all sorts of formulas that manipulate population density, thinking that was a key. Average temperature, number of sunny days and amount/types of precipitation matter a bit too. I’ve thought about cost of living, typical education levels, crime rates, and more. But there’s clearly no magic bullet number that indicates the place for you. read more

Email Marketing Laziness Rocks

Because the marketing efforts by Musicians Friend & Guitar Center are so lazy, I’m going to follow their lead and not bother writing more than 50 words in this post.

I’ve gotten more than one of these emails… Yes, some high paid manager decided it was worth sending this twice.

Idiots.

What If We Just Slowed Down?

In the early days of the internet, it was all about accessibility.  You could find up to date information on all sorts of topics.  You could join newsgroups and constantly learn more about your favorite subjects without waiting for books to be published.

Then things got bigger.  Lots bigger.

And then we had twitter and blogging and everything was about instantaneous information.  You’ve gotta have the latest news and opinions NOW!

Sure, instant has a ton of downside and there’s crazy pressure to put out a story, even when you don’t have all the facts, but it’s still a good deal overall. read more

The JC Penney Fake Twitter Super Bowl Controversy…

It’s not official, but I’m calling it regardless.  Twitter blew up after this happened:

And then this:

Plenty of comments about drunken social media mistakes, and PR disasters and the like.  It was one of those funny moment where we collectively rejoice in someone surely losing their job.

JCP seemingly regrouped nicely enough with this follow-up:

Here’s my problem with it… it’s a professional photo.  How do I know?  Because it’s the same prop they used in a tweet just hree hours earlier. read more

I don’t want to jam. Is that rude?

“We should jam sometime!”

If you play guitar, you hear this often.  I usually don’t even tell people I play guitar (it’s almost like I’m ashamed), but it still comes up eventually in conversation.  And if it happens to come up with another guitarist, all too often you’ll be presented with the invitation to jam.  If you’re one of the people who hear that and are stricken with fear or disgust, this is for you.

Please note that when I say “musicians” I’m mostly referring to western rock/pop musicians.  People that generally play in 3-4 piece bands involving drums, guitars, etc. read more

Apartment life is miserable, ending

I’ve lived in apartments/rentals the vast majority of my life.  I’ve played an instrument for about 15 years, and about 85-90% of that time coincided with the rental life.  I cannot express properly how miserable that is for anyone claiming to be a musician.  Sure, there are countless people who play an instrument in an apartment and either A) don’t give a fuck or B) luck out – but I am not one of them.  I’ve had noise complaints, had the “e” word thrown out early on (that’s “eviction” in case you’re curious), and also have a lovely wife that I don’t want to piss off. read more

Another project??? I are moron

In the words of the poet B. Spears, “oops, I did it again.”  Sorry, that was an embarrassing way to start this.

So I had a Fender Champ 600.  I did not like the sound of a 6″ speaker.  I had a 12″ combo cab I wasn’t using.  See where this is going?  5W tube amp into a 12″ speaker.  Got an Eminence Cannabis Rex speaker.  Doing a convoluted setup to create a 2nd channel via mounting an overdrive pedal.  It will be silly, but sound good.

Moving into our new house in a couple days, so project will have to wait until we unpack most of our stuff for completion.  However, I am desperate to get this one done (unlike other projects).  I put my deadline at September 17th. read more