Sunday, September 27, 2009

A business suggestion that can make someone a small fortune

I have a suggestion for someone looking to make some nice coin. Start an assembling company - that is, a company that you hire that will put together furniture that needs to be assembled.

As someone who does not like doing manual labor, I would use this service in a New York minute. And I doubt I am alone.

If you order something online, you definitely need it. And even some items purchased from a store need to be assembled, but the store invariably charges a ripoff amount if you get them to do it. Undercut the store prices and you will get business.

Last year I bought a beautiful new media center for my even more beautiful 55" HDTV (1080p, thank you) and surround-sound components. I got it from the strangely named Door Store, and I knew it would be a nightmare to put together: a glass top, doors and drawers. Ugh. So I had them do it.

Well the guys delivered it and put it together in about 15 minutes. They didn't even have to look at the instructions, they had the proper tools. I would still be sitting on the floor today trying to figure it out. Cost to me $60. Well worth it.

But that's a fairly elaborate piece of furniture. I am, I have to admit, helpless with anything that has to be assembled. It is my weak spot. My one weak spot.

I just bought speaker stands from Amazon. They are basically a base, a pole that extends, and a clamp thing at the top that you attach your speaker to. But there's something like 50 freaken' screws and nuts and bolts and blah blah. I looked at the instruction sheet and realize I do not have the time or patience for this, so I'm going to have to get one of the maintenance guys in my building to do it for 20 bucks. He will probably do it in 3 minutes, so, you know, good deal for him.

But it would be nice to have an assembling company to hire who are experts at putting together anything and everything. Or at least has the patience to read those ridiculous instructions sheets with the crappy drawings that make you more confused.

So some enterprising entrepreneur out there, take this idea and run with it. You're welcome.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is why I love New York

Tuesday, I had a $200 Italian dinner with my old boss (he paid) followed by $5 Hurricanes at a dive bar in Times Square. Good times.

And just as good, on my way to the restaurant, I was on the N train coming from the East Side into midtown, and there were - and I am not exaggerating - people reading Asian, Spanish, Indian, Russian (maybe Polish, I couldn't tell) and British newspapers. And a bunch of other folks reading books - serious hardcovers and trashy paperbacks.

Does any other city read as much as this one?

Granted, most people out there have to drive while they commute so they can't read. But what an amazing - it's cliche, but true - melting pot the city is.

And this, of course, is the great fear of those clowns you hear out there in East Bumfuck at those "town hall meetings" screaming, "I want my country back."

Back from what?

It ain't the 1950's any more, goober. Get over it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Patsy Cline's last TV appearance

All that talent and her dress costs less than Tori Spelling's left fucking earring.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Why is Billy Mays still on my TV...

...selling some new cheap-ass car phone holder/adapter thing? Didn't he die of cocaine?

Of course, now whenever you see one of his ads you have to just look on in fascination at the manic personality. It all makes sense now. Nobody could be that excited about a Shamwow or whatever it was he was selling.

But still, isn't there some sort of protocol about taking dead people's commercials off the air.

Then again, I'm pretty sure there's a new commercial for Walgreen's running that features Nancy Marchand, the actress who played Tony Soprano's mother, who died in real life about 8 years ago. It looks like they are dubbing in her voice though.

I guess the family or the estate okays these things for the residuals, but it does seem sort of tacky.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Springy side or flat

Smart as I am - and I am incredibly smart and modest - even after years and years of battery use, I still can never remember which is the + side and which is the - side for the battery, and I still have to peer at the remote and at the battery and contemplate which end goes in which direction.

Guitar Hero for Beethoven?

Actually, it's just a graphical animation of the 5th Symphony.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Virgin America, good airline, bad writer

I got an email from Virgin America a few days ago bragging that they are at 1 million members on their Elevate (frequent flyer) program.

You're welcome.

(And, by the way, I just switched my recurring charges from my Citibank to my Virgin credit card so I will be getting points every month for my cell phone, cable bills, etc.)

You're welcome again.

Anyhoo, the email provided me with a special code to get 20 percent off a flight, but as I read it I knew there were going to be big problems. The genius who wrote it came up with this language:

Book by: September 29th
Fly: September 2nd and November 18th
December 2nd and December 16th
January 6th and February 10th

Hmm, so let's see, I have to fly on those 6 days to get the 20 percent off?

Well, I can only imagine the calls they got from many confused folks, so today a sheepish follow-up email came:

We’re sending this follow up email as a friendly reminder, and to make sure that we are clear about the dates of travel. So here again, and with our thanks, are the dates that your 20% off offer applies to.

Book by: September 29
Fly: September 2 - November 18
December 2 - December 16
January 6 - February 10

Ok, that's better. (Even though they ended a sentence in a preposition.)

You know, Virgin, I would be quite happy to proofread your silly emails for a nominal fee - how about round trip first class to Vegas, hmm, 6 times a year.

Now that sounds reasonable to me.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Do I have to run every company in the world?

As I was painfully aware, Gmail went down Tuesday for a few hours.

"Google said it had taken some of Gmail's servers offline for routine maintenance, and underestimated the load that would place on other computers responsible for directing traffic to the appropriate Gmail servers."

They took servers down at 2 pm ET on a Tuesday?

Hey, here's a suggestion, numbnuts: pay a little overtime and maybe have your techs work on a fucking Sunday night.

What is wrong with these people?

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