Category Archives: Materialism

Rebate Woes

I purchased a “free” internet virus blocker from the good folks at Staples, known for their easy rebates.  The CA software cost $50 bucks, but was covered by a $30 and a $20 rebate.

Imagine my recurring angst when I receive this postcard, in microscopic 8 point font:

Dear Customer:
Thank you for participating in this promotion.
Unfortunately, we could not honor your request due to the following reason(s):
$20 CA Rebate - Household limit exceeded
CA Rebate

Now this is the 8th time at least that I have

  1. Been lured in by a “free” product (usually software, flash memory or RAM)
  2. Carefully followed the directions so as not to lose the rebate
  3. Send in the rebate ASAP
  4. Wait
  5. (should have) created a file with a record / database of each rebate

There actually was a phone number, and I called it. On the second call (the first ended up with the automation hanging up on me) I was able to access a LIVE PERSON, which was amazing.

What was even more amazing is that after a 3 minute convo the rep says my rebate is actually valid and will come out to me in 15 days.

But then I thought some fishy thoughts, namely –

  1. For real?
  2. Was there really a problem here?
  3. Is that check already on its way, or did I need to phone it to register this error/complaint before expediting this process?
  4. What about all the other dud rebates I lo$t money on?

Has this ever happened to you?

Weddings, Social Graces, & Eden – Part 1

WeddingSo I came back from the wedding last weekend, and had a blast, with one recurring caveat – sometimes weddings are a bit tough since everyone including myself is dressed up and putting their best foot forward.

Social Issues

In short, the overall social vibe of weddings in the developed world can be rather intimidating, even though I perpetuate the system by dressing up and finding the right spin on my current

  • career health,
  • achievements, and
  • ambitions

to survive the interrogations of well meaning family members and strangers. People dress up like old Gatsby himself, while everyone knows that he is as hollow as the books in his library! There is always at least a hint of this superficial, “successful” vibe at every wedding, and the fewer people you know, the worse it can be.

Shallow Men

The primary reason for this is the shallowness of our culture, and in particular, the shallowness of men. Manifested in the following way: for guys, what else is there to talk about or identify with than one’s career and achievements?

  • Who do you work for? a fancy status symbol - car
  • What do you do?
  • Own or Rent?
  • 4 wheeled status symbol of choice?

Why We Need Women

I think that is why God created women. Most women are able to see past this silly charade of muted testosterone and fragile identity issues.

Many of these women enjoy other things, like –fashionable lady

  • initiating color campaigns that bring various hues of complementary tones between
    • eyes,
    • earrings,
    • belt and
    • shoesColor coordinated kitchen
  • or between the
    • toaster,
    • kitchen windowsill, and the
    • doily counter-balancing the fung shui of the
    • tablecloth

Still others enjoy –

  • knitting yarn in groups
  • cooking elaborate gravies, jams, and sauces,
  • agonizing the merits of paint swatches
  • canning various fruits and preserves
  • dabbing their eyes while reading dog-earred paperbacks with a unicorn-riding Fabio on the cover.60’s woman on phone getting ripped off by Bell telephone company

And before its diabolical monopoly was exposed in the 80’s, “Ma Bell” telephone received 22% of long-distance revenues from targeting perpetually communicating ladies in the 18-31 year demographic!



Exasperating Behaviors

What is more, many such women live for supplies campaigns with the help of plastic cards. These credits empower them to amass large buildups of various trinkets that please the eye but are of questionable utility. Sometimes companies of women converge upon indoor plazas that insulate them from the elements for hours at a time, looking for even more of this stuff.

Often, when the aforementioned trinkets are within their grasp, they opt to buy nothing. This wonderfully irrational, purposeless activity vexes many results-obsessed males, and becomes a vital component of “dying to the flesh” in marriage.

Even Worse…

Christopher Lowell, decorator


There are also whole television networks catering to these desires, spawning blythe superheroes of fashion, interior design, cosmetics, and gourmet cooking.

Read PART2

Christmas in October

octoberxmas.JPGThis New Jersey upscale strip mall was decorated for the holidays a week BEFORE Halloween!!! Next year it may creep up on Columbus day, perhaps we’ll have wreaths out by Labor Day by the end of the decade?!?