Glad to have you here but remember, you could be spending your time more wisely. Family, friends, maybe even your job if you are really pushed for something to do. David also writes the Building Our Home Blog as well as the wildly popular Dave’s Mindscape

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

We’ll Get Back to You

a little more wordy than my last post

I have opined about cell phone companies and the service I received in the past. It is hard not to.

After my experiences with Robbers and Hell, Telus and Virgin (I know, I am slacking and have not come up with any pet name for the last two), I decided to try one of the underdogs, Freedom Mobile.

The service is bad

Sometimes it is good, but it is very dependent on your location.

Driving around in BC from POCO to Vancouver there are a lot of places that have blazing LTE speed. Sometimes it is only 4G or even 3G but still I can connect.

The problems start at home. In spite of being in the orange section on the Freedom Mobile coverage map, I experience many states of connectivity all while sitting still with my phone, sitting untouched, on the table beside me.

One minute LTE.

Then next Roaming or 4G or 3G.

Then the inexplicable Home AND Away.

And my favourite, EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY.


I have not moved. The phone has not moved and the house is more or less stationary. Ok, it is really stationary.

They said service would be better once they finished the network expansion in my area this Fall.

They were wrong

“Is this a problem Dave”?

I suppose not really if you don’t mind putting on shoes and a coat, walking down the road and across the street and standing in the field to check voicemail and return calls. It was chilly talking to loved ones back home over the holiday season.

I used to be miffed at the $40 or $50 dollars a month it to cost to have a hard wired phone in one room of my house but the damned phone rang every time. There was no call display. You picked up the phone and dealt with the consequences. But you could call out and most of the time someone would answer.

In the early days there were no cordless phones and if you had to poop while on the phone, you needed a really long cord. But, you rarely heard “Please leave a message…”, or “Your call can not be completed”.

In these days of instant communication (unless you are with Freedom Mobile), you expect something positive and quick.

I contacted Freedom and mentioned that I live in a dead zone (as far as their cell service is concerned) and that cell providers in the states sometimes offered the loan of a cell booster so their customers could actually make and receive calls in their own home. Kinda handy if you are looking for work or in case of emergency. 

Their response, when it finally came was “No, we don’t do that”. “Buy your own”. I checked on the cost of a cell booster and the price made Robbers and Hell look attractive. Since Freedom’s service is so spotty, you’d think they would be able to get a bulk discount on cell boosters.

Not helpful

The focus of this post is actually the speed of communication with Freedom.
You can respond to them on Messenger and feel less than satisfied very quickly. For example, they finally sent me a message on Messenger, days after I sent an inquiry through their website.

They magnanimously offer phone unlocking for free (ever since it became a legal requirement) but it did not work. The instructions on their website were to phone #06# and you would receive a code to unlock your phone or maybe instructions or something. I tried it many times and it said communication problems or invalid code. Par for the course with Freedom so I looked at their other method. Get a code from the battery in the phone

I Googled a YouTube video on how to open the Samsung S7. 12 minutes long. Apply heat (what could go wrong?) with a hot plate (are you kidding?) or hair dryer and pry the glass case off without breaking it. Remove forty twelve screws and some plastic bits and read the required number.

Being the intelligent lad I am, I looked on the original Samsung box the phone came in and the number was on the label.
In spite of the number being labeled as the correct number, when Freedom finally answered my query days later, they said that they did not have the number for the brand new phone they sold me in their database.
Did they sell me some black market unregistered knock-off phone?

They said they passed my complaint on to their Back End. I can expect to hear from them in 10 days.

To be continued…but don’t hold your breath. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

This Page Intentionally Left Blank

Not sure why. But here is a phone case...

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Cost of Things vs. Value

After my previous post on trying to use coupons at a Crafts and Arts chain

I was left thinking about the $20 savings my coupon and I had wrestled from the store as well as the value of items verses the price being charged.

This same chain had a product a couple of years ago that had me wondering about the things people buy.

The product was a set of 6 empty clear pop bottles and a white cardboard carton with a handle. For $20.

Back in my day, we used to buy glass bottles of pop for about 12 to 15 cents each. No plastic bottles to pollute the environment yet. We had cans but some people said it gave the soda a metallic taste. We were a Pepsi house. Some others drank Coke.

If you bought 6 bottles you got a reusable cardboard carrying carton for free. No plastic bags, no sirree.

So, for less than a buck you got six bottles of thirst quenching cola, a carrying case and if you brought the empties back, the store refunded the 2 cent deposit on each bottle. A bag of chips was 10 cents so you could grab a tasty snack as a reward for bringing back the empties.
Recycling was a thing even back then.

I am not against commerce

I've been reading about BFCM (Black Friday, Cyber Monday).
I've also read about those who support Buy Nothing Day, the other name for Black Friday. I wonder if any of them make a living in retail or manufacturing.

"Nothing does happen until a sales is made" - Thomas Watson Sr. President of IBM from 1914 to 1956

If people want to abstain, that's OK by me.
If they want to spend, more power to them.

But seriously, a $20 empty six pack?

If you really want to spend...

I'm eating your inheritance dog sweater

Available at PurpleCowEmporium.com

Coupons – Bane or Boon

My daughter and I went to a large chain Crafts and Arts store. 

I made the mistake of purchasing an item.

I should add this disclaimer: I am not a shopper nor do I like to haggle.

The girl at the cash asked if I would like to leave my email address to receive discount coupons for their store. I’ve worked in retail and have been subjected to some quite rude answers to this question (at the time it was phone number and address as no one had email yet).
What the heck. I gave it to her and thought no more of it until that evening when the onslaught of coupons commenced.

Most of the coupons were for things I don’t want or need but there was one that seemed to indicate 50% off. I could tell by the way it said 50% off.

I had seen an item I thought would make a good gift and at half price it would make a great gift.

I went back to the store, presented my coupon and walked away with a pretty good deal.

The coupons kept coming

I was talking to someone about the deal I got and they wondered if I could pick up another as they did not have one of these stores in their town. I was sure there would be a coupon in my inbox so I said sure. 

It was a disappointing 40% off

Oh well. I returned to find the item was the same price but now came with a bonus item. I present my coupon and was told it was not valid as the item came with a bonus item. But, I don’t want the bonus item I said. 
Too bad. You have to pay FULL PRICE. (The cashier was nicer than that but it felt like a kick in the wallet anyway).

A week or so later I was talking to my sister and she says that sounds like a good item, could I pick one up. I said FULL PRICE. She said to get it anyway.

I go back to the store and notice there is no associated bonus so I dare to present the ever present coupon. 

This time it is the coveted 50%

The lady at the cash says the coupon is not valid as the item is now Value priced. I said it is and has been the same price since I bought the first one. She asked if I would like to speak to a manager. I look around and miraculously there is no line to hold up so I said sure. We talk while waiting for the manager and though she does not come out and say “these coupons are the bane of my existence”, I get the feeling that there are a lot of customer complaints over their company coupons.

The manager arrives

and asks how she can help.

Having decided against a full on rant about deceptive marketing practices, the way they price things or bait and switch advertising, I tell her the price of the item has been unchanged and sticking a Value label on something does not make it so. 
She mentions the fact that they have labeled the item as a Value item (I just covered that), invalidating the coupon's value and then professionally handles the situation by giving me the full discount.

I thank both of them and take my leave with the item and about $20 in savings.

After all that you might be wondering, what the heck could I do with $20.

Find out in the next post

No coupon but here is an essential oil diffuser you can buy...
Black essential oil diffuser
Available at PurpleCowEmporium.com

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Procrastinate T-Shirt

I am not normally one to leap into action, unless it is forced upon me

If I am struck by a spark of genius, I have been known to sit down until I recover.

They say “The Early Bird Gets the Worm”, but not being partial to worms I find this to be a dis-incentive.

I may be a procrastinator.

But there is a “Pro” in procrastinate

For example:
Driving to Vancouver on Hwy 1. During the morning rush, you are more likely to get a parking ticket than a speeding ticket. Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration but not by much.
But if you wait a bit (procrastinate) and go in later, you won’t be stuck in traffic, until you actually get to town. Then, and I swear this happened, you can watch the driver in front of you apply a full face of makeup.

Not really part of the procrastination blog post but It Was Mesmerizing

While driving, this lady gazed into her rear-view mirror and applied paint and powder and putty or whatever using brushes, knives and possibly tweezers (maybe even a spray can) to get her face ready to face the work day.

But wait…there’s more

Then she put her glasses on.

I guess she required glasses to drive but not for the accurate application of face paint.
Persona applied, spectacles in place, ready to concentrate on driving.

Not quite

If there are no pictures, it never happened

In true Kardashian style, she proceeded to take a series of selfies while turning off of the potentially aptly named Terminal Ave onto Quebec St.
At least she was wearing her glasses.

So David, does this have anything to do with procrastinating?

Other than putting off finishing this post, No.

What made me create this T-shirt I do not know but I am glad that I did not procrastinate and that I applied this thought to a product which, as of this point in time, is my second best seller, proving that you never know what people want. My twin brother Allen certainly didn’t.

This post seems to ramble a bit.
Maybe the next one should be about focus.
Or haunted ice cubes.
What’s up with that?
Second time in as many months.

You can buy the Procrastinate T-Shirt now... or later

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Foot in Both Camps

If you have been reading this blog

you might get the impression that I really really really do not like advertising.

Yes, I know that some of it is entertaining like a few of the ads that run during the Super Bowl.

And I have softened my stance on TV ads as it gives you relief in the form of pee breaks.

I have acknowledged that advertisers are getting better at serving me online ads related to the things I have historically purchased ‘tho I am not sure why they are spending money advertising, let’s say, a garlic press based on my recent purchase of a garlic press.
Is the failure of the first garlic press imminent? If so, could they have not warned me prior to my purchase?

There are programs to save you the annoyance of ads competing for your viewing time.

I can understand the allure.

No more:

Woman Cures Wrinkles With Homemade Remedy– Doctors Hate Her (I asked a Proctologist, said he doesn’t give a sh**)
Men Over 55 Must Never Do This One Thing
Men Over 55 Must Always Do This One Thing (but only with adult supervision)
You Won’t Believe What Happened Next… (you are probably right so let’s just pretend I clicked, OK?)

There is also one about bananas that has left me wondering if bananas are good for you or bad for you, but I don’t want to know badly enough to click.

I wonder If these ad blocking programs can stop video ads from playing out loud when you accidentally mouse over them. Could be embarrassing to play an ad at work for a job search site or a dating site while you are on a date.

The other thing that ticks me off is ads with gifs. Those clips that repeat for as long as you are on the page.
Can these programs stop the stupid gifs?

I will never know because I don’t click on ads.

And now the conundrum

I advertise. Online. For the stuff I sell online.

Not only could I not recommend an ad blocking software, due to things I have read about some of them causing more problems than they solve (I recommend you research before you even try), I actually want you to see my ads.

I feel conflicted but console myself with the knowledge that I do not employ inflammatory titles (You Will Regret Missing This Opportunity To Own…), I don’t use self-playing video and I don’t use gifs that repeat endlessly.
I also have not resorted to pop-ups but that is just good manners.

You can subscribe here and you can subscribe there PurpleCowEmporium.com.

There you can peruse, purchase or add things to your wish list.
There is even a blog there.

Here you can click this ad to purchase…

 Cat Ears Beanie Cotton Polyester Cable Knit Hat

Friday, September 22, 2017

Photo Shoot at PurpleCowEmporium

I wrote a blog post about our photo shoot of wood sunglasses and watches in their natural habitat.

 A collection of wood sun glasses exerting peer pressure

 Victoria says that patience is key when trying to snap sunglasses in the wild

You can read it here if you are so inclined.

Plus, Allen is missing out on this online gig.

iPhone cases for the holiday season...

liquid iPhone case with glitter. snowman with black top hat

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Am I Being Followed?

Do you ever notice the ads inserted on the websites you frequent?

Me either. Usually.

But every once in a while, something does catch my eye as I scroll down Facebook or a news site or even my own blog.

Today it was Singles.

I was prompted to click to Meet Singles. The default choice was women and the selected age range was in the thirties.

This did not bother me.

The thing that bothered me was the selection of prospective matches pictured.

Even though this company had correctly identified the city I currently reside in, the suggested matches were the same women displayed when I lived 3 time zones away.

Is this a case of me being followed by a group of stalkers?

Do they have twins out here on the coast or do they commute?

One day I expect that the companies will become so adept at figuring out my preferences that they will realize I have never once clicked on one of these ads.

On that day the sidebar of my browser will be blank and Amazon will not suggest a green leather toaster.

And until that day...

Friday, August 4, 2017

Quite A Bit Later

I’ve moved to the west coast which is a three hour time difference from where I used to be.


I can now stay up 3 hours later and sleep in 3 hours later.

In the time between the move and August of 2017 I have put on a few pounds.

I have now cut out the coconut oil which has a bunch of extra calories I don’t need and frankly made everything taste like coconut.

I started the South Beach Diet and have lost a disappointing 5 pounds despite sticking with Stage 1 of the diet for over a month. Give or take a few Purdy’s Chocolate Hedgehogs. Disappointing because all the testimonials said dieters usually experienced greater weight loss.

I guess mileage may vary.

I haven’t been exercising as much as usual but I don't think that is it.

I have found the problem.

My sister came here to visit and made me eat in restaurants. That’s the problem because you have to eat more in a restaurant when company is visiting.

It is my sister’s fault.

My doctor also suggested I add more green to my diet.

I’m thinking lime jello.

And now a black T-Shirt on procrastinating...