Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fireworks: One of My Weaknesses

I'm normally all-in for green, environmentally-healthy stuff. However, I have the tendency to let fireworks slip right through that "rule" of mine. It creates plenty of smoke where it explodes and it also causes hell of a noise pollution, but it's so shiny!

Anyway, instead of celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday this weekend, I also let my eyes take in the pleasure of watching lights exploding in the sky by Ontario Place. Like everyone else. Cheers.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Priceless Photo Gifts

I love photo gifts. I really do. I think they can be as thoughtful and valuable as hand-made gifts, if done right. And to those with a busy life style, but still want to show their friends, family, and significant others that they care, it can be done so via purchasing a photo gift with the right photo on it.

For those that are not too familiar with photo gifts and don't know where to get'em, you're in luck (as long as you live in Canada). Black's Photography offers quite a selection of photo gifts. So much, that you can probably fill the whole room with photo gifts... which is very, very creepy if you really think about it.

And like all good things in life, there is also a downside. You want to plan ahead is it normally takes 2 weeks for these photo gifts to be completed and shipped to the store you ordered from (followed by you going there and picking it up), which doesn't make it easy to be a last-minute gift. Needless to say if you order something for Christmas, you might get it back after the new year. Sometimes, never, as the order might even get lost in the busy Christmas season.

While I was scanning through these somewhat unique collection of photo gifts such as poker chips ($10 for one poker chip is bit outrageous), book marks, and so on, one item in particular got my attention.

A photo cutting board.

As you probably guessed it, it's a cutting board with a photo on it. What strikes me as odd is that, the example of photo they used is all the same photo for each gift idea, and the cutting board gets no special treatment of this rule as it has a picture of someone's kid on it. Yes, it is suggesting you to slap on the photo your child on a cutting board. Only very special kind of parents would do this. And we can only hope they're in jail.

But perhaps we can have some fun with this. I myself enjoy cooking and I'm sure someone out there enjoys it as much as I do, if not more. Since putting on a photo of your child (or anyone else's) is a mere suggestion, you're free to put any other photo you pick (as long as it isn't pornographic). Here are my suggestions that some people might be able to use.

I'll let your imagination do the rest with these suggestions.

Who knows? A cutting board with your ex's face on it might make that tedious lettuce chopping, just a little more enjoyable. Have a (or the) devil for a mother-in-law? there can be a little stress-relief exercise of chopping whatever you want in the kitchen.

Now, let your imagination go wild and put a photo on that cutting board that you think is best for you. Remember, the whole point of photo gifts is to be extremely personal. So go pick something that really hits you on the spot (in a bad way)!

Now if you excuse me, I'm gonna go find a picture of an arm with slashes and cuts all over it to slap on to this photo cutting board. What? don't give me that look like I'm putting a picture of someone's kid on there. That's just sick.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What The Hell Is "Final Price"?

I've been busy with a few things for a bit. As I predicted earlier, the month of April was pretty hectic for me and I still have a few things to round up in terms of editing and what not. Thankfully, this is the last day of April. Actually, the last day of April just passed about an 2 hours and half ago for me here. Time to start a new month!

Anyway, on with the topic of today's post instead of sad excuse(s) for not posting on regular bases. It seems to me that consumers (of the city of Toronto to say the least) have changed. To say it frankly, they've gotten cheaper. A few may be missing a few screws in the head, but when ever I'm at any store, I come across this typical situation. I've quickly made a comic (via MS Paint so bare with the quality) to show you such situation.

Alright, so the last column never really happens. And yes, we are still in a recession despite what the media is hiding, but here is the break down of it if anyone is buying anything in a shop. You go in to the store, you pick out the item you want with or without a help of an employee of the said store. Then you pay for it and move on. Instead, we have people asking what the "final price" is after looking at a price right next to the word "sale". Has the good chunk of our population forgotten how to read numbers? I don't seem to understand how anyone can stoop that low and ask such a foolish question. And better yet, there are others that could be actually needing the help of that employee somewhere else in the store; such as a guy wanting to ask if they have specific item on stock because he is willing to pay the price on the tag and move on with his life.

Perhaps I'm more sensitive to this topic because of years of sad experience in retail. But why is it that people don't seem to learn, and instead they forget things that everybody should know? The price of what you pay is on the list, then plus tax. Simple as that. By the way, tax is still 13% as I hear that question in shops more often now than ever: "What's the price after tax?" or "Can I not pay tax?". And yes, you can calculate the price after tax from a regular cellphone now a day (it's legal so don't be afraid to give it a shot!), but that knowledge also seems to be on a level of lost art of some sort. By the way, not paying tax is indeed illegal unless you're a native (chances are, you are not), which HST will also screw when Canada day comes around regardless of your origin.

But can anyone really blame these "smart" shoppers? All they are looking for is a good deal. Maybe in a few years, people will even try to negotiate with a waiter of a restaurant for the price of their meals and it'll be considered normal. Who knows? Even still, I still have a few words of advice; If you're looking for a deal and truly want to negotiate the price of a product or service, go buy a car before HST kicks in. That's one place I can think of where negotiating the price seems normal so you can pay a fair amount of money instead of a godzilla-sized price for the car. And lastly, if you truly want to be a smart shopper sniping out those good prices of the stuff you want to buy, learn to be patient to find those good deals in a place other than retail. Ebay and the rest of the internet exist for a reason and contrary to most urban myths, it's not as devil-ish as people make it appear to be. Happy shopping.