Category Archives: Announcements

AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Leaves Me Annoyed

When news this week was announced that my current cell phone carrier, T-Mobile, is going to be merging with AT&T, I was less than thrilled. This comes after last week’s rumors that T-Mobile and Sprint were going to be merging. I was hoping this was just another bad rumor but the fact it was being reported by real news organizations, not just websites that post rumors, meant there was more to this one than the speculation about the merger with Sprint. With official announcements coming from T-Mobile, it just confirmed what I hope was not going to be the case. I’m not a happy camper about the news.

Why would I be not happy about the news? Well first off, I’ve been a very happy T-Mobile customer since 2003. I originally switched to them from my first cell phone carrier, which was Sprint. I didn’t leave Sprint because I was not happy with their service, I switched because Sprint is a CDMA technology carrier and I wanted to go to a GSM carrier as it’s more of a world standard service and since I do like to travel outside of the United States, I wanted a phone I could easily use outside the US. T-Mobile also offers to unlock their phones when you’re one of their customers so that when travelling abroad, you can easily switch out your T-Mobile SIM card with a pre-paid SIM card in the country you’re in to get a local number there. It’s a great option.

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Meeting The Ultimate Prairie Bitch – Alison Arngrim

Most people will remember Alison Arngrim as the wickedly evil bitch, Nellie Oleson, from the television series “Little House On The Priaire.” The show ran from 1974-1983 and since I was born in 1975 so much of my experience of “Little House” was in reruns in the early 1980’s when the show aired on one of the three channels my family had while growing up in the rural areas outside of Calgary. You see in Calgary, which sits in Canada’s Prairie region and the outskirts of Calgary didn’t look so different from the scenery of the show. Also Calgary is well known for the Calgary Stampede celebration where the entire city embraces it’s Wild West past and is home to Heritage Park Historical Village which preserves many Little House era buildings in a town like setting, so the “Little House On The Prairie” show didn’t seem quite so removed from the 1980’s I grew up in.

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Paula’s Picks Presents You Have To Be There From Kristina

If you are lucky enough to live in the Portland, Oregon area, or happen to have an Internet connection (which I suspect you might if you’re reading this) then you had the opportunity on Thursday May, 6th, 2010 to tune into the Paula’s Picks program on KBOO FM during her program and hear her present “You Have To Be There” performed by Helen Sjöholm from the musical “Kristina.” “You Have To Be There” is written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA. Paula Small is a friend of mine that I went to high school with and she moved to Portland and one of the fun things she does out there is host a radio program on the first and third Thursdays of every month for KBOO.

The last time I saw Paula was when she was back in town to visit some family at the end of 2008, so I took Paula to see the Xanadu production at the La Jolla Playhouse, and when I saw her online on Facebook and I said hello using the chat feature of Facebook, we ended up discussing some music. I was so excited about the live album “Kristina At Carnegie Hall” coming out and I’d just gotten it in, I sent her “You Have To Be There” to share my excitement about the show. Paula really liked the song and we both commented about how it starts out similar to “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” but ends up being a much more powerful song. Paula thought it might make a great addition to her show the following night.

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Best Buy Is Running A $9.99 Sale On Single Title Star Trek Blu-Ray Movies

If you’re a fan of the original Star Trek movies but don’t want to buy the boxsets featuring all of the original Star Trek cast movies or the Next Generation cast movies, then Best Buy as a great deal for you. For the month of May, Best Buy is offering the single title movies for $9.99 each.

Now, not every movie is available as Paramount has only released individually the most popular of the two generations of Star Trek movies. In the William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy era of films, you have your choices of Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered County (essentially the even numbered movies). In the Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes era of films, the only one available is Star Trek: First Contact. These are considered the best four movies of the first 10 Star Trek movies and in my book are the must own ones.

Take advantage of the tremendous savings and get each for $9.99. To get them, just click on the titles of the movie here and you’ll be taken to a page on Best Buy.com where you can purchase them. Unfortunately, the Blu-Ray for the 2009 J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie isn’t included in the $9.99 sale, but it is on special for $19.99. Click here to get it. Be sure to take advantage of in-store pickup if there is a Best Buy near you. The sale price only lasts until the end of May. Continue reading Best Buy Is Running A $9.99 Sale On Single Title Star Trek Blu-Ray Movies

A Rewarding Way To Recycle

If you can find a way to make something most people don’t want to do, fun and pleasant, people will do it. Recycling has certainly caught on in San Diego, but Waste Management has teamed up with Greenopolis to offer a new and exciting way to expand their recycling options. Recycling “vending” style machines (although they’re collection machines, not vending machines) can be situated outside of stores and allow for easy recycling. But what’s the incentive to use these machines? It’s actually a rewards program.

The machines offer little barcode keychain tags that you can get from the machines to help you establish an account to track your recycling. When you step up to a machine, you touch the built in screen and it will ask you how you want to log in, you can scan the barcode on the keychain tag or enter your email address or not log in and get a receipt that you can enter a code from online later on. For simplicity, it’s easiest to use the keychain tag. Once you establish an account to tie your keychain tag to an email account (you can add more account details at home later) the machine asks you start scanning your recyclable materials. One machine handles aluminum containers and glass bottles, the other will accept plastics depending on whether they are PETE or HDPE plastics. Most of these containers the machines will accept will be from beverage containers that deposits were paid for. The machines give you a chance to not only recycle the containers and get the deposit money back, but also earn points that can be redeemed for discounts at local merchants.

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Jorge Cruise Presents New Belly Fat Cure Fast Track Program

On May 1st, Jorge Cruise introduced a bunch of his clients former and present know about a brand new version of the Belly Fat Cure, which he is calling the “Fast Track” version of the program. While I can’t get into the specifics of the details of the program until he launches a more public announcement for the program, what I can say is that the program was developed to be as a super turbo charged version of the program that in the San Diego test case group he’s been trying it out with for the first last two weeks, the results have been astonishingly good.

Some of the benefits of the new Fast Track program is that it eliminates the need to use any specialty products, which a lot of people seemed to feel Jorge’s New York Times Bestselling book, “The Belly Fat Cure” mentions as options to use but doesn’t state they are required to be used. Also the having to track sugar and carbohydrates also gets eliminated in the program making it very easy to follow. Additionally, the menu plan is very simple as all the meals are designed to be put together very quickly and easily with little to no effort. No complicated recipes, no specialty products, and no tracking. Sound too good to be true? Well it’s not.

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Only At Wal-Mart Mamma Mia! Packaged With Xanadu

Wal-Mart is home to some interesting deals, and it seems they have a deal designed just for me, only problem is I already have both items they’ve packaged together. What they’ve done is get with Universal Pictures and packaged some of their movies together in little Wal-Mart exclusive packages usually for a great price. In this case, what was packaged together was Mamma Mia! The Movie with Xanadu.

No doubt the decision was made because Mamma Mia appeals to a musical audience that appreciates ABBA as that is the basis for the music in the musical. Olivia Newton-John headlines Xanadu as a very late 1970’s early 1980’s attempt to build on her amazing success in Grease with a musical like picture. What Wal-Mart and Universal execs probably didn’t realize the packaging of ABBA and Olivia Newton-John together is something that’s been done before. When ABBA won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden, Olivia Newton-John was also competing in the contest for England. And when ABBA were making a concerted effort to try and build their success in the United States, they appeared on one of Olivia Newton-John’s television specials along with Andy Gibb. So it’s not the first time ABBA and ONJ have crossed paths.

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Tim Tam Shortage Not Happening Thanks To Cost Plus World Market

The disappearance of the Tim Tams at Target turns out to be not such a big deal. Despite Pepperidge Farm putting Tim Tams on a seasonal hiatus, leave it to another retailer to come to the rescue. Cost Plus World Market carries Tim Tams year round, directly imported from Australia and under the true manufacturer’s brand name. As these too are packaged for the US market, and Pepperidge Farm has the license to the Tim Tam name for the United States, they are simply called “Arnott’s Original” or “Arnott’s Chewy Caramel” at Cost Plus instead of Tim Tams. As anyone can clearly see in the picture on the package and the distinctive Tim Tam style package, they are Tim Tams even if Tim Tams is not printed anywhere on the package.

The only unfortunate thing is that the Tim Tams at Cost Plus tend to be a bit more expensive. However, joining the World Market Explorer Rewards Program, they send you frequent coupons. For example when I joined up they were having a member sale on the Tim Tams that brought them down to very reasonable price plus they emailed me a coupon to take an additional $10 off my purchase of $30 or more. So I was effectively able to drop the price down to $2 a package, which was a better deal than I found most of the times at Target. Additionally Cost Plus is always sending some form of coupon deal, so even though “Tim Tams” as packaged by Pepperidge Farm are disappearing shortly, a quick stop at Cost Plus World Market ensures it won’t be a summer without “Arnott’s Original” and “Arnott’s Chewy Caramel” biscuits (aka Tim Tams *wink* *wink*)

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Tim Tams Sighted In Fry’s Electronics

No sooner than Tim Tams become an extinct at Target, did it seem that Tim Tams were popping up in other places. As some of my friends in San Diego said, they had sighted them in other supermarkets such as the Ralph’s on University Avenue, even a recent trip to visit my folks in Temecula, a walk through their Wal-Mart Supercenter also yielded some Tim Tam sightings. Probably one of the least expected sightings I saw was a display at Fry’s Electronics.

While Fry’s Electronics tends to specialize in all kinds of electronics and home appliances, they do like to litter their check out section with food options to appeal to the impulse purchasers. A cardboard impulse purchase display sitting in front of a row of children’s toys in the middle of the aisle make it look as out of place as it was unexpected. But in any case, it was a nice surprise to see some of the Tim Tams still available for purchase before they become hard to find thanks to Pepperidge Farm’s strange decision to only make Tim Tams available for just a few months each year. Unfortunately Fry’s wasn’t selling them for a decent sale price like the other places still with Tim Tams. But as a last resort it’s good to know Fry’s is another avenue to find some Tim Tams, at least for now. Continue reading Tim Tams Sighted In Fry’s Electronics