Archive for July, 2008

A friend of mine recently sent me an email announcement about a new web service that has really made me smile. It’s called HusbandHero, and as the name implies, it’s dedicated to making each husband into the hero that he wants to be, the “knight in shining armor” that his wife may have envisioned when she said yes. Here’s just a sample of their mission statement:

Husband Hero is a simple service that helps remind us to put ourselves and our needs behind those of our spouse and our children. In our (limited) experience, we have found that as either spouse does this, the relationship deepens and improves. There is a certain magic rekindled when a husband does something special (small as it may be) to serve and love his wife, and generally the wife’s inclination is to respond by doing something selfless and loving in response. If this pattern is repeated frequently over the course of weeks and months, it is almost certain that an increase in the strength of marriages and families will follow, and our homes, communities, and society would improve. Consequently, there would be a corresponding decline in the amount of neglect, abuse, separation, and divorce.

When you sign up, they send you a monthly email with simple suggestions of things that you, husbands, can do for your wives, organized into cost brackets. The sample email on the site, some helpful tips for July, includes ideas ranging from no cost (drawing a bubble bath for her and floating a hand-written “message in a bottle” for her to read as she relaxes) or low cost (picking or buying fresh flowers for five days in a row and hiding them where she won’t expect themthe fridge, for examplealong with a note detailing one reason you love and appreciate her), all the way to big bucks ideas (a hot air balloon ride). This allows you to choose an idea that you and your wallet are comfortable with.

None of the ideas on their sample email were shockingly new; I’m pretty sure I’ve heard them all before. However, that doesn’t mean that I think about or actually do them consistently. I could definitely see a reminder email being helpful, especially when it’s something that I’d like to be doing anyways.

If you, as a husband, feel particularly clueless about what your wife would actually like you to do, she can also sign in and head over to the “Better Half Haven” where she can fill out an interests and moods profile and include all the dates she’d like you to remember. These, of course, make their way into your inbox in a timely fashion.

Or, you can keep the whole thing a secret and let your wife think you’re just that amazing all by yourself.

Whatever the case, they’ve got an introductory price going right now that puts all this in your email box for a dollar a month. Sounds like a very well invested dollar to me.


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Summer Thursdays in Wamego are a bright spot in our kids’ weekly routines. The local public library hosts a reading time that is typically accompanied by some sort of relevant craft. There’s a repeat in the afternoon for the older kids that, I assume, involves more complex stories.

Today was the last one and, contrary to tradition, the library served a snack along with its book and craft. Hyrum, apparently, was not really ready for this sort of delight.

H: I didn’t know today was going to be my lucky day! I thought today was going to be Chloe’s lucky day!

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trees are people, too

I have no words to describe this.

Except maybe awesome, funny, or cool. If those didn’t work, I might try inventive, clever, or even sweet. I suppose I could also say that I dig it, I’m down with that, or, if I’m feeling a bit adventurous, you might hear me say, I’m hip to that. That’s groovy might work. Holy cow, I wish I had done that first is a good candidate as well. If you were a betting person, you could possibly be inclined to put money on Man, I wish I had a few big white balloons and a whole lot of time and stealthiness to play with (the odds are good on that one).

Other than that, I really don’t know what to say.

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save the date

We have our flights booked, and will be making a brief appearance in Southern California between August 7th and August 14th. Anyone in the Inland Empire, LA, or Orange County areas interested in booking us for an evening of fun or an afternoon of mischief should definitely contact our agent soon.

Or you could just leave us a note below, or email us, or use the oh-so-convenient contact page. The engagement is free when you contact us directly. If you go through our agent, though, we’ll have to charge: our agent always wants a cut.

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Another wacky website for you to check out: Wordle. It takes a chunk of text, a blog URL or RSS feed and creates a word cloud with the most frequently used words. You can also customize the color, layout, and font in a million different ways* to come up with a cloud you can call your own. Here’s mine:

Apparently, I’m somewhat obsessed with American Shopping Center.

Try your own, and leave the link below so I can see your finished word clouds. 🙂

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I just found a fun little website that will comb the 1990 census data and statistically extrapolate (that means guess) how many people in the United States have the same name as you. Plugging in my full name, the one on my birth certificate, I got this:

Logo There are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

However, when I plug in the name I go by, the one that everyone calls me, the one on my business card, I got this:

Logo There are
or fewer people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

It’s the “or fewer” part that has got me feeling all down and existential.

How many of you are there? Go find out, then come back and tell me. Maybe if there are many of you, it will make me feel a lot better about my statistical probabilities of existing.

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I received a very enlightening phone call on my cell today while I was at work. “Gavin,” from American Shopping Center, taught me about all sorts of things that I just didn’t understand before. For example, “Gavin” is pronounced “Gay-vin” when you are trying to adopt an American name while living in India. Here are all the other things I learned from “Gay-vin”:

  1. I have never heard of American Shopping Center, even though it is a major brand-building company that works with all the major brands in the United States.
  2. American Shopping Center uses voice recognition software to record a vocal authorization allowing them to charge my credit card.
  3. This vocal authorization allows them to only charge my credit card $3.95.
  4. There is nothing wrong with this.
  5. It’s the same as giving my credit card information to Amazon.
  6. The $3.95 charge covers the cost of shipping me my free digital camera and 3 day, 2 night stay at any hotel in America.
  7. Oh, and there’s also a $40 gas card good at any gas station in the United States.
  8. American Shopping Center wants to do this for my benefit.
  9. American Shopping Center will send this to me because I have been a valued customer of a major U.S. brand in the recent past and they want to show their appreciation.
  10. American Shopping Center cannot, however, tell me which brand appreciates and values my patronage because they represent over 1500 brands and it would take too long to tell me all of them.
  11. There is nothing wrong with this.
  12. When I give them my credit card information, they will only charge $3.95 for the shipping.
  13. That is all they can charge, according to my vocally recorded authorization.
  14. The $3.95 charge will appear on my monthly credit card statement.
  15. American Shopping Center cannot take my credit card information to buy something on Amazon because you need authorization to do this.
  16. You need more than just a credit card number to buy something on Amazon: you must have authorization to use the credit card number.
  17. No really, you idiot, you can’t buy anything on Amazon unless you have a credit card number and authorization.
  18. I have never purchased anything on Amazon.
  19. I don’t know how Amazon works.
  20. There is nothing wrong with this.
  21. American Shopping Center has to send me this package.
  22. American Shopping Center is a reputable company.
  23. American Shopping Center is a reputable company with a website.
  24. American Shopping Center is a reputable company, with a website, that works for all the major brands in the U.S.
  25. American Shopping Center is a reputable company, with a website, that works for all the major brands in the U.S., but can’t afford a decent web designer.
  26. American Shopping Center is a reputable company, with a website, that works for all the major brands in the U.S., can’t afford a decent web designer, and can’t afford it’s own email domain (lvpremiums@aol.com).
  27. American Shopping Center is a reputable company, with a website, that works for all the major brands in the U.S., can’t afford a decent web designer or it’s own email domain (lvpremiums@aol.com), and only hires non-native speakers of English who have bad manners, interrupt people when they are talking, insinuate that the people they are speaking to are idiots who know nothing of how financial institutions work.
  28. There is nothing wrong with this, because all the major brand names in America are represented by American Shopping Center.
  29. American Shopping Center will not take “No thanks” for an answer.
  30. American Shopping Center must send me this package for my benefit.
  31. American Shopping Center will continue to insist that they must send me this package, even after I repeatedly tell them that a) I do not want it, thank you, b) I will never give out my credit card information to anyone who calls me asking for it, no matter what they say or how reputable they are or who they represent or how much they are going to charge it, c) I do not want them to continue to call at 9:30 pm or any other hour of the day for a week at a time, or d) I am hanging up now, so please have a nice day.
  32. American Shopping Center wants me to go to hell.
  33. There is nothing wrong with this.

There is just one thing that I understand very, very well: Never, under any circumstances, give your credit card or banking information to anyone who calls you. Period. They will take that information and drain your accounts dry. Even if you only vocally authorize them to charge the account for $3.95.

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