Tag Archives: rant

IMPORTANT – About My Home – Clutter Porn

Well, maybe not that important. Just a mini rant about the overuse of the word important, along with its close cousin, urgent, in communications and especially on mail items. They seems to be cluttering half of the envelopes that arrive in my mailbox, yet their contents are rarely important to anybody except the sender.

Why do mail marketers and others continue to use this tired old trick? I suppose that’s rhetorical — they use it because it works. After all, even though we know the odds are it isn’t important, and may be of no interest to us at all, we don’t dare throw it away unopened just in case it actually is important.

More Tricks

Sure, sometimes you can tell from the return address who it’s from, but sometimes there’s no name; just an address. Or worse yet, the return address is misleading. Bank Of America (or its “marketing partners” – euphemism for “companies we sold your name and address to”) sends all sorts of things in essentially identical envelopes, all with the bank’s return address. Usually it’s an offer for some sort of insurance, or trying to get me to apply for some sort of loan or another, but I am forced to open each and every one and give its contents at least a cursory glance, lest I discard my statement or other legitimate communication regarding my account.

OK, now that I have that mini-rant out  of my system, and just to show you my headline isn’t totally bogus, let’s move on to something that, while it might not be too important in the overall scheme of things, you might enjoy.

About My Home

With all that describing of different kinds of RVs in my last post, I didn’t even tell you what I live in. My home is a 1979  Georgie Boy Cruise Master  CM20RB. It is a 20-foot class C motorhome. Interior space  is 18 feet long by 7 feet wide, or 126 square feet.  Here’s the floor plan:

Here’s what it looks like on the inside…

…or at least what the one in this brochure did when it was new:

If you’d like to learn more, or are just into 70′s advertising or shag carpeting, you can click the brochure cover for an eight-page PDF.

Ahhh, but what does it look like now, 32 years later, you ask? Time for…

Clutter Porn!

I know that at least one of my readers (Hi Tanja!) has been patiently waiting for me to post some photos of my clutter. While I’m not quite ready to offer a full portfolio yet, I’ll dip my toe in the water with this small offering:

As you can see, I still have my work cut out for me. In my defense, pretty much everything I own is in here, in 126 square feet. I’m still plugging away at it, and I’ll get there eventually (and post more photos, too).

Oh, and here’s what the outside looks like:

Yeah, even the outside is cluttered, but the stuff on top of the table and the boxes and pile near the rear wheels are stuff to be sold or donated, so it’s not quite as bad as it looks. Why’s the hood open? Mechanical trouble? Naw, it’s just open to discourage the packrats (the 4-legged kind) from nesting in there. They’ll make a mess and chew through hoses and wires, too.

What Do You Think?

Are “important” and “urgent” overused? Is 126 square feet too big? too small? just right? Want more clutter porn? Comments are always open.

Successful Shopping, Counterfeit Condiments

I had a successful grocery shopping trip today. I took a written shopping list with me, and stuck to it. Well, I actually did buy two additional things, but they were not impulse buys — they were needed items that I’d forgotten to write down, and was reminded when I saw them in the store. I even added them to the list before actually picking them up, just to make it official.

Lunch Before Shopping

Maybe the most noteworthy part of the outing occurred before I did my grocery shopping. Since it’s a bad idea to grocery shop on an empty stomach, especially when trying to avoid impulse buying, I decided to have lunch first. I stopped at KFC. Perhaps not the healthiest choice, but hey, I could do worse than chicken.

Honey and Butter?

The person behind the counter asked “Would you like honey and butter for your biscuit?”  “Yes, please” I replied. When it came time to eat the biscuit, I searched my tray for the honey and butter, but the closest things I could find were these:

“Honey Sauce” and “Buttery Spread” according to the packets. Click the thumbnails for a look at the fine print and you’ll see that the first three ingredients in “Honey Sauce” are high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and sugar. Oh, there’s a teensy bit of honey in there somewhere — “7% real honey” the package brags. As for the “Buttery Spread”, who knows what’s in it. Probably no butter. Lacking an ingredient list, the only clue is “artificially flavored”. I’m guessing  whipped vegetable oil and fake butter flavor. I suppose  fake butter is nothing new, but fake honey? I guess that’s one more reason to eat at home. At least I have honey and butter. The real kind, that comes from bees and cows.

Poorly Packed Shipments

Be forewarned. This will be a bit of a rant.

Is it just me? It seems anymore when I buy something online there’s a better than 50% chance the item will not be properly packed when it is shipped to me. This seems to be a growing trend.

How Not To Pack An Item For Shipment

I’m sure different people have different ideas of what constitutes secure packing, but I’m receiving packages where apparently no thought whatsoever went into the process. Surprisingly often I will find that a box significantly larger than the inner box is used, with absolutely no packing material whatsoever added to take up the space. No polystyrene peanuts. No bubble wrap. No shredded or crumpled paper. No plastic pillows. Nothing. The merchandise is free to rattle around in the box as it travels across the country or, in some cases, around the world.

They’re Not Amateurs

The most surprising thing is that it isn’t the amateurs, like first-time eBay sellers. I’ve actually had pretty good luck, overall, on eBay, with a rare exception or two. It is major mass retailers who should know better. Like Amazon. Not just the third-party sellers, but even shipments directly from the Amazon warehouse. In fact, more often than not Amazon shipments have no or insufficient packing and the product bouncing around inside.

But Why?

It seems everyone is doing it. Are they trying to save the nickel that the appropriate packing material (bubble wrap, peanuts, or paper) costs? Or the few seconds it would take to stuff it into the box? Maybe they should have an option on the checkout screen: “Please pack properly and securely (add $0.25).”

Recent Reminder (Rant Trigger?)

The latest example was received just yesterday. It was a lens for a DSLR camera purchased through Amazon from a third-party seller. The lens, in its flimsy manufacturer’s box (designed to sit on a store shelf, not to protect the lens) was stuffed into a box that was much too large in two dimensions, and too small in the third. And (as is not uncommon with photographic gear) the box was not secured closed from the factory, and the shipper had not secured it either. During shipping, the constant pressure from the wrong sized outer box, combined with the weight of the lens inside the inner box, and the lid had popped open. What I received was a large box containing a smaller squashed box plus a loose lens, now escaped from its own box, moving about freely inside the larger box. Of course there was no bubble wrap or stuffing of any kind in there. GRRRRRRRR. It managed to survive unscathed, somehow (miraculously?), as best I can determine.

How’s Your Luck Been?

Thanks for letting me vent. I feel a little better now — until next time. Feel free to use the comments to share your own horror story about improperly packed merchandise.