Friday, April 28, 2006

Did You Know?

OK, so I'm starting yet another series of posts. This series is titled "Did you know?"

This one is especially for cat lovers out there. Some of you may even already be aware of this little quirk but I thought it's worth mentioning. Did you know that if you scratch the area just above the base of a cat's tail, the cat (OK, maybe not ALL cats) will start licking? Sometimes it will lick itself and sometimes just the air, and it typically won't stop until you stop scratching that area. Start, stop, then start again and you're likely to start laughing just watching this. Don't do this for longer than 15-30 seconds as that would be abusive or the cat is likely to get annoyed.

Disclaimer: fair warning that every cat has a personality / temperament all its own and this "experiment" may or may not work with every cat. Do not try this with a cat you are unfamiliar with. Be aware that any cat you try this on may bite or scratch you and do not get angry or abusive if it reacts this way so take this into consideration before attempting to try this. If you try this at home (or anywhere else for that matter), you and you alone made that decision and you're on your own as to any possible consequences. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bank Line Format

Kudos to Best Buy stores for adopting what I call the "bank line format" for their customers who head to their cashiers. For many years I've thought that just about all businesses should implement this. Who has not gone shopping and dreaded the point at which they must decide which line looks like the one they're most likely to get through the quickest?

I've never understood why stores don't realize how absolutely frustrating it is for customers to get in a line thinking that because it's the shortest one, they'll end up leaving quickly, only to end up leaving the store later than someone who got in the next line over after you got in your line. Banks have been doing things the right way (in this respect, anyway) for as long as I can remember. When Best Buy started doing this a year or two ago I hoped it would be permanent and so far it seems that way. Now if only Publix would follow suit! ...I can hope, can't I?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Less Product, Same Price

Years ago, I noticed that manufacturers figured out a way to increase their profits without losing customers (at least not enough to make them stop this practice, anyway). They simply reduce the amount of product without increasing the product's price. Typically, the decrease in the amount of product is not noticeable to most people and oftentimes the manufacturer also changes the product packaging so that it's more difficult to notice a difference since it's sort of like comparing apples with oranges. The companies keep the product change a secret since it can only hurt them financially if people spread the word. Over the years I've noticed several examples of this with just about every type of product.

I once saw a TV report on this same topic and the company rep being interviewed claimed that their company was simply giving the consumer what they wanted based on the results of some research study the company paid for. Yeah, that's right... the consumer wants less product for the same price. They must think we're morons.