Buy Right From The Start

This was a funny sign in an eatery:

Our tasting panel samples each item before we buy it.


And the picture is of the guy  ready to dig into the food. 


There was another saying that I heard that I liked:

If you buy on price, you buy twice. 


In other words, never just buy the lowest price item if you don’t really like it, because in the end, you’ll end up having to buy a replacement for the cheapo, crappo thing you really didn’t like to begin with. 


Better to save up and get what you really want to begin with. 


A savvy shopper, indeed. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Covid-19 Graph — No One Wants To Confront

This is the Coronavirus chart that I don’t think anyone wants us to confront. 


Rather than the typical chart we are shown with one high and then it tapers off and all is well…


There could be scenarios where there are multiple curves and peaks. 


For example, if we send people back out to (work, school, etc.) and stop the social distancing too early–while there are still Coronavirus carriers around us and we don’t have an effective vaccine–then the contagion can start all over again. 


Further, even with a vaccine, if the virus mutates (and could become more virulent) then this infection can go on spreading and killing with multiple peaks. 


In short, this is the chart that speaks to cases where businesses are closed and people out of work much longer than expected, and where the recession takes hold and does some potentially real and lasting damage above and beyond what’s perhaps already priced in. 


Again, let’s hope and pray that we don’t stop the social distancing prematurely and that our doctors and scientists get the vaccine for us sooner rather than later. 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

From Hate To Love

Just a self-reflection today…


Important to me. 


It’s about who I thought I was and…


Who I became. 


Truly, I went full circle from a child’s hate to an adult’s love relationship with:


– Reading


– Writing


– Swimming


– Hebrew


As a kid, I tried to avoid these like the plague, and as an adult I like to practice these every single day of my life. 


I wonder to myself is it that I strove to become good (or decent) at what I have previously been bad at or was somehow afraid of. 


Yet now, they are integral to my life, learning, and growth. 


Like the hands of a clock that circle and tick the hours and minutes. 


My life takes me full circle and brings me home to who I am and what I really love spending time at. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Those Were Different Days

Wow, those were different days…


When the stores still had stuff on the shelves. 


And you could go in without waiting outside for half an hour for social distancing. 

With everyone wearing protective masks and obsessively washing their hands, so please G-d not to get sick. 


Then we were happy!


Now we are all just scared. 


Even if some people are pretending they aren’t.  


It’s more what we still don’t know then what we do. 


And how things can unravel so quickly.


Makes us all appreciate what we had, and hopefully what we’ll have again. 


Shabbat Shalom!  😉


( Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Truth Hurts

Truth.jpeg

So I purchase some nutrition bars from a prominent online store. 


If you click on 2 boxes (12 bars each), they charge you $30. 


But if you look over a little on the website page, they have 24 bars for $24. 


I contact customer service and start chatting with them about this. 


Basically, I wanted the difference refunded to me. 


Surely, not a lot of money, but more the principle of it. 


They are charging 2 different amounts for the very same thing! 


The lady on the other end of the chat asks me to forward her the link for the product. 


I comply. 


She says, “You see that link is 2 boxes for $30!”


I say, “No, that’s just the primary link to the product, and it has 2 different prices for basically the exact same thing.”


She says, “On that link you sent it has 12 bars x 2, which is different than ordering 24 bars!”


I’m thinking, Oh really!  What math class did she take in elementary school???


And then for good measure, she adds socking one to me:

“Truth Always Hurts!”


At this point, I couldn’t believe my chat “ears”.  


Aside from her “truth” not being “the truth” in any universe…


I was in shock and said something like “How dare you.  You are incredibly rude.  Put your supervisor on.”


She says: “Well, my supervisor will tell you the same thing!”


I repeated once more: “Please let me speak to a supervisor.”


Finally when I got the supervisor, who was a more normal, reasonable person, and also could do simple arithmetic, she immediately apologizes issuing me a refund. 


She asked if there was anything else she could assist with.


I asked, to confirm again, “Are you a supervisor?”


She responded affirmatively. 


I asked her to review the chat with the prior customer service rep and asked, “Is this how you want your company represented to your customers?”


Needless to say, she was flabbergasted by what she saw from their outsourced “customer service” representative.


She assured me she was flagging the chat for review by management and that this outrageous behavior from this company representative would be addressed. 


To me, it is amazing that our companies not only outsource the manufacture of our vital goods, but they also outsource customer service to people that barely seem to speak the language, can’t do basic math, and have zero customer service skills. 


This does not bode well for American competitiveness–in the age of Coronavirus or at any other time. 


I believe that this truth hurts much more than any company’s horrendous customer service. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Pathogen Deaths – Worst Is Yet To Come

So maybe I am the only one who doesn’t see how things are adding up.


But in the U.S. we have 4,000 dead from Coronavirus and 3/4 of the country (all the major population centers) are on lockdown. 


Yet, the projections are still for deaths in the U.S. to pile up between 100,000 to 240,000


How do you get from 4,000 to 240,000 with most people under lockdown?


The numbers of projected deaths were in the millions before the lockdown and social distancing, so yes the numbers are lower and better now. 


Still the escalating death toll is frightening in its magnitude of what is yet to come DESPITE the lockdown.


Moreover, the estimated death in the U.S. from the Flu was only 34,000 (2018-2019) and that’s with everybody round and about doing their business.


My question is what happens after the (first) peak when they send people back to work and school?


There are still going to be people sick and contagious out there and the whole cycle STARTS AGAIN until we get the vaccine. 


And even after the vaccine, it may become seasonal like the flu or mutate and become even more virulent. 


It seems like there is plenty of reason to be cautious and concerned about what is yet to happen from here.


Then again we may be considered fortunate this time and actually beat this Coronavirus, but then again what happens when the NEXT really bad natural or man-made pathogen gets out? 😉


Note: There are approximately 16 countries with deadly biological weapons programs. 


(Credit Photo: My wonderful so-in-law, Itzchak)

Children Are Our Future

There are already 32 states under lockdown orders and more surely to come.


It is good to see the children playing outside (even in smallish groups). 


It’s trying times with schools closed, many parents trying to telework, and the need to take care of the children (especially the younger ones) at the same time. 


We can’t lose sight that the children are our future. 


They are everything in this world. 


Even with the Coronavirus pounding away at our older and more vulnerable populations, we can still thank G-d that not many children have been infected


Even in challenging times, G-d shows His mercy to us. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)