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Pretending to be my wife Thu, Jun 22, 2017
I called my cable company's customer service the other day, and based on some previous negative experiences I had, I told them I was my wife.  The account is in her name, so she needs to be the one who makes account changes.  Some companies will let you call and have the account holder nearby to give their verbal blessing.  But I just told them I was her.  What are they gonna do, not believe me?  Ask me anything.  I know her birthday, her mother's maiden name, her social security number, the hospital she was born in.  I know where she's lived, what cars she's owned, the name of her bridesmaid.  I know the answer to every possible security question they can ask.  That effectively makes me her.  Aside from the customer service rep being a little thrown off at first, it worked like a charm. #business

Loss leaders and the secondhand marketplace Wed, Jun 21, 2017
I was in the market for some exercise equipment recently, and I figured I'd buy some of it secondhand from eBay or Craigslist since lots of people make fitness goals and quickly abandon them.  I assumed there'd be a pretty big market of lightly-used low-priced exercise equipment.  I was wrong, but for a different reason.  It turns out there's a modest market for used equipment, but the better market is for brand-new equipment from giant companies with small margins or loss leaders.  A loss leader is a product sold at a loss with the intention of attracting additional business.  Amazon and Walmart can sell a product for little to no profit because they know you'll buy a bunch of other stuff from them.  That works out great for customers who want to pay low prices, which is pretty much all customers.  It doesn't work out great for the secondhand marketplace.  With the advent of free shipping, the secondhand marketplace is essentially obsolete.  I was able to order a piece of equipment, brand new, from a big reputable company, shipped for free in three days, for less than I could've bought the same piece of equipment, used, either shipped across the country (at a significant cost), or picked up from someone that lives near me.  Loss leaders have killed the secondhand marketplace. #business

How to dress like an adult Wed, Jun 14, 2017
I was at a wedding this past weekend, and the bride's older brother was dressed like an idiot.  Not because he didn't feel like dressing for the occasion, but because he apparently never learned how to dress like an adult.  I'm no fashion expert, but I feel like there are a few simple rules to follow when you reach the age of maturity and don't want to look like an idiot: 
  1. If you're wearing a collared shirt, iron it.  Sometimes you can get away with a somewhat wrinkled shirt in a casual situation, but if you're at work or a formal occasion, that shit won't fly.  It's ridiculously obvious you bought that white button-down shirt on the drive over because it still has the crease marks from the packaging.
  2. If you tuck your shirt in, wear a belt.  It doesn't make a difference if you need a belt or not; just wear one.  I don't know why this is a rule, but I remember learning it from my dad and subsequently judging everyone who broke the rule.
  3. If you wear a tie, tuck it under your collar.  There's no better way to signal to the world that you're an incompetent dumbass than by having your tie stick out of your collar as if your stumbly bumbly childlike fingers were unable to accomplish a simple mechanical task.
  4. If you're at a wedding, wear a tie.  If you're at a job interview, wear a tie.  If you're at a formal occasion where most men are wearing ties, wear a tie.
This message is for you, Mr. No Tie Creased White Shirt with No Belt at a Wedding. #lifestyle

America catching up Fri, Jun 02, 2017
Trump just pulled out of the Paris climate agreement.  This move was ridiculously widely criticized, but I think he's actually onto something.  America as a nation isn't really good at starting things.  We're better when we're second, like with the industrial revolution (England was first, America created the modern economy) and the world wars (Europe started them, America finished them).  But actually probably the best example of this was the space race.  The Soviet Union won the space race.  They launched the first satellite into space, and later the first human.  America claimed victory by being the first to reach the moon, but that simply ignored the previous achievements by the Russians.  And the whole reason there was a "race" was because America got beat.  That, coupled with some military tension, turned it into a competition, and any competition America enters (not begins), America wins.  So in a way, pulling out of the climate agreement could be a good thing.  Other countries like China and Russia will take the lead and improve the earth while getting fantastically wealthy.  Then in another 15 or 20 years, America will blow the competition out of the water and claim victory. #science