Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Frageelay".. Must be Italian!

It came! My Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Pin! Just kidding, I'm really referring to my treadmill that I ordered 2 weeks ago.

Something that has always been hilarious (and yet not funny at all) to me are the directions that come with anything that needs to be assembled at home. The directions are always written in a circle; Step 1: turn to page 3 and follow step 7, (On page 3, step 7, you're told to turn to page 14). It literally took me over 4 hours to assemble my treadmill, with help! Not only are directions provided in packaging written in a circle, the pictures never look like the product or the 'parts' needed don't match the description. Another favorite part of assembly is the Allan-wrench. A stick with a hexagon like shape at one end that has absolutely no power to turn the screw once it starts to get a little tight.

On a more positive note, my treadmill now has more technology than my phone does - it has a 10 inch color touch screen, android browser, Wifi capabilities and it can download Google maps for training. Now if only I could run on it without my IT band syndrome kicking in...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Costumes.. are you really wearing THAT?

Anyone that has ever seen "Mean Girls" knows what I'm talking about - Halloween is the holiday where girls put on, shall we say "less conservative" outfits and the ones with the most scandalous costumes always seem to win "best costume" awards. In the case of Mean Girls, they wear some spandex with animal ears and maybe a tail and call it good.

What ever happened to creative, funny costumes? Or costumes that are just awesome? I mean, last year I went as an 80's aerobics instructor and everyone loved it - technically I was wearing spandex leggings with a leotard over them, but I was also wearing a t-shirt over that and leg warmers (not exactly sexy) but everyone loved it!

It's not like guys find every costume that involves not wearing a shirt so why do girls? Just saying...

Even teenage girl costumes are getting more inappropriate!

In case you're wondering.. this lady is dressed up as a pirate... right.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

C1250, the Pro Elite 900, or the TrailRunner 4..

Photo: Huffing For Stuffing 2010 
Since the weather in Bozeman is only decent for 4 months out of the year, running outside becomes either miserable or impossible. After running Huffing for Stuffing in zero degree weather, I decided that I needed to save up for a treadmill to stay in shape during the winter months.

But, having never purchased a treadmill and only using one a couple times a year at the gym, I had NO idea how difficult it would be to pick one out. First of all, it's not like you can try them out unless the local gym happens to have that model. Second, all of the features are so similar its hard to know what the differences are. Third, they are expensive! If I'm going to spend that much money I want to be getting the best product I can afford.

So, after researching (and by this I mean googling treadmill reviews, running magazines, and corporate websites) for 2 months, I finally decided on one. I think the Internet has provides a huge advantage when purchasing products like this. Before, consumers probably would have looked in store catalogues without being able to compare different models from different stores. Customer reviews would've also been harder to find.

My new treadmill is on its way to Bozeman as we speak - hopefully I chose the right one!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ouch That Hurt - I Think I Want Another!

Tattoos and piercings - one of the strangest consumer purchases when you think about it. Not only do they hurt, but they can cause unwanted scarring (piercings), major buyer's remorse, and embarrassment. However, they can also create a sense of pride, self improvement, confidence, self expression.

Ask almost any person who's gotten a tattoo or piercing, and they will tell you that they are addicting. I myself have two tattoos (with plans for more), double ear piercings, and a belly button piercing. When I was reading Fournier's article on the extended self, I began thinking about my tattoos. I see them as a form of self expression and a way of rewarding myself. I got the dragonfly tattoo on my foot for my 21st birthday (I was completely sober by the way) and it was the most painful thing I've ever intentionally done to myself. But, I absolutely love it and I get compliments on it very often. I have also planned to get another tattoo as a personal reward for completing a marathon. I see them as part of myself and I can't imagine not having them.

I find it really interesting that the attitudes about tattoos have changed dramatically from 'only sailors and bikers' have tattoos to now, where house-wives and 50 year old women get them. My grandmother got a tattoo on her 60th birthday and it's adorable. I also read in an article a couple years ago (I can't remember what its called now) that 60% of CEO's or company executives have tattoos but you wouldn't know because they keep them covered. So, maybe that dragon tattoo won't keep you from landing your dream job... unless it's on your face/neck.

Photo: Courtesy of Me!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Service? Good? What Am I Buying?

After running quite a few road races in the last couple of years, I began to think about what I was actually 'buying' when forking out cash for a race entry. I wouldn't consider it a service, because I'm the one running. I also don't think it's a good - unless you count the race numbers, timing chips, and awesome tee shirts. Sometimes, there's even a free drink at the end (Run to the Pub and Oktoberfest races).

The more I think about it, I feel like I'm buying an experience. Yes they're providing the opportunity to race against other runners, but I feel more like I've actually purchased something after race is complete. I now not only have the race shirt, but I have the memories of the race and the feeling of accomplishment afterwards. According to Maslow, I've just purchased something to fulfill my esteem / self actualization needs.

Photo: From me!