A Great Affordable Gift Idea

I found a phenomenal gift for a friend the other day. I was in a jam for finding a birthday present. My girlfriend and I both wanted to get her something that would be nice and reflect how much we appreciate this mutual friend, who happens to be a teenager. I pondered this gift giving task for a long time, and couldn’t really come up with something that was really nice yet affordable. Then it dawned on me… women love jewelry, but most jewelry is expensive (at least the good stuff usually). I called up a friend of mine who is a jeweler and asked him for ideas. He pointed me to a product called Precious Pearl.

I couldn’t believe it. You get a pearl that comes inside an oyster and get to put it into a necklace charm. I’m thinking, this was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I showed it to a couple of people, and apparently I’m a little behind the times with jewelry because several of them already knew about it.

Long story short… I got the Precious Pearl. My girlfriend supplied the card. And our friend was incredibly excited and thankful to get this really cool gift. She was smiling from ear to ear. When I saw her response, it made me feel so good about the choice I made for her gift. When you want to treat a woman to something nice, get her a Precious Pearl. Her face is going to light up! And the best part about it was that the color she got (you don’t know the color until you open it) was perfect for her complexion. It really was a great experience for everyone.


Packet8 Leaves Me Hanging… Up

Packet8 phones in my home office! Alright! This weekend, I purchase two Packet8 phones from Office Depot. These systems looked great. I could simply set them up and use my phone service anywhere I took my digital phone adapter (or virtual office adapter as they call it). They have a virtual auto attendant, extensions… You name it, Packet8 has it.

I had talked with a rep at their company just a few days beforehand. She was very convincing. Sounded like a great product. AND they had a special running at Office Depot! I checked out the closest Office Depot to me, but they were all sold out. So, I hoped online and found the next closest location. “Call in advance when you are going to drive 20 mile for something,” my mom would always say.

They had it! I was excited! I was going to get one of the most state of the art small business office voip systems on the face of the planet: Packet8! Who’s rockin’ the small business world now!?! I trek out to the Office Depot and trek all the way back. I was practically salivating! These Packet8 phones look so cool. The virtual office concept makes remote business operations a reality. I can just picture myself in Hawaii, running my business on the beach while I’m using my Packet8 phone.

I pull out the phone, the cords, the cables, the phone adapter… It was like Christmas in March. I pull out the activation instructions. No way! It can’t be this easy. Just visit http://activate.packet8.net and type in the MAC address on the phone adapter unit. Then follow the instructions? Are you guys serious? I love the Internet. The world just got so much easier… Or did it???

When I went to activate the systems via the instructions in the box, I received an error:

Packet8 Small Business VOIP

I call up their tech support and the guy initially has no idea what I’m talking about. Apparently, Packet8 hasn’t been selling a whole lot of systems through retail chains like Office Depot. Maybe this is why! The Packet8 voip systems don’t work.

I’m a fair man though. I’ll give them a chance. I’ll let them sort through the issues and call me back on Monday. Their technical support traces back the units to… NOWHERE! They don’t have either unit in their system. Yes, you followed the story correctly. They sold me not 1 but *2* Packet8 Virtual Office units that were “not in their system”.

Then they told me that I could always return the items to Office Depot and purchase the units directly from them. So, make some money selling junk to Office Depot on wholesale, get me salivating over the phones, and then pull as fast one and get me to purchase directly from Packet8? I think not.

Hello! Office Depot? I have two pieces of junk I purchased from your other store very far away and don’t want to drive another 20 miles to return. Can I return that garbage voip system to you? Yes, I do have the receipt. Excellent! I’ll return these Packet8 junk piles right after I finish posting on WordPress!

If Everyone Watched The Big Idea…

What would happen if everyone in America watches The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch on CNBC? First, there would be a run on the cable companies because you can only get CNBC on cable. Second, fellow blogger Tony Iovino would take his $600 check he’ll receive from the Federal government in May and actually cash it to invest it into a new invention (and he would start using the vastly superior WordPress blogging system). Third, the US economy would flourish.

Today, Bush signed his stimulus package, creating checks for millions of people in our economy. Lots of people love to complain about the symantics of the deal. Call it welfare. Call it a rebate. Call it what you want, it is our Federal government giving money to people that live in America.

Using some of the people I’ve seen on The Big Idea as an example, what those $600 checks have the potential to do is generate billions (yes, you read that correctly, BILLIONS) of dollars in revenue/income for Americans. How? Well, you should watch The Big Idea. The show has featured scores of people who have started their business for little more (sometimes even less) than $600. These people has created jobs, used resources that support other businesses, and made people a lot of money.

Sure, if everyone who receives a check goes a spends it on a toy at Walmart, it won’t do much for boosting the economy. However, let’s have a little fun with the math here. 130,000,000 Americans are going to receive a check. If even 0.1% of the people who receive checks become Donny Deutsch success stories, we are talking about generating $130,000,000,000 of revenue for the US economy over the next year! That’s correct, just one-tenth of one percent of the people who receive the checks need to become Donny Deutsch success stories for the checks to pay for themselves in just two year. One-tenth of one percent. That is about the same as a run-of-network banner advertisement on ValueClick!

First Open Water Swim for the Triathlon

I went to Triathlon Lab in Redondo today to checkout some gear for the triathlon training I’m going through. We rented a wetsuit to checkout an open water swim. I was trying on all kinds of training outfits. Some of them were a little too Sven for me, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, we grabs our wetsuits and drove down to the Redondo Pier. When we got there, we packed it all up and then jogged down to the far side of the jetty. We slipped on our suits and goggles and dipped into the ocean. Its amazing how much warmer the Pacific Ocean is when you are wearing a swimming wetsuit.

I must say that swimming in the ocean is completely different than anything else I’ve done for training. I mean, I must have passed at least 20 gallons of salt water through my nose in the 1/4 mile swim we did. It was a great experience. Afterwards, we went back to Triathlon Lab. I picked up a sweet deal on a ton of training gear. The guy Robert was a great help with everything and hooked me up because of our mutual friend.

I’m really excited about the training that’s going to be taking place over the next couple of months for the LA Triathlon!

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FREE Gravity Defyer Shoes from the Gadget Panel

Originally posted on the Gadget Panel

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The Gadget Panel has access to complimentary pairs of Gravity Defyer Shoes. From the Oscar event I attended a while back, I was passing out cards for a complimentary pair of the Gravity Defyer Shoes. I have a few left over, and they are yours, so enter to win today. I’ll be posting a new contest each month for the next few months. Tell your friends about this. These shoes are really comfortable.

A while back, I compiled a list of websites that covered the Gravity Defyer Shoes. At 130 bucks, this is a great win! With the chance to win the most comfortable shoes in the world, this is a great win! Of course, Gadget Panel is not going to sell, rent, lease, bargain, enslave, remarket, prostitute, or distribute your information to anyone. It’s just a cool opportunity to win a free pair of shoes (open to US residents only, sorry).

Click here to enter to WIN!

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Music and Movies and Voice Recording… OH MY!!!

Originally posted on the Gadget Panel

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I had the Home Theater Watch at the 2007 GBK Oscar show. Like I mentioned in previous blogs, Billy Wirth, Shawn Hatosy, Joel Moore, and Warren G all loved the Home Theater Watch. It wasn’t a huge hit for the female celebrities, but there were plenty of women taking a look at the watch.

But this isn’t about the Oscars or celebrities. This is about my very own Home Theater Watch experience. Now, I’ll admit that I’m not much of a nerd. While I’m sure that my sister is laughing her butt off right now at that statement, I swear I’m not a nerd. Honestly! This watch is actually really cool.

Plug it into your MAC or PC. It uses a micro USB cable and is auto detected by both in my case. Although, be a lil’ careful with the MAC because its wide open folks! Don’t start deleting files that you *think* you don’t need. You probably do.

Anyway, getting back to the coolness of this watch. I was totally blown away by this cool product. It really is like Joel Moore said, “It’s like an iPod for your wrist.” Yet the Home Theater Watch also has the added coolness factor of being a watch. Something you wear on your wrist that tells time. I was sporting it at the office today, and people were all begging me to see what the watch can do. There are dozens or people who have written about the Home Theater Watch:

Gear Live had something to say
Luxist recommends it while you are standing in line while out and about
SciFi.com even pointed out that you can watch a full length film or a couple of episodes of Prison Break
Coolest Gadgets pointed out the usefulness during a traffic jam
Wrist Dreams… Well, I’m not sure what to make about their name to be honest with you -P
Book of Joe wants the manufacturer to promise “Your friends and family will be eager to spend time with you….”. How do you become the most popular blogging anesthesiologist? I’m sure that the first step is to start blogging
So, everyone at work is following me around…

Does it play movies? Yep!

Does it play music? Yep!

Does it have a voice recorder? Uh…

I didn’t even realize this until after I had shot the video. See and hear the Home Theater Watch video I posted on youtube.

So, when the controller came by my office to tell me that one of my biggest marketing channels had posted a FAT profit for Q1, I was excited because I had it all on audio. I was testing the recording feature when she came by, so I’m not going to make a practice out of recording conversations, but it just kinda happened. Hopefully the FBI will make note of that when they scan this website and let me slide -D

And, BTW. At the time I wrote this blog, there was a 5 question survey on gadgetuniverse.com that claims you can enter to win a Home Theater Watch. I don’t know the details or if there is a deadline, but this watch is worth giving it a shot. I’ll take another one!

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Truly Wireless Speakers?

Original post from the Gadget Panel

Yes, you really could juggle these speakers…

These are the Podz speakers, available from Brookstone. Rechargeable, wireless speakers. My only complaint is that they are 900 MHz, which means that the range is not the best in the world. Remember the original wireless phones that worked in most of the house, but not all of the house? Yep, kinda like that. They work great throughout most of my house, but there are certain areas that are just not so good. The speakers make a loud popping noise when they get too far away from the base. Over all, these are really good speakers and TONS or fun. Plus, they look really cool!

Recharging is a snap. Just place the speaker on top of the charging unit, and it is good to go. You don’t even need to make sure anything lines up. The metal charging pads just need to touch the metal portion of the charger. You can rotate the speaker around on the charger all you want. Fun stuff.

Something I’d love to see in the next version (besides the better range) will be to have a wireless remote to control the sound of the speakers. Right now, I need to visit each speaker to adjust the volume. Not good for a lazy guy like me. I know these are going to be a great hit at my next party!
Oh, one other really neat benefit to this product is that you can hook up a bazillion of them to the same transmitter. The transmitter gets set to a channel (you have three options) and then you set the speakers to the same channel. Obviously, if your neighbors get a set, you might have some problems 😦 However, in theory, since the transmitter is just broadcasting, you would buy 50 of these things and have a speaker every couple of feet in your house. Talk about surround sound!

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Important News on Your Order from 1-800-FLOWERS.COM!

So, yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I was expecting to receive a phone call from my girlfriend, thanking me for the beautiful Rose & Lily arrangement. By the middle of the afternoon, I had not received a phone call. I checked my email. No confirmation from 1800flowers.com. We get some sushi. I pamper her. Still… No flowers.

I wake up this morning and the following email was sent from 1800flowers.com at 8PM! Yes, 8 in the evening:

Dear Mr./Ms. Jared Tracy

have ordered a gift for ####### for delivery on Wednesday,
February 14th. We know how important the gift is to express your
sentiments to your recipient.

Unfortunately, due to bad winter weather around our
distribution hubs, we regret that the delivery may be delayed. Please
be assured that your gift will be delivered as soon as able. We are so
very, very sorry.

We will be contacting the gift recipient to advise of the late delivery, and to apologize.

Please accept a 20% discount offer (use code SAV20) for your next purchase.

Once again, we are so very sorry for any inconvenience this may have
caused, and hope that you will continue to be a 1-800-flowers.com
customer. Thank you.

Couple of things here:

  • Unfortunately, due to bad winter weather around our
    distribution hubs, we regret that the delivery may be delayed.
    They definitely should not have sent this message to people in Southern California. Granted, they used the term *may*, but Seeing as how the average temperature of every city in Southern California was 70, it’s a lame excuse.
  • Please
    be assured that your gift will be delivered as soon as able
    . As soon as able? Well, I guess this might explain why the harsh winter weather conditions in Southern California may have delayed my order.

  • Please accept a 20% discount offer (use code SAV20) for your next purchase
    . Please. Everyone. Use the discount to save 20% on your next order.

Now, I was going to consider purchasing from Teleflora next time, until I read this article about what they are doing to the local florists. I think I’m just going to do it the old fashioned way next time: Walk into the store a few days in advance and get the arrangement I want 😀

I replied back to the customer service email that I no longer needed the order and that I would dispute the charge if they charged my card for the order at this point. It’s unfortunate about the bad weather in Southern California.

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Fall in love with the Gravity Defyer Shoes

The Gravity Defyer Shoes are a hot item. They were a huge hit when they debuted at the 2007 CES. Yes, shoes made their debut at the largest consumer electronics show. A crazy idea, but it actually makes sense, given the amount of time people spend on their feet.

I love these shoes. I wear them to work every day. The first time I realized how comfortable they are is when I decided to wear another pair of shoes to work. Um, that didn’t work out very well. Gimme my GDS! I’ve given about a dozen pairs of these shoes to my friends who have complained about shoe comfort. Even the pickiest of friends had something good to say about the comfort.

See what people said about the shoes at the CES as well as what other bloggers and reporters have to say around the web:

Read what GUTTERBOY said (humorous)
Read what turboGADGETS said
California Newswire
The Red Ferret says they “are straight off the ‘what the…?’ banana boat LOL
Investor’s Business Daily
Nothing to do with Arbroath
Dr. Joe Vitale has many good things to say not just about the shoes
The Gravity Defyer Shoes are wishlisted by someone on TheThingsIWant.com. Perhaps I’ll send him a pair 😀
CrunchGear had their hopes up about defying gravity
MondoShoes had something to say too
Yahoo! Finance published the press release
Can you Digg it?
They even love it in India
The Ventury County Star picked up on the hot news!
So did the Dallas Morning News
Even EARTHtimes.org got in on the action

See the reactions from people at CES for yourself!

Comfy shoooooes 😀

Gravity Defyer Shoes

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