Turning 30

March 25, 2014 — Leave a comment

30, drivers license, old

I turn 30 next month.

I was recently reminded of this when I received my driver license renewal notice in the mail from the DMV. Above is my current license picture that I’ve had since I was 15 and I got my permit. I look a little different now…a few more pounds and a little less hair.

The last two times I was able to renew my license by mail. This time the renewal notice said I had to go to the DMV to take a new picture and pass a vision test. This is a probably a good thing. People often look at my ID and laugh or think it’s fake. I am almost twice the age I was in the picture. My license also says I weigh 160 pounds. Ha! That’s unfortunately far from the truth.

Last week I made the dreadful trip to the DMV to get my picture taken. The lady taking my picture said, “oh my goodness you’re just a baby in this photo!” Thanks for making me feel old lady! “You know you can come in and get your photo updated anytime…you don’t have to renew by mail” she said. Yes I know, thanks.

You don’t have to renew by mail?!?!? Renewing by mail is like hitting the DMV Jackpot! Anytime you can avoid going to the DMV is winning in my mind! I had an appointment which is good since there was standing room only while I was there. I was in and out in 15 minutes and should have my new license any day now! Here’s to keeping my new picture till I am 45!

Dear Thirties, I might be getting older, but please be nice to me. Chris

PS Starbucks and Amazon gift cards as well as Lagunitas IPA are all gladly accepted to help me cope with turning 30.

I always love getting a good deal and saving money!

A couple of months ago, I realized I was getting a bad deal on my Internet service. I was paying $8 a month to lease a modem from my Internet provider. When I signed up I was told the modem lease was $8/month. I was never given an option to purchase a modem. (They make more money leasing you one)

I got tired of seeing my bill with a $8/monthly fee to lease the modem…so I started doing a little Google research. After a little digging around, I found which modems worked with my Internet provider and where I could buy them. (Your Internet provider won’t just list them on their front page for you to find)

For $66.99 I picked up the Motorola SB6121 on Amazon. (The newer Motorola SB6141 is also available, but I found spending the extra money wouldn’t help make my Internet any faster or anything…so I went cheaper)

In under 9 months the modem will pay for itself. It also comes with a 1-year warranty…so if it goes bad in the first year, it’s covered. I expect the modem to last 2-3 years before having to replace it. As shown below, I hope to save around $100-$200 over the next couple of years.

Savings after 1 year – $29
Savings after 2 years – $125
Savings after 3 years – $221

It might only seem like a little bit of money to you, but it all adds up!

Do you currently lease or own your Internet modem and why? Or do you even know if you lease it or not?

modem, saving money

best before combos feedback

I recently posted on how I enjoy secret shopping various businesses. I also enjoy providing feedback to businesses whether or not the service was good or bad.

On Saturday, Erika and I headed out to the coast for the night. Coke and Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Combos are a must for me on any road trip. On our way, we stopped at a gas station to get some Combos, a Coke, and a couple other snacks.

We jumped back in the car and headed down the highway. A couple of miles down the road I opened my combos and tossed one in my mouth. I knew something was off…it tasted stale. I looked at the package that read “Best Before 01/2014.” This was the 8th of March. Months had passed since my Combos had seen their better days. Thankfully our chips, candy bar, and Coke were all still good.

Erika asked, “are we going back?”

“Not today, but I am stopping there on our way home tomorrow” I replied. (I am sure she was pumped)

Now maybe the gas station made an honest mistake with having expired products on their shelf. Or maybe they just don’t care because whoever stops on a gas station along Hwy 5 in the middle of no where is not going to come back for their $1.39 refund. But I did! #cheapskate

On our way home, I stopped at the gas station to get my refund on my expired Combos. I told the cashier I had bought them yesterday, tasted that they were stale, and saw the expiration date was 2 months ago.

He was clearly irritated that I came back. He asked if I wanted to grab a different bag. I told him no since the entire box on the shelf was expired and that I just wanted my money back. The cashier was again, clearly irritated and unapologetic for having sold an expired product. Nor did he care about the other 20 bags of expired Combos on the shelf.

I got my $1.39 back, used the bathroom, and went on my way…BUT…I don’t only complain!

I give good feedback too!

On our way home from the coast, we stopped and ate lunch at a brewery/restaurant. When we received the check, there was a comment card about the service received that you could fill out and mail in. I am sure most people only fill out the card if they receive horrible service…if anyone fills it out at all.

We received great service! So I grabbed the comment card to fill out. Not only do businesses need good constructive criticism/feedback, but they also need positive/encouraging feedback when they are doing good!

I loved receiving good feedback from customers about my employees when I worked at UPS. There was a survey website on the bottom of your receipt that you could go to and answer some questions and rate your service. I always shared the information with my staff and praised them for doing a good job.

When I receive great service, I take the time to write a review on Yelp, email the manager, or send in a comment card. When I receive bad service, I do the same.

Do you give good or bad feedback on service you receive? When you receive bad service, do you just not return? 

Secret Shopper

March 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

secret shopper shop shoppingI am a secret shopper.

I love getting things for free! I’ve talked before about a few iPhone Apps I’ve used to make money by being a secret shopper. The last two nights my wife and I have eaten out for free. Not only was our food, drinks, tax and tip paid for…but I was also paid to review the service we received! Yes, I was paid to go out to eat!

Tuesday night was pizza and salad that ended up being horrible. We waited over 30 minutes from the time we ordered our food until it was served. Maybe this is why the owners are having the place secret shopped to begin with. Our pizza was good and our service was good, but the salad was horrible. And the wait was beyond horrible for a half empty restaurant. I don’t see us returning to restaurant number 1.

Wednesday night was much better than Tuesday. Not only was it a nicer restaurant, everything was better. Amazing service and amazing food. Paid to eat steak, chicken, and shrimp! I can’t wait to go back to restaurant number 2!

I started off secret shopping small things. Checking stock of items at grocery stores, etc. iSecretShop and EasyShift were the first two apps I started making money with. They don’t happen to offer a lot of assignments around my house anymore. Getting paid to secret shop and review restaurants and hotels is a lot more fun anyway!

Have something that needs to be reviewed? Restaurant, hotel, app, electronic device, etc? Contact me for a detailed review/secret shop.

pregnant, disneyland, parents, announcement

Baby Loach Is Due Sep 13, 2014!

Erika and I are excited to finally announce…we are going to be parents! She is 12 weeks pregnant today. With this announcement, I am now free to tweet about my late night journeys to the store for preggie pops, popcorn, or any other random items that Erika needs. We won’t know if it’s a boy or girl for a few more weeks, but the weeks are already flying by. We took this picture last weekend at Disneyland…her idea, not mine. She has lots of good ideas and is going to be an amazing mother. We can’t wait for September to come!

Spring Training is underway!

I love the smell of fresh cut grass and baseball. In 2010, I made a trip out to Arizona for Spring Training and had a great time. I can’t believe that was 4 years ago! Hopefully someday soon I’ll be able to return and enjoy some more games in the sun.

With Spring Training games underway, the start of the 2014 season is just a month away. Below are my 2014 Predictions. If I am right…you owe me a dollar for reading this.

AL East            AL Central           AL West

Tampa Bay        Cleveland                Oakland
Baltimore*          Detroit                    Texas
Boston*             Kansas City            LA Angels
Toronto              Minnesota               Seattle
NY Yankees      Chi White Sox         Houston

NL East            NL Central          NL West

Washington        Cincinnati               LA Dodgers
Atlanta*              St Louis*               Colorado
NY Mets             Pittsburgh             San Diego
Philadelphia        Milwaukee             Arizona
Miami                 Chi Cubs               San Francisco

Wild Card

Baltimore beats Boston
Atlanta beats St Louis

Division Series

Oakland beats Baltimore
Tampa Bay beats Cleveland
LA Dodgers beat Atlanta
Washington beats Cincinnati

Championship Series

Oakland beats Tampa Bay
LA Dodgers beat Washington

World Series

Oakland beats LA Dodgers in 7

Green A's Hat Spring Training vs Blue Dodgers Hat Spring Training

 

Who are your picks for 2014?

Free Travel Credit

 

Travel Pony Free Credit

You may know that I love to travel. You may also know that I never pay full price for hotels. Never.

I generally stick to Priceline.com and Kayak.com when booking, but have used many other sites in the past as well. I recently came across a new travel site called TravelPony.com I think you should give them a try based on the silly name alone.

If you create a free account, TravelPony will give you $35 in FREE credit to use on hotels. It took me less than a minute to sign up and they haven’t been sending me annoying emails everyday either…which is a major plus!

Here’s what their website says about them:

TravelPony.com is a brand new hotel booking website with everyday prices that are often 10-70% below the big travel sites. At TravelPony.com when customers login with their Facebook ID (Using a Facebook login is suggested but NOT required), they unlock preferred pricing and some of the best deals around on hotels. TravelPony has launched over 20 markets(A LOT more now) with over 2,000 top hotel partners, making it one of the best sites to get a deal and book a hotel room.

TravelPony.com offers low rates every day and actually offers better rates the farther out our customers book their stay. Prices on TravelPony aren’t last-minute rates, they’re everyday low rates.

Their website isn’t fancy, but it’s very easy to use. You can’t find hotels in every city yet…but many cities worldwide are being added daily. With 10-70% below other sites AND a $35 dollar credit, TravelPony.com is worth a try!

When booking travel do you stay loyal to a brand or website, or go with where ever you can find the best deal?

Free Stuff Friday

February 14, 2014 — Leave a comment

Who doesn’t like FREE STUFF???

Below are several FREE things I thought you might enjoy.

Here’s a free Arrested Development Valentines Day Card.

Arrested Development Valentines Free Stuff

Free Book:

My buddy Nathan is giving away a free book on his blog today…so hurry up and enter to win it before it’s too late! The Truest Thing About You by David Lomas

Free eBook:

Or maybe you’d like a free eBook from Pastor Micah Foster on Social Media for the Church.

Free Advice:

Doing is better than talking. Thank you Jon Acuff!

Free Laughs:

Tripp and Tyler present An Honest Facebook Movie. This is all kinds of true!

Free Music:

Love On by We Shot The Moon is free to download. You can also purchase their other albums here. Good piano pop rock from Jonathan Jones.

Free $25 Visa Card:

Test drive a Kia, get a $25 Visa Card. If you buy a Kia Soul, you will probably turn into a hamster. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I hope you enjoy your Free Stuff Friday!

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A lot of you guys might be like me..you hate having to shave your face. It’s one of my least favorite things to do and I try to do it the least amount of times as I possibly can. The part that’s even worse is how much it costs to buy razors. Even finding a good deal on Amazon.com or buying a megapack at Costco is too much money for me.

That’s why I started using Dollar Shave Club. You know, the ones with the hilarious YouTube Commercials. Their motto is, “Shave Time. Shave Money.”

Dollar Shave Club mails you new razors every month at the same time. So no more worrying about running out of razors. Your new ones will always be arriving in the mail around the same date every month. You can even have them send you some of their wonderful Shave Butter as well.

Since I hate shaving and really don’t shave that often, I have my subscription set to every other month. So every other month I get 4 new razor cartridges in the mail and it only costs me $6. A lot cheaper than at the store. Other razor plans start at just $3/month. And they are great blades too!

Enlightened Customer #164 on Dollar Shave Club’s website says “I save $100/yr on shaving now. Basically, I’m a genius.” – Jeff

Don’t you want to be a genius like Jeff and myself? Of course you do. Sign up today!

PS I get a $5 credit when you sign up using my link.

Hello, it’s been a while…

For several years this blog was a daily creative (or not so creative) outlet for myself to share with whoever would read it. After several years of growing my blog, I pretty much stopped it all together. I made a total of 6 posts in 2013. In the past I was making 6 posts a week and writing tens of thousands of words a year.

There are a handful of reasons for the decline. Getting married. Moving. Starting a new job. Planting a church. Getting old. Etc, etc, etc. I go to bed a lot earlier than I used to. I’ll also be 30 this year…so obviously I am getting really old.

I’ve planned on relaunching my blog for quite a while…but the busyness of life gets in the way. Most of the posts I was drafting were not helpful, productive, or close to entertaining…so I stopped writing altogether. And waited. And waited some more.

My Jan 1, 2014 relaunch soon came and went. Then it became Feb 1. Blew by that date too. So here I am today Feb 12, 2014 writing my first post of the year and first post of my relaunch.

Updates to the site will be coming shortly. The look and feel of things might be changing a bit. New content will hopefully be worth your while to read. And there will be lots of big things happening this year. You’ll have to come back to find out more.

The first big announcement is the growth of my business Revision Printing and the launch of it’s online store. If you know anyone who needs ANY kind of printing big or small…please send them my way!

Thanks for taking your time and reading my blog!