28 July 2011

Brand Loyalty

A recent post by my daughter got me thinking about brand loyalty and brand aversion. I realized there are only a few brands that I am really loyal too. Price and convenience drive a lot of my purchases. So far I have only thought of three companies that I am so loyal to you will never see me using a competing product. Asics running shoes, Weber charcoal grills, Rain-X.

There are a few I go out of my way to avoid. You will never see me patronizing products or services of  Dr. Pepper, Holiday Inn, Dillards, Arby's, the NBA.

Still the world's worst coffee

Captain Jacks snack bar, Helena Montana airport. I have mentioned them a couple of times on this blog. I've had the coffee at least three times on a 6am flight back to the Twin Cities. It is always bad and tastes like it was made days before. I guess not even Big Sky country is perfect.

27 July 2011

An evening in Montana

Last night I arrived in Helena around 6pm. A gorgeous day just too beautiful to waste watching TV in the local Hampton Inn ( though they are very nice people ). I took a long, hundred mile drive up into the Helena National Forest, doing a long loop that took me past a stray cow wandering on the highway, through the town of Lincoln, and past the pristine trout waters of the Blackfoot River.

As I mentioned in an earlier email to my mother,  Helena reminds me in many ways of my ancestral hometown of Elizabethton, Tennessee. A small city, mainly of lifelong residents. A combination of pretty older homes, tacky shopping areas and a nice downtown, nestled in the middle of the mountains. Not a bad place at all to spend a life.

 I ended my drive at the minor league ball park and watched the Helena Brewers faced the Casper Ghosts (gotta love that name). The Brewers lost but time at a ballpark is always time well spent.

01 July 2011

My email to the TSA

Dear TSA

I suggest your web content editors pass 7th grade english before you turn them loose on your website.

From the TSA website

"Expensive reels or fragile tackle such as fly's should be packed in your carry-on baggage."


I guess I should be thankful that they are not flying planes. Those details can be a mess. http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1188.shtm

Independence Days Remembered

The thing is, they're not. Remembered. There are only a handful that I clearly remember. July 4, 1976, 1981, 1982, 2010.

In 1976 most people were doing something really big, it was the bicentennial. I was stuck in Strafford, Missouri with the family of my on again - off again girlfriend. We heard some politicians, pastors, soldiers and other civic leaders speak. Somewhere I still have the program. I remember thinking, "what am I doing here?".

1981 and 1982 I remember because I helped shoot the fireworks for the city of Pine Bluff, Arkansas (another "what am I doing here" experience) I was a new dad. Both years our daughter, a toddler, cried at the sounds. By the second year she was 18 months old and enjoyed looking up in the sky. I was in the Jaycees and we sponsored the fireworks. Not a lot of regulation back in them days. Just a dozen guys standing in a field by the convention center, drinking beer and launching coffee cans of chemicals high into the air. The fire chief did come by to check on us, if I remember right.

Last year I was in Buenos Aires on the 4th. The only reason I remember it is because it was last year and it was the first time I was not in America on Independence Day. Went to a great restaurant, Las Lilas. That was about it. It was just another day in Argentina. In another ten years I will have completely forgotten about it because absolutely nothing special happened that day.

There were of course others but they all run together. The ones near our neighborhood in St. Louis. The ones here in Minnesota. Good times with family and friends that run togther to form one big Independence day memory.