The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Force Factor

Do any of you know anything about Force Factor supplements? These are pre-workout pills that are supposed to really enhance performance and help you get the most out of your weightlifting sessions. Jerry is interested in using something like this to make his trips to the gym more effective, but he obviously doesn’t want to spend money on a product that is unsafe or doesn’t work. He’s going to read some force factor reviews first, of course, but it always helps to get as much input as possible. If you have experience with this product, drop me a line!

Joint and muscle pain

My son is playing T-ball for the first time this spring/summer, so every weekend we go out in the yard to play catch and practice hitting. I used to play softball all the time without experiencing any pain, but now I become very sore a day or two after our weekend sessions. It’s a combination of muscle and joint pain, and I have no idea why it’s happening. It’s not my technique, that’s for sure. As I said, I played ball for a lot of years and know what I’m doing. Maybe it’s simply a matter of getting older! Whatever the cause, I need some medicine/cream/treatment or I’m not going to last the whole season!

Make or buy?

I have a couple of friends who are going to have their first babies within the next few months, and they’re kind of debating how they should handle the birth announcements. They’re not planning to issue the announcements together, of course; they were just kind of bouncing ideas off each other.

Anyway, the biggest sticking point seemed to be whether the new parents should buy the announcements from a store or simply print them out on the computer. One friend said for something as important as the announcement of a first child, you should go all out and buy the nicest cards you can afford. The other said nobody except close relatives will even care anyway, so a computer printout would be fine.

I was almost asked for my opinion — until they remembered that I didn’t send out any announcements at all when my son was born! Oh, well.

So what do you say, folks? Is it too tacky to print out birth announcements? Should you go with nice store-bought cards instead?

Reebok Premier Replica Jonathan Toews Jersey

toews-jersey Almost exactly one year ago, I posted that I wanted to buy a Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks jersey to celebrate getting back into the sport as a fan. Well, I finally pulled the trigger on the purchase a little while ago. After spending a bit of time going through all the different jersey options at, I ended up buying the Reebok Premier version (mostly because it was the cheapest). Honestly, though, this turned out to be a mistake, as I wasn’t familiar with the different types of jerseys before shopping. Next time, this is something I need to handle in a store instead of online.

I’m not saying the NHL Shop or Reebok are at fault here. I simply didn’t read the product description carefully enough and didn’t understand what kind of jersey I was paying for. So imagine my surprise when, after spending $115 on this thing, it arrives at my door looking and feeling like the cheapest hockey jersey on the planet! I swear, I wasn’t expecting this! The Blackhawks logo on the front feels like some flimsy piece of cardboard, and the shoulder logos, numbers, and player’s name are all screen-printed on. I was expecting everything to be sewed/stitched, which was my mistake. The product description clearly mentions words like “heat-pressed”, “screen printed”, and “applique”, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time.

Let me explain where my confusion stems from. I had previously seen some Blackhawks jerseys at Dick’s Sporting Goods that retailed for $149. These jerseys had the sewn letters and numbers that I was looking for. I thought the Reebok Premier Replica would be the same thing because at NHL Shop, the customization option (adding a player’s name and number) costs $55, which would put the price right in the DSG range. That’s why I was expecting to get a sewn jersey. The only good thing about this transaction is that I actually bought the jersey during a promo for free customization. I would have been seriously PISSED to pay more than $150 for this product.

Anyway, I am not pleased with this purchase at all (even though it’s my fault). I’m not a jersey snob or anything, and don’t mind replica jerseys like the ones the NFL puts out (with all screen-printed logos, letters, and numbers). But those replicas only cost about $50-$60, so I KNOW damn well what I’m getting. When I shell out more than $100 for a “replica” jersey, it should be of higher quality than this Reebok Premier replica.

I’m not as livid about the purchase as I was the day I first got it, but you better believe there’s no way in hell I’m buying one of these things ever again. I guess I’ve learned my lesson here.

Peace Cereal — Vanilla Almond

I saw a new (to me) cereal at the health food store last week and decided to give it a try since it was on sale for $1 a box. It was a Vanilla Almond flavor from Peace Cereal, and features golden corn flakes along with “crunchy clusters” (of what, I don’t know) and thin slivers of almond. There is also supposed to be natural vanilla flavoring throughout.

I wasn’t expecting much here, so I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. Unlike a lot of the major cereal brands, there is a very good ratio of clusters and almond slices to flakes, so the cereal ends up being very flavorful. My palate can’t distinguish the vanilla flavor from anything else, but the overall effect is actually quite good.

Another thing I like about this cereal is that the company seems to be heavily involved in community projects that benefit children. Instead of using their profits to build employees’ stock portfolios or send everyone on Branson vacations once a year, they roll 10% back into worthwhile community endeavors, such as Free the Children. Gotta respect that!

At any rate, I’ll definitely buy this cereal again, and will be looking to try other flavors in the near future!

iPad Accessories

So now that the iPad has been released worldwide, how long do you think it will be before we see the accessory market explode? Because if you look at the iPad, there’s not really a whole heck of a lot to it. I’m sure companies are already selling protective covers, and stands are probably not far behind. Oh, and you know how a lot of computer stores sell macbook memory? You can bet the same will happen for iPad soon enough.

I can’t believe how many people are buying that thing. It’s an oversized and overpriced iPod Touch!! Look, I have a number of iPods and an iPhone, so I appreciate Apple products. But this iPad? Pass.

Updated Wish List

I have so many things on my Wish List that it’s kind of hard to keep track of them all. Of course, there are some things (like this diamond pendant) that I’ll probably never end up buying because of the cost, and others (like some of the colon cleanse products I’ve looked at over the years) that I’ll just completely forget about. So I decided to post a quick update of my Wish List to reflect the five items I want the most right now.

  • Jonathan Toews Blackhawks jersey
  • Ally McBeal Complete Series DVD set
  • Chanel No. 5 perfume
  • iPhone 3GS (or 4G by the time I buy it)
  • 2nd Generation Kindle

Summer Dresses

Don’t look now, but it’s almost time to start sporting some sexy summer dresses! (Wow, look at my alliterative skills there!) I don’t wear dresses all that often, but I do like to have one or two available for weddings or cocktail parties, so I need to go shopping soon. I really like this little number from Victoria’s Secret, and it’s on sale right now for just $29. Unfortunately, I’d have to find some way to lose weight fast in order to look good in the dress, and considering the fact that I’ve been trying for the last 3 years to lose a mere 10 pounds, I don’t think that’ll be happening anytime soon.