The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Tigers Snack Helmet

Although I’m a big sports fan, I try to stay away from buying the truly kitschy products. But something came over me last month and on impulse I ordered this Tigers snack helmet. I eat a lot of pretzels and popcorn, so I thought it would be cool to have this helmet on my desk for more convenient snacking.

Unfortunately, product dimensions listed at a web store mean virtually nothing to me, so when the helmet arrived, I was kind of shocked at how HUGE it was! According to the description, this helmet is:

10″ high x 9.25″ wide x 12″ deep

That’s just way too big to keep on the corner of my desk, so I put the thing in the pantry and will likely break it out exactly once a year when MU plays in its bowl game (assuming they qualify). I’m not saying I was misled or anything; the seller was very clear about everything. I just wish I hadn’t wasted $34 for something I’m not even going to use very much.

I guess the helmet is kinda cool, and if it was about half the current size, I would probably love it. I guess I need to learn how to visualize printed dimensions better!

Nike Running Socks

I’d been running in regular cotton athletic socks for the past two years without thinking much about it, but then I read an article that said running socks would be more appropriate. I had never heard of socks meant specifically for running before, but of course it didn’t take me long to find a pair at the store. I settled on a low-cut version from Nike’s Dri-Fit line.

First, I was surprised at how incredibly thin these socks are. They almost feel as though there’s nothing between my feet and my shoes, which is not necessarily a good thing when I’m running. I was also worried about slippage because the Dri-Fit material, whatever it is, does not provide any grip at all. It took me several days to get used to how the socks feel, but then everything was fine.

I have to say that I do notice a difference in terms of the socks wicking moisture away from my feet. Now when I come home from a 5-mile run, my socks aren’t completely soaked through with sweat. To be sure, the Dri-Fit socks do feel damp, but nothing like before.

Do the socks make a difference in performance and warrant the $10 price tag? Not really. I never had any trouble with blisters or anything before and sweaty socks never particularly bothered me too much, so meh. Now if the socks end up lasting longer than regular cotton socks without getting holes in them, then I’ll be impressed. So far after a few weeks of use, they seem to be holding up reasonably well. Will the durability continue? We shall see!

Cleaning up

I’ve allowed my home office to become completely cluttered and disorganized, which makes it hard for me to function. I fully plan on spending the weekend cleaning and organizing, so hopefully the situation won’t last much longer.

To help get organized, I purchased a bunch of expandable file wallets from a site that sells discount office supplies. I have tons of hard copies and printouts of receipts, tax documents, and other business-related papers that I simply cannot afford to lose. I’m going to label the folders very carefully and put everything away neatly in case I need them later for an audit or something.

Beyond the paperwork, I’ve got to go through my pens and markers to toss out ones that don’t work; straighten out my desk drawers, and generally get rid of old clutter.

Can’t wait to get started on this project because I definitely work better in a clean office!

Coach’s retirement

I just learned that the softball coach I had for many years in Little League and all four years of high school is retiring at the end of this season, which is just a few weeks away. My coach was such a great influence on me, both on and off the field. He taught me about responsibility, teamwork, sportsmanship, and respect, and gave me the tools I needed to believe in myself and my abilities. I wasn’t a star player or anything like that, but he treated me just the same as the girls who went on to win scholarships to play at Division I schools.

I definitely want to do something for him to signify my appreciation. I’ll probably write him a letter, and maybe buy a gift too. I know that personalized bats are very popular for situations like this, so I’ll need to check those out ASAP. I hope I can get one in time for the end-of-year sports banquet over at the high school. I’ll also have to come up with a few other options just in case.

Wow, I can’t believe Coach K. is retiring. Where has the time gone?!

Alaskan Pale Ale

What a great weekend! We started off by having friends over for dinner on Friday night, then followed that up by an evening at another friend’s house where everyone was asked to bring a favorite craft beer. I don’t usually drink craft beers, so I bought Alaskan Pale on the recommendation of the store owner. It turned out to be awesome, and is something I’ll end up buying much more of. Then Sunday was devoted to a party for the Bulls game, where we loaded up on junk food like nachos, pizza, pretzels, chips, dips, and other finger food. While I definitely feel like I need to go on a colon cleansing diet ASAP, it’s always great to have a nice weekend with friends.

If I knew how to describe the taste of beer, I’d go ahead and review Alaskan Pale Ale here. As it is, I don’t know the first thing about what to look for and therefore any review I attempt wouldn’t be helpful anyway. All I know is that it tasted good, which is a sufficient evaluation for my needs! Try it if you haven’t before!!

Nerfoop Basketball Slam

I’m always looking for great toys to buy that will give my 8-year-old son a fun alternative to video games. If the toy incorporates physical activity, that’s all the better — which is why I thought this Nerfoop Basketball Slam backboard and ball would be perfect.

The Nerfoop Basketball Slam is meant for indoor use. It assembles easily (you do need a screwdriver) and fits over most doors. The ball is soft (not spongy soft, but it won’t really hurt anyone) and bounces on most surfaces. The rim is collapsible, which is good for when someone dunks or for when you want to open the door all the way after you’re done playing (you no longer have to take the rim off the door like back when I was a kid).

My son had never played basketball before getting this thing, but he’s hooked now! It has proven to be tons of fun not only for him, but for our entire family. We don’t have all-out games, but we do have free-throw shooting contests and can play HORSE down in the basement, which is good enough for now. My son is way too short to dunk, though. Maybe if we load him up on the best creatine powder, he’ll have a growth spurt that will allow him to get closer to the rim. For now, he’s going to have to settle for working on his jump shot!

Overall, I think the Nerfoop Basketball Slam is a terrific product that kids (and parents) of all ages can enjoy. I found it for $20 online with free shipping, and think it is worth that price. I recommend it for the budding sports star in your family!

World of Warcraft

My brother invited us over to his place for some beers last night and also because he wanted to show us his new computer. It’s one of those gaming desktops that come with high-spec graphics cards and other top-end features that helps him excel at World of Warcraft or whatever else he happens to play online. It’s a nice machine for sure, but has way too much under the hood for average users. Although I didn’t ask how much it cost, I’d have to guess it was at least a couple thousand. Glad he’s happy about it!

Dominican Republic Vacation

No, unfortunately, I’m not the one going to DR on vacation. My cousin is headed there as a celebratory trip after finally graduating university. (I think she was on the 6 or 7-year plan!) Anyway, she has offered to bring me back some souvenirs. I didn’t request anything special, but my husband jumped at the chance to get a few boxes of macanudos right from the source. I’m sure my cousin has tons of similar requests, so maybe I’ll just ask for a keychain or something so as to reduce her burden at least a little bit.

Oh, and I realize now that I haven’t been on vacation in almost two years. Now that I’m done with grad school, I think it’s the perfect time to get away. My family has always wanted to go on Disney’s Big Red Boat, so maybe we’ll look into that!