1-800-Name Brand Facial Tissue

27 Oct

Today, I grabbed a new box of Kleenex for my desk.  As I was removing the cardboard tab on top of the box, I noticed a toll-free customer service number for Kleenex.

This wasn’t some number buried at the bottom of a bunch of text in 5 point font.  Kleenex put their number (800-553-3639)* front and center on the tab, in a relatively large font, along with their hours (weekdays, 8 am to 4 pm, Central time).

*It was about halfway through writing this post that it dawned on me that 800-533-3639 is also 1-800-KLEENEX.  You’d think they would have gone with that.

My question is why?  Why does this number exist?  Why do people call it?  Why?

I feel very bad for the poor folks who have to man this phone line.  Imagine the calls they get and the kooks they have to deal with.

I’m guessing the top ten calls at the Kleenex hotline are as follows:

10.  “How do you fold those Kleenex in there so nicely?”

9.  “Will these protect me against Ebola?”

8.  “When are you going to admit defeat on trying to have us refer to your product as a ‘facial tissue’?  You know that like 95% of Americans know your product as a Kleenex, right?”

7.  “How many tissues do I need to stuff in my bra to become a C cup?”

6.  “How many times can I reuse this before I get snot all over my hands?”

I should call and let them know how much I am enjoying this!

5.  “Are these machine washable?”

4.  “I’m wrapping a present.  Can I use these tissues as a substitute for tissue paper?”

3.  “Yeah, this box says it contains 140 tissues.  I only counted 139.  Can you issue me a refund?  Oh wait, What’s that Mildred?  Two came out at the same time?  Okay, never mind.”

2.  Way too descriptive calls from folks concerned about the color, volume, viscosity of nasal discharge – all resulting in “you’d better call a doctor”.

1.  “Hi, I’m out of toilet paper and saw this box on top of the toilet.  Can I….”

B1G Power Rankings – Week of 10/20

25 Oct

We’re back for another B1G season!  Throughout the 2014 season, I’ll be ranking the Big Ten schools 1-14.  To see where your team was ranked last week, click here.  As always, if you think I’m right, wrong, or clinically insane, let me know in the comments.

Prepare to disagree…

  1. Michigan State.  Another week, another convincing win.  It will be interesting to see if the Spartans overlook “big brother” Michigan for Ohio State.
  2. Ohio State.  For those keeping score at home, in Ohio State’s first games against Rutgers and Maryland, the Buckeyes won by a combined 108 – 41.  Welcome to the neighborhood!
  3. Minnesota.  The Gophers needed a late field goal to survive the game with Purdue.  Husker fans would probably like to see me punish Minnesota for that, but let’s wait and see what Nebraska does with Purdue first.
  4. Nebraska.  So much for the history of close games in the Battle for NU.  The red NU (wearing all white) overcame a slow first half to completely dominate the purple NU (wearing all black) in the second half.
  5. Wisconsin.  I was tempted to put Maryland in the #5 spot, but I can’t punish the Badgers for being idle.  That said, Wisconsin will need to take care of the Terps to keep this post (or more higher).
  6. Maryland.  The Terps beat Iowa in a classic “not as close as the final score indicates” game.  I’m not sure they’re the sixth best team in this league, but I’m also not sure they’re worse than anybody below them.
  7. English: Big Ten Conference logo since 2010.

    (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Iowa.  Are the Hawkeyes a contender for the West title?  They’re off this week before starting a five week tour of the West where 5-0 (or possibly 4-1) could get them to Indy.

  8. Northwestern.  As the second half of the Nebraska game proved, Northwestern doesn’t have upper tier talent.  But as the first half showed, the Wildcats can play good against anybody.  Their remaining conference road is probably the easiest of any West school.
  9. Rutgers.  After getting smacked around by Ohio State, Rutgers faces Nebraska for the first time since the 1920’s.  Clearly revenge will be on the Scarlet Knights’ minds when they roll into Lincoln.
  10. Purdue.  Their 1-3 conference record doesn’t show it, but the Boilermakers are likely the most improved team in the conference.  After playing 3-0 Minnesota to a one point loss, it will be interesting to see what they do with an extra week to prepare for Nebraska.
  11. Penn State.  Ohio State is putting up big points against everybody in October.  Can Penn State avoid the blowout – or possibly pull off a home upset?  Probably not, but I’ve been wrong before.
  12. Michigan.  Can the wounded Wolverines regain some lost pride and upset their little brother?  This is one of the two games left on the schedule that can save Brady Hoke’s job.
  13. Indiana.  Can the Hoosiers get to a bowl game?  They need to find three wins against a schedule of Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers, Ohio State, and Purdue.  It’s doable, they’ll need to get hot.
  14. Illinois.  The best sign that you’re the bottom of the league?  It’s October and speculation on your next coach has already started.

Northworst or Northbest?

25 Oct

Thanks for stopping by!  While I am very grateful for those who take the time to read my work, I would greatly it if you read this one on HuskerMax.com.  

Why?  As a writer for the site, I earn a fraction of a penny per page view.  And with three mouths to feed, and a poor wife who becomes a football widow 12 Saturdays a year, I need those penny parts to keep everybody happy.  

Thank you,

Feit Can Write

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Husker Hot Takes – 10/22/2014

22 Oct

A heaping helping of hot takes to get you through until Halloween…

Bo Pelini thinks the ESPN / SEC relationship is “bad for college football”.
I won’t argue Bo’s point, as it remains to be seen just how much ESPN’s love affair with the SEC impacts the game.  But I hate to see the coach give fuel to the message board conspiracy theorists who believe every announcer hates Nebraska, and ESPN disrespects the Big Ten and every other conference north or west of Columbia, MO.

Look:  You and I may sometimes forget it, but I guarantee that ESPN always knows the “E” in their name stands for “Entertainment”, not Ethics, Equality, or anything else.  ESPN wants viewers (which leads to higher cable fees and more ad dollars).  They get those viewers by promoting and talking about winning teams.  And right now, the SEC (as a whole) is widely viewed as a winning team.

This is nothing new.  Before their love affair with the SEC began, ESPN fawned all over USC.  And Texas.  And Boise State.  And other top programs before that.  As some of those teams have fallen on hard times, ESPN quickly moves on to the next big thing.  For the most part, this is decided as much by the results on the field as it is by any financial implications ESPN may see from a team or conference’s success.

Remember, ESPN has a big, big stake in Texas’s Longhorn Network, so if the “ESPN only promotes what they own” conspiracy were 100% true, we’d hear a lot more about Texas than we do.  But since Texas is 3-4, and is far from the dominant team they used to be, ESPN’s focus is elsewhere.

I realize all of this gets confusing when SportsCenter is passed off as a news program employing traditional journalism like you’d find on the evening news.  In reality, SportsCenter is little more than highlight packages and talking heads providing their own opinions (or, for the tin foil hat crowd, the opinions given to them by ESPN executives) under the branding of Coors Light, Lowe’s, or some new movie.  SportsCenter is a news program much like The Daily Show is a news program:  Some of the things they say may be news to you, but you’re going to get a heavy dose of opinion and commentary that is anything but impartial.  It’s up to you to determine what is factual and what is not.

As for Bo, he’s perfectly fine in his opinion, and I respect him for speaking his mind and reminding everyone that the SEC is closer to the rest of college football than some would have us believe.  Pelini can continue to do his part by repeating what his team did in January:  beating an SEC team in a bowl game.  That is what will sway the perceptions of the SEC’s dominance and the B1G’s ineptitude

Dougie McWildcat’s Appearance Angers Some Fans

Former Creighton standout Doug McDermott appeared in a video wearing a purple Northwestern shirt at the battle for NU.  McDermott said he .had taped the thing a couple of months ago, and was not aware that it would be shown during the Nebraska game.  He also said he was rooting for Nebraska in that game.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on both of these (even if I think he should have expected the video to be shown when Nebraska came to Evanston).

Personally,  I don’t really care if McBuckets wants to support Northwestern, Notre Dame, or North Dakota State.  He was born in Iowa, went to college at a school without a football team (insert Jaysker joke here, if you wish), and now lives and works in Chicago.  He is under no obligation to support Nebraska because he went to college within our borders.  If he wants to, great.  If not, I won’t lose sleep over it.

But as a fan of all* Husker teams (and not just the winning ones), I love that he appeared on-screen at the Nebraska game in Wildcat purple.  Let’s face it:  there are Nebraska football fans who root for Creighton instead of Nebraska basketball.  These folks have a variety of reasons for doing this (Creighton alums, Omaha residents, like a beer with their hoops, want to watch a winner, attracted to Jesuit sports, whatever) but those really aren’t important in this context.  My point is these fans exist, and their existence rubs some Husker fans the wrong way.

*Admittedly, “all” is an exaggeration.  While I do want all Husker teams to be successful, to say that I am a diehard cross country fan or longtime supporter of the swimming team would be a lie.  That said, I do actively support NU teams beyond football and men’s basketball (notably, baseball, volleyball, and women’s gymnastics) – even when they are not competing for championships.  For me, it’s more about supporting the team and the university more than it is about identifying myself as a fan of a successful team. 

By having McDermott appear at a Husker event, in the colors of a third school, the folks who root for Creighton and Nebraska had to be a little conflicted, and possibly feel a little awkward.  I like that.  I’ve never understood the idea of a la carte fandom, picking teams from different schools to fit my needs.  So I like that some of these people – call ‘em “Jayskers” if you wish – may have been a little uncomfortable during that video.  Kudos to Northwestern for realizing that red + blue = purple.

Pelini Continues to Push for Recruiting Reforms
In addition to his previous suggestion to eliminate National Signing Day, Bo also wants schools to be able to pay for a parent to come along on their child’s visit.  I love Bo’s quote from Monday’s press conference:

“I look at it from a parent standpoint. If a 17, 18-year old kid, is getting ready to make a life-changing decision, his parents should be with him,” Pelini said. “Because most kids, there are a small percentage of kids who are ready to weed out and make their decisions for the right reasons, but you have a large majority of kids who aren’t ready to make that decision because they don’t know what’s important yet. They should have their parents with them. They should have their parents with them to say, ‘it’s not about the uniforms here, bud.’”

Yes, if you want to be cynical about it, Bo is pushing these reforms because he’s lost some talented recruits in part because Mama didn’t want them going so far away from home to play in the middle of a cornfield.  But what he is saying makes perfect sense.  Where you go to college is a big decision in a kid’s life – often the biggest decision an 18-year-old kid has made in his life.  Having Mom and Dad there to provide guidance and recognize the things that a school like NU can provide (tutoring, training facilities, mentoring, etc.) is huge.

Besides, as adidas has proved time and again, it is clearly not about the uniforms here, bud.

Back in Blackshirts
Tuesday afternoon, several members of the Nebraska defense took to the practice field as Blackshirts – the first time the coveted practice jerseys have been issued in 2014.  Not to take anything away from the strong defensive performance in the second half of the Northwestern game, but it sure seems like the timing had more to do with the increased questions about when (or if) the Blackshirts would be issued that popped up in the last week.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the Pelini method of issuing Blackshirts arbitrarily after a midseason game.  Call me a stodgy traditionalist if you must, but I believe the Blackshirts should be issued towards the end of fall camp every year, not in late October.  Period.  If they need to be yanked after an ugly performance, that’s fine, but I disagree with using them as a carrot that the team may or may not reach.

As for the number issued, I don’t have a problem with issuing more than eleven jerseys, especially if you have a handful of key contributors that technically don’t start (such as a nickel back or third down pass rusher).  But I don’t think you need to give the entire two-deep a Blackshirt either.

I’d like to see Pelini and Papuchis embrace the Blackshirts tradition more, and make it a more integral part of the team.  That said, you know NU is having a good season if the logistics of issuing Blackshirts is a topic of conversation.

Husker Baseball gets a jump start on Halloween
The baseball team wrapped up the fall Red/White intrasquad series with all of the players and coaches in costume.  I could describe the awesome variety of costumes, but some of them really need to be seen to be appreciated.  Besides, how often do you get to see somebody in an inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man outfit get an at bat, hear the announcer say “now pitching, Thing 1″, or see a group of costumed baseball players recreate the De’Mornay Pierson-El to Tommy Armstrong, Jr. trick play (with Superman playing the role of Armstrong)?

I love the idea.  The players looked like they were having an absolute blast.  Ditto for the coaching staff – although I’m sure Darin Erstad had to be roasting inside a full Chewbacca costume on an unseasonably warm and sunny day.  It was fun to see the guys show off their personalities and put on a good show for the several hundreds diehard fans who came out (as well as those of us who work downtown and were able to take in a couple of innings over the lunch hour).

Plus, these are the types of things that help a program gain positive national exposure and help make Nebraska look good to recruits.  I hope this becomes an annual tradition.

Chicken Dance of Joy

21 Oct

It was with great joy that I learned that chicken sandwich giant Chick-fil-A will open their first Lincoln location sometime this year.  I love me some Chick-fil-A.  I love the chicken, the waffle fries, the sweet tea, and their sauce.

Oh that sauce…it’s one of those magical condiments that makes anything else taste better.

Plus, it will be a nice upgrade from the other chicken-only chain in town:  Raisin’ Canes.  This may be sacrilegious to some, but for a place that only does chicken fingers, the chicken at Canes isn’t all that great.  Heck, I’d argue the chicken is middle of the pack in the food they do serve:

  1. Cane sauce.  It’s an odd BBQ-ranch hybrid, but it works.
  2. Fries.  A good mix of crispy, crinkly, and salty.
  3. Sweet tea.  Until Chick-fil-A arrives, it’s the best sweet tea one can get in Nebraska.
  4. Texas toast.  Good, but not great.
  5. Chicken fingers.  It’s not that they’re bad, but they’re definitely not a standout.
  6. Cole Slaw.  I’m not a cabbage and mayo sauce guy, but the Cain’s version is not very good.

Don’t mind if I do.

The biggest challenge will be getting to eat there.  The location particularly close to home or work, and given the way Lincoln loves its chain restaurants, the place will probably be packed for months and the drive-thru line will be 15 cars deep – even on Sundays.*

*Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays.  Get it?

Like anything else, there is some bad that comes with the good.  Aside from a dramatic spike in Chick-fil-A commercials, we’ll also get a front row seat whenever the next political controversy involving the chicken chain arises.  The conservative Christian company leadership will be favored and respected by many Nebraskans.  Personally, I just want to enjoy a #1 combo without having to weigh the sociopolitical implications of my lunch choice.

B1G Power Rankings – Week of 10/13

16 Oct

We’re back for another B1G season!  Throughout the 2014 season, I’ll be ranking the Big Ten schools 1-14.  To see where your team was ranked last week, click here.  As always, if you think I’m right, wrong, or clinically insane, let me know in the comments.

Prepare to disagree…

  1. Michigan State.  The Spartans did what the top team is supposed to do:  win.  I’m not real sure what to make of Purdue hanging 31 on Michigan State, but we’ll let that slide.
  2. Ohio State.  It’s really too bad that Ohio State was off this week.  If they would have traded bye weeks with Penn State, the weekend’s Big Ten schedule would have been composed only of “original” Big Ten teams as Nebraska, Maryland, and Rutgers were all off.  But since the conference struggles with scheduling, I’m not that surprised.
  3. Minnesota.  By knocking off the Wildcats, Minnesota has claimed the title of “Surprise team in the West”.  I expect the Gophers to hold that title for the rest of the month (Purdue this week and at Illinois), before a grueling November schedule hits.  Until then, let’s reward the Gophers with the #3 spot.
  4. Nebraska.  This is a critical game in Nebraska’s season.  Coming off of a loss and a bye week, Nebraska needs to beat Northwestern to stay in the hunt for the division title.  But this series is known for close, competitive games (a cumulative difference of 1 point in the last three meetings).  The edge might be if Nebraska has home field advantage in Evanston like they did in 2012.
  5. Wisconsin.  The Badgers took care of Illinois and are rewarded with a week off before welcoming both of the new schools to the league.  This is about the time where Wisconsin really starts to hit stride.

    English: Big Ten Conference logo since 2010.

    (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  6. Northwestern.  Admittedly, I am probably punishing Northwestern a little too much for a seven point loss to Minnesota, but I’m just not sure what to make of Northwestern.  The “Battle for NU” should be a close, competitive game.
  7. Rutgers.  Rutgers enters into the hazing portion of their Big Ten initiation tour with their next three games at Ohio State, at Nebraska, and against Wisconsin.  This is where Rutgers can validate this relatively high ranking or watch it plummet.
  8. Iowa.  I still maintain that Iowa v. Maryland sounds more like a December 30th bowl game than a Big Ten Conference clash.  The Hawkeyes are in need of a good challenge, and I think the Terps could provide it.
  9. Maryland.  Let’s see how Maryland reacts to their first conference smack down as they host Iowa.  This is one of those games that helps provide clarity in the middle of the pack.
  10. Purdue.  It may seem strange to promote the Boilermakers after giving up 45 in a loss, but in a head-to-head match up with any of the schools below, I’d probably pick Purdue.
  11. Penn State.  A loss to Michigan really hurts.  Yeah, Penn State probably got screwed by the refs on another call.  (That sound you hear is Husker fans still bitter over 1982 muttering “karma”).  Regardless, these are the games that Penn State needs to win.
  12. Indiana.  Bad news: the Hoosiers get beat up by Iowa.  Worse news:  they play Michigan State this weekend.  Worst news:  on Monday, they lost their starting QB for the season.  How long until basketball season?
  13. Michigan.  A much-needed win should calm the fires over the bye week (until Sparty drops gasoline over everything).  Although I’m not a fan of the show, I appreciated Michigan’s QB corps showing their excitement for the return of “The Walking Dead”, by limping around for three hours Saturday night.
  14. Illinois.  Simply put, the Illini are the worst team in this league.  For my money, it’s not even close.


Thought of the Day – 10/14/2014 – Doors

14 Oct

When I go out to the local Big Box store, I’m always fascinated by the people who refuse to open a door for themselves.

Nothing is more American than walking out of your way to use an automatic door.

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