Slice Of Life

Slice Of Life, is a Weblog (BLOG) that I write, in which I try to tell some sort of story about something, or someone in my life. Sometimes it's happy, sometimes not, sometimes informative, sometimes...... HA, gotcha, did ya think that I was going to say not? Don't know me very well, do ya? :=) I will try to update the BLOG from time to time, whenever I can.

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Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

My personality is outgoing, I use to be a wallflower, until I realized that it was all the outgoing people that were having the most fun. It was a tough conversion, but nobody I know today would even remotely consider me to be a wallflower. Basically, when I was young, my parents taught me that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything. I haven't quite found the "anything" part to be always true, but it has inspired me to always try to do, and be, my best.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Now I'm REALLY Nuts

So, I went to the Focus group last night. Easiest $65.00 I ever made. Did you know that Almonds contain loads of anti-oxidants, Vitamin E, and cholesterol lowering properties? Me neither. I think I now possess about a billion times more knowledge about nuts, than anybody around me. I’m not sure though that being able to claim that “I’m more nuts then you” is a good thing.

It was the California Almond Growers Association, like I guessed it was. They are preparing to launch a major advertising campaign in order to get people to eat more….. Almonds (go figure). They wanted our feedback on how and why we eat what we eat, what makes us want to eat healthy food, or junk food, and we also looked at some sample magazine ads, and asked us tons of questions about what we liked or didn’t like about them.

I gather that it is mostly a magazine campaign, due to the sample ads they showed us, but they also might fit in with internet pop up ads. The magazines I think they are targeting are of course, any having to do with food, but I also heard mention of health magazines, and specifically they mentioned Time, Sports Illustrated, and People magazine. Their logo is easy to spot, it’s a yellow triangle, with a lower case “A” in the middle. So, if in the next few months, you notice these type of ads start to pop up, and IF they happen to specifically highlight the “Crunchy”, “Cardio” and “Cholesterol Reduction” points in the ads….. Those were my ideas :-)

P.S. – The Research people gave me 2 blank sign up cards, so they must be “recruiting” new people to participate in future Focus Groups. So, if anybody I know who is local, is interested in making some easy money from time to time by spending about 2 hours telling people what you think, let me know, and I’ll hook you up (18 years old minimum). See ya later, I’m off to scarf some “Blue Diamond Almonds”.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut.....

Guess what? The Market research people called me again! So of course what that means, is that I'm about to make a contribution that will certainly alter reality, and change the lives of everyone on the planet. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then tsk tsk, you haven't been faithfully reading my BLOG, have you. I forgive you.... If you send me money.

OK, I'll tell ya. It started way back when I was in California, when a friend of mine mentioned to me that they did this "Focus Group" stuff, and told me that I should sign up too. "Why the heck would I want to do that" says I. "Because they pay you, $25.00/hour, in cash, under the table" he said. BINGO! He should have said that to begin with. Money, I understand, but since I've been doing it, it's not really about the money, it's about..... The Power. What do I mean? Well, you probably don't realize it, but what I say in these groups frequently changes your life. Don't believe it? Well, maybe if I tell you a bit about my 3 most memorable feedbacks, you might change your mind.

The best one I remember, was when I gave the late Peter Jennings my opinions on Bill Clinton's re-election debates. That one was nationally televised on ABC News, and by ABC's estimates was seem by > 40 million people. I wonder how many people I influenced with my witty repate' on that one? Not political? Well, another time, I went in to taste test this new kind of "Drink" that a manufacturer was coming out with. It was a new drink concept, which was made with "wine" you know, fermented crushed grapes? I told them I thought that it was too sweet for a "wine drink". 3 months later, the first Bartels And James Wine Coolers came out, and guess what? They were more tart then the one's I tried (I recognized the bottle shape immediately). Still not convinced? While I was in California, a certain car maker called us in to look at a prototype interior mark up of a revolutionary "new vehicle" they were coming out with. We only saw the basic body outline, but when I sat in the proposed 3 rows of seats interior, I told them that 2 cup holders for the middle, and none for the back seat, was a mistake. 1 year later, Chrysler Corporation introduced the very first minivans with.... you guessed it, cup holders all over the place. Funny how those minivan bodies looked remarkably like the ones I saw.

Anyway, to make a long story short, this time they asked me a bunch of questions about the foods I eat, the magazines I read, and the TV shows I watch. From the questions, I was able to figure out that the manufacturer is starting some sort of food campaign, or some sort of product based on..... Nuts. Specifically, Almonds. They never tell you what company is paying for the research, and sometimes they don't even mention the product, but it's usually not too difficult to figure it out, if you're paying attention. So, on January 19, 2006, I'm going to go down there for 2 hours, and they are going to feed us a deli Sandwich dinner, and the fee has gone up to $65.00 for the 2 hours, and all of it, is to get my feedback on some sort of Almond Campaign, by some company. Isn't that cool?

One more thing happened that was interesting. 2 days after they called me, I received my January Subscription issue of Men's Health Magazine, which happened to be one of the magazines they asked me about, and right there on page 6 was a Full Page Ad from..... The California Almond Growers Association! Probably just a coincidence, eh? :-)

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