Last December I told you about Oyster, an e-book subscription service that many have likened to “Netflix for books.” (Seems like there’s a Netflix for everything these days, though I’m still waiting on “Netflix for cookies.”) You pay a flat monthly rate and get unlimited access to every book in the Oyster library.
Back then, the service felt a little half-baked. (Clearly I’m still thinking about cookies.) Its catalog consisted of only about 100,000 titles, and its mobile apps were limited to iOS devices.
What a difference six months can make.
On your first, second, and even third trip to Vegas, you’re still just a wide-eyed “fish” with a pocket full of “greenys”. You land at McCarron Airport so eager for a YOLO weekend of Jager shots at a topless pool, you don’t even care that you’re basically what P.T. Barnum would call The Mark. You’re a sucker. A newbie. A “grinder”. But then, a few bachelor parties later, you start to learn your way around the city. Before you know it, you’re asking yourself, “Wait, why is the cab driver getting on the freeway?”
Don’t let the cab driver get on the freeway. It’s a classic cabbie fair hike technique. Every city’s taxi drivers do it. It’s a longer route, it’s more expensive. Stay off the freeway. But why are you taking a cab anyway? The airport shuttles like ASC, Bell Trans, Showtime, and SuperShuttle are fairly quick and convenient. They cost about $7 to a hotel on the strip and around $9 to downtown. But be prepared for the cultural enlightenment that comes with sharing a van with eight strangers from Maui, Wisconsin, and Tokyo.
As someone who lives her life treating gender like it’s merely a suggestion (because it is), I’ve grown quite accustomed to the way that marketing loves to divide the world up in order to trick us into giving them maximized profits. While my life history has made me perhaps more keenly aware of it, I’m hardly the first to notice, or even to break down why it happens. What I can do, however, is provide you with some examples of some ways that shoppers of any sex and gender can cut costs by cutting through gender roles.
A new addition to the slate of seemingly unnecessarily gendered products this year: sunscreen. Banana Boat has recently launched the all new Banana Boat For Men. This is apparently to combat the waves of sunburned men who have refused to use a product as girly and effete as Banana Boat Sport? I guess I find it hard to believe that there are legions of lobster-looking bros out there who have been adamant that they’d rather get skin cancer than put on any of that chick stuff, but apparently Banana Boat is banking on the idea that there are. Or more likely, they think that by creating the solution the problem will start to exist. All I know is I’ve been to plenty of beaches and I’ve never heard anyone complain about sissy sunscreen.
Roombas can be a great addition to your home and make cleaning a more efficient process unless you become emotionally dependent on them. In this video, I give the iRobot Vacuum Cleaning Robot ($400 on Amazon) a spin around the house and enjoy watching the little guy clean up after me, scare the cats, fight with my drone, and then ultimately become a horrible drunk monster before returning to it’s dock. All in all, the Roomba is a great buy as long as you can handle it.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRf8_oj_UBM&w=560&h=315]
Can we talk high-end audio for a sec?
See, here’s the deal: The speakers in your HDTV totally suck. I don’t mean they’re weak and tinny and facing the wrong the way (which they are); I mean they’re just terrible. It’s like owning a Ferrari that tops out at 15 mph.
In other words, your eyes have it made, but your ears are getting robbed. That’s why I always advise HDTV owners to invest in a sound bar, which will vastly improve your TV audio. Of course, as a massive cheapskate, I usually recommend a low-end, sub-$100 model.