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2001:Whatever Happened to Yvonne DeCarlo?
2002: Irreconcilable Differences
2003: Ravings of a Scattered Brain
2005: Feast of Famine
2006: Peace in the Valley Again
2007: I'm Reviewing the Situation
2008: Not That There's Anything WRONG with That
2009: I Just Hate It
Books Read in 2009
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
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9 January 2010
I have often said that I am singlehandedly keeping Amazon.com afloat (though I've heard others say that too, so perhaps I'm not alone). Their marketing techniques and suggestions of other items I might like to buy, based on my past purchases are sometimes to blame. I have been known to be an impulse buyer, especially if a book looks particularly enticing on Amazon.
But today I saw something that made my head spin. Our Cuinsinart food processor just kind of died. I was blending up some soup that had been made with ham bones and apparently I didn't get all the bones out and the blade jammed on one bone. It jammed so hard that it pushed the mechanism out of kilter and though Walt worked on it for a couple of days, he was not able to get it back the way it was.
That machine was the only money I spent on me after my father died. He had $30,000 in his savings account and because of the acrimony between us, I wanted none of it for myself. Except the $100 or so that I spent on the food processor. The rest of the money went half to the kids and half to our one big family vacation to England and Ireland.
But that was twenty-five years ago. The cuisnart has served me well and is the one appliance, other than the coffee maker, that I use almost every day. Walt figured it was a good reason to buy a new one and so he went to the local store and bought a new machine.
It's the same size and takes the same blades as the broken machine, but the shaft is just a little bigger than the old one and so the thing that turns the orange juice attachment won't fit on it. So I went to Amazon, out of curiosity, to check on accessories for this machines.
One of the things it was advertising was that "smart stick hand blender." I've often been tempted to get one and clicked on it to check it out. Price is reasonable, only $30, but then I saw what Amazon had assembled under it.
I wondered how many times people have been tempted to buy a blender and suddenly thought "Oh my god--I'm buying a blender. Now I'm going to need an iPod!"
I can't think of one single reason why there would be customers who "frequently" buy a blender and an iPod, since one is cheap and the other is expensive; one is a kitchen appliance and the other is used to play music; and they both come from different sellers, so you don't even save on shipping costs. Even aesthetically, they aren't the same color so you can't have matching stuff!
But heck, why spend a measly $30 when you can spend $163.94 instead!
Wait...there's more! Under the suggestion that an iPod will make your blender purchase complete, it says that if you spend at least $50 in Home and Garden products on Amazon.com, in a single purchase from a single seller, and you can get your choice of a 1-year subscription to GQ, SELF, Conde Nast Traveler or Architectural Digest included with your purchase (a $10 subscription value).
Your $30 blender won't qualify you and the more expensive iPod isn't a home and garden product, so I guess you need to buy even more. Amazon recommends adding a small food processor and/or a cookbook for the blender.
But then I thought about the purchaser of the blender. How many GQ readers do you suppose are shopping for kitchen products? How many readers of Archetectural Digest are going to rush out to buy a mini food processor? And my god, if you can afford to go on adventures with Conde Nast Traveler, why would you sit at home and blend yourself into oblivion?
Now I can understand all of those subscriptions for iPod users, but the iPod won't qualify you for home and garden products.
I'm sorry, Amazon. I'm too old to see the logic in any of this.
I'm just going to stick with my latest kindle upload and forget about all the
special packaging deals and free offers for today.
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