Iniard Watch

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Mortgage Insurance

I have been bombarded with offers lately by my mortgage company for mortgage protection insurance. This is insurance that would pay off the mortgage in the event of my or my lovely wife's untimely departure from this world. I usually ignore these kind of things, but since I am investigating increasing my life insurance coverage, I thought I would enteratain the offer out of curiousity.

The bottom line is that for $36 a month, conveniently added to my house payment, they would pay off the mortgage. For the same amount per month, I could get a 20 year term life insurance policy for almost 3 times the amount of my mortgage!! The offer by my mortgage company is a RIP!!

I told the guy on the phone how for the same amount per month I could get a lot more coverage. His response was that I may have to get a physical with a typical life insurance policy and I would not have the convenience of it being added to the house payment. Like that would make it worth paying twice as much for half the coverage!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Don't shave your wallet...

Read some comments about overpriced gillette razor products posted by bschneider5 over at brad's blog, and it resparked a little flame I had burning over the weekend after watching a new gillette commercial. You see commercials all the time between gillette, schick, and others touting the latest and greatest technology in razor blades. This truly is an industry driven by promoting an image. There is little or no difference in my opinion between the close shave factor of a 2 blade, 3 blade, 4 blade, quattro, cinqo, turbo charged, non turbo, with wings, lotion strip, rubber grips, etc. The basis of operation is a blade cutting hair from your face. The rest is hype and marketing. They have teams of people (marketing people, not razor technology experts) that are sitting in board rooms figuring out how to get people to spend more money to shave their face.

Anyway, in the new ad, the gillette iniards are going after my crowd, the 2-3 time a week shavers. They are trying to tell me how much better I will feel if I shaved everyday. Like they even care about how good I feel. If they were to convince me to buy their razors and shave everyday, they would end up making about $1500 more of me in razor products over the next 30 years. If everyone did that, they would be feeling pretty good, don't you think?

I used to be a gillet sensor man, but for the past several years I have been a target brand "sensorish" brand. I actually use the same razors my wife buys for her legs, which by the way, is the same thing only in a greenish color. Gillette for some reason, charges a lot more for the women. They probably figure that the women are willing to spend more, so they think they can charge more.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

~No ablay espanyol~

I called my Chase credit card customer service line this morning (800.545.0464) and was greeted in Spanish. After the greeting, which I have know idea what it said, I was given the option (in english) to press "1" to continue in English. I have gotten quite used to hearing the spanish options on the automated customer service lines such as "par continuae en espanol, pressa numero quatro" enough to the point where I can guess on what the individual words are. This morning, however, the initial greeting was in spanish, as if I (the english speaking customer) was the secondary customer base to the spanish speaking world. Shouldn't a US bank servicing accounts in the US greet its customers with a message in English? I don't know, call me selfish, but I think I deserve to be greeted in English when calling my US based bank from the middle of the United States. Is Chase bank more concerned with sucking up to the spanish speaking crowd than they are their English speaking customer base? I wonder which iniard at Chase thought that was a good idea.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Splenda for one and for all

I heard on the news that Coca Cola is going to be doing some serious marketing around the launch of its new diet cola that will be sweetened with Splenda, the 8th wonder of the world as some people consider it. I have problems with the negative or unknown effects of many of the artificial sweeteners, and I also have some problems with the big cola companies in general. (look for future blog when I get time on the whole C2 marketing ploy)

My concern about Splenda is how many people I know are hooked into believing that it is good for you. They like the way it taste, and think it is a natural alternative to sugar. We all hear the ads running stating that "it's made from sugar, so it taste like sugar". You can just imagine some little farmer out melting sugar down in an old maple syrup shed to make the splenda out of sugar. Lets be natural and healthy and start eating splenda, right?

Splenda is actually a highly processed chemical compound that is made from sucralose, which is basically made by adding chlorine to molecules of sugar. So splenda is sort of made from sugar, but could have just as well been made from any other carbon chain molecule. Many chemical processes are used to convert the sucralose to splenda. Other chemicals produced as byproducts of these processes include mustard gas. Mustard gas... made from sugar so it taste like sugar? Not hardly.

Maybe this is why the makers of Splenda are being sued by the Sugar Council and Equal for their "sugar" claims. Once you change the molecular structure of sugar, it is no longer sugar, it is a chemical compound that your body reacts to completely different than sugar. The effects of these chemicals from long term use are not known. Also, with artificial sweeteners gaining in poplularity, it is not known how the different sweeteners on the market interact in your body on a short term or long term scale.

Beware of the all the hype you will be hearing from Coca Cola and splenda as they introduce the new diet coke to the market. Keep in mind that they are glamourizing a complex man made chemical and trying to pump it into your body without knowing how it will affect you after 5, 10, 20, or 30 years.

This is another example of corporate Iniards at work. As for me, I will stick to my policy of everything in moderation, and continue to enjoy regular old sugar whenever I can.

Read more about splenda here...
http://my.webmd.com/content/article/100/105877.htm
http://creativehealth.netfirms.com/poison/splenda_poison.shtml
http://www.mercola.com/2000/dec/3/sucralose_dangers.htm#

Friday, March 11, 2005

tic tac tallywack, give the dog some carbs

Now that we are living in the low carb world, you see many companies coming out with new and improved low carb options for things we are used to eating. Well, the iniards at the Ferrero candy company, makers of tic tacs, chooses a different route. Instead overcoming the impossible feat of making the popular 99% sugar breath mint low carb, they are putting their chips on deceptive labeling. If you look at the nutritional information on the back of a pack of tic tacs, you will notice right away that there are no carbs!! How could the main ingredient be sugar, and there be no carbs? Well, the answer "lies" within the asterik by the zero. They have conveniently sized each tic tac to be 0.49 grams, of which it contains almost 0.49 grams of sugar. They have also conveniently made the serving size 1 mint. Since they are allowed to round to the nearest gram of carbs, they can say that a serving of tic tacs has 0 carbs*. I know this because I can read microprinting on the bottom of the nutritional information labels, but I am sure there are many people out there swelling up on their low carb lifestyle getting all excited about being able to eat tic tacs. Although there are 0* carbs in a serving, there are 36 servings, and 18g of carbs in a little box that I can usually wax off in about 10 minutes on my way home from work.