Friday, April 29, 2005

April 29, 2005
We took a field trip down to Barnes & Noble at 11:30 today. Meghan, Robert Ray, Bob Brink and Dan Harshberger joined me for a look at the magazine rack, to see if we can glean anything. I had Emailed our newsstand consultant Dick Glassman in New York and asked him for some magazines that are bucking the trends or coming on strong. Here are a couple of the titles he nominated:

• Workbench

• Easy Riders

• Gun Dog

• Hot Bike

• Cold Bike
(just kidding)

Picked up a bunch of other titles that we thought could have some insights, including, Real Simple, InStyle, Hot Rod, Popular Mechanics, Southern Living, Smithsonian, Men’s Journal, Outside, History Today (English publication) and The Rodder's Journal.

Took all the mags over to Rock Bottom for lunch and a good hearty discussion. Got some good insights into certain trends (catalogue style display layouts are rampant in several of these titles). Food was good, service was terrible. Waitress was either out back smoking or having a baby. Or both. She was completely missing in action. No iced tea refills, nothing. When I asked for the check and she took ten minutes to do that, I finally snapped. Stiffed her on the tip ($5 on a $55 bill, wrote “the service sucked!” on the check). When we were leaving the hostess asked how was everything and I said, "Not good," and she smiled that pre-programmed smile and then did a classic Lucy double-take. She offered me a make-good, but I told her I didn't think I was coming back. And I’m not. Funny, how one bad experience can ruin a place.

Here's another one. On Sunday night we took the Brinks to Shugrue's in Carefree and after about ten minutes it was obvious we didn't have a waitress so I got up and told two women who were standing at the edge of the dining room discussing stations, etc. One of them appeared to be the manager and she came over and apologized and told us to order an appetizer on the house. Great call on her part, so I ordered the shrimp cocktail ($10) and it was really good. On the way home, Kathy looked at the bill and noticed they put the shrimp cocktail on the bill. I won't be going back there either.

My back feels better. Here's someone else who can relate:
"I empathize with the aches and pains. When I turned 50 seven years ago, I
began feeling pain in the areas of every significant injury I've ever had. I
also have begun to weary of being told I need this or that test because
‘you're at that age now’. The Colonoscopy was the most significant. When the
Doc said he'd see me in seven years, I told him not to bet on it."
—Hugh Howard, Maniac# 9

Faith at the Big Bronco store is having her five year anniversary party in a half-hour so I’m going over there, then out to Greasewood Flats for Laurie Klasky's B-Day party.

T-Bell is in a rented car driving to the Coachella Music Festival this weekend. He's taking I-17 down to Phoenix and the 10 on over to Palm Springs. I told him I thought that was a long-assed way and he should have gone through Kingman but, perhaps that's a town he wants to avoid at all costs. I couldn’t blame him. Ha.

"Knowledge must come through action."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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