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Squared Sevens Blogging Corp.
Tuesday, 31 January 2006
JET Update Plus more
I've got good news to report on the JET front. I got an interview at the Japanese consulate in Atlanta on February 16th, at 11am. As this is the next big step in the application process, I'm plenty nervous but excited as well. I've sure been waiting for this long enough it seems. Now I just need to get ready. I know they will ask me to pretend like I'm teaching a class, so I definitely need to be prepped for that one. I've been thinking about keeping it pretty simple, sticking with something like basic geographical features or the solar system. Whatever I choose, I have to do it well because this will obviously have a huge impact on if I can go or not.

Other than that, I've been relaxing these last couple of days off from work; somehow I ended up scheduled for nine straight days or something like that so I'm enjoying every free minute that I have. So I took a lot of naps, went to see Syriana (good), picked up some games at Wal-Mart, caught up on my magazine reading, etc. Its been good times, but the party ends tomorrow. My sales numbers have been pretty slack (especially before last week) so I've definitely been feeling the pressure from my bosses to hit all my marks. We've also been moving out our fall stuff and getting new spring styles in, so there has been a ton of stock work to do as well. Just another day at the mall.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:18 AM EST
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Monday, 23 January 2006
Seahawks 34, Panthers 14
Man, that was painful to watch. Bummer. Life goes on.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:38 AM EST
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Friday, 20 January 2006
What's up Fools
Not much here. Work, then go home and sleep, and that's about it. You know the deal. I did get to go see a UNCC basketball game last week, vs. Xavier. Unfortunately, the Niners weren't having a great night and lost by 13 at home. This also brings up the fact that my cell phone is broke, so I couldn't contact and meet up with anyone at the game. It had all my numbers in there, and of course I never wrote any of them down, so it's pretty tough to communicate with people. Technology is great until you depend on it, and then when it's not there for you, you're screwed. Now I've heard that I can "unlock" an older cell phone that I have, and use that one, but the whole process sounds kind of fishy to be honest. Still it would be cheaper than buying a new one, so guess that I will have to give it a shot.

Also, I did take some time on my break to check out the coolest shoes ever coming out this Saturday. It's called the Nike Air Max 360, and for the first time the midsole is completely an air pocket- there's no foam or anything. It's 360 degrees of Air, get it? See, this is more of the stuff that technology is good for, fancy running shoes that no one will ever run in. Anyway, dude at Finish Line let me try them on early and I can say the shoe is quite confortable and lightweight, and of course all that Air is badass. Problem is, it costs $160 and will probably sell out immediately. Still, for someone who used to obsess about the latest Nikes "back in the day", it was cool to see something fresh and new again.

Also, a big congratulations for my Dad, who turned 50 years old on Tuesday. I guess this is where I would put up an embarrasing photo or something like that, but I'll save him the humiliation- this time. Happy Birthday!

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:11 AM EST
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Friday, 13 January 2006
Par Avion
I'll admit, I had my doubts. I didn't know if he was gonna come through. But sure enough, Mark delivered as promised with an awesome mailing from Canada. Sure, it was about 5 months late, but as we all know better late than never.



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Check this out- Canada-edition Smarties, complete with Maple Leaf and extra "eh" suffix. Pretty cool, but what's even more surprising is that Smarties is the same name for two completely different candies in the US in Canada. Canadian Smarties are M & M looking things, while in the US Smarties are these small sugary tablet things. That almost blew me away as much as when I realized Canadians say the letter Z as "Zed" instead of "Zee". What a strange, strange place Canada must be.



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Special Edition Pineapple Hi-Chews, straight from Okinawa. Great!



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Finally, a real honest to God offical Malaspina Mariners badminton jersey. Pretty slick, eh? Too bad it's not Yonex, though. That would have been prefect. I can't wait to rock this thing around Mooresville. Thanks again Mark, and have fun in Yokohama you lucky bastard!

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 6:09 AM EST
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Monday, 2 January 2006
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Happy New Year everyone. All I can say about 2006 is, this year suckas are going nowhere. But hopefully Fro will be returning to Japan in '06, at least that's the plan son. Certainly the #1 priority. I feel like I real chump not making it back to Japan in 2005 and that is one of the reasons that I won't miss this past year at all. Outside of a couple high points (writing for the school paper, graduation, ... um something else) the year stunk pretty hardcore and I can't say "good riddance" to it quite fast enough.

I did get to see my home fry Sammy recently. Always a pleasure to see a Nave. Of course there was much Taco Bell to be had, late night shopping at WalMart, and a guided tour of Hickory's "big box" shopping district (very impressive). Afterwards, Mario Kart DS until about 3 in the morning. Needless to say it was one of the best times I've had in a while and a much-needed break from the usual.

As for my previous post and lack of updates, I apologize. Working retail over the holidays will in fact drive you crazy. Today was my first day off since Christmas, and my first real day off (i.e. no obligations) in about 3 weeks. I haven't had two days off in a row since Thanksgiving. Basically, I need a break from work which is hopefully forthcoming. A 40 hour work week never sounded so good.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 8:46 PM EST
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Tuesday, 20 December 2005
This is it.
This is it.

I think I've finally lost touch with all reality. It sure took long enough. When you reach a certain point where you don't quite care anymore, it's actually quite liberating. Well, it's been fun. Catch you guys on the flipside.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 1:44 AM EST
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Wednesday, 14 December 2005
Word Wrap
Today marks the last day that I have off from work until Christmas. That's 10 straight days of work, for those of you who are keeping track. That's probably normal for many people but it's a lot for me, and I tend to sick of dealing with the general public pretty quickly. On the plus side, business has started to pick up, and there's only a few weeks left in the holiday season to worry about.

In other news, the AMC 14 screen theater finally opens up at the mall today. I love going to see movies at a theater and being able to catch a movie right after work sure sounds appealing. The timing as good as two movies came out recently that I'm really excited about seeing. The first is "syriana", a politically charged thriller with Matt Damon and George Clooney. It's from some of the same folks as "Traffic", and looks like it will have the same gritty, complex style to it. The other is King Kong. It's like getting a bonus summer action movie in December. I always love going to see those big blockbuster "event" movies and Kong certainly seems to fit that description.

Also, my Mom is having surgery on her hand and arm on Thursday to correct Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Trigger Finger. It doesn't appear to be anything too serious, but she will have to wear a cast for a good while. No doubt Mom will milk this opportunity for all that she's got. Looks like the rest of us will be doing dishes for awhile.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:33 AM EST
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Monday, 12 December 2005
World Cup Draw
Probably the biggest sporting event that I'm looking forward to is the 2006 World Cup. It will be the first world cup since I got really interested in soccer again, so I'm really geeked about it. Anyways, FIFA recently held the draw to determine the matchups in the first round. Unfortunately, it looks like the US may have gotten stuck in this Cup's infamous "Group of Death", where there are too many elite teams and contenders are knocked out early. The US will have to face off against perennial powerhouse Italy and current world #2 Czech Republic, plus African champs Ghana. Even worse, the US has never scored a victory against any of those nations.

This makes qualifying for the second round a dicey situation for the US, but don't count them out. Many of the players have tons of international experience, and the US is still ranked eight in the world after all. If they can get a win and salvage a draw, a lot of times that is enough. The first match is gonna be a burner against the Czechs June 12. Mark your calendars now! I'm looking forward to it already.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 2:11 AM EST
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Sunday, 11 December 2005
I hate talking to people on AIM
Girls be TRIPPIN!

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 10:24 PM EST
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Thursday, 8 December 2005
What's up.
I got off from work a little bit earlier today, so I've actually got a little bit of free time here. I'm pretty much just sitting around eating pretzels, so I might as well post about things are going lately.

Work. Of course, hours are up with the holiday season and all. But what's shockingly not up so far is sales. After a strong Black Friday, our volume has dropped way off to where last week was absolutely terrible. I mean, just way off from where it ought to be for this time of year. Remember, I work commission so I do actually care how much the store sells. We consider ourselves to be good salesmen, and the product's pretty good, so there has to be an outside reason for the low sales. This has led to all kinds of theories.

- The mall's target demographic. Affluent shoppers are sticking with Southpark, as it still has a high prestige attached to it. If we can't attract the shoppers we are supposed to, that is a problem. And remember, outsite the I-77 corridor there is mostly sparse, poorer demographics who aren't going to be buying Coach handbags (or $110 Wallabees for that matter).

-Design of the mall. I've had people tell me they disliked it as too "angular", and malls in general are on the way out anyway- people are getting too lazy to actually walk through a mall (I'm serious)

-Poor Promotion- there still seems to be a large amount of people who don't know that the new mall is there. There has been pretty heavy print and radio advertising for the mall, but still a lot of folks don't seem to be getting the message.

- The actual customers. My manager theorizes that everyone is 'house-poor'- all their money is tied up in their house and car, leaving little else to spend.

- People think the mall will be so crowded, that they don't even want to bother going. I've heard this from several customers. It's not helped by the fact that the front parking lot is always full, because people don't want to drive around to the other side- creating an illusion of a packed mall.

-The big thing this year is electronics- iPod, Xbox, DVD, whatever if it doesn't have an acronym it's not selling. I guess things like shoes are too old fashioned for Christmas gifts.

-But finally, and most probable, people are just being cheap this year. Either it's a sale, or they're not buying. Customers are also staying very disciplined this year as well, apparently- they know exactly what they are going to get, and that's it. I'm gonna have to blame high gas prices and the fact that most people aren't feeling too hot about the economy. Which leaves me feeling cold each Friday when paychecks arrive.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 11:31 PM EST
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