Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Top 5 Products That You, Personally, Should Endorse

Tim's Top 5:
I'm not necessarily looking for products they'd want you to endorse, mind you, but products that you wholeheartedly support and could shill for without even batting an eyelash.

1) Propel Fitness Water with Calcium - In one month I went from actually being a touch overweight for the first time in my life to being a well-toned athlete capable of running 7 miles just because and finishing a half-marathon. In that month, I have almost cut out drinking soda (1 20 oz. bottle a day sometime between 9:30 and noon) and at home and in the gym, I drink this stuff. While the mixed berry flavor is nothing to write home about, the calcium flavors of mango and mandarin orange have now become the best justification for owning a warehouse club membership. And it's the only flavored beverage with calories that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup. Well done, gatorade.

2) Citrix - I'm not even sure what the name for this is for people other than my employer, it's the equivalent of Gotomypc, since it provides remote access to my firm's server, so that I can work from home -- and lord, I've spent far too many hours doing so. As much as I generally dislike working as a whole, working from home is a much more pleasant experience.

3) Mountain Dew - It's not coincidental that two beverages crack this list, since most of my adult life has been focused on one sort of drinking or another, but Mountain Dew is the one soda I still covet in the morning when I've managed to procure it from the office galley (yes, we have a galley). It's rarely put out for attorney lunches, but when it is, all of them go back to my office with me. It's not great out of cans, but for some reason it's ideal in the 20 oz. plastic bottle. Well done, Pepsi Corporation, it beats out Pepsi One, since you can't get that in 20 oz. plastic bottles and that's all I drink now.

4) Taco Bell food - I really don't eat fast food on a regular basis anymore, but when I do, it's this place I'm heading to.

5) Video IPod - I fought it forever, becoming one of the last people on earth who ever came into possession of one of these things. Now it's an indispensable part of my life -- I've already spent $70 in complementary products (IPod alarm clock that I use to play it at work; AC Adapter (since rendered relatively pointless by said alarm clock), the absurdly priced action jacket so I can use it while exercising...not to mention the Sharper Image IPod speakers my brother has which I covet. It has some drawbacks, but they're actually pretty minimal. The IPhone is lame, though, sorry, but the amount of technology I need in my phone is limited to telephonic communication -- having a phone that plays songs on ITunes seems like a minor benefit at best.

Honorable mention: XM Radio, the 1999 Saturn (I don't like my car, but I still drive it when I could clearly buy something much better); Old El Paso refried beans.

Dan's Top 5:

1. Fender Guitars and Basses - Oh yeah, I'm a musician, too. I keep forgetting. Anyway, I've always prefered the look, feel, and sound of Fender instruments to anything else, especially Gibson and all its sub-companies. The necks are long enough for my big hands to not cramp up too much, and the tones are usually awesome. My dream is to be able to build a custom Stratocaster copy, though. And my main instrument right now is my Geddy Lee Jazz Bass that I bought last summer.

2. The Homeplace - Enough food to kill a small dog for only $12. All-you-can-eat roast beef, fried chicken, biscuits, corn, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy brought out to your table to pass around amongst your party like you were actually eating at home. A visit to Homeplace is typically reserved for special occasions, or when it is learned that someone hasn't ever experienced it yet. Prepare by fasting and ensuring that your stomach is really empty.

3. MATLAB - The single most useful piece of software I ever use, it performs a host of operations and simulations that are necessary for me to give the illusion that I know what I'm doing when it comes to engineering. I can write out lines of code, hit F5, and instantly generate graphical representations of data that will make anyone go, "Hmmm, interesting."

4. Zebra G-301 Gel Pens - The first ever stainless steel gel pen. I've been a fan of the F-301 for a long time, but I would always switch between that and some crappy gel or ink pen when I needed something darker. No longer, as I now have the fantastic stainless steel executive-ish pen that will produce writing dark enough to show up on photocopies.

5. Nestle French Vanilla Coffee-Mate Creamer - I started drinking coffee not even a week ago, and this is probably the reason I'm finally acquiring a taste for it. I'd like to eventually be able to drink it black, but goddamn, this stuff is good.

Honorable mention: Newman's Own Sockarooni Sauce (which I use for pizza), Umbro soccer equipment, Microsoft Xbox 360, Vizio LCD Televisions

Ryan's Top Five

1. Quik Trip (any and all products) - This sounds like I'm joking, but you really must go to a QT to experience its greatness. 7-11 will always have a special place in my heart, but the operation QT runs is so ridiculously above all the other gas station competitors, it's odd they don't have locations everywhere. They must brainwash their employees, or threaten them with beatings like Wal-Mart (I assume), as the customer service is rigidly friendly and remarkably fast. Every location is clean, too. It's like the Target of gas stations, but better, and all other gas stations are K-Mart. More than half the time, I will get one 44 oz. caffeine free diet coke per day from Quik Trip, for $1.06.

2. Wendy's Crispy Chicken Sandwich - I almost said Wendy's, but this is the only thing I ever order there. That said, .99 for a damn good chicken sandwich (with lettuce that is actually crispy) = tres bien. Whenever I'm working and have the means and the time, my lunch invariably (read: every single time) is a 44 oz drink from QT and two crispy chicken sandwiches.

3. Nacho Lunchables - I'm eating one right now. At Wal-Mart, they're 2/$3, which means my lunch every day at school (I vary it occasionally with pizza and cracker-sandwiches lunchables) costs me about 1.70 or so, if you count the soda I bring. Sure, it's not enough food for a meal, which is probably why I'm losing weight (that and the fact that I'm moving almost every single second of the day at work, usually on foot). So, health bonus. You know, sort of. It actually is the perfect amount of food for work, as I'm usually not that hungry and have stuff to do over my lunch break as it is.

4. Barnes & Noble - Not really a product, but hey, why not. I can spend a very long time at this place, and I usually end up not buying anything because I'm a cheap bastard who prefers to find bargains at used bookstores. But, for some reason, I will never pass on an opportunity to go to a Barnes & Noble. It's a confusing addiction, I'll give you that.

5. Slurpee X-treme Gulp - Dan brings up a good point in that the product I like more is in fact the renowned X-treme Gulp (pronounced, we've decided, "kh-streem gulp"). It takes a special kind of mentality to convince yourself that getting 64 oz of diet coke is healthy, but I have this mentality. Here's my original response for slurpee: "This, of course, deserves mention. I haven't had as much recently as I don't live in the same town as 7-11, but to be fair I consumed enough in high school to keep me in good stead for my and several others' lifetimes. Coke or cherry are the only two flavors I consider."

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