Thursday, March 10, 2011

Open letter to vitamin manufacturers


That's it.  Small. 

Make the vitamins small enough to actually swallow.  Where is it written that a vitamin has to be the size of a horse pill?  Is there more value in a larger tablet?  I don't think so.  I think more skill is required to make the vitamin in a manageable size. 

Aspirin sized.  Ibuprofen sized. 

A size I can swallow without it getting caught in my throat, causing me to choke and gag, and having the paramedics called.  That size.

A size where I can safely take more than one tablet at a time. That size.

I recently switched from Centrum Silver multi-vitamins to Equate because the Equate was smaller.  Cheaper was a bonus, but smaller was the motivation.

I switched from Spring Valley B-complex to Nature Made because it was smaller.  Their tablets are about 2/3 the size of the Spring Valley. 

I pay extra for Glucosamine *plus* joint lubricant, not because my joints need lubing, but because the pills are smaller than my previous brand.

Spring Valley vitamin D comes in soft gels.  This alone is awesome because a soft gel will dissolve if there is a problem.  But these soft gels are tiny. It would take 4 to make up an aspirin. 

Surely manufacturers can create smaller vitamins.  And put a life size picture of the vitamin on the bottle, please.  Sudafed comes in tiny red pills (with a picture).  Imitrex, small.  Actifed, smaller than an aspirin. 

That's my criteria - let no vitamin be larger than an aspirin.  And put the size on the bottle.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Do cold calls really work?

I am curious.  Do those random calls I get from telemarketers actually generate business?  They must, or companies wouldn't keep doing them.

I find it really hard to believe that a person can get a call from a carpet cleaner and say "Well, yes, now that you mention it, my carpet really is quite dirty.  I can tell from your voice that  you will do a good job. Without checking any reviews or asking anyone I know, let me schedule an appointment for you to come into my house."

Or "What a coincidence!  I noticed just today that I had a crack in my windshield.  How fortuitous that you called!  I wouldn't have bothered to arrange to have it fixed otherwise. I'm sure you won't overcharge me."

Or "I'm sure you are highly qualified to service my air conditioner.  No one with a voice as pleasant as yours would sell me repairs I don't need."


How is this different from the televised warnings about purchasing roof or driveway repairs from guys driving by in pickups?   It's worse actually.  You can, should, see the hand-lettered sign on the pickup or the shabby uniform or lack of uniform on the guy who pulls up to your house.

You can't judge the quality of the equipment or professionalism of a company over a telephone line.  I don't do business with a new company without a referral or some really smoking reviews on the internet.

Don't call me.  I'll call you.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week Two without a newspaper

As I said in Experiment in printless news, I put my newspaper on vacation hold for two weeks to see if I could live without what is, for me, a tradition and habit combined.

I've already blogged about week one.  How did week two go?

Day Eight - I read a really interesting article in Mental Floss magazine about Anton Chekhov.  I finish my breakfast early and get to work before my usual time.

Day Nine -The netbook I ordered on Sunday arrived yesterday. I eat a bagel while poking around the computer and seeing what's installed on it. 
Days Ten to Thirteen -I eat my breakfast while checking e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. I check the headlines on iGoogle  Twice I read an article . I find links to some of my favorite columnists and read them - once.

On Day Thirteen, I suddenly realize on this, my errand day, I don't know what the grocery sales are for this week.  I didn't notice the lack last week, but this week I want to know the price of Pepsi. Are the ads on-line?  I don't bother to look. 

Day Fourteen - Sunday.  I step outside to walk the dogs and am both delighted and annoyed that the Sunday paper has been delivered.  Delighted at being able to read it.  Annoyed that my two week experiment is only 12 days.  It messes with the symmetry.

I realize today that without the newspaper, I have not been checking my lottery numbers.  Maybe I am wealthy beyond belief at this very moment.  I log on-line to check the numbers.  No.  Sigh. But they do offer to text me the numbers in the future.  I sign up.

I find I am not all that anxious to read the paper.  I haven't missed reading the news.  While I don't know what is going on in the world, I am also not as depressed about the cruelty of man against man, and man against animal.  Is ignorance bliss? 

I read the comics and two lifestyle articles I really enjoy.  Then I read the Pet of the Week.  I learn the featured dog was abandoned in a back yard with another dog that attacked it savagely.  I cry.  This is the news I haven't been getting this past two weeks.  News I wish I could expunge from my brain.  

I ended the last post with "Printless doesn't have to mean news less."  In my case, it appears that it does.  With all of the other options available to me, without the newspaper, I didn't avail myself of any of them. 

My original dilemma was whether to get my news from a source other than a printed newspaper. 

My new quandary is - news or no news?