Monday, May 9, 2016

WALK AWAY FROM THE RUNNING STORE!!!

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies!

In the interest of providing a public service, I want to make you aware of some things about The Running Store in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The store was originally established as Tri-Running.  A friend of mine suggested we go there as they offered great service.  The employees were educated about how to determine one's gait to establish whether one had a neutral walk or something else.  (There is discussion that this is not important in determining the best shoe for walking or running.  You make the call.)

At any rate, we visited there, received a lot of good information from the employees, and purchased walking shoes we liked.  While the pricing at Tri-Running was slightly above Zappo's and other online retailers, plus we had to pay tax, it wasn't significant enough to cause any concern.  We made that decision consciously.  And we have recommended the store (Tri-Running) to a lot of folks we know, some of whom we know for certain have been there.

This past week, we both had a need for a new pair of walking shoes.  We went back to the store where we had had success in the past.  We were surprised to find the name changed and the store space cut by more than half!!  The two young men there were very nice... but they offered no actual "services" other than asking about our size and if we had any preference of brand.  Hmmmm.  This should have clued us in that things had changed... and not necessarily for the better.  However... in the interest of shopping locally, we moved forward with trying on some shoes.

After finding a pair we liked (we both liked the same pair!), we checked out at the register.  We left the store thinking the price of the shoes was rather high.  Later on, we decided to check Zappo's for the pricing there.  While Zappo's is not a discount store, they do offer good and typical pricing.  Surprise!  The Running Store charged full MSRP for the shoes, a substantial $30 more than Zappo's (and a huge number of other online retailers including Nordstrom's!).  This was a 25% higher price.  Hold on!!  We're all about supporting a local business... but this is not acceptable.


So... I took both pair back to The Running Store in Lake Charles a day-and-a-half later.  Neither pair had done anything but ride in my vehicle.  They had not been touched.  I was very surprised and confused when the young man there told me they did not issue refunds on shoes.  They would only issue store credit.  What?!?  Other than a clearance sale, who doesn't refund on unused items?  I am typing below the exact wording printed on the credit card receipt.  Bear in mind, there was absolutely NO posted signage within the store indicating there were no refunds on shoes.  I guess one had to purchase a non-refundable item before finding out it was non-refundable?  Hmmmmm.

Printed on the receipt (exact words although in much larger print than is on the receipt!):


"Exchange Policy.
Shoes:  If after several test runs you find your runs painful as a result of the shoe, please exchange them within 30 days of purchase and we will apply your exchange toward another product.  Special orders for styles/sizes/colors not in stock are subject to a $10 shipping fee.
Other items:  Refunds are granted only when exchange item is unused (with tags or packaging) and within 30 days of purchase with receipt.  Electronics may only be exchanged if unused and in unopened packaging."

Alright.  After you have read it, how do you interpret it?  It appears to me that if I USE the shoes, I can only exchange the shoes.  That's fair.  One cannot sell used shoes as new!  I get it.  If I return used shoes, I should not expect a refund.  However... the policy stated does not seem to address returning NEW, UNUSED shoes?  In fact, the "Shoe" section clearly only addresses shoes that have been used.  That's my take.  Wonder what the legal eagles would say about it?  Hmmmmm.

At any rate, the young man reached out to the "new" owner (now we have confirmed the store was sold).  He spoke with me on the phone.  I asked him to either refund the price and I would leave the shoes... or at least refund the price difference and I would keep them.  At this point, the new owner made it quite clear (implicitly) his interest was strictly in profit and customers were not important.  While he tried to tell me he had to pay shipping to receive the shoes and he couldn't not charge tax, I simply responded that Zappo's (and other onine retailers) actually paid the shipping to get the product as well as to ship it out to customers!  Zappo's even pays return shipping if the product isn't satisfactory... for ANY reason!  I knew I would pay tax purchasing locally.  He continued that he had overhead that Zappo's didn't have.  Uh... I wonder if Zappo's is aware they have such little overhead!  *chuckle*  They might argue that point.

Let's just say this about all that.  If you don't mind paying full MSRP for something you can get a lot of other places for at least 20% less, overnight in some cases, without paying taxes or shipping, please feel free to give The Running Store your business.  If you believe that fair pricing and customer service are important, I suggest you simply walk away from The Running Store.

Until next post...

Monday, April 25, 2016

NO MORE EXCUSES...

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies.

Well, I have no more excuses.  It has been far too long since my last post.  I have been on-the-road... but that really isn't an excuse.

What I have found, however, is that road trips can bring some very interesting little tidbits.  I am going to share a few with you here today.  Without further ado...

RED LIGHT?  AT A TWO-LANE BRIDGE?  TO CROSS THE RIVER???  WHAT?!?!?
Okay.  So they were working on the bridge and it was down to one-lane for a bit.  Still... it was funny to see a red light coming up on a 65-mph highway... at the bridge!

There is NO question what the driver of this vehicle does for a living!!
And sometimes it is fun to go somewhere "just because."  That was the case with Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas.  If you don't watch the HGTV program "Fixer-Upper", I urge you to check it out.  This is the city where it is filmed.

The Silos at Magnolia Market
Cute Momma Goat with her Kid  :)
There was a LOT to do at Magnolia Market besides just shop.  There was a HUGE area of faux grass where kids (the human kind) could play all sorts of games.  There was a big cage full of all kinds of balls... footballs, soccer balls, little kicking balls... and things like frisbees with a sign advising the little ones to enjoy but please put the item back when done playing.  The activity on this area was ridiculous!  Kids were playing all kinds of games.  There were swings and picnic tables surrounding the area.  It was a great place to have the young'uns wear themselves out!  There was a garden area that is currently under development.  There was an entire collection of food trucks!  (My crepe was excellent, by the way.)


Sometimes, however, the interesting tidbits happen at home.  When the spousal-unit was opening a little snack, he began laughing.  I had to ask what was funny?  He showed me.  I am still wondering exactly where the 20 grams of protein would be found considering the number of... well... look for yourself.


So... that's pretty much all I have for you.  Nothing fascinating.  Just the same old stuff... but hopefully with enough interest for you.  :)

Until next post...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

WHERE HAVE I BEEN?!?!?

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies!!

As has been credited to the ever-so-dry Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain), "The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated."  (Note he never said exactly that phrase... but it doesn't matter here.)

So... I am still around.  The beginning of 2016 has been a little challenging.  The "grawdoo" or "creeping crud" that apparently hit every household during the first part of this year attacked me mightily the third week in January and lasted nearly two weeks.  I thought I was out of the woods by February 1st... but I was wrong.  :(  A quick relapse followed which knocked me down another two weeks.  Sigh.  I am very fortunate and am rarely hit by any of the things "going around" so it was quite a surprise... and an unpleasant one at that.  By mid-February, I was back up and running.  There was a lot to catch up on after that much time away from my normal duties.  Factor in working on taxes for two households plus getting a real estate deal closed in early March... well, I have just slacked off tremendously on posting.


While I can't provide you with anything truly fascinating, I did want to check in.  I have encountered a few things I considered blog-worthy so will share them with you.

Someone decided the single word on the marquee as one entered the local airport property was too boring.  He (or she) decided to change it.  See what was put on the marquee.  For bonus points, comment with the single word that is formed from these letters.  :)  And no... I don't believe "Cow Meel" is actually a thing.


This past Sunday morning was quite foggy.  During my morning walk, I saw the sun surrounded by the fog making it look more like the moon.  I took a couple of shots to see if they turned out.





Finally, I had some paperwork I needed to copy right away for a transaction taking place that day.  I was happy there was a FedEx store very close by where I could get multiple copies done quickly and relatively inexpensively... until I got there and found...



Now then... there was NO time put on this... there was no clock on the door with the big hand and little hand pointing to numbers that would give me a clue... you are seeing exactly what I saw.  I sat in my vehicle for ten minutes (yes, I did time it) before deciding that "right back" apparently had no real meaning to the party at the store.  This was not close to lunchtime or any other thing one would expect to cause a need to close... but I understand the occasional need to leave during normal working hours.  I just would truly appreciate you giving me ENOUGH INFORMATION to know whether I should wait for you to return!!!!  AARRRGGGGHHHHH!

There has been some fun recently, thank goodness!  One of my friends here and a friend of hers, who I have met and know, decided to go to the nearby Casino for all-you-can-eat crawfish!  Yes.  That is a big deal here in south Louisiana.  When crawfish season begins, there are mad dashes to places that sell them (bring your own cooler to contain the little critters until you are ready to boil them!) and to places that cook them up for you to enjoy without the work.  I was invited to go along for the fun.  I was more than happy to oblige!!  Yes... I do love me some mudbugs.  So... we headed off for the festivities.  Arriving about an hour before serving began, we found a bank of penny slots to occupy our time.  Lots of fun but not a lot of winning.  That was okay.  Just before it was time to eat, however, my little pennies got benevolent and hit a lovely bonus round that ended up putting me $80 up at that point.  Made dinner taste even better!

I won't go into great detail but I will tell you that the crawfish buffet was quite a spectacle.  We were joined by a fourth friend at this point.  The system was as follows: get a round tray with high sides and wander down the line while the server behind the counter scoops a huge bunch of mudbugs into a giant bucket and sets it on the tray.  Then one carries the whole mess back to the table where the mudbugs are poured out of the bucket into the tray to begin the chowdown.  Let the peeling and tail-popping begin!!  We sat there for nearly 90 minutes, eating and eating and eating.  Two of the four of us at the table returned for a second full bucket!!  The other two (I was one of these) split a second full bucket.  Yummmmmmmmm!  So, so good.  So, so messy.  And worth it all.

After dining and a trip to scrub down like a surgeon before entering the operating theatre, our fourth headed elsewhere while the three of us looked for more slots to enjoy.  We found two side-by-side that were the same and were such fun to play!  We had no idea how long we were there until we had finally let the house take our limit and were ready to leave.  So worth it!  Most fun I've had here in a VERY long time!

Alrighty.  While this isn't a lot to report, I hope you at least know I am still here... and I will try to be better about posting!

Until next post...

Saturday, December 19, 2015

SO RANDOM...

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies!

Sometimes I find myself with a few photos that didn't really fit into any of the posts I have published.  But I still think they are "blogworthy" so I'm going to use them to end this year!  I hope you find them interesting or amusing... or at least worth a peek.  There is a video, also.  If it doesn't work in your email, go to the actual post at http://louisianatown.blogspot.com/2015/12/so-random.html and view it there.

Without further ado...

The night before Halloween, we had quite a bit of rain... as evidenced by the "moat" around this house down the street!
A couple of weeks later, I caught a glimpse of these on my morning walk.
A closer look revealed really interesting "dots" on the 'shrooms!  Does it remind you of Alice in Wonderland, too?
And three days later, they had flattened into little umbrellas!
The spousal-unit provided a few shots that we really had to chuckle over.
In all fairness, it does say "Driving" center... not "Parking" center!!!  Sigh.
"Dispatch... did you say we are supposed to guard the shopping carts... ?
... or the soda machines?
On a recent visit to a land far, far away, I encountered a couple of things I found bewildering and interesting.

Look!  The arrow says Sushi is down this way on the left!!!  Yum!!
Ummmm... the only thing down this way on the left is a fence... uh... hello?

VIDEO FOLLOWS

On a morning walk in the far, far away land, I encountered a most interesting way to remove piles of leaves.  Apparently the residents are completely in synch as most had raked theirs all the way into the street neatly along the curb!  Most excellent!!  Be sure to click the expand screen icon in the lower right corner of the video to be fully amazed!!
video


So... as a new year approaches, I can't promise any further 2015 posts... but I will definitely return in 2016.  If I don't manage more this year, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas or a Bah Humbug (your choice) as well as a Safe, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!

Until next post...

Saturday, December 12, 2015

TWO LEGS TO FOUR LEGS AT THE FAIR...

Heidy-Ho, Blogging Buddies!

Well, I wanted to get this post out sooner than now... but we all know how that goes.  :)

This one is just for fun to show you a few more of the fabulous farm critters that were judged at the Beauregard Parish Fair in October.  You have seen the poultry review previously.  We're moving from two-legged to four-legged now.

Momma and her two "kids"  :)

My newest friend

This little guy was wreaking havoc in his pen!!  First, he turned his feed dish up and nearly over!  Then, he tried jumping into the water trough!!

Anyone remember Billy Goat Gruff??  Found him!







And... just for fun... on a completely unrelated note...



I DO love a sense of humor!!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Until next post...