The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

The economics of gift cards

Anne forwarded a Times article (reg.req.) about how gift cards are bad for everyone except the retailers:

The financial-services research firm TowerGroup estimates that of the $80 billion spent on gift cards in 2006, roughly $8 billion will never be redeemed—a bigger impact on consumers," [financial-services research firm TowerGroup] notes, "than the combined total of both debit- and credit-card fraud." A survey by Marketing Workshop Inc. found that only 30 percent of recipients use a gift card within a month of receiving it, while Consumer Reports estimates that 19 percent of the people who received a gift card in 2005 never used it.

So I should start selling gift cards: $20 redeemable in puppy-petting time. I'd make a mint, and Parker would get lots of belly-rubs.

Today's Daily Parker

We got back from Miami late Friday. Parker, happy to have us home, wanted to keep us as close as possible Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday, for example, he kept close to Anne even while Anne was off doing other things:

Also, my project start got pushed to either Thursday or next Monday (I'll find out later today). That means Parker came to the office with me this morning, and will probably come back again on Wednesday. He loves coming to the office. Of course, he seems to love just about everything in life, which I think is an attitude worth emulating.

Today's Daily Parker

Anne and I are someplace warm (see second photo), but Parker is never far from our thoughts. Here he is New Year's Eve in what we must assume is doggy heaven:

At the moment, we are in people heaven, so I can't guarantee any more postings until Saturday. I hope everyone else is, if not as warm as we are (25°C, 77°F on the beach), at least as happy.

Today's Daily Parker

I'm an hour late getting in TDP, for which I'm sorry. Today was the last business day of 2006, and possibly Parker's last day in the office for a while (I'll be working downtown starting next month). Fittingly, here's Parker, doing what he does best: being a good office puppy.

The ParkerCam will return!

(Possibly tomorrow...)

Today's Daily Parker

The couch is dead. We're going to take it to the street tonight or tomorrow, because Parker has quite literally beaten the stuffing out of it. He even knows he's being bad, running away from it the moment I take a step toward him. But just seconds after I turn away, there he is again, performing dog-o-suction on the cushions:

I'm going to bet that no one takes it before the trash haulers find it. I might even bet that they will leave it behind, too.

Before there was Parker...

...there was Eliza:

I got my first camera in June 1983. Now, more than 23 years later, I'm scanning all the old slides and negatives. It's a little trippy. I keep finding things like this photo of the pet gerbil I had back then.

I've also found a whole bunch of documentary shots around Northbrook, Ill., where I grew up. I'll re-shoot some of these at some point and post some then-and-now views. Here's a preview: the LP stacks at the Northbrook Public Library. They were still about two years from their first CD player.

Today's Daily Parker

Parker is back in the office!

We had quite a full weekend. We drove down to see the in-laws in St. Louis, and for the first time on a drive of any length, Parker didn't puke. If you've never dealt with a car-sick puppy before, you can't fathom how important this is. Trust me.

While in St. Louis, Parker met my brother-in-law's dog, Biscuit. She's 18 months old (to Parker's 6), and about the same size (18 kg, 40 lbs). Plus, she's cute. I think Parker's smitten. They played for the entire weekend, and only had one minor scrap over property rights when Biscuit tried to walk off with the bully stick Parker was gnawing.

Highlights:

Today's Daily Parker

Even when he's not being bad, he still looks guilty:

Probably no Daily Parker until Tuesday. Have a wonderful holiday, and don't eat the sofa. (I mean you, Mr. "Who Me?".)