Ragtag Daily Prompt: RDP#2 Insight

No Insight at Mattel

In her reply to this prompt Tracy at “Reflections of an Untidy Mind” quoted this unnamed CEO.

“Casual observation and simply having knowledge is not enough. Insight definition takes work; it’s a skill that requires creativity, persistence and deep thinking to craft. The most powerful insights come from rigor and serious analysis to translate large amounts of data into concise and compelling findings. Organizations who want to use insights as the platform for organic growth require a process that is both scalable and repeatable so that it can become routinized within the organization with predictable long-term results. Use written insight statements guided by five key principles to turn research data into actionable insight to inspire new ideas for product and service development.”

This starts off well but descends into unreadable claptrap halfway in my opinion. However, I do agree that businesses would do better if they had a real insight into their customer’s needs and in some cases who their customers are. I won’t turn this into a rant about WordPress because we’ve all been there already.

I am a doll collector and one of my interests is Barbie dolls. I started collecting modern Barbies about 20 years ago and it was fun because I could buy some very pretty modern dolls and clothing in places like Target and Toys’R’Us without having to spend a lot.

Fast forward to today and there is very little I want to buy any more. Mattel and other toy manufacturers say that children are more interested in electronic toys  and they now market Barbie to a much younger age group 3-7 year olds. Consequently they make much simpler dolls with non-removable plastic clothing and lots of gadgets,they are many fairies, princesses and mermaids although lately they are diversifying the playline more. There are not so many outfits you can buy for Barbie and the quality is poor.

Mattel also recognises that there are adult collectors and for that market they sell expensive, better quality dolls in elaborate costumes which are only meant to be put on display and never removed from their boxes.

What they do not have the insight to realise is that there is a large group of adult collectors like me who want good quality dolls and fashions because we customise, redress and photograph dolls. Adult collectors make dioramas and write stories. We don’t want to buy cheap rubbish but we don’t want to buy two hundred dollar dolls that we are going to take out of the box and play with.

I have my doubts that Mattel or for that matter any of the other toy companies will ever realise this but if any of them do they can have my money.

My African American Barbies pose for a group shot.

The 3 am Rant: The Look At Me Generation

I’ve never been a big fan of having my photo taken, even on holidays it is rare for me to be photographed unless I am with friends who want a picture. I don’t feel that the world is missing out because there are few photos of me especially now that I’m way past my best. However, it seems that I’m in the minority as the whole world seems intent on immortalising themselves on social media.

Now it seems to me that many people have become so obsessed with selfies that they travel the world photographing themselves without actually noticing the scenery. In Singapore  we went for a ride on a sampan in the shopping centre at Marina Bay Sands. Two young girls with a small child sat in front of us and honestly I think they wasted their money on the ride as they spent the entire trip taking photos of each other and the child. Not once did they look at where they were going.

Selfies on the sampan

Everywhere we went we encountered tourists being photographed or taking selfies in front of tourist attractions. Well of course at a popular attraction whether it be Gardens on the Bay in Singapore or the Sydney Opera House you are going to have to deal with crowds and it’s almost impossible to get a photo without some people in it. Even forty years ago when I first visited Sydney there were tourists who would ask us if we’d take a photo of them with their cameras. I don’t really mind that so much.  It’s a nice  holiday memory. Now people don’t just do a quick pose in front of the attraction though. They have to strike a pose, jump in the air, wave their arms around or pose like they are in that famous scene from “Titanic”.  And it’s not just one photo, they have to have dozens. Then there are the ones with the selfie sticks who march around getting into everyone elses’ picture without so much as an “I beg your pardon.”

Taking photos at Garden’s on the Bay.

I”ve noticed that people who actually enjoy photography are a bit more polite, they take their pictures and then move on so someone else can have a go but the selfie brigade notice nothing but their own faces. It does  make me mad that so many of these people are bad mannered and inconsiderate of others but it also makes me think that so many of them are missing the point of travel by focussing so much on themselves and not what’s going on around them.

 

The Three A.M Rant: The Selfish Generation

via Daily Prompt: Age

Today I read an article saying that many older people were in danger of outliving their savings because they chose an extravagant lifestyle buying luxury cars or going on cruises.

Celebrity Solstice_1024x768
Waiting to cruise

Apparently seniors should be saving that money to take care of end of life health issues and of course there should be money left over to leave to their children.

“There’s an element of spending the inheritance — kids in their 40s often might be doing it pretty tough with mortgages and school fees, when parents are living it up,”

states the article.

http://www.themercury.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/wealth-risks-amid-the-rise-of-big-spenders-aged-in-their-70s/news-story/6ae59a64cc823eee166c5885ba183922

This annoyed me quite a lot. Well, it made me hopping mad actually. I don’t have children myself but if I did of course I’d want to leave them something for themselves as well as enough to take care of funeral expenses. However, I would very much resent the idea that I was selfishly spending their inheritance every time I wanted to do something fun.

Of course it is silly to live beyond your income no matter what your age is but if retirees have a bit of money put by why shouldn’t they enjoy it? They had mortgages and school fees to pay once and probably went without holidays and other things they wanted for the sake of their families. There might be just a few years before health issues mean that they can no longer travel so whiny adult children complaining about mum and dad wasting their money on frivolities don’t sit well with me I’m afraid.

I think this annoyed me all the more because some time ago I read another piece about how older people in Australian cities should move out of their houses into smaller accomodation so that they could be demolished to make room for more townhouses and apartments. Apparently wanting to stay in the family home is also selfish. So called experts tell us we should “de clutter” our lives which really means “Get rid of all your old stuff because it’s a waste of space.” It doesn’t matter whether it means anything to you or not. “You can take a picture of it.”

Gray Tce., Rosewater.jpg

The elderly seem can’t take a trick these days. We are expected to work longer but jobs are harder to get. Pensions are barely enough and now even those who have managed to save enough for a comfortable retirement are being accused of selfishness. The only ones who don’t have to worry are elderly politicians. If they are voted out of office they will get some nice cushy job offered to them or they can retire with a nice big pension and lots of perks.

Do I sound like a grumpy old lady? Is it any wonder?

 

 

 

 

The 3am Rant: Some Things Are Just Not Funny

Like many pet owners I enjoy funny animal films on YouTube. Who doesn’t like the funny antics of cats and cute kittens? Cole and Marmalade is a great series about the lives of two very spoiled cats and the stuff they get up to. But the other night, while having a cat video watching session, I became quite concerned about the number of films of cats that seemed quite distressed and how little the owners seemed to care.

Yes it is funny when your cat accidentally falls into the bath. It does happen. At least one of mine has fallen in the tub due to being too curious about what I was doing in there. Some cats really hate water and don’t like being bathed but if they need it bathing them is not really cruel. Seeing a pet having an embarrassing fail is funny in the same way it is funny when a human slips on a banana skin.

However, allowing a small child to drag the cat into the bath against its will certainly is cruel, not to mention being a very stupid idea. I saw this last night and could not believe the child’s parents were allowing it let alone filming it. The poor cat was really upset.

So was the cat whose owner thought it would be fun to stand in the middle of her pool nursing her cat who obviously did not want to be there. I hope she got scratched.

Yes cats can swim but that is not an excuse to throw your cat into the pool as I saw one person do. He just tossed it like it was a toy. That was mean!

It seems to me that there are a lot of people out there doing stuff to their pets just to make a funny film for YouTube. The cat is scared and runs away and in the background you hear hearty laughter from the humans. Well they are not funny! If people want to make fools of themselves, hurt themselves for their five minutes of fame fine. I don’t care. But don’t do it to your cat!

Polly centre of frame.

 

Critical: Let’s Get Critical

via Daily Prompt: Critical

As I grow older I find myself critical of many more things than I used  to. I’ve never been a great fan of change unless it is a change that I have chosen to make myself but now there are so many things that I don’t like that people would probably say I’m a grumpy old lady. Well I don’t really care. I think one of the advantages of getting older is that I don’t feel that I have to apologise for my beliefs all the time but I try not to be rude so I often find myself biting my tongue when I want to say something.

So what am I critical of? Here are just a few items on my rant list.

    • Governments  and businesses who put profits ahead of people and punish you just for being poor.
    • Most modern architecture, and I am not shy about sharing my dislike of ugly buildings with anyone.
    • Greedy developers demolishing lovely old homes and building multi storey apartments or filling our waterfront spaces with ugly buildings where there used to be public spaces.
    • Films that are all action and no plot. Especially remakes that don’t get the point of the original film. eg “The Italian Job” .
    • Bad remakes of TV shows I used to like.
    • TV reality shows. You know I hate them, that’s not a secret.
    •  So called fitness shows where the participants are made to do ridiculous things like hauling planes and are humiliated in front of others. See above.

Steve Willis, Michelle Bridges (17599676481)

  • Pop music made after about 1995, but that is probably a generational thing. Mum didn’t like our generation’s music either.
  • People who can’t speak a sentence without a four letter word in it. I’m not saying I never swear but it’s so much more common now and it is ugly.
  • Barbie dolls that are all coloured plastic and no proper clothing. Barbie is a fashion doll! She’s supposed to have clothes.
  • Making Doctor Who a woman. We already know that Time Lords can be women why does The Doctor have to be one?
  •  The idea of making James Bond a woman. I never liked the franchise anyway as I don’t like the character but I don’t want to see a female version of him. That’s just silly and Fleming would be spinning in his  grave.
  • People who let their children run around and pull things of shelves in shops  and then don’t tidy up after them.
  • Restaurants that serve you a gigantic plate with practically no food on it. I like food to look attractive but I want to eat it not exhibit it.
  • People who ignore their companions in favour of their phones. A phone won’t cry over you when you are dead people.

Bangalore Wikipedian on phone 5 closeup

I could  go on but I won’t. There are lots of terrible things happening in the world that I am angry about and critical of the people who let them happen or make them happen. These are some of life’s lesser annoyances compared to those.

Daily Prompt: Lifestyle Choices

via Daily Prompt: Lifestyle

Lifestyle is a very modern day concept. We are all searching for the perfect way to live our lives. We envy the lifestyles of some and disapprove of others. Perhaps, after religion, lifestyle choices may be one of the most contentious issues on the planet.

The choices of whom to marry, whether to have children, where to live, what work you will do and what faith you choose to follow can all be lifestyle choices that may upset others.

Even in the relatively wealthy western world we may not be allowed to make those choices ourselves.

Nobody would choose to live in poverty. Who chooses hunger and homelessness as a lifestyle?

Tributes left for Wayne “Mouse” Perry who was murdered near this spot earlier this year.

Unemployment is not a lifestyle that most people would choose. The world is changing, jobs that existed fifty, even twenty years ago are gone forever.  Research suggests that in the next fifty years even more jobs will be lost because of changes in industry. That is going to change the lifestyles of many and we need to start thinking about how it is to be managed.

War is not a lifestyle that anyone would choose either. One day you are going about your business with a home, a family and a job and the next it is all gone and you are fleeing for your life possibly to end up spending your days in a camp denied the chance to start again. How I would love the politicians responsible to experience that lifestyle and see how they like it.

Lifestyle choices; sounds a bit of a joke now doesn’t it?

 

 

Gray Must Be The New Black

via Daily Prompt: Gray

Gray, or grey as I usually spell it is a neutral shade that I had no objection to seeing until it started turning up everywhere.

I can see the sense in using neutrals in decorating and in fashion but in decor particularly interior designers seem to have become obsessed with grey.

Related image

These days when something becomes popular on television everyone seems to jump on the bandwagon regardless of their own taste or perhaps because some people feel that they have to follow trends. I don’t know.

I have been spending a lot of time browsing real estate listings and grey is becoming the predominant colour that home interiors are being painted. I consider this a modern look and I don’t like it when it is used on an old home. Some houses have been completely repainted in grey even the kitchen. It feels as if all the character has been washed out of the home.Image result for minimalist living room ideas

I understand that this style is called minimalist. It makes me feel depressed. If I were to find a house that I really liked and it was painted entirely in grey the first thing I would have to do would be to repaint it.

Recently I had my own house repainted on the outside. I chose a neutral cream colour for the weatherboard similar to what it had before but I wanted a bit of colour on the window sills and when the painter gave me a paint chart I marked a colour called Manor Red. I obviously did not mark it clearly enough and came home one day to find all my sills had been painted grey! At one time I probably would have shrugged that off but the recent outbreak of greyness everywhere made me determined that not a drop of grey paint would touch my home. I called the painter and had him repaint the sills so all was well.