Category Archives: Guest Post

It’s the same mattress

I was recently doing some research on buying a mattress when I ran across this review.  It really turned a light on for me.  I found it extremely informative.   It’s up to you if you trust his review but he will certainly make you think.
http://www.epinions.com/hmgd-review-5A40-272FFE9B-3A21B6F6-prod5?sb=1
From an ex-mattress salesperson
Nov 26 ’00  by  lakeshire

(lakeshire I tried to find you so hope you don’t mind being a guest post?)

Epinions-Unbiased Reviews by Real People

Once upon a time I sold mattresses. All the major brands – Simmons, Serta, Sealy, etc. The brand is not important. I am not going to discuss brands, but tell you how to buy a mattress in the real world.

All of the major companies make a decent mattress. They each claim to have some sort of system that makes theirs a better mattress, but they all make a decent mattress.

To start, even before I explain how to choose a mattress, I should tell you that the system is designed to confuse you. Most of the major brands have a system wherein they change the names of the SAME mattress at each different chain store so that you can not price shop. What is the Simmons “Royale” at Macy’s will be the “Regency” at Penny’s. You can not price shop by name or color of the cover. You can only price shop by specifications. If the “specs” of one Simmons mattress is that it has a wool cover and a certain number of coils, then that is all that you can use to comparison shop.

Now, as a mattress salesperson for almost 10 years, I could never keep track of this coil count stuff and I don’t expect you to, either.

Each company makes certain “levels” of mattresses. There is the cheapo, the decent cheapo, the good one and the better one. With each company, they usually have 2 tiers. With Simmons, the “top line” is the Beauty Rest. With Serta, it is the Perfect Sleeper, for instance.

Well, who cares? Here’s the deal: with mattresses, you get what you pay for. A cheapo mattress is about 10% material – foam, steel, padding, whatever and about 90% air. A middle of the line mattress is about 40% material and 60% air. And so on.

Go in the mattress store and start lifting up the corners. Some are heavy, some are light. Now look at the price tags. Surprise!

Weight in a mattress is directly proportional to how well it will hold up in the long run. Weight ON the mattress is also proportional to how long it will hold up. When I slept alone and weighed a 100 pounds, I could not wear out a cheapo mattress.

Buy a cheapo, lightweight mattress for the guest room, if it is not often used. Buy it if you are a student and going to throw it out in a year or two. But, if you are heavy and have a heavy spouse, you head right over to the heaviest, most solid mattresses in the place.

But don’t buy a pillowtop. I shock everyone by saying this. A pillowtop mattress is a normal mattress with a layer of extra padding on top. It will wear out and flatten down, long before the actual mattress will begin to show a dent. But it is sewn on! And you pay an extra hundred bucks for it! Buy a mattress pad instead. Pay 40 bucks and throw it away when it mashes down. And get another one. Cheaper than a new mattress.

Now, for the rest of it. Lie down on the mattress in the store. Roll around. If you sleep on your side, lie on your side. Hang out for awhile on it. Now lie on your back. Place your hand under the curve of your back. There should not be a space. The mattress should be conforming to the curve of your back. Very hard mattresses will not and there will be this big gaping space between your back and the surface.

You will toss and turn all night. A too hard mattress will cause you to lose circulation in parts of your body and your sleep will be broken due to your turning to alleiviate this. Each company makes an outrageously hard mattress, but even the companies themselves tell the salespeople to discourage the sale of these to anyone over 60 or with circulation problems. But there are those who feel that they can’t sleep on anything else. So, don’t blame me if you are always tired.

Determine what level of mattress you need. Do you need the one that will hold up for 10 years? Are you heavy? Is this for your 60 pound child? Are you going to get married one of these days and dump the twin-sized?

This gives you your price range.

Now go try a few. Some you can reject immediately, the too expensive, the pillowtops or the ones too obviously hard or soft. This will give you 4 or 5 to truly test. Spend an hour on them. One or two will feel right.

Then you can go ask about coil counts or warranties, if you must. But, trust me, you can always tell by the weight of the mattress.

 

Sharing a favorite article

Jeff Mullin is a favorite writer at my local newspaper.  His thoughts on today’s college freshmen hit home since we have one in our family this year.  I’d like to share his outlook on “The world according to today’s college freshmen”.

August 23, 2011

Enid News and Eagle
ENID — Each generation has its own unique cultural touchstones — people, places and events that bind people of that age group together.

People of a certain vintage point to the Jazz Age, flappers, bathtub gin, the Crash of ’29 and the Great Depression. For another group, it was Pearl Harbor, Frank Sinatra, “Loose Lips Sink Ships,” rationing and VE Day.

Still others can relate to the 39th Parallel, Buddy Holly, Sputnik and James Dean, while those of a more recent minting have vivid memories of Duck and Cover, Dealey Plaza, Kent State, the Beatles and the Summer of Love.

Of course, each generation’s cultural touchstones might be a unifying point for people of one age group, but they also serve to illustrate the vast chasm that exists between themselves and those of younger generations.

 Take, for example, the group of scrubbed-faced, eager young people who have just entered their freshman year of college. A record 4,000 of them began the school year Monday at the University of Oklahoma, while Oklahoma State welcomed 3,900.

 Today’s college freshmen, for instance, have never called anyone using a rotary dial telephone.

They haven’t, that is, according to the annual College Mindset List compiled by Beloit College of Wisconsin. 

This year’s crop of freshmen, who average 18 years of age, weren’t alive when George H.W. Bush was president. Say “Read my lips, no new taxes” to college freshmen and they will look at you blankly. They know Bush 41 only as the father of Bush 43, George W. And Jimmy Carter? He’s the nice old fellow who travels the world making sure elections are fair and overseeing disaster relief efforts. Go so far as to mention LBJ to one of today’s freshmen and they’ll assume you mean Miami Heat star LeBron James.

They have no idea why O.J. Simpson is famous, except for the fact he is always in trouble with the law.

 They have grown up with the Internet, bike helmets, women Supreme Court justices, Amazon (the Web retailer, not the South American river), Chicken Soup for the Soul, the Food Channel, electric cars, charter schools and Martin Luther King Day. They never sat on a Sears catalog to make them taller at the dinner table.

 Remember the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” in which Matthew Broderick’s wise guy high schooler decides to skip school for the day? For this year’s freshmen, Bueller could be their dad.

 This year’s freshmen didn’t grow up wanting to Be Like Mike. They were 10 when Michael Jordan retired for good in 2003. And today’s freshmen think Arnold Palmer is simply a drink combining iced tea and lemonade.

  In their lifetimes, fake Christmas trees have always outsold real ones, the phrase “been there, done that, got the T-shirt” has always been in use, grown-ups have always argued about health care and taken baby aspirin for their hearts and George Stephanopolus has always worked on television rather than in the White House.

 For these young people, “Cheers” has always been in reruns, nurses have always been in short supply, couples have always broken up via texting or Facebook, and the only significant labor disputes they have experienced have come in professional sports.

 There are always differences between people of various generations. I came along after World War II, have always lived in a home with indoor plumbing and television, remember when Hawaii and Alaska weren’t states and grew up watching “Captain Kangaroo” and idolizing Mickey Mantle. 

In the end, those things really aren’t important. Each generation has its own cultural touchstones and experiences, but we are bound together by our shared history.

 Today’s college freshmen may have been just 8 years old, but I’ll bet they can tell you where they were and what they were doing on Sept. 11, 2001, just as those of previous generations have vivid memories of Nov. 22, 1963, and Dec. 7, 1941.  

Next time you have a family gathering, turn off the TV and computer, confiscate the smartphones and laptops and start telling stories. Tell this year’s college freshmen about poodle skirts, Nehru jackets, leisure suits, Camelot, Joan Baez, troll dolls, “The Peter Principle,” ration books, Woody Herman, Dr. Spock, zoot suits, Howdy Doody, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” streaking, Skylab, Carl Sagan, Valley Girls, Milli Vanilli, hobo jungles and Ogden Nash.

  And they can tell you about the things that are important to them. When you strip away all the cultural stuff, the things that are really important to them are likely the same as those cited by their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

 They want to be loved, they want to pursue their dreams, they want to change the world, they want to be successful, they want to be respected, they want to do the right thing, they want to leave things better than they found them.

 Which is just a long way of saying they want to be happy.

 And that desire binds us all, no matter our age or cultural experience, whether we grew up listening to “The Shadow” on the huge radio in the corner of the living room or watching “The Shadow” on a smartphone.

Mullin is senior writer of the News & Eagle. Email him at jmullin@enidnews.com.

The end is near: Or maybe it’s not

This article was in the paper yesterday and I wanted to share it.  Jeff is one of my favorite coumnists here for our local newspaper.

May 19, 2011

The end is near: Or maybe it’s not

By Jeff Mullin, columnist Enid News and Eagle

OK, let me see. Snacks? Check. Plenty of pop? Right. Bug spray? Got it. Calamine lotion? yessiree.

Oh, hi. Don’t mind me, I’m just getting ready for Judgment Day.

It’s Saturday, in case you haven’t heard. The great apocalypse is scheduled to begin with a devastating worldwide earthquake at 6 p.m. This apparently will not be like network TV, which presents shows at 8 p.m. Eastern time, 7 Central, and so on. Judgment day is supposed to happen at 6 p.m. local time Saturday, wherever you are.

That means at 6 p.m. Saturday believers will be raptured, or swept up into heaven, while the rest will be left behind to suffer the tribulation set forth the Bible.

I’ve decided to get ready for either possibility. In case I happen to get raptured, I’ve decided to dress for the occasion. No, really, I will be in a suit and tie at 6 p.m. Saturday. Actually I’ll be getting ready for a wedding, but if I should be raptured on the way, at least I’ll be in my Sunday best.

The possibility of the rapture is the reason for the snacks. Travel always makes me hungry.

And, just in case I am left behind and the tribulation begins, I am preparing for that, as well.

The Bible tells us the tribulation will be a time of unprecedented trouble, of God’s wrath and the vindication of God’s holiness.

The book of Revelation tells us there will be seven angels with seven trumpets. When the first angel sounds the first trumpet, hail and fire mixed with blood will rain upon the earth. I have an umbrella handy. And galoshes.

The second angel will turn a third of the sea into blood. The third will turn a third of the water bitter. Thus, I bought a filter pitcher.

The fourth angel will turn a third of the sun, moon and stars dark. I laid in a supply of flashlight batteries.

And that, the Bible says, will be the good part. The fifth angel will unleash locusts with the sting of a scorpion. Hence the bug spray and calamine lotion.

Angel No. 6 will set loose four other angels, who will kill a third of mankind. I plan to hide. Angel No. 7 will trigger a severe earthquake.

Then there’s going to be a pregnant woman, and a dragon, a war in heaven, a beast coming out of the sea, another one coming out of the earth, more angels and a winepress to crush the unbelievers. Can I take a rain check?

Then, on top of all that, the seven bowls of God’s wrath will be poured out on the earth. There will be festering sores. Keep some body lotion handy. The seas and rivers will turn into blood. The sun will scorch people with fire. Shades and sunscreen, that’s the ticket.

There will tongue gnawing, drought, frogs, more hail, more earthquakes, lightning, thunder, a lake of burning sulfur and just general mayhem.

Whew.

And it all begins Saturday, at 6 p.m., if you believe 89-year-old civil engineer turned California radio evangelist Harold Camping. He has done the calculations and says 6 p.m. Saturday the end of the world will begin. The actual end of the world won’t come until Oct. 21. That’s a Friday, which is a crummy day for the world to end. Why can’t it be a Monday? Mondays always feel like the end of the world anyway.

At any rate, Camping and his followers have been touting Saturday as Judgment Day, posting 2,200 billboards throughout the country, criss-crossing the U.S. in RV convoys to spread the news.

Some of Camping’s followers, like New Yorker Robert Fitzpatrick, are putting their money where their beliefs are. Fitzpatrick has poured $144,000 of his own money into an ad campaign touting Saturday as Judgment Day. That was his entire retirement fund.

Adrienne Martinez is 27 and pregnant, with a 2-year-old child and a husband. She and said hubby, Joel, quit their jobs and moved from New York to Florida. They budgeted their money so it would run out today.

Is Harold Camping a heretic, as some have suggested, a false prophet? Is he simply a misguided believer, or is he some sort of charlatan? There are reports some of Camping’s followers are selling their homes and donating the money to him.

I believe Judgment Day will come and Jesus will one day return. I just don’t believe it will be Saturday.

But I don’t know. In fact, nobody does. Matthew 24:36 says, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

It could be Saturday. It also could be a thousand years from now, or 10,000, or 100,000. It could be today.

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Be ready. That’s great advice. Not get ready. Be ready, at all times. Live, as Tim McGraw sings, like you were dying. Dance, as the saying goes, as if no one were watching. Sing as if no one were listening. Love as if you’ve never been hurt. Live every day as if it were your last.

Do all that, but plan for the future, as well. And don’t listen to people who claim to know when the end will come.

But just in case it does come Saturday, I’m sorry for every wrong I’ve ever done, I love all my friends and family and, in case I am raptured, the cat food is in the cabinet over the washing machine.

Mullin is senior writer of the News & Eagle. E-mail him at jmullin@enidnews.com, at least until 6 p.m. Saturday.