January 2012

Working in email marketing I see a wide range of emails hitting my inbox – some good, some not so good. I’m a stickler for aesthetically pleasing emails, when I look in to my inbox I want to find beautiful emails staring back at me. That’s not always the case. It was, however, the case this week.

I’m always telling my clients to build up a relationship with their customers. To do this, I tell them to direct their email campaigns to the needs & wants of their customer base – not only will this increase open & click rates, but it will also build a brand relationship for future conversions. It’s quite easy to do this in a few ways, the email I received this week achieved exactly what I want from my clients. I’ll explain why…

The back story – the important part
Coming up in the next week is my birthday.

Back to the email received
As I’m scanning through my emails on Wednesday morning, when I saw the Subject Line ‘Happy Birthday Gary’. Ok, caught my attention as the birthday wishes are a little early. I click open the email and find an email from a pizza establishment from back in the United Kingdom, Pizza Express. The email is strikingly simple, beautiful & elegant. It really captures my eye. You’ll see as you reach the end of my post the email in its full glory, but please hold your horses and continue reading.

As my eye drifts further down the page, I notice some pretty impressive personalization – always a nice touch – but this went a bit further than placing ‘Dear Gary’ at the top of the email. As I said, nice touch.

We get to the crux of the email, the bit we’ve all been waiting for. Boom. “Happy Birthday. We would like to help you celebrate your upcoming birthday with a…. wait for it…


Result. All I need to do is bring a friend, enjoy some lovely food and show my waiter the code supplied in the email. Simple*

All this was made easy but Pizza Express capturing my Date of Birth, they did this with a promotion last year. Date of Birth can be captured using all manner of way: sign-up forms, competitions etc. Plenty and I’m sure we can discuss that at another point in the future.

So your patience has to be rewarded. You want to see the email that inspired me to write? Well, of course you do or else you wouldn’t still be here. Here it is. Enjoy!


See , I told you it was beautiful. Thank you Pizza Express!

*It would be simple, if I still lived in the UK, however living in New York will prove difficult. Nonetheless, it’s a great email.

We are looking a new roommate and was wondering if you wanted to join our adventure. If you fancy yourself as that person, read on. If not, well read on anyway – you never know, this maybe the perfect adventure you had never thought about.

To start this mystical adventure, you’d be living so close to New York City, you could literally throw a rock at it. You’d be taking the larger of the three rooms available. The room comes with ensuite bathroom – which includes a toilet!! The room also has an in-built closet space. The room is large enough to fit a king bed, a desk, additional wardrobe space & has a great view of the Hudson River & Manhattan. By our great, yet humble, geography skills you’d be looking at….hmmmm…probably downtown manhattan.

Ok, let’s get out of the room now, actually, let’s forget about the apartment altogether! Let’s take this adventure outside, where the sun is shining, the sky is clear & a light breeze brushes your face. We’re now in Newport. 3 minutes and 12 seconds away from the PATH train in to Lower Manhattan. The PATH can get you in to Manhattan (33rd street final stop) in around the 17 minute mark (weekday). It’s a little longer on weekends as it has to pick up the hip kids at Hoboken.

Other than the PATH, there are some great amenities in the Newport area. The mall, which houses such classics as Macy’s, JCPennys etc is only a few minutes stroll away. There is also a movie theater, which has likely shown such masterclass films as Fast Five and Terminator 4 previously.

Other places to explore on this adventure is the local Duane Reade, which is situated over the other side of the street. A local gymnasium, where the healthy & buff folk go. We have a local grocery store, which has been known to sell all kinds of great food produce at a decent price. Actually, I don’t know why I didn’t mention this before but, we have an awesome liquor store a mere matter of moments away. Although they do deliver too!

Other things which may entertain you: if you have hair there is a hair salon. If you have kids (not allowed) there is a kids store. If you have decent clothes that can only be dry cleaned, we have a dry cleaners! If you like a massage, there is a beauty salon – it cannot be confirmed if they offer happy endings.

Ok, back to the apartment we go. We have a cool set of concierge dudes – nice to them & they fist pump ya as you go by. If you’re not nice, they’ll open your mail (narh, only kidding!)

Each floor has it’s own laundry room. Bring quarters!

As our adventure draws to a close, we’re back in the apt again. We have a shared kitchen space – includes a microwave, fridge freezer, dishwasher, oven & plenty of cupboard space. We mostly order out, but we do cook on occasions.

The living room is mostly used to spend the evening catching up on shows such as Hardcore Pawn, Pawn Stars & Storage Wars. Other shows watched, in no particular order of favoritism: Glee, House, American Horror Story, Walking Dead, the Daily Show and a collection of other awesome shows. Sundays are generally Football days, but with the SuperBowl fast approaching that probably won’t be the case for much longer.

Smoking is not allowed in the shared areas, but can be done in your room if so desired.

We should point out at this time, for legal reasons, it has been known that we’ll flip our couch, order 30beers and play beer pong for the day.

So, you’re either thinking one of two things now: firstly, you’re not keen on this magnificent adventure. If that’s the case – be on your merry way. If you’re thinking, actually this could be where all my dreams come true, please read on.

You’ll be sharing with two, pretty sound guys. Let me introduce you to them:

Szaszy, was born & raised in New Jersey. He’s a lovable rouge, who likes to get up to mischief at the weekends. Szaszy likes to visit the local gymnasium, he tells me he works out, but I think he goes to look at the pretty ladies. Szaszy likes video games & listening to Adele. Szaszy is a fan of the New York Giants & New York Yankees (but only in October). Szaszy’s favorite tipple is Crown Royal.

Gary, that’s me, came from that small village over the Atlantic ocean. You may have heard of it. Great Britain, if you haven’t. Gary is an Apple fanboy, reads comic books & collects toys. He is a little bit of a geek, but not much. Gary has a thing for zombies. It should be noted that Gary is a fan of the Red Sox. Gary’s favorite drink is Stella Artois.

Szaszy & Gary work together in Midtown.

Now you’ve met the krew, we need to meet you. What we are looking for is someone to pay their rent & bills on time, so you must have a job. We generally do not drink throughout the week, so no parties Sunday thru Thursday. Although it has been known to open up some beers/whiskey if it’s been a bad day in the office.

If at this point you’re still interested, please email us & tell us a little about yourself. Tell us about your work life, your love life, your friends, your extra-curricular activities. Anything so that we can decide if you’ll fit in to our life.

The room is available ASAP. So for $1400 (plus months security) you can move in as soon as you can get your ass here.

Pictures are available on request.

Hope to see you soon
Gary & Szaszy

Everyone loves Angry Birds, everyone. It’s been downloaded 13,977,254,494 times, which for the non-mathematicians amongst us, is approximately twice the amount of humans on this planet. So, it’s fair to say – everyone loves Angry Birds.

angry birds

For the minute percentage that have never heard of Angry Birds, it’s a game of flinging multicolored angry birds at green pigs, which have stolen the bird’s eggs. The green pigs are located in different built structures, which you have to knock down with the angry birds. It’s like a shit metaphor for our lives, flinging ourselves hopelessly at things, whilst the government take our eggs & sit in their pretty buildings. The green pigs always win & continue on their merry way with our eggs.

Anyways, that’s not the reason for my post today. No. This is dedicated to the dick that decided to play Angry Birds this morning on the 8.23am PATH train from Jerkoff Square to 33rd St. Not only did he play Angry Birds on the packed train, which isn’t so bad – we’ve all been there. However, he played it with the sound on full. Instant dick move.

Now anyone that has played Angry Birds, we all agree that the sound becomes annoying & irritating within….oh…3 seconds – so the game is always played in silence – happily flinging birds from one side of the field to the other, waiting anxiously to see if the maximum three star’s are awarded for your destruction of the green pigs. So why on earth this dick decided that today would be the day that he’d play the sound on full is beyond me.

To make matters worse, he had his earphones in, so he was gleefully raping our ears whilst he enjoyed his country music. Twat.

What is the most pointless, moronic invention ever made? The one invention that is most likely going to have me punch the user square in the jaw. You’ll probably guess something like a violin or Greek yoghurt – well you’d be bloody wrong. Umbrellas – that’s the correct answer.


Umbrellas are by far the most annoying, craptastic invention on this world. Why? Well, why not? Its raining outside. You can clearly see from your window, before you leave the warm & dry cocoon of your home, that there is a gale blowing outside – what do you reach for first? Well it certainly ain’t your cell phone to call your boss & make up some mysterious, deadly virus that means you have to stay at home & watch episodes of Lost all day. No, the ignoramus in you picks up the umbrella.

The umbrella, for pete’s sake, is a flimsy $5 contraption made from cheap metal & ugly material, something that you fully expect to save you from the ‘end of days’ storm outside? Oh. OK then, give it a shot…

Oh. You find the instant you put it up it’s blown inside out & ripped from your rainsoaked little grip and blown half way down the street. At this point, any sane person would decide to embrace the storm – minus said umbrella. Oh no. I literally saw a man running hell bent on catching is Duane Reade special. Hell bent, running as if his life depending on catching his prized possession. Running in the opposite direction of the place he needed to be. Dick.

This morning, the entrance of the PATH station was littered with abandoned, disfigured umbrellas, I imagine the scene is reminiscent of Battersea Dogs Home on December 28th.

Another reason that the umbrella sucks as an invention by mankind, no one that uses them has any umbrella etiquette. Not one. They stick them up in the least appropriate heights, gouging out eyes of the nearest passerby. Umbrella users also seem to congregate together, forming one united umbrella – causing havoc for non-umbrella users. A wall of shit canvas fused together by idiots & cheap metal.

I think an accord should be struck for all users of the umbrella, that would cut out users by approximately 34% instantaneously. If you use an umbrella, in any way shape or form, you know that you deserve to be fined – a firm slap upside the head will suffice. If, however, you decide against the use of the umbrella and instead opt for a nice rain mac or a hat then you deserve to receive a high-5 from other non-users. This in turn would give the non-users a sense of goodwill for the day, a proud feeling deep in their inner-being, that they know together they are ridding the world of the umbrella & that God forsaken song by Rhianna.

I should quickly mention that my perfect journey to work yesterday was indeed a one-off. Today was certainly back to normal.

The zombie apocalypse is here! It must be. There can be no other explanation. It’s finally here. The end of the world. The day I’ve waited for has finally arrived.

Oh. ok, so not quite end of the world stuff – but it felt pretty close! It couldn’t have been that far off.

Leaving for work this morning, just a little after 9am EST, the streets seemed a tad too quiet for a midweek adventure to the office. The air certainly had a different feel to it, I could feel it caress my skin in a different manner to the usual brisk, harsh manner of usual.

Entering the train station, still far too quite for a Wednesday morning, but my brain is now fixed on the morning rush hour traffic on the PATH train. I think my brain knows to shut itself off each morning from around 9am to 10am, it puts itself on ‘auto-pilot’ mode till I reach the office door.

End of the World

Stood by the platform, eagerly anticipating the arrival of the next train, I see the blinding lights of the next train approach. This is where the end of the world approaches…

As the train pulls in, it’s stares me straight in the face, there it is. Something that you always wish for but never happens, it was just there.

There on the train was an open seat. Yes, I’ll say that again as I know the surprise will have knocked you for six. There on the train was an open seat. This never happens on a train in to work. Never in London, never in New York. Never at all.

Seated, reading my Charlie Brooker book, it was a rather pleasant journey. One that I didn’t really want to end. I could sit all day in that perfect seat reading. Alas, the journey ending at 33rd Street.

It was only on my way out of the station that it got me thinking again, how rare an occurrence this actually was. Like a unicorn or rocking horse poop. Which then got me worrying, the fear rising, was I really awake? Was I going to wake from my auto-pilot mode to find the train pulling in, packed to the rafters – as per tradition?

Thankfully, no. I didn’t wake up. I really did experience this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

01/11/2012 was the date. The date of greatness. It’ll never be forgotten, always will be appreciated.


Like all sticker fans, I like to tabs on the works of one of the best custom sticker producers out there – stickermule. Their latest avenue is a line of custom stickers for DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo, after a little Internet search, is a new search engine. However, unlike a lot of the more ‘well known’ brands of search engine, DuckDuckGo don’t track your searches. There are also other benefits to searching with DuckDuckGo – but you take a read on their About Us page.

Anyways, less about the search engine and more about some awesome stickers. Stickermule have put together a collection of DuckDuckGo themed stickers, ranging from the DuckDuckGo logo to the more obscure, but nonetheless awesome, ducks dressed as the late Steve Jobs or Picasso. I mean, who doesn’t want to see an duck drawn in the style of Picasso – right?

Check out their full collection here: DuckDuckGo Collection

Also, whilst you are over there, please check out Stickermule itself, their tagline is ‘custom stickers that kick ass’ I can confirm they do indeed kick ass.

Why can’t people walk in straight lines? It’s fairly basic physics, one foot in front of the other. However, some moronic walkers just can’t grasp this simple functionality.

Now I’m no perfect walker. I walk too fast – I want to get from A to B in the quickest time possible. I veer in & out of other people, dawdling along at their own pace, without a care in the world. It’s not the dawdlers that irk me, they can dawdle all they like.

My blood boils when I’m walking past folk and they suddenly start to veer in to my path, for no rhyme or reason. They’re not doing it on purpose, they just have no idea how to work in a straight line.

Whilst I’m on the subject of dickhead walkers, what’s the reason for simply stopping in mid-walk? No warning, nothing. Boom – stop. When I’m mid-flow, in my walking zone, nothing beats me up more than a walker that stops dead in their tracks. I guess this is the same for drivers who get road rage, I’m getting walkers rage. I’m going to start throwing elbows soon.

You’d think they were zombies with their walking patterns. At least zombies are awesome.

Rant over.


Collect & Display Toy Terror Bash Projects Jon-Paul Kaiser RunDMB David Stevenson Art Spanky Stokes

Unlimited Movies

Start Date: 17th March 2013 Number of Movies watched: 10


No Alcohol. For January.
For Cancer Research.
Online: £515.00
Text: £50.00
Offline: £10.00
Total: £575.00
Target: £500.00
GiftAid: £53.75