Archive for November, 2008

Cushion for our rears

New CouchWe inherited our old couch and love seat about a year ago from my brother and sister-in-law when they moved into their house. They worked out great for a while.  Sometime last spring, the bottom of the couch started to fall out.  We just figured it was oldish because we had gotten it at least third-hand (my brother had gotten it at a garage sale). We can’t pinpoint it to a specific incident, but I do know it was after the LOST weekend, otherwise people wouldn’t have been able to sit on it for very long.  It became uncomfortable and I stopped sitting on it unless we had guests – and sometimes not even then.

Earlier this fall, Miles got fed up with it and flipped the couch over.  It appeared that the right side had never had any sort of bracing to help support it – it’s not that it had fallen off or broken off a few years ago, it was never there in the first place.  But there was one on the left side.  So Miles pounded in some of the nails that were pulling out and we braced up the back end with a stack of text books and figured that would get us through a few more months.  (We had planned to buy new furniture early in 2009.)  Unfortunately, last Saturday the couch completely broke. Any sort of support we were getting from the fabric fell out and it was no longer usable.  We put it out on our back patio to get it out of the living room and then felt sorry for ourselves.

Sunday, while eating with some of Miles’s family, we looked through the ads in the paper and found a great deal from HOM Furniture.  They had the financing we needed and also had a pretty big sale.  So we decided we’d check it out and see if we could find anything good.  We looked around the store, sat on a ton of couches (which ended up being really exhausting for me) and just when we had almost decided on one, I found the couch I was looking for.  And we bought it.  It came as a set with a chair and a really nice ottoman/table, but we decided we couldn’t afford to get a set and we settled with just the couch and will make do with mismatched furniture for now – we are keeping the original love seat because it’s still in good shape.

It was delivered on Thursday and we discuss the delivery timing in this week’s Dear Future Kids podcast. (Which, I no longer plan to plug weekly – but there is a link in my sidebar to it so be sure to check it out every week!)

I love this couch. I needed one that was comfortable to sit in and nap on. This is it.  It looks like leather but it’s actually microfiber and that’s obvious as soon as you sit on it or touch it.  It will be difficult to match to in the future, if we don’t get the same style of furniture, but people make it work and all you need is a couple of matching pillows to tie a room together so I’m not too concerned.  Now you must all come visit our couch!

Old news but maybe not to you

Over two weeks ago, I read an article in Under Construction’s Brand New that Pepsi has rebranded itself.  I’ve tweeted about my thoughts and have said many times that I wasn’t going to talk about it anymore, but realized today that I had not said anything on my blog.  So here are my thoughts. Leave a comment with what you think of the new branding.

Now, while the Pepsi logo itself is memorable and distinct, I can’t for the life of me think of what the Mountain Dew or Sierra Mist cans/bottles looked like a month ago. Not necessarily because they were bad design – but they just weren’t memorable branding.  I think they often changed too, which would make it even harder to remember.

I have to say that this rebranding as a whole leaves me feeling “meh”. Turning the Pepsi wave into a smile (yes, that’s seriously what it’s supposed to be, smiling at you) is creepy and sets itself up to be negatively parodied quite easily.  It also destroys what little branding Pepsi had developed.

There are some good things from the design, however.  The fact that Diet Pepsi’s smile is a little thinner and Pepsi Max’s is a little thicker are clever – if you can see past the look of irregularity. While clever and unique to the specific colas, it isn’t different enough so it looks poorly constructed.  The simplicity of the labels reminds me of energy drinks, but just the one color background is appealing to me.

Mountain Dew, which has been considered for years as Xtreme! is now mediocre and appears to be as laid back as the feeling you get from the Mello Yellow branding. The switch from “Mountain Dew” to “Mtn Dew” seems to try too hard to be hip – because anything that’s easily textable is most definitely hip, right?  The label is no longer extreme and makes me think 70s.  Maybe Mtn Dew has given up on being extreme, since there are far more other drinks to choose from to get that energy “kick” that Mountain Dew once monopolized.  I do feel that this branding will translate nicely onto snowboards and other extreme sports gear – but if Mtn Dew is no longer extreme, are they relevant as a sponsor in those types of sporting events any more?

Sierra Mist has had the most unmemorable branding of them all. I seem to think there may have been a mountain involved in a previous label, but that may be as old as the very first one. In any case, I would have to say I mostly approve of the Sierra Mist can.  While it uses the most cliched effect in design (Gaussian Blur – or any other blur for that matter), I still feel it’s effective.  It doesn’t at all look like your typical pop can, which some would argue is bad.  However, why do we need it to?  While this design maybe would work best as an airfreshner branding, I applaud them for taking a risk on this one.  I think the Sierra Mist branding is the one most people are saying they either love or hate. No in-betweeners on this one.

All in all, I feel Pepsi did not need a rebranding.  The familiar Pepsi wave makes me think of pouring a Pepsi into a glass.  The new one makes me think of things they probably aren’t going for.  Business-wise, they probably did it because of a drop in sales. So logically, it *does* make sense to rebrand. But who’s surprised by a drop in sales? You can’t buy a can of pop at the end of the month after paying rent.  I’m not buying Pepsi – but I’m not buying Coke either.  Hopefully Coke isn’t as trigger happy as Pepsi is with their rebranding.

Photos courtesy of Brand New.

DFK 002 is up!

Check out DFK 002: Keep On Being Pregnant.  We discuss the baby’s development in Week 8, my symptoms and the use of skin care products during pregnancy.  Enjoy!

A little something new

DFK logo

Introducing…Dear Future Kids, the podcast.  It’s a weekly podcast about a little something new coming soon. The podcasts will be put up on the Dear Future Kids site.

The first podcast, DFK 001: Fatigued, Bitter Superhero, talks about where the baby is in development, our preparations for the baby, the sharing of news with our parents, and much more! Enjoy, and keep visiting that site, as we will be posting and adding photos, etc.