September 11, 2004

Waste of time

That seemed to be the theme for us today, waste of time. First we decided to go to the Technology & Lifestyles Expo, put on by our local NBC affiliate. This entailed a 20-minute, one-way drive from home to downtown Dallas. A 10-minute search for a parking space—which cost us the highway-robberish fee of $10—was then followed by a 10-minute trek from said parking space in to the expo hall.

We left 15 minutes later. Yes, it was really, really, really lame.

The coolest thing going was the participation of the Dallas Personal Robotics Group, which had a kitchen-trash can-sized bot roaming the aisles with a sign noting the location of their booth. The booth had a nice little crowd, and most of the bots I saw were RC car-sized, with a few Aibo-like dog-bots thrown in for good measure. There was a Segway at another booth, but, of course, you couldn’t try it out.

Dell was a major sponsor of the event, but shockingly, did not have a booth, or really any presence whatsoever. Not that I’m a fan of the PC box mover, but you’d a-thunk that a technology company sponsoring a supposed-technology event would want to show up. Their absence only served to underscore how incredibly lame the entire thing was. The big highlight seemed to be the chance to meet a real-life soap opera star from Days of Our Lives at the NBC 5 booth, which NBC 5 touted relentlessly for the past month. All in all, there was very little technology-lifestyle exhibits, whereas you could find a couple of small colleges, a consumer credit counseling service, and the Dallas Fire Department’s “Smoke House” participation booth.

For shame, for shame, NBC 5. I wasted 40 minutes and 10 bucks just to get in to your crappy show. The show itself was free, and clearly underscored the maxim, “You get what you pay for.” If you are in the Dallas area, and are thinking of going this weekend or next year, please spare yourself the misery.

That being a complete bust, we headed up the Dallas North Tollway toward Frisco, and Stonebriar Mall. After a lunch stop at Blue Mesa, we headed to Stonebriar, when my wife saw they had a Sam Moon Trading Company in one of the out lots. Having heard raves from friends about the establishment, she insisted we check it out.

First, the parking lot for the store, which is actually in a small strip mall with four other businesses, is incredibly small. We eventually gave up trying to find a spot and parked in the mall parking lot, then walked across the mall’s circular drive. This particular Sam Moon location—and they could all be like this as far as I know—was actually divided in to two stores. We entered the smaller one first; it was mostly luggage and travel-related stuff. A goodly selection, but I was unimpressed based on the hype received from my spouse. And there was so much luggage littering the floor spaces, up to and including most of the aisles, that it was difficult to maneuver our son’s stroller around.

So we were quite surprised to then see, upon our exit, that there was a sign on the door which we missed, clearly stating “No strollers on Sat”. You will note from today’s date this is a Saturday.

When we tried to enter the larger Sam Moon establishment, we were turned away by the security guard at the door, because of our stroller. I replied, to no one in particular, and not very loudly, though a few around us heard, “Sam Moon sucks.” We departed, and I plan to never go back.

Sam Moon chooses to discriminate against working mothers—the stores are clearly targeted at women—by not allowing strollers on Saturdays. Moms who work during the week, then head home to take care of their families, and have only Saturday to go shopping, cannot take their infant or toddler children with them to the much-hyped Sam Moon.

Why not, you say, just take them with no stroller? Have you, dear reader who would suggest such a thing, tried to shop with a one-year-old in your arms, on your hip, for more than ten minutes? What you suggest, especially in light of the environs of the Sam Moon Trading Company, is utter foolishness, as many a mom will attest.

The obvious solution is to leave said infant or toddler home with their college football-watching dad, but this one doesn’t work for single working moms. It also doesn’t apply in our case, since the college football-watching dad was actually with working mom, attempting to go in to Sam Moon. Better to avoid it altogether; it’s all knock-offs anyway.

I should have called the Frisco fire marshal, because the luggage store was obviously a fire hazard…

Posted by retrophisch at September 11, 2004 05:08 PM | TrackBack