Sunday, November 04, 2007

Lex Necessitum: Luther Appliance and Furniture

As you can tell by the title, "Luther Appliance and Furniture" struck me as an obvious front for Superman's Greatest Nemesis. In that context, the fact that they specifically cater to the families of armed forces personnel adds more than a little irony to it.

But nobody ever accused Lex Luthor (and indeed, it IS a different spelling) of being a bad businessman. Not ever Clark Kent, intrepid reporter. I mean, why work up a sweat if you could put him away for twenty to life for aggravated consumer fraud? So, smirking uncontrollably, I took the assignment, pasted the url into my bowser and found Good Things.

They want you to look at this link. Military shopping. Alas, it leads to an unlinked full page ad and NOT the site, which is here. So, open the ad in a new window. It's worth reading if you have someone overseas.

The site is where the interesting stuff is, and if you are a member of their target demographic, you may find this service a godsend.

Active Duty Military, Federal Civilian and Municipal Workers are their demographic - people with good but not great incomes and in some cases, all too much job security.

I'm thinking of active duty military personnel when I say that.

Anyway, Luther Appliance and Furniture specializes in flexible financing for the underpaid but trustworthy, with services including their own credit card, which has some unusual terms. Bad news for you if you don't manage credit well, but if you are a thrifty person who manages your budget to a penny, it will either save you money or at least stretch your budget. And, at 21 percent, their financing is not cheap, but it is within the range of other store credit cards.

If you don't want their credit card, they take major cards and PayPal.

Ok, having gotten that out of the way, I'd like to tell you why I bothered in the first place.

First: The prices are quite competitive. I checked the things I would know, and we are talking high quality at fair prices; MORE than fair if you pay cash on the barrel-head. The selection is sparse, so I assume they are making huge volume buys, but it's not low-end at all.

Second: The Luther Homeplanner: an interactive tool for finding out if that couch or media center will fit the space you have. It's really very cool, you should bookmark the page just for this. Tools like this make it safe to shop online.

And that leads me to my third point:

Military families rarely have the luxury of learning the community they are based in and building relationships. This site will make the shopping aspect of that problem suck just a little less and make Home Front Support just a little easier. That alone would make posting about this worthwhile.

And a final observation: If you are wondering what would be a good thing to boost the morale of your people overseas, while an IPOD is one good idea, so is this - Cuisinart" GRIDDLER Electric Griddle and Grill.

It is a truism that military rations suck, and this has apparently never been more true than now, since it was outsourced to Haliburton. So, if your folks have power, find out what converter might be needed. If they don't, spring for a small, portable generator. Trust me, this gizmo will make scroungables into comfort food, and it's possible to keep it clean and operational under field conditions. (The removable plates will come clean easily, even with a wet-wipe.)

Believe it or not, you can even make a decent cookie with this thing! So get two, and figure out how to do it with boxed mixes. Then send the mix with instructions. We can't be there for them, but we can still help.

Throw in a string of white LED Christmas lights - low power, decent light. I blogged about a source for those earlier, so you can search for it here. Find the right generator and it should all pack into a hefty duffle, ready to toss in a humvee and create a little civilization.

An entire platoon will love you forever.

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