by William Needham Finley IV™

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Humor

Time Warp at the City of Raleigh Museum

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As the state capital, and the most important city in North Carolina, Raleigh has a unique history worth celebrating. If you’re looking for a night on the town where you can celebrate history by reliving the past, then look no further. Raleigh’s hottest party is Time Warp, and it’s coming up on April 21st. This 1970s themed blast from the past is the creation of the City of Raleigh Museum.

Since opening in 1993, the museum has collected and cared for artifacts, curated exhibits, and provided programming related to Raleigh’s history and heritage. Time Warp supports the museum’s mission to “Preserve Raleigh’s Past for the Future.” This party has everything, including:

Beer, wine, an assortment of LaCroix mixers, and a signature cocktail poured by ITBlake the bartender

Hors d’oeuvres and plates from some of your favorite Raleigh restaurants

A dance contest and a costume contest judged by our friends Mayor Nancy McFarlane and Joe Ovies, co-host of the Adam and Joe show on 99.9 FM The Fan

A Trolley Pub piñata filled with Bose noise cancelling headphones so you’ll never hear another WHHHOOOOOOO again

An auction of local art and a silent auction of items from Raleigh’s finest businesses and restaurants

Exhibits of ancient artifacts found in Raleigh, including:

Blueprints for the Weather Dome™

The street light from the DrunkTown ad. This will be available for photo opportunities.

Holy water blessed by the Pope during his visit to Raleigh

Recently discovered dinosaur fossils from Dix Park that will be used as a liquor luge

Plans for the Downtown Canal™

The mimosa glass from the first pre-noon brunch

There will also be an after party at Foster’s, where “Murder On The Dancefloor” will play on repeat.

An after-after party will be held in the Village Subway, where The Connells will perform.

We may have misunderstood some of these details while talking with the museum. Check out the Time Warp event website for accurate event information and tickets. If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, check out the sponsorship opportunities.

What: Time Warp 2018

When: Saturday, April 21, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: City of Raleigh Museum – 220 Fayetteville Street

Patagonia Unveils Seersucker Line

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Raleigh Residents First In Line For Patagonia Seersucker Collection

Patagonia fans had been waiting months for this moment. The famously preppy outdoor brand entered the world of Seersucker on Thursday, just in time for Easter. Patagonia held a secret pop-up shop at Great Outdoor Provision Co. in Cameron Village to debut the new line.

“We wanted a look that would be multifunctional. This line is perfect for folks who will never set foot on a hiking trail, but still want to display the prestige of Patagonia. We also included items that cater to the .06% of our customers who do go outdoors and want to do so in style,” said Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia.

The Patagonia Seersucker line consists of the following:

Patagonia Seersucker Suit – $499

Classic seersucker stripes trace a sharp, clean-lined design on this suit. Self-stuffs into chest pocket with carabiner clip-in loop. This luxe layer is perfect for your collection.

Bucks – $100

While these aren’t seersucker, they do pair perfectly with the other items in the collection. Four eye lace-up with a non-marking rubber outsole.

Seersucker Dress (monogramming available) – $329

This structured skater dress is perfect for an Easter service at St. Michael’s or White Memorial. The half sleeves feature an eye-catching flared design, while the upper thigh length hemline maintains a babydoll look.


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Fleece Vest – Men – $99

Classic vest made with midweight Synchilla-sucker polyester fleece. Great for hiking the paved Raleigh Greenway.


Down Vest – Women – $99

This classic Down Sweater-sucker Vest is lightweight and windproof, thanks to the 800-fill-power Traceable Down. The perfect warmth for waiting in your climate controlled SUV in the Root or Lacy pickup lines.


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Down Sleeping Bag – $519

An elegant, real-world bag, built with the best materials available. Performs in all conditions, including summer camp at Sea Gull or Seafarer, and neighborhood sleepovers.

The collection was an immediate hit. A manager at Great Outdoor Provision Co. said that about 200 people were waiting in line for the store to open on Thursday morning. The Patagonia Seersucker items were gone in approximately 16 minutes.

A Five Points couple hired ITBlake the intern to wait in line overnight and hold their spot. “This stuff is going to sell for triple in micITBit,” said Mary Cameron Knoll Craig, referring to the secret closed Facebook buy/sell/trade group with over 9,000 members.

Her husband, Vance Craig VI, added, “Now we can slightly stand out while still wearing the same clothes as everyone in our peer group.”



Administrators at White Memorial Presbyterian Church rejoiced upon hearing the news. “Every Easter we try to break the world record for most Seersucker at a religious service. This clothing line will definitely help,” said an unnamed church official. The current Seersucker world record is held by White Memorial and was set in 2017.

Patagonia has already increased production of the Seersucker line after seeing the success of the pop-up shop.


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My Valentime’s Day With Juliet From Customer Support

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I spent my Valentime’s Day falling in and out of love with a woman named Juliet, for real. I will now share this tragic love story exactly as it happened. For context, Juliet works for Buffer, a company that created an online tool used to schedule social media posts. I pay $10 a month for this service and have used it for almost a year to make running the media empire a little easier.

Everything was working just fine until Tuesday night. Buffer, a company that employs 80 people, wasn’t putting the correct images in my posts. I looked on their site for support and found that they didn’t have a chat option. I was instructed to fill out a form and Tweet at them. So I Tweeted at them.

I spent the next 36 hours chatting with who I thought would become the love of my life. I shared most of the story on social media already, but I’ve decided to turn the saga into a play so that I can add “playwright” to my LinkedIn.


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This post pairs well with “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits playing on loop in the background. 

Act I

Prologue

We begin our play on the eve of Valentime’s Day. Love is in the air, but one in the house of ITB Insider is forlorn. It appears that house Buffer is not honoring their vow to post the words of William Needham Finley IV to his coveted social media platforms. William is outraged at this injustice. After searching far and wide for a contact page, he turned to Twitter, to express his rage.

The night came and went with no reply. The next morning, Juliet appeared and caught William’s eye.

Could this be love for William on Valentime’s Day? He doth not protest, but replied right away.

Seven minutes passed, which in Twitter-time is almost an entire day. He tweeted once more at his potential bae.

Juliet replied and included a smile. William was smitten, even after waiting a while. 


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Act II

Juliet slideth into to the DMs, and immediately dropped the L-word. William kept it cool, even as his emotions stirred. He began to explain his strife. William went on in great detail, since social media is his life.



Time ticked away as Juliet failed to reply. William thought about eating a Tide Pod, the most lit way to die.




Before eating the Tide Pod, William reached out one more time. If this didn’t work, he’d call Stacy Miller to report this heinous crime.

After putting it all on the table, a reply was received. But this reply came from Daniel, and William felt deceived. In between each message it took Daniel four hours to type. If this were a dating app, to the left William would swipe.


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Act III

There was no mention of Juliet, where did she go? It was up to William to determine if Daniel was a friend or foe.


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Night came, and from Juliet not a peep. William had lost hope and went to sleep. The morning arrived, and with it came Juliet’s replies. William threw the Tide Pods aside, and couldn’t believe his eyes.

Juliet’s message spoke of living in a different time zone. William knew this meant that they would never…..be together romantically.

He checked his Twitter mentions and saw Juliet taking the blame. But he still wasn’t sure if this was just another game.

William knew it was better to Tweet like nobody’s watching, and always love with the upper hand. So he ended things with Juliet and continued binge watching Homeland.

For never was a story of more regret, than this of William Needham Finley IV and Buffer’s Juliet.

Exeunt

I expect someone will erect a golden statue of these screenshots to memorialize this love story forever, just like they did in Romeo and Juliet. I’m going to send this over to Raleigh Little Theatre to see if they’ll let me perform this play. I also need to call my lawyer, Stacy Miller, to see if Juliet and I were together long enough to be common-law married. If you’re interested in the movie rights to this saga, please contact Stacy Miller at Miller Law Group. Thank you.

Oh, and I moved the real Prologue to the end because I figured people would get bored and stop reading. Here it is:

Prologue

Two Twitter accounts, both alike in dignity,

In the Twitterverse, where we lay our scene,

From a customer support request comes great malignity,

Where civil Tweets make civil DMs unclean,

From forth the fatal DMs of these two foes,

A pair of star-crossed millennials begin and end their romantic life,

Whose misadventured piteous overthrows

Do with their death bury their followers’ strife.

And the continuance of media empire ascension,

Is now the 13 screenshots of our blog post,

The which if you with patient eyes do pay attention,

What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to make the most.


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Seaboard Wine Chosen As Exclusive Retailer Of ITBlessed Glasses

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In a move that many are calling a “game changer,” Seaboard Wine & Tasting Bar and ITB Insider have leveraged synergies to provide customers with one of the hottest products on the market. The highly coveted ITBlessed wine glasses, part of the Shop ITB home goods line, are now available exclusively at Seaboard Wine for $15 each (or 2 for $25).

Analysts are already praising the move. “It’s absolutely genius. Having the creativity to pair a wine glass with an established company like Seaboard Wine, who sells wine, is brilliant,” said wine and retail analyst Serena van der Woodsen.

After successfully launching a fashion line and home goods line in December, William Needham Finley IV decided it was time to expand into physical locations. “The online store has been great, but I wanted people to experience the craftsmanship of our products in the right environment, while shopping local,” said Finley IV.

The decision was seen as “revolutionary” by industry experts. “The timing aligns perfectly with Valentine’s Day. Having the foresight to know that a holiday is coming up and then to execute something like this is rarely done in the world of retail. You don’t see other media empires making those types of moves,” added Serena van der Woodsen.



The markets reacted positively within minutes of the news breaking.

“With the help of Seaboard Wine, and all of the micITBit members and ITB Insider readers who drink rosé alllll daayyy, we’re expecting at least $6 million in sales in the first week,” said Finley IV.

Located at 802 Semart Drive #118 in Seaboard Station, Seaboard Wine & Tasting Bar has served Raleigh for over 20 years. We’ve partnered with them to bring our readers the ITBest wine and rosé.


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ITBest of the Week February 5

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Welcome to ITBest of the Week, a look at the most important events of the last week. It’s like if an e-mail newsletter and Buzzfeed (who follows me on Twitter) had a baby at Rex Hospital. I waited until Monday to post this so I could include ITBlake’s QOH picture from the weekend. You’re welcome.

ITBlake the intern goes to Queen of Hearts

ITB Insider Donates to White Memorial

lululemon turned me into an ITB Mom

Tracy On A Plane

Development Beat

Dogs of ITB of the Week

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ITBlake Works Out for Queen of Hearts

ITBlake the intern had a busy week preparing for Queen of Hearts. To get him in peak physical condition, I had him take a workout class at PBX®. You can read the full story here: ITBlake Prepares for Queen of Hearts. Or watch the highlights below.

I can’t decide what my favorite part of the video is, but I’m leaning towards ITBlake talking about how he didn’t know what a breathalyzer was during his freshman year.

After surviving his PBX® class, ITBlake was ready for QOH.

Stay tuned for his recap, coming this week.



ITB Insider Donates to White Memorial Silent Auction

I was honored to be included in the Silent Auction at White Memorial’s Valentine’s Dance on Friday. I gladly donated some t-shirts from my fashion line and some koozies and ITBlessed wine glasses from my home goods line. All proceeds went to the Love and Friendship Fund for the WDS school. This fund helps provide scholarships for students who need financial aid, training for teachers, and other resources. I didn’t see any other media empires donate items, so I’m going to assume we’ve got the inside track on heaven. #ITBlessed


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lululemon Turned Me Into an ITB Mom

I now own lululemon pants (for men) and I’m never taking them off.


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Tammy On A Plane

Be like Tammy.



Development Beat

NC State’s Carmichael gym is getting a makeover, Pizza Times opened in downtown, Michael’s English Muffins opened, O-Ku Sushi is coming to The Dillon, and more news.

Development Beat: Carmichael Gym Demolition, Restaurant Openings


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Best Dogs of ITB of the Week

Watson can’t believe it’s finally Friday. @along_came_watson

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Reese shows off how tall he is with an impressive pupstand. @reese_the_corgi

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“On Wednesdays we wear bow ties.” – Winston the golden pup @rileysmall_

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Sampson looking regal AF as he rules over Five Points. @goldendaysofsampson

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Winnie, hiding from the rain and the Mondays. @winniethe_minnie

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Skully’s not looking forward to Monday. @thegoldenskully

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Duck the Corgi @duckthecorgi

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Indi, heading into the weekend. @raleighnaround @indianajones_the_frenchie

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ITBlake Prepares for Queen of Hearts

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To have ITBlake try out your workout class, or anything else, contact business@itbinsider.com.

February is here and love is in the air. ITBlake the intern has been busy getting ready for the biggest night of his life; senior year Queen of Hearts. Also known as QOH, this formal dance held at Broughton is a tradition unlike any other. It’s more important than the Deb Ball and the Governor’s Inaugural Ball combined. People have children just so they can one day attend Broughton and go to Queen of Hearts. It’s that important.


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This year’s Queen of Hearts theme is Jurassic Park, which made me incredibly jealous of ITBlake. If someone doesn’t make their Tahoe look like one of the Jeeps from Jurassic Park then the entire senior class should be held back a year. I was going to make ITBlake wear an inflatable T-Rex costume, but we couldn’t find a tuxedo with arms that short.


Since this is such an important milestone in ITBlake the intern’s life, I wanted to do anything I could to make it the best night ever. I started by asking my friend Chrissy Teigen (who follows me on Twitter) for advice on getting him a date.


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Chrissy is super busy going to the Grammys and has a baby on the way, so I thought about reaching out to someone local. It just so happens that a contestant on this season of The Bachelor lives in Raleigh. I ran this by ITBlake to see if he’d want to go with her. Then we saw this video of her saying she would drink her own urine, which was a deal breaker for ITBlake. To each their own.

A post shared by Jenna Cooper (@jennacooperfit) on


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Just as I was about to turn to the micITBit Facebook group for advice, ITBlake found a date. The least I could do was get my friends at PBX® to host a special class and help him get in peak physical condition. As you can see from the video, he was a natural. His ability to go from rapping to almost dying from exhaustion was inspirational.

Now that he was in peak physical condition after one workout, I had ITBlake come up with some tips on how to have a good Queen of Hearts. Sure, he left out the dinner recommendations and a lot of other details, but we can’t expect him to plan the entire event. That’s what ITB moms are for.

ITBlake’s tips for QOH

1. Don’t eat Tide Pods, it’s not worth it

2. Rise biscuits and donuts are great for late night

3. Drink a lot of La Croix

I couldn’t have said it better myself. We’ll keep you posted on how ITBlake’s last QOH goes.



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ITBest of the Week January 26

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Welcome to ITBest of the Week, a look at the most important events of the last week. It’s like if an e-mail newsletter and Buzzfeed (who follows me on Twitter) had a baby at Rex Hospital.

Twitter is lit over Taco Bell Cantina news

Fyre Festival Still Burns

Chrissy Teigen follows me on Twitter

Grandma tries to sell 30+ years of Playboys on Facebook

UNC System spends $250,000 on a new logo

Dogs of ITB of the Week

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Inside Taco Bell Insider

When James Borden covered the Taco Bell Cantina in this week’s ITB Insider Development Beat I figured we’d get the standard replies of “Ugh, Hillsborough Street is losing its character.” While that reaction was shared by many, it was heavily outweighed by people who were ecstatic over this news. Exhibit A: the engagement stats for my Taco Bell tweet.

That’s a lot. The blog post had over 12,000 pageviews in less than a week. As a result, ITB Insider will now be known as “Inside Taco Bell Insider” and will cover everything Taco Bell related. I was going to put all the Twitter reactions here, but there were too many. Here are the ITBest.




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Fyre Festival Still Burns

Earlier this week, Vice published a story about how Fyre Festival attendees were getting e-mails that could potentially be scams. Vice and a few others had seen my Tweets about these emails that I posted in December.

Since I have a PhD in Fyre Festival, I was quoted in the story: Fyre Festival attendees are worried they’re getting scammed again.

The e-mails we received were offering things like dinner with LeBron James, meet and greets with Taylor Swift, and tickets to The Masters, Burning Man, the Met Gala, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, and other events that I’m sure will be lit, fam. I’m just speculating, but I assume the guy/company sending these e-mails probably bought the Fyre Festival email list from Billy McFarland, the founder of Fyre Media, and is now using it to offer Fyre attendees tickets to these events. I don’t know if these offers are actually legit, so I’ll probably just buy tickets to each event and see how things go.


The Vice story brought Fyre Festival up in the news again, which resulted in this:

Which leads to my next topic…


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Chrissy Teigen Is My Best Friend

Well, now it’s official. #itbffs #bffs

A post shared by William Needham Finley IV (@wnfiv) on

When I saw Chrissy Teigen’s tweet about the Fyre Festival e-mail story, I assumed it meant that she now thought of me as a friend. I figured this was as good a time as any to see if she would help ITBlake the intern get a date to Broughton’s upcoming Queen of Hearts formal. So I tweeted the following:

I followed up by Tweeting a link to a video of ITBlake the intern.

ITBlake the intern doesn’t actually need any help getting a date to Queen of Hearts, but I knew it would be great for him if he could put “Chrissy Teigen knows of my existence” on his college applications.

And now, he can.



Grandma Tries to Sell Playboys in My Facebook Group

This is not a joke. The title says it all, but there’s so much more to the story.

Grandmother Attempts to Sell Three Decades’ Worth of Playboys In Facebook Group

UNC System Logo Unites All

The UNC System paid $250,000 for a new logo that has now unified all 17 of its academic institutions. From Appalachian State to UNC-Wilmington, fans of every school were united over the fact that spending $250,000 on a new logo and rebranding is absurd. Yes, I realize that includes research, branding, marketing and so on, but it’s still an absurd number for a logo that no one even cares about to begin with. That didn’t stop me from throwing my hat in the ring for the next time they need a new logo.

Full disclosure: I am red/green colorblind. But it looks like that won’t be a problem based on their approval of the new logo.


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Best Dogs of ITB of the Week

Look, Palmer, everything the light touches is ITB. 📷: @zaa1169

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Snow dog staring contest. Swipe ➡️. 📷 @helickteeva

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Sampson, kicking the week off with a good dig. @goldendaysofsampson

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This brunch isn’t going to make itself. 📷 @marksanchezsimmons

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Snow golden loves the snow. 📷@katiezsmith

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Jalapeño the Frenchie, fashionable AF in the snow. @jalapenothefrenchie

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@rowyn_the_giant_coyote playing snow fetch.

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Grandmother Attempts to Sell Three Decades’ Worth of Playboys In Facebook Group

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ITBreakdown: A grandmother posted “30++ years of playboys” for sale in micITBit, a private Facebook group that I run. People had a lot of questions. This serves as a historical record of the event. Everything in this post is real.

A Funny Thing Happened in the Facebook Forum

Something magical happened on Sunday night in micITBit. First, let me explain micITBit.

micITBit is a secret and private Facebook group used mainly by Raleigh moms as a forum to buy and sell smocked clothes, furniture, Lilly dresses, and other mom stuff. Like many other buy/sell/trade or “BST” groups, micITBit cannot be found by simply searching on Facebook. To gain entry, one must be added to the group by a friend who is already a member.

The group operates like Craigslist, but on Facebook and without the serial killing (so far). It even has its own language and rules (yes, there are rules, otherwise World War III could break out at any moment). In short, a seller posts a picture and description of an item to the group and buyers comment “Interested!” to purchase. If someone has already commented “Interested!” the person next in line will comment “Next” in hopes that the person ahead of them will get stuck in the White Memorial pickup line or get hit by a bus, preventing them from following through with the purchase. It’s very cutthroat.

The majority of transactions are “porch pickups” or “PPU” which means the seller leaves the item on their front porch and the buyer leaves cash under the doormat after picking the item up. It is an entire economy that I knew nothing about until last year. I’m convinced that because of these groups there is roughly $4 million in small bills sitting under the doormats of Raleigh homes on a daily basis.


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So why does a 33 year-old single guy start a Facebook group for moms? Like pretty much everything I do, it started as a joke. In April of 2017, a similar group with 15,000 members shut down. That’s a whole other story for another day, but it resulted in mass hysteria and I became a hero for these people when I created micITBit. Members joined my group and began using it for real. A lot. Here are the stats on group activity from the last 28 days.

Over 64,000 posts, comments, and reactions from 8,570 members. That is insane. Here’s the demographic information for all you advertisers out there. (Email me at wnfiv@itbinsider.com if you want to talk ITBusiness.)


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You may be thinking, “Wow, you’ve got a captive audience of thousands of people with similar interests. You must be making a fortune off of the people using your Amazon affiliate link and your eBates link. What a great decision!” Yeah, not really. Creating this group was the worst decision I have made while running a media empire, and possibly the worst decision of my entire life. Yes, Fyre Festival was a dumpster fyre, but I at least made some money off of it and got to spend time with my lawyer and ITBFF Stacy Miller because of all the lawsuits. As the father of micITBit, I have to deal with constant complaints from total strangers. I have some wonderful moderators that help me run the group, but it’s still a huge time suck.

The silver lining of micITBit is that it provides some of the most hilarious #content on the internet. I am now ready to share these moments with the world. We begin by taking a look at a night micITBit will remember the same way they remember the moon landing or the New Year’s Eve episode of The O.C.


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Without further ado, I now present “And the Playboys Gonna Play Play Play Play Play: A Screenshot History of 30++ years of playboys.”

The names and faces of the innocent have been redacted. We’ll call the original poster “Martha.”

At approximately 8:04 pm on January 21, 2018, Martha posted the following to micITBit:

Here are the pictures she included in her post:

One odd thing I noticed (I’ve been watching The Wire recently) was that the date on the computer clock was 10/18/2017. Was the clock wrong or were these pictures taken over three months ago? Were these pictures from an earlier attempt at selling 30++ years of Playboys? If so, why was she unsuccessful?

Now, I’m not judging Martha at all. I just think she should have known her audience better. You’re offering hundreds of Playboy magazines to a group that consists mainly of married women. Sure, the handful of guys in the group could have been Interested!, but do you not realize that the same internet that you’re using to post these Playboys was actually invented to replace these types of magazines (or so I’m told)?

A member of micITBit mentioned me in a comment, alerting me to the post.

What followed resembled being in an AOL chat room with 50 friends who were all freaking out over this real time train wreck. I was genuinely amazed by the post and wanted to know more. I even thought about buying these and reselling them. They’ve got to be worth more since Hugh Hefner passed away.



There were questions about whether Martha was real. Someone discovered she had posted another item for sale in the group, proving that she at least was a real person selling more than just hundreds of Playboys.

That’s when the most important question of the night was brought up. (GUC and EUC mean Gently/Good Used Condition and Excellent Used Condition).



I wanted more answers on the number of Playboys.

micITBit members did some investigative work to confirm this was real.

Someone pointed out that the $1,350 price was a bit high.



 




Someone offered a trade for some Teen Vogue issues.



 

The comments were coming in so fast that I got distracted while playing my first HQ trivia game and lost.

People started suggesting that ITBlake the intern look into this.



Since we were on the topic of magazines, I figured most of the group members would jump at the chance to own an issue of 16 with JTT on the cover. Note: I don’t actually own this, but I was sure I could find it on eBay if someone wanted to buy it from me.



 

The group continued to investigate.

At this point, I believe Martha began to understand that there would be no buyers in this group. She deleted the post and I removed her from the group. I felt somewhat bad about doing that, but I was honestly doing it for the greater good. The comment sections in these BST groups are not for the faint of heart. One time in a different group a mother told another mother she hoped her child “breaks its neck” in a dispute over a pair of snow bibs. I’m not making that up. Plus, I have a #brand to uphold. What if one of those Playboys fell into the wrong hands and ruined a marriage? I can’t have that on my conscience.

 

There were many more comments, but I couldn’t keep track of them all. As a founder, it is my duty to recap this event for all the micITBit members who uncharacteristically were off of Facebook for 30 minutes and missed this saga. I truly hope Martha finds a buyer for all of those Playboys.


ITBest of the Week January 19


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ITBest of the Week January 19

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Welcome to ITBest of the Week, a look at what I deem to be the most important events of the last week. It’s like if an e-mail newsletter and Buzzfeed (who follows me on Twitter) had a baby at Rex Hospital.

Broughton Teacher Crushes Jeopardy!

It Snowed Again

Dinosaur at Dix Park

ITBlake Not Pleased Over Award Show

Raleigh Makes the Cut for Amazon’s HQ2

Best Dogs of ITB of the Week

Don’t eat Tide Pods

Broughton Teacher Crushes Jeopardy!

Lee Quinn, a Raleigh resident and teacher at Broughton, has been on Jeopardy! since Wednesday night.

Lee went in to Final Jeopardy with a commanding lead and won $22,400 on his first appearance. He returned to defend his title on Thursday night.

He’ll be defending his title again on Friday night at 7:00 pm on ABC11.


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It Snowed Again

This week saw yet another forecast calling for snow. As always, I checked with Seaboard Wine to get their wine forecast.

The forecast resulted in mass hysteria in the Cameron Village Harris Teeter.

With the forecast in hand it was time to see if Wake County Public Schools would be closed. They like to be coy about their school closing announcements, which drives a lot of parents insane. Fortunately, I’m a journalist and know how to get answers. They replied within minutes of me Tweeting at them.

There has been a lot of talk about the weather dome lately, so Bonner cleared things up.

With that settled, Bonner and I began doing meteorology.

Around 9:00 am on Wednesday morning it was decided to let snow fall upon the citizens of Raleigh.


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Dinosaur Spotted in Dix Park

If you build it, they will come. Take note, Raleigh.


ITBlake Was NOT Happy That He Couldn’t Attend an Awards Show

I was nominated for “Best Twitter Personality” by WRAL.

Unfortunately, ITBlake wasn’t old enough to attend the awards show. He was not happy.

WRAL cleared things up.

I took this to mean that WRAL is offering ITBlake exclusive coverage of the next award show, plus a possible Intern of the Year award. We’ll be launching our own “ITBest Awards” later this year. Read the full story here.

Development Beat News

City Market wants to add outdoor dining in a parking lot behind Big Ed’s. There’s also a 50+ tennis court facility being planned for somewhere OTB. Full story.


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Raleigh Makes the Cut for Amazon’s HQ2


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Dogs of ITB of the Week

Twinning. 📷: @zookiescrittercookies

A post shared by Dogs of ITB (@dogsofitb) on

People Are Eating Tide Pods

For some reason, people are actually eating Tide Pods. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops. In the meantime, don’t eat Tide Pods.

PSA: do NOT eat Tide pods.

A post shared by William Needham Finley IV (@wnfiv) on


ITBest of the Week January 12

ITBlake Wasn’t Old Enough To Attend the WRAL Awards So We’re Starting Our Own

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UPDATE: WRAL has responded. Apparently, they were just obeying the law. They have invited ITBlake to attend an upcoming award show. I assume this means he’ll get exclusive coverage rights and possibly an Intern of the Year award.

Age. Is it just a number, or perhaps a way to disenfranchise Raleigh’s younger citizen journalists? That’s the question many are asking after learning that ITBlake the intern was not allowed to attend the WRAL Voter’s Choice Awards due to being under the age of 21.

WRAL, a news station in Raleigh, held their annual awards event at Level7 in North Hills (JOTB) this week. After months of online voting, awards were given out in over 100 categories, with “Best Twitter Personality” being the most important. This year’s nominees were: Triangle Explorer @Trianglexplorer, Kaytee Smith @SciKaytee, Joe Ovies @joeovies, Bill Leslie @wralbleslie, and William Needham Finley IV. For real.

I received an invitation for myself and a guest to attend the event. Obviously, I planned to bring ITBlake. It’s my job to teach him about media empire stuff and this event was going to be the perfect teaching tool.


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ITBlake had been looking forward to the event for weeks. I hadn’t seen him this excited over something since the first time he met Stacy Miller. He asked me about the dress code at least three times (hoping it would be black tie) and even texted me the night before to make sure we were still going. That’s when we realized that this was a 21+ event. I checked with WRAL to see how strict this rule was.

They confirmed that ITBlake would not be able to attend because the bar would be open during the entire event.


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I didn’t know if this policy was the “law” or a devious plot by WRAL to keep ITBlake from becoming more famous. Were they threatened by him after seeing his raw talent on display at the Christmas parade? I thought about holding an emergency press conference at Broughton to announce an ITBoycott of the event, but I needed more time to investigate. The last thing I wanted to do was accuse WRAL of age discrimination if they were just obeying the law. Plus, it would be super awkward if I threw out accusations and then won the “Best Twitter Personality” award.

My investigation was put on hold so that I could break the bad news to ITBlake. As you can see from the video, he took the news pretty well. Our discussion brought up some valid points. Why couldn’t they let people of all ages attend the event and check IDs at the bar? Why not hold this at Crowley’s? Should the drinking age be changed? Was the First Amendment being “infringed” here? Are people under the age of 21 incapable of having value in our society?


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Instead of wasting our time worrying about what really happened, we came up with the genius idea to create our own awards. The “ITBest Awards” will be given out to the places that I think are the best in Raleigh. There will be no online voting to increase pageviews, no user submissions, and no opinions from others. Stay tuned.

As for the WRAL awards, Bill Leslie won the “Best Twitter Personality” category. I received honorable mention. That’s right, the host of the event announced that “William Needham Finley IV” received honorable mention in front of the whole crowd. What a time to be alive. #ITBlessed.

And yes, I’m fine with the result. I know that I’m more than just a Twitter personality. I’m a media empire. Oh, and I made sure to let WRAL know about the potential age discrimination when I took their feedback survey even though I didn’t attend the event.

Also, congrats to Rise for winning the “Best Biscuits” award. I’ve got a pretty good feeling they’ll be taking home an “ITBest Award” in 2018.

ITBest of the Week January 12

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Welcome to ITBest of the Week, a new series that looks back at what I deem to be the most important events of the last week. Keeping up with everything on the internet is almost impossible these days. This weekly post should help you catch up on anything you’ve missed. It’s sort of like if an e-mail newsletter and Buzzfeed (who follows me on Twitter) had a baby at Rex Hospital.

In this inaugural edition we’ll cover the first two weeks of January.

New Year, New Car Crashes

2018 kicked off with a boom, especially in North Hills…

Fortunately, no one was injured. There was a lot of speculation on the cause of the crash. Many of us had flashbacks to the mom who had a meltdown and drove up the steps of Hayes Barton Baptist on the first day of school. Some thought the reports of the upcoming snow were to blame. Speaking of snow….


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It Snowed

Snow had been in the forecast for a few days, but nothing was confirmed until the Winter Weather Wine Watch from Seaboard Wine was released.

theSkimm, like, totes reported it was obvi super cold in “Raleigh-Durham” which is NOT A PLACE.

Many were still skeptical of the forecast, thanks to the Raleigh weather dome.

Bonner and I talked long and hard about it and decided to retract the weather dome and let the kids enjoy the snow.

Parents were not pleased.


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ShopITB Customers Treated Like Royalty

Customers of ShopITB.com, the hottest online store in Raleigh, have been receiving handwritten thank you notes with their orders. Now, those thank you notes will be on personalized ITB stationery. You’re welcome.

Development Beat Gets High Praise

People love the Development Beat.


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Dogs of ITB Returns

Dogs of ITB is back and better than ever after a brief hiatus.

La Croix Tweet Goes Viral

At least a dozen people sent me this garbage meme.

Sports Things

The Broughton baseball team is looking for sponsors for the 2018 season. E-mail Coach Morton at jmorton@wcpss.net to donate.

NC State beat Duke in basketball, 96 – 85.

The Panthers lost to the Saints for a lot of reasons, including wide receiver play.

Alabama won the college football national championship against Georgia. Note: This picture is from the 2012 BCS championship they won with Broughton legend Jeremy Shelley.

NC State had a 90s night against Clemson.

They started off in the right direction. However, I was disappointed by the lack of any mention or reference of Saved by the Bell, Boy Meets World, Clarissa Explains It All, 90210, Step by Step, Goldeneye for N64, NBA Jam, Sonic, Guts, Double Dare, Doug, Rugrats, Chumbawamba, Goo Goo Dolls, Hanson, Jurassic Park, Air Bud, Power Rangers, and much more. I appreciate the effort, but hope they make some changes for next year. It really shouldn’t be that hard to set up an Aggro Crag during halftime.

That’s all for the first edition. Thanks for reading. Have an ITBlessed weekend.

2017 Year in Review

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What a year. After recovering by watching 49 hours of Netflix (2 seasons of All or Nothing and 3 seasons of Bloodline) in five days after Christmas, I took some time to look back on 2017. In late 2016 I decided to go full-time with ITB Insider because nothing sounded more fun than working constantly and having weekly anxiety attacks. Here are some stats and highlights from my first year as a full-time media empire startup.

In 2017, ITB Insider had 114 blog posts, 382,038 pageviews, and 126,136 visitors.

For context, in 2016 ITB Insider had 38 blog posts, 119,371 pageviews, and 61,948 visitors.

Special thanks to James Borden for writing the Development Beat every week and keeping me informed of actual news in Raleigh.

My tweets in 2017 had over 56.2 million impressions, thanks to Fyre Festival (it was lit). My family still doesn’t understand what this means. Or maybe they just don’t care. Regardless, I’m putting this on my tombstone.


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Before I get to the year in review, I’d like to say thank you to a lot of people. Special thanks to all of the sponsors and companies we worked with in 2017, especially Miller Law Group, Stacy Miller, Beacon Street Development, Rufty Peedin Design Builders, Seaboard Wine & Tasting Bar, Downtown Dental, PBX®, Rise Cameron Village, Walk West, Humdinger Juice, Glenwood South Tailors + Alterations, Express Yourself Paint, Tradition Scarves, Trophy Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing, Southern Ego Clothing, High Cotton, and more that I’m probably forgetting.

Thanks to all the dogs who were featured on Dogs of ITB. We’re going to do a better job with this account in 2018 now that I know how much ITBlake the intern loves dogs.

Thanks to all the customers of the new fashion and merchandise empire.

ShopITB.com

Thanks to Broughton for giving me ITBlake the intern.

And most importantly, thank you to all of you for reading, sharing, and following along as the media empire grows. We’ve got even more planned in 2018. And now, some of my favorites from 2017.


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January started off with a robbery in Cameron Village that was thwarted by a heroic York security guard. If you actually dig into this story it’s pretty insane. I’ll leave it at that. Full story.

A Five Points couple, and their dog, struggled to deal with the unpredictable weather. Life can be so hard sometimes. Full story.



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Mordecai residents were outraged when they heard rumors of Dave & Busters coming to the neighborhood. Full story.

The Velvet Cloak Inn came down. RIP.

Cary passed an ordinance requiring beige colored Easter Eggs. Full story.

Someone stole the Lake Boone chicken. Full story.


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Goodberry’s kept using pictures from my Sunday night anxiety digital art installation without my permission. This issue is still unresolved.

We literally saved lives with our Raleigh fire coverage. Full story.

Photo from Photojournalist Brian James Patrick Oschwald

I incorrectly predicted that The Rock would play football for NC State. Side note: The Rock retweeted @spencerspicy the other day and I’ve never been happier for one of my friends. Full story.

Thanks to Bonner Gaylord, I got to put a fidget spinner and half of my Fyre Festival wristband in the North Hills time capsule that will be unearthed in 50 years. That’s right, in 50 years people will still be talking about Fyre Festival. Full story.


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I helped Meredith College bring attention to their campus lake dilemma. The President of Meredith sent me a nice thank you e-mail. For real. Full story.

Protests spread across Raleigh in support of the Brunch Bill. The mimosas were freed and the streets ran red with Bloody Marys. Full story.



A Hayes Barton family camped out for brunch at NOFO. Full story.

Five Points residents filed a class action lawsuit against a train for blocking their view of the July 4th fireworks. Rumor has it that Stacy Miller settled the case for $7 billion. Full story.

A Hayes Barton mom tried to sell her child online for Pullen Park Holiday Express tickets. Full story.

“The chalkboard, Charles. The fucking chalkboard.” A dad faced divorce after ruining the back to school picture. Full story.



I totally botched a Tweet about the top Broughton graduates. Fortunately, Peyton Reed understood after I wrote him a letter, recorded a video of me reading it, then tweeted the video at him. Full story.

As always, Raleigh dominated the 2017 Deb Class. Full story.

I was on a panel with actual journalists.

ITBlake the intern joined the media empire. Yes, he’s getting school credit for this. Yes, the fame of being recognized at Starbucks and in Cameron Village is going to his head. No, he is not my son. Full story.

I came up with the most ITB Halloween pumpkin carving templates. Full story.

A Five Points family spent weeks preparing for the Angus Barn Trail. Thanks to multiple YETI coolers and Go-GURT laced with Ambien, no one died of dysentery. Full story.

ITBlake the intern and JDog the YouTube star covered their first Raleigh Christmas parade and almost won Sundance. Full story.

ITBlake the intern turned 18. Full story.

Residents were distraught over Starbucks closing for roughly two days. Full story.

I was asked to speak at the Raleigh PR Society awards dinner.

This was really one of the few bright spots of 2017. Our story about a Raleigh couple living in Panama and saving orphans. Full story.

The fashion and merchandise empire launched in December and everyone loved it. ShopITB.com.

Finally, I survived Fyre Festival, which was probably the best representation of 2017 as a whole. My coverage was in pretty much every news outlet on the planet. Thanks to Bloomberg, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, VICE, and a few others for covering it accurately. Full story.

I was in Vanity Fair. Full story.

I was in Vanity Fair in Spain. Full story.

My coverage was on Andy Cohen’s television show. Full story.

As soon as our lawsuit against Billy McFarland, Ja Rule, and others wraps up, I’ll be able to launch the Dumpster Fyre Podcast. It’ll be like Serial and Dumb & Dumber had a baby, then left that baby on an island with nothing but a cheese sandwich. It’s gonna be lit.

Best Tweets of 2017

 

Five Points Family Preps for the Angus Barn Trail

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A Five Points family is ready to venture outside the beltline. Davis Knox Craig III, a doctor, and his wife Mary Anna Dover Craig, a mother and micITBit member, have spent the last few weeks carefully preparing for their annual holiday visit to the Angus Barn. The 10.3 mile journey from their house in Five Points can be treacherous, especially at this time of the year.

“Traffic will obviously be bad on Glenwood as we head OTB. And I’m sure people will be last minute Christmas shopping at Crabtree, so we’ll have to wear Kevlar Patagonia vests as protection from stray bullets,” said Craig III, referring to the Crabtree shooting incident that may or may not have happened last year.

“Last Christmas, the beltline was too busy to ford. That’s when we lost Little Davis….” Mary Anna said, her voice trailing off as she talked about their only child. Note: Little Davis did not almost die, he just threw a tantrum so unbearable that his father slipped him a Go-Gurt laced with Ambien to put him to sleep for the duration of the trip.


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A trip of this magnitude requires a lot of planning. Earlier this week, the family updated their 2017 Yukon (from Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac, obviously) with the latest maps, and upgraded their in-SUV WiFi to Google Fiber.

“We had to make sure our WiFi would work because cell service can be spotty out there,” said Mary Anna. “I’m bringing my iPad so I can watch The Crown on Netflix and do last minute shopping using WNFIV’s Amazon link. Little Davis can watch Paw Patrol on his iPad, and Big Davis can just drive in silence.”

With their entertainment planned out, the family still had to prepare for the worst: being stuck outside the beltline.

The family’s list of supplies resembled a modern day Oregon Trail inventory:

Extra batteries for charging iPhones, iPads, and MacBook Pros

20 lb bag of grain

1 Musket

50 boxes of musket bullets

5 lb bag of flour


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6 Broughton Tradition Scarves

6 dozen Ladyfingers ham rolls

8 Kevlar lined Patagonia vests

20 lbs of coffee

8 down blankets

4 cases of wine from Seaboard Wine

2 Go-Gurts laced with Ambien

20 sets of clothing

2 dozen donuts from Rise


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YETI 5-Gallon Bucket

YETI Hopper Two 20

YETI Tundra 75

YETI Tundra 350

4 iPads

3 Bear traps

12 oxen

6 Goose down pillows

The father, and party leader, thinks all this planning could have been avoided.

“I’m still a bit upset that White Memorial didn’t let William Needham Finley IV move Angus Barn inside the beltline as part of his summer mission trip in seventh grade,” said Craig III. “But I guess it’s good to use this as a way to teach our kid to appreciate what he has. Sometimes we’ll drive through Brier Creek on the way home to remind Little Davis of how good he has it.”


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Mary Anna, who is making her third trip to the Angus Barn this Christmas season, has prepared a checklist for when they arrive.

“The first trip was a girls night out, so obvi we had to take a basic group pic in front of the Christmas tree, and then do a boomerang of us cheersing (toasting) rosé. The second time was for a work Christmas party, but we were downstairs where the lighting is awful for Insta. On this trip we have to make sure we get a pic for my Insta story AND for an Insta post. And it can’t just be the same pic,” she said.


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After loading up the Yukon and getting ready to embark, the couple stopped to reflect on the risks associated with such a journey.

“You never know what can go wrong on the trail. But it’s worth it for the Chocolate Chess Pie and cheese and crackers,” said Craig III.

“And for the Instagram,” added Mary Anna.

“And for the…..for….the…” slurred Little Davis from the backseat, as he quietly slipped into a Go-Gurt Ambien induced coma.

Fortunately, Craig III is a doctor, the party is small, and their inventory is well stocked. We wish them safe travels.


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Finley’s Fire Christmas Playlist 2017

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It’s finally December 1st and that means it’s now socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music constantly. I’ve been listening to my fire Christmas playlist for a few weeks now, but have kept it to myself so I wouldn’t trigger any snowflakes who complain when people talk about Christmas before Thanksgiving.


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Now that the season is upon us I want to ensure your holidays are accompanied by the finest Christmas songs available on Spotify. Even though last year’s playlist was met with rave reviews, ITBlake and I spent hours reviewing it to see how it could be improved.



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This is a comprehensive list, so don’t be confused when you hear multiple versions of “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. You may not like a few of the more rare tracks, but I can assure you by the 20th listen you’ll love them all. This fire playlist contains over 79 songs and over four hours of music, and will continue to be curated throughout the holiday season.

The list is embedded below and, if you have Spotify, you can also follow it through this link.

Additionally, I have determined the top 10 Christmas songs of all time. I created this list in order to stir up a spirited debate so that this post would stay relevant on Facebook for days. Feel free to offer your opinion, but remember, your opinion doesn’t matter if it doesn’t align with mine.


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Top 10 Christmas songs of all time

1.) The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
2.) All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
3.) Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
4.) It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
5.) Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes
6.) Feliz Navidad – José Feliciano
7.) Mele Kalikimaka – Bing Crosby
8.) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – James Taylor
9.) The entire “A Charlie Brown Christmas” album – Vince Guaraldi Trio
10.) Last Christmas – Wham!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


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The Best Raleigh Christmas Parade Coverage Ever

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Welcome to the first ever Raleigh Christmas parade coverage from ITB Insider™. As many of you know, Shop Local Raleigh puts on a fantastic Christmas parade in downtown Raleigh every year. This year, WRAL lost the broadcasting contract for the parade but decided to broadcast it anyway. That’s when I realized it was time for my growing media empire to provide coverage that everyone could ITBelieve in.

Knowing I needed the perfect spot to broadcast from, I reached out to my friends at Downtown Dental, who were more than happy to provide us with exclusive access and a front row seat. The goal of our broadcast wasn’t to outdo ABC11, who was the official broadcaster of the parade. I simply wanted to provide you all with a closer look at the ITB floats.

However, I knew that due to WRAL insisting on broadcasting the parade there was a chance some legal disputes could arise from me being there. So to avoid breaking any rules I sent ITBlake the intern to cover the parade for me, since interns can’t be prosecuted in media court. To make sure ITBlake got through his first live broadcast I brought in a co-host for him. I hired Jdog, a YouTube star from Raleigh who taught the Holderness Family everything they know, to show him the ropes.


We arrived at Downtown Dental on Fayetteville street around 9:30 am and tried to set up a live stream on Facebook. The signal kept dropping, possibly because Facebook or other media empires wanted to censor us. Or possibly due to tens of thousands of people clogging the cell towers while trying to upload pictures of the parade. We scrapped the live coverage and everything went exactly as planned, resulting in the best video that ITB Insider™ has ever produced.

Let’s take a closer look at the most ITB floats in this year’s parade. First up was the micITBit float, full of ITB moms who love to buy and sell smocked clothing, strollers, and literally anything else they think they can sell for $3. Two moms did their best job reenacting one of the biggest controversies in Buy/Sell/Trade group history, known simply as “the snow bib incident”.


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Up next was a Yukon from Thompson Cadillac, obvi, pulling a Tahoe, pulling a Suburban, pulling a float with Flash riding on the back playing his guitar and singing “When the Caps Go Marching In”.

Crowds cheered as Broughton legend and Hollywood Director Peyton Reed made an appearance on the float. He was in town filming a new movie based on Fyre Festival and Jurassic Park. The film is set in Dix Park, where dinosaur bones were recently discovered.



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Our friends from PBX® had the only float with zero percent body fat, a true testament to the PBX® method.

Next up was the Country Club Hills Mansion Fire float, a reminder to avoid having parties in mansions that are under construction.

Next came the Beacon Street Development float, which featured a lovely miniature version of their new project, The Wade. You may recall that I got ITBlake a condo here for his birthday.

A small child ran out into the parade when her parents became distracted from laughing hysterically at the performance being put on by ITBlake and Jdog. Fortunately, Stacy Miller jumped in front of a float and saved the child from certain death.


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No parade would be complete without Dogs of ITB. And there were a lot of them. ITBlake almost didn’t give this dog back to its owner.

The Trolley Pub showed up…

The day wrapped up with a huge highlight for ITBlake, who got to interview all three Stacy Millers at the same time.

Even though Facebook, and possibly other jealous media empires, tried to crush us by shutting down our live stream, the show went on. ITBlake and Jdog won the hearts and minds of everyone that day. They’re looking forward to next year, when they’ll have their own broadcasting float.

Seriously, ITBlake was more excited to see Stacy than Santa.



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Residents Distraught Over Temporary Closure of Starbucks

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The closing of the Cameron Village Starbucks has left a community reeling. The store closed its doors this week as it prepared to move to a new location, about 30 yards across the street. Unfortunately, many regular customers were unaware of the closing and showed up to find the doors locked.

A sign on the door informed the public that the store was closed, but would reopen in the new location on Thursday, November 9th. Customers stood outside not knowing what to do with themselves.

“This is killing my down-line,” said Jason Bass, holding a Staples legal pad and off-brand YETI tumbler filled with coffee that he brought from home to save money. Bass is part of a pyramid scheme that sells energy drinks and paper towels, and often uses the Starbucks to meet with potential employees.


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Pyramid scheme representatives weren’t the only group affected by the closure.

“Look, I know I should be buying local, but I technically am, since I moved here from Seattle,” said Asher Austin, as he sat down at an outdoor table and pulled his decal covered Macbook from an earth tone messenger bag, attempting to use the free Wifi.


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Moms in desperate need of a caffeine and gossip fix during their Mother’s Morning Out were horrified to learn of the closing.

“I (clapping emoji) need (clapping emoji) my (clapping emoji) PSL (clapping emoji),” said Mary Anna Davis, referring to the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

(Editor’s note: with the recent iOS issues surrounding the letter “I” we figured it best to type out “clapping emoji” so everyone could read it.)

“We need to discuss the micITBit drama and how we are all going to donate to the Y’s We Build People Campaign,” added Anna Mary Hurst.



Many potential customers got back in their SUVs and rushed to the nearest Starbucks on Peace Street, .9 miles away. It was a madhouse.

Not surprisingly, sales at Seaboard Wine spiked, as moms started drinking early to deal with their caffeine withdrawals while also stocking up for the weekend.

“Friday is a teacher workday and my kids are still jacked up on Halloween candy,” said one mother, as she purchased a case of red and a case of white wine.


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Back at Harris Teeter, employees took time to reassure unknowing customers that everything would be ok.

“I thought we had lost this Starbucks location for good. It really shows how fragile life is. Hug your Venti Chai Latte a little tighter this morning. You never know when it can be taken away for 48 hours,” said Davis.

It’s rumored that the old Starbucks space in Harris Teeter will be turned into a LaCroix section, with Express Yourself Paint doing the LaCroix themed interior painting. Hopefully, that news will appease residents as they work to overcome this struggle.


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Almost the Worst Halloween Ever

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Halloween falling on a weekday confuses everyone. People aren’t sure whether they should wear costumes on Friday or Saturday, or at all. This resulted in only a few people wearing costumes while blacking out at Five Points over the weekend. Luckily, guys who didn’t dress up could claim their costume was page 37 of the Brooks Brothers fall catalogue and get away with it. The only silver lining to a weekday Halloween happened when I got a call from Dad yesterday afternoon.

“Can you come let the dogs out on Halloween? Your mother and I have a charity event to attend,” said Dad.

“Why me? What’s your daughter doing?” I asked, referring to my sister. Dad threatened to cut me out of the will if I didn’t stop referring to her in a negative manner, so now I just call her “their daughter”.

“Your sister is also hosting a charity event. She’ll be busy actually doing something for others. You should try it sometime,” Dad said in his usual tone of disappointment.

“She’s not doing anything for others. She’s just trying to make herself look charitable by putting her name on the invitation and posting a million selfies when she’s at the party. That’s ITB Charity 101, everyone knows that,” I said, trying to make her look bad.

“Just please stop by and let the dogs out. Try not to hit any trick-or-treaters with your SUV on the way over. No texting while driving. It can wait.”


“Wait, who’s handing out the candy if you aren’t going to be home?” I asked.

“No one. We just put a bowl out and use the honor system.”

“Are you crazy? Do you want your house to get vandalized? You put out an honor system bowl and your house is getting egged within 20 minutes. I’ll stay home and award the candy.”

“Award the candy?”

“I don’t “give out” candy, I’m not the government. I award candy to children who have invested time and their parents’ money into producing a good costume. That’s called capitalism.”

“Just don’t harass the children. Don’t ask them where they went to school or what their ZIP code is. I’m still getting crap from Big Caldwell after you made Little Caldwell cry last year for not knowing his ZIP code.”

“What self-respecting ITBer doesn’t know their own ZIP code? He was SIX years old!”

“Just give out the candy and don’t speak to anyone,” Dad pleaded.

“Fine. Just leave out two bowls. I’ll be over soon.”

“Two? No, do not do that ITBowl and OTBowl thing with the candy again…”

I hung up before he could finish. Of course I was going to make an ITBowl and OTBowl. How else would I reward the kids with the most ITB costumes? I got to their house and found the ridiculous honor system bowl. I grabbed a second bowl and started to sort the candy, filling the ITBowl with full size name brand candy bars, Fun-Dip and Pixy Stix (gateway candies), and money clips filled with $50 bills. I then filled the OTBowl with Good & Plenty, Bit-O-Honey, Necco Wafers, raisins, and licorice. I put the bowls on the front porch and waited.


It’s easy to spot the ITB kids on Halloween. They’ll have high-quality tailored costumes, not those cheap plastic masks that fall apart after 10 minutes. They’ll also be followed by their parents, who are sipping from bottles of Seaboard Wine’s finest Pinot Grigio and liquor drinks as they discuss financial markets and White Memorial preschool gossip. The ITB kids will use monogrammed pillowcases (Egyptian cotton, 1,500 thread count) that can hold up to 25 pounds of candy, while other kids use those small plastic pumpkin buckets that hold at most 5 pounds.

OTBbucket
You can’t even fit a full size candy bar in here.

With that criteria in mind, I greeted each trick-or-treater at the door so I could judge how ITB their costumes were. I awarded the good candy for most of the evening, except when one kid showed up dressed as a Trolley Pub. I dumped a bunch of boxes of raisins in his bag and told him to never show his face in our neighborhood again. The evening was coming to a close when two kids showed up. One was dressed as Batman, and the other, well, he looked familiar.

“Nice job Batman, way to represent superheroes in the 1%,” I said to the first kid. “You…you look familiar,” I said to the second kid who was wearing Sperry’s, khaki pants, a pastel colored button down shirt and holding a bag of Fun-Dip, an iPad with ITB Insider™ pulled up, and the newest iPhone.

“I’m you. Now give me the good candy before I call my Dad,” he said.


I was speechless. He had it all. The ITB uniform, the demanding attitude, threatening to call his Dad. But the icing on the Hayes Barton Cafe cake was when he pretended to start Tweeting, “Hey @BonnerGaylord, this loser is taking forever to hand out the candy. Can we get him banished from ITB?” I dumped the entire bowl of ITB candy into his pillowcase.

“You win. Take it all,” I said, as I began to tear up. I had to go inside so the kids wouldn’t see me getting emotional. I sat on the couch thinking about the impact I had made on these children. I picked up the living room iPad that was displaying our driveway security cameras. I watched as the little WNFIV walked down the driveway, monogrammed Egyptian cotton 1,500 thread count pillowcase full of candy in tow. His friend said, “How’d you know that would work? He gave you all the candy, just like you said he would.”

Little WNIFV replied, “We’ve been neighbors for years. My parents said I should just play into his ego and he’d cave because he’s in a state of arrested development and dying for attention from anyone. The best part is I didn’t even have to dress up. This is what I wore to school today. That guy is so pathetic.”

“Wow, he’s still staying in character,” I thought to myself. I was so proud.

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Outdo Your Neighbors With These ITB Halloween Pumpkins

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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Something about dressing up and pretending to be someone or something else just feels so right. It’s also one of the most competitive holidays. Children compete to see who can acquire the most candy and who can come up with the best costume. Parents compete to see who can give out the best candy, throw the best party, or buy the best costume for their kids. If you don’t think ITB parents take this seriously, here’s a micITBit Facebook group thread about Halloween costumes that has 674 comments.

Outside of choosing the perfect costume for your kids, the best way to show off how ITB you are is through your pumpkin carving abilities. Trying to come up with a good design in between picking out your child’s 4 costume options and trunk-or-treating at White Memorial can be overwhelming. So we’ve come up with the best ITB pumpkin designs that are guaranteed to get at least 100 likes on Instagram. Note: since everyone has different initials we didn’t bother coming up with a template for monogramming your pumpkin.

What You’ll Need

Pumpkins – At least three pumpkins, preferably from Logan’s, the State Farmers Market, or the Cameron Village or Glenwood Village Harris Teeter. Each pumpkin should be roughly the size of a YETI Roadie 20 cooler.

Carving tools – full disclosure, these are going to be difficult to carve. It’s acceptable to draw or paint the more challenging designs on your pumpkin.

Alcohol – You’ll need at least a bottle of wine, preferably from Seaboard Wine, or a fifth of Hendrick’s to get through this.

The Designs

LaCroix

Show off how much you love this refreshing status symbol by putting it on one of your pumpkins. Bonus points for being able to carve the color pattern into the pumpkin.


Tahoe

Sure, kids and their parents will pass by your Tahoe in the driveway while walking to your front porch. But just in case the kids were busy checking out their candy haul or the parents were distracted from refilling their YETI tumblers with another glass of wine, you can remind them that you have a Tahoe by carving it in your pumpkin.

Wine glass

You love wine, wine nights, wine tastings, wine and design, and going to vineyards. Let everyone know how important wine is in your life by displaying it on your pumpkin.

Brooks Brothers

Your pumpkin should always match your polo, that’s Halloween 101.


YETI Cooler

Some people use YETI coolers for fishing or camping. Others use YETI coolers for storing Capri Sun and orange wedges for halftime at CASL games. Either way, this pumpkin reminds everyone that you can afford a YETI.


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Yukon from Thompson with Alexander YMCA, Daniels Middle School, Camp Seafarer, and Broughton decals

If there were an ITB automobile assembly line, this is what would come out. Similar to the Tahoe pumpkin, this will remind everyone of your ties to all things ITB. Plus, show this pumpkin to the fine folks at Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac and they’ll give you a free Yukon (while supplies last).

Mr. Corsetti and ITBlake the intern

Show everyone that you’ve been keeping up with ITB Insider™ and the adventures of ITBlake the intern with this pumpkin that also features Broughton legend Mr. Corsetti.

Sperry

Boat shoes are never out of season. You can’t go wrong with carving one into your pumpkin.

lululemon Yoga Pants

You wore them to your PBX® workout. You bought the pumpkins while wearing them. You carved the pumpkins while wearing them. You handed out the candy while wearing them. You might as well carve them on a pumpkin.


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Lilly Pulitzer

This one is going to be difficult, but if you can pull it off you’ll be the envy of every mom in the neighborhood. Plus, you could probably teach classes on how to carve the design and charge people $50 to attend. Call it something like “Pamplemousse and Pumpkins” and let people drink LaCroix wine spritzers while they learn to carve this design.

ITBlessed

This one is stating the obvious, but letting everyone know how ITBlessed you are never gets old.

Dogs of ITB

Show your support for Dogs of ITB with this pumpkin design.

ITB

It’s the best. Enough said.


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Felson’s (RIP)

Reconnect with other parents who have children in the 0 to 10 years old range, as this pumpkin will be an instant conversation starter.

“OMG is that Felson’s?”

“Obvi.”

“I still don’t remember anything from that period of my life. But I know I loved it.”

“Same! Cheers!” (chugs wine, turns “Murder on the Dance Floor” up on Sonos, orders an Uber to take the kids home, moves furniture out of living room, recreates the Felson’s dance floor, blacks out)

Crowley’s (RIP)

Show off how far back your ITB lineage goes with a tribute to one of the most legendary bars in Raleigh.

With these designs you should easily outdo everyone in your neighborhood. Pair these designs with an open bar on the front porch and full size candy for the kids and you’ll be a Halloween legend.


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Broughton Intern Has Greatest Birthday Ever

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I’m pretty busy these days, but not so busy that I don’t take time for ITBlake the intern. His 18th birthday was Wednesday, so I obviously waited until Tuesday night to start thinking about it. Fortunately, social media provided a ton of great suggestions when I asked for some last minute gift ideas. Here are a few:

Pre-IPO shares of ITB Media Empire, Inc.

A signet ring. A card signed by top ITB officials and businesses. Lunch on the veranda at Carolina Country Club followed by a round of golf. A dictionary with all the words starting with “out” or “outside” scratched out and all words with “inside” highlighted with hearts in the margin. A friend for the Lake Boone chicken. A personal billboard for the month. Oh. I know. A trip to a festival somewhere…..

Management position with MicITBit

A case of LaCroix

Redeemable gift certificate for the Point

A YETI Tundra for the Tahoe and a YETI Hopper for on the go

Long sleeved Big Rock shirt

A Barbour jacket

Whatever it is, monogram or smock it

ITBlake wine (LaCroix) personalized glass

Reserved parking spot in Kip-Dell

Someone suggested a Trolley Pub ride, but we aren’t allowed to haze interns. Plus, we are anti-ITBullying at ITB Insider™.

A framed Stacy Miller sign, framed in empty Amazon boxes

Tickets to the next Fyre Festival


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A car – this was suggested by multiple people

A “My boss survived the Fyre Festival and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” t-shirt.

Be cutting edge. Get him a fidget spinner.

Man-Mur gift certificate

Cake from Village Deli

A Land Rover (assuming he doesn’t already have one…)

Take him to a strip club

A Broughton-themed care package

Clearly deserves Bojangles’ breakfast. If you could somehow get Flash to deliver it to the BHS football stands that’d be a good way to watch the sun come up.

ITBiscuits from Rise, then an ITBmw


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Lock him in the time capsule

Set up a song-a-gram go fund me competition with all proceeds toward purchasing a gift certificate from Village Deli or Great Outdoor Provision Company (only redeemable at CV location)

Snap spectacles, he can post videos and be the itbhipster

A fake id and/or a members-only pass to the secret Felsons that we all know still exists somewhere.

A flask with Broughton’s logo on it

A purple and gold fidget spinner

Pullen Park tickets are always a hit. Or maybe pay his joining fee at the University Club to get him off of parents’ membership.


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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I wasn’t able to get all of these things on such short notice, but I’ll definitely add them to his Christmas list. Here’s what I did get ITBlake for his 18th birthday:

A birthday cake donut from Rise in Cameron Village.

Tradition Scarves had actually already prepared a present for ITBlake. They got him a Broughton scarf, hat, socks, and a NC flag bandito. ITBlake’s still figuring out how to wear it.

An ITBlessed LaCroix glass. (These will soon be available in the online shop.)

LaCroix for his ITBlessed glass.

A Pumpkin Spice Latte, since he’s still on his PSD (pumpkin spice diet), I actually had them write “ITBlake” on it.

A copy of the August issue of Vanity Fair that I was in. 

That’s a key to ITBlake’s very own luxury condo at The Wade. This was kind of a big one, but I figured it was a business expense that I could write off. It’s still under construction, but ITBlake was so excited that he may camp out there in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

Overall, it was a great birthday for ITBlake. They grow up so fast.


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ITBlake Helps Raleigh On $5B Amazon Deal

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$5 billion and 50,000 jobs. That’s what Raleigh is hoping to get if Amazon decides to build their second North American headquarters (HQ2) in the Triangle. People went nuts when Amazon recently put out a Request For Proposals and announced plans for HQ2. Cities across the nation scrambled to submit proposals, using hashtags and social media campaigns in an attempt to woo Amazon.

Here in Raleigh, the Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP) has been using the hashtag #TriangleDelivers to show support for the proposal. But they needed help. As the only growing media empire in town, ITB Insider™ was asked to help “celebrate delivery of the HQ2 proposal and drive conversation via #TriangleDelivers” using a “positive, upbeat, celebratory” tone. This seemed like the perfect job for ITBlake the intern.


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I replied to RTRP’s request with a few thoughts:

I read the e-mail about the campaign/tone and just want to make sure I’m doing this right. Our idea is a short film starring ITBlake the intern that looks at what would happen if Amazon didn’t bring HQ2 to the area.

FADE IN:
ITBlake the intern is sitting in a Broughton classroom waiting to take his midterm exams. His entire future rests on this one day. He begins to write his name on the first exam, but his pencil breaks. Panic sets in. He hears a voiceover from WNFIV (like the ones they do in Star Wars) that says “Use the app ITBlake…use the app.” ITBlake opens Amazon Prime RIGHT Now, a new service offering 2-minute delivery via a supersonic drone. Unfortunately, that service is only available in cities where Amazon’s headquarters are located. There will be no pencil delivery. “If only Raleigh had HQ2….” ITBlake thinks to himself.


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Without a pencil, ITBlake fails all of his exams. His GPA plummets. He gets rejected from all of the colleges he’s applied to. He is left with nothing.

Ironically, ITBlake gets a job as an Amazon Prime delivery person, specializing in LaCroix delivery to ITB moms. He makes a small fortune on tips and starts investing in ITBitcoin, a new cryptocurrency that’s extremely rare and valuable. Within six months ITBlake is worth $750 ITBillion.


He buys Walmart, renames it “ITBlake-Mart”, and streamlines their operations using the ITBusiness skills he learned from his internship at ITB Insider™. He moves the headquarters to Cameron Village and sets his sights on Amazon.

Two years pass and ITBlake is dominating the online shopping industry, achieving better results than Jeff Bezos (the founder of Amazon) in a fraction of the time. On the brink of going out of business, Bezos contacts ITBlake for a meeting. He wants a merger. Everyone knows it’s a bailout. ITBlake decides to take the meeting.

The groups are seated at a giant table (made from the same stone used to build Broughton) in a conference room on the top floor of the ITBlake-Mart headquarters. The room overlooks the same classroom at Broughton where ITBlake failed all of his exams. He thinks back to that day and wonders what might have been. Jeff Bezos presents Amazon’s offer. He talks about “leveraging synergies” and finishes by asking for $300 billion, with a B.


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ITBlake stares blankly at Bezos. He reaches inside his Patagonia down ITBlazer (part of the business/outerwear clothing line he started) and begins to pulls out an object. Bezos assumes it’s a checkbook and lets out a sigh of relief. ITBlake pulls out the object and looks it over, wistfully. It’s a Number 2 pencil.

ITBlake quietly says, “Three years ago, all I needed was a pencil. But you couldn’t deliver. I failed out of school and was forced to become a billionaire just to prove a point. All I wanted to do was go to college, start a dank meme account on Instagram, and make 7 figures as an influencer. Just think where we’d all be if you had simply moved HQ2 to Raleigh.”

Bezos interrupts and starts talking about “pivoting” and “leveraging leverage” before ITBlake cuts him off. “I’m willing to overlook your mistakes. We can’t all ITBe perfect,” he says.

ITBlake uses the Number 2 pencil to write down an offer on his monogrammed Crane and Co. stationery. His assistant delivers the offer to Bezos, who slowly opens the stationery. It reads, “One fucking pencil. Take it or leave it.”

Fade to black.

Moral of the story: The demise of Amazon would never have happened if they had just moved HQ2 to Raleigh.

Alternatively, we could just take pictures of ITBlake with an Amazon box in different spots in Raleigh. We’d be glad to do this in exchange for a corner office on the top floor of the HQ2 building, and 5% equity in Amazon.

Thanks,

WNFIV

Our friends working on the proposal didn’t really know what to say, so they asked us to just take a few pictures. We made an announcement on Twitter, which immediately got the attention of the local news.

Once ITBlake arrived for his internship I explained what we’d be doing in a few easy steps.

Step 1: Cut a hole in the box (it makes the packages more aerodynamic and easier to ship)

Step 2: Write #TriangleDelivers on that box

Step 3: Drive around Raleigh and take random pictures with that box.

As we finished our media empire work I could overhear ITBlake singing to himself. “And that’s the way you do it. Christmas, #TriangleDelivers. Hanukkah, #TriangleDelivers. Kwanzaa, #TriangleDelivers. Every single holiday, #TriangleDelivers. Over at your parents’ house, #TriangleDelivers. Mid-day at the grocery store, #TriangleDelivers.”

We posted the pictures to social media and sat back to watch the impressions roll in.


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How to Improve Voting in Raleigh

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In 2015, voter turnout in Raleigh was less than 15%. While that is pathetic, we shouldn’t shame these non-voters. Voting is hard, y’all. If you have young children you might as well kiss democracy goodbye. Between dropping the kids off at White Memorial, running to Starbucks, then picking them back up three hours later and heading to multiple afternoon play groups, voting is the last thing on the minds of ITB moms.


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They aren’t the only ones struggling. You think an ITB dad can cut a 2 hour lunch meeting short, or skip playing the back 9 at the Club just so they can drive to a polling place and wait in line to vote?

Then there’s the youth vote. I did my best to get the younger demographic interested in voting by having ITBlake the intern put campaign signs out for hours last week. Unfortunately, he isn’t old enough to vote in this election.

But I’m not giving up. I’m confident we can solve this issue with some common sense voting reform. Here are a few simple ways to make voting in Raleigh easier.

Drive-thru Voting

Raleigh offers curbside voting, but it’s not available to everyone. Solution: drive-thru voting. We don’t even have to make citizens drive to their polling locations, we’ll just add a voting booth to every drive-thru in Raleigh. We’ll be sure to add two voting machines to the Cameron Village Chick-fil-A double drive-thru.

LaCroix Voting Machines

In the last election, the machine at my voting site jammed and it took 20 minutes to fix. That’s right, in 2016 the technology being used to select the President of the United States can jam like an InkJet printer from the 1990s. Voting machines should be on every corner. What happens to be on corners all over town that isn’t being used right now? Newspaper dispensers. We’ll simply convert these dispensers into ballot boxes. “But how will we stop voter fraud if anyone can go vote at some random machine?” Easy. Retinal scans on each ballot box will ensure each citizen can only vote once and that they are of age. We’ll even brand them with a LaCroix wrap and offer a free LaCroix to make millennials more interested in voting. I’m sure some startup company will come along and create an app that uses GPS to let people know how close they are to the nearest LaCroix booth, and also upload a selfie after they vote.


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Sharpies

It’s a known fact that cases of carpal tunnel skyrocket on election day. Filling in those tiny circles with a Bic pen takes hours. Give citizens Sharpies and they’ll be in and out in under 6 seconds.

Social Media Stats

Let’s be honest, most citizens have never heard of half of these candidates. To help educate voters, the candidate’s social media following should be posted next to their name. We should also come up with some sort of “engagement rate” so voters know how responsive their candidates will be on social media.

Better Stickers

The “I Voted” sticker should be monogrammed. Plain and simple.

More Time To Vote

Democracy is too important for us to only care about for one day. I know there’s early voting, but it seems like the dates and locations are always changing and it’s so hard to keep up with. That’s why polls should be open for 365 days. After a year of being open, we’ll tally the votes to see who the winners are.

If we can come together and agree on common sense voting reform I guarantee voter turnout will be at least 90% in future elections.

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