by William Needham Finley IV™

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Humor

The Debut of ITB Living

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Welcome to the debut issue of ITB Living, the world’s first digital magazine cover publication. This cutting edge media property addresses the rapidly growing market of people who don’t have time to read magazines. Not to mention the fact that magazines are incredibly bad for the environment. Think about all those pages and ink piling up in a landfill after not being read in an office waiting room. Magazines are basically the new plastic straws (sorry, sea turtles).

We’re ecstatic to be the first entrant in this market that we invented. We’ll have monthly issues, special editions, pop-up issues, and more. Each carefully curated issue will be posted to the @ITBInsider Instagram account and will be paired with a blog post on ITBInsider.com. We’re in discussions to launch a podcast as well.



There is no better time to debut ITB Living than the weekend of the Deb Ball. Just like our beloved debutantes, this first edition was conceived by a group of former debs and escorts.

Without further ado, we proudly present the Deb Ball ’18 edition of ITB Living:

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Welcome to the debut issue of ITB Living, the world's first digital magazine cover publication. Our inaugural cover has everything you need to prepare for another glorious Deb Ball weekend. Including: The Science Behind Why Raleigh Has The Most Debs Every Year • How This Is SO Like An Episode Of The Crown • Hot (But Still Classy) Dresses Under $25,000 • What Your Deb Stool Monogram Font Says About You • Quiz: Will Your Escort Be Your First Husband? Spoiler: Nope • Tips On Surviving A Pellet Gun Wound The Night Before The Deb Ball • Best Mini Bottle Hiding Spots At CCC • Eggshell, Cream, Ivory: Picking The White Gloves • Playlists For The Tweener • Which Dress To Wear If Your Body Type Is Pear, Hourglass, Or Pizza (this headline was written by a former deb, so no, we aren't pizza shaming) • How To Not Throw Up At The Morning Dance • Full story on ITBinsider.com

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Our inaugural cover has everything you need to have an ITBlessed Deb Ball weekend. Be sure to tag @ITBInsider in your pics, now that you’re allowed to post about it.



High-Resolution Cover:



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Back To School Essentials Remain Unchanged For 8th Straight Decade

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Welcome to the definitive guide to starting another school year with your best boat shoe forward. The last thing you need as a parent is for little Davis III or Mary Anna to come home crying after the first day of school because they wore the wrong article of clothing or had a store brand snack in their lunch.

That’s why we’ve created this handy back to school guide that will ensure your children get off to a great start. From North Face to New Balances, these are the ITBasic items that will meet the approval of your peers.


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We’ve taken the time to link all of these products from Amazon so you can shop at home while binge watching Season 2 of Ozark and sipping on our back to school rosé from Seaboard Wine at High Park Village. Click on the product image or the title to purchase these items on Amazon and support the ITB Insider™ media empire, at no extra cost. You’re welcome.

Sperry Top-Siders

Your child may have to attend Cotillion, board a yacht, or go to the beach at a moment’s notice. Always be prepared.

Kid Sperrys

Same as above. Start teaching your children the importance of wearing proper shoes as they navigate the waters of the Pullen Park boats. But not the paddle boats, those require too much work.

Brooks Brothers Polo

A quintessential part of the ITB wardrobe, the Brooks Brothers polo should be worn every day of the week. When not wearing a Brooks Brothers polo, make sure your child is wearing a t-shirt from an acceptable restaurant, such as Sanitary, Beaufort Grocery, Angus Barn, etc.


New Balance 990s


The only shoe you’ll ever need. Your kid is probably begging for some new Under Armour shoe. Remind them that New Balances will never go out of style and will never blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.



North Face Backpack

A classic for kids of all ages. Name brand? Check. Solid color that goes with anything? Check. Also, the Borealis is unisex so your child can’t be made fun of for having a backpack designed for the opposite sex.

Anything Lilly Pulitzer

On Wednesdays, the kids wear pink.


Matching Outfits

If you aren’t matching with your child on at least the first day of school then you’re doing it wrong.


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Dressing for success is critical for your child’s development, but you can’t stop there. The following items will help your child get through the rest of their school day without getting stuffed into a locker or shunned by the Alpha in their class.

Scout Lunch Bag

The days of bringing your lunch to school in a brown paper bag are over. If your child doesn’t show up to lunch with one of these they might as well eat alone in their locker to avoid the shame you’ve brought upon them.


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Lunch Container

You bought the designer lunch bag, but you aren’t going to put your child’s food in a ziplock bag are you? Those things are FULL of BPA, PVC, and phthalates. Save your child’s life by using these lunch containers. The separated compartments are perfect for kids who are predisposed to melting down when their foods touch.

Pirate’s Booty

Pirate’s Booty has rocketed to the top of the snack food charts. Some might say this snack is on the expensive side, but the alternative is sending your kid to school with a bag of Utz cheese balls. Do you really want to be the talk of a thousand group texts before the last SUV has left the after school pick-up line?



Cheddar Bunnies

Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies are basically Goldfish crackers, and you probably can’t go wrong with either. However, Annie’s just seems more ITB because of how much they shove that organic label in your face.

Yeti Tumbler

You can’t send your child to school with a bottle of Deer Park and call it a day anymore. Their drink needs to have ice and that ice needs to stay frozen solid until you pick them up. Fortunately, YETI is the only tumbler with this type of ice preservation technology.

Lilly Planner

We all know you’re going to be the one planning your kid’s schedule, so you might as well look good doing it.

Trapper Keeper

The perfect receptacle for your child’s schoolwork, which you will ultimately be responsible for.

While this guide is far from complete, it should be enough to get you started. Good luck to you and your children on another exciting year of attending ITB schools!


ITB Dad in Doghouse After Ruining Back to School Picture


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Raleigh College Students Break Natural Light and Cook’s Rosé Sales Record

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The Cameron Village Harris Teeter is recovering from a month that saw sales of Natural Light and Cook’s Rosé hit an all-time high. The popular grocery store did over $6 million in sales just from those two products in the month of August. The spike in sales can be traced to the return of area college students.

According to store manager John Clifford, Harris Teeter employees have spent the last few weeks in a continuous loop of checking suspicious out-of-state IDs, restocking shelves with Natural Light and Cook’s Rosé, and retrieving shopping carts that had been left stranded throughout the parking lot.


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“The crowds were large, but nowhere near as large as when local meteorologists incorrectly predict we’ll get 3 inches of snow,” said Clifford, who was glad to see the students return.

Zack Smith, a sophomore at NC State, was glad he could contribute to the record-setting month. “As a 21-year-old, who is 21 years old, it’s good to know we helped set a record. Natural Light is just so versatile. It’s great for flip cup, beer pong, tailgating, playing Fortnite, you name it,” he said, while loading 16 cases of Natural Light into a tan 2006 Tahoe.

Hunter Webster, a fraternity brother of Smith’s, added, “It’s also healthy. It’s like the La Croix of beers.”

Clifford implemented a few changes to make sure the store was prepared to capitalize on the influx of students.



For example, after checking out, students were given the chance to take a picture inside of a cardboard cutout of the Harris Teeter Instagram account with a caption that read, “Back to school shopping fam! HT so lit rn! #backtoschool #ht #cvht” An employee also handed out “We did it!” stickers to each shopper.

Clifford said that heaping praise on students for simply purchasing groceries was part of a customer retention strategy. “With all these food delivery companies popping up every week we realize it’s hard for these students to actually go shopping. We wanted to reward them and make their trip more of an experience.”


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The strategy seemed to win over at least a few students. “I like that they made me feel like I accomplished something by going to the store on my own,” said Allison Morris, a junior at Meredith. Morris added that she “fell in love” with rosé during her summer session abroad in France.


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With the record-setting month coming to a close, Clifford’s focus must now shift. “We’re excited about the record and we love having the students back. We made it through the first wave without any employees going on strike. Now we’re getting ready for Pumpkin Spice season, which starts tomorrow.”

The Best Back to School Rosé

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ITB Dad in Doghouse After Ruining Back to School Picture

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ITB Family Nearly Torn Apart Over School Photo

A Hayes Barton family was almost torn apart after a disastrous first day of school. Grace Anne Stewart, a mother of two, came close to filing for divorce after her husband, Charles Stewart, failed to follow her simple instructions for taking a back to school photo of their children.

Grace Anne had gone out of town to be with her sister who was giving birth, one of the only reasons a mother would miss a back to school photo shoot of her kids. She laid out specific instructions and sent Charles a reminder text early Monday morning.

Charles woke up, read the text, remembered about half of it, and began his day. He tried putting the kids into the outfits his wife had chosen, but gave up after mild tantrums ensued. He bribed the children with extra iPad time to get them to write their names on the chalkboard and then quickly took the pictures.

As the kids got in the car for the .3 mile trek to school, Charles got on a conference call with his commercial real estate colleagues. It was time to analyze their recent Fantasy Football draft. Charles got caught up in discussing who should start at his flex spot and forgot to send the pictures to his wife.



He dropped the kids off at school, assuming he’d won Father of the Year for getting them there on time. By 9:00 am, Grace Anne knew something was wrong. She texted her husband.

Grace Anne: Charles! Where are the pictures?!

Charles: Sorry, got caught up on a work call. It was important.

Grace Anne: It’s 9:05 am. Our picture won’t be seen by as many people if we don’t post it right now. We need at least 100 likes this year.

Charles sent the pictures at 9:06 am, which is the exact moment his marriage nearly came to an end.

Grace Anne: CHARLES!!!!

Charles: Don’t the kids look cute?

Grace Anne: The chalkboard, Charles. The fucking chalkboard.

Charles: I put the chalkboard out!
Grace Anne: Yeah, you did, but those grades are from LAST YEAR. David had a huge growth spurt this summer. He doesn’t look like he’s going into the 4th grade, unless he’s the Hodor of Root. He’s a damn giant.

Charles: It’s not my fault the kids don’t know what grade they’re going into. There are literally 1 million pictures of kids going back to school today on social media. No one actually reads the chalkboards.

Grace Anne: Well three of my group texts noticed immediately. And I told you to put him in seersucker shorts and a Brooks Brothers polo from the ITBack to School Must Haves guide. Why is he wearing a Golden State Warriors t-shirt and basketball shorts?! This isn’t a Jaycee basketball game!!!


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Charles: I’ll fix it.

Grace Anne: How?! Now we don’t have a first day of school picture to post next to our last day of school picture at the end of the year! Do you want this to be your second divorce before you’re 35? We are done. DONE!

Charles knew nothing good could come from replying to an all caps “done” text message. Thinking he could salvage the picture, and hoping to avoid another costly divorce, Charles cancelled his scheduled 3 hour coffee meeting at Third Place, hopped in his Yukon, and sped towards Root.

He pulled the kids out of class, did 95 down Glenwood, and arrived at home. He frantically made the kids change clothes and pose for another picture in front of the chalkboard, now updated with the correct grades. He took a dozen pictures and sent them to his wife by 10:00 am.

Grace Anne: These are fine. But if this doesn’t get 100 likes so help me God…

As of 6:00 pm the picture had only received 87 likes.


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The Best Back to School Rosé

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Rosé. You know it. You love it. You live for it. With help from our friends at Seaboard Wine at High Park, we’ve come up with a selection of rosé to help you transition from summer to the first week of school. We’ve also included actual wine knowledge that you can casually drop at your next dinner party so you’ll sound like a Southern Belle sommelier. Remember, drink responsibly.

Seaboard Wine at High Park has a more in-depth list of rosé selections on their website. Sign up for their e-mail newsletter (near the bottom of the page) to stay up to date on events, tastings, and all things wine.



Domaine Houchart ‘Sainte Victoire’ Rosé 2017; Côtes de Provence, France ($17.99)

The pool doesn’t close for a few more weeks. There’s still time to grab a bottle or five and relax while you let the lifeguards watch your kids (it is literally their job). This rosé is an annual favorite from the Quiot family. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre, this light pink classic style Provence Rosé shows notably more depth and complexity than the usual French Rosé. Beautifully balanced strawberry, white peach, and mineral notes will pair nicely with firm cheeses, quiche, and steamed shellfish. I’m sure it pairs well with mozzarella stix from the pool bar as well.

Mittelbach “T” Zweigelt Rosé 2017, Lower Austria ($14.99)

Your toddler is now a big kid and heading off to their first day of kindergarten. You. can. not. even. You’ll need at least three bottles of this rosé to get through this emotional rollercoaster. The 2017 vintage shows brilliant neon pink color with fresh cherry, lavender, and rose petal aromas. Dry, yet juicy crushed red berry fruit on the palate, balanced with fresh acidity and just a peek of spice on the crisp lively finish. Great with picnic foods, salads, mild cheeses or fish dishes, as well as taking a picture of your child standing on the front porch in front of a chalk board with their name on it.

Sierra Cantabria Rosé 2017; Rioja, Spain ($12.99)

Perfect for book club. You’ve read the book, sort of. You’ve pretended to identify with the characters and themes. Now it’s time to humble brag about your three-week trip to Italy and gossip about how the neighbors can afford that new addition on their house. This “Rosé” is made in the Clairette style, where fermentation occurs with the grape skins rather than removing them. While Rosés are usually all red grapes, Clairettes have a large percentage of white grapes. In this case, Viura, Garnacha, and Tempranillo make a Rosé with aromas of red berries and a hint of anise with a persistent finish. Delicious with cheese and charcuterie or steamed shellfish.



Pullus Spritzar Rosé 2017, 250ml cans; Ptuj, Slovenia ($17.99/4 pk)

This rosé comes in a pack of four, which makes it perfect for Target shopping, attending youth sporting events, school plays, and other on the go activities. This rosé is produced from grafts of the oldest grape vine in the world. The varietal Žametovka is 400 years old and is grown in Maribor, Slovenia. The grapes used for Spritzar were grafted from this vine in 1990. Loads of strawberry aromatics and flavors and a splash of Slovenian carbonated water make this an all day drinker. (Note: ITB Insider and Seaboard Wine will not be held liable if you get in trouble for bringing these into Target. Please contact Stacy Miller for all legal questions.)


Stobi Rosé 2017; Tikveš, Macedonia ($13.99/750ml bottle or $36.99/3 liter box!)

The in-laws are coming. In a few short weeks, they’ll be in town for a college football game and to tell you how to do things. You’ll need to start pre-gaming before you even start pre-gaming. Fortunately, in central Macedonia, the Mediterranean climate from the south collides with the continental climate from the north, creating an area most remarkable for grape growing and wine production. This blend of 80% Rkatsiteli and 20% Vranec is fresh and floral with strawberry and a touch of pungent grapefruit. It is a refreshing apertif or pair with lighter picnic dishes. It also comes in a handy 3-liter box that fits perfectly in the fridge or your YETI cooler.

Ponte Rosé 2017; Vinho Verde, Portugal ($11.99)

Need a little spritz in your Rosé? You bet your sweet brunch you do. Aromas of watermelon and raspberry pop out of the glass in this lovely, effervescent Vinho Verde. The flavors are balanced by high acidity, a juicy finish and a slight fizz, this is the ultimate thirst quencher to beat the heat at the soccer game or little league tournament. This can easily be paired with a salty pimento cheese dip or crispy fried chicken.

This article was co-written with our partner, Seaboard Wine at High Park.


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Is La Croix Bad For Your Teeth? ITBlake Investigates

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ITBlake the intern visited Downtown Dental, one of our sponsors and the only ITB approved dentist, to ask some hard-hitting questions about La Croix and Tide Pods. Dr. Brett Wells was nice enough to take the time to answer. This is the peak of journalism.

Things ITBlake learned:

Drink 2 and 1/3 cans of La Croix per day

La Croix is not mouthwash

Tide Pods are incredibly abrasive and will probably kill you

Do not take your teeth out and wash them with Tide Pods

ITBlake also refilled the Downtown Dental La Croix refrigerator, because that’s one of his responsibilities here at ITB Insider™.

Overall, it was a very educational experience for ITBlake. He is now considering a career in dentistry. We’ll have more from his visit in a few weeks.

As ITBlake said, check out Downtown Dental for the tooth experience of your life. They’re located in downtown Raleigh at 205 Fayetteville Street.

You can follow Downtown Dental on:

Instagram @smilesbydtd

Facebook @DowntownDental

Twitter @DowntownDental2

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ITBlake Learns How To Wash Cars And Be A Penguin Mascot

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ITBlake the intern came to me with a problem. He needed a summer job that would allow him the flexibility to be a famous intern and also play Fortnite (it’s a video game) constantly. I told him that I would help him find a job, despite being overwhelmingly busy with launching a podcast, running a media empire, and trying not to get sued.

We posted an ad and his résumé in the micITBit Facebook group.

We got a lot of great responses but ITBlake didn’t follow up with any of them. So I took it upon myself to find him a job and set up an interview.

I reached out to Scot Wingo, who was named 2018 CEO of the Year by The Triangle Business Journal. Wingo is the CEO of Spiffy, a local company revolutionizing car care. Spiffy’s convenience and eco-friendly process have made them a triangle favorite. With the tap of a phone screen, they bring car washing, detailing, and oil changes to you. Using the Spiffy app, you can quickly schedule an appointment and their professionally trained technicians show up with everything they need to make your car stand out from all the others in the White Memorial pickup line.

Wingo had the perfect job in mind for ITBlake. As you can see from the video, we pivoted from our original strategy of having ITBlake wash cars, and instead focused on leveraging ITBlake wearing a penguin costume while synergistcally standing on the side of (and sometimes in the middle of) a busy road to attract attention.

We generated over 1M impressions that day. To thank ITBlake for his hard work, Spiffy is offering our loyal readers $20 off a full wash or detail, or $10 off oil changes. Just use code “ITB” when checking out. You’re welcome.

ITBehind the scenes footage:

Dads Won’t Stop Fly Fishing In Orvis Parking Lot

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Contribute to the Hurricane Florence recovery efforts:

North Carolina Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund

NC Hospital Foundation Disaster Relief Fund

Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC

Habitat for Humanity

United Way

Volunteer for a 6 or 12 hour shift with the Red Cross

The Carolina Cavalry

Why cash is better than donations


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A new addition to the Ridgewood shopping center has area fishing enthusiasts flying high. After it was reported in the Development Beat that the new Orvis in Ridgewood had opened, dozens of dads from inside the beltline have flocked to the store’s parking lot. They aren’t just there to check out new gear. These dads are there to fish, or at least practice fishing.

With the flooding of Crabtree Creek becoming more common, combined with Raleigh’s new “pop-up” fishing holes that result from the city’s decaying sewer and water infrastructure, it’s no surprise that fishermen are taking to the streets to practice fly fishing. We spent some time investigating the phenomenon.


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“They come out at all hours of the day, all days of the week,” said one Orvis employee. “It’s like that scene in the movie Field of Dreams. They just start appearing from in between the rows of Tahoes and Yukons in the Whole Foods parking lot.”

An avid fly fisherman, who arrived at 6:00 am carrying his Orvis Battenkill reel in a monogrammed Filson case, shared his excitement over the new sporting goods store. “It’s just nice to get away from the office and come to the great outdoors. There’s no better place to tighten your loops and practice your back cast than a new Orvis parking lot,” said Davis Franklin, a commercial real estate broker.

“Surrounded by the beautiful stone facade and the traffic on the Wade Avenue 500, I can just close my eyes and imagine I’m hooking a bonefish on our annual Bahamas trip,” he added.

To recreate optimal fishing conditions, the store installed a livestream of a live stream. A video of a live stream in the North Carolina mountains is projected onto the side of the building while the soothing sounds of the water can be heard from the Bose surround sound speakers mounted in the parking lot.

The live stream livestream

The live stream livestream has been a huge hit, with many dads returning at night in their North Face Cat’s Meow sleeping bags to simply watch the river. Customers have already requested that a livestream of graduations, childbirths, school plays, and music recitals be played so they won’t have to leave the parking lot.


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The lot continued to fill. Two dads wearing ultralight waders and Barbour vests in the 90 degree heat unloaded gear from their Yukons while debating whether to use a 4 weight or a 7 weight when catching bluegill at Lassiter Mill.

Nearby, a father was giving his son a lesson. “So this is called a wind knot. You’re going to get those if you keep tomahawking your cast like that,” he explained, as he placed a metronome on the curb to teach his son proper timing.


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One dad even brought a boat to the parking lot.

“I always try to snag some red drum while tooling around Rich’s inlet,” said Thomas Miller III, attempting to recreate those conditions by sitting in his boat that rested on the asphalt.

Another fisherman chimed in. “You might want to stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to in that drift boat, pal. I was about to bring my Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman out here and work on my double haul. Then my wife said all her friends that shop at Whole Foods might see me and think I was slacking off with their investments,” said Five Points resident and financial planner Vance Craig VI.


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“I’m just glad we’ve got an Orvis in Raleigh now,” added Craig VI, refusing to acknowledge the existence of the Orvis at Triangle Town Center. He went on to name-drop Orvis CEO Perk Perkins. “We’ve been giving Perk a hard time at the hunting camp for not having one of these inside the beltline. I told him I’d personally spend at least six figures a year if he’d just put one somewhere close.”



Craig VI then entered the store to purchase three new rods, a dog jacket, and a shotshell collar with an engraved brass plate for Birdie, his golden retriever puppy.



To keep potential customers in the parking lot longer, Orvis designed a custom OtterBox DryBox YETI container for cell phone storage. Customers can store their phones and be free from distractions as they perfect their casts.

“We want this to be a safe space for our customers while they practice the sport they love. I’m not sure anyone is improving, but they’re buying a lot of gear,” said an Orvis employee.

The store has done over $3 million in sales since opening last month.


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The N&O Praises Intern For Saving Iconic Sign

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A Broughton High School senior is finally being recognized by the media after a year of hard work. The News & Observer, a newspaper located in Raleigh, North Carolina, reported on the incredible story of how ITBlake the intern single-handedly saved a piece of history. Seriously, here is the article that features ITBlake the intern in the newspaper.

Over the last year, ITBlake spent countless hours managing a social media campaign using the hashtag #savethesign. The goal was to draw attention to the N.C. Equipment Co. building’s tractor sign (or is it a bulldozer?) that was in danger of being demolished along with the rest of the building. The campaign generated over 60 million impressions on social media and dominated brunch and dinner party conversations for months.


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ITBlake initially planned on taking legal action. “At first I thought about taking this to the Supreme Court of the world, but Stacy Miller was too busy dealing with Fyre Festival™ lawsuits. And if you can’t have Stacy as your attorney then there’s no point in even trying,” said ITBlake the intern.



In a last-ditch effort, ITBlake handcuffed himself to the sign for weeks, surviving on LaCroix and Rise biscuits alone. His dedication to the cause worked, as developers announced plans to save the sign and incorporate it into the new student housing development being built on the site.


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ITB Insider™ posted the news of ITBlake the intern’s victory on Instagram and Twitter.

The News & Observer’s Josh Shaffer saw the story and began to investigate. ITBlake’s story was so powerful that Shaffer featured it in his article on the history of the sign. Here’s ITBlake the intern’s big newspaper debut.

Once you get through the Kroger and Netflix DVD rental pop-up ads, you’ll see ITBlake featured in the article.

Many Raleigh residents were pleased to see the heartwarming story get the attention it deserved.

“It’s great to see the media covering stories that matter, instead of wasting time on articles about where Amazon will put their headquarters based on some “source”,” said Five Points resident and commercial real estate broker Vance Craig VI.


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“I don’t read the news because of my crippling addiction to micITBit and other buy/sell/trade Facebook groups. But I did see this on Facebook as I scrolled by a Kissy Kissy Dogs Day Out footie that was too small for lil Vance VII and it made me happy,” added Mary Cameron Knoll Craig, who runs an Instagram account featuring images of the best Wine and Design paintings in Raleigh.

As for ITBlake, he reacted to the news of his appearance in the news as any 18 year-old would. With a simple “Omg”.

Omg indeed, ITBlake. Omg indeed.


Baskin-Robbins In Cameron Village Closed And Dunkin Donuts Is To Blame

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Dunkin Donuts Just Ruined Your Childhood

Baskin-Robbins in Cameron Village, an institution to generations of Raleigh residents for over 50 years, is closed. I was sent the picture below on Wednesday afternoon.

I was already exhausted from covering Webb’s victory, debuting ITBlake the intern’s house flipping video, editing the Development Beat, and breaking the news about Apple moving to NC (more on that later).

Still, I pressed on to read the letter written by the owners of the Baskin-Robbins in Cameron Village. A sadness melted over me as I read each sentence.

According to the letter, the parent company of Dunkin Brands (aka Dunkin Donuts) thought the “location and the age of this store can no longer meet the brand standard” and gave the owners the choice to move to a different location. The owners declined and have decided to retire. That’s right, Dunkin Donuts kills jobs.


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The letter ended, “It has been an honor to serve such a loyal group of customers and we will close happily with fond memories,” which is the classiest and most mature way you can handle this situation.

I, however, am anything but mature. I will now destroy any argument in favor of the existence of Dunkin Donuts. First, what “brand standard” does Dunkin Donuts have? What even is Dunkin Donuts? Is it a donut shop or a coffee shop? I’ve never eaten their donuts, but I imagine they taste like rocks or dog food.


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For some reason, their coffee is an obsession for people from the North. Not the good North from Game of Thrones, the North that we roll our eyes at when their former residents, who now live here, try to coffee-splain how good Dunkin is to us. Full disclosure: I have some of their coffee K-cups and they aren’t even that great. I will be lighting those on fire in protest.

To align with their “brand standards” I assume they’ll build these Dunkin Donuts/Baskin-Robbins hybrid stores as stand-alone locations on some busy road instead of a nice upscale retail destination center nestled between some of Raleigh’s oldest neighborhoods and the best high school in the country.


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It’s pretty obvious that Dunkin was just afraid of moving into a location around the corner from Rise Biscuits and Donuts (one of our fine sponsors). Going head to head with Rise is a donut death wish.

I shared the picture of the letter on social media around 4:00 pm on Wednesday (before the “real news” outlets even knew about the story, obvi). By the time I posted this article, the social posts received an outpouring of comments from people remembering fond times they had there.

My own mom used to go there when she was pregnant with me, and look how I turned out. People recalled taking “field trips” there during school. Broughton legend Mary Holt Collins recalled the Broughton girls soccer state championship tradition of running from the track to Baskin-Robbins.

A few more comments (my comments in bold)

Scene of my parents’ first date – (this place literally created life)

Do they not realize the patrons don’t care that the store isn’t the typical chain?

So sad! My kids will be crushed!!!

Dunkin Donuts sucks.

Is anything sacred?

Every birthday cake for my sons special day has come from that store since they could choose their cake. So sad. It’s always busy and that family (not BR/DD) has always worked hard at customer service.

The ice cream is good but the owner is great. A real loss to me and my family.

First blockbuster now this…all our good report card rewards disappearing

I’d like to mourn this loss the only way I know how, by eating an entire mint chocolate chip ice cream cake by myself in a dark room listening to The Connells. But I can’t do that. Not in a “I can’t sit around at a time like this! I’m going to stand up and fight for what’s right!” kind of way. I mean I literally cannot buy a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake anymore.


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Therefore, I am calling on a city-wide boycott of all Dunkin Donuts stores, products, commercials, advertisements, and anything related to the company. If we can’t have Baskin-Robbins in Cameron Village, Dunkin Donuts can’t have our customers in Raleigh. Last night, I put a plan in motion.



This is just a start. I haven’t even talked to my attorney Stacy Miller yet to see if what Dunkin is doing is even legal. If we work together who knows what could happen.


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ITBlake Flips A House

ITBlake Flips A House

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ITBlake the intern has been working hard over the last year. We’ve seen him complete multiple workout classes, cover the Raleigh Christmas parade, and much more. We’re excited to finally share the results of one of his passion projects. Early on in his internship, ITBlake came to me and said, “The real estate market is booming. I want to learn how to flip houses.” So I arranged for a house to be purchased in Five Points, and told ITBlake to watch as many episodes of HGTV renovation shows as he could.

After watching countless episodes of the hit show Fixer Upper, ITBlake learned how to flip houses. He just finished renovating a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2,407 square foot home at 404 W Aycock Street. ITBlake spent days working on the project, only taking breaks to walk down to Roanoke Park and play Fortnite on his phone.

We produced our own HGITB episode to show off all his hard work. We also figured this would be a hit with his target demographic, because nothing appeals to ITB moms more than ITBlake and home renovation projects.

As you can see from the first episode of the series, ITBlake thought of everything:

Space for parking multiple Yukon XLs from Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac (Hey Mark)

“Baby in a wall” storage, great for those with new babies who need to get some rest

Quartz countertops – also known as “rock” countertops


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Plenty of room to throw produce to Jimmy as he leaves for school

Stove capable of cooking steaks, pasta, sauces, and more

Everything is designed to be very cute

Harry Potter bathroom

Master bedroom with a clock

Efficient shower for ITBlake and his future wife Emma Watson

Furniture from micITBit- NO POMS

A storage shed with doors that lead into the storage shed

(This is an actual house for sale. Contact John Hawkins with Fonville Morisey for details.)


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Here are some before and after pictures:

ITBlake Goes to Burn Boot Camp (VIDEO)

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ITBlake the intern survived his first Burn Boot Camp West Raleigh workout. I’m sure many of you are wondering why I would force him to stop playing Fortnite and actually do some work by attending this class. Not to get all Cambridge Analytica here, but our analytics have shown that ITBlake #content appeals to females between the ages of 25-44. It just so happens that the majority of Burn Boot Camp members fall into this demographic. ITBlake is an intern of the people, so having him attend a class was a no-brainer. As I told ITBlake in the video, this is his tribe, and you can’t spell tribe without ITB.


Even though we knew there would be a lot of ITBlake fans at the class I wanted to make sure he would be accepted by our target demographic. To be safe, I had him walk into the class with a monogrammed Lands End bag filled with La Croix, Pirate’s Booty, fruit pouches, and Paw Patrol fruit snacks.

As ITBlake worked out, I posted a few clips to my Instagram Story. The response was overwhelming. Below is just a small sample.


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I put a few other projects on hold and spent two days editing the video, which we’ll be submitting to Sundance and The Academy. In just over a week, the video has been viewed over 7,000 times on Facebook, has over 5,700 impressions and 152 likes on Instagram, and 674 views on Twitter (Twitter does not seem to be a big fan of ITBlake workout videos).


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A lot of people saw the video and asked “How did he survive? Does media empire insurance cover loss of interns?” Thankfully, Mary Holt Collins (Broughton legend, and one half of Humdinger Juice) was there to guide him. Shout out to her brother, Colin Fickes, for inventing juice and being a Broughton legend as well. 

Now that ITBlake is in peak physical condition, we’ll focus on finding him a summer job. We’re also in talks to give him his own show. Stay tuned.


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Skully’s not looking forward to Monday. @thegoldenskully

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

Duck the Corgi @duckthecorgi

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

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

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

Snow dog staring contest. Swipe ➡️. 📷 @helickteeva

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

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

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

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

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

Snow golden loves the snow. 📷@katiezsmith

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

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

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

@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

in Humor/ITBNN by
ShopITB.com

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

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