All posts tagged: shopping

Faces in the Car Show Crowd

January and February are the best time of the year for the car buffs in Arizona! This year The Car Guy went to Russo and Steele, Silver Auction at Fort McDowell and the Fountain Hills Concours in the Hills. He would have gone to Barrett-Jackson too, but got tired of trying to find a place to park. At my other blog, Almost Artistic, I used several filters on the same photos – the faces are not nearly so recognizable: Faces at the Car Show. This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is A Face in the Crowd.

Christmas 2016 – Santa and the North Pole

Christmas is very nearly here, and I’d like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and All the Best in the New Year. As you can see from this photo of my Christmas tree, I’m all ready for Santa to visit.  I anticipate one very nicely wrapped medium sized gift of the hair drying appliance variety! For better or for worse, Christmas is a time for gifts and giving. Who knows that better than Santa – and Wal-Mart, Costco and Tesco, to name just a few of the larger retailers! While it is easy to walk into the familiar brick and mortar stores in communities around the world, it is quite impossible to visit Santa’s establishment. There are several reasons for this. First, of course, is the fact that Santa is not a retailer. He is the owner of a factory and distribution outlet. His business model simply does not include on-site sales. Then there is the issue of the location of his  facility. It is, according to lore, at the North Pole …

Fire in the Hole! Oven Element Burns Up

Did I ever tell you about The Car Guy’s To Do List? It contains things that I put on it (see Pink Jobs and Blue Jobs for an explanation of what kinds of tasks I put on his list) and things that he adds. He often adds items after he has done them, and then he immediately crosses them off.  He likes his list to look like it is close to completion. The original lists were probably carved in stone and represented longer periods of time. They contained things like ‘Get More Clay. Make Better Oven. – David Viscott – This week he added Order a new oven bake element from Amazon.com. We’ve never had an oven element self destruct before. It is pretty dramatic. It started in one spot with a spark like you see when someone is welding. This white hot spot slowly inched along the element, even after The Car Guy turned the oven off. It stopped as soon as he closed the electrical breaker. This seemed infinitely more sensible than the …

The Quippery

Facebook Thinks Your Life is Boring

You see this tuna? This tuna is boring. Stop having a boring tuna, stop having a boring life. – Offer “Vince” Shlomi (Commercial for Slap Chop) Have you ever watched the Sham Wow, Slap Chop or Schticky commercials on TV? I always crack up when Vince, the consummate salesman, says “You’re gonna love my nuts” – as he is using the Slap Chop to dice up the items that will make your food preparation (and your life) more exciting. Vince makes the prospect of ‘being fleeced’ fun. He knows he is an old time snake oil salesman, and he doesn’t try to hide it. Less fun – okay downright annoying – is the advertising on Facebook. Facebook used to be just a social network – the place where I tell all my friends  how The Car Guy is recovering from his Motorcycle Accident and my friends say they are glad to hear the news. Or the son-in-law posts a photo of us on New Years Eve, and we respond by saying “Surely our cheeks and …

Foreign Street Scenes – Germany, Qatar, Egypt

Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages. – Dave Barry – America has solved the problem of foreign languages. Want to see the Eiffel Tower without the inconvenience of all those foreigners in France? Just go to Las Vegas! How about raw meat hanging in front of a shop, cabbages wilting in the heat, and dead animals floating in the canal nearby? Seems foreign to me, but this scene was relatively common in Cairo, Egypt. (Except for the dead animals floating nearby. That was only if there was a canal for them to float in.) This street in Doha, Qatar seemed foreign when I first encountered it, but became normal after living there for some time. (Well, not right there. A few miles away.) This is a street in Munich, Germany. The buildings, the statues, the floral window boxes – all so foreign in my part of …

How to Make Melted Crayon Art

Last fall each of my grown children purchased new crayons and artist’s canvas, and it wasn’t for the grand-children to take to school. No, they used a glue gun, a candle and a hair dryer to create a merger of the crayons and the canvas. Here is what they made: The result was my Christmas Present last year.  I’m hoping they will do the same this year. I loved the results! One daughter, the one who lives to cook, presented me with this beautiful bundle of vegetables. I can only imagine how long it took to melt the crayons with a candle, then plant each melted bit onto the canvas! Another daughter glued black, grey, white, green and yellow crayons onto the top of a canvas, then used a hair dryer to melt the pointed ends so they dripped. Note the new colours that formed near the bottom where one colour ran into another. The third daughter – whose husband rides the same model of Harley that The Car Guy did (see A Perfect Storm) …

wordle fat synonyms

The 1 Weird Old Tip Scam

Nothing irritates me more than a certain ad on webpages. You know the one – a belly that inflates and deflates. “Cut down a bit of your belly everyday by following this 1 weird old tip.” I have ignored the ad until today. Today I wanted to find out just how weird this tip could be. Would it be as simple as My Strawberry Diet (which was not really so much a diet as a matter of eating a bunch of strawberries and working hard all week.) So I clicked the picture. This led me into the world of those who would like me to believe that the answer to the obesity epidemic is the African Mango Diet. If you had clicked the ad, you would likely have been led to a different weird old tip because the same ad is linked to any number of other small diet-product sellers. (If you are interested in how these diet scams work and what the Federal Trade Commission is doing about it, there are a few stories …

How to Lose Weight – The Strawberry Diet

I lost 2 pounds last week. I’m not sure where they went, but I won’t be sending out a search party to find them. How did I do it? I’m going to claim it was because of my Strawberry Diet. It I had an ounce of Entrepreneurship in me, I would write another book about this diet (I’m not the first person to eat a boatload of strawberries and write about it). But the procedure is so incredibly simple, and I’m all for the free sharing of ideas (and Garage Sale Stuff), so I’m going to tell you my secret. First, you need a bargain hunting husband like mine who bought a very big container of strawberries from Costco because it was so much cheaper than a small container at the grocery store. Then, you need him to wash and hull and chop them all up for you.  My spouse also came home with one good size watermelon which he also cut into bite size chunks.  Since he doesn’t really like strawberries all that much, …

A Visit to Never Never Land – Arizona

For the past 10 days The Car Guy and I have been Canadian Snow Birds. Yes, we packed up shorts and sun tan lotion and headed south to a place where snow flakes rarely fall – Phoenix Arizona. We have a few friends there, several who like us well enough to invite us to stay in their home. So stay we did – 5 days with some fellow Canadians, and 5 days with an American couple we met in the Middle East. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, which made us wonder how we could stay there for several months a year. We made some mental calculations. How many friends would we have to have if we wanted to stay as guests  in their homes (as opposed to buying a house or hauling a honking big RV down south each year?) There were too many variables to come up with an exact number, but it appeared that 5 days was about the maximum we could expect to be welcome before the host ran out of wine and …

Indulge – Extravagant Architecture in Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale and Dubai

Definition of Indulge – to practice a forbidden or questionable act without restraint. In that case, my love of dark chocolate clearly is not an indulgence – it isn’t forbidden or questionable – not by me, anyhow. Let me take you further afield to show you indulgence. Have you been to Las Vegas lately? Is there any part of The Strip that doesn’t scream, “Step inside and indulge your every whim!” (The Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop is in Harrahs, I hear.) How about the Grand Canal area of Ft. Lauderdale? Does anyone there own a little paddle boat that they park behind their  humble bungalow? (Kilwin’s Chocolates is on East Las Olas Blvd) Then there is Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. One of their lesser indulgences is the Wafi City Mall. It has a facade that convincingly recreates ancient Egypt. (Godiva Chocolates are on the Ground Floor. Patchi’s Chocolates are on the First Floor. That is me in the red shirt, carrying a box of….) The problem with people who have no …

Welcome to Canada – The Vancouver Riot is Over

My morning routine includes a few hours in my favourite chair with my laptop computer. I zip around the world on the Internet. Yesterday morning my first stop was Vancouver, and that was pretty much as far as I got as I watched the story of the Vancouver Riot be told. Initially I was dismayed by the  wildly speculative and inaccurate reporting about such a tragic event. As the story unfolded and a few actual details emerged, the finger pointing started. It was the police’s fault, it was the fault of the organizers, it was the game of hockey’s fault, it was the fans fault. Then, anticipating the response from the rest of the world, many entirely innocent Vancouver people said they were embarrassed and ashamed to be from Vancouver. Some were ashamed to be Canadians. Some were ashamed because they had once lived in Vancouver… Blame? The only people to blame are the ones who took part in the riot. Many of these apparently arrived with the materials to light a car on fire, …

iPad 2 – A Six Day Journey

It is not that I don’t embrace new technology. It is just that I don’t adopt it very quickly. My cell phone is a good example. Sometimes I turn it on, phone The Car Guy to tell him that I survived a shopping trip in The Big City and I’m on my way home to eat the hot supper he is making. That gives him time to go get some take-away. Then I turn the phone off for a few months. So when The Car Guy asked me if I wanted to have an iPad, I looked at him skeptically. The thing had only been out for a year. And it was an Apple. Why would I spend that much money on something that might be only a fad, and would require me to Cross Over to the Dark Side? He replied, “We aren’t getting any younger. I’ve got some extra money this month. Let’s live on the edge.” And so it was that we made the pilgrimage to the Apple Store and looked at …

cartoon heart Valentine

The Market and Valentine’s Day Spending – 2011

The retail industry in America is buzzing with excitement. They believe that Valentine’s Day spending this year will be up about 11% over last year. The National Retail Federation expects $15.7 billion will be spent on traditional Valentine’s gifts – Greeting Cards, an Evening Out, Candy, Flowers, Jewelery etc. Canadians will spend a proportional amount of money too, but we don’t like to brag about it, I guess. I can’t help but think that there are better ways for Americans to spend their $15 billion, given that they are still trying to recover from a recession. For example, did you know that there are about 50 million Americans who go hungry each day, and $15 billion dollars a year would feed them all? About $15 billion a year is needed to replace aging drinking water systems. $15 billion is twice what the National Parks Service needs to bring maintenance of facilities up to date. Somebody needs to figure out how to market these needs and make it easy for people to put money or time …

Self-Indulgence and Consumer Spending Habits

One of the more interesting movies in 2008 was an animated Disney Pixar film called WALL-E . With an estimated budget of $180 million, (and Gross Domestic Revenue of  $224 million), the movie depicts what happens to mankind when it has to leave the Earth they destroyed and live in the  luxury of a huge space ship. Seven hundred years after the earth was abandoned, all that is left on earth to clean up the mess is one little garbage collecting robot (WALL-E) and a cockroach. In contrast, the people in the space craft live a  pampered life, riding around on hovering chairs that give them a constant feed of TV, video chatting, and food. The inactivity has made them all so fat they can barely move. The movie is actually very funny, and the hero, WALL-E is such a loveable character that I pinned a photo of him on my fridge. But there is no question that the movie is a cautionary tale of what happens to a society when a self-indulgent lifestyle goes …

How to Go Internet Router Shopping

Have you ever read the headline “Grandma Drives Pick-up Truck INTO Electronics Store”? I came close to making that headline. I went to Toon Town on Wednesday to run a few errands. The Car Guy was using our Daily Driver, so I took the back-up vehicle, a “plow through snow drifts” Dodge Dakota 4X4 pick-up truck with a Magnaflow high performance exhaust system. I love driving it – makes me feel very tall and I like the rumbly sound it makes. One of my stops was the local Electonics store. You know, the people who sell everything from crayons to computers. I wanted a new wireless router. The router aisle had a bewildering variety of products to choose from. I wondered what to buy, and I wondered how long it would take for a sales associate (SA) to come and help me. After many minutes, I began to wonder if I had become Invisible again. It always happens when I least want it to. If I want to be left alone in a book store, …

Christmas Peace – Keeping the Season Simple – 2010

I’ve been reading quite a few blogs over the past few days, and the general consensus seems to be that this holiday season has become anything but peaceful. “Crazy ideas of a perfect Christmas” is how one blogger describes her preparations. “Worst traits of humanity” is how another blogger observes the shoppers. “Madness that are the weeks leading up to Christmas”  is how another blogger sums up her last week of activity. I’m a perfectionist to the nth degree in many things. I have the potential on any given day to detail something to death. And sometimes I do. This is balanced at Christmas, quite thankfully I must say, by the fact that I am not a shopper, and I really don’t like to cook all that much.  It has simplified the Christmas holiday immensely. So while others are rampaging through the stores for yet another gift to add to the pile under the tree, I have placed just one. It is a power tool for my Spousal Unit. And I didn’t even have to …

The Kitchen Reno – New Trend Stone Countertops

The Kitchen Reno was precipitated by two events. The first was the unfortunate choice of counter top surface that I made twenty years ago. The surface was a laminate with a very slight texture to it. In my defense, those little sample chips of laminate don’t really prepare the buyer for what the product is going to look like when it becomes a blanket of counter top. And in the case of this product, the slight texture wasn’t as slight as I thought, and dirt didn’t think it was slight either. Regular attacks of a bristly brush and lots of muscle power were required to keep it clean. But I lived with it for 20 years before the second event set the ball rolling. A new business opened in the town nearby. It is called Granite Transformations.  I researched it on the web, and checked out it’s reputation. In the meantime, my Spousal Unit stopped by their showroom one day and was impressed with their product. So he invited them to come to our house and …

Induction Cooking – Pots and Pans

What you’ll find in this post about Canadian Induction Pots and Pans: An Introduction to Induction Pots and Pans A  Review of all the sets I considered Photos of many of the sets A few words about the Manufacturers Introduction to Induction Cooking In the never-ending reno, the kitchen is getting an Induction Cooktop. Induction cooking requires special pots – they have to have flat magnetic bottoms. My old Revere Copper bottom pots meet neither of those requirements.  (You can test the magnetism of your pots by holding a magnet up to the bottom. If it sticks, your pot is magnetic.) So, what to buy? Well, I wanted something handsome, shiny and silvery.  This meant, to me anyway, stainless steel. Stainless steel is an iron alloy with chromium and nickel. It is corrosion resistant, and non-reactive to alkaline and acidic foods. It is also resistant to scratching and denting. The best percentage of chromium and nickel is 18/10, but some pots are 18/9 and many are 18/8. The thickness of stainless steel will vary with the expense …

How to Use a Barnes and Noble NOOK 1st Edition in Canada

I bought a NOOK eBook Reader (1st Edition) while I was visiting in the USA. It is a Barnes & Noble product that is not available in Canada,  though I am assured by the company that I can purchase books from them while I am in Canada. I was still in the USA when I tried out my new NOOK. I had already created an account with Barnes & Noble, so all that was required when I had charged up the battery of my NOOK, was to tell my NOOK what Wi-Fi  hotspot I was using, and then register my NOOK on my account… that was after I figured out what all the buttons did, and how to navigate around… I eventually used the NOOK to go shopping on the Barnes & Noble website, and found the free e-books. I chose one to download. Barnes and Noble immediately decided it didn’t like the Canadian Address on my account, and refused to send me my free book. So I moved over to a computer, went to the B&N website, navigated …