Notwithstanding any preconceived notions about either store, I was as shocked as you will be when several unbiased sources pitted the monolithic Wal-Mart machine against a spirited Minnesota-headquartered box store called Target and the latter won. I had no idea this was possible. Any readers out there have anecdotes where David beat Goliath?
According to one savvy reader of The Consumerist, if fellows crunch the numbers and start shaving old school, they can rack up quite a savings. Hundreds of dollars a year, in fact. Many guys marvel at the appalling cost of cartridges that seem calculatingly designed for planned obsolescence.
There are hobbyist sites devoted to the discussion and manufacture of retro hardware, soaps, and brushes.
So in addition to the financial savings, you get to join the fraternity of every guy you’ve seen in a Western, war movie, or Mad Men’s Don Draper.
I’m interested in both factors, but think I may go through more than $160 a year in bandaids.
I’m really looking forward to listening to Moby’s latest effort, Destroyed. In fact, I like the guy more every time I read something about him.
It’s hard to encapsulate what he does, since as a multi-instrumentalist with electronic roots, he’s switched styles so many times over the years.
Obligatory Moby facts:
– He’s the great-grandson of Herman Melville, hence the chosen stage name.
– The deluxe version of the new album comes with a book of his photographs
– Until recently, he discretely waited tables at a small restaurant just because he liked to
– Didn’t use to lock his doors until he discovered a youth under the influence wandered into his living room. He gave the young man a sweatshirt and ten dollars for breakfast.
Widely-renowned and nationally-syndicated consumer savings columnist Jill Cataldo broke apart a recent episode of the TLC hit with Zapruder-like detail to reveal what fundamentally is theft, your perception depending on the plumb of your ethical barometer.
Far be it for me to not want a great deal or occasionally sneak one past the goalie. There’s also the “everyone else is doing it” defense, or the “system allowed it, so it’s fair game.” I’m very familiar. A practitioner, in fact. And honestly, why does a grocery’s UPC system treat all code families from certain product manufacturers as interchangeable? I don’t know, and none of us can expect a checker to parse through 4 carts of items for validity. On an off-note, who would pull a stunt like this in public without wanting to go take a long hot shower for want of feeling like such a sleaze?
But, it stands to reason that when you game the system for $1800 worth of merchandise for $100, there’s no down-on-her-luck-plucky determinism origin story that can explain away why the suburban mom needed sixty bottles of yellow mustard to sit on a heavy duty rack in the garage. You aren’t going to make that much potato salad. There’s some kind of pathology here.
It’s easy to do because of the remoteness of the nameless, faceless victim. Guess who it’s not? It’s not the manufacturer, or even the store. Its the saps that have to help eat that loss. The rest of us with a semblance of decorum.
In other news, the show also features “extreme” Nathan Engles, who rather than counting and hoarding groceries, puts together care packages for military families. Very cool.
We’ve gotten a taste of springtime. That’s when mother nature melts away winter’s desolation to reveal your pets’ nasty lawn-offerings, and the creepy crawlies that have been festering in wait come alive.
PUNKS! Lots of them! This many in a month can not be a coincidence! Artistic relevance optional…
1) Blink 182’s drummer has a promising solo effort with various hip-hop artists
Travis Barker – Give the Drummer Some
2) Dropkick Murphys let their Boston-baked punk effort loose for proper staggering just days before custodians mop up half-digested Guiness stout at your local corporate Irish-themed pub.
Dropkick Murphys – Going Out in Style
3) Garage rock dressed like the Ramones for hipsters:
The Strokes – Angles
4) I guess?
Avril Lavigne – Goodbye Lullaby
5) As if it wasn’t destined for multiplatinum status, Billie Joe and Co. have impishly included half of a swear word on the cover for maximum fifth-grade shock value. Here’s crossing fingers that he tilts at the windmills of perceived authority and administers a remedial civics lesson over someone else’s obligatory three chords. I find that in his matured efforts he uses this hands-free specialization to focus his efforts on gesticulating, standing on speakers, and wearing eyeliner.
It worked on me 16 years ago, and he’ll do it for your high-schoolers today. Wait, that means they’re old enough to be my….. and that makes me…….. AWW MAN!!!!
6 and 7) I’m not familiar, but hey, let’s milk this for all we’ve got…
8) Their lead singer just got divorced from the gal in #4. My money is on lyrical combinations of life’s unfairness, pain, and unrequited love.
We finally received the 1040 Instructions at the Davenport Public libraries, for which the phone has been ringing nearly continuously.
Due to 11th-hour filibustering at the end of the legislative session, the IRS had to edit/print paper tax publications and reprogram the computer processing systems. Do not expect leniency on getting your return in, however. E-filing will begin in mid to late February and the deadline stands at April 18th.
If you didn’t receive a print publication in the mail this year, it may be because you didn’t paper file last year. The cost-cutting measure saved millions of dollars in postage and paper stock, albeit with some confusion.
Outside of the IRS office, libraries are the only place where you can get forms if for some reason you still haven’t attempted filing online. Though a slower and typically less-accurate process, some people prefer the paper method.
You might remember him as the sidekick from King of Queens or the voice of Ratatoille. If you’re really on top of it, you recall last year when our fair city was the epicenter of a national stand-up comedy debacle when a community theatre hack mindlessly regurgitated his bits verbatim for profit under the presumption no one would notice. Or, from a commentary in the last issue of Wired Magazine pronouncing the geek fringe as the status quo.
Patton Oswalt is a genius, master comedic manipulator of the spoken word, dilletante, and highly sought-after nerd-culture commentator.
His NYTimes bestselling latest effort, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, features childhood reminisces of Dungeons and Dragons and youth mired in suburban DC no-mans land, custom-crafted in his own inimitable style. It is a rare feat how he wields his half-orc comedic pen with 20+ melee damage so effortlessly and without the pretension of his contemporaries.
You may also consider checking out any of his spoken word albums.
Whether or not you think it’s a big deal, it kind of is. Halas versus Lombardi.
For 180 minutes this weekend, typical genteel Midwestern politeness will be suspended and (gasp!) unpleasantries may be exchanged as the Bears host the Packers for the NFC championship.
The last time these two storied rivals tussled for the big one? One week after Pearl Harbor on a frosty day back in ’41. Chicago won and though they are 3.5pt underdogs heading into Sunday, they’ll find a way to extend that tradition an additional 70 years.
Be sure to stop in to the downtown reference desk during the game and feed Bill scores.
Is it good for your mind? No. Is it a titillating hi-def splatterfest with Matrix/300 bullet-time effects enjoyable to watch? A definite yes. You wouldn’t be lying if you told your friends there were love stories and a healthy amount of unpredictable plot twists and skullduggery either.
I came upon Spartacus: Blood and Sand due to its free streams on the Roku box last year. I stayed because I could not look away, despite the thinly-veiled disclaimer at the beginning of the historical drama assuring us “the sensuality, brutality and language is to suggest and authentic representation of that period.” Come on, it’s based on actual history. Does that count?
The production and costuming is exemplary. Virtually every ancient Roman has the standard-issue Shakespearean lilt and some 20th century vulgarities. You’re too busy watching heads and period garb falling off to care about the anachronism. Lucy Lawless will NEVER be able to be called a warrior “Princess” again.
Sadly, production was suspended last spring for star Andy Whitfield’s (Spartacus) health, as he was treated for lymphoma. When it was determined he would need a more aggressive regimen, Whitfield bid the franchise and the most physically demanding role on television goodbye.
In just a few weeks on January 21st, a stopgap measure 6-episode prequel will begin on Starz network, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Whitfield is rumored to make a couple cameo appearances among the regular cast of seeming professional body builders. Casting has begun on his Dick Sargent-esque replacement in Season 3.
I, for one, will lament the loss of Whitfield and hope for his full return to good health.
In other news, Kirk Douglas is 94 years old and could probably still reprise his original motion picture role. I wouldn’t rule that bruiser out as a replacement.
Courtesy of savvy shortcut website for modern living, Lifehacker, here are the top ways to stay warm this winter for less dough. Some involve constructing genius DIY doohickeys, others tweaks on classics.
I like the machine that cycles absorbed solar heat through 180 empty cans of your favorite beverage. Well, I’d let someone else actually “make” the device.
And powered longjohns? Interesting and doable, but I’ll leave that one to the experts.