Sunday, August 26, 2012

...and the Winner is...Walmart Pants

Update 8/20/2014 - The flat front with extender waist khaki from Walmart favored in this post is no longer being stocked in Walmart.  I'm back in search of the perfect khaki.

I have lots of clothes.  I suspect it is something psychological from childhood.  Growing up on a dairy farm, we didn't have a lot of clothes; we had school clothes, church clothes and barn clothes.

I love to find a bargain and the clothes have accumulated... BUT, despite having lots of clothes, I find myself wearing the same 3 or 4 pants week after week.  This lead to a reality check - WHY?  Well, in some cases it was because I just didn't like the feel / fit of the seldom used pants - these were an easy call; time to go.  Others, including some of the 3 or 4 being frequently worn were a bit more difficult to objectively assess.  They fit ok, but some just were not very flattering.  For example,

No Pleats, Please-

In fact they should be outlawed for all waist sizes over 32.  Why would anyone think pleats look good with all that bunched up material gelling up front - yuck!  I need something trimming and slimming not bunching and looking like lunching... another cut had to be made and bottom line, if it didn't look good, it needed to go.

It was hard to let go, but in parallel with identifying what I didn't want, I reassessed what I did want.  This flowed seamlessly from my analysis of what to get rid of; specifically, get rid of all pants that were not comfortable AND get rid of those that don't look good for my middle aged physique.

I'm a khaki person - no need for jeans.  Khakis are just as comfortable plus they look more business casual which is what I shoot for.

Second, those "hidden waist bands" are a god-send.  I have had some gastric reflux and also have had bouts diverticulitis - at times I want a little extra room.  Unlike those horrible bunchy looking elastic pants, these hidden waist bands give you a little dignity looking like a normal pant...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

G's Craig's List Tips

I love Craig's list and have referenced Craig's list in multiple posts.  Craig's list may be a great way to score a bargain or to convert your unwanted possessions to cash.  The premise of Craig's list is to bring together local buyers and sellers.  The purpose of this post is to discuss this great resource and to offer some practical tips.

Face to face transactions are a key consideration; keep in mind that the "other" person whether they be buyer or seller will be different than you.  This can mean different values and different behaviors than yours - brace yourself; you will probably like some and may even enjoy some chit chat; some will test and may even exceed your patience and tolerance and some will not even be rationale (no, I'm not kidding, some will be downright crazy and I don't mean in a good way).  Example, I once sold a coffee percolator for $5 and even set it up to demonstrate that it worked.  Thereafter, I was contacted by the purchaser who expressed that he thought I miss-represented the item... are you kidding me, Mr. Big Spender?  In this case I flat out told the guy to bring it back in the condition that it left and I'd be happy to give his $5 back... yes, you will find some Craig's list patrons are just plain short of a full deck (and no, he never brought it back... sometimes you just need to tell them to put up or shut up).

Before even getting started, you need to evaluate whether Craig's list is for you.  If you don't want to deal with people like Mr. Big Spender, you might be better off to make a charitable donation.  The Salvation Army and Goodwill are excellent options.  Keep in mind that Mr. Big Spender may not be the worst that you see - you could get unlucky and land a stellar patron who swears and threatens you on the phone.  Yes, they're out there, also.  Fortunately, by far most of the sellers and purchasers that I have dealt with have been reasonable to deal with and I will continue to use Craig's list with reasonable precautions.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

How to organize your blog posts in Google Blogger by keyword, topic, subject, or rating

Recently while reading a local post, I was admiring how the blog owner had neatly organized their blogs by subject.  It occurred to me that this is something that I should do as I might talk about a social type issue one week, then talk about some tech type issue for a couple weeks, then hit back to a social issue and so forth so that organizing my blog posts simply by post date may not be optimal.  The blog that I initially viewed this organization was hosted on WordPress while my blog is hosted (as may be obvious) on Google Blogger.  My initial thought was, "no problem, surely there is a similar feature in Blogger."  As with any initiatives like this, I started with a Google search.  I searched something along the lines of "How to Organize blogs by subject" and variations thereof.  I was surprised to find that nothing simple and straightforward jumped out at me.  I also poked around in my Blogger settings and looking at "Post settings" but again, nothing obvious.

Since this was not a pressing issue, some time elapsed and I had the occasion to skim some Blogger blogs and I stumbled on something that reflected the use of keywords to navigate to past posts.  Hmmm, I thought, this is close to what I want... but I've used a bunch of keywords in each post so what a hodge podge this will turn out to be.  Since I did not find a blog or other source that discussed my needs in a straightforward manner, I have decided to post my learning here.

Alas, all is good, the secret is using a gadget.  Here are the steps involved:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

4 (four) Pre-paid (pay as you go) cell plan options

I am not a big cell phone user and have stuck primarily with pay as you go mobile cell service.  This review is based on my experiences and knowledge of the offerings of 3 providers that I have had experience with (Tracfone, Virgin Mobile and AT&T) and 1 (T-Mobile) which I have researched as a future prospect.

(Note:  smart phones and data [plans] are used within this blog to refer to cell phones capable of accessing the internet through the cellular service).