Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mooove over

Cow, Constantine Farm, near the Crossings Park, Colonie, NYI was walking over a lunch break at work recently when I encountered 3 ladies coming from the other direction.  As the distance closed, I scrunched to the right and in fairness there may have been a slight scrunching on their behalf, but it was not enough and I clipped elbows with the nearest member of the trio.  Such encounters have always fascinated me as I've frequently wondered why there isn't more collisions.  As the sidewalk constricts space and as the distance closes between two opposite traveling parties someone needs to make a quick decision as to who will "slide over".  For example, does a member of the trio position themselves ahead or behind their cohorts to yield space or do they make an attempt to "scrunch" to make it work as in my encounter?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

MTQ 5 Recommended Reads

Sadly, summer is quickly coming to an end.  This was a great summer and as I indicated in my "Work like you're retired" post, I took many opportunities to take time off from work and soak up the sun and read.  I like to use the summer time to stock up on my books.  The Book Nook in Crossings Park of Colonie is a favorite summer time haunt and used books are cheap - 50 cents for any softcover and $1.00 for any hardcover.  I'll also acquire used books as the opportunity arises from the library, thrift stores or lawn sales.  As with any used purchase you need to be alert and balance your interest with the condition of the book - strong smoker's books or moldy books are generally a no go as they can infest your other books although I did pick up a pitiful copy of Carl Sandburg's Lincoln from the free bin this year and made it through a final read before permanently retiring it from circulation.  In this post I am going to identify 5 great reads that I have encountered over the years and would recommend to anyone.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why WordPad?

Buried in all Windows operating systems (including XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8) is a simple, easily forgotten word processor called WordPad.  I realize that power users would scoff at the suggestion of using this program; however, it is important to note that not everyone is a power user and not everyone needs the bells and whistles of Microsoft Word.  In this post, I am going to identify 4 reasons to use WordPad.  In the spirit of this post, I am drafting this post in WordPad and a screen shot of the drafting of this post is provided at the bottom of this post.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Oh, Kmart... some MTQ solutions for you.

If you're an old fart living in the great northeast and wish for some nostalgia, look no further than a trip to Kmart.  Before Target and Walmart arrived on the scene there was Kmart and other, now gone, discount stores such as Bradlees, Ames, Caldor, The Big N, and Montgomery Wards.  If I were to have bet on the survivors and casualties back 25 years ago, I don't know if I would have picked Kmart to be the living dinosaur among us.  To its credit, Kmart has never appeared on the MTQ Shit list, but that is because Kmart is not a regular MTQ destination and there are many other choices that make shopping at Kmart unnecessary.  So it was, that this MTQ author took a special journey to Kmart for this post.  Upon entering the parking lot of the Albany, NY Central Avenue Kmart, the first thing that strikes you is how vacant the parking lot is.  Unfortunately, this is normal and this parking lot is rather empty every day and I like many others often wonder, how does this store keep open?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

That bill is too much

This post specifically references the Albany, New York area, but the overall strategy is applicable anywhere you live.  It would be nice if you were truly rewarded for loyalty; however, the reality is that loyal customers get price increases while "new customers" get promotions.  I have saved hundreds of dollars over the past few years by not settling for the new price.  I will present the general strategy and then discuss specific bills where I have applied these strategies.