Category Archives: shopping

I Can Afford to Hoard Now

Part of my job as an English teacher is to stay current on developments in the language, from Oxford comma debates to ever-changing citation styles. Keeping track of all the “loan words” that seep into English from other languages is a small part of that work, but it’s one of the more enjoyable things I get to do, if only because it helps me learn more about other cultures. It also provides an ongoing example of how languages change over time, and aren’t the static…

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Fi Fight

There are some industries where poor customer service is practically expected, and the notion of having a good experience with a company is all but laughable. Cable television providers are kind of the classic example of this, and although living in Toledo most of my life meant dealing with a local company rather than the big national cable providers, the said company in Toledo is a putrid puddle of acidic excrement that has helped me empathize with people who constantly struggle with big-name cable providers.…

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Boxed In

The difficulties of eating well  on a budget in America are legion. I remember going to a grocery store a few years ago to buy a couple of good-sized red delicious apples, only to find that each of them cost over a dollar apiece. Working with college students like I do, I’m always mindful of the “ramen lifestyle” many of them fall into, and ever since theafternoon I bought those apples, I’ve always found myself making ramen-based calculations whenever I shop for produce, trying to…

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Blah to the Future

I made sure that Mom was one of the first people to own an Amazon Echo when they first came out a few years ago. Her vision had been steadily deteriorating for a long time, and I knew that the convenience of her being able to play music by simple voice commands would be more than worth the purchase price by itself.  Being able to ask for things like weather forecasts and other basic information was a bonus, and the bits of personality that Amazon…

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The Toner Prices Are Too Damn High

Although I try to write as much as I can every day, some days, and some years, just turn out better for me in that regard. At the beginning of 2010, when I was in the middle of a period of peak productivity (including writing the short story that would eventually become my first novel, The Prostitutes of Lake Wiishkoban), I quickly realized that my old inkjet printer was costing me a mint as I kept replacing ink cartridge after ink cartridge when they ran out.…

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