Discovering the Kindle

I went on search for a digital voltmeter after calls to Radio Shack and Nappa. I finally found the RS store, out of stock, which they failed to tell me on the phone. I went to nearby NAPPA. Too expensive. I asked where else I might find one. Maybe at Walmart, he says. I say, where is Walmart. I am a RVer, and I can usually smell them ten miles away. Across the street, he says. The sign is down because they are remodeling. My jaw dropped to the floor. I actually missed Uncle Wally’s? I found the perfect voltmeter there, cheap. Gotta recal my nose. Must be the altitude.

I asked the fellows at Uncle Wally’s where I might find a different auto parts store, as I was still in search for a cig lighter voltmeter to monitor engine battery voltage (important when parked for a week or two). Quest in Silverthorne. No luck there, but I did stumble upon a Target store. And there I stumbled upon the Kindle. But out of stock. But I now know where to find a Kindle without the hassle of trying to figure out a shipping point en route. Always a hassle.

Quiz: Do you have a Kindle? Use it, or did it become an expensive paperweight?

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Pride of ownership – No POOP is COOL

You and I have a lot of stuff in the garage, in closets, and for RVers, in the storage bays and cabinets. Stuff we do not need. Stuff just taking up space. And in some cases stuff that can be sold. Even a car, tools, furniture etc.

Do you know that most stuff depreciates? Of course you do. Do you know why you keep the stuff? One of two reasons, mostly.

1) “I may need it some day.” Really? So, when was the last time you needed it? What new purchase surpassed it’s worthiness and worth?

2) “Nobody will pay what it is worth.” Let me tell you a secret, but keep it quiet please. Just between you and I. Today nothing is worth a penny more than some one will pay for it today. Very few things appreciate. Especially your prized, used and dusty junk.

This is what I call “Pride of Ownership”, or “I paid $100 for it five years ago. It must be worth $110 today. Or at least $100.” That is a (false) Pride of Ownership. I have coined a couple of acronyms for that attitude.

The first is POOP – Pride Of Owning Property. The other is COOL – Cost Of Owning Lots.

To summarize, the short story is: No POOP is COOL! So deal with it.

I realized this phenom while on a glacier sightseeing flight in Alaska. A fellow from Japan that shared the airplane, had an expensive camera, using it to take a zillion pictures. An expensive camera. Asked about the camera, he replied that he “…bought it on Ebay just for this trip, and I am going to sell it on Ebay as soon as I get home.” So he had the use of a top notch digital camera for his extensive vacation to the U.S. for pennies or dimes on the dollar. He probably used a simple snap-shooter after returning home.

I at that moment had a flashback. My very good non-digital 35mm camera with multiple lenses and other equipment, bought specifically for a picture safari in Africa, now sits gathering dust in the bottom of a closet, rather worthless due to the digital revolution. I embraced the digital revolution when it was expensive a year later and abandoned the film camera. Of course it was still worth considerable cash. I turned that cash into POOP.

Want another example? Item: A used Macintosh computer while it was still in vogue. Asked price: $750. Offered: $700. Where is it now? That was the only offer I got. It is sitting in my closet, beside a much newer and just as useless later generation Mac. More POOP.

Hey, I am good at coining acronyms, not so good at implementing them! My house and garage is full of POOP. But you can do better. Just remember:

POOP is not COOL!

And conversly,

no POOP is COOL!

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A kitchen engineering marvel

Making my frequent pass through Uncle Wally’s, you know, the kind that one makes when they do not need anything that they can think of, but they are hioping to spot something they need. A definite short term depression buster, buying something is. Anyways, I spied a can opener, a big sucker, that said on the box, “opens tab cans.”  That did it. I would definitely save enough cans of dog food to pay for it. A feel-good rationalization.

I rushed home in anticipation, knee-steering the truck as I eagerly opened the box and glanced at the instructions. The wind blew the instructions out of the truck. A can opener, who needs instructions? Disclaimer: Now be careful knee-steering, kids. This is only for experienced texting adults, and not even for them on motorcycles! Do this at home only!

New scene, kitchen counter. Plugged that sucker in. Grabbed a can of tab-less tab-top dog food. Whirrrrrrrrrrr. Rats, it did nothing, says I as AtD (Annie the Dog) watches with interest. The lid is not cut off, cut open, exploded off or otherwise separated from the can. “Crap”, says I.

So I decide to give the can opener one more try. It is supposed to open either end of most cans, and this can looked rather most to me. Whirrrrrrrrrr. About part way around, the down pointed top, along with a pile of dog food, dumped onto the kitchen counter! What the hey? I stared at the mess through the endless can. No sharp lid edges. No spilling juice from the can, until the top fell off the bottom.

A miracle machine! Once I learned to trust it, to push the opened-without-sharp-edges top off with my thumbs, the new fangled machine was viewed as an engineering marvel. Ye should have more faith than I on the initial use, however.

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