Category Archives: shopping

holy carbon footprint AGAIN Batman! (Why I “love” Amazon (moreover!))

Just got the batteries I ordered from Amazon. I’ll admit that I was a little worried that they’d arrive damaged.

Amazon didn’t scrimp on packaging for the batteries I ordered.


But Amazon had my back and provided lots of extra cushioning. This is why I love Amazon, it puts extra effort and thought into how every order is packaged. I hate getting imperfect batteries.

Who cares if I have to throw away a lot of plastic. It’s really important to me that the batteries I ordered arrive without a scratch. These are for my son’s watch. And among the values I am trying to teach him is the importance o being on time. And Amazon is a good role model. I got these batteries with 2 day delivery.

I love Amazon because they put the customer first. Why do you love Amazon?

=======================================================COMING NEXT WEEK:
Election 2016 Analysis
It’s All Your Fault! And why it isn’t.
By Dean Heagle

holy late to the party Batman!: dump Trump items now available for express shipping

Trump is a Pig Man
Now available for express shipping!

Every recent election cycle, I create some bumperstickers and such. Last year I got mad at Cafe Press, so I quit them in favor of Zazzle. I found the Zazzle interface painfully tedious and time consuming (not to say that the Cafe Press interface was any better). And I also had other priorities for my time. So this is coming very late.

I’m just publicizing this now, which is totally ridiculous since the election is less than a week away. If you choose express shipping (which will probably be more than the price of your order) you still might get something back before the election.

I think the Trump Pig head could have been a meme for this election, but maybe it still might become one after the election. Souvenirs anyone?

Dump Trump Items Now Available for Express Shipping

why I don’t want to live on this planet any more

First they came for the proofreaders… (why I don’t want to live on this planet any more)

So I saw this cute shirt. Just one problem, well maybe two.

First problem may seem minor but it’s actually really huge, because while the sentiments of this shirt might seem at first to be clever and cute they are actually superficial and banal, if not just poorly thought out.

I mean can’t you come up with anything better than “I don’t want to live here anymore?” What next, are you going to cry about it? Do you think you are the first one to come up with the idea of escaping reality by claiming that the current reality is somehow beneath you? Like you don’t live in an entire culture that increasingly does nothing but try to escape?

Bad show I say. Instead why don’t you get truly clever and come up with a slogan that instills in young children the need to take more civic responsibilty? Then maybe in another 20 years or so we could start to dig our heads out of our asses, take some responsibility for what’s going on and not be quite in such a mess that we find ourselves in now.

Second problem, who the hell did the proofreading? Don’t you see it?

Dear “very clever shirt-makers”: if you have the audacity to put Trump and Clinton in the same category, at least give a shit about your stupid shirt enough to spell Hillary’s name right.

Which leads me to another tangent:

First they came for the Proofreaders, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not a Proofreader.

With such faith in spell check, soon we’ll all be riding in self-driving cars and then why not self-driving helicopters, drones and nuclear substations. Hey, the whole world could be put on auto pilot. And then how far off are we from having Governmentgoogle?

But I digress…

Revealing my sources…

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

holy carbon footprint Batman! (Why I “love” Amazon (again!))

We got the kid’s vitamins. They arrived in great shape. I’m so glad that I buy from Amazon. (actually I’d buy from brick and mortar stores, but they seem to be disappearing lately)(huh?)

the packaging for a single bottle of vitamins

Maybe the brick and mortar stores are disappearing because they don’t go to such lengths to protect their products. I doubt that the person who packs the truck full of vitamins for delivery to the brick and mortar stores, bothers to package each bottle so thoughtfully. Don’t they care?

You can understand that I want my kids to be healthy and for their vitamins to arrive in tip-top shape. I think the price of filling up landfills with large amounts of stuff that won’t biodegrade is totally worth it. And I’m totally OK that it takes lots of energy and chemicals to produce the stuff I just throw away. Isn’t my kid’s health worth that?

How about you? Why do you love Amazon?

strange economics (part 1 of ∞)

Often my local supermarket sells strawberries at two for $5.00 (or $2.50 each) The catch is that, almost always, half of the strawberries are rotten.

So you’re really paying $5.00 for just one package, which is not really a bargain considering you have to sort through and dispose of half of what you just bought.

From a production and resources viewpoint, half of the production simply becomes garbage. The garbage (rotten fruit) has to be shipped from grower to retailer. The retailer has to pay someone to stock the garbage (rotten fruit) on the shelf. And the consumer has to dispose of the garbage (rotten fruit). And the taxpayer has to pay someone to take the garbage away.

So my question is this: By what economic theory does this circumstance of production, distribution and resale make any sense at all? Why does this same scenario play out at least 10 times a year at my local supermarket? (and not just with strawberries, but with lots of other items “on sale.” And why do I still keep thinking that I’m getting a bargain?

why I hate amazon (pt. 3 of many)

OK, so I love and hate amazon. In fact, I love and hate them so much, that I just might write a book about them someday. *

I love amazon because it let’s me find just about anything . But one reason I hate them is because too often I’m not sure of exactly what I’m getting.  Often descriptions are lazy, incomplete or inaccurate. Really, I think that sometimes the sellers don’t even know what they’re selling.

And I hate it when I forget to read the fine print. Because it seems that there isn’t any fine print. Or at least I can never find it when I look for it.

Recently I started to return something that just didn’t work and the credit for my return was erased by the shipping charges as had happened more than a few times before. And I know there is no way that it really cost $6.60 (the cheapest way) to ship that product back.

So the whole exercise was just another way of saying that this vendor didn’t take returns. The $1.39 credit was not even worth the time it would take to ship the product back.

hate Amazon 3a

I know I could have contacted amazon customer support and complained. And I’m pretty sure they would have credited me and to me that I didn’t even have to ship the product back. They’ve made that kind of allowance before.

But then I’m just left with throwing that product away. Like it’s just the newest innovation in capitalism and a product goes straight from purchase and delivery into the garbage can. Besides being absurd, I’m just not cool with that. It’s a big waste of resources. And as a parent, I do worry that none of the good things about this planet will be left for my children. Has amazon never heard of carbon footprints, environmental degradation or climate change? Or is it now just all about the money?

*The book won’t really be about Amazon as much as about other trends in modern capitalism like the anarchy of production, Walmartization, the disappearance of mom and pop stores; stuff like that.

review: Advion cockroach gel customer service

When I renovated our kitchen, I thought I had finally blocked off every last entry point that roaches could use to get into our apartment. But the darn things hung out in our old refrigerator. And they managed to move into the new appliances as soon as we got them.

Our roaches particularly like the area around the dishwasher. It’s nice and warm there. But they also enjoy the back of the fridge and stove. While some prefer the coffee maker. And others are fond of the underside of the land line phone. And I even once caught one living in the grounding part of an electrical outlet. So why do appliance manufacturers make their products so friendly to roaches? Don’t they know that in New York we are suffering? But that is a discussion for another post on another day.

This post is about Advion Cockroach gel customer service.

Advion Cockroach Gel Tube
Advion Cockroach Gel Tube

When we got the cockroach problem, we had the building’s exterminator service come in. The guy used Advion Cockroach gel. He said you needed to have an exterminator’s license to get it, but also that you could get it online. (They assume you know what you are doing if you know enough to buy it?)

It comes in a syringe and you apply it in small amounts by pushing the plunger. The purchase came with 3 tubes and only one plunger. I remember opening the package and saying “Bully for them” for only including one plunger, figuring it could be reused again and again, and only sending one plunger would  conserve resources. And I’m into that.

But later, I accidentally threw out the plunger with an empty tube. I still had two full tubes left and no plunger. So I called Advion customer service. I found their number by googling “Advion customer service” and clicking on the Advion support link and the number came right up. Or you can just dial 1-877-5ADVION (523-8466)

The choices on the automated phone answering system (there must be a better name for that) seemed appropriate and were not overly confusing and soon I was talking to an actual person. He was not surprised that I needed a plunger and agreed to send me one at no charge. Just like that.

So I give their customer service, at least the the (plunger replacement part of their customer service) a definite “A plus” and a “like” and a “thumbs up”.

all my watch caps in a row

In Target, I actually found someone who worked there, and asked her if they had any single  color, non-branded knitted caps. She gave me a dull stare like she couldn’t even imagine what I was talking about. So another quest had begun.

I wanted to buy some winter gear for my family but I just wanted simple gear, not branded, not patterned, a single color would do. At first I was confused by many seller’s listing of kid’s sizes and I tried to figure would what size my kids heads were. That threw me off for a bit.

And then tired of all of the endless Google advertisements, I decided to go to the source, the U.S. Military, the king of all stocking caps. So I bought four Rothco Genuine U.S.N. Wool Watch Caps. Not sure if this is the same exact cap used by the Navy, but they are good enough to get the D.O.D. seal. And if they are good enough for combat, chances are that they will work just fine on a snowy day in the back yard.


The caps fit me, my wife, my 12 year old and my 9 year old perfectly. No need for kid’s sizes, that was a red herring. These were a bargain at only $8 for 100% wool, made in the U.S.A.. Seems you just can’t get that at Target. They’re available in many places and you could do worse than supporting your local army/navy store. If you absolutely can’t find these caps anywhere else, you can find them HERE.

Since one thing leads to another, especially with me, I then found myself on a quest for un-branded mittens in general and the exact mittens of my childhood in particular.

The mittens of my childhood were called chopper mittens and consisted of a removable wool liner and a leather, (pigskin, goatskin or buckskin) outer shell.

Searching the web, I found that a lot of items were called chopper mittens, but many of them clearly were not. Many designs were complicated by a built-in liner, liners not made made of wool or lots of other alternate designs. At one point, I even ordered a set for my family from Amazon, but the quality was poor and the liners were not removable. So I returned them. So I ultimately concentrated on looking for stores or outfitters in areas that were known to have cold winters. And I finally found I found these choppers in the Midwest and indeed they were the real deal and a beauty to behold.

Lauer_1420_Yellow_Main__55378.1415812401.1280.1280What I found were Joseph Lauer Chopper Mittens. I found mine in Plymouth, MN at a store called the The Foursome. From their website: This rugged and durable chopper’s mitt is assembled to last, according to quality standards established in the late 1800’s, when the enterprise was housed in the basement of Joseph Lauer’s clothing store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

And because I was confused about sizing, I even called them and spoke to someone who actually worked in the store and was super helpful. You too can probably find someone super helpful at 763-473-4667. Or you can also order them online HERE.

The Lauer family tradition apparently continues under the name of the Milwaukee Glove Co. located in Marinette, WI. I worry of the future of this company since they have absolutely no online presence at all. And one of the senior Lauers recently died, also not a good sign. I haven’t tried, but you might try to get a printed catalog from them by calling: (715) 735-5921.

I wish you luck in your own cap and mitten quest. And don’t forget to support family owned businesses.