Tag: shopping

Backroads Bookscouting

I should make it clear from the beginning that the way we do this isn’t the way real bookscouts do it.
The real ones—the ones who do it for a living—play hardball. For them it’s business. They have a set route of places they go to check for books, they’ve got client lists and handheld barcode scanners and a budget. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Professional bookscouts still love books—no one goes into the book business that doesn’t love books, the margins are too low. But it’s a business for the working bookscouts, they have bills to pay. For me and my wife, it’s just a hobby.

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Holiday Gift Guide – part 1

Black Friday, 2009, 4:30 AM

We’ve made no secret of our distaste for the annual descent into madness known as Black Friday, and this year it’s even worse, with many of the big box retailers starting the money-grubbing on Thanksgiving morning. Now, we could write a long and cranky screed about how many kinds of wrong this is, but instead, we’re going to be positive here.

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What to Give the Person Who Has Everything

So you have a friend who has everything. They’re hard to shop for, right? Especially if you want to give them a gift that says something more than “look, I got you a gift!” As it happens, I have the solution for you.

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Black Friday? Nope

Black Friday, 2009, 4:30 AM

It’s Black Friday, 2012. I was asked yesterday why it’s called “Black Friday” with the suggestion that such an ominous-sounding name seemed incongruous with the commercial aspirations of the day. Back before it was known to the public, store owners and manufacturers used to use this term; for many of them, the day after Thanksgiving, being the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season, marked the day their business would move “out of the red” (in other words, show a profit) for the year. The term was seized upon by the mega-big-box retailers like Walmart as a marketing gimmick, inverting its meaning to apply to the customers rather than the business owners.

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Don’t Buy “Rich Corinithian Leather” Either!

Ricardo Montalban for Chrysler

The opposite of “discount sushi” is “Rich Corinthian Leather.” If you’re an old coot like me, you may remember that back in the day, Ricardo Montalban used to peddle cars for Chrysler; he’d purr in his smooth accent about the “rich Corinthian leather” interior in the new Chrysler Cordoba. Ooooh! That sounds so expensive and stylish, doesn’t it? Have you ever wondered what the heck “Corinthian leather” is?

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Suit Up!

Neil Patrick Harris

We’ve talked a bit about that “I don’t belong here” feeling, and the best way to overcome it is to look like you belong there. The way to do that is simply to dress the part. After having made several dubious fashion choices in the past (including a cordury suit *shudder*), I’ve finally learned how to do it, and I’m going to tell you what I’ve learned.

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It Helps to be Handy

flea market

The first Sunday of the month usually finds us at our favorite flea market, but this month we took a break. We hit a lot of thrift stores during the past four weeks and found many great clothes, so I decided to spend the amount of time I would typically spend browsing and shopping a the flea market, on mending clothes and repairing jewelry.

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