THE PERFECT CAMERA BAG … I THINK

I was window shopping online. I liked the way this bag looked, so I read its description, hoping to get the dimensions.

Anyone know what this means? Translation, please!


Product Highlights:

This kind of bag is made from pure cotton canvas, texture is soft, strong and durable, carry comfortable. The Lord of the bag is a pocket, the upper used the cotton rope of convergent way, plus a lid, the structure is simple. External vice bags and the ornament of fastener broke the appearance of drudgery, optional but not casually, fashion and brief. It makes the whole bag beautiful and easy, and never lose plain. This kind of bag is very suitable for photography lovers do for short trips, also can be used in the daily travel.


Who is the Lord of the bag? Does he cost extra? What is an external vice bag? The ornament of fastener broke the appearance of drudgery — which sounds like a good thing, but why? And I am glad it is options, yet not casually. Fashion and brief? Is that also transitory?

camera-bagI still don’t know the dimensions, but the price is pretty good. I’m just not sure I want to buy anything that comes with a Lord or external vice bags.

ASKED & ANSWERED: WHAT ABOUT THE BABY?

The place? Amazon.com

The product? BISSELL 9595A Vacuum with OnePass – Corded – by Bissell

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QUESTION: It doesn’t have a baby strap, how am I supposed to safely attach my baby to it?


Answers:

Consider the Go-Go Babyz Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap if you want a solution to strapping your baby to the Bissel CleanView Upright. Then you can have all the conveniences of your car seat AND vacuum cleaner and it’s only $20!

M. Yates answered on September 4, 2015


You can use the curtains and blinds attachment for a nice, gentle suction.

An Amazon Customer answered on September 2, 2015


This is just the standard model, without all the bells and whistles. If you want high quality baby straps, you should really go for the Dyson DC50, but those are at least $375-400. Some of the less expensive Shark models have inferior straps that are prone to breaking through regular wear and tear. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.

DivinePrince answered on May 12, 2016


If you had gotten a Fair Trade Warranty on the baby, you wouldn’t be asking this question. Think ahead, next time.

Lucy answered on August 17, 2016


You know what? That’s a good question. I haven’t seen my baby since I strapped him to the lawn mower. I’ll be watching this question.

P-ro answered on July 13, 2016


Someone please think of the children!

Erek answered on September 3, 2015


Baby goes inside the wind tunnel

Barry answered on December 4, 2016


Teach your baby how to vacuum and how to change the oil in your car. It’s well worth the effort!

Navyvet answered on July 1, 2016


I don’t have a baby, so I’m wondering if I can hook up the dogs. Before you ask, yes, this is a real question and these are real answers.

Real vacuum cleaner, too. I ordered one and should have it today. Now that the house is clean, having a reasonably good vacuum cleaner might help keep it clean, even without proper baby straps. It’s modestly priced, has positive reviews. We don’t need an industrial grade machine; this should do the job.

There are other hilarious questions and answers for this product. I’ve seen this phenomenon before — mostly for photo gear — on Amazon. Rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, there are still people in this world with a sense of humor. It’s always worth glancing at the Q & A section and skimming comments, even for stuff you aren’t going to buy.

You just never know what you will find on Amazon.

AND NOW, IT’S NOVEMBER …

SHARE YOU WORLD – 2016 WEEK 44


Hard to believe it’s already November. Where did summer go? And Autumn? Next week, election. Normally, I’m an election addict. I love it the way other people love sports.

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Politics is my sport. Not this year. Too much at stake. See you next week, by which time (presumably) the votes will have been counted.

What was your favorite subject in school?

English and art. You didn’t guess?

If you could have a servant come to your house every day for two hours, what would you have them do?

Dust. Vacuum. Dust. Vacuum. And wash the kitchen floors.

Where did you live when you were in the third grade of school?  Is it the same place or town you live now?

This is P.S, 35. It's still there, but I'm not.

This is P.S, 35. It’s still there, but I’m not.

I lived in Holliswood. In Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York city.

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I haven’t lived in New York city since 1964 when I moved into a room near Hofstra, in Hempstead (Long Island, a suburb  of New York city). Then, in 1978 I moved to Jerusalem, Israel. Back to Long Island in 1987 and to Boston in 1988. To Uxbridge in 2000 and here we have stayed. I don’t think we’re going anywhere anytime soon.

Okay, so it's my sixth grade class. But I don't have my third grade picture. Same school.

Okay, so it’s my sixth grade class. But I don’t have my third grade picture. Same school.

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In your opinion, list some places that are great for shopping?

I do almost everything except grocery shopping online. I don’t get around well — part of the reason — but the bigger reason is I don’t like shopping. Also, we don’t have much shopping locally. The big malls with lots of shops are more than 40 miles and a hour’s drive from here. We have a good lumber yard and hardware store, a few hair dressers. On weekends from spring through fall, you can always find a yard sale. For everything else, there’s Walmart.

So, a lot of stuff comes from Amazon. L.L. Bean. Lands’ End. J.Jill. Adorama. I have a great place for automobile tires, but how often do you buy tires? I patronize places that pride themselves on good customer service. I go where I am treated like a valued customer and they offer free shipping.

Fortunately, the Internet brings choice to the otherwise choiceless. And … they deliver!

REVOLVING DOORS, REVOLVERS, AND CURLING

Last night, Garry was taking his final cruise through the channels to see if there was anything he wanted to record. Then he stopped, looked, and said: “See that?”

“What?”

“The Revolver Nationals.”

I had to think a moment, but then I saw in my mind’s eye a contest. Taking place in a mall. With revolving doors and shoppers. Maybe on one of special, big sale days, like “Black Friday” which is the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Single revolving door

You would have two teams of shoppers, each trying to get the most people through the revolving doors in the least amount of time. You’d need organization, determination, speed, and endurance to participate. It would be a fantastic event. The only competitive requirement is that you’d probably have to be small, thin, and agile to make the team. After all, you’re trying to fit a lot of people into a pretty small space, then move them — en masse — without causing injury or panic … or blocking the doors.

Anyone could play, but women, being on the average somewhat smaller than men, would actually have an edge.

Garry looked at me. “No. Not doors. Guns. You know, revolvers?”

This was when I knew absolutely I am not tuned into the American psyche. I was probably deposited in a cabbage patch by a passing alien spacecraft.

They are talking about shooting guns and I’m postulating moving shoppers efficiently through revolving doors. Obviously, I’m not on the same wavelength as the rest of my contemporaries. I’m not even on the same frequency band. It’s possible I’m not living in the same dimension.

In my defense, there are all kinds of bizarre “sports” on very late night television.

A curling match at Eglinton Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland in 1860. The curling house is located to the left of the picture. Roger Griffith - Archival. Public Domain: 2 Feb 1860

A curling match at Eglinton Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland in 1860. The curling house is located to the left of the picture. Roger Griffith – Archival. Public Domain: 2 Feb 1860

Take curling, for example. Hunky guys using brooms to push big rocks on ice. Not while skating. Just … on the ice. Rocks and brooms. As far as I can tell, it’s the cold weather version of shuffleboard, though I don’t know how well it would be received by senior citizens who are America’s typical shuffleboard players. Most of us prefer a warm recliner if it’s cold enough to be out there pushing big rocks around on the ice.

Also, ice is dangerous. You could fall and break a hip.

72-smith-wesson-revolver-gunMoving shoppers efficiently through revolving doors makes at least as much sense as pushing rocks around an ice rink with a broom … or for that matter, slaughtering paper targets with bullets.

Source: REVOLVING DOORS, REVOLVERS, AND CURLING

NEW MOMS, NEW POPS

Garry came back from the deli with news. Lance and Betsy have sold the place and are retiring. Someone else is taking over.

Quaker Deli and its friendly and generous owners were among the very first people to welcome us to the valley more than 16 years ago. Until we got our feet under us and began to know our way around, it was a required stop in our daily rounds. They make great sandwiches and sell quality cold cuts. And they always know how we like it sliced.

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But time has had its way with them, as it does with us all. It’s what happens nowadays to almost all “mom and pop” shops. In this case, it’s not a lack of business. It’s simple tiredness. The kids don’t want the business. Mom and pop don’t want to spend all their remaining years on their feet. So, they sell.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if only whoever takes over the place would keep it as what it is … a place to pick up a few necessities without going into town. Where you can buy a great lunch, made for you. Buy a lottery ticket or whatever. Most of the new owners of these shops are immigrant families. They see a small business as a ticket to the Dream of America.

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They don’t mind the long hours and hard work. But they don’t necessarily maintain the place in any way that resembles how it was. They go more heavily into higher volume, bigger profit items — like lottery tickets and cigarettes. They stop selling food and making sandwiches. This has happened to every little deli or mini grocery sold since we’ve lived in the Blackstone Valley. If it happens here, we will have to go into town for everything. The last convenience store will be gone.

I have heard over and over again that mom and pop stores are disappearing because we don’t support them, but that’s not necessarily true. It may be true sometimes, in some places. In this case, Lance and Betsey have plenty of business, maybe more than they can comfortably handle. All the truckers stop there to buy lunch. It’s the only place at this end of town where you can get an emergency supply of eggs or half-and-half.

The problem is that — not unreasonably — their kids have different dreams. They don’t want to run the family deli. They want a job where they can sit at a desk and go home without worrying about the business.

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Small business are nonstop work. Buying, selling, bookkeeping. Ordering supplies. Tracking sales and figuring out what you should buy in greater or less quantity … or just stop selling entirely. The shop may be closed, but there’s always work to be done. I’m sorry to see them leaving and we will miss them very much. But I understand. I couldn’t do it.

Among many other reasons, this is why we need immigrants. They will happily do the jobs we can’t or won’t do. Think about that the next time you begin to rail against newcomers to our shores.

Do you want that job? Could you do it? Would you?

HUNTING THE PERFECT COMPUTER AND COMING ATTRACTIONS

It was our anniversary yesterday. I didn’t spend the day reading blogs and writing. Instead, I goofed off.

We went out to dinner. After we came home, I didn’t start putting together a post for today. I did put together something special for Saturday. Garry wrote it. I did most of the photography (and all of the processing … but I always do all the processing). It’s fiction and funny. It sure made us laugh. And we had a lot of fun putting it together. It took much more work than most of our posts and far more planning that either of us is usually willing to do. So it will be up solo (!!) on Saturday. Hope you like it.

It’s fiction. Those of you who know old movies will recognize bits of  Sunset Boulevard peeking through.

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I spent the rest of the day not buying a new computer. I know I’ll have to buy something eventually, but I not sure what I need or want.

I’m not thrilled with Windows 10. I’m less than happy with the road Microsoft has been taking for several years. I’m least happy with their requiring you to take all update downloads automatically. I have not had good experiences with automatic updates and I’m reluctant to  surrender control of my computer.

On the other hand, I’m pretty sure Apple invented the word “proprietary” and having owned lots of Apple computers and other devices over the course of my life in technology, I’m not sure they would be a better choice. Just … different.

Most Apple computers I’ve looked at seem under-powered and over-priced. The tech support people are snobs. Sorry, but they are. Every time I have had to deal with them, I wanted to whack them.

After a lot of browsing, I’ve found a couple of computers I like. One is an Asus, the other is by MSI. Neither is a company with which I’ve previously dealt. The machines are priced right and have impressive specs. Both also have well-documented issues: Hinges and build quality on the Asus, and getting too hot to handle and weird software glitches on the MSI.

alienware side view computer

I have always found Dell/Alienware to be solid, long-lasting machines that work perfectly right out of the box. But — they are expensive. Almost all of them cost at least 25% more than equivalent machines made by other companies, yet maybe they are worth it. Every Dell I’ve owned has continued to run when other computers are buried in a landfill. Most are still running and essentially problem free many years later. I’ve moved up and on, but my former computers are running fine for people who aren’t Photoshop users. And don’t have a strong preference for listening to audiobooks while processing photographs, which is what finally forced me to get this machine. Discrete graphics makes a huge difference.

I’m putting computers on wish lists, hoping something will pop, be the perfect combination of specs, build quality, and price.

Until I find whatever, I’m looking, not buying. I’m open to suggestions and would appreciate them. Although I’m not a gamer, I’m addicted to having a computer that will do everything — at the same time. Fast. And never, ever crash.

THE DAY I (PERSONALLY) TOOK THE MACHINES DOWN

ADVENTURES IN UPGRADES, PART WHATEVER

Garry wrote how the patrons of our local grocery store went into shock when the debit and credit card readers stopped working. The lost, hopeless, dead eyes. Cash? Checks? What? I don’t understand?

Read it here: THE DAY THE MACHINES WENT DOWN

Yesterday was even more special because I personally took the machines down. With a lot of help from Bank of America. Our bank. Probably the biggest bank in the country, whose local Uxbridge branch is where we conduct business. It’s across the parking lot from our favorite grocery store.

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Hannaford is not the biggest local supermarket. Its selection tends to be a bit whimsical. Just because you could find the Asian Sesame dressing last week does not mean you will ever see it on the shelves again. We have adjusted. I think of it the way I used to think of seasonal vegetables when I lived in Israel. You could get anything — in season. Otherwise, you ate something else. Adjusting ones life and eating habits to the rhythm of the earth and its crops. Or, in this case, to whoever stocks the grocery shelves.

I awoke yesterday to the realization we were out of food and this is Labor Day weekend. If we didn’t shop today, the shelves would be empty. On Monday, the store would be closed.

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So, after the clock’s hand had slid past three o’clock when road construction in town ends, we took to the road. It’s just about 3 miles to town. Two lanes. No wider than it has to be.

I have to backtrack briefly. BOA has been “upgrading” debit cards to include a security chip. They notify you they are going to replace your card. When you receive it in the mail, you must activate it, sign it, and cut up the old one because it will no longer work.

I’m as geeky as the next techno-junkie yet I am highly dubious about “security enhancements” by banks. I have seen how very wrong they can go. Regardless, I had no choice. My card arrived a week. I followed instructions.

Garry has been spared this “upgrade.” Overlooked? Whatever the reason, he is happy to do what he has always done. It works, no problems. Bank of America has had its servers hacked several times (it was on the news, everywhere). The bank is more of a security risk than we are. But I digress (again).

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Going into town took a long time. Although the road repair guys had gone home, the people building the new fire station had not stopped work. And the school buses are back, too.

Worst of all, a cop was directing traffic. Apparently in cop school, they teach them to let every single car going one way through the construction zone until finally, when not a single car can be seen, they let the other lane start moving. By this time, there’s a mile of backed up cars to clear. When there’s no cop, drivers work it out for themselves and while it may slow down, there is no massive traffic jam.

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We finally got to the store. Parked. Went in. Fresh, local corn has arrived. Oh yum. I bought some. Bought stuff for dinner. Got some fresh veggies. Got some swordfish. Frozen shrimp. Did not buy lobster, even though they were on sale. Picked up everything on the list except frozen pizza. And headed for the checkout.

Not bad for a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend. And then, it was time to pay. I took out my brand, new chip-enabled secure debit card and pushed it into the reader … which immediately cancelled the transaction and told me I had removed my card too quickly. My card was still IN the machine.

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The young woman at the register took a deep breath, reinstated the transaction, and in went my new, secure debit card. Again. This time, it cancelled the transaction, said there’d been an error and I had removed my card (still in the machine) too fast. The register froze. The folks behind me in line were pretty nice about it. No one pulled a gun.

They got other registers working and everyone migrated to other aisles. Except us. Because we were already in this register and they had to reboot it to get it unfrozen.

“It’s not my fault,” I whimpered. “They said I had to get this new card with the chip.” Which was true, so I don’t know why everyone was mad at me.

“Feel free to get mad at Bank of America. They’re just over there,” I said, pointing to the other side of the parking lot. “Tell them!”

When the machines came back up, Garry used his card, the one without the chip.

Finally, we went home. I called the bank and was put on hold. I put the phone on speaker and left it to its own devices expecting I’d eventually hear a “How can we help you.” An hour later, it was still playing drippy muzak.

I tried a different number. Same message, but different muzak. I tried the local bank site. All the chat people were engaged. They suggested I try later. Their email was also down. By now, I was getting a feeling there was more going wrong at Bank of America than a bad chip in my debit card.

Finally … almost three hours after I first called, I got a “live chat” person on line. Bianca. Hello Bianca. My new debit card with the fancy chip technology isn’t working.

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“We have a note that you entered an incorrect PIN earlier today.”

“I was never asked for my PIN. It cancelled my transaction and told me my card had been removed too fast, but the card was still in the machine.”

“I can send you a PIN reminder.”

“I know my PIN. It’s the  card. It also froze the store register. Everyone on line had to go somewhere else to check out. Take responsibility. This is a bank problem.”

“Chip technology is going to be everywhere. We are no longer issuing debit cards without chips.”

“Then send me a card with a chip that works. Like test it before sending it to me?”

We went back and forth for a while. They are sending me a new card. With a new chip. Which, presumably, will work. Given that not only did the chip fail, but BOA was unavailable for hours, I bet BOA had a system failure. Since they’ll never tell you what’s really going on, all of this was a smokescreen to avoid having to say “the bank is experiencing server problems.”

Their server problems turned this into the day I took down the machines at Hannaford. Just because I live in a small town, doesn’t mean we don’t have adventures.

I’m probably going to become a local legend.


POSTSCRIPT: Bank Of America’s servers were in fact down pretty much all day yesterday. Not the first time, by any means and very likely, not the last time, either. Why do they persist in lying about it? It doesn’t make the problem go away. Would it really make the situation worse to admit the bank’s servers are being “upgraded” (or whatever they are doing) and tell us our cards aren’t working because they are effectively offline?