Health Kick: Diet is hard, let’s go shopping

Here are the basic rules I set out to follow when food shopping, in roughly descending order of importance: Aim for under 28g of sugar per day, excluding sugar in raw fruits and vegetables. Whole grain everything. Try to increase my fat intake towards the upper end of the recommended daily amount, so that food would taste better without sugar, have a lower glycemic load, and cut my hunger for longer.

Amazing Week, Day 2: Internet shopping

Part of Amazing Week 2012 During my teenage years I developed a taste for electronic music, of the kind that generally didn’t go anywhere near the charts — except for a few years in the early 80s. Several times a year I would travel up to London and trawl around all the big record stores. The Virgin Megastore, the HMV Store, Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus, sometimes more. I’d go through the racks from A to Z, looking for anything on my list of obscure wants.

Pretending to see the future

…no online database will replace your daily newspaper…no computer network will change the way government works. … Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.” We’re promised instant catalog shopping–just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month?

Realization

Saying to a woman “It’s in that mall where you were shopping for shoes” is like saying to a man “It’s in that store where you were looking at consumer electronics”.

Memo to self re: Ecco

In Boston I bought a pair of Ecco shoes, only to have them fall apart in under a year. Failing to learn the lesson, I bought some Ecco winter boots. They were fine when we left, only worn a few times, but after 8 days in Minnesota the soles have shredded away. No more Ecco footwear for me. Sure, it’s light, but it’s expensive and it doesn’t last.

A pet peeve regarding credit cards

In this season of shopping, it’s worth knowing that stores are not allowed to require a minimum purchase for use of a credit card. They are also not allowed to require that you present photo ID to use the card. Consumerist has the scoop, including where to report violations. This isn’t just a US law, it’s a condition set by Visa, MasterCard and American Express. I know that it applies in the UK, and probably most other western nations.

Things that suck

When I moved in with rothko, we bought a vacuum cleaner. At the time we were living in a fully carpeted apartment in Malden, MA. Money was tight, so I did some research via Consumer Reports and bought a Sharp vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately, I overlooked one detail. While excellent on carpets, the vacuum cleaner was entirely unsuitable for hard wood floors. After a couple of years we moved into an apartment with wood floors, and the Sharp took up residency in the basement.

London

While we were in England, we got the train from Bournemouth to visit London. London was an important part of my life as soon as I was old enough to be allowed to travel there without adult supervision. Some people are naturally country folk, some people are city people; even though I grew up in small villages and quaint towns, that was never where I really wanted to be. I was curious to see how London had changed since I last saw it, nearly 10 years ago.

Pants!

Apparently Sunday was a bit of a slow news day for the Dallas/Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I have to wonder how their graphic artist reacted when asked to draw the all-important inset map. Monday was somewhat more exciting, for me at least. I went to put on the usual “I’m a responsible adult with a job” clothes, and discovered that the pair of khakis I had grabbed and stuffed into my case were too small.

Spot the crook?

I’ve beem thinking about how one can actually spot shady businesses. It’s not as easy as it initially seems—there are plenty of dodgy retailers that manage to look totally legitimate, and there are plenty of good companies that you might assume to be crooks because (for instance) they don’t list any kind of address online. For example, if you’ve ever shopped online for camera equipment, or browsed the ads in magazines, you’ve probably seen lots of stores in New York selling photo equipment at way below MSRP.