Get with the Times Boy – #SoCS

Linda G. Hill has given us a difficult Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, but she’s offering bonus points, so you know where this boy is going.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘-ic or -ical.’ Find a word that uses the suffix ‘-ic’ or ‘-ical.’ Bonus points if you use both. Have fun!”


If we were having a beer, you would be questioning my tech-savviness.

Hi Cheryl, I see the bourbon, the ice and the seltzer; where’s the old man?”

“In the room at the top of the stairs, Dan. He said he’s buying today. Corona?”

“Wow, that’s odd for him to pony-up so quickly, but yeah, I’ll have a Corona.”

“He says he ‘needs to learn you somethin’ so I guess the beer is part of the lesson.”

“Oh geeze, I wonder what I did now.”

“Hey there, did Cheryl take your order.”

“She did. What’s this about you learning, I mean teaching me something?”

“Well, I thought I’d share a little wisdom with you.”

“About?”

“The Internet.”

“The Internet? Really? You do remember what I do for a living, right?”

“Yeah, but it’s characteristic of coneheads like you to focus on the theoretical, but not the practical side of things.”

“Sounds like I’m just in time with this beer. Be a good student, Dan, maybe he’ll let you clean the erasers.”

“Go ahead, Cheryl, make fun, but I’m not the old fashioned one today.”

“What on earth did you do, Dan?”

“I haven’t a clue.”

“He bought a camera at a local, downtown Hartford camera store.”

“The Camera Bar? I love that place. What did you buy?”

“A Canon point and shoot.”

“Do you like it?.”

“I do.”

“Then how did you get in trouble with your buddy?”

“This is worse than I thought. Haven’t either one of you heard of Amazon? B&H? Best Buy? You know, the Internet?”

“Dan, I’m going to let you handle this. I’m hoping to get a tip from him later.”

“Understood, Cheryl. And, for the record, I’ve heard of, used, and have accounts with all those places.”

“Then why on earth did you buy a camera in a local store?”

“I don’t know, maybe it was the knowledgeable staff, the attention to detail, the helpful attitude – um, what did they used to call it? Oh yeah, customer service.”

“Shopping, my young friend, is about price. You can research all that other stuff on the Internet, then go for the best price.”

“Ironically, I checked (after the fact) and the price I paid at The Camera Bar was the same price that Amazon, B&H and Best Buy had for my camera.”

“Really?”

“Really. In fact, Amazon was playing a little fast and loose with the numbers the first time I looked.”

“What’s that mean?”

“There was a twenty dollar ‘instant rebate’ from Canon. The Camera Bar gave it to me. Best Buy and B&H offered it. Amazon included a ten-dollar discount and another ten dollars if I joined Prime.”

“That’s a little sleazy.”

“Yeah, I thought so.”

“So, you’re saying you couldn’t have saved any money shopping online?”

“Maybe I could have saved a few bucks on the memory card, but it would have been a cheaper card. I’ve had cheap cards from Amazon and Target fail in my GPS. I’m happy with what I bought.”

“Well, score one for the local guy.”

“Score two for the local guy.”

“Huh? Did you buy two cameras?”

“Sorry, score one for two local guys.”

“I don’t follow you.”

“The shingles I bought at Kelly-Fradet… Cheaper than Home Depot and Lowes.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“Nope. Sometimes, the neighborhood merchant is your best bet.”

“Just like this neighborhood merchant. Our wings are actually cheaper than <cough> wildwingmmmm, and ours are much, much better.”

“That’s true.”

“You’ll get no argument from me on that Cheryl.”

“Speaking of wings…”

“Since my buddy failed at learning me something, I think he’d like to treat the class to an order of twenty wings, Cheryl.”

“All barbecue?”

“Yes, but with…”

“I know, Parm Pep for you, Dan and Blue Cheese for the instructor.”

“I would have sworn electronics would have been cheaper at Amazon.”

“Not in this case, but as I said, I didn’t check until later. The service would have been worth paying a little extra.”

“I still don’t understand that. What’s the service in buying a point and shoot camera?”

“The guy let me hold several different cameras.”

“Today’s Internet sites let you zoom in from every angle.”

“Hold! As in hold it in my hand.”

“I think you could get the idea from a photo.”

“No, you can’t. He also explained all the features.”

“The Internet can do that.”

“The guy compared the features to my old camera.”

“Again, Internet.”

“The guy installed the battery, memory card, set the time and date and most of the important settings.”

“Granted, you can’t get that on the Internet.”

“Or even at the B&H or Best Buy stores.”

“True.”

“And, the guy installed the hand strap.”

“That little loopy thing you have to fish through the microscopic slot?”

“The very one.”

“Damn, boy. I’m sold. Next time I want a camera, I’m going to The Camera Bar.”


75 thoughts on “Get with the Times Boy – #SoCS

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    1. Thanks Judy. The in-store experience was delightful. As for the weather, I think you can get wet just walking across the yard. Maddie and I had a short walk. It looks like it’s going to be steamy and stormy today.

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  1. So I have to ask, Dan, which Canon did you get? There is a lot to be said for visiting a brick-and-mortar store for something like a camera, if you can find such a place. As cameras have become technologically advanced, they have shrunk to ridiculous sizes in many cases, with tiny controls that are impossible for me to operate. That’s one of the reasons why it good to have one in your hands before you buy it. Of course, the additional service you described is a real bonus too. I was struck by your photos of the bike. That’s the rental one, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mike. I got the SX 730. It’s not so small that I can’t use it, but small enough to slip into a pocket. The controls are organized differently from the Nikon. For me, it seems more intuitive. That was the benefit of holding a couple and actually giving them a try.

      The bike is a rental. They cane to Hartford in June. I like finding them in the park. Of course, we’re back to business casual after Labor Day so I’ll only be able to ride on Friday’s (jeans, sneakers).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I take part in the dance between “local” and internet (or big box stores). Living on a budget, it’s important to get value from what I purchase. Lately, my MO is to go to the shoe store, find something I like, then search for a cheaper price on the internet. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. However, I am also a big believer in shopping local to support those who have to compete against the internet and the big boys. You did fine in getting your camera local and I would have said so even if you paid $20 more than Amazon.

    Cheers to your new camera and the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I try to shop local if I can. If I go to a store, I try not to check online for price. I do sometimes check for reviews, and of course, the first thing you see is price. I was looking recently for a blood pressure monitor. I was in Walgreens, I looked for a review, because there were so many models, and noticed that the model I wanted was $20 cheaper at Target and $30 cheaper at WalMart. I bought it a WalMart.

      All of the big box and online places also have ways of getting manufacturers to change product designs to drive prices lower. I was given an Amazon gift certificate a couple of years ago. I bought a special woodworking hand tool. The description said “stainless steel body” – it’s now rusting pretty badly. I have tools I purchased from local tool stores, years earlier, sitting in the same drawer – not rusting at all.

      It is a complex dance. We can’t operate like a charity, but the difference between online and little-local is not always clear.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Epic, Dan! My husband does like you and researches it all. We lost a wonderful, very old camera store here in town so we usually go the B&H route. I find the part-timers in the big box stores are more concerned with staring at their cellphones than trying to help a customer. Sammy checking for scraps is so cute. Hello, MuMu!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. I like B&H, and I’ve gone with Faith to the mothership in NY to buy cameras, but I find that you need to know a lot about what you’re buying. They are always busy, and I get the feeling that they want me to decide and move on. When there’s a line of 10-20 people behind you, it’s a little intimidating. Plus, they have so many cameras that to compare Nikon to Canon, you’re going to different places in the store. research first is very important.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have the beer, snacks, cot and chair. How’d you forget the man and dog?!!

    Great bar conversation Dan. Good for you for giving plugs to the local retailers and reminding people that Customer Service is worth something.

    Love that shot of MuMu. She is soooo cute. Her expression says, “I’ll give you an hour to cut that out!”

    Maddie looks so comfy, not to mention beautiful, on her cot. You couldn’t have gotten anything more perfect for her.

    The squirrel on the trash container is a hoot.

    Glad you were able to lower the copyright line.

    Another crummy weather day here. Hot, humid, dreary and rain later. Good!! Haven’t had any rain for at least 10-15 minutes! Lol.

    Hope you all have a wonderful weekend with no thunder to upset Maddie.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. I can take the cot and my chair out with Maddie, but trying to also carry a beer results in my not being able to drink it. We try different things to keep her calm, but as soon as she sees that the cot isn’t on the porch, she’s goes nuts. We bought the cot for her to lay in (it has a tent-like top) when we were working outside. She wouldn’t use it. Once we took the top off, it became her favorite place in the world.

      I took her for a short walk, early this morning, to get it in before the rain. I won’t even try to work outside. Next weekend is starting to look good – fingers crossed.

      MuMu is so funny. She hides in the bedroom across from the bathroom. As I go in or out, she comes to the gate (to prevent Maddie from going in) and screams! We have these conversations: “Rerooow” “MuMu, I have to pee” “Rerrrrrroooow!!!” “OK, OK, I’ll scratch you.”

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  5. I agree with you Dan. We have always been rather fanatical about buying from the indepenedent business owners as much as possible. I got great service and good prices at a camera shop in Orlando, albeit the internet came in handy for the A type other half of mine who is a stickler for reviews. It was a significant trek for us to go into that crazy drive and doing it for naught would have made for a not so happy day. I actually bought my new(used) Nikon there as well as having had the old one cleaned once.you know what is most annoying to me about online shopping? Getting a new device like an iphone or ipad that comes with absolutely NO instruction whatsover. Oh, there is something you can download, or if you can get it fired up there are basics. And the millenial attitude is such that ‘ols folks’ don’t want to accept technology, when the truth in many cases is that it is just too far beyond their scope of understanding without some help. I hope you love your new camera. PS Maddie looks completely snuggled in the there. Happy Free 48.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cheryl. This place is my go-to camera store from now on. The funny thing is, local guys use the Internet too. My hardware store had to special order something. He looked it up at Lowe’s and said “I can live with that” and he matched their price.

      On the other hand, when I needed one plumbing fitting, I was so glad to be in and out of the local store in two minutes. That never happens at Lowe’s.

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    1. Yeah, that’s not fair but I know it happens. I wasn’t planning on buying, but when I decided that I wanted that camera, I didn’t even think about looking it up. It seemed like a fair price, and the guy was so helpful.

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  6. The deck is my favorite photo. Like you, I like that personal touch when buying something. I want to hold it in my hand and examine the heck out of it. Plus, returning stuff is much less hassle. I like ordering some stuff online, but not all stuff. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When I was a kid, my brother’s and I would walk about a mile down Red Mill Road in Newark, Delaware and venture through the old mill. I don’t know if it was a paper mill or a flour mill, I just know it was falling down and no trespassing signs were posted. That made it even more adventurous. We did explore with caution, though. I just love old stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I will buy online if I think the price is way out of line, but not after the guy spends 30 minutes explaining the features. I’m so happy to be able to be able to jump in a bike on a nice morning and take a little ride.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved your post today. I’ll admit Amazon catches a lot of my business — we live about 30 minutes from the big stores and I’m not a fan of blowing gas running into town every time I need a little something something. But I’m a HUGE fan of the little guy and 100% believe they deserve support for that customer service.

    I just reread that and it sounds so contradictory. I guess I mean paper towels and the flour sifter I needed — no expertise involved, so Amazon’s getting my cash. But things like computers and cameras? Customer service always wins in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Laura. There are lots of trade offs, especially when you add in dealing with kids. There is a convenience factor that needs to be reckoned with. This guy didn’t survive without mastering customer service. I look forward to going back!

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    1. If by dustbin, you mean trash can, yes, it’s a dustbin. That park routinely floods higher than those bins. The posts help prevent debris getting tangled and the holes let the water drain out. Thanks Peter. I’m always impressed by the details you notice.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan I know last time I said MuMu was beautiful, but both times — she looks soo happy. =^-^=
    I’m just wired wrong — even the heat and humidity the only “‘ical” I could think of was glacial. Too bad the store wasn’t named Camera Barical. But under the circumstances, I think you could have used some poetical license. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan. MuMu appreciates your compliment (she is a pretty kitty). She loves to be scratched. When I saw the prompt, I thought of the line about the “cone head” and went backwards and forwards from there. I hope you’re having a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. This was an easy exchange, Kirt. The way retail used to be. The Lime Bikes are fun to find in the park. If it’d cool, and I’m wearing jeans, I can see parts of the park I otherwise wouldn’t be able to see on my way to work.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a Corona (or other Mexican beer) “dressed” with spiced salt and lime. They rub the rim of the glass with lime and roll the glass in a spiced salt mix. It’s very good.

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  9. Oh golly – memory cards. I remember them well. Our old Canon had some mighty fancy features but we had problems buying a new battery pack and it just sits in the closest. I do remember hot, sticky and wet evenings at my grandparents so you do have my sympathies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This weather has to end at some point. Thunderstorms today and tomorrow. The problem with almost all electronics is the lifespan and availability (or cost) or batteries. I’ve replaced cordless drills because a new drill was cheaper than a new battery.

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  10. I actually like to shop – the entire experience of touching, holding, etc. I can’t get that from online shopping. That doesn’t stop me from using Amazon etc for ‘low risk’ purchases like books, but I favour my local camera store. It’s not the cheapest, but I can go there with questions and they will help me – usually it’s something I’ve done and want to undo but don’t know what I did in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t mind paying a few extra dollars for good customer service and a pleasant environment. Speaking of pleasant environment, I love that last photo – all comfy cozy – and Maddie’s flowing tresses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks JoAnna. Customer service is worth paying a little extra for. Maddie gets afraid when we have thunderstorms. Sometimes we put her in her ThunderShirt and she lays in her crate. Sometimes she crawls behind “ThunderDad” on the couch.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. A popsicle is not practical to cool your bourbon or scotch. If we were having an adult Saturday I would not use one. that is the factual. Good one. I would write more however it seems I am very lackadaisical. And contrary. Enjoy the wings !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like the arches. I have made multiple attempts at getting the picture I want from under that bridge over the yers, I’m still not quite there. Faith has a great one, but she used some fancy photography trick (like kneeling down or something) to get it.

      MuMu does have a certain charm. However, when I step out of the bathroom at 3:00 am and she yells for me to scratch her, I don’t always see the charm.

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  13. The last time I visited my local camera store I was looking for a new camera bag to take on the Horse trip, but after talking to one of my favorite sales guys there I decided to go with what I had, and I’m so glad I did. I didn’t need a new bag just for that trip. He was right.
    Mind you I do need a new bag because I’ve worn one out after 10 yrs of hard use, but that replacement will be a wee bit bigger, not something just to fit the needs of one trip, and I’ll pick it out from my local store.

    When I shop online I’m looking more and more at the source rather than Amazon. They’re getting a bit creepy with all the advertising showing up on my computer after a search or typing in a word. Even after I’ve turned off every setting I can find that might let them do stuff like that.

    The rental bike… I was up in Oakland yesterday photographing a rowing event at the Lake and there were two brands of electric rental bikes around the park. They looked more like skate boards with a tall neck and handlebar rather than bike. Think Razor Scooter from a decades back all the kids were riding then but these were motorized. 😊Lots and lots of people were using them, and they looked like fun to zip around the lake on, and near the end of the day they were looking pretty tempting. My pack was heavy by then. Unfortunately, I spied one in the lake. I was going to look up app today to see what the rental cost was. The bike said starting at $1, but then what?

    I’m glad you are liking your new camera. It looks like you found a good fit. I hope you and Maddie get some nice sitting done outside today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know what the fee for the bikes are after the first hour. I think the rate after that varies by location. In Hartford, they don’t want them going very far so it increases. In an area with a large geography, it stays $1. The scooters are $1 to unlock, but 15¢ per minute to ride. So I guess you’re zipping from A to B pretty quickly.

      The guy at the camera store’s first suggestion was to live with the smudge. I told him it was getting to be an annoyance. It’s the fog pictured that drive me crazy, because it’s so hard to blend the smudge out of a foggy sky.

      I am looking for alternatives to Amazon. We don’t buy much from them. I thought the way they handled the Canon Instant Rebate was really slimy. They made it like “and we’ll give you another $10 for joining Prime” when the rebate was for $20.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. so fun…
    but first – the corona looks like the small pony bottle? is that the half size?
    and it is making me thirsty – it is a really cool shot.

    and chalk one up for the local stores indeed – right on that they were same or better priced.

    i recently stopped by to buy an oil – and the guy said he’d match online prices. wow – it was cool –

    anyhow, favorite of the photos are all the bike shots. That green stands out and in the different takes it is a fun subject!

    Like

    1. Nope, that’s a full size bottle, I have big hands. The little guys are Coronitas and I have had those, but not at a bar.

      I hope that this means local guys are starting to figure out how to compete. now that online sellers will have to collect sales tax, they gain back what had been a 6.35% disadvantage in CT.

      I’m liking the Line Bikes. It the weather is nice, I get to take a little ride on my way to work, It’s a different thing, for sure.

      Thanks for your continued support.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh and those bike rides can help your physical health and maybe mental outlook – maybe ! Hah
        And yes regarding the competing – we got a last minute hotel room in dc last month for cheap – 4 stars – same as an Airbnb – and we guess they are now staying competitive with Airbnb – and they should – and all this means (usually) good things for consumers

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I understand that completely. There are certain things you want to hold and touch, or often in my case, try on. Sometimes the thing you’re purchasing has to feel right.
    I am happy you and your new camera will have many clicks together :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah, tools, clothes, cameras, etc, I like to feel them and study them before buying. It’s so hard to feel good about something based only on pictures and words written by the guys trying to get you to buy it.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Here’s to the local retailer who knows his/her business! This is like reading a real book instead of reading on a screen. I love how you wrote a story about this, Dan. And as always, it was a really good story to read.

    Liked by 1 person

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