Sad, sad times

I had posted a few weeks ago about the joy and excitement I felt over getting a source of Diet Dr Pepper. I ran out of the last one that I had been hoarding a couple of days ago. We were able to get them pretty readily for a while. My wife would grab 10-15 each time she saw them in the store, whether we had a ton of them or not.

It has been well over a week since any sightings have been made. *Sniff*

I can guarantee it is not because there was too much stock sitting on the shelves not being sold. Each time we would see them there would just be a few. My wife was gracious to the other people in town and would try to leave 3 or 4 for them. Then she would call everyone she knew and tell them that there were some still on the shelves. So, I know they sold well.

When we were in the country of Granada (an island in the Eastern Caribbean), the missionary there told us a great story. The stores would stock stuff unless it got to be popular. When it became popular that would create too much work trying to keep the shelves stocked, so they would pull the product. I think they forgot to teach supply and demand in their economics classes there.

For now, we are Diet Dr Pepper-less. Maybe sometime soon we will get more. We were told they did the same thing with Mt. Dew. Except it was around long enough to be sold in the mom and pop convenience stores. Then one day, it just all disappeared. Hopefully that is not the case with the Diet Dr Pepper. Maybe they did a test batch and found out that it went over well and now they are ramping up production to be able to supply all the stores in the country. Yes, that must be it. Or, that is at least what I choose to believe.

The gift that wasn’t

Today I hit the post office for the first time in a couple of weeks. We don’t have much mailed to us, so we only check when we are expecting something. I have been eagerly awaiting my microphones which probably will never arrive. That is based on the conversation I had with the post office lady today.

Today I had a nice pretty brown package slip in my mail box. I was thrilled until I saw from whence it came. It was not the state that the microphones should have been mailed from.

The package cost me $35 in custom’s fees. It was a box that had a music CD and some CDs of sermons from a conference. All of which I very much appreciate. The music CD I would probably have paid money for. The conference CDs I might have paid for, but not at the end of the month when I don’t have any money. But the deal at the post office is, I either pay it, or they destroy it. I have 2 weeks to pay it. Since I have not been there a while, I have already passed 1 week and won’t get paid for a few more days. So I took all the money I had in the gasoline fund in the glove box (don’t tell anyone I keep my gas money in the glove box) and paid the custom’s fee.

Fortunately customs did not open the package and steal anything out of it. The custom’s form that was filled out by the church which sent me the CDs had all the information written out. So customs just used the information on the form instead of pawing through the box. The problem is that they said there were 1 audio CD and 45 DVDs. In fact, they were all audio CDs. So I had to pay the custom’s fee on 45 DVDs instead of CDs.

They also listed the value at the full retail value of the items. While they could sell these for $200, it certainly did not cost them that much to produce. They should be honest on a custom’s form, but couldn’t they put the actual cost instead of the retail value? The form just asks for “Value.” It does not specify retail or actual value.

So, anyway, I had to pay $35 for a gift today. Last year it was $50. I was so torqued last year that I never listened to them. They still sit on my shelf waiting to be loaded into my MP3 player. Maybe I will catch up on last year’s and eventually get around to this year’s CDs.

An email might have to be sent to tell them that I would actually appreciate NOT getting the “gift” next year.

My football helmet

Helmet shellThis last week I had to paint my football helmet to get ready for the season. The helmet was yellow originally, and of course I forgot to take any pictures of it. It was also beat up pretty badly. I cleaned it up with some sandpaper, which did a great job. Then I sprayed a few coats of primer on it. There was some sanding and wet sanding between coats.

I don’t really know how to do all this stuff on my own, so I called my uncle. He does body work for fun and profit. It is a hobby of his that he does real well with. I am a little nervous around paint and metal, but he just jumps right in knowing that everything is fixable if you have the right tools. He helped us replace the front clip on our truck and then re-paint the whole thing.Commander Keen

When I say “he helped us,” I mean that he pointed to the next task and my wife and I pulled the whole smashed up front end off and replaced it with one from the junk yard. Then we did all the body prep up to the first coat of paint. He came out and shot the paint on for us. You see, he was laid up with kidney stones. In the week that we did all of that he was in and out of the hospital twice. We did all the work until the very end, which he crawled out of his death bed to finish up. It turned out great.

So, anyway, I called him a few times this last week when I was in the process of getting the hHelmet frontelmet prepped and painted.

I ended up with about 4 coats of white I think. Up through 3 coats I was still seeing that it had not blended well. The final coat went on OK, but it was really hard to see the spots I missed until it dried. It was not a problem, though, since I followed that up with 2 or 3 coats of clear coat. This was all out of spray cans picked up at Wal-Mart. Not your high dollar car paint, but it turned out fine.

I did get a couple of slight runs in the clear coat, but only I can see them. I tried to point one out to a friend, and even though I knew where they were, I had trouble finding one. So they are not that bad.Helmet profile

I think it turned out nice. Now when we play our first real game on Saturday, I will get to scuff it up. If it still looks decent after this week’s game, I will throw some wax on it towards the end of next week. That will have given the paint 2 weeks to cure. I have been bringing the helmet into the bedroom at night so that the air conditioning will help set the paint better. It is amazing to me to see the difference in the hardness of the paint 2 days after I had it in the air conditioning. We don’t have central air here and electricity is too expensive to run the A/C all day. So we just have it on at night in the bedrooms.

You can click on the pictures for a larger version.

Abt Electronics

Are you looking for a new place to buy electronics online? Abt Electronics has been in the business of selling electronics for 71 years. Obviously they have not been selling online that long, but they have built a large customer base and seem to be a well established company.

I have found their prices to be very competitive. Look, for example at their hard disc video recorder selection. They have several products available at great prices.

Particularly, I was interested in their digital cameras. They have a great selection of cameras and their tool for narrowing down the list of cameras that fit your budget and features is excellent. You choose the basic features you are interested in along with your maximum price and it will return a list of cameras. If you want to narrow it down further to a few select manufacturers, that is easily done by selecting only the ones you want to see.

They also offer free shipping on many items and have a generous return policy. They will even pay the return shipping on some items.

There are many other electronic categories from which to choose as well as appliances. Take some time and check them out!

[this is a sponsored post]

Disclosure Policy

I have written a disclosure policy for the blog since I am now seeking financial independence through blogging. Ok, maybe I am just trying to buy a new microphone and a pair of shoes every few months. Anyway, I used to help me write a policy that I think covers the bases.

Basically it says this. I may get paid to blog about products, but what I say about them is what I really believe. I will try to choose “for pay” opportunities that will be of benefit to the readers of My Thought Spot.

And, don’t worry, my personal ramblings are not going anywhere (or maybe you were hoping they would). Also, if this goes the way of many things in my life, in a few months, you won’t have to worry about a disclosure policy since I probably will not be taking money for posting. It is a cool fad right now that may get me some new shoes. Every 8 months when shoe replacement time comes around, I may pick up the paid posts in earnest and then drop them again for a while.

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