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On 1/16/2016 7:49 PM, rbowman wrote:

You laugh -- but I recall when my in-laws exclaimed over the arrival of a McDonald's in their home town ("Hey, we must be on the map, now!")

Yup.

I've found that "basics" varies in parts of the country. E.g., I can buy live *chicks* in the hardware store up the corner. And, bales of hay down the street. But, it will cost me a 30 minute drive to buy an overpriced capacitor at the *one* place in town that sells them!
I can *possibly* get a decent Italian meal if I go to one of the 4 stars that cater to resort visitors. But, damn little else for more modest tastes!
I had to bring almonds in from NYC as I couldn't find anyplace here that sold *quality* nuts.
Oval head, 100 degree, clutch/torx/robertson/etc. screws are a chore to locate; other markets I'd walk in to a hardware store and pick them off a shelf. Buy a box of 100, here, and they look at like you as if you must be in the "screw business"! :<

Name (chain?) doesn't ring a bell.

Smaller markets give vendors too much control over prices. And, customers alter their preferences to fit those choices -- so there's no pressure on the store to change its selection or pricing.
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On 01/17/2016 12:38 AM, Don Y wrote:

I think the first Walmart was like that for a lot of people here. Progress for me was when they built a supermarket on the outskirts of town so I wouldn't have to drive all the way in. I suppose I should have known it would be followed by Old Navy, Taco Bell, B&N, BestBuy (formerly Future Shoppe) Lowe's, Petsmart, and so forth.

Since RatShack closed I don't think I could scare up a capacitor in town. Chicks, hay, and stock tanks are no problem.

It hardly qualifies as decent, but there is a Johnny Carino's. There are a couple of others that I've never been to. I've never seen good stats but from my experience there are more Hmong in Montana than Italians.

It's a large sporting goods chain, or outfitters as they prefer to be called. Much of their business is direct marketing but the brick and mortar stores tend to be dramatic. Their customer base probably also gets LL Bean and REI catalogs and aren't looking for the lowest prices.

In the '80s I took a contract at Ft. Wayne. There was a legitimate coffee shortage, with price increases and empty shelves. However one weekend I drove down to Indianapolis and found the shortage was over. Apparently the news never made it to Ft. Wayne. The population is about 250,000 but the supermarkets knew a good thing when they saw it.
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On 1/17/2016 12:43 PM, rbowman wrote:

Yup. When they said "If you built it, they will come" they were talking about the OTHER BUSINESSES! :>

I don't think they even *sell* discretes anymore!

Here, all Mexican. Though I've found a few "passable" chinese joints.

Ah. Not the sort of place I'd frequent! :>

By extension, why offer *anything* unless you have to (in order to remain in business).
"Sure, we carry toilet paper. Do you want THE single ply or THE two-ply?"
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On 01/17/2016 02:11 PM, Don Y wrote:

We have some good Thai restaurants even though most are run by Hmong trying to pass. One local Hmong dynasty dropped their restaurant and now specialize in outdoor events. They also expanded to teriyaki and Dutch funnel cakes. Whatever sells and they can follow a recipe book as well as anyone.
When I lived in Dover, NH there was a large Greek community. Again most that entered the restaurant business passed as Italian. That upset me since I like Greek food.
There is one decent Mexican restaurant run by actual Mexicans. They went the other way, starting with a roach coach and eventually finding a permanent home.
It's a hard market. The ethnic communities are very small and the rest of the market wants something exotic -- but not too exotic. I really miss the India Pavilion in Cambridge; I worked on Mem Ave and could walk to Central Square for lunch.
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rbowman posted for all of us...

HAAAAA funny one...
--
Tekkie

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rbowman posted for all of us...

Cabela's has one of their "mega" stores near me. Their prices are never the greatest unless it's on sale. If you like firearms you are in heaven-as long you don't go Saturday. Then buy it at better price at your favorite dealer. Their clothes selection used to be good but now sucks, at least from my wifes and my view. They don't pay employees enough; even in this remote area; to get and keep help. The proposed buyout from Bass Pro Shops has not helped their business. It's sad. You can carry concealed.
--
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On 01/15/2016 11:06 PM, Don Y wrote:

Perhaps where you live. In a town of 50,000 finding something to see is a chore or the price is ridiculous. I bought an Omron strapless HRM late last year. The only one I could find in town was $50 at Walmart. The same item was $25 from Amazon.
My worst experience was after I bought a car without a radio. It was a new model so the dash kit was also a new design. I went to the leading car stereo store in town and selected a radio. The salesman said they didn't have the kit and would give me a call. Okay. A couple of days later, he calls to say there isn't a kit but they might be able to modify one. Meanwhile, I'd been on a Toyota forum and gave him the manufacturer and part number. It was a Metra kit, one of the major providers. He said he'd order it from the his supplier and it should be delivered in three days. Okay. Three days later, I called. The shipment had arrived with no kit. He would try to order it from Spokane. Okay. Two days later, the Spokane delivery arrived, no kit.
I thanked him for his trouble through clenched teeth, went home, and ordered the radio, dash kit, and harness from Amazon. Two days later there was a pile of boxes on my deck when I got home from work and I installed the radio.
That's how it runs for most things around here and it isn't only Amazon. I went to a local archery shop looking for glue on target points. They're mostly into compound bows, not traditional archery. The guy said he could order them for me, but I could find them on the internet as easily as he could.
Back to books: I went into the B&N store looking for a title and she said she could order it and it would be a week or two at the full list price. I ordered it from B&N online for 10% less and free delivery to my door.
I really, really try to support the local brick and mortar stores but I'm starting to think they all have a death wish.
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On 1/16/2016 1:30 PM, rbowman wrote:

"A town of" is misleading. I grew up in a town of 20,000 -- the high school sat in the middle of a corn field. But, in a metro area of some several MILLION! In the time it took me to drive to high school, I could have headed off for any of the surrounding "cities".

I feel sorry for them. Many folks use them as "showrooms" and do their purchases online (clearly not fair to the B&M as they've had to maintain showroom floor space, not WAREHOUSE floorspace). OTOH, what they *should* be touting is service and the immediacy of acquiring *the* product sought (not the *hoped for* product ORDERED).
The pants I mentioned that SWMBO received from Amazon, upthread, were originally purchased at a local B&M. I buy my jeans there (certain sizes aren't easy to find elsewhere) and was always impressed with the service and knowledge of their sales staff.
Sure as hell, SWMBO was *tickled* when thy pointed her at *exactly* what she was looking for and worked to find the best fit, etc.
"Great! I'll take them! Can I get two more pairs? And, maybe another pair in this other color, same size?"
"We'll have to order them in from one of our other stores."
"No problem! I can only wear one pair at a time! When will they be in?"
"Thursday" (that day being saturday) "we'll call when they arrive"
Thursday comes. No call -- yay or nay. Call THEM on friday. "Oh, the manager is out of the store, today. I'll leave a message and have her get back to you tomorrow."
You can see where this eventually ended up with NOTHING after two weeks of waiting!
"OK, we know which make/model/color you want; let's just order from Amazon!"
Wait a week for Amazon to deliver them. Then notice they are two different sizes and look as if they'd been worn for weeks (lots of wear at the cuffs).
Go through the effort of packaging them up, getting the UPS shipping label printed, dropping off at the UPS office by the library (so we don't have to worry about when the UPS guy will show up at our door for them), wait (and remember to check for!) for the credit on the charge card...
Then, go to Target and buy the same pants off the shelf -- after trying on BOTH pairs!
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On 01/16/2016 02:04 PM, Don Y wrote:

Technically Missoula is a first class city. The only larger city in Montana is Billings, 340 miles to the east. Then there's Spokane, 200 miles to the west, or Boise, 370 miles south.
If you can't find it 'in town' you're not likely to drive to a nearby city. 25 years ago I would go over to Spokane but in the last two decades the big box stores have come to town, for better or worse. Now a trip to REI is a short walk from work, not a 400 mile trek. Even at that the selection is limited compared to the big city stores.
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On 1/16/2016 7:31 PM, rbowman wrote:

At ~70K population, 24 sq mi?
Tucson (236 sq mi)    526K
The towns sharing a *border* with Tucson (that I can remember, off the top of my head): Catalina Foothills     50K Casas Adobes         68 South Tucson         5 Tucson Estates         10 Flowing Wells         15 Vail             10 Littletown         1 Tanque Verde         16 Drexel Heights         24 ====            189K
Add places "nearby" (i.e., a few miles) like Marana, Oro Valley, Green Valley, etc. and that's probably another 200K. I.e., that's just "commuting distance" (I'll ignore the twits who commute to feenigs!)
Now:
I can't remember enough of the adjoining towns from Denver so I'll skip that.
Boston (89 sq mi)    645K
With adjoining towns: Cambridge        107K Somerville         78 Revere             53 Chelsea             37 Watertown         32 Brookline         58 Newton             88 Needham             28 Dedham             24 Milton             27 Quincy             93 Everett             42             ===            667K
Then:
Chicago (234 sq mi)    2719K
And, *adjoining* suburbs (this is a bit harder to remember so I'll only try for the easy ones -- Vic can tell me what I've missed):
Skokie             65K Evanston         75 Park Ridge         37 Niles             30 Elk Grove Village     33 Elmhurst         45 Oak Brook         8 Oak Lawn         56 Berwyn             56 Cicero             84 Des Plaines         59             ===            548K
I won't tackle NYC... :>
Note that the Boston metro area would fit *inside* the city limits of Chicago so you actually have more locations (retail outlets) available in a given distance. By contrast, Tucson is roughly the same size as Chitown with 1/5th the population! And, once you're out of the immediate vicinity, there's NOTHING 'til you get to feenigs!

Here, I can wander through any of the (listed) adjoining towns without really knowing when I've crossed into one. But, the distances get to be pretty long and roadways poorly placed. E.g., I could drive from downtown Boston out to Medford/Lexington/Dedham/etc. in less time than I can get to the nearest *interstate* -- IN TOWN!
And, very few things are *made* here (contrast with Chicago) so I'm really only looking for retail outlets, not manufacturers.
OTOH, pity the 500 souls who live in Picacho where the "big city" is Eloy at 16K! :-/ (I wonder if they have a gas station, there?)
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On 01/17/2016 01:23 AM, Don Y wrote:

How can you say that? There's Sells. Phoenix is a little closer to Why than Tucson but I prefer Tucson for shopping. It seems a little easier to get around. North 4th also has that funky '60s ambiance.
For a town of 4000 Ajo can fill most run of the mill needs but sooner or later you need a trip out to the world. After a day of dealing with Tucson or Phoenix it still is good to get back to the desert.
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On 1/17/2016 1:10 PM, rbowman wrote:

With all 3000 souls? :> Sells is about as far as Casa Grande (pop 50K). And, Casa Grande has the outlet stores -- so you're a bit better off than shopping at the Sells Circle K! ;) (do they even *have* one??)
OTOH, if you're native O'odham, maybe that's enough?

Each year it gets worse. The bozos^H^H^H politicians don't have the stomach to make the infrastructure investments that are long overdue. Some mornings, it takes us 15 minutes to drive the 2 miles to the post office -- and the first 3/4 mile of that is smooth sailing OUT of the subdivision!

Also changing. The street car has revitalized parts of town (if you can call the change "revitalizing"). So, commercial rents have headed north which brings in more money-grubbing businesses instead of the more "eclectic"/bohemian.

Well, how many different brands of toilet paper, soap, etc. does one REALLY need? :>
SWMBO uses a special sort of paper towel for her art (no pattern -- embossed *or* printed). It was a bit of an effort to find it even here (though definitely NOT unobtanium). Living in Why, Sells, Sahuarita even Vail would probably have required a trip *in* to find it.
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On 01/17/2016 01:56 PM, Don Y wrote:

Actually, there is a Basha's. Not the biggest but at least something. Casa is a little closer to Why, too. You used to have to go to Casa for a driver's license if you didn't want to go to Tucson. Or maybe plates. Something that had to be in Pima county.
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On 1/17/2016 3:16 PM, rbowman wrote:

Great if you need a quart of motor oil or a new hammer! :>

Dunno. Casa Grande is just "halfway to feenigs" in my mind. If your eyes were closed as you passed by, you'd be hard pressed to decide if you needed to continue in the same direction -- or turn around!
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On 01/17/2016 07:15 PM, Don Y wrote:

I don't think Bashas carries hammers. The do have the pan dulce little pigs I'm fond of.
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On 1/13/2016 9:52 PM, Don Y wrote:

I'm a fan of ebooks (read about one day) but I seldom borrow ebooks from my local library because the books I'd like to read are seldom available - they don't offer them or there are 90 people "on reserve" ahead of me (YMMV). IMO your wife should try borrowing some books on a device your already own before you spend money on a new device.
I did a bit more reading about supported devices for OverDrive. I have two Nooks and it appears neither of them will work with the OverDrive app ..
<http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/overdrive-overdrive-inc/1120365790 ;jsessionid7AE30EF7C891A2EEB916A048468DEE.prodny_store01-atgap10?ean)40043354334#nok-dapps> "Borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and streaming video from your library using OverDrive on your NOOK."
<quote requirements> NOOK Device
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0 NOOK by Samsung [Tab 4 10.1, S2 & E] NOOK HD Tablet NOOK HD+ Tablet </quote> Current Nook offerings at B&N: <http://nook.barnesandnoble.com/u/nook/379003208 . "NOOK GlowLight Plus™" is NOT on the list. of Overdrive supported apps.
Susan
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On 1/13/2016 10:07 PM, Susan Bugher wrote:

Wow! I read about one (real) book a week (500pp) -- leisure, not counting technical literature -- and thought that was pretty aggressive! I figured an hour a day for leisure was a huge set-aside!

Reserves, here, are non-renewable. So, you take out a title that has ANYONE waiting on it and you have to return it in 3 weeks. They tend to order ~50 copies at a time so even 100 folks waiting for their arrival means you've got < 6 weeks to wait.
We've learned to keep lots of titles (books, DVDs, CDs, etc) on reserve so there's always *something* ready to consume. SWMBO is a slow reader (and allocates very little time to it) so a typical "best seller" will take most of that 3 week period to consume.

We don't own any small/portable devices. No smart phones. No tablets. Just PC's, tablet PC's and other appliances that simply would not be suited to "reading a book" :-/
Hence the reason for asking about folks' experiences with these devices.

I think that's what my friend had. ePaper display. Very small. Wireless network connection (and little else). I'm pretty sure SWMBO would NOT like that reading experience.
I may just put something on one of the tablet PC's for her and let her *try* to read/use it...
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On 1/14/2016 1:13 AM, Don Y wrote:
<SNIP>

I started out ereading on a PC - that required figuring out a bunch of stuff. Later on, the first Nook was also the first Android device I ever used and it took some days (and a lot of cussing) to get used to the Android interface. .IMO the more pieces you can break this exercize into the better.
re page count - a page number usually stays the same for several "epages".- you can vary the size of the print in all the ereaders I've tried => the number of "epages" per page number varies.
Susan
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On 1/14/2016 11:34 AM, Susan Bugher wrote:

The "figuring out" isn't an issue for SWMBO -- she has a 24/7/365 "technical support" department "on call"... :> :<
She just doesn't want to read at her PC. Typically, while seated on the couch or sitting up in bed. One of my tablet PC's would satisfy the portability argument but she's not keen on the size *nor* the technology ("Why can't they just send me a BOOK??!"). She's at a point where she will either adapt or abandon the library as a source of reading materials.
I don't mind accessing my technical documents *at* a computer because I am typically referencing them while *working* on the computer. So, will want to have a document(s) open on one display(s) while working on something on another display (I have 7 monitors at my workstation).
I would *not* want to read a novel in this environment. I prefer to do my leisure reading "in the reading room (with the ornate, white PORCELAIN chair)", lying on the floor, sitting in the car (waiting for someone) or in a waiting room (doctor/dentist/hospital/etc).

I guess I don't understand the "interface" issue. Once a document is available, all you really (typically) need to do is flip pages, forwards or back. (?)

So, are "18,000 pages" the equivalent of 18,000 PRINT pages?? Roughly 36 books (assume 500pp/book)?
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On 01/14/2016 03:33 PM, Don Y wrote:

One problem I've found -- and it may depend on the particular eBook format and the device on which it's being read -- is the absence of page numbers. I used an eBook version of a textbook for a class I was auditing, and when somebody referred to a page number of the "dead-tree version," I had to ask for a phrase for which I could search to find the passage under discussion.
Perce
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