The ? store is closed.

The ? store is closed. At least, there was a truck back up to it the other day and they were moving stuff out. I am not sure what they sold there. Something about Quality Lumber.

Maybe they moved. I am not sure that they needed a store front. After all, they were seldom there so they couldn’t do much business with walk ins. Perhaps these people are now operation their business out of their house.

Anyway, there is a realtor’s sign out front so that is a pretty good indication that they are no longer at that location.

Honeycomb Tripe.

Just when I though I had seen it all, Meijers’ (regional grocery chain) has started carrying honeycomb tripe. It is frozen but it is tripe none the less.

For those of you who have never heard of honeycomb tripe, it is the second stomach of a cow.

The stomach is first cleaned and then processed, ready for consumption. It can be cooked in a soup, stuffed in sausage (did you really want to know that?), stuffed with veggies and baked, broiled or fried.

But more to the point, how many people in the Lowell area are going to buy tripe? Or for that matter, how many people in the Lowell know what tripe is? Granted at a $1.49 a pound, it is cheaper than hamburg but I can’t see many people in Lowell buying it.

Maybe I could find a recipe that calls for tripe stuffed with artichokes.

Surround Sound.

Our 30 year old stereo system was dying. One of the speakers quit working, the amp needed constant cleaning, the tuner was flaky. All and all, it needed to be replaced.

My first thought was to replace the speakers. They were Magnapans, which is a company that makes speakers out of plexaglass. At only two inches thick and 5 foot high, they were unusual. But, they had a fantastic sound to them.

But, Kathy pointed out that we needed to get a whole new sound system and not just the speakers. So, for Christmas, Kathy gave me a present which said “new sound system”.

After doing a little research on line at Best Buy, I discovered that surround sound systems have come down quite a bit in price from what they were a few years ago. This really got me excited about getting a new sound system. So, even though it was the day after Christmas, we headed to Best Buy.

An hour later, we returned home with a new receiver, 5 disk DVD player and 6 speakers.

Now, all I have to do is to figure out how to put it all together.

Sirus Sucks!

Our local cable company was sold to Comcast. Consequently, our internet service will also be with Comcast. This transition will take place at the end of the month. In the mean time, out internet service is with the old company which is Sirus.

Now, Sirus is no longer interested in supporting their customers as they will soon be out of here. So, our internet service is really really bad.

Of course, it has always been slow. And even though Sirus claims to have a speed of a meg, in reality, it is less than 100K. And some times it is more like 20k, which is slower than dial up.

But, besides being slow, lately it is just unreliable. Our connection crashes several time a minute. And, on some days, it is almost impossible to use. Even as I blog, I must save my postings several times a minute as I never know when my connection will fail.

But, I only have a few more days until the new company takes over.  And if push comes to shove, I can always use the WiFi at the local coffee shop.

Cheese gone bad.

I was in the grocery store the other day and I bought some Feta cheese. As I was checking out, the clerk commented that my cheese was spoiled and that I might want to get a different package. I looked at her and said that it is Feta cheese and that it is supposed to smell that way. “Oh!” was her reply.

Shopping Carts.

Meijers (regional grocery chain) has five types of shopping carts. First there is the traditional cart. It is big, holds a lot of grocery items and has seating for one. That style has been around for as long as I can remember. It is what I call the sedan of the shopping carts.

Recently, they have introduced a little sporty number. It is about as half as big as the sedan but it handles quite well and is quick to maneuver. At first, I didn’t think that I would like it, but once I took it out for a spin, I fell in love with it. Now, it is the cart of choice unless I have to purchase a lot of groceries.

Then there is what I call the club cab. It is a sedan style cart with an attachment on the back for additional seating capacity. And, like the club cabs, the longer wheel base makes it harder to maneuver. But, if you need seating for three, it is the cart of choice.

After the club cab, came the hybrid. These quiet, low emission electric carts are the green offering. Unfortunately, there is not much room for groceries. But then, most of the people who use these carts are grossly obese so they could probably get by with less food.

Finally, there is the kiddy cart. These carts look more like a toy than a shopping cart. They are made of bright colored plastic with an enclosed seating area. The doors open and close just like a toy car and even comes equipped with steering wheel and a flat screen TV. And, besides being bulky, they don’t hold many groceries. But they are perfect for the grandmothers of the world to entertain their grandchildren.

America, the land of plenty.

Are you smarter than a fifth grader?

We watched “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?” on TV the other night. Judging by the contestants, it would appear that anyone smarter than a fifth grader will never be allowed on the show.

The show consists of the moderator, Jeff Foxworthy, five fifth graders and the contestant. The contest is given a selection of topics with questions ranging from the first grade level to the fifth. And, each time that the contestant answers the question correctly, the prize money increases. And for a few questions, the contestant has access to the fifth graders for the answer.

The first contestant was a surfing instructor at UCLA. He was thirty something and well, a surfing instructor. When asked “How many states are not adjoined by another state?” he had to take the full time allotment and then hesitated with his answer. Needless to say, he didn’t even make it to the fifth grade questions.

The next contestant was a thirty something blond whose claim to fame was that her mother was a school teacher. Needless to say, she made the surfing instructor look brilliant.

While the show may be humorous, it also reflects the failure of our education system during the 80’s and 90’s. Fortunately, the fifth graders show that their may be hope yet for the future.

Comcast: The Return of the Cable Guy.

Comcast finally made their cable modem visit. I thought that they were going to change out my cable modem for theirs’. Instead, they handed me the new cable modem, a thick booklet, two installation CDs and a box for shipping the old cable modem back.

That’s fine. I am capable of installing a cable modem on my own. But, I had to wonder how many Comcast customers would not have the tech savvy to install their own modem? So, I decided to get out their thick booklet.

As I expected, the first few pages had disclosure information on them. Then there were rights of use information followed by liability notices. This was followed by copyright information which proceeded warranty information.

In short, there were 36 pages of terms and conditions (Ts & Cs) but no installation information. I guess they figure that if you are smart enough to use the internet, you are smart enough to install the cable modem.

By the way, the new service won’t be available until New Years eve. I hope they have their help desk staffed.

Roush P51A Mustangs.

Roush just announced that it is going to increase production of its P51A Mustang by 50%. Usually, Roush limits its production to 100 a year. And at 65K apiece, I can understand why. Among the many modifications to the stock Mustang is a 510 horse engine and 18 inch wheels.

Apparently, this car is becoming quite popular. Personally, I wouldn’t mind having one but it is not very practical. I guess the gas prices are not high enough to discourage these buyers.  Time will tell.

Where’s my internet?

I scheduled an appointment with Comcast to upgrade my internet service. Actually, if I didn’t upgrade by Dec 31, they would cut me off. So, I made an appointment for Thursday, 2 weeks ago.

Wednesday night, there was a message on our answering machine saying that they had to cancel as the system was not quite ready. They went on to say that they would call us to reschedule.

OK. But I am wondering when? There is only 2 weeks left before they cut me off. Perhaps they are going to do me on Christmas day.