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April 27, 2012


I buy almost everything through the internet now except for groceries and gasoline. Not a week goes by without at least one package being delivered to our home.

I buy stuff from Amazon. I'm rethinking this, now that I know how horrible they are (insert snark here, but I don't pay that much attention).

I've actually spent close to 1k on Kickstarter stuff over the last year. Some of it has "failed", most came through. (Failure, here, means mostly art that I think sucked. One physical object has not been delivered, one other is doubt worthy. ) I think that is fine. My participation was something between enthusiasm and hopefulness, and I don't think it will be repeated, but I will fund crap there (or on competitor's, I don't care) again. It is a good thing.

And sockdreams.com is the best place to by socks, Evar. Full disclosure: I wish they would pay me (in things to cover my feet) to troll comment threads.

Books (from several places). Clothing (because I can get sizes that fit that local stores don't have, and it costs less.) Yarn or fiber (I spin wool or silk to make yarn, but for some things like socks I buy the readymade version). Some tools. In general, things I can't get nearly as easily or inexpensively where I live, and because at the moment it's cheaper than driving the distance to the places that have what I want.

Maybe a book a month.

The occasional CD.

A guitar capo.

Books, CDs, DVDs, garden seeds, nursery stock, computer components, greenhouse supplies, outdoor clothing, some OTC medications, prescription medications through insurance provider, automobile parts, some specialized tools, software,some vet supplies, cameras and photographic accessories, (film in the past), and probably more, but those come to mind while looking around the room.

As to why, it is mostly that I've gotten very tired of running from one supposed local source to another only to find that, for example, every hardware store's fastener supply appears to have been drop-shipped from a single supplier.

Actually I do buy quite a lot locally, but have learned for difficult sizes, special purposes, or variety, the web is your friend.

I used to shop quite a bit on-line. Now I'm making it a point to buy things "in person," for a variety of reasons.

An exception: A gift from my brother via Amazon that had to be returned. I got a gift card, and just spent it on books from Amazon. I could be wrong, but I don't think cashing it was an option.

Another possible exception: I have brought my last two computers on-line, through eBay, purely for the price advantage. Might do that again.

What I would never buy on-line ever: Clothing. I will not buy what I can't try on.

I haven't really climbed on the online ordering bandwagon, but I am running after the cart. Initially, there was a big problem of not being able to use a Japanese credit card for American sites. That has largely been solved, but I'm still a little leery of ordering something and then having to deal with a Japanese credit card company. Also, while PayPal has improved its implementation here in Japan, initially, it was rather buggy. So I never got into the swing of it.

However, I did just buy a P.E.E.T., and I've been using it for 2 weeks.

More to write about all that, but that is what prompted the open thread.

I'm with Chuchundra, at some point I've bought pretty much everything but groceries and gas online.

"Honey, I have no idea why the UPS man is here again...."

...check out Steve Goodman's Vegematic

Mostly purchase estate pipes from the ebays (I restore them and sell or smoke them) and very occasionally other sources. And I guess related materials (although the laws about shipping pipe tobacco about the US are bizarre).

The occasional book or gift. Tea once in a while. I suppose I'd have to include Steam games and whatnot.

But not really very much; I'll drive to a faraway local specialty shop to get hard-to-find stuff if it's at all possible. And I absolutely relish my weekly (or so) visits to my local tea shop and tobacconists, and sometimes bakery or what have you. It's some of the favorite-ist little parts of my week.


I did not know about P.E.E.T.,lj. Back in drum corps we carried plastic tubes for breathing exercises, but not embouchure training. That's pretty cool, though I can't remember your instrument.

I typically only buy media over the internet. I initially disliked the idea (I am a pay-in-cash type, it makes it easier not to overspend). But a lot I cannot get otherwise. E.g. it is difficult to get most of the books in English I read without disproportionate effort offline. And German DVD editions of stuff I like are often deficient compared to the British ones (cut, forced crappy subtitles, often without original soundtrack*, less bonus material, often more expensive).

*most extreme example: the German edition of Bang-Rajan could be viewed only in German with subtitles or in Thai without. Same with the Director's Cut of 'Hero' (Zhang Yimou).

One good thing is comparison shopping online. I recently bought a somewhat obscure dictionary. Amazon had it for over $100, via some reseller. Abebooks had it for about $20 including overseas postage.

I never go on the internet.

For comparison shopping books, I've found addall.com very helpful.

bob, which drum corps and what year(s)? I play (French) horn, and at university, we affected a studied indifference to marching band, though secretly loving it. (The scene Take the money and run with Woody Allen playing the cello in marching band comes to mind)

The PEET is actually based on an old exercise that I wish I had know when I was in University, which is taking the middle 50 or so pages of a phone book and holding it using only your lips for a set time each day and then, as you strengthen the muscles, reducing the number of pages. I would have gone the DIY route, but we don't have phone books anymore...


I marched in some small midwestern corps, Emerald Knights (Cedar Rapids, IA) and the Knights (Quad Cities, IL) from 1989-92. Baritone.

Drum corps people are actually openly hostile to HS marching bands: they can't fncking march at all and have woodwinds (wth?) while DC is all brass and percussion -- although in practice of course there's a bunch of overlap.

Those were good days, and kept me [largely] out of trouble in the summertime in HS. Don't play much brass anymore, but I still own a euphonium. I didn't go to a college large enough to support a marching band/team of any kind (St. John's, Santa Fe: 400 kids), so I didn't have the college experience of that (until teaching those undergrads much later as a grad student at Large State University).

You still play I take it?

I still play with the university orchestra, which is a club rather than something like you have in a university with a music school. The differences in how they go at it might be the next open thread.

At the southern university I was at, there weren't a lot of brass players who did drum corps, but our drum line was, I think, made up of mostly corps people, and the staff was old school music department teachers back then. That has changed and now, the professor of percussion was associated with Phantom Regiment for a decade before taking the percussion position.

I've always been amazed at both the economics and organization that goes into drum corps. For people who are wondering what the hell we are talking about, this might give you an idea.

Clothing, recently. Finding vegetarian shoes on the high street is tough. Finding eco-friendly clothes in general seems impossible. The (UK) high street is dominated by a few small chains that offer little variety. If you want anything that's niche at all, you have to go online. And ethical/eco microbusinesses are thriving because of it. Good for them.

Clothing, golf clubs, wine, books, DVD's, airplane tickets, tee times, hotel reservations. It's handy.

Airplae tickets car rentals and motel rooms.

But I hate it. I would much prefer to dealwith a travel agent. In fact I'd rather phone someone in India than deal with making my reservations through the INternet.


How do you circumvent/ignore/deal with the ever-changing, vague, and irrational laws about shipping alcohol into/out of TX?

How do you circumvent/ignore/deal with the ever-changing, vague, and irrational laws about shipping alcohol into/out of TX?

I have standing orders with a couple of modestly priced wine clubs and occasionally buy additional special offers. I let the shipper worry about the law, I just pay my bill and assume that everything is being done correctly.

Books, DVDs, games, MP3s, downloadable TV shows and movies, clothes, plane, train, movie, gig and sporting event tickets, absinthe, computers and computer components, a washing machine... I mean, I could go on. Pretty much everything but perishable food. Why? Why not? It's convenient and usually cheaper.

You drum corps nerds are killing me! I rarely comment here because you all are way better educated than I, but I had to come out to play on this topic. I never played in a drum corps and only barely in a marching band (high school). I am an oboist so played a little alto sax, just enough to be able to march one season, but I was a Spirit of Atlanta groupie back in their heyday. My daughter is a trumpet player who aspires to be a band director and is very smitten with the drum corps scene. Don't know if she'll ever try out for one, but we go to DCI regional championships here in Atlanta every summer.

That P.E.T.E. device is interesting. She's dealing with adapting to playing without braces, and I think that may be helpful to her.

I learn the coolest things here!

As for internet purchases, I buy sheet music, clothing, coffee, books, recorded music, gifts, software, skin care products, oboe reeds and reed-making supplies, and lots of other exotic things that are hard to find locally. I'm a fan of eBay on both the buying and selling end.

I rarely comment here because you all are way better educated than I...

Don't let that stand in your way. It doesn't stop me!

Heh. Hairshirthedonist, you're one of my favorite commenters here because you have such a broad knowledge base. I find myself thinking, "What hairshirt (or russell) said" all the time. I have a strong feeling you are very well educated. This is an intimidating crowd for a small-town Georgia girl to run with.

That being said, I have now broken the ice sort of, so maybe I'll speak up more often on subjects I'm comfortable with.

Hey chmatl,
I'm really liking it, though I'm wondering if you couldn't make a DIY version. Still, it's got a satisfying weight to it, and the stem is shaped in a way that makes it easier to handle.

I wanted my daughter to play oboe, but she went with tenor sax. Her playing french horn never really entered the realm of possibilities. (there's a joke here about 'sharper than a serpent's tooth', but I don't want to get started on sax intonation)

My youngest says she loves the flute, which is strange, cause she's got much more of a raucous personality (I wouldn't go so far as to say percussionist, but it's definitely in that direction), while the older daughter is a bit shy. I've shown the older one pictures of Lester Young and the way he held the saxophone and she's looked at me as it I were a bit out there.

And don't worry, I am (sort of) from a small town in Southern Mississippi, so I have a feeling that your Georgia town might out-do mine by a good margin.

I've shown the older one pictures of Lester Young and the way he held the saxophone and she's looked at me as it I were a bit out there.

Hey LJ, point your girl at Grace Kelly, she might find her easier to relate to then Lester.

maybe I'll speak up more often on subjects I'm comfortable with.

We'll look forward to that!

Where in GA? My old man was born in Dover, near Statesboro.

My old man was born in Dover, near Statesboro

I was born in Acworth, which has now been swallowed up by metro Atlanta. In my youth it was definitely country. Don't know Dover, but then I try to stay out of that part of Georgia as much as I can. ;-)

I'm wondering if you couldn't make a DIY version

lj, my husband might be able to make one. We'll look into that. I love the oboe, but my daughter decided to go the brass route, which is okay with me. The oboe's a difficult instrument to play for a beginner, and I think new oboists are prone to giving up because it takes so long to develop a decent tone. My daughter on the other hand had a very mature trumpet tone from the start. It was just a natural for her. My son wants to play percussion because he loves the cocky drum line in the marching band. They both play a little piano, which I teach.

Cobb County, where we live, has an outstanding band program, one of the best public school music programs in the country. We're lucky the kids get excellent music instruction at school, so all we have to do is supplement it. Plus Atlanta has a lot of opportunities to hear live music, so it's a pretty rich environment for kids who have a natural musical bent.

Hairshirthedonist, you're one of my favorite commenters here because you have such a broad knowledge base.

That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me on the internet (if you don't count e-mails from my wife - though those are offset by the nasty ones she sends me). It's more of a thought base, though. I think things a lot more than I know things. But thanks, chmatl.

Clothes (I'm plus-size, and all the local stuff in the plus-size shops seems marketed to teenagers), books (too many!), and electronics. I comparison-shopped four stores with various offerings I didn't want before I found my current printer on Amazon. Recently Husband decided he wanted an Ipod Nano, and delivery time in local stores was 6-8 weeks. Amazon had it in stock.

Oh, and shoes. I'm a hard-to-fit size; shoe stores almost never have my size in stock. So I'll order, say, three pairs of shoes, and send two back. I chalk it up to the cost of being weird.


What do you consider Spirit of Atlanta's heyday? I remember my first season ('89) They played Dvorak New World Symphony and had 13 (!) bass drums.

I buy lots of stuff online. Any electronics that I don't think I'll need to return and are reasonably small (not a TV, but routers, disk drives, etc). Cameras and associated equipment, usually from B&H Photo. Really, anything but clothes.

Media especially I get online, if it is DRM-free or can be made so. So, I get all my music from Amazon or iTunes, although for some special stuff I'll still buy a CD from a record store, if I want to rip it above 320 Kb/s. I'll rent DRMed movies online, but if I buy a movie, I still prefer a DVD + handbrake to rip it, although I've bought an occasional video from iTunes now that Requiem exists (thanks, Brahms!) Similarly, I used to buy ebooks only from Amazon, but Requiem now allows me to buy ebooks from iTunes and de-DRM it as well (on principle -- I don't want these swine to revoke my rights to read a book or watch a video I purchased).

What do you consider Spirit of Atlanta's heyday? I remember my first season ('89) They played Dvorak New World Symphony and had 13 (!) bass drums.

I'm talking late '70s, shortly after they started up. I had several friends who were in Spirit. I started undergrad in 1980, then went off to grad school at FSU in 1984. After I moved I lost touch with them. Saw them last summer at DCI Regionals and sadly they were a pale imitation of the corps I knew.

Wow, 13 bass drums. I would like to have seen that!

bob_is_boring, are you from the Atlanta area? If not, how did you hook up with Spirit?

I sometimes buy used books off amazon.Because there are no used bookstores near me.And i tend to read books about somewhat obscure subjects

I own a small construction company.And i often buy tools off the internet. Why? Because its getting harder and harder to find good quality tools that are made in America, at Home Depot. And most local hardware stores dont carry much tools nowdays.Home Depot has driven them out of that side of the business

There are still plenty of tools that are well made and made in America.But often you hav to buy them off of the internet

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