iList, Part 2

In February, I mentioned my new handy-dandy shopping app (isn’t it nice not to have to type “application” all the time?) on my iPhone.

Yesterday I learned — not for the first time and not for the last time — that there is trick to using the app.

The trick is, I have to look at the list while in the store. Before I left the house, I put two items on the list: pencils and bananas. That’s it: pencils and bananas; bananas and pencils. No matter how you count those two items, they add up to only two items. How hard can it be?

I managed to buy the pencils but not the bananas. In their place, I had a plastic water pistol, a tote bag and a cylinder of sour-cream-and-onion potato chips.

Yes, we have no bananas. One must look at the list if one wants to buy everything on the list. It’s always something.



Anniversary Presents

Men get the short straw when it comes to a lot of “special” days, don’t you think?

Take Valentine’s Day. Pretty much everyone knows the stereotype gift of what the man is supposed to buy for the woman: chocolate candy and flowers. And what is the woman supposed to buy for the man, stereotypically speaking, that is?

Right. No one knows.

Then there are birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. A man can’t hardly turn around before it’s time to figure out the next perfect present. And they are all supposed to be perfect, right? I can’t say that I have the answers to these questions. In fact, I don’t have the answer to all these questions. I can say that couples should look to their common interests for gift ideas. Hubby and I both like baseball.

You know the stereotype anniversary gift story: the man buys a woman what he wants to receive: golf clubs, new tools, a wax job (for the car!), sports magazines. I thought, “What a great idea!” Here’s how I’ve applied that structure. And it’s not a stereotype if I’m the only woman doing it. (Just how many of something does it take for a stereotype to get started?)

Anyway, the traditional gift for the 5th wedding anniversay is wood. The modern gift is silverware (if I can believe everything — or anything — I read on the Internet). I gave my lucky hubby a baseball book that I wanted to read: Wait Until Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The traditional gift for the 10th wedding anniversay is tin or aluminum and the modern gift is diamond jewelry. I gave my lucky hubby a baseball book that I wanted to read: Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig by Jonathan Eig.

The traditional gift for the 15th wedding anniversay is crystal; the modern gift is watches. I gave my lucky hubby a baseball book that I wanted to read: Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game by John Thorn.

Of course, I let him read them first. After all, they are his gifts. I’m still trying to figure out perfect gifts to get him for his birthday, Valentine’s and Christmas. Hey! We both like football. Now that gives me an idea ….


For A Few Dollars More

For A Few Dollars More is a 1965 spaghetti western, starring Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. It has to do with bounty hunters who are after a thief. My version of For A Few Dollars More has to do with car shopping. Gas prices are going up, up, up and so is the mileage on my SUV, so it’s time to shop online.

Let’s start with an economic model as a replacement consideration, the Honda Civic, and use the Build and Price a Honda feature. (I love this feature on their web site.) The basic 2011 Honda Civic DX model (sedan) has a “suggested starting price” of $15,805. I chose the automatic transmission, that bumps it up to $16,605. Next, I chose the color (silver or blue, that’s pretty basic) and only one accessory (also very basic): fog lights. That’s $16,932 before $750 in destination charges, ending at $17,682.

Now let’s see what the top Civic costs, same model (the sedan), for a few dollars more. The EX-L starts at $23,955. That has leather inside and the navigation system. Eight colors to choose from, no extra charge. Moon roof visor $139 and fog lights $327. That’s $24,421 plus $750 in destination charges equals $25,171.

Well, for the price of the top-of-the-line Honda Civic EX-L, I can consider a 2011 Honda Accord, right? The Accord LX sedan starts at $21,180. The automatic transmission makes it $21,980. Eight colors to choose from, no charge, then on to accessories. What, no fog lights? Fog lights are not standard and not an option. I’m not happy with this at all. Price + destination = $22,730. That’s less than the Civic EX-L. Without fog lights, it’s not looking good for this model.

Top Honda Accord: EX-L V-6 with satellite navigation, “suggested starting price” (a few dollars more) at $31,630. Fog lights are standard (Yes!) and the moon roof visor is $129. (Did I get that right? The moon roof visor for this model is cheaper than the moon roof visor for the Honda Civic? Yes, I got that right. Strange.) Summary price (with destination charges) is $32,509.

Well, for the price of a top-of-the-line Honda Accord, I can consider a 2011 Honda Pilot, right? The Pilot LX 2-WD model starts at $28,045. Add fog lights ($432) and destination charge ($780), and that is $29,257, only $4,086 more than the Civic EX-L and $3,252 less than the Honda Accord EX-L V-6.

The top-of-the-line 2011 Pilot? It’s the Touring Model for $38,795 (2-WD version). Add the moon roof visor at $154, destination charges of $780 and you end up with $39,729. That’s definitely a few dollars more.

I don’t think I’ll make it into a car dealership anytime soon. I think I’ll just stay home and watch the movie For A Few Dollars More again. It’s cheaper that way.


Going Fishing

Spring is here and so is the Bass Pro Shops Premium Fishing Tackle Master Catalog 2011. Yours is in the mail, I’m sure. This hefty tome has 707 pages of fishing-related items. Then there are a few more pages where they spotlight their NASCAR sportsman racing team and the Toyota Tundra, the official truck for Tracker boats (both paid advertisements). Just after that are 16 pages covering their dream vacation spots and packages. Don’t have a log cabin of your own? You can stay in theirs.

But back to the catalog. It has everything you need to go fishing in this nice spring weather and everything you need to protect you from this nice spring weather. Vests, hats, umbrellas, boots, jackets, waders. That list goes on and on.

Need a boat? Look in pages 8-41. Lots of boats, all sizes, shapes and prices. Kayaks are more towards the middle of the catalog. They also have the expected fishing rods, lines, lures, and all of that type of stuff. Bags to carry all your gear, of course.

Need a new sonar GPS unit? They have a deal for you. You can get one that displays the Bird’s Eye Chart View, the Bottom Zoom, the Cursor View and the Real Time Sonar. Another unit has a depth range of 600 feet. Watch out, Loch Ness Monster! You can swim, but you can’t hide!

New iPhone4 Defender Series Cases. Custom covers for your boats, as well, for “reliable, round-the-clock protection!” Gas grills for on-the-water meals, when you just can’t wait until you get back to shore.

And for the female fisherperson, pink or periwinkle rod and reel combos. Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. Oh, wait, wrong commerical.