The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

New Amazon Kindle Cover

kindle cover I need another cover for my Amazon Kindle. I’ve been using the cheapo freebie that Amazon included with the 1st Gen models, and even though I’m very gentle with it (I don’t even carry my Kindle around in my backpack very much; it usually just stays right by my bed), the thing has worn out. It’s faux leather or something, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it didn’t last long.

Now I have a couple of choices for Kindle covers on the Amazon site. There are some “executive” type ones that are made of real leather, but I’m not sure that I want to spend more than $50 for one of those. Most likely, I’ll just end up buying the same one that I have now. After all, it’s only $9.99 and lasts more than a year. Can’t go wrong with that!

Argh! Shipping Charges!

Although I love shopping online, I absolutely cannot stand unnecessarily high shipping charges. Yesterday I came across some earbud type earphones for my iPod that I really liked. They were a special pair that had a team logo on them, so they cost $14.99 for a set of two. I was all set to order, but during the checkout process noticed that the store said shipping would be calculated and added at a different time. Well, having recently learned my lesson about allowing a store to add shipping charges later, I decided to just email them for the info instead.

I got a reply within a couple hours, which was great customer service. But get this: they were going to charge $9.90 to ship that $15 product that probably weighed about half a pound total!!! Are you kidding me? What a friggin’ ripoff! There’s no way I would go through with an order like that.

I know the store is not setting the rates. It’s clearly a UPS thing, but still… there’s no excuse for absurd shipping charges like that. Maybe these companies should provide an alternative option (such as the post office) for smaller items that could just be stuffed into a padded envelope and mailed for a buck. Is that really asking too much?!

Getting Rid of Old Books

I don’t buy many physical books anymore since I do most of my reading on my Kindle now, but I still have lots of paperbacks and hardcovers from my pre-Kindle days. I want to get rid of them because they’re simply cluttering up my shelves and taking up space. I haven’t opened any of them in years, and don’t think I’ll ever get around to doing so in the future. I need to get rid of them.

These books are in pretty good condition, aside from being a bit dusty, so it would be a shame to just throw them out with the trash. Luckily enough, I just read in my library’s newsletter that they’re having a book sale in September and they welcome donations for it. Perfect timing! All I have to do now is stack all my unwanted volumes in a couple of leftover moving boxes that I have, and drop them off the next time I head out by the library.

This is a great way for anyone to clear up some extra space on their shelves or simply dispose of books they no longer need. If you’re in the same situation, why not pass your unwanted books on to your local public or school library?

House Season 5 DVDs

house s5 Even though House is one of my favorite television shows, I don’t own any of the seasons on DVD. I’ve been watching some of the earlier episodes in syndication and really miss the way things were in the beginning. The show has changed so much in 5 years — not all of it for the better — that I sometimes forget how completely awesome it was early on.

Anyway, I just saw that Season 5 is available on DVD. It probably has been for a while, but I’m noticing it only now. I’m putting this set on my Wish List as a reminder that I need to buy ALL the House DVDs at some point. Maybe I should wait until the show ends and they do a “Complete Series” box set or something!

Missouri Education Tee

CIMG2712 I’m going back to school tomorrow, which is kind of a weird feeling since I’m in my mid-thirties and all my classmates are likely in their early twenties. Still, despite the fact that I put wrinkle cream on my face before bed every night while they reach for zit cream, I’m planning on enjoying my time as a graduate student.

I even bought this School of Education tee to keep me motivated while studying. I realize it’s not as prestigious as the Harvard Law sweatshirt that Ally McBeal wears during her downtime, but I still like it. It’s a Russell “NuBlend” shirt (58% polyester, 42% cotton) and is very soft and comfortable. It fits perfectly too, even after a couple of trips through the washer and dryer already.

I can already tell this is going to end up being one of my favorite shirts ever. I’m tempted to order another just to have a backup!

Last Chance: Cash for Clunkers

If you want to get in on the government’s Cash for Clunkers program, you better move fast. The $4,500 rebates for trading in your “clunker” will not be issued after 8pm on Monday, August 24.

The program has been a big hit with consumers, but has been a major headache for auto dealers and the government. The government severely underestimated how many people would participate, so they ran out of their initial $1 billion allotment in just the first week. The government then added another $2 billion to the plan.

But dealers have been complaining of not getting reimbursed for the rebates. There’s lots of complicated paperwork meant to discourage fraud, and apparently many of the dealers aren’t filling out the papers properly, causing the holdups.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering which cars are the best sellers as the result of the trade-in program, here are the top 5:

  1. Toyota Corolla
  2. Ford Focus
  3. Hyundai Elantra
  4. Chevrolet Cobalt
  5. Honda Fit

World’s Smallest Car

tata nano The world’s smallest car, the Tata Nano, was unveiled at an auto show in January of this year. It’s currently being marketed for India and costs about $2500. For that price, owners get a 10’x5′ four-door vehicle with a 623cc engine capable of going up to 65 mph.

Would you ever drive something like that? I mean, I guess it would be ok for a place like India, where there’s so much traffic in the big cities that you hardly move at all anyway, or where there’s virtually no traffic out in the countryside.

But here in America where even surface streets have speed limits of 45 or 50 mph (meaning people routinely drive 55 or 60)? Um, HELL NO!!! Can you imagine getting into a head-on collision in that tin can? I’d rather walk.

Tigers Static Cling Decal

CIMG2695 Since I didn’t go to a big school during my undergrad days, I feel strangely compelled to show off my colors now that I’m going to Missouri for graduate school. That’s why I ordered a bunch of apparel and accessories to coincide with the beginning of the new school year, including this Tiger head decal.

This is one of those static cling deals that are both easy to put up and take down. It’s a nice, big 4×9 oval shape, with the Missouri tiger head in the middle and the word “Mizzou” underneath. The oval contains black and gold swirls to further highlight the school’s colors. The decal goes on the inside of a window or windshield, thus protecting it from the weather and so forth.

At just $2.99, this Tiger Static Cling Decal was a great purchase. It’s already up in my car, and now everyone knows where my loyalties lie!