Shopping blog postings

Shopping Postings - Page 3

Earliest: December 13, 2003Latest: February 21, 2021Total: 70
November 24, 2015

Flash Drive Deals

This is a crazy week for starting Christmas shopping. Lots of companies are offering week long 'Black Friday' deals to get people to shop for them. Amazon has been promoting Black Friday deals pretty much all month long.

This year I am going to look for some good quality USB Flash drives to store some photos and video that I have. I use to store everything on DVDs, but it appears that using Flash drives is the best long term solution:

  • You can store much more media on Flash Drives, you can only store up to 8.5 GB on a Dual Layer DVD, where Flash drives are just hitting the terabyte file size.
  • Flash Drives last longer. When stored in the same environment, Flash Drives will last longer. Currently DVDs will last about 10 years. Flash Drives have been tested to last for about 20 years.

There are several brands that I am looking to see if they are part of the Black Friday / Cyber Monday madness.

  • SanDisk Cruzer Glide 128GB - Now selling for $31.98 on Amazon
  • SanDisk Ultra Fit 64 GB - Currently selling for $19.38 on Amazon
  • PNY Turbo 128GB - Currently selling for $24.99 on Amazon
  • PNY Attaché 64GB - Currently selling for $14.99 on Amazon

I really like the SanDisk Cruzer Glide 128GB as I got one for Christmas last year and like that the drive has a slider that glides open and closes to protect the drive.

I'll be checking Websites and Twitter for deals from Amazon, BestBuy, Staples, Rakuten Target.

Staples Black Friday Update

The cheapest place to score an external hard drive is Staples with a 1TB Seagate Backup Plus USB 3.0 drive available on Black Friday for $39.99, a $30 savings.Or if you?re looking to stock up on USB thumb drives, it?s also offering a 64GB PNY drive for $9.99 and a 128GB USB 3.0 drive for $19.99. Staples? online store will be open on Thanksgiving. But its physical retail locations won?t be open until 6 a.m. local time on Black Friday.

November 19, 2015

Shopping Ideas for iPhone 6s Plus Users

Do you know someone that recently got their hands on a brand new iPhone 6s Plus and looking for some gift ideas for Christmas? This is my suggested list of Twenty things that will anyone with an iPhone 6s Plus will be happy with this Christmas Season.

  • Joby Camera Stand - If this is their first generation of iPhone Plus phone then chances are they will need a new tripod adapter. Joby Camera Stand is the best one to get.
  • Extra Lightning Cable - Sure you can get the premium Apple branded cable or a cheap ‘Amazon Basics’ cable. This year go fancy and get a braided one from an eBay (Whoa!). They are cheaper than the Apple Store and they look much nicer. In addition, a Lightning cable retractable cable is a good stocking stuffer idea for the whole family.
  • iPhone 6s Plus table stand - Try the Anker stand, I have one at work and I really like it. It's completely adjustable and works fine having the phone in any orientation. Note: It is a bit heavy for travel.
  • Extra USB Battery Charger - Any USB charging device above 3000 mAh is practical, personally I think having the 6000mAh is enough for a day when your aways from a charge station. (Think Disney World or watching a movie on a long flight)
  • Multi USB Port Car Charger - Perfect for the commuter, make sure to get a charger with two ports so that the passenger can charge up too!
  • Bluetooth Car Adapter- If they have an older model car, having a BlueTooth adapter will make it easy to play their music over the car stereo.
  • Cloud Storage Yearly Membership - There’s lots of great options here; iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote and Google Cloud Storage. Chances are they are looking for a place to store photos.
  • Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus Lightning Dock - Useful for home or at work, however not compatible with all covers. You can find one on the Apple store.
  • Apple Gift Card - Gift cards are not always the thoughtful gifts, but I am sure your iPhone 6s Plus friend has some songs or movies in mind that they would like to have. You gift card could help them take action on it!
  • CD Storage - Chances are if your iPhone 6s Plus friend has been into music for a long time. They probably have a large CD collection they aren’t using. Help them be better organized with a nice CD storage container. You can fine nice ones at the Container Store or Target.
  • iPhone 6s Plus Sleeve - Something to protect the iPhone 6s Plus when traveling. Check out some creative ideas from etsy
  • ThingCharger or Equivalent - The ThingCharger is very cool, but it won't arrive before Christmas. There are plenty of good solutions to convert an ordinary plug to a powerful USB Charging Station.
  • Book on taking Digital Pictures - Lots of options on iphone photography school website.
  • Stylus pen - If your friend lives in a cold climate area, don't get a touch screen glove. Instead get a nice stylus pen and a nice pair of gloves. (Levenger has some good Stylus Pen!) The logic behind this idea is because your limited on the quality of the touch screen gloves. They won't keep you warm as a nice pair of gloves from LLBean would.
  • An Apple App - You could buy a single app that you think they will really enjoy. You can do this by going to an Apple Retail store and getting a gift card for the exact amount of the App. You could always get one at CoinStar too.
  • iPhone 6s Plus Dust Plug - Keep foreign objects out of the charging port. RadTech has some Portectorz.
  • Head phones - If they are still using the default headphones that came with the phone, how about something different.
  • Remote Picture Device with Extra Batteries - If your friend likes to take selfies this is perfect. Get one with extra batteries available is a bonus. eBay is a good place to start
  • Electronic Travel Pouch - If your friend is a traveler you can buy a custom bag to keep all their electronics in. (Cable, Chargers, USB hubs) Check etsy and eBay for some cool options.
  • Screen Cleaner - A nice small microfiber cloth is basically all you need.
August 20, 2015

Three Awesome Golf tips

A couple of weekend's ago I played a round of golf at Ocean Edge golf course in Brewster, Massachusetts. During my game play, I came up with some non conventional golf gift ideas. Hey we are always looking for a gift for Dad that has everything.

These are just some practical ideas that I came up based on my observation watching golfers on that day. You can be creative and get all three and put together a nice seasonal gift pack. I am sure you'll probably find various people that created a gift pack on eBay or Esty around Christmas and Fathers Day.

Sharpie Mini Permanent Marker

The routine is the same every golf game, before teeing off at the first hole, every golfer decides on what golf balls they are going to use today. But, by the time they get to the third or fourth tee things do change. they may have lost some golf balls or they may inadvertently found one. Suddenly they can't remember what ball they just hit off the tee.

The easy solution is to custom mark each ball before hitting it. You can find all sorts of kits online to label golf balls, but some are expensive and perhaps something that you don't want to carry around in your golf bag. A quick easy solution is to use a permanent marker and label the ball. The golfer can use the mark on the ball as a focus point when teeing off.

In many office supply stores you can find an assorted collection of 'Sharpie Mini Permanent Markers' with an attachment clip. This is great idea for an avid golfer to custom label any golf ball. You can attach the pen to the golf bag zipper so that its always available. Now golfers won't have to remember the brand that they played. In addition, they won't have to check with the other golfers to prevent confusion when identifying the ball on the fairway.

Golf Ball Marker

It is necessary, in golf, to mark your ball once it is on the green in order to allow players further away to putt. This isn't just a courtesy - it's one of the early rules of golf. At the green, I see people fumbling with their pockets trying to find a suitable golf ball marker, and more often than not, they end up pulling out a penny or dime to mark their ball.

The problem with using any currency is that it's too thick. The golfer has to put the putter head down and place the marker a bit further than the original spot. Golf ball markers are the ideal solution. They allow the golfer to mark the ball exactly where it was and and not become an obstacle for the other golfers.

You can make one as a gift, just remember to keep the top as thin as possible. For example, you can make a special custom one with the golfer college mascot or favorite non golf item. Just don't spend too much as they can get lost very easily. has a cool idea on using any photo on making custom ball markers. Simply upload your photo for a cool looking ball marker.

Mini Pocket Microfiber Cloth

When the golf ball is on the green, the golfer is allowed to clean the ball off. Usually this is done to clean off any sand or mud that might have gotten on the ball during the approach to the green. Note: The ball doesn't get completely dirty, but it's enough that could influence the final champion putt.

At each hole, I saw several golfers carry out a towel with their putter and clean their ball before playing. To me, It seemed to be a hassle to bring a small towel every time you go to the green. The simple solution is having a small microfiber cloth in your pocket. The cloth isn't going to get that dirty that would ruin the pants when they put the cloth back.

Any small microfiber cloth that you can get at a camera store should be fine. I would recommend getting ones that it is washable and get a couple in case they need one for the front nine and a clean one for the back nine. Check Etsy for a custom microfiber cloth that matches the golfer favorite college or sports team.

FreshAsaDaisySoaps is selling Microfiber Soap Saver Bag in various colors. This would be perfect to use to easily clean a golf ball.

August 4, 2015

Swiss Gear Laptop Backpack

I have taken the MBTA commuter rail to work for the past four years. During that time, I have used several different types of bags to carry my laptop and my lunch. I have used my LL Bean hand held bag, a Targus laptop bag and a small non-laptop bag. The best bag that I have used is the Swiss Gear Laptop Backpack.

The SINPAID Laptop Backpack Notebook Business Bag Travel (SA 1908) has been well tested as the perfect MBTA commuter rail bag. It has handled many brutal winters where it was put down on many salty commuter rail platforms and still works and looks awesome.

There are a couple of slots to keep an umbrella (wet or dry) so that's always available. I never have to worry about checking the weather because I have a nice practical umbrella that opens fast. It's been used a lot of times in heavy rain and wind storms.

Some of my lunches have leaked a little in the main compartment of the bag bag on my morning journey. The bag is very easy to clean and doesn't smell. I don't have to worry about my laptop or papers from getting dirty.

I keep a USB charger in the bag with a couple of cables. This has come in handy for those extended train delays during this past winter. I needed to charge my phone and Amazon Kindle devices since the cold air was draining the batteries faster than they should.

If you looking for a bag, or a perfect gift for a commuter, consider getting the bag. You can find it in Amazon, Staples or at a Swiss store. Make sure to include an umbrella and USB charger as a nice touch! You will find that it will get a lot of miles out of it.

March 23, 2015

Olympus Retractable Lens Cap Protector

Last month, I purchased an "Auto Retractable Lens Cap Protector for Olympus XZ-1 XZ-2 XZ1 XZ2" for my Olympus XZ-2 iHS camera on eBay. I got it for $5.13 including shipping. About $20 less than what I found for similar items on

The retractable lens has worked out very well and has protected the camera from any foreign objects. However, one of the flaps appears to have lost it's spring and isn't closing all that well. I am guessing this is when people tell me that "You get what you paid for."

I have been able to get around the issue by double checking to make sure that the lens are complete closed before I put the camera away in my jacket. So far, that has worked well. The only problem that I do see is that when the weather get's warmer I'll be wearing a different jacket, so it might be a good opportunity to get another Lens Cap Protector.

I do use my Olympus XZ-2 iHS camera a lot and having the lens protector is so much better than using a standard lens that just hangs from the camera.

December 18, 2014

Olympus XZ-2 iHS

Today I learned that the Olympus XZ-2 iHS camera is now discontinued. The last listed price was $599, they did have it on sale early in the Fall for $299.

There are still plenty of online dealers that are still selling the Olympus XZ-2 iHS for the $599 price. I am guessing that Olympus is gearing up to announce some new camera at the CP+ 2015 show in Japan

September 3, 2014


Today I learned:

There are two basic types of unpopped popcorn. Movie theaters generally sell butterfly popcorn, which expands vertically from the hull with "wings." Mushroom pops from the bottom of the hull upward, into a tight ball. The popcorn you get at the fair is usually pop up as Mushroom.

In Addition, did you know:

Most Movie theaters use to use Coconut Oil in their Popcorn. If your looking for the best Popcorn kernels I would suggest getting your popcorn from Fireworks Popcorn Company.

November 19, 2013

Classic Stores of New England

I was looking around for some old stores that use to be in the Boston area, here's a list that I came up with:

  • Ames
  • Bradlees
  • Caldor
  • Child World
  • Circuit City
  • CompUSA
  • Computer City
  • Lechmere
  • Service Merchandise
  • Zayers

October 9, 2013

AmazonBasics USB A to Lightning Compatible Cable

I ran into an issue using the AmazonBasic's USB A to Lightning Compatible Cable with the latest iPhone 5s. My music and video got deleted from my phone when I left it connected to the computer overnight. The data wasn't gone from the phone as it was still using the disk space.

I am not sure exactly what happened, as the cable was working find for a couple of weeks. I don't know if Apple did an updated that changed the Lightning code to make this cable in effective.

Recently I notice an alert on the phone that said, "Accessory may not be supported." So I am guessing that this cable is no longer a charging and data transfer cable.

I solved my missing music and videos issue by connecting the iPhone 5s with the Apple cable that came in the box. Within minutes iTunes recognized the issue and put the music and video back.

My advice would be to get the cable to use as the wall charger and use the cable that came in the box as the computer charger.

September 26, 2012

Best Buy Shopping

Recently the media has been talking about how Best Buy has become the show room for buyers. They are right for a lot of situations. Here's an example:

Last month during the tax free weekend in Massachusetts, we decided to get a new digital camera. We decided to check out a couple of stores to see what they had in stock for SLR camera.

Our first stop was Office Depot, we were also there for stationary shopping, and they had a fairly small selection. In fact the sales person didn't try to sell us any camera. They did asked if we needed help but were clueless to the details of the different cameras they had in stock.

The next stop brought us over to Best Buy in Framingham. We spent time looking at various SLR cameras but found them to be too complex and we decided that changing the camera lens isn't something that we were going to do on a regular bases. In looking at various point and shoot cameras, we found a nice Sony HX200V camera. We were impress with the zoom, in fact we were able to zoom to a ladder half way across the store and easily read the words on the steps.

I quickly looked up the price of the camera and saw that it was $80 cheaper on Amazon. We talked to the sales person about this and they told us that they would price match cameras on a case-by-case bases. When I showed him my iPhone with the price, he took out his phone did a quick search and walked away. He came back and said that he would price match Amazon.

We were very impressed with that. We saved a lot of money and was able to get the camera right away. We had no idea of the exact camera that we wanted and was able to get the lowest price available. We probably wouldn't have gotten that camera if we didn't have the opportunity to play with it and compare it to other cameras. We liked the features of the camera and how it fits in our hands.

The moral of the story is when you go to Best Buy, don't be afraid to ask if they price match to Amazon, or other online retailers.