One in 300 by J.T. McIntosh

January 21, 2008

This installment of “memorable” has two phrases, actually.  Both are from the same tale of doomsday.

one-in-300.jpg

[cover by Ed Valigursky, Ace Books, 1955]

Our sun’s solar output will go up a couple percent soon – time to move!  But how?  Have the great manufacturing centers build lifeships.  One pilot, ten passengers, and enough ships for every “one in three hundred” of Earth’s population to try to fly to Mars.  Madness!  But it helped some of the world to deal with doomsday…  Here’s McIntosh’s opening:

“I ignored the half-human thing that ran at my heels like a dog, crying, “Please! Please! Please!”  …  I was twenty-eight, Lt. Bill Easson, and a more unremarkable young man it would have been difficult to find.  but now through no fault of my own, I was a god.”  Lt Easson is in Simsville, pop. 3261, to secretly pick in 3 weeks the ten people he would try to fly to Mars.  “Lt. Bill Easson, god!”

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Peapod.com PriceWatch – Oct 2008

January 19, 2008

See the update at the bottom – I switched to Foodmaster, a local Boston chain of supermarkets.

Peapod.com carries a large range of foods and goods in their internet delivery of Stop & Shop inventory at an average 8-15% markup.  It’s an invaluable service to a housebound retiree like me.  *However*, I can no longer use the phrase “creeping upwards” in referring to price “adjustments.”  I’m seeing some items move upward by leaps and bounds.  🙂

I only notice price increases on my favorites in my shopping list.  And the same for you, I assume.  So if we share our notes on price increases, we can get a better appreciation for which percentage of them are small, and which are breathtakingly extravagant.  🙂

My two cases in point as of Jan 18th, 2008:

Haagen-Dazs premium ice cream pints had been $2.69 all 2007 until Dec when they had a Sale at $3 each, then set the price to $3.69 the following week.  My last order this week was at $3.99 and this week the Sale price is $3.50.

Stouffers frozen Macaroni and cheese 12 oz. had been $2 or $2.19 with sale prices of $1 or 1.10 in 2007 until Oct or Nov, when the sale price was increased to $2.  (All of the other Stouffers items were $2.99 or so, so $2 was also their Sale price.)  Now the other Stouffers items are $3.50 and the 12-oz Mac is $3.

[update Feb 25 – the last Peapod Stouffer’s sale had *both* the 20 oz AND the 12 oz Macaroni and Cheese priced at U$2.00!]

On the other hand,

Frozen shrimp, tail-on, 2-lb bag used to be $24.95 in 2006 with a sale price of $21.50, and I bought none since Shaw’s price was $18.95.   In 2007 Peapod reduced the Sale price to $18.95 and I bought from them.  Uh-oh, checking this item reveals the present price is a Sale at $20.98 – another jump!

Tell me your Peapod price increases and I’ll figure the % increase on my examples, so we can see how widespread this hefty jump pattern is …

Update – In April 2008, a local chain, Johnnie’s Foodmaster, started offing the same service; I haven’t used Peapod since.  Lower prices, slightly bigger set of sugar & sweets items.

Second Life tips – Nov 2008

January 18, 2008

Last updated Nov 3rd, more to come! 

http://gwynethllewelyn.net/2004/11/10/beginners-guide-to-second-life%c2%ae/ is a good set of tips from Gywneth Llewelyn, longtime SL resident.  From 2004, but still timely.

Before going inworld, have someone show you an intro or give you hands-on training, at least enough to type in a quiet location to appear in.

You can fly!  Tap the F key.  Do it again to fall out of the sky.  Notice the sparks on your knees if the surface was hard enough..  Tap E to elevate in small swoops or hold down the key until you hit the 200 meter newbie flight ceiling.  Get a free flight band, assist, or boost to exceed 200 meters altitude.  Use the C key to lower yourself to the ground.

Is it hard to see? Too dark? Control-Shift-Y and presto! Noontime sun.

Someone just gave u something? Where is it? Control-I[nventory], select >Recent tab and there it is!

Use Alt-[left mouseclick] to zoom your camera in or out.

There is no law in Second Life.  Caveat emptor!

the Luna stories by Dr. Ernest Taves (some assembly required)

January 2, 2008

These classic six stories of near-future Lunar exploration and survival have never been republished since their original Galaxy SF Magazine appearances in the early 1970s, so you will have to buy the magazines at biblio.com or elsewhere for U$3-4 each, to read these stories.  Hence, “some assembly required.”  🙂

 Galaxy 1971 Mar – Pegasus Two, 14 pages

Galaxy 1972 Sept – True School of Modesty, 14 pages [Pegasus 4 & 6]

Galaxy 1972 Nov – Mayflower One, 22 pages

Galaxy 1973 Jan – Mayflower Three, 25 pages

Galaxy 1973 July – Luna One, 43 Pages

 Galaxy 1973 Nov – Mayflower 2, 18 pages

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