I recently saw a new “Samsung Experience at Best Buy” TV ad. It features a young, recent grad who needs to update her computer equipment after for a free-lance job.

One part of the commercial I find particularly not compelling is when she asks the Samsung Experience person “How’s the battery life on this one?” The SE person answers, “Great!”

I realize the commercial has to squeeze a lot into a short amount of time, but I thought  they missed a good opportunity to demonstrate expertise by giving a short, but useful answer, possibly with information about battery life that most people don’t think about. While that’s typical of the answers I get when I go to just about any retailer and ask questions, I expect more.

A better answer could be something like, “this model offers a good balance of battery life and weight. It has 5 hours, which is best you’ll find in this category, and you can buy a 4-hour extender if you want more than that.”


New Coffee Product

I recently discovered this Folgers coffee filter packs at my grocery store. Nice job Folgers. That is exactly what I was talking about in this post back in 2011.

At $3.98 for 60 cups, that’s about 7 cents per cup, which compares very favorably to the single use filter packs and seems to be worth the additional cost over regular coffee because it can be easy to transport for travel and takes the guess-work out measuring, while keeping the brewing machine clean.

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Good luck. I hope it works out for you.

I did happen to think about taking a photo this time. I had two cameras on me (in my iPhone).

Tech vs. Me

I was startled recently on a jog by a RoboMow.

For a moment I had insight into any number of movie characters who have traveled forward in time to be frightened and amazed at new technology that we find commonplace. I imagine, someday, robot lawn mowers will be commonplace.

As I was jogging by a yard, I saw in my periphery what my mind interpreted as the top of a dog kennel moving at a relatively decent clip right at me. I thought there must be a dog underneath it running at me.

I regret that I did not snap a photo. I had two cameras on me at that time (the forward and reverse cameras on my iPhone).

Generational Tech Habits

1. It rarely occurs to me to pause a live show if I have to step out of the room for a moment. My kid does it regularly.

2. At just about any given time, I’m carrying 3 or 4 cameras. It rarely occurs to me use them.

Though, I am getting better. For example, when we ‘whiteboard’ in a meeting, rather than copying what we wrote on the whiteboard into my notes by hand, I regularly take photos of the whiteboard.

Another example. Recently I was on vacation, jogging on the beach and I received a text from a friend, “Where r u?“.  I snapped a photo of the beach and waves rolling in and sent it to him. His response, “Nice. I guess you won’t be available for lunch today then.



We get two good opinion pieces in the Wall Street Journal today.

1. Student Loan backfire: Default rates don’t lie.

Whereas credit scores used to be similar for young people with or without student-loan debt, New York Fed economists find a divergence after 2008. “By 2012, the average score for twenty-five-year-old nonborrowers is 15 points above that for student borrowers, and the average score for thirty-year-old nonborrowers is 24 points above that for student borrowers,” they note in a recent report.

If I were running for office, I would promise to give student loan borrowers more loans to help pay off their loans.

2. Michael Saltzman gives an economics lesson to VP Joe Biden.

Advocates of a higher minimum wage arbitrarily selected 1968 as the historical reference point. It’s no wonder: That’s when federal minimum wage hit its inflation-adjusted high point.

How about picking other arbitrary years to track the minimum wage and inflation? If you used 1948 instead of 1968, the minimum wage’s inflation-adjusted value would only be $3.81 an hour. If you chose 1988, the adjusted minimum wage would be $6.50 an hour.

And, if we pick a time before the minimum wage existed, it would be $0. What a distraction. I wish I lived in a world where when someone suggested raising the minimum wage to ‘help’ someone (get votes), everyone just laughed at them.


Here’s another one from the radio. Two engineers paid off their $100k debt and were letting out their debt-free shout on the Dave Ramsey show.

Dave asked what kind of debt it was. Well…some credit cards, medical bills, but 70% was Sallie Mae.

Dave responded it seems I’m hearing more and more about that these days. I use to hear about credit card and car debt, mainly. But, now it’s not uncommon for me to hear someone with $100k of debt say that 70% of it is Sallie Mae.

It’s a good thing that these two folks were engineers. At least they earned a degree in something that pays well.

But, they probably aren’t any better engineers than the engineer I worked with when I was first out of school who earned his engineering degree at a small, 2-year engineering school that no longer exists and likely did not require the equivalent of $35k in loans to pay tuition back then. I thought things were supposed to get cheaper, not more expensive.

“What does being conservative mean?”

I heard a teenager tell Mark Levin, on his radio show, that his Mom asked him this question and he couldn’t give a good answer. The teen wanted to know how Mark would answer.

Mark said a lot. But, I don’t think it would make much sense to non-conservatives. It started off something like, “A conservative believes in individual sovereignty…[I zoned out]…he doesn’t believe in no-government, they’re not anarchists, but a limited constitutional republic…[I zoned out, again]…”

First, I liked hearing this question being discussed. I think questions like this are asked too infrequently. But, yawn. There has to more compelling answer for those who don’t consider themselves conservatives.

Any ideas?