The retail apocalypse is coming for grocery stores – Business Insider

Every one knows that I’m a huge fan of Aldi. I say… bring it on!

Grocery stores are aggressively expanding, and now there’s a glut of food retail space in the US.

Source: The retail apocalypse is coming for grocery stores – Business Insider

This is why I’ll never shop at OfficeMax again—even if everything is free

This sounds like:

a. Something I’d write.

b. An experience I would have.

This column is my first step toward recovering from a maddening return experience.

Source: This is why I’ll never shop at OfficeMax again—even if everything is free

REZEPT: glutenfreie Dominosteine | Ein glutenfreier Blog

These are my favorite holiday cookies, but are hard to come by in North America. Dominosteine are a staple in the advent and Christmas season across Germany. This is a great recipe for the gluten free version. I make mine without marzipan.

Source: REZEPT: glutenfreie Dominosteine | Ein glutenfreier Blog

The Creative Society

One of the very best (and most refreshing) books that I’ve read—really read, not just skimmed—in a long while is The Creative Society: How the Future Can Be Won by Lars Tvede. The book sets the American Studies canon on its head taking on “greats” like Jared Diamond. TCS examines not only how, but why we find ourselves where we are now. The root is his argument is that free exchange of ideas and goods constantly demands new methods and new ideas. This, he argues is creativity which fosters unparalleled capacity for moving forward human intelligence, ingunity, and intuition. Tvede makes a compelling case.

Why did Western Europe succeed in the later half of the 20th century, while Eastern Europe disintegrated. Why is South Korea a burgeoning economy, whereas North Korea struggles to feed its people. Why did the British, Russian, Soviet, Egyptian, Roman empires fail? Why was China a rapidly growing society from 1000–1900, but then slowed significantly since? Tvede argues that totalitarian regimes and rigidity in systems of governance extinguishes creativity. This occurs rapidly. The Roman Empire, for example unraveled over the span of 70 short years, after dominating much of the world for nearly 1500. The Soviet Empire collapsed within the span of 3 years after dominating half of Europe and most of Asia for nearly 100. These and other societies collapsed from the weight of creativity pulsing at its door. As the Soviets ushered in perestroika and glasnost, for example, the resultant (and latent) surge in creativity rapidly propelled the system of governance out of order.
Tvede makes a persuasive aruguement for accepting or resisting change and the causal correlations that stem from either acceptance or resistance. Think of the book as a ethnographic and historic underpinning to Florida’s immensely popular, but shallow on compelling argument, Rise of the Creative Class. This text is unabashed in its explanations and suppositions and takes on one prejudice after another and skillfully (and convincingly) defuses each. In so doing, answers the many, many questions that have plagued those of us interested in cultural dynamics and interpersonal dynamics. Tvede is on to something here, and what may be the best and most important book of the decade has received little, if any, press. Well worth a careful read. 

Fall Virtual Garage Sale Auction

It’s that time of year again… time to clean out and move on. Folks know that I am a shopper (maybe slightly compulsive.) Folks also know that I absolutely hate eBay and Craigslist. So, below is a list of things I have for sale … I’d rather sell them to friends, and you’d rather buy from a friend… so lets get cracking.

Rules of the road:

  1. First come, first served.
  2. All payments via Square Cash app or Apple Pay (if you’re using iOS 11.2+). My cashtag for Square Cash is $alexbitterman
  3. All items are used but in very good (at best) or decent/working shape (at worst) but may show signs of wear from light use.
  4. Highest bidder wins. All bids due by December 1, 2017 at noon Eastern Time.
  5. All sales are final. No refunds. No exchanges. No bullshit. This is all solid stuff and any exceptions are noted, this isn’t Best Buy, but it’s definitely a solid deal. It’s also not GeekSquad, so getting things set up is your responsibility.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Browse the items below.
  2. Place a bid using this link, or (like eBay), you can just “buy it now.” Be sure to indicate whether your bidding or buying.
  3. If you win, you’ll receive an e-mail. You’ll have 5 hours to make a payment via Square Cash or Apple Pay. If you don’t snag your deal within 5 hours, the next highest bidder wins the item and you lose out.

This is a private sale, and I reserve the right to refuse sale at any time.

What it is: Pisector GSM Alarm System

This is the product on Amazon (for comparison and product details only): <https://www.amazon.com/PiSector-Cellular-Wireless-Security-Quad-band/dp/B007GP3JUA/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&keywords=PiSECTOR&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&qid=1510969529&ref_=mp_s_a_1_1&sr=8-1>

Why I’m selling it: This was a really solid alarm system and I used it for two years with zero problems. I wanted a new one (following an attempted break in) that integrated with video support.

Details: Comes with everything shown in the Amazon link, though the remotes in this system (there are 3) are white, not black. Comes in its original box with a yard sign.

Opening Bid: $75.00
Buy it now Price: $150.00

Bid Now

What it is: 11″ MacBook Air

This is the product at Apple (for comparison and product details only): <https://support.apple.com/kb/SP631?locale=en_US>

Why I’m selling it: This was a solid computer for me for a long time. It’s perfect for browsing the internet, sending e-mail, and using Microsoft Office, etc. I tend to do some graphic design work and I wanted a newer one with a faster processor.

Details: Yes, it’s a 2011. No, it’s not horribly outdated. You can check the Apple site for tech specs and see that the MacBook hasn’t changed dramatically over the past 10 years. This is a powerful computer, enough for most people. If you’re a super-power user, head on over to the apple store and grab a new one. Comes in original box with power block.

Opening Bid: $150.00
Buy it now Price: $275.00

Bid Now

What it is: HP Office Jet H470 Mobile Printer

This is the product on Amazon (for comparison and product details only): <https://www.amazon.com/HP-OfficeJet-H470-Mobile-Printer/dp/B0010Z3KZG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511031946&sr=8-1&keywords=officejet+h470>

Why I’m selling it: I rarely use this printer, because I have a color laser printer that works just fine.

Details: HP made these amazing printers for like a millisecond. They are intended to be mobile, and can run off battery power (purchased separately), and can print in mobile environments (like job sites or the trunk of your car) drawing power from a 12v cigarette lighter or a 120v 3-prong plug. Incredibly versatile and durable, the print quality will blow you away. Comes with USB cable and 120v 3-prong power cable and power block.

Opening Bid: $50.00
Buy it now Price: $80.00

Bid Now

What it is: Hidden Radio Bluetooth Speaker (with built-in FM radio)

This is the product on Amazon (for comparison and product details only): <https://www.amazon.com/HiddenRadio2-Wireless-Bluetooth-Speaker-Packaging/dp/B0147E5DK6>

Why I’m selling it: I really like this speaker, but I replaced it with the Apple HomePod

Details: This speaker is very cool and the battery holds a charge forever. It’s a workhorse and has great sound from such a tiny speaker. Comes with USB charging cable.

Opening Bid: $75.00
Buy it now Price: $110.00

Bid Now

What it is: Apple Airport Express

This is the product on Apple (for comparison and product details only): <https://www.apple.com/airport-express/>

Why I’m selling it: Our Apple Extreme covers our house and this isn’t needed anymore.

Details: This is a device that creates a wi-fi hub in your house. It comes in the original box with power cord.

Opening Bid: $25.00
Buy it now Price: $60.00

Bid Now

What it is: Logitech Keyboard for iPad mini

This is the product on Amazon (for comparison and product details only): <https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Ultrathin-Keyboard-Cover-iPad/dp/B00BJVJV9A>

Why I’m selling it: I sold my iPad mini and forgot to send this along with it!

Details: This turns your iPad into a tiny little computer. It works extremely well and the battery lasts forever.

Opening Bid: $15.00
Buy it now Price: $30.00

Bid Now

What it is: Apple USB Mouse

This is the product on Amazon (for comparison and product details only): <https://www.amazon.com/Apple-Wired-Mouse-MB112LL-B/dp/B002TLTH7K/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1511032635&sr=8-3&keywords=apple+usb+mouse>

Why I’m selling it: I have a wireless mouse that I use instead.

Details: In very good working order, doesn’t skip or jump.

Opening Bid: $5.00
Buy it now Price: $20.00

Bid Now

What it is: Apple External USB CD/DVD Superdrive

This is the product on Amazon (for comparison and product details only): <https://www.amazon.com/Apple-USB-Superdrive-MD564LL-A/dp/B011K4XZQ0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1511032753&sr=8-3&keywords=apple+external+dvd+drive>

Why I’m selling it: I don’t use DVDs or CDs anymore.

Details: In very good working order, has only been used a handful of times.

Opening Bid: $25.00
Buy it now Price: $50.00

Bid Now

What it is: Apple Wireless Keyboard

This is the product on Amazon (for comparison and product details only): <https://www.amazon.com/Apple-Bluetooth-Wireless-MC184LL-Packaging/dp/B002TMRZOQ>

Why I’m selling it: I was using this for my Apple TV, but now the newer Apple TV doesn’t require a keyboard anymore!

Details: Barely used, battery holds a very good charge.

Opening Bid: $30.00
Buy it now Price: $65.00

Bid Now

What it is: Apple iPhone 4

This is the product on Amazon (for comparison and product details only): <https://www.amazon.com/Apple-iPhone-32-GB-Black/dp/B004ZLV5SG>

Why I’m selling it: These were my “backup” and “Europe” phones for a long while. They are in good working order.

Details: I have three of these, one is in its original box, the others are not. They are unlocked (not locked to a carrier) and ready to use. The boxed one comes with a USB power cable and plug. The others do not. Bid is for ONE phone, top three bidders will qualify. The phone, again, is solid enough for daily use for a kid or grandparent, but a power user isn’t going to be happy with and older phone. No scratches or dead pixels.

Opening Bid: $25.00
Buy it now Price: $50.00

Bid Now

What it is: Apple iPhone SE

This is the product at Apple (for comparison and product details only): <https://www.apple.com/iphone-se/>

Why I’m selling it: This phone was my mom’s. She dropped it and broke the screen, so the screen was repaired with OEM equipment and works like new. In the meanwhile, she bought a new phone.

Details: In original box with power cable, plug, and headphones.

Opening Bid: $75.00
Buy it now Price: $125.00

Bid Now

$5 Off at Poshmark

As much as I am a minimalist, I love to buy things. Recently, I read Mari Kondo’s books The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. While I can’t say that either book changed my life, they were thoughtful reminders that I have too much stuff. Even when I don’t have a lot of stuff, I still have too much. So I embarked on a tidying spree.

That yielded piles of stuff. The piles fell into 4 big categories:

  1. Stuff I really wanted to keep.
  2. Trash.
  3. Stuff that was brand (or nearly) new and that I regretted buying.
  4. Stuff that was used that I didn’t want, but still had some useful life.

I kept streamlining and cleaned out my attic, my closet, my basement, my car, the airstream, my kitchen, and next, I will tackle my office.

  1. The stuff I wanted to keep now has a comfy home.
  2. The trash is gone.
  3. The stuff I didn’t want, I donated to friends or organizations that can use it.
  4. The brand new stuff… is sitting around. Kondo doesn’t really tell you what to do with it, because it’s not serving me, but is way too good to toss.

So, enter Poshmark.

My friend mentioned it in passing to me one day recently, and I was intrigued. I hate selling things to people (because it involves, well, people.) But Poshmark is a great way to unload some decent stuff, easily, and recoup some of your bad decision-making losses. It’s easier than eBay (which I H A T E), and it’s a friendly site with a lot of energy. When you have a moment, check it out: <https://bnc.lt/focc/i2QTSMkC6H>. Use the code: ALEXBITTERMAN to get $5 off your first order! Just in time for the holidays!