If Video killed the Radio Star, what is killing the mall?

I sometimes think our generation both created and now is destroying the shopping mall. I mean, I know they pre-date GenX, but check this quote: “Teen retail stores are down a full 31 percent according to Bloomberg. Unless teenagers now feel a collective urge to put down their smart phones and do something as heavily nostalgic as shopping in a mall — which, by the way, is intensely 1985 — it might be irreversible.” The Continue Reading →

Boxing Day

For whatever it’s worth, Boxing Day has become synonymous with crazy-sale-prices and one last burst of consumer frenzy before the credit card statements show up. ┬áSo, forgive me as I crassly suggest some places to spend some of those nickels you got for the holidays. Specifically, I’d like to suggest books (most are eBooks) written by people I know: Third Party Eyes — three stories of cybernetics gone wrong by me, Mike, and Jason Finnerty. Continue Reading →

Shop Local This Season

I realized recently to my horror, that I have barely begun Christmas shopping… as usual, I had grand ideas of handmade gifts and I may still try to do a few of those, but for the rest of my gifts I will be doing everything possible to shop locally. This is not as easy as it sounds though because several family members have requested gift cards to chain stores and I would prefer to give Continue Reading →

Cheapskate Weekend

It’s a very good weekend that comes with multiple declarations of, “SCORE!” Between the Oak Bay Garagellennium (massive municipality-wide day of yard sales) and a trip into Value Village today, we did well. We purposely headed out late in the day for the sales so that we wouldn’t be too overwhelmed and to take advantage of people putting free stuff to the curb at the end of their sale day. Surprisingly this year, most people Continue Reading →

Best Buy? Not so much.

So, three days before Christmas finds us in our friendly neighbourhood Best Buy. We went in looking for… not sure what… but the idea of an iPad was sitting near the front of our mind. Problem is, iPads are stupidly expensive (and I have given Apple quite enough cash this year). The other tablet we had in mind was the Asus EEE Transformer and there was a very helpful staff member who walked us through Continue Reading →

Shop Local for the Season

Heck, you should shop local all the time, but this year, when big banks and big corporations are making a big mess of things, how about we support local/independent businesses, handcrafters and restauranteurs? Spend money in the community and it stays in the community. There are many, many campaigns to get people shopping with the “mom & pop” stores and out of the (big) chains, two of my favourites are The 3/50 Project (choose three Continue Reading →