Morton Fox (mortonfox) wrote,
Morton Fox

From carnivals to coupons

First things first: Thanks to Bob for including this journal in GeoCarnival #5. The quirky "photographer's shadow" picture that I took at Jenny Jump State Park is also featured there.

While on the subject of geo-stuff, I went for the After Work geocache next to the Preakness Brook in Wayne. When did I go for it? After work, of course! :) It's an easy walk, even if there were some big puddles on the trail. This is one of those brooks that you hope will never overflow, or a lot of people will find themselves with flooded basements. It is sandwiched between two residential areas.

On my way back from Wayne, I saw an electronic sign warning of a 90-minute delay on the George Washington Bridge. Clearly we need a different transportation model. In this post-Peak Oil era, it can't be a good thing to have thousands of vehicles stuck and idling in a traffic delay for that long. Not that I can talk because I just took a 40-mile round trip for one geocache. Then again, I did combine it with some errands in the evening, so maybe it's not so bad.

As part of the series of errands, I made a stop at Borders bookstore in Paramus to see if there was anything good I could get for this week's 30%-off coupon. Even with online bookstores, I still go to the brick-and-mortar ones to browse because you never know what unusual books you can find, such as one book I saw that was all about writing Sudoku software. Huh? Sheesh. Here you go. (Okay, in fairness, the book also describes how to program a Sudoku generator.)

So then I found a book that I'd like to get. When I brought it to the counter, I overheard a conversation between a customer and the cashier on using the Borders Rewards personal shopping day together with coupons. Apparently, my hearing can get pretty acute when I hear words like "discount" and "percent off". :) The deal is yes, I could stack the 30% coupon and the 10% discount from my personal shopping day (that I had yet to use) to make a 40% discount. Or so I thought. Here's what really happened:

The book was $14.
30% coupon made it $14 - 0.3 * $14 = $9.80
10% discount made it $9.80 - $0.98 = $8.82

But wait a minute! $8.82 is 63% of $14, so that's only a 37% discount! The problem is the cashier took the 10% off only after taking the 30% off, thus reducing the effect of the 10% discount. Now a 3% difference may not seem like much, but revolutions have been fought over a mere few percent.

Other odds and ends: Found a Where's George dollar bill. I actually saw the stamp on the bill while the bank teller was counting the stack of dollar bills. (He manually counted all 400 of them. Egads.) So I couldn't wait to enter the dollar bill. Okay, I had to go to the drugstore first to pick up 3 month's supply of mouthwash. And then I had to get dinner. And finally, I got home and entered the bill, and it's from upstate NY.

Also, got my first Woot! The Gyration keyboard/mouse suite may not be the best Woot item ever, but until yesterday, every time I bothered to check Woot, the item of the day had already been sold out. So for now, I consider merely being able to buy something there a novelty. :)

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