Looking for a cheap used laptop? Check out retrobox.com. They buy used machines by the hundreds from big companies that are upgrading, then wipe the hard drives clean (including the operating system) and sell them to you. You install Windows ’98 or whatever and, with luck, have a machine that would have thrilled the pants off you three years ago when it was new, and can still handle most routine chores. My friend Stampp Corbin came up with this idea.
I put on one of those Saks Fifth Avenue T-Shirts I know all you guys are now wearing (see Ode to an Undershirt), and it felt great, as usual. Thick strong cotton. But it felt so great I suddenly realized the contrast — that the ones I had been wearing lately actually hadn’t been feeling this great. A little skimpy, even. Did Saks’ quality vary? Did they have one shirt for summer and another for winter?
“Dryer lint,” said Charles.
I squinted at him, uncomprehending.
“Dryer lint. The one you have on must be new. Each time you wash them, they get a little thinner. Where do you think dryer lint comes from?”
Oh. My. God. In 52 years I had never realized this. I had always assumed dryer lint was like condensation; it just formed out of thin air. But of course! It’s your sheets and towels and clothes! From now on, I’m hanging it all out the window.
VITAMIN F (as in flunk)
Sara Wolfson: “I would just like to relate my own experience with Vitamins.com and their $25 off special. I placed my order on 11/19 and got a confirmation notice telling me it would take 2-4 days to come. By11/29, no order had arrived. I called the 800 number to complain and was told they were backed up a week due to overwhelming response to this great offer. They had sent an incorrect confirmation notice, but told me my order had actually been shipped 11/24. A supervisor tells me I will get my stuff on 12/2. And lo and behold! It’s not here! I have sent 2 e-mails to the supposed headquarters which I was told is in Virginia and have received no response. Meanwhile my supply of a supplement which my son, who has a rare disorder, takes is completely gone. I ordered it way in advance so I wouldn’t have this problem and I started ordering off the Internet because my son takes high doses and it costs a fortune. Oh well, some lovely vitamin company here in town will be glad because now I will have to give them my business. Hey, it will be that much better of a tax deduction for me, right?”