I walked up to 86th and Lex (Best Buy) to get a second powered USB hub (we could have a contest to see who has the most USB PORTS*), and got there early so I walked over to the nearby Citibank branch to use the ATM machine. There was yellow police tape blocking the entrance and a sign in the door said, THE BANK IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Of course the first thing that went through my head was, yikes – they really are going under. I chatted with a woman on crutches who was also there to get in. She also was a little spooked. But then two cops came out of the bank and she knew one of them and asked what was going on.
The bank was robbed, he said.
She turned to me and said, I guess there’s gonna be more of that these days.
Well, at least we knew what it was. I have to admit, I had never been close to a bank robbery before. Kind of exciting. I hung out for a while until Best Buy opened watching detectives going in and out of the bank. After a few minutes, a woman took the sign off the window, and then took another piece of paper and put up the exact same notice. The woman on crutches yelled through the door to her – That’s the same sign. It says the same thing.
But the sign was replaced. I don’t know. Maybe the first one had a word spelled wrong. I was sort of curious and tried to get closer, and now I could see that this one was done on Citibank Letterhead.
Well anyway – I went to Best Buy and ended up getting a Belkin Hub with 7 USB ports and a cooling fan platform for the laptop. On the way up there, I had in the back of my mind to also buy the Sony 505 Reader if they had one in stock, but they only had them on the website.
I’ve been experimenting with finding books for the 505. You know, just trying to think of some book I might like and then looking around to see if I could find it and how much the ebook would cost. Along the way I found all sorts of programs for converting books from one format to another. Some of them that would remove the digital management locks and so on.
I also looked through the 100 classics that SONY offers for free with the 505 purchase. Great stuff. A lot by Joseph Conrad that I never read. Even B&H has the PRS 505 for a good price – I think it was $287. And then I came across something on the Sony site where you could get one of their credit cards and after two months get a $100 discount off the reader.
The thing with the Kindle is – I just don’t like the look of it (not that I’ve been able to find it in any stores). And you know, the whole wireless thing, and the keys and all… Just seems like a kludge. It doesn’t even come with a cover. I’m sure that the wireless contract is a big part of the price. And no expansion cards…
I mentioned before – I did spend a long time in Borders comparing the PRS-505 and the new Sony with the touchscreen. I still like the 505 better. Though I’m sure that more is on the way. I remind myself of this guy who wanted a stereo but couldn’t bring himself to buy one cause he knew too much about what was in the pipeline. Always something better around the corner. And that was years ago.
In other news – domestic orders really did slow down for me during the last two weeks – but thankfully I did get a bunch of orders from overseas and Canada. In fact, I think this was the first order I ever got from Norway. Sort of goes with my theory that prices in the States go down while some countries currency remains stable. It’s one of the nice things about the web. Not something the local retailer can count on.
The very fancy flower shop on my block just put up a 30% sale sign. Next to it, the Blue Danube Hungarian bookstore is now gone. But all is not lost. It looks like a new Jewish Deli is opening on my block. Anyway – my theory is to watch the Korean Nail Shops. We have about two on every block. Will upper-east side women continue to pay to have their nails done? How will Starbucks make out? They both offer more than the product they sell, something you need in this city – a place to relax. So we’ll just have to wait and see.
* USB PORTS CONTEST. I currently have 4 (fan contraption) + 4 (laptop) + 6 (Dock for laptop) + 7 (USB Hub) = I think that’s 21 ports. Of course I’m not using them all, but the laptop is booting and hibernating and all that stuff without any issues.