The Caretaker's Concern can be blamed on Wreck-Loose Island Publishing.
Send all complaints to:
WLIPublishing P.O. Box 1521 Bolton Landing, N.Y. 12814

Saturday, January 3, 2009

TCC for 1/3/09

The Caretaker took advantage of the open water today to get over to the mainland to replenish fuel tanks for heating, cooking, and shower water. He also obtained a number of other things while on the mainland and wound up staying far later than he expected to so he was not able to take any photos, instead here are some photos from earlier in the year.




The Caretaker's original plan for today was to get over to the mainland not long after the crack of dawn, he missed his alarm and so didn't get over until after 8:30 or so. The second part of his original plan was to shoot down to Queensbury to pick up some groceries and fill his fuel tanks, then get right back to the Island, that didn't happen either, at least not as planned. He did pickup some groceries (about 20 pounds of frozen vegetables, they're much easier than fresh to store in a freezing climate when not maintaining a "heat-orator") and he filled his fuel tanks. He then hung around for a bit taking care of some other things in order to kill some time, late the night before via e-mail the Caretaker learned of a friend's loss of a loved one so he wanted to see this friend in person to pass on condolences. From there the Caretaker had one last stop, to pick up a some one pound canisters of propane, the place with the lowest price on these oh so wasteful fuel containers is the Coleman Outlet store, so on his way back to the Lake the Caretaker stopped in at the store to pick some up.

It was the Caretaker's lucky day, the store was having a 30% off sale on everything in the store (even the one pound propane canisters--which never happens).

The Caretaker feels that the one pound propane canisters are wasteful because they are "disposable" (i.e. once used up they are to be thrown away) which to the Caretaker's mind is a total waste of resources. There is a way to refill these canisters from 20 or 40 pound propane tanks, it requires a particular attachment. The Caretaker has this attachment and has used it a number of times but there is one problem with refilling "disposable" one pound canisters, the valves were not intended for refilling so eventually the refilled canisters leak. Some leak after one refill, others after four or five refills, and a few will take up to ten refills before leaking, there is a way to cap the one pound canisters so they don't leak but it is not 100% guaranteed, which is fine during the Summer months when the one pound propane canisters are used more as a luxury, however, during the Winter months it is not okay. The Caretaker likes to keep at least four new one pound propane canisters on hand incase of an emergency--like running out of propane before he can get to the mainland to refill his tanks. In the past they used to make "refillable" one pound propane canisters, they were red, they don't make them anymore, or at least they are not available for sale here in the States. (Here in our great country there isn't much profit in things we don't throw away, perhaps with the down turn in the economy our brilliant leaders in Washington will see fit to rescind the legislation that outlawed refillable one pound propane canisters. Better yet, why not make a one pound canister with a valve similar to that which is found on a 20 or 40 pound propane tank so the one pound canisters can be made safe to refill and transport? well, at least relatively safe.) So, for emergency purposes the Caretaker likes to keep some "disposable" propane canisters on hand and that is why he went to the Coleman store, the 30% off sale is why he walked out of there not once but twice with plenty more than just propane canisters.

Being an outlet store most all the merchandise is regularly selling at a discount, with an additional 30% some of the stuff was practically being given away. Most everything the Caretaker bought were things he uses so he didn't feel too bad about this unplanned shopping spree, but there were a few things that he didn't necessarily need but just couldn't pass on the price. One example was another Peak 1 propane stove, the Caretaker already has one but since they have been discontinued the thinking was to have a second as back-up and/or for parts (this was something that the Caretaker had been thinking of doing ever since he learned that the stove was discontinued so this would not really be considered an impulse buy). Another "steal" was a kerosene lantern, the Caretaker also already has one of these but this was a deal he could not let pass. Pressurized kerosene lanterns are not nearly as popular here in the States as electric. propane. or white gas/gasoline lanterns and so the Caretaker has always been mildly concerned that Coleman would at some point discontinue their line of kero lanterns. Although concerned about the possible discontinuation of the kero lantern the Caretaker always felt the cost of a second one as a backup wasn't worth the price. Some retailers charge up to $120-$130.00, the Caretaker bought his first kero lantern for around $80.00 which is certainly less, but not low enough to be worth buying a second. So, how much did the Caretaker spend on the "backup" kero lantern he bought? He walked out of the store having only parted with $33 dollars and change.

While walking around the store looking over the various outdoor products for sale playing the "Do I really need this?" game, the Caretaker noticed that all but one of the kerosene lanterns were price tagged at $80.00. The odd one out was priced at $44.00, that was a price certainly worth paying for a backup lantern. He thought about bringing it to the register to see if they would ring it up as marked, but then thought it would be unwise to try to capitalize on a clerk's error in price marking, so he left it on the shelf and proceeded to find other things he "needed". This was the second time he was in the store, after leaving the first time he looked at his receipt, realized how much he was saving and decided he should go back, he figured he should at least stock up on lantern mantles--and to see if there was anything else he missed. He did come across a few things he missed and so bought them. While his goods were being rung into the cash register by a clerk the Caretaker struck up a conversation with the assistant manager about outdoor products, the usual prices at the store, the prices with the additional 30% off, and a number of other topics. At one point, as the conversation went the Caretaker felt it relevant to share with the assistant manager that one of the kerosene lanterns was miss priced. In the end the lantern was offered to the Caretaker as priced, the Caretaker stated that he didn't feel he should benefit from someone's mistake and so at first declined the offer. The Caretaker then learned from the assistant manager that there is a law that a product on the shelf must be sold as marked, the Caretaker didn't hesitate to take the offer, and so with the additional 30% off, that is how the Caretaker bought a kerosene lantern for $33 dollars and change.

Real exciting stuff huh?

Who doesn't like a good deal?

Anyway, the Caretaker took care of a few other errands and eventually made it back to the Island well after nightfall.

--The Caretaker

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