26 thoughts on “November 4, 2021: Into The Great Wide Open (Market)”

    1. Every year on first truly cold day of fall, we panic about winter gear, and this year I was determined to avoid it. The moment I finished buying school supplies in August, I had the boys try on their winter gear. The peperoncino is fine with most of his stuff from last year and some hand-me-down boots. I had to buy all new stuff for the jalapeno. His feet are size 7.5 and are really wide, which makes footwear a total pain. I've thrown the budget out the window for him and am happy just to get something that actually fits. (I guess this is the trade-off for not needing to pay for childcare for him anymore? Having to buy men's sizes for this kid knowing he'll outgrow the stuff within a year just kills me.)

      1. Philosofette was more on top of things this year too - I'm generally terrible about this stuff, much more of a "respond to immediate need"- stimulus kind of person - and I know Aquinas and Aristotle are good to go. We may have forgotten the younger two... they tend to be good with hand-me-downs, but winter clothes get worn hard, so fewer hand-me-downs to be had. I should confirm whether or not we've remedied this problem for this winter...

        As a note: if price is not an issue, check out Bog or Muck boots. We made the shift for our oldest kids a few years back, and were glad we did, though the prices for the insulated ones are high. But they're boots that actually work - they stay on their feet, they keep them warm, they keep them dry. And in so doing, they alieviate parental worry/guilt.

        1. I got boots from Baffin for the jalapeno this year--a Canadian company always seems like a good choice for winter gear. My own winter boots are from Bogs, purchased during a Black Friday sale a couple years ago, and they're excellent.

          1. This is a helpful tip. The Poissonnière has worn Kamik boots in the past, which are Canadian, but I’ve not been super impressed by the quality. Now that she’s in school, I think I may step up to a better pair & brand, given the degree of unsupervised (by parents) exposure her feet will get every weekday.

            As for me, I wear uninsulated L.L. Bean duck boots (Maine) for commuting and snowshoeing. I can wear them all day at work if I don’t have a pair of shoes in my campus office. Paired with some of Darn Tough’s amazing wool socks (Vermont), they’re the right combination of toasty and breathable. (I’ve had trench foot once and never wish to experience that again.) For extreme cold exposure, deep snow removal, and tobogganing, I have a pair of waterproof Columbia Bugaboot Plus IIIs. They’re not very flexible, so walking in them longer distances is a PITA, but I put them in the car for winter trips, just in case.

            1. Our kids have had Kamik before, and they were fine for us, since we don't need them daily and only need winter gear for when skiing or visiting family. I could definitely see them falling apart if they were used more than the maximum 3-4 weeks out of the year that we have a need for snow boots.

    2. I went to buy some mittens for the Poissonnière and happened upon a major sale on Land’s End’s website. I knew her coat from last year would fit for at least part of this winter, so I went ahead and ordered her coat for next winter to keep ahead of the curve. Despite measuring, the mittens turned out to be a bit too big right now, so I might need to obtain a stopgap, but getting the coat for half off was worth it.

      1. When I was getting Honest Abe some soccer shoes a couple of years ago, Dick's was having a big sale. I bought a pair of nice men's size 4 sneakers for $2. His most recent shoes were size 2, so I'm these things are almost ready...

      2. We've been getting Land's End jackets and snowpants for the last few years and have been really pleased with the quality. The jackets are typically lasting for two winters, which is wonderful.

        The warmest mittens I've found for the boys have been REI brand. (Of course mittens are also the most likely article of clothing to get lost...)

  1. I confirmed yesterday that a former colleague (and all-around good guy) is now the owner of Maple Island Brewing in Stillwater. They'll be rebranding soon as River Siren Brewing and rolling out a slate of new beers. They're also doing renovations inside and to the deck overlooking the river. I think a road trip is in order.

      1. They apparently closed the deal in July and renovations started soon after. Not sure what the target dates are for everything, but I'm going to find out. I need to talk to him soon because I use him as a reference when job hunting and now I have to update all of his information.

  2. When Elder Daughter moved back to Washington she abandoned a 37" LG TV at our house. The last time I asked her about it she said she doesn't want it, they have a newer, bigger smart TV now don't have room for anything else in their apartment anyway. I tested it out a few weeks ago and it works just fine, 1080p and the picture quality is excellent. It's not a smart tv but it's very backward compatible with all kinds of inputs - 3 HDMI, 2 component and 2 composite ports, S-VHS, coax port for antenna or cable, plus USB and VGA. I set it up in the basement office with a Chromecast and was just casting stuff to it from my laptop or phone, but Comcast kept bugging me to get a free Flex box so I went ahead and pulled the trigger. It got here today and I've got it all set up. It's 4k high def and includes lots of free content from Comcast. A Peacock premium subscription is included for free, and it has apps for most of the other services we use - Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu. It has YouTube but not YouTube TV (our main service) and no local or live channels, but YTTV and Chromecast get me around those limitations. Also, you can't get any apps that aren't pre-loaded or added by Comcast. Still, for zero additional dollars I've really improved my home entertainment options and experience.

    1. We have an older Samsung of about that size as our upstairs tv. It's not Smart. More like slightly clever. Can get Netflix on it and a bunch of crap apps nobody actually uses, but not Disney+, Amazon Prime, or HBOmax.

      I am thinking maybe we will have to get a Roku for it. I hate having to go downstairs to watch any of those other services that I the Boy is paying for....

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