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Mallette

The United States of Amazon

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1 hour ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

Similarly, I don't have a Costco membership.  Not worth the $60 per year.  I don't eat food that is prepackaged and cannot see buying so much at once. 

I have a Costco membership, but I buy barely any groceries from there.  The big blocks of cheese and large cans of peanuts are about it.  

 

I bought my laptop, 3 TV's and my car tires from Costco.  I also purchased the extended warranties on the electronics.  I have seen Costco's handling of warranty claims first-hand and am impressed by it.  Their tire prices for good Michelins are unbeatable - at least in my locale.  Plus I use their cash back Visa card for almost everything I buy, and the cash back adds up to almost $500 a year.

 

I have contemplated whether Costco is still worth the $60, but I guess it is.  The cash back certainly makes up for it, although I know there are many other cash back cards available.

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2 minutes ago, Jeff Matthews said:

I have contemplated whether Costco is still worth the $60, but I guess it is.  The cash back certainly makes up for it, although I know there are many other cash back cards available.

My Costco has a gas station. I'm not sure if all do, but gas is typically $ .40 cents per gallon cheaper than regular gas stations. That alone more than pays for the membership. As with Amazon, there are more benefits then you realize once you drill down.

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Last week I broke my glasses right in ths middle of the nose bridge. My insurance only covers a bunch of doctors that typically had the word "Mobile" in their practice name, so I went to Wal-Mart for an exam. (100% covered)

 

The lenses, however, were $335!! And that's using the frames from a back-up pair that were at least 13-years old.

 

A friend used to work for the eye doctor at Costo. So, I took my presccription over there and ordered lenses for my old back-up frames. $185. But no insurance coverage because I was ordering no-line bifocals, photochromic, anti-glare and anti-scratch.

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52 minutes ago, Mighty Favog said:

A friend used to work for the eye doctor at Costo. So, I took my presccription over there and ordered lenses for my old back-up frames. $185. But no insurance coverage because I was ordering no-line bifocals, photochromic, anti-glare and anti scratch.

I checked pricing for glasses at Costco a while back, and it did seem that were substantially cheaper than Walmart.

 

P.S.  - Insurance that covers inferior products is, as you say, "no insurance."  Gotta love their multifaceted schemes.

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3 hours ago, Jeff Matthews said:

I have a Costco membership, but I buy barely any groceries from there.  The big blocks of cheese and large cans of peanuts are about it.  

 

I bought my laptop, 3 TV's and my car tires from Costco.  I also purchased the extended warranties on the electronics.  I have seen Costco's handling of warranty claims first-hand and am impressed by it.  Their tire prices for good Michelins are unbeatable - at least in my locale.  Plus I use their cash back Visa card for almost everything I buy, and the cash back adds up to almost $500 a year.

 

I have contemplated whether Costco is still worth the $60, but I guess it is.  The cash back certainly makes up for it, although I know there are many other cash back cards available.

 

See, I am the cheap @ss, no Costco here.  I actually was going to buy tires and a laptop from Costco last year but found a similar deal on a better laptop and was able to have Discount tire price match Wal Mart for a better deal on tires.

 

I don't shop at Wal Mart, I hate their practices.  I feel similarly about Amazon but it is just too convenient, and their customer service is outstanding.  Kind of like Google, too hard to break away. 

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A Costco membership allows me to save in several ways.  Just on groceries, the savings from around three visits pay for the cost of membership.  Just two items, breakfast cereal and toilet paper, save me quite a bit, plus whatever else I buy there is typically at low prices.

 

You can even save on clothes.  Tops, jackets, jeans, socks, whatever.  The only nuisance with buying clothes there is the lack of change rooms, but you can buy two sizes and return the item that doesn’t fit.

 

Gas is generally $.04 a litre cheaper than anywhere else, and the gas bar is open for an hour after the store closes, so there’s no need to rush when you’re loading your shopping into your vehicle.

 

Finally, buying tires at Costco beats buying at a dealership for several reasons.  The prices are good, a road hazard warranty is included, and you can get warranty service at any Costco in North America, seven days a week.  Free rotation and re-balancing is included.  As well, they fill tires with nitrogen, not air, so the tire pressure is stable for months.  Besides that, you don’t need to go to a gas station, maybe pay a dollar, and pull their air hose around the car.  Instead, a Costco tire tech will check your tire pressures and top them up while you sit in your car.  For free.  As for selection, if you check their extensive range and don’t find what you like, they’re happy to special-order tires they don’t stock.

 

I’ve been a Costco member for over twenty-five years, and those are some of the reasons why.

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"Resistance is futile. You will become Prime." 

Dave

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3 minutes ago, Mallette said:

"Resistance is futile. You will become Prime." 

Dave

 

Never say never but not today........nor the past 19 years.

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9 minutes ago, Mallette said:

"Resistance is futile. You will become Prime." 

Dave

I was "Prime" back in '69.

Not so much now.

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NEVER! 😁

 

Never will the 250 millions of houses already in existence be retrofitted to accommodate (at the expense of $10K+ per) this tribute to Amazon (or whomever the suppliers are) and materialism . People simply don't have the resources, interest and devotion to accommodate this....won't happen.  People are too broke and have other interests than paying (in real dollars) homage to this idea.

 

This idea would be a new luxury item in America for those who have the resources and interest to make it happen ie; the top 10 percent or less.

 

Bear in mind that the construction industry is notoriously slow to change as new ideas must be proven out before they are widely accepted and implemented.  The costs  of early placement of new ideas in materials and architecture in real terms is just toooooooo dear. Examples; Chinese drywall with high  sulphur content in numerous homes; Smart homes; Solar panel rooofs; EIFS; Crack-proof concrete; Lighted roadways via solar energy; etc, etc. They are slow (50+ years) to become widespread if-at-all.

 

Wasn't there a thread here a few years ago like this which touted self-driving cars as being utopian and fully functional by this time?  You see how that has gone...😲!

 

There probably will be some use of all these ideas but certainly not as pervasive and originally  stated in this post.

 

---Just my read on it.

 

 

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15 hours ago, 7heavenlyplaces said:

Never will the 250 millions of houses already in existence be retrofitted to accommodate (at the expense of $10K+ per) this tribute to Amazon (or whomever the suppliers are) and materialism .

True enough in the context of nearly half a century before we are talking about. I won't list them as I am not making an argument here and that is *** for tat, but I could point out many things that are common today the majority of us half a century ago would have said "Never will happen..." Consider the trillions we will save in highway construction and repair alone from emerging technology, starting with autonomous vehicles. 

Let's just say that whatever it looks like, the face of the US and world 40 years from now wil be radically different from now. 

Dave

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21 hours ago, 7heavenlyplaces said:

Wasn't there a thread here a few years ago like this which touted self-driving cars as being utopian and fully functional by this time?  You see how that has gone...😲!

Yes, I was the OP and I own such a car right now. It did 90% of the driving from Arkansas to California a couple of weeks ago hands free...right in line with my post and within the timeline predicted. 

Above, I mentioned that 50 years ago even the best predictions of today have turned out to be woefully inadequate and conservative. My HS friends would have said pretty much precisely what you said above if someone predicted the internet, cell phones, rockets completely reusable and construction underway of one capable of transporting 100 passengers to Mars, vehicles like I own, TV sets cheaper than the average TV of that time with 4K resolution, weighing only a few pounds, and less than an inch thick...I could go on. My dad was born the year of the Wright brothers first flight and died the year we landed on the moon, and the pace of advance continuously accelerates. 

I'll give you one that is dead certain to happen in the not too distant future that will cause a paradigm shift. I've told my son not to hold gold. The solar system outside Earth, where we have recovered almost all the gold we will ever recover here, is rotten with the stuff. Also platinum, rare earths, and lord knows what. One mining ship towing back an asteriod that is a significant percent gold would instantly render the gold held here much less valuable and eventually of very little value besides the workmanship in it. These elements and minerals in plentiful supply will massively reduce the cost of many advanced devices. Titanium aircraft, spacecraft, and vehicles will be far stronger and much lighter.  That's an easy prediction that can only be stopped if NASA, SpaceX, Blue Origins, and the others are stopped. 

Dave

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Regarding elements to be mined, it will depend upon the uses at the time.  Ruthenium might be a game changer, or something else.  Commodities investing has always been more akin to gambling.

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7 hours ago, Mallette said:

Let's just say that whatever it looks like, the face of the US and world 40 years from now wil be radically different from now. 

I have a dream....

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Most of our meaningful accomplishments since indoor plumbing have flourished on making things more convenient or entertaining. Not counting everything out, but what has made a true milestone ?   

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By that standard, nothing meaningful has happened since the ancient Romans (they had indoor plumbing).  OK, rapid transportation is just a matter of convenience, or is it?

I would posit that the instantaneous communication across the globe is more than just convenient or entertaining.  Other true milestones might include the power to completely obliterate life on earth held within the hands of a single species.  That being said, I would give it all up to maintain indoor plumbing.

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Just did a quick calculation. Web says there are 3.5 million truck drivers in the US. If we assume 80k a year in pay and benefits per each, that is a bit over a quarter of a trillion dollars per year. That is why so many tech and trucking companies are betting the farm on them and making headway by the day. First cross country Level 4 crossing the US with a load was just last month by a startup that started only 4 years earlier. You don't have to have much imagination to see how far and fast this is happening. From Forbes:

"The California-based company's Level 4 autonomous semi-tractor-trailer recently drove 2,800 miles from a shipping hub in Tulare, California to another in Quakertown, Pennsylvania on I-15 and I-75. The three-day trip was done “primarily” in autonomous mode with a safety driver in the vehicle to take over when needed. Plus.ai says this trip represents the “first L4 U.S. cross-country commercial pilot hauling a fully-loaded refrigerated trailer of perishable cargo.” That perishable cargo? Land O Lakes butter.

Plus.ai says that the autonomous truck drove during the day and at night, and safely navigated road construction situations, mountains, tunnels and the rain and snow you would expect on a cross-country trip in December. To do this, the truck uses Plus.ai’s “advanced autonomous driving system” which is made up of multimodal sensors, deep learning visual algorithms and simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) technologies. Aside from the safety driver, a safety engineer was also on board to monitor the various autonomous driving systems.

“Continued advances in our autonomous trucks will make it possible for these quick cross-country runs to be the norm in the future,” said Plus.ai’s COO and co-founder, Shawn Kerrigan, in a statement. “We are excited to demonstrate what our technology can already achieve today."

 

I'll throw in here that while at Forbes, I learned that Tesla is now the most valuable auto manufacturer in US history. 

 

Dave

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"with a safety driver in the vehicle to take over when needed"???

 

Real driver-safety driver, whats the diff?  Someone still has to be paid and awake.

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3 minutes ago, NADman said:

"with a safety driver in the vehicle to take over when needed"???

 

Real driver-safety driver, whats the diff?  Someone still has to be paid and awake.

I don't see your point. It appears to assume that these things come straight out of the laboratory and drive across the country. God forbid! The ones we have on the roads are dangerous enough without turning loose untested tech. I mentioned Musk's 100 passenger rocket above. I rather think that first launch will not have anyone on board. 

I am, in fact, a skeptic. But I also watch trends and how fast things happen. Four years to level 4 with the truck. The distance between L4 and L5 is not much hardware. it is software. There WILL be accidents, but each one will happen only ONCE and then be fixed in software to the point the odds of it happening again will be tiny. I am going to be conservative and say the time from L4 to L5 will be no more than, and possibly less than, the time from L1 to L4. With trillions in revenue at stake, that may be too conservative. 

That truck under L4 was probably 10 time safer than the even the most skilled human driver. When they are deployed in earnest they'll be at least 100 times safer...and they will NEVER pull out in front of you if you are traveling faster than they are. Hallelujah!

Dave

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