Deano’s answer to: “What’s the cheapest place to buy Gillette Fusion and Gillette Mach 3 Turbo blades: Safeway, Walgreens/Long’s, Costco, or elsewhere?”

I would expand on Dylan's answer, and suggest that buying such blades online will, in most cases, prove as cheap or cheaper than a similar purchase at the retailers/wholesalers mentioned.

That said, there are several "Costco multipliers" that people forget about:

  • The cash back credit that accompanies the Executive level membership. If you buy enough high ticket items (razor blades definitely qualifying there), you can make back the membership price easily and get a nice check back at the end of the year.
  • Usage of a Costco American Express, which increases the potential cash back amount over the course of a year.
  • Time and resources (especially gas, these days) saved by buying in bulk, and reducing the total number of trips – Costco is the only one of the stores mentioned by the querent that I've never seen run out of Mach 3 blades, ever. I've yet to see blades rust or degrade prior to use, so it may be wise not to eliminate Costco as an option if nearby/you make regular trips.

Long story short, if you're a Costco executive member and/or Amex holder, it's probably a better deal to buy locally. If you are not, or do not have a convenient Costco, then purchasing from a tax-free source online is likely to yield a more consistently lower price.

As for an ordered list, the last time (~6 months ago) I checked, the pricing per blade was actually nearly identical across Safeway/Lucky/Walgreens/Costco.

As I said, Costco won out for me personally on different criteria (cash back), and sometimes the prices fluctuated up or down at the others (I've definitely seen the blades go on sale at Safeway, yielding a cheaper price by $1-2, but it's rare).

What's the cheapest place to buy Gillette Fusion and Gillette Mach 3 Turbo blades: Safeway, Walgreens/Long's, Costco, or elsewhere?


Deano’s answer to: “Why does the Doctor seem to regenerate younger each time?”

It's arguable that, since the Time War eliminated all other Time Lords, and conferred unlimited regenerations upon The Doctor, that the regeneration process itself varies in relationship to the number of total Time Lords in existence.

If that's the case, then effectively what we see as regeneration is really "taking another dip in the Time Lord Life Pool" shared amongst them. In a universe with many Time Lords, it would make sense that one would regenerate "older", taking a smaller sip from the fountain of youth… With fewer (or no other) Time Lords, The Doctor's regenerations have a more powerful effect, granting him a more youthful appearance.

Aspects of this possible answer appear in the episode "The Christmas Invasion", in which the newly-regenerated 10th Doctor (played by David Tennant) loses his hand in a sword fight, only to have it grow back in moments later!

Outside the Whoniverse, of course, the answer matches much more closely to the variance in age and appearance of James Bond – that which will appease the perceived market/viewership the most. In the case of David Tennant, at least, they were exactly right.

Why does the Doctor seem to regenerate younger each time?

Deano’s answer to: “Do people reject Facebook apps?”

I have an iPhone app (EventLoud) that taps into users Facebook social graph to pull social suggestions as well as login via Facebook connect. Today for the first time, I heard from a potential user who refused to “allow” the Facebook connection. I’m wondering if this is a common case?

All the time!

If it isn’t blindingly clear that your app, service, or site is dependent on accessing/downloading data from/uploading data to Facebook, then many people (especially older, wiser people) are going to take issue with a blanket approval.

It’s still a pretty small minority of savvy users in most cases, but they do exist, and if there’s a workaround that can accommodate them, they can turn out to be highly effective evangelists, especially in a crowded market with many alternatives.

In many cases, the solution is as simple as clarifying exactly how you intend to use the data on the user’s behalf. While this explanation can also potentially cause other distinct groups of users to “think twice” and ultimately refuse to sign up, it’s still a good practice to have, at least, a “learn more…” link on the home page that goes into greater detail.

Also, consider the minimum vs. desired amount of data you’d like to link via Facebook – is there a way you can get users to “sign up” while sharing only their FB auth key, and then expand the data shared at a later date (limited vs. full feature set). Of course, getting this complicated may be a comparative waste of engineering hours while you’re building traction – you may simply need to decide that users who care deeply about their privacy and sharing habits are not your target market, and commit to pursuing them at a later date, when you have more resources to tackle the challenge.

Do people reject Facebook apps?

Deano’s answer to: “What are some low cost offline marketing strategies for a startup on a shoestring budget to acquire customers?”

If you're targeting a specific demographic try the following:

Go to a small town, and figure out where they tend to be at various times of day.

Then, return to your target market, and post

  • one-sheet ads,
  • postcards, or
  • business cards


  • laundromats (singles),
  • libraries (old people),
  • parks (stay at home moms),
  • and/or other locations (gotta do SOME of the work yourself!)

as appropriate.

Also, relentlessly pitch yourself and your idea to everyone you meet. This will help you understand your market better, for free, as well as help you practice facing down much tougher stares from investors, recruits, customers, etc.

What are some low cost offline marketing strategies for a startup on a shoestring budget to acquire customers?

Deano’s answer to: “What are some fancy ways to order a drink at a bar?”

I like ordering a "Stoli Blu-driver", since it's both immediately apparent to the bartender what it is I want, but for some odd reason, seems to give anyone else pause, or outright confuse them. Good conversation starter in a new bar.

More to the point though – make sure you understand the difference between ordering a fancy drink, and "ordering fancy", which may have a tendency to aggravate a busy, overworked, has-to-deal-with-enough-random-crap-already bartender. The only real way to be seen as classy in the eyes of the bartender is to pay with a large bill and leave the change.

What are some fancy ways to order a drink at a bar?

Deano’s answer to: “Why did there appear to be a corporate conspiracy to destroy rock n’ roll in the 1990’s?”

Rock bands are expensive to operate as businesses, and generally full of dickish personalities with enormous creative control and ego issues.

The 90s gave rise to flagrantly auto-tuned pop idol groups, so-called "reality television", and a host of other forms of extremely low-cost, high-margin entertainment. Which, by the way, was always "studio led", reducing control issues over even fairly big stars.

It was also a period that included the impressive rise in power and sophistication of the (largely dial-up) Internet, which in turn provided many additional entertainment outlets, and the ability to "feel part of the group" in a much less geographically-specific way… You could be a proud proto-goth, without having to blend in with the skinheads or metal stoners at your high school. Did I mention video games? VIDEO GAMES. Frag. Men. Tation.

In short? The music business gave up on arena rock. It was too expensive, too much a pain in the ass, and required large affluent audiences to concentrate their entertainment dollars all in one place, precisely at a time when they were "spreading the love" across a greater number of different forms of play/indulgence. It also didn't help that due to the transition to CDs, burgeoning internet use, the mp3, and services like Napster (the original, not the current whatever-the-heck-it-is), the recording industry was undergoing multiple, drawn-out changes to their long-standing business model – one of which, at least, was entirely involuntary (so-called music piracy).

At the end of the day, all these guys cared about was money. And there wasn't a lot of money in promoting single rock bands in the 90s (though, for a time, music festivals like Lollapalooza experienced a huge resurgence – again, by providing an alternative to the existing model – greater attendance in exchange for lower dollar-per-band in the cash box).

Why did there appear to be a corporate conspiracy to destroy rock n' roll in the 1990's?