The OFs are out of the loop with online shopping but the loop is really a noose

The Old Men of the Mountain met at Kim’s West Winds in Preston Hollow on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

For some reason, the pickin’s of OFs was slim. It was found that only a few of the old goats had legal excuses.

Those OFs were the ones who were in the hospital and the one that checked in for his senior trip. The OF in Scotland, and one other who also went to Canada, plus the other world travelers, will have to give accounts of their trips upon their return.

Those who became lost apparently never read “Acres of Diamonds,” and others must have had a tough night and did not get up. This “lack of sleep” used to be a malady of the OF’s younger years; now the same malaise sets in around 70 years old or so.

OFs prefer stores to online shopping

A topic that the OFs talked about was the closing of so many stores. The OFs mentioned Sears a few weeks ago and brought up the same store again, but now they included other major stores, and complete malls.

The OFs continued that, at our ages, most cannot get accustomed to using the phone or the computer to purchase items. The OFs think that, once they put in the information that the supplier requests in order to “fill the basket,” the supplier now knows too much about the OF (and so does anybody else who has the ability to access that information) because now it is digital and out there.

The OFs wonder what is to stop some outsider from ordering something in your name. If that situation should happen, then the OFs say they are left with the hassle of trying to straighten it out. In the meantime, their credit rating is shot because the OF surely is not going to pay for something he did not order and did not receive.

The OMOTM covered the looky, touchy, feely bit a week or so ago but still brought it up again this Tuesday. With the OFs not being too astute with this purchasing “online” they were wondering what-if.  If they do (the online order) and it does not fit, or it is not exactly what the OF thought it would be, what now?

Are you stuck with it, do you have to pay to return it, and of course the box has been opened. Sometimes (the way things are packaged today) it seems like the manufacturer does not want anyone to use the product inside because it is almost impossible to get at the product because of the packaging.

One OF said on many things it is necessary to tear the whole package apart to get at the two-dollar item inside. Then on the box it might say, “For credit, return in original box.” Yeah, right!  The original box is torn to bits and all over the floor.

One OF suggested it is probably a good idea to check on the return policy before ordering. Another OF related a story about shopping for a new blazer.

His old blazer fit but was getting a little battle worn from too many funerals. The OF knew his size and it was the size that was in the old blazer; however, he and his wife went to three stores and nothing fit.

They were all too tight across the shoulders. The OF said he and his wife wound up at Boscov’s and were in the sport blazer section and were having the same problem. A salesman came over and asked if he could help.

The OF said he told the problem to the salesman and the salesman said, “Oh sir, you won’t find that size here. You belong over in Portly.”

Say what!? The old blazer could not have been that old.

The wife said, “You OG, you had that coat when you were still working and that was 22 years ago, and it is not the shoulders that’s too tight.”

The OF continued, “The salesman was right; the portly size fit perfectly.”

Now how is anyone going to get that kind of service from the phone, or the computer, or the internet.

The OFs feel it is the same old story. They are out of the loop, as mentioned before, but the OFs feel the loop is not really a loop but it is a noose that is surrounding the necks of people to increase the profit line for big corporations.

Get rid of the employees, get rid of the property, save on transportation, save on taxes — a whole litany of cost savings for businesses and passed on to the customer.

Traveling to see castles and boats

Some of the traveling OMOTM voyaged to the Thousand Islands. The OFs who have been there all admitted it is a beautiful area.

The tourists’ areas of Boldt Castle, and its love story of how it came about made for a good discussion. It was how the love of one man for one woman was so intense that, upon her death, the husband never went back to Heart Island, or finished the castle.

There is also the Singer Castle that was built by Frederick Bourne who was the fifth president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company (which is where the name Singer Castle came from).  This is the only remaining castle on the St. Lawrence River to have been completely restored, furnished, and resided in during the heyday of the great builders in New York.

Some of the OFs have visited both of these places.

The Thousand Islands is the place to be if anyone is interested in boats, particularly antique boats. It looks like the OFs are on a boat kick because the last column mentioned the same topic — only presented completely differently.

One OF said it is not necessary to go all the way to the Thousand Islands to check out boats. We have Cohoes and Waterford right in our own backyard and see boats there, especially when they have the steamboat and tugboat shows.

The Old Men of the Mountain who made it to Kim’s West Winds in Preston Hollow (and they did not come by boat, although maybe they could have: From the Vlaie pond, they could get there by canoe down the Catskill creek) were: George Washburn, Josh Buck, Roger Chapman, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, Dave Williams, Art Frament, Herb Sawotka, Ray Kennedy, Ted Feurer, Wayne Gaul, Ted Leherman, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Jack Norray, Gerry Irwin, and me.