Saturday, July 11, 2009

Konecto, Netbooks and Tax

So Kelli and I woke up this morning ready to buy vinyl "wood look" flooring. After a trip to Home Depot we were set. Then we stopped by a flooring store (CarpetOne) to compare brands. Glad we did. The manager gave us a ton of information. We were just about settled on a laminate floor that had one of the thickest top protective layer of any laminate wood. He took his time and we were just about set. On the way out I asked about a product Kelli and I looked at last year from Karn Dean. He then told us the advantages of it, and the disadvantages. Near the Karn Dean products were other laminate "like" products. We mentioned the product we were looking at Home Depot (the TrafficMaster Allure) and he showed us a similar product from Konecto. The Konecto product was slightly more expensive than the Allure product, but it felt to be much higher quality. The Konecto product had more texture and looked better. The installation is just as easy. We decided on the Konecto Heritage which is a medium red oak color. Total cost was $2.99 a sq foot including tax. That's about $0.25 more a squarefoot than the Allure product (after tax) and $1 a square foot less than "real" laminate flooring from Wilsonart.

The product is coming from north Dallas so we should be able to pick it up from CarpetOne next week. Total install time should be under 5 hours. If we like the product then we will likely install the product throughout the house.

So I picked up overtime yesterday (I feel guilty about it, but that's a whole different topic) and flew to Pittsburgh and back. Overtime at my job isn't time and a half. Instead it's time and twenty percent. Yeah...nice eh? The good thing is any time I fly on a day off it's overtime. I could literally never fly on my work days (which are currently reserve days) and still get overtime. The overtime yesterday was 5 hours 25 minutes at a pay rate of $33.38 an hour + 20% or $220.30. Not a horrible amount for sitting in plane. Of course the captain I flew with would have been paid $646.80 for the same trip....but eh.

With the money I am pondering buying a netbook. Why? Well I spent a lot of time sitting around the airport. I also travel alot. I love my Macbook Pro. I wish Apple made a netbook (rumor is they might). Netbooks offer enough power for what I do at the airport and on the road. Most of the time I surf the net, blog, watch Netflix movies, and play REALLY basic non-3D games ( being the most played). If Kelli had lasted till now with her old laptop, she would be just fine with an upper end netbook (upper end being the $350-$400 range).

Netbooks don't have optical (CD/DVD drives), can't do high-end 3D graphics, and have much smaller screens than laptops. On the plus side they are light (most under 3 pounds), have fantastic battery life (models I am looking at have real world 7-9 hour batteries) and are 1/4 the price of my Macbook Pro.

One concern I have is the small size and my HUGE hands. My hands are so huge I can palm a basketball (meaning hold a basketball in one hand with my palm facing down!). I have read a ton of reviews (me research things....crazy eh?) and found models from HP, Asus and Toshiba offer the best keyboards.

I stopped by Fry's and Best Buy today to try out the keyboards. They all felt great with Asus and Toshiba being the best. The Toshiba model sports a 10 inch screen WITH a full size keyboard. The Asus keyboard is 92% full size.

That being said I get nice discounts on an array of products through my employer. I priced several netbooks from Dell, HP and Toshiba using my discount. With the discount (at most 8%) the prices are all below prices. After damn tax they all rise above or are the same. Booo tax!

I might wait on buying a Netbook as new models with Windows 7 might be out in October. Of course October is 3 months away and I am Mr. Impatient. Eh.

The Captain I flew with yesterday was a hoot. He has been with the airline for 20 years. Most guys I fly with that have been here that long are burned out. Not this guy. When we arrived in Pittsburgh we both headed up to the terminal for food. One couple, who was waiting to board, told the Captain they would be flying to Texas to look at houses as they were moving to Frisco (a suburb of Dallas). They then asked if there would be chips and guacamole served on board as we were flying to Texas. While I was in line at Au Bon Pain, he briskly walked past toward the main food court. In Pittsburgh the ONLY food near the AA gate is Au Bon Pain. The rest of the food is literally 200 yards away.

I was in the cockpit setting up the return flight long before he came back. When he arrived he said he had to make a special delivery in the cabin. I assumed he brought the rear flight attendant some food. Negative. He went to the main food court soley to get chips and gaucamole for the couple moving to Frisco. Awesome.

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