Prairie Heights, shoveling, and a public service announcement
I was interested to see a couple mentions of Prairie Heights in the QCTimes in the last 2 weeks. Last Sunday in the Home section the featured open house of the week was a home in Prairie Heights, and yesterday there was this article featuring the first family to move into the subdivision. I was waiting for the storm of comments relating to the dad's comment about the Promise being part of the reason they chose Davenport, but for some reason there was only 1 comment, and not about that. Since Ruhl is doing a terrible job of promoting the development, at least the Times is hyping it a little. I'd hate to see it fail due to lack of publicity and then for people to point to that and say that new urbanism doesn't work. I wonder if Ruhl is purposely neglecting it because promoting tradition neighborhood design by definition makes suburban style developments (which 95% of new construction is) look worse.
And then there's this one...
Snow removal policies bother many residents -QCTimes
While even I will admit that 10 hours is a short window to get your walks shoveled, the landlord quoted in the story didn't have his shoveled 4 days later! He threatens to leave the city and never have rental property here again. I say don't let the door hit you on the way out. I wonder if he's the same person that posted this rant several times on the City-Data.com Iowa forums. Hopefully what comes out of this complaint is an extension of the time to shovel from 10 up to maybe 18 hours after the snow ends. I mean, people work 12+ hour shifts, and shouldn't be punished for it. On the other hand, if its still not shoveled 4 days after the snow, I wouldn't be opposed to the city charging an extra fine. Its part of the responsibilities of owning a home.
Finally, I wanted to do somewhat of a "Public Service Announcement". I know a lot of people are working their way through the switch to digital television. If you don't know what I'm talking about, and don't have cable or satellite, go to this website. As most of you have surely read, the government is even considering pushing back the final switch to the digital-only format because so many people are still unaware. Also, if you have an HDTV and digital Mediacom cable, you can go out there and trade in your digital box for an HD one that gets 15 or 20 HD channels for free.
However, this isn't my main topic. Many people are buying new HD TVs, both because of the digital switch-over, holiday sales, and the upcoming Super Bowl. If you have certain things like a HD cable box, PS3, or a Blue-Ray player, you'll need to connect them to the TV with an HDMI cable to get the best picture. Here's my point (finally): Do NOT buy one of these cables for more than $20. The brick-and-mortar stores are all banking on people just accepting the idea that these cables should cost $40, $50, even $100. This week Best Buy has an HDMI cable "on sale" for $80. Its ridiculous. Here is a review on CNET.com, which is a well-respected computer and electronics website, explaining how the $6-10 cables that can be found online are just as good as the $40 cables bought at Best Buy or WalMart. The fact that these stores are essentially price-fixing these cables in order to fleece people makes me want to open an HDMI cable store that sells them all for less than $20. It would work until the big stores realized that their free ride was over and lowered prices to a reasonable level. Here's a link to the cables I use from a reputable seller, which I plan to add to my link bar later. Feel free to donate some of the money I just saved you to the Promise, Riverfront Thumbtack fund, or D1.