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Driving (and Thinking) With Al

Driving (and Thinking) With Al

Last month we hosted a party at Mamma’s II Grill on Easton Road We never did this before and we were pleased to meet over forty people who showed up.

We were thrilled, the owner was thrilled and just about everyone who attended had a good time. The food was terrific and we’ve gotten word that many have already returned for another meal. We all had a great time. The folks at New York Camera have already returned twice as did several other of our friends.
We also wrote about the Grandma’s Pizza and Bakery on Easton Road near the Turnpike. John, the owner and chef, has also received a great response. His sandwiches are delicious and his baked goods are marvelous. (Remember, his specialty is gluten-free baked goods.) We know him from other restaurants he has owned in the past. We like this one best. The “bistro” ambiance is brighter and more comfortable. And he still makes great pizza.

One night last week I could not sleep. So I stayed up and watched television. I was watching a Discovery Channel program called “Building Off the Grid” when I noticed the huge, not large, number of commercials that kept interrupting the program. Since I was awake and annoyed I grabbed a note pad and listed the “announcements” that appeared in the next full episode. Most will not believe this, but the number exceeded one hundred. Repeat, one hundred ads in less than an hour. I was stunned. Linda thought I was exaggerating (again) and sat down and watched a fifteen minute portion of the next episode. She was shocked. My little wife stopped counting at thirty six and went back to sleep. And we pay extra for these stations!

If you want a real bargain you can’t beat Netflix. It is commercial free and offers an incredible assortment of programs. Since regular TV pleases us less and less, we are watching Netflix more and more. And best of all, it only costs about twelve bucks a month.

My son just leased a new Tesla. He lives in Oregon now and does a great deal of driving. He was using about fifteen gallons of gas a week or more with his old car at an average cost of $4.00 per gallon on the West Coast with prices rapidly rising. His new electric Tesla will save on energy and keep sixty bucks or more in his wallet every week. I’m thinking Tesla will be to the Twenty First Century what Ford was to the Twentieth Century.

Back to commercials, Liberty Mutual should get an award for “dumb.” One must have special talent to create a commercial about selling wet teddy bears from ice cream carts. Better yet is the ad showing three young children jumping rope (and aging), nonstop, for seventy years. What shocks me most is that they never even mention that they are an insurance company providing many different types of insurance.

Harry’s Razors is a class act. Their ads are brilliant, informative and entertaining. The firm’s use of the internet is terrific and their packaging is tops. Even their actual razors are quite neat. I was really impressed and finally ordered a package. Trust me, they are everything they promise. Regardless, I admit, at the end of the day, I went back to Gillette. Some old habits are hard to break. You know what they say about old dogs… and I’M an OLD dog!!!

Recently several of our “mini” investments came up for renewal. At my age I am not looking for home runs – just safe returns. When I started looking on the internet I found a variety of banks shouting about the highest rate possible … one half a percent on their savings accounts! Sounded fantastic until I realized that a one hundred thousand dollar deposit for a full year would give you a return of five hundred dollars. Big whoops. Be one day late on a credit card payment and same friendly bank now nails you forty bucks. Ouch! No wonder they can build such fancy edifices to “assist” us.

Speaking of ouch, we recently got new phones. We were paying about two hundred dollars a month (plus, plus, plus) for our three phones. They were old and we decided to purchase the new 5G phones that are now the rage. Our provider of twelve years informed us that we were too loyal a customer, my words, “to qualify for free phones.” When I went shopping, I discovered T-Mobile. Thank you to the Lord of phones. Linda, in her article this month, describes the great support staff at T-Mobile in detail.

We got four, not three phones with unlimited everything for $120.00. Equally important, we received new superior phones free. This was almost a two thousand dollar savings. And what really bothered me was when we switched our phones from the original company, the original company offered to match the price, but not the new free phones. When I asked the woman on the phone, who was very professional, why we had not been informed of the lower prices when they became available she said, “I only work here.” They don’t advertise with us, but I urge you to shop T-Mobile before you purchase again. By the way, reception is great for $80.00 a month.

I will not elaborate on savings but when we switched insurance companies we saved over two hundred dollars a month. Everybody advertises huge savings if you switch to them. It’s all nonsense. I urge you to check your phones and your insurance, plus mortgage deals frequently. We are talking big savings. So, thank you State Farm.

Here’s a heads-up: Johnny G’s Famous Pizza & Tomato Pies is reopening at their new location…. 808 2nd Street Pike, Southampton. Previously located in Trevose/Feasterville, I spoke with Mandy, the owner, and he’s built a really neat spot for his pizzas and “fantabulous” sandwiches. His Thanksgiving sandwich that’s served year-round is beyond description. You can look for his opening shortly…. find his announcement here in September’s issue. Remember, his is the ORIGINAL Johnny G’s.

I have so much more I would like to share, but I’m out of space. Enjoy the balance of the summer. Stay safe. As always you are welcome to share your thoughts

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