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Things You Didn’t Want To Know

So, thanks to the disappearance of all other alternatives and the need to replace a large tarp before freezing temperature hit the area tomorrow, I broke down and went to Mal-Wart tonight.

The shopping gods sent me a warning – as soon as my foot touched the sidewalk outside the entrance the right lens popped out of my glasses’ frame. Minor annoyance, because the lens is plastic and didn’t break, so I used the jeweler’s screwdriver in my Swiss Army knife to reinstall it, and entered the store.

After several substitutions for what I really wanted, I got into the self-service line, because it was the only one showing any movement. The woman in front of me took her receipt from the printer and the screen went blank, then displayed an NCR logo screen, and finally the all too familiar “blue screen of death.” Yes, the self-service terminals are Intel boxes running Windows XP.

So, I watched it go through the Intel bios and memory checks, boot Windows and then it started to look for hardware when a supervisor came by with a sign closing the line. She informed me that it takes 20 minutes or more for a terminal to re-boot.

After schlepping everything to the end of another line and finally escaping, I’m left to wonder why the shopping gods hate my Mother’s goldfish.


1 hipparchia { 12.31.07 at 9:46 pm }

i’m wondering how your mother can have goldfish without their becoming heron food.

2 Bryan { 12.31.07 at 9:54 pm }

A persistent raccoon got the last batch, but a lot of pond cover from trees, and surface cover from parrot’s feather and water grasses keeps them from being obvious.

This pond is close to her house and there are a lot of cats to make them nervous, so they aren’t the problem they were when she had her pond out in the front of the house.

3 Badtux { 01.01.08 at 12:59 am }

They removed the self-checkout kiosk from my local Wally World because it blue-screened more than it worked. They decided that hiring four old prunes to work four Express Lanes was cheaper than figuring out how to fix it. Of course, the old folks’ hands shake as they try to drag the goods across the scanners, and they move about the same pace as the Presidential election (the two-year root canal, as Mimus Pauley puts it), but hey, the prunes work for cheap, so (shrug)…

4 hipparchia { 01.01.08 at 5:54 pm }

parrot’s feather? i had to google. a pretty enough plant, but looks like it’s the kudzu of koi ponds.

not to worry. in a few years we’ll have figured out how to easily turn any generic greenery into some kind of biofuel, at which point the waterways will run clear, the hillsides will be be bare, and folks will have to surround their ponds with razor wire and rottweilers to keep out the parrot feather poachers. 😈

5 ellroon { 01.01.08 at 7:16 pm }

The shopping gods were angry because you didn’t buy enough and weren’t impressed with their warehouse of crap… I mean wonderfulness.

I tried one of those self-serve things at our huge hardware store. Did you know they have a weigher that registers each item as you bag it? And it will not register the weight of a seed packet nor let you move on, but keeps demanding that you put the item in the bag eve when you have done so? It also commands you to put impossibly unwieldy items on the weigher.

Give me a prune any day, thanks. At least they would react when I try to strangle them….

6 Bryan { 01.01.08 at 7:37 pm }

Even glacial speed is faster than a Windows network re-boot. The local Mal-Wart would benefit from a few more people and fewer computers. Despite their vaunted inventory control system I saw empty shelves, something that doesn’t happen where I normally shop.

Yes, Hipparchia, parrot’s feather can be a problem, but when it starts to get uppity I grab a few handfuls and pitch them in the compost pile. The fish need cover from the sun during the summer, and from the predators all year long, and they eat the grass. You have to leave room or the lilies won’t bloom.

I really, truly, hate the scale, Ellroon. Everyone uses the system, but the people who are supposed to be entering the weights in the product data base. You can’t put light objects in the bag, you have to put them in the scale or they don’t get noticed. It’s absurd. It’s like putting the little inventory tags in large, bulky items and then not having a hand degausser to deactivate them. The cashier tells you it is going to set off the alarm, but to ignore it. It’s so comforting to know that you are shopping at a store that believes its customers are criminals.

7 DCup { 01.03.08 at 7:41 pm }

What a pain. Just yesterday I did the same thing. I shamefully stopped at a Walmart on my way home so that I could pick up bread and milk without spending fifteen dollars at the local convenience store. (Out in the sticks, there are few options.)

I feel like I need to offer one of my cats up to the buy local gods for forgiveness.

Anyway, I hope you’re not freezing too much!

8 Bryan { 01.03.08 at 7:47 pm }

We are making it, but this is not what the real estate agents told us. Who could imagine that a real estate agent would lie?

Nice opening appearance on the Street, DC. I hoping I can get some things done so that I can comment someplace else occasionally.