It’s Better to Give

Today during lunch I went to the grocery store. I wanted a salad but needed to get a few things first including olive oil. A few days earlier I went to the same store and tried to buy olive oil on a buy-one-get-one sale but they were all out.

Thankfully, this time the shelves were stocked with oil. So I proceeded to unstock the shelves and loaded my cart with ten bottles of the good stuff.

I got to the checkout and handed the cashier a raincheck from the previous trip. Now, rather than BOGO, the oil was on sale for $2 off. The cashier rang all of the bottles up on the sale price and then gave me half off for the BOGO raincheck!

I was ecstatic about the great deal I was getting. I was also wishing I had grabbed the last two bottles of oil off the shelf and asked if they had another case in the back (I like olive oil).

But then my little shopping trip got even better. An older lady behind me in line walked up and handed me her coupon for $5 off my purchase. She said she wasn’t going to reach the $30 threshold for the deal so she wanted me to use it.

I wanted to thank her more than just saying thank you. The discount was great but it was the woman’s generosity and willingness to break the wall of separation and silence between strangers in public that impressed me.

The woman probably felt pretty good about the whole situation too. Giving has a way of lifting the spirit. Even though I was the one who received the savings, that woman who gave the coupon likely received much more.

Going For a Walk

Most mornings around 6:00am I go for a walk in my neighborhood. I always thought I was getting out fairly early and felt a little self-righteous that I was the only one out and about. I figured no one else was willing to get up and get out early like I was.

Then, this morning I woke up just a little earlier at 5:30 and decided to walk then. I was surprised to find, on every street I turned down, someone else out walking (and usually at a faster pace). Some were walking dogs and some were obviously just out for exercise.

It was a reminder that when you start to feel like you have a leg up on the competition, you need to take a hard look at yourself. You’re probably not as far ahead as you think. Someone always wakes up earlier and walks a little faster.

No More Saturday Posts

A few weeks ago I decided not to post to the blog on Sundays. Now I’ve decided to abstain on Saturdays too. I thing I see a pattern here but it’s too early to tell for sure.

It’s not that I’m getting lazy or trying to do less. Quite the opposite. I want my Saturdays and sometimes Sundays to be times when I focus more on writing, photography and projects rather than posting something to a blog. Nobody reads blogs on the weekends anyway.

So this will be my last Saturday post. Not that anyone will care since they don’t read blogs on the weekend anyway.

Invention 237: X-Ray Toothbrush

Kids hate getting x-rays when they go to the dentist. For that matter adults don’t usually care for it either. You have to have a big sharp piece of plastic shoved into your cheeks and then you’re told to sit in an uncomfortable chair and hold still while the hygienist runs and hides behind a lead wall. I mean, they’re hygienists, are they even qualified to use this kind of equipment?

So I got to thinking, what’s another situation where kids can have pieces of plastic shoved in their mouths where we could take x-rays without the uncomfortable chair? Then it hit me that the toothbrush is the perfect tool for this. I just have to figure out how to miniaturize a machine needing 10,000 volts to work. I’ll probably just make this a hard wired device which will require an electrician (or at least someone who kind of knows what they’re doing). I’m sure it will be very safe.

Every night this toothbrush will image your child’s teeth to check for cavities or hidden knives in their cheeks. As an added bonus your child gets a healthy dose of radiation which I once read in some random blog actually promotes stronger bones!

Just download the free app on your iPhone or Android and the images will be transferred directly to your device. You can then configure it to send updates straight to your kid’s dentist.

Each toothbrush is shipped with a lead lined parent smock.

A 10 Step Guide to a Horribly Inefficient Shopping Trip

Why would anyone want to make sure their shopping trip is inefficient, clumsy and painful? Why not? Don’t be stuck up and think you have to get in and out, only buy what’s on the list and get home quickly to take care of life’s other responsibilities. Whatever! How’s the store supposed to make any money if you don’t buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need?

So, what’s the most inefficient way to do your grocery shopping? Here’s a list of the top ten methods to ensure things don’t go your way:

  1. Go at the busiest time. This one is obvious so I thought I would get it out of the way first. The more people at the store the more crowded the isles. It’s a sure bet that every isle you turn down will be packed and you’ll quickly move on to the next one hoping it will be better. It won’t.
  2. Don’t make a list. Where’s your sense of adventure? Live a little. Don’t go prepared or you’ll be bored and will miss all of the great products that you don’t need or like but are such “great deals”.
  3. Shop at a store you’ve never been to. This way you’ll be totally unfamiliar with the layout or even the product offering. If you’re lucky, this might even cause you to have to go to a different store for the one item this one doesn’t have.
  4. Use a full size cart when a short cart or hand basket will do. The bulk of the cart will slow you down, make navigating isles more difficult and encourage you to buy more than you actually need.
  5. Use a short cart of hand basket when you know you need a full size cart. When your basket is full and you’ve only visited the deli, you’ll have to take the time to go get a bigger cart and transfer all of your items into it. You can also start with the smallest basket available and stair step your way up until you’ve reached what you actually need. See, isn’t this fun?
  6. Don’t ever ask for help finding things. That would be insane. Store clerks typically know where things are located. At the very least they would be able to point you in the general direction. But then you wouldn’t be able to waste ten minutes looking on the other side of the store where you think the item “should” be.
  7. At checkout, choose the longest line. Need I say more? Actually, I do have more to say. If you see a checkout line with only one person in it and every other line has ten, go to that line! The person is either arguing with a manager about being overcharged ten cents for a pineapple or they’re an extreme couponer who has crashed the register. Either way, this will be an excessively inefficient line.8.
  8. Wait in your long line until you’re the second person, then inconveniently forget to have bought a kumquat. Leave the line to go get it. Alternatively, if you have every item from the store in your cart, hop out of line and go to a closed lane muttering “this one looks much better”.
  9. Question the price of everything that’s scanned. Additionally, you can hand the store’s coupon book or ad to the clerk and ask them to find everything that will save you money. Even if the clerk refuses, you can probably spend an inordinate amount of time arguing about it.
  10. Finally, even if you’re a healthy 25 year old male buying only some bananas and bottled water, ask for assistance carrying your groceries to the car. The employee pressed into service to help you will almost assuredly move slowly and hold you up.

So there you have it, a ten step plan to have the most inefficient shopping trip possible. And here’s a bonus tip if you want to go pro. Wait until you’re just pulling into the garage before realizing you forgot the key ingredient for dinner tonight. Happy shopping!

Zen Eye

I just started messing around with patterns after my son came home from the library with a book on zendoodles. I finally had to stop myself because I could have just kept going and going. Maybe I’ll continue with this drawing or maybe I’ll start something new and better. Either way it gave me a chance to experiment and figure out what kinds of designs I like better.