Dear Friends (149)

I discovered that it pays to keep track of prices shown on shelf tags at various retail places ….. especially grocery stores! The reason I say this is because when I check out at those automated checkout stations, I often discover that the price that appeared on the store’s shelf tag is completely different than the price that is rung up on the automated checkout machine. (Usually higher than the shelf tag.) — When this happens to me (And it happens often,) I have to take the person monitoring the checkout stations aside and have him or her correct the difference.

Another irritating inconvenience that has to be carefully watched is caused by some of those automated checkout machines double charging. This usually goes unnoticed until the bank statement arrives and then you discover that on the same date that you were in the store, you are charged twice for something. Example: I buy a can of tuna at the super market for $1.99 on May 10th. When the bank statement comes, it shows as follows:

Supermarket – May 10 – $1.99
Supermarket – May 10 – $1.99

When I find these double charges, the managers of the markets where the overcharges occurred always tell me, “Take it up with your bank.” I am sure that a lot of stores out there make a couple of million extra dollars a year because of the “Mistakes” in charging customers that happens over the course of any given year.

PEANUT BUTTER
I am a certified peanut butter freak, there is no doubt of that! My favorite peanut butters are always the ones marked “All Natural.” But there is a problem with most of those “All Natural” peanut butters ….. the oil in them always rises to the top and collects in a little pool under the lid of the jar. This creates some bit of hassle when you try to mix the oil back into the peanut butter.

So I have discovered that if you store your jars of peanut butter upside down on your pantry shelves, the oil then tends to “Rise” toward what was once the bottom of the jar and this makes mixing the oil and the peanut butter together a whole lot easier than it was before.

THINGS NEEDED IN THE KITCHEN

There was a time when I bought my skillets, pots and pans … and almost everything else I needed for my kitchen at one big box store or another …. thinking that I was going to save a boatload of money by doing so. Until I got wise, spent a lot of money on things I needed for the kitchen at these stores. Then one day, a light dawned: “The stuff used by restaurants and professional cooks last a lot longer and often give better service and results than the stuff I have been buying at the big box store. So I went to the local Restaurant Supply store ….. a store that also sells to individuals as well as to food service operations …. and I purchased some professional skillets and pots and pans there. Best decision I ever made as far as purchasing food prep items! My professional stuff is far superior to anything I ever bought in a regular retail outlet. Oh it costs a few more dollars, but it is well worth the extra outlay!

SCHEDULING SHOE PURCHASES

I bought 6 pairs of sneakers last year — mostly all at the same time. I must have suffered a case of shoephobia or something or, perhaps I simply wanted to make sure that I would always have comfortable, well-fitting shoes on hand. So now I have 6 pairs of sneakers in a closet.

Most of the sneakers I buy have an expected life span of around Six months. But keeping track of every pair of shoes in the house is a chore and I do not like chores very much so something dawned on me about how to know when it is time to discard a pair of shoes and replace it with a new pair. — I simply take an indelible marker of some kind and, in an inconspicuous place on the shoe I print a date that is six months from the date I wore the shoes for the first time. So, if I first wear a pair of Nike sneakers (For Example) on May 10, 2021, I mark somewhere on the shoes, “November 10, 2021.” When November 10 rolls around I know it is time to inspect the shoes to see if they need replacing.

THE EMPLOYMENT QUAGMIRE

It seems to me like that everywhere I go these days I see lots and lots of “Now Hiring” signs in many windows of business places. I have a friend who owns and runs a combination pizza parlor and bar and he told me that nobody is applying for jobs these days because the government is giving away so much money in unemployment benefits, stimulus checks, free rent, free food, free everything and that he believes there is no longer any incentive for people to actually get out and work at a regular job.

I certainly do not know what the answer to the Job Market problem might be. For my own personal opinion, “I am glad to see the government actually helping people in need.” I don’t know if the government is doing it correctly or not, but I am glad to see that they are doing something at least.

THE SCARY SIDE OF POLITICS

I do not know how to handle some of the claims about politics being made in The United States today, but when I read the following article written by a fellow blogger who calls his or her blog, “On The Fence Voters,” I had to sit up and pay attention. You can read the blog article that I am talking about right here —--https://onthefencevoters.com/2021/04/21/a-warning-for-america-from-two-former-prime-ministers/ These kinds of questions often keep me awake at night because when I read them, I appreciate what they are saying but I am at a total loss as to what I can do to influence the political scene in any manner at all. It all makes me feel helpless at times and it is unsettling to say the least.

CHICKEN PRICES ON THE RISE AGAIN

The word is that we can all expect the price of chicken to rise again because of something that the roosters are either not doing or are not doing well enough to keep supplies up.

There is a new kind of greed running rampant in the land, folks … people who have things to sell are being very artful and crafty in finding ways to inflate the prices on almost everything that we normally take for granted. A Russian hack on the gasoline pipelines is going to cause gasoline prices to spike — errant roosters are going to cause chicken prices to rise — I am assuming that somebody will find an excuse to raise the price on eggs to $3 a dozen before it is all over —- I am expecting somebody to find a way to raise the price of milk ….of bread …. of everything. I believe a lot of this chicanery is based on all the financial relief (Think extended unemployment benefits and stimulus checks) the government has been handing out and the cleverest of the clerver merchants out there scheming new ways to get their hands on the windfalls suddenly given to consumers. It’s only natural if you ask me, but I also believe it is an excuse for us to get crafty ourselves and decide which merchants are going to suffer bottom line problems when Americans get sick and tired of their antics and start boycotting their offerings. Get the hint? Tell your friends.

HOW DANGEROUS ARE ASTEROID SAMPLES?

There are stories out there about space craft that will soon be returning to earth after a mission of gathering samples from asteroids hurtling through the void. Has anyone ever given any thought to whether or not gathering samples of anything in outer space and bringing them back to earth might pose a danger of releasing some new kind of virus or something possibly even more horrible? Should there be laws about how these things should be handled? What happens if we manage to bring samples back from Mars one of these days? Who is to say that it was not some kind of strange alien virus that wiped out what once might have been a living civilization on Planet Mars? What is to say that some alien virus brought back from the Martian terrain might or might not be the very catalyst that could turn the earth into another Mars?

4 thoughts on “Dear Friends (149)

  1. I never use those ‘self-scan’ checkouts. I prefer to queue at a conveyor belt, and watch someone scan my goods. Then I can check the paper receipt before leaving the supermarket.
    I have two Le Creuset casserole dishes. They were bought in the 1980s at a premium price. As good today as the day I bought them. You get what you pay for, and it lasts.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For me any pan will do…..it is the cook that makes the meal not the pan…..if you are a terrible cook then the pan will not change that……paying a living wage would solve some of the problems……I feel it is time for some thought on price controls on food in these times……chuq

    Liked by 1 person

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