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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Recession? WHAT Recession?

Today I had a fairly structured program to follow:

  1. Get up.
  2. Eat.
  3. Shower.
  4. Give blood.
  5. Drop off photos at Sam's Club for processing. Which means, "Take CD-ROM of photos to Sam's Club and upload on one of their self-serve thingies for processing."
  6. Get oil change.
  7. Buy sneakers. (I'll be needing them starting next Sunday. Twelve hours a day on my feet again...)
  8. Buy whiskey. Brandy was OK in last year's Rocks, my grandmother's fruitcake cookies, but whiskey punches them up better. I learned that last week when my mom freshened some Rocks from last Christmas that I had taken out of the freezer with some whiskey that I had on the counter. Unfortunately, this was Paddy whiskey from Ireland, not available for purchase in the U.S. It costs about $30 - $35 a bottle (depending on the dollar-euro exchange rate) and about $400 - $1000 for shipping and handling (depending on the cost of a round-trip ticket to Ireland so you can carry it home in your checked baggage.) So I was looking for something similar in taste, but more affordably priced.
  9. Buy fuel injector cleaner, drygas, and window insulating film.
  10. Buy cardstock, preferably the stuff that comes with envelopes. For my holiday cards, among other things.
  11. Pick up photos at Sam's Club.
Items one, two, and three went smoothly, though it was the first time in many donations that we used my right arm. (My left arm is semi-retired since the vein apparently closed itself off the last time I tried to give blood.) But when I got to Sam's Club I was a little surprised to see the parking lot more packed than it has been in years. Recession? What Recession?

I got to the photo kiosks and saw that there were people crowded around them all. On closer inspection I saw that many of these people were just family of the people using the machines, and in fact one machine was open and available - I didn't notice that at first because there were two kids playing with it while their father used the one next to it.* After pounding the unresponsive touch-sensitive screen with my fingertips a bit, I was able to get my photos uploaded and sent off to be processed. For some reason I didn't get a receipt. Oh, well. Onward.

Oil change went well. I wasn't sure about this new place at first, but I've gotten to like the pit-crew style team service. Turned out my coolant reservoir was mostly empty, so they topped that off.

Sneakers went well. Got New Balance again, but this time I shopped on design and weight, not whether or not the particular model was made in the U.S.A. (That used to be New Balance's thing. Not anymore.) Twelve hours a day running four DVD injection molding systems puts a strain on your feet and legs. But all the signs indicate that this gig won't last long... and then I'll be needing good shoes for pounding the pavement. Saved $15 over the shelf price, too! And this parking lot was also mostly-full.

I completely forgot to buy whiskey. This bugs me, because the liquor store is right next to the next place I had to go, so it would have made a nice, efficient pattern. As it is I went to the one downtown after church and after I delivered my mom to the church-sponsored variety show being held afterwards. I got a 750 ml bottle of Bushmill's 1608. It's not as good as Paddy. I was wondering if there might be a place where I could have sampled different whiskeys for taste. Then I realized that there is one: it's called a "bar." Maybe next time I'm out and not the designated driver I'll do some Irish whiskey taste testing. The things I do for the sake of good Christmas cookies!

I gritted my teeth and went into Wal-Mart for the next bunch of stuff. I went in through the garden department entrance, which always takes the edge off. Yet again I had a hell of a time finding a parking place, even in the side lot which is usually overlooked by most shoppers. I got the stuff I was looking for fairly quickly and checked out. The lines at all the registers were long when I started to check out, and were much longer by the time I was done with my transaction.

I went back to Sam's Club, where the parking lot was now even fuller than it was a few hours earlier. I searched for a while for the blank greeting cards, since they have done one of their periodic store layout re-shuffles, and eventually discovered that they no longer carry what I was looking for. Crap. I'll have to go somewhere else to get them.

Finally I went to the photo desk to pick up my photos...only to find that they had never transmitted. So there were no photos to be had. I decided I would try sending them from home.

And try, and try. Uploading large numbers of high-resolution photos takes a long time. And each time I did, a few of them failed to upload. So I had to reload twelve out of seventy, then five out of twelve, then one out of five. Finally they were all uploaded and ready to order...and the program told me I would have to crop my photos. ALL of them. I have no idea what that means in this context. I think it means that I have to change the resolution, or maybe the aspect ratio, to avoid pixellation. I don't know.

I think I may order just two or three to be printed, to see how they come out. If everything looks fine, I'll do the rest. If not, I'll drop them off to be printed - just not from the same machine I used today.

Tomorrow I will be visiting friends, but I will try to post another entry in The Stained Glass Project. My goal is to do one a week, every Sunday. We'll see how that goes.


*It is unwise to assume any child-sized person is a child. I realized that as I walked past the line of people standing in line at the service desk and noticed a person the height of a ten-year-old girl who was quite obviously a full-grown woman.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

I ordered picture prints online once. When I picked them up they were off centered and blurry. I hope yours come out okay.