Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When Will My Anger Be Justified?

I went to Sweetbay, a local grocer, on the way home from work today to pick up some International Delights liquid coffee creamer/sweetener (Vanilla Hazelnut flavor if you must know). I only had this one item in my hand, so I thought my checkout process would be pretty quick, assuming there was an open register. I quickly scanned all open registers and happened upon a line with the conveyor belt totally empty -- sweet! -- so now I just have to wait for the 38 ish-year-old female customer to finish her transaction, then I could bring home the sweet artificially flavored goodness home to my hot little wife's waiting arms.

But did it go as I planned? Of course not, otherwise I wouldn't be writing about it, silly goose! No, this woman stood there, with her (right around) 10 year old daughter looking on, writing out a check for the patient grocery employee.

For those of you too young to remember, a check is something that people used to stand there and physically WRITE OUT before the broadly accepted card payment options of credit or debit cards. It's probably even older than cash. Don't quote me on that though.

Anyways, this isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened to me, and I'm sure it happens every day in stores all around the country, but what I'm wondering at this moment is, "Is it acceptable for me to ask this woman if she's ever heard of a debit card?" I MAY have actually asked her this, but I didn't want her daughter to feel like her mom was a loser, so I decided against it. I guess that's just the nice guy in me.

So finally the little check scanner got done scanning her check 15 times to make sure it was legit, then the cashier took down her phone number and put it on the check (couldn't she just make one up? Does that really help?), and it was my turn to purchase.

The cashier swiped my one bar coded item, I swiped my card, entered my pin, took my receipt, and was off to fight another day.

So, anyone have any ideas as to when it's ok to start belittling check users in public? Do any of you (nutbags) still use checks?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Pileated Woodpecker

My wife and I are sitting here at the kitchen table -- she, reading her Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine, and I checking my RSS feeds -- in our home both enjoying our Sunday morning coffees, and she looked out the sliding doors into the conservation area in our backyard and said, "Hey look at that bird, it's holding something red in it's beak, how funny!"

So we both took a longer look at the little guy and figured out the "red thing" was really his head, and after a quick Google search, we found it to be the Pileated Woodpecker. I posted a picture from to show you what he looked like, pretty cool. If you're wondering what he sounded like, go to the Cornell All About Birds website, click on the "sound" link, and give him a listen!