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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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Fail, redux
headwall, frustration
Comcast isn't the only company having trouble with numbers.

Can someone tell Safeway that when I order 0.56 lbs. of dried cranberries, I don't mean 5.6 lbs.? The positioning of the decimal point is important.

Oh well. At least I didn't get 56 lbs.

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You can has cranberries!

I now have this huge bag of dried cranberries taking up most of half of one of my smaller cabinets.

I'd already concluded that buying "fresh" produce from Safeway Online is a bad idea (it's not laziness, it's that grocery shopping from a bus is hugely impractical), but I thought the dried fruit would be safe enough...

Grocery shopping from a bus

Mine is often from a subway train, but much of the principle still applies.

My general theory is to carry home stuff that I can't reasonably get in other ways or want right away, which can include fresh produce, meat or fish (I don't recall whether you're vegetarian--the point is that these often need refrigeration or are wanted quickly), bread, cheese, or for that matter a jar of olive oil if I've run out. If you can find a grocery you trust that will deliver to your home, use it: there's no reason not to have someone else transport the cans of tomatoes, the rice, the dried pasta, the sack of onions or potatoes, and this way you select them yourself and can decide that these onions don't look good, or that a honeydew melon is a great idea.

Things like Safeway Online (we have one called Fresh Direct) should be used with care, Since we basically trust ours, and friends have done well, we sometimes had them send meat, fish, or produce, but, again, a crate of clementines in season is more likely than three lemons. We get some brand-name stuff we trust, since the place we use lets you specify (ice cream, butter, pasta), and bulk items like rice and, especially, the heavy non-food stuff that comes from the grocery store, like laundry detergent and cat litter. They're sometimes careless, but when they knocked the lid off a quart of yogurt and it all spilled before it reached us, they refunded my money. Do check into refund policies on things like that: finding yourself with one quart of yogurt when you were counting on two is annoying, but more than annoying if you're still paying for both.

If you can avoid traveling at rush hour, do so: your fellow passengers will mind less. Also, a backpack helps. (I should note that we have an acceptable if not great grocery about 1/3 of a mile away, next to the subway station, and a convenience store four blocks away where we get milk and juice, so carrying stuff home in the neighborhood is possible: we're not using this approach for everything.

Re: Grocery shopping from a bus

There's an excellent medium-size grocery store with a very good produce section a block away from my office- I often walk there after work, pick up a few things, and then take the bus back to my apartment. I always bring a backpack when I take the bus- storage capacity is a useful thing!

Of course, that grocery store is named "Uwajimaya", and as you might suspect from that name, they aren't well-stocked with things that are identifiable to anybody who doesn't speak Japanese. The signs are all in English, though, and I can recognize a cabbage when I see one, so it's good enough for fresh produce. Also for Pocky.

Other than little details of decimal points, I've had pretty good luck with Safeway Online, and their policy is- in summary- "if we or the driver screw up, it's our fault, just point it out", and that's good enough. Safeway also allows selection of brand (although they'll make substitutions for you if they're out of stock of something you ordered; you can specify what type of substitutions, if any, they're allowed to make on each individual item), and I've learned to pretty much only buy the prepackaged stuff they can't really screw up. This includes frozen meat of all varieties, though, as well as lunch meat, bread, pre-sliced cheese, spices, pasta- enough things to make it worth the trouble, at the very least.

It helps that the shopping centers directly on the bus route all have grocery stores attached or very nearby. It's easy to pick up whatever handful of items I'm out of between those times supplies are low enough to do another full $150 order. (That's the minimum for free shipping.) The clerks at the grocery store have gotten used to my tendency to repack everything immediately after checkout is complete, mostly to fit as much in my (and Rakeela's) backpack as possible; they're now starting to pack the grocery bags to be as nicely-tiled and reasonably flat as possible for us, for at least two bags- which can be neatly deposited directly in backpacks without repacking. I guess being a regular is beneficial.

Re: Grocery shopping from a bus

I should have figured you were pretty experienced at this.

The Fresh Direct people don't offer free shipping at any amount; however, as they have a flat shipping fee regardless of the size of the order, if we're going to order anyhow it makes sense to throw in bunches of things like four boxes of laundry detergent (which will last a household of two adults for some months).

This reminds me of an attempt at my old school to buy 12 tent pegs, which resulted in 12 boxes of 12 tent pegs, leaving them a total of 144. To add insult to injury, they were the wrong sort of tent pegs.

Or the latest order from my store's scientific supply company, from whom we ordered one box of twelve plastic well slides - and we were sent twelve boxes of plastic well slides. Which will keep us fully supplied with the things for the next year and a half, at least.

Still, it's better than what the Anatomical Chart Supply people sent us a couple of months ago - three giant models of the same cell structure that we didn't order, and which are so huge and so high-priced that we don't have room to stock all three for the indefinite amount of time we'll have them on hand before somebody figures out what they are and buys them. We sent two back. Yarrrgh!

.56 lbs? Funny number. Do they sell cranberries in metric or something (=250g)?

Cranberry sauce ahoy! And cranberry muffins... and pancakes.. and...

And taking a large sealed plastic container of dried cranberries to work with me to munch on in my office or for any visitors to my office. My supervisor does that with M&Ms, and the senior dev has a small espresso machine for the purpose; it's a very effective way to remain connected in the team and hear all the latest gossip when people with the munchies drop by.

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