Well, now we know I’m not the ONLY one in these parts who’s confused. Just opened a bill from American Express, demanding $2769 and change. ASAP, a substantial part of it being past due.
I know I paid last month’s bill, which amounted to some $1877.
Everything being haywire after the theft of all my credit and ID cards, I paid AMEX with a check. On February 2. It must not have cleared by the time they sent this bill. Evidently not: in an obscure corner they grouse about not receiving last month’s contributionm to their vast wealth.
A-a-a-n-d here on the credit union’s website I find an “external withdrawal” dated February 28, in the amount of $1877. Can’t see a check that cleared for that amount, so I assume these are somehow magically the same transaction. I hope.
My, but life in the 21st century is tiresome! One could even say, at some moments, that it’s…heh! for the birds.
Yea verily: this afternoon I needed to get a bag of birdseed. With Instacart defunct — it won’t accept my new credit card! — Costco is no longer an option for that purchase: I can’t haul a 50-pound bag from the car to the backyard seed bin by myself.
Passed an interesting-looking crime scene in the stick-and-styrofoam tracts along the way: a cluster of cops and cop cars descending on an alley behind a couple of homes. And HOLY mackerel, I just missed this. I was there right about at that time of day. Ahh, lovely Phoenix!
To the northwest of the ’Hood lies a moribund shopping center. In fact, the mall itself — once the largest enclosed shopping mall in the land — has been shut down for months. But the shops located outside the gigantic main mall building, scattered around acres of asphalt, are still open. One of these is a large Petco.
Surprised to see it was still in business, I veered off the main drag, darted into the parking lot, and scored a spot right in front. Not a good portent, as it developed.
Inside the store, there were two (count’em, 2) customers: me and some guy. Found the birdseed and tossed a couple of bags into the cart. Rolled through the empty checkout line, trudged across the parking lot, plopped them into the Dog Chariot, and proceeded home.
When I hauled them back to the seed bin and cut a bag open, I saw there was a reason that store has effectively zero clientele. The damn birdseed is covered with dust. Dump it in the bin, and a cloud of dust flies up into your face!
Apparently it doesn’t taste very good either, not to the avian palate. The birds are barely touching it.
So today or tomorrow I suppose I’ll have to traipse over to the neighborhood Walmart and buy two or three bags of seed there. Then come back here, dump the remainder of this stuff in the alley, refill the bin and feeders.
Is there some reason why EVERYTHING has to be frikkin’ impossibly difficult or annoying? I mean…birdseed? You can’t buy a decent bag of BIRDSEED??????? In a PET STORE???
Who knew there were levels of quality in birdseed, anyway?
Yesterday afternoon I did at least make it to the Costco — which is why I was over on that side of town. And was reminded of WHY I liked Instacart so much.
I’ve come to hate shopping in Costco. People lose all contact with their minds when they go into that place. They roam around gazing entranced at the warehouse-ceiling-high piles and piles and PILES of goodies and don’t even notice that there are other people around them. Dazed, they amble up the middle of the wide aisle, so you can’t get around them on either side. Their kids scream and they don’t even hear the little darlings’ plaintive wails. And whoever and wherever they are, they’ve gotta get there first!
While I was trying to find some boned chicken thighs to make dog food for Ruby (the stuff I get at AJ’s is now deservedly kaput: not buyin’ that again!), someone rolled off with my cart.
Yeah: GONE. All the stuff I’d accrued while walking around the 3.35-acre store was disappeared.
I was so disgusted, I just walked out. Screw it…who needs ambience like that when there’s a Sprouts up the road and a Walmart around the corner?
Yes: chicken… Costco’s butchers insist there’s a chicken shortage and they can’t get boned chicken thighs.
Huh! Who’d’ve thunk it? There were armloads of chicken thighs at the Sprouts. This is the second time they’ve made the same excuse…heard it the last time I was there a couple weeks ago.
So I dunno what’s going on in that department, but whenever I get off my duff and run by the Walmart to pick up some quality (!!!????!!!) birdseed, I’ll check the butcher counter and see if they’re devoid of chicken thighs, too. Apparently there has been a kind of desultory shortage…
Meanwhile, speaking of folks living with shortages and overall disasters, what a MESS in Ukraine, eh? I have a friend who’s Ukrainian. Guy was a competitive weight-lifter for years…last I heard, he was still lifting weights even in his dotage. He’s an interesting fellow…kinda strange, with a view of life that’s rather different from the standard American’s.
I do hope we’re not looking at another Vietnam or Afghanistan there…or worse: another world war. Engaging battle with Russia (if that’s what we end up doing) is a whole ’nother matter than taking on a brush-fire squabble in a Third-World country. With any luck, the whole fiasco will backfire on Putin. Still…how lucky we were to block him from installing his chum in the White House for a second term! The situation would be entirely different if that had happened…and, IMHO, far more horrifying than it is.
Reading between the lines, it looks ominously like Putin himself has lost a few of his marbles. He doesn’t appear to be thinking or acting rationally. Evidently he’s as crazy as Hitler. Or more so. lf my guess is right and Putin actually is irrational…well…better have that survival gear up to date.