Here’s an experience of note: This afternoon I made a Costco run — normally a trying project plagued with crowds and fraught traffic. But today, for the first time in memory, it was not bad!
Got there around 1:00 p.m.
- No problem parking — not far from the door. No crazies in the parking lot.
- Plenty of shopping carts (but then, there usually are).
- No gotta-get-in-the-door-firsters (usually plenty of those, too).
- Navigable aisles, for a change. Few chuckleheads parked smack in the aisle, holding everyone up as they gaze slack-jawed at the piles and piles and piles of offerings. No cranky crying babies. No wild-a$$ed kids running up and down the corridors.
Snabbed the stuff I needed quickly and without hassle. (Another miracle!)
Short lines at the check-out counters: yet another miracle!!! Got through the line and out the door in a matter of minutes. (Are we sure we’re in Costco????)
- Got a package of totally GORGEOUS lamb chops. A box of delicious quinoa salad. A package of doggy dental chews! Found THE cutest little casual top that will look pretty awesome with my cranberry-red jeans.
- And made my way back to the Appliances aisle.
- There I found that yes. Yes, indeed. I got ripped off ROYALLY by the inelegant B&B Appliances. That unholy outfit charged me almost twice as much for the crummy rip-off GE fridge as Costco is charging for a comparably sized LG refrigerator, the latter highly recommended by reviewers. And they have microwaves that probably out-quality the laughable GE micro by about ten to one.
- Whenever the dust settles from that fiasco, I’ll betake myself back to Costco to replace the rip-off junk with LG’s.
But later. Got enough to deal with right this instant.
- Left the Costco in time to hit the main homeward-bound drag around 3:00 p.m. This is the start of rush hour here in unlovely uptown Phoenix.
- But interestingly, the traffic was not too bad yet. Got across town to the freeway. Entered the freeway without obviously risking my life or anyone else’s. Traffic started to thicken when I got off the freeway, westbound on Main Drag South, but it wasn’t too bad. Got into the hood with no major incidents, no major frustrations.
Yet another miracle.
Lesson #1: Never buy local!
If I’d gone to Costco from the git-go in search of a fridge, I would have come away with the highest-rated model on the market and would not now be in a clench with American Express as we do battle with the noxious local dealer, B&B Appliances. By now I would have a nice LG refrigerator, no argument engaged, and I would know nothing of the elaborate workings of American Express as its lawyers take on miscreant local marketers.
Lesson #2: Avoid the rush hour!
If there’s any way you can swing it, try to surface at Costco’s entrance along about 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. If you can hit the homeward leg of your trip home by 3:00 p.m., you have a shot at getting home without too much torture.
Driving in Phoenix is, in general, just that: torture. But because I’d managed to skirt the afternoon rush hour, most of the trip to and from the store was…well…not too, too bad.
Phoenix, whose city parents pride themselves on having created a clone of L.A., is — like the beloved Los Angeles — a perfectly horrible place to drive in the rush hour, the pre-rush hour, and the post-rush hour periods. If you can contrive to get on the road after 10 a.m. and before 3:00 p.m., you have a shot at preserving your sanity and your life. Otherwise…well…hang onto your marbles!
Whilst perambulating, I noticed that Costco has nice new iMacs for much better prices than Best Buy’s. As advertised, the damn things are much shrunk in size, so if I have to get one to replace the sickly unit, using it as a television will not be good.
Yeah: I ain’t a-payin’ for cable TV, which is now the only way you can get television reception here in lovely uptown Phoenix. After our honored City Parents installed that innovation, I started using the iMac to watch the few TV offerings that are worth watching — news programs, PBS and BBC dramas, and whatnot. Those go away if an iMac can’t be persuaded to work. That, we’ll see about tomorrow, when a Best Buy fella is supposed to come over and connect the expensive new iMac to the Internet and upload data from the MacBook.