Thursday, March 12, 2009

Epiphany at Lowe's. Why not? They got everything else...

Yesterday, we went to PetSmart, IHOP, Target, BedBath&Beyond, Costco, CVS, Office Depot, SaveMart, and 7-11. We don't go the 42 miles to The Big City very often, and when we do we make the most of it. We actually bought a few things we wanted as opposed to needed. In the process, we scrubbed off $220 worth of rebates and discount coupons along with some cashola. Note to the Big Boxes and other national chains of that ilk: keep 'em comin'! Didn't charge a goddam thing except gas (Costco doesn't accept cash for gas). Charge cards are for things like tires, emergencies, travel, and online purchases.

Mark Morford

If you are seeking a tiny bit of good news, if you wish to uplift your sagging spirits or inject a hint of vibrational goodness into your tormented bloodstream and perhaps reassure yourself that things will work out just fine because the world economy is merely going through the fiscal equivalent of an epic liposuction combined with a global colon cleanse, then here is what you must not do.

Do not go shopping. Do not, in particular, visit any of those massive, gleaming 10-acre megastores, the kind with the football-field parking lots and the 40-foot ceilings and wall-to-roof mountains of goods that threaten to topple on your head when you crane your neck to examine just how the hell they managed to stack those lawnmowers that high.

Too depressing, is why. Also, too surreal.

Morford's in Frisco. I'm surprised he can tell surreal from the ho-hum daily drudge in Baghdad-by-the-Bay. Maybe he just doesn't go to the hardware store often enough. Us homeowners sure do!

Then he talks about the lack of crowds and the crumbling of empire that must surely follow, and ends with:

But that leads to the larger theory at play here, a deeper -- and perhaps slightly more frightening and intriguing -- possibility. It is this: the old kingdom must fully crumble and die before the new can arise. The American empire, like every gleaming, overreaching empire of note before it, is near its end.

This is the long view, now coming into abrupt focus: Only from the death of all those once-definitive American mainstays: cars, newspapers, Wall Street, banking, home ownership, God -- can something truly innovative and revolutionary be born. You think? I can't be quite sure. Someone get me some porn and drugs.

Note to Mr. Morford: Go check with yer colleague Violet Blue for the porn. She has an interesting take on Red State Porn. Heh.

Question for Ms.(? Ya never know in Frisco without a crotch check.) Blue: If porn and masturbation are so good for you, how come them Red States are so fucked up?

Gotta go now and put in a new 5-way shower head, with hose attachment, that does everything but tickle yer ass with a feather. $23.99 discounted 'while supplies last' which might be forever since they had a wall full of 'em.

I already activated Mrs. G's new arthritis-friendly almost-no-effort stapler. I still use an old clunky one, and the new one has sort of a machine gun effect when I use it.

And, oh yeah, the pups look great and the nationally advertised TV special breakfast at IHOP was cheap and pretty good.

About once a month we go do our bit to keep the Kingdom afloat.


I think I figured out why the shower head was on sale: The package was a washer short. Some poor fresh-from-the-rice-paddy Chinese factory worker has no doubt, er, volunteered several of his choicest organs to make up for the boatload of mistakes he caused. Note to the foreman in the washer packaging dept.: Make sure yer new hires have all their fingers before you tell them to pack that many washers!

As for me, it's nothing a trip to our local hardware store won't fix. Homeowners are used to that, and no project, however small, is ever completed without more trips to that emporium than were planned on. It is written...

Update II:

Hardware store. A wall of small plumbing and faucet parts, sliding metal cabinets, 3 deep. No washer. However, on the nosebleed heights of the top shelf, reachable only with the help of three Sherpas and an oxygen tank by a folding step-stool thoughtfully provided by the store, were 3 little boxes. Couldn't see the washers but I could reach up and in and access them. Found some, same OD, very slightly smaller ID, half the thickness. Oughta work if I stack two. If the smaller ID makes the shower head do anything weird, I got gasket punches. Turns out, the ID was exactly the same as the actual orifice in the hose. Go figure. Anyway, up an' runnin'. 22¢, had ta break a dollar, damn! Problem solved.

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