A blog about "nothing"!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Walmart.com

I'll start this out by saying that I'm not a huge fan of Walmart.  I have issues with how they treat employees as well as some of their merchandising methods.  But I live in a medium sized community with only a few shopping options, and on certain things, Walmart not only has the best price, but sometimes it's the only place I can find some of these items. 
 
Unfortunately, our Walmart is what they call a SuperWalmart.  Not only is the store huge, but so is the parking lot, and it can take you almost as long to get in the store from the parking lot as it does to do your shopping!  Ridiculous.  For that reason, I only go there about once a month because not only is it hard on my poor, wonky knee, but I hate wasting that much time for shopping.  Plus it is clear on the other side of town, so it can take me as long as 15 minutes to get there, depending on traffic.  I remember many years ago someone I know saying that she shopped in the grocery store that was closest to her home even though it was more expensive because "my time is worth something too."  I have to agree.
 
Last year we had the winter from hell.  Again, thanks to my bad knee, I worry about falling.  If I injure it any further, I'm more than likely looking at surgery, and not only do I not relish that thought, because of several factors, neither does my doctor.  So I'll do whatever it takes to keep from doing that!  I try to time my shopping around the weather forecasts at that time of year, but sometimes even that isn't always foolproof.  Enter Walmart.com
 
I'd ordered things online from Walmart before, but when their site first started, it wasn't a full offering of everything (or almost everything) they sold.  Now you can get just about anything they sell in the store through their website.  I decided to give it a try, making sure that I met their $50 minimum to get free shipping.  About a week later, my order arrived on my doorstep.  Talk about convenient!  I was hooked.  Now I order from them about once a month.  So far this year, I haven't set foot in their store since early January.
 
So, what do I order you ask?  I have a list of staple items that I regularly order.  Breakfast cereal, gluten free pasta, tissues, toiletries, you name it.  And I almost always order a large package of toilet paper because that quickly adds $13 to my cart, and let's face it, you ALWAYS need toilet paper.  It's not like it's going to go bad either.  Periodically I order something that isn't grocery either, recently I ordered a bunch of nightshirts because I needed them and the price was good.  It's not difficult to come up with $50 worth of stuff.
Just because...
 
Any caveats?  Yes, there are a few.  Not everything is available on their website.  I'm not sure why, but I suspect it's perhaps because some items are more difficult to ship than others.  Obviously, perishable items like milk, vegetables, meat, etc. aren't available.  They sometimes have stock issues, with items being out of stock for extended periods of time.  You also have to pay attention to make sure that the item is actually being sold by Walmart and not by another outfit because that can result in additional shipping fees.  And you also need to know what you have been paying for an item at your local stores, once in a while I'll see an item turn up on the website for way more than what it would be if I just went to the store and bought it.  Fortunately for me, most of the items I buy are fairly stable in their pricing.
 
The benefits:  saves a ton of time (driving to the store, wandering around to find things), saves you money because you aren't as likely to put impulse items into your cart and it's delivered to your front door! Sometimes it's interesting trying to juggle that box into the house if it is a large one, but it still beats having to push the cart to your car, loading multiple bags into your car and then having to carry them all into the house.  And the boxes--wow!  They aren't flimsy cardboard, they are super sturdy and are great boxes to reuse for storing things or shipping items that might need extra protection.  At the moment I have one sitting in my dining room that I am saving for a craft project once I get to feeling better.
 
Over the past few weeks, shopping online has been a godsend.  I haven't felt well enough to go much of anywhere.  It's also my husband's busiest time of year, so I hate to make him run to the store to get things when he is already kind of frazzled.  Point and click has made it possible for me to get a lot of our essentials (and a few not essentials LOL)  and not have to bother him.  He just has to pick up perishable items and the rest turns up on our doorstep. 
 
I have shopped online since the 1990's, but I have to say that sites like this have definitely changed the way I shop in recent years.  Statistics show that traditional brick and mortar stores are seeing a decline in business due to online shopping, and I can see why.  I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing though.  To me, online shopping can be a tremendous time saver, allowing someone to spend more time on more important things.  To those who may have problems with mobility it gives them the ability to shop without fear of injury, or better yet, avoiding the frustration.  If you have ever had to shop from a wheelchair or assisted someone with a wheelchair, you know exactly what I'm talking about!  I don't know that online shopping will ever completely replace traditional shopping in a store, but I think it will absolutely continue to change how we shop in the coming years. 
 
Do you shop much online?  And if you do, what do you shop for and what are some of your favorite sites?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Stay home dammit!!!

I'm still recovering from my bout with the flu, and today I am grumpy.  Very grumpy in fact.  I had a major sleepless night recently because I couldn't stop coughing.  Earlier today I got a phone call from the state health department, because I tested positive for Type A flu.  They have to collect information to report to the CDC.  So they got information from me, but what about the person who I got this from???  Not only do I feel like crap, but I'm not very happy about the monetary expense involved with this whole ordeal.  I dread getting the bills from the hospital because I swear they did every test known to man.

This brings me to a VERY sore subject.  People who are sick who choose to continue about their business, infecting the rest of us.  Before you go all "well, there are shots for some of that" on me, that isn't an option.  The majority of vaccinations are in an egg base and I am HIGHLY allergic to eggs.  We're not just talking a tummy ache or a rash here, we're talking full out, anaphylactic reaction.  So it's not possible.  As a result, I've had to get everything the hard way, including all of the childhood illnesses.  Grrr...  Let me just tell you that having chicken pox when you are 39 isn't much fun and horribly dangerous.  Thanks so much for whoever passed that one on. 

Yes, I realize that some people don't have sick time where they work, and have to go to work or fear for losing their jobs.  That is just awful and something that needs to be addressed.  But what about people who just flat out refuse to admit they are sick or that they are too "important" to their job to take the day off?  STAY HOME! 

I used to work with a woman who came to work sick every time you turned around.  Inevitably it would result in me getting it and I would miss a couple of days of work.  I wasn't sorry when she finally left.  When I had the aforementioned chicken pox, I couldn't believe the number of people who thought it was ridiculous that I didn't go out in public.  Excuse me???  As I said to several people, how would I feel if I accidentally exposed a pregnant woman who also couldn't have the vaccine to it and she ended up not only getting them from me, but ended up giving birth to a child with birth defects because of it? 

I've never forgotten an incident at one of my first jobs.  A woman who worked in the same department as I did came to work with a dreadful sore throat.  She thought it was no big deal.  Glad she did because it was a big deal, I ended up with strep throat and missed 3 days of work as a result.  Thanks a lot.  I had no sick time at this job and ended up having to borrow money from a family member so that I could pay my car payment.  The kicker of it is this woman had no financial obligations to speak of, she could have easily taken the day or two off necessary for her to recover, but instead, I ended up paying the price, both health-wise and moneywise.  It shouldn't have been that way. 

So, in short, if you are sick or starting to get sick and it's not going to break the bank, STAY HOME!  Think about others who you may be exposing to whatever germ it is you are incubating.  You don't know if they may have underlying health issues that could make what seems like no big deal to you a serious health threat.  Right about now I'd like to get my hands on the guy who was on the plane with us, hacking his head off and choke him to death.  Or send him a bill...

Monday, March 14, 2016

"Rampart...this is Squad 51..."

If you recognize the title of this post, chances are you were probably a fan of the television series "Emergency" back in the 1970's.   The series focused on the paramedics and firefighters from the fictional Squad 51 in Los Angeles, back when paramedics were a new idea.  The show was immensely popular during it's run, and recently I discovered it was being rerun on a local channel.  I was thrilled, I was a huge fan as a kid, I can remember my friends and I pretending to be Squad 51.  What I never realized is just how important this show was to how first responders were perceived and how the job evolved.
 
 
When "Emergency" premiered in the US back in 1972, there were only 12 such paramedic units in the entire country!!!  10 years later, more than half of the people in the country were within 10 minutes of a paramedic or ambulance unit.  Imagine the number of lives saved just from that improvement.  Response times under certain circumstances can be crucial and this increase improved chances considerably.
 
What I also found very interesting is that several of the actors who played some of the parts were firefighters in real life!  Those that weren't went through training sessions to make what they were doing on screen look accurate.  Actor Randolph Mantooth, who played Fireman/Paramedic John Gage throughout the run of the series continued speaking on behalf of various firefighting organizations and has educated/influenced many young people in pursuing careers in these fields long after the show ended.  I don't know of too many television shows that can say that they were such a positive influence in the health and well being of so many.
 
I recently had my own experience with first responders, and I just have to say thank you to this show for changing the face of medicine.  We came home from Mexico last week and I was sick with the flu, so sick that before it was over with, I was having major medical issues and my husband had to call for help.  There was absolutely no way he could have gotten me to an emergency room without assistance.  I was amazed at the speed in which the paramedics showed up, assessed my situation and helped me out.  It made what could have been an incredibly stressful situation much easier to deal with, and I have to thank these guys for their professionalism.  I spent 3 days in the hospital, but I can't help but wonder how much longer it might have been had it not been for the knowledge they had and their quick response. 
 
So, now when I watch one of my favorite old shows from my childhood, I will most definitely see it from a completely different angle.  Thank you to the creators, writers, actors and all who helped make it a success.  What a tremendous contribution this show has been to the paramedic field and the lives of those who benefitted.  I bow to you all.
 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Break From the Winter Weather

We had a nice little get away weekend last week, we went to Cancun, Mexico!  The company that my husband works for sponsored a contest for their sales force and that was the prize, so about 80 employees and their guests flew down last Thursday, we all came back on Sunday.  We had never been to Mexico before, it was interesting to say the least!  I didn't take a ton of photos, but here are some of the resort we stayed at, just to get you in a warm weather state of mind!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The best part is we came back to much warmer temperatures at home too, we like to think we brought the warm weather with us.  Spring is just around the corner!