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March 20, 2020:

EXPERIMENT TWO

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, as I write these here notes our lovelier than lovely haineshisway.com is down – server issue and unfortunately the main server, which is located elsewhere.  I know they’re working on it and hopefully it will be fixed by the time it’s time to post these here notes in one hour and fifteen minutes.  Meanwhile, let me tell you about experiment two.  You might remember from yesterday’s notes that experiment one, ordering via Instacart from Gelson’s, worked like a charm.  Experiment two was this: On Monday evening, I ordered from Ralph’s Market online.  I ordered quite a few things, including quite a few frozen dinners, as I thought those would be good to have around the house, and the better brands are pretty decent, frozen dinner-wise.  Anyway, I placed the order and the first available pick-up date was yesterday between two and three.  I grabbed that.  The idea is that within that window you drive over to Ralph’s in your motor car and pull into the Pick-Up area and they come put your stuff in the car.  It’s all paid for online and if they can’t fill any of the order, they adjust the total of the payment instantly.

So, today at two, dear reader Leslie’s daughter Alexa drove over there.  I had a phoner I had to do.  She pulled right up to the pick-up zone and was told it would be another thirty minutes.  That was a fail right there, but she was a good egg and waited.  When the thirty minutes was up, she was told ten more minutes.  Thirty minutes after that, I called the Kroger number and finally got someone on the phone – I said that it was now after the window of time and that I wanted to know a real ETA – she hung up on me.  I called back and got another woman on the phone – she was better, but just didn’t really know what she was doing.  She finally put me on hold to call customer service at the store – when she attempted to come back to me, she disconnected the call.  Meanwhile, Alexa has now been there an hour and forty-five minutes, which, for me, then turned this into an epic fail.  I called again and got a nice guy on the phone, who apologized for the incompetence of his fellow workers, and said he would get the store on the phone to see what’s what because, according to him, the order was ready.  Alexa had already had to leave to go home and he didn’t want me to drive over there without him confirming.  It was a long time on hold and he finally came back and said they simply wouldn’t pick up the phone, so he was now going to call the store manager.  That call got through, it was confirmed the order was ready to pick up, so I drove over there and luckily just easily drove up to the two pick-up spaces, parked, called a number they have there so you can let them know you’ve arrived, and a minute later a nice fellow, also apologetic, brought my stuff and put it in the car and asked me to apologize to Alexa for having to wait.  So, a little over an hour late I had my stuff and came home.

It was most of the order. I found fascinating what they actually couldn’t fill: tuna (because yes, everyone is HOARDING canned goods and tuna is probably the last thing they’d ever eat, but hoard it they do), whipped butter (WHY?), one of the pastas I ordered, hamburger buns (!) – but I did get the other two things of pasta I ordered, along with milk, cream of mushroom soup (four cans – got to have the Wacky Noodles, you know), flour tortillas, American cheese slices (won’t need more of those for six months), eggs, about ten frozen dinners, some taquitos, some pizza rolls, some crackers, some Hawaiian rolls (four), and a case of Diet Coke.  So, if they get their act together and have things ready when they say, this is a great alternative to going into the store.  I took a survey they sent and that’s what I said – that they should send an email or text if things are running late, so you don’t have to sit there for an hour and forty-five minutes.  So, that was experiment two.

Otherwise, the day was uneventful.  I got seven-and-a-half hours of sleep, got up, did a few things, then went back to bed and slept another forty minutes, which was a good thing.  Then I had the phoner thing, dealt with the Ralph’s thing and had some telephonic conversations.  I found a new and fun feature on Facebook where, rather than unfriending or blocking someone, you “take a break” from them – using that function means you don’t see their posts on your feed and if they tag you, you’re not alerted.  That seems like a fine feature and I used it, oh, yes, I used it.

Then I ate a Marie Callender’s frozen dinner – chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and corn.  It wasn’t bad at all and was satisfying and only 460 calories.  So, that left me lots of play room to have other stuff during the evening, which I did.  I had a couple of taquitos, a couple of pizza rolls, which were weird but kind of tasty, some pretzels, a Hawaiian roll, and a few Charleston Chews, which are really tiny.  And that was that.  In other news, the site is still not up and we’re now only forty-five minutes from midnight.  The clock, as they say, is ticking and ticking is the clock.

Today, I’ll sleep in, then I’ll go to the mail place when my package arrives, since it’s food, I’ll come home and figure out how to prepare everything.  That is experiment three.  I ordered from Katz’s Deli in NY – free Fed Ex shipping.  Pastrami, kishka, pickles, Russian dressing and mustard, and dollar-sized potato pancakes.  Those are easy – you put oil in a frying pan and cook ‘em up for about a minute.  Not sure how you heat up the pastrami, but I’m sure they’ll be instructions.  Oh, and half a loaf of rye bread.  So, I should have sandwiches enough for two days and I’m hoping they’re yummilicious, as I’ve heard nothing but raves about Katz’s, the east coast Langer’s.  Then I’ll read, watch, and listen, not necessarily in that order.

Tomorrow and next week are complete unknowns, as everyone has been dictated to to stay home, save for essentials like markets, food pick-up from restaurants, and mail.  And I’m done discussing it with anyone because people are simply not rational right now and that’s from top to bottom.  I’m thinking about doing something that might be fun, and we’ll see how that goes, might be fun-wise.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, go to the mail place, make pastrami sandwiches (two four-ounce sandwiches), try the kishka, try a couple of the potato pancakes, try the pickles, and then read, watch, and listen.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player?  I’ll start – CD, some violin concertos by Brits.  Blu-ray, Bells Are Ringing and then who knows what else.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy that in the end after the epic time fail, that experiment two had a successful conclusion.

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