Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Day of Almosts

I had a good day today. Almost. It started out like any other day, with MaxieC getting up way too early (6:38am) and it being my day to get up with him. But I had Big Plans for the day. Yes, today was the day that I was going to brave The Home Depot.

See, I really hate The Home Depot. It goes back to San Schmose where the local Home Depot angered me immensely every time I went there. Once I move to Ft. TomCollins, we thankfully had Lowe's, and I spent most of my time there (or at Ace Hardware, if I just need something small, since Ace is only 2 miles away and has free popcorn and peanuts for the kiddies). But I drained my Lowe's and Ace gift cards already, and I had a full one for The Home Depot, plus I was looking for something only The Home Depot carries: bulk pack light bulbs.

I read a while back that the number one thing you can do to prevent crime is to leave your porch light on all night. I've done this ever since. The new house here, however, has five lights on that circuit. One is on the porch, and four are across the front of the garage. I end up replacing a bulb about every three weeks on average, and I'm always out of bulbs. So I decided to stock up.

I went to the HD in Loverlyland, since the one in Ft. TomCollins is always a lot more crowded, and they're both about the same drive time away. Of course, they only carry bulk pack lightbulbs in 25W vanity mirror and 60W normal varieties, and I needed 100W. But they did have Phillips 100W light bulbs in four-packs for slightly over $1. I stocked up.

We got a few other things as well. On the way to the checkout, I saw they had an actual checkout line open with no waiting, and I said, "Oh good. Let's use the normal checkout." But HannahC slapped me down on that. She insists on using the self-checkout because it's fun.

The self-checkout at The Home Depot doesn't work. I don't know why. The one at Lowe's works fine. So does the one at King Stupors. But I have used the self-checkout at about five different Home Depots, and they all suck. I think they have the weight sensitivity set too high. You spend half your time with it complaining that either you've not put the item into the bagging area, or you've put an unexpected object there. Today was no different. We bought 11 items. We needed employee intervention 5 times because it disagreed with the weight of the item. It probably at least quadrupled our checkout time. As soon as this gift card is used up, I am going back to my policy of never shopping at The Home Depot.

As we left The Home Depot, I noted there was a bicycle shop right next to it. I noted to The Mrs. that I thought this was the bicycle shop MoodyT had told me was the best one in the area.


When we got home, The Mrs. decided it was such a nice day (being 41 degrees and not windy or raining or snowing), that The Childrens should play outside. HannahC began playing on her scooter, and I noticed her bike helmet was sitting way too high and back on her head. She told me The Mrs. had messed up the adjustment because she had not liked the way I had adjusted it. Shortly thereafter, The Childrens decided they wanted to go for a bike ride. But to them, a "bike ride" means riding in the bike trailer whilst Daddy pulls them.

The Mrs., naturally, was all for this.

So we pulled out the trailer, which is no small task given The Mrs.'s insistence that we park so far back in the garage that the door just barely misses the back of the winivan, and thus we cannot easily get any of the stuff in the garage in or out through the only clear door. A quick survey of the situation notes that we have a flat tire. Out here, there are these thistle weeds that stab your tires all the time, and there were a number of thistles stuck into the tire. I didn't have a spare tube.

The Mrs. noted the irony of how less than an hour earlier, we were driving by the best bike store in the area.

Well, we decided to head off the the bike store to pick up some new tubes and check on HannahC's helmet (which we had just purchased maybe 2 months ago) right after lunch. The Mrs. then also sprung on me that HannahC's ice skates were too small, despite the fact that they were fine when we bought them a mere three weeks ago. So we had to go to the skate store, too.

MaxieC made me pull him around in the wagon while HannahC rode along on her bike during the time The Mrs. made lunch. I ate not, as I had eaten a very large breakfast less than two hours prior. The Mrs. eats by the clock, not by her stomach.

We hit a bike store first, though not the one from earlier as it was very much out of the way form the skate store. The guy there messed around with HannahC's helmet and got it adjusted quite well, and he declared we did not need a new helmet, and in fact, she had room to grow.

Hurray! The helmet lasts more than two months! We bought some tubes and some locks, so they still made quite a hefty sum off us.

Then it was off to the skate store. The guy there diagnosed that the skate toes needed to be "punched", which apparently means stretched and softened. He claimed all ice skates will be uncomfortable when new if this is not done, and if we had bought them there instead of a Dick's, it would have been done before we left. So, $10 later, HannahC's brand spanking new skates now fit her again. Wonderful. Dodged another bullet there.

Got home, MaxieC was asleep. The Mrs. put him to bed. HannahC and I changed the tube for the bike trailer. Then I got my bike down and noted there were numerous thistles in both my ties. I pulled them out one by one, and, of course, when I removed one of the ones in the front tire, air started rushing out with a giant hiss. Dammit.

So, now I had to change that tube, too. I always have spare tubes for my bike, so at least this didn't mean a trip to the store. I've decided to buy nothing but self-sealing tubes from now on given the level of thistle in my neighborhood.

Finally, finally, finally, HannahC and I got to go on the bike ride. MaxieC was still asleep, and The Mrs. had to stay home with him. So we lost half our participants and about three hours between when we decided to go for a bike ride and when we actually got to go.

In other words, it was a pretty normal Saturday.

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