Necessary Evil

Had to do some grocery shopping today, and went to Wal-Mart. I’m not a big fan of shopping at Wal-Mart, but there is no place in this particular town that has better prices on most of the things that I need, and I am on a tight budget. Since I don’t drive anymore, it is a challenge to get people to take me shopping, and going to Wal-Mart is a “one-stop” shopping experience for the most part. (Except I don’t use their pharmacy – I don’t like waiting hours and hours when I can get my prescription filled in ten minutes or less at the Rite-Aid down the street!)

I like using their Savings-Catcher app on my iPhone – it really saves a lot of money. (Since I signed up for the Savings Catcher, it has refunded me over $141.00!) If you shop at Wal-Mart, I encourage you to use the Savings Catcher program! You can use it on your smartphone, or your computer (if you have Internet access.)

But I digress. I was disappointed today to find expired ham steaks in their meat department. I wanted to buy some ham steaks, and was looking for a brand that was not Smithfield Farms brand. I’ve seen some disturbing videos about Smithfield brand pork, (if you want to understand why, you can watch the YouTube Video below) and I’m trying to avoid buying that brand. I don’t know for sure that the other brands are better, but this video disturbed me on many levels, so I am trying to avoid supporting that company. Anyway, they had a different brand, but the freshness date had expired three weeks ago! There was a meat department employee nearby, and I called out to him. He came over, and I pointed out the expired meat, and he removed it from the case. I wondered how many people buy stuff like this without checking the freshness date on the package? I almost didn’t check the date, myself!

So, note to self – always check the freshness date on meats, dairy, eggs, etc at the grocery store! Even if it is a store other than Wal-Mart!

Thankful For a Mild Snowstorm but Aggravated at Doctor Office

The weatherman was predicting a huge snowstorm to come bearing down on our house last night. The snow started in the afternoon, but it seemed to be a lighter storm than predicted. The weatherman was predicting 8 – 12 inches. After all was said and done, we only got three inches. I am grateful for the smaller amount. To be honest, I was worried that we would lose our electricity, and even though we can survive a few days without it, we have been spoiled by our easy access to electronic entertainment!

Thinking we would lose our electricity while sleeping, we cranked the heat up, so the house would stay warmer longer, and we put several large buckets in the bathtubs and filled them with water for flushing needs. Better to be prepared and not need it than the other way around!

This morning I was scheduled to have a medical appointment for injections to treat my migraines in DC at 11am. It takes about two hours to get there from where I live. Seeing that almost every business and government and school in DC (and surrounding areas) was cancelled, Metro being shut down, and a state of emergency declared, it would be reasonable to assume that the doctor’s office would not be open. In order to get to my appointment, I need to leave by 9am – if the roads are good. About 8:30 I started trying to contact the doctor’s office to find out if they are open and seeing patients. At first I got the automated message telling me to leave a message and they would call me back in 48 hours. That was not going to do the trick, so I called back and hit a different option. Same thing. Third call, I finally got a live person who assured me that they were, in fact, open. I indicated that I would like to reschedule my appointment for later in the day if that was possible, asking if they had any cancellations I could take. The lady got rather nasty with me and told me that if my appointment was for 11, then I had better by there by 11! She then told me to hold on while she checked for cancellations. After being on “hold” for about five minutes, I was disconnected. So I called back again, explained again what I needed, and put on hold again for about five minutes. Then someone else came on the line and told me that the doctor had called in and said that she was not coming in to work today because of the weather and bad roads, that they would call me in 48 hours to reschedule my appointment for another day.

On the one hand, I was grateful that I did not have to make the trip – the roads are probably slippery and with a ban on street parking in DC because of the snow, it would probably have been a real nightmare going in! However, I did not appreciate the less than stellar customer service I was given by the folks at the doctor’s office when I was trying to figure out if I had to hit the road to go in and brave the bad roads, only to find out after about thirty minutes of aggravation that the doctor had called in to say that all appointments needed to be rescheduled!

Careers in Healthcare

Somewhere around 1998, when I retired from the telephone company, I attended a job fair/seminar/conference that was being held by the local college that I attended. There was a schedule of “sessions” that were being run in different rooms in the building, and one of the sessions that I attended was about the future of the employment market in the United States of America. The person doing the presentation indicated that we were moving away from an manufacturing employment market, due to the large corporations shifting their manufacturing work overseas, and were moving towards a “service industry.”

The “service industry” that the presenter was encouraging people to pursue was the healthcare industry. The aging Baby-Boom generation is going to need a lot of health care! We are living longer than ever, and the geriatric population definitely needs a lot of health related help!

There is a shortage of nurses in the United States of America Рand many of our healthcare facilities is using nurses that are from other countries that are here short-term. If I was a younger person, just getting out of high school, and looking for a career with a stable future, I would definitely consider entering the Maryville University’s Nursing Program and going into a nursing career.

More scam phone calls

voice mail (free clip art)
voice mail (free clip art)

Today I was listening to voice mails left on our home phone number and heard a phone message from a man with a thick accent claiming to be “Officer Charlie” from the IRS telling me that he was issuing an arrest warrant on me for tax fraud. He left the phone number of 571-526-0007 for me to call back immediately if I want to avoid arrest.

I’m not sure how many days ago he called. I know this is another phone scam, not unlike the one I wrote about in an earlier post about a guy claiming to be from Microsoft, wanting access to my computers. (By the way

I have read lots of notices on news websites about this popular scam lately, a caller pretending to be from the IRS and demanding immediate payment of large sums of money or be arrested. I’m glad that I didn’t answer the telephone when he called – it might have gotten unpleasant with me telling him that I know he is a scammer, and then listen to him cussing me out!

In some ways I am amused that people think that we are innocent and gullible enough to fall for these scams. In other ways I am saddened by the knowledge that there probably ARE trusting souls out there that will, and do, fall for these evil tricks.

Innovative products

Every now and then I get an email in my inbox that promotes products, and I usually just move them to the “trash” folder without even looking at them. I don’t know why I decided to look at one of the emails today, but I did, and there was one product listing that caught my attention. There was a picture of a very useful-looking item for the laundry room. Since my laundry room is a very small area, which doubles as a food pantry and “mud room” I decided to click on the picture, to see if there were some laundry room suggestions that I could take advantage of to help me with some space-saving solutions. I never DID find the product that was in the picture, but I did find some interesting products that I checked out. One that I thought was really interesting (and space-saving, for those folks with limited storage space) is this convertible product that can change shapes and perform different functions. It is called a “Revase.” I thought I’d share the YouTube video I found about it with you here today….

Isn’t this pretty cool?

Disclosure: I’m not being compensated for this post in any way, shape or form. I just thought this was cool! If you decide you want to purchase it, (it sells for $24.95 plus shipping) you can go to this link to buy the Revase

I’m thinking about buying this as a gift for some folks I know that lives in a small apartment. I won’t disclose who, but if they read this post, they’ll probably realize that I’m thinking about them!