Sunday, February 17, 2008

Education is great!

Twenty years ago, in February of 1988, the Winter Olympics opened in Calgary, Alberta. It sure doesn't seem that long ago -- I'm only about 5-6 years older than I was then! -- but it must have been. Very oddly, as I recall, the weather was being typically Albertan: being very unpredictable and we didn't have any snow that winter! It was very windy, I remember, and the ski jumps had to be delayed about 2 days, since it was just too dangerous for them to come flying through the air.

It's been bitterly cold a few weeks here this year, but now that it's February, it's warmed up nicely! In fact, the greater-than-normal snow that we had this winter has all disappeared. It didn't really melt; there wasn't any running water in the streets. It just seems to evaporate. Which isn't really such a bad thing!

I've been staying inside this week (I know -- I just am not right in my head) and spinning. I'm doing a lot of spinning! I had a bag of some mysterious white wool that I purchased about a year ago (from that 12 pounds of stuff I got) and decided to do something with it. It's really nice stuff, but an unknown breed. There might be a bit of mohair in it as well.

I tend to spin rather fine, and it's taking a lot longer than I thought it would. I see only a little bit more room left on the bobbin so think I'll do another handful or two and be done with this one, and start something else. And then about 5 and a half hours later, I'm still trying to fill up the bobbin!! It's taking me about 2 full long days of nothing but spinning to get only one bobbin filled! I haven't even started plying yet. I want to do all the spinning first, and then the plying. It just seems that I am more consistent that way. I am not really sure what I will do with it, but a lace shawl is taking form in my mind. I think it's going to be a 2-ply, but I like a 3-ply better. It's white, and I'll leave that way. Although, dyeing is not out of the question. Shall see.

The other day, a friend down the street called to say that he is going to Safeway, and did I want to pick up a few things. Sure -- every time I have the opportunity to get a few heavier things and get a ride, I'll do it!

I picked up a few things I needed, that were on "special". The total came to $xx.87, and since I don't like carrying around too many coins, I try to give the clerk an amount so I get back a quarter or make it an even dollar. So I gave the clerk some bills and 12 cents, and watched her get all confused. It was so much fun!

I always check my till-tape when I am at the check-out, since invariably, they always over-charge. It's a little game we play: they try to get away with it, I catch them at it! I had picked up some canned tomatoes; they were 4 for $5. Okay, a bit higher than normal price, but what can you do? I foolishly took two different styles of tomatoes (same brand, same deal). She charged me $1.25 for some, $2.15 for the others.

I then went over to the Customer Service counter to ask about this difference (the check-out clerk doesn't know anything, and probably didn't speak English), and had to stand in line. The girl at the counter (probably mid-20s) was hollering over to one of the cashiers that she is going back to high-school (this not a good sign). I pointed out the items on my tape, and asked why the difference. She called over a runner to go and check on them... she went, and forgot to come back. I eventually went over to the aisle and looked myself (the runner was no where to be seen); yes, all items were 4/$5. The little girl eventually came back, said they were $1.25 each; that's what I already said! The girl behind the counter wasn't sure that ALL the items were the same price, so she had to go and check herself (again, taking far longer than she should have). She returned and agreed they should be $1.25 each.

Okay, I know it's only $1.80 difference, but by now, it was the principle of the thing. I kept waiting!

She did some quick calculation in her head -- "75 and 15...." and came up with a total, and gave me $1.70. I took a moment, to see what she did, and couldn't come to the same conclusion. Now, this was becoming a real test of my patience!

"I think this is not right."

"Yes, 75 and 15 is 85, times 2 is $1.70."

"No," I say, "75 plus 15 is not 85. Add it again."

"75 and 15 is 85. I don't know what you want."

"All I want is for you to add it up again. 75 plus 15 is __."

"It's 85!"

At this point, I simply gave up and walked away. I was afraid someone was going to get hurt. I really don't think the high school is going to help her much anyway.


Alwen said...

Oh, dear. I think she must have been adding them the way we add up years -- there's no way I've been living here 17 years!

(Why are so many of the bloggers I read either excellent spinners or learning to spin?)

Yesterday it was 5 degrees F when I woke up, and today it was 40 and melted all the snow and ice off the roof. Tomorrow it is supposed to freeze again. I can't keep up.

Der Geezer von Tampadorf said...

Nice to see you are doing ok, Big Guy! I miss chatting with you. Glad to hear you're still spinning, as am I. I'm working up some wonderful kid mohair from Colorado for an Orenburg Shawl I have planned.

Keep in touch, ok?

Alles beste,
~Mike in Tampa