Author Archive

Self Checkout Lanes Are Not For Everyone · September 6, 2008

I’ve really gotten to like self checkout lanes. I’ll checkout using those lanes at any store where I shop that has them. I really wish more stores had them. It seems to be a better experience all around: I get to pack my purchases how I want, and it’s usually the path of least resistance. Usually…

So, I went to get a few groceries tonight after the gym. I picked up 3 items for dinner and headed to the self checkout. I recognized the scene immediately: 4 self checkout lanes, three of them occupied with people getting a week’s worth of groceries for their entire family, a line of people waiting to check out that backs up into another isle of the store, a solitary regular checkout lane open with a line at it just as long as at the self checkout, and 3 other store employees milling around doing seemingly nothing despite all of this. Would it have killed them to open a couple more regular checkout lines? Had I not needed the food in my basket for dinner, I would have said screw it, put it all back, and left the store.

There really needs to be some training for people wishing to use the self checkout lanes, and some rules posted. The first thing they should tell people is that the scanner reads the barcode on the item, so don’t just wave it around willy-nilly and wonder why you’re not hearing the magic beeps. Second, the long table after the scanner is for your scanned items, and it’s keeping track of how much they all weigh, so don’t put your kids, your purse, or things you haven’t scanned yet on it and wonder why you can’t scan anything else and the machine keeps yelling at you. The third thing is that if you have a week’s worth of groceries, you’re probably nowhere near as efficient as the cashiers are, so go to a regular lane and stop holding up the rest of us who have a handful of items that just want to check out quickly and go home. Fourth, if the attendant has to come over and help you more than once in a single shopping trip or every time you do self checkout, or if they roll their eyes when they see you coming because of their past experiences with you, self checkout is not your thing – STOP TRYING. I’m not even going to get into the chaos and confusion that unmarked produce causes…

Trance Around The World Podcasts · August 11, 2008

I really enjoy the weekly dance music shows that XM radio has on one of their dance channels, The System. Some are aired at inconvenient times, however. I just learned that last week one of my favorite shows has become available via podcast, so I can download it and listen to it any time I want! Trance Around The World is a 2 hour show recorded weekly by Above & Beyond, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys dance music, especially trance music. These guys are among the leaders in global trance music. I was so excited, I almost screamed like a little girl in the middle of the office when I heard the news…almost.

Evergreen Trails – A camping experience for the whole family · June 30, 2008

We went camping this past weekend at a campground called Evergreen Trails. While my definition of camping is putting everything you need into a pack on your back and heading into the woods, this place has cabins, furnished with the basics: electricity, heat, beds, and a refrigerator. There are different styles and sizes, but the one we stayed in was a 4-person cabin, with a small refrigerator, hot plate, and a coffee maker. We had a water spigot outside of the cabin, and our own fire pit and charcoal grill. The community bathrooms were quite nice as well. Each rest area had a set of bathrooms, and each of those was a full bathroom, complete with a pay shower. All of these amenities are just a bonus for me; I would have been just as happy heading off into the woods on Friday night and not coming back until Sunday afternoon, but the rest of the family really enjoyed themselves.

The trails were decent as well. Nothing too long, just day or half-day hikes, but they seemed to be well maintained and they took us through some interesting scenery. They weren’t always that well marked, though. There’s a separate map you have to pick up for the trails, and just walking around the campground they’re not obvious.

Their website says they’re under new ownership. Since we’d never been before, we can’t compare what it is now to what it was under the old owners, but it seems like a great place. The cabins were very clean, and to my surprise, the community bathrooms were spotless as well… all weekend… Everything seemed very new as well, from the cabins to the appliances in them. So, while I’m not getting to camp MY way, it looks like we’ve found a spot where the family can all enjoy “camping”.