Monday, April 30, 2012

Pay Extra to Avoid Confrontation?

Recently I bought some Belgian Endive at the grocery store. The clerk, clearly unaware of what the vegetable was, charged me for Baby Bok Choy instead. The Bok Choy was more expensive by a bit, but I figured the difference was not worth mentioning... 10 cents or so. I remained mum.

On Saturday, we were overcharged $2.37 for something else. I thought of the avocados I've been avoiding because they're too expensive. $2.37 could buy me enough avocados for a decent sized bowl of guacamole. So we spoke up. The clerk insisted he was in the right. We calmly, kindly, but persistently maintained we were overcharged. A manager was called, the error was discovered, the clerk blamed it on the computer, the refund was given (there was no one behind us in line, by the way).

Was it worth the little scene for $2.37?

There have been dozens of small examples like this which, cumulatively, add up to quite a bit. I dislike confrontation, but I don't like squandering our hard-earned money on incompetence, either.

On the other hand, I remember back in high school when I worked a cash register myself. A woman was buying over $400 worth of tiny ceramic trinkets, each costing less than a dollar, each needing to be wrapped and carefully packed. It was discovered that a single item had been marked down by 21 cents, and I'd missed it. The arcane accounting system the store used required re-ringing up the entire purchase. "You want me to re-do the entire purchase for 21 cents?" "Well it's my 21 cents." In a very unprofessional gesture, of which I am not proud, I fished a quarter out of my pocket and plunked it on the counter. She left satisfied, and I was irked for the rest of the afternoon.

Who am I to decide that 21 cents is insignificant, but $2.37 is worth mentioning?

Do you speak up when you're overcharged? If the clerk insists he's right, do you "let it go" or do you pursue the issue? At what point is it "not worth mentioning"?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Garden War 2012: Pests Are Winning

Garden pests: 2. Me: 0.

Will you look at that??

It's supposed to look like this:

That's a bed in another part of the yard.

Aren't they pretty?

They need to be thinned, but I have a really hard time plucking out perfectly healthy plants, since I have a really hard time getting anything to survive seedlinghood anyway!

'Cause seriously:

It's tragic. The garden pests wiped out my biggest radish and spinach bed!

I've yet to catch them in the act, so I don't know if it's slugs or ants. If it's slugs (which are famous for attacking this particular bed), I would hand-pick them out if they'd ever show their slimy faces! I've heard about beer traps, but who wants to let the slugs party at our expense? All you can eat and drink?

What if I'm giving 'em a bad rap and it's really ants? I know better than to try to beat those guys; they're united and indefatigable. 

I'm not quite ready to whip out the heavy pesticides, but organic (i.e. do nothing) just ain't workin'.

The Bleeding Hearts next to my radishes are kind pretty apropos

How do you keep the pests at bay?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Blessed Easter Art

O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!
O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!

-From the Exsultet at the Easter Vigil

Monday, April 2, 2012

Weigh In On Your Garden Plans

Last Saturday we finally planted our vegetable garden!

Six weeks late, but the peas are in. So are the radishes, onions, lettuce, spinach, carrots, potatoes and beets.

By the way, in the future I'll be buying beet seed in bulk, 'cause that stuff is a total ripoff. Each seed only produces a single beet, and the $1.89 package I got contained only 16 seeds!

Anyway, in a few weeks we'll be able to plant the herbs, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant (for more baba ghanoush!). I don't think we have enough room for corn, melons, squash, nor cucumbers, sadly.

Last year we had an awesome discussion about this, and inspired by your comments I planted a bunch of new things! What's going in your garden this year? Or what should I include in mine?