Thursday, March 2, 2017

It's Drying Time Again

Well, my clothes have been finished drying for two hours now, I had better go and get them.

There is a small chance that someone else wants to use that laundry room. We have them on each of the 4 floors in the building that I am in.

I don't like the one on the first floor, because once, I took my clothes out of the machine after they had finished "washing" to discover that some of the clothes, including a pair of jeans, actually had dry patches in areas. How bad does a washing machine have to be functioning, to not even thoroughly soak the clothes?

Maybe Tomorrow Night

The above image, taken 4 minutes ago from a webcam on Bourbon Street shows a pretty pathetic Thursday night at 10:45 PM.

I really am chomping at the bit to get back out the the Lilly Pad.

It is already 9:20 PM, the time that I am usually en route, to play. It's a Thursday night, which normally can be decent, and shouldn't be any less so, in the wake of the Mardi Gras.

But there is the photo above.

And, I have coffee, cigarettes, weed and a hot tub with lavender bath salts to soak in, available. 

I'm working on a song that's coming out pretty well. 

The Perl programming language is starting to make more sense to me, and will soon be formatting this blog. Next, I'll study CSS, or cascading style sheets, which the Blogger's built in templates are written in. Perhaps a facelift is coming to this blog.

Yesterday, I bought 10 cans of cat food for $3 in all Harold's favorite flavors. This is going to save me the aggravation of having to remember it each night, for a few days, at least. It is an example of an unavoidable expense, and if I don't grab cans at 32.4 cents each, I'll wind up spending 77 cents every night on one. The only way I can lose is if I buy 10 cans for 3 dollars and come upon Harold's lifeless, flattened by several tires body in the road on my way back to the apartment. Then, I guess I would just give the food to Rose and Ed...

Tomorrow night will be a Friday, and I can plan upon being out bright and early at about 9:30 PM, playing.

In about 50 hours, my food card will have $194 put on it. It had run out pretty late last month, partly aided by a SNAFU when I was in Walgreen's and wanted to pay for food with the card, and then to put the other merchandise on my green pre-paid card.

The Walgreen's SNAFU

The cashier is a black guy, probably late 40's, whom I have been seeing in there for the past year, since I have started going to that Walgreen's instead of the one in the Quarter, and saving around 20% on everything.

He has some kind of Elephant Man type of skin deformity, and I really feel bad for him on that count. His head has irregular golf ball sized growths on it, and they are a lighter more pale red color than the rest of his skin, making them stand out even more; the poor guy.

But, I asked him "How should I do this? Which card should I swipe first?"

I now know that I should have slid the food stamp card first, and it would have paid off all the food items, and then left a cash balance, which swiping the green card would have covered.

20 % more pricey, but what a pretty store!
Explain to the cashier, as I tried, what I wanted to do, I was at least expecting a screen to pop up asking me if I wanted to "pay all or some?" but one never did. Nor, an "Is this amount OK?" button.

I swiped the green card, a receipt came slithering out, and the cashier said; "It took all of it," as if he basically totally misunderstood what I was trying to do.

He is one of those black people who have trouble understanding English the way it is spoken by a lot of white people. Many times he has just stared at me uncomprehendingly after I have asked him something.

After I noticed what had happened, I started to ask the guy, basically, if I could return the food items and then pay for them again with my food card. The black lady behind me cut me off with "I need a pack of Kool 100's, and..."

I could have, I suppose, said: "Excuse me, ma'am, but I wasn't finished with the cashier," but I really didn't see much promise in trying to get Elephant Man to remedy any situation, and so I just left; worrying that I no longer had enough cash on the green card to get a new harmonica.

One time I was in that same store.
The "Tower of Babel" Walgreen's about a mile
past apartment, Canal and Carrollton; 20% cheaper

I had been in there one night and had spent about $30 on all the items that I usually get out of there, coffee, peanut butter, raisins, dates, oatmeal, Monster drinks, etc.

The register spat out a coupon good for "$10 off your next purchase of $30 or more."

I thought, once I got home, that I could go back and buy another round of the same items, knowing that I was going to eventually buy them anyways, and that I might get $10 off of them. That would be a 33% savings on the stuff I always get.

The problem was that, the stuff I always get, is the stuff that they have on sale there, and which is cheaper than anywhere else. Raisins are a good example. I have never seen two 13 oz. canisters for $4 anywhere else; dollar stores included.

My question was: Can I still apply the $10 coupon on the 30 dollars worth of stuff that I always get which would regularly be almost 40 dollars?

So, I walked in there in the day time. The cashier with elephantiasis was not there, but there was a staff of what looked like almost all black women.

I approached one to ask her the simple question above.

She bristled at the sight of the receipt in my hand and immediately told me that I needed to talk to the manager "about that." I hadn't even laid out my question to her.

I found the manager, one of the older women, and, producing my receipt, which she looked at as if I had brought a dog turd into the store, along with the coupon, began: "I bought all this stuff the other night and..."

"You can't get no money back now!"

"No, I know that, I didn't even get the coupon until after I had spent the 30 dollars. My question is, you see, all these items were already on sale, and if I buy all these same items again will I be able to.."

"You'll have to look on the shelves to see if they're still on sale or what, I can't tell you that. We have some sales that go by the week, and some are all month!"

"I just want to know if I can use this coupon on 30 dollars worth of stuff that's already been reduced."

Now, she was looking at me like I was being a nuisance. "We can't give you no 10 dollars worth of stuff that's reduced for that coupon; It don't work like that. You have to SPEND 30 dollars! ...It has to be a separate transaction! I TOLD you that!" 

She was playing for the other women now, and said the word "transaction," as if she was happy to have culled it from her vocabulary at that moment, and that it would make clear to me that I was then dealing with a true managerial power, who used such words.

I couldn't believe it. 

Yes, I know that the exotic machinations of those addicted to some of the pills on the premises,  many of them involving the returning of merchandise or the use of suspect instruments of debt, probably have them on high alert, but, come on...

What good would it have done me, at that point, to have asked: "Ma'am, I just want to know if any exclusions apply to this coupon, that's all!" because she just would have thought that I was trying to one-up her "transactions" with my "exclusions" and she would have called the large black security guy, who would have made a show of physically grabbing me by the coat and pushing me out of the store. ...who has the power now, the white college boy with his "exclusions" and his trying to outsmart us out of 10 dollars behind some coupon scam, or the guy that has him by the collar...?

So, I didn't even want to try again to explain to the elephantiasis cashier what I had been trying to do. Nor try to get him to "return" the food, and then let my buy it again with my food card. The next time, I'll just swipe the food card first.

But, that is partly why my food stamp money lasted as long is it did this month -all that food being paid for out of my harmonica and string money.

And... I'll just fill a basket with the items that I always get, and bring them to the register and present them, along with the $10 off coupon. If the items ring up at their regular prices and total almost 40 dollars, because I'm using the coupon and negating its worth, then, I'll probably just leave the stuff at the register and walk out, making them put it all back on the shelves. Then, they'll know through experience which items are still on sale. 

I'll do this during the day shift.

I have nothing against the cashier with the skin ailment, whom I see a lot of nights. He is friendly enough; I just think a lot of black people have trouble understanding English the way a lot of white people speak it. 

Exclusions apply, of course.

Add To Cart

I just ordered the cable so that I can turn my old hard drive into external storage, and will be able to access all of the music that I recorded a year ago, before the laptop fried.
I'm not expecting to be impressed by the stuff.
I'm a slow learner, and have only recently discovered techniques to overcome what was plaguing my recordings back then.
One curious thing is that, if I remove the noise from the heating unit in my room that hisses constantly, using the noise reduction, it has a global effect on the recording, because that noise can become exacerbated when run through pitch changers and reverberations, etc. How does the computer try to add echo to a constant steamy hiss?
The first step of removing that noise has given me, well, less noisy recordings.

I ordered Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method, Grade 1.

I'm sure that I slighted some of the material in that book, back when I was 14, when I was trying to get through it and on the the next, and the next grades (thinking that, I would be, by proxy and advanced player as soon as I could get to the darned Grade 7) as quickly as possible.

I also discounted the musical pieces in the book as being, perhaps, "childish" due to the fallacious concept that it is little 6 year old students that the book, and thus the songs in it, are tailored to.
I couldn't see myself plugging an electric guitar in, cranking up the distortion and playing "The Grey Goose," out of the Mel Bay book, as part of a "cool" rock band, and so I guess I felt like I didn't need to even try to play it well.
But, now I realize that The Grey Goose probably had some little interval jumps that occur a lot in other music and that really do take a lot of practicing to play smoothly, because they're not as easy as the little cartoon drawing of the goose above the sheet music might lead you to think.

I ordered 2 packs of strings. Am holding off on a harmonica, but leaning towards one in the lower 30 dollar range. There seems to be a divide somewhere around 30 bucks that separates the professional from the amateur, harmonicas.

I should probably just get a Hohner "Special 20," for 40 something dollars, and stop trying to find a Coupe De Ville in the bottom of a Cracker Jack box, with all these under $20 ones that I have been getting.

My fear is that the higher quality of the Special 20 will be manifested in its sound, but not its durability, and that after the same short period of 4 to 6 weeks, it too will need replacing, at 40 bucks a pop. And that, it's excellent tone won't be enough to garner twice as much in tip money as would an $18 Suzuki Folk Master, like I've been using..

1 comment:

alex carter said...

That one Walgreen's is the fanciest one I've ever seen, no wonder it's more expensive.

Too bad you have to deal with jerks at the other one. That's just like my experience in Hawaii. If you're white you're automatically suspected of being up to no good, trying to "pull something" and in any case, being a cheap, mean, bastard because everyone just knows all white people have money; like we have gold bars under our beds or something.