Friday, June 14, 2019

Scan, Bag, and Go! (Friday Five Edition)

I had a few days off a couple months ago, and ended up doing my grocery shopping at a different store then I usually do and came away with a whole new shopping experience.  I normally shop at Kroger and one morning I was on the other side of town and I went to a different Kroger.  I know, you are asking yourself, how can I get a different shopping experience from the same store.  At this different Kroger I was introduced to Scan, Bag, and Go.

This is something new rolling out to Kroger Groceries, at least it's new in my area.  They only have two stores in the city with this, and my normal Kroger is not one.  When I walked into the store I noticed some weird device added to all of the carts.  I thought it was some sort of cup holder that got squished and didn't think twice about it till I went through the main door.

I saw this huge display with nifty electronic type things.  I was intrigued but it took me awhile to understand what it was.  The concept is that as you pick out your groceries, you scan them and put them directly into your bag. There is no standing in line to check out.  And since I love techy things, I thought I would give it a try.  It didn't hurt that they were offering $5 off your bill by doing it.

That weird thing on the cart that I thought was a crushed cup holder?  It's to hold the scanner.  Though I did find it fell out of that holder a couple times.

I walked around the store picking up items, scanning them, and putting them directly in my bag.  I felt a bit flustered by the process.  I think part of it was from not being in my normal store and I was  breaking up my normal routine.  I ended up walking all over the store not sure where things were and trying to make sure I didn't forget anything.

Beyond the confusion of a different store layout, I kept putting things in my bag and forgetting that I had to scan it.  I untimely did remember to scan everything that was in my bag, but I can totally see someone accidentally or on purpose putting something in their bag and not scanning it.

I also had a hard time figuring out the scanner.  I kept trying to use it like a camera on a cellphone, but the scanner is actually at the tip and you had to point it like a phaser from Star Trek.

I also found it tricky to get things in the bag without putting light things on the bottom just to squish them with heavier items on top.  I had to reorganize my bags a couple times to make sure that didn't happen.

I did eventually get the hang of it.  In fact it started to be fun.  Then I got to the produce section.  How do I scan something that needs to be weighed?  Well after wandering around the produce section awhile I finally figured it out.  You have to scan the label on the fruit/vegetable and then take it to the scale.  You then scan the barcode on the scale and the scanner tells you to put the fruit/vegetable on the scale and voilĂ , you are done and can put them in your bag.  In fact you can go around and pick up all your fruits and vegetables and go to the scale only once.

Another tricky part was that I scanned something and put it in my bag and found something at a cheaper price and I wasn't sure how to "return" it.  I found that there was a button on the scanner to remove item.  You pressed that and scanned the item and it was taken off your tally.

After I wandered around probably longer than I needed to, I was ready to check out and pay.  Now how do I do that?  I slowly headed down the checkout lanes and a very nice lady standing in the self-checkout area asked if I was ready to pay for my Scan, Bag, and Go order.  Yes, please!  All I had to do was scan the barcode below the monitor and everything was done and it was ready for me to pay.  Nice!

I did find it useful that it kept a rolling total of what I owed.  I wish I had something like that when I was in college and was on a tight budget.  The one thing I didn't like was that it didn't show discounted price.  If I had a digital coupon or if it was part of the "Buy 5 Mix and Match Items, Save $5", it would show the full price.  When you check out, you do see the discounts at that point, but it would have been nice for it to tell me how many of these mix and match items I had to help me decide if I had to buy one more to get my discount. 

I seemed to be on that side of town quite a bit for a couple of weeks and ended up going into that Kroger again.  When I waked in, someone was standing by the display asking if people wanted to try.  Yes, please.  I again would get $5 off my purchase as well as she gave me a reusable bag.  Nice!  While walking around I didn't really see anyone else using the Scan, Bag, and Go system.  I do understand the concern over it, but people were the same way with the self-checkout and now those lines seem to be longer than ones with real people.

I did find the second time doing it much easier and really wished they had this in my Kroger near my house.  I did learn that the whole process is went more smoothly when you organize your bags in your cart so that you can put different items in different bags.  That way I was able to keep my cold items in one, heavy items in another, and the lighter items together.

Have you tried the Scan, Bag, and Go system at Kroger?  If so, what did you think?  If not, would you try it?

I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and other healthy lifestyle bloggers.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Hello, Everyone! (Friday Five Edition)

I have been sporadic with my posting lately.  This mostly has been due to the fact my anxiety levels are through the roof.  I haven't had this much anxiety since I was in college.  My job is very interactive so I'm having a hard time just getting through the day at work and am so exhausted when I get home that I don't want to interact with anyone.  I've been dealing with several panic attacks a week.  I know this will pass, because it usually does, and if it doesn't soon, I'll be going to the doctors.  But for more fun stuff.

I did go see Avengers' End Game.  All I have to say is that it's the best Marvel movie out to date.  Even if you just kinda like the Marvel movies, you need to go see it.  But if you are a Marvel fan, this is a must see.

In my kitchen, I have a wall between two windows that has always been left blank.  I've seen other houses in my neighborhood that have the same floor plan as me, and one had this huge clock there that really fit that space.  For years, I have always looked for just the right piece.  Well I found it.

The medal flower is something that I bought and then I added the butterflies.  The butterflies are attached to bendable medal that I attached to the flowers.  The ones away from the flowers, I removed the medal rod and taped them to the wall.  

And I did get my wonderful computer back and it has a such a beautiful new screen.  I asked why there was no charge and he said that this computer had had display issues before.  After he said that, I did recall my friend saying he had to get it replaced once before he gave it to me.  I tell you, that is great service from Apple.  Almost anywhere else, they would charge no matter what since it was out of warranty.

And that pollen has been so harsh here in the past few weeks.  I long for rain to clear it out.  But the weather has been so nice that I still cannot help but open up the windows.  

I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and other healthy lifestyle bloggers.

Friday, April 12, 2019

My Computer Problem (Friday Five Edition)

I had a few days off last week and was going to write out the few posts that have been going around in my head, but then I had computer issues.

I had started writing a post last week and all the sudden the screen on my laptop started to flicker and I couldn't type or move my mouse.  The flickering lasted about 30 seconds and then I saw all of my typing and noticed that the mouse had moved.  That was weird.  Soon after it happened again, doing the same thing.  It was happening so often that I just had to turn it off.

Not the best picture, but you can see the lines at the top of the screen

Later I came back to it to try to do some troubleshooting.  No matter what I tried it just seemed to get worse.  I had the flickering on the screen while it was booting.

It even got so bad that almost the whole screen turned grey.

On Monday I took it to Apple's Genius Bar and they kept it to run some diagnostics.  They thought it might be the video card and because it was way out of warranty, I would have to pay to get that replaced.  Knowing the price of new MacBook Pros, paying to replace a video card is a lot cheaper.  When I got home, I realized that while I had done my taxes, I had not filed them and I had less than a week to do that.

On Tuesday they left a message to say that they had found the issue and I needed to call them back.  I planned on seeing if I could get my laptop back from them before they sent it out for service.  I called several times that evening and after being routed through the automated system it just rang and rang till I got a busy signal.  I just assumed that it was super busy at the store and they couldn't answer the phone.  But I was getting anxious as I needed my laptop back.

I finally got a hold of them on Wednesday.  They said it wasn't the video card, but the display itself.  They had ordered a new one and the repair would happen at the store.  They also said that there would not be any charge - Woot!  I didn't ask, but I assume that there might have been some sort of recall on it and that's why there was no charge.

I explained my predicament to him and he said that they had unplugged the display but they were unable to plug it back in.  I could come pick it up as long as I had an external monitor or HDMI cord and TV to hook it to.  I have a second monitor set up in my office, so that was no problem for me.  I stopped by the store after work and picked it up.

Yesterday I had my mom come over to look over my taxes.  She teaches taxes at a university here and I always have her double check mine, especially with big changes this year.  She said everything looked great and I was able to file them last night.

I will drop the laptop back off at the store today and hopefully the display will arrive soon.  Then I can sit down and type out the posts that I have in my head.  Thankfully I had a little time today to quickly type this up at work today.

I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and other healthy lifestyle bloggers.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

My Latest Training Schedule (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

My first race of the year is coming up in a few weeks.  I started training back in January.  Because my knee is still in a fragile state, I have been very careful with how much I run and how fast.

The race I'm getting ready for is the Ukrop's 10k, which is on April 13th.  Because I have had many relapses with my knee, I wanted to make sure that I did this training right.  I really didn't want to have to work up to a 10k at this point, but I have done this race for many years.  In fact this will be my 10th year running it (not in a row).  And it's the third race to complete the circle.

What is good about taking it slow on my training is that this race is the most friendly walker's race I have ever participated in.  They have several waves that are dedicated to just walkers.  My friend last year led her blind friend to finish the 10k.  I know if I have issues and just need to walk it, I will be in good company.

I pushed it too much during a 5k last fall, and at the beginning of the year I was ready to start running on a regular basis, mostly 2 1/2 mile runs a couple times a week.  I kept it slow with a 30s run / 1m walk.  At the end of January I knew I was in a good place, so I started to look to create a training schedule.  Looking that I had 3 months and knew it would take me awhile to feel comfortable with upping my mileage, I had a decision to make.  I couldn't both up my mileage and make my walk breaks shorter.  Because Ukrop's is so walker friendly, my decision was easy.  Up my mileage slowly and keep my run/walk time where it is.  This will be one of my slower 10ks, but I will be happy if I can just finish with no pain.

So far it hasn't been bad.  Over the first few weeks, I got my runs to 3 miles, 3 times a week.  I started a new cross training class (post to come), which gave me a couple set backs with soar muscles, and being just so tired the next day.  My long run last week was 4 miles, with no pain, so that was huge.  This week I'll attempt 5 and next week 6.  Then a drop back week and then the race.  It's really weird to be excited about a long run of 4 miles. 

My next race will probably be the King's Dominion Run and Ride 5k.  I did it last year and loved it.  With the 2 months between the races, I want to keep to low mileage, and work my way to 30s run / 30s walk.  Even if I just get to 30s run / 45s walk, I'll be happy.  I like my 2 1/2 to 3 mile loops in my neighborhood.  With the weather getting nicer and the days longer, an early morning run before work is a good way to start the day.  And sometimes I'll even see a beautiful sunrise.

Then after that, there are no plans.  Along with a run or two, I'd like to get some biking in throughout the summer.  I do kind of miss having a race a month, like I did last year, but this is defiantly what my knee needs right now.

What's your race calendar like this spring?  How are you training for it?

I’m linking up with with Join Kookyrunner and Zenaida for the Tuesday Topics Link-up.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Happy International Woman's Day (Friday Five Edition)

So my life has been so extremely boring lately.  But I wanted to wish all the wonderful, powerful woman out there a Happy International Woman's Day!

International Woman's Day celebrates the differences and similarity in all of the woman around the world.  It honors the achievements of woman, weather it's social or cultural or political.  Bringing woman together to share their strength in different aspects of life.

I learned that International Woman's Day has been happening for over a century.  The first gathering was in 1911 in different countries in Europe.  This is around the time of the Suffragists movements around the world.  Learn more about IWD here.

I have achieved a lot in my life and a lot of that has to do with the strong role model my mother showed me while growing up.  She had a high paying accounting job when I was younger and quit it to be able to go back to school to get her PhD so that she could teach accounting at a University.  That was a huge gamble with two young children, but she has her dream job that she loves and does not want to retire any time soon since she loves it so much. 

Do you have a strong role model in your life that showed you that you could do anything?

I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and other healthy lifestyle bloggers.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Finding Joy in Everyday Moments (Friday Five Edition)

This year hasn't been the best.  My dad pasted away, we had a lot of layoffs at work (not me, but some great coworkers), and a friend of mine found out that after more than 5 years his cancer is back.  Even with all of this, I am trying to focus on the good things that can happen this year.  And then I look through my videos on my phone and remember I have moments like this to smile at. 

Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and other healthy lifestyle bloggers.

Friday, January 25, 2019

My First Mattress Buying Experience (Friday Five Edition)

I have a confession.  I've had the same bed that I slept in when I was in high school.  I know you are thinking, oh that's just a few years ago, but no, it was quite a bit more then a few years ago.  The reason I had not needed a new one since then is that it was a waterbed.

I was born in the 1970's when waterbeds were popular.  My parents had one.  And my parents bought me my first one when I had grown out of my crib.  Basically I have been sleeping in one my whole life.

Waterbeds do start to sag like normal mattresses because of evaporation.  But unlike normal mattresses, which you need to replace, I just need to add water every so often.  Over the last year I had noticed that while there was no actual holes, water was being lost quicker than the normal evaporation.   I knew it was time to do something about it.

I did look into another waterbed bladder to just replace mine, but there are just a few online retailers and each site looked a little like the other and just felt a little bit scammy.  I then decided to go the traditional route.  And man are there a lot of choices out there and with no true experience on a mattress I had no idea where to start.

A couple years ago, a friend told me about a time where she went to a mattress store and she lay on this bed and it measures how firm of a mattress best works for her.  I did some digging and found a local store that had that.  I went there and he said that I was right in the middle of firmness.  I lay on a few mattresses, but honestly, after the third one I couldn't tell what I liked and what I didn't.

I then did some research online as well as with Consumer Reports.  It turns out that there is this huge market for mattresses in a box.  Basically you buy a bed without trying it and get 90+ days to evaluate it.  And if it's not to your liking, they will take it back for free.  I was very uneasy about not being able to try a bed out, but I didn't rule these companies out.

The more research I did, the more I came to realize, that I probably will go the mattress in a box route.  This is so not like me, as I had to test drive my top two choices of the car I bought a couple years ago 3 times before I decided it.  After all my Googling and reading about mattresses, my choice was down to the Avocado Green Mattress and the Purple Mattress.  The Avocado Green Mattress was the highest rated mattress in Consumer reports for my sleep position and it is the most Eco friendly mattress out there.  The Purple Mattress was also highly rated in Consumer Reports, but it also had the best ad ever.  OK, the ad really wasn't a deciding factor, but you should watch anyway.  What I did add to the pro list of the Purple Mattress was the fact that I saw a few different reviews on different sites stating that those that went from a waterbed to a mattress had the best success with the Purple Mattress.  And the nice thing about both of these mattresses, was that they just needed a flat service.  Not box springs or anything.  This would save me money as I could use my current frame.

My final decision was the Purple Mattress.  I ordered my mattress and set up delivery.  On the day it was supposed to arrive, I went to empty my bed and realized that was going to be the hard part.  The best way to do it is to hook up a hose and put the hose out the window and use gravity to get the water out.  Well my screens are nailed shut because they would pop off very easily.  That means that when I had my windows open and a cat decided to lay in the windowsill, they fell out the window.  True story.

I put the hose in my bathtub but there was virtually no gravity and the water was drizzling out.  So I called and rescheduled my delivery.  I then headed to Lowe's and bought the cheapest wet vac that they had.

The next deliver date I was given was for in the morning of the day after Christmas.  After getting home from my parents kinda late on Christmas, I decided I was going to get up early and empty the bed.  I knew it would take a couple of hours to do it with the wet vac, but OMG that was the hardest couple of hours I spent.

I connected the wet vac, turned it on and let it fill up, then rolled it to the tub and dumped it out.  I did that probably 50 times.  My back hurt from all the bending over.  Brianna didn't seem to mind the noise of the wet vac and was happy to stay on the bed.

I barely finished up emptying the bed when the delivery guys came.  I then understood why they only offered white glove delivery (for free) - the mattress weighed a ton.  It came rolled up and the guys had a time trying to unwrap it from the plastic.

The moment that they had it lose, the mattress looked like it was inflating and soon it was a normal mattress size.  They put it on my bed frame and I had a new bed.

The first night I slept on it, it was FREEZING.  I knew it had some cooling ways too it, but OMG it was miserable.  By the second night it was fine, it was just that cold because it was sitting in a very cold warehouse somewhere.

The first week, I did feel pain in different parts of my body.  I almost cried cause I knew I couldn't sleep on something like that and the thought of trying again was not something I wanted to research.  I then read on their site that it could take a couple of weeks for your body to adjust to it.  So I gave it some more time.

Now I love the mattress.  The firmness works perfect for me and the purple grid is a good cushion.  And no, you really do not feel the actual grid, it just meshes with your pressure points.

I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and other healthy lifestyle bloggers.