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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Marginalia

No great insights today. Have been a bit unplugged from the news and politics. Instead have been exploring the Raleigh-Durham area in the absence of the Diplowife who's in California. Joined a very nice gun range (Triangle Shooting Academy) and took a couple of my S&W 40s to blast away at some hapless targets. Fun time was had by the Diplomad.

I earlier went "shopping" at an ALDI supermarket--didn't actually buy anything. That chain, of course, is quite popular in Europe and has begun to move into the US market. I don't know. I was not impressed. The irritating and very European habit of having to insert a coin to get a shopping cart, I did not find charming. Who the hell carries coins anymore? I found the store somewhat dim and dreary; it evoked old memories of shopping in socialist third world countries.

The products? Boring, over-priced, and poorly packaged and exhibited. Truth be told, however, I probably won't buy organic tofu burgers no matter how nicely packaged, so, I guess, you should not waste any marketing glitz on me, Herr ALDI. As far as I could tell, ALDI seems to be where angry social justice progressives, clutching recycled shopping bags and driving expensive cars, go to shop. I did not detect a whole lot of Trump supporters there. Am I  being unfair? Probably, but, hey, since I got kicked off of Twitter, I have to vent against somebody . . .

What news I did see is just more of the same. I, however, was impressed with Trump taking some significant steps on the immigration front. If, for example, the press reports are correct and he has suspended "catch and release," and asked the military to help not just in intercepting illegal aliens but holding them as they await their deportation hearings, that's a major development--perhaps. I am sure the policy will face all sorts of legal challenges, lots of virtue-signaling and tear-jerking accounts of this or that wonderful illegal alien imprisoned "unjustly," and, of course, it's only temporary since the next President can reverse it. Congress, however, remains MIA on immigration, so the President does what he can with what he has.

That's all I have got for now. Have to do my taxes. Been putting it off for as long as I can. This will, however, be the last year I pay California taxes, so there is that silver lining.


29 comments:

  1. And more snow in NC in April! When I lived there (circa 1980) the only snow or freezing rain we got was in January or early Feb. "None so blind as those who cannot see."

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    1. I am going to have keep driving my truck to ensure some global warming.

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  2. ALDI doesn´t operate in Sweden, it is a German chain, I believe. Well, after reading about your adventures in the store it doesn´t sound like I miss very much. But DiploMad, surely they offer a token to insert to get a shopping cart.
    Swedish lady

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    1. No, no token. You need a quarter of a dollar coin. Since I became very modern, I use only credit cards--I never have coins. In addition, I believe the US Constitution guarantees my fundamental right to have unhindered access to a shopping cart. It's one of the amendments to the Constitution--right next to the one which guarantees the right to an abortion and the other one which guarantees Central American gangsters the right to emigrate to the US. I am sure it's there.

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    2. Nope, no such right...even if you are joking.
      The reason, if you had asked anyone in ALDI, is very damn simple:
      It helps them not lose carts that people take from other stores, people bring back their carts and get their quarters back (oh, you did not mention this part did you>??).
      SO freaking carry a quarter like we do in our car!!!
      Or are you really a lazy person who likes to diss good businesses?????

      Delete
    3. Anonymous, You are taking life WAY too seriously. Lay off the coffee; maybe buy some overpriced decaf at ALDI and relax. I hear they keep the decaf next to the insecticide so, please, be careful.

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    4. Anon: Most stores now have an RFID brake system on the wheels that locks the carts wheels if it goes too far away from the store...like 10 yards beyond the parking lot. Our local Target also has a barcode on each cart and the cart you use is scanned onto your receipt so if you do decide to take off with it its traced back to your card. Technology is a wonderful thing.

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    5. @KellyJ- the local 99c Store had those locking wheel devices on all their carts, but they finally got rid of them. The reason: all the carts ended up at the furthest distance away from the store, and an employee had to physically go & unlock each one (just pulling them back into range didn't unlock them.)

      They may have needed a full-time employee just to keep the carts working!

      Delete
    6. Ahem, don't use a credit card. Do not get tattoo. That's how the bastards track you!

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  3. Oh Grand Sir you're so unfair to Aldi! There's one in our village (yes I live in Germany) and it's the closest thing to COSCO to be found - I wouldn't actually buy anything there except that it's much easier to get a 2 euro bottle of wine than to try and leave without going through check out; the fun is in trying to figure out what might be on sale and where they've placed it! Last week it was sort of nice dress shoes stacked in the frozen food isle (refrigerated shoes isn't a "thing" is it?)...normally there are some sort of unnecessary appliances (in shell egg scramblers) mixed in with the canned goods, and you can always count on there being candy mixed with "party shots", cigs, and prophylactics at the check out.

    On the downside, the crowd there, all ethnic Germans from the Middle East, are nowhere near as fun to watch as late night Walmart shoppers....

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  4. Too bad you do not like ALDI.
    I have loved it from the first time I stepped in one 20 years ago with the woman who is now my wife.
    Products are not overpriced!
    Produce for the most part, are all local.
    Plus of course, they do have actual products that are not food (mops, clothes, kitchen stuff including coffee makers and all).
    Face it, where ALDI is, the other grocery chains are shaking hard!

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    1. In Texas, HEB is not shaking at all. ALDI is struggling to gain a toe hold.

      MFA

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    2. I get some things at our local Aldi, and I very much enjoyed the effect they had on milk prices in the area, many of which dropped substantially after realizing how many people would go someplace where the milk was $2 a gallon cheaper.

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  5. ALDI doing very well in Australia. Significantly cheaper and their non-food sale products very competitive. Shopping there is definitely a soulless experience but I’m male (cis birth certificate male??) so very little sleep to be lost over it.

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  6. This year I did my first tax return since leaving California forever. My first refund in 30 years plus I even got $50 refund from Arizona. Another reason to love Arizona.

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  7. Totally agree with you on Aldi. Went once and have no desire to return. Check out my area of NC sometime during your travels - the Southern Pines/Pinehurst/Aberdeen triangle is worth the trip.

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  8. Some ALDI products originate in Mediterranean countries, and have pictures of the villages or monasteries where the olives or wine were produced, with crosses on the roofs. So as not to offend the culturally enriched among their customer base, they take off the labels with crosses. So, we do not shop at ALDI. It's not quite going on Crusade, but it does allow a small emotional satisfaction.

    Michael Adams

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  9. Forgive me, it is OT, but I am so, so very happy that PM Viktor Orban won a landslide victory in Hungary yesterday. Many, many Europeans are happy today but European MSM is very unhappy, they don´t like his anti-migration, anti-Islam politics because their masters told them so. But we, the ordinary people, see a hope and a light in Hungary. Orban can give the EU-people a severe headache for many years now.They definitely deserve it.
    Swedish lady

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    1. Agreed! Hope it isn't too late.

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    2. Yes, that is very good news. The Hungarians, Poles, and others in Eastern Europe know a thing or two about being invaded.

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  10. I shop at Aldis alda time. Ha. Sorry. Coffee needed.

    Uncle Bob

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  11. Went to an Aldi several years ago when one opened nearby. Never went back. It was like looking at the shelves stocked with food in my underground bunker.

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  12. Aldi overpriced??? Good heavens, where do you normally shop?

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  13. Product quality at Aldi is very uneven. I bought a couple pounds of bacon and when I got home it was literally all fat. Ground beef was also very fatty. Plus WAY too much junk food on sale. Some of the products may have good prices/sales, but life is way to short to have to keep track of individual prices and shop in multiple stores.
    Delilah

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  14. Aach du lieber!
    Get mit da programme you Jankee dunderpates!
    Can you say_________-
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:De-Aldi.ogg

    AT ALDI WE NO MORE PLASTIQue sacks for Gaia!
    OW~~~
    Question: but can one grind there own covfefe blend at ALDI as vee usta could at A&P?
    BUY AMERICAN!

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  15. In addition to Aldi's, we have a similar store concept nearby called Ruler Foods. They sell Kroger products at discount prices; it's my preferred place to shop. Yes, you need a quarter.

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  16. Did you know that Aldi is the brother of Trader Joes?
    One opened by us and it is a sub Costco. A depressing warehouse place where all the meat is vacuum packed and looking rather snarky.
    The fresh avocados and mangoes were offered at a good price but the checkout line was such that we abandoned them and left.

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