We'll start at 8:20 AM, when the phone rang. I was still asleep. I must have sounded sleepy, because the person on the other end of the line apologized for calling early. And identified herself as the nurse at the Carle travel clinic, asking if I would mind moving my appointment to get my shot today from 1:00 to 1:30. I said sure, and went back to sleep.
The next event worth recording is that I went to said appointment. Thanks to my uncanny ability to hit every traffic light just as it turns red, I was a couple of minutes late. I checked in, sat down, and had just opened my book when my name was called. I went in the back, got the shot, and chatted for a minute with the nurse about how shots are a big deal for a lot of people because we go to so much trouble to make it a big deal; if we could cultivate the attitude of "it's just a shot, what's all the fuss?" there'd be a lot less stress. Anyway, I am now in theory protected from Hepatitis A to the extent possible for modern medicine for the rest of my life. I got the first shot before going to Ecuador, and they told me at the time that with one more shot I was covered for life, so I did it.
Next I went to Farm and Fleet and bought dog food for Meg and a new nail trimmer (since I haven't been able to find the one that I know is around here somewhere for over a week and some claws are getting annoyingly long here).
Then I stopped at the pharmacy and picked up my prescriptions. The health plan wants me to get my medicines in 3 month supplies (they give me a discount on my copay), and I'd rather have the hassle of picking them up less often, so it works for me. While I was there, I asked the pharmacist how much the medicines would cost if they weren't covered by insurance. It was staggering. Flonase, which seems to keep the allergy symptoms that occasionally made my life hell before I was on it from ever rising above the level of mild annoyance, is $90; Flovent, which allows me to breathe like a normal, non-asthmatic human being, is $115. Those are for one nominal 30 day supply each. *boggle* What I really wanted to ask, but assumed they wouldn't tell me anyway, is how much the health plan actually pays for those drugs. I'm sure it's less, but it does bring home that I am getting something for the (large) premium I'm paying to continue my health plan from my job, and that I'll have a problem when I can't do that any longer.
Next I went down to Animal Outfitters and got dog food for Windy. (Mark (the owner of Animal Outfitters) doesn't carry Purina Pro Plan, which is what Meg was used to eating when I got her; Farm and Fleet doesn't have the odd brand of dog food I switched Windy to when Mark stopped carrying Eukanuba which he'd been eating before. I want to support Mark -- he's done well by me for a number of years -- so I'm still getting Windy's food there.) I talked to Mark about my photography business, gave him a card, and told him that I'm interested in trying to photograph people's pets professionally, not in a studio posed way, but candid shots of them acting like animals. He seemed somewhat interested in being helpful; he might even refer some people to me . Time will tell, I guess. (Thinking about it as I write this makes me think that I should go to agility trials and see about photographing people's animals in action and selling them pictures.)
After that, I had about 3 hours with nothing in particular to do, so I went to Meadowbrook park to take a walk. While walking there, I met a woman walking a Bernese Mountain Dog mix, and we chatted a bit. She says the dog was an abuse case, and she was pretty surprised that she opened up to me as much as she did. The woman said she volunteers at the Humane Society, and was trying to convince me that I should too. I've always been scared to do it, because I don't think I could handle knowing that the dogs I was working with could end up dead. I told her a little bit about working at EFRC; she was impressed and thought it was cool. Maybe she'll check it out on the web and maybe she'll even go see.
Next I wandered over to birder2's house for dinner -- the breast of a chicken with semi-credible delusions of turkeyhood, over yummy curry-spiced rice with raisins and apples -- and then off to game at Bruce's. Bruce's game is AD&D 3.0 with some house rules, played without a battle mat so there is no intelligent tactics in the battle, and with Bruce's biases (fighters are the real characters, the other people in the party are either support for the fighters or dead weight). It's a pretty crummy game, but I stay in it for the social contact. There's a lot of silliness (very little of it in character) at a run.
After the run, where I went to get some groceries at Meijer. I got the fresh fruit I needed. There was a buy one package get one free sale on the chicken I like to use to cook with, so even though two packages would be a strain on the freezer, I got two. Why can't stores just give you a straightforward price, rather than weird combinations of buy M get N free or X for Y dollars? And then I bumped into a wall. The middle third of the grocery section, the whole meat department and the canned goods, were closed because they were waxing the floor. Many staple foods were off limits, and to even get to the milk (which was the other thing I actually needed to get tonight) I had to work my way through a maze that took my way into the non-food half of the store. Note, this was a few minutes after 11 PM. An hour when it's really not so strange for normal people working normal schedules to be stopping for some groceries on the way home after their evening. I was pretty steamed, so I asked one of the people stocking shelves in the part of the store that wasn't closed to get me the manager, who showed up after a few minutes. I explained how I felt like I was not being treated very well, and pointed out that I could take my business elsewhere (a super Wal-Mart just opened up basically across the street just a couple of months ago, and if Meijer corporate isn't worried about losing their customers they're really dumb). The manager apologized, and said that he had tried to do what he could to re-arrange the plans on how to get the floor done so it was less disruptive, but he couldn't really do anything more. I told him that he needed to tell the bean counters that when they were deciding how to schedule the work crews (which he said were outsourced) to do the cleaning cheap, they needed to consider the cost of pissed off customers. He did assure me that this kind of disruption wasn't a regular thing. Hopefully he's telling the truth there, because I'd rather not shop at the Wal-Mart on a regular basis. Wal-Mart is evil, and their grocery prices (excluding sales) aren't even that great. But the service I got at Meijer tonight is not something I will put up with reguarly.