How to Pick a Checkout Line

Thursday, June 26, 2003
Lately I've been noticing that when checking out I definately have a formula on how to pick a checkout line. If anyone else has insight please feel free to comment. Here are my criteria in order of what I think is important.

1. The number of people in line matters more than the number of items. This is why the express line is not always better. The more people in line the more idiots there are that need price checks or something like that.

2. Look at the cashier. Not to be ageist but younger is better. Too young is bad though because they don't know what they are doing. If you can, pick the line with the manager (s/he will be dressed up, most likely wearing a tie) because they tend to be faster and can resolve all problems without having to ask someone else.

3. Look what makes up the line. Often times what looks like a long line is not because there is an entire family waiting together in which case there is really only one customer ahead of you, not 5.

4. Look at the demographics of the people ahead of you. Again, not to be ageist or sexist but younger men are the best. They tend not to ask questions and they almost always seem to pay in cash or credit card. For whatever reason the older and more female =) you get the more likely you are to write a check or need something answered. Men hate writing and hate even more admitting they don't know something.

5. This will contradict one somewhat but all else being equal, the less items the people in front of you have the better. Just don't bet that the "express" lane is any faster because it usually has 3x as many people. You need to find the right balance.

6. Don't get behind a hot girl and a male cashier or any guys and a hot female cashier (unless you want to check out the girl). I swear there is much to much flirting going on in the checkout line. Yesterday I had a male cashier practically walk out with the hot girl to put the groceries in her car.

7. Check out at an alternate location. Places like Target allow you to check out in their Garden or Electronic section even if you aren't buying anything in that department. These lines are usually much shorter.

The Brilliant Bush Tax Cut

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
So I just received the first benefit of Bush's Jobs and Growth Act of 2003. I got a whole $30 more in my paycheck. Big Deal.

Over the course of the year that means I will have saved $720. That is the keyword SAVE. This is why Bush's tax plan makes absolutely no sense to me. Do I really feel richer with my additional $30 twice a month? Not really. Do I really plan on spending this new found money on anything? Not really. The money will go nicely away somewhere in the computers of my bank.

Maybe its because I don't have a family and I have the ability to save a lot every month. I understand that most people my age aren't in the position to save very much money and would welcome the extra cash. Those with families, struggling and in my income bracket probably really do need the relief. But that being said, if those familes are really struggling how about those who earn minimum wage? How about those who struggle to get by and make 1/4 or even 1/5 of what I make. How do you think they feel? Trust me, I know. My mom raised 3 kids on her own and put me through college on 1/3 of what I make today. Why don't you just give her some more money back?

Maybe I'm more magnanimous than most but come on people. Let's forget the human part of my argument for a second. After this, it's basic economic theory. My marginal propensity to consume is MUCH lower than someone like my mother. I MIGHTspend $10 of my new found $60 a month. Someone who is poor? They WILL spend all $60. However, for a cut this small I probably won't spend ANY of that $60. So I, the "rich" (I don't consider myself wealthy but in this context I would have to be), really do just get richer. And or course this doesn't at all help the economy now since I'm not consuming any more. It doesn't help the economy later because we just put ourselves into a bigger deficit in the future.

I'm not promoting communism, quite the contrary. I'm probably the biggest Capitalist and fan of Adam Smith there is. Let's just be honest with ourselves. If you want to help the wealthy fine, but don't cloak it behind the charade of trying to stimulate the economy. Clearly there are better ways to do that than with this bogus tax cut.

Too Much To Worry About

Monday, June 16, 2003
I decided that I'm never having kids. My cat had emergency surgery on Saturday because he basically couldn't urinate all day. I watched him climb into the litter box every few minutes and sit there for about 10 minutes with only a few drops coming out. He became lethargic, wouldn't you after sitting on the toilet all day while accomplishing nothing, and started trying to go anywhere he could. After he threw up I decided that was enough and rushed him to an emergency vet.

All is ok right now. He is still at the vet and they are watching him but he seems to be ok. He's a little pissed at me (no pun intended) but otherwise doing fine. What this whole thing has taught me is that I don't want kids. It's way too much stress. I guess I'm like Marlin in "Finding Nemo" (which I saw on Sunday and highly recommend) who can't help but worry about Nemo all the time. All day Saturday and Sunday all I could think about was if my cat was going to be ok. I can't imagine how I would have felt if it was my own child.

Monrovia Trolley Schedule

Wednesday, June 04, 2003
I keep getting hits about the schedule for the Monrovia Trolley even though I myself have never posted it. However, the city of Monrovia has failed to do so as well so as a service to those looking to find out here it is. I've also included approximate routes. I am in no way associated with Monrovia and in no way can I guarantee that the below hours of operation are correct or won't change.

Weekdays 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. * every 12 minutes (Goes form the Albertson Shopping center, down Huntington, to Myrtle and Foothill)
Fridays 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. * every 15 minutes (Goes from Fifth and Huntington, down Huntington, and up Myrtle. On Myrtle it turns left on Walnut, goes Up Primrose before heading back to Myrtle on Lemon)
Saturdays 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. * every 15 minutes. (Essentially same as above but without the turn on Walnut.)