Thursday, April 1, 2021

April first


20 degrees and snow on the ground this morning. Springtime? April fools. A low of 18 is predicted for tonight.

The first flight of Romaine lettuce seeds.

I planted them in a clear, plastic clam-shell that a sub came in. It made me feel all virtuous and frugal.

I saw this item in the news and assume it is an April Fools article. Aren't noxious death-gasses enough?

I saw this graphic in a museum. The aqua with the small blue dots indicates the location of intermittent (vs continuous) permafrost. I was surprised to see a small patch of it in Quebec eighty miles north of Maine just south of the St Lawrence River

Mrs ERJ got her second Moderna Covid shot today. Afterward we swung by Lowes since their website indicated they had one, upright Whirlpool freezer in stock. It took Shiela a solid 35 minutes to find the unit. The fact that it was not where it was supposed to be may have had something to do with it not already being sold. We are scheduled to have it delivered on April 12.

It is my non-professional judgement that Lowes is struggling with staffing. Unlike Menards, the employees at Lowes seem to be older. I speculate that many of them are MIA due to Covid. There were many customers milling around acting like they wanted to buy items but nobody to pick them from shelves. Or, it may have just been one of "those days".

A HUGE atta-girl to Shiela for sticking with the search to find the missing freezer.


  1. Please keep us posted on the "life and times" of that upright freezer. I looked at uprights a couple years ago and the user reviews were a horror show - "didn't work when they delivered it so the dealer replaced it;" another buyer: "worked fine for five months, when we got back fom a weekend trip found it had stopped running and all the food had spoiled;" another:" stopped working after 2 months, replaced under warranty, the 2nd one failed after 6 months."

    Etc, etc. I scrapped the "12-15 cu ft upright" idea and went with three 5 cu ft chest freezers, each 4/5 full, for about $90 more than one upright. Not as easy to use, and 3X is more hassle, takes up more floor space, but if one fails I've got some space to move part of the food in the failed one into the other two,and worst case a complete failure (like when we're away) of one means I lose only 1/3 of what's stored.

    1. Will do.

      This will be our second freezer. We have one in the garage which is cheap to run in the winter and this one will go in our basement which is cooler than the garage in the summer.

      The previous "second freezer" puked after ten years due to a pinhole that developed in the evaporator tubing. The freezer that is still running is also an upright and might be twenty years old and is still chugging along.

      Mrs ERJ strongly favors upright freezers. Unless you use tubs and keep an inventory system, it is easy to fill a chest freezer and not know what you have in it.

      Reviews of the unit we pulled the trigger on here:

    2. We use brightly colored fabric shopping bags in our chest freezer to store food groups/ species, and keep a color menu taped to the freezer lid. It has worked well for us.

  2. Lowes and all the other large-scale retail corporations have one serious flaw in their compensation model: the employees have no stake in the success of their store; therefore they have no motive to provide customers with good service, other than personal pride. If I ran a Lowes, HD, Dicks, et al., I would set up a system of quarterly bonuses based on the store's profits, measured at an appropriate level and transparent to the employees. Employees would be taught enough finance to understand where those bonuses come from. Want to see every person on the staff personally invested in growing sales? It's powerful. "Open Book Management", as invented by Jack Stack at the Springfield Remanufacturing Company in the early 1980s.

  3. My mother is running one from the 1960's. A Kenmore. Doubtless an energy pig but still running. On the other hand her electric bill is not out of line.

  4. What is the permafrost source? I doubt it.

  5. You're lucky. Our Lowes is staffed by the rejects from the Walmart next door. Once in a great while I'll find a good employee who knows their area. Those are good days.


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