How Much is that in Dollars? – #SoCS

It’s time for Linda G. Hill’s fantastic Friday challenge, and the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. I have a lot on my mind, so I’m going to carry the prompt to the bar and get started:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘figure.’ Use the word ‘figure’ any way you’d like. Have fun!”

If we were having a beer, the fuse has been lit on a money-grubbing rant.

“Hi guys. Sorry to take so long getting here, I was downstairs, the Bud Light keg kicked.”

“A crime against humanity, Cheryl.”

“Easy Dan. Some people would say the same about Corona.”

“That’s true. If you want to escape derision for what you’re drinking, order something civilized like a glass of John Howell’s Bourbon.”

“I take it by that that, David, that you’d like your usual. I’m sure Dan is willing to endure the ridicule attached to his beer.”

“If the lime slice is perfect, or if there are two, delicately balanced…”

“Don’t start Dan! You’ll have your artistic lime slices next week, when Skippy is on-duty.”

“Aw, Cheryl, why must you subject us to his abysmal service?”

“I have a wedding to attend. I’ll be back with your drinks in a minute.”

“So, Dan, is it your week to pay?”

“I’m sure it is, David. Everyone else seems to think so.”

“I’ve touched a nerve. I can buy you a beer if it would help.”

“No, at least ours is a fair arrangement.”

“I fear asking, but what on earth has got you so spun up?”

“Fundraisers, price gougers and ‘mo-money’ money-grubbers are all figuring prominently in the calculation of my mood.”

“I see. By price gougers, I’m assuming your referring to the people on Amazon selling Purel for four-hundred dollars a case. I read that Amazon shut them down.”

“Here you go guys. Four-hundred dollars for Purel? Maybe you should get a glass of vodka on the side instead of seltzer, David – Purel is mostly alcohol.”

“That’s a good idea, Cheryl. But they say your hand sanitizer should be at least sixty-percent alcohol.”

“I could arrange to get some Balkin 176° that’s eighty-eight percent alcohol. I also have Absolute Black, that’s one-hundred proof, and a lot cheaper.”

“I’ll stick with seltzer, Cheryl. I prefer to sanitize from the inside out. But put a mask over Dan’s beer, I think he’s mocking me.”

“If I were to mock you, it would be for putting your faith in Amazon to prevent price gouging.”

“Like I said, Dan, they did shut several sellers down.”

“Yes, but it took them a long time.”

“I think it was only a day or two.”

“David, Amazon deals in data and is driven by analytics. Amazon days aren’t like days to you and me. It’s like dog-years times ten. They should be able to figure that stuff out in minutes.”

“Well, here’s to them for trying, I hear it isn’t an easy decision – cheers!”

“Cheers, David.”

“So, who are the other money-grubbers? I’m sure you’re not buying Purel.”

“My PBS station and my alma mater.”

“Which school?”

“It doesn’t matter, it’s only a matter of time and everyone will jump on board.”

“I did notice that it’s pledge week.”

“I think that’s pledge month.”

“It does seem that way, Dan, sometimes, well, yeah, every time, now that you mention it.”

“This was worse. This was an email, thanking me for liking them on Facebook, but saying that ‘social media mentions only go so far.’ What they need is cash.”

“That is crass. What did your alma mater do?”

“Nothing unusual, they’re just pointing out that since I missed the Annual Day of Giving, that there’s still time to donate.”

“Didn’t those annual days of giving start out encouraging you to give of yourself to your community?”

“Pffft, yes, but what’s that worth in dollars to my university?”

“Well, I suppose it’s harder now that a lot of people are in a tax situation where contributions aren’t deductible.”

“That’s the second time you’ve defended the people I’m mad at. If you want to contribute, contribute. If you can’t afford to contribute without the deduction – contribute less. And, don’t tell me it’s hard for Amazon to stop price gouging.”

“It’s not hard for them to stop, but I read that it’s hard for them to know the difference between gouging and market forces.”

“Again, Pffft. It’s not hard for them. Pick a percent. Set a flag. Stop the sale. They know the seller’s cost and the price – and they’re pocketing fifteen-percent of that price.”

“The point of the article that I read, was that market forces that push prices higher actually protect the people buying late from the people who would tend to hoard products that are in high demand.”

“I don’t understand, ‘people buying late,’ what does that mean?”

“Late, as opposed to the people waiting in line for Costco to open.”

“Costco opens at ten-o’clock. I’m guessing the people who consider that early are the ones looking forward to setting their clocks ahead tonight.”

“That’s it. Isn’t it? It’s not the gouging and the grubbing that’s got you in a twist, it’s Daylight Saving Time.”


“It figures! Cheryl, bring this soon-to-be-one-hour-deprived young man anther Corona, and put this tab under my name.”

“Coming right up, David.”

A service appointment for my car gave me a chance to visit Great River Park. It’s beginning to look like spring.


  1. Oh, Dan, I’ll apologize right now for not keeping my comments to myself. :-) Family from the state of Washington are visiting us right now. When they called back home and talked with a friend on line, they found out that toilet paper is being hoarded and the shelves are bare. I’ll stop right there. About a year ago a volunteer organization I work with decided to add the word ‘Alumni’ to their title. I voted against it because I knew what would be coming. Now, at least once a month I receive a request for donation. I volunteer almost 300 hours a year, and I find it quite insulting to keep getting the requests. If you calculate the value of the hours I donate, I’ve already given them $7,629 ($25.43 value of a volunteer hour x 300). I hope the price of recycled paper holds up because that’s where the request for donation goes, and now I guess we all have to regret not keeping those Sears catalogs. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve been reading about the hoarding, Judy. It’s crazy, but I guess it’s human nature. I used to live in Kirkland. I didn’t realize how much it has changed. When I lived there it was almost country life.

      The request for donations drive me crazy. Our daughter’s art school called asking for donations. I declined I wanted to say “I donated more in tuition than I paid for my house!”

      When alumni complained that our school switched the focus of their “day of giving” to “day of give you us” they added a “community day of giving,” I’m sure they’ll be asking for money to support that soon.

      I won’t jump on the value of time not being worth enough. That one gets too far under my skin. Suffice it to say, I feel your pain.

      I hope you have a good week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it amusing they’re cracking down now. Amazon, eBay and a number of other sites price gouge all the time. A protein powder I used in my smoothies recently went off the market but I saw it for $200 a pop online. Crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! They let people gouge the crap out of folks because they get a slice of the total price. They only clamp down when enough people complain. Then it’s like “we didn’t know…” They know, instantly.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I do believe Spring has definitely sprung already. At least I got to wear a winter sweater 3 whole days this year!!
    I figured I’d leave that “figure” prompt to you and John, and now after reading both stories, I’m very glad I did!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I stopped my University from continually harassing me for money by having a vocal meltdown with some poor kid on the phone. I accused him of trying to shame me into giving what I didn’t have. It worked. I still give.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – I do give, but the constant slew of “new giving opportunities” are getting ridiculous. Our PBS station is the worst. “We know you have already given, but that means you’re the kind of person we can count on to give a little more.” They actually said that in an email! In other words, “we know you’re dumb enough to let us take advantage of you.”

      Now the push is on for me to let them automatically deduct contributions from our checking account – to make life easier for me – don’t you know. No thanks, I’ll give when it suits me.


  5. People are hoarding in this area something fierce. It’s shameful. I don’t shop online, but my friend has told me about some of the price gouging, particularly on Amazon. The price gouging extends to most of our local stores as well. Yep, nothing like a community working together. 🙄😳

    I love so many of the PBS programs, but the non-stop fund raising is maddening! You see 15 minutes of the program, and then 15 minutes (or more) of the pitch for donations. 😤😡😤

    I’d be very careful touching that paw Dan. Claws!! 🤗 So glad at least MiMi is unaffected by stupid time change. I’m already in a bad mood thinking about it. Maddie looks like she’s pretty-well shed winter and is effortlessly working her way into her warm weather routine!! Gotta love it.

    Hope you all enjoy a pleasant weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ginger. We do a mix of online, local and big box store shopping. We haven’t seen the full effect of this, but I guess it’s not far away.

      I enjoy PBS. I am a member of our local station. I give them money, but I resent the blatant attempts to shame me into giving more. They ask for money, I give to them, they thank me and then, two weeks later, they want more. They’re like little kids next to a cookie jar.

      Our membership renews late in December. I got an email last August saying “your membership renews soon, don’t risk losing the benefits of membership.” I wrote back and complained. They apologized and didn’t ask me again until October.

      MuMu is pretty good about me touching her paws. MiMi has made me pay in blood fr that mistake. On the other hand, if I touch MuMu, she starts with the brushing and scratching requests – best to leave that sleeping cat alone.

      Maddie knows it’s Saturday. She’s pacing to go on our walk, even though the wind is howling and it’s barely 32 degrees.

      I hope you have a good weekend, and that the supply lines hold up.


  6. When I saw “figure” and “how much is that in dollars” I was afraid you were going to serve up some Saturday morning math, Dan. Wheew, that was a close one. Try and resist MuMu’s foot — she’s sure to take revenge on your glasses. =^-^= Cheers and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suppose my reputation precedes me on the math front, Teagan, but I wouldn’t do that to you guys – not on a Saturday. Saturdays are reserved for answering rhetorical questions and complaining about things we cannot change ;-)

      Touch that foot, and you’re in for 10 minutes of brushing and scratching. Touch her sister MiMi’s foot, and you might walk away bloody.

      Thanks for the hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Mumu is pretty indeed. I hope that stool beside you is empty Dan, cuz I’m popping the top on a bottle of Corona and joining you. And I think David should be paying The bill for his playing devil’s advocate. Everything you said is true. Now let’s talk about human ignorance. We know someone who seems like a reasonable fellow on most counts. He and his wife only take cruise vacations. In spite of the recent cruise ship disasters and quarantines, they are still going on a cruise this week. Why? Because it is a family event including nearly all family members from New York. No way they could decline. 😳😶And we wonder how crooks can get $400 for Purell on Amazon…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Cheryl. You couldn’t get me on a cruise if you paid me to go. Now, with a possibility that I’d be stuck on that ship even longer, nope – not happening. My little introverted self was happy to stand on the beach with the Terns and watch the cruise ships pull out of Ft Lauderdale. Not being on them was no problem. I too have friends going on a cruise this week. I wish them all the best. David’s a good egg, he just likes to keep the conversation lively.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know. I have good friends and family just like David. 😉Honestly, I have never wanted to go on a cruise. I am not really comfortable in land hotels, let alone floating ones with no way out. I was a tweenager when the Legionnaire’s scare occurred. I saw Poseidon Adventure at 16. I like a nice fishing boat ride once in awhile. Otherwise it’s terra firma for me. I’ll be happy to wave from the shore.

        Liked by 1 person

        • As you know, David, the character, speaks for a number of my good friends. He has a lot of shoes to fill. There is almost nothing about a cruise I would enjoy, least of all, the social life. I would enjoy some of the views, and I’m sure I would enjoy some of the places the cruise would stop, but not in a group with a few hundred other people. I like places I can explore on my own, or with a few friends. I was talking to a friend who cruises somewhere almost every year. He’s happy not to be going on one, and he is normally in the kind of room most people can’t afford, with space and a balcony. Imagine being quarantined in an interior stateroom.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. figure – you might expect some of those highly rewarded executives to figure. The same could be said of marketing and sales personnel. The corona virus has only been around for a month or so. There were fears of an epidemic from the start. Is it that difficult to figure demand for medical staff and personal protection products would go up? Cleaning products going up in demand ? Hand sanitizers? Food products with longer term shelf life – like soups and other canned or frozen products? Go figure – oh I can’t that is rocket science and requires a degree in ballistics. And sarcasm. We won’t touch the subject of capitalism and when and when it is not socially acceptable to be caught price gouging. Or which institutions should and should not have capitalism as a major focus of their mission statement. Now where were those ballistic charts the answer should be buried in the data somewhere… hope it warms up there soon Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the comments a rant post brings out, John. Price gouging is bad, but “dynamic pricing” is a genius business model. The charts are rolled up and tucked into the corner, in case we need them when we run out of toilet paper.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Super post, Dan. I have to agree on the fundraising by Universities. Our names are attached to four. Yup, they all come a calling. You know who I think started Daylight Savings time so I agree that it is a total waste of time. I loved the photos. Thanks for the pingback. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The way to put a quick end to the money grubbers on Amazon and elsewhere is for consumers to not panic and buy something that’s actually worth $400. And to not panic and not buy cases of hand sanitizer and TP like it’s the end of the world. I’m not joining in on that, but I’ll keep washing my hands and take care of myself to try and prevent illness.

    Your kids are so cute. I would have tickled that MuMu paw for sure. 😼

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mary. I always make sure to wash my hands before petting MuMu. Otherwise, she gives me a nasty look ;-)

      We’re trying to do our normal shopping. I was happy not to have been traveling this past week. It was a the week of a conference I always attended. I wouldn’t worry about the conference nearly as much as the flight.


  11. We’ve been slowly stocking up on non-perishables, not as an investment but to be sure to have enough on hand should we be forced into a two-week quarantine. Hubby works for a very large company, many of whose employees travel. So far, we haven’t noticed increased prices – although I did look on Amazon for face masks and was unpleasantly surprised not only by the prices but by the fact that you can’t even get them even if willing to pay those prices. I’ve heard that even medical personnel are having trouble stocking face masks – definitely not a good situation. As for fundraising, I don’t get a lot of that – everyone seems to know I don’t have any expendable cash.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If there’s a chance you might end up under self-quarantine, I guess it’s a good idea. I wanted some new dust masks for a project, but even the ones at the hardware store, which are medically useless, were sold out.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. We are big donors to our local PBS station but I also get a little tired of their seemingly constant request for more. But, I also understand that it’s very expensive to do what they do and I am happy to do what I can to help ensure their ongoing viability.

    I did receive a interesting request for a donation recently. My health insurance medical group apparently has an annual Doctors’ Day and they want me to send a “gift” (they helpfully suggest $35, $50, $100, or an “other amount”) to a favorite physician. My gift would “celebrate” Doctors’ Day and “honor my doctor” with a “tribute gift.” Unfortunately, I accidentally ripped the request letter apart and dropped it into our paper recycling bin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Doctors’ Day” ??? Um, no thanks. I mean, I like my doc, but I like my car mechanic too. Where does that end? I think my request would have ened up in the same place and condition as yours.

      I like my PBS station, and we’ve always been supporters of both radio and TV, but they just never let up on the “opportunities” to help.


  13. The solicitations for charitable donations never end around here. I don’t even look at them anymore. They go straight into the circular file– which is actually rectangular, go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. There’s something about this post, Dan. I think the captions show a bit more of your personality. I’m glad to get to know you a little from your photos, and SoCS posts. Loved it!

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great post, Dan. I fear humans much more than viruses. Folks tend to go a little crazy and do the dumbest things. Better not get between them and their toilet paper! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Unless you are in the service industry I can’t fathom why someone would buy hand sanitizers by the crate. We’ve stocked up on chicken noodle soup and top ramen (and of course wine) but toilet paper?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh Dan, I hear and understand your grumpiness. But mine is probably directed more at the idiots who think we’re in crisis and thus encourage the enterprising to price gouge. There are people fighting over toilet rolls in our supermarkets for Pete’s sake. (Seriously. Two women just got arrested in Queensland for assault.) People! Get a grip and read a newspaper! Educate yourselves! Get off Facebook!

    See, I can be just as grumpy as you. :D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arrested for fighting over toilet paper. Not what I want to see as my record. It’s true, these people feed on crisis news. And the media isn’t helping. Friday, our state had its first case. The headline font on Saturday hasn’t been that big since Lindberg landed in Paris.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s ridiculous. Not to downplay the seriousness of the disease. (I’m equally frustrated with the ‘more people die from the normal flu’ people. Yes, but more people also get the flu. It’s the rate not the number you have to take into account. Sigh.) But people do need to find some critical thinking skills.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m completely on board, Dan. The price of organic food can be lumped into price gouging, too. Daylight savings must be harder on pets. Enjoy the warm weather this week, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apparently, it’s alcohol and Aloe Vera gel, but the percentages need to be worked out fairly precisely or it’s either ineffective or it will dry your skin. It’s good to have with you on the road, but around your house, you’re better off just washing your hands.


  19. Dan, what is going on between the gouging and hoarding is shocking. Hubby told me today there were people everywhere in the toilet paper aisle looking confused because much of it was gone. There is no need to panic but media unfortunately is pushing the panic button. Shame on them!
    Your 4-footed “kids” are so cute. And yes Spring is most definitely in the air! HURRAY!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. That MuMu really is pretty.
    I don’t think we even own hand sanitizer. We have soap. A lot of soap. We have isopropyl alcohol and bleach and liquor and liquer and vinegar and I sure hope we’ll be okay without dropping $400 on Purel.
    I did think we should stock up on canned soup and Gatorade. The girls have been sick almost the entire winter :(
    I realized, in reading this, that we’ll have dark mornings again. And I was JUST starting to realize how great the daylight’s impact on me has been. Boo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Soup, soap, gatoraid and liquor – I think you’re ready.

      I never like the DST spring switch, because I found myself driving to work in the dark again. This year, it’s not so bad, since I’m taking the dog out during sunrise again. I didn’t like going to work in the dark. I especially didn’t like getting there and going into the building in the dark.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m not going to add my voice to the rants about price-gouging, hoarding, Corona Virus hysteria, annoying donation calls, or any number of irritants on my radar right now. People be crazy. That’s all I’ve got to say.

    You’re welcome 😉

    btw – I don’t think I could have resisted that little paw hanging down like that … taunting me …

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I just read that someone who contracted the virus and was supposed to be on self-imposed isolation went to work and nightclub! I think people are more dangerous than a virus.

    Liked by 1 person

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