Less for More – SoCS

This has been a very busy week around our house, so Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is fitting and should be easy to bat around while having a beer. David and I are going to relax at the bar while we discuss:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘home.’ Use it as a noun, a verb, an adjective, or an adverb. Enjoy!”

If we were having a beer, I’d have to bone up on that tricky concept of ‘adverbs of place’ or some such thing.

“Cheryl, have you seen David?”

“I have not, Dan. Maybe he’s staying home today.”

“No way, it’s my turn to buy. He probably homing in on this location as we speak.”

“Well, I’ll get a beer, so you can get started. Corona bottle or Modelo draft?”

“Draft me!”

“Draft me? That’s the phrase I was hoping to avoid when I joined the Air Force.”

“Hi David. Better late than never. But I though you were in the Coast Guard.”

“Hi David. John Howell’s Bourbon today? I thought you were in the Coast Guard, too.”

“Bourbon, Cheryl. I’ve told both stories, but I’m not senile, I was in both services.”

“Well then, your first bourbon in on the house.”

“But it’s Dan’s day to buy.”

“David, if I wait a week, I’ll forget. Free bourbon or not?”

“Here’s an idea. You buy this week; collect your free bourbon and I’ll buy next week.”

“Like I said, I’m not senile. That math doesn’t work, Dan. You can buy, but I’ll hit you up for a bowl of soup before I head for home.”

“Here you go, Modelo and bourbon. Enjoy.”

“Cheers, Cheryl.”

“Cheers, and thanks. So, Dan, what have you been up to this week. Did you finish your fence.”

“Yes and no.”


“I know, you hate that answer. Of course, knowing that only makes me want to have a reason to use it, and in this case, it works.”

“How can yes and no work?”

“The fence is finished, but the fence project is not. If you recall, the fence project includes a removable roof support to keep the snow and ice from crushing the compressor in the winter. I haven’t started on that part. By the way, why were you late?”

“I stopped at Target. That place is a mess.”


“No, they have stock all over the place. They appear to be switching from Halloween to Christmas. I couldn’t even get what I went for because the aisle was blocked with carts to be unloaded.”

“I heard they can’t get people to work.”

“They certainly can’t get cashiers, or so they say. In any case, there were no human-staffed checkout lines open.”

“Or so they say…? Do I heard a conspiracy theory coming, David?”

“I think a lot of these places are milking these whole pandemic-related staff shortages, supply chain issues and inflation, as a means of padding the bottom line.”

“Well, I know it’s the case for Home Depot. Their twenty-twenty-two profits are up over twenty-twenty-one, which was a record year. And I know one reason.”

“Higher prices in the fence aisle, Dan?”

“Higher prices and cheaper material.”

“Cheaper? In what way?”

“Thinner. I needed to pin the fence fabric in place, so I could stretch it out and measure the sections I needed. I used the old tension bars. I stuck two in the ground, at one end of the fence.”

“Cheryl, could we get another round. Dan is entering the story dimension.”

“This is important to understand, David.”

“It’s only important if I care, Dan.”

“Yes, but it supports your conspiracy theory.”

“Then, by all means, continue.”

“Where was I?”

“Pinning the fence to the ground. Do NOT start over!”

“OK. Well, later in the project, I needed to support the loose end of a section of fence while I was tightening the bolts on the other end.”

“Go on.”

“I tried to stick a new tension bar in the ground, and it bent.”

“Harder ground?”

“No! Thinner metal. Almost twenty percent thinner.”

“Is that a guess?”

“No, I measured it with a micrometer.”

“Geeze, I guess we need to stop watering down our drinks, he might have a chromatograph in his car. Here’s your pure bourbon and your pure Modelo.”

“She has a point, Dan. Most Home Depot customers don’t check things with a micrometer. Since you did, was that the only thing that was thinner?”

“No. The fence poles and the line pones were also about twenty percent thinner. I couldn’t really check the fence fabric because it’s vinyl coated.”

“So it might be the same thickness because you have more vinyl.”


“OK, how ‘bout that soup. Cheryl, what’s the soup special today?”

“Broccoli cheddar.”

“Two bowls please.”

“Here you go guys.”

“Are these new bowls, Cheryl?”

“They are, Dan. We broke too many old ones, and we can’t get that ‘home style’ anymore.”

“Are they the same size as the old ones, Cheryl?”

“Go home, David.”

If you like magical realism with suspense, action and a bit of family sarcasm, you will enjoy these books:

The Evil You Choose
When Evil Chooses You

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  1. It is not quite 4:30 in the morning. I have skimmed the news — bad idea — but then came to the bar and had several laugh-out-loud moments, for which I thank you. This bar conversation was particularly lovely in its sarcasm. Not to mention the message on the soup. “Less for more” is not so laughable, and therefore it is all the more important to appreciate the art of sarcasm. I also love that yellow leaf with the grass shadow on it — nice capture!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m beginning to think sarcasm is the only thing we have left that separates us from the apps, bots and machines. Skimming the news at 4:30am? Oh my, what were you thinking? I am so glad this post was here and I appreciate your coming here so early. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Best photo is the spider web – wonderful catch. You brought up a very important topic here disguised with a few chuckles. Not only are prices higher, but the consumer is getting less, and the quality is not there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to Target and seen those exact shots. Fence looks good, I’ll be looking forward to seeing the top. How do you trim the top of the fence – just snip off the excess? We have a septic redo going on, and they brought in more materials yesterday. I didn’t have any time to create a new AC cover so got out my old contraption and added some longer heavy plastic to get it all covered before dirt and gravel starts flying. I don’t have room for a fence, but I need something better than what I have. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    • In this case, Target actually sent me to a different store. I couldn’t wiggle myself into the aisle to get the adapter cord I wanted. Less for more is a trend I’ve noticed. This one really bothers me. No mater how long a run of chain link fence you put up, there are only two tension bars, one at each end or corner post. You slip those in and then stretch the fence fabric tight. They remain under a lot of pressure for the life of the fence (which I assume will be shorter than it was in the past).

      As for trimming the fence, yes, you cut the wire and bend the cut end back down. It’s pretty easy, but I’d recommend a pair of wire cutters. It’s a lot of squeezing. I’m going to start work on the roof contraption today. More to come :)

      Good luck with the septic redo. I hope you have a nice weekend.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Cluttered store aisles here too. I don’t know how many times I’ve walked out with nothing because I can’t get near the merchandise. The Halloween , Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise are fighting for shelf space everywhere. And the customers are fighting to find a checkout with a cashier!

    And for all this miserable shopping experience, we’re paying more and getting less and the quality of most things has really tanked. I can actually remember when shopping was fun! 😵‍💫

    The fence looks terrific. I admire your ability to do a job right. Too many people say, ‘Good enough” and leave it at that.

    That spider web of seed pearls coupled with the fence makes a great photo.

    The leaf with the grass shadows is perfect. Don’t mess with those shadows Dan because the Shadow knows!

    The shot of Old Glory enveloped in fog is stunning.

    “Go home, David” just cracks me up.

    Enjoy the weekend.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I was beginning to wonder if it was just me, or just our Target store. I just read an article last night that says Target and Walmart are going to have more promotions, more often, between now and Christmas to get us to spend more. Sorry, it’s not going to work with this boy.

      I am very happy with the way the fence turned out. I’m not sure we will even get another dog, and not sure we’d get a male dog, but after what we paid for that unit, no one is peeing on it.

      I’m glad you like the pictures. I laughed at The Shadow Knows. I heard a young person say that at the bar. The had no idea what it was from, “It’s just something my grandfather used to say.” That hurt.

      I’m glad you liked the last line. I realized I hadn’t used it as an adverb.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was in Sam’s this weekend, and they have both Halloween and Christmas decorations. Get me the heck outta there!!
    David was in rarer than usual form. ‘Do NOT start over!’–cracked me up!
    The fence around the A/C really looks good. We should probably have something like this over our unit. When it rains, we don’t have gutters so the rain runs right into the fan that spits it back up onto the kitchen window and slings it into the screened porch. Nice picture, right? When can you be here? 😆 Have a great weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree with David😂We went to Target twice for the pharmacy and stock was piled everywhere. When I worked retail stocking was done at night. Everyone is asking for help and pay seems high to me for small jobs. I think David has a point. I also think the checkouts manned by persons are disappearing everywhere but there’s always “helpers?” Standing around doing nothing.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

    • I remember when stocking was done at night and when stores were bright an clean when the doors opened. I have run into nice employees in Home Depot and Target, but it seems they are always going beyond the call of duty. They aren’t there to help me, but they are willing. Makes me think they were raised right ;-)

      I use the self-checkout at Target, but I refuse to use it at our grocery store. They have it set so far into the theft-prevention mode that every single item has to be scanned and placed on the (scale) shelf. So, if they have bottled water on sale, I have to scan three cases of water. At a human checkout, I can say, “I have three cases of water.” I can also give the clerk one bag of kitty litter and say, “I have two of those.” It’s so much easier, and faster. At least at Target, they have a remote scanner that can reach into the cart and scan the heavy stuff.


  6. Not being able to get workers is one thing, but the thinner material is something else. Maybe you should write a review and include your measurement photos. I had to chuckle at your friend, David. My husband David has been waiting for the lumber prices to go down more to finish redoing our dog fence. Might as well go ahead and do it. I love the spider web, the leaf on the windshield, and the misty photos.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks JoAnna. They usually send me a review request. If they do, I will give them as low a rating as I can. The problem is, they are the only game in town for this material. I always try elsewhere for everything else. I’m glad you like those photos.

      Good luck with the dog fence.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The sheet metal I buy can often vary by extremely small increments, but this whole thing about materials being made cheaper and costing more gripes me. We gave up on an addition to our house because of the materials issues and timelines. (I’m a fan of both Modelo and also broccoli cheddar. I am envious!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • The material quality is horrible, Maggie. I was making a small cabinet for my shop. I was using 7-ply birch plywood. I tried making dovetail joints for the drawers, and the top veneer peeled of in big sections. I’m used to a little tear out, but this ruined the drawer side. I remade them using a different style joint. That worked, but when I put the drawer slides on, I ran into voids beneath the surface. The drawer slide screws are only 1/2″ long, but they poked into a void and spun free. The plywood was really expensive, but there’s no way to tell that there are internal voids.

      Sorry about the soup/beer photos.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. First of all, I love the soup message and I love, love the spider web!

    I can relate to so much here. We’ve experienced the increase in prices as the quality has decreased (and, yes, my husband can verify this with his micrometer), and corporate profits are sky high. I, for one, refuse to use the self-checkout terminals until they put me on their payroll. I’m probably tilting against windmills but it is my little form of protest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love knowing someone else can check these things. It’s ridiculous the way they make things cheaper and raise the prices at the same time. They hide behind the pandemic, but they can’t hide those obscene profits.

      I use the self-checkout in some places, but not our grocery store. It’s so much more work for me, when I have to lift, scan and move (twice) every single item. With a human, I can say, “I have three bags of kitty litter.” And buying fruit or veggies…forget it. It takes me longer to checkout than it does to shop.

      I’m glad you like the pictures.


    • Thanks Jan. I used to enjoy shopping. Now it makes me sad. It’s no better online, the quality is still not there and the prices and shipping are rising. I’m glad you like the photos. I hope you’re having a nice weekend.


  9. Thanks for letting us know what kind of soup that was–it sure looked good. And your fence looks good too! I hadn’t thought of the retailers using the supply chain as an excuse for not hiring people… interesting and probably true if they can get away with hiring less people. Easy way to pad their bottom line.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ethics are so far below profit on the scale of importance, Robbie. It makes me sad. It used to be, if you had a good quality product, people would buy from you. Now, they buy up the competition and force you to buy from them and they don’t care about quality.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That spiderweb picture is brilliant! Everything has gone up in the last year. I am spending almost 50% more on groceries than I did two years ago. Not all of the items I have been using for the last two years are available. Yep, I am not used to not being able to get things. Talk about an eye-opener.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks John. Obviously this is a small run of fence, but on a long run, the come-along comes into play, and it’s pulling against that tension bar. That one makes me angry. That bar needs to be strong. I don’t mind paying for material, but when you raise the price and cut the quality, that frosts me.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Speaking of quality ….. hubby and I both will only accept quality in working materials yet lately what we are seeing is far from quality. Hubby made a very smart move years ago and for this I am truly grateful he detests throwing anything out cuz you know, you never know when you need something. Anyways …. we have shelves of wood that are today stacked in our basement that today would cost an arm and a leg. He just finished a project making a stereo cabinet for our garage. He designed it, drew the blueprints on CAD, and just finished building it. The man is brilliant and that is not an exaggeration. He used for that cabinet wood from what he has stashed. No way no how would he have been able to build a cabinet like he did with the quality of wood available today. Things just have to change, Dan! Myself I am boycotting places of businesses that are not up to what “we the people” deserve.

    Really enjoyed your post. Ya got me rambling. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • I had lots of leftover material from previous fence projects, Amy, but the compressor was much taller and a little wider. So I had to replace the top rails and tension bars. Switching between old and new, I noticed to weight difference. A longer piece of rail felt lighter than the shorter piece it was replacing. That’s when I measured. I, too, have a lot of wood from previous projects, and you’re right, it’s not stuff you can buy today.

      I wish I could boycott this store, but for some essential projects, they’re the only game in town.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, Home Depot has it all wrapped up here too, Dan. There’s no getting around that one. It is such a shame what is happening yet I still keep faith alive in my heart that somehow better is around the corner. In the meantime, we do our best regardless of what we do. Have a great Sunday!

        Liked by 2 people

  12. I haven’t been measuring things, Dan, but almost swallowed my tongue when Jiffy Lube told me that my oil change would be either $70 or $90, depending on the type of synthetic oil I chose. What? No. No thank you! I went to a different place and paid $40. Much better, although I remember paying only $25-30 not that long ago. Prices for everything have gone up, but not necessarily the quality.

    Hope you’re have a good Saturday and Go Pack and Steelers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • $70 for Jiffy Lube? That’s crazy. I’m seeing a lot of places that were the low-cost option, bouncing to the top of the graph. I guess we have to get used to doing more research. Steelers already lost this week (Thursday). I’m counting on your guys to stop a certain QB who should have stayed retired. Go Pack.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I did not know that was called fence fabric! Love the spider web.
    My beau works in a Target and he says it’s been a nightmare as they keep sending them stuff but they have no place to put it. Not fun times.

    Liked by 2 people

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