Day: March 10, 2023

Fri. Mar. 10, 2023 – … until morale improves.

Warm and damp.  Maybe the rain holds off another day, maybe not but it would be nice if it did.   Yesterday ended up being quite nice, with a bunch of sun, but a bunch of clouds.  Mostly sunny, but a lot of activity in the sky.   No rain on me though.

Didn’t quite get done what I’d hoped.   Not a big surprise to anyone here, I think, at this point….

I did get the AC diagnosed and fixed.   Saved a service call and some money there.   Knowing how stuff works, and then looking for what changed is a valuable skill.  About $150 valuable to me yesterday.  Thank you for the reminders to check the overflow pan and the float valve.   My old system had that disconnected and flooded the bathroom, so it’s not something I’d have thought to check immediately.   Turned out to be a disconnected wire nut on the control line to the condenser unit.  Easily fixed.

I then left the house to mail my ebay sale, and do pickups.   Since we’ll be at the BOL all next week for Spring Break, I had to get all my pickups done, even the one that normally has up to two weeks leeway.   And because one of the sellers is near the Sugar Land Habitat reStore, I hit that for a quick look ’round before heading back to my neighborhood.

With some time left, I went to Costco.  Which was interesting on a number of levels.

Firstly, several of the things I buy all the time were out of stock.   Ham slices for sandwiches were completely AWOL.   Smoked almonds too.   There were a couple other things as well.   I mentioned last night that they had a cheaper cut of beef in the cooler than I’ve seen there before.  And there were some more changes to the store.   The perimeter aisle had been filled with just a few really bulky items.  Armchairs.   Alternating with the boxed armchairs to create a “look” which filled the racks, but didn’t quite mask the fact that they used to be full with a dozen different articles and now had only a few of one.

There were a couple of other places where they expanded one item to cover for a lack of others.   They took about half the computer/phone/apple area away and just left it empty.  No jewelry case right there either.  Took out half an aisle of pallet rack in the same area too.   I’d guess the TV display had fewer choices than I’ve ever seen as well, maybe even one whole aisle less.

The wine selection has changed quite a bit.   I’d say that about 3/4 of the display area was wines less than $12 a bottle, and there were pallets of wine in the $7-9 range too.   They have definitely shifted downmarket for wine in their stocking mix.

There were a few more choices for rice than my last visit, but they are at least 40-50% higher priced than 2 years ago.  That’s a big jump.

Some prices have been stable though.  Lamb from Down Under is about the same.  Maple syrup from Canada might even be a dollar cheaper than it was.   And smoked salmon is close to the same at $1/oz.   Now that spiral sliced ham is back in stock, it’s actually cheaper (counting inflation) than it was a couple of years ago.     Chicken drums were 1$/pound again too.   That might be people slaughtering early to sell before they get bird flu and have to be destroyed, pushing down the value.

All in all, Costco appears to be reducing SKU count (maybe involuntarily), has gaps in supply for long time staples, has moved product mix down market, offering new and more plentiful cheaper choices and seems to be making changes that DON’T point to a return to prosperity and an expanding economy.

Or I could be reading more into it than is there, but I think what I’m seeing is real.

Stack it up, if only to get through temporary supply issues.


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