Monday, August 5, 2013

A Day in Search of a Theme


First, a little blog business:  it’s time to put Snapshot Sunday to rest, at least for a while.  I seem to have lost my photographic mojo for the moment, and there’s just no sense trying to force these things.  Interestingly, Brian and I were talking just this evening about finding a photography class at the vo-tech or someplace, somewhere I could learn some actual skills to go along with my interest.  It’s certainly not anything I’m giving up on completely.  But for now, it doesn’t need to hold a regular place here on the blog.  Doesn’t mean pictures might not pop up from time to time, but it’ll be sporadic, as the spirit moves me.


  In the meantime, Sunday is in search of a topic.  I’ve grown sort of fond of the idea of theme days here, and I’d like to find one for Sunday.  If not, goodness knows I can ramble on about something, but a little direction can never be a bad thing. 

So, if anyone has any grand ideas, this would be an excellent time to share them.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

For today, though, let me tell you about a little incident that had me shaking my head . . .

Since I’ve been working, I’ve been relying pretty heavily on the slow cooker for dinner time, because who wants to walk in the door at sixish and start preparing a meal?  Especially given that Brian goes to bed at nine, that wouldn’t give us a very large window of opportunity for eating.  Anyway, the problem is, my cooker is just a plain old fashioned one, not one of those newfangled programmable ones, which means the food cooks from the time I put it on at roughly 7:00am until Brian gets home at about 5:00pm and turns it to warm for another hour or so until I get home.  As you might imagine, ten hours is a long time for food to cook, and some of it hasn’t fared so well from the extra time.  (As an aside, chicken was the worst; that stuff dries out fast.)

So, I finally went today to buy one that switches automatically to a warming setting to see if that could make a difference in the palatability of our meals.  I spent quite a long time in the small appliances section, trying to decide just which one I wanted.  In fact, I spent enough time there that I also decided to pick up a breakfast sandwich maker, even though I didn’t know such a thing existed.  I’ll be trying that puppy out tomorrow morning.  But I digress.

After looking over the slow cookers for longer than strictly necessary, and browsing the rest of the store just for fun, I selected a nice six quart Crock-Pot model and carted it and my new sandwich maker up to the register.  Then I tossed my purchases into the trunk of my car and went about the rest of my errands for the day.

Hours later when I returned home, Brian was actually the first one to open up the box, and he stuck his head out into the garage (I was still carrying in some other purchases; it was tax-free weekend here and I needed some shoes!) and said “there’s no crock pot in that box.”  Well, Brian has been known to be a prankster, so I just figured he was being silly and went about my business.  When he repeated himself firmly, I realized he wasn’t joking around, so I went into the kitchen to see what he was talking about.  This is what was in my Crock-Pot box:



Oh, and there was also a set of bowls and a strainer in there, but Brian had been digging through the stuff and had some of it sitting out when I took this picture. 

Anyway, about half of the stuff was brand new, the rest various stages of used, but none of these things are going to slow cook my roast.  If I can paraphrase Colonel Sherman T. Potter, I ordered a Crock-Pot and got a box of kitchen gadgets; both highly useful items, but hardly interchangeable. 

The chain of events leading to this seems very clear cut to me, and here’s how I think it played out:  Someone got a slow cooker for a wedding gift, which they wanted to keep.  They also got a bunch of kitchen gadgets that they were not so fond of.  Deciding they could keep the cooker, get rid of the unwanted gadgets (and some other random crap already lying around their kitchen), and even make a few bucks on the deal, they took the Crock Pot from its box, stuffed it full of various gadgetry to reach the appropriate heft, and then packaged it all back up nice and neat.  Then they took it to the unsuspecting store and returned it.  Likely for store credit, but you never know, someone might’ve given them a gift receipt just in case they got two Crock Pots, so they might’ve even gotten a free sixty bucks out of the deal.  All of this definitely causes me to shake my head. 

It didn’t have to happen just that way, of course.  There might not be some soon-to-be-wed couple starting their life together by trying to turn a profit on the gifts of well-meaning friends and family.  But however that box of stuff ended up in my kitchen, it wasn’t accidental.  Someone got a free slow cooker out of the deal in some way, shape, or form, meaning the store is out the cost of the item (because they have agreed to replace it) and the inconvenience of an extra trip to the store for us.  Seriously, what’s with people?  If it truly was a wedding gift scam, do you really want that sort of negative energy hanging over your new life?  And even if it wasn’t, could you ever really enjoy a meal that came from that cooker, knowing you’d stolen it?

Typically, when people steal, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and think that there’s some set of circumstances that made it almost a necessity; I try to think that they must have needed the item more than the rightful owner.  And maybe that’s the case here, but this just seems so deliberate and deceitful, that I’m having a hard time cutting the thief too much slack. 

Still, I don’t wish them a lot of ill will; it is only a slow cooker, after all.  But I do hope their chicken turns out dry.