Posts Tagged ‘Drone’

Shopping at Costco.

November 28, 2018

Some time ago I heard of a new shopping phenomenon. It is called ‘Costco shopping’. A bowling friend spoke how he went there and bought new hearing aids. Costco, he explained, is a huge shopping experience and one can buy everything from toilet paper to TVs, nicely crafted funeral caskets to embellished urns, everything for those alive and the dearly departed. The dead are as welcome as the living. This is apart from food, groceries, tyres and petrol. All direct from the pallets or bowsers at vastly reduced prices.

We have an American friend who already some time ago promised us the ‘the full Costco experience’. Last Sunday we arranged to meet up in Sydney’s Balmain where he would then take and drive us to the nearest Costco Emporium for a guided tour.  We are not really in for new shopping experiences but were curious enough to at least go and see it. Getting old doesn’t mean avoiding new experiences. I often regale our expeditions to Aldi. Why stop there? In any case, our friend had promised us to drive; so what the heck?

After arrival we noticed people walking with giant shopping trolleys. The trolleys were huge which, even though most shoppers looked normal sized, made people look smaller in what they actually were. A clever architect could conceivably convert those trolleys in mini-houses. The parking station alone was so large one expected traffic lights,  landings of light aeroplanes, border guards.  And everywhere those giant trolleys with small people pulling them along, all glazed eyed, and hyperventilating with over- excitement.

One needs to be a member for the privilege of shopping at Costco. It costs $50.-. Our friend had a membership card on which we could enter as well. After retrieving a large trolley we walked up several levels to get to the entrance. There were queues entering as well as at the exits. An infectious hurry is what seemed to drive most shoppers. In fact, the whole Costco event is finely tuned to spending and impulse buying . Impulse buying is what it seems to be about. The goods are portrayed at eye level and a kind of mass hysteria is honed to perfection. I would say that it is unhappiness and anxiety in most Costco shoppers which is cleverly taken advantage of and exploited by expert psychologists that try and maximise that manner of shopping. Shopping might well fill an otherwise empty life.

Cooked hot chickens were for sale at $3.90. I watched people putting 10 to 20 hot chickens in their trolleys together with towering packs of croissants. What does one do with all those hot chickens and dozens of croissants? Can you imagine going home with complete sides of sheep or pork? I watched someone taking a large pack of chicken breasts out of their trolley and exchanging it for a battery driven drone. What feverish thinking is going on with the shopper during those instant changes of choices?

The coffins looked nice and were temptingly displayed with white sheets tucked around the chrome handles with white plastic lilies poked in for good measure. I saw an elderly man fondling an upmarket nicely embellished urn ready for an impromptu ashes to ashes event. It was right next to a display of car tyres.

Helvi and I ended up buying some baby beetroots, a box of nectarines. Also a box of smoked German sausages and a kilo of sliced Swiss Cheese. (manufactured in Holland.) Our friend drove us to Bar Italia in Norton Str, Leichhardt. It was heaven and the Spaghetti Bolognaise was superb…as always.

All I all, an interesting day.

 

The 3d printer and boudoir items to sulk with.

February 16, 2016

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It had to come. Aldi is selling 3 Dimensional printers. Of all the quirky things that are selling in their middle isles! Last week it had self lifting toilet seats, foldable wheel chairs, a drone with spare blades, and boxes of Allen keys. The Allen keys are needed to assemble the toilet seat, the drone and wheel chair. I often notice the shopper picking up products of which their use remains totally baffling and mysterious. They proceed to look it up on the notice board to read what it actually is. Afterwards the gaze travels back to object and turn it around fondly, happy in the new-found knowledge of the totally useless product. Many then use the mobile phone to transmit the good news about this mysterious product back to a spouse or partner, possibly for approval.

Of course the real shopper buys it regardless.  They don’t care what it is.  That is the magic of clever commerce and mindless shopping. In any case, this week it is the special 3D printer. It comes with different coloured spools of what looks like very strong shark-fishing line.

I must admit that if the choice last week was between buying the self-lifting toilet seat or a drone, I would have gone for the drone. The idea of a need to be propelled upwards in an upright position after the use of the loo, fills me with dread. It seems like only yesterday I was soaking off postage stamps from my parents letters and neatly arranging them in my album. This was way back in the serenity of Holland, back in Rotterdam and the use of postal stamps. I still have the album in which I could add extra pages. The pages were held together by screws and nuts. Some of the stamps date back to the 1800’s.

In fact, I was fantasising about hovering the drone by remote control, while hiding well out of sight, menacingly over our Body Corporate ‘bad neighbour’s’ backyard, taking pictures of her while cutting down more of her garden, or worse, slashing other peoples’ gardens. I must desist.

Is the 3D printer the start of a new era as the computer or internet were experienced so many years ago? Jets are flying with components made by 3D printers and the printing of artificial limbs and body parts is becoming the norm. It is actually called ‘additive manufacturing.’ It makes replacing broken items now within the reach of everyone. I suppose I could use it to make soles for my shoes or a replacement for the broken battery holder for the remote control of the TV.

Soon our lounge room or office will store the 3D printer in addition to computer, normal printer, phone and files,  errant laptop, a cooling fan and column heater, chairs, books on computers and virus detection, boxes of discs and lonely chargers, and of course miles of cables and power extensions going in all directions. Some people have  3D printing another 3D printer as a replacement or spare.

In social situations, we will mingle around and after a couple of drinks, ask how the 3D printing is going. A brave man might well mention in a jocular fashion. ‘You are looking very nice today, Mavis.’ ‘Are you wearing your new 3D’s today?’ Mavis was known to have started a small business 3D printing lingerie with matching boudoir items to sulk with.

No doubt mobile 3D printers will come about and people will be seen crossing the street all terribly busy with the 3D printing of boxes of hot chips with 2l coke or a quick coffee. On line 3D dating will be eagerly exploited. Photos of blokes proudly showing 3D printed  additions. Girls will advertise showing 3D printed cleavages with proportionally alluring  3D printed hips.

It will come about.