Coping: Consumer Rips, A Case of Woo-Woo

According to plan, the visit of my nearly life-long buddy – the major –  the fellow who’s my “brother of a different mother” will wrap up today.

When you’ve been friends with someone for 66-years (admittedly longer than most readers have been alive) there are a number of topics that generally come up during a visit.  One of these is “consumer rip-offs.”

Since we always have an assortment of liquids on hand, the topic always gets around to “consumerism” topics.  In the past, we’ve kicked around the ongoing screw-job of consumers via packaging.  This trip was  no different. High fructose corn poison and so forth, among the regulars. Packaging additives…you know the list.

As we were recounting out gripes, Elaine happened to be running a load of laundry down the hall.

In she marched with in with a jug of Tide (with bleach) laundry soap  and held it up.  “See the color of the top?

We nodded – it’s a medium-dark blue.  One of those things neither the major or I would normally pay any attention to.  But it grabbed Elaine’s careful eye.

Now ready?  Watch this….”

She poured about half a cap full and passed it around.

You can’t see how much I poured, right? See how the color of the top hides the amount of soap?”

As readers know, my eyes aren’t especially good…but doggone it, she was right.  The washing liquid was  tinted medium blue and in anything less than surgical theater lighting, it was difficult to tell.

This is why we go through so much soap, maybe….”

The major then piped up with his two-bits worth.

Speaking of packaging and rips, you know how easy it would be for salad dressing outfits to fix those wide-mouth jars so you don’t over-pour salad dressings?”

About here, we were all bobbing our heads.

How tough would it be for them to put a screw-on top or an insert on top so you didn’t pour too much salad dressing?”

We then wandered off into how “pounds of coffee” and other goods were 12-ounces.  Which wouldn’t be so bad, but we agreed there’s a sense that this re-jiggering of weights and measures have never been fully accounted for in prices kept by the government to adjust for inflation.

Easy enough to see how:  A “pound of coffee” becoming 12 ounces means you can bury a 25% price inflation.

Experts might differ due to something called “consumer switching.”  The idea is that what used to be a “pound of steak” in the grocery cart price samples might be any of a half dozen cuts of meat, based on whatever’s on sale.  Since “steak” to me is man y different cuts, you can  hide a good bit of inflation that way.

Same with a 32 (or however many) ounce jug of laundry soap.  If you start off with a gallon of Tide (which used to be 128 ounces, lol) by the time you get down to current pricing, you might be finding the best cost per ounce is in the smaller powdered generic laundry soap.

Consumer choicing, wrote the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1987, is driven by “relative importance” – just “What does one pound of Folger’s cost?”

All of which has two main takeaways for preppers.

The first is that when you store “a pound of coffee” you are storing a current priced item.  When you get to using it – a year or three down the road, who knows how  many grains of coffee will make up the mathematically jiggered “pound of coffee?”

Second is Mark Twain’s take on liars, damn liars, and statisticians.

A 2015 St. Louis Fed paper notes:

“The CPI is designed to reflect the purchases of the typical urban consumer, and not all people are typical or urban. More importantly, the CPI is meant to reflect the experience of the average household, but differences in individual consumer choices nearly guarantee that the inflation rate experienced by any individual varies from the average inflation rate. In addition, the prices of some goods that are more visible might influence people’s perception of inflation because the prices are both noticeable and volatile. In short, it is good to remember that when it comes to national statistics such as the CPI, actual (individual) results may vary.”

No…tell us it ain’t so!  But, there it is in the Fed’s own confessional.

Some Serious Woo-Woo

One of our projects during the major’s visit was to put together a couple of large receiving antennas called BeveragesWell-described in the literature.

So, there we were – working on the project.  The major across the room…me soldering up cable ends.  I put small ring terminals on twin-lead so as to make a good, permanent connection.

I had been using an orange-handled pair of scissors for cutting the twin lead in half…and then stripping off the insulation and putting on the ring connectors.  Had two two ends already.

I put the scissors down, on  the left side of my workspace…and  as soon as the solder cooled, I went to pick up the scissors to do the last end.

They weren’t where I’d had them not 30-seconds earlier…They had simply disappeared!!!  My bench looked like this…

No scissors!

“Hey (name)…come over here and help me find the scissors… had ’em just a minute ago….”

So over comes the major and HE looks at the bench – not there.

For the next five minutes we tore the bench apart… looking under, over, around and through everything.  No damn scissors to be found.  Under the desk?  Nope.  Put back in a drawer?  Nope.  Had he taken them over to where he was working?  Well, no, he hadn’t gotten out of his chair.

Then  I checked  my pockets and then we both looked at every shelf and in every nook and cranny…

“Boy, that’s strange as hell…” I said…finally giving up.

The major about  here had gone out into the shop to pick up another pair of scissors…and came back with an alternative pair.

“No, put those back – they’re for the shipping bench….”

I then went out (as he was putting them away in the shop) and started to look for my next victim roll of wire.  The major went back to the office.

Oh CRAP!  George get in here!”

I came through the door, looked left at where he was pointing to my desk.

OMG…there on the front left side of the bench was what????

There they were!

This despite the fact that we had emptied the bench a few minutes earlier.

Maybe it was a double schotoma…” he proposed.

We both have some familiarity with schotomas…me from past woo-woo columns and him professionally as a highly trained psychologist.  And we both knew the odds of this being a “double schotoma”  – in the morning, with two high IQ people -both with masters etc –  at other ends of a room – was approximately zero.

We knew what the odds were.

When you’ve been pals for 66 years – including having a shared “missing time” experience, late at night on a logging road in the summer of 1968 (August) in the Mount St. Helens area when we were on a campaign/hiking adventure – we both recognized it for what it was…

Another one of those “low probability things” that sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and say “That was some seriously strange sh*t, huh?” and let it go.

Until the next time it happens.

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

39 thoughts on “Coping: Consumer Rips, A Case of Woo-Woo”

    • .abq, beware Sorcha Faal. According to. Joel Skousen, she’s actually a Russian disinformation agent.

      Rick in Pueblo

  1. It happened to me to except mine hasn’t shown up, a plastic garden hose coupling.

    May all beings be lovingly fulfilled financially fulfilled and readily fulfilled so be it.

    So I bought two more then come find out I have my male and female mixed up in the brain so then I ordered another one finally but then it took so long .
    So then I have my son-in-law was dropping by and I had him pick up one and I messaged him a Amazon photo of the brass coupling instead of the plastic coupling.
    So in about 3 days I’ll have another brass coupling nothing like having a bunch of spare parts around even the opposite sex parts of the couplings you just never know maybe the future is meant to be.
    It’s rather unique having things laying around that you don’t need then all of a sudden your brain starts storming and you make things completely different from what I normally would be made.
    Have a good Sunday.!!!

  2. I have a honey business and buy jars and have to be careful about jars and filling them with honey. A small 8 oz mason jar of honey is fluid ounces and if I fill it with honey which is 1.33 ounces to the fluid ounce times 8 it equals 10.64 ounces of honey. I suppose it is part of being careful and thoughtful about our measure no different than how we measure money. Thanks for all you do!

    • You’re mixing apples and oranges. You can’t buy in kilometers per hour and sell in mph. That’s what you’re doing. Sell by weight instead which means you put in 8/1.33 = 6 fluid ounces per jar. You may want to use different jars so they don’t look 3/4 of the way full. You probably already know to make them look pretty with ribbon or such. Print up some labels with your name, website and contact info too, right.

    • Your issue is that you are mixing apples and oranges. You can’t buy in kilometers per hour and sell in mph. That’s what you’re doing. You’re producing by weight and selling in fluid ounces.

      The answer is to also sell by weight. So 8/1.33 = 6.015 fluid ounces. Which means you fill each container with 6.015 fluid ounces which equals 8 ounces BY WEIGHT.

      You may want to use smaller containers so they don’t look 3/4 of the way full. Also, I assume that you make them look pretty with ribbon or such. If you’re not already doing it print up some pretty labels with your name, contact info and website (you do have a website right?).

  3. Freely and somewhat incorrectly summarized for shorthand efficiency:

    The Quantum “Many Worlds” interpretation is that every time a Conscious Entity makes an “observation” of the “Real World,” Universe divides into at least two different tracks — one where the observation went one way, and one where it went the other. (…and several, if the observation had several probabilities.)

    BUT! Nothing says that two near-identical Universes can’t RE-UNIFY a little down the road, where two tracks meld into one. (You once had a graphic floating around the showed this idea as two film strips diverging, and then re-unifying.

    As the conscious entities, you guys were tracking along in Universe A, and then for a period were in Universe B (for some who-knows-why reason), and then you returned to A — in which the scissors were still on the bench.

    This very same effect happens to EVERYbody at one time or another. Sometimes it has a mundane explanation, and sometimes you took Track Two — and then got switched back to Track One, as Two Became One Again.

    I have not seen this Multiverse re-unification idea anywhere else, so maybe it’s simply wrong — or I’m nutz. Because I’m not that smart in Matters Quantum — they’re WAY beyond my education and pay grade.

  4. Happened to me a few times this week working on a deck renovation. Missing tool pouch, tore place apart, found next day usual spot. Wife denies plot to drive me mad! Also tape measures moving around and I don’t think the squirrels have evolved that much…

  5. Hmmmm…….. You just wrote a book called “Dimensions Next Door”. Perhaps a neighbor from ‘next door’ is trying to set up communication with you.

    I am well aware that many psi experiences involving moving objects turn into unpleasant poltergeist attacks. However, one of the common themes there is children or teens in the home. You don’t have those.

    You could try communicating with whomever is moving your scissors, and if it turns unpleasant, contact a pro to do a clearing of your property from unwanted influence. Raymon Grace comes to mind.

    Or contact Raymon and/or some well regarded mediums for a reading on the intent of the scissors mover.

  6. WRT hidden inflation, I just retired post 40 years in the food industry product development. Worked with marketers a lot. 907 gm packages become 850 gm, frozen pizza toppings go down in weight & quality, etc. What drives this is the retailers demand to maintain their % margin and screw the supplier/ customer. Eventually the consumer switches brands or the pproduct dies in the market. I’ve been involved in my share of “glorious failures”.

    • Nope. Had Zeus out sharpening chain saw chains at the time – so he was in the shop all accounted for…

  7. Relative to preppers and laundry soap: most will make their own and skip the toxic stew named Tide (or any other commercial brand). Prepping is all about having available raw materials that can be used for a variety of purposes. Our mantra is DIYT.

    Just sayin.

    • Hey Gaye love your site..but I do miss the backdoor survival site..
      thanks for the tips on essential oil and sinuses.. it works like magic..

  8. STS seems to be going around lately. I had the same experience last weekend except my “bench” was my bib overalls. My practice is I will place whatever small tool I am using at the time, in this case my favorite 7/16″ Snap On box end wrench, into the right side chest pocket until the job is done then said tool is returned to it’s designated spot in the tool roll away. I am extremely OCD about tools and firearms that way. I was replacing a nozzle on a spray boom and when it came time to tighten the mounting nuts the wrench was not in it’s place that I had left it in moments earlier. After wasting way too much time looking for it I ended up using another not so favorite wrench from the spare tool roll away.

    Went up to the house to have a cup of coffee with my mom and decided I should change into fresh overalls since I had been working around some pretty icky smelly cow poop and other stuff. I got into my bag for fresh overalls and in there on the right side pocket of the bib was guess what.

    73 and WOO WOO!!!!

  9. Boy am I glad I wasn’t the only one for a woo woo Saturday.. it was happening all day long.I was going to see if the cern was being fired up since I think the two events coincide.
    volume in can’s and dried goods and the proper mixing amounts.. LOL years and years ago long before the if it stinks don’t smell it.. if it tastes bad don’t eat it, and if it hurts don’t do it rules were applied to labels.. one of my hats was working at making cleaning supplies anyway we use to joke about how many glurps we should make it..( really most of the cleaning process is the agitation and a mild amount that makes the difference.. so pound it on a rock LOL)( although a recipe I came up with back in the old days is one heck of a cleaner. I was asked ok so what kind of cleaner would would you come up with for a heavy duty cleaner and the mad scientist in me came out brew hahaha.. for the concentrate for a fifty gallon batch.. five gallons of sodium hydroxide (lye), two gallons of butyl one cup of foaming agent(to give it suds) as it is mixing you’ll notice that the sodium hydroxide has settled since the water has absorbed as much of the lye that is possible for water to hold .. now the magic.. take sulfonic acid and gently add it to the mix.. about a cup depending on how much alkali.. you’ll notice as it is mixing in that the water just snap’s the rest of the lye into the water and it clears as if by magic ( of course once it clears you quit adding it to it). then add whatever color you want.. now this is concentrate and you can dilute it to whatever mix you wish. Now like most cleaners and bleaches do wear gloves and wear a particulate mask since the mist in the air will go into your lungs. they think part of my medical issues is because I worked with various chemicals throughout the years.)most cleaning chemicals are just fillers very little chemistry in them my wife likes the name brand so when I tell her let me buy some sodium percarbinate but she thinks I am nuts.. buy hey what can I say advertising at its best..or buy the twenty mule team borax same thing different name.. releases the hydrogen peroxide what makes the name brand work a little better is they mix it with washing soda..mostly fillers but i can see where it would make a better penetration in my honest opinion that is because the alkali in the washing soda will expand the fabric and allow for a better penetration. although I will say that Dawn dishsoap is the best. but then its the chemical they use that makes it that way.( Methylisothiazolinone ). great stuff..(Personally I do think to increase profits that there was a possibility that they could have reduced a little bit of the active ingredient in the soap a couple of years ago to save money and increase profitability at least I thought there was a slight difference in the product but in my opinion it is still the best dish soap on the market ).

    I prefer dried goods since you get more.. where liquid your basically buying water.. some wet food in the can they pack more water and less product etc.. but then a few brands sold at trader joes and aldi they pack more product and less water. I am curious since I see a lot say a product from china.. now china is one of the countries that has the worst water standards in the world and import drinking water from the great lakes so much that one year one of the lakes dropped four inches.. ( they are trying to clean that up but still have ponds that have a ph balance of one want to dissolve a car) so where do they get the water for the canned goods.. from the great lakes or .. well I will let your imagination go to work on that one.. the same thing with eye drops .. or how about saline for surgical uses etc.. amazing how we cannot buy less expensive pharmaceuticals from out of the country where many of them are made because of the possibility that they won’t be worthy of our citizens so we pay thousands of percent more..yet the pharmaceutical companies buy from countries that have little or no environmental standards.. oh well i have digressed again.. sorry..
    to get the best I buy my supplies for home canning and can at home it is easy get the products from the farmers market garden..( our garden didn’t do squat.. no bees this year..) then can it your self.. or retort can it your self..

    https://wellscan.ca/?v=7516fd43adaa

    retort canning takes up so much less space and is just as easy as canning in can’s or jars.. I do all three.. for dry packing I like to freeze dry my stuff.. nothing easier than taking a steak off the shelf adding water to it let it sit over night then grill it.. but if you catch a carp filet it.. then can it using olive oil it will taste just like tuna and the end cost is pennies a can.. if you smoke the carp salt it then can it it will taste so good on crackers you cannot put it down LOL.. same way with cheese smoked cheese is so good and home made cheese is the best..
    https://harvestright.com/
    I built a freeze dryer a few years ago it was a fun project but took way to much time and I had to babysit it.( it was reminiscent to the time I built a satellite receiver and antenna wow what a job.. fun but what a job). by buying the harvest right they do all the work for you and .. the cost difference from making one to buying one is minimal considering what your getting.( with a warranty and a great company to work with).

    • This is a super useful post! Definitely a keeper.

      Regarding Elaine’s observation of the blue cap, I’d find one from something else that fits, or spray paint it. Ultimately, it could easily be replicated in white using a cheap 3D printer.

      A personal annoyance: Walmart just changed their packaging for instant coffee from a tall straight plastic container(useful) to a fatter, lower one with a smaller screw lid. It’s still 12oz, but the new ones don’t fit well on my shelves and the containers are useless for anything else. Of course, the price went up about 20%.

      I can’t be bothered with normal coffee – instant gets the caffeine where it belongs much more quickly.

    • I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, for years to explain to sundry young’uns that the principal cleaning agent in any soap or detergent is — water.

      I explain the “soap” they add to it simply makes water “wetter” and dirt “less sticky,” (surfactants and water softeners) but the concept soars far above their heads…

  10. Might you have been ‘thinking’ so hard as to where you put the scissors that your ‘mind’ hide them from your view…..as in ‘now you see them and now you don’t ‘

  11. Usually it’s screwdrivers. Where do they go? If I had all the screwdrivers I purchased over the years, I could open a hardware store.

    • I have noticed this aspect and wondered…since most things that go this way have a plastic and metal aspect is it a function of Orgone Energy?

    • Lol lol I know need a Philips..all you can find are the flat heads..need a flat head lol lol

      • This is an artifact of “Shop Special magnetism.” It repels tdools that can be used in any logical sequence. Find the right SAE socket and everything found after will be Metric. Find a crosscut saw and then only the rips saws can be found. Need a machine bolt? Only wood screws.
        As far as I know, the only more contrary force in the Universe is an ex spouse…

  12. George, I noticed that the pink ring lug was moved(possibly by the scissors) in the picture after the scissors returned. I have no idea what this means, but it may matter. Halloween and the thinning of the veils is nearly upon us.

    BTW, I’d be concerned about Zeus sharpening chainsaw chains! He may have seen too many slasher movies. I’d make sure the sparkplugs are removed from the saws during Halloween week.

  13. The end of the orange scissors are visible in the first photo. Compare the two and you’ll see it on the right-hand side. If you’re talking about the yellow-handled scissors then I agree with your woo-woo. Happens to me ALL the time! But then I’ve been known to put a used stick of butter in the cupboard rather than the fridge.

      • “For the next five minutes we tore the bench apart… ”
        Yet the two photos show the bench essentially undisturbed.

  14. Noticed in a german paper that Khashoggi might not be what he seems and then a few ago NYT hinted at the same. Where there smoke might be fire.

  15. The thing I’ve noticed about deceptive packaging is how meat is injected with saline to inflate the wgt of the actual meat, and the price is lowered to make it look like good deal. When you cook it, theres an over abundance of liquid that usually has to be poured off. Its also why the meat will last so long uncooked in the refrigerator, as the salt acts as a shelf life enhancer.

  16. Hi, George,

    You might consider getting a big work apron with many pockets, like the one worn in “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster” television show, where he had alphabetized all of the pockets.

  17. Always check under the Cat. I find about 80% of everything I’ve “misplaced” over the years. Be especially alert if you see a Cat near where you are working or sitting. they like to paw something off a table, and then cover it… I don’t know why.
    A good portion of the remaining things can be attributed to the Wife.
    (“Don’t know where it is”, “haven’t seen it”)
    Perhaps some form of Bio-Magnetism.

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