mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Another week goes by and another group of geocaches appear in the Perry Hall area. So on Saturday, I went for those. Also went a bit farther to Lutherville, Hunt Valley, and Jacksonville, where at least a few geocaches were outside of the urban sprawl, for a change of pace. Placing geocaches high up on lamp posts and signs is becoming a trend in the area. "Wrong Way, SubPar" and "Snowplowing the ManBear" were both placed that way. Fortunately, I didn't need a ladder this time. With a bit of work, I was able to get both of those down with a walking stick. "Key Lime Pie" was the best cache of the day. It's a two-stage multicache in which one has to find the lime, with attached key, and take the lime over to the pie to unlock it.

Sunday's trip was to Philadelphia, Northeast Philadelphia, and then Bensalem, Langhorne, and Levittown. It's not my favorite area but enough time has passed that there are lots of new caches around. First, I made a visit to Pier 68, one of the piers in the city that has been turned into a park. Later, there was an ampersand bench at another river view. The Veterans Memorial Park was nice too.

The problem with the Levittown / Oxford Valley area appears to be cache theft. I read the cache logs and noticed a number of notes about caches getting stolen and replaced a bunch of times. I tried to find a bunch of geocaches in that area anyway. Some were still there but I had no idea about the others. I logged my DNFs and by the next day, I saw that the cache owner had archived some of the missing caches. This is not the first time I've seen this problem. Sadly, nothing much can be done except wait for the cache thief to get tired of stealing caches. Thankfully, it seems to be fairly localized to a small area.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (fox bend)
This weekend, I once again made circles to the west and north of Philadelphia to get the newest batch of geocaches. Saturday's trip was to Upper Merion, King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, and Northwest Philadelphia. Got some trail hiking in Northwest Philly because of a few series of geocaches going short distances into rugged Wissahickon Park. The most interesting caches of the day were near the Green Goats project in Bob White Park, Upper Merion. This project uses goats to get rid of invasive plants and poison ivy, and the goats are fun to watch because they move around and eat a lot.

Sunday's trip was to Willow Grove, Abington, and Jenkintown, focusing on the area south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike but north of the city. The most interesting cache site of the day was in the sculpture park at Alverthorpe Manor.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (No hunting)
Mostly hung around my home region on this four-day weekend because unlike last year, I didn't see a reason to travel out. One thing this allowed me to do was snag a few choice deals on Black Friday, although for the sake of sanity, I did avoid the shopping areas late Thursday evening and Friday morning. It seems to be the one time of the year the mall parking lot is packed all the way to the edges!

Thursday's and Friday's trips were a return to South Jersey, around Greenwich, Woodbury, Mantua, Sicklerville, Erial, Haddonfield, and Berlin. The Riverfront Trail was very quiet Thanksgiving morning. There was a dragonfly geocache and an alligator geocache, and Haddonfield had some cute tile art.

Saturday's trip was to Lancaster. Route 41 was still closed for bridge repair but this time, the detour route had new geocaches. One interesting thing is of the day's cache list, 6 caches had titles in Ukrainian and 1 cache was Chinese. The area has gone mutlicultural! :) The only issue was my automotive GPS couldn't render those characters, but I could still search for those by GC code.

Sunday's trip was mostly close to home, around Chester County and parts of northwest Philadelphia. Best view of the day was from the top of a cliff down to a lake in East Whiteland, at "Acapulco, No Diving". I also wondered why the Willistown seal, which I saw at a park entrance, had a fox head, but an old news article has the answer.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (Walker)
Friday was my birthday so I took the day off and made it a 3-day weekend. I had lots of birthday coupons from restaurant mailing lists, so I picked the geocaching destinations accordingly, of course. Friday morning began with the free birthday Grand Slam at Denny's. Then it was a short trip around to Chester and Springfield, then Kennett Square, then Newark for geocaches. "A nice view" in Kennett Square was a neat location because it was next to an emu. This curious bird walks right up to the fence and makes little grunting noises when it sees any activity at all.

Saturday's trip was to Codorus State Park and Southwest York County, with a few stops in Maryland along the way. There were lots of creative and funny geocaches by Calamity Jane, including an outhouse teddy bear, one where Pooh got stuck, and a soccer bear. I actually got to meet Calamity Jane herself because she was in the area checking up on her caches. I was going for that Pooh cache and she drove in to the same parking lot in her bright red convertible classic car. What a character! She's a very nice lady and it was good to finally see who had been placing all those creative geocaches, both at the state park and near Prettyboy Reservoir.

Sunday's trip was to Northeast Philadelphia and Bensalem. I used to visit this area a lot but not so much recently because traffic delays are more common nowadays and the neverending I-95 construction does not help. It's also more trashy now than I remember because the city doesn't seem to clean up litter and new litter keeps piling up on existing litter. Anyway, the most bizarre geocache I found on Sunday was a raccoon plush toy. Because of all the litter I saw that day, I thought this too was trash at first because it was in a plastic bag next to a rock. It's very unusual but I don't think it's a good idea to keep a plush toy outside because it'll get soaked, dirty, and stinky after a while.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (face tree)
Both days this weekend, I went geocaching in Northeast Philadelphia, Bensalem, and Langhorne. On Sunday, I added Newtown. I wanted to tackle the tougher geocaches and get those done once and for all. Not all were as difficult as rated but there were a few that I really had to skip because there were no visible trails from the woods edge. So much of the wooded area in this part of Pennsylvania is just a dense wall of vegetation.

Of the ones I attempted, "Mount Pleasant Path" in Clark Nature Center was probably the hardest. It was only about 40 feet from the trail but that was a really tough 40 feet. There was a thick wall of brush, then a drop down to a creek, and then a climb up the other side of the creek into another thicket. I brought hedge clippers so with some patience, I was able to cut a hole through the bushes and punch my way through. Thank goodness it wasn't a difficult cache hide because I didn't think I'd be able to wander around much in the bushes on the other side of the creek! I was informed by the cache owner that there's a footbridge (although I didn't see it at all) and there used to be a trail on the other side of the creek, which is now overgrown because the township didn't maintain it.

Aside from the challenging stuff, there was also time to look at old buildings, the Cobra King, and chicory, plus a dinner trip to Philadelphia Chinatown on Sunday night.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
On Saturday, I went for the SRT Smiley series of geocaches along the Schuylkill River Trail, between Conshohocken and Philadelphia. Once I found all the caches, I ended up with a smiley of smilies geo-art on the geocaching map. The caches weren't actually arranged in the shape of a smiley. Those were all puzzle caches so the map shows the puzzle coordinates but the actual cache sites were arranged linearly along the trail. I think the hike would've been about 4 or 5 miles one way but I changed parking locations midway because of a big half-mile gap between caches. I also took the opportunity to find other puzzle caches, such as "Happy Halloween 2013", "SD³", and "Truncated Icosahedron", since I was in Conshohocken. Those were pretty easy since all the difficulty was in the puzzles instead of the cache hides.

Sunday began with a short detour to Alapocas State Park to tackle "Can You Dig It?" It's near work but I figured I no longer had daylight after work to go for it. So I might as well go for that on the weekend. Well, it was harder than I anticipated. I went to the posted coordinates and saw that the terrain was much higher than the rating. Reasoning that the coordinates were probably incorrect, I went back up the path and checked every spot that matched the description and hint. Finally, I found the cache 1,400 feet from the posted coordinates! It was a hard-won FTF! The cache owner will likely have to resubmit the cache for approval with both Groundspeak and the state park though because it's off by too much. And then there may be proximity issues with other geocaches in the park.

After that, I went to Berks County to do what I'd planned for the day: the ESRT series of caches along the Exeter Rail Trail. That 3.5-mile round trip hike didn't take too long, so I went onwards for more geocaches in Exeter, Mt. Penn, and Reading. "These are a few of my favorite things.." in Reading was a treat because it's near the Pagoda. I always wanted to see that but it just wasn't on the way to anything else in Reading, so I didn't get around to it on previous trips. I think it's the most interesting landmark in that city.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
The holiday weekend started Friday evening with a trip into Philadelphia. I didn't plan it that way but after finding a geocache in Wilmington and continuing to cache towards the northeast, I found myself at the edge of Philadelphia and thought why not go into Chinatown for dinner?

On Saturday, I decided to go to Five Mile Woods in Lower Makefield, PA, because I noticed there were more than a dozen geocaches in that park alone. Most of those were fairly typical but I thought "The Curious Geo-Puzzle: Part II" was interesting. It had 3 riddles I needed to answer to unlock the cache. I knew two of those answers and fortunately, mobile data reception was good enough in the woods there to research the third one. After that, I went to Newtown. It's been years since I last visited that area, so there were lots of new geocaches.

On Sunday, I went to White Marsh, MD, to walk the bike path along Route 43. Most of the geocaches along that path were fairly simple, although one was starting to get really difficult to find because of thick vegetation. That seems to be a common problem everywhere as we head into summer. After that, I went for the HBWLADS cache series in Dundalk and a few more caches here and there on the peninsula until it was time to leave.

On Monday, I decided to hit the last section of the Schuylkill River Trail (the last section populated with geocaches anyway) near and in Reading. As usual, I geocached around town (in Cumru and Shillington) until later in the afternoon to avoid walking in the midday sun too much. The SRT walk was once again the best part of the day. I parked at the Brentwood Trailhead and walked to the east. Then I walked back to parking and walked west to Reading. There was some good scenery where the trail crossed a bridge but most of the walk was about average. The cache series ended at the Looking Back, Facing Forward mural in Reading.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (Morton small)
This afternoon, I went to the USCIS field office in Center City Philadelphia to take the oath of allegiance and become a US citizen. I've been remiss in not writing about the naturalization process as it happened but generally, I don't like to write about something until it is done, in case it didn't work. Here's the rest of the story...

Read more... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Saturday started off with a trip to the local Comcast service center to replace the cable modem. Apparently, cable modems don't last terribly long. It had only been a year since the last time I replaced it but the RCA modem had already started experiencing frequent slowdowns and disconnections, and each time that happened, it took a long time to reconnect. After a conversation with tech support, I took it back to Comcast and got a replacement, which is a Motorola Surfboard this time. (They picked one at random from their collection of refurbished equipment.) Hope it lasts longer than a year.

Anyway, in the half a day that remained, I decided not to go out too far for geocaching. I started with a few geocaches in King of Prussia and Norristown before moving to the Northwest Philadelphia, Flourtown, and finishing in Fort Washington and Dresher. I hadn't been to Northwest Philly in quite a while and there were a lot of new geocaches! The treehouse at "Wissahickon's REAL Tree House" was pretty neat, although it's accessible only as part of the ropes course. There isn't a ladder to get up there. Also interesting was a note that police left in "Under Ashley's Light". I wonder if they actually got the info from the geocaching website or if they were investigating a call from a local and then realized what it was.

Since there were so many new geocaches in the area I visited on Saturday, I returned on Sunday to continue where I had stopped. This time, I was in Dresher, Oreland, Ardsley, Glenside, Jenkintown, and Abington. I came across a number of creative geocaches but the nicest one was a lotus geocache. It's "Lily under the Acer", which was placed with permission just outside a Japanese restaurant. Also very noteworthy was "Exorcising the Evil #2", a geocache that is rated 4.5 stars for difficulty. Despite the deviousness of this cache, I found it right away once I got there because I remembered a Youtube video about a similar idea.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (buggy)
It was a sunny, hot weekend, 90-98°F, that ended in a thunderstorm. On Saturday, I went geocaching around Lancaster, going west from Ronks all the way to around Mountville. I hadn't been there in over two months so it was just a visit to do any new geocaches in that area. I didn't specifically target any series of caches, although there was a set of "Irish" geocaches in downtown Lancaster that was apparently placed for one of the monthly events. I also did a bunch more "Old Souls" geocaches, which were all in cemeteries.

I'd originally planned to go to Lehigh Valley on Sunday but I saw the approaching storm clouds in the weather radar and decided it would be better to remain local. So I went for some puzzle geocaches, near Plymouth Meeting and Conshohocken, for which I had the solution coordinates. Then I geocached in Roxborough the rest of the day. The "URR" series of geocaches are all along the trail around the Upper Roxborough Reservoir, which is just a dry basin now that it is no longer in use. The thunderstorm began in the early evening, so I went home at that time. We don't play around when there's lightning!

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 55-60°F. Yesterday, I geocached in Delaware County. So today, I continued further into Delaware County, along the Main Line towards Philadelphia. There were a bunch of new geocaches in this area and I wanted to see if I could get the 23 finds I needed to hit the 17,000-cache milestone. I started with 3 geocaches at Skunk Hollow Park in Radnor. Then I proceeded through Haverford, Ardmore, Lower Merion, Narberth, and Bala Cynwyd. I actually wasn't making very good time until I got to Bala Cynwyd. Then I got a whole bunch of geocaches very quickly. The sun set when I was at "Street Luge 2001" and I was still a few geocaches away from 17,000. So the milestone cache ended up having to be a quick urban cache that I could find at night. "BINAC The Destroyer" on Ridge Avenue in Philly was the one. It's actually an interesting historical site. 3747 Ridge Avenue is where BINAC, an early electronic computer, passed verification tests.

I revisited St. David's Community Park today. The last time I was there, I saw a wooden structure covered in vines along part of the path around the park. It was December and the vines had already wintered. At that time, I wrote that I wanted to return in the Spring to see what it looks like when the vines are all green. Well, today I saw that they had gotten rid of the wooden structure and all the vines. How disappointing! The previous geocache was hidden on that wooden structure, so it's gone too, but as a consolation, I got to find "St. David's Community Park - Redux", the replacement cache.

Dinner was at Banana Leaf in Philadelphia Chinatown since the last geocache brought me into Philadelphia, just a few miles from Chinatown, and street parking is not impossible to find late at night on Sunday. I had nasi lemak and roti canai.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 90°F. First day of the three-day weekend. It was a hot day but I decided to revisited the PPT series of geocaches on the Pennypack Trail in Holmesburg/Philadelphia to see how many more I could do. However, I started at Pennypack Park on the Delaware first to do the 5 geocaches in that park. "Pennypack on the Delaware Part 1" was a significant challenge because I had to wade through weeds that were almost as tall as I but I eventually made it to the cache site. When I read the cache logs, I noticed that others had taken the approach of climbing over a wall and walking through the abandoned industrial area outside of the park in order to avoid the tall weeds. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

After I was done with Pennypack Park, I started walking up the Pennypack Trail. Most of the PPT caches were easy and there were a few other caches, "A walk in the park", "Ssssss", "Cecil", and "Little City Overlook", along the same trail. There was also an earthcache "Fall Line at Holmesburg".

I stopped the hike early in order to make it to Old Country Buffet in Bensalem before they closed. (to use a July 4th weekend dinner coupon) Of course, there had to be two geocaches near the restaurant. Good thing I allowed a bit of extra time for those! :) Anyway, I had the usual plates and dessert.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Cloudy with a bit of snow, 32-34°F. On Christmas Day, where can one find an assortment of stores that don't close for the holiday? Chinatown, of course. As a bonus, street parking was free this Saturday. Strangely though, the only source I found about free parking on Saturday is the Mayor's tweet. I thought this would also be an alert on the parking authority website but that wasn't the case. So this promotion was poorly advertised. Indeed, when I went to Chinatown, I noticed that more than half the cars had parking stubs on the dashboard. So a lot of people paid for nothing!

On the way to Philadelphia, I decided to do a few geocaches. "A few" turned into 8 geocaches, mostly near Ardmore and in Roxborough and East Falls. The last cache of the day was "Can Morton be Stopped?" Apparently not! :)

I arrived in Chinatown after 5pm. I was rather lucky and snagged one of the best parking spaces in Chinatown, right in front of Wan Sheng Chinese supermarket and a short distance from the Friendship Gate. It would've been the best parking spot if this Chinese supermarket was not going out of business. Everything was 30% off but they had only limited stock. I got some of what I needed and then took a walk around the block to find another Chinese supermarket for the rest of my shopping list. Since I had free parking, I took my time and browsed some of the other stores and bazaar but there wasn't too much of interest. Finally, I went to Banana Leaf and had Curry Mee with Young Tau Foo and roti canai.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (me tira daqui)
Cloudy, 35-40°F. I decided to do more of the SRT series of geocaches today, starting from the Philadelphia end of the trail. There are some parking areas along Kelly Drive in Fairmount Park. I parked in each parking lot, went and did the geocaches in one direction and then the other direction before moving on to the next parking lot. I also did a few non-SRT geocaches along the way, since those are near the trail. After dusk, I continued onwards to Manayunk, since I knew the trail was pretty much an urban sidewalk there. Parking in Manayunk can be difficult but someone pulled out and left a parking meter with nearly an hour of time on it! So I parked there and walked to the last 3 geocaches of the night. After that, I went straight home because Manayunk is right next to the highway. (Green Lane exit on I-76) Also, well, I figured I ought to make dinner for a change instead of getting something on the way back.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Sunny, 90-95°F. It was a hot day but 17 geocaches along the section of the Schuylkill River Trail between Norristown and Conshohocken were waiting for me to find. So find them, I did. I actually started with #17 in the series in Norristown because I wanted to be different. I also didn't do the whole stretch in one 6-mile round trip hike. Instead, I moved the car a few times to cut the hike down to roughly 4.5 miles. Why? Because that's about how far I can walk before my hip becomes sore. Yay for physical limitations! Anyway, most of the 17 geocaches were easy. There were a few that required a harder search. I didn't see #15 at first but I got an idea after finding another cache in the series and came back to it. Sometimes, it's too easy to overlook the obvious.

After I was done with the SRT series, there was still a lot of time before dinner so I did a bunch of quick geocaches in the Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy areas of Philadelphia. Well okay, some weren't so quick. At around 8pm, I decided it was time to head into Philadelphia for dinner but I stopped for one more cache along the way because "The Tin Man Returns" was right along my route.

Dinner was at Spaghetti Warehouse in Philadelphia to use the Spaghetti Warehouse birthday coupon. I haven't been going to downtown Philadelphia very much, but for free spaghetti and sundae, I'll do it! I had spaghetti with meatballs, salad, bread, and Spumoni sundae. Service was somewhat lacking this evening but since most of the meal was free, I won't gripe any further.

There was a cache just a few blocks from Spaghetti Warehouse, so I did that after dinner; never mind that it was already 11:40pm. "Horse Hotel 1" was pretty quick though. Sometimes, geocaches surprise me by being in the very first place I check, even when I don't know what I'm doing. It's in a seedy, decaying section of Philadelphia. The only business open at night was a dive bar and many of the buildings were boarded up. I guess this part of the city is waiting for a mass exodus back from suburbia, any decade now.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny and 90-95°F, although much cooler in the evening. On this trip, I started with a geocache in King of Prussia and proceeded through Wayne, Radnor, Villanova, Gladwyne, Manayunk, and Roxborough.

I found "Main Continental Army" and was going back to where I parked when I noticed someone standing by the monument, looking at the GPS app on his phone. He told me it was the first geocache he was trying to find. Boy, he sure didn't pick a simple one to start with. I needed to explain that this is a mystery cache and he had to calculate part of the coordinates using information from the monument. (He'd been searching the area around the monument.) Geocaching activity has developed to such an extent that there is now a standard repertoire of techniques, tricks, and also pitfalls to watch out for. As I saw today, someone who's new to the game may not grasp all its subtleties right away.

The most challenging cache of the day was "Only Half Extreme". This one is on a rusty iron structure next to a bike path. This cache is halfway up the structure so some climbing is required. Actually, climbing wasn't an issue here. The real problem was the structure was overgrown with prickly vines. Fortunately, I had all the tools I needed in the car because you never know when you have to do some gardening! I cut all the vines I could reach and pulled as many of the vines down from above as I could. Once I cleared away enough vines, it was a quick climb up on the rungs to get the cache.

Sunset arrived but I still had a few hours to kill before the free parking period in Philly Chinatown. I knew the Manayunk/Roxborough area had some geocaches that could be done at night so I drove around the narrow streets there and looked for caches in the dark. Remarkably, I was 100% successful there. When it got late enough, I headed over to Chinatown, which was only 6 miles away from Manayunk. This time, I had Thai basil noodles at Banana Leaf. The consensus among Yelp reviewers is that this is the spiciest dish on the menu. Yes, it was indeed hot but not intolerably so.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (words)
Sunny and 80°F. I was planning to attend a Social Media Day event this evening. Only problem was I could decide between two event locations: King of Prussia and Philadelphia Center City. So why not let the geocaches decide? The key idea was to start geocaching somewhere between the two locations and keep going to the next nearest cache. Then at the end of the day, I see which event I'm closer to and go to that one.

So I started the caching spree in Radnor and passed through the towns of Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Ardmore, Wynnewood, Lower Merion, and Roxborough, i.e. right through the Main Line. The caches were mostly pretty simple. "Concept" was interesting because it was full of yarn and letter beads, which the cache description suggests you use to make words to hang on a nearby tree. There weren't too many good letters left but I was able to make "PUPPY" from the remaining letter beads and I hung that on the tree.

At the end of the day, I was 6 miles from Philly and 9 miles from King of Prussia, so I went to SMD Philly. I parked in Philly Chinatown and took a short walk over to Field House, the sports bar where the event was held. With over 200 attendees, the place was noisy and packed. They had a projector and big screen set up to display a real-time feed of smdphilly tweets. About an hour into the event, they started a quiz and used that big display to see who answered first. Overall, this event was an interesting experience, although rather crowded. I think I'll pick a less-crowded suburban location the next time they have a multi-location event like this.

I didn't fancy the overpriced sports bar food so I cut out of the event a bit early and went to Banana Leaf, which was only 2 blocks away, and had chow kueh teow.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny/Cloudy and 90°F. It was yet another in a series of days with rain in the forecast that ended up not being rainy at all. I went geocaching up along I-95 through Chester and Eddystone. Ended up at the doorstep of Philadelphia in the late afternoon. Instead of turning around, I figured I would try my luck at parking in the city and geocache my way towards Philly Chinatown for dinner. That was a good plan. My last stop was at Franklin Square, just a few blocks outside of Chinatown.

Saw some wildlife today beyond the usual geese. There was a water snake in the stream I crossed to get to "KB Cache". I watched it for a little while as it appeared to gobble up small fish in the stream. Then I saw a large mouse by the tall grass at another cache site later in the day. I thought someone's hamster had gotten loose at first but it was indeed a wild rodent. Of course, there was a bunch of cows, sheep, and dogs at "L.U.R.E. 2: A Day In The Pasture" but that menagerie was one of Philadelphia's many outdoor sculpture projects.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Sunny and 85°F, although I thought it would rain earlier in the day. Went to the "10 Years! Bala Cynwyd" geocaching event at KFC in Bala Cynwyd. If the name of the town sounds familiar to some of you, that's because this town is on the other side of City Avenue from the Adam's Mark where Anthrocon was held until 2004.

Of course, I geocached on the way to the event and found a bunch in Springfield, Bala Cynwyd, and Manayunk. Arrived at the KFC a bit late but just in time for the group photo. It was rather crowded in that KFC with so many attendees so I didn't order any food until the event was over and everyone had left. I had the Double Down. No real surprises there. It tasted exactly the way I imagined two KFC chicken fillets with cheese and bacon in between would taste. It's also very oily. The oil went right through the wrapper. I'd say that's one reason why most sandwiches use bread.

After that, I went to check out the Target store that replaced the Adam's Mark. That lot is actually more than just a Target store. There's also a courtyard with a few restaurants. (Chipotle, Pei Wei, California Pizza Kitchen) Denny's, which used to be next to the Adam's Mark, is now a TD Bank. There's a geocache, "Spot on Baby!", there too so I looked for it before going into the Target store.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Ran some errands this afternoon. After today's shopping trip, I've decided against paying up for a BJ's Wholesale membership once my trial membership expires. The only thing I'm saving money on there is gas and there are days, like today, when the difference is only 1 cent per gallon. Groceries and produce at BJ's are disappointing. I've shopped there a number of times and have yet to find anything other than milk where the unit price is significantly lower than what I find elsewhere. Save-A-Lot and Pathmark (for certain items) are on par with BJ's. I suppose paying the BJ's membership fee saves you from having to memorize prices and shop around because you know you'll get an acceptable deal on a giant bag of oranges or half a dozen bottles of ketchup tied together. But what's the fun in that? :)

Also, I've noticed that the shopping experience at BJ's is bad. Of course, it's bad at Save-A-Lot too but I don't have to pay an annual fee for that privilege. No one knows how to handle those big BJ's shopping carts so, especially when the store is busy, everyone blocks everyone else. This afternoon, one lady left a shopping cart in the middle of the lane by the cash registers to go and use the restroom. Gee, no one else needed to leave the store or anything, right? Then there's BJ's final touch: receipt checking. I don't think that is necessary as other stores somehow keep prices low without having people stand by the doorway punching holes in every receipt. I wouldn't mind, except that they just hired a young kid for receipt checking who isn't going about this in a polite manner.

In the evening, I went to IKEA in Philadelphia for the first of this weekend's geocaching events: 10 Years! South Philly. There were about 30 geocachers there. It was a nice time. I had Swedish meatballs. After the event, I shopped IKEA a bit to see their unusual toys and plush cushions but didn't buy anything.


mortonfox: (Default)
Morton Fox

September 2017

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