Friday, March 02, 2018

Pod People

So, here at Roseholme Cottage the resupply of groceries and household goods is most often handled on my daily rounds. I do this to try to allow Bobbi to come straight home from work without needing to stop at the store on the way.

Consequently, on the wall in the kitchen is a dry erase message board on which needs are communicated: "coffee creamer", "eggs", "breakfast meat", "39 gal bags".

In the morning before setting out for the range or wherever, I'll snap a photo of the board with my phone and use the picture as a checklist at the store. It's a kludgy system, but it works.

There are, however, certain consumables that are harder to keep track of: TP and paper towels live in a cabinet and it's all too easy to reach in there and find that there's only one or two rolls left and it's late of a Saturday and nobody feels like driving anywhere.

Similarly, dishwasher soap gets disproportionately used by me, since I do the dishes on weekday evenings at cat-feeding time. If I leave town with only one or two pods left in the tub, it can be a rude surprise for Bobbi. Conversely Bobbi is far more fastidious about sorting colors and fabrics in her laundry and goes through Tide pods at a brisker clip than me, who has two weekly (or biweekly) loads: Black fabric, and Laundry Thunderdome.

Enter this post from Joel about Amazon Dash buttons:
Do you buy these for $5 each, one for every regularly expended commodity, and then when you want more you just push this button and AMAZON AUTOMATICALLY SENDS YOU MORE???
Well, kinda yes, Joel.

They charge five bucks for the button, but then knock five bucks off your first order, so they're essentially free. I got one for each of these four high-use household commodities: TP, paper towels, dish pods, and laundry pods. The operating theory was that whoever notices it's down to a two- or three-day supply can just poke the button and...thanks to the magic of Amazon two days, more will show up on the front porch like magic.

Et Voila! We were free of the stocking vagaries of the local Meijer or Kroger, which were too often perversely out of my preferred brand of bumwipe or plain white Bounty (select-a-size in the jumbo packs, please) right when I needed more, forcing me to go looking at Target *shudder* or more widely afield.
Does anybody really do that? Are you supposed to stick them on your fridge or something? What if your 5-year-old gets bored and pushes the button a hundred times to see what will happen? Will all your utility payment checks bounce as a trailor-load of Red Bull shows up in your driveway?
Well, you have to press and hold for a sec for the little light to blink white then go solid green to show that it has successfully done its WiFi thing, and the button is then inoperable until Amazon receives word that the order has been delivered.

We don't have any five-year-olds in the house, so that's not a big worry, but I do have a story along that line...

When the four buttons arrived, I put them on the corner of my desk preparatory to rolling them out as needed. The paper towels went first and everything functioned smoothly. This was heartening. Charmin Gentle was next and again, all went well.

I was in the kitchen one evening a couple months ago, right before the cats' feeding time, when Bobbi called out from the office. "I think Huck just ordered some Cascade pods!"

See, one of Huck's attention-seeking behaviors in the ramp-up to dinner time (especially during these four months of the year when dinner is an hour late) is to knock shit off desks near the humans.

"Relax! He can't have ordered anything just by knocking it off," I hollered back down the hall, "You have to hold it down for a bit to get it to connect. He would have had to have stood on the button until the light turned green."

"The light is green."

Oh, well. We were going to need to use that button in a week or so anyway.

Still, when that box hit the porch I brought it inside and informed the cat that his Cascade Platinum Pods were here.