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Friday, July 10, 2009

Costco Members: An unusual offer you'd probably overlook

But for luckImage by tattoodjj- Away for a few days via Flickr

Costco.com is offering Costco members a free "Depend" adult diaper sample. I know, "Whoop Tee Doo" and Bob Dole jokes are what you're probably thinking.

BUT, there are plenty of people in Salem who need personal care/hygiene items like this and who are so hard up for money that buying them means less to eat. So your church assistance pantry would probably welcome these; the Union Gospel Mission, the YWCA Shelter (which is always looking for donations of personal care & hygiene items, the Willamette Humane Society Thrift Store, the Friends of Felines Thrift Store --- all of these places would probably gladly accept them from you and either give them to needy folks or sell them cheap.

So if you're a Costco member, consider going here and requesting the free sample for someone like yourself and give it to one of those agencies -- if we all request the sex/size pairing we would ourselves use, then we'll have a nice mix for the people who need them.
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Magical thinking: Wind turbines without power transmission lines

One of the hardest things for a nation raised on a steady diet of television and politician's promises (nonsense, in other words) is to realize that there really are no free lunches, and that everything we do is connected to everything else: that the big-screen TVs are destabilizing the climate, that energy-hog appliances mean more mountaintop-removal coal mining and coal-sludge disposal nightmares, and that providing energy to lots of people living in the Willamette Valley means putting giant energy facilities elsewhere, which means that you need miles and miles of giant, ugly transmission lines across Oregon.

Notice anything NOT shown in the heroic illustration above? That's right --- in addition to showing a string of wind turbines smack in the middle of a gorgeous vista, there's a remarkable magical quality to this because it shows no transmission lines blocking the view either.

Apparently the power produced by these turbines just magically arrives at the outlets serving the heated towel bars in the gigantic McMansions (whose owners would fight tooth and nail against any power lines blocking their views or coming within miles of their homes).

The SJ and LOVESalem agree on something! (La Margarita Express)

SANTA MONICA, CA - JULY 11:  Pico de Gallo sau...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

One of the nicer places to eat around here is a locally owned place that quietly serves up good food at good prices from a nondescript storefront location that, while very convenient, really doesn't do it justice. La Margarita Express sits between a beauty shop and one that sells clothes and what-not to hipster kids and across from the misbegotten disaster that is the Court St. Transit Center (with its abundant complement of tattooed ne're-do-wells, tragically young mothers, and feral youth posturing for each other). None of which really detracts from the meal, but probably helps explain why so many Salem folks haven't tried it.

Check it out -- it's great to enjoy a place where the owners bring you not only the usual and salsa as an appetizer but also a nice bowl of warmed refried beans with a sprinkle of cheese --- yum. It's hard to go away hungry.
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