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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Friday, January 07, 2011


I use to consider myself “tech savvy”. When it came time to hook up any new electronic contraption, it always fell to me to do it. Figure out the cell phone?? My job. Figure out how to program the old VCR to record? Me. And some of the computer things I managed to figure out by myself.

That was AGES ago. I’m no longer tech savvy nor do I even TRY to keep up with all the changes. My idea of a blackberry is something that grows on bushes and we pick in the fall. I don’t know the difference between all the various cell phones, and don’t even need to know.

But the other day, OUR lack of tech savvy knowledge was rather embarrassing.

We were trying to purchase a bag of shredded cheese and two 2 ½ gallon containers of water. There was no checkout ladies present so we had to use one of the 8 self checkout lanes. There were already 3 in use, so that dropped it down to finding 1 out of the remaining 5.

We got to one and it said “OPEN! Out of order”, so that narrowed it down to 4.

Since we have never self checked out before, Dan picked one that he hoped wouldn’t be too conspicuous to the masters of self check out.

I pressed the start button, then pressed the how do you want to pay for it button, then there were a few more questions (I think one of them required you to declare your political party, but not sure). THEN, finally a female voice emanated from this machine and said “please scan your first item”. I did that.

Then it said “please put the item in a bag”. I had to set my purse down in order to put the bag of cheese in a bag. I sat my purse down on the shelf where the bags were. After I put the bag of cheese in the bag, the voice said “Please put the item in a bag”, so I removed it from the bag and DROPPED it into the bag. That must’ve worked because she said “Please scan your next item.” Dan tried to scan the large jug of water. She said “Please scan your next item.” So he tried again and apparently got it because she then said “Please put the item in a bag.”

We did not want to use a bag to put this big plastic jug in. We were just going to carry BOTH of them since they conveniently have handles on them.

But, the voice INSISTED that we put the item in a bag. And she kept saying it. FINALLY an exasperated voice came from the machine and it said “Please remove the item from the bag.” WE both looked at each other and said “What the hell??” Since we hadn’t put it IN a bag, we were thinking that we must be on some hidden camera show. But she said again in her sensuous computer voice, “Please remove the item from the bag”.

Instead Dan tried to scan the item again (since we had two of them to pay for). Then she said in a very loud voice that left no doubt that we were no longer inconspicuous “PA-LEEZ REMOVE THE DAMN ITEM FROM THE FREEKING BAG!!!”

Then there was a message blinking on the screen that said “Please wait for the attendant.” The attendant reset the damn self check out computer voiced lady. Then the real person told us; “Your purse is on the scale that lets the computer know that there is something in the bag.”

Not quite sure what that had to do with removing the water jug from a bag that it wasn’t even in, but I picked up my purse and it seemed to make the computer voice happy. She finally acknowledged the 2nd jug of water, and told us the amount to insert and spit out a receipt to us.

So, we’ve been initiated into the self checkout world. This must be Life in the Fast Lane.


  1. Anonymous7:09 PM


  2. OMG so funny! I just told Thom that you and Dan sound just like us! Same experiences in the tech field. lol
    'hugs from afar'

  3. Gary / Battle Creek10:44 AM

    "Life in the Fast Lane" - The Eagles......TOO easy

  4. Ha that was funny! I always smart off to those self check out voices! Yours sounded pretty scary though!

  5. Anonymous, I guess there is always the first time for everything! I even remember the first time I had to pump my own gas!!

    Cher, it's good to know we are not alone in this technical world!!

    Gary, I knew you or Tractor Guy would pick up on that!

    Jeanette, we DID some muttering under our breath and then had to laugh all the way to the truck!

  6. Too funny Cathy..we have never tried using those checkouts yet...but I am trying to keep up a bit with the cellphones...my daughter works for Motorola and is getting me a phone with apps so I can go on the web with my phone! Woot! Now when I am stuck in line or at the Drs. office I can read blogs...YAY!! hahaa

  7. i hate those damn things with a passion, pardon the french, BUT...that is the politest word i can think of to describe them....my mom uses them all the time...me, i avoid em like the plague, it never fails i have to have the attendant, and they always look at you like what's your problem...

  8. Gary beat me to it! Some times i feel like hooking on one of them check outs with my tractor and drag it out of the STORE!!!!!!!

  9. Retired One, you ARE on your way to life in the fast lane!!! You'll be a Yooper trend setter. Will you be walking around with an earpiece? those folk remind me of cyborgs!

    Amy, it's so nice to know we aren't alone on this one! I love your French accent!

    Tractor guy...you've been too busy planning evils schemes to get back at self check outs. That kept you from being the first guesser!


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