Sam’s Club–The Odyssey

Last weekend, I went to Sam’s Club. Yep, I went into a big box retailer. Folks who know me know how difficult it must have been for me to cross the threshold into the abyss. The place just doesn’t sell the brands that I shop for. Nor does it sell quantities that I want to stock. So, why did I go?

I was assigned the task of buying soda for one of the Horst Engineering vending machines. The usual vending machine technician was on holiday and we were running low on inventory. If I had been spotted by any friends with my monstrous shopping cart overloaded with soda and bottled water, I would have been seriously exposed. This blog post alone might keep me from achieving any sort of elected office someday. I bought soda, and I regret it.

Just the fact that Sam’s Club exists is enough to give me a stomach ache. The obesity problem in our society is directly attributed to the kind of crap sold in bulk at stores like this. I just don’t buy the concept that Americans have to stretch their buck as far as it will go and that everyday low prices is the way to do it. Even in a recession, we shouldn’t be resorting to fast food and cheap food in an effort to consume more calories per dollar.

At Sam’s Club, the pallets stacked 40 feet high screamed, heart attack! I studied Wal-Mart case studies extensively in business school. There is no question that it is a killer channel for both food and consumer goods manufacturers. There is no outlet quite like it. Wal-Mart’s sister company, Sam’s Club, has a little better reputation, and offers bulk deals. It is similar in scope and scale to Costco, B.J.’s, and others.

I actually don’t have a problem with the basic supplies that you can get there. Batteries, plastic containers, paper goods, etc. are all a good value when purchased for the right reasons. It is the low grade bulk food that I don’t understand. Who needs a 30 pound bag of chicken wings? Yuck. How about gigantic boxes of sugary cereals? What about the bottled water? A total waste. The soda? It is sold in shameful quantities.

I probably come across as some sort of food snob. I’m proud of the fact that I don’t eat that stuff. I eat less and I eat better food. Don’t think for one minute that I pay more for my food. Look at total value, including the cost of being overweight and sick. Eating right now, pays off both now and later. When you don’t eat meat, you can deploy your dollars in other ways. Better ways.

It pained me to load up the soda machine, but it is hard to get people to change. Take away the soda and the convenience of bottled water, and we might have a mutiny. I’ve got a plan to solve the bottled water issue at Horst Engineering. By mid-year, we will have water coolers with filtration installed and everyone will get a reusable bottle. That is the least we can do to eliminate more plastic from the waste stream. As for the soda. I don’t have a solution. People drink it by the tanker truck. There is no nutritional value to that stuff. None whatsoever. I’m fortunate that the soda machine technician is back from vacation.

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Horst Engineering

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I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏 #Repost @horsteng
We just launched the #cxnats edition of #crossspikes News and it is chock full of great information. Click our profile for a link to the newsletter and info regarding @renocxnats pre-orders and on-site sales. See you at the Race Expo! #crossisboss 🚴🏽🏆 Brilliant sunshine☀️ at the @shenipsitstriders #newyearsday run. #shenipsitstriders #boltonnotch #hopriverstateparktrail #teamhorstsports #trailrunning ❄️🌲⛄️🏃🏻

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