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A Day of Errands

The bad news / good news: my wife is recovering from the flu. It has been tough on her, and she's still exhausted. The semi-good news, for once I didn't get sick and was able to help around the house. I hope I did okay when she needed someone to take care of the house cleaning and cat care. When she's sick, I feel lousy. I want to do whatever I can for her.

If there is an upside to the last few days: we've both continued to lose a little weight.

Today she felt a bit better so we went to run a few errands. The errands were a mixed-bag.
We went with three goals: I thought I needed new pants, I wanted to find some ice skates, and we were going to look at Art Deco design books.

1. The pants quest was a bust. While my waist is down an inch or more, my thighs are not getting smaller and probably won't. Years of walking, cycling, racquet sports, and skating have a side effect. Even a tailor at Men's Wearhouse commented on my legs, asking what exercising I did. While I'm no Eric Heiden with tree-trunk legs, I'm apparently still in decent shape.

I'm stuck with jeans and off-the-rack pants that fit my legs, but fall off my waist. The tailors at Men's Wearhouse must appreciate me.

2. The ice skates started as a bust, with the large chain advertising skates in the Sunday newspaper not having any of the model on clearance in stock. However, the young man suggested we try the store located closer to Pittsburgh.

With a detour by Steak n' Shake (for mocha and dark chocolate milkshakes), we headed towards the city. I'll spare you the details of our meandering journey (GPS didn't have the closed roads marked), but we did make it to the store. They had four pairs of men's skates in the styles on sale. For $25, we left with some good skates for me. Two or three years ago, we purchased skates for my wife, also on clearance! We're set for skating, now.

3. The book quest was a reminder of why bookstores are struggling. My wife found several books on her wish list at Half Price Books. We love this chain and highly recommend HPB to anyone. But, art books are harder to locate than most others. Maybe people into art don't sell the books back to used bookstores? So, we went to a national chain on the way home.

The two national bookstore chains we visited today seem to be toy stores and gift shops. The stand-alone, massive store was a cafe with a few books in the way. The one store had less than a single bookcase of art books. The second store, the massive store, had two poorly stocked bookcases as the "art" section. It was pitiful.

I know bookstores are struggling, but at least offer a semi-decent selection so I can browse. HPB is wonderful, in that way. I can browse their stores for hours.

But, it was a nice sunny day and we ended up with a pair of skates for me and books for my wife.


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