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While riding to the lab this evening with scrottie, I got to thinking that it looks like trying to stay alive here is going to be somewhat more along the lines of Texas as compared to Nebraska. In Nebraska, I could basically go to one grocery store (the co-op) for reasonably priced, organic everything. It was next door to a comfortable coffeeshop, which made for a useful second office, and was just a mile from home. That made it possible to accomplish grocery shopping in just a little over an hour's time. The lack of friends also simplified things in a lot of ways - I could just plan my weekends around my own agenda items instead of weighing various social/antisocial options.

Grocery-getting here is more complicated in that food is one of those categories of things that's much more expensive. S and I went back to the farmer's market on Saturday morning, and managed to pick up a selection of reasonably-priced items that were a mixture of organic and conventionally-grown. All the booths had signs declaring themselves to be "certified," which appears to basically mean that the goods being sold were in fact produced by the seller somewhere in California (i.e. not resold - a cheating problem in CA). Only around two of the twelve or so booths appear to sell organic goods. No eggs or cheese; sytharin informs me that the egg situation is carryover from the avian influenza cases discovered in the Midwest this year. I guess eggs in the Midwest are still comparatively cheap because the producers who haven't had to kill their flocks have an easier time getting those eggs to other destinations in the Midwest.

I still don't have a full mental map of the layout for the conventional grocery store nearby, but that's where I'm going to wind up doing the bulk of my shopping. In contrast to the last couple of places I've lived, around here Tillamook products are generic grocery store items, not fancy gourmet products. There's even Tillamook ice cream, which may eventually become problematic. There are other strange things to sort out about the dairy industry in this state, and I can't entirely put my finger on what's so strange - I can only note that dairy products are expensive and I don't recognize many of the brands.

The aisles in the non-co-op natural foods store are narrow, but easier to navigate with one of those shopping carts that holds shopping baskets, as opposed to a full-size shopping cart. Their bulk section is reasonable, but they lack bulk spices, and the cheese department feels lacking, too.

I feel as though S and I have been trying to cook decently large batches of things, and yet it still seems like we're running out of leftovers quickly.

I also just generally need to remind myself that the only hobby I'm allowed right now is the Holiday Challenge.

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