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Wednesday, December 20, 2000

So I went into a Kroger's Market for the first time last night. First, I was amazed to see the really cool self-check-out stations. Walk up, scan your groceries, pay by ATM or credit card, get a receipt and go! Very cool. I needed cash back from my visit though so I went through the regular checkout.But before that, as I wandered through the store, cursing the grocery stores of the bay area that just don't cut it, marveling at the salad bar, the full scale deli, the huge number of aisles, I also noticed some rather quirky things. First, there was the milk/dairy products case that moo-ed occasionally. Just a little too weird for this city girl! The one that made me stop and reverse course so that I could go back and stare was the cake you could have a photograph scanned onto. Their suggestions were photos of the happy couple on their wedding day for an anniversary cake or photos of a child for a birthday party. Apparently the cake was frosted in white frosting first, then the photo was scanned on and printed in an inkjet sort of method that used the white icing as paper and food coloring as ink. I just don't know what to say about that. It's just so odd.

So I put together a lovely salad, weighed it on the scale at the salad bar to see how much I was going to pay, and instantly I hear the little whir of a motor inside the scale. It weighed it and spit out a sticker with the price and a scannable barcode. This is SO COOL! Now if only Safeway (Slaveway?) and Albertsons (formerly the very yucky Lucky) could join the 21st century like this store in Texas. I have a prejudice that says we Californians, especially us in the Silicon Valley, should be seeing the best innovations before they hit places like suburban Texas. Unfortunately I've been proven wrong again.

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