February 29, 2012

So Long Davey

Cynical Cyanide

It must have been a sadist of the highest order who determined our National Elections should be held in leap years. Thus we are subjected to an extra day of politics, electioneering and all around unpleasantness.

It may be my age, but is seems every election the crop of candidates becomes increasingly unacceptable. Seriously, this is America, the greatest nation in the history of Earth, and this is the best we can do?  I am not just talking the Presidency either. Prospective candidates for nearly every office are the kind of self-serving power-hungry bossy-pants individuals most of us hated in high school, and today we would never hang out with on a dare.  You know it to be true.

Why is it the seekers of office are the people who always seem to think they know what is good for us?  They were the kid in class that always had to make all of the rules anytime you played a game. The jerk that put himself in charge, even if nobody recognized it.  My ancestors came here because they did not like the King or Clergy or local I'm-in-charge asshat telling them what to do. That has not been bred from my genes in the intervening centuries. Perhaps I am an anachronism from our Country's past. I hope not, but I cannot understand the willingness of so many Americans to expect the Government to provide food, healthcare, the basics of life? 

The problem with being a sheep is that there is always a sheep dog around to keep you in line.

The politicians are always calling the GOP the party of NO.  That is a joke, the Repubs are just the party of "not-as-much -as-the-Democrats" and they are trying their very best to be bigger Governmental meddlers than their counterparts.  Across the land we see so-called conservatives advocating smoking bans and even mandatory vaginal ultrasound at abortion clinics in Virginia.  I can only mutter a depressed "What the Fuck are they thinking"? Those big-government jackoffs are no more conservative than the strongest supporter of Lenin. Is there no politicians who understand the concept of personal freedom?

I want a Party of No. I will donate my time and treasure to help elect the first politician who proclaims he is truly the NO candidate.  I am sick of hearing what would-be office holders are going to do for me. What they want to impose upon the collective nation/state/county/city/neighborhood housing association. We do not need more laws and rules.  We do not need more regulation. We need less of government at every level. I want someone to tell me what he is not going to do. What regulations will she strip, what laws will he repeal? I want to vote for the woman who will ask before casting her vote upon any proposed law "what is the role of Government here? Why are we doing this? Is this necessary for the basic tenets of the Constitution?

I don't need the Government to tell me what to feed my kids. The laws and regulations of this nation are ponderous. We are all criminals. We have gone from protecting us from each other to protecting us from ourselves.

I say No. Enough already.

End disjointed nonsensical rant.

THIS is exactly the kindof out-of-control 'government" I am talking about.  It is at all levels.

Leap Day


February 28, 2012

My forehead is bruised from banging it on a wall

I paid my son's student loan payment the other day.  He was short on funds.  I could let him pay it and give him some money for groceries, etc., or I could make the payment for him.  No big deal, the payment is low. Gotta help the kids when you can.

This morning I get a call

Student Loan Girl: Is "B" (son) there?
Moi: No, may I help you?
SLG: Have him call Student Loan Place.
Moi: I made that payment last week.
SLG: Do you have the confirmation number?
Moi:  reads twenty-three digit combination of letters/numbers
SLG: For how much?
Moi: $XX.00.
SLG: That is February's total. Did you pay March?
Moi: I paid $XX.00, that is what is due.
SLG:  I show you owe that amount also for March.
Moi. I paid what is due.
SLG? Did you pay March?
Moi: I just  told you what I paid. February. What was due.
SLG. You owe a payment for March.
Moi.  It is still February.  The March payment is not due until March 25.
SLG: I show you owe a March payment.
Moi: It is NOT... DUE...YET. I will pay it when it is due. Is there anything else?
SLG: I will note you did not pay the March payment.Was this a direct bank payment?
Moi: What?
SLG: Did you pay this from your bank direct?
Moi: ??? ...I paid it with my debit card on your website.
SLG: Who are you?
Moi: B's father.
SLG (in near hysteria) You are not authorized to use the website.  Only B may use the website. Only B may make payments on the website.
Moi: ...as long as you get your payment...
SLG: You are not authorized to make a payment on the website.  ONLY B may make a payment on the website!!!
 Moi: ????
Moi: Uhhh ...B made the payment...
SLG: OK, thank you. 

Unlike yesterday's joke about my wife, I swear every word of this is true.

tappity tappity damn it backspace

I hate to text. I do it on occasion. Mostly when I have to communicate but do not want to actually talk to the other person. Sometimes, for short burst messages it is handy. But I am not a back and forth text conversation kind of guy.

They (the dreaded "they") invented the telephone for a reason. If sending written messages was the best way to communicate then we would still be using the telegraph and we would look forward to a  telegram delivered by a kid on a bike. As an added bonus the bike messenger and I could dance together in the gazebo singing about our respective ages. Then it would rain and I could climb into bed with Julie Andrews. I would be cool with that. Until I discovered the bike messenger dude was a secret Nazi bastard, or Democrat, or whatnot.

I have a friend who likes to text. As long as you answer her she will send another one. Drives me crazy. I end up either ignoring her or just calling her in the end.

My stubby fingers and the little texting keyboard do not play nice together. For goodness sake, I cannot operate the full-sized keyboard without numerous typos and premature spacebar issues (as Freddie likes to call them). I am certain my texts are the primary source for the endless email chains recounting the hilarious end result of the autocorrect feature in action.

If you are one of the 19,604, 211 people who text while driving -- I hate you and hope you smash up in a fiery crash reminiscent of Juan Pablo Montoya and the jet dryer truck at Daytona. How is that for a contemporary reference?  No precanned post today my bloggy friends. OK, I do not want you to suffer pain or injury for texting while driving.  Just stop doing it.

February 27, 2012

Life

My wife was complaining.

She said  "You are always correcting me.  Do you know how depressing that is?"

I replied "Do you know how depressing it is to be married to someone who is always wrong?"

Dear President Obama,

I am not sure how you did in your science courses at the various institutions of higher learning you attended. I am not sure if you even took science at Occidental, Columbia, or Harvard since you refuse to  release your academic records.

I do know this, I learned in my high school studies in basic Earth Science that oil is found underground. Once upon a time there were pools floating upon the surface of the ground, but we sucked up that easy stuff long ago. The only way to get oil and thus gasoline and other petroleum based products like plastics, is to drill, drill, drill.

I also learned in State-mandated economics my senior year in high school that more of a product will lower the price of said product.  This is the basic economic law of Supply and Demand. There is no escaping this tenet of economic principle. Even in Communist economies there operated a thriving black market.  Perhaps you did not study economics either?  Again, we really do not know, do we?

There does not exist today a viable alternative to gas or cars. I think it safe to say we are a decade or two away from the ability to produce an electric vehicle with a long range motor. Even if such technology becomes available, our power sources use fossil fuels to generate the energy needed to charge the batteries. Wind power cars or water powered cars or hydrogen powered cars or algae powered cars are all still in the realm of science fiction.

We must have a domestic source of oil. There is no reason NOT to drill, drill, drill. This is not a bumper sticker. This is reality. We may have only 2% of the world's reserves.  The "how much" is arguable but completely irrelevant. If the proven US oil reserves are enough to power our needs for 250 years, then we should go after them.

We have been an petroleum-using world for just over 100 years. I have no doubt the technologies you promote will offer viable alternatives to energy in the future. In the last century we have learned to fly, sent men to the moon and entered the computer world. The future is bright. But I need gas in my car today at a reasonable price.

This stuff is really just not that hard.

February 26, 2012

Sunday Slidin'

I'm in a mellow mood.  No rants today.  I woke early, slathered some tub butter on a couple of toaster waffles and sipped my coffee. No syrup for me. I poured a little milk in a glass and drank it in a gulp as I read the latest news on my Kindle Fire. Boring. Life 101 at the homestead.  I suspect you Sunday started in a similar and yet distinctively different fashion. 

Here is some Sunday music. This is playing on my iPod as I write. :


Yeah, and I love the movie too. So what?

February 25, 2012

If Jim Croce wanted more time he should have gone to a trade show

I failed physics. Not really, I dropped the class a few weeks in. Did you know there was copious amounts of math involved in the study of physics? And thinking. Lots of brain power is needed to study physics. I thought I was going to learn about cats and boxes and lasers and shit. Instead it was math. And thinking. And stuff beyond my ken.  Anyway I think I learned at some point that there is no time at the speed of light. I have no reason to doubt and men and women WAY smarter than I can do the required math to prove or disprove the theory.

I do know for certain that time travels at fraction of speed when you are working at a Trade Show. You may think you have been there an hour, but in reality time has slowed to a crawl and your watch indicates you have really been there six minutes.  That is a fact. If you have ever worked at a trade show you know I am right.  You do not need a fancy physics degree to do that experiment or postulate the law of Trade Show Time.

If you are not familiar with a trade show that is where  entities set up a booth and display their products as people walk around and look at the various vendor's setups.  The hope is you will get new business leads. The reality is the attendees are walking around looking for free stuff. Real decision makers do not spend their valuable time at trade shows. Mostly you spend time talking to and showing your stuff to other trade show workers who are walking around on breaks, looking for free stuff.

In the meantime, like Schrodinger's cat your watch and cell phone clock actually spin time backward when you are not looking. Seriously. That is real life weird ass physics in action.

I spent part of last week at a trade show. The good news was it was in sunny and WARM Florida. The bad news I was inside most of the time and I was at a frickin' trade show. One really, really funny thing happened that made the whole thing worthwhile.  Too bad I cannot relate it here. It involved embarrassment of individuals with the power to fire me. While I am pretty sure these pages are unknown to those who inhabit my real life, I am not prepared to take that chance. Trust me,it was hilarious and the tale is already company legend.

February 24, 2012

Drill for oil? Why would we do that?



We are living in Alice's Wonderland. The Obama vetoes the XL pipeline and blames the Republicans. Drilling for oil will increase our dependence on foreign oil sources ( as claimed by Debbie Dumb-ass) and increasing the domestic supply of oil will not help gas prices?

My gosh, The Obama is so powerful, not only can he visit 57 States (I guess only he can see the extra 7), he can lower the ocean levels, he alone can contradict the Laws of Supply and Demand. In The Obama world less is cheaper and more increases prices. The Obama can give stuff to all without any cost (a la ObamaCare).

The man is a walking talking god-like figure. I do not know why I have been blinded in the past. The foam columns reflecting Mt Olympus at the Democratic Party Convention should have clued me.

Damn you, economic teachers. To hell with the textbooks on macroeconomics.  My eyes have been blinded by false experience.  I have seen the light. My bitter clinging is all that is wrong with America...


more reading

Girding my loins for battle with the bureaucracy.

Taxes. Enough said.

Seriously doing taxes is not so bad these days. The online software walks one through the process in an almost idiot proof manner. Almost being the key word.

I did the Boy's taxes a few weeks ago.  1040EZ, easy peasy took about fifteen minutes.  No deductions, no problem.  He is a student.  The biggest issue was entering the three different W2's he got as ownership changed multiple times at the place he works. I put in the bank information for direct deposit for both the State and Federal refunds he has coming.

As I was finishing I asked him for his account number. he wrote it down and then I made him read it to me three times to make sure I entered it correctly.  He did not write down the routing number , so I sent him back to his checkbook to get it for me.  Again the repeat, repeat, repeat process. Click. send. Done.

I checked yesterday to see his refund status. The IRS said they deposited the funds last week.  The wife checked his balance (she is on the account). No deposit. After some deeper research we found the problem. You know where this is going already. He has TWO checking accounts.  He gave me the routing number from checking account 1 and the account number from checking account 2 (why he has two accounts is a long story by itself).

Good for me.  I get to spend the day trying to find out how to fix this error. The Wife and Boy went to both banks to see if the money was there or if they could trace it.  No dice. So the money will be sent back to the respective Governmental entities.  How to get it back to my son is the question.

Some days I wake up and think, "it is good to be me".  Then there is today...

February 23, 2012

The best way to grill Vidalia onions.

I am seriously jonesing for a Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait (insert all of the appropriate trademarks and copyrights, etc.) right now. I know it is only 8:39 AM. I don't care.

It does not matter how badly I want said Peanut Buster Parfait. Our local DQ (again with the trademarks and copyrights) is the old fashioned walk up outside type store.  It is closed for the winter. There is no way I will drive to Capital City just to get ice cream.

I would not go get one even if the local store was open and serving right now.  I have willpower.

But now you are thinking a little ice cream does sound good, aren't you?

February 22, 2012

Thanks for nothin'

Thank you Mr. Obama for putting the kibosh on the XL pipeline. Thanks for putting an end to deep water drilling.  Thanks for closing off more areas of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf to drilling permits. Thanks for refusing to open the ANWR for drilling.

The prices at the gas pump are spinning upward at at rate almost as fast as the National Debt.

The Obama has offered up a ready-made can't lose campaign issue for the Republican Candidate. Will the Stupid Party screw it up?

I'm not taking bets...

February 21, 2012

Imaginative meddling in my muddled mind

Is it just me, or has the owner of this place become schizophrenic? One day he offers obscenity-laced insulting rants followed the next by incoherent non sequitur-filled diatribes that rival the random ramblings of the late Unibomber. In other posts he pens head-scratching and mundane crappola.  The whole is interspersed with lazy posts from Youtube and cribbed links to far more brilliant authors. We will not even discuss the megalomaniacal memos of dubious sanity.

If you think this blog is merely a repository of evidence for future commitment hearings, you should try living in that brain. The ongoing war is not just right brain versus left brain. The frontal lobe is launching sneak attacks against the cerebral cortex. It is a fight to the finish -- Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! type mayhem. It is a mental MMA cage match in the cranium. A lunatic's battle to the end where kidney punches, eye gouging and testicle twisting are not only allowed, but encouraged.

You may ask yourself whatever happened to the concise editorials that juxtaposed fact and opinion in crystal clear prose that made one nod in agreement? Where are the amusing anecdotes of past adventures that left you with a wry smile upon your face and a hearty sense of jealousy?  No longer do we read the historical lessons that sent us to the interwebz and the library hungering for more knowledge.  Why no more personal experiences complete with Seinfeldian humor and universal interest?

Hell if I know.

February 20, 2012

Dear Democrats

THERE IS NO ISSUE OVER CONTRACEPTION. Stating otherwise proves you to be a liar, stupid, or lacking in common understanding of the political issues of the day.

I cannot state it better than Howling Wolf:
Both contraceptives and plan-B abortion pills are unconditionally available in America to all women today. Indeed, there is nothing stopping the government from opening up kiosks to hand out contraceptives and Plan-B abortion pills like candy, free to any and all. The Catholic Church isn't contesting that. The sole issue is whether the federal government is violating the First Amendment when it forces religious institutions and individuals to pay for those items in violation of their core religious beliefs, with their only remaining alternatives being to pay a fine or dissolve.
 That is all.

February 19, 2012

Low Expectations


March is a big month around here. It will be my Blogoversary (this place opened with a whimper in March of 2005).  I will be close to hitting 200,000 visitors, and I will mark my 50th trip around the sun as a human being. Since blogging is the penultimate exercise in self-aggrandizement, what better way to celebrate than by running a retrospective of my favorite posts? We all win.  Longtime readers get to once again reflect upon my brilliance, newer readers will be enlightened, and I won't have to do anything! Instead of my daily battle with the mocking, blinking cursor and the blank webform, I can copy and paste and be done with it for a day or three.

Yes, you with your hand up?  No, no, no this is not my lazily inserting reruns. This is a retrospective. Yes, Lady in the front row?  Why yes, my ego does often control what I say and do. Why do you ask? Will the man in the back please repeat that question? Am I impressed with myself?  What kind of question is that, Sir?

Anyway, if there is a past post that you enjoyed let me know in the comments and I will see about republishing it. If you are not familiar with my past work, and I cannot fathom why you do not spend at least one day a month re-reading the archives, feel free to delve into my past over there on the left --YOUR left -- and see if you can find something you enjoy.

February 18, 2012

It is a sunny day

I am late getting to the blog this morning. No need to worry, I am fine. I just slept in. I was up half the night again, this time crapping everything  I ate in the last seven weeks.

Keep pushing me Nosy Nelly and you will get the details.

That is what I thought.

February 17, 2012

It is good to be you

I just penned a post so brilliant you will likely fall to your knees in absolute worship and proclaim me King Blogdaddy Emperor of the Seven Continents and all-around Great Guy

Too bad it is in the long queue of pre-written brilliance I have staged for your future reading. You may be able to peruse its content in a few weeks.

But then, the contents are so brilliant Governmental officials may subject the contents to Top Secret black-out status, denying my genius to the masses. My words are an anathema to Federal and Obamanomic control of the populace..I suspect the UN Security Council will be appraised.

I am really terrified the post in question is destined to become the modern internet equivalent of Area 51, the 100 mph carburetor, the missing Nixon tapes and the grassy knoll gunman.

We shall all wait to see what happens.

Another post where I just prattle on about nonsense, except for the secret really good stuff you will miss if you do not read the whole thing

Finally.  What a long work week.  It seemed to last like five days or something.

It is foggy this morning at the old homestead. .I can barely make out the neighbor's houses.If I lived in the country that would be usual, but since I live in a cramped subdivision and the neighbors are a long spit away, that is some dense fog. Looking into the neighbors windows is out of the question.  Not because of the fog, but because all of my neighbors are senior citizens and who wants to watch some wrinkled old bitty put on a girdle and sweats to take their little ankle biter dog for a walk?  Not me, for one. The wife and boy were pissed there was not a two-hour delay.

I hate having to get up in the night to take a crap. TMI?

I am exploring an alternative diet. I looked into vegetarianism and perhaps even becoming a vegan
 Instead I think I will become a meatatarian and maybe even the more stringent baconatarian. The good thing about these strict diets is you can also consume vegetables, starches, (yay potatoes!) and dairy products. 

I fried up some chicken last night. I am a fried chicken bigot.  I only like the white meat. I am thinking about forming a club with other poultry bigots.  We will wear white suits with black bow ties. We will wear wax paper buckets on our heads to hide our identity.  Eye holes will be allowed, lest we bump into stuff. We will burn giant wooden chicken legs in ceremonies that feature lots of cole slaw. I think we will call ourselves the CCC -- Chicken Clux Cluck Cluck Clan. The fiery leg burning will inspire terror into dark meat eaters all over the landscape.*

On second thought that just seems like a lot of work.

As usual, I made some kick-ass white gravy to liven the spuds and biscuits. I could consider living on gravy and cornbread if the meatitarian thing does not work out. And little chocolate donuts.  I like little chocolate donuts.

OK, I lied, there was no good stuff in this post. You probably should click back every hour or so to see if I added a new and better post. Perhaps I will edit some good stuff into this one. You never know... You should probably read through my complete archives while you are at it.


* I know to steal good stuff when I read it, and Mockingbird nails it.

February 16, 2012

25 of the best lawyer jokes ever

Waaaah!

I think I am getting sick.  I have that achy, sick feeling.  My head feels like a balloon. My ears itch. I eel like I am going to hurl my morning coffee and last night's enchiladas at any time. As if you really care.

In other news I am almost done with my quarterly forecast. As if you care.

I am supposed to have a conference call with the boss this morning to discuss the 2012 incentive and business plan and to set my goals for the year.  Nothing like getting to those things in mid-February. Not that it matters, the plan is not open to negotiation. Like you care.

I am starting to notice a theme here.  You really do not give a crap about me do you? My entire worldview is now thrown into shambles. To learn you do not sit waiting anxiously on the edge of your seat for my next post is like learning there is no Santa Claus or that Obama is a socialist. It is like discovering for the first time that the titles to my posts have nothing to do with the meager content. Disappointment abounds. I am not sure I can process it all.

I am going to have to re-examine my life.

February 15, 2012

We are surrounded by idiots

Stupid fucking idiot parents who refuse to inoculate their kids for measles have caused people all over to get sick.  Those stupid fucks should be subject to civil lawsuits, except that it is only other stupid idiot fuckers who refuse to have their kids inoculated who are affected.

Measles have spread across the country, and there are several cases in Central Indiana.
People who have been vaccinated fully or who were born before 1957 enjoy almost complete immunity from the disease. State health officials have been urging those who are not vaccinated to seek protection.
Stupid people who listen to Oprah and believe shit spouted by actors and actresses are the ones getting sick.  It is Darwinism on display before our very eyes.

If I was a doctor and one of these parents brought in a kid sick with measles I would punch that parent right in the crotch. Repeatedly. Purposely exposing you children to the risk of disease for no reason is criminal as far as I am concerned.

See what havoc a few ignoramuses can wreak?  I swear the idiots should be horsewhipped for the common good.



PS.  This post is probably not safe for work, but then you should not be surfing the interwebz at work anyway...

Random rambling that should have been split into several different posts, but I have other things to do besides scheduling posts for you to not read later

I had a visitor last night.  He has not been around for a while and I was not pleased to see him. He is an asshole, and I am not particularly fond of him. We used to hang out a lot when I was in college and only needed three or four hours of sleep.  These days when my old buddy Insomnia shows up, I am not happy at all and it takes me a lot longer to recover. Last night he and I hung out from a little before two in the aye em until a bit after five in the aye em. I walked the house, tossed and turned in bed and watched some TV.  This morning i am irritable and tired.

I baked some biscuits for breakfast. they were not ready until after the wife left for work and the boy for school. Mostly because I got up late. There is nothing better than a hot biscuit dripping with melted butter. I am more than aware all of those carbs are not good for me. What the hell, one has to splurge every now and then.

Politicians kill me.  I am getting to hate them all. Democrats scream and cry about the Bush tax cuts. Repubs say tax cuts spur the economy. Democrats push for the payroll tax cut saying tax cuts spur the economy while Republicans scream we can't afford it.  Now I am a firm believer a tax cut benefits the economy, no matter who proposes it. Adding on even more benefits is a stupid and crazy idea, even if it is unemployment extension.  Seriously, 99 weeks is not enough time to find some kind of work?

I would encourage anyone to explain to me how not forcing an insurance company or the taxpayers to pay for contraception is "denying" women access to contraception?*  Haven't we been told incessantly that the mission of Planned Parenthood is passing out free contraception and women's health services?  We are told their mission is not abortion, but that I just described?  (BTW this is not about abortion-on my part). Not giving something away does not mean one is denied access.  Anyone can get contraception. The question is who is FORCED to pay for it. I still fail to see the Constitutional grounds the Government can use to force a private company to offer its employees certain benefits?  I do not understand the basis of dictating to a private insurance company what they must cover.

I think there are too many people that do not understand the concept of insurance. The goal of an insurance company is not to pay benefits.  That is how they make money. They are counting on a percentage of people not getting sick, or dieing, or wrecking their car in order to pay for the customers who have the bad grace to get sick, die or wreck their vehicle. An insurance company is not a bank where you put your premiums to hold until you get sick.  Do you think your premiums would come close to covering a bout with cancer or open heart surgery? My wife spent a few days in the hospital earlier this year.  Her bills were more than $25,000.  How many months and years of premiums will I have to pay to recover that cost? 

You might argue the costs of health care is too high.. Indeed they are.  State and Federal underpayment to doctors and hospitals is one cause. I contend that discussion is a different argument altogether. My concern here is the continued intrusion of the Nanny State into the very fabric of our lives.


* I cannot figure a better way to compose that awkward-assed question.

February 14, 2012

Thinking Deep

Do you know why it is pointless to argue with yourself?  You always know what the other guy is going to say, before he even says it.

In the mood for some tunes

How does a little classic rock strike your fancy on this Hallmark Holiday? Here is the Alan Parsons Project:



Why not two for Tuesday?:

February 13, 2012

What every guy wants for Valentine's Day. An Average Joe's guide to exceptional gift giving

This would be an awesome gift for your man on Valentine's Day:


What is more appropriate than a fine stogy dedicated to the greatest love story evah? Throw in a cold six pack and a little nooky and you will close out the perfect gift trifecta.

Ladies, you will get your cards, flowers and baubles on tomorrow's Hallmark Holiday.  How about giving your man what he desires? Trust me on this, I would never lead you astray.

February 12, 2012

And what he said, too

While I am living vicariously through others' words, try this one on for size:

Stuff I wish I had written

Read this.

I know you never go to links, but do it this time.

Liberal heads are exploding across the fruited plains.

Only the irony would escape them.

What gives any outside entity the right to tell a private employer what benefits it must offer its employees? If  an employer wants good employees, he will have to pay a decent wage and benefits.  The market will decide. Safe working conditions is another matter, but I fail to see how the Government has authority to dictate what benefits my employer gives me. I guess I am just an old fashioned freedom loving American.

February 11, 2012

A life changing event

It is a weird Saturday morning.  I woke pissed, primarily because I spent a restless night doing work stuff in my head. I go to great pains to make my home time my time and work time work time. It is a long and embarrassing story, but I decided more than two decades ago my work would revolve around my life.  Never again would work come first.

I made that vow while sitting in the hospital following the birth of my oldest son. I was a management trainee for an injection molding firm. I was going places. I worked like a dog.  I spent seventy hours or more in the factory every week. I worked weekends, nights, days, back and forth as I was needed. One of my permanent assignments was to conduct the monthly inventory. 

We did a full and complete count of every carton of finished goods, WIP, and raw material in the place. EVERY MONTH. Who does that? Even in the late 1980's the idea of a monthly inventory was crazy. We also did daily cycle counts. Our inventory was counted accurate down to nuts, screws and even shop rags and copy paper.

On the morning of October first my wife woke in labor pains. She was running a few days past her due date, so it was time. It was about five in the morning, just short of my usual 5:30 wake up alarm. She told me she was having contractions. I asked if it was time to go to the hospital and she said not yet.  We already had one baby, so she knew what she was about. It was at that point I uttered the worst words I have ever said to any person. "I think I will get into work and get started on the inventory then. Call me when the pains get worse and I will come and get you". Even typing it I feel like a skunk. Worse, I did go to work. I called her a couple of times to see how things were going.

A bit after four in the afternoon I called and she said I probably should come home. I wrapped things up and headed toward the house. Her Mom was there to stay with our two year-old daughter while the wife and I jumped into the car and drove the few blocks to the hospital. We arrived just after 4:30.  My son was born an hour later.

My wife was in labor alone all day, holding out as long as possible before having me come home and take her to the hospital. She labored while I worked.

Even telling the story almost a quarter of a century later leaves me ashamed. I held my precious little boy and looked at the worn smile on the tired face of my wife and determined no job, no title, no position, no wealth in the world was worth more than my family.  I started looking for a new job the next week. In the intervening years I have tried hard to keep work in its place. I compartmentalize very well, a necessary attribute in my multitasking profession.

Some days it is hard, work calls its siren song; especially when my office is right in the house.  I sipped coffee this morning, my Lucky Charms eaten and the paper read.  I got out a customer folder and fired up the email program. I stopped cold. It is Saturday, the work can wait  The customer will not get my missive until Monday anyway. Unless my customer is one of those guys working away the weekend, his kids at home or God forbid, his wife in labor....

February 10, 2012

All us whiteys look alike

So I am down in the Southeast of the United States this week. In an unnamed city in North Carolina that rhymes with Harlotte. I head across the street from my hotel to grab some dinner.

I do not want to identify the restaurant, but the chain is named after a song by the Rolling Stones. The primary attraction was the place was across the street from the hotel.

My server was excellent. The food was good.  The beer was cold. My experience left me laughing, which is good for a big tip anytime.

My server sidles up to me after bringing my main course. She checks to see if everything is satisfactory. Then she asks me if I am the "Guy what does the news at night on Channel 36". I laughed and told her no, I am from Indiana on business, but I would be happy to give her my autograph anyway. She pretended to find this response amusing.

This is so funny because I definitely have a face best fit for radio. In addition, I lack the dulcet tones one expects in a broadcast personality. I have a bit of drawl of the Hoosier variety (for you mid-westerners that would be a south of 70 accent). I have a slight (but mostly covered through years of practice) lateral S lisp.* While I am very good at reading out loud, never has anyone at anytime in my life suggested I should be on TV or Radio, or a public speaker. Oh, I can do a public speech. Being the center of attention appeals to me in uncountable ways.But a news reader?  I think not. I lack the good looks, charm or voice of a news anchor.  I guess the lighting was bad?



* BTW who was the sadistic jerk who thought it a good idea to put an "S" in lisp?


February 9, 2012

C'est Amazing

OK, amazing.

If you parlez French, that is really funny amusing droll.

It is amazing what I can accomplish when I put my mind to a task. In one short morning recently I forswore blogging, reading blogs and other nonsense.  In other words, I avoided all time wastage and focused on the various tasks at hand.

I completed more than a month of expense reports. I prepared for multiple customer meetings and  made several appointments. I then updated the CRM system. Over lunch  I sanded the patch in the drywall I made last week.  I fixed several nail holes in the wall throughout the house.  I painted over the patch and the nail holes and touched up some marks on the walls while I was at it. I did a load of laundry and ran the dishwasher. .Oh, I fed my piehole and cleaned up the mess.

This I managed to finish before 1:00 in the PM.

Yes, you in the back?

No, I do not wear a cape, it would slow me down.

February 8, 2012

2012 Chevy Volt -- a customer review.

You know that weird looking kid that takes your order at the McDonald's out by WalMart? You know the teenager I am talking about.  He has that semi-Goth too-dark jet black hair cut in some weird comb-it-all-forward haircut with one side shorter than the other?  He is the young man that just stares at you as you walk up to the counter, offering some sort of telepathic "Hi, can I take your order?" that you do not receive. Mostly you do not get the telepathic message because the only telepathic people in the Universe are those awesome butt-head aliens on the two-part Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk and Spock trace the history of the first captain of the Enterprise. Even though you are not a butt-head alien you place your order anyway because you are conditioned from a young child to order when you get up to the counter at the McDonald's out by Walmart.

Anyway, now do you know that kid?

Imagine he sort of shook his hair all over your lawn and the dandruff made a faint white coating, more of a dusting, I should guess. That is how much snow we got last night.

What? Maybe you prefer me to describe the snowfall of last night as similar to the sprinkle of powdered sugar you sift over your French Toast? Is that a better image for your delicate sensibilities?

I don't like French Toast. I never eat it.  Ever. I also do not like sweet potatoes.  Not baked, candied, fried, or raw. I will not eat them in a house, I will not eat them with a mouse, not in the rain, not on a train. Sweet potatoes taste like ass. Or at least like I imagine ass would taste if I ever tasted it. I am not real fond of beans either. Except green beans, I like them. I can choke down liver, if I have to, but I do not like it much. I have eaten blood sausage. It is not as good as you would imagine.

There is a little snow on the grass.  None on the driveway or street.  So far this winter I have used the snow shovel once -- as a big dustpan when I swept out the garage.

I can live with that.

I don't know why, but it occurs to me I might go out to McDonald's for lunch.  Perhaps the one out by WalMart.

February 7, 2012

Reason 2,654 you wish you were me

I ventured into the cold slightly overcast day to light the grill. I threw on a couple of brats after a suitable pre-heating. In the microwave I placed some leftover cheesy potato casserole. I opened a Diet Dr. Pepper as the meat cooked and the potatoes warmed. Thus, lunch was prepared and consumed in time.

I can only hope your lunch was as good as mine.

My outrage knows no bounds

Every article I read in the paper this morning pissed me off. Most of the interwebz news is the same. More government, less freedom, more bullshit from politicians of every stripe.  It is always about the power and the money.

I will spare you a diatribe, a rambling rant, or even pithy righteous anger. I feel like slamming shut the laptop lid and spending the day reading or walking or driving. Anything to escape. I will do none of those things, I have work to do.

February 6, 2012

Sunday's Post on a Monday.

I love movies.  I have stated that fact often in this chronicle.  I like movies on TV, I love them in the theater. But more and more people have no idea how to behave in public. It is almost to the point I cringe at the thought of going to see the latest romantic comedy, action feature or drama.

Saturday, the wife and I ventured forth to the big and overly crowded capitol city to see a movie.  We were in the suburbs, so the hype of the Big Game did not affect our journey. The wife had her giant bag of popcorn for us to share (over-buttered as usual) and little Coke, and I had my big cup of Coke Zero. We settled into the red plush seats to see the flick. The theater was only 1/3 to 1/2 full, so there were plenty of empty seats. As the lights dimmed and the movie started I realized SHE was sitting down the row from me.  There were about five empty seats between us.

SHE could not keep her mouth shut.  She speculated and commented throughout the movie. We got a full dose of awwws, and gasps.  We got the loud predictions of plot twists, and speculation galore. She told the entire theater what had just happened, as if we were not able to see it with our own eyes and hear it with our ears. She pointed out to us all who was being a dick, who was loveable and offered unsolicited commentary upon the scenery. Shh's and dirty looks never deterred her from offering her vocalizations.

I do not turn on the commentary when I watch a DVD at home, and I sure do not want it from a crazy amateur critic at the movie theater. As the credits began at the end of the flick, I realized she was sitting alone.  It is bad enough when some slob has a running conversation about the movie with a companion, but a one-sided conversation is just sad.

When did it become OK to sit and talk at full volume during a movie?  This happens almost every time we go to the theater these days. It is like people cannot distinguish between watching a DVD in the living room and how to exercise common courtesy in a public setting. Worse, the offenders are rarely teenagers or middle schoolers who know no better.  Often it is middle-aged moviegoers who would have gone to the movies in an age before VCRs and DVDs.

Lucky for the crazy bitch who ruined the movie Saturday night that she left 'ere the credits had hardly begun.  I had made up my mind to explain basic manners to her.  In my disgust I likely would have used the most profane language to describe her actions. I'm glad she left. Her bad manners would have brought about even worse ones from me.

Instead, you get to read about it here. Seriously, what the fuck happened to manners?

February 4, 2012

Swashbuckling Saturday

I have been slogging my way through some classic Robert Louis Stevenson. Like many writers of the nineteenth century he had a way with words. As in a lot of words.  I find myself mumbling at every other page "just get on with it".

Sorta like you are mumbling now.

I am reading Master of Ballantrae. It is my first time attacking this particular work.  I do not mind telling you I picked it for free at the Kindle book store primarily because of the Errol Flynn movie based on the novel. To be candid, the movie is loosely based on the book.  The two share the same title and main characters. There are a couple of scenes from the book to be found in the movie. The plot is vaguely similar at best. Both are set in Scotland. There is the return of Bonnie Prince Charlie and there is a sword fight or two between the sparring brothers. Take it upon yourself to write a screenplay based on those elements and you will be as close to the book as the filmmakers were.

Back to the novel. RLS  knows how to tell a good story. Treasure Island and Kidnapped and such are classics with reason. The human drama, the relationships among a really dysfunctional family are wondrous to see exposed in a delicate fashion fit for Victorian sensibilities (younger brother marries older brother's fiancee when older brother heads off to war). Blackbeard the pirate, Irish soldiers of fortune, the Indian subcontinent, the Return of Bonny Prince Charlie, and Indian Wars in the Americas are all part of the action.

But I have to say, Mr. Stevenson sure uses a lot of words to tell his story.

February 3, 2012

Musing to myself

I bet I could walk away from this piece o' crap and never look back.

I would have to go cold turkey from blogs in general though, else I would read something that compelled me to opine, respond, or pontificate.

Many minutes and hours per day and week would be freed for other pursuits.

You people are time consuming. I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Five Words

Friday
Busy
Work
Stuff
Later

February 2, 2012

3435

It is Thursday. It is foggy. It is time ti turn off your Christmas lights and take down those decorations. There is some kind of football game this weekend. That is all.

Happy Groundhog day

3435

It is Thursday. It is foggy. It is time ti turn off your Christmas lights and take down those decorations. There is some kind of football game this weekend. That is all.

3435

It is Thursday. It is foggy. It is time ti turn off your Christmas lights and take down those decorations. There is some kind of football game this weekend. That is all.

3435

It is Thursday. It is foggy. It is time ti turn off your Christmas lights and take down those decorations. There is some kind of football game this weekend. That is all.

3435

It is Thursday. It is foggy. It is time ti turn off your Christmas lights and take down those decorations. There is some kind of football game this weekend. That is all.

3435

It is Thursday. It is foggy. It is time ti turn off your Christmas lights and take down those decorations. There is some kind of football game this weekend. That is all.

February 1, 2012

Oh, the horror

So... the Indiana Senate joined their cohorts in the House and passed the controversial Right to Work legislation. The Governor is expected to sign it into law later this week.

Unions would have us believe this is the end of life for the workers of Indiana. The other side imagines businesses will open in the Hoosierland in untold numbers.  Neither view is accurate.

As far as union membership goes, I suspect their will be significantly less union dues paid in the years to come. Most people would rather have more take home pay and less interference from the Union Steward. The law does nothing to change the union/employer relationship.  Employees will still be able to unionize if they desire. Unions will still be be able to negotiate work rules, wages and benefits on behalf of their members. Non dues paying employees should not expect union support in work disputes. The only change is that no one is forced to join the union as a condition of employment.

The unions claim wages and benefits will be significantly reduced in the state as a result of this law.. If an employer cuts wages and benefits, then he is inviting unionization. Workers will pay dues if they see a benefit. It is all about cause and effect.

In all, the hoopla over this legislation is just the last agonizing notes of the union death song. Union membership has dropped precipitously in recent decades. There is not much the unions can do to stop the tide of events. This is just a whole lot of noise about nothing.

Reliving Casey Jones

Don Cornelius is dead.

Soul Train has been derailed, permanently.

Foggy Morning Blues

Here is a shitty cellphone picture view from my office window. It is unseasonably warm, and last night's light rain has mixed with the rising sun to form a bank of fog. I think the black branches of the tree provides an interesting contrast to the foggy view.

ignore the dirt

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