I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day with Hillary and the Republicans

Well, here it is, Memorial Day, and I'm working.  And, even though I get off at 6 PM, I have to go to bed early because I open the store tomorrow.  Now, ain't that a deal?  They are going to grill burgers and hot dogs for the associates, try and give us some sort of picnic atmosphere, but that will have to happen between the sporadic thunderstorms.  The humidity is bad here and we can blame it on tropical depression Bonnie.  We can blame the storms on her, as well as the lack of business.  Sure, we'll have customers galore in the morning and early afternoon, but then everything slows down.  People are going to be having their own picnics and cook-outs.  They'll be sitting under deck umbrellas, or under car ports, or covered patios, sucking down cold brewskies, or sipping on an inexpensive chardonnay purchased just for this special day.  Because the weather is supposed to be shitty in this part of the country, many will go to the movies.  I understand the new X-Men film is tremendously... bad.
Politically speaking, I saw the Clintons are going to be investigated for racketeering, at the behest of the Republicans, no doubt.  I read that Hillary is considered to be ruthless and calculating, of course that's to be expected after decades of dealing with Republican hatred.  I suspect this election cycle is going to go down as one of the worst in American History... and we have the Republicans to thank for it.
We have a week to go before Bernie Sanders shows us his Bitter Bern face.  He's an angry old man going around lobbing buckets of gasoline on the fire because... he's an angry old Socialist.  That's right.  He's only been a Democrat for a year and look how badly he's dividing the party.
Anyway, it's time for me to get ready for work.

Hot dogs and burgers on the grill they keep behind the store.  Potato salad and macaroni salad they bought at the supermarket.  I am so stoked!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Depp - who cares

I saw the Depps are in the news again.  You know who I'm talking about, Johnny and Amber... and, who cares?  Evidently they're getting a divorce.  She got a restraining order against him because he shoved her and threw his Iphone at her... who cares?  Now, that's a terrible thing to say, and I'm sure there are people out there who actually do... care, but not me.  I've never really been impressed with his acting.  In fact, his best performances are when he's hidden under globs of make-up... except for that turd,The Lone Ranger.  I never went to see it and had no desire to watch it.  That movie died at the box office because... evidently nobody wanted to see Johnny Depp under globs of make-up.  He blamed the critics on that hot mess, and failed to comprehend nobody wanted to see him upstage the Lone Ranger in a film called The Lone Ranger.
The Depps made headlines a while back because their combined egos refused to let them follow Australian law.  Yepper, they thought they were special enough to simply smuggle their little Yorkies into the country.  Of course, the Australian authorities were not amused.  They realized the Depps were really nothing more than dumb-shit, egocentric assholes and treated them like the idiots they are, and... who cares?  One can only wonder if their divorce might not somehow be sourced to the Yorkie experience, with one Depp blaming the other Depp.
Anyway, as I was thinking about writing on this topic, I dropped Johnny's name on the Internet and saw he's contracted to play The Invisible Man.

Not invisible enough
Unfortunately, when he isn't being invisible, he's going to swaddled under globs of make-up and bandages... who cares?  I don't.  I'd like to see a remake of The Invisible Man, but not with Johnny Depp.  Sadly, for him, his best talent seems to be in choosing the best make-up artist.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cycles of Painting

Well, it's Saturday... a little after 0700 in the morning, the temp is around 70 F with a dew point around 66 - it's going to be a warm, humid day in the store.  Spotty thunderstorms are forecast, sporadic and spread out - this means we'll get a warning and the storm will miss us by about 5 miles.  Tonight I get to close the store and I'm scheduled back at work 10.5 hours later, because we have a paint sale (rebate) going on, you know?  My sales figures are okay, they're not great.  Three years ago there was the equivalent of a feeding frenzy in paint - I beat my yearly goal by over half a million dollars.  Corporate thought paint sales would continue to trend upwards for years to come.... they didn't.  People don't paint every year.  Sure, it's the easiest way to refresh a room, but paint is also laborious.  You need to move furniture, and cover furniture, and tape off, and cut in - painting a room is not a 2 or 3 hour project, and not everybody wants to do it every 3 or 4 years.  While there are those who feel the need to change the color pallet of their rooms on a regular basis, many, many more don't know this urge.  They will chose a color and stick with it for a long, long time.  I know this because people will come with paint cans 10 - 15 years old and say "I need this color to touch up."

An interesting pattern in a can I tinted last evening

I'm in the latter group.  I'm thinking of repainting my bedroom.  I needed to put in a new ceiling fan because Big Seig chewed up the remote for the old one (he thinks anything made of plastic is a chew toy).  And the last time I painted the bedroom was... about 15 years ago.  So, I'm thinking of freshening things up.  Of course, this means a lot of work (sigh), but on the bright side, I probably won't feel the need to repaint for another 15 years.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day, but not for me

Even though we've been having a Memorial Day sale for some time now, today is the actual start of the Memorial Day Weekend... and I'm working.  Monday, the day we actually celebrate Memorial Day, I'm working.  My next day off is on Wednesday, June 1st.  As with most National Holidays, the retail industry has hijacked a time which is supposed to be dedicated to the remembrance of our Veterans, for what they have sacrificed for this country, and turned it into a time of special deals, and discounts, and extraordinary sales.  Sure, there will be news coverage of some parades, and some services as military cemeteries, but far more people are going to be interested in how cheap they can get a new Weber Grill, or a new patio set.  While most people will be having Monday off, I'll be working.  Oh, sure, I'll be getting holiday pay, and they'll be cooking hot dogs and hamburgers on a big grill behind the store, but I'll still be working.  Why gripe?  Because I'm a Veteran.  And not just any Veteran, I'm a Vietnam Vet.  That's right, I served on the USS Constellation, OI division (radar) while they were cruising up and down the Tonkin Gulf launching air strikes against the Vietnamese.  When I tell people, they will thank me for serving my country, and sometimes shake my hand.  What I would really like is to have off on Memorial Day.  And I'm not alone.  There are 3 other Vietnam Vets working in my store... and we all work Memorial Day.

I'd like to be scheduled off on Veteran's Day, too, but that never happens.
We all have copies of our DD214 's.  I think corporations should actually recognized their associates who served in a war zone.  This holiday is supposed to be for us, and because we spend it working for them, there is nothing special about it.  At least they gave me a mid-shift on Monday, 9:30 - 6:00.  Yippie Skippy.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The new car

Well, I did get a new car.  And it's red, which is what I wanted.  The CR-V is gone.  To be perfectly honest, I really didn't like that car.  Black leather interior is horrible if you have big dogs that drool.  My Ipod wouldn't work, I kept getting USB errors.  The driver's seat belt never went back, you'd have to give it a tug just to get it to retract.  Road noise was loud - that was a major complaint back in the 2013 reviews.  The car just wasn't a good fit.  In fact, this is the 2nd Honda which wasn't a good fit.  Just because they tend to last forever, doesn't mean you're going to like the car.  This is why I lease.  When the lease is up, if I like the car, I just buy it.  I bought the first car I leased, a Saturn 2000 because I liked it.  The next two cars, both Hondas, I hated.
Anyway, my final decision was between a Subaru Forester and a Nissan Rogue.  I'd driven both over two weeks ago and had been doing my research.  Picking the options I wanted for both cars, I made appointments with both dealers.  I met with Mike at Faulkner Subaru first.  He noted down everything I wanted and then disappeared into a back room.  About 10 minutes later he returned and told me there were no Forester 2.5I Touring, Venetian Red Pearl cars to be had.  Sitting down opposite me, he said "now what options can you live without."  Not the right thing to say.  If I'm going to get a new car, I don't want to be told I'm going to have to downgrade.  He talked about having one shipped in on the "pipeline," of course these were all lower end models, less expensive but more poorly equipped.  I nodded and smiled and told him I still needed to talk to Nissan, and that I'd let him know what my decision was going to be.
When I got to Brenner Nissan, I sat down with my salesman Charlie.  He said, "let's go over again what it is you're looking for."  We looked at the options available.  And then he said, "let me go check my inventory."  He came back about 3 minutes later and said "I have a fully loaded Rogue SL in my lot, would you like to take a look at it?"  Of course, it had everything in it I was looking for.  Two hours later I drove out of their lot in my new Rogue.

The new car
I did sent Mike at Subaru and email notifying him of my choice in cars.  He asked why, so I responded:  "Availability.  When someone walks into your showroom and asks for a certain type of car, don't tell them "that's nice, but this is all we can give you."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The not so funny truth about "The Nice Guys."

I've been off for the past two days and they've been busy.  I've moved my bank account, am now a member of Members First Credit Union.
I had to replace the remote control ceiling fan in the bedroom because Big Seig though the remote was a chew toy.  The only difficult part was standing on the bed to take care of the wiring.  The old one was white, the new one is burnished bronze.  And since I was replacing things in the bedroom, I installed new rods for the drapes - burnished bronze, of course.
got a new car, I'll talk about that later in the week.
Last night I went to see "The Nice Guys."  Ryan Gosling is cute.  Russell Crowe is burly.  Ryan is the funny one and he plays funny well.  Russell is the Bud Abbott to Ryan's Lou Costello and he does that well, too, most of the time, but not always.  When he isn't doing it well it's because of the script.  It's terrible.
The movie takes place in 1977 so I was expecting to be barraged by 70's music... not in this movie.  Oh, yeah, there are a couple of songs where you get to hear the intro, or the bridge, or the chorus in the background.  Boogie Wonderland gets played during a party scene.  That's about it.
Had I been producing, this thing would have been pumped full of sound, it wasn't.
Except for the bits between Ryan and Russell, the rest of the script sounds like Screenwriting 101 (except for an interesting scene with a bee in a car).  As you're sitting in the audience watching talented actors struggle to give cohesion to a plot that is far more broken then Ryan's wrist under his cast, you can't help but be disappointed.  I'm not saying it isn't funny.  "The Nice Guys" is down right hysterical at times, but those times are tacked a broken armature, there's no purpose for them outside of just being funny.  Catalytic converters are not funny.  Ah, shit, that was a spoiler... but don't worry, it's spoiling nothing.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tomatoes and Non-Returnable

Well, the sun is kind of out here in Central Pennsylvania.  Hopefully we will start selling paint and deck stain because we have a lot of ground to make up.  That's right, corporate forecasts how much paint I'm supposed to sell, it's my plan.  Weather is no excuse for not making plan.  We now have to sell our daily plan plus some in order to hit our plan for the week, for the month, and for the year.  In other words, if you're supposed to sell $25,000 in paint in a single day and only sell $20,000, the next day you need to sell $5000 more in order to get out of the hole.  This is the third year in a row that we've had a rainy, cold spring which is terrible.  In fact, the only thing this rain has been good for is my tomatoes.  I already have flowers.

This is one of two plants which have started to flower
So, I work today and then have 2 days off, of course, then I have to work for 6 days straight.  Anyway, I talked to a woman with 2 kids on Saturday.  She said that she'd bought Deckover, but, after buying it, read a number of bad reviews on line and so was planning on returning it.  "If it's tinted it's non-returnable," I said.  Pinching her lips together and glaring at me down the entire length of her nose she said, "but it has all of those bad review."  I wanted to say "tough shit," but refrained.  Do your research before you buy a product.  And there are negative reviews on line, but they represent on 3% of all the Deckover sold, and most of those complaints are due to bad application.  People just didn't read the instructions and got a shitty result.  They did stupid things like putting the product down three hours after power washing their deck.  We tell people they need to wait at least a week after power washing and they look at us as though we're idiots.  We know what we're talking about.  I can tell you this woman is going to demand a refund even though she's been told it's non-returnable.  We're going to pay because she didn't do her research.
On the bright side?  The sun is out and my tomato plants are flowering.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rainy Days and Sundays and tidbit about Trump

It's raining here.  The temperature is a cool 58 (F).  And, of course, I'm supposed to be having a paint sale.  Not that we aren't selling paint, we are, just not in the amounts they were expecting.  Same thing happened last year.  What can I say besides "it's spring."  In fact, it's raining through out much of the state.  Because of this people are not buying deck stains and exterior paints.  There are parts of the country where it's bright and sunny and the temperatures are balmy - not here though so my sales figures are shitty.

Since my bank has pissed me off, I closed out the savings account and transferred all funds into the checking.  This is step one in moving my finances.  I'm off Tuesday so I'm going to pay a visit to Member's First.  If things work out, my money will be transferred to a new account with them.  The only tedious thing I can foresee is changing my routing number and account number for the bills I pay on line, but even that shouldn't take long.
I saw that another poll was released today.  I didn't read it since right now any sort of projections are totally useless.  Their sole purpose is to get people like my friend Betsy to wring their hands wailing "woe is me, woe is me."  I did see an article somewhere which inferred that Republicans are slowly starting to get behind Trump.  As they proved with George W. Bush, they don't care how big an asshole they put in the White House.
Since it's a rainy day, I think I'm going to go take a nap.  The Giro D'Italia is rolling through Italy right now so I'll probably put that on the TV and snooze a bit.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

First National Bank goes to hell

Twenty hears ago, when I moved from the East Shore to the West Shore, I changed banks.  Commerce Bank was about 3/4 of a mile away and was a decent, small bank, but as time when on Commerce grew... so did their customer service (drive through on Sunday).  About 8 years ago Commerce was bought by Metro and instead of cutting back on their services, they increased them.  Their lobby was now open on Sundays.  Metro Bank was very popular.  But then Metro was purchased by First National Bank and the cutbacks started.  They mailed out reams and reams of information about how things were going to be so great... and Sunday hours totally disappeared.  They began to put charges on everything.
A few years back I had used my debit card at a retailer whose data was hacked.  Wow, I had to get a new debit card.  As a result, I now keep as little in the checking account as possible - the debit card is not linked to the savings account.  Under First National, however, the balance in the checking has to be higher... or there's a charge.  Where as before I would transfer money from the savings account to the checking account when I needed to... well, now there's a charge if you make more than 5 transfers a month.
When Honda Financial popped through that double car payment?  That's right, it took out more then what I had in the checking account.  I'd had breakfast with my brother that morning and he gave me a check for his Paul McCartney ticket (yes I'm going to see Paul McCartney).  However, those funds were not going to be available in time to prevent First National from charging me an overdraft fee:  $37.00, not much, but it pisses me off, you know?
Failed Bank
When I talked to First National I was told by Ashley that Honda needed to reimburse me that charge.  Honda will reverse the second car payment, but they're not going to give me the $37.  Of course, Ashley pretty much said 'tough shit.'  So, I went into my little spiel about Customer Service, and Doing the Right Thing, values I practice daily, and it was like talking to a wall.
And it's not just me.  I said something to Bill, one of my paint associates, and he said "I pulled all of my money out of that bank last month."  Evidently he went to deposit his paycheck and told them he wanted to keep $100.  First National told him they couldn't do that, the monies from his paycheck were not going to available until the next day.  If he wanted $100, he would need to write himself a check in to withdraw that amount from the money already sitting in his checking account.  Now, keep in mind, this was a paycheck from the Number One Home Improvement Retailer in the World.
Anyway, I told Ashley that I was probably going to change banks and I got... a shrug.  So, I gave her a shrug back, my way of politely saying 'fuck you.'  This morning I closed out my Savings Account.  The Checking Account will go after the last house payment is made.  The only way they're going to change is if you  make it difficult for them.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Paint Sale, Bernie, & Honda

After working 7 days straight, I had yesterday off and pretty much slept through most of it.  Not that I didn't get things done, it's just that I left the store around midnight and had to get up at 5:30 to meet my brother for breakfast.  Why was I at the store so late?  We're having a Memorial Day Sale.  More importantly, for me at least, is that we're having one hell of a paint sale and everything should look Grand Opening ready.
I was talking to my friend Betsy last evening and she asked "when did Bernie become such a bitter, old man."  My response:  I suspect he's been bitter for quite some time.  Probably he sees this presidential election as his last chance to make a difference, and if he doesn't, well, maybe he thinks his political life will be seen as a failure.  Or maybe it's just old age.  He is 74.  Or, it could be that he's just pissed because he knows we're going to have a great paint sale and he's going to miss it because he's on the campaign trail.

I'm pissed at Honda because I made an online car payment on the 17th and they ran it through on the 18th, and then for some reason they ran it through again on the 19th.  Idiots.  They'd had a problem several months back with processing payments, not with my account, but with others.  I know this because they'd posted a big warning banner on their website notifying their customers that the problem had been fixed.  Looks like that fix wasn't too good.  Maybe if their IT people were to brighten up their offices with a new coat of paint things might get done right.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Michael Moore, not the truth you think he is

.'Like a lot of you out there, I signed the petition supporting Target for not buckling down to those crazy conservatives whose brains have liquefied into boiled hatred.  And now, like I suppose a lot of you, I'm getting emails from  Most of the time they don't bother me.  They do, however, seem to have a dire fascination with Michael Moore, as if he is their very own Dali Lama, of sorts.  I don't really care for Mr. Moore.  He makes documentaries that appeal to those on the left, and they don't mind that he picks and chooses what they see and hear.  He writes, directs, produces and, I supposed even edits his films.  I suspect he would like to think of himself as a god of the Liberal Elite.  Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Fahrenheit 9/1, much of it was spot on.  However, not all of it.  Mr. Moore knows that in order to fill theater seats he needs to pander to his crowd, the same way Fox News panders to their crowd.  Neither is fair and balanced.  The truth always falls in between total opposites.

Knowing this, you will realized how not surprised I was to receive an email from Mike (since he's evidently now connected with Move On) asking me to donate money.  I'm sure a lot of you received the same email.  Did you notice how he didn't just hawk his latest film once or twice?  Nope, he brought up "Where to Invade Next," 4 times, and always tied to a donation.  And you know he's making money on what he's probably calling 'a tax free donation.  He donates XX copies and then deducts their value from his Income Tax.
Of course, there are a lot of people out there who do believe he is the God of Liberalism incarnate.  He isn't.  Nope.  He's just some fat guy with a bad rinse in his hair trying to make a million or too.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Rent for Free - the Ryobi incident

We have a deal running on Ryobi power washers running right now, and it's a good one.  Yesterday we had a woman interested in purchasing one.  Her husband is in the Navy and he'd just been transferred to Harrisburg (we have a very large Naval Supply Depot here).  Moving into a new house with a deck, they decided to get a power washer.  She looked at all the power washers and chose the good deal.  She and her teenage son carted her new buy out to her car, a Lexus, and loaded it into the back seat.  As they were leaving the parking lot they smelled... gasoline.  That's right, we sold them a power washer which had been rented for free.

Yep, a previous customer had purchased the power washer, taken it home, put gasoline in the engine and used it.  After they'd finished cleaning what ever it was they needed to have power washed, they'd packed it back in the box.  And they did a damn good job of taping that box shut.  It looked like it was brand new.  And they'd returned it saying they'd never used it.  The Returns Clerk saw a box that was pristine, never opened, and gave them a full refund.  However, the original customer had forgotten to empty the gas tank, so when we sold that used power washer to another customer and that customer, and her son, loaded it sideways into the back seat of her Lexus, the gasoline began to leak out.
Now we could pull up the register receipts and see when that washer was returned, and we could look at the tapes and see just which individual was responsible, but it wouldn't do any good.  Rent for free, you know?  Somewhere, someone is sitting smugly thinking just how smart they were, how they pulled the wool over our eyes, with absolutely no concern about what problems they might have caused.  And another customer got a brand new, free, power washer as compensation.  Oh, and she's have the interior of her Lexus professionally cleaned, not that any gas soaked into the seat, but it's the right thing for us to do.  You see, there's always an expense when it's Rent for Free.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Paint, people, and problems

I'm in the middle of a 7 day stretch - that's right, I've already worked 3 days and, after today, will have to work 3 more before I get a day off, and then it's only one day off.  Just lovely, you know?  Anyway, the paint desk was steady yesterday, not as busy as they were hoping it would be since the weather is really rather shitty.  And I got to close the department last night.
Around 7'ish, a grandmother, her daughter, and her grandchild started looking at Glidden colors (we're getting rid of the Glidden Duo, replacing it with the Diamond, so the Duo is at a clearance price).  They spent over 2 hours looking at colors - a very long time since the child would cry, saying "I want to go home," and, of course, that wasn't going to happen.  Fifty minutes before the store closed they finally came to the desk to order paint, gallons and gallons and at least 8 quarts, and they wanted the clearance Duo.  So I explained to them that light colors go into a pure white base, medium shaded colors go into a medium base, and dark colors go into a dark base.  Eight of their gallons were for light, pastel colors and... of course, since most people like light colors on their walls, I had no white clearance bases left.  "I'm sorry," I said, "but I'm sold out of those bases."  Of course they didn't understand, so I had to explain to them how everything worked for a second time, going so far as to take the lid off of a can of deep base to prove my point.  And as I'm talking to them I hear the announcement going out loud and and clear that "the store will be closing in 30 minutes."

He was not part of the problem
Now, for those of you who don't know, there is a group of people out there who dally around until a store closes because, well, sometimes they can get a better deal, sometimes cashiers, eager to punch out and leave for the day, make mistakes.  And sometimes they're just dumb.  I think these women were angling for something, because around 8 they asked what time the store closed, and then proceeded to dawdle.  I roped in Tim, from Hardware, to help be track down bases in order to see what I could mix (only 2 gallons).  I showed them inexpensive, lower quality paints but that was a no go.  They needed to have paint and primer (more expensive paints).  What they really wanted was for me to mark down better paint to the clearance price in order to get them out of the store.  Of course, I didn't do that.
Nope.  I mixed 8 quarts and 2 gallons, and handed the rest of their chips back to them saying "we have a paint event starting on Thursday which is going to be a better deal than this clearance paint."  "Oh," they said, "a deal!"  I didn't tell them it's going to be a rebate.  People like these women don't like rebates, they want their discount now.  They don't want to wait for a gift card in the mail.  They see themselves as being shrewd, rather than a problem.  If being inconvenient will get them a cheaper price, they'll be as inconvenient as possible.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Assassin's Creed, dive right in

So, the trailer dropped yesterday for Assassin's Creed.  And yes, it's based on a video game.  And yes, the movie looks... very interesting.  Over on Towleroad they actually linked to a bit written by some none game player at Forbes.  I know he was a none game player because... well, he didn't know what the animus was, or is, depending upon how much you like the game.  It's a lot like the holodeck on Star Trek only it relies on your genetic memories, it actually gets plugged into your neck.
The Assassin's Creed series is based up a war between the Knights Templar and the Order of Assassins, one group wants to rule the world by control, the other by freedom.
Anyway, Jason over at My New Plaid Pants was besides himself because there are a couple of shots of Michael Fassbender shirtless.

Here's one
There were also shots of the parkour.  That's right, this is a video game where you need to run, and jump and scale buildings.  If your hand / eye coordination isn't too good, well, you're going to die a lot.

This is from Unity, which takes place in Paris during the French Revolution

Here it is if you haven't seen it.

Oh, and the dive from the cathedral at the end?  That's a skill you need to master as an assassin.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, you are the assassin.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Red Cars

As I'd said earlier, I'm gong to be getting a new car in July, after the house has been paid off.  I was talking to a friend at work and she suggested a new Volvo.  I've seen the new Volvo SUV's and they are nice, but, as I said to her, "it's all about the money."  Not that I couldn't afford one, but I have dogs.  And I take those dogs places.  I take them to the park several times a week, and because they're Boxes, they drool, and they shake their heads, so I'm looking for something that's fully loaded but not as expensive.  I want to be able to cart things around and not cringe when I open the tailgate.  Leather is okay, but not black leather.  That's what I have now and it's horrendous with dogs.

Reflecting on a car deal
Oh, and I want it to be red.  My first car was a red Mustang.  I owned a red truck for 12 years (I usually hold on to my vehicles), and my first Honda was red.  My CR-V would have been red but Honda decided that year they weren't going to have red cars.  I've already been told by one dealer that I may have to chose a different color if I want a 2016, which means I may have to order a 2017.  Of course, there's nothing wrong with a brand new 2016.  I'm not one of those people who need to have the latest updates, it just has to be new.  And, as I said before, it has to be red.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Big Seig and Captain America

I had off yesterday and managed to get quite a number of things accomplished.  The first, and biggest, so to speak, was taking Seig to the Vet for his shots,  He's now good for 3 years.  As part of the process he needed to be weighed, of course they weigh every pet that comes through the front door.  After some maneuvering, I managed to get him onto the scale.  Sometimes he's a leaner, and that's what he was doing yesterday, leaning against my leg, meaning his weight was not accurate.  After some shifting and pushing I finally got him standing by himself.  Now I have to tell you, he's called Big Seig because he's... well, big.  Yesterday we found out how big.  He's 108 pounds big.  And none of it is fat.  He's just a very big Boxer.  That's what the Vet said.  She also said he's probably going to get a bit bigger since he's only about 16 months old.  That's fine.  He's a very well behaved dog.

Waiting for the Vet

And last evening I went to see Captain America: Civil War.  Of all of the super hero franchises, I think this is my favorite.  While the others focus on fighting super villains, there is a distinct line between good and evil, that line is much more vague.  In Civil War that line almost seems to disappear, they deal with death; saving the world causes collateral damage and innocents get killed.  Good gets twisted and manipulated into bad.

There is no black and white
A scene between Alfre Woodard and Robert Downey Jr in front of an elevator is pivotal; this is not superhero banter, nope, this is drama.  Not that there aren't superhero moments of mass destruction, now, however, the audience realizes there are casualties.  In fact, death is an integral part of Captain America: Civil War.  By no means is this an escapist film.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Polling failures

Just a few thoughts on polls before I take Big Seig to the vet for his shots.  They are very good for pointing towards trends but very bad depicting reality.  Republican polls had shown Romney smacking the shit out of Obama and winning the presidency... didn't happen.  Interpretation is always biased, not matter how much they tell you the opposite, pollsters want specific answers.  I know this because I was polled about two months ago.  Even though I was told it would only take a few minutes, I ended up enduring questions for almost 45 minutes.  At one point the pollster actually said, "well, you're pretty noncommittal," that's because I didn't hate either Bernie or Hilary.  My strongest answers were against the Republican party, and while they were strong, they weren't hate, hate, hate.
I bring this up because this morning I was reading about a hypothetical match up, who would fare better against Trump, Hilary or Bernie, and, of course, the hypothetical match up was based on polls.

For those who have never taken a Poll, here's an example of a question:

What do you think of Donald Trump:
          A.  I love him
          B.  I like him
          C.  I dislike him
          D.  I hate him
          E.  I have no opinion

The next question depends upon how you answer... and it's always multiple choice.  You never get asked why you chose that specific response.  So if you say you hate Donald Trump they never give you the opportunity to air your grievances, what it is about him that so turns your stomach.
The pollster actually asked me who I would vote for in a General Election.  My response:  "We are guaranteed a secret ballot in this country, so why would I tell you?"  Anyway, that wasn't the response he was hoping for.  This is life.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The unraveling GOP and Fox News

I saw that Sean Hannity endorsed Donald Trump, of course that's no surprise since his flawed view of conservatism is one of the reasons Trump is where he is today.  This is so funny, you know?  The GOP is falling apart and old Sean is blaming others, because... well, how could Sean be wrong?  He thinks that because his ratings are strong he's speaking the truth, when actually what he's doing is tapping into the crazy side.  This is a serious problem for Fox News.  In fact, all Sean Hannity is, in fact just about the whole of Fox News, is nothing more than Tabloid Conservatism.  And the GOP has been relying on Fox News to ride shotgun for quite some time, I mean look at the Birther movement, they played that front and center for years without understand to which crazy crowd they were playing.  Now, the party itself is unraveling.  A number of Republicans are not endorsing him, in fact the list of those on the 'nay' side is so long it's laughable. 

This morning I saw that Trump did manage to get Bob Dole's endorsement - a true sign of desperation.  And for Fox News, it's becoming more and more apparent that their ratings are being held up by angry, white, crazy people.  Rupert Murdoch's team desperately want to be players in the political arena, in reality they're nothing more then the crazy stuff you see in sideshows.  Without them the GOP has no standard bearer.  And Hannity, aligning himself with Trump, has ripped the mask off of the GOP; thanks to him their unraveling will be very publicly. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The lesson of value

Recently an old Navy buddy of mine posted on Facebook how dissatisfied he was with some weed killer he'd bought at some place called Buy-Rite.  He'd paid $10.48 per bag and, well, it just didn't kill his dandelions.  So I noted that at that price what he bought was most like water soluble bullshit.  Well, he didn't like that and posted:

 "Well David , you must be doing better than the rest of us. I really don't care if it's $10.00 or $100.00. If a product fails to perform as advertised , I want my money back. I run a vending business and if someone tells me they lost money in one of my machines, not only do I give them their money back, I also give them the product for free. It's called " Customer Service"

Of course I had to respond.  I said that "yes, I'm doing okay" and that whether you like it of not, the price of a product is directly to it's effectiveness.  I also told him who I worked for and that we would have refunded his money.  His wife gave him a smack back, telling him he should be so cheap.

Anyway, the truth is that you get what you pay for.  That doesn't mean that some brand products aren't over priced, some of them are. Sometimes I buy name brand and sometimes generic.  If I can buy the raw ingredients and make the product, I'll do that.  When I do buy brand products it's because I think I'm getting a better quality.  Here's an example.  I like white grape juice.  For years I bought the store brand, and I mean years, and then about 4 months ago I thought I'd give Welch's a try.  Holy Crap!  There was such a difference.  It tasted like I had fresh grapes in my mouth.  So, now I buy Welch's.

A decent bag of week killer is going to run you between $40 and $50.  This guy tried to cheap it out and ended up having to hand weed.  This is life.  Learn your lesson.

Oh, and I don't know why he called me David.  Only my Mom calls me that.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Boatie fails / Caitlyn horrifies

I was saddened to hear that Boatie McBoatface lost out.  That's right.  The UK's new polar research vessel is going to be called the Sir David Attenborough.  Sure, that's a more dignified name, but it lacks a little in the 'pizzaz' department, don't you think?  Sometimes dignity fails to garner interest and I have no doubt that soon the public will care less where the Sir David Attenborough is and what it is doing.  They're not even going to know if it's in port or not.  Boatie McBoatface, on the other hand, would have generated vast amounts of public awareness.  Educators could have used the name as a tool.  You know what I mean, like, what is polar research?  And, why are they exploring the ice cap?  Every one would know when Boatie docked at your local wharf.  The Sir David Attenborough?  Most likely not.  Sometimes this is what happens when stuffed shirts make a decision.

Good name
On the other hand, I was horrified to hear that Caitlyn Jenner is going to pose nude for some magazine.  Holy Shit!  Who in their right minds would want to see a 65 year old individual who's undergone extensive reconstructive facial surgery naked?  Breast implants are neither erotic nor artistic.  Let's talk Photoshop here.  And I do suspect there are enough deviant, prurient minds out there to insure financial success for the magazine.  And, of course, it is all about the money.

When I thought of Caitlyn naked, I thought of this
Talk about taking a page out of the Kardashian playbook.  One can only wonder if Cait's also going to balance a champagne flue on her ass.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Republicans in Hell

My brother, the Methodist minister thinks he knows what is going on with the Republican Party.  He believes that those in charge have realized there is no way to stop Donald and that they've come to terms with the fact they're going to lose the 2016 election.  I think he's hit the nail right on the head.  The last thing the GOP wants is a contested election and Cleveland going up in flames.  I suspect they realized a long time ago that the party, as well, was going to end up burning.  Horrendously.  In order to survive as a viable political group they've got to detour through Hell.  There is no way they can stop this from happening.  And, of course, they want to believe they're going to rise from the ashes like the mythical Phoenix.  Me?  I think they're going to cook.

Burning for the truth
No poll shows Trump even close to winning the general election.  With this realization comes another, that stonewalling on Supreme Court nominee Garland is bad.  With a Clinton presidency they're going to be presented with a true rollicking liberal.  They might have to confirm someone of Asian, or Indian decent.  The court might not only become liberal, but more culturally diverse.
And, of course, we know they won't be alone down there, they will have plenty of company.

Of course, that's what happens when all you do is hate everything that's different.  Compromise is a political art and Republicans don't like art.  Anyway, this turn of events, Trump being their nominee does make me wonder what the Koch brothers are doing, after all, Trump pretty much told them to sit on it and spin.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

On Apple Heads and Starbucks

In my store, the paint desk is located directly across from the registers at the Front End and, as such, we tend to talk back and forth with each other when things are slow.  Yesterday, while I was waiting for a gallon of paint to finish mixing, Jesse, the Front End Supervisor, came over and said, "Hey, did you hear about my Starbucks?"  Now, she loves her Starbucks iced coffees; drinks at least one a day.  "Nah," I said, shaking my head.
"Well," she started explaining, "I stopped off this morning and picked up my usual coffee and lemon sesame roll (it was lemon sesame something or other, it may not have been a roll)."  Anyway, she'd started her work day by pulling up her figures on the computer back in the training room, something we all do, while eating her roll (?).  She then came front and, after setting her coffee down near self-checkout, grabbed the schedule and proceeded from register to register (12 altogether) making sure everybody had enough change and verifying breaks and lunches.  This took her about a half hour.  Returning to self-checkout, she discovered her empty Starbucks cup in the trash.  In a fairly loud voice she asked "Does anybody know what happened to my Starbucks?"
Evidently there was a long, quiet pause so she repeated the question and finally, Phyllis, a 71 year old cashier, who bears a marked resemblance to one of those apple head dolls, asked  "Starbucks?" as she walked from her register to self-checkout.  "Was that yours?  I thought a customer had left that behind and, since I was thirsty, I drank it."

A close resemblance to Phyllis
That's right, she thought a stranger had left behind a half empty Starbucks coffee and because she was thirsty she drank it.  A stranger's coffee.  Just think about that for a minute or two.  Let the images whirl around in your head as you imagine a stranger's coffee swirling down your own throat.
Okay, that's enough thinking.
Anyway, Phyllis said "they're expensive, aren't they?" before giving the whole incident a minor shrug and without offering to pay for the coffee, headed back to her register.  A lesson was learned by many.  And, since I don't drink Starbucks, I don't have to worry about thirsty Phyllis.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Spilled paint, and other lies

Yesterday afternoon I had a woman call to complain - the can of paint they'd bought the night before had broken.  "What do you mean broke?" I asked.  "It broke all over the rug," she replied, "and we need a new can of paint."  "You need another can of paint?" I asked.  "Yes, cause the other one broke."
Well, paint cans don't really break.  The lid may come off if you drop it on the floor, and sometimes, if we tint it and don't hammer on the top on tight enough there might be a problem.  If there is a problem, it's going to happen well before you get home.  Anyway, after a minute or so of this conversation her husband got on a 2nd line (that's right, I got to speak to both of them simultaneously) and repeated what she had said, except he wanted to speak to the manager because their can of paint spilled and they needed another.  Now this guy was obviously giving me a line of shit.  All they wanted was another can of paint.  And, of course, we are 'customer service, customer service, customers service oriented I said "let me put you on hold so I can get this approved through the store manager," (who was not in the store yesterday).  After a bit I resumed the call and told him to bring in the empty gallon with the lid.

So, about 20 minutes later this dude shows up, who was neither the husband nor the wife, with an empty gallon paint in a supermarket bag, and asks for a gallon of white semi-gloss.  I pointed out that the can he had was satin, not semi-gloss and this dude says "he told me I'm supposed to get semi-gloss."  "Sorry," I said, "I can't give you semi-gloss when you bought satin."  He made a little bit of a frowny face and said "okay."
When I asked Cori, one of my associates, what she thought she said.  "They just needed another gallon of paint, probably for trim."  Of course, she was right.  The can was missing the tell-tale signs of a spillage.  You see you don't get drip runs down the sides of a can when it spills, just a long solid streak where it sits in the spilled paint.  This can had drip runs and brush marks.  These people just lied to get a free can of paint.  And it was obvious through the conversation that they knew, that we knew, they were lying.  This is life in the retail world. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

What about Santa?

There's all of this hate emanating from those Krazy Kristians regarding Transgender people using the correct bathroom, by that I mean the bathroom they want them to use in order to make their life as difficult as possible.  And it really has everything to do with hate and very little to do with gender.  I had to laugh when I saw that Anita Staver, the very unchristian Matt Staver's wife, threatened to carry her loaded weapon into the Ladies room in order to feel safe.  What a stupid broad.  Of course, it could be she just likes carrying things that are hard and have a 6 inch barrel.  Does she even know that guns are considered phallic?
Anyway, with all of this hate surfacing as hate law in certain southern states, I wondered when they're going to go after Santa.  You know who I'm talking about.  This guy.

Let's be honest here.  Of course, maybe these Krazy Kristians see nothing wrong in a costumed male bouncing little kids up and down on his lap.  Santa's innocent, isn't he?  Or maybe not so.  Maybe there is a darker reason some of these men are wearing costumes.  Maybe there's a bit of a pedophile lurking just beneath the fabric, loving every bounce.  Of course, maybe it's a trusted friend or relative wearing that beard, you know, like Uncle Ernie? 
With all of their foaming at the mouth, you can only wonder how long it's going to be until one of these Krazies scratches their head and asks "What about Santa?"  I doubt very much if it will be Anita Staver since I suspect she's far too busy with her pistol.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Vacation - 6 days of Cars, Cruz & Cycling

Well, today is Sunday and my 6th day off, vacation you know?  And tomorrow I go back to work.  Actually, I did a little work today, finishing up 2 reviews I need to give.  I had a fairly long list of things I wanted to accomplish over the past 6 days - crappy, rainy weather cut that list down.  I did manage to plant tomatoes and green peppers (twice for the peppers since Big Seig ate the first ones I planted).  I also started my 'car search' which is going quite well.  Went to see "The Jungle Book," which I'd call enjoyable - never saw the original, animated version or read any of the stories so I went in pretty much a blank slate.  The weakest part was the kid.  With realistic CGI talking animals sharing just about every scene, he didn't stand much of a chance.
I got a good laugh when John Boehner said Ted Cruz was "Lucifer in the flesh."  Not being the religious type I'd have to say Cruz reminds me more Greg Stillson, and am just waiting for him to use a baby as a shield.  Let's be honest here, can't you picture him holding up a toddler and screaming "Go ahead, make my day!" (oh, wait, wrong movie).
One of things I had planned to do was to take the bike off of it's trainer and go for a ride.  This didn't happen because of the rain - I don't ride in the rain, nor do I ride when it gets cold.  As an alternative I did get a subscription to Cycling TV where I've watched a couple of stages from the Tour de Yorkshire.

Tour de Yorkshire
Honestly, I never knew Yorkshire was that big.
Another thing I did was to eat way too much, but, since I was on vacation, I'm certain that was justified.  Maybe the next time I take vacation I shouldn't schedule so many lunches...maybe limit myself to just bread and water.  Right.