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

Sunday, July 31, 2016


Today's my day off.  So what if it's Sunday, I've got a full day planned: mowing the lawn before it rains, cleaning and dusting (I've already cleaned the bathroom), picking up 18 pavers (I'm having 3 tons of pea gravel delivered on Wednesday), and a trip to the movies this evening.
Anyway, since to day's Sunday, I thought I say a couple things about Religion.  Last year the Pew Institute came out with their report on world religions.  A lot of Christians were not happy because Islam is over taking Christianity by leaps and bounds.  This is how things go.  Three thousand years ago if you'd told your average Roman citizen their gods would be usurped by a monotheistic religion they'd have called you stupid.  Twelve hundred years earlier, had you said the same thing to an Egyptian, they would have thought the same.  Three thousand years ago, had you said the same thing to a Hindu he would have laughed because they're still around, in fact there are about 1.2 billion of them.  They are the world's 3rd largest religion.  Interesting.

I suspect that two thousand years from now another religion will be taking over the planet, one which is more philosophical and doesn't rely on an end of times.  I always thought that was a mistake, you know?  Revelations?  The more centuries that pass without an apocalypse the weaker the religion grows.  I'm not going to be around in two millennia, but I'll be honest, I'd be interested to see how the advent of space travel and longer life spans effect faith.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Is Trump the Herald of Death

Well, I looked at my  schedule for 3 weeks out last evening and groaned.  I'm scheduled  to do a closing followed by an opening which means I have 7 hours off between shifts.  Crap.  That's not enough time, so I sent out a text and was told the 'error' would be fixed.
Yesterday I also posted a link to this video of Trump saying he wanted to hit people onto my Facebook page.  In case you haven't seen it, take a gander.  And I received several comments, one of which implied that Trump is not used to the political stage and therefore unskilled when it comes to censoring his comments.  Well, that's bullshit.  He's a 70 year old business man who's used to saying things like "do it," "shut up and give me what I want," and "don't pay them."  He loves to say things like "you're fired" because he loves to dictate.   His whole approach to this election cycle proves he doesn't know the difference between a president and a dictator.
Now I know there are people who love him for this, but there are many, many more who don't.  In fact, I suspect that quite a lot of them are questioning whether he might not actually be the Herald of Death.  Me?  I think he is.  Not for mankind, or the human race, but rather for the Republican party.  Even the crazy conservative Koch brothers want little to do with him.  They know he's poison.  He is loudly barreling through their tightly woven conservative world like Godzilla through a cardboard Tokyo.  For them, for the GOP, and for the conservative movement, Trump is the Herald of Death.

How sad, I think it is, that there are so many Republicans who find themselves enraptured with him without understanding that they are nothing to him.  When he says he's created thousands of jobs, they don't get the connection that those jobs are in China, and Mexico, and Honduras.  These Trumplodites will be so smashed after he loses the election they will never vote again.  His loss is going to hit them so hard their heads will spin, and they will never recover.  For all of those people, he is the Herald of Death.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Aaannnd, they're off

Last night I was supposed to work an overnight, I didn't.  The night before I condensed 8 skids of 5 gallon buckets down to two skids, putting about 30 buckets out on the floor, and all of that weight stretched my arthritic back a bit too much.  Yesterday I was real sore.  So, I took off last night.  I watched Hillary's speech.  She's a good speaker, not great.  She gets her point across with out adding any frills. Some people like the frills, I don't.  Be plain spoken, be brief, and get it done.  She did a fine job at attacking Trump.  I got a big laugh from the line about baiting him with a Tweet.  I suspect that will be one of the avenues of attack.  They are going to bait him incessantly.  I can already hear her, during one of their debates, calling him Don.  How fast would that knock him off point?
As the camera panned over the crowd to focus in on Bernie Sanders I could only wonder why no one had told him he needed to pull that bitter stick out of his ass.  He is one angry old man.

And speaking of Hillary, she's going to be in Harrisburg tonight.  In fact, as the crow flies, she's going to be about 2 miles away from my house.  I'm not going.  Eight years ago I went downtown to see Barack Obama speak from the steps of the state capital.  Believe me when I tell you that was a magic moment.  Not that tonight isn't going to be magic.  I'm just older and don't want to deal with all of the traffic.
On an lighter note, I saw where Melamia Trump's website was taken down.  Evidently she has a lot of veracity issues, especially regarding her academic background.
On an even lighter note, Donny Trump, Jr, complained that Obama had plagiarized some of his father's speech.  Evidently he didn't realize Obama has been using that phrase for years.... hhhmm, obviously this egg didn't hatch far from the nest.
And for poll watchers, now you can start to watch them, but always take them with a grain of salt.  Remember, Republican polls showed Mitt Romney winning big.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ipod number 5

Tonight I get to work the first of two overnights, it will be my 7th day working without a day off and so I'm tending to be be a bit cranky about things.  Like my new Ipod arrived yesterday.  My old one is sitting on a shelf locked up in Ipod hell.  I had the same problem with the first Ipod I bought - it played great for about 2 years and then.... nothing.  It wouldn't play music, wouldn't sync, what it did do was lay there daring me not to throw it out.  I threw it out and got myself a nice new one - lime green.  That one worked well, too, until the Imac it was linked to self-immolated, then, for some reason Apple couldn't explain, I could link it to another computer, but I couldn't add new music.  My 3rd Ipod was stolen.  I left it in my locker at work but didn't lock the lock.  Eight hours later it was gone.  We know who the thief was, he was relaxing in a recliner five feet away from my locker however, because there was no direct proof, nothing charges could be filed.  Interestingly, 2 weeks later he walked off the job.
My 4th Ipod is also daring me not to throw it out.  After about 3 years, it too has stopped working.
Now I'd said I wasn't going to buy another one since I'd like to get more than 3 years service from my purchase.  But then the other night I started looking around on Amazon.
Number 5 arrived yesterday.
It's an Ipod Touch... and it's gold.

And it's filled with software I am never going to use.  Maybe the email, and the weather and possible the clock, but Siri?  Give me a break.  Now, all I have to do is wait and see how long this one lasts.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Russians?

I don't know what they're looking at, and doubt if they're trying to learn English from my blog, but when I checked my stats this morning I saw I had over 1200 hits from Russia.... The entry they seemed to be swarming around was the one about the Republican part being a dead elephant.  And I thought boy, they really are interested in even my opinion about Trump.  As a result, I wasn't too surprised when I got home from work and saw this headline regarding the Russians and the hacking of the DNC computers.  Of course, Trump has always seem to have had a fondness Putin and Russia, and especially for Slovakian women, especially plastic ones.

Dark Green = heavy hitters
And one suspects Putin keeps his eye out for pseudo dictators and will, no doubt, lend a hand to get one into power for the right price.  Of course, a Trump presidency would be the end of democracy in this country.  He would substitute it for the kind of democracy they have in Russia, where he always manages to stay in power.  And don't forget there are Trumplings waiting in the wings, which means if things go his way, we might one day be living in Trumpsylvania.  One can only wonder if we should start learning more Russian then da and nyet.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Work & Politics - 8 days a week

Eight Days a Week is an old Beatles song, one Paul McCartney, it is also the length of my work week... and I'm in the middle of it... and it's only going to get worse.  Tomorrow I get to open which means a 0330 wake-up call.  Wednesday and Thursday I get to stay up all night.  I can remember, when I was younger, staying up all night was not a big thing.  Now I hate it.  Oh, I do get Friday off, but after working a couple of overnights the day is pretty much a waste.  Besides, on Saturday I have to open the store again which means another 0330 wake-up call.
The following week I have someone named Stephen schedule in the department.  Since nobody knows who Stephen is, I asked the scheduler who flippantly said, "oh, don't worry, I'm just hiding him there, his hours are going to Admin, not you."  That's right, she's hiding somebody's hours in my department and charging them to another department.  They hired a guy a while back to work evening freight but I understand he now wants to work days so maybe she's trying to fudge his hours which, accounting wise, is not kosher.
The Democratic National Convention begins this evening.... I don't watch conventions.  Anyway, Hillary will get a big bump in the polls.  This always happens.  Poll watchers know this.  If you're not a poll watcher and read this blog... well, now you do.  Three weeks from now polls might show a little more relevance, but not now.
I think it's funny, the Ruskies seem to like Trump.  Way back when the DNC computers got hacked?  That's the first thing I thought of, you know?  Putin and Trump - soul mates.

The home improvement retail giant I work for does a 'healthy challenge' every summer.  This is a 6 week challenge in which associates are supposed to work on creating a more healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families.  If you want to continue getting a discount on your health insurance, you need to participate.  This year, unfortunately, they are showing participation by state.  Pennsylvania has a little over 10% participating, which is just another way of spelling 'failure.'  And you can bet, 99.9% of that 10% are only doing it for that discount.  If they want to promote healthy living, they need to link it to something other than the discount because I can tell you, most of the people from my store who are participating cheat.  This is how it goes.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dead Elephant in the Room

Well, the Republican Convention is over... as is the Republican Party.  That's right, there's a dead elephant in the room.  No matter how much they tried to and pretty up the smell with snazzy visuals and loud music, there were cadavers lying  everywhere.  Not that I watched any of it, the daily headlines said everything.  The word 'disaster' appeared quite a lot.  Instead of having legitimate speakers they had... well, nobody of any real importance, no one who had any  real political sway.  They couldn't even manage to get Clint Eastwood and his chair.  And still, the Trumplodites went wild.
Trump's pick for VP, Mikey Pence, gave a speech and might as well have been talking to the wall because everybody was talking about Melania's plagiarism.  That was really funny, a lot of verbatim phrases from Michelle Obama's speech, and they thought no one would be smart enough to pick up on it.  They think Americans are so dumb they didn't even run that speech through plagiarism software.  But then you have to remember, Trump didn't buy her for her brains, he bought her for her looks.
And then there was Ted Cruz....  Let's just key the theme from Psycho and leave it at that.

Caitlyn Jenner spoke... who cares.  Well, at least he spoke, of course it was during lunch hour and there were on a smattering of people in the hall.
So did Peter Thiel, who is an openly gay man.  He also doesn't seem to understand that if those people in the convention hall, sitting on their hands, ever truly got into power, they would not only pass laws to take all of his money, they'd pass laws to put him in a concentration camp with all of the other gay people in this country.  He doesn't understand that in their socially conservative view, he is the enemy.
In the four nights the Republicans were in Cleveland there was no unification of the party, and though they like to pretend everything is happy dappy, mostly what they did was stab themselves in the back, over and over and over again.  I am so glad I'm not part of the clean-up crew.  What a bitch it must be to find a dead elephant in the room.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

McCartney explodes in Hershey

I went to see Paul McCartney at the Hershey Stadium on Tuesday.  The show was... tremendous; lots of Beatles songs.  He did an original Quarrymen song.  For those who don't know, originally the Beatles called themselves the Quarrymen.  They put out an album, too.  If you own a copy of that original album, well then Baby Your a Rich Man.
Traffic going then wasn't that bad.  Leaving was another story - an hour and a half to go 21 miles....
Anyway. as I said the show was unbelievable.  And I'll be honest, there were moments of almost overwhelming nostalgia, like when, sitting at his grand piano, he quietly said "I wrote this for Linda," and played  "Maybe I'm Amazed."  Then there was the tribute to John Lennon, in it he said "if you want to say something to someone, say it, because you never know when they'll be gone and they'll never know what you want them to know."
It was far louder than I was expecting, which was a good thing.  We can all use a blast of voluminous music every now and then to shake up our bones.  Let me tell you, Paul McCartney is pretty spry for a 71 year old man, and you can still see hints of the pretty boy he once was.  He was always my favorite.
Oh, and they pretty much blew up the stadium with "Live and Let Die."

Yes, there were fireworks.
And fireballs shooting up from the front of the stage.
And explosions.
Oh, and I also bought a T-shirt.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Paul McCartney - tonight

I'm really not sorry to say it, but I'm going to have to miss tonight's episode of Trumpalooza.  I missed last nights' episode as well, but did find it hilarious that Melanoma Trump sort of plagiarized Michelle Obama.  You have to remember, he didn't marry her because she was smart, he married her because she was a model.
Anyway, I'm missing tonight's episode because my brother and I are going to see Paul McCartney at the Hershey Stadium.  We have good seats.  No, we didn't get the VIP seating in order to actually meet Sir Paul in person.  And we didn't get the minor VIP seats where you get let in early so you can watch the sound check.  We just got the regular, very good, expensive seats.  In case you're wondering where they're at, I posted the seating chart below.

I hear he puts on a really good show, plays a lot of Beatles music.  I'm really looking forward to it.  In fact, it's kind of like not real.  My brother, who is 52, says he's probably going to scream like a 12 year old girl and faint.  I hope not.  That would be embarrassing.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Farting into the Republican Convention

Well, the Republican convention starts either tonight or tomorrow night, I'm not sure.  I mean, like why would I watch it.  They've been scrambling for days trying to get speakers; everybody keeps dropping out.  Scott Baio is going to speak (cue laughter), so are 4 of Trump's children, also known as the DKDM (Different Kids from Different Mothers) which, if enunciated sounds a lot like dickd'em.
Tim Tebow was listed as being a speaker, but was never asked.  I watched his video in which he explained why he wasn't speaking and was surprised he sounded so little like a football player and so much more like a man who truly was saving his body for Jesus, literally.
And it's funny at work because we have a Trumplodite in the Appliance Department, and on Saturday he was actually espousing concern about the Freedom to Carry law in Ohio.  "Do we really want protesters with guns there?" he worried.  Woah, his concern stunned me.  But then I realized he was more likely concerned about someone actually shooting a Pro-Trump delegate, which would be one less vote.
Anyway, onto something funnier.  I bought the dogs a new toy.  A blue pig.  But not just any blue pig, this one makes a farting noise when squeezed.  That's right, it doesn't squeak, it farts.  They both love it.  Like right now, while I'm sitting up here typing this out, I keep hearing this fart, fart, fart coming up from downstairs.

Big Seig and the farting pig
They carry it all over the house.  This means that while, Ivanka, or Ivana, or Scott (but not Tim) are speaking, I'll be sitting here listening to 'fart fart, fart fart, fart fart.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Liars at the Paint Desk

Well, it's Sunday and I have the day off... and I also have a lot of chores to do both inside and outside the house.  Yesterday, however, I had to work and that meant dealing with idiots.  There was the guy who was looking for a ecologically safe way to remove tar from his driveway... and he'd seen some product advertised on television.  He couldn't quite remember the name but was sure the commercial said we carried it.  I know I don't carry anything like that, so I used our app to search for a product similar to what he wanted.  Nothing.  So I said "I'm sorry, we don't carry anything like that," and his snappy retort was "well, I guess I'm going to have to take my business to your competition."  This was supposed to be his way of insulting me, of pissing me off... we hear it daily.
Then there was the gentleman who stepped up to the paint desk with his wife, a gallon of exterior Glidden in his hand.  "This paint is bad," he said.  I checked the label on the lid and saw the paint had been tinted in March of 2013 and said, "this paint is over 3 years old."  He got a little surly and said "look inside the can."  I did and saw immediately what the problem was, this can of paint had been been frozen.  "No," he said, "I take care of my paint, I keep it in the basement.  This is bad paint.  I want another can."  I very politely told him that I couldn't give him another gallon of paint.  "This is 3 years old," I repeated.  His eyes narrowed, then he and his wife walked away.

Five minutes later he was standing in front of me for a second time.  "Brandon says you're supposed to give me another can of paint," he smiled.  Brandon was the other MOD working yesterday afternoon.  Now what I really wanted to do was call him a lying sack of shit, but I couldn't really do that, so without saying a word, I mixed him another gallon.
When I asked Brandon about it he said "Dave, I was at the Service Desk and there were people all around and this guy came up and started getting loud."  I asked him if he'd looked in the can.  "Yeah," he said, "that paint had been frozen, and that guy just looked me in the eye and lied right to my face."  In the end it had been easier just to give this liar another gallon of paint just to shut him up.  Personally, I would have preferred kicking his sorry ass out of the store.  We shouldn't be paying for his mistakes.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Nasty Newt

Just a quick note before I slip off to work... I saw that Newt Gingrich is opening his crazy, trash mouth saying things like "we should test all Muslims to see if they believe in Sharia," and I'm thinking to myself that believing in Sharia doesn't make one evil, and it doesn't make you a terrorist.  Of course Newt doesn't care about this.  All Newt wants to do is throw red, juicy, raw meat to the GOP base, he wants to spoon feed the Trumplodites.  It's a terrible thing to say but I think the Republicans need the the Muslims the same way the Nazis needed the Jews, as a focal point for hatred, and Newt is a mouthpiece.  And you can bet he's loving this, creating a palpable threat.

He is one of the villains in this piece of Trumplomania.  They don't really care who gets hurt, just as long as they get someone in the White House.  They want to make America great by branding it in their own likeness, very white and dressed in their version of Christianity.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Anticipating Trump

Well, it's Thursday, and I don't work, so I'm happy, of course I have a thousand things which need to be completed, but still, for the most part, I'm happy.  Tomorrow, however, is not just another day.  Tomorrow Trump, unless he decides to do it earlier then anticipated, will release the name of his choice for VP.  And there is a lot of anticipation going on, believe me.  That name is important on so many levels.  Old school Republicans wan tit to be someone who might help to unite the party.  Those Independents who are not so hot for Hillary are hoping Trump will pick someone with more moderate views.  The white supremacists are hoping for someone with neo-Nazi leanings.  And, the Trumplodites?  Well they don't really care... however they should because there are all sorts of rumors flying around.  There are whispers saying all Trump really wants to do is win the election, that at 70 he doesn't really want to be president, and so he'll resign after his inauguration and the country will be stuck with his VP choice.  that would really piss off his Trumplodites, but do you think he really cares about them?  Not in the least.

Which is really sad.  All of their small little minds are telling their small little hearts that he is going to make America great again... for them.  He doesn't really care about them; they're just votes.  I was talking to our Enhance Contractor, Kenny, the other day and he's rabidly anti-Trump.  He said that one of the reasons Trump got to be so rich was by shitting on the independent contractors he used; let them do the work and not pay them, claiming their work was shoddy.  Evidently there are something like 4000 lawsuits filed against Trump by these contractors.  You see, they did what Trump wanted them to do, and then he shit on them.  That's what he's going to do to his Trumplodites, use them and then dump them.  Which is why his VP selection is so important.  His fan base might be answering to someone other than their idol.  They might have to deal with an individual who sees them as nothing more than white trash. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Day the Muzak Died

I'm not big on background noise.  In the morning, the first thing I do is start coffee, I don't turn on the radio, or the television.  I like reading my news, not watching videos.  If I want background noise, I'll throw the dogs a toy, or a couple of bones.  Now I know there are quite a number of people who find this odd.  For them, silence is... annoying.  They actually don't mind going to a store and hearing oldies, or country, or whatever playing from speakers over their heads.  Me?  I would prefer not dealing with that sort of distraction.  Give me silence any day.
Last week we had some severe storms go through the area and one of them knocked out the power in the store for about... oh, fifteen minutes.  We were on generators.  When the power finally came back on it was like the finger of God had poked around in the computer room, all systems were running but the Muzak machine had... died.  And I'm standing there in the spray paint aisle, opening a box of Tropical Blue to put on the shelf, thinking to myself 'this is so nice.'

Of course, most people aren't liking this.  Last evening the Night Manager figured out how to get the Country station playing again, but you could barely hear it, and after about a half an hour the music faded away.  You have no idea how nice it is to be able to talk to a customer without hearing Mr. Bojangles dancing in the background.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Amazon Prime Deals

Well, today is Amazon Prime Day, case you didn't know.  Amazon sells it as a day of super deals.  Walmart is afraid.... they are very afraid, but then Walmart sales figures just can't seem to hit their mark.  This is retail.  Anyway, there are a lot of "great" deals on Amazon today.  These sales are staggered in order to keep customers hitting their website over and over and over again.  If you want, however, you can check out all of the deals and find out when they're going to hit.  And, as was the case last year, these "great" deals are pretty much junk... well, that's not exactly right, let's just say many, many of the items on sale are not what I'm looking to purchase.  Unlike the vast majority, I don't shop.  I don't spend hours looking at things and thinking "wow, that's a great deal."  Nope.  People who do that waste a lot of money.  I knew exactly what I wanted before the sales began.  So, what did I buy?  Well, I was hoping Miele vacuum cleaners would be part of the Prime deals, but they aren't, so I didn't order the one I was looking at for the upstairs.  T-shirts were ordered, an additional 30% off with my Prime Card.  And a Stuhrling watch, again the 30% off.  They're running a deal on the X-Box Ones (already owned) but not the Playstation 4's (might have bought).  That's about it.  Way, way too many people buy shit because it's on sale and they think they're getting a deal, things they might use in the future, but then again might not.  Not me.

Oh, and I did order a copy of the remastered "Doom," Bethesda's First Person Shooter; only $30 for the hard copy.  The game was advertised at 50% off, but that wasn't exactly true.  Download copies were still at the $60 original price, and I'd check the pricing on it last week:  $34, so in reality I got a $5 deal, still $5 is $5, at least I know it will be used.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Another Asshole from Texas

Of course everybody is talking about the shooting of police officers in Dallas and how the state's  'open carry' law effected how those police reacted during the time the sniper was shooting.  Now I know Texans really love toting around their deadly phallic symbols, but when I saw that 20 to 30 of those peaceful protesters showed up with AR-15's I did a bit of a jump back.  And, when the shooting started, all of those armed people started running around screaming like 12 year old little girls, well, maybe that's not totally accurate, let's just say they were over taken by mass panic.  As a result, the Dallas police were dropped into a totally alien situation: lots of hysteria, lots of guns, and police officers being murdered.  Now the mayor of Dallas says that perhaps 'open carry' doesn't quite work when there's a peaceful protest because, well, if something happens the result might be mass confusion.  And then this asshole opens his mouth.

CJ Grisham, asshole at large
CJ Grisham is president of the OCT (Open Carry Texas).  He says the police should know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are because the bad guys are the ones shooting.  Since Grisham was not in that crowd he is farting out his mouth.  I really get irritated when people who have not gone through the experience suddenly become experts.  This guy is more concerned with his ability to carry his weapon in public then he is the lives of police officers.  He says even his 14 year old daughter could tell the difference between a good guy and a bad guy.  The truth is that had Grisham been wearing a police officer uniform he would have been dead or  just as confused as confused as the police, and had he just been part of the protest, he'd have been one of those running like a 12 year old girl.  Of course in his mind that would never have happened because he an 'expert,' which is what makes him another asshole from Texas.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A tale of 2 Indians

We have a large Indian population in Harrisburg and for the most part, they are very nice people.  In the evening there are usually more Indians in our store then any other minority.  I have an Indian associate working for me named Ved, he's a good kid.  A lot of times they will stop by the paint desk and ask us questions like: "how do you fix a broken rung on a futon?", or "can you help me fix a leaking water heater?"  We always get them to the correct departments since none of my people can solve those special issues.
On Tuesday we had two Indian gentlemen come to the paint desk with 3 gallons of paint, one of which was old, the other two newly tinted.  They were upset because they'd been to one of our other Harrisburg stores and had gotten what they felt was really bad customer service.  Their problem (and let me tell you they were really upset)?  The paint in the old can, which had been color matched in 2009, no longer matched the color on their walls.  Hey, sunlight will fade the paint on your walls, if you don't clean you walls the color may change, most people don't know this, but it happens.  Because the original can had been mixed in 2009 neither the colorants nor the formula were valid.  Things change.  And the associate at the other store didn't do a color match, the logical solution.  Nope, that person, who ever he/she was, tried to take the old formula and convert it into something which would work.  It didn't.

The original color, tinted in 2009, was a mustard yellow, the 2 gallons of new paint were a purplish taupe.  Not even close.  And these two gentlemen left that store in a very agitated state and brought their ire to my paint desk and we had to solve their problem.  We ended up giving them a credit for the two gallons.  We also color matched the original 2009 paint and mixed 2 new gallons, one of which was complimentary.  Because an associate at another store did a shitty job, I ended up writing off 3 gallons of paint.  If someone is willing to spend money in your store, make sure you give them their money's worth.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Going Rotary

I own a very nice Toro lawn mower, self-propelled as most are these days.  It's big and heavy.  Most of my yard is fenced in and, thanks to the dogs, much of that is what I call the veranda: pavers and grass, very nice.  In front of the fence is my 'front yard' which is 50' x 25', some which is sidewalk.  This morning I mowed the small amount of grass in the back yard, however, when I got to the front yard the mower just wouldn't start.  The tank was full of gas, the engine just wouldn't turn over.  Shit.  And then I stood there and surveyed this great lawn of mine and wondered if I really needed such a large mower.  Wouldn't a rotary mower do the same thing? I asked myself.  Of course, I answered myself with the affirmative.  The dogs have worn away sections of the back yard, areas without pavers, and every time I get the power mower near them I create dust storms.  That's not going to happen with a rotary.  I'll get more exercise.  So I came in and ordered myself a Fiskar.

I figure it will add about 10 minutes on to my mowing time and probably burn about 200 calories  more then the Toro.  Now I know there are people saying "Hey, you work for a major home improvement store, you should have got one there."  The truth is Amazon has a much wider selection, and, as a Prime Member I get free shipping.  This baby will be here Tuesday.  As for the old mower?  Well, I'll probably give it to my neighbor.  He used it to mow my lawn for me last year when I couldn't walk, and loved it.  Of course, he's overweight and unmotivated.  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Happily not retired

Officially I am retired.  But, I'm not, not really.  Back in April 2015, my 'then' family physician prescribed Valium for me as a muscle relaxer.  As someone who had never taken meds before it did relax me, to the point where I began falling down... a lot: down staircases, out the back door, out the front door.  And I did a lot of damage to an arthritic spine.  My right leg ended up being paralyzed for about a month and a half.  My orthopedic Specialist recommended serious back surgery.  I agreed and, since I had no idea what the outcome was going to be, promptly retired.
Now I'm too young to retire and get full benefits, and when the Social Security Administration saw how much money I make they sent me a 'ho ho' letter.  You know what I mean.  "Ho ho ho, with that salary you must be joking."  Very politely, they informed me they would monitor my wages and if they dropped below a certain level, well, then I might be eligible for benefits.
Well, my back healed itself... that's right, no surgery, and I'm back at work full time with no issues, and I'm still retired.
Tuesday, while I was having lunch with a friend, I received a phone call which I didn't answer.  I never answer calls from an unknown number, I figure if it's important enough they'll leave a message.  When I got home I check and there was a message.  From the bank I no longer use.  They said I needed to call regarding an urgent financial matter.  So I called.  Social Security had tried to deposit a check into that closed bank account, and, of course, it was too late to reopen that account.  Yesterday I went to the Social Security office and change my banking information.  I have to call next week to get them to release the check.

Evidently that 4 months I was off last year dropped my earnings level enough for me to become eligible for a one time payment.  Isn't that nice?  I have no idea how they figure these things out, what they look at, what exactly is taken into consideration.  But, I will tell you, that check is for over $5000.  Ain't that sweet.  I am happily retired, even though I make too much money to be retired.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

But does he take off his shirt?

Well, I went to see Independence Day, Resurgence last evening and... it really wasn't that bad, for the most part.  You do need to park your brain in the lobby otherwise you begin to ask questions like "why would a supersize alien ship plow up the surface of the moon?"  And that's not really a spoiler if you're wondering.  Speaking of that alien ship, someone needs to tell Wright and Woods (the writers) and Emmerich (the director) sometimes bigger is not better.  You can only wonder if they might have size issues because this baby stretches from Paris to Washington, and it lands....
A lot of time is wasted introducing the new characters.  Nobody really cares about the backstory of the Helmsworth / Usher angst.  Everybody is waiting for the old characters to show up, in fact, they are the ones who actually carry the story, and of them, Brent Spiner steals the show with his 'see through' underwear and original characterization.
There's an alien queen, too, who looks a little too much like the alien queen in... well "Aliens," in fact, during the last great Boss sequence I kept expecting Sigourney to show up shouting "Stay away from her, you bitch!"
And I'd like to say you ignore all of the flaws because this film does have that pretty boy Liam.

I'm so pretty
That's not true, because as your sitting there in your seat you realize this is really nothing more than a glorified 'B' movie... a very expensive 'B' movie, but still a 'B' movie none the less.  If you go see Independence Day, Resurgence you're going to get acceptable acting,  poorly written (sometimes campy) dialogue, and a cheesy plot which seems to have been cribbed from many, many other movies.  And my one really big disappoint was in Liam.  Can you believe it?  He never took off his shirt!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Of paint and plastic people

Yesterday was not a banner day for paint sales, not bad, but not great; by 4 PM we were just selling random gallons to random customers.  This doesn't mean we were without incident.  A little after 6 a couple came to the desk.  They had an old can and wanted another one, no problem.  She, however, had a picture of a color she wanted on her phone.  That we can't do.  Of course, she was not happy.  "Other places can scan the phone," she said, pouting her augmented lips.  Oh, yes, she'd had injections, and it was obvious.  I was going to explain to her how you can not scan a phone because the reflection from the screen eliminates the refraction needed to identify colors, but before I could she rolled her eyes and said, heaving her overly large bosoms, "well, I guess I'm not going to be able to finish my project today."  As she sniffed, I noticed that she'd had her nose whittled down until it looked like a tiny, round button.  I apologized and explained in simple terms the problems with cell phone pictures and, once again, the bosoms heaved.  If I was supposed to feel sorry, I didn't... well, in a way, I mean I did feel sorry she had felt it necessary to spend all that money trying to look like Barbie.

When she and her male companion had finally left the desk, one of my female associates turned to me and said, "can you believe how big those fake boobs were?  They were about as attractive as water balloons with cigar butt nipples," (she doesn't mince her words, does she?).  And, of course, I had to agree.  Plastic people, you know?  They will keep working on it until they get it right, unfortunately for them, they don't understand they will never get it right.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day holograph

Well, here it is Independence Day and, of course, I'm working.  The store closes at 8 and I'm scheduled to work until... 8, lucky me.  There a people who are scheduled to work until 9.  I am off tomorrow, which is nice, and nicer still, I'm off Wednesday as well, of course, then I have to work for 7 days straight.
Anyway, I thought I'd celebrate the day by sharing a bit of my memorabilia.  I once worked for a store manager who commented that he thought I might be a hoarder.  I'm not.  I tend to give stuff away.  When DVD's came out I gave away all of my VHS tapes, as well as a very expensive Harmon Kardon player.  I did, however save one thing and it just happens to be from Independence Day.

That's right, it's a holographic card which was included in the VHS packaging.  That's from 1996.
And there's a message on the back from Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, part of which says "Now, and in the years to come, we hope you and those close to you will have the opportunity to enjoy this film over and over again."  Right.  I bought the tape, not because I thought the movie was great, I'm just a big fan of very big FX.
Anyway, when you turn the card a little bit too the right this is what happens:

That's right, Trump win the election.  I'm going to see the sequel on Tuesday.  I understand one of the Hemsworth boys is in it, which means there's going to be a 20 second gratuitous shot of him with his shirt off.  You know, I bet that if he'd played Tarzan he'd have taken of his pants.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Tour de France in every room

Every year I look forward to watching the Tour de France.  This year I thought I'd be smart and buy a subscription to Cycling TV since they seem to stream just about everything there is on racing.  Well, they do, but not live.  Everything is highlights.  This isn't bad in that I get to see a lot of cyclists in a lot of races; some will go far, for others the smaller teams are the best they'll ever get.  For these cyclists there must be some consolation in knowing their endeavors are not totally unappreciated.
However, I did think that purchasing a subscription would alleviate my need to purchase the NBC Sports App, which streams the TDF live.  This is not the case.  So, this morning I diligently pulled out the Amex and charged.  Actually, I'm paying for 15 races so it's not that bad.  And since I tend to be a bit of a computer geek (2 laptops, 2 tablets, one of which I no longer use, and the super fast gaming computer) I can pretty much watch from any room in the house.

And with the newest tablet I can watch the race from anywhere.
There is something great about the Tour de France, especially since that shit head Armstrong got booted out.  And, just in case anybody is interested, I'm a Cannondale man.  Love that green! and argyle.

Friday, July 1, 2016

But does he take off his pants?

Yesterday was my Saturday... well, for me at least since that was my day off.  I'm back to work today and tomorrow and, lucky me, I get to close the store. Sunday I'm off, so I guess Sunday will be my Sunday.
Tuesday I'm going to see the new Independence Day movie, not because I'm expecting it to be really that good, it's just that Tuesday is 'el cheapo' night, matinee pricing and your popcorn is free.  When our schedules all sync, my friends and I usually go to the movies on Tuesday because... well, we're cheap.  Besides, no one wants to pay full price to see this movie.  I didn't really like the first one.  Sure, the FX were great, but in the end all you got was a cheesy remake of 1953's War of the Worlds.  Anyway, there's also a little banter between us about possibly going to see the new Tarzan.  Reviews have not been kind, but then reviews are just opinions.  I mean look, I'm going to see the new Independence Day and reviews for that have been horrendous, but then I'm not going to be paying full price. So, Tarzan might end up being one of those Tuesday night movies, you know?
I'm sure a number of people might go to see Alexander Skarsgard, mostly, probably, to see him without his clothing.

Do you think he works out much?
Now, I don't know about you, but when I think of Tarzan I think of his yell, you know, his call of the jungle?  And I think about his little loincloth.  Don't you?  When you think of Tarzan swinging on vines, is he wearing a pair of pants?  Or do you visualize in him in a little bit of leather that barely covers anything?  Something that's worn for safety purposes only?  Has anybody seen this movie yet?  Does he take off his pants?  If he doesn't, well, maybe those in charge are kicking themselves in the butt right now.  I mean, with all of the bad reviews you'd have thought they'd want to give us at least one enjoyable distraction.