Everything That’s Wrong With Society In One Post

It’s time we all discuss the elephant in the room. We’ve reached a point in our society where ignoring this issue will only cause harm to millions and millions of people, and because it’s obvious no one is taking up the charge I have decided to step forward and lead the masses to right a wrong that has started to permeate our otherwise peaceful lives.

This pumpkin spice thing has to be brought under control.

Now I get some claim to like pumpkin spice, but I see it more as how someone “likes” heroin. Truly no good can ever come of this. It’s gotten to the point where it’s impossible to avoid products that contain this foul flavoring. It’s so bad that these products have started appearing on shelves in August. In August, I say! Although I shouldn’t expect any decorum from peddlers of such trash.

To be clear, I am not including pumpkin pie in my product rant here. No, that’s a fine thing and should never be messed with. Pumpkin pie is as American as, well, pumpkin pie, and I for one will never mess with one of the pillars of our great country. But most of the rest of this pumpkin-based crap is a drain on our society and it has got to go.

Look at these products, and guess which ones are real and which are fake.

If you guessed the Oreos and Twinkies, two of the more perfect foods ever created, are the real products you’d be right. Which is so wrong. We’ve damaged our society so much that we’ve literally destroyed two incredible snack foods by adding that terrible pumpkin spice to them. And we should not stand for this.

It’s become obvious that this pumpkin spice epidemic has gotten out of control, and only those of us that have the physical and moral strength to not been charmed by such trash are pure enough to overcome the propaganda of the pro-pumpkin spice lobby. It’s time for all of us true Americans to finally take our society back from the heathens that would destroy all the generations of greatness that’s been created before us.

And I hope you all notice how silly this sounds…

Just The Tip

I spent more time debating if I was going to make this post than it will take to type it. The problem is I want to make sure the person I’m about to talk about doesn’t get into trouble. I don’t think they (intentional use of a gender-neutral pronoun) will even if it can be figured out who I’m talking about. But they’ll know, and that’s what’s important.

Trish and I were out recently on a night we generally don’t go out on. It was late and we both had the tiredness of a busy day behind us. There was plenty of stuff we could have made for dinner, but we decided to go out. The plan was to swing by one of our usual haunts and provided it wasn’t too busy eat there, and if it was crowded we would head on to another spot. As luck would have it, it wasn’t that busy.

When we go out we tend to sit at bars and counters, so we were happy to find a spot at the bar. We even got to sit in the spot we like. We both knew that night’s bartender, which was one of the reasons we decided to swing by. It was a good night out, even though we didn’t stay much longer than it took to order a couple drinks and some food. But it was long enough to piss me off about something.

At the other end of the bar sat a guy that obviously thought he was the coolest guy in the room. Everyone knows the type: loud, takes part in any conversation he hears, tells jokes that aren’t funny (and often off color)…pretty much wanting to be the center of attention. A buddy would have referred to him as the “bar captain”. It was after he left that I got the most annoyed.

You could see something was up as soon as the bartender looked at the check. It was not hard to tell they had just gotten shafted. After a few moments they headed toward the back, muttering “I hate this f—–g place”. A couple minutes later they came back and told Trish and I what happened. The loudmouth jackass’ tab came to over $130, and he left a $10 tip. A whopping 7.7% gratuity.

What possesses someone to leave that kind of tip? You just dropped $130ish dollars at a chain restaurant and can’t be bothered to tip the bartender 15% (which would have been like $20)? Especially after being a loudmouthed jerk for the entire time I was there? The worst part is if that POS comes back that bartender who just got screwed has to smile like they’re happy to see them.

I wish I’d known how bad that tip was while they were still there. I would have loudly embarrassed his ass until he coughed up a respectable amount.

Another similar story, this time at another chain restaurant where old friend RM used to work. Almost exactly the same story too. Two people ordered enough food to feed a freaking army and drank a huge amount of mixed drinks. I don’t recall the amount of the bill but I remember the tip was $5.

Best part was one of them forgot their hat and came back, and RM (being the better man) yelled after him “Thanks, come again!”. Of course he said something else to his regulars sitting watching the ballgame. What he said would make George Carlin blush, so I won’t repeat it here.

I don’t get not tipping servers. I truly don’t. I know how hard they work and Trish and I tend to over tip because of that. But even if you’re not a person that automatically starts at 20% for a gratuity you really need to be tipping 15%. If you don’t plan on doing that, have the guts to tell your server beforehand you won’t be. That way you’re both entering the exchange on an even footing.

And if you can’t afford to tip your server, you can’t afford to eat out.

Like Spam?

So I decided to take a few days off after my 30-in-30 attempt, and penciled in today as the day I’d come back to start making posts again. Over the last few days I’ve been catching up on some reading, finishing a couple books and starting a third. I’ve also started to pay more attention to the blogs I follow in reader, and I also have a few “tags” saved there so I can look at posts that use the tags I pay attention to.

This means that I virtually always find posts I like on blogs I don’t follow. Not so surprisingly, when I like a post I “like” the post. It just seems like something you should do. The author put time and effort into writing it, and I figure if I really do like the post the absolute least I can do is, well, “like” the post.

But it seems others do that to get people to look at their blogs.

To be honest the thought of that never occurred to me. I “like” the post because I liked the post, not in an attempt to get people to look at my blog. It’s the same when I comment, if I have something worth saying about a post I make a comment. While I’ve seen people include links to their blogs in comments I’ve never done it, so it never crossed my mind that was a reason some were doing that.

If it hadn’t have been brought up in the comments section of a book blog I follow I never would have known it was a “thing”. It must not really be an issue with the people who like my posts because while I don’t get a ton of them considering the number of page views I get, it’s usually the same group of people. And most of them I either follow their blog directly or see a lot of their posts because of the tags they use.

So, for the record, if I like your post and “like” your post, that’s the reason I “like”ed your post. It’s the same with comments. If I say something, it’s because I had something relevant to say. And if I follow your blog it wasn’t so you’d follow me back, it was because I liked the posts I saw and wanted to make sure I saw more of them.

Like, OK?

So, Almost Did It

Today is, by my count, day thirty of the “30 posts in 30 days” challenge/contest. I managed to make 28 of the 30 posts, and would have had 29 had I properly scheduled a post a couple of Saturdays ago. I missed yesterday for a pretty simple reason: I just didn’t want to make one. I posted my Bravehearts awards and then decided instead of posting something here to go visit a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile.

Seemed like a better use of my time.

It wasn’t like I needed to go see him, odds are good I’ll see him on Thursday. It’s just that I got some depressing news about another friend and I just wanted to get out of the house for a bit. While it wasn’t late when I got back home I just decided to not post anything. Instead I caught up on some paperwork I’ve been avoiding, read some other blog posts, and then looking up how to make a pouting emoticon on Facebook (only one person gets that joke, but he’s laughing at it).

Barring something really odd happening I’m going to finish almost exactly in the middle of the pack in the “scoring” for this challenge/contest, which is a whole lot better than I figured would happen. But I didn’t do it to win, I did it to see if I could. And for the most part, I did. Doing this also pointed out to me a few things I thought were important that turned out mot to be, and how much a couple things i put aside to do this I really need to make time for.

So will there be a post tomorrow? Maybe. I’m not sure yet. But there will absolutely be more here posts than before I started the 30 for 30.

Sunday Funday: Recap and Tidbits 4

We’ve reached the fourth, and last, Sunday of my 30 in 30 challenge/contest. I plan on making posts here after the 30/30 is done, although I’m near certain they won’t be every day. That kind of posting schedule took away from doing a few of the little things I like to do. I’m not reading as often, and because I really like doing that I’m going to make sure I return to reading every day.

With the summer coming to a close that means my TV shows will start up again, so that will take a bit of time away. Although now that I have really gotten used to blogging from my phone perhaps I can squeeze a bit of time to blog using that. But I guess we’ll all find out how it works out as time moves on.

Now, on to a few tidbits…

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YouTube ads are really beginning to bore the heck out of me. I never buy products based on ads so there’s no chance they will be selling me anything. There are some ads for movies and TV shows, and while I do often seek out those ad/previews to decide if I’m going to watch I pretty much never pay attention to them on YouTube.

And while we’re on the subject, what makes websites think I’m interested in watching a 15 or 30 second ad to be able to watch a video that’s only a few seconds long? I’m more likely to boycott the product in the ad than buy it. I know websites aren’t free to run, but a long ad in front of a short video is a great way for people to give up on your site. Just sayin’…

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Not sure why two of this past week’s posts show the same posting date because they did go up on different days. I’m pretty sure I didn’t save either as a draft beforehand. If it was really an issue I would look into it, but I don’t care that much. I would edit the date to the right one but that changes the URL, and with me Tweeting and Facebooking the stories those links would end up on a dead page.

I’ll add that to the “someday I’ll figure it out” list with all the other things I wanted to know a tad more about but never got around to looking up.

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US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte might be the dumbest athlete ever. Every interview with him, even before his latest stupidity, makes me wonder if the dude has a functioning brain cell. He graduated from the University of Florida, so in theory he has to have some sort of intelligence. And yet when he opens his mouth it’s like an underdeveloped seven year old is speaking.

Sally Jenkins, a columnist for The Washington Post who I read every chance I get, called Lochte “the dumbest bell that ever rang”. I wish I had said that. That’s nothing new, she says a lot of things I wish I’d said

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My favorite headline of the week: “Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokemon teens” – TheLocal.se …Didn’t click as I didn’t want to ruin the hilarity of that headline.

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For last week’s recap, just in case you missed any of my posts from the last week…
Monday: Let The Chips Fall Where They May
Tuesday: Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Wednesday: HorhiroCon 2016
Thursday: Most Common Denominator: Food
Friday: The Walk Won’t Kill You
Saturday: Spoiler Alert: Some People Never Learn

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And finally, your moment of Zen…

Spoiler Alert: Some People Never Learn

A couple of years ago I blogged about spoilers, and while it was specifically about a TV show it really is about anything in this digital age. And now with the Olympics winding down the issue of “spoilers” has once again rearing its ugly head. I simply don’t understand how people can’t figure out this one easy rule to follow:

If you don’t want to know about an event (TV, sports, book, whatever) don’t go to websites where that event will likely be discussed.

It truly is that easy. You don’t want to know the results of a sporting event that was streamed live but will be shown on TV later, don’t visit ESPN, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, or any of those types of places because the information as to who won will likely be found there. You don’t want to know about a movie, going to websites that review and talk about movies seems like a place you should avoid.

I don’t get the arrogance of people who get angry when they go on social media or forums and find out things they didn’t want to know about. How about you show some willpower and don’t go to those sites. It’s different if you stumble into that information in a place where it probably shouldn’t have been, like someone you follow on Twitter that never talks about sports suddenly starts tweeting results. But to actively go to sites that talk about the very thing you’re trying to avoid is stupidity to the Nth degree.

You have a responsibility to avoid information that will spoil the enjoyment of watching an event, movie, or TV show. People don’t have any responsibility to avoid discussing those things, especially in places where discussions of those topics is what usually takes place. It’s one of the reasons I don’t follow on Twitter or “like” on Facebook many TV shows; they talk about those shows seconds after the episodes air. I tend to DVR stuff, so I need to avoid the places that talk about those shows until I get around to watching them.

Spoiler Alert: It’s so easy to do I never have an issue.

The Walk Won’t Kill You

At this very moment, or at least at the very moment I begin this blog post, I’m watching some of the second shift people arrive here in the parking lot at work. The jockeying for “prime” parking places is beyond comical. It should be noted that as they do this those spaces are still occupied by first shift people, and they won’t be leaving for over a half hour. And these second shifters are more than an hour away from beginning work.

They are queueing up to grab the parking spaces right near the door while there are empty spaces within seven spaces of them. Seriously, two spots are empty just seven parking spots away. How much time in their lives are they really saving if they have to show up at work over an hour early to save less than 15 seconds of walking? If it was raining I’d get trying to park as close as possible, but it’s a beautiful sunny day.

You see behavior like this everywhere. How many times do you see people circling parking lots looking for a space right near where they’re going. They have no problem walking for hours in a mall, but there’s no way they’ll walk for a minute to get through the door after parking.

Sure, if you have some medical condition that makes walking taxing and you don’t qualify for a placard I get wanting to park close. But what’s everyone else’s excuse? It’s not like they’re walking through hip deep snow or mud, or being pelted by hailstones, you see this silly behavior on even the most gorgeous of days.

And besides, if you park far away from the building very few people will know you aren’t a good enough driver to park your car correctly within the space.

Most Common Denominator: Food

Over the last couple of days the boys at work have given me a bit of the business over my hatred of Ruby Tuesday. Well, one of them was and a few others have joined him. It’s all in good fun.

But it was another post I made that inspires this one. I posted of my addiction to potato chips, and a few of us were having some laughs over that as well. They all often eat bags of chips at lunch and I’m occasionally threatening to steal them. One day the joking continued after lunch, and because the young kid I’m training wasn’t in on the joke I had to briefly explain. We then continued to talk about snack food, and when the subject of shelled peanuts came up the kid went wide-eyed. Turns out they’re his favorite.

I love shelled peanuts. I don’t buy them often, mostly because I possess enough willpower to not purchase them. But when I do it’s usually the huge two (or five!) pound bag. Once I bought a huge bag and sat in front of the TV and ate nearly the whole the whole thing. The only reason I stopped was Trish yelled from another room “you’re not eating the whole bag, are you?”. Truth was it was up until that point that’s exactly what was happening. So I put the rest away for later…like three hours later.

The kid, whose English is pretty good but not perfect, mentioned he loved a restaurant “near Tacoma St” where they bring you a huge bucket of peanuts before you order. I know the place he was talking about, it’s Texas Roadhouse. For the next half hour we talked about Texas Roadhouse. It’s one of my favorite restaurants, and one of his also. From the hot rolls with the cinnamon butter to the chicken and steaks between the two of us we’ve likely ordered everything on the menu.

It dawned on me later that day that food was probably the only thing we have in common. He’s closer to my grand-daughter’s age than mine, so we have essentially nothing in common musically, socially, or pretty much any other “ly” you can think of. But when it came to good food we were both squarely on the same page. And perhaps we’ve found a way to help people settle disputes.

Just share a big bag of shelled peanuts.

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday

I know, not exactly an original title. Last week it was announced that the restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday was closing a large number of their underperforming locations. That news didn’t shock me in the least. I’ve been to Ruby Tuesday twice, and each time the same thing happened…

They messed up my order.

It’s not like I wanted anything special. Both times I ordered a cheeseburger straight off the menu. In fact, both burgers had pictures of the item on the menu so it wasn’t like I misunderstood what I was ordering.

The first time I ordered some sort of multi-patty burger that was supposed to have a variety of toppings. What I got looked worse than a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. What angered me the most was they insisted that was what I ordered despite it not matching the picture or description of the burger I ordered. They seemed oblivious to the fact someone else in our party ordered the same burger as me and ours didn’t look anything alike.

They did finally agree to take it off the bill when I told them to just throw it away. I guess up to that point they thought I just wanted a free meal by complaining.

The second time my mother took us there after a movie. I was not real happy she chose to go there, but she was paying so she gets to choose. And they messed up my order again. Having learned from the first time I ordered a basic bacon cheeseburger. I pointed to the item so the server would be totally clear what I wanted. I also ordered it “medium well”, which is more than I like but gives a wide margin of error.

It’s came rare and without bacon.

From that point on I’ve refused to set foot in their restaurants. There’s absolutely no excuse to mess up in either of those cases. If you can’t remember to add bacon to a bacon cheeseburger you’ve got issues. I won’t even get into how any person could confuse “rare” and “medium well” or make the wrong thing.

I’m not a complainer at restaurants. You can count the number of times in my life that I’ve complained about food served to me on one hand. I’ve always followed the comical mantra of diners, “order what you want, eat what they serve”, and it usually works itself out.

I was just recently reminded of a time at my favorite diner (Lou Roc’s on West Boylston St) when Trish and I were sitting at the counter joking with the waitress when I ordered a homemade hash and cheddar omelet and was served a meat lovers omelet. I have ordered that lots of time in the past, so I just dug in. I was about halfway through when the waitress suddenly realized she wrote the wrong thing down and she felt horrified. I just laughed and kept eating. To me it was no big deal.

To give me something that isn’t remotely compatible with what I ordered and to have it look like crap when I get it is certainly a situation where a polite “Hey, I think this is wrong” isn’t out of line to say. But to then say I’m the one that made the mistake and then ignore that someone else in my party ordered the same thing I did and our food looks completely different isn’t an issue with a server or cook, that’s an issue with management.

So while I feel badly for the hard working people that will lose their jobs over the closings I can’t help but hope the people that run the chain and who set policy like that manager said he was following also find themselves unemployed.

I like to end my posts with a humorous line, but Ruby Tuesday is such a joke I can’t think of anything funnier than them.

Let The Chips Fall Where They May

I have a confession to make. It isn’t really much of a confession because pretty much everyone who knows me knows what I’m about to say, but they say the first step is admitting you have a problem, and it’s time for me to take that first step…

I’m addicted to potato chips.

Yeah, I know. Of all the things someone could be addicted to potato chips are not exactly high on the list of stuff that causes eminent danger, but it still can be a big issue. Although I’m not really certain what any of those issues could be, I need to make sure I nip this in the bud before it gets completely out of hand.

I should also clarify my addiction and mention it’s not all potato chips. It’s specifically ridged chips. Plain is preferred, but some of the cheese flavored are also acceptable. Sour cream and onion are good in a pinch. I’ve never seen a good BBQ ridged chip, so as far as I know they don’t exist. The rest I can easily avoid with no issue.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t go shopping with Trish very often. We inevitably end with a bag or two in our cart. And it’s not like it matters if I go into the store hungry or not, nor if we need to go down that aisle at all, chips end up in our cart.

Lots of folks are into these kettle chips now, but to be honest unless they’re straight out of the fryer like some restaurants do they aren’t any better than normal non-ridged chips. Sure they’ve got some awesome flavors, but make regular chips in those flavors and they’d taste the same.

I once mentioned to my mother that buying those big bags of chips is bad for me because I tend to eat the whole bag in one sitting. She said that it would be a good idea to place some of the chips in a small bowl and just take the bowl into the living room instead of the entire bag. And when you think about it, that’s a great idea…

…now I can get a little exercise while eating the whole bag.