Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions???

For the fortunate few of you who are at home and sober on New Year's Eve, I am going to share my views on New Year's resolutions.

First, I have never understood all the hoopla over the New Year. Let's face it, do we go out and party for a new month, a new week, a new day?? What's the big deal? It's going to happen again next year.

Next, how long do New Year's resolutions actually last? Here are some guidelines for longevity of resolutions. If you resolve to exercise more, you will have an Epiphany, January 6. If you resolve to diet, your resolution will last about 48 to 72 hours. Add 24 hours if you stayed home on New Year's Eve. If you resolve to improve your financial situation, that resolution is only good until your first payday of the year.

If after reading this incredibly profound advice, you still want to make New Year's resolutions, do one thing. Write them on either toilet tissue or Kleenex. That way you can get some use out of them. You can use them to either wipe your ass or blow your nose. If you have overdone it at the New Year's Eve party, you can blow your ass or wipe your nose. I don't care.

What's the historical basis for my dislike of New Year's resolutions?? Glad you asked! The last time that I wrote a New Year's resolution was December 31, 1977. Yes, thirty three years ago tonight. I had been dating a young woman for about two and a half years. Among the five resolutions I wrote that afternoon was one about marrying her. At about 6:30 that evening, as I was getting dressed to take her to dinner, the phone rang. When I answered, she started rambling on about the condition of our relationship. She suggested that we might need to start dating other people. Despite having more than an average amount of experience being dumped, I was a little slow that night. I asked, "Honey, exactly what are you trying to tell me?" Her response was simple, "I have a date with someone else tonight." By 6:40 I was sitting on my patio watching those resolutions burn. I haven't written a New Year's resolution since then. Mary, if you are reading this, thanks for saving me all the time and paper that I would have wasted on future resolutions.

Happy Saturday!!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


What's a nerd thinking during an early morning walk/run/jog/crawl on a balmy 27 degree morning?? Today it was socialism.

As I dressed to head out this morning, there was a story on the news about Obama. Apparently, the White House has prohibited the press from taking pictures of a shirtless Obama in Hawaii. That's probably due to his "I love Allah" tattoo on his chest. Maybe it is the tattoo of Karl Marx on his back. Whatever, no shirtless pictures of the Anointed One.

How times have changed. When Kennedy was President, you couldn't find a picture of him on vacation with a shirt. The White House figured if they could just get him to keep his pants on, it would be a good day.

I saw a great bumper sticker the other day. It read "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money". One of the best examples of this is Cuba. Cuba at one time was the shining star of socialism in the Western Hemisphere. Then the Soviet Union collapsed and with that Cuba began to run out of "other people's money". The situation has continued to deteriorate. the news from Cuba this week is the end of state subsidised soap for Cubans. Let's see, hot little island in the Caribbean, filled with people who can't afford soap. Tourism will sag as people avoid the smelly little island. Who we are kidding?? The French will still flock there.

Socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried. What great country is socialist?? Yet people continue to advocate this insane system. The reality is that people are not going to do for others what they won't do for themselves. Socialism is a failure waiting to happen.

Socialism's cousin communism failed in a spectacular fashion in the Soviet Union. You either have to accept that Communism as an economic system is a failure or they were the victims of seventy straight years of bad weather.

Obama. I don't care if he's black, white, or undecided. I don't care if he's a Muslim or a Methodist. My dislike for him is simple. He's a Socialist. Having just written that, he's actually closer to a Communist. He's a big believer in the ruling class idea as practiced in the USSR. Let's bid Comrade Obama farewell in 2012!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top Ten ??

This is the time of year when we are all inundated with "Top Ten" stories. They are in the newspaper, they are on television, they are online. Like crap, they are everywhere. The good news is that I am not doing any kind of "Top Ten" list. All I want to know is how we ended up with TEN.

What's a nerd thinking about when he's running down the road at 5:00 A.M. on a cold morning?? This morning, it was "Why do we have Top Ten" lists?? Why not a Top Eleven? How about a Top Nine? I like prime numbers. How about a Top Thirteen? Or is the incidence of triscadecaphobia too high in this country?

Maybe it is the alliteration of "Top Ten"? Then why not Top Twenty, Top Two, or Top Twenty Two? I love alliteration, ask anyone in management who works for me. But I don't think that's it.

Maybe "Ten" became more popular after the movie "10" with Bo Derek. Years later, a coworker and I were discussing the movie. He told me, "I heard that the movie actually had a plot." I nodded knowingly and responded, "Yeah! I heard the same story." We were both wrong. I really don't believe that the movie "10" or Bo Derek (She's actually a Republican) had anything to do with "Top Ten" lists, but I just wanted to throw that story in this morning.

So what can we use other than "Ten"? A friend tells me that "Seven" is the Biblical number for perfection. Maybe she's right. Let's explore that briefly. We could have a "Heavenly Seven","Heaven sent Seven", "Heaven's Seven", and "Seven from Heaven". We are already using Seventh Heaven. At Taco Bell, I worked with a guy who one day offered me his opinion on my progress in committing all of the Seven Deadly Sins. Thanks, but flattery got him no where, other than an opportunity to pursue a new career. But even the Bible digresses, we have the "Ten" Commandments.

So I'm in favor of giving "Seven" a chance. It's a prime number and we have covered the Biblical aspect. Look at the alliterative possibilities. We could have Super Seven, Sexy Seven, Sensuous Seven, Sultry Seven, Silly Seven, Savvy Seven, Sorry Seven, Psycho Seven, Sad Seven, Serious Seven, Sensible Seven, Sunny Seven, Celibate Seven, Sick Seven, and Seven Eleven.

Give Seven a chance!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

You got that for me?? Part 2

My older son gave me a T-shirt as part of my Christmas gift. While I like the shirt, every father knows that Dollars come before Dignity. If you don't believe that, ask yourself when your child last called you asking for Dignity!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

You got that for me???????

Among my assorted Christmas gifts this year was a t-shirt from my wife. Apparently the DNA is pretty strong as my two sons received the same shirt. My wife modestly claims that the message does not apply to her.

Christmas Eve at Buffalo

I attended the Christmas Eve service last night at Buffalo Presbyterian Church in Greensboro.

The music was good. It wasn't quite as good as the Christmas concert, but it was still really good. They didn't have quite as many people in the choir, but they still did a great job.

I haven't been to a Christmas Eve service in a few years. It was a great experience! I really enjoy candlelight services. My candle handling techniques have not improved any since my childhood. Even using a plastic cup-like shield for the candle, I managed to slop hot wax on my hands. I guess that it's a gift!

I haven't been at church in years on a Communion Sunday, so I was glad that they had Communion last night. The Presbyterians serve Communion a lot quicker than we do in the Methodist Church. We try to make it into a three course meal.

I left the church last night feeling much better than when I walked into the church. The service had restored my Christmas spirit and increased my appreciation of the Gift of Christ. I couldn't have asked for more!

"And it came to pass.."

"And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered." So starts the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke.

I was going to just rerun my Christmas message from a few years ago, but the genius in me managed to delete it from my files. So I am forced to rewrite it with a few updates.

As a child I was blessed with the ability to memorize things pretty quickly. Armed with a good memory and a clear speaking voice (I could say "red" in a single syllable), I was in demand for school productions and church programs. Of course, that was before the liberals turned Christmas into "The Winter Festival".

Last night, as I drove home from the Christmas Eve service at Buffalo Church, my mind was filled with memories of Christmas. Some were better than others.

Today I tell people that I'm not a very religious man, I'm a Methodist. That comment irritates my fellow Methodists, amuses Baptists, and confuses most other people. So naturally, I use it a lot.

My views on religion are a little different from those of most people. I believe that the message of Christ is about what we should do to make the world a better place today. I hear most "religious" people talk about how great life will be in heaven. I don't what is going to happen in the future, but I do know what's going on today. The message of Christ that starts in the Gospel of Luke is one of how to live a better life today.

Any discussion of different religions at our house usually ends with one of my favorite lines about the subject. "We can't all be right, but we can all be wrong!"

One of the biggest threats to peace in the world is Islam. I've got a problem with religions that advocate killing people. The news is filled with stories of suicide bombers blowing themselves up and killing others. They are trying to get to "heaven" and their 40 virgins or whatever they have been promised. Bad news Ahmad! First, there aren't 40 virgins left. Second, it's all a crap shoot. You're trading the reality of here for a hope of what may or may not exist. No one has ever come back to tell us.

Let's take the teachings of Christ and go to work on making the world a better place today. If we will work on the present, we can let the future develop without fear.

If you disagree with me, feel free to comment or e-mail. I will ignore it of course. If this bothers you, read the name of this blog again.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Concert Update

I received a message from Pam Kane, music director at Buffalo Presbyterian Church. She wanted me to know that their Christmas Eve service will have much of the music from their Colonial Christmas Concert. So if you missed it last Sunday, here's another chance. See you there!! Christmas Eve, 5:00 PM.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Colonial Christmas Concert

This is my Christmas gift to everyone who reads my blog regularly. I realize that I am pretty skimpy with praise for people. So today I am breaking the streak and going with some nice words.

One of our customers, who has a fear of becoming famous on my blog, invited me to attend the Colonial Christmas Concert at her church, Buffalo Presbyterian Church in Greensboro. I left work Sunday afternoon and drove to the church, debating all the way whether I wanted to watch a Christmas program after working all day. As I turned to go to the church, I saw someone I knew going into the church. Secure in the knowledge that there was at least one person in the church that I knew, I parked and went inside.

Buffalo is the oldest Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, it was founded in 1756. The ushers were in period dress as were several other people in the program. The lessons were presented by descendants of 18th and 19th century church members.They had both a children's choir and the adult choir participating. In keeping with the Colonial Christmas theme, there was a harpsichord present. The church also has a great pipe organ.

The music was great!! It was much better than I expected. I really enjoyed the program!! The choir did an excellent job. The sounds of the harpsichord reminded me of a musical performance that I had attended years ago in Williamsburg. The good news for those around me was that during the songs the congregation sang, all the other voices drowned out the sound of my voice.

After the program they had tons of good food at the reception in the Fellowship Hall. I had to leave before I could make much of a dent in the food. Next year, I will plan a little better.

If you live in the Greensboro area, go see this production next year!! My anonymous, fame-fearing friend told me that the Easter Hand bell choir program will be good. Easter's a big day at the restaurant, so you can go hear the hand bells without running into me at the church.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sooner or later.......

This morning as I sat in the restaurant talking to "The Lovely Loretta" (one of our customers), she made a comment about a rather large woman sitting a few tables away. It seems that the whale had taken all of the coffee creamers from the table next to hers and then told the waitress that there still wasn't enough cream for her coffee. Loretta asked me something like "Can you believe that?" I responded by telling her that there was ONE undeniable truth in the restaurant business. "Sooner or later, every form of life imaginable will walk through those doors."

I manage by story telling. You have a problem?? I have a story. No matter what the issue is, by this point in life, I have seen it before. If not, I could probably just make up a story. Relax, I never have to do that.

I like to tell people that my own life is a series of one-liners:
"Does not play well with others."
"Runs with scissors."
"Does not live up to potential."
"Doesn't make friends easily."
"Does not take criticism well."

A few of my favorites from performance reviews:
"Gilbert has a penchant for profanity." (No Shit!!)
"Gil tends to be sarcastic." (WHOA!!)
"I have never worked with anyone this highly opinionated." (Is that right, asshole?)

My son had a problem with a teacher at GTCC. I told him that the problem was easy enough to see. I told him a story about Jayne Thomas, one of my high school math teachers. (It's way too long to get into here.) I explained that for me, one of the basic truths in life is that when someone asks you, "What do you think?", they really don't want to know.

What are your basic truths??