Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedding Bell Blues

Just in case you didn't know it, there was a big wedding in England today. Prince William, son of Prince Charles, married Kate Middleton. The good news for Kate is that William didn't inherit his father's ears. The bad news is that the DNA is still there.

Millions of Americans got up in the middle of the night to watch the wedding on TV. Obviously, we are fascinated by British royalty. I have to admit that it's a lot better than getting up at 3:00 AM to see Obama, but why bother? For those among you who failed history, we fought an eight year revolution because we didn't want to be British. Then we fought the War of 1812 to reinforce that idea. So now the British take our money by staging royal weddings. It was estimated that 2 billion people watched today's wedding. Barnum was right, there really is one born every minute.

Mercifully, I didn't watch any of it, live or the video highlights. I was busy at work. On Wednesday, I had a few customers asking what we were doing at the restaurant for the wedding. By the end of the day, I had committed to serving some scones to celebrate the event. One of our customers arranged to purchase some scones from Starbucks and bake them at home. She would bring them in on Friday morning. Other customers agreed only to show up.

So early this morning, I set up a table with a white table cloth and a variety of spreads for the scones. I had checked at Harris Teeter and the bakery had cranberry-orange scones. Not satisfied with the grocery store scones, I decided to make my own. I called an acquaintance in Florida, who owns a bakery, and got a recipe. I made a trial batch yesterday, tweaked the recipe, and made a batch this morning. They were actually really good.

When my scone-baking customer arrived carrying only her purse, I sensed a problem. The frozen scones from Starbucks had trashed her oven and she was sconeless. She was relieved that my scones had turned out. I teased her a couple of times with, "I am a professional. Do not attempt this at home!". We gave all of our cranberry-orange scones to customers who were pleasantly surprised that a pancake house manager could bake scones. They probably were not as surprised as I was about it.

My scone-baking friend thanked me for what I had done for "The Wedding Breakfast". I told her to keep it to herself, that I didn't want people thinking that I could be nice. She pointed out that we were sitting at a table with scones, an assortment of spreads, and a white tablecloth. It's not exactly secret material. She was right. I guess that I can be nice every royal wedding or so.

The line of the day came after most had left. I went over to clean up the table. One of our night shift waiters was helping out by working as a busboy. He looked at the table and exclaimed, "I didn't know that we used tablecloths in the morning!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Can you fire anyone?? Part 2

When we last left our hero, he was battling the forces of stupidity in the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. The battle resumed this morning.

There was a telephone appeal hearing scheduled for today involving the prep cook I fired for stealing food in February. When I returned my forms to the ESC early last week, I requested an in person hearing instead of the telephone hearing. The state makes no requirements for asking for an in person hearing, you need only object to the telephone hearing. I did add to my request by stating that I suffered from ADHD and could not focus on a lengthy phone call and also mentioned my rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I just love tormenting bureaucrats with their own rules!!

Apparently, the hearing official was on vacation last week and has not gone through his mail. He was unaware of my request. I told him that we could do the telephone hearing, but that I was doing it under protest. We proceeded with the testimony and questions. The former employee acknowledged that he had taken the food. He admitted that he knew that he could be fired for taking the food. He admitted that he knew that he could be arrested for taking food. He was his own worst witness. His entire case is based on his claim that I told him on that day that I wouldn't fire him.

When my turn came, I pointed out that I had only told him that I wouldn't call the police that day. I terminated him when he came in for his next scheduled shift. I also stated that I was free to terminate him regardless of what I had said. I try not to fire anyone when I am under stress. Doing that usually creates mistakes that come back to haunt you. So even with my famous temper and vocabulary, I waited two days to fire him. I had not let him return to work and I had terminated him within a reasonable time. Why?? It was in the hope that I would not end up having to deal with appeals in unemployment cases. It didn't work.

So what have I learned??
1. It might have been quicker to just shoot him.
2. Next time, I will call the police and let them handle it.
3. Next time, take a few minutes. Take some deep breaths, calm down, fire them.

I should get the results in a couple of days. I will keep you posted.

Monday, April 25, 2011


This is post number 300 on this blog. I started this in July, 2005 as away to vent about life's issues. I have averaged about one post a week. I'm still not sure that it works, but it has been fun.

I have a select group of friends and acquaintances who tell me "You ought to blog about that!". Thanks to all of you for your suggestions.

For those of you who have offered criticisms, don't worry, I have stopped using some of those words on the blog.

Thanks to my employees and customers for furnishing blog material on slow days.

Enough of the touchy-feely stuff, there's fresh stuff to blog about. Last night at the restaurant, a customer asked for an assortment of crackers with her salad. Unfortunately, we have only saltines. Apparently, the waiter confused the word "assortment" with the word "abundance". She got a plate with SIX packs of saltines on it. Only a coyote could have choked down six packs of crackers. She ate one pack and told me that she hoped that we could use the rest of them.

My favorite customer was talking to one of our new employees about her family in an attempt to determine if they might be related. She asked the young lady, "What's your father's name?" "Bobby" "What's your grandfather's name?" "I don't know." The customer walked away to tell me. At least the young lady didn't answer "Grandpa"!!

Sunday was National Pigs in a Blanket Day. We had a special on our Three Pigs, $2.99 instead of the usual $4.95. Was it a success? It must have been, my son Walter cooked yesterday and told me that he wants the next National Pigs in a Blanket Day off. If you can't get your own kid to work.........

Last week, my Scoutmaster gave me a little grief about my wife's reaction to my pink shirt. Unfortunately, the next day his wife, the Fetching Mrs. Loman, questioned his judgment in his attire. I believe that she compared his appearance to that of Boss Hogg. Judging by his description, she may be right. He believes that women are all watching "What Not to Wear", I've chosen to avoid comment.

In the last couple of days, I have had a couple of conversations with an employee about whether or not she is wearing a bra. I am so embarrassed by having to discuss this that I am considering an Obama solution. I am going to name a female employee as the Bra Czar and put her in charge of employee compliance with dress codes.

Let's revisit my pink shirt. Sunday was Easter, a perfect day to wear my pink shirt and tie. I thought that it looked great, but my wife's reaction was one of disgust. Sunday afternoon, I helped my son move a china cabinet. They always save the heavy stuff for the fat guy to move. A good friend told me that I need to stop using the "fat guy" term. Thanks, but I'll wait for about another fifteen pounds to drop. Anyway, after the moving was over, I called Susan to see if she wanted to meet me for dinner. I was told that I would need to change shirts before that would happen. Am I on some sitcom? No problem, I had my Allstate Restaurant Equipment shirt (Thanks Jerry!) with me. This is a lot of trouble over a pink shirt. Maybe, I'll go buy the lavender shirt!!

While I am writing this, my wife's puppy is in the living room barking at her own reflection in the fireplace doors. I told you that she was stupid.

Finally, Sunday, May 1 is the day to receive new members at Buffalo Church. I am slated to join, but my wife fears that like Barney Fife trying to join the lodge, I might be "blackballed". Darling, step away from the TV!! Hey!! I can wear my pink shirt to church that day.

Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday

I don't recall ever going to a Good Friday service at church. So this year I decided that I would break that streak. Buffalo Church was having three services, so the odds were in my favor of attending one, regardless of what else happened.

Susan and I attended the 3:00 P.M. service at Buffalo. She was attending a service at Our Lady of Grace later in the evening. I was attending the evening service at Tex & Shirley's so that my younger son, the aspiring Catholic priest, could leave work and participate in the service at OLG.

There were 25 to 30 people at the 3:00 service at Buffalo. It was really good. Pam did a great job with the music playing the piano and the organ. Pete did a good job with the Scripture reading. In fact, he did so well that Jesse might want to consider letting him help more often. Last, but certainly not least, Jesse's message was very good. I enjoyed the service.

So why am I writing this?? I was still thinking about the service when I started work at about 6:30 P.M. Things went pretty well at work Friday night. The time spent reflecting on the message of Good Friday reminded me that there wasn't a whole lot that was going to happen at work that couldn't be handled easily. It might have been the calmest day that I have ever had at work. It had to happen one day!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tough week

This has been one of those weeks that you only dream about, like a nightmare.

Sunday started okay, but it was Palm Sunday. Easter business at the restaurant blows, but Palm Sunday is usually a pretty busy day. This was my Sunday to go to church and not unexpectedly it ran over about 15 minutes. By the time I returned to the restaurant it was wide open, crazy busy. Yeah, that's a treat to walk in on. It was also a payroll week, which gave me a few hours of paperwork to do Sunday night at home.

I have had a full week. The men's group at church met on Monday night, the Chapman Society (my history group) met on Tuesday night, and Wednesday night was the fellowship dinner at Buffalo Church. Oh yeah! I had volunteered to prepare the meal on Wednesday. Sleep may be overrated. So I had three days in a row where I was up at 3:00 AM, left the house around 4:00 AM, and returned home somewhere between sixteen and eighteen hours later.

Here's a sure sign that I'm in North Carolina. At the Presbyterian Men's meeting on Monday, they were discussing the closing "Amen" hymn(?) that the choir has been using the last few weeks. Frankly, I'm not a fan, I don't think that it fits. Anyway, one man claimed that they used that chorus at the University of Maryland late in the game to torment opponents. This only serves to confirm that basketball is a religion here.

Did I mention that my friend who allows me to vent to them, was out of town for several days? I may be about to explode. Which side is the pressure felt on just before the heart attack??

Tuesday's Chapman meeting provided some incredible dinner conversations. There was a theory advanced by a couple of members that I was off of my medication for the evening. It didn't matter guys, it wasn't working anyway. Besides, I wasn't the only contributor.

Did I mention that my older son and his girlfriend are now engaged? More in another post.

Wednesday night's Fellowship Dinner was going smoothly until the "Angels" failed to show up in sufficient numbers. It didn't bother me too badly, I am used to paid employees not showing up. When it comes to any volunteer group, the important thing to remember is "Some gave all, Most gave none". We were able to get dinner served with help from a couple of ladies who jumped in to help. After the program, there were only two ladies there to clean up. Afraid that word would get back to my mother if I left two women with that mess, I elected to stay and wash the pots and pans. It only took about half an hour and was kind of like being at work. However, the company was a little better. They offered to make me an honorary member of their circle, but I'm not sure that will look good on my resume. However, a certificate of honorary membership in a women's church group hanging on my wall would provide for some interesting conversation.

Did I mention that my wife hates my pink shirt?? More in a minute.

I have a female employee whom I have chastised for constantly reaching into her blouse and adjusting/tugging at her bra straps. Rather than listen to me complain, she just stopped wearing one. I'm only grateful that I didn't tell her to stop pulling up her pants. I believe that our conversation has resolved this issue.

Today's news is that O'bummer is having the Justice Department investigate gas prices. If they can do for gas, what they have done for medicine, I can sell the cars and declare bankruptcy.

My wife told me on Tuesday night that she thinks that only gay guys and old men wear pink shirts. As I told her, the good news is that I only fit into one of those categories. Before anybody writes, it's the old men. I guess that I can sneak my pink shirt out of the house on Easter.

A friend's son and daughter-in-law have seven children. They live with my friend and his wife. The daughter in law is pregnant again. And how was your week??

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Pink Shirt??

Yes, I bought a pink shirt on Saturday. Yes, I wore it to work today.

Why? Plaid wasn't working anymore. If you are in a rut, you need to take bold steps to get out of it. For me, a pink shirt fell into the bold step category.

My wife and I stopped at Belk on Saturday on our way to the movie, another step out of the rut. We looked at several shirts. She liked one that was a bright red. I liked the pink one that I am wearing today.

I asked her what she thought about the pink shirt. Her reply was, "I'm kind of old school. I can't picture men wearing pink shirts." I suggested that if she was challenging or impugning my masculinity, we could engage in a masculinity verification act on the carpet. I did point out that we would probably never be allowed to shop at Belk again, but it might be worth it. The story telling value alone would be phenomenal. She quickly agreed with the shirt purchase and we were off to the theater.

This morning there were several surprised customers. One of our waitresses actually warned The Queen that I was wearing a bright pink shirt before I came into the dining room. The Queen's comments were as polite as always. If she thought that it looked bad, she didn't mention it.

Overall, opinions seem to split on a gender basis. Women like it, men look and ask "Why?" Why not??

The good news is that I didn't like the purple one.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Conspirator

Those who either know me personally or read this swill regularly will be stunned by the following statement. I went to a movie today. Even more stunning, I enjoyed a movie today. While you catch your breath, I'll move on.

My wife and I went to see "The Conspirator" this afternoon. My wife may have been more stunned than any of you. "First you want to be a Presbyterian, now you want to see a movie??" We went anyway as there were no psychiatrists available this afternoon. I was originally going yesterday, but a day of hell trying to mow the yard ended that idea.

I've been in the food service business for 43 years and I was shocked by the prices at the concession stand. The price list showed $4.75 for a small bottle of water, are you kidding?? I wouldn't pay $4.75 for a bottle of water if Monica Lewinsky were serving it!! I saw a few other prices, but have wiped them from my mind. We didn't get anything at the concession stand.

My last movie was The Little Mermaid when Walter and I went in 1989. Theaters have changed some since then. This one had stadium seating but no one wanted to sit close to the field(screen) in this stadium. After 15 minutes of commercials and half a dozen previews, the movie finally started. We could have eaten lunch and still caught the start of the movie. Next time, I'll know.

The movie was very good. I have read a couple of reviews that may have disagreed with me, but who doesn't? A lot of the scenes were shot at Fort Pulaski in Savannah. We visited there a couple of years ago and they were working on the movie at the time. They had built the gallows in the courtyard of the fort. This was one of the reasons that I wanted to see the movie. My friend, The Queen, had seen a preview earlier in the week and told me that the movie was opening Friday. Not to mention I wanted to see if they would accurately portray the Lincoln Administration and their abrogation of the Constitution. Surprisingly, Robert Redford and his band of leftists did a good job on this matter.

The actors seemed to do a pretty good job. Just don't ask me to name any. There wasn't anyone in the movie that I recognized.

I did pretty well at the movie. The seat reclined a little too much for me to be comfortable. At about the forty minute mark, I started to fidget a little and got a little restless, but it passed in a couple of minutes. I made it through the rest of the movie without any problems. Unless you count my wife getting irritated at me for repeatedly checking my phone for the time. Hey! It was my first time in a movie theater in twenty two years, that wasn't a bad performance by me. I do better when we see "The Christmas Carol", but they have an intermission.

It's a good movie.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


A lot of my posts are humorous and possibly even entertaining, but I'm pretty sure that this one is not headed that way. This morning I sent an e-mail to a friend thanking them for a kind act. I was at a loss for words. I realize that not much beats a simple "Thank You". However, sometimes you want to elaborate a little on that. I just couldn't do that this morning.

My mother's health is declining pretty quickly. She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma about two and a half years ago. The last few months have not been good for her. She and my sister are going to Charlotte in a couple of weeks for a family visit. I am going there to see her during that time.

What do you say to your mother when you know that she doesn't have too much longer to live? What do you say if it might be the last time that you see her alive? I am not sure that a simple "Thank You" will cover that circumstance. I'm pretty sure that there's not a Hallmark card for this occasion. I guess that I will just have to figure it out when I get there. I can't come up with anything today. I realize that everybody goes through the death of a loved one at some time, but it's still tough for me today.

Over the last couple of years I have driven to Florida to visit Mom several times. They were usually short visits, but they were enjoyable. We usually just sat around and talked. My mother has always been quick with a quip. I guess that came to me in the DNA package. Today, Mom's about lost that gift and I'm at a loss for words. At least my condition is temporary.

A few years ago, Mom wrote Part One of her life's history or as the independent woman in her labeled it "Herstory". I got it out late last night and read it again. I guess if there's ever going to be a Part Two, one of us will have to write it.

Mom, if you read this, it's been one hell of a run! You did a great job! Thanks for everything. I love you!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

The "Jelly Belly" jelly bean show was at the Harris Teeter on Sunday. I considered offering to guess how many jelly beans they had in the RV, but one mistake a week is plenty. Thank You.

Car Show Porta Johns- They aren't that disgusting to use on Wednesday morning, the day before the show starts, but by Thursday there's just no way that I'm going into one. I would rather use a catheter and a bag than go in there. I walk the quarter mile uphill to use a real restroom. Of course there is a good bit of humor written on and about the porta-johns. Witticisms like "Flush Hard, it's a long way to Mexico" and "Out of Order, Does Not Flush" abound at the porta-johns. Not to mention the usual crude remarks about your mother, sister, or that gay cousin. Save yourself, walk to a real restroom.

I love Saturdays at the car show. On Saturday, the tire kickers and appraisers come out. These are the guys and girls who want to tell you what your stuff is worth. They don't want to buy it, they just want to talk about it. This year was no different. A guy asked me if I had any old Mopar stuff. I pointed out some wheel covers from the 1950's and a set of hubcaps from the 1940's. He asked what model year the hub caps were. I told him 1941. He told me that I was wrong, they were from 1946-48. He asked where I had obtained them. I explained that I had taken them off a 1941 Plymouth in partial trade for a good set that I had. I then suggested that he take his fat posterior further down the road and appraise someone else's merchandise.

Missing from the Charlotte Car Show, but desperately needed is a vendor of bras for men. There's a bunch of fat guys walking around shirtless with breasts that make you want to run a chromosome test on them. Hey fellas!! If you're sporting double d's, please keep your shirt on, you're scaring the kids. Where's Rodney Carrington when you need him??

If you are Barbara from Buffalo Church, I'm still apologizing for not seeing you and your husband this morning at the restaurant. While I now realize that you both spoke to me and hit my arm, I was just too focused elsewhere to pay attention. The ADHD is never pretty. Actually, I thought that I had hit someone with my arm and I wasn't going back to find out. I'll do better on your next visit.

Warning!! This may stun many of you!!
I had a discussion this evening with a friend about Shakespeare, the writer, not the fishing rod. I mentioned that I had read "Alias Shakespeare" by Joseph Sobran. Sobran believes that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford was Shakespeare. My friend was telling me that there is a movie coming out about Shakespeare called "Anonymous". Good Grief!! I'm ahead of the curve on this one.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What I Learned Today

Today was just another day filled with blogging opportunities at the restaurant.

Around 8:00 A.M., as I sat talking to one of my fellow gun nuts, a waiter walked up to the table. He announced, "I can't do this any more, I'm quitting." With that, he headed out the door.

Does God watch over grumpy old men? I hired a waitress last week who has been in training. Today was her last day of training. Tomorrow she replaces the young man who left to find himself. Here's a message for those considering a job change. It's easier to get one if you have one.

It's been 27 years since I last had this next incident happen, so I'm counting this as Continuing Education and not as learning.

A customer had ordered a boiled egg. We have prepared boiled eggs for salads, so we just put one into boiling water to heat it up. When the cook plated the egg, the waitress decided that it didn't appear to be hot enough. So she placed it into a coffee cup of water and put it into the microwave. After a short time, she put the egg back into the bowl and served it.

I was standing at the table, slightly behind Craig when his fork pierced the egg. It made the sound of a .22 caliber pistol as it exploded. Craig's wife, Mary, was across the table from him and received her share of the egg-splosion. The Lovely Loretta was standing by the table discussing Obama's birth certificate or lack of when the egg blew. She also suffered some collateral damage from the egg blast. Craig obviously took the brunt of the blast. Fleishman wants him to sue for a new suit, but we will try dry cleaning that coat first.

The good news for me was that no one got hurt. It could have been worse. I am grateful for understanding customers like Craig, Mary, and Loretta. We were still finding egg in odd places well into the afternoon. I sent out an e-mail this afternoon with the following message.

"Will 411 be remembered as the day the Boom Boom Boiled egg (eat at your own risk) was first served?? Or will it be the Eggsciting Day of the Eggsploding Boiled Egg??
At Tex and Shirley's, we're left with egg on our face, on our walls, on our ceiling, on our carpet, and on our clock."

The egg exploded as they were discussing Obama's birth certificate. Could it have been some left wing terrorist plot??

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Stress

Sunday morning started off like any other bad day. At 4:45 A.M. on US 29, I had a flat front tire on the minivan. What a great start to the day!! It took about 15 minutes to change the tire. It takes a little longer than people think. You have to get the jack out, lower and remove the spare tire, set up a perimeter and establish a free fire zone. Then you can jack up the car and remove the flat tire. Establish a free fire zone?? If I'm changing a tire in that neighborhood at 4:45 AM, my gun is nearby. I changed the tire and made it to work with plenty of time to spare.

At around 5:30, the phone rang. a woman asked if we took debit cards. We do. She then asked me if we would call and check her balance before she ordered. She told me that she couldn't read the back of the card. Maybe she just said that she can't read, I don't remember. Anyway, the woman who couldn't read her credit card drove a car to Tex & Shirley's. Our cashier phoned in for her, got a balance, and the woman ordered breakfast.

Around 6:30, a guy came in to see me. He claimed to work at the Macaroni Grill across the street. His story was that he was taking inventory and went out the back door for something and locked himself out. He wanted me to loan him $30 so that he could drive home and get his spare keys to get in. I explained to him that I wouldn't loan my own employees $30 and offered to let him use the phone to call someone.Strangely enough, he passed on that offer and left.

At 9:15, a busboy calls to tell me that he is too sick to report for his 9:00 shift. I explain fairly graphically that one must call before your scheduled time.

To wrap it up, one of our waitresses and I had a discussion about what body parts are appropriate to discuss in the dining room. Thirty seven years as a manager and this was my first discussion of this subject. I wanted to go home and take a bath afterwards.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Car Show Part 2

I spent three days at the Food Lion Auto Fair or as most of us call it, the Charlotte Car Show. The spring show is larger and more enjoyable than the show later in the year. The later show used to be the fall show, but after three changes in the date, it is now a dog days of August show.

Today I pulled off a double play. In separate accidents, I was able to cut both my hand and my head. If you are the person who tells me that I need a toupee to help prevent head wounds, the answer is still no.

If you read my previous post, you are probably wondering if I made it back to Denny's for the Maple Bacon Sundae. The answer is no. I have been struggling with my blood sugar for a couple of weeks and I decided I wasn't ready for insulin. Maybe next time!

Chivalry is dead, at least at the car show. As a young man growing up, my mother taught my brother and I all those little things that men are (were?) supposed to do for women. Things like opening doors, holding doors, carrying things, paying checks at meals. All those things that make feminists refer to me as a chauvinist. Thanks girls, I can live with it. At the car show, a lot of people have a wagon or cart to carry their purchases, children, and beer. Today I saw a lot of women pulling loaded wagons while their husbands walked on ahead of them, usually carrying a beer. Are you kidding me, guys?? Did you marry a pack mule?? If my mother ever found out that I had done something like that, she would kick my butt. Let's work on our manners, guys.

Around noon today, I was standing in a vendor's tent swapping stories with some other artists when one asked "What's that noise?" I responded, "There's an airplane pulling a sign in the air over the speedway." He asked, "What does it say?" I stepped out of the tent, looked up and said, "Surrender Dorothy!" They all broke up laughing. Who says that I don't do movie references??

The Idiot of the Weekend came to my spaces on Friday. I watched him try to open an ammo can without any success. I tried to help by saying, "Those lids aren't hinged. They unhook on both ends." He snapped at me, "I was in the Army for twenty years. I know how to open this." I watched him for another couple of more minutes jerking on the handle like he was trying to start a lawn mower. Finally I told him,"Hey partner, I understand that you were in the Army twenty years, BUT that is the carrying handle that you are trying to tear off. The grip to open the can is about two inches above that. You won't need to pull that one as hard." He answered with a simple "@### You!", threw the can down, and stormed away. I picked up the can and yelled "Hey Army man!! Come back, I opened it for you!" He didn't come back. Win some, lose some.

When I arrived Thursday morning, my neighbor Glen was sitting in his chair wearing a tee shirt, shorts, and a pair of orange crocs. When I got out of the van, I looked in his direction. He said,"I know you are going to give me some @@## (crap) about my shoes." You know that he was right.

I put all of my carbs into one basket for lunch today. I had a Bruster's butter pecan ice cream cone with a waffle gone. It was really good!

More tomorrow on some of the special people I met at the car show.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Car Show Comments

The spring edition of the Charlotte Car Show is going on right now. Just me and thousands of other fat, white bald guys at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The weather is very good. There go the rain coat sales. The bad thing about warm weather at this show is that there are a bunch of guys walking around with their shirts off. This is not a pretty sight. Who wants to look at a bunch of old guys with big pasty white bellies walking around? While I'm on that theme, what's with with young guys shaving their chests?? It's all I can do to shave my face without needing stitches. I would bleed to death trying to shave my chest. Not to mention that I would look like a dork.

My real problem at the car show is eating correctly and on a timely basis. Thursday I went too long after breakfast before having a snack. I guess that it was all of the excitement of selling some junk.

This in unrelated to the car show, but on Wednesday I lost a bet with The Queen and Whipped Cream Anne on the number of Green Jelly Beans in a bag. I am usually pretty good at that, but I wasn't on Wednesday. I am using some of my car show time practicing my estimating skills. I must be a little rusty.

I have already encountered my fair share of (your choice of profanity here). I'll write more on that when I have time. I'm at Denny's and my Maple Bacon Sundae has just arrived. I'm only kidding. I will have that at dinner, or is that for dinner?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tea Party??

In my last post I mentioned "my most conservative friend". I received an e-mail from my friend thanking me and saying "tell that to the Tea Party". I thought about it and decided to do just that.

First, a disclaimer, I'm not and have never been a Tea Party member. So why I am writing about the Tea Party? It's simple. These folks are running around acting like they have received some kind of vision from God that the rest of us are not privy to. They are like people who have quit smoking, quit drinking, or have gotten religion. They think that they are the first to have these thoughts or express these opinions. Here's a news flash for Tea Partiers, I was a conservative when many of you were still in diapers and sucking your thumbs.

To hear the Tea Party tell it, people like my "Most Conservative Friend" and I have been wandering in the wilderness for the last forty years waiting for some schmuck in a tricorn hat to direct us out. I have news for you guys!! First, I have my own tricorn hat (It's in the picture). Second, I wasn't lost. I don't need a clown in a tricorn hat trying to give me directions. I'm a guy!! I don't want, need, use, or accept directions. I'm looking for leaders. Write that down!

I'm tired of being attacked by Tea Party types for not being conservative enough. It reminds me of the good old days in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. One day, some nut case described me as a "liberal". Never at a loss for words, I told him that his definition of a liberal was someone who didn't believe in slavery. The discussion was over.

Tea Party people who tell my friends that they are not conservative enough are over-reacting to cover up their last twenty or thirty years spent as liberals and moderates. By the way, I would rather know a liberal than a moderate. At least, a liberal believes in something. Moderates just want everybody to be their friends.

So if you are a Tea Party person and want to accomplish something, here are a couple of pointers. First, help build an organization. Obama won the last election because he built an organization. It was an organization of morons, but it was an organization. My most conservative friend worked at Republican Headquarters five or six days a week during the last election. My friend was not surrounded by Tea Partiers during that time. Building an organization takes more than showing up at rallies with funny signs. A Democrat can write a funny sign.

Second, if you folks in the Tea Party are serious about success within the Republican Party, do this. Learn to "Play Nice." I'm not real good at that, so if I am having to point this out to you, you suck at it. Quit attacking the rest of us for not meeting YOUR standards for conservatism. I really don't care if you want to get along or not. Why? Because in a few years, I will still believe in what I do today. You guys will have gone back to being moderates.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Can you fire anyone?????????????

In February, I terminated a prep cook for stealing. We had been concerned about his actions for several weeks. He carried a bag that normally contained his cigarettes, a hat, his phone, and sometimes a newspaper.

On Valentine's Day, I was at the cash register when he walked by, headed for the front door. It just looked wrong. I told him, "Let me see what's in that bag." I could tell by the look on his face that something was wrong. I looked inside and found three uncooked baking potatoes and a container filled with country style steak. We went to the back where he offered an explanation for his actions. I told him to go home and that I would talk to him the next day he was scheduled. That would give me time to calm down and act rationally.

Two days later, I terminated him when he arrived for work. A few days after that, I received the paperwork where he had filed for unemployment. I filled them out. I explained that he had been caught stealing and had been terminated.

On Sunday, I received the results. He has been ruled eligible for unemployment. The ruling was that he has "misappropriated his employee meal". According to the Employment Security Commission, this is not misconduct. I was stunned. Within 5 minutes, I filed an appeal with the ESC.

The ESC wants to give people unemployment compensation so badly that have no concept of wrongdoing. You can probably kill your coworker, but apparently you will still be eligible for unemployment. The State of North Carolina is borrowing money daily from the federal government to pay unemployment to thieves and drug dealers. The federal government is borrowing this money from China to loan to the states. Let's just ship the scum to China to work there and cut out the middleman!!

My most conservative friend suggested that I write my congressman and the newspaper and tell them the story. I haven't decided who to contact first, but when the sun rises in the morning, I'm on the warpath. If I lose this one, it won't be without my best effort. I would spew a little more venom, but I have to go put together my e-mail list for tomorrow.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Kan enibodee spel??

Riding home this afternoon, I spotted the above billboard for Triad Outdoor. Apparently, they are in the outdoor advertising business. Wait! According to the sign they are in the adverstising business. Let's work through this. A business which specializes in outdoor advertising cannot spell their business. My wife says that it must be some kind of marketing ploy to get people's attention. I think that was the same reason offered when "New Coke" flopped. No, Susan, it is not a marketing gimmick. It is simpler than that. People can't spell!!

Almost every computer has some sort of program that checks spelling. Do people use it? Read any e-mails lately??

One of our regular customers is fond of pointing out spelling errors in the Greensboro News & Record to me. I'm sorry, but those errors are so common as to remove the sporting aspect of that game. Evidently, proofreader is one of those jobs that was outsourced and never came back. My guess is that the N&R uses a proofreader who is not fluent in English.

I don't need to look that far for errors. We have a dry erase board at T&S where we post specials. I try to limit the message to seven words. One Sunday, three of seven words were misspelled on that sign. I have tried to check the sign everyday since that incident. I still catch a few. One day we misspelled Caesar. I had written it down for the hostess to copy and one of my managers disputed my spelling. When I pointed out the error of their ways, I told them that there were TWO dictionaries on my desk and a labeled jar of Caesar dressing on the shelf. Look around!!!

I'll try to be gentle about this one. At a church that I frequent, BLOG has been misspelled on the front of the bulletin for a few weeks. It's only four letters!! Surely, I'm not the only guy who can spell a four letter word. Maybe, I'm the only guy willing to spell a four letter word. Spell Check!!! Use the ##**$$## Spell Checker!! Breaking news!!! It's been corrected.

My favorite N&R misspelling story happened several years ago. In the days when we used classified ads to advertise for help, I called to place an ad for bus boy. The ad specialist who was taking my ad told me, "Bus Boy is gender specific and discriminatory. We can't run that. We can run an ad for Bus Boy/Bus Girl." I gave her my approval to do that. The next morning, I checked the ad. We were advertising for "Bus Boy/Bust Girl". A few seconds later, I was on the phone to our ad specialist. "You called me a sexist and then print an ad for BUST girl. Are you ##**## me??" We didn't pay for that ad.

Where is the epicenter of online spelling errors? Craig's List or Kregg's Listt.
Go see for yourself. I'll write about it on another day.