Monday, October 31, 2011

Solyndra, Beacon and Gil's

In today's news, Beacon Power has filed for bankruptcy. They are the recipients of a government guaranteed 39.1 million dollar loan. They had the authorization to borrow up to 43 million dollars.They could have burned taxpayers for just a little more. Apparently, they couldn't sell their power at a rate that utilities would pay. Yeah, times are tough.

Solyndra closed up recently and they had a 535 million dollar government loan. There are several problems with the Obama administration and the Solyndra loan. Some hint at the possibility of corruption in the federal government. What?? I am taken aback at any suggestion of The Chosen One's administration being involved in any corruption. Can you feel the sarcasm??

After looking at these two boondoggles, my most conservative friend sent an e-mail suggesting that I take advantage of this situation. My friend suggested that I get a government loan for a few million, file for bankruptcy and retire. While many of you are scoffing at this suggestion, how hard do you think that it would be? Let's face it, all I need to do is outwit the Obama Administration. These guys never got past the lemonade stand level of actual business experience. I realize that I have never been a community organizer, but I think that I can pull off running a business. Or in Democratic terms, ruining a business.

Right now, in my spare time, I operate Gil's Military & More in Reidsville. I'm torn between changing it to Gil's Military & Energy or my favorite, Gil's Military & More Energy. I think that with a loan of 4 or 5 million dollars, I could come up with with a way to create energy from surplus camo clothing. If not, I could go broke trying. Do you see where I'm going with this?  After a quick bankruptcy filing, I could take the hidden cash and move to the mountains of North Carolina or Virginia. What would I do there? I would hire Mark Sanford, former South Carolina governor, to teach me about hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The week in Review

I was on vacation this week. We had originally planned to go to Pigeon Forge for a few days, but my mother's health took a downward turn last week. So we went to Fort Walton Beach to see her instead. We did mange to swing by Pigeon Forge on the way home.

If you saw my previous post, you know that a restaurant in Fort Walton has "free chicken balls". I am sure that it is better than it sounds, it has to be!!

Should you get to Fort Walton, I suggest that you visit Cakemasters bakery on Beal Parkway. I recommend the cream horns or the Napoleons. Actually, I recommend just about everything that they make. While on vacation, I don't worry about the diabetes.

I caught up a little on politics this week. I like Herman Cain, but I have doubts that he is electable. Of course, there is plenty of time for that to work out. What do I know about electability? Obama is President.

Twelve more Americans died in Afghanistan the other day when a suicide bomber attacked a convoy. Why are we still there? Bring our troops home and bomb that crap hole back into the Dark Ages. Let the survivors decide who produces the opium.

I watched the last four innings of Game 7 of the World Series on Thursday night. I used to love to play baseball as a boy. I even played one year of Little League. That bit of info is for those of you who believe that I "do not play well with others". Anyway, I think that the intentional walk is the dumbest play in baseball. On Thursday night, the Rangers used the intentional walk to load the bases with two outs. The pitcher  proceeded to walk the next batter and then hit the next batter to allow two runs to score. If your goal is to keep the other team from scoring, why put someone on base??

We spent Thursday night in Pigeon Forge. When we got up Friday morning, it was cold and raining. Anxious to do my part to stimulate the local economy, we went shopping. If you haven't been to the Smoky Mountain Knife Works, go there. It's about 100,000 square feet of cutting tools. They even have a great kitchen department. I love it!! I picked up enough pocket knives to carry a different one each day for a lot of days.

I just saw a commercial for "A very Harold and Kumar Christmas". It's rated R. Are you kidding me? A Christmas movie rated R?  I am obviously out of the loop on this one.

I attended Sunday School today for the first time ever at Buffalo and the first time in about 10 years. It was really good. My friend, the piano player, had failed to tell me that there would be singing during Sunday School. Luckily, there were enough other voices to cover the horrible sound of my voice.

As long as I am telling you how badly I sing, let me make a point. Wayne, you are wasting your time trying to convince me to join the choir. If you don't believe me, I will let The Queen listen to me sing one day and she can tell you. Trust me, you don't want to hear me sing.

Since I didn't work today, I did what other people do on Sunday. I met my wife and son for breakfast after they went to Mass and before I went to Sunday School. So this is what normal people do??

Rick Perry has admitted that he is not a skilled debater. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!  Memo to Rick: I don't care what y'all do in Texas, tell me what you want to do with the country.

How about that snowstorm this weekend in the Northeast? New records were set for October snowfall. Where's that global warming when you need it?

Tomorrow is Halloween. This is one holiday that has really grown in the last few years. Americans are  spending more than a BILLION dollars on children's costumes this year. I guess that throwing a sheet over your head and being a ghost isn't good enough anymore. Years ago, I worked for a company where I was the only straight guy in upper management. The gay guys there all celebrated Halloween for days. That's a story for another post.

The Panthers lost again today. In other news, the sun has set in the west.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You can't make this stuff up!!

I am in Florida visiting my mother this week. Today, I spotted a sign across the street from the hotel. The sign belongs to a small drive-through place called the To Go Box. It serves Asian-American food. You can be certain that I will NEVER eat there. Here's your sign!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Obama was here!!

Obama was in Greensboro on Monday and Tuesday. He and his entourage stayed at the Proximity Hotel, around the corner from the restaurant. I was concerned that he might stop in for breakfast on Tuesday. I was unsure about how to show the proper mixture of courtesy and contempt. They stopped by a health club instead. Thank God.

The security for a presidential visit is staggering. They close highways and block off streets. Basically a visit from Obama screws up every one's day.

They are trying to protect the President's life so they move him around in a high profile bus that can be picked out from passing planes. Does that make sense? They don't announce his route, but when you see deputies or troopers every quarter mile on U.S. 29, even the slow among us can figure out what's happening. Why not just put him into a minivan and have a couple of unmarked cars accompany it?? That will attract much less attention than a multi-million dollar bus and a convoy of cop cars. Did I mention that it will save tons of money? Did I mention that it would ease the strain that the current system places on residents?

In an age of terrorism threats, wouldn't it be smarter to take a low profile approach as opposed to one that screams, "Here comes Obama!!" Wait! That would reduce the number of government employees involved in this effort  We can't consider cutting government spending, can we?

When we elect a president, we need to send him to the White House and tell him to get to work. When he's finished in four years, he can visit Greensboro. Not before.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy What??

Apparently there is an "Occupy Greensboro" rally in downtown Greensboro tomorrow afternoon. These are not the brightest stars in the sky. Tomorrow is Homecoming at North Carolina A & T University. With that going on, no one will even notice the Occupy Greensboro crowd. Just a warning for protesters, I strongly suggest that you not blockade any places selling liquor or other alcoholic beverages. Don't get between the homecoming crowd and a party.

Last week in Reidsville, a young lady came up and asked "How much do those books be on that shelf marked Free Books?" I wanted to make sure that she understood my response so I chose my words carefully. I responded, "It  be just like the sign say. They be free." She grabbed one and left.

We are having a "Pumpkin Patch" at church for the next couple of weeks. I volunteered to work there on Sunday afternoon. As a new Presbyterian, I have an etiquette question. What is the proper gun to carry to a church Pumpkin Patch? 

We have had two air conditioning units at church destroyed for the copper in the last two months. I don't know if they have caught the thief yet, but if he comes back on Sunday afternoon, his career is over. I haven't decided what to carry, but rest assured, I'm carrying enough to win.

Last Sunday I wore a pink shirt and tie to church on Sunday. I still had it on when I arrived at home Sunday evening. When I walked into the house, my wife was on the kitchen phone. She pointed at my shirt and tie and made a face. She was on the phone with one of my sons. She said to him, "The Easter Bunny is here. Talk to him." Then she handed me the phone. My son asked "Are you wearing a pink shirt?"  "Of course." I don't think that she is going to ever like the pink shirts. Upon hearing the story, a friend remarked that everyone loves the Easter Bunny. It will be easier for this Easter Bunny to just change clothes before going home next time.

Sheriff B.J. Barnes was the speaker at our Wednesday dinner. I'll be kind, he's a good politician. It was a partisan crowd for him. I left a couple of questions in the bag for the next time.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Saturday Morning Confusion

First up:  In my previous post, I listed the price of the skeletons in our display case at work as being 4/$1.00. I also said that they came from the Dollar Tree. Apparently, I am wrong. My Marketing Advisor has informed me that they are actually a collection of skeletons from the closets of local politicians and are reported to include Peeping Toms and drug users. We have made a slight price adjustment to $1000 per skeleton. We will throw in the wagon if you buy all four!!

In yesterday's news, Governor Bev Perdue has announced that she is opposed to the marriage amendment scheduled for a vote in North Carolina next year.  Aunt Bev claims that the passage of this amendment will keep some companies from moving here. She said that creating jobs is her top priority. If you know of a single job that she has created in this state, please let someone know.

I see that the New York Yankees have been washed out of the playoffs again this year. I really miss George Steinbrenner on days like this. On the bright side, the grossly overpaid Alex Rodriguez has apparently begun a tradition of making the last out for the Yanks on their way out of the playoffs. This is his second year of striking out to end the Yankees season. Of course, when you hit 2 of 18 with six strikeouts in the playoffs,  it raises the possibility of you striking out to end the season.

Heading to Reidsville in a few minutes to set up for the Homegrown Festival. This is fertile ground for bloggers. I will report back in a day or two. It will probably be one of those "I love Stupid People" posts.

I have a few "Come to Jesus" conversations scheduled for employees who seem to be having attendance problems and performance issues. So if you work for me and you are reading this on your phone, here's a tip. Put the phone away and get busy. NOW!!

Here's my personal story of brain fatigue. I work on a "need to know" basis when it comes to technology issues. I bought a new laptop about three months ago. Trying to sort out a problem a few minutes ago, I discovered that my laptop has a webcam. That's scary!!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Finally Friday!!

It's been a long week, especially at work.  It started on Sunday when due to employee absences, I worked all day. For the restaurant rookies among you, that means that I arrived at work at 4:30 A.M. and left work at 10:00 P.M. Yes, that's a long day. It is usually only done by old guys as the young ones don't have the stamina for it.

If I ever appear on Jeopardy and the Final Jeopardy answer is "How many in your party?", I will have the correct question. The correct question is "What's the hardest question for restaurant customers to answer?" On Sunday, as we were short a host, I was helping seat customers. People can either not understand the question or they can't count. For example, I asked a man, "How many in your party?"."Four" I took them to a table for four. As I started to walk away, I realized that only two of them had taken a seat. Yes, the other three were still standing. One man laughed and said, "Well, I guess that we aren't smarter than a fifth grader." I moved them to a table for five. The biggest group of numerically challenged customers seems to be people with small children. Almost everyday, you can ask a family with small children "How many in your party?", and get the wrong answer. I usually ask "Is the child with you?". "OOOHH!!! We forgot."

Wednesday night at Buffalo Church I cooked pork loin, cabbage, corn bread and apples. Yes, it was good. Mary Sue had brought a large birthday cake for our music director, Pam. As I sat eating dinner, I watched people go by with huge chunks of birthday cake. A few minutes later, I went to get a piece of cake and got a sliver of cake. My sliver of cake was not much more than a bite. Don't worry about that cake thing, Mary Sue. Next time that you are at the restaurant, I will adjust your portions accordingly. I may be kidding! HA!!

What has happened at The History Channel? While Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Ice Road Truckers, Swamp People and other shows may be entertaining, do they belong on The "History" Channel? I just saw an ad for a new show on The History Channel, "Hairy Bikers". Are you kidding me??

As I write this Dolly the dog is sleeping. Sleeping through the afternoon enables her to wake me at 1:00 A.M. I am going to stop typing for a minute while I get up and wake her.

Quality sleep is hard to get. The other night I went to bad at 9:00 P.M., which is a little early for me. I woke up later after what I thought was good night's sleep. I got up and looked at the clock. It was 10:49 P.M.! I eventually got up at 2:30 A.M.  It does no good to go to bed early.

I was at Belk in Reidsville a couple of weeks ago and passed through the cosmetics department on my way to the cash register. There was a large display for a new Estee Lauder perfume, Sensuous Nude.  It got my pulse racing and I didn't even catch a whiff of it. Life as a sexist pig isn't easy!

Tomorrow I will be at my surplus store in Reidsville. It is the annual Homegrown Festival or as the brochure for it says Homegroen Festival. Spelling checker???

We changed our display case at the restaurant last week. We have a fall theme in there now. I think that it looks great and a lot of customers agree. Since we started using the case a few months ago, we have heard LOTS of comments on the case. Every time that some customer makes a comment, I want to kick myself in the butt for letting it sit empty the last few years. One of my customers serves as my Marketing Advisor and does the design work on the case. She really has a great talent for this. I would mention her name, but she has a fear of being famous. I guess that she is afraid that one of the four or five people who read this will recognize her. She did accept a batch of business cards that I made for her. We pay her in meals. She's worth every pancake!!!

My only job is to find the unusual items for the case and to actually put everything in there. That's about the limit of my decorating ability. In every case, there is at least one item that people want to buy. It's almost always the unusual items that people want to buy. This time it is the wooden wagon that people want. If you're interested, I want $100 for the wagon. Too rich for your taste? The skeletons in the case are four for a dollar at Dollar Tree!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

What I learned last year...

My birthday was last week. Usually as my birthday nears, I review the events of the last year and see what I have learned.  I thought that I would share some of what I have learned this year.

Don't let the poster boy for ADHD drive all night to Florida by himself.

Mom's not going to live forever, call her now.

Balance in life is critical. Work is not the most important thing that we do.

Change is good, change is bad. Rest assured, you will always be on the wrong side of this discussion.

Life begins when the dog dies and the kids move away.

If it lives at your house, it's your dog.

The first blog post without profanity is the toughest one.

I sing about as well as you would expect.

Church is like everything else in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

"The man should have to kill the bugs." Suzanne Sugarbaker and others.

Women are not "chubby". They are "full-figured", "Rubenesque", or "voluptuous".

Despite my wife's beliefs, you don't have to be gay or old to wear a pink shirt.

You can pick your friends, you can't pick your family.

After an absence of twenty one years, I can still sit in a theater and watch a movie. WOW!!

The price of popcorn and soft drinks at the theater is insane. I would rather get robbed at gunpoint.

Speaking of robbery, there are days that I still worry about getting robbed at work. I carry a bigger gun on those days.

Making friends may be harder than singing. I'll try anyway.

Jane Austen is good. I would have never believed it.

From where you least expect it, come the greatest changes in life.

It's tough to go wrong with a "Thank You" note.

There are times that I wish that I could disable the "send" button in my e-mail program.

According to Dr. David Long, procrastination is a basic Presbyterian belief. I will reflect on that tomorrow.

I'm not fat, my body retains ice cream.

I feel better when I run and walk early in the morning.

Women are from Venus, we men are obviously from somewhere else.

I don't go out to lunch or dinner just for food, I go to talk. Remember that if you invite me out to dinner.

There are some things that you just have to accept.

Better do it today, you may not be here tomorrow.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

58 and climbing!!

My birthday was Wednesday. If you missed it, don't worry about, I usually don't talk about it. This year was a little different, I enjoyed the day. Thirty five years ago, I had a great birthday and that has been the standard that I measured all of them against since then. That day is a story for another day and another post. But this year was better than that, so I have a new standard to measure birthdays against.

On Tuesday, my wife and I went out for dinner since my schedule was full on Wednesday. We ate dinner at Phoenix in Greensboro. Any excuse to eat something that I shouldn't eat is a good one.

I got a large card at work that several people may or may not have actually signed, but it is the thought that counts. It might not have even been my card. Inside the card was written "To a great dog lover". Are you sure this is my card? I took it anyway.

Two customers, The Queen and her friend, Whipped Cream Annie, sang or tried to sing "Happy Birthday". It was an interesting performance. During my day at work, both of my sons came by with gifts and cards. Just a reminder that Christmas is getting closer!

Wednesday evening, I cooked dinner at Buffalo for our Wednesday night meeting. I received a couple of cards from church members. Pam led the singing for two editions of "Happy Birthday" for Sidney Campbell and myself. I had a great time. Rep. Howard Coble was our speaker that night. When he opened the floor for questions, I popped out three or four questions. It's not often that you can question your Congressman. It must have been my birthday.

I had lunch with a couple of friends on Thursday who brought a couple of great gifts. One brought me a card that I had to research (see below). This lunch really rounded out my birthday celebration. Barring a winning lottery ticket in my pocket, my birthday won't get any better.

Some things never change. I received a great birthday card with an interesting quote on it. I had never heard of the author, so my inner nerd compelled me to look the author up. It's always good to get something that makes you think. Thank you.

I was going to write on what I have learned in the past year, but I will save that for tomorrow.