Monday, December 31, 2007
I present to you Six Hours On Sunday's list of the ten ugliest cars ever made.
10. 1998 Chevy Malibu
9. Dodge Neon, ca. 1998.
8. Chevy Cavalier, ca. 1990s-present.
7. Ford Taurus, from its conception to its death.
6. Scion xB, I think these turds appeared on the road after 2000.
5. Pontiac Aztek, ca. I don't remember. I just know they don't make them anymore. Thank God.
4. The 80s Ford Mustang.
3. Ford Thunderbird, the remodel. All those years designing, and this is what you come up with?
2. Ford Crown Victoria, ca. 1998.
Drum roll please...
and the winner is...
by a landslide, I should note,
#1 The Caprice Classic Station Wagon, ca. 1990s. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.
Friday, December 28, 2007
I am left with an empty, big, quiet apartment that is scattered with traces of feasting, giving, receiving, and a little bit of everything.
Pine needles litter our white carpet.
An air mattress leans up against the study closet waiting to be deflated.
The fridge is stuffed with ham, leftover Chinese, desserts, and champagne. It is so full that the Jones Soda Kate and I put in each other’s stockings can’t be slid in anywhere.
Boxes line the wall at the top of the stairs. They are waiting for me to take them downstairs to the recycling bin.
Pieces of our new grill lay inside, still unassembled, while most of the virgin grill stands at the ready on our freezing deck.
The tree has been stripped bare of its underlying fruit, but it still glows this morning.
Bags of unwrapped trinkets still aren’t put in their rightful places; a corner of the kitchen, on a hanger, or in a drawer.
This is a house crying out to be cleaned, but all I can do right now is sit down and think about how it got this way and be thankful for the reasons, and the Reason.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thanks to JROD for the work.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
When I encounter a customer, like I did today, who is so mean that it makes me hate my job and nearly pisses me off for the rest of the day I wonder if it is worth writing about them. Does such a person deserve a keystroke? The touch of pen to paper? A lingering thought? Most would say no. I would too, but it is worth recording just how mean someone can be every once in a while. Maybe I’ll be writing a story down the road and I’ll want someone to be really mean, but since I can, at best, be only half as mean as the woman today was (even in my imagination), it will be advantageous for me to have a recording of just how rude someone can be.
Necessary background information:
We sell these wonderful things called travelers. Travelers are 96-ounce containers that we can fill with coffee, hot chocolate, chai, and other stuff sometimes. Travelers are in fact not wonderful. When you’re in the middle of a rush, they are your worst enemy. When it is slow, they are at best a nuisance. The thing about travelers is that they take about ten minutes to prepare. A traveler takes almost a full batch of coffee. This usually means brewing a whole new batch. One also needs to prepare sugars, stir sticks, cups, napkins, and some half and half to go for the customer. In the process of putting one together you will undoubtedly have to walk all over the floor and grab trinkets here and there that are necessary to complete the traveler. Just because you might have a traveler to prepare doesn’t mean that you can ignore customers either. You have to keep taking orders and making sure drinks are being made. You know? The usual. You probably don’t know, but you can imagine.
Since travelers take some time to prepare we encourage customers to call ahead with their traveler orders. If they do not it is a major inconvenience.
A woman called this morning and ordered a traveler and a dozen pastries. She was coming in 20 minutes. No sweat.
A co-worker got the traveler together. I selected a dozen pastries in pairs. I wrote on each box what was inside so when it came time to ring them up it would be easy.
Twenty minutes later a woman walks up to the register. She hands me a 1 lb-bag of beans and says she would like to buy them and needs them ground for a paper cone filter. “I would also like a medium non-fat latte. I also had the traveler.” She adds, with no smile.
“With the twelve pastries?” I ask just to make sure because she didn’t say anything about them.
“Yes.” She replies with brevity and a flare of annoyance.
“Okay.” I punch in the drink. I punch in the coffee. I remember off the top of my head a few of the selections that I made from the pastry case, but I need to walk about five feet to where the boxes are to get the names off of a couple of the boxes. When I do so I can see her shake her head and turn around to complain to the growing line of customers behind her that “usually they have all this rung up and put together for me”.
I come back to the register and am making sure I have the order right when I hear this out of her.
“You still need to grind this.”
“I know.” I wish I could provide video evidence of how this woman was acting. The dialogue doesn’t do her justice. Not yet.
I didn’t look up when I said I know. I was very fed up by this point because I’ve seen this all too many times and the company I work for is helping to foster this kind of attitude in customers, but that is a much bigger post.
“Your total is fifty-two bucks.” I thought that seemed a little high, but that was right. I sort of was hoping it was way too high and she wasn’t noticing, but it wasn’t.
She handed me her card. I swiped it. I handed her the receipt. She needed to sign it, but I didn’t have a pen right there. She needed to wait five seconds for me to grab one elsewhere.
I stepped away.
She sighed and shook her head. I was back with a pen. She signed the receipt and walked over to where she was picking her drink up.
My co-worker carried the traveler and pastries out to her and said, “Would you like help out to your car?”
She had this to say:
“No! I’ve been to a lot of other stores and done this before. They usually have everything rung up and ready for me right by the register. You need to get your shit together.”
She walked out and loaded her stuff into her Chrysler 300 and I caught one last glare from her. I stared back and narrowed my eyes like I was Clint Eastwood in some Western, but I didn’t think saw.
All in all, she was in the store for no more than five minutes. She got a good drink, got her pound of coffee ground, and her traveler of freshly brewed coffee. The funny thing about her complaint is that we can’t ring up a customer that is not there because there exists, unbeknownst to her, other customers that want to order. It’s a first come, first serve basis.
A customer like this lingers in my mind for several reasons. 1) It shocks me how; in the most basic of circumstances, people can be so rude. 2) Why are people this way? Is our environment breeding humans to treat humans like this? 3) Am I ever this mean to strangers, to friends or acquaintances? To strangers, I would say definitely not. To the latter, yes, I have, on occasion, been very mean in the past. 4) How can I aim to never treat anyone like that again?
And how can we forget this one…
5) Crap, this job sucks. I need a new one.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
This view, by the way, for those who haven't seen it with their own eyes (that would be everybody but Travis, Chris, and my parents) is right out our front door.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Krauthammer is pleased with the report. He says for him, "good news is good news, whether from Iraq or now from Iran", as opposed to what good news from Iraq would be for him if he was a Democrat...bad news. I just love this all too obvious jab at the left in the first paragraph of the article. Because the left doesn't support the administration's decision to invade Iraq and to stay there indefinitely, they must not want the country to succeed at all over there. It makes perfect sense.
Moving on. Actually, I have only one last bit to share with you. Krauthammer's last paragraph on Iran and continuing international pressure on them reads as follows:
The military option may not be necessary right now. If weaponization has been suspended, the window for sanctions has been widened. But there is no reasonable argument for taking military action off the table. If the Iranians refuse to negotiate seriously--their new negotiator says all previous negotiations are void and talks now return to square one--the military option needs to be on the table and in plain view.
I sincerely doubt that if the NIE reported that Iran had restarted its nuclear weaponization program Krauthammer would doubt the report's accuracy like he does by beginning sentences with "If weaponization has been suspended". That is what the report says, of course with moderate confidence. Wouldn't you trust a "moderate confidence" from the NIE over a most assuredly from the inner circle of this administration at this point?
There is also this nugget. "But there is no reasonable argument for taking military action off the table."
Going into Iraq seems like a reasonable argument for taking military action off the table. That doesn't seem to have worked out too well for the world. Of course, the Iraq invasion may only be a reasonable argument for taking military action off the table if Iran is close to Iraq, is a Muslim nation, is bloated with oil, and has some anti-American sentiment within its borders.
I'm bad in geography, economics, religious studies, anthropology, and political science, but I could be wrong. Who knows?
Thursday, December 13, 2007
How many times can Romney defend his stance on abortion? How many times can Romney and Giuliani go back and forth about their records on immigration and crime fighting? I must be way out of the loop too, because I had never seen Alan Keyes. I hope I never hear that man talk again in a public forum.
I am getting way sidetracked here. Andrew Sullivan links to the best part of the Democrat's debate today. I share it with you. Obama smoothly strikes back at Hillary's cackle.
Having found it in the basement a while back, they remembered that the time capsules were prepared by a family friend and that I had one too. This friend had rolled up a Los Angeles Times from our birth dates and saved them for us. My Times is still in Colorado, but we had some good laughs looking through the LA Times from April 7, 1980.
I paid particular attention to the ads, my favorite featured in this picture. This is an ad for a VCR, very new technology in 1980!
Here is the good stuff...the fine print, if you can't read it all.
"5 free movie rentals when you buy your video recorder!"
"Our lowest advertised price ever!" Don't forget the exclamation point.
"$10 below our last advertised price!" Exclamation point again, for emphasis of course on that ten dollar discount.
And that little number at bottom center. "$17.95 each" That's the price for a blank cassette.
Now, back to the future.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Chris is disappointed that I didn’t mention
I, like Chris, was excited about
However, when you drop three in a row at the end of the season you aren’t in the limelight anymore. Yes, if
Hopefully things will change in their bowl game.
No, I am not an uncle yet. Megan is still having this kid, but things are progressing. It sounds like
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Okay, so I’m not the best at making predictions or analyzing college football, but that’s not going to stop me.
I told you
If the college football season was a couple of games longer I would like to see an
I didn’t tell you
As much as I loathe LSU, they probably deserve to be in the championship game even though they have two losses. I say this because their two losses came in triple overtime games. However, there is some reluctance on my end because of some awfully close games earlier in the season that shouldn’t have been that close.
As soon as WV and
Colt Brennan’s performance for
I remain faithful though, and I have two words for next year.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Kate and I fly to San Diego on February 1. Although we will not be there for the birth, we will see our first niece when she is not even two months old. We are excited for that trip!
I hope and expect to make a reasonable return to blogging next week. By reasonable return I don't know if I mean 30+ blogs a month, but I can't have another month like I just did. I don't expect to get any sicker. I believe I will get better. That should lead to more regular blogging, which is great; it's therapeutic for me.
We are going to Kate's aunt's house in Burlington tonight. That's a little south of here and closer to Chicago where we will be spending the day on Saturday.
Hope everyone has a good weekend.