Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

The fast answer. No. For Christmas Vickie got me the Playstation 2 version of this game. I always had plans of watching it, but never got around to it. I am having fun playing it, but the questions are a lot harder than I thought they would be. Science questions are the hardest for me. I never liked science that much and my grades reflected it. Of course my grades were never anything to brag about. I should have done better than I did, and that is one of my biggest regrets. Vickie also gave me the daily Smarter calendar. Starting tomorrow I will post those questions daily. Even if I have nothing else to say the question will be here. I will give the answer the following day.

Last week in my blog I gave Governor Rod Blagojevich the excuse of being infected by Joker venom. Now the Springfield Journal-Register has compared him with the Joker. You can read it here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Truck Tales

You see the most interesting things when you unload trucks. The other day we got in a pallet of compressed toilet paper. Never heard of compressed toilet paper? We don't actually sell it. When they loaded the truck at the warehouse they had a pallet of toilet paper, the 24 roll package. These do not come in cardboard boxes, but are put on a pallet and are shrink wrapped for shipping. On top of the toilet paper they placed a pallet of 12 pack soda. the result was compressed toilet paper. Had they reversed it there would have been no problem. The bad thing at Wal-Mart is the warehouse has no accountability. Damages can be charged off to them but it is very difficult to get the credit for it. The small grocery stores I worked at in Illinois were able to return any damages to the warehouse. At Wal-Mart, the store has to write it off. I have seen cases of broken glass bottles put in the middle of pallets. It was obvious they were damaged at the warehouse because the item hadn't leaked all over the pallet.

Wal-Mart isn't the only company this kind of thing happens at. When I was receiving manager at K Mart a driver told me about delivering a load and when he opened the door water came pouring out. The warehouse workers had placed a pallet of sand on top of a pallet of water.

Another fun thing unloading trucks is when the workers miss pick an item. We don't find that in grocery because the cases are not labeled, but general merchandise is. I have never worked that side at Wal-Mart, but my 2 favorite miss picks at K-Mart were:
instead of a case of Preen And Green, a lawn fertilizer, we received a case of 22 caliber bullets. It may not have helped the lawn grow, but mowing sure would have been interesting.
We were supposed to get a case of tampons. Instead they sent a case of Martha Stewart garden nozzles. I don't think they would have been very comfortable.
It would be a little more understandable if you were supposed to get black spray paint and received brown instead,(and that did happen) but those picks were ridiculous.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Taco Bell.

Last June I told them at Taco Bell that I would be quitting at the end of this year. I only work there about 6 hours a week, on their truck days. When I told them that the truck days were Wednesday and Saturday. Since my days off at Wal-Mart are Tuesday and Wednesday, it felt like I had no time off. Shortly after that the truck schedule was moved to Monday and Thursday. Since the truck arrives around 5:30 AM on Mondays I leave Wal-Mart at 7:00 and go straight there. That way I have most of it put away before the others come. On Thursday I meet the driver there and put away a lot of it as he unloads it. That makes it a lot easier, especially with the stuff that goes in the cooler.

Today would have been my last day, but I am staying longer. How long I am not sure. Why? There are several reasons. One is I really like the work. It is not hard and I have a system down where I get done quickly. Another is what I do is actually appreciated by the manager. There has recently been a change. The new manager was an assistant there, so he already knew me. It is nice to know that what you do is actually noticed. So for now I will keep working both jobs.

Friday, December 26, 2008

No Comprehension?

The image you see here did not scan quite right. The circle should be colored orange, but for some reason the orange became white. Any way, if you saw this sticker on a box, wouldn't you use it before any of the others? Obviously not everyone gets that meaning from this. I use that sticker at Taco Bell. I put it on every box that is leftover from the previous truck. On some items, like cheese, it doesn't make a difference because you have several months to use it before the cheese goes bad. On other items like lettuce and tomatoes you have a little more than a week. I believe that mostly the ones who ignore that sticker simply don't care. I have a hard time understanding that type of thinking, but that is what it appears to me. So far nothing has had to be thrown away, although we have come close a couple of times. The manager is going to keep after them, but it is a shame he has to.

On a more personal note, something weird happened to me on Christmas morning. Vickie called me about 2:00 AM. When I answered the phone I heard two women having a conversation. Vickie and I couldn't talk. The only thing I can figure out is I have a cordless phone that was picking up a cell phone call. That or my phone is possessed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Disappointing But Still Enjoyable.

I am not a big sitcom fan. In fact I rarely watch network television anymore. My all time favorite sitcom is, in case you haven't guessed by now, WKRP In Cincinnati. A couple of days ago I picked up season one on DVD. I knew they had trouble getting the rights to the songs which is why it took so long to get this out. I was hoping that they at least had got the rights to some of the original songs but it appears that they didn't. My biggest disappointment was in the episode called A Date With Jennifer. The shows newsman, Les Nessman, played by Richard Saunders. Les is the shy type and Jennifer, the secretary played by Loni Anderson, agrees to go to a banquet with Les where he is to receive an award. Les gets dressed up and the original tune was the Foreigner song Hot Blooded. Considering Les' reputation and the way he had carried himself made that song extremely funny. It is still funny watching him get dressed but the song they use hjust doesn't have the same punch. I am glad this is available, and it is very good, but not as great as it was originally presented.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What Really Happened.

Governor Blagojevich, Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.

I do.

Alright Governor. I understand you wish to make a statement against your lawyers wishes.

That is correct sir.

I guess that explains why he is sitting under the defense table muttering to himself.

That is correct your honor.

So governor, what do you have to say for yourself?

Your Honor, I stand before you today a victim. Yes a victim of a devious and dastardly plot plotted by that nefarious criminal mastermind, the Joker.

The Joker?

Yes, your Honor, you heard right. As you know a large portion of the film The Dark Knight was filmed in Chicago. One day while the filmmakers were in there I went to my office and found a playing card on my desk, a Joker to be specific. I picked the card up and immediately felt strange. I was infected by Joker venom. Now I realize that Joker venom usually kills whoever comes into contact with it, but I must have been given a new form of it where instead of dying I simply lost control of my actions. I have no memory of anything for over the past year. A short time ago I was given an antidote from someone who claimed to represent the Wayne Foundation.

The Wayne Foundation?

Yes, your honor. The one started by millionaire Bruce Wayne. Anyway, once I was given the antidote my mind cleared immediately. So you see, your honor, I am simply a victim of a plot to embarrass me and the citizens of the great state of Illinois. Now, Your Honor, if you can see fit to dismiss these charges and let me go I will make you my campaign chief for my Presidential bid in 2016.

OK Governor. Let me see if I have this straight. Your were a victim of the Joker and Bruce Wayne saved you. If I dismiss these charges than you will make me your campaign manager for your Presidential bid in 2016. Does that sum it up well?

Your Honor, I am pleased to say you have it.

Governor, if I were to run your campaign I would advise you to select Alicia Silverstone as your Vice President.

Alicia Silverstone? I don't understand, Your Honor.

Well Governor, if you thought I bought any of this story, you really are clueless.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mugshots Of The Year.

I like it every Friday when posts their mugshots of the week. Of course, if you have been reading this blog and haven't figured that out you have not been paying attention. Here you will find their top 20 for the year. Again, if you have been reading this several of them will be familiar. The one you see now is my favorite of these 20. See what you think.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Is Your Name?

A controversy has arisen because a ShopRite grocery store in Easton Pennsylvania refused to decorate a birthday cake for a three year old boy. The reason they refused is the boys father wanted his full name on the cake. His name? Adolph Hitler Campbell. You can read the story here. The man can't understand what the controversy is. I wonder if he's not related to Rod Blagojevich. Neither one seems to understand much. Mr Campbell claims he named his son that because he liked the name and "no one else in the world would have that name." Really. You know, there is a reason why no one else would have that name. It would be like someone from the Booth family naming one of their offspring John Wilkes. Who wants a name that is infamous? Of course we find out in the story young Adolph is not the only one who is going to have trouble in the future. He has a two year old sister named JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and a one year old sister named Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell. I could be wrong but I believe he chose those names just to get his 15 minutes of fame. He probably knew the controversy this would cause and is enjoying the limelight. Incidentally they got their cake decorated at a nearby Wal-Mart. It is not stated that they decorated the cake with the full name, but I am going to assume they did. Wal-Mart is reviewing their guidelines for cake decorations. I am going to ask our cake decorator and see if he would have refused to make it. I will post his comments later.

Parents have been doing this kind of thing for a long time and it is not just in the United States. Recently a nine year old girl in New Zealand became a ward of the court so she could obtain a name change. The name her parents gave her was Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. She hated that name and had her friends call her K. that sory is here. Whether they are being cute or controversial, some parents just don't get it. They might think it is funny but their kids are the ones who pay the price for this frivolity.

I have had some people not believe me when I tell them my middle name, which is M. They don't believe me. I have heard several times, "No. Really. What is your middle name?" If you look at my birth certificate, that is what it is. I am a Junior and Dad did not like his middle name so I just got the initial. His middle name was Merlin, which being the fantasy fan I am I think is a cool name. However it is also cool just having the initial. A friend of mine always argued I could not be a junior because I didn't have the full name. I kept telling him to just check my birth certificate. I saw his point, but what counts is what is on the certificate.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Psychology Of Selling.

Last night I was stocking ice cream. On the Blue Bunny package they have added a new blurb that says "More scoops." The fine print says 15% more than a 1.5 quart container. Really? That is amazing. You have more scoops because the package is bigger. What they don't tell you is you are not saving any money. The price per ounce is almost identical to the smaller package. Manufacturers love to do this kind of thing. Read all blurbs closely. Now if the package reads 50% more free, you are getting a bargain. This is done periodically by certain companies. The others are done hoping you will see the big print but not the fine print. Illegal? No. Unethical? The argument could be made but I wouldn't qualify as that. It is the same as advertising. With so much out there they want you to buy their product over the competition. It is the same as advertising or even the pictures on the package. When you fix something does it look like that picture? What matters the most is the taste of the product. After all, are you going to look at it or eat it?

Another thing that they do is instead of increasing the price they make the package smaller. They figure you won't pay more so instead they just give you less. We saw a lot of this a few months ago when gas prices were getting so crazy. Again it is just a sound business principle. They have to make money and will do what it takes to do that. Grocery does not have that large of a profit margin and they have to do what it takes to keep their product available. If it quits selling, the stores will find something that does.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The House Is Out Of The Street.

The latest chapter in the on-going story of the house in the street is now completed. The house was moved onto a temporary foundation. So how long do they have now? 30 days. The beams the house is on are borrowed and something else needs done at that time. Why the beams are borrowed is beyond me. I didn't know you could borrow them. Stay tuned for the next exciting chapter.

Last night at work I proved once again I am psychic. I was working in frozen foods and an Assistant Manager asked me to help him down stack 3 pallets of dry grocery. I had told the lady I was working in frozen that I would I would end up doing it by myself. At 2:00 AM I went to help him. Of course he was going to help, right? After all, managers are like Governors, upright and honest people, right? As soon as I got there he went to lunch. He got back in time to help me with the last few cases. See I am psychic. Or is that psychotic? I get those two mixed up.

Friday, December 12, 2008

No Brown M&Ms.

For 10 years Smoking has posted contract riders for entertainers. The things people ask for and get makes for fascinating reading. Some of their demands are ridiculous. Out of all the demands made by groups, probably the most infamous was the one made by Van Halen in the '80's, they wanted M&M's, but there were to be no brown ones. I have heard several explanations for it, but I think the one Smoking Gun mentions makes the most sense. They felt that if a promoter paid close enough attention to the M&M's then all sound and lighting would be right. If you want to read the Van Halen rider, click here. To read others click here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Even though I have lived in Georgia 12 years, I still maintain an interest on what is going on in Illinois. Everyday I read The Springfield State Journal-Register online, and most days I read the Chicago Tribune. When I read about the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich I was not surprised. He has been under fire practically the entire time he has been governor. He was actually re-elected in 2006, but I blame the Republicans for not running a better candidate. He runs the state from Chicago instead of Springfield, which adds travel costs to an already overloaded expense account. Illinois is deeply in debt. He kept proposing new programs, but refused to raise taxes to pay for them.

Political scandals are nothing new for every state, but Illinois has always had a reputation of corruption. I enjoyed a line Mark Evanier posted on his blog yesterday where he said "I kinda thought being corrupt was part of the job description when you were governor of Illinois." Since I was born 3 former governors have spent time in jail, although only one of those was for what he did in office. Chicago also has that reputation. A long standing joke in central Illinois has been when I die I want to be buried in Chicago so I can keep voting.

The honorable thing to do now would be for Governor Blagojevich to resign, but he has shown he is not an honorable man. If he still tries to appoint a Senate replacement for President Obama that candidate will probably be rejected by the Senate. I have a feeling this thing will drag out for a long time. I think he really believes he will get away with this. He really is clueless.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Goodbye To a Class Act.

Greg Maddux retired Monday. In an age of steroids and bad behavior by millionaire athletes Greg stood out because he did neither. He was a quiet and unassuming man. His job was to go out and try to win, which he did 355 times. Only 7 others have won more. He was not really impressed when he won his 300th game. He was more impressed when he recorded his 3000th strike out. He finished with 3371, which puts him tenth on the all time list. He was the Cy Young award winner from 1992-1995. No one one else has ever won 4 in a row.

One of the biggest mistakes the Cubs ever made was letting Greg become a free agent after the 1992 season. He wanted to have a deal before the season ended, but the Cubs General Manager set a deadline and refused to renegotiate after that date. When Greg's agent tried to talk a day after the deadline he was rebuffed, so Greg went to Atlanta where he helped form one of the greatest pitching trios in baseball history. I showed the other two here. Maddux, Smoltz, and Glavine never lost a division title while pitching together. In 2004 Greg rejoined the Cubs. In 2006 they sent him to the Dodgers. He signed with the Padres for 2007 and last year they sent him back to the Dodgers. In his retirement announcement he said for this year he is just going to spend it with his family. I feel after that he will be back as either a coach or manager. He already has a reputation as for helping others become better players.

In five years he is eligible for the Hall Of Fame. He should be a unanimous pick, but a few sportswriters will not name him because they believe no one should ever be unanimous. There are names for sportswriters like that, but decorum prohibits me from using those terms. Now if you buy that line, I have some real estate I would like to sell you. Good luck in your retirement Greg. You will be missed.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Give It Away.

Yesterday I mentioned that I had given a co-worker a Christmas Tree. If I hadn't found out that she needed it I was going to give it to someone who posted a message on the Calhoun Freecycle Yahoo Group. The rules of Freecycle are simple. If you have something you want to get rid of, or if you need something, you post a message. Then you give the item to whoever asks for it, or if you are in need, hopefully someone will contact you with what you asked for. You can even try to find a new home for a pet that you have to get rid of. The only condition is that money cannot change hands. It truly is free. It is a great way to get rid of some stuff that is taking up space and it will go to someone who really needs it. If you are interested you can check here to see if there is a group in your community.

A few days ago I talked one of my my co-workers obsession with another co-worker. I have evidently upset him because he has not spoke to me since then. I am enjoying the silence.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Decorating For Christmas.

A couple of days ago I gave my Christmas tree away. One of my co-workers needed one and couldn't afford it so I gave her mine. If I hadn't given it away it would have stayed in my closet like it did last year. Since I live alone (except for my rabbit) I see no point in putting any decorations out. Just to make sure I did ask my rabbit if he would get upset if I didn't decorate. He just gave me that same look he does when I talk to him. The look says "Hey. As long as you give me food and water, keep my cage clean, and rub my back once in awhile I don't care what you do." It's always nice to check to make sure.

My wife loved Christmas. The tree had to go up Thanksgiving night and it came down Christmas night. When it came to decorating I had three jobs.
1. Put the tree up.
2. Put the lights on the tree.
3. Stay out of the way.
That worked for me. She also wrapped her own Christmas presents. She told me that if I wrapped it she would unwrap it to see what she got. She would wait until Christmas morning to get whatever it was, but she had to know.

I do have 4 Christmas decorations out, but they stay out all year. The first is a nativity scene. I feel this should always be out, not just brought out for the season. The second is an ornament with Santa holding a baseball bat while sitting on a baseball. The third is three snowmen that my Grandma made. She attached two styrofoam balls together and then knitted a covering for them, including hats. The three are different sizes, from small to large. The last one is a gift I was given last year by she who left me. This was sent to me from her new home. It is the Jones Soda Christmas Pack, with 4 bottles of soda. The flavors are Egg Nog, Sugar Plum, Christmas Ham and Christmas Tree. Of course I have not drank any of those, nor will I. It is cool just to look at.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Job Counseling.

After going over your resume I recommend you find a new field. Seeing as how you have been incarcerated off and on during the last five years, obviously a life of crime is not for you. Since you have also decided to add all of the tattoos in the last five years it will be very easy for witnesses to identify you. This of course is why you have not been successful as a criminal. I suggest you take up a trade such as welding. The mask would be a big help for you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The House In The Street Update.

Last week I blogged about this house. Tuesday night the Springfield City Council voted down giving the owners $280,000 for a foundation. The owner says he has no idea what he is going to do. This thing has been one of the worst planned moves I have ever heard about. I have been reading about it at the Springfield Journal-Register website. There have been a lot of comments generated on this. Of course there are some supporters of the house. More people are against it. I side with them. The owner has no idea what he is going to do now. Why not? He should have been prepared not to get the money. What is the plan for the house once it is put into place? That should have been revealed before the move. The owner did not open the bids for a foundation until November 14, three days before the move. The foundation should have been there before the move was allowed. I think some backroom promises were made but they couldn't be filled. I will write more as things develop.

Is Something Wrong Officer?

But officer. I swear I haven't been drinking. why did you stop me?

The driver was a 40 year old woman in Nevada. She was stopped by an ambulance crew and failed a field sobriety test. When this was first reported they did not know where the gas nozzle came from.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The story you are about to read is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty).

One of the guys I work with, let's call him Herb, is obsessed with another one of our co-workers, we will call her Jennifer. Herb is the 42 year old virgin. He has never dated. One reason is his attitude has always been that he was not going to change one bit and if the woman didn't like it she could hit the road. (I know, it is amazing that that charmer isn't fighting off the women.) His obsession with Jennifer began because she was nice to him and talked to him. A lot of our co-workers don't like talking to Herb because he is so opinionated and never hesitates to state his case. He complains more than he talks. Some of his favorite topics are crooked management, the laziness of our co-workers, the general incompetence of Wal-Mart, and the greatness of Food Lion, where he worked before. I have asked him before if Food Lion is so great why are you here? I have never got a straight answer. I believe he was fired and they won't rehire him. He probably talked about them the same way when he worked for them.

A little about Jennifer. She is married but was separated from her husband when Herb became interested in her. She was nice to him and he took it as she was interested in him. Herb keeps coming to me for advice because I am one of the few people in the store who really likes him. He would ask questions and I would give him advice. I kept warning him that he is dealing with a married woman and until there are divorce papers he can expect nothing. He began getting worried that some of our co-workers were trying to talk Jennifer into going back to her husband. He made such a nuisance of himself he was given a verbal warning to cool it or he would be fired. That slowed him down, but all it took was Jennifer to smile at him and he was convinced she was interested in him.

Last week Herb's worst fears were realized. Jennifer went back to her husband. Herb refused to believe it unless she told him personally. Jennifer had told Vickie, my lady, and I told Herb. When he said he still wouldn't believe it, Vickie told Jennifer that she needed to tell him. Jennifer was not going to do that. She never said why, just she would not do it. She made it clear that unless Herb stopped she was going to go to management. I talked to Herb. I told him it was over and to stay away. I thought I had got that into his thick skull, but he confronted Jennifer himself. She flat out told him it was none of his business. I told Herb it was over and he needed to move on. Of course, being Herb, he was not about to do so. Yesterday morning he came up to me and asked how long it lasted before a couple separated again. I told him it was over and to move on but he told me it wasn't over. I hated to do it, but I tipped management off to the situation and told them to keep an eye on Herb. I also decided the next time Herb mentioned Jennifer I was going to verbally lay into him. Last night Jennifer gave him the cold shoulder and Herb came to me for advice. I told him it was over and he was now stalking her. I think I finally got through to him. He then asked if he could ask just one more question and told him only one. He wanted to know if he and Jennifer could ever be friends again. I told him probably not. I had told him not to go to Jennifer, he did it anyway and he had blown his chance. Hopefully he got the message. If he didn't, he will probably get fired.