Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Crash Of 2011.


My computer went down on Monday. I took it in for repairs. The hard drive was shot and had to be replaced. I am now starting over with everything. I'll be back Monday.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Song.



This is my favorite Bob Hope movie.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Do We Really Need This?



Caffeinated popcorn. I wonder who thought, "You know what would make popcorn even better? Caffeine, of course." Personally, I will pass on this one.

I found out about this at one of my favorite websites, Taquitos.net, which reviews snack foods. Here is their review of this popcorn. For something fun, check out their worst snacks.

I am making no comment, here is the third drunk baby story.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baseball Card Tuesday.


I have been getting more active with trading baseball cards and making some new friends. One of those new friends is Tom who has a blog The Angels, In Order. He had some kind words about me in this post, and his post today he talked about one of the cards that I sent him, Todd Greene, who was a catcher for, surprisingly enough, the Angels. The card was from Fleers 1998 Sports Illustrated set. In that set they had a subset of their award winners, such as best power, Mark McGwire, best control, Greg Maddux, etc. They also had two strange awards, Greene was given one for best art on a catchers mask and as you can see, Mike Piazza got one for best hair. I'll take their word on Mike for 1998, but the all-time best hair belongs to Oscar Gamble.

Oscar began his major league career in 1969 with the Cubs. He traveled around a lot playing for the Phillies, Indians, Yankees, White Sox, Padres, Rangers, Back to the Yankees, and finishing up with a second stint with the White Sox in 1985. These days Oscar doesn't quite have as much hair, you can see for yourself here. His spirit lives on this year, being channeled through Coco Crisp of the Oakland A's.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Deja Vu All Over Again.


It seems like it wasn't that long ago I read a story about a baby getting drunk in a restaurant. Oh, yeah, that was last week. It has happened again, this time in an Olive Garden located in Lakeland, Florida. This time the young boy was two and a half years old. He was taken to the hospital but they have not announced the results of his BAC. Doctors say he will be fine.

This incident is a little more bizarre than the first. The boy was served orange juice. After he had drank most of it, the waiter came and took it, telling the parents there was something wrong with it and he was going to replace it. Of course they wanted to know what was wrong and the waiter revealed the drink was Tropical Sangria, a mixture of orange juice, pineapple juice, and wine. Using that approach makes it seem like the waiter had realized his mistake and was trying to slyly fix it. Olive Garden has apologized and stated that "we took swift, appropriate action to deal with this situation." My guess is that waiter is now looking for a new job. Let's hope this is a wakeup call for all restaurants to keep a closer watch on what they do. I hope there is a not a third blog entry on this theme.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Life In A Treehouse.


I believe that I have written about my neighbor before, but I can't find the post. He lives in the treehouse that you see pictured here, which is about 100 feet from the apartment complex that I live in. As you can see, it is not just an ordinary treehouse. April 2 MTV was here to do some filming. The house will be featured on upcoming edition of the MTV series Cribs. Here you can learn a little more about the treehouse. Will I be watching? No I won't. in February Comcast changed their basic cable and all I get now are the local network stations. Since cable is included in the rent I really can't complain. If it wasn't included I wouldn't have it. Basic cable is $50 a month and that is more than my inner Jack Benny will allow me to pay. I will try and post an air date for the episode.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Tale Of The Drunken Baby.


A couple of weeks ago I was lamenting about how our kids are getting out of control these days. Now we have the story about a drunken 15 month old in an Applebee's in Madison Heights, Michigan. Don't you just hate it when toddlers belly up to the bar and demand service? Actually the boy was given apple juice in a sippy cup. When he started talking to the walls and then went to sleep at the table his mom became a concerned. She tasted the apple juice and found out it was a margarita instead. The manager did apologize for it but didn't know what else he could do. If he hasn't already, he could pay the bill for the emergency room where it was discovered the boy had a blood alcohol level of .1, which did make him legally drunk.

I have read several stories about how this, but most gloss over how the margarita ended up being served. The best explanation is that it was poured into a bottle that was labeled apple juice. Applebee's is investigating. If they can find who put it in the bottle that person should be held accountable, either suspended or fired. In a restaurant everything should be clearly labeled. I don't know what the Michigan law is, but in Georgia health inspectors look for that sort of thing. It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

I do have a tale from my hospital days involving an unlabeled bottle. I cleaned an outpatient dialysis unit in Springfield,Illinois. They had an open house so one of our guys was sent over to buff the floor so everything looked great. He used an unmarked bottle which he thought was spray buff solution, and the floor looked great. Unfortunately our spray buff solution and spray polish looked and smelled identical. The floor looked great but was as slick as ice. We all got a lecture after that about never using an unlabeled bottle.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Baseball Card Tuesday.


Last week I showed you the Mickey Mantle uniform card that I got in a box of 2011 Topps series One. ( I goofed last week and said it was a 2010 box. I have corrected that.) The eBay auctions that I mentioned have ended. The card selling for $299.99 did not sell. It has been relisted for $249.99. The other card sold for $174.5o. Now I have an idea of its worth. I am considering putting mine up for auction but I haven't decided yet. The box I bought was guaranteed I autograph and 2 relic cards. The autograph was Jeff Francis of the Colorado Rockies. Francis is no longer with the Rockies, having signed as a free agent with Kansas City. I no longer have this card. It really did not mean much to me and I traded it along with some other cards to a Rockies fan. I will be getting a lot of cards that I need to come closer to finishing some sets. That makes me happy and the guy who is getting the card will enjoy it much more that I did.


The second relic card was this Leather Nameplate of Ichiro. The purpose of those cards escapes me. It was kind of cool, but I have also traded this card away. The person getting it is a Mariners fan, and again it will mean more to him than to me.

Topps also had an offer for people who bought their cards in Hobby stores. For the 10 wrappers that my cards came in I received a special 5 card pack. They have produced a special 40 card set for this redemption. Randomly inserted into the packs are an autograph card. A person is not guaranteed an autograph and I did not expect one. I got my five card pack and much to my surprise was this card.


So since I am a die-hard Cubs fan will I be getting rid of this card? No, this one is a keeper. First of all, Red is a Hall Of Fame member, and even though he was the Cardinals manager there was always something about him I have always liked. His player stats can be found here and his manager stats here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Loving The Customer.


I have touched on this subject before. 90 to 95% of the customers I deal with are very nice people. I really enjoy helping out, but then there are those who you would really like to give a good swift kick in the butt.

Saturday night I actually got out of the cold. The aisle I was stocking had salad dressings, condiments, pickles, and ethnic foods, which is mainly Mexican and a small Oriental section. There is a four foot section of Mexican dried peppers and spices. If you have never seen them they come in cello bags and look like this:



A man was looking at them. He would pull one off the peg hook, look at it, and dropped the bag on the bottom shelf. He repeated that process about five times. We have enough work to do without someone creating more for us. Of course I had to bite my tongue and not say anything. There also is a possibility that even if I had said something he would not have understood me. I won't guarantee that he could speak English.

A couple of weeks ago when I was working in frozen foods we had a man who was complaining because we did not have any Tai Pei Cashew Chicken.


I looked at the shelf labels and the one for cashew chicken was gone. That meant that we have discontinued that particular item. When I told the man that he complained even more. He asked why did you discontinue such a great selling item. First of all, it was not that great of a seller. Just because it was his favorite didn't mean everyone else agreed. He was not happy when he left. He will now be even unhappier. We are now carrying several new dinners and the section was reset. Cashew chicken is still gone. I am sure I will hear about again if I see him.

To paraphrase an old saying, "Customers, can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em." Fortunately, it really is the minority who are major pains in the derriere.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm A Bad Boy.



I should feel so guilty. I am enjoying a situation at work more than I should be. The biggest shame of all is I feel no guilt whatsoever. I wrote last month about actually wanting a department manager job. Of course I didn't get it. The person who was chosen has had no management experience, and had never worked in frozen foods or dairy. Now they are reaping what they have sown, and let's be kind and say it's less than a bumper crop.

Before I begin, I am not really picking on the new manager. Well in one case I am but you will see why. She was thrown into the job with very minimal training and at the worst possible time for a newcomer, inventory. The pace has slowed down but it does not appear that she catches on quickly. one case in point, setting layouts. A layout is a sheet that informs the manager about product placement. It tells what shelf any given product goes on. Our manager set the layout for frozen pies. In displaying them she committed a major no-no, she stood them all up. So what is wrong with that, you ask? Frozen food cases go on defrost three times a day, the cycle lasting from 45 minutes to an hour. The product thaws slightly during that time. It is not enough that it will hurt most products. The exception to that of course are the pies. If they are stood up eventually they will start to slide down in the pie pan. If you opened one that had spent a month or more on the shelf, you would have about half a pie. Not very appetizing, is it? Pies move quickly around the holidays, but the rest of the year you might go a week or two without selling one.

The night I was told about the pies standing I was working dairy. The guys working the department knew not to stand them up because I had preached that too them. Several nights later I told the manager directly above frozen foods and dairy that she needed to have a talk with our new department manager. So why did I not say something directly instead of going higher up? Our new manager seems to be punctually challenged. She is supposed to be on the clock at 7:00 A.M. That is when my shift ends, but I rarely leave on time. I have never been one to leave things half done, so I usually am a little late clocking out. I was asked how I knew the department manager was the one who had done that. I whipped out my deerstalker hat and put it on, clamped my meerschaum pipe between my teeth, and said it was an elementary deduction. The layout page was still taped to the door and the manager had signed it showing the job was complete. The only response I got was "Oh". They hate it when you have evidence to prove your case.

I realize it appears that I am doing what I said I wasn't going to do and pick on the new manager. After all, if she is totally new so how was she supposed to know not to stand up the pies. Answer that, you big bully, you. The answer is simple. On three different layout pages,(each door has one) it said all pies must be laying down. She only looked at shelf placement. Reading the directions, what a concept.

What else is going on? There is too much merchandise in the back that should be on the shelves. Items that should never be out of stock are. Better control needs to be taken with the other shifts. My job is to work the new freight that comes in everyday. Others are supposed to take care of what is already in the back. Part of being in charge is to make sure the work gets done. So far, that is not happening. If the new manager gets replaced, I will not be the one replacing her. They had their chance to put me in charge. I do not want to go through that process again.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Unhappy Meals.


First San Francisco, now New York City. In December in San Francisco, any meal sold with a toy has to be less than 600 calories and no more than 35% fat. If City Councilman Leroy Comrie has his way, New York City will do it too. Comrie admits that he has poor eating habits, looking at his picture in that article shows the truth of that statement, and he feels that it is his job to protect the children.

Personally, I have a problem with that. How are the children getting these Happy Meals? Are they out there working in sweat shops so they can purchase these irresistible goodies? Are they standing in front of McDonalds with cardboard signs begging for money? If I am not mistaken, I believe it is their parents who are purchasing these items. Do we really need a law to tell them how to raise their children? If a parent decides to buy a Happy Meal for their child, they should not be condemned. The only way that would be a problem is if that is the only thing the children are eating.

Every time I see my doctor he tells me the same two things, I need to lose weight and quit drinking soda. I will agree that I could lose a few pounds, but I am not extremely overweight. When I had the flu I lost 15 pounds in two days. Since then I have lost a couple more, but I am not going to obsess over my weight. When She Who Left In The Middle Of The Night was here, I thought she was a member of the Diet Of The Month club. There is no magic formula which those diets try to instill in people. The key is eating sensibly, which is not as easy as some people claim. It is always easy to tell someone else how to live their life.

The obesity problem in this country is not because fast food franchises put toys in their meals. Too many people allow television and video games to be their babysitters. They let their children sit in front of the tube instead of sending them outside to play. Schools are being forced to end physical education because of their budgets. How about instead of passing laws like this one, we figure out how much they would cost and we give that money to schools, designating it for physical education? This country is based on freedom. Let's give the parents the freedom to decide what to feed their children.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Baseball Card Tuesday.

The other day I showed a Starlin Castro autograph card and I said it was the second best card that I had got this year. You can see what topped it. I bought a box of 2011 Topps Jumbo packs. There were 10 packs in the box and 50 cards in each pack. I got a full set plus the Mickey Mantle uniform card that you see here. The card is numbered 54 out of 64. There are currently 2 of them listed on eBay. One is selling for $299.99 or best offer, the other is being auctioned off. The auction ends in 5 days and the current bid is $78.77. I am going to watch it and see where it ends.

My favorite part of the card is the pinstripe through the 4. The two on eBay also have stripes but they are through the 6. Next week I'll show you the best card that I got last year.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Be Careful When Ordering.


This is one of Ben & Jerry's new flavors. It consists of peanut butter ice cream with caramel cluster pieces, marshmallow swirls & peanut buttery swirls. Personally I am not sure if I will try it. I don't care for marshmallow, but I may decide to chance it. I'll let you know if I do.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Song.



Since I quoted from the song Kids, here it is.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Play Ball!


Here we go again. The baseball season kicks off today with the Cubs playing the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Most teams would relish opening against the Pirates. After all last year the Pirates finished 57-105, the worst record in baseball. However when they played the Cubs they acted like world champions, winning 10 of the 15 games the two played. Hopefully this year the Cubs will be better against them and the rest of the league. As big a Cubs fan as I am I don't see them winning the division. They have some promising young players and I see good things in the future. As for this year, let the fun begin.

The card you see pictured is the second best card that I have got this year. I'll show the best next Tuesday. The card is a Starlin Castro autograph card from the Topps Heritage set. The card is based on the 1962 set. There are two grades of autograph cards. One is signed in black ink. If you notice, this card is signed in red. Castro only signed 62 cards in red. This one is numbered 18/62. There are no guidebooks on the price of it, but one sold on eBay for around$100. Of course to me, it is priceless.