Monday, November 30, 2009

Coming Soon To a Grocery Store Near You.

Martha Stewart is branching out again. This time she is aiming for the grocery store shelves. She has signed a deal with Hain Celestial Group, Inc. to produce poultry, baking mixes and dry pastas. It will be interesting to see how well this line will be received. Of course, she is not the first celebrity to put her name on a food product. Paul Newman, Paula Deen, Rachel Ray, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, and Jimmy Dean are just a few of the celebrities whose names can be found on a wide assortment of products.

When it comes to Martha there are many who love her and many who hate her. Personally I don't care either way. From what I have read about her I get the impression that she is demanding and can be brusque. She sounds like several bosses that I have had. Will I buy any of her food products? Probably not. Not because her name is on it but because I buy according to price, not brand. If I want something in a category that she is selling and the price is right, I will get it.

I was called to the office last night. I was almost sure why I was being called, but one of my friends told me as I was going there "It was nice working with you." We joke about that a lot. It was time for my annual evaluation. My anniversary date is December 31. They try to get the evaluation done a month ahead. It was a very good one, and when I reach the anniversary date I will be getting a raise.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last Kiss.

I have mentioned before how much I enjoy reading comic books. There are many genres that can be found in comic books. If you think they begin and end with super-heroes you have never been exposed to comics. I like almost every different type, but I never bought or read any romance comics. Romance comics have disappeared today, but I have found one that I actually enjoy. The title of it is Last Kiss. It is written by John Lustig, who worked for Disney for over 20 years. John bought the rights to a romance series. He took out the words and replaced them. The results are hilarious. Three times a week a new panel is released. I am giving you three examples here. If you like what you see, check out the Last Kiss website.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Insanity Is Over For Another Year.

When you work retail there are two days that no one looks forward to. One is inventory, the other Black Friday. The physical work is harder on other nights, but on those two it is more draining. Last night I was given 3 helpers in dairy and told we had to be done by midnight. I let two of my helpers go at 11:00 and the other at 11:15. I finished up at 11:30. At that time there were already more people in the store than normal. I was told to relieve one of the people who was pulling pallets to the floor. In 15 minutes I was able to get one whole pallet taken to the other side of the store. There were just too many people in the way. By then the person that I relieved got back from break and I was given a much better job. The merchandise that went on sale at 5:00 A.M. had been put on pallets, shrink-wrapped with black plastic, and put on an empty truck trailer that was in grocery receiving. My job was to use our electric jack and pull those pallets off the trailer and others pulled them to the floor. That was much easier than pulling pallets through the growing crowd.

After that, my job was to stand next to one of the 5:00 A.M. pallets and make sure that no one got anything off it before it was time. Except for lunch and my breaks I stood around from 12:30 until 5:00. Then we cut the plastic and got out of the way. The pallet I was by had cords for HDTV's and TV wall mounts. Surprisingly there was no one grabbing for those. Next to that was the RockStar set for PlayStation 3 and X-Box. That was a hot item, especially the X-Box version. For the most part it was an orderly crowd. I didn't see any pushing or shoving. Of course I wasn't in the whole store. If anyone tells me about any I will write about it tomorrow. The rest of the morning was spent condensing displays down and clearing the floor. I came home exhausted. That standing around is for the birds. Tonight I am back to my regular routine. I look forward to that.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I will not be eating a large meal today. Personally I don't eat turkey anyway. To repeat my long standing line, I don't eat turkey because I don't believe in cannibalism. What is sad, I have had to explain that line more than once.

I will go in to work at 10:00 P.M. tonight to help prepare for the madness that erupts at 5:00 A.M. If you are one of the shoppers, remember to be nice to the retail workers you see today. If the merchandise you want is sold out, it is not their fault. Unfortunately not everyone realizes that.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


If the subject matter of a book bothers you, is it your job to protect others from reading it? Annually, the last week of September is banned book week by the American Library Association. If you decide that something should not be read by your children, that is your right as a parent. However, you don't have a right to tell others what is right for their children. It is like the old joke, this is the condensed version, of a man in church listening to a very spirited sermon. He is agreeing with every point that the preacher is making, loudly shouting Amen with every point. Then the preacher rails against the demon alcohol. The man sits there stone faced. His wife whispers to him, "What's the matter?" The man whispers back "He's gone from preaching to meddling."

I had been planning on doing this post about banned books for over a month, but every time I got ready something else came up. A recent story however really drove this issue home. A couple of librarians in Kentucky were recently fired. The reason for it was they were trying to keep a graphic novel, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, out of the hands of the public. I have read the first two League books and enjoyed them. I haven't bought this one yet, but I will very soon and I will review it when I do. When this book arrived at the library, one of the librarians felt it was a mistake. When she asked about it she was told it had been requested by a patron and was ordered. In her mind, this was an evil book. She claims she had people praying over her when she read it so the images wouldn't stay in her mind. Since the graphic novels are shelved near the children's section she was afraid it would be a bad influence on them. Since the board had approved the book, she came up with a plan so that no one could read it. She checked it out herself and continued to renew it. This plan worked until an 11 year old girl requested the book. Since a hold was placed on the book, it could not be renewed. Here is where the second librarian came into the picture. The second one canceled the request for the book. When the library board found out about it, both ladies were fired. The one has refused to return the book. Since I haven't read it I can't judge how suitable the book is for an 11 year old. Based on the two that I have read, I would say it is a little advanced, but if my child wanted to read it I would allow it. I would be discussing the book with them, to make sure they understood what they read.

As far as the librarians go, I have no sympathy. What they did was insubordination. I do not agree with all of Wal-Mart's policies, but as long as I accept a paycheck from them I will abide by their rules. I will give the librarian credit for actually reading the book instead of blindly rejecting it. I do think being prayed over while reading was a little over the top.

It is too easy to be a sheep and go along with the rest of the flock. I do not want to base my opinion on what others say. I am a big boy and I can make my mind up for myself. If someone tells me something that I find hard to believe, I will look into it. After all, if someone misunderstands one word, the entire meaning changes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Adventure Of The Empty Freezer.

I awoke from my slumbers feeling very refreshed. I had a very stimulating dream concerning this very buxom wench, but alas, that is a tale for another day. I fully expected to break my fast alone, but much to my astonishment there at the table sat my good friend, Sherlock Holmes. The look on his face was one of absolute distress.

"Good lord, Holmes," I cried. "Whatever is the matter? Are you ill?"

Slowly Holmes raised his head and looked at me. "Good morning, Watson," he mumbled. "I am afraid that I am not at my best this morning.'

"Is there anything I can do?"

"No Watson. There is nothing that is within your powers to rectify this situation."

"Well, then at least tell me what it is all about."

"Very well. As you know, normally I am an early riser. After I have my nourishment I am ready to do battle with the criminal element. This morning as I looked upon the plate Mrs. Hudson sat before I immediately detected something amiss."

"Mrs Hudson. Where are my Eggo's?"

"I am terribly sorry Mr Holmes. They did not have any at the market."

"I did not want to embarrass our landlady. I deduced that she had simply forgot to get them when she did the shopping and used that as an excuse. I took it upon myself to go to the market and make the necessary purchases. As you know, without my Eggo's to start the day my mental processes are diminished."

"I knew that Wiggins, the former head of my Baker Street Irregulars, was a clerk there. I discussed the matter with him and he assured me that there were none to be found. He offered to take me to the back so I could see for myself. After personally observing the baleful looking, Eggo-less freezer, I pondered what could have happened to those wonderful toaster treats. Of course I speculated that Professor Moriarty could be behind this dastardly deed. My next step was to have investigated that angle, but before I left the market that plan changed. There, standing before the display doors, was none other than Colonel Sebastian Moran."

"Holmes. I should have guessed you were behind this outrage. I always knew you were devious but stooping this low? I am appalled. To deprive the Professor of his Eggos is simply going too far."

"Ah, Moran, you misjudge me. I am here inquiring into the same thing."

Without another word Moran stalked out of the market. I asked Wiggens if he knew why there were no Eggo's. He went and got the market manager who explained the situation to me. It seems that are two main factories in the States that manufacture them. One in the state known as Tennessee is putting in new equipment. It is taking them longer to install the machinery than planned. It would not have been a problem except for their factory in the state of Georgia was flooded.

"So Holmes, what are your plans now?"

"Well Watson, I believe I am going to start a study of bees. I have been considering what to do in my latter years and I think that may prove interesting. Now that I know Moriarty is also impaired I can afford the time to rest. Wiggins has assured me that he will call immediately upon the arrival of a new shipment. After that, I will figure out how to bring the Professor down."

Holmes then left the room. I smiled, trying to imagine Holmes as a beekeeper. What a preposterous idea.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rest In Peace Uga VII.

Sad news this morning. Uga VII, the mascot of the University of Georgia, died yesterday. He was only 4 years old. I am not a big Georgia fan, but one of my favorite writers, Lewis Grizzard was. One of my favorite stories of his involved Uga and two of his characters, Bubba and Earl. This is transcribed from Lewis Grizzard's Greatest Hits.

“Got to tell the dog story. There’s somebody left who hasn’t heard the dog story.

We are playing Auburn. Sanford Stadium. National Television. Winner wins the Southeastern Conference; goes to the Sugar Bowl.

85,000 people jammed into Sanford Stadium. National television audience. This game is on the Armed Service Network. People in Switzerland are seeing this ballgame. Going everywhere.

The band cranks up “Glory, Glory to Ole Georgia” and our team comes running out. 85,000 stand as one.

We are led by our gallant mascot, Uga-U-G-A. What a dog! What a gorgeous dog. What a symbol of ferocity. But UGA ain’t real smart. Uga did not realize he was at a football game. Nor did he realize he was on national television, and was going into living rooms the width and breadth of this great nation.

And there, in front of all them people, he began to lick himself where dogs occasionally want to lick themselves, OK?

We don’t have to get any more graphic than that.

Bubba an’ Earl sittin’ on the fifty.

Bubba sees the dog, punches Earl and said, ‘Earl, look at that dog. Dad-gum, I wish I could do that.’

Earl said, ‘ Bubba, that dog’ll bite you!’”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Thunks.

1. If you won a brand new house in a Dream House Giveaway would you move into it, sell it to pay the taxes and make a profit, rent it out or give it to a family member/friend who might need it?

Considering I live in a three room apartment, I would live in it myself.

2. Are you good at billiards?

That depends on your definition of billiards. If carom billiards, with no pockets, I have never played. With pockets, I used to be fairly good. I haven't played in many years.

3. Does anyone on the planet really want to see Levi Johnston naked in Playgirl (other than when Bristol Palin did)?

If I did I would have to bleach my brain to get that image out.

4. Is your phone ringing right now?

It is 3:52 A.M. I would be worried if it was.

5. Do you think man has eaten or tried to eat every type of animal on the face of the earth at one point or another? If not, what don't you think man has tried?

I don't think there is anything that someone hasn't tried. If something new is found, Anthony Bourdain would be first in line to try it.

6. The new movie Avatar has been showing sneak peeks and been hyped to the max. Will you see it?

I think James Cameron is an over-rated director and I have no intention of seeing it.

7. If a slightly bigger fish eats a small fish, then a bigger fish immediately eats that one, then an even bigger fish immediately eats that fish and then finally a huge fish eats the one that just ate that fish and it gets caught by you... how many meals will you have from that one fish?

None. I don't fish because I will not clean them.

8. If you had an appointment with the doctor and all the plants in the office were dead, would you still see the doctor?

He would be my kind of doctor. I kill plants too. My wife olved plants. One of the first things I did after she died was to give her plants away.

9. Have you ever seen the number 666 in a dream?


10. "At 20 years of age the will reigns, at 30 the wit, at 40 the judgment."~ Benjamin Franklin
So what happens at 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100?

At 50 your inner child, at 60 denial, at 70 acceptance, at 80 enjoyment, at 90 relief, at 100 the bowels. If the bowels aren't working you aren't living.

11. Would you want your phone number to be (area code) 123-4567?

No way. You would get too many calls from people playing with their phones.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Banking Again.

A few years ago I made a miscalculation with my debit card. That miscalculation (it was under $5) ended up costing me a lot of money so I quit banking and started paying everything with cash or money orders. I figured that if I ever tried to get another account I would be met at the door by a man with long white hair, a long beard, wearing a robe and holding a staff. He would then hit the floor with the staff and tell me "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!!"

Then immediately a few goblins would appear, haul me off deep into the vaults, and I would never be seen again. (Which some people would think would be a good thing.)

Wal-Mart forced my hand and I had to go open an account. As with some other companies, Wal-Mart is going to a paperless pay system. If you do not have direct deposit you will be given a payroll card. That card can be used as a debit card and you are given checks that you can cash at Wal-Mart Money Centers. I decided to go with a checking account. I went to where My Lady banks and talked to them. They had a deal for new accounts where she would get $25 for recommending me and I would also get $25. When I applied I found out my name was already in the system. Instead of being hauled off to the vaults it was for a special deal on a checking account. I did not get the $25. I was forced to take $50. Talk about your offer you can't refuse. There are also a couple of other perks that the bank offers to Wal-Mart employees. I know a lot of people think that Wal-Mart is the Evil Empire, but personally I don't have any beef with them. They are not perfect, but what employer is? Some are also not happy with no paychecks, but there is a major convenience with direct deposit. I may still get one more check, but then no more having to go in and pick up it up. I am looking forward to that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ready For The Weekend.

I can see you there, scratching your head and wondering, has he completely lost his mind? Of course I haven't. You can't lose what you never had. Tuesday and Wednesday are my weekends. Saturday and Sunday naturally are very busy days when you work retail. When I started at Wal-Mart my days off were Wednesday and Thursday. I was asked if I would change it. I told them I didn't care as long as the days off are consecutive. If they are not you do not feel like you are getting any rest.

So what exciting things am I doing on my weekend? Not much of anything. The Christmas push is on and by the time my five days are over I am wore out. Once Christmas is over things will slow down a lot. I am just going to read, write a little, which you will probably see Friday, catch up on my surveys (a topic for another day), and play my current computer game addiction, Jewel Quest II. I find games like that relaxing, but I have to be careful. My clock for some reason doesn't work right when I play. It claims I spend more time playing than I think I do. Well, I am going to bed now. Good night.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Meme.

It is always nice when someone new comes by and pays a visit. It is even nicer when they have kind words about my blog. Friday Dsmcaron mentioned me and my Thursday Thunks post. That inspired her to write her own meme. She gave an open invitation to anyone who wanted to answer her questions. After reading this she may regret those words.

Q. Your mom wants a small, inexpensive hand mixer for Christmas. In red. What do you do?

Being the good Wal-Mart employee that I am I go to, where I found out the cheapest one is $29.86. Being the cheapskate that I am, I'll just con my brothers into buying it and claim the idea.

Q. Your favorite television show has a British version and an American version. Which do you watch?

The version that I saw first. If I see the other version I will spend too much time noticing the differences.

Q. Someone tells a joke or a story and although it is amusing, it isn't as funny as they think it is. What do you call that?

I call it a time joke. When I get the time I'll laugh.

Q. Sandra Lee from the Food Network says, "Bam!" Are you amused or irritated?

Confused. Is she having an affair with Emeril? Pardon me, I have to go check out the National Enquirer.
Q. Speaking of British humor, what makes you laugh the most other than (obviously) Monty Python?

Red Dwarf. It has a science fiction setting and is one of the funniest shows I have ever seen. The picture here is the Red Dwarf crew.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fun With Batman.

A friend of mine was a big Batman collector. He decided to sell his collection and offered it to me. I paid more for it than I planned, which was less than he really wanted. However he probably got more for it from me then he would have if he had sold it anywhere else. The problem with collectibles is no matter what a book says they are worth, the true value is whatever someone is willing to pay you for them.

I am a member of the Captain Comics Board and I decided to start a thread there that I call A Batman A Day. My friend Travis had started one called A Comic A Day so I borrowed his idea, only specializing it. I have three boxes of comics so this project will take quite awhile to get done.

The second book I pulled out was a reprint of the very first issue of Batman. When I read it A few things struck me as being funny. I scanned the pages and I will post the pictures and make comments about them. The picture on the side there is my favorite Batman picture from my favorite story. The artist is Neal Adams. The story, written by Denny O'Neal, was called The Joker's Five Way Revenge and it appeared in Batman 251.

This is the cover of the reprint that I own.

The first thing is a suggestion to aspiring comic book artists. Read carefully what the writer is talking about. As you can see here He calls for a mace.

The artist instead drew a two-headed axe.

I will let Hawkman show you what a mace looks like. If you don't know what one looks like, research it. Otherwise 70 years later you may find some smart@$$ making fun of you on a blog.

I love this pose. I assume that immediately after this Batman went to his chiropractor. That hurts me just looking at it.

This is here for its historic significance. This is the very first drawing of the Joker.

I have always liked reading comic books. Some of them can be exciting and others a little silly. I sometimes find things amusing that others don't. As I go through this Batman project I will scan some of the art and comment on it. I tell people that my hobbies are collecting comic books and baseball cards. I haven't grown up yet and I am too old to do so now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?

We are at the start of the time that all retail workers look forward to. It just gets your blood flowing so well. You just can't wait until it is your time to go to work and have all of this fun. Just imagine, we not only get to have all of this fun, but they even pay us for it, too. Wait, I am sensing skepticism out there. Could it be that those reading this do not believe the sincerity of my words? Are they wondering whether or not if I have brown eyes? (For the record, I do.) Oh well, I always knew that I had an intelligent audience with great BS detectors.

So what exactly is the difference from working this time of the year as any other time. Obviously, we deal with much more merchandise than normal. The freight has been flowing in for about the last three weeks and it will continue until about a week before Christmas. At times like this I am glad I work on the grocery side of the store and not the general merchandise. On that side displays have to be changed constantly, and at times it is a challenge to figure out what to put out and how to make it look good. The person in grocery who has the hardest time is the one who works what we call the bake aisle, flour, sugar, cake mixes, etc. It is not unusual to sell more sugar in one day than in a normal week. I did that aisle a few years ago at Christmas. You get a real workout.

We don't deal with customers near as much on third shift as on first or second. I consider that a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I like people and I like helping but this time of year brings out the worst in some people. The best example of that was what happened on Black Friday last year at Long Island. The only wonder is it hadn't happened sooner. When I was at Kmart I saw the charge when the doors are opened. We don't have that problem at the Wal-Mart that I work at since we are a 24 hour store. People come inside and wait starting around midnight. The closer to 5:00 A.M. the worse it gets. I didn't have to work it last year but it looks like this year I'll be in the middle of it. I'll talk about what happened then.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Thunks.

1. Thursday Thunks is written by 2 insane women (Berleen & Kimber) that have never met face to face yet are best friends. One lives in Minnesota and the other in Arizona. They keep trying to convince each other to move to their state. What color house will Berleen have here in Arizona? Nothing is better than a simple white house.

2. Do you dream in black & white or color, and how do you know your brain isn't just playing games with you?

I rarely remember my dreams, but the ones I do are in color. My brain does play games with me, but it more me trying to remember someones name and my brain plays keep away.

3. Does bubble gum lose it's flavor on the bedpost?

I wouldn't know. I don't chew gum. It gives me a headache.

4. We're buying Underoos. Which superhero do you pick?

A perfect question for a comic book fan. I prefer the DC heroes over the Marvel ones, and you can't beat the granddaddy of them all, Superman.

5. Do you think if you yell loud enough while watching your favorite sporting event, it makes a difference in the outcome of the event?

Of course it does. Don't you believe in the power of positive thinking? Of course you have to take into count that I also believe in Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.

6. Is the word gullible in the dictionary?

I am not falling for that one.

7. If you could pick any currancy to be the face on which currancy would it be?

The one dollar bill. That way I am on the one that people see the most.

8. What was your imaginary friend's name as a kid, and did they ever annoy you or just us?

I annoyed my imaginary friend so much he left.

9. Do you think it's ironic that the poop deck is in the rear of the ship?

It wouldn't make much sense to be in the front, would it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Sports Illustrated Jinx.

There are those who swear that being put on the cover of Sports Illustrated is the kiss of death. Personally, I don't believe it but occasionally it seems that way. Last Saturday Iowa entered their game with Northwestern rated number 4 in the BCS standings and had a 9-0 record. If you recall in my list of 53 things I mentioned I was a Northwestern fan. Unfortunately for Iowa, their quarterback Ricky Stanzi was injured early in the game and Northwestern won 17-10. This only adds fuel to those who swear by the jinx. If the jinx is true, look at the fact that Michael Jordan appeared on 56 covers. I don't think that hurt his career any. The same can be said for many others who have appeared on the cover. Those who believe in the jinx are using the exceptions to prove the rule.

Yesterday I said I wasn't going to snarky about Sammy Sosa. That was yesterday. Sammy has come out to talk about his skin. Sammy claims it was a combination of a skin cream that he was using plus the lighting. Of course he did not reveal what the cream was. Maybe it was Flintstones cream. I would have more sympathy for him if he would simply keep his mouth shut. Sammy is his own worst enemy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sammy, Is That You?

A few days ago the picture you see on the right of Sammy Sosa surfaced. Sammy was in Las Vegas attending the Latin Grammy's. As you can see, Sammy is a whole lot paler than he has previously appeared. Of course after that picture came out the speculation began. Was Sammy bleaching his skin or does he have Vitiligo? The answer turned out to be that Sammy had his skin rejuvenated and the treatment whitened his skin. This article talks about it. One thing the article mentions that I find funny is this treatment is mainly used by women. Is Sammy a vain creature? To quote the movie Gung Ho, "Is a frog's ass watertight?" I am a die-hard Cubs fan, but Sammy has never been one of my favorite players. The year after he hit 66 home runs there was rumors of him being traded to the New York Yankees. I was in favor of it. Sammy always struck me as being more interested in himself than the team. Just so I don't come across as too snarky, if having those treatments made Sammy feel better, more power to him. Decisions like that are up to the individual and I don't pass judgment on them.

One of things I really enjoy about my blog is when you get comments from someone totally new. Dsmcaron stopped by and had some nice words about my ramblings here. Thank you for visiting. It is always nice to hear. I am also gaining a few new friends from Thursday Thunks. I had fun doing that and it will become a regular feature here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Good Idea, But...

A few months ago Wal-Mart upgraded their Great Value brand. There is nothing unusual about that. Store brands are growing and the profit margin is higher so everyone is looking at how they can gain the most from it. Wal-Mart went with a white background with pictures of the item. Personally I like the look. Some might say that they copied from Kroger since Kroger has recently put out a store brand using a white background. The biggest difference is Kroger's line is a secondary line to the Kroger brand. The quality levels are not as high so the product can be sold for less. I am not putting the products down. I actually buy a couple of them myself. Wal-Mart has stepped theirs up and have expanded the line. Where before the Great Value pizza competed more with Totinos, it now is competing with DiGiorno.

The problem with the line is the packaging for some products is too similar. One example in the dairy department is the shredded cheese. Shredded cheddar cheese comes in three types, feather shredded medium, finely shredded medium, and sharp. All of the packages have an orange bar on them with the wording in that bar. They make the assumption that those people stocking will take the time to make sure that the proper product is put in the proper place. That is a dangerous assumption. I like my co-workers, but too many of them just throw the product out. If you have any doubt about a product, the UPC number is on the shelf label. Unfortunately too many of my co-workers just look at the color or the picture and they just put it out. The old packaging had different color schemes for each variety. Things still got put in the wrong spot but not quite as often. There may be some more revisions coming. The first of the new packaging that I saw was frozen fruit. The labels on those are changing already so time will tell.

As far as the quality goes, Consumer Reports rated Store Brands vs Name Brands. (The link only gives you an overview. You have to be a subscriber to get the full results.) In comparing Great Value Lasagna Vs Stouffers Lasagna, they declared it a tie. They preferred Stouffers sauce, but thought the Great Value pasta was better. Over all, comparing 29 products, they declared 19 ties, Name Brands won 6 and Store Brands won 4. They used several different store brands for the comparison.

Lastly, a couple of things from my birthday list. I should have mentioned with my brothers I am the oldest. Also, Jeff asked me why I didn't want to be a manager for Wal-Mart. As I mentioned in the list I have held several management positions. I would get a raise of over $1000 a month. However there is a tremendous amount of pressure that goes with those jobs. Because you are on salary you end up working more hours than your pay is based on. From what I have seen, Wal-Mart is not as bad as Kmart. At Kmart, my salary was based on a 48 hour week, I rarely worked less than 70. At one time I had to work 21 consecutive days. I am at the age where I don't need that kind of aggravation. Wal-Mart has something called career preference. In it you tell them what you would like to do to advance your career. At one time I had listed that i would like to be the department head in almost any department in the store. The only departments I wasn't interested in was fashions. I have since gone in and removed that from my choices. Now I simply want to go in, do my job, and go home. I don't want the headaches that go with leadership. I am making enough money for me to live on and I am happy with that.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Two years ago today I started this blog. I am going to finish my birthday list and then I will have some comments about my blog.

41. Unlike our former chief executive I did inhale. Twice. I was 22 at the time. I never got a buzz.

42. I tried smoking. I bought three packs of cigarettes and probably only smoked one. After the third pack I decided not to waste any more money on them. I was 22 at the time.

43. I have been drunk twice in my life. The last time I did that I was 22. (Do you notice a pattern?)

44. My "wild period" lasted about 3 months.

45. I kid My Lady about being her boy toy. She is five years older than me.

46. This is my third blog. I will talk about the other two after I am done with this list.

47. I have no plans on getting married again. My Lady and I both agree that if we lived together we would probably destroy what we have going. We don't want to mess it up.

48. I rarely sit and watch television. I have it on and half watch while I am doing other things, like blogging.

49. I broke my arm when I was 4. My Grandpa only had one arm and he had always told us he had broke it off. After that he never told anyone that.

50. My son accidentally broke my thumb when were wrestling. You never know how valuable a thumb is until you can't use it.

51. I have never flown on a plane and I plan on keeping that record intact.

52. I prefer to listen to books on tape in my car rather than listen to the radio.

53. When I started this blog I did not plan on revealing as much about myself as I have.

Thank you to Dana and Al for letting me know you found these posts interesting. Thank you also to everyone else who has read this.

As I mentioned earlier, this is my third attempt at a blog. The first was called In Purple I'm Stunning. I did it for about a month but She Who Left In The Middle Of The Night complained I spent too much time on the internet. After hearing that enough I just quit. For some reason I was encouraged to do it again, so I started one called Patchworks, because it would have been about a variety of subjects. SWLITMOTN actually created some graphics for it, but she also tried to edit it, arguing with me over the content, so I decided it wasn't worth it. After she left I decided to try one more time, reverting to the original title, with the addition of the 2.0. After all, when a computer program is updated they release version 2.0, so why not a blog?

Today's post is number 378. It should be higher, but I can be lazy at times. I have had a lot of fun doing this and have met some great people because of it. I hope those of you who are reading this have enjoyed what you have read so far and will keep coming back. Thank you.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

53 Things Part 2.

Continuing my list from yesterday.

21. I have a pet rabbit named Bun.

22. I was a salaried assistant manager at Kmart.

23. At Kmart I held several leadership positions, replenishment supervisor, receiving manager, hardware/automotive manager, and electronics manager.

24. I have been offered to become a salaried assistant manager at Wal-Mart, but I no longer want to do it.

25. I have three step-children, but none of them speak to me.

26. I have five grandchildren, but I have not seen any of them in six years.

27. I have two brothers, one lives in Illinois and the other in Indiana.

28. My Mom lives in Illinois. My dad passed away last year.

29. I am a member of The Captain Comics Board.

30. In college I was majoring in business management.

31. I believe in God but I do not currently attend church.

32. I have taught Sunday School and I preached a few times.

33. I have never had a speeding ticket or been in a wreck.

34. My favorite comic book movie is The Dark Knight.

35. I love Mel Brooks' movies. My favorite is Blazing Saddles.

36. My favorite recording artist is Harry Chapin.

37. I have been to three concerts, none since 1977.

38. I started losing my hair in my mid 20's.

39. I have never been bothered by my hair loss.

40. I love the saying God only created a few perfect heads. The rest he covered with hair.

This has turned out harder than I thought. If I haven't totally bored you I will finish tomorrow. Tomorrow is also a special day for this blog.

Friday, November 6, 2009

53 Things.

Today is my birthday. Would anyone care to guess how old I am? Gee, you are good. I am going to list 53 things about myself. Since lists that long can get tedious, I am going to break it up into three installments, 20 today and tomorrow and 13 on Sunday. If you have been following this blog for any length of time you will probably know most of these.

1. I was born in the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Illinois.

2. I grew up in Mason City, Illinois.

3. I graduated from Mason City High School in 1974.

4. I have 40 college credits from Lincolnland Community College in Springfield, Illinois.

5. I did not graduate from college.

6. I got married on September 19, 1978.

7. I have lived in Mason City, Springfield, Hanover Park, and Auburn, all in Illinois, and Calhoun, Georgia.

8. I have lived in Georgia for 13 years.

9. My wife passed away on June 5, 2000.

10. I have worked for the Mason State Tree Nursery, Ed's Eisner Agency (grocery store), Woolco, Parks Memorial Home, Memorial Medical Center, Gordon Hospital, Kmart, and Wal-Mart.

11. I have worked part time at Harmons (grocery store), Wendy's, Arby's, Krystals, and Taco Bell.

12. I collect baseball cards and comic books.

13. My favorite current comic book is Fables.

14. I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Falcons, and the Northwestern Wildcats.

15. My favorite television show is Babylon 5.

16. My favorite character on the show is Londo Mollari.

17. My favorite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien, Rex Stout, Lawrence Block and Harlen Ellison.

18. I like reading all kinds of books but my favorite genre is mystery.

19. My favorite movie is the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. To me it is one movie.

20. My second favorite movie is Gettysburg.

Are you bored yet? Check back tomorrow for the next 20.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday Thunks.

I found this blog through my friend Dana's blog. It looked like fun and thought I would try. I have seen where some people criticize meme's and personal lists. If you are one of those you really are not going to like my blog for the next four days. (You have been warned.)

1. Mad Cow disease, Bird Flu, Swine Flu...what barnyard animal will cause the next big outbreak of disease?

I think there will be a huge outbreak of crow's feet.

2. Sesame Street turns 40 this month. If you were to be on Sesame Street, which character would you want to be in a scene with?

Oscar The Grouch. I love his attitude.

3. We are out shopping for a new laptop. Which one do you pick and why?

I have never had one and don't plan on getting one.

4. Have you ever dried a flower in a book (pressing)? If so what was the flower and the name of the book?

I never have.

5. Do you think it's important to study other planets? If so, why or why not?

No. I think we need to focus more on this planet.

6. Have you ever walked out of a movie at the theater? What was the movie, how much was the ticket and why did you walk out?

Once, because of She Who Left In The Middle Of The Night. We saw about two-thirds of The Incredibles and she said she didn't like it and we left. I think the tickets were about $5.00 a piece. It was a matinee. I liked the movie and enjoyed watching it on DVD after she had left.

7. Does the city/town you live in have traffic enforcement cameras? Have you ever gotten a citation/ticket/fine from one? If so, did you pay or fight it?

They don't have them here.

8. If your neighbor is having a baby would you buy a baby gift for them?

I live in an apartment building where we pay by the week. My neighbors come and go so fast that I rarely get to know them. The fact that I work third shift contributes to that too.

9. How many questions are too many questions?

This one was one too many. Seriously, whenever I help train someone at Wal-Mart I tell them to ask anything that they don't know.

10. Do you have a handwritten journal you write in everyday?


11. Have you already made plans for 2010?

I have a few, which I have hinted about, But nothing I am going to disclose at this time.

12. Thursday Thunks has a huge party for all those who play along each week. Where is the party, how long does it last and does Kimber fall off the roof dropping crayons? If so, what color of crayon does she fall on?

Since this is my first time playing here I don't know anyone well enough to answer. After I post this I am going to start getting to know the others.

13. We may have "blogger celebrity" questions in the near future. Are you excited?

No, mainly because I don't know you consider a "blogger celebrity".

I had fun doing this and I am planning on doing it again next week.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bad Costume Choice.

Halloween costumes are getting more elaborate all the time. Of course the basics like witch, vampire and pirate were the top adult costumes this year, but there are some really odd ones out there. A young man in Oxford, Ohio thought it would be great to dress up as a breathalyzer. the costume has three levels of sobriety, boring, life of the party, and sotally tober. (Gee, my spell check didn't like that last one. Go figure.) Of course, if you are going to wear a costume like that, you should be the designated driver. Unfortunately the young man didn't get that memo. When he was driving the wrong way down a one way street he naturally attracted the attention of the police. They had a better breathalyzer and his BAC was .158. The fact that he is 18 didn't help his case. Maybe next year he will pick a more generic costume.

A 27 year old Denver man also made a very bad choice. He was skateboarding and wiped out. He tore his pants, which happened to be his uniform pants. He worked for Blockbuster. He feared getting written up so he came up with a bright idea. Since his face was already marked up from the accident he decided to stab himself in the leg. He then went to work and claimed he was attacked by three men while on his way to work. Police quickly discovered holes in his story and he admitted the truth. Now he has been charged with filing a false police report and obstructing police. I think the write up would have been better.

Who needs to watch television. real life is more entertaining.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bigger Does Not Always Mean Cheaper.

I may have told this story before, but I need to use it before I get to the main subject. One of the jobs I had during my time at Kmart was electronics manager. One day I was talking to a customer who was telling me exactly what was wrong with Kmart and why Wal-Mart was so great. His main point was that the cost of certain items was different in individual Kmart stores. He claimed that he could walk into any Wal-Mart between Atlanta and Chattanooga and would pay the exact same price for any item. I tried to tell him he was wrong but according to him I didn't know what I was talking about. Of course I really wanted to ask him that if he loved Wal-Mart so much why was he in Kmart, but I kept my mouth shut. There are 6 Wal-Marts in a thirty mile radius of Calhoun. For the most part the prices are identical, but not all.

A lot of people automatically assume that if you buy a larger container of any product you are getting a better buy. That is not always true and if you don't watch what you do, it will cost you some money. I got to thinking about this last night while I was stocking frozen foods. I put out a case of 16 ounce Cool Whip. The cost of it is $2.48. An 8 ounce container is on sale for $1.00, yet people still buy the 16 ounce container. A couple other examples that I noticed was Banquet Brown And Serve Sausage. A bag of 39 sausage links sells for $3.98. A 10 count box sells for 98 cents. For six cents less you get one more link. I also noticed an example in out dairy department where you can buy a 3 pound box of Kraft Singles for $9.58, or three one pound packages for $7.50. Most stores have a breakdown on the shelf label of cost per ounce. If you keep a watch on that you will find sometimes it is better buying the smaller package. In case you haven't caught on to why I used the story, the prices that I listed at the Calhoun Wal-Mart. The prices may be a little different at the Wal-Mart near you.

On a personal note, I want to welcome Al Penwasser back. I would leave you comment on your blog Al, but for some reason I am not able to. there are a couple of blogs that I can't get access to. I just wanted you to know that I am reading and enjoying it.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I have not paid much attention to the "Birther Movement". I thought it was stupid when I first heard people were pushing it. If there was any truth there it would have been used by Democratic candidates and President Obama would have never had the opportunity to run. A Federal judge has now dismissed the suit and had some harsh words for lead council Orly Taitz. Among other things, Ms. Taitz was encouraging people to lie under oath. The ironic thing is Ms. Taitz was not born here. She was born in Moldavia, emigrated to Israel before moving here. I find it funny that this movement is not lead by a natural born American. Ms. Taitz is also a very versatile individual. She is not only a lawyer but also a dentist and a real estate agent. I guess that way she has something to fall back on in case one of them doesn't work out.

Some people who work third shift get confused when the time changes during our shift. It really is simple, you ignore the clock and work eight hours. It is not that difficult. However you always get a few people who can't grasp that concept and you have to repeatedly go over it. The same thing happens when time goes forward. They want to leave an hour early because it is seven o'clock. I just shake my head and go on.