Naught Plus Naught Equals Double Naught
Wednesday the 1st
Bonus rant today. Just as I was finishing up my last post, my wife told me we had to go to the store, seems we were plum out of plastic sandwich bags. As we were checking out, our cashier was so busy flirting with the bag boy that she didn’t notice my wife had written the check over so we would have a bit of cash. When Donna said I wrote it for $20, the cashier re-opened the draw and took out a 20. Nope, she corrected, the total check was for 20, so I should get the change. Our cashier tries to use the cash register to figure out how much change we should get back, but it would do that because the order was closed.
Now perplexed, our cashier calls for back-up. The new girl shows up and realizes what needs to be done, she gets her pen out and writes 20.00 on the top of the receipt and then puts 14.30 under it and proceeds to subtract – her answer 6.30!?! At this point I say we should get 5.70. Our original cashier says, “Really?” Yes, really. At this point the bag boy pipes in with, “Yeah, 30 plus 70 equals a dollar.” Thanks Einstein. These folks must have studied under the eminent mathematician, Jethro Bodine of Beverly Hills, CA.
Holiday Inn III
Friday the 7th
When we check in, the clerk gives us room 231 and some vague directions on how to get there. Off we drove to the back of the complex, noticing that the place is nearly empty. When we get to our room it is right at the top of the stairs. If you walk straight ahead after the last stringer you would bump right into the door of the room. There are 2 room locations in a motel you should never stay in; 1) next to or across from an ice machine and B) at the top or bottom of the stairs. Both spots are notoriously noisy because of the people traffic (they wouldn’t be so bad if people were still considerate of others, but that is a whole ‘nother blog post.) We headed back to the front desk and ask for a room 2 or 3 doors away from this one. The clerk, after making a big show of checking for empty rooms, gives us a key to room 233. When we get back to our new room it is not 2 doors away, but merely one. Not only is it not far from 231, it is an adjoining room! The doors are literally 6″ apart. Seeing as the place was empty we decided not to try for room #3, knowing that if we did he would put us next to the weight room or guest laundry next…
If I Only Had A Brain
Friday the 14th
At work they have this bulletin board where they post all kinds of things for public consumption, a list of Activities Committee events, birthdays that month, etc. On the list of heath related items for March are several things, including that this is National Brain Awareness Week (10th – 16th.) Huh? We need to be reminded of that. Well, now that I think of it, I know quite a few people that need constant reminders to use their head for something besides a hat rack.
Sunday the 13th
On a whim we decided to replace the area rug in the dining room. Off we went to our favorite rug store, Lowes. We have hard wood floors and they really need refinishing, but we just cover them up with cheap $100 8 x 10 rugs. All the others are just plain tan/beige things, but this time we went with a pattern that has most of all the colors in the wallpaper and curtains. Fortunately today was sunny so we could get this rolled up rug home in the family pick-up truck, the Miata. On the way home we had to stop in a mini-mart for a quick item. Donna ran in and left me in the car guarding the rug (like anyone would steal a 9\’ long, 12? diameter roll.) While lolling around waiting I noticed the tag on the rug, underneath the plastic wrapper, it said, “Contents: 100% undetermined fibers.” Soda bottles? Tires? Mattress stuffing? Barbershop floor clippings? I think I’ll keep my socks on.
Every Man Has His Price
Tuesday the 6th
Rainy day. Tonight after work was a busy one, first it is our every 4 week haircut appointment and then we had just time enough to get a bite to eat before going to 2 hour class on the basics of understanding stocks. It was put on by a local Edward Jones Investment Advisor and was intended as an intermediate course in evaluating stocks. I wasn’t interested in going, but Donna said she’d pay me $25 to go with her, so I did. Every man has his price and fortunately for her, mine is really low.
Now That’s Italian
Friday the 27th
On our way up north to meet sis and hubby in North Carolina. The most interesting thing of the whole drive occurred just outside of downtown Aiken on Laurens Street. Just as we were passing the post office a small gray object fell rapidly from the sky above us and hit the road a few inches in front of the nose of the car with a splat. As I looked in the rearview mirror I could see the squirrel dash towards the side of the road. I guess he missed a branch. Just imagine if I was 2 secs earlier leaving home or a light changed on a different schedule or the squirrel paused a beat longer thinking about the gap between those branches? I wonder what kind of havoc a squirrel landing in the cockpit of a moving convertible might cause? Would not be pretty!
In our increasingly harder to accomplish task of finding a different way north we crossed into Georgia for a bit of our trip. As luck would have it we were in the small burg of Clarksville, GA around lunchtime. We stopped in the center square and walked around looking for like candidates for a nice meal. We ended up going into the Zanzo Side Door Deli. It was on one side of a building and the regular Italian restaurant was on the other. Donna had a chicken salad plate on some greens with fruit on the side and I opted for the lunch portion of baked ziti. Man it was good. Almost worth the 100 mile drive it would take just to go back. This food was so Italian good and we were so in the middle of nowhere, backwoods Georgia that the folks running the place had to be witness protection relocatees.
James Brown Announces Breakup Of Marriage
Thursday the 24th
You may have not noticed this unless you live in LA (Los Angeles) or LA (Lower Augusta) but in today’s newspaper there appeared this blurb in the people in the news section of page 2:
The “Godfather of Soul,” James Brown, has announced his breakup from his wife, Tomi Rea Brown, with a full-page ad in the show-business trade newspaper Variety.
In the July 21-27 weekly edition of the paper, the ad features a photo of the couple and their 2 year-old son, James Joseph Brown II, smiling at Walt Disney World while posing with the costumed character Goofy.
Above the photo, a statement said that because of their “heavy, demanding tour schedule, they have decided to go their separate ways. There are no hard feelings, just a mutual show business decision made by both parties.”
Mrs. Brown is one of Mr. Brown’s background singers.
The pair is touring together in Europe, the newspaper added, and may continue working together despite the breakup.
They are splitting up because of the heavy touring schedule? They’re together! I could understand it is she was home while James toured the world.
They are going their separate ways? Yet she is one of his backup singers and may continue to work together!
I glad to see I wasn’t the only one to find humor in this announcement, why else would have the copy person who culled this from the Variety ad have made room for the part about the whole family posing with Goofy.
Praise The Lord, But Get The Hell Out Of My Way
Monday the 11th
For the last couple of months my wife and I have been meeting a few of our fellow Aiken Bicycle Club members for an early morning ride on Sundays. We have been riding more or less 25 miles by picking a loop from the Club’s inventory of past and present Spring Century rides. It is a small group of 4 to 6 riders of around the same abilities and inclinations so no one is dropped and forgotten about, nor is anyone riding at half speed so as not to get too far ahead. The ride is always fun and a nice work out, plus we are home early enough, around 9:30, so as to still have the whole day left for other things.
Start time is at 7:30 for a couple of reasons. One, it is summer in South Carolina and the heat and humidity make later in the day rides unpleasant at best. And two, traffic is very light at the time of day on weekends. The routes take us on a variety of roads in the lighter populated areas of the county, but in the last 1/2 hour of the ride no matter where we are, car traffic picks up. And these are usually the most rude and impatient drivers. They pass us on two lane roads when there is oncoming traffic and/or as close as possible to us.
The strange thing about these folks is they are all dressed very nicely, obviously on their way to church. I’m a non-attendee of church, so I don’t know why they would endanger our lives, their lives and those of the poor unsuspecting occupants in the other car just to ensure they get a good pew. My recollection of Christian beliefs is not so hazy that I wouldn’t have remembered that being late for church was a sin.
Dysfunctional Parking Is To The Left
Friday the 26th
While enjoying our ice cream at Brusters this evening we amused ourselves by making fun of the people already there and the new ones as they pulled up. All in good fun really.
The most fun is watching folks pull in and park, scary. A full size Ford pick up truck pulled into the lot and it looked like he didn’t even try to get in between the lines. Parked at a 60 degree angle to the end of the spots he parked across. The lot wasn’t crowded, so it is not like he was depriving any one of a place to put the car, but what kind of statement was he making? Early to mid 20s couple gets out and saunter over to get in line. (Don’t even get me started on the line and the service we received.)
Next in was a Nissan Maxima. Pulled into the side of the lot in front of us and paused. Started to back up and I thought it was to get more centered in the spot. This is like a 5-foot wide car and it was “in” a 10\’ wide spot. In is in quotes because the left tires were mostly on the line with the outside of them in the other parking spot. Instead of straightening out, this car backs up across the aisle, where the canted pickup truck is, and stops in the middle of two parking spots. At least she is perpendicular to the lines. Two youngish (late teens?) couples get out and walk across to get some ice-cream.
Brusters in same lot as a Publix grocery store where Donna and I walk over to after eating dessert. We need dish soap as all our silverware is dirty and even though I offered to eat breakfast with my fingers, Donna insisted on buying some Sunlight. It is 9:30 on a Friday night and the store lot is nearly empty. So as not to tire themselves out by having to walk the extra 20 feet to the door another young couple pull right up front of the store, park and get out. At least he was perfectly parallel to the curb (could have been a little closer though.) The guy must have been raised by his mommy and hasn’t got car guy friends, because if he did, they would certainly have told him by now that the loud squealing coming from his brakes, that goes away when they are applied, is telling him he needs new pads.
Friday the 24th
We went out this evening and got a scoop of ice cream and took a stroll around downtown Aiken. We passed by a small women’s clothing boutique and there in the window were some bright red and green bra/panty sets next to a sign that proclaimed Holiday Lingerie. The red ones were crotchless! Santa has been a very good boy this year.
Parts Is Parts
Sunday the 16
Blew out a turn signal bulb yesterday. We were on our way to a Miata event at our sponsoring dealer, so when the first parts store I stopped in didn’t have what I needed I figured I could get it at their parts counter. The bulb is a pretty standard automotive bulb, an 1157NA. 1157 is the type, 12 volts, two filaments, one brighter than the other and the NA means it is amber. The parts store had plain 1157s, but because the Miatas turn signals are mounted in a clear lens I needed the yellow bulb.
When I asked the parts counter guy for two 1157NAs he didn’t move, he just looked at me like he was waiting for more information. None was needed, but he asked anyway, “What kind of car is it for?” I sighed internally and said out loud, a Mazda Miata. Off he went to the bulb draw. He rummaged around for a few minutes and came back with two bulbs. When he put them on the counter they were clear. I said, “I wanted NAs, I need them to be amber.” Back to the drawer he went. More rummaging, lots more. Finally after what seemed like 5 minutes he returns with two yellow bulbs. I checked the part number just to be sure. As I’m walking away I heard him say to himself, “I always wondered what NA meant.”
I guess basic automotive knowledge isn’t a prerequisite of working at a part department in a car dealership. To be somewhat fair, this dealership sells both Mercedes-Benz’s and Mazda’s so maybe he needed to know how much to charge me. I paid $2.87 for the pair, I wonder if a Benz owner would have had to fork over $8.59 for his?
Toilet Stall Entertainment
Monday the 29th
This morning while sitting in a stall at work (I always go at work. Why do it at home when you can get paid for it?) I noticed a fingernail clipping laying near my shoe. At first, I was somewhat repulsed, but then marveled at the nicely symmetrical nature of the clipping. It was kind of large, so it must have been a thumb….crap! Did it just move? Naw, I must be hallucinating. No wait, there it goes again. WTF? It is then I notice that there is a tiny little ant under one end. He is valiantly trying to get that sucker back to all his buddies back in Antville. First he swings it one way, and then back another. He is struggling mightily. I watch transfixed for a couple of minutes while he makes very little organized progress, he keeps at it, so there must be some good food stuck to the nail. My business is finished, so I leave the ant to his. That was much more entertaining than the occasional folded up sports page…