The News

Rarely will I watch the news or read the paper anymore.  Even the different news outlets online components I don’t really frequent. The question most people ask me, “How do you stay informed?” Well, I’m probably under informed with certain things other wise I’m probably only 24 hours behind in most aspects.

I have watched most news outlets devolve from respectable journalism, to lets jazz things up a bit, to we need to get more eyeballs over here how can we spin this to get attention. More and more often I am seeing/hearing reporters just get things blatantly wrong and just rolling with it. I know if your live or trying to roll something quick, but how much of an idiot are you willing to look like and how often do you have to apologize of inaccuracies. Most news organizations have a legion of fact checkers. USE THEM!!!

When  I do take interest in something I will normally seek out multiple sources about the subject at hand to do my own fact checking which is ridiculous, but it is what it is. I also sometimes have to wade through the quagmire of political bullshit surrounding a subject just to see the root matter.

It’s also annoying at how much negativity is harped on. I realize that this is what sells and gets more eyeballs on news channel A over news channel B, but I don’t need to get depressed while watching the news. Yes, a bunch of bad stuff may have happened that day, week, month, etc… but lets balance it a little better.

Scratch Off Lottery Tickets

I have very few actual vices, but occasionally I will buy 2o bucks worth of scratch off lottery tickets. Normally what ends up happening is I will at best break even an will normally just continue using the won money until I either end up with a bunch of losers or I hit a couple hundred bucks worth of money and then walk away.

I am writing this time to alert people not to just chuck the losing tickets away. Flip it over and check for the second chance drawing. My guess is that most people who buy lottery tickets are aware of this fact, but just a friendly heads up for the occasional buyer.

I’m sure the question now is, “How much more is this going to cost me in order to win something”? The answer is nothing. Just a few minutes of your time to create an entry account with your respective states lottery website and a few minutes more to enter some information off the non-instant win ticket.

The Cost of Doing Business

With every business there are expenses one incurs. In most instances expenses go up over time occasionally they do go down but on the rare side i would tend to think. This evening I ran head long into an increased expense on a business that was passed directly on to the consumer.

Upon returning to a restaurant that I had been to previously I noticed a sign that stated ” 3% will be charged on every dollar for all credit transactions.” I was then enlightened that this was becoming a common business practice because credit companies were charging more on credit transactions. I get that this cost needs to be set off somehow, but a blatant charge on top of all the other costs and taxes I am already going to pay I don’t find acceptable.

Please don’t tell me that I must pay a fee in order to patronize your business. I literally felt like I was being punished for choosing to use a card to pay. Do what everyone else does. Slightly increase the cost of your goods or if you a large enough bottom line absorb the cost of it.

Delayed Gratificaton

Today while eating lunch I treated myself to some chocolate milk as my beverage and was inspired. Even after I have consumed all of the beverage there will be residue of the milk covering my cup on most sides. If I just let it sit for a minute or two it will run down to the bottom and enough will normally collect for one last hit of chocolaty goodness. (I may have a chocolate milk problem, but THERE WILL BE NO JUDGING HERE.)

I used this simple example to express a greater point of the need for delayed gratification. The society in which a chunk of the worlds population lives in expects immediate gratification. Unfortunately, there are many circumstances in which  don’t allow for that with safety, rate of use, and technological ability being at the top of the list.

Let me hit you with a couple more examples.

When teaching, especially younger students, sometimes the drive to get the answer correct is so great that it skews the learning process. There is the occasional student that just looks at something or just needs a basic gist of a concept and just like flicking the light switch to on gets it. Except for when they don’t and then it turns into an epic fight. Sorry kids, not everything will be that easy. As concepts get more abstract or if its designed to make a learning stretch not everything will be easy. You will have to learn to go through the motions.

At the pharmacy the classic example is. “I need this now”. Great, fantastic, its still going to take us 15 minutes because of other patients, safety checks, and filling protocol. There is  no such thing as slapping a label on it and giving it to you even though in the filling process that may be all we are doing. My favorite is the patient who hands us the prescription that is dated from three weeks ago and needs it now because they have a procedure in 30 minutes.

I think mentioning financial instant gratification is worth mentioning. The ability to get a credit card is extremely easy as long as you don’t mind paying a ridiculous APR .( Shop the credit companies people. No sense in getting hosed anymore than necessary.) We are long removed from the “If you don’t have the cash then you can’t get it society”. I have seen people put themselves in finical ruin with credit cards and loans for shit they should not have purchased. I can also give you several examples of how people have established an excellent credit rating with appropriate use of credit cards, myself included.

My ultimate message here is to learn to take that extra minute. Sometimes the reward is a little extra sweet.

Tony Stark aka Iron Man

So after much self debate I have come to the conclusion that Iron Man is by far the best Avenger. I think he makes it quit clear with the line “billionaire, playboy, philanthropist”. Now take into account the variety of power armors at his disposal and I think my argument is made.

I understand that there limitations set in and of the fact that he is still only just human and even the armors themselves have power/stress limitations. So be it. Everyone needs to know where to draw the line and then figure how to push that line to the breaking point.

Now, I’m sure I could debate this with any fan of any other hero until the end of times. I might be willing to do so given enough time and the right setting. Rest assured though, you wont change my mind.

Go Speed Racer Go!

Most main roads have two lanes in both traveling directions. The right hand lane being for general travel.  The left hand lane is for passing, moving into the middle turning lane when available, and oh yeah…..FASTER MOVING VEHICLES.

One of the things that annoys me the most are turtle racers. (People who stay in the fast moving/ passing lane.) Although debatable I will say they are causing a safety issue. More so is the inconvenience they are causing not only to me, but to every other motorist on the road. Seriously, get the hell out of the way. Everyone wants to get from point A to B in a timely manner.

Some of these people will normally take a hint when you come up on them quick and move over. However, there are still a great enough number of these entitled assholes whom refuse to move over. I have developed a standard procedure on how to deal with these people.

1. Give it a five Mississippi. This should be enough time for the offending driver to realize they are holding up progress and at least declare a merge.

2. If the previously mentioned time frame has passed flash the lights.

3. If the visual queue with the lights doesn’t work. Give a single honk.

4. In the instance of a failure to acknowledge the audio queue flash lights again and double honk.

5. If the offending driver has failed to acknowledge the need for them to move at all at this point I would consider the game to be on. Use discretion with high beams. No sense in causing an accident. However, judicious use of your horn I don’t see being a problem. If you happen to be lucky enough like myself and have a diesel train horn installed in your vehicle have at it.

***Please note that a few moments pause between each step should be given so that the driver holding things up can respond appropriately.***

Did You Get My Message?

We currently live in a society where we can communicate with each other in a matter of seconds. The only thing faster would be a telepathic link, but since most don’t actually posses that ability we’ll have to settle for instant messaging.

In a given work day at just the pharmacy for example I will communicate with other team members, doctors offices, patients, and insurance companies. We do so via telephone call, fax, email, and in rare instances text message.  In most instances the message is also conveyed in less than two shakes of a rabbits tail. If there is an error in transmission I find out almost as quickly. I point these specific things out because I can literally communicate via any of these conveyance methods with just my phone. If your printer is compatible I can also send a direct print message as well.

Since I am a Boy Scout I have also learned to communicate via smoke signals and Morse code. I also find carrier pigeon, telegrams (yes they still exist), and written correspondence via postal carrier acceptable means of message conveyance.

I pontificate on all of this because of instances where people have just outright refused to communicate back to me. If you need to refresh yourself on the current technological advances of how we communicate with each other please reread paragraph two.

Literally seconds and the message is sent. I know people lead busy lives and can’t always respond immediatleey. I am one of those people. There are times when I get a text and don’t respond for hours mostly because I working and stopping and shooting a message out really isn’t an option. However, at the end of the day or if its really important on a break I will at the minimum send a text back in return. No one has that busy of a sechedule where they cant do that. Not even the President.

Background Noise

In a given day there must be hundreds of background noises that occur. Over time I have learned to ignore most of them. This has allowed me to adapt my situational awareness better in places that I frequent. Basically any noise that shouldn’t occur is like setting off a flare. That way I can quickly responds to something that may be breaking or someone who may require assistance.

It also allows me to ignore a lot of the unwanted noise. This is especially key when working in the pharmacy. If you have ever bothered to listen to musak that is piped through you might actually consider taking a drill to your ears. It is probably 2 decades behind in popularity and repeats every few hours.

Updated Menu’s

Once again a national chain with a restaurant in my immediate area has updated their menu. They normally do this right at the beginning of summer and I can appreciate them studying trends and trying to stay current with consumers wants and desires. However, even with this updated menu they always continue to drop the ball.

Every year a few weeks after the new menu starts I decide to give said restaurant another go. Every year I leave the restaurant disappoint in more than one aspect..

There was a point in time where I was a regular due to the trivia they held once a week. I noticed that most servers would not last for more than a month or two. This does impact  a restaurants ability to provide a consistent experience. This revolving door of employees continues today.

With the updated menu there are always lots of excellent food choices which should be of great quantity and quality. On more than one occasion the quantity was zero because they ran out. If something is a brand new item and/or it sells more than other choices carry some extra. I know there is a limit even to that, but when it’s only 5:30 on a Saturday night your inability to order appropriately is not my problem.

Quality is a whole other issue. I have had no problems whatsoever and had a good quality meal, but the last time that has happened at the restaurant in question I can’t remember. The food is either under or over cooked, prepared not as requested, or my favorite not the correct order at all.

I know this sounds like a lot of bitching here, but let me point out a few things. If you work in or operate a service based industry much like myself your ability to provide that service and a good quality product is what the business will live and die by. It is also important to note that there are several competitors in the area that can provide a better quality service and product and sometimes for less money.

Summer Crusin

As most schools are officially on summer vacation more teens are on the road driving later into the evenings. In most instances I wouldn’t care however since a lot are newly minted drivers are hitting the road I don’t need them cutting their teeth with the solo driving when I’m trying to make my commute home. I would love for parents to install video camera’s in their kids cars.

Despite repeated warnings they are still talking and/or texting while driving, blasting the radio, and being distracted by passengers. This is one of the primary reasons why my insurance premiums stay high.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with going with friends to somewhere or even just cursing the avenue. Just needs to be done in a safer matter.