With the passing of Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) I can officially say that 2016 just needs to be over. In fact  I would be ok with kicking off 2017 a few days early.

Although I have not personally lost anyone many of my friends have had the  misfortune of losing more than one family member/ close friends. To those grieving you have my sympathies and I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

We have also lost a good number of celebrities this year as well. Many of whom impacted the pop culture of the society I grew up in. It is indeed depressing to think that these people won’t be around to contribute to the various arts anymore depriving current and future generations of their talents.

From a personal stand point my 2016 didn’t suck. Got married back in June and we are in the process of acquiring our own house. Looking forward to 2017 being another good personal year, but politically I think its going to be a total shit show. Put your helmets on people, we’re dropping in hot.

Distracted Conversation

While listening to one of the Podcasts I enjoy a few days ago it was brought up about people having distracted conversations. They went so far as to compare it to texting while driving with the premise being that since no one is competent enough to text and drive they also aren’t good enough to text and talk at the same time either. I happen to be on the same wave length.

I know for a fact that if I am in the middle of texting someone or doing some sort of work on a computer trying to hold a conversation with me is a lost cause. I will most likely forget any important points or be incapable of answering questions. I will ask whomever needs me to engage with them be it patient or loved one to hold their water for a minute. A lot of the time what I am doing on any given electronic device is as important or more important than the conversation that needs to be held.

Since I use my own ability level as my measuring stick for others performance ability levels I will say that 98% of the population is not good enough to text and talk either. If I need to talk with or question someone I will let them know I need their attention and can wait for them to finish with whatever they are doing. (Although a rare occurrence I will also inform you when waiting is not an option.)

Occasionally I will get the individual that says no go ahead while they are still hammering away on a key board. I will give a courtesy second, “I can wait”, but anything after will just be ignored. I have yet to anoint anyone to occupy the special 2% of the population the I am guesstimating be good enough to operate an electronic device and hold a conversation with me at the same time. (I suspect that I will find a unicorn long before I find said individual that is qualified for said task.)

Abandoned Carts

One of the things that baffles me is randomly abandoned carts in stores. Seriously, what happened? My best working theory at the moment is people are being randomly raptured. I’ll let you guys decide. In all seriousness though lets examine the two most common situations that I see in most retail situations.

The rarer of the two being the cart abandoned in the midst of the store that’s full of stuff. Not to be mistaken with the cart of items an employee is picking to be removed from the sales floor for a variety of reasons. Those items normally look like they belong on the isle of misfit toys. I’m talking about the cart full of carefully chosen goods just left adrift in the aisle. If something serious happens just drop the cart off at the register and tell them you have an emergency and need to leave otherwise your just being a jerk.

At the end of the day its not the big a deal. Just add the items to the litany of things the employees have to put on the shelves. One caveat here though. Don’t leave frozen items sitting. Left out long enough and you have something that ranges from a ruined product to a possible mess all over the ground.

The more common occurrence and more confusing of the two is the randomly abandoned empty shopping cart. I’m sure I could again say an emergency happened and the person needed to beat feet out of the store, but what is it to just tote it back to the front of the store and throw it back into the corral. I see the carts randomly left throughout the stores sometimes and wonder why it was left. Did the person say, “screw it, I don’t want to shop here anymore” and storm out? I also feel like it should be flipped over and a smoking hull of its former self. Something akin to a scene from Mad Max. Perhaps I have said too much at this point.



Brand Spankin New

I think I can safely say that everybody loves to open up something that is “factory sealed” new. As in mint condition. At least I do anyway. Let’s start with what I consider top of the list.

Fresh off the line cars are the best. They haven’t been road or weather worn. Providing the vehicle isn’t a lemon they are in pristine condition usually with less than 10 miles on them when they roll off the delivery truck. Lets put aside everything about how it looks and operates. The smell is where its at. Nothing beats the smell of a brand new car. That “new car” smell stuff they sell doesn’t cut it either.

A recent experience of getting something brand new that I had enjoyed was getting a brand new pack of boxers. “A set of freshies”, to quote one of the pharmacists I’m normally partnered with. Have to go agree his assessment is on point. A set of freshly laundered BVD’S is fantastic, but when its fresh from the pack and untainted by anything is even better. Combine that with just getting out of the shower and you’ll feel like a million bucks.

Although one can argue that snow technically isn’t new I’m going to run with it here. One of the best parts of winter is a fresh blanket of the white stuff on the ground. (No I am not talking about Bolivian Shale.) It enhances the mood for this time of year and if your like me and equipped with snow blowing equipment you can turn the white into green.

One thing brand new out of the box I know that most people don’t like is a deck of cards. They are normally slick and thus make them difficult to manage. I’ve listened to my poker playing friends complain about them enough in the past, a couple of whom are professional dealer at the local casino. I have also listened to magician Penn Jillette explain about how he likes to get card decks worked in/conditioned to a certain point when performing certain tricks.



Waiting In Line

There are a lot of things I will wait in line for. The bathroom, midnight showing of a movie, medication if  needed bad enough. However, waiting in line for a toy doesn’t even crack my top 100 reasons to wait in line. Don’t get me wrong I have waited in line for a midnight release of a video game back in the day, but that was for myself and I promptly went to bed when I got home shortly after midnight. I also don’t think it equates to what I witnessed earlier this evening.

While shopping for a toy for my friends son for Christmas I decided to head to the local big box toy store with my wife. There happened to be a short line formed outside. I thought that to be really odd as we are well past black Friday at this point and there wasn’t some hot toy making headlines on the daily news as there had been in years past.

Apparently I would be wrong in this instance. The cashier enlightened us that the people in the line outside were waiting for a “Hatchimal”. To help clarify for those confused by that word the closet thing I could come up with is a Furby in an egg. I guess it’s nice to see that there are parents out there who think enough of their children to wait in line through the night in 30 degree weather to get that special toy of the year for them.

I will not be one of those parents. (I say this now and that may change between now and then, but I’m going to draw the line in the sand any way.) This will be one of the few times in my future child(rens) life that they may be to actually throw me under the bus when talking to their therapist. I will place the need for sleep and the comfort of my own bed over the need for this years hot new toy which will most likely be broken or lost by the time we are looking to see if the groundhog sees his shadow.