Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Sorry this is so late, but I have been quite bust today. Don’t believe me? Well, this will give you an idea as to how busy I was today, and how my day went.

Anyways…Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my fellow Irishfolk, and the rest of you that wish you could be like us. HAHA! :p

Now, I have a confession to make about this ultimate party day…I have NEVER…I repeat NEVER, gotten drunk to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! 😦

Honestly!

You see, either the day has fallen on a weekday, when I either had to work during the night of, or the morning after (either way, I wasn’t gonna be drinking). Or, when it did actually fall on a weekend, I was broke and didn’t have the money to go out to the bar.

I know, I know…boo-hoo! Well, yes, I will cry in my beer…now, if only I had one! 😉

Hope any and all of you that actually DID get to celebrate this wonderful day had fun and made it to where you had to go safely.

Letter to the youngsters…from the Over 30 crowd

*Got this one from the wife, who got it in an email, and it’s just so true, and funny, not to share! Enjoy…

******************************************

IF you are 30, or older, you might think this is hilarious!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning….Uphill… Barefoot…BOTH ways… yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it!

But now that I’m over the ripe old age of thirty, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today. You’ve got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don’t know how good you’ve got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn’t have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter – with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn’t care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3’s or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We’d play our favorite tape and “eject” it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that’s how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

We didn’t have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that’s it!

There weren’t any freakin’ cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn’t make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your “friends”. OH MY GOD!!! Think of the horror… not being in touch with someone 24/7!!!

And then there’s TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent… you just didn’t know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn’t have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Asteroids’. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen… Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what’s the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I’m saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-finks!

And we didn’t have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

And our parents told us to stay outside and play… all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside… you were doing chores!

And car seats – oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the “safety arm” across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling “shot gun” in the first place!

See! That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn’t have lasted five minutes back in 1980, or any time before!

Regards,
The Over 30 Crowd

A Consumer’s Day From Hell!!!

Today I am going to do something that I haven’t done in a while. I am going to bitch about a couple things. Why am I going to do it here, in my blog? Because, bitching about it anywhere else won’t do a damn thing. And, yes, I know bitching about it here won’t do anything either. But, it’s my blog, and I can bitch here if I want to.

We all work hard for our money, right? And when we decide to purchase anything we expect to get what we are paying for, and to receive the best service from any establishment, right? Especially when we are going to be dropping a good chunk of cash on whatever we spend our money on, right?

I would have to say “YES!”  to all three of those questions. Well, yesterday was a “consumer’s day from hell” for me. It started when the wife and I went grocery shopping at Walmart® and ended when I took the family out to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings®.

Either the wife and at least one of our daughters, or the wife and I go grocery shopping every other week – on payday weekends. Because we are a family of five, we usually drop a good chunk of change on our food bill – typically around $600 per month, on average.

Since my entire family has been down here, we decided to purchase those reusable grocery bags…you know, so that we can be a little “green.” Well, I would have to say that was the worst choice that we have ever made. And yesterday I had had enough.

On numerous occasions, while going through the checkout, we provided our own bags for our groceries to go into. And, on numerous occasions, the cashier expected US to bag our own groceries. I mean, isn’t THAT part of what THEIR  job description is? Isn’t THAT part of what THEY get PAID for?

Nothing pisses me off more than when I am trying to get the bags set up and the cashier starts ringing everything up and starts setting MY groceries on the bag turntable, and then, when I am not bagging fast enough, to STOP ringing up what I am buying and just stand there WAITING for ME to get caught up.

Yesterday I had had enough!! I told the wife, while we were still in line, that we will NOT bring our own bags ANYMORE!! After all, WE  are the consumer, last I knew!! And that it is BULLSHIT that I not only have to pay for what I am purchasing, but also bag it too?

Needless to say, shortly thereafter, the wife told the cashier that we were out of bags (even though we still had like three more left) and that SHE would have to start bagging. This must have pissed her off a bit because she just started putting anything in bags. I mean, are you really that stupid that you think it’s acceptable to put dishsoap in with bread? COME ON!! Get a fricken clue, you idiot!

From now on, when we go shopping at “the Walmart,” the cashiers are going to do their jobs and bag our groceries into those little plastic bags that they provide. Even though they are always wasteful in doing that too.

Onto the dinner consumption…

I was so excited when I heard that there was a “B-dubs” opening here in Asheville. It is definitely the BEST place to go for wings! So, I decided to take the family there last night for dinner.

Now, mind you, I am not one to really complain about the service that I receive at restaurant establishment. I let my tips reflect the service. I mean, really, what better way to tell the server “you were great!,” or “you were a shitty server”?

When I take the family out to eat I expect to spend upwards of $100. After all, it is a family of five! When I feel that the service is exceptional, I usually tip the server about 20% or more. If I feel that the service was average, I usually tip about 10-15%. However, if I feel the service was bad, the server is lucky to get 5%.

Now, let me take you through the service we received last night:

Everything started out alright, the server took our drink orders; the wife and daughters all got sodas, and I ordered a beer. The server asked if I “wanted the tall one, it would only be about $0.30 more.” so I said “yes”. She then asked me if I “wanted a glass of water to go with it?” To this I declined because I didn’t need a glass of water. Well, when she brought our drinks, she brought me a glass of water, and the beer was a tall glass of draft beer (I was expecting one of those tall, 22oz bottles of beer). I though that is was no big deal, a little misunderstanding, and chalked it up as such.

Then, the server comes over and asks if we are ready to order. The wife said that she was not ready, but the server begins to take orders from our daughters. BIG MISTAKE!! The wife was instantly pissed, and I don’t blame her, because now she felt rushed to order. …Strike ONE! (tip just went from 20% down to 10-15%)

So, we place our order for wings and the wife decides to order some fries to go with them. She asks what the difference is between the two sizes, regular and basket, and the server tells her that the regular is about 1lb of fries and the basket is about 3lbs. Because there is five of us, we order the basket. I guess that the 3lbs is not actually 3lbs of fries, it’s 3lbs total (including the weight of the container). There might have been enough fries there for two people, but not enough there for five! …Strike TWO! (tip just dropped to a possible 5%)

Then comes the kicker…we are finishing up, getting ready to leave when our server and another server collide and a 24oz draft beer gets dumped on my 14-year-old daughter! I mean she was SOAKED! She was covered from her breasts to her knees, and it didn’t look like there was a dry spot on her. …Strike THREE…YER OUT! (there will be NO tip for this server tonight!)

Now, I know that accidents happen. But, having been a server before (many, many moons ago) I know that when a server is carrying a tray of something, and they are coming up behind someone else, proper protocol if for that server to announce “behind you” so that the other person knows that there is someone there. Our server did not do this, and the other server backed up, collided with our server, and the contents of the tray went falling (with the beer going all on my daughter).

And get this…the server still had the nerve to actually bring us our bill! She’s got bigger balls than me, and I got some big one’s (tmi, I know, sorry ;)).

Well, I went to the front and requested to speak with a manager. I introduced her to my 14-year-old, beer soaked, daughter, and proceeded to inform her of the horrible service we received. After I get done she asks me, “What would you like me to do for you?” To which I responded, “I want YOU to tell me what YOU can do for ME.”

I was waiting for the “magic” words to come out of her mouth, and they did. She proceeded to tell me, “I can’t do much, but I do have a little pull. I could buy your dinner.” That, my friends, was all I needed to hear. As soon as she said that I instantly gave her the bill and said, “that will be fine, thank you.”

Let me break this one down for you…our bill was about $67. If the service would have been good to exceptional, the total that I would have paid would have been $80. If the service would have stayed average (if all she would have done was pissed off the wife) the total I would have paid would have been $73. If the beer would not have been spilled on my daughter, I would have paid $70. However, because my daughter got her first beer bath (at the age of 14, mind you), I left paying a total of $0.

The moral of these stories…when I spend my hard-earned money (according to some people, my hardly-earned money…lol), I expect to get great service. Period! Especially when I am going to be spending close to, or more than, $100.

Oh yeah…and…don’t piss me off when I am trying to spend my money in your establishment!

Heart Attacks and Drinking Warm Water

I received this in an email at work today. It is very interesting, so I decided to share it with all of you.

**************************************

A   very good article which takes two minutes to read. I’m sending this to persons I care about…….I hope you do too!!!

Heart Attacks And Drinking Warm Water

This is a very good article. Not only about the warm water after your meal, but about Heart  Attacks.

The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals, not  cold water, maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating.

For those who like to drink cold water, this article is  applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this ‘sludge’ reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead  to cancer.  It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a  meal.

Common Symptoms Of Heart Attack… 
A  serious note about heart attacks – You should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm  hurting . Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line.

You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. 60% of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up.. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let’s be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could   survive.

A cardiologist says if everyone who reads this message sends it to 10 people,  you can be sure that we’ll save at least one life. Read this & Send to a friend. It could save a life… So, please be a true friend and send this article to all your friends you care about.

I JUST DID (well, sortof ;))

Thought I lost it

Earlier, before I decided to create a second blog (Through the Eyes of the “Blue”), I was writing my latest blog about rookie mistakes. Once I had finished it I proceeded to try to save it. Upon hitting the “save draft” button, I received the infamous internet explorer error.

When I quickly hit the back button the page was blank. I was pissed! About 500 words…lost!

I went to my dashboard, the is the area of my blog that shows all my stats: blogs written, number of viewers, most actively viewed postings, and options for updating my blog. Luckily, in this section, I seen that the entry I was writing was saved as a draft!

Whew…I did not have to worry about trying to re-write the posting.

I know…what’s the big deal, right? Afterall, it is JUST a blog posting!

You’re right, it is JUST a blog posting. But, as with any writing; whether it be a blog, letter, email, report, or essay, if you put in the time to write it you don’t expect for it to disappear.

Like I said, luckily it was saved as a draft and I could post it without having to re-write it all. Maybe next time I might write it in word first, then copy it over to my blog. …Nah! That would be too much work!

Rushing for Nothing

Today I was scheduled to umpire my second scrimmage of the pre-season. I was looking forward to it, as I was hoping to be able to spend some time behind the dish and see some pitches. So, since the scrimmage was scheduled for 3:45, and I got out of work at 2:oo, I busted butt to get home, change, and get to the field in time to meet with the other umpires and see what all we were doing, and where all I was going to some practice in at.

Well, the unpredictable WNC weather decided that I didn’t need to get some work in and decided to get cold and dump a little untraceable trace of snow. Needless to say, the scrimmage was postponed to tomorrow, in which I did not know until I checked my email, on my phone, to see that the Assistant Athletic Director from the host school.

Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but I am already scheduled to work another scrimmage, at pretty much the same time, in another location tomorrow. Since I am new to umpiring, I decided to schedule myself to work four scrimmages so that I can get as much experience as possible before the regular season begins. We are only required, by the State, to work two, and can get credit for working three, but I figure four scrimmages would give me enough practice time to feel more comfortable making calls.

I guess that’s just how it goes. Take what is given to you, no matter who it is that gives it. Three scrimmages are better than two and definitely better than one, which is what some of the other umpires will probably get in with some of the other scrimmages being canceled last Saturday.

Hopefully the weather will clear up before the scrimmage tomorrow and I wont be rushing around to get to another postponed, or canceled, scrimmage. But, then again, I guess that it wouldn’t hurt if I actually checked my email BEFORE I get ready to leave, either, eh?

THROUGH THE EYES OF THE “BLUE”…Vol. I

Yesterday I began my “career” as an Umpire. Spring training for High School baseball is only one week. So, not only do the players and coaches have to work out all of the “kinks” quickly, the umpires do as well. Especially those of us that are new to calling the games. Let me just say, mistakes will be made and calls will be missed.

One thing that has been mentioned to me, and the rest of us new, or second year, umpires is that working a two-man crew is difficult. Although we are expected to, there is no possible way to see everything that happens on the field. This is one thing that I learned quickly during the scrimmage yesterday.

I will quickly take you through the couple of innings that I worked the bases. In one inning, there were two double-play attempts made back-to-back. On the first one I did not vocalize loudly enough that the runner going into second was out. Big mistake! I had to tell him again that he was out when I noticed that he was still standing on second when the play was over. But, I redeemed myself when the very next batter hit into a double play; with both out calls I made sure that everyone was able to hear me. Or, at least I hope that I did.

Another memorable inning that I worked was the final inning. Standing in the “C” position, which is behind the Pitcher on the third base side, when I looked towards first base, the sun was low enough that it was right in my eyes making it difficult to see anything in that general direction. There was a runner on second and the batter hit a line-drive to the first baseman. Watching the ball, I lost it in the sun, but I saw the first baseman turn and begin to throw. With that, I knew that he had to have caught it. I call the out on the catch, and then the out on the throw back to second because the runner was off the bag. The most difficult part of that play was dealing with the sun.

Luckily I did not have any real difficult plays to make a call on. It would have been interesting if there would have been. Would I have made the right call? Or, would I have totally mucked it up? Obviously, those are questions that I cannot answer yet!

The good thing, the veteran that I was working with, he has called NCAA as well as High School ball for years, had nothing but good reviews for me every time I came off the field either between half-innings, or when it was time for the other new umpire to work the field. Sure, there were a couple times that he would tell me that I did something wrong, like when I did not vocalize the out during the double-play attempt, but most of the time he would say that I got all the calls right and that my positioning and mechanics were good. He even told me that he was going to request to have me work a few games with him this year. Nothing makes you feel better than being told that by a veteran.

Unfortunately I did not get to work the plate at all. The lead umpire did not think it would be a good idea to have us “new guys” calling the plate for varsity pitching. With me having three more scrimmages to work before the regular season begins, I am hoping that I will get some valuable time behind the plate calling balls and strikes.