Monday, July 21, 2014

The Next Great Baker......

Anybody else watching "The Next Great Baker" ?

The top prize is you get to manage Buddy's new bakery in Las Vegas. I don't think many of the "bake at home" contestants have ever stepped into a commercial bakery with the exception of one or two of the teams.

I know that if I worked in his bakery and some TV contestant winner came in as the HMFIC....I'd have a problem with that.

Earn your turn.

I started at my company when I was 16 and made it to bakery manager by the time I was 19.

Would that happen now, 38 years later?

Probably not, back in the late 70's our company had less than 30 stores (we have close to 200 now) and it was kinda being in the right place at the right time and busting my ass. Sure, I had to drive 35 miles to my store everyday, but it was a foot in the door to prove myself.

Things are so different nowadays.

Back in the 70's, we didn't have computers.....no bar scanning- the cashiers had to input the price of each item by hand.......

Now?

Somebody can sit at a computer terminal 35 miles away in our corporate office and see how many fruit tarts I sell in a 24 hour period ...or even a 1 hour period of they wanted to get that granular.

One thing is still the same, you still gotta show up everyday, work your ass off and be a team player.

Some links.......



I could have fun with a roll of these.

I bet that left a mark.

This kinda sucks if you work for this company. Could something like this happen to me? Probably not, but if it does, I could probably find some sort of job in food service pretty much the day after I was laid off. On of the few advantages of learning a blue collar trade.....not many folks know how to make pastry, breads, pies and donuts.

I don't wanna rag on the Chinese....but they seem kinda shady if you ask me. Yeah, I know you didn't ask me....but that's what I think. Don't believe me? Check out some Chinese cars as they do crash testing. Talk about folding up like an accordion...holy shit.

I own a 2014 Hyundai Elantra.....sure, it isn't the raciest car in the world, but it has a shitload of airbags, nice features for the price and it's build quality is miles ahead of anything the American automakers offer at the 18K pricepoint.I think my favorite feature is the Bluetooth integration....whenever I get a phone call- it goes right to the stereo and I can have a conversation hands free.....on second thought-it's my second favorite feature.....heated seats for the win in the wintertime. I'll never own a car without heated seats again.

I'd say this guy wins "Corporate Asshole of the Year". What a dick.

This article reminds me of my dad.....I used to tease him about him parting his hair about an inch above his ear and combing it over......he finally embraced his lack of hair and went with a crew cut.....good times.

Give yourself a headache.......


till later.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Migraine............

Another one of my hidden talents is that I get great migraines.

Of course, I'm being somewhat facetious....but I consider myself lucky as Imetrex usually makes them go away or at least turn them into regular headaches.

It's kinda hard to describe what I migraine actually feels like except when I get a really bad one....any light hurts like a MF'er it's like being in a pain cave.

A really bad one?

I rarely get serious migraines (from what I've read...they get much worse then what I usually get) but when I get a really bad one makes it hurt to see if that makes sense.

Anyways......feeling much better.

Back when I writing this blog a few years ago I used to discuss a lot of political stuff and world events.......gonna try to keep it lighter this time...beside that shit over in the Ukraine and Gaza scares the crap out of me.

You know how to open up a web browser if you wanna depress yourself.



If you want to read dumb shit.....stick around here.

It doesn't get any dumber than this. Seriously? A caffeine inhaler?

Megatoad? Are you fucking kidding me? Competitive eating? They even have their own freaking league.....I had no idea.

The Situation has a TV show......I made it through the first 10 minutes before deciding that having less Situation in my life would be a good thing.

I smoked until I was 40.....been smoke free for almost 15 years. This kinda seems like a dumb idea if you really want to quit smoking. I tried probably a dozen times to quit until I woke up one day and decided it was a dumbass habit and quit cold turkey. The first 72 hours were difficult and even now 15 years later....I still get the urge to light one up every once and awhile, but I don't because I'm a non-smoker.

In case you were wondering, I'm one of those asshole former smokers.....blow smoke in my face and I'll probably embarrass the shit out of you in public.

When asked by the 911 dispatcher if any weapons were involved, the father said “my foot and my fist.” I'd say the dad used some pretty good judgement and restraint.....that dude is lucky that all he got was a beating.

Any many books as I want for 10 bucks a month? Sign me up. Between my wife, our son and me.....we read a shitload of books. There are a few limitations (you can only "borrow" ten books at a time) but for 10 bucks a month-it seems like it's a good deal if you're a reader.

If this isn't in your personal top 5 of movies.......you need to seriously re-evaluate your life.

My top five movies?...Yeah, I know you didn't ask but here they are in no particular order.

-Animal House
-American Graffiti
-Smokey and the Bandit
-Dirty Harry
-Bullit

Yeah, I can hear you know.....Smokey and the Bandit? That movie was a piece of shit with no social redeeming value whatsoever.......and that's exactly why I like it and why me and my buddies went to see it like 4 times when it was in the theater back in 1977.

I had 4 or 5 friends that had Trans-Ams back then......
 
......Me?

I drove a little VW Bug.

till later.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Went for a little ride this morning.........

I was planning on riding my mountain bike this morning......by the time I was ready this morning at 7 AM-the humidity was already oppressive, so I went for a road ride on my trusty road bike.

I figured that riding road, I'd be able at least be able to go 10 or 12 mph so I'd have a breeze going the whole time I was riding versus riding mountain bike in the woods going 3 mph with no breeze.


I love taking pictures while I am out on rides, I like old derelict buildings best of all.

I took this panoramic picture of corn east of Hellam......there is a shitload of corn growing in York County.....if you get off the main roads-you'll see it.

I ended up riding about 1 1/2 hours and did about 22 miles....sure, I didn't set a world record for time or distance, the way I look at it- any bike ride where you don't end up in the hospital is a good bike ride.

I took a few hours after my ride to detail my car........I usally wash it once every week or so in the summer and I do a more detailed cleaning maybe once a month.


Here's most of the cleaners, polishes, etc I use to clean our cars.

When I do a complete detail, it takes 4 or 5 hours....starting with the inside.

-Vacuum carpet and floormats, then scrub carpet with carpet cleaner

-Clean all interior plastics

-Clean dashboard vents and cubbyholes with Q-tips

-Vacuum head liner and seats and clean if needed

-Apply low gloss protectent to all interior plastics and vinyl

-Do a final vacuum

-Clean glass

Sounds like this would take a long time....I can get the interior done in about 1/2 hour or so because it never really gets that dirty.

The outside takes a little longer if I am doing a wash and wax....the first thing I do is rinse the underside, then....

-Apply Simple Green to the wheel wells, wheels and tires. I let this sit for a minute and then scrub the wheels, tires and wheelwells. I empty the water bucket I am using and put in fresh soap for the rest of the vehicle.

-Rinse all loose dirt off the car, then starting from the top, wash the entire vehicle with car soap.

-Use a clay bar to remove any surface contaminants.

-Dry car including hood,trunk and door jambs.

-Apply car wax with my DA polisher.....I also hand wax all the door jambs. I've tried lots of waxes....this one seems to last for at least 4 months (any wax that says it last for a year is bullshit) and looks awesome especially with darker colors.

Once a year, I will polish the car with my DA buffer and a mild polishing compound. Polishing is different than waxing, when you are done polishing your car- it has absolutely nothing protecting the paint/clearcoat....that's when you apply wax to protect the paint.

-While the wax is drying, I apply this stuff to all my exterior vinyl trim. Yeah, it's expensive as hell, but this tiny bottle will do the trim on an average car at least 4 times and it lasts 6 months if you follow the directions and let it cure properly.

-After the wax has set for an hour or so, I'll put a microfiber pad on my DA polisher and take off all the wax residue and do a final wipedown with a microfiber towel and this paint detailer.

-Last thing I do is the glass and I always use wadded up newspaper (no lint) and Invisible Glass.



Yeah, I'm just a tad anal about how my car looks, since I'm gonna have it for at least 10 to 12 years- I want it to look brand new as long as possible.

Some links.............

What an awesome daughter. I'm sure he was an awesome father as well....

Service dog....or not a service dog?

Charlie Sheen...drunk at Taco Bell. Who woulda thunk it?

California is running out of water.

I'm not gonna explain how to Bit Torrent foreign TV shows on this blog...(this is a good site to get foreign TV torrents ....wink,wink, nudge,nudge)...you'll have to figure out how to unrar them and what software to use to watch them) but Masterchef Australia is 10 times better then Masterchef US.

I'd like to see this shit go down.....

Anti-Virus.........I've had to explain this concept to more than one person.....

till later.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Day off..............

When you work retail.....your days off our usually in the middle of the week. Most weeks I work 5 1/2 days a week (half day Sundays) and I usually take either Tuesdays or Wednesdays off.

Advantages of having a day off in the middle of the week? When you have to run errands, it's nice to not have to fight weekend traffic.

I plan on taking an early mountain bike ride at Lake Redman Wednesday morning, I'll probably ride 6 or 7 miles of trails and if it's like it normally is....I won't see a soul my entire ride. Seems kind of simple minded, but riding singletrack is a great way to clear your mind. When your riding trails....nothing else matters except being able to clear the next hill, keep your bike on a narrow foot wide trail or clearing the next tricky part of the trail without crashing.

I'm just glad I am able to ride once again without crushing knee pain.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention my knee....last October I got a knee replacement on my left knee. My left knee had deteriorated to the point where I had to take a massive amount of pain medication to make it through an 8 hour work day......I got to the point where I didn't want to take that much medication on a daily basis (120 mg of morphine every day) and decided to have my knee replaced. Getting off that much morphine on a daily basis, that's a story for another day......it wasn't a whole bunch of fun.

Now that I have two functioning knees......life is a whole lot better.

I talked to a very good friend of mine tonight, he was rear-ended 6 months ago and has been laid up since with a host of injuries. I thank my lucky stars everyday for the life I have, even though my friend Mark is fighting the good fight to get back to where he was pre-injury...I'm pretty sure he would still think he's lucky as there are folks out there with way worse issues they are struggling with.

What point am I trying to make?

I pretty much hate complainers....Mark and I talked for 45 minutes tonight and he didn't complain once about his situation. He's a good guy with a wonderful wife and daughter....he's got a lot to live for and he knows things will get better.

........so, unless your arm just got cut off and you might bleed out in the next ten minutes-STFU and get on with life.

Stuff I saw in the news today..........

Evidently, having a higher then room temperature IQ isn't a job requirement to work for the TSA....how the hell can someone not know that Washington DC isn't part of the country?

Since I am an only child....it is safe to say I am probably more on the introverted side.....I like people, but only on my terms.

Never argue on the internet......I pretty never argue on the internet because, basically-I don't give a damn what anonymous people think about anything I am currently pontificating about.

Folks on welware shouldn't be able to buy cigarettes with my tax money. I understand that shit happens and folks need a helping hand, but they don't need to smoke with taxpayer money.

Assholes like this make me want to pass a law forcing everyone to work behind a retail counter one week a year.

My son-in-law works for Comcast....so, sorry Bob- but in this instance....Comcast sucks hind teat. Back in the day when I had AOL and it got to the point where I had to cancel it......I just told them I was moving out of the country.

Think it's a good idea if the Israelis bomb the Gaza Strip back to the Stone Age or that Hamas is justified in doing the same thing?

Guess what?

I really don't give a shit what you think.

Do I have an opinion? Sure, I have an opinion, but what's the use discussing such a highly charged situation with people I have never met in person?



See?

I just won the Internets.


Monday, July 14, 2014

11 hours later..............

Holy crap, I intensely dislike inventory Mondays....it starts bright and early in the morning (2AM) every 4 weeks.

 Once a month, we count every last ingredient pretty much down to the ounce. We compare beginning inventories, ending inventories and sales and figure out how much money we made and how much shrink we had.

Obviously, I can't disclose how much money we make or what our profit margin is, but all you have to do is make too much product (shrink) 2 or 3 times in a month and you're gonna have a bad time when you go to figure out all your facts and figures. Screw up too many months in a row and you'll find yourself below the Mendoza Line.

Enough of the work shit for awhile.

In my spare time, I fix computers, I'm not really looking for any more clients, the folks I have now as clients are super nice folks. The thing about having you're own little business on the side is that you can "fire" customers that piss you off.

I've only had two or three folks that I don't return phone calls to and they all have one thing in common.......they're all cheap bastards.

I let new clients know what my price structure is and the best way to not get me to help you is to ask for a discount. Ask for a discount and my calendar instantly fills up for a month or three.

Since Windows XP went out of support earlier this year, I've had quite a few people call me and ask what to do.........most of the time, XP computers are at least 7 or 8 years old and it's gonna be too obsolete to upgrade it to Windows 7 or 8.

This has pissed off a few of my clients because I refuse to upgrade an old PC to 7 or 8 because an old PC simply runs too slow with 7 or 8. The solution to Windows XP becoming obsolete.....buy a new computer or I can put Linux on your old PC and you can learn a new operating system.

When my father-in-law bought a new laptop several years ago, I put Ubuntu on it because all his grandkids used it and it has probably saved me hours of virus repair time. You can get a virus on Ubuntu/Linux, but it's very rare.

If you've been reading the news....this story is just tragic.........go here to kick in a few bucks for a trust fund for this amazing young lady. Go ahead- you ain't gonna miss a few bucks. I'm a 54 year old guy and I know I wouldn't handle this nearly as well as she has.....sometimes strength comes in little packages.



I don't wanna be a dick, but if you think you have problems.....put them up against what this young lady has been through in the past week......and unless the rest of your family just died in a plane crash or something- you ain't having that bad of a day.

till later.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

People are shitting *on* trains?

Seriously?

Why would someone want to shit on a train? Civilization is over as we know it.

I work retail and as a result, I get to see all kinds of behavior and unfortunately....a lot of it is bad. Today for example, I saw a kid that was probably 6 or 7 years old, standing up in a shopping cart screaming their head off because he wasn't getting his way.

What does mom do?

Absolutely nothing.

Mom of the Year for sure because she probably doesn't realize how top heavy her shopping cart is with her precious little monster standing up in it. He could easily die.

What do I do?

Nothing.

Why? Because I used my Spidy sense and pretty much realized that super mom woulda just chewed my face off because I suggested to her how to be a better parent. I'm too old for that shit, maybe she should just strap a helmet on Junior when she takes him shopping next time....he'll probably grow up and be like this guy.

I've only flown twice in my lifetime, I bet the pilots in the plane trying to land had a little excitement for a moment or two......

My crazy next door neighbor (more on him at a later date) is a captain for a major airline.....this probably isn't that big a deal, they train for stuff like this all the time.

This blog is gonna jump around a lot.....I have varied interests. Maybe some posts might have themes like when my crazy next door neighbor uses a shop vac to clean leaves out of his shrubbery...but most of the time- I'm gonna do a lot of jumping around.

I like old school NASCAR......kind of lost interest after Alan Kulwicki and Tim Richmond died. Not that the NASCAR of today isn't good, it's just different. The chances of Jimmie Johnson pulling someone out of a car to beat the shit out of them?...pretty much zero. 25 years ago, there were at least a half dozen drivers that could (and did) use their fists to "discuss" racing techniques.

I also like photography.....I don't have a fancy camera, but like they say...the best camera you have is the one you happen to have with you. I like taking pictures while I am out on bike rides....so I'll share them as I take them. I took this one last winter. I like old barns.

I was reading this news story about the Grand Canyon when I was looking for a new wallpaper for my computers dual screen setup, seems like such a shame. My wife and her sister took mules down to the bottom a few years ago, the closest I will get is this.

I manage a bakery and I sorta know how to decorate cakes (emphasis on "sorta"-I don't do it much)..... this is an amazing cake. There is something out there I like to call the "Buddy Valastro" effect when people come to our bakery to order a cake. Ever since this show has been on, I dread it when someone comes up to our counter clutching a bunch of pictures, multi-colored ribbons and 20 different colored fabric swatches. They go on to describe some sort of engineering marvel we are supposed to create for $22.95.....those folks don't realize that Buddies cheapest 1/4 sheet "shop"cakes (the most basic of decorated cakes) start right around 50 dollars and go up sharply from there if you need any customization. Some of the cakes our awesome decorators do would sell for well over a hundred bucks if they were in a high end bakery.

We have a Five Guys less then 2 miles from our house.....they make good burgers, now it's official. When I win the lottery......this is the car I'm gonna use to pick my burgers up. 707 horsepower and 10.8 in the 1/4? Holy shit.

One of my hobbies is detailing our cars. I love to make our cars look new as long as possible. I saw this video on Reddit........wow, this isn't the best way to detail a car. I honestly thought it was a spoof video, but this dealership in Seattle Washington sure loves to use a pressure washer inappropriately. Pro tip, never use Armour All on the interior of your car-it will eventually pull all the oils out of the interior plastics and cause them to crack if you stop using it.

This coming Monday is inventory at where I work.....least favorite day of the month-I get to count all our ingredients and manually enter them into a computer. Shoot me.

Till later.


Friday, July 11, 2014

If you do this......you're an asshole.

First time I've ever seen this......rolling coal. So help me God, if some redneck mouth-breather does this to me while I'm on my bicycle and I somehow manage to catch up to them at a light or something......I've got 16 ounces of bear spray fogger Velcroed to my handlebars and I'd be more then happy to return the favor.

Some people think they can do anything when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle......I'm not the most sedate driver, if the speed limit on the highway is 65 and traffic is light and the weather is good.....I'll hammer along at 80 mph or so.

On the other hand, if the weather is crappy and road conditions are poor, I'll be over in the right lane keeping plenty of space in front of me and my eyes focused down the road and in my mirrors. Too many distracted drivers on the highway follow each other way too close....that's how most accidents happen. Remove all the distance between cars and you've removed most of your reaction time.

Since I work in a shopping center, my favorite distracted driving is the soccer mom driving a 2 1/2 ton SUV she can barely see over the steering wheel of and shes talking on her cellphone, turned around  talking to her kids in the back seat and trying to drink her 6 dollar cup of coffee while backing out of a parking space.

A few years ago, I actually watched someone talking on a cell drive right into a light pole in our parking lot when I was going to work one night.....she was only going 10 or 15 mph, but she hit it dead center with her vehicle and set all the airbags off. Fortunately she was fine, but her van was totaled.....she wanted us to pay for the damages to her vehicle...not sure how her reasoning worked that one out.

I recently bought myself a new watch..........

It's one of those new Android Wear watches that does all kinds of shit. I've only had it for a day, but so far I like it.......more to follow.

I'm a nerd.

Till later.