Saturday, February 24, 2007


What comes to mind when you hear the term "disgruntled"? It is not used often, so most people think of the way the press used it so much in the 1980's--disgruntled-postal-employee--like one word. I would like to defend the USPS--but not right now. This post is to make fun of UPS and Fed Ex. By now everybody has heard that they plan to merge and be called Fed-UP. Actually, as you see in this photo the two have already merged.

This is a copy of a copy, so it is not so clear. But you can tell that a UPS truck clobbered a FedEx truck. As a postal employee, I pull for the UPS guy. The UPS folks work hard and make a little on each delivery, counting on volume to make money. The FedEX folks are elitists who rely on a great ad campaign and sales people to convince junior execs to pay double for the same service we provide--with a money back guarantee. I hope the UPS guy hits him again tomorrow. By the way, in my world UPS is pronounced OOPS.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Good Jobs/Bad Jobs

It is interesting to discuss (or hear discussions) of which jobs are really great and not so great. As I sat in the barber's chair a man came in who was very much in need of a haircut. He was even more in need of good judgement. Apparently, he does some type of yard maintenance (not that there is anything wrong with that) and that qualifies him as an expert on many, many topics. In fact, during the time I was in the shop he was the resident authority on EVERY subject that came up. That seemed unlikely enough even before he realized that I am employed by the Postal Service. For several minutes he explained to me that the USPS paid well and had great benefits. I became very confused because it seemed that he was the one who had worked for the agency for 34 years and I was the one who only had second-hand knowledge. After he rambled on and on about the need for air-conditioning in mail trucks and other topics that NOBODY wanted to discuss, I paid for my haircut and left to ponder in the solitude of my pick-up how we have a tendency to think we understand other people's work. Every job has good and bad characteristics. That has really hit home for me as we blog and the news networks continue to report about Britney's escapades. Somebody who has a job that would normally seem like a great way to earn lots of money is Larry Rudolph. Do you know who he is? You should, his name is in the news every day now. He is the manager for Britney Spears. Only now he has to try to explain her erratic behavior to the world. On Tuesday, when she again checked into a rehab facility Mr. Rudoph said "We ask that the media respect her privacy as well as those of her family and friends at this time." Of course, that was yesterday. Today she has fled another facility. Yep, that is a tough job. Could you ask, with a straight face, that the media respect the privacy of a woman who has been clubbing constantly in mini-skirts and no underwear. No doubt Ms. Spears needs help. No doubt she needs to be out of the spotlight. But Mr. Rudolph doesn't need to tell the media that. He needs to tell Britney.

Hair Styles of the Rich and Famous

So, you think Britney really shaved her head to escape the hair-strand drug test during the child-custody battle with kfed? You realize, of course, that her recently cut hair is for sale along with the clippers and a cig lighter she left behind. Kfed's lawyers can easily retrieve a strand of hair for drug tests--even if you are stupid enough to pay a million or two for the nasty stuff. Do you think she is just a child star, fallen victim to sudden fame and fortune? Here is a theory that is a little different from what most are guessing; Britney is the victim of subtle nuances of definition. What? Let me explain. Do you know the difference between class clown and comedian? The class clown is the person who will do anything on a dare. He/she is always getting into trouble but is willing to pay that price because even that draws attention and praise from a group that encourages the outlandish behavior. The comedian, on the other hand, stays below the radar and gets great satisfaction from CONVINCING the class clown that outlandish behavior is actually a great idea. Now apply these descriptions to Britney and her recent best friend Paris. What is it that makes these two best friends? Are they just alike? Hardly. Paris is sophisticated (even if she is given to some class clown tricks occasionally) and comes from a looong line of money and money-making. She clowns just enough to retain marketability. Britney has had two brief, foolish marriages. She has two children. She has a trailer-park background. They are very, very different--yet partying together regularly. Why? Maybe because Paris gets lots of entertainment from getting Britney to pull goofy stunts in public. Can you picture Paris with some of her rich friends whispering while Britney dances "I bet you I can get Brit to take off her panties and flash a crowd of paparazzi before we go home." "You think that is something? I got her to change her hair from blond to black and by the end of the night I can get her to shave her head completely!" "No way!" "Way!" "Watch this....Hey Brit, do you know that they can do drug tests using strands of hair that tell them if you have used drugs in the last 30 days? When is your custody hearing? Hey, I've got an idea....."
Nobody makes this decision and then goes for tattoo's and clubbing without some prodding.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Outside the Box

Does your employer encourage you to think "outside the box"? Have you often heard this expression and wondered "What exactly does that mean?". Perhaps the state of New Mexico can provide an example that will get you started. The New Mexico Department of Transportation is battling a problem with drunk driving. In fact, New Mexico is 8th in the nation in drunk-driving fatalities per mile driven. Some think the poverty and isolation contribute to the problem. Others cite lax enforcement. If you are an "inside the box" thinker, you probably would address the problem by providing education that makes people more aware of the dangers and creates a sense of personal responsibility. Or you might simply beef up the enforcement and take away the driving priviliges of the few who cause most of the problems. But the folks in New Mexico had just had an "outside the box" seminar so they came up with this idea; Talking Urinals. That is correct, talking urinals--I am not making this up. Technically, it is not the urinal that talks but the deodorant cake. There is actually a company that makes a deordorant cake with a motion detector that triggers a recording when a man walks up to the urinal. What he experiences is a woman's voice that is first flirty, then more stern. The voice says "Hey, big guy." I am not making this up. "Having a few drinks. Think you had one too many? Then its time to call a cab or a sober friend." And to prove that "outside the box" people have a sense of humor the message ends with "Remember, your future is in your hand."

Does it work? You bet! So far, 12 men that would have driven while drunk have died of a heart attack in the bathroom of a dark bar and will never be a threat to innocent families again. O.K., I made that part up. The actual result has been that several of the talking deodorant cakes have been stolen. That proves beyond a shadow of doubt that a man is too drunk to drive if he is drunk enough to reach into a urinal, remove a talking deodorant cake, put it in his pocket, and walk out. This has had the unexpected benefit of making enforcement much easier. When a car is stopped and the driver steps out, if the officer notices that his pocket is wet and a woman seems to be talking from "down there", the driver is immediately arrested and no further sobriety tests are needed.

So remember, think "outside the box". You may be saving lives!

Check-in for Week 7

Current weight--193
I am still not pleased with my lack of discipline and the slow results BUT I have lost 9 pounds in 7 weeks. That is slowly plodding in the correct direction. Plodding is sooo boring. I have to remind myself that when the weight was added, the rate was less than a pound per month so taking it off at a pound per week is probably good.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

That's not Her Job

Pat works the drive-through window at Hardee's on Perryhill Road. She is a hard worker and if I were looking to hire a person for a job that did not require lots of education or polish, I would certainly consider her. She knows me now, and begins to gather a spicy chicken biscuit and senior coffee when she sees me coming--$1.63--even with our ridiculous 10% sales tax. Today I rounded the corner from the speaker to see a late model Dodge truck sitting in the drive-through lane. Nobody was in front of him and there was about 30 yards between him and the window. Since his rear window was heavily tinted, I could not see the driver. In the 25 degree morning air, his exhaust vapor indicated that the truck was running--just not moving. The employees were waving and slapping the glass at the window. I was unsure if they were attempting to get the attention of the other driver or me. Should I drive around him? I tapped the horn lightly. Nothing. Finally, the ladies got the door open next to the drive-through window and started toward us. I lowered my window as they stopped next to the truck ahead of me. They tapped his window and said to me "He is sound asleep--he has fallen over on the seat." For a moment that scared me--has somebody had a heart attack or stroke? Then as they knocked harder on his window, he popped up. He was smiling broadly--obviously embarrassed. I don't know if he had a wild Friday night or maybe was just getting off work but he apparently passed out completely in just a minute. Pat said the line had bee moving so he did not sit in one spot more than a couple of minutes before falling asleep. Is is comforting that he is now too sleepy to hold his head up AND eating but still driving?

Two Great Tastes!

Hey! You got Salmonella in my Peanut Butter! You got Peanut Butter in my Salmonella! MMMM, Two great tastes that taste great together! I wasn't too upset when the Popeye food was infected. Then when it was Taco Bell, that was too close to home. But Peter Pan peanut butter? Come on. There has to be some kind of terrorist behind this. We have created a gigantic Homeland Security agency and Emergency Management teams in every county and still our peanut butter is not safe? I would move to Mexico right now if the Global Warming/Ethanol is better than oil crowd had not pushed the price of corn so high that nobody can afford a tortilla.

Monday, February 12, 2007

What does that mean?

The Dixie Chicks won FIVE grammys last night including album of the year for "Not Ready to Make Nice" and best Country Album. The trio certainly has talent and has produced lots of good music. And it ultimately doesn't matter to me who wins a grammy except for what it says about our culture and those who are attempting to define who we are. You may have mixed feelings about the Chicks verbal attacks on the president and our country's stands while touring on foreign soil. I respect the right to think and say whatever you wish. But it concerns me that not only this group but so many who achieve fame via music or athletics begin to take themselves so seriously and use the microphone to push an agenda that is poorly thought out. Again, that is the right of any individual in our country, thank God. But the attitude displayed by the title of their winning title demonstrates that those on the far left who regularly demand tolerance of all idealogies are not really as tolerant of those who differ from them as they pretend. Maybe Ms. Maines will run for office now that we can all get alone. I watched some of the grammys show and it was a pretty good oldies show, but not so impressive.

Weighing In

Good news, bad news. The bad news is that I am one pound heavier than last week. The good news (besides the list of excuses) is the power of accountability. It is REALLY difficult to log on and post that I have backed up. In fact, it is very tempting to be dishonest about the numbers or just ignore my promise to post a weekly update until the goal is reached. Not wanting to live with either of those options, I am putting the disappointing truth in cyber-space for all to see and feeling the motivation to do better. Next weeks numbers will be so amazing that you will think I caved in to the dishonest option.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Who's Yer Daddy?

I never had relations with that woman--Anna Nicole Smith (aka Vickie Lynn Hogan)--and I am NOT the father of her 5 month old child. Making that claim apparently places me in the minority, not only in the USA but also world-wide. Have you heard this; Prince Frederick von Anhalt, the husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor is the latest to claim paternity of Anna Nicole's child. I realize that the child is probably going to end up with a sizable trust fund from her deceased 90 year old stepfather's estate, but would you even CLAIM to have had an affair with a drugged up, air-head, gold digger in order to attempt to gain control of money that is still in a court battle where, not only is the one who earned the money deceased but now both litigants (stripper/trophy wife and her stepson) are now deceased. What a mess!

It is really sad and normally I would not ridicule someone who has just died but in this case, the woman relished attention and did little to disavow the notion that she had the intelligence of a child and the body of Marilyn Monroe on steroids. Her bodyguard/nurse said he found her unconcious in her room at he Hard Rock Hotel. How could he tell? I have seen her on TV recently and she seemed comatose during every interview. Does Trimspa do that to you? I will keep the fat, thank you. It is sad and disturbing that so many men--very diverse men--claim to be the father of the child--meaning they are proud to have been that intimate with a woman who is drugged out at a Hard Rock Hotel while her 5 month old child is in the Bahamas being cared for by the mother of a friend.

The sad and outlandish facts about Anna Nicole's life and death could be discussed at length, but I will quit with one more humorous tidbit. The doctor performing the autopsy is Joshua Perper. That's right, she is being examined by Dr. Perper. The results are not in--autopsies are done at 10, 2, and 4.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Stupor Bowl

Well, the Stupor Bowl is almost over. No, it didn't end in the rain last night. It drones on and on with every channel showing camera shots of rain against the dark sky. As much as I have tried to avoid it for years, the super-hype bleeds into the lives of the most avid non-pro-football-fan. Do football fans really need 37 hours of pre-game stories about every medical condition of every player, their families, and anybody remotely connected? Do they really need recipes to prepare for watching the game? How many times do they need to be told about the importance of two black coaches making it to the super bowl? Do they really need CBS to trot out Katie Couric? Please! What does Katie have to do with football? Sure, she has the legs of a lineman and would never have made it big on the Today show if they had not CONSTANTLY shown camera angles that highlighted her legs, but football? You think I'm kidding about her legs? How are her ratings doing sitting behind the anchorperson's desk? Watch Fox or any of the news networks and tell me nobody has noticed how prominent legs are in camera angles. And what was Katie's story? Racial bias against the family of LAST YEAR'S super bowl MVP. And about that minor part of all this--the game, I have a comment. Keep in mind, I did not watch one minute of any of this yesterday or last night. It is all being replayed this morning while I would prefer to be watching meaningful news. The game. What it is all about, right? Basically, it appears that a bunch of 300 pound men fumbling an oblong ball in driving rain for hours while many thousands sat in the rain to scream and wave signs and millions sat in a comfortable den and watched their new $2000 dollar high-definition TV provide crystal clear pictures of.....rain on camera lenses. Oh yeah, in the middle of it all, the 300 pound guys took a break from fumbling the football so a 90 pound man wearing a handerchief on his head could sing some hits from the 90"s. Hey, it is fine with me if you want to watch. Just don't EVER say anything to me about NASCAR being boring!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Funeral Thoughts

I went to a funeral Friday for the brother-in-law of my friends Torrey and Galen. He died of a heart attack at the age of 46. To someone half that age, it may seem sort of old. But to those of us who have passed that point, it seems very young. I can't imagine how young it seemed to his mother as she accepted the flag from the honor guard. Here are some random thoughts stirred by my time at the funeral;

Serving as the preacher who is expected to encourage the family and exhort us all to be prepared is a difficult task, especially if you do not know the deceased well.

Brad Sullivan is a good man.

People are kinder and talk about more important things at funerals.

Sometimes a death brings out courage that was previously unknown. The daughter, sister, and brother-in-law that spoke Friday demonstrated love and courage in three distinctive manners.

Some people are thoughtless anywhere.

It is healthy to attend a balance of funerals and celebrations.

Even though I know they are shooting blanks, it bothers me A LOT that the honor guard pointed guns toward people during the 21 gun salute.

Although I am not a military veteran, the playing of taps still gets to me.

I have learned about myself that when I attend a funeral, I feel the need to stay around and talk to people to get closer to them. O.K., not just at funerals--but it is exaggerated then.

I could never be a casket salesman. It seems terrible to take thousands of dollars from a bereaved family and utilize guilt to drive them to spend more when a simple box will do fine.

And this thought that occurs to me at all funerals--I am going to die, relatively soon. And I have reached the age that most folks would not be shocked. It is too late for me to die young.


Yes, I know that nobody is really in interested in my turtle-paced pursuit of a New Year's resolution to loose weight. But I promised to report every Sunday until I reached my goal. If I get tired enough of reporting slight losses maybe I will go ahead and loose the weight and be through with it. But I do loooove sweets.

On 2/4 I weighed 195. Down one pound for the week, 7 for the year. Only 20 to go. How hard can that be?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Super Bowl Warning

According to officials in Miami-Dade Florida the Super Bowl may refer to more than the uber-hyped football game to be played on Sunday. The term may also denote the porcelain fixture located in one or more small to mid-sized rooms in your home. That is correct, the toilet that we all take for granted could become a headline item on Super Bowl Sunday when 90 million football fans realize at half-time that they have consumed more bean dip and beverages than intended and head to the head at the same time. I am not making this up. That means 350 million gallons flushed almost simultaneously. The CBS affiliate in Miami is reporting that every year during half-time of the Super Bowl plumbers are called in record numbers because pending problems succumb to the pressure of so many flushes. Of course, if Janet Jackson is scheduled to perform, the flushes may be staggered into the third quarter. Obviously, you can't go during commercials because that is, by far, the best part of the Super Bowl. My advice is "go early". Who knows there may be lots of folks with the same instructions as Baron--floating newspaper in the toilet. If the terrorists were really smart, they would target the nation's sewer system.