My Favorite Posts 2016

Once again, it’s time to boast my favorite posts.  I must say, it’s been a solid year.  If you think about it, I really am full of random shit that is complete and utter nonsense.   But, hey, I think it’s fun.  I hope all who read will agree.  If anything, it does keep me sane.

That being said, on with the selections.

10-01-2015     MasterCard moment – Ohio style

03-26-2016     MasterCard moment – style

07-07-2016     MasterCard moment – Vermont  style     Quite proud of my MasterCard moments this past ‘year’.  Two of these offerings are connected to hockey somehow.  Both were an excuse to travel to new destinations.  While I have no desire to ever see Ohio again, I loved Vermont.   Except for that ‘naked dude’ thing, of course.   The third ‘moment’ was the celebration of my 200th post.  To not include that would be … nonsense.

10-22-2015     Color me hungry 

10-25-2015     the ADULT coloring book     Crayola remains my crayon of choice.

11-25-2015     “Thanks, Adele!”   Even though I have grown to h-a-t-e that song, the SNL clip is so damn funny.  Consider it the new  Thanksgiving holiday tradition.

12-02-2015     Time After Time     I’s got me new shades.  Still working on that watch thing, though.  All in due time. (pun intended)

02-17-2016     Short stack showdown   Such good memories from that ‘showdown’.  The judges were the ‘anecdote’ family  from my lawn care post which sadly didn’t make the favorites cut. (pun unintended)

04-07-2016     Dishwasher safe    Good news – dishwasher still works great.  Bad news – kids still complain about loading it.

04-15-2016     Hair today, g0ne tomorrow    Thankfully, Barber Fred is back.  Though he is pushing mid-seventies.  I’m thinking he may be ‘gone’ tomorrow as well. (pun … .)  Not gone – gone, just retirement gone.  Suggestions? Trust me, asking the bald butcher is NOT an option.

05-27-2016     do-re-mi     Haven’t had the opportunity to ‘car-aoke’ too much lately.  During the summer, I usually have  passengers that just aren’t feeling the ‘scale singing’ scene.  Soon school will start and I will be free to sing again.  However,  when school starts, my stress level may decrease.  I still have a wife though. I’m thinkin’, I may need throw a fa-sol-la in there, too eh?

07-21-2016     random financial non-cents     One day some bitch really needed a penny.  I WASN’T going to share.  Then, she was going to run to her car  to get one. I would’ve let her.  She was THAT nasty.  Unfortunately, she found a penny by the register.  Guess it was her lucky day.

07-29-2016     Mother Ode to the TCFF     Still mourning the loss of this ‘annual tradition’. Fortunately, plans are already in the works for 2017.  My ski trip … .  Now that’s a different story.  (sigh)

honorable mention, unhonorable outcome

09-15-2015     two week notice

01-05-2016     June 30, 2016     I AM forever longing to give my two week notice.  Obviously this hasn’t happened – yet.  I will always appreciate that “indentation in my sofa” reference, though. When I realized the date for my license renewal was fast approaching, I succumbed to reality.  (heavy sigh)  I then rationalized that regardless of my employment status, I needed that RPh for blogging purposes.  Otherwise, I’d have to change my domain name.  Way too much work for this underachiever.  So, …  it is!

Salty cidiots are NOT snazzy.

I am taking my post vocabulary lesson one step further.  Don’t be too alarmed.  I’m thinking this is only a one-time deal.  So, just go with it. Besides, I promise to make this lesson as fun as postally possible.  Though, postally probably isn’t a word.  Let alone the way to begin a vocabulary lesson.  Oh, well.  At least  this lesson isn’t about lettuce.

In elementary school, whenever I learned a new word I was instructed to use it in a sentence.  Fortunately, I have THREE words (two slag, one that’s an actual word) to share AND I was able to use them all in ONE sentence.  Think of it as a trifecta of vocabulary fun.

Salty cidiots are not snazzy.

  1. salty  (adjective)    -   My nineteen year old son introduced me to this word a few months back.  He used it to describe his attitude at the moment.  “Salty?” I asked.  ”Yeah,” he scuffed.  ”You know irritable, kinda’ ornery.” He paused.  ”Salty.”  According to the Urban dictionary, ‘salty’ means – angry, pissed, upset.  Hmm … .  I’m thinking that describes the majority of teenagers and pharmacy customers.
  2. cidiots  (noun)       –   Recently, I was at work when a customer I can actually tolerate came through the drive.  She looked distressed even before I greeted her.  Then, without even a hello, she said, “I hate these damn cidiots.” The blank expression on my face was enough for her to continue. “You know,” she finally smiled.  “Cidiots – idiots from the city .”
  3. snazzy (adjective)   –   informal ; stylish and attractive
    Conversely, this word describes my thirteen year old daughter.  She uses the term often, having the wonderful ability to ‘snazzify’ any ‘saltiness’ thrown her way.  Good for her.  I hope she never loses this amazing talent.  Though I question the origin of that characteristic.  You’ve all read enough of my rants to know it’s probably not  my gene pool.  Then again, my mother is wonderful. So, …  maybe it is!?

Since I choose to emulate my daughter’s snazzy persona, I let her decide how to close this vocabulary lesson.  While her offering seems odd, it is truly the embodiment of … making lemonade. For me, it fits my current state of mind AND postal lameness.  Shit, if Brendon Urie  can sing while playing the piano with Fruit Loops and chicken nuggets falling from the sky, I’m thinking I can handle  just about anything.

panic! – this is gospel

Fortunately, those damn cidiots won’t be around too much longer.  One snowflake and their salty asses are gone.  How snazzy is that?

the lame lettuce post

Let me begin by saying, this is NOT another obsessive compulsion like that whole penny issue.  Consider it a … dietary choice.  Furthermore, I tried really, really hard to present this post in an engaging fashion.  Then realized – it just ain’t gunna happen.  Lame is the only appropriate adjective. Think about it, though.  There is nothing truly exciting about lettuce or this post for that matter.  But, the post must go on.

Recently, I’ve been avoiding sandwiches.  Not necessarily, ‘the sandwich’ itself, but the bread part.   Instead, I take  everything that would normally go on the sandwich and though it on a bed of lettuce.  Hell, the other day I even threw the chips on top.  And, … I liked it.

Just for the record, I still love my carbs, especially doughnuts.  And, I have cinnamon raisin toast every morning.  Be that as it may,  I’m diggin this whole lettuce thing – especially at work.  The using a fork concept is so much easier than double-fisting a sandwich only to have to put it down because some idiot has a question on suppository insertion.  I’m eating, okay?

Generally, there are  four categories of lettuces:

  1. looseleaf
  2. butterhead
  3. crisphead
  4. romaine

Of course, there are numerous subcategories.  One website claims there are actually seven different types.  I’m a pretty basic guy – four works for me.  I eat them all – even iceberg. insert gasp. Unfortunately,  the link below complicates everything you ever wanted to know about lettuce AND more.

Lettuce contains moisture, energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and sugars. The minerals and vitamins found in lettuce  include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc along with vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B-6, C, A, E, and vitamin K.

Well, there you have it – my lame, little ditty about lettuce.  Luckily, I kept it short. I searched for ‘fun’ lettuce links, in an attempt to take this salad post to a Romaine level. Once again – lame.  Sorry.  Speaking of Romaine, I found poems written about lettuce ‘diversity’.  One in particular highlighted what it must be like to be Romaine AND the curse of being Iceberg. Hmmm … .  Compelling and socially relevant. (sarcastic tone implied)

a lettuce rap – pbs style

Unfortunately, Bert and Ernie don’t do lettuce (w)raps.

This last link is a painful dry-humored  video of Tom Green ordering a sandwich.   By the way, he likes his ‘greens’.

Mother Ode to the TCFF

For eight years the last week in July has been reserved for a visit from my brother and a friend to attend the Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF).  Initially, the TCFF  was an excuse to travel. Not that one was needed, mind you.  However, when establishing an ‘annual tradition’ sometimes a ‘purpose’ (aka excuse) has leverage.  Oh, for the record, it WAS going to be a couples weekend, but their spouses opted out. That is an important tidbit of information.  So, it became their summer ‘mancation’. Such a stupid word – mancation. I blame women, of course.  Who else would conceive such a jealous-ridden word?

Since it is July 29, I decided to commemorate this event with the Mother Ode, dedicating my post to them.  And, wishing they were here.  See, I told you that tidbit was kinda’ important.

TCFF 2016 trailer

Ode to the State Theatre

The State Theatre is owned and operated by the Traverse City Film  Festival (TCFF), which completely renovated the shuttered historic downtown movie house, and reopened it in November 2007. The festival also renovated a shuttered, City-owned historic building that sits in idyllic Clinch Park on Grand Traverse Bay, and in 2013 turned it into a sister screen for the State, the classic movie house we call the Bijou by the Bay.

The State Theatre was voted the Best Place IN THE WORLD to watch a movie.  Kudos to Michael Moore for kick-starting, then  maintaining the State Theatre AND the TCFF – now in its twelfth year.  Contractually, the State can only show Independent films.  The Bijou, however, can show first-run, big budget pictures.

Ode to Volunteering at the TCFF

The TCFF is pretty much run entirely by volunteers.  Yes, there are few head honchos, but the main ‘workforce’ is volunteer.  There is a volunteer food chain, depending on each volunteers time commitment.  I wanted to do my part, but also wanted to enjoy the annual visit.  So I was very low on the food chain. Once I was the gatekeeper of the EXIT for the opening night party.  I was told by management  ”No one ENTERS through the EXIT.”  Simple enough, eh?  No.  Everyone in volunteer land seemed to have their own agenda.   When the line for the ENTER became quite long, I became very popular.  Still, NO ONE entered through the EXIT on MY DETAIL.   Apparently, this was bothersome to some ‘privileged’ agenda benders.  Stress was involved.  No blood was shed, but I was relieved of my gatekeeping responsibilties.

Ode to the loss of yet another annual tradition 

Right now, I SHOULD be enjoying good movies and even better company.  But, I am not.  Yes, this annual tradition fell victim to the same demise as MY annual ski trip.  Please read any and everything into that you want.  Once again, I blame women.  And, if I sound bitter, that’s because I am bitter.  Alas, I will get over it.

Since this post is dedicated to them, I asked my friend for ideas on how to end my Ode.  He sent me this link, stating that he saw this group his first year and has followed ever since that visit.

Random Financial Non – cents

Lately, I have had this weird obsessive compulsion of … the penny. To be perfectly honest, I hate them –  so useless.  Furthermore, where do you put the damn things?  Rarely is there a designated coin area for the penny in the car.

Why the penny?

I blame a stupid cashier at Michael’s. I went there some months back for one particular item.  My bill totaled $18.01.  Of course I didn’t have the penny, thinking the cashier would have one at the register.  When she didn’t and before I could run to my car to get one, she plopped 99 cents in my hand.  99 cents.  Can you believe that shit?  Bitch

Even at work this penny thing has carried over.  I round up everyone’s change to avoid penny distribution.  Unless the customer is a total asshole, douche or bitch. Then he/she  receives the exact amount of change in the smallest increments available.  That means lots of copper, baby.  Okay it’s fake copper.  Oh, and in my defense regarding the Michael’s incident, I didn’t even talk to the cashier before checking out. So, it was all her.  Bitch

brief history on the penny -

  • The one-cent coin, commonly known as the penny, was the first currency of any type authorized by the United States. The design for the first one-cent coin was suggested by Benjamin Franklin.
  • The word “penny” is derived from the original British coin of the same name. Over 300 billion one-cent coins, with 11 different designs, have been minted since 1787.
  • The Indian cent was first introduced in 1859 and depicted an Indian princess on the obverse. A popular story about its design claims a visiting Indian chief lent the designer’s daughter his headdress so she could pose as the Indian princess.
  • The one-cent coin was made legal tender by the Coinage Act of 1864.
  • In 1909, Abraham Lincoln was the first historical figure to grace a U.S. coin. The Lincoln penny was also the first U.S. cent to include the words “In God We Trust.”
  • In the current 2010 design, “Preservation of the Union”, the reverse design is emblematic of President Abraham Lincoln’s preservation of the United States as a single and united country, with a union shield with a scroll draped across and the inscription ONE CENT.

Interesting tidbits -

Penny Black

The world’s first prepaid adhesive postage stamp issued May 6, 1840.

A penny for your thoughts

Keep the penny.  Better yet, keep ‘your thoughts’.   Remember, I work retail.  I hate everyone – especially their thoughts. 

When the penny drops

Meaning: A belated realization of something after a period of confusion or misunderstanding

A penny saved is a penny earned

Seriously doubt this verse holds true today.  Like me, people scoff at the idea of pennies.  Let’s not even mention the urge to ‘save’ them. 

Poetic superstitions - 

See a penny, pick it up,

all day long you’ll have good luck,

give it to a faithful friend,

then your luck will never end

Lastly, the  musical tribute that just seemed to make … cents.

Penny Lane – the Beatles

semantic evolution of MY lawn care

A few years back, friends from our neighborhood (Stan and Stasia) were relocated to Kansas.  Unfortunately, it took over a year to finalize the sale of their house.  Stan worked, then commuted when possible.  The rest of the family stayed back,attaining normalcy whenever possible. When Spring arrived, another neighbor and I tackled their lawn maintenance.  They lived on a sizable corner lot and the lawn was peppered with trees, making it difficult to navigate with a riding mower.  Stan was the ultimate dude, handling his lawn in minutes with a push mower.  For the average, non-dude, it was more efficient as a two man job – a riding mower for the bulk of the lawn and a push for the hard to reach areas.  Stasia would leave water on the porch.  The system worked well and we were properly hydrated.  The funnest part were the nicknames that evolved – Lawn boy, Mower man, AND Water girl.  I, of course, was Lawn boy. Yes, the sidekick.  Though, I got top billing because Lawn boy and Mower man flowed better than the reverse.  So, … .

Stan and Stasia still live in Kansas.  Thankfully, our friendship continues to thrive. However, the memories of  Lawn boy, Mower man, and Water girl will always make us laugh.

Since this is July, lawn mowing season is underway.  I thought I’d highlight this summer tradition.  Some men and women really take this chore seriously.  My daughter is one of them.  She decided I didn’t do the job adequately, taking it upon herself to complete the weekly task.  Good for her.  Better yet, good for me.  According to her, my lines were never straight and I varied my directions too much.  Hell, I got the job done.  Okay?

Before I get into full rant mode, let me share some ‘tips’ on proper technique:

Set Your Mower High
Cut only the top 1/3 of the grass blades at any one time. Properly mowed grass can grow and support more roots and develop a deeper root system.
Mow a Dry Lawn
Wait for your lawn to dry before mowing. Cutting wet grass can result in an uneven cut, dumping clumps of grass on your lawn which can             smother the grass and result in brown spots.
Vary Your Mowing Pattern
Mow in a different direction every time you mow. By varying the mowing pattern, you help avoid compacting soil. Plus, grass will stand up nice   and tall since it typically leans in the direction you mow.
Leave Grass Clipping on your Lawn
Clippings break down quickly, contributing nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil.
Keep Your Mower Blade Sharp
Keep mower blades sharp for the cleanest cut. Dull blades tear up grass, causing a grayish-brown color.

When I was younger and a lot more anal retentive than I am now, the above ‘tips’ were guidelines that standardized lawn maintenance.  Back then, it was ‘mowing the lawn‘ instead of  ’cutting the grass‘.  Eventually, it became ‘get the damn job done‘.  Now, it’s  ’my daughter does it‘.  And, I’m a happy man.

Two parting thoughts. The first is this video clip -

the ultimate lawn mowing musical experience

The second is a marquee maxim from a lawn mower repair shop that is too fitting to ignore -

we’re sexy and we mow it

MasterCard moment – Vermont style

mile – v-exist  statistics on I-89 in Vermont:     130.34 miles and only 22 exists

days the ‘nude dude’ was turning heads in downtown Burlington:     2 , but then I left before the weekend began so … .

retired Ben & Jerry flavors in the ‘graveyard’:     34

watching an outdoor movie with my daughters at the REAL Hotel-Vermont:          priceless

Recently, I traveled with my two daughters to Vermont of all places for a Hockey College Showcase. My oldest daughter will be a Junior in High School, so this is when the college search begins. Throw hockey into that mix and … .  Ugh! Anything but priceless.  Except for the experience, that is. Who cares about money.  We really had fun.  Vermont was amazing.

Being from Illinois, then moving to Michigan, expressway driving was pretty much the same.  Though I really, really hate that whole  Michigan ‘left’ concept.  Still, in both states, exit numbers correspond with the mile markers.  Driving I-89 North to Burlington was not that way.  Burlington is close to 91 miles from the New Hampshire border, but it’s only exit 14.  Confusing – yes. But I got us there fine.  The green mountain state also has it’s share of yellow highway signs that I had never seen before.   Stay Alert – Moose and Bear Crossing were … concerning.  Lastly, but on a fun note, the State Police drive forest green colored vehicles.  How cool is that? Luckily, I had no run-ins with moose, bear, or green colored ‘smokeys’.

So, that ‘nude dude’ caused quite the stir in Burlington.  Fortunately, my daughters and I never saw him, but I heard it was also … concerning.  ”Scarred for life,” were the exact words a friend /team mate used to describe her unfortunate sighting.  Though, if I was pressed to decide, I’d probably  choose seeing a Moose over the ‘nude dude’ any day.

Ben & Jerry’s is in Waterbury, VT about 33 miles ( but only 3 exits, mind you) from Burlington.  We didn’t tour the facility, but we did visit the ‘flavor graveyard’ as I mentioned above.  When a taste concoction retires, it receives a burial plot.  On each tombstone  a fun poem describing the flavor and/or why it was retired is included.  Udderly fun!

 Ironically, we stayed at the Hotel-Vermont.  It was fabulous.  Nothing like that previously posted postcard - try and say that five times fast – had pictured.  Very cool, indeed.

While we didn’t exactly stroll in the moonlight, remember this was a family vacation, watching the sunset on Lake Champlain with my daughters and friends from Traverse was truly priceless.

Here’s an Ode to ‘Vermont’  from ole’ blue eyes himself.

Postcard from the Edge

*image found on random, googled postcard site

Parenting 101

 Since May and June have come and (almost) gone, the holidays honoring each half of the parenting unit have followed suit.  So, I’m right on schedule to pen a belated post on the subject. I was going to sub-title this – Hollywood style – then remembered that both films are true stories.

Searching for Bobby Fischer - Joe Mantegna and Joan Allen portray Fred and Bonnie Waitzkin parents to Josh, a chess prodigy.   The trailer gives a complete synopsis, including two of Joan Allen’s best lines / scenes. However, “Get out of my house.” is much more emotionally charged watching the film.  While Allen is the commanding, supporting role, Mantegna is constant presence throughout the movie.  He often struggles with the conflicting reality of what he should or shouldn’t do as a parent.   And, more importantly, whether what he should or shouldn’t do is in his or his son’s best interest.  Of course, he always makes the appropriate choice.  I hate him. But, whether it’s chess, baseball, or … hockey, this movie navigates the nuances of competitive activities/sports.

Searching for Bobby Fischer – trailer

Soul Surfer   - This is the be all end all feel good family/sports true story of Bethany Hamilton.  She is a World Class surfer who loses an arm in a shark attack.  Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt play her parents, constantly making the right decisions and saying all the right things AT the right time, I might add.  I hate them for this, of course.  Because, you know, I always say and do the right thing AT the right time.  Adding to my inferiority complex as an adult/parent is Kevin Sorbo, playing Bethany’s best friend’s father. He saves Bethany’s life after the attack.  I’m not a rock when it comes to Holy Shit Life moments, but I do perform quite well under pressure.  But that scene, … . Wow. I can only imagine it was portrayed accurately. That is a dude I would want in a crisis situation.  After watching you’ll understand.  And, you too will hate them all.  But please do watch.  Haters gotta hate, ya’ know.

Soul Surfer – trailer

Of course these movies ‘highlight’ the stellar parenting decisions and moments in each movie.  The day to day fuck-ups and frustrations are glossed-over, peppered into the story only to show that these people really are human. Though it would be nice to have some of my own fuck-ups and frustrations end up on the ‘editing room floor’.  In real life, family remembers way too much.  And, the details, … .  Let’s not even go there, okay.  Seriously, these are some boss parents that I’m certain are just as boss as they are represented.

Popcorn anyone?

Rethink that Snickers – or not

In pharmacy school, we learned to counsel patients on everything from side effects and interactions to nutritional and dietary restrictions. Included in this latter area of concern were items to avoid that contraindicated health conditions.  A good example of this would be counseling a diabetic patient on purchasing a Snickers bar when picking up an Insulin prescription.  However, once you’ve been told – “It’s none of your damn business whether I get this bar or not.  You don’t know what it’s like to be me, okay.” You NEVER counsel another patient on anything again.  Just kidding, but you get the idea.  It’s ugly, but true.  Regardless, the cornerstone of the pharmacy profession remains counseling.

Kind of ironic that this is one of the only real things I remember from school.  Yeah, the technical stuff is up there in the vast abyss that is my intellect.  The reality of retail is not that. It’s the patient buying the Snickers.  In this age of instant information and formidable testimonials (sarcastic tone), the patient IS educated.  Almost  too much.  But then  to what extent?  Furthermore, things have changed SO much in the some thirty years since I sat my sorry ass down in Room 101 Pharmacy Building at the University of Iowa.  If I were to do it all again today, I doubt I would even make it into school now, let alone graduate.  Nor would I have want to for that matter.

So, what’s the reason for this rambling?

3pm   –    unsettling, random thought about the state of health care attitudes.

Actually that thought really isn’t random at all.  It’s constant.  And, I’ve witnessed its evolution.  Furthermore, I AM convinced no one does get better or really cares.  Patients just continue along complaining about ailments without doing anything to remedy their current health condition.  Then, just because medication DOES fix everything – immediately – another prescription is written to satisfy this ‘illusion’ that has become the hypocrisy that is health care.

Who’s to blame? Everyone BUT the patient.  And, the damn Snickers bar, of course.

Don’t worry – the rant stops here.  I paused, took a deep breath, and sang a few scales. So, I’m better.  As for the state of health care attitudes, I’m not as optimistic.  That’s why I choose Random Nonsense.  Making fun of douche bags with butterfly tattoos is so much more … satisfying.

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