Raisin’ The Bar

Ether you’re with me or you’re a’gin me.kidbar

So you want to swim upstream and spawn. Good for you. What business is that of mine? None, I’ll admit, unless the government decides to subsidize your reproduction of yourself with credits and tax rates and/or you ever try to bring them around me.

It turns out there’s something more trendy than microbrew, fedoras, bicycling, beards, tattoos and North Face jackets. What could it possibly be?

Oh, yeah. It’s bringing your wee young ones to restaurants or, inconceivably allowed, bars and pubs. What could possibly go wrong?

The other night my wife and I were at a BBQ trendspot in PDX. As always, any place that is half-way edible means that there will be a 45-minute wait. That’s life in the big city. But that also means we had time to be treated to the floor show.

Two women were standing around holding their drinks while three small children accompanying them ran hog wild. (It was a BBQ place, after all.) They ordered another round. Every once in a while they’d yap something at the kids which was promptly ignored, had no effect, and they returned to nursing their drinks.

Meanwhile, I wondered what it would take for a restaurant to actually ask them to leave. Maybe if they set off a small nuclear device? Maybe, I figured, but probably not.

We were seated and, of course, we were only two tables away. We watched them order two more rounds of daiquiris. Apparently they and the restaurant were teaming up for Set A Good Example night. I couldn’t help but wonder how they were all going to get home.

Earlier we went to a place on the Columbia River for happy hour but the lounge was full. We opted to sit on the deck. No doubt it was a beautiful view. On the other hand, we had to order from the dinner menu, there were no happy hour prices, and, through the lounge windows, we saw lots of wee small children. Some were sticking their tongues out at us.

What the fuck.

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The Crustacean

martian-2Spoiler alert: For astronaut Mark Whatney, former Martian, it was a bad trip. Upon his safe return to terra firma he tossed his helmet away, breathed deeply and said, “Fuck space.”

He was still an adventurer, though, so two years later was exploring the depths of the deepest oceans on Earth when he was accidentally left behind.

There he was forced to grow seaweed and sea cucumbers and survive on oxygen he derived from shells and Bunsen burners.

Mark Whatney had become The Crustacean.

I won’t spoil that ending, either, but he did eventually return to space travel.

Venus: Whatney daringly visits the second planet in our solar system and his faceplate is briefly blown loose during an EVA. Yes, you guessed it. He becomes The Venetian Blinded.

His eyesight eventually returned and he went on to visit Uranus, but I have absolutely nothing to say about that trip.

A Link To Centuries

knockingAll I want for Christmas is a “no soliciting” sign. I had one before but a solicitor stole it from my door. I know because I was inside ignoring them when it happened. And, true story, they were selling for the company where I worked. Unbelievable.

In the meantime…

It was a Saturday afternoon. My wife and I were hanging out in the living room with the cats. I wasn’t wearing pants. Suddenly, there came a sound from the door. The cats ran away. The moment was lost.

You know that knock? The one that says, “Hey, it’s me.” It goes like this:

Knock knock!
Knock knock knock knock knock knock.
Knock knock!

I heard that sound and cocked an ear. “Who the hell can that be?” I gasped.

No worries. It was a just a salesperson.

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Going into Labor

shoutabyss:

Pop quiz, hotshot. What’s the only force that stands with you against the boss? Hint: It’s not the government. Yep, that’s right. Imperfect they may be (because they are made up of humans) it’s unions who stand with the employee.

Originally posted on Shouts from the Abyss:

laborFriends, today I read a passage from the Demotivational Dictionary:

labor union: just about the only people on planet Earth who give a flying shit about the plight of the lowly worker.
–Source: not Wikipedia

What is a labor union?

If we think of the employer/employee paradigm as a formula, on one side of the equation we find power, control, the ability to make decisions, have a hand in the company’s fate, profit, dignity, respect, ties to government, legislation, influence, and much, much more.

The labor union is that which stands to protect all that remains on the other side of that equation.

There may be a lot of power-imbalanced relationships in the average person’s life, but the relationship between employer and employee is most likely at the top of that list. Bar none.

Are labor unions perfect? No. Do they have flaws? Yes. After all, they are comprised…

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U.S. Department of Pornography

shoutabyss:

Coming soon from a government near you.

Originally posted on The Nudge Wink Report:

A high-ranking official in a federal agency helplessly wonders how to respond to an employee.

A high-ranking official in a federal agency helplessly wonders how to manage a typical employee. (Actor portrayal.)

We live in interesting times. I guess that makes us the butt end of a curse. Our time is one of pros and cons. Of good versus evil. Day vs. night. Light versus dark. Xbox vs. PS4. Rebellion verses Empire. And it’s not a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It’s us. Right now.

Pro: We have the internet, undeniably the greatest system for storing and sharing information the world has ever seen.

Con: Icky, icky, icky, sticky!

According to estimates from Scandinavian research center Sintef, 90% of all the data the human race has ever produced has been generated in the past two years.

Source: BBC.com – Web porn: Just how much is there? circa 2013

Back in June 2010 a net filtering firm known as Optenet put out…

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Hyppo and Critter: My Guy, Your Guy

h-and-c136

Book Crook

book-catWhile at the beach recently, my wife and I stopped at the quintessential beach town book store. It was a cute little place and exactly what you’d expect down to the requisite cat lounging in the vicinity of the kid’s books. Thanks to the damn kids loitering my petting time was limited. Worse, I was homesick for my babies left behind home alone. (With visits from the cat sitter.)

The store had limited selection of new books, mainly best sellers, and as such wasn’t too interesting. Not too surprisingly their books were offered at full cover price. Pretty standard really for homey places trying to compete with the big boys. I like supporting little local shops so I strongly considered picking up a new copy of Sycamore Row by John Grisham in hardback for only $28.95 USD. I hadn’t heard of the book before and Grisham is a no-brainer who always delivers.

Still, three Hamiltons for a single book was a little much and besides, who the hell has time to read while on vacation? I reluctantly put the book back and decided to wait.

Later, my wife decided to check out another local book store, this one a dumpy place offering used books. Lo and behold, what did she find? Yup, a copy of Sycamore Row with a hand-written price sticker of 25 cents.

Hey, that falls into my budget.

Knowing me like she does, my wife dutifully snatched it up. But when she took it to the counter the shopkeeper realized what was going on and balked. It was time for the “that’s the wrong price” game. Little did he know what a fierce contestant he was up against.

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