Too short, or not too short…

Cupcake just read an article about more shortages at the Pharmacies, and it got me to thinking, which is a very dangerous repercussion, but here it goes anyway…

This seems to be a lesson learned during COVID. No, not that deliveries are unreliable, and no, not that everything is made in China, and no, not because people are hoarding…but because they have learned that if you can create a shortage crisis, it opens the door for raising the price by 500% and making a profit never realized before. It all started with…

Toilet Paper, then it went to

Hand Sanitizer, then to

Bay Formula, then to

Wheat, then to

Chocolate, then to

Diabetes prescription drugs, then to

Eggs…..

Most of these have not come down in price. They jerked them into the Ozone layer, and even though they are not in short supply anymore, the needle is still pegged hard right.

So the trick is to figure out what is next, and buy buy buy. I am figuring it will be something important, like rice. They sell it in 50 pound bags, right? Well, there you go….

Book, Cover, Judge

I make it a point to decide if I like someone in less than a second. They do not have to open their mouth, look at me, or even be in the same room. I look, I see, I either hate or like. This is really true when I watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. I see the contestants, and instantly categorize them as dorks, or someone I could have a beer with.

Not sure if this is because I am becoming a bitter old man, or if it is because I have spent a lifetime honing my judgment skills.

Any thoughts?

2% vs 10%?

I have read a few times where the human mind only operates at 10% of it’s capacity. Not sure how that can ever be proven as a fact, but from my seat, I can argue that in the vast majority, it only operates at 2%, just enough to talk and eat. See, I was watching a Documentary about how the Continents were formed when Flo came on for Progressive and was talking about Snapshot, the gizmo they can put in your car to show you are a good driver and reduce your rates.

Right

So their insured customers go gaga over the idea that (1) they are a good driver, and (2) they need to turn that into a $2.00 a month savings. And the trap is set.

See, there is not an insurance company in the world that gives a shit-turd about reducing your rates. Not one. That is not in their business plan, model, paradigm, PowerPoint presentation, or annual letter to to the stockholders. Actually, their plan is to suck you dry. Period. They just need a reason. So they introduce

SNAPSHOT

A device touted to help, when in fact, it gives the insurance company a way to FUCK you for every time it says you are going 67 mph in a 65 mph zone. Every time you sneak through a yellow light, pause (not stop) at a blinking red light on a country road at 2 AM, slam on your breaks, and bump the curb with your tire when you parallel park.

So you go to bed snug in the fact that your next months car insurance bill will collapse from $142.50 to $139.65. Yep. I am a GREAT driver. But what really happens is you get a letter from them that documents all your fuckups by date, time and location, followed by “…and we feel you are a greater risk than when we first insured you, so we will be JAMMING a new rate down your race car driving ass. This will be reflected on your next bill. Thank you for Understanding”.

And people fall for this shit. Maybe 2% was too generous.

Sports Records Fudged

This is just a random thought, nothing spectacular….but…

Sports Records that really are not….

See, it seems every game of every sport comes with the sportscasters announcing “another record has been broken!” Sure, we just keep creating new categories. Today it is –

“WOW! That is the most doubles in a season by a hitter sporting a mohawk and wearing red cleats!”

But even the ones that seem legitimate aren’t. “Wow, that runner just broke OJ Simpsons single season rushing record! Wow!” No mention of the fact that when OJ ran for 2,000 yards there were only 12 games in a season. For the last few years, there have been 16. This year 17. So that is 4-5 games more per season, and over a 12 year career that could be 48-50 more games. So Did Barry Sanders really break Jim Browns career rushing yards, or was he given the benefit of 40 more games? Sounds like an asterisk even to me.

There are clean records that are not dependent on more games available….Cal Ripken’s games played streak, Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak, a 68 yard field goal, Wilt Chamberlain 100 point game….but records that are measured over a season or career need to be defined in terms of games played.

There. I said my piece. Nothing will change. You can put that in the record book.

Another Memory, Twisted

Back when I was in school during the 60’s and 70’s, one of the things students were afraid of was the dreaded intercom coming to life and screeching “Would so-and-so please report to the principal’s office”. It was made worse when that “so-and-so” was you. Nothing good ever came of that dreaded walk all by yourself down the long, quiet hallway where, as you passed other classroom doors, all eyes were on you. At that moment, life stunk.

Fast forward to 2020+. Today, the kids do not fear the principal, they simply see as it as a break from class.

Here is the twist: today it is the TEACHERS that fear that dreaded intercom and the call for THEM to see the principal. No doubt that sometime during the course of the day, the teacher said something innocent that was misinterpreted by a student, and a “warning” is now on the way! It happens very (VERY) frequently, and after awhile, the teacher just says “fuck it” and resigns. Don’t think so? Just google “teacher shortages”.

Cupcake’s school had three teachers resign while on Christmas Vacation. That now puts a burden on the rest of the teachers as there are no replacements and substitutes are an anomaly. So a teacher that was “thinking” of resigning will be pushed to a quicker, more solid decision, and the school will be short ANOTHER teacher. Then another. Then another.

The Principal’s office is no longer there to support the teachers. It is a Bully mechanism. Short and simple.

Ho Ho Rake

First off, Merry Christmas.

I have made no secret that I am not a fan of Holidays, so wishing you a Merry Christmas is about all you are going to get.

Now, on to my post.

Listening to the holiday news this morning, They interviewed a local politician that identifies as a Republican, but for all intense purposes he is an independent thinker. His name is David Jolly, and after listening to him, I kind of like his thought process.

He was talking about the divisiveness our country is experiencing, and anyone that is not living inside a goat’s testicles will tell you is really deep, and very real. His take, though, struck an A major chord with me. He said that both major parties feed off, and REQUIRE this divineness to survive. They BOTH go out of their way to create the hatred much in the same way a child will play two divorced parents to get double the goodies.

The problem, he says, is that it bleeds far beyond politics and into the very fabric of cultural trust, one in which family hates family, lifelong friendships are crushed, and work environments go from “team” to “you are my enemy”.

Social media sights, once intended to bridge these differences, have become a breeding ground for hatred spewing platforms, and this phenomenon has bled into our media outlets. Journalism used to be a trusted forum for news, and now it is a forum for misinformation designed to draw a specific audience.

I would like to think I am above this lack of continuity and mistrust, but the fact is, I am not.

Tip, or Reward

Warning: This blog is longer than my usual blogs, but worth the read, I believe.

When you play scratch off lotteries, you pay for one ticket at a time. You scratch, you win, you go to any lottery outlet and cash in so long as it is under $600. That is the threshold where it becomes taxable and you have to go to the State Lottery Office to collect your winnings.

If you spend $100 on twenty $5.00 tickets, and you get lucky and hit on two for $500 each, you take those tickets to your local lottery outlet, cash them in, and walk with $1,000 in untaxed dollars. But, if you hit just one ticket for $600, you pay taxes and net maybe $475. So the winnings are not taxed on the cumulative, only based on each individual winning ticket, as each ticket is treated as an individual event.

This is how we view tipping. My wife (Cupcake to you bloggers) and I are excellent tippers, usually hanging between 30% and 40%. We view tipping like the lottery. Tipping is a REWARD for a job well done at OUR table. It is not part of a cumulative effort as we have no control over the next diners tipping algorithm.

It is a REWARD because we are not REQUIRED to tip at all. The service is built into the restaurant’s paradigm. We will get service whether we tip or not. So, we are rewarding the server for taking care of us beyond what is a built in expectation.

Here is where this is headed. We tip in cash. It does not matter how we pay the bill, the tip is cash. This allows the server to decide whether to claim it or not, and we are good with that. If the lottery works on a per ticket taxable event, then tipping should work on a per table taxable event. Not a cumulative event. If the individual table tip is greater than $600, tax away, otherwise, leave it alone.

When the signature receipt comes, We write NONE or ZERO in bold letters on the tip line (never ever just put -0-, That can be modified).

There. I said my piece.

Well, just yesterday, right?

Congress is about to spend another $1.7 trillion of taxpayer money. Do not get too excited, because it does not include the $200 funding needed to fix that pothole in front of your house, or the $600 funding to fix that broken sidewalk down the road. It is $1.7 trillion that will have little to zero affect on your life other than open the door to raping your paycheck even deeper.

But how much is $1,700,000,000,000? Try this on for size –

A million seconds ago was the last week of July.

A billion seconds ago was 1988.

A hundred billion seconds ago was 1000 BC.

A trillion seconds ago Neanderthals became extinct (30,000 BC) and New York was under a mile of ice

Five trillion seconds ago the homo sapians population was potentially as small as 2000

Our current national debt is $34 trillion. 34 trillions SECONDS ago, Earth could not yet support life.

Cry Baby Cup 2022

So the World Cup is coming to a close, and there are two things I am taking away from this event, one good, one bad. First

THE GOOD

These games start on time. If it is scheduled to kickoff at a certain time, it starts AT THAT TIME. Here in the states, kickoffs, first pitch, puck drop, tip off….they are all more about “We are going to start sometime around….”. This is not only the start, but halftime. A 1 PM game is really 1 PMish….every freaking time. A 30 minute half time can be anywhere from 30 to 57 minutes.

Not in Soccer. 1PM means the ball is in play at 1PM. I like that.

THE BAD

These players are absolute candy asses, or the Oscars are being awarded to the wrong actor/actors. The slightest bump, brush, nick, or breath too close elicits what looks like a chainsaw injury performance. Writhing pain, agonizing facial expressions, rolling around on the ground….you would think they were in an IED explosion or something. When we look at the replay in slow motion, it is difficult to see where this “my ankle has ruptured” performance is coming from. Did his hand just brush his back? Did that slide hit his cleat on the rebound? Wait, did that almost head bump mess up his hair?

So bring more bandages or more Oscars, because you will need plenty of at least one of them.

New business model?

At what point did we go from “Customer Service” and the “customer is always right” all the way to “the customer is a nuisance, so please go away”?

Without getting into details, over the last twenty four hours I had good reason to call customer service for two different companies. Now, the IDEA that I had to call two in a 24 hour period indicates a sad state of customer service, but the reception for those calls made it worse. From super extended wait times (in excess of 1 hour in one case, 38 minutes the next), to menu options that require another 15 minutes to navigate to get to a speaking human being (speaking in ANY language, but usually not clear English), and then to a representative that has no empowerment beyond repeating an endless script and a complete inability to fix your concern. On one call, I was actually trying TO PAY them money ( their app was down) and still got push back!

I would switch to an alternate company providing the same service, but I am convinced they all hire millennials that practice the same paradigm, so I am stuck with ultra shitty service, and the only thing welcome is my cold hard cash.