Friday, January 31, 2020

Beverage conspiracy

I don't know why restaurants insist on serving "Sweet" tea.  I had lunch yesterday at a restaurant  and the waitress brought me unsweet tea. The problem was as I consumed my drink she refilled me with sweet tea.  This would not do and I flagged her down and explained her error. She brought me out another glass of tea. It turned out to be sweet tea as well.  They look identical and little care seem to be made that the product is in the correct pitcher. I was annoyed, but flagged her down again. Finally, she brought me some more regular unsweetened ice tea.  

If they would simply have unsweetened tea and packs of sugar on the tables, this sort of thing would not keep happening.  This is actually the second time this week I've gotten sweetened tea.   I went through Micky D's drive through as I just wanted some tea. I ordered unsweet tea, picked it up and drank it when I was about a mile away.  Of course it was sweet. It always is.  I poured it out. I checked the receipt. It clearly said unsweet tea. I complained online, as if that'll do any good.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Greeting Kardz

Note to Hallmark:  There aren't very many Ground Hog Day cards available in stores.  I think we could use some more. There are rows and rows of Valentine cards, but I can't find a single Ground Hog Day card.  Someone at Safeway swore she saw one in some other store but wasn't sure which store. Come on, you guys can do better than this.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Golden Aches

There's a fast food restaurant near my house that I really hate.  The thing is, they're it. I live far away from Tucson city limits and there isn't much else out here but them.  In the three years I've lived here  I've probably gone there six or seven times--about twice a year.  I have never gotten what I ordered. It's astonishing how bad this place is.  I seem to forget after six months and make the mistake of going back.  I've got to stop doing that.  

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Bring 'em back

I sure wish the following fast food outlets would bring back some stuff:

Arby Q

Taco Bell
combination burrito
green sauce [green sauce didn't sell much because it was never on the menu as an option]

Jack in the Box
secret sauce

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Who the Hell is Melvin Cruddy ?

I used to work for the concession company that ran the Grand Teton National Park restaurants and hotels.  This was a long time ago. I drove the laundry truck and was later a laundry supervisor.  Amongst other things, they had an option if you didn't want to go to the dining room for lunch, you could get a sandwich at the employee canteen. You had to sign for your meal, since they had to account for employee meals differently than regular sales of candy bars and stuff.  For some inexplicable reason, I started signing Melvin Cruddy on the sheet.  That certainly was not my name.

As I mentioned, I drove the laundry truck. It required gas, which was purchased at the company owned convenience store. You had to sign this voucher sheet for the gas, including a code for what department it was being used by.Well, Melvin Cruddy started signing for gas as well.  The thing was, no one ever seemed to notice.  

I wasn't really defrauding anyone. The gas really was for the laundry truck. The employee meals were really being eaten by an employee. . But blind signatures on some form are rather meaningless records.  

Well, then I ended up working for a hotel in Colorado.  It was rare for me to use the company van, but one day I had to take some luggage over to another hotel and it was running on fumes. So I signed for the gas at the gas station we used as Melvin Cruddy.  I don't know why.  Then, I started signing Melvin Cruddy whenever I accepted luggage deliveries (the airlines often misplace luggage and then would send it by messenger since we were  very far from the airport).  Credit card refund form for customers--Melvin Cruddy.  Not once did anyone ever ask "Who the hell is this Melvin Cruddy?"

I'm not sure where this name came from. Benny Hill had some sketch character called Mervyn Cruddy as I recall.  But I'm not sure where Melvin came from in the bizarro world inside my head. I do know this, no one has ever questioned why Melvin Cruddy was signing stuff when we had no such employee. If I had to send FedEx, the employee name was Melvin Cruddy on the form at the hotel. 

I don't know what evil force made me sign Melvin to so many forms. Maybe it's just the stupidity of so many meaningless forms in the world.  Then I retired and moved to Arizona. Last weekend I went to the gun range.  Melvin signed in on the sign in sheet. At least Melvin has never signed for a credit card purchase--not yet anyway.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

You gotta be nuts

Well, supposedly, Planters Nuts are getting rid of Mr. Peanut.  I think this is horrible.  Back in my salad days I sent away for a plastic Mr. Peanut cup.  I don't know what became of it.  I'm really bummed out about this.   He's always been there for me.  He often would turn up in my yard and console me when I was feeling bad.  Now, I've got to move on without him.  I will admit the cup was a cheap plastic one.  

Monday, January 20, 2020


Last Friday I had a nail removed from my tire. It's the fifth one in the last 12 months.  I think that's an excessive amount of nails.  I cannot figure out why there are so many nails on the roads. It's not like they have roofing on our highways. Yet the nail problem persists. This one was in the sidewall of my tire and couldn't be fixed. Fortunately I had road hazard protection and got a new tire.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Now We Wait

I had a live tree for Christmas and planted it in my yard after the festivities ended.  The problem is this Arizona climate is hard on trees.  I don't know if it'll make it.  Evergreens are tough to tell if they're alive. They don't turn brown and look dead until they're really gone.  That's not so with people. If someone died in my yard it would be obvious really soon. In just a few days that body would get bloated as the bacteria in the corpse give off gasses.  Then the body would start to stink--really bad smell.  That is not true with evergreens. They just sit there and look like a live tree even when they're not. Eventually, they turn brown and then you realize they're dead, but that comes months later.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

air bags

Well I broke down and finally got my car's airbags fixed. I've been getting recall notices forever on it. It's just that the dealer is so far away from my house and I hate sitting around car dealers all day. It literally killed an entire day to get this fixed. I guess I can crash into something safely now. Hah!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Is it real or is it Mesmerex?

There's this paranormal show on telebision that I was watching the other day.  I found myself wondering how I could hoax each segment.  About 90% of the time I could figure out a way to hoax each segment within just a minute or so.  And I wasn't even trying.  Now I'm not saying most of this stuff was fake, just that it would not be difficult  to fake it.  I'm not sure why folks fake and hoax these things. Whether it's ghosts or UFOs or Bigfoot, a lot of this material is hoaxed. I don't know why people go to the trouble to fake this stuff. I really don't see what they get out of it.  But a lot of this paranormal  stuff is complete balderdash. 

That's one reason why I rarely give talks about the Great 1897 Airship.  I've spent years studying about this thing and consider it the most baffling event in American history.  Yet, if I try and talk about it people just claim it's a hoax and dismiss it outright--without any basis to denounce it or me. And so I've kind of taken a step back and do not have any talks planned about it this year, even at science fiction cons.  I'm just tired of pounding my head into walls. It's a shame as I think it's a story that needs to be told.  I've read newspaper articles from the day. The California state legislature even held hearings on it.  And I have serious problems with the very few books on the subject. But people don't want to hear it and I've got to decide how I want to proceed with this subject.  The Airship wasn't done with fishing line  or a fan out of the frame of a camera angle. It scared a lot of people, should not have existed based on the technology of the day, yet it has been completely forgotten by history because the dullard class just says "It's gotta be a hoax."  The same dullard class that watches these stupid paranormal shows.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Free Money

I mentioned the other day  I turned in my coin cup at Coinstar and got 40 bucks.  Well, I've learned something else about these coin machines in grocery stores and some chain drugstores: people don't check the slot for rejected coins. Sometimes perfectly good coins get rejected.  I've started checking them when I go to the store.  I got 17 cents at Kroger yesterday and 50 cents at CVS two days ago. Caching!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Garbage Truck

When I was a little kid I always thought the garbage truck was way cool. At first they had guys hanging on who picked up the trash and tossed it in the hold. Then, they brought around these big green cans and the new garbage truck came by with a hydraulic arm. The driver could just scoop up the garbage can and dump it from inside the cab. I thought this was the coolest thing I'd ever seen.  

I don't know why no one ever gave me a toy garbage truck to play with as a kid. I'd have been the happiest kid on earth.  Although my mother noted I seemed to have a fascination with the garbage truck, no such garbage truck toy ever appeared underneath the Christmas tree.  Mrs. Fitzgerald, my first grade teacher, used to tell us if we didn't learn in school we'd have to drive a garbage truck for a  living. I always thought that sounded okay to me, although it never actually happened. I have wondered if I'd gotten a CDL and gotten on as a garbage truck driver how things would have been. I still think garbage trucks are cool.

So, for some reason, yesterday an ad popped up on some article I was reading on the Internet.  It was trying to sell me a garbage truck toy. I don't know why.  Then I discovered it cost about $100. No thank you. But, for at least a few seconds, I thought I might finally have a garbage truck to play with. Not happening. Still. . . 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Bird Brain

I've always believed owls don't hoot at night. A neighbor insists they do.  We have an owl nearby and I've only heard it hoot during the daytime.  I know they prefer to hunt at night and have the eyesight and hearing to be very good at it.  They're also nearly silent, as their wings simply don't make noise. As it would happen, this morning, just around sunrise, an owl took out one of the local doves. Except it didn't have a clean kill. The dove was yelling some sort of dove distress chirp and the owl couldn't seem to get it to die.  Finally, the owl flew away with the dove in its tendons.  I know  in the animal kingdom that's the way it works--you're predator or you're food.  Still, it's a rather unpleasant exchange to awakwn to just outside your bedroom window.

Monday, January 13, 2020


I just tried the grocery pickup service run by the local Kroger affiliate, Fry's.  I liked it, yet I have a certain guilt at the same time.  Whilst sitting in my car and someone puts my order, all bagged and ready, into the trunk of my car, I feel guilty about it. Man was meant to claw and scrape and push through the crowds to hunt for the specials. Just having them bring me my stuff, that's not quite right somehow. I'm not sure what I'll do in the future.  

I can't believe this is profitable. Stores have invested a lot of money to generate impulse buys by putting the fresh baked bread smell near the entrance and so on. They've also tried to make stores they require minimal manual labor to keep costs down.  This drive up concept seems to run directly afoul to this.

Sunday, January 12, 2020


I went around the neighborhood two nights ago.  Last summer I converted my electric yard light to a solar light by buying a solar light at Lowe's and putting it in the housing for my yard light. Now, gradually, my neighbors seem to be copying me and more and more solar yard lights are turning up. Go solar! Yay!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Magic Cup

I took my cup which is a little bigger than a standard coffee mug to the store and ran it through Coinstar yesterday. The result: $41.07.   Not bad.  That's from the change in my pockets and the occasional coin I find in parking lots.

Friday, January 10, 2020


I found two pennies today, right on the sidewalk.  If I find another 98 I'll have a whole dollar. I've mentioned before that I still pick up coins--even pennies.  Just last week I found a nickel.  Some folks would ask why?  A penny is nearly worthless.  I agree.  Yet I still pick them up and put them in my coin cup along with spare change I've gotten from purchases and other places.  When it gets full I take it down and run it through the coin machine at the grocery store. It's what I do.  Today my coin cup is now full and I'm going to go and redeem those coins for cash. I'll post how much I got tomorrow.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

You never know about stuff

My father said something odd yesterday. He said he might not be around for Christmas next year.  Well, at 92 years old people do sometimes feel mortal.  But this was odd for him.  I didn't say anything. A minute or so later he said, "Space aliens might come and take me away."  Well, this was very odd. If I said something like that it would shock no one as I'm known for bizarre nonsense, but coming from my father, well that was weird. But that's what he said.

"Have these aliens been in touch?" I asked.  "Do you have a certain day in mind?"

"No, but you never know about stuff," was his response.

Well, that is quite true  You never know about stuff. "I hope they give you time to pack," was all I had to answer to that conversation.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2020


I guess gas prices will be heading up.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020


Someone was talking to me on the phone yesterday. I have no idea what language it was or what he wanted. I'm not even sure if the caller was actually a 'he'.  It certainly was not Spanish or one of the middle Eastern tongues.  That got me wondering: What if the caller was actually speaking gibberish and it was not my lack of understanding of his language but rather the fact it wasn't any language at all. Perhaps some mental patient got a hold of the phone at the asylum when the nurse took a break? 

I listened to him for a few minutes and thought it odd there was no let up in this rambling discourse after two full minutes.  I returned fire, babbling incoherently with my own gibberish language I was making up on the spot. The caller hung up after about 30 more seconds.  What actually happened? I don't really know. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

And Gone

Most of the holiday decorations for Christmas are down in my neighborhood.  So much until next year. Coming up fast is Ground Hog Day.  I love Ground Hog Day and encourage folks to eat sausage on February 2nd because sausage is made from ground hog.  Surprisingly, the folks at Hallmark haven't really flooded the card shops with Ground Hog Day cards for people to send.  That's a shame. There aren't even any colors associated with the holiday like orange for Halloween and green and red for Xmas. So, what we have is a holiday that needs a little work.

Way back a few years ago I wrote to the folks at Jimmy Dean sausage and tried to get them behind my idea of eating sausage for Ground Hog Day because sausage is made from Ground Hog.  I never heard from them. They probably thought I was some kind of kook.  I guarantee come February 2nd I'll be eating sausage. Maybe yellow lights for Ground Hog Day.  You never see yellow lights for Xmas or Halloween.  

Friday, January 3, 2020


I used to think nothing of the cold when I lived in Colorado. Since moving to Tucson I seem to had morphed into some kind of weather sissy.  The last cold from that came through brought us down to 32 degrees.. Brrr. Turn up the heater was my response.  What a sissy I've become.  My old heavy coat from Colorado actually came out of the closet. Before, such temperatures would've brought out my lighter jacket.  Not anymore.  I've been acclimatized. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020


Do people still do New Year's resolutions?  You don't seem to hear about them much these days.  I don't really want to resolve anything.