Monthly Archives: October 2008

Boy am I stupid

It’s a dark dreary autumn day here in New England.  More leaves are on the ground than in the trees.  Tonight will be a good night to gather the children around the fireplace and tell them stories that will have them pulling their covers tightly over their heads.  

Stories of unexplained horror. 

I know the horror.

The horror of lying in ones bed with the covers pulled up over your head because you heard a sound that wasn’t explainable.  Maybe it was a stair creaking when you know no one is home. 

You know, the horror that causes you to hold your breath because you think that if you hold your breath you can hear better.  Duh, you quickly find out that when you hold your breath the sound of your heart beating in your ears drowns out everything else.  BOO!

So here I was the other night in my restaurant.  It’s about 10pm, everyone is gone and I am just finishing up smoking some chickens out back.  You should see the size of the bong to smoke those roasters.  HA!

Nothing worse than gratuitous paraphenalia  jokes when we are just weeks away from a significant vote to decriminalize possession of weed here in massatwoshits.

Back to the horror…..

The only light on in the restaurant is the stairs to the basement.  So I carry the well smoked chicken (delicious too) to the basement walk-in cooler.  As I am coming up the stairs I hear the skeleton go off.

Huh?

Let me backup a little.  A few days before I had bought this motion-sensor skeleton.  When someone walks in front of the skeleton/sensor it cracks a joke and then sticks it’s tongue out and goes BLAH.  I know, juvenile.  But it cracked me up.

Well it cracked me up until I was walking up from the basement at 10pm the other night and all of a sudden the skeleton starting cracking a joke and then goes BLAH!

I know everyone had gone and no one was supposed to be in the restaurant.

So here I am, Mr. Braveheart.  I grab the biggest knife I can find and proceed to the front of the restaurant where I had hung the skeleton.  As I am walking to the front, doing my best John Belushi (darting from equipment piece to equipment piece) I am trying to remember if I had locked the front door.

“I am an idiot,” I think to myself. 

 I have no idea what I was going to do with the knife, however, the person up front didn’t know what I was going to do either.

So I get up to the front of the restaurant and of course, no one is there.

With a sigh of relief I check the door and it’s locked.

I go to the back of the restaurant, lock the door and shut off the basement light and head back to the front of the restaurant to leave.  As I head over to the door I remember that I should check the thermostat and make sure it’s set to 60 degrees.

I make my way through the darkened dining room and am just about at the thermostat when all of a sudden, 2 feet away from me, the damn skeleton goes off – cracking a joke and then going BLAH.

It scared the crap right outta me.  It scared me to the point where I screamed right back at the damn skeleton.  I know that if I could have, I would have jumped outta my skin.  I AM AN IDIOT.

In the short span of 2 minutes I had totally forgotten about the damn skeleton and then unsuspectingly I walk right in front of it to get to the thermostat I set the damn thing off myself.

Boy am I stupid.

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Picking up that steaming pile

I awoke today – Yippee.   Actually I was awakened by Otis, my 6 month old sheep dog.  You see, it was time for him to go outside.  So we walk out the door and I am greeted by a foggy, unseasonably warm morning here in New England.  We had some rain last night so the grass is very wet and cold as I walk around, barefoot, in the yard coaxing Otis to take a crap outside rather than inside.  As we were walking around I notice that the foliage is trying it’s best to orchestrate a coming out party for Columbus day weekend.  After about 15 minutes all I was able to get Otis to do was pee so in the house we went.  Not 30 seconds after we get inside, as I am pouring my first cup of coffee, dear young Otis walks over to the end of the living room and takes his morning crap.

I have no choice but to laugh and pick up the steaming pile.   Life is good….i could have not seen the pile and stepped on it with my barefeet.  hehehehehe

I’ve been thinking and reading a fair amount after my last blog entry (thank you for the comments – Meredith you’ll always be a Carroll) and wanted to offer a few additional thoughts.

I’ve saved up enough money to go by a snow plow for my truck.  I figure I can make a few extra bucks and save myself a few dollars by plowing my driveway at home and at my restaurants.  So I go to the local plow store and talk to the plow dude and we make the deal.  As I am talking with him our conversation turns to the economy and I ask how it’s impacted him.  Understand this is a small local plow store.

He tells me that at a recent fair (big E) they had an exhibit and during the busiest weekend they “sold” 14 plow or sander setups.  Typically these range in price from $1,500 to $6,000.  I said, “awesome plow dude.”

He said, “not so fast unaware wannabe plow operator.”  It seems that of the 14 “sold” 12 of them were financed and of the 12 applications, 10 were rejected due to the new credit crunch.  That was my ouch moment.  Until that moment I really didn’t think about how this financial debacle was impacting my local world.  Shit, no one ever finances an $11 pizza.  

An interesting place to look these dayz for a ray of hope is the oil markets.  WHAT?  The oil markets as a ray of hope?  Yep.  As recently as July I know I was looking, with dread, at the oil market with an eye towards a winter in the northeast.  Home heating oil over $5 a gallon, gasoline closer to $4.50 than $3.50, delivery fees for restaurant supplies ever increasing, natural gas taking it’s price clue from oil climbing steadily higher…..etc.   Then something funny happened on the way to the gas station.

Demand went down.   

The peak price for a barrel of crude hit a little more than $147 in July this year.  Today that same barrel is selling for just under $89 with futures around $83.  That’s a drop of 40%.  By the way, that drop includes the predictable knee jerk reaction by OPEC –  to bolster the price by slashing production by 520,000 barrels a day about a month ago which had little to no impact on the continued erosion in the price of a barrel of oil. 

I don’t know why I find it interesting…..maybe because I think that the cost of oil is one of the leading contributors to rising prices (inflation).  I know that it caused my flour cost to increase over 300% due to farmers moving to produce corn for ethanol.  If it increased my flour cost it increased Wonder Bread’s flour cost. It means bread costs more and in my humble opinion it means that folks like you and me – keepers of the pozitoodinal light are more impacted financially by the price of oil than the value of AIG’s crap mortgage portfolio.  Then again, maybe I am underestimating my audience.  Maybe there’s a lot of you waiting to cash in you CV Star retirement program.

I think that the erosion in the price of a barrel of oil is just what you and I need.  Costs less to fill the car, costs less to heat the house, costs less to get supplies….who knows, just maybe it will be the shot in the arm the economy needs.  It only works if we make sure we remember. 

Remember from where we’ve come.  We’ve got to continue to conserve resources.  Continue to invest in alternative energy options.  Continue to care about this great planet we happen to occupy at this place in time.  Continue to support one another by caring.  Continue to believe that when you do something positive it will be passed along.  Continue to believe in one another.  Continue to take great pride in whatever you are doing.

And continue to fill that great big universal karma jar with pozitoodinal energy.

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it’s a small world after all

Who knew all those little wood asian kids on that damn ride in florida were right?

Where the fuck do I begin?

After 17 daze of living on nothing but sugar, fried food, margarita’s and cotton candy I have woken to a not-so brave new world.  My pockets have been emptied of everything.  No synaptic provocateurs, no money, no job, no nothing.

I see a political landscape in which people are more interested in calling one another names rather than coming up with solutions to significant problems (fyi – in my humble opinion the $700B bailout bill wasn’t a solution).  Biden and Palin – interesting choices….makes me question the judgement of both candidates.

Why is it that we have more choices of peanut butter than candidates for president?  I guess it’s a good thing in that it eliminates the potential for a fringe candidate getting elected with less than the majority of the popular vote.  We couldn’t let that happen…….could we?

I see a world reeling from financial mismanagement, head-in-the-sand paralysis and greed.  A great acronym NINA.  Sure it was one of the ships that pirated the pilgrims from england to massatwoshitts.  Maybe that is appropriate.  In the world of mortgages it means – No Income No Asset verification.  Great way to lend money, assholes.

Where the fuck was I when that line formed…..got no job, got no assets but write me a $250K mortgage so I can buy me a house.  Shit with the real estate market going up, maybe I’ll flip the house, pocket the profit and get back in line.  In the interim lets package all these NINA mortgages into a neat little investment bundle and sell them to, let’s say AIG.  Bingo…..

I heard some wise dude on the radio the other day and he said that wall street is no longer an investment arena.  Wall Street, according to this dude, has become a speculative arena.  Somehow this isn’t surprising. 

Today’s world is one of instant gratification, instant communication, even instant replay.   It’s become, for lack of a better term, IWORLD.  A place where it’s all about the I not about the we. 

Sure I am generalizing, but it’s my blog and I get to do that.

Shit, you can’t go anywhere without your cellphone or pda for fear of being out of touch.  We need access to everything and anything.  Do you really care if one of Brittany’s kid’s took a nice shit today? 

I love the fact that there is a guy, Cramer on MSNBC who tells you what stocks to sell or buy.  What ever happened to doing your own due diligence and research?  Lazy fuckers!  Actually, if you simply follow Cramers lead you can always blame your losses on someone else.  This too seems like another come thread running through today’s world…..it’s not my fault it’s someone else’s.

As the great writers for Monty Python once penned, “society’s to blame, ok will be charging them too.”

What ever happened to sound fundamental financial management?  Whatever happened to companies caring about their workers through great benefits and competitive salaries?  Where did accountability go?  Shit, wasn’t it a few short years ago that the Enron debacle brought about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.  I think the other name for it was:  the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act.

We walk around with ipods and things called zen plugged into our ears to drown out the noise and eliminate any interaction with the world and people around us.  Maybe it’s just to drown out the negativity.

As I have said since day one folks – we have to be positive.  WE, have to set the example for people, we have to help folks get out of this rut, we have to be the pozitoodinal light that shines even when times are the darkest.

I had a nice venting today via my blog and feel better and renewed to be that bright light of pozitoodinal energy.  Let’s make this ourworld instead of I world. 

Reach out to someone and smile.

Open a door for someone.

Let someone merge into your lane.

Let someone go ahead of you in line with less things in their shopping basket.

Drop off some canned goods or a dollar or two at a local food bank.

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