Monday, July 28, 2014

The Extortion of Gratuity

For most of my thirty years in the work force I have worked for tips and for the most part I made a great living doing it. Of course, there were always those times I received a tip that just left me shaking my head at the inconsiderate nature of people. I mean, a fifteen cent tip is more of an insult than not leaving a tip at all. It’s rude and offensive and the server will remember you in the future. Why piss off the person who handles your food?

However, as much as I have grumbled in the past about lousy tippers, the act of tipping is based upon the person actually doing it. It is a reward for great service. Since I have worked for tips before and know that feeling, I tend to tip more than I should, even if the service wasn’t exactly worth it. It has been an extreme case when I have left a poor tip or not tip at all and in those cases the server had completely pissed me off. At that point, however, they’re lucky I haven’t tried to have them fired.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Look Down Generation

The Look Down Generation. It’s what people are calling the young people today, but really it spans several generations as more and more people grab hold of technology and all of its gadgets. You see, it has nothing to do with low self-esteem or a bad case of shyness. It has everything to do with the smart phone or iPad that seems to be glued to everyone’s fingers. Their neck is bent at a 45 degree angle as they stare at the screen catching up on Facebook or crushing candy. They rarely look up.

Furthermore, it doesn’t matter where they are or even what they are doing. They could be riding in a car full of people or even driving, sitting at a dinner table whether at home or in a restaurant, or just walking along the sidewalk, destination in mind, but the journey ignored. The contraption is in their hands and their fingers are pressing keys frantically.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Full Room to Empty Echo

We had just set this up
We’re in the process of moving as you may have heard, but we’ve been able to take it nice and slow, which my back appreciates. That was the idea when we started. Move one room or area at a time and avoid the chaos of a stacked box maze in the new house. It’s hard enough to rearrange furniture without the room being full of stuff you have to maneuver around. So, we created a plan of attack to optimize our efforts and create a semblance of organization. First area to be moved over was the garage, which just so happened to be the most discombobulated space in the old house outside of my desk area. We figured if we could move the garage first, organizing it as we did, then if we had to store other boxes in there temporarily, then nothing would get lost in the shuffle.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Four Stars for The Between World by Stephanie Ingram

Author Stephanie Ingram has always had a passion for language and people, which, lucky for us, has translated into storytelling. At the age of nine, she began writing and, after years of studying languages such as Portuguese, German and French, found her path back to creating vivid stories. The between World is one of those tales.

Nina Strident is almost killed in a car accident. She is rescued by Yalen, a mysterious man from another world who breaks all the rules to protect her when others want her dead. From there, we are thrown in to a battling world of humans, guardian angels, and those Between World. There is something about Nina’s survival that threatens t toss the worlds out of balance. Or is there? The reader is kept guessing with every turn of the page. You are also left wondering who the real bad guy is that they’re fighting–human or something else. The story has romance, mystery, magic, and a little bit of intrigue. Stephanie does a great job with her descriptions and story-telling, although I would have preferred more from the Between World to get a better grasp of what was going on within it and how it functioned.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Learn Something New Every Day

The hat helps the learning process
I want to learn how to play the guitar. I also want to learn how to play the saxophone, how to speak French, and how to finally use my Excel spreadsheets. I know I’ve joked in the past about not doing research for a blog post, but one of the things I enjoy most about writing is the research that has to go along with it. I’ve heard where some writers have become so obsessed with their research that they’ve forgotten to write their books. Some have found new interests or hobbies. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy reading biographies and history books, to learn something new, which I probably should have read about in high school if I wasn’t so busy doodling.

Learning something new helps stretch our mental capacity and sharpens our mind. It also helps us push past our comfort zones. Sometimes, we even discover that our comfort zones aren’t as narrow as we originally thought–except for roller coasters. Those are way outside of my comfort zone. It’s our fear of the unknown that quite often terrifies us, but learning can push us past those frightening barriers. The more we expand ourselves, the less of a foothold fear will have in our life.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Where Did the Wipers Go?

Not the picture that should go with this post.
We own three vehicles, two vans and a Dodge Caliber. We mainly use two of these, because one of the vans has become the “old” vehicle, without all of the cool gadgets of the others, and so it gets chosen last to play on the team. Actually, it is only chosen when it’s a necessity and I need to go somewhere and the girls have the other two vehicles. There isn’t anything really wrong with it. It’s just not as fun as the others. To be honest, I prefer driving it to the Caliber, because I hate my ass so close to the pavement underneath me. I prefer being high up where I can look down on those poor drivers who piss me off.

However, with the new move in motion, the old van was called into action as a pack mule and I was the designated driver. They used the term designated driver, that is. I would have chosen forced, but tomayto, tomahto.

Friday, July 4, 2014


By now, you’ve noticed the girls and I love Disney and if you haven’t, then your powers of observation need some serious exercise. Part of our annual passes to everything Disney includes admission into their giant arcade at Downtown Disney called DisneyQuest, five floors of video games and interactive fun. We had never been before, so when Sarah’s cousin, Lisa, was vacationing in Orlando, we decided to meet there for a visit of fun. Adults could talk and we could all play. Sounds like a good time, right? Well, it was.

We entered on the third floor, which was street level, and it was recommended we start at the top and work our way down by the cast member guarding the front door. We had an hour and a half to kill before Lisa and her family arrived, so we decided to explore. We found the nearest elevator, because I only exercise when the girls force me and walking stairs is classified as exercise in my book. We piled in and pressed 5.