How to behave at a Traffic Light

 

IMG_2647
Almost a wreck action shot

 

  • There is a white line indicating where you should stop at a red light. That is not for you, but for the car behind you. Get your whole car into the intersection!
  • If you’re the first car, now is a good time to check your smartphone and catch up on text messaging. This will allow you to miss when the light turns green causing the person behind you to beat their steering wheel until their hands are a bloody pulp.
  • If you’re second in line, watch the perpendicular light as it progresses towards it’s tertiary state. At the split second before the light ignites green, honk your horn mercilessly! If a response is not obtained in no less than nanosecond, start beating your hands on the wheel until they are a bloody pulp.
  • If you are trying to make a left turn and there is no leading green, gun it through the intersection before the other driver has a chance to start.
  • If you are trying to make a left turn and the light is about to turn yellow, get out in the intersection! Attempt to clip the oncoming cars rear bumper as your final act of aggression.
  • If you need to make a right and there is one car in front of you, use the sidewalk or grassy area.
  • If you are arriving to a 4-way stop and another car is approaching, it doesn’t matter where the white line is. It matters who stops first. One car could be at the white line, but if you have about 50 feet before you get to the white line and you stop first. Go! It’s your turn!

You should never eat at the Olive Garden

Parking for taking our spouse out for a date?

I first must state that Italian food is not my favorite, but if you like it that’s fine. It’s been about 12 years since I’ve been to an Olive Garden. I can tell you that it hasn’t changed a bit. A beautifully decorated restaurant with food that tastes like Marie Callender’s out of a microwave. I was really excited for the breadsticks they are proud of, however they tasted a bit odd. The olfactory aroma was similar to the inside of a brown paper bag.

The trick is they fill you up on salad and bread so you won’t be able to finish your meal. Then you take the bagged boxes out in public and advertise to draw more people into the restaurant. By the time you finish your leftovers you realize it wasn’t really that big of a portion. The best part of the meal was the salad however there was only one olive the entire bowl and not a garden of olives as I was expecting.

Service is still slow, but that’s because they are always crowded and fielding complains from the guests. I heard someone a few tables over say their food was disgusting. There was a 10 minute daily in getting our child menus and a 15 minute delay between two halves of our table being served.

Someone from my party actually got sick from their meal. I’m glad my Tour of Italy didn’t finish it’s route at the bottom of my toilet bowl.

How to use your turn signal

Turn signals on motorized vehicles are no longer needed because they have lost their effectiveness.

Turning to Side street

If you see someone coming while exiting a subdivision, don’t trust their turn signal. You never know when someone forgot to turn it off or accidentally hit it. They can’t hear the audible clicking of the signal because they’re blasting their sub-woofers. You have to wait for them to commit to the turn.

Changing Lanes on Interstate

The only thing a turn signal is good for on the interstate is to let some know to speed up and block you from changing lanes. The only way to change lanes is to swerve and signal half way-through as to avoid a ticket.

Parking

Signalling to park will only invite others to steal the spot from you. Fist-a-cuffs will ensue. Just park far away from the store because exercise is good for you and getting your face broken is not good.

Go Old School

Stop bowing to the Gods of Illumination and Electricity and use what God gave you. Use only arm and hand signals.  Makes it easier to extend a kind wave after someone lets you in (or other hand gestures). If you are on a motorcycle, look over your shoulder with a stern look and point to the lane you intend to enter.

The Customer is Usually Wrong

The customer is ultimately the one who gives you money, but that shouldn’t make them right. Customers should implore some common sense before they go asking inane questions to store associates.

I worked in retail for a few years at Office Depot and it was quite frustrating to deal with some people. Most of the time people would come in asking for ink refills or typewriter ribbons. I would ask what model they own and they couldn’t remember nor would they bring the empty with them. They bought it at Office Depot, so I guess that was enough.

Of course on the other end of the spectrum, if you work at a place you should know your store and what you stock. There have been times where I’ve asked someone at Best Buy where a certain item is located. They are quick to reply they don’t carry the item and go about killing time until their break or shift ends. I always make it a point to find the item, and locate said employee and show them the item they don’t carry. Then proceed to order it from amazon from my smartphone.

Recommended website. Not Always Right

How to sleep pain free through the night

IMG_0283
Wait, what?

Sometimes I wake up and feel like someone has bitten my ear off. Turns out, I’ve only been sleeping on my ear. I don’t know how it happens, but somehow my ear folds upon itself and the cartilage bends to become painful enough to wake me. It’s one of the worst pains I’ve felt while sleeping. It’s almost as bad as waking up with your calf muscle behind your kneecap causing you to leap out of bed only to find you can’t bend your foot to straighten it out.

So how do you sleep pain free through the night? Get your room as dark and cold as possible. I target my room temperature at 65 degrees and make sure no LED lights are illuminated. Blackout shades and curtains are a must for those pesky morning sun rays.  I also run some white noise. I use a Rainmate and squirt a few drops of essential oil in the tank to circulate a relaxing plume of lavender. I also pop a melatonin about 30 minutes before shuteye as to get some good REM sleep. With melatonin, be mindful of what you watch on TV before bed. One night, after watching Black Mirror, I dreamed that 3 of my friends killed themselves in three separate nightmares in a single night. Oh yeah, get a good mattress!

This meal will keep you out of the hospital

IMG_2402
Fish and Chips from Long John Silvers

There is no question that Fish and Chips is one my favorite meals. Whenever traveling I always look for a good basket of authentic old country goodness.

I think it all stems back to my childhood when I was having my double hernia operation. The doctors wouldn’t release me from the hospital until I stopped throwing up. It was due to the hospital food being quite terrible and bland. One evening, it seemed as if a super hero entered my room with a long flowing cape. Under that cape was Fish and Chips from Long John Silvers. Nothing that I remember has ever tasted so delicious. Needless to say the next meal that the hospital placed before me stayed down with no problem. Turns out, my stomach was missing an essential layer of grease that would help the bland food stick to my innards. I was released thanks to the healing power of Long John Silvers!

You can never stop drinking coffee

I don’t know why, but I decided to start drinking coffee in 2002. Having just started a new job, I was finding it difficult to adjust to the time zone difference, recovering from the move, and dealing with new co-workers. I called a friend who had commended something called a “press pot”. I started from there skipping over the whole drip coffee maker ordeal that my parents had when I was growing up. No wonder I never liked coffee.

At first I bought ground coffee. Millstone Foglifter to be exact. Then I discovered that the coffee tasted better if I bought the whole beans in the store and ground them and brought them home. Next I found out that I could grind my own beans at home right before brewing, big improvement. Then I figured out filtered water tastes even better with the coffee.

Next I formed an alliance with co-workers and formed a super-hero coffee club. We vowed to fight coffee injustice by only grinding the freshest beans and preparing the coffee at the right brewing temperature. It was a in-house debate which temperature was superior. I preferred 192.5 F and others preferred 185 F. We bickered about grind settings complaining that some were too coarse while others were too fine. We hurled insults if someone let the coffee steep too long, so we had to start using a timer.

We then discovered that we could roast our own green coffee beans. That opened up new layers of complexity that we could fight about. Roast settings, under or over roastings and how the coffee sometimes tasted like drinking boiled string bean water out of a brown grocery bag. I finally had to move away to a new job to get out of the coffee club. I now know the secrets to true coffee bliss. Throw a K-cup into a machine and drink the contents once it squirts out. So easy…

One star reviews are the most accurate.

oneStarThis is where product review gold is found. You will find the most minuscule of complaints about how a product didn’t meet expectations. Complaints like, the a golf GPS not lowering your score because you are not able to hit your pitching wedge 170 yards like Dustin Johnson.

My favorite so far is reading a Yelp one star restaurant review. The restaurant wasn’t known for making wraps. In fact, they didn’t have wraps on their menu. The lady asked them to make her a wrap and she had to explain what a wrap was. So when the wrap didn’t come back as she liked she complained and gave a 1 star review of the entire place.

I understand one star reviews for products that are terrible, but bringing your subjectivity into the complaint is another thing. I tend to either leave five or one star reviews. There is no middle ground for me. All it takes is one small experience and I will never go back.

Selection Anxiety with Coca-Cola Freestyle

IMG_0065

I like the idea of the Coca-Cola Freestyle and I love the options, however it’s not worth the anxiety attack. Once you get to the front of the line you are inundated with a plethora of beverage configurations. As you are mashing buttons a line begins forming with anxious patrons with lids half cocked waiting to fill their containers with carbonated corn syrup and artificial flavoring.

I’m all for consumer options but this machine basically causes a traffic jam. I’ve even seen these in airports, a place where there is enough traffic. I’m a bit disappointed that there’s no button for an extra shot of caffeine, which would turbo charge any beverage selection. This would also be a great product placement for a Xanax button for a shot of relaxation. This would ease the anxiety about the five people in line waiting to stab you in the orbital socket with a bendy straw.

JUST PICK ONE!

While great in theory the execution can be painful. If you have these in your restaurant then have a minimum of two machines. People have enough trouble retrieving sporks and straws and now you present them with thousands of flavor combinations?

Think about what flavor you want beforehand.  There is nothing more frustrating that watching someone hunt and peck for Orange Flavored Sunkist when it’s not even a Coke product. Have an additional dispenser for just ice and water, this will speed up the queue and reduce the glacier of ice that has formed because of trigger happy customers. I would also be nice if these machines could detect the type of drinking vessel so that you don’t cascade the soda over the cup onto your hand. Or maybe just have one size for this machine and tune it for proper filling.

Where are you really from?


Where do you really call Home? Is it the place you were born or the place where you’ve lived the longest? Is it the place where all of your stuff is? I would say it’s where you want it to be. I mean, my kids were both born in Tennessee, but they are really from South Carolina. Even though my son wears Mountaineer gear and my daughter wants to constantly visit Orlando. But just remember nobody wants a backstory. They just want to know where you currently live because they want to judge your accent and speech patterns.

When I tell people I’m from West Virginia I usually hear. “Oh what part? I love Roanoke and the Shenandoah Valley!” I have to say. “You know West Virginia is a whole separate state right?” It’s like having to explain to someone. “I’m from South Carolina” and hearing. “Oh, I just love the Charlotte area!”

When I travel up North I hear, “You don’t sound like you are from South Carolina”. Yeah, I know! I’ve picked up a hybrid accent from West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, and the Carolina’s. I do my best to enunciate and speak clearly,  but once I’m tired I’m not sure which dialect will surface. Sorry for the backstory.