Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel...

December 8, 2012

CJ is shooting pigeons today.  It's not like he has never shot anything before.  I have seen him shoot countless men-all in self defense mind you-playing video games.  Plenty of zombies as well.  But pigeons? 

Ah, with a camera, some of you have surmised.  Because you are so clever.  No, CJ is going with his girlfriend and her dad today to shoot pigeons. 

Apparently, her father likes to shoot weapons and has taught his daughter how to handle a gun.  Whenever the topic came up before, Beth and I would dismiss the shooting talk assuming her dad would never want to take CJ along and ruin their father-daughter bonding.  However, CJ got an invite this week.  He looked at me and asked if he could go.  Beth wasn't there so I knew I could not provide him with the final answer, but I assumed a trip to the firing range to squeeze off some rounds from a glock would not be harmful.

Before we go any further, I should make known my stance on gun control. 

I have no stance.  I have never had to take a stance.  Most people have their opinions about stuff formed by influences in their lives.  Or the Internet.  Either their parents pass on their opinions, or there comes a turning point in your life that shapes your opinion.  If you know someone who has been shot and better gun control laws could have saved them, I would guess you are rather anti guns.  If you have ever been attacked by a bear and a gun would have saved your life, you are probably pro guns.  If you ever had to listen to your neighbor's new dog bark all day every day, you may be pro guns.


But I am trying to find a way to purchase mail order doggy downers without it getting traced back to my account.  Perhaps I should not have shared that information on a blog.

Anyway, my dad taught me as much about guns as he taught me about camping which is the same amount I learned from him about tools.  Nada.  Zilch. 

Fortunately, I have never been attacked by a bear.  I was once attacked by a bee, but I fought him off with an open Ketchup packet much to the chagrin of the gentleman sitting next to me at the picnic.  He looked like he had been in a gun fight after I got rid of that bee.  If I had fought it off with a hand gun, I am quite sure this man's family would be anti gun.  Guns don't kill people, bees kill people.

But I digress.  It seems that Beth has had no opinion formed about guns in her lifetime either, except that someone used one to shoot JR and that Gibbs is really good with a sniper rifle.

So we said yes.  I mean, who is going to miss a few pigeons?  Mr Girlfriend's Dad said they only cost $10 to shoot at like 90 pigeons.  And CJ should not expect to hit any anyway.  Apparently, pigeons can be pretty crafty in flight.  So what's the harm? 

So he is going.  I have offered to take him out this morning to Bass Pro Shops to purchase one of those plaid hats with the ear flaps.  Or one of those barn jackets with random patches on the sleeves.  He has declined my offer.

Beth has shared two pieces of advice with him regarding today's activities.  First, don't shoot any humans.  Second, don't get shot by any humans.  I would rather he not get shot by any pigeons, but I am being told their primary self defense mechanism does not involve weaponry.  I guess we will find out.

So CJ leaves in an hour if you have an opinion you want to share.  And in case you are love all animals including flying vermin, please reread my title before yelling at me about CJ shooting live pigeons.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What if we each only get one wing and keep flying in circles?

December 5, 2012

Beth and I were discussing, ever so briefly, Bret Bielema this morning.  He just received a $700,000 raise.  Who is he?  He was the football coach for Wisconsin and is now the football coach for Arkansas.  He was making 2.5 million at UW and Arkansas is going to pay him 3.2 million.  Dollars.  American.  Per year.  Beth's observation was that the $700k is really going to be a life-changer for Bret.  (I used the sarcasm font up there.)

Isn't it strange how that kind of money could totally change one person's life while hardly altering another's at all? 

I am not saying Bret's life while not be changing.  I have been to Madison, Wisconsin.  I once lived in Bemidji, Minnesota and drove from Cincinnati to Bemidji a couple times.  Actually, I drove there once in my car, once with a U-Haul, and once with Beth.  So 1+1+1 is...carry the 4...3 times.  I had to use my toes.  Bemidji is 1001 miles from Cincinnati, so let's be crazy and call it 1000 miles.  Madison is 500 miles from Cincy so I would use my protractor and  make that my halfway point and sleep over there.  The hotel was right down the road from the university so I would get exposed to some of the college town while foraging for food.  A lot of pizza joints.  Anyway, it seemed like they lived and breathed for the Badgers there.

I have never been to the home of the Arkansas Razorbacks, Fayetteville, Arkansas, but I am guessing it is different than Madison.  Therefore, Bret is uprooting his family and life to switch jobs.  Life-changing.  That is supposed to be one of life's stressors, changing jobs and moving, but whether you do that with 3 million or 2 million should not matter, right?

To finish this thought (thankfully, I know), Beth was worried today about eating sushi with her coworkers for lunch since we just ate out at Chipotle last night.  Not because of the food, but because of the money.  While I assured her that the $10 would not break us, it amused me that she was worried about ten bucks while somebody in the news was getting a ginormous raise. 

Anyway, speaking of Beth, I need to find her a Christmas gift idea today.  I only need the idea since I am contemplating waiting to see if we are all alive on December 22nd before I buy any gifts.  This makes sense, right?  Here's the scenario.  Life on this planet as we know it is ending.  As we all die, I look at Beth and utter, I love you, and isn't it good that the money is still in the bank and I didn't waste it on a gift?

Speaking of me and logical thinking, here is what else I was wondering about concerning the end of the world.  Is God ready for the number of guests that will be coming?  Usually, He and St Peter have a fairly normal day at The Gates deciding who gets in and all.  Every once in a while they have an unexpected rush like when some misfortune hits such as the horrible typhoon in the Philippines.  However, what happens when all 6,973,738,433 of us show up at the same time. Who plans for 6 trillion guests?  Even if God is all-knowing, how many sets of wings can you get ready by the deadline?

Of course, the entire population of the Earth will not be converging on Heaven.  Some of us are on our way to Hell.  I am not worried about Satan's end-of-the-world prep though.  I imagine there is plenty of fire and brimstone amassed and sleeping arrangements are not the host of Hell's biggest concern.  "Oh, you aren't happy about having to share quarters with Stalin and Manson?  Work it out, we will be here a while."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

This title is for Beth and has nothing to do with my post. Afghan girl beheaded after refusing man's wedding proposal.

December 1, 2012

Welcome to December.  Traditionally this is my least favorite month of the year.  Right there with January and parts of February.  Hate the cold, do I.  It really has little to do with the holidays so much.  Yes, retail will beat the love of all things holiday out of you, but if Christmas were truly in July, I may not hate it so much.  I would have hung lights on our house if I could have done it wearing shorts and a tee shirt.  If I had a time machine, I would revisit the birth planning schedule for Mary and Joseph. 

What do you mean I need to reread the Bible?  Immaculate what?

So here we are at the brink of coldness.  Beth and I keep coming out from under our couch blankets long enough to tell CJ how we will be moving somewhere warm someday and he keeps telling us how disappointing that will be for him.  Drat.  At what point do we say screw him and leave town for warmness?  Time will tell if we ever do.

As for this past week, it was a bit strange for me as it pertains to work and sleeping.  Someone was on vacation from our overnight shift and the new assistant guy gets to fill in.  That was me if you haven't been paying attention.  I looked at it as a good training opportunity to see what our o/n team actually does and what kind of things go on in a CVS at 2am.

That is what I am here to tell you about.  Approximately none of you care about the other stuff, but Beth and CJ somewhat enjoyed the stories of 2am CVS customer interactions.  So here is what I can tell you.

The main request in the wee hours of the morning is Preparation H.  If you think about it, for those of us who work "normal" hours, it would take a lot to get you to leave your house in the middle of the night to go shopping.  Pain in the posterior region qualifies.  I had 3 people request the Prep H.  One dude, when I asked if I could help him find anything, said he would rather not say.  I told him that I was probably going to have to ring it up, so unless he was going to boost it, he might as well tell me.  We found it and hopefully he is sitting easier for it today.  Another woman also requested some Preparation for her H, but added that she also needed an applicator this big (insert picture of person doing the $5 foot-long pose).  She told me she did not want to tell me why she needed this Black Forest on Italian sized applicator, and I told her whatever she had going on was between her and her horse.

There are customers who shop in the middle of the night regularly.  I suppose they have 2nds shift jobs or insomnia or good reasons to do so.  One lady has a route with three stops on it during which she feeds "her" stray cats.  She was especially giddy for somebody up at 3am.  I sold her one of those 5' Santas.  Better to get rid of those things since they freak you out when you think you are alone in the store and you turn a corner to find Santa staring at you.

Another lady was making a purchase to solve an ailment she had.  She was reading on line what some of the causes of her eye pain might be.  I looked down to see what she was purchasing.  I expected to see stress relief meds, or something for dehydration, or saline eye drops, or a pirate eye-patch.  What I did see was a pregnancy test.  "Oh, I said.  Really?"  Color me alarmed because I have had some eye pain lately.  I thought it was fatigue or too much caffeine, but perhaps not.  I immediately went to pee on a stick and am relieved to tell you that I saw the minus sign.  Or the plus sign.  Not sure which one is good news when you don't want to be pregnant.

Anyway, the clincher story is not good timing if you are eating.  As you may have figured out, some of the people who have to stop by The CVS in the middle of the night are ill.  One child in particular had apparently eaten several meals and then had an upset stomach.  You can see where this is going.  Sometime during their stay in the store, he morphed into an oscillating sprinkler of vomit.  Pleasant, I know.  Thank goodness that the carpet in CVS is actually laid in squares.  I had to remove 8 squares of 2x2 carpet and hose them down.  My math degree tells me that is approximately 32 square feet of chicken noodle soup.  Fortunately, I am not one of those sympathy barfers.  Turning into Bob Barfer would not have helped the situation. 

So that is CVS in the middle of the night.  See what you are missing out on.  I am back to day side this week.  I had my assessment with my district manager on Friday and it went well.  There are no openings currently for a store manager, but she wants me to be ready for when it happens.  She feels I am ready now and I think so too.  I know God has a plan, so we will see how it all plays out.  I will keep you informed.  Until then, let's just enjoy December and get ready for the holidays.