Monthly Archives: April 2014

The dawn of the modern cheap bastards.

There are times and situations in which I can be a cheap bastard.

Tipping is not one of them.

My mom waited tables back before she became mom.

I waited tables for a very brief period, not my thing, but I respect the trade.

Tipping was something that never really mattered to me at that point, mainly because my overhead was so low that minimum wage and tips was ample at that point in my life.

10% used to be the standard.

And then the Government stepped in, like it usually does, and fucked it all up.

Those in the service industry are now taxed as if they got a healthy tip, regardless of whether or not they did.


With single parenting at an all time high and tradeskills at an all time low, there are a shit ton of people waiting on others and trying feed a family on it.

Tipping used to be an additional amount you gave to thank the server for making things a little nicer, not expected, but an “Above and beyond” type of thing.

But the government has decided that they have had enough of that shit.

I did the research and crunched the numbers, and if you tip anything less than 20%, you are penalizing your server for taking care of you, because they are going to be taxed by the state for that amount no matter what went down.

I recently got into one of those frustrating online arguments with an old friend who waited tables back in the day and who’s daughter is waiting table now.

The old information I was operating under is what led to the argument.

Shit has changed, friends and neighbors.

I did a little research and found out 2 shocking facts.

1. The government will tax any tipping position as if each and every customer tips big. That alone is pretty shocking and shitty all at the same time.

2. It seems that stiffing your waitress, leaving nothing at all, is more popular now than back in the day.

What the hell? The research didn’t give age demographics but I would be willing to bet that the stiffing is a younger demographic and the weak tippers are the older demographic. I could be wrong, and I have been thru most of this, but that would follow the tendencies of both demographics.

The older generation grew up during that period that 10% was an extra that the government never touched, a thank you for the effort.

The younger generation, quite frankly, doesn’t think of much beyond themselves, so stiffing doesn’t hurt anyone. That may be a rude statement, more than a little generic, but seems to follow that same logic.

My own field research turned up results that led me to the conclusions above.

I made it a point to go out to eat a lot over a one month period. Places that you pay at the table.

The discussion of how much to tip among the older generation always started at 10%.

The disappointed look on the waiter/waitress after collecting the bill from a younger person, along with a quick inquiry, was usually a stiffed tip.

Not everyone, but enough to form the opinion and take sides. (Side note – I ended up contributing a tip to a few that truly deserved it and got stiffed.)

The long and the short of it is this.

First, tip starting at 20%, anything less and you are penalizing your server. Yes it sucks and makes it cost more to enjoy a meal out, but It is not the wait staff or the restaurant’s fault. Blame the assholes we elected.

Second, and this one is key, STOP BEING CHEAP BASTARDS!

If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford a sit down meal, go get some drive thru.

I remember the original conversation I had with the outraged mother at the beginning of all this.

I would be pissed too.

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Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Geeks are coming into their own.

I have a confession to make.

I am a geek, a nerd, call it what you will.

Played Dungeons & Dragons back in the 70’s kind of geek.

Collected comic books at the same. (Wish I’d kept the damn things properly, they’d be worth a fortune now.)

Throughout my childhood, there was one thing that sucked.

Super hero movies.

The special effects were always pure crap.

Not that they couldn’t be done incredibly, Star Wars showed that, its just that the studios would not put the money into a solid blockbuster film. (Christopher Reeves’ Superman came out in 1978 and, in my opinion, was so lame, it set back superhero movies by 20 years.)

And then came Spiderman.

Tobey Maguire was the SHIT!

It was a great film for 3 simple reasons:

1. Spiderman is much cooler than Superman.

2. The special effects were good enough that the film did what it set out to do without looking stupid.

3. Willem Dafoe died in the movie. (Few people die as well as Willem Dafoe. This is the stuff that Oscars are made of.)

Side note – If you are going to go to Starbucks for your morning coffee, DO NOT BATCH IN YOUR PERFUME!! Jesus lady, seriously?)

The latest example of an incredibly well made superhero film is Captain America – The Winter Soldier.

Wow. Loved it. Captain America has never been anybodies absolute favorite superhero.

But, using the Avengers movie as a springboard of good feeling, the Winter Soldier firmly entrenches the Captain as a staple of superhero movies.

Which is nice.

Geeks are coming into their own these days. You can thank guys like Bill Gates. I would mention Steve Jobs, but he always had that jazz guy vibe that make him kind of hip, so he doesn’t qualify.

A lot of women have figured out that geeks are generally paid better than your average guy, also, they are less likely to screw around with your sister while your out of town.

Side note – I never dated anyone with a hot sister, but I always wanted to. I would never go on the Jerry Springer show, but I would like to be eligible for an appearance.

Geeks also tend to have a better and more planned out retirement.

This blog has been written over the course of a few days. During this whole time, I have been watching the second film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

And that is geek as good as it gets.

But, the world of geek is not all wine and roses.

Occasionally, you run into someone who just doesn’t get you, and that is never fun.

It leads to an awkward moment.

And the majority of life is spent avoiding awkward moments.

But sometimes you know they are coming, but there is not a damn thing to be done about it.

And thats even worse.

So say it once, say it loud…

I’m geek and I’m proud.

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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Uncategorized


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The finger of doom.

Today is a day for bitching and complaining.

First on my list is parking.

My new morning Starbucks is a busy one, at least double the amount of morning traffic from the one in downtown Manhattan.

Traffic sucks on a regular basis even when all available spots are open.

And now, today only, the building management decided that it would be a brilliant move to put out some red cones and yellow caution tape and restrict half of the parking spots.

If there is some sort of serious work to be done and it is absolutely necessary to shitcan half of the customers to the coffee and none-coffee businesses here, so be it. Have the work teams standing by and get it done ASAP.

Here is the problem.

There is no workers to be seen. Not even an ominous work van.


And the morning java crowd is not taking it well.

As far as addictions go, caffeine is a fairly mild one that doesn’t make evil shit happen if you are denied.

Nobody gets shot if you can’t score and no one has ever performed oral sex in the alley to get a mocachino in the wee hours.

However, caffeine has an odd element of entitlement that other drugs lack.

Anarchy reigns in the parking lot at the moment.

The is a black BMW that is stopped in the middle of the lot, door open, and a guy in a black suit is rapping on someones trunk.

He is not happy.


I watched this one evolve and I believe I know what his issue is.

Black BMW entered from the west.

Open spot about 10 spots up. He hits his turn signal, but for reasons unknown, creeps forward really slowly.

The second he hit his blinker, a red VW Jetta enters the lot, coming in hot, at least 20 MPH in a small lot.

Sees the open spot, BMW is still 8 spaces away from the open space, and the Jetta makes an audible tire squeal as its slides into the spot.

Mission accomplished.

BMW does not view this as done.

Adding to the fun mix is the Jetta driver, who appears to be a very mild mannered business woman, not angry, not yelling, appears to be oblivious to the BMW driver’s issue.

You know what this little scene is missing to make it truly fun?

The police.

Oh wait, here they are.

And, it appears, that the BMW driver has been looking for someone to yell at other than the Jetta driver.

Why? No clue. But the police are the wrong ones to yell at.

As anyone who has spent a little hood time in the company of the police can tell you, they do NOT enjoy being bitched at.

Out comes the finger.

When the BMW driver begins to stab the finger in the general direction of the officer, things only get better for those of us who take some sort of sick delight in the tense shitty moments of others.

The BMW driver is now in trouble. The Jetta driver has asked and been given permission to go get her coffee.

I decided that coffee was a fine idea myself and went inside.

When I came out, 15 minutes later, the BMW driver was still making friends.

Let that be 3 lessons to us all.

1. Let the spot go. You don’t own it and another one will be available soon.

2. Its not personal. Don’t get out of your car, don’t make a scene. It still will not get you the spot.

3. Leave your finger out of it. The police have little tolerance for you and HAVE NO TOLERANCE for your finger in their chest. Trust me on this one.

Words for the next generation.

Leave your finger out of it.

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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Oh, the people you meet.

Not all of life is like the red carpet, no one usually cares who your wearing.

But do you give two shits WHAT your wearing?

Starbucks is always a mixed bag of humanity.

A majority are getting their caffeine on prior to heading to work.

Work always goes better with a nice caffeine edge.

And the work people are dressed for work so they are easy to spot.

The next group are the retirees.

Different dress code.

Comfort and sweat pants are a general theme.

Also, that sense of urgency is missing, these people are not in a hurry.

Being an older generation, they are dressed in more, rather than less.

Hands and heads are the only things uncovered.

The non-Muslim berka.

The next group is rare.

Not unicorn rare, but kind of like $50 lottery scratcher rare.

The best title I can come up with is “Walmart People.”

Trailer folk, or at least they should be.

Their sweats have loose elastic and allow for asscrack.

BO is common, so is a relaxed or just plain lazy hairstyle.

Let me make a point here.

There is a huge difference between Walmart People and the incredibly hot 20-something chick who slipped on some ill-fitting sweats, ugg boots, sloppy t-shirt and maybe panties in order to make a morning Starbucks run. She looks hot, its her place in things.

Walmart People are rarely Fortune 500 CEO’s.

Their orders are never expensive, but they are convoluted and difficult.

On that even more rare occasion that they are on a cell phone call, the conversation is always a verbal bag of cats. The “F” word is often muttered into the phone, used as a period in some cases.

The lady in line ahead of me is having just such a conversation.

Someone named Kella is supposed to “Get ma check.” And then the F-word was used as a noun, verb and interjection.

And then she left. Damn Starbucks and their quick order fulfillment.

Which leaves the last group of Starbucks customer that I will be talking about.

Indie folk.

They are alternative, sometimes goth, oddly appearing folk that seem to go out of their way to be different. Hipster is a word that comes to mind.

But, and this is important, They are different, but almost cookie cutter identical to the rest of the Indie Folk.

Nothing new here, but they are firmly convinced there is something unique here.

They usually don’t accomplish much, when the accomplish anything, no matter how small, they scream it from the roof tops all the while claiming they are not doing just that.

And then there is me.

The witness.

I watch people.

The aboriginal tribes of Australia believe that taking their picture steals a portion of their soul.

This is the kind of watching I do. I take a little something with me when I go.

Everything comes at a price. My price for starting and continuing this blog is to give up my filter. I am all but incapable of keeping my mouth shut.

It puts a little strain on relationships.

It also leads to taking a little too much delight in other peoples discomfort.

So be it. We are who we are.

Plus it makes for good reading.

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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


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There is no link between healthcare and hot lesbians. Maybe.

Health insurance is now like a financial herpes.

Its worse than you ever thought it would be, the person that gave it to you lied about how bad it was, and you will never get rid of it.

Lucky us, we all made the same poor choice of who we took home from the dance.

Like your father said when you got the sex talk, make sure you wear a condom.


The reason for my disenchantment with comprehensive healthcare is that I started a new job and got my healthcare.

And a small get-by policy that I had 3 years ago has gotten worse and more than doubled in cost. ( Before you try to go down the “It’s better” road, don’t. I went over the premiums and coverage, its not.

Lots of people are in the same boat.

However, if you voice your concern about the financial prison rape that goes on, depending on what state you are in, your state senator will call you a liar.

And nobody seems to give a shit.

Oh well, this would not be the first time that the government has lied thru their teeth and screwed us in the process.

The above sentences have now placed me on a No-fly list and for the next few years, I will be under a sort of “House arrest” in the state of California, without the indignity of an ankle bracelet.

Lucky me.

That being said, this pissy little rant was brought on by 2 different things.

The first is the healthcare discussion going on at the next table.

There are two early twenty somethings not really discussing, but rather whining incessantly about the fact that, despite the fact that they voted for and were in favor of the Affordable Blah Blah Blah they are now shocked that they both have to buy it, and it is not cheaper as promised.

I remember the early twenties, its a period marked by its hapless stupidity.

Regardless of what party you belong to, we can all agree that we’re just fucked in this together.

After 300+ words of soapbox type pontificating, lets move on to something more fun.

There are two hot ladies making out at one of the tables.

I know, I know, its a juvenile thing, objectifies women, but its still cool.

Besides, if you are going to make out in a Starbucks on the cheap cushions of the bench seat, then you obviously, on some level, want people to watch.

And some of us will. Shamelessly.

There is a basic male fantasy that most men have, even the guys who claim they don’t.

Its the whole sexy lesbians thing. Its not a mature thing, its dumb and bigoted, and anyone with a set of testicles is drawn to it like a moth to a bug light.

It may make you a dick and politically incorrect, but it doesn’t make you a bad person.

I once dated a girl who liked to make out in public. She was into the passion, but she needed the people around her involved to be a part of it.

So, looked at that way, they are sharing it all with us.

Its always nice to be included.

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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Count on your fingers if you get confused, Muttenhead.

Lets be a little condescending and rude for a moment. (Why should today be any different?)

Lets say for the sake of arguing that the cashier at the Starbucks I am at is not either low-functioning tarded or is normal, but just that slow and more than a little dumb.

To save time, lets call this cashier Muttenhead.

First of all, that is an insult to tarded people everywhere, as well as being an insulted to the slow and dumb.

Its all about intent. I am not meaning to insult one group, yet fully intending to insult the other.

After all, its a waste of time to insult someone if they don’t realize you are smacking at them.

Here’s the problem. If you are the cashier, your job is to handle money. This requires the basic skills of counting, addition and subtraction.

But what if you got hired for that job, but at no time during the hiring process did anyone look at Muttenhead and ask the question, do you have the ability to count?

Then you would be stuck in the awkward position of being the cashier but being unable to BE the cashier.

So, here we are.

A Venti house drip is $2.15. If you hand the “Cashier” a $5 bill, the change would be $2.85.

This sounds like a simple transaction.

So, where could the problem be?

With Muttenhead, of course.

The first handful of change handed to me, by dirty nails no less, was $8.45.

I saw the issue before he handed it to me.

“Wrong.” I couldn’t see any reason to add in a lot of distracting words, Muttenhead has enough on his plate.

“What?” His blank stare was more than a little imposing. If definitions of basic words were beyond him, we were stuck.

“The change is wrong.” I can be generous when the mood hits, perhaps its just a case of him not knowing specifically what was wrong.

“Oh.” He took it back with the same dirty nailed hand he gave it to me with. He looked blankly at it and then put it all back into the proper change drawers. He poked at the dimes, then looked at me.

“What did you have?” Muttenhead’s forehead was wrinkled in confusion. Supposedly, man evolved away from the prominent sub-orbital ridge or forehead of the neanderthal. Muttenhead might be a throw back.

The barista snickered, evidently this show was not new.

“Venti house, $5 bill.”

Again, poking the dimes, the dimes might hold secrets, but not in this case.

An entire minute passed before I got another handful of change.

Muttenhead watched me and I got the scary feeling he was waiting for me to count it.

I glanced at it and could see that, while it was closer, it was still wrong.

“Nope. It should be $2.85. This is $3.22.”

Are you shitting me?

There was 2 more attempts before I named the actual coins he needed to give me.

I left with a sense of wonder at the sheer idiocy of Corporate Starbucks and their hiring policies.

Not to be rude or anything, but WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!

And to Muttenhead, I wish you all the best. Just don’t look up when it rains…

You might drown, moron.

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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


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The heart wants what it wants

I’m in love.

True, I’ve said this before, but this time its the real deal.

She’s a force of nature, this one.

She’s also somewhere past the age of 80.

I pulled into Starbucks parking lot and saw an old woman screeching at cars.

Homeless? Not sure. Bat shit crazy, absolutely.

I parked and watched as she made her way towards Starbucks.

She was awesome, this kind of crazy is rare.

She was furious, at all times, walking along and muttering in anger at everything she passed.

People, chairs, small dogs, everybody got a snarl and muttered curse word from her.

I have named her Mona, for Mona Lisa, the woman of many sides.

Into Starbucks we go. (Or down the rabbit hole, take your pick.)

The line was about medium, 4-5 people.

The fun began rather quickly. (I would feel bad for enjoying all of this, but I came to peace with this a long time ago.)

“Wipe you’re goddam feet!” Was hissed at a man in an impeccable business suit coming thru the door. He looked confused and backed out.

Mona runs a tight ship.

“Don’t take all day!” This was directed in the general direction of the cashier. It caused a bunch of fluttering activity around the register but didn’t speed things up.

Mona has little patience for wasted time.

“What’s so funny?!?!” She was pissed now. This was directed at me when I laughed. I really couldn’t help myself.

Mona is my soulmate, I swear.

I made no large movements, just backed away. I didn’t say anything. Nothing catches crazy’s attention like a response.

She kept it together long enough to order a grande house drip.

It took a full minute to order because Mona kept asking the cashier to repeat her order back to her, before she had ordered anything.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out if she is crazy AND homeless, or just crazy.

Either way, she’s awesome. Its not often a human being transcends being a normal person and becomes a force of nature, something to be reckoned with and in some/most instances, feared.

And this little honey is loaded for bear.

She stomped her aged little butt over to the pick up window and planted her Witchee-poo (Google it) shoes in the space that people hurriedly made for her.

She got her coffee, shuffled over to the cream and sugar kiosk, which just happened to be deserted during prime time (HA), Then made her way to the door.

It was here that she took her already powerful, bat-shit crazy routine and knocked it out of the park.

“This music is shit!” Loudly at no one in particular. (Wait for it…)

“Get the hell out of here!” Some sane old guy said to her, not yelling, but firmly loud. (Wait for it………)

“BAAAAAA!!!” Shaking her fist at all of us, like some sort of old world granny curse. I shit you not.

Much like remembering where you were when Kennedy was shot, I will remember this day and that force of nature in support hose and comfortable shoes till the day I die.

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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Earthquakes, hospitals and print-crack.

What is it about earthquakes that makes people shit themselves?

I mean, its just a little shake people!

I was sitting in a movie sucking on some corn and a soda, basically in my happy place, when the room started shaking.

You can tell the tourists from the natives.

The second the theater started rolling, the tourists were out of their seats.

The natives never moved.

There is a reason for this.

If you were born and raised in Southern California, baring a residential address on the San Andreas Faultline, you know the big secret about earthquakes.

Here it is, you are not really in any danger.

I know, I know. You want to yell at me, the news wants you to yell at me.

Its all hype.

I have lived in SoCal for close to half a century and my total earthquake damage totals around a dollar and a half. (My bad. Northridge earthquake knocked a wine glass off of a book shelf and a falling book broke the stem. Clean up was minimal.)

We are conditioned as a society to flip out and be fearful of natural disasters.

I get it, I really do. I just reject it as a reaction.

But I could die in an earthquake. I could also die jaywalking, but I still do it.

More people die slipping in the bathtub every year than do in earthquakes, but it doesn’t make for an exciting news segment.

I took a day off of writing this and life intruded.

Long story, but nothing funny about it. Surgery, (Not me) was involved.

No details, and I am even going to go religious and pray for healing.

On to different things.

I am being held hostage and have become addicted to something other than caffeine. (Like I have that kind of time.)

The sad thing is, my captor and my new found drug are one and the same.

Game of Thrones.

I know, I am really late coming to the party.

However, I just started season 3 and its getting pretty bad.

(Before you start sending me comments that say “RED WEDDING” all in caps, I saw it on Youtube.)

In typical me fashion, I am reading the books alongside the show. So there is a LOT of reading going on because I am watching an episode a day.

Its awesome.

I have been a print junkie since birth and this series is a freaking masterpiece.

Its like finding a form of crack that is reasonably priced and there is a lot of it available.

And this is a good thing.

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Posted by on April 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


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