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Why I’m not in the mc icattle herd.

Someone sent me a note to ask me what exactly my problem is with Apple, so I’ll answer in “public.” couple of reasons:

1) Ever spend a weekend cleaning the house? Everything in it’s place, all sorted out, all the trash taken out, laundry done, great. Monday, you need something and… can’t find it. Where do you look? Now there’s only 1, maybe 3 places it “should” be but isn’t. Where do you look then? You have to start unraveling areas that don’t make sense. That’s my experience working on apple products in school, there was nowhere else to look when things didn’t work. Go thru the 1 customer support? The 1 help link? 3rd parties that wrote different books with the same information you tried already. They make you go thru 1 place, the 1 place that doesn’t help unless you feed more money into their machine. All your eggs in one basket. And the basket breaks. I know 3 people that have sold their audio cd collections, put it all on an ipod, only to drop it and lose everything in 1 shot. I’ll play a burned copy of my clunky cds and store the original, thank you. I don’t know any mac owners that haven’t complained to me about whatever 3rd party repair shop they had to take their laptop to, unanimously. All of them. and I’m serious about every person I know that has one.

Remember when legos were blocks? You didn’t know what you were going to build, you used your mind. Now they’re kits that only fit into that 1 thing from the picture on the box.  They expanded your mind and creativity, not limited. mcdonald’s registers have buttons of the food to make it “idiot proof.” Think, I’ll wait. Instead of an app, I’ll learn to play on a real instrument, buy a camera that’s designed to be… a camera.

2) McDonald’s was a great innovative diner once, until the McDonald’s family sold it to Kroc, leading to the “of shit” fame. Sam Walton made a great department store, until he died and the family made “a few” changes. Disney died and several CEOs later, sentimental childhood images from the movies became invasive crossover marketing collect all the hong kong sweatshop made toy marketing. The free marketeers discovered televisions were a babysitter and they said if you don’t buy for them, they will cry and you are a bad parent. Technology is a tool, not a vacuum from your wallet, which is what these gadgets do. So easy to click and buy right when you think of it. Takes (old fashioned human) discipline to make a list and prioritize what’s really important the monday after payday. It’s the practicality and basic function, not the logo.

This started off as a fb post. Long for there, probably short for what I write here. But you get it.
I’m not linking any of the brands I mentioned out of principle. there are small mom and pop places you know, imagine they’re linked and goback to them this week. I have no idea why San Bernadino came up as a tag, but there you go.


2012/10/14 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , | Leave a comment

Server/ waiter/ restaurant spoilers alert!


Last night I had a server dream. Butt, it wasn’t the traditional server nightmare. Okay, if you’ve never served in a restaurant, I’m probably going to lose you. One of the last things I do is name the blog, so I can “overview” the whole episode before I post, so this will have to have something of a… warning?

I’ve been watching Nightmare on Elm Streets for Halloween. I don’t think it’s helped or hindered my sleep, that’s always been rough. Those of you that live alone can attest you can do whatever you want to, whenever you want. And this is compounded by being unemployed. I decided the middle of the night was the coolest temp of the day and the quietest from neighbor annoyances out front or banging shit around outside my window when I’m laying trying to sleep.

So, the dream: I was in a restaurant I hadn’t been in before and I usually sketch it out when I remember it. If you enter the 2 metal bar handled windowed doors, on the left are a couple of rows, the 30’s and 50’s, my station. Restaurants each have some numbering system for their tables that often don’t make sense. And they are often mixed when tables are added or a wall modification affects the table count, etc.

The 30’s are a long bench and 4 deuce tables that can be formed to 2 4-tops with 2 people at each having to use chairs. The 50’s are a row behind the chairs that are 2 4-top tables and 8 chairs. If you follow that left wall to the left, you’ll come to the dish washing area where there was no one present in the dream, of course. A server could triangulate this slump was between 2-4:00PM. I’ve worked in restaurants where shit is allowed to pile up til someone arrives 4:00-ish, which makes no sense. I’ve even worked places where I had to wash my own shit being a late lunch server. Doesn’t say much for the quality of this place in my dream.

There were things to learn on the menu and I didn’t notice any type of buffet or salad bar setup, but it “felt” very much buffet style. Water glasses were the yellow plastic tiny cobblestone patterned glasses, you know the ones. They retain the smell of bleach. The soda glasses were those curvy glasses, they have about 4 wavy “rings” around them. Very detailed dream.

I do know that I was out of server shape. One thing a server can rely on is that soreness during training. Tray or plate carrying builds those forearms. There is no sitting in a 6 some odd hour shift and you feel it in your calves. If you think you get a break, servers know you usually don’t. If you decide to sit at the small dumpy employee table that no one cleans (including cigarette smokers), you’ll be sitting for about 5 minutes because your food is being made 95% of the “break.”

The silverware was that cheap thin crap. And I’ve worked with wedding banquet utensils that have weight and heft to them, steak serrated dagger knives with big wood handles a baby can’t wrap their fingers around. THAT’s silverware.

The coworkers were- surprise- not much help. I think I have dreams like this to enhance my ability to adapt and do things on my own, but the reality is that real restaurants ARE like this. And that’s sad because these are the first people to ask you to cover their shift before you even get on the schedule.

I had a couple of tables. I did good on one table (2 guys, one had a kid) and on the second, it was 2 ladies who wanted 2 sprites and everyone and their fucking mothers got in my way to get back to them, especially people in other sections giving me their prebus shit before I could get the 2 sprites in my hands. I got the expected stiff, I was actually surprised I didn’t get the new penny- “the nickel of shame.”

There’s a video game that’s the closest to serving procedures. It’s any game with Flo. She started with a diner, but then got into games with weddings and cruise ships and resorts. The problem is you can get into a groove, but then shit speeds up a little. Remember that video game Tapper? You just sling beer, go to the next rows where people are coming in. Occasionally you run down the table to haul in tips. This is the mistake Flo games have. It gets faster and you wind up slinging shit for speed.

These games are totally unaware that as soon as you get in a groove, one customer will stop you with 4 plates of food to lecture you as long as they can about he straw paper bit that was at the bottom of their soda glass that they flagged some other server for.

As downer as this may read, I was happy to have this dream. I was serving again, at least. And shakedowns are always a hassle for a week, then you start pulling in the TIPS instead of making your trainer money. That’s actually time to try all the shit you wouldn’t do because they get stiffed.


2012/10/08 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Confidence racket

I haven’t been on because of the elusive confidence with the the lack of results from the effort I put in on the application trail.

October is supposed to be my month, and a couple of weeks of it have already blown by faster than I want or understand.

Last week, I picked up a bunch of books from the library I had on order from other locations. I should have paced them out, as much as I read, I may not be able to get thru the “best of” what I’ve wanted to read. I have my stable of the type of books I get, but most importantly are defense of shit and what I need to do to be on the offense, which can mean achievements, positivity but mostly production.

One of the books is great, because it’s from a couple of guys in southern California that have done well for themselves. They’re aware of the “game” they’re playing. They’re able to work the Hollywood factory crushes souls. They seem to work without them or have them hidden somewhere and yet there is evidence they actually have them. I have read a lot of books and this is what I’m reading from between the lines. I have yet to see a book actually address it. A lot of memes and blanket positives get thrown that are too vague for me to have any meaning.

I pay a lot of attention to how my days and weeks are structured. One of the things I have going for me is planning my own schedule. I get to be my own boss which is alright because I’ve always gotten more done at every job when I’m just left alone to do it.

The group anchor and carrying others’ weight has always slowed me down or pissed me off. My mind seems to accumulate that weight, no matter how I try to blow it off. They’re always there the next day picking up where they left off. And no I don’t want to be the enabler because I’m sweating when we’re supposedly getting paid the same.

And busting my ass never got me the promotion, just more “grunt work.” Being “popular” was what got me the few promotions I’ve ever had. And being the most reliable. In a pinch, the slackers retreat and the figure head put me in Command.

In October, I rearranged my netflix cue to have all scary movies. Honestly, in the 80’s I stayed away from horror movies because they really scared the shit out of me. This was before Buffy and CSIs and Scream. Now I can look at slasher movies like a procedural and analyze their weaknesses and M.O. while the protags are too scared to think. I’ve seen Tremors and I’m nearing the end of Nightmare now. I’m on 4, it’s hilarious in it’s 80’s-ness and still a good movie. It’s stands the test of time on a period piece level that movies try to recreate now with first gen valley girls (now they’re “reality socialites”) and sat morning tv references.

I’ve come to a cool conclusion that unemployment is a slasher movie. You have people victims of it in the same way. You have all kinds of relatives and friends blowing off your bloody knife scars. Official agencies are useless. I made a list a page+ long of cool parallels.

It actually gave me new confidence. I’ve seen the Ghostbusters game clips on youtube, same thing. Weather it’s zombies, ghosts, slashers or graboids, the enemy has a pattern of attack. The problem with a lot of protagonists is they suffer alone and what they learned is eliminated with them. Or they’re saved and don’t relay the weaknesses to others that suffer later.

There are millions of us unemployed and we’re not united. We suffer alone, no one can understand, really. Doing more and more with less and less isn’t a self fulfilling prophecy bullshit. It’s a serious problem that wears down our psyches. And then we have to get up the next morning and go out there hungrier to convince a bored manager that you’re more energetic and more eager to take their shit paying, thankless job than the dozens of others that came in before.

As sure as you defeat it, it will come back, if not after you after someone you know.

Confidence doesn’t mean you have to release all the prisoners (although that would immortalize you). Most of the time is just going out that front door tomorrow, into some other business to check out, no matter where it will lead.

I have gotten sad in the past thinking no one reads these things I write and I actually let it intimidate me to stop writing. And that’s a mistake. I now look at it as this is my canvas. I’m writing in my notebook that’s just chained to some public place. Look at it if you want to. Shit on it or ignore it if you want to. I should be happy when 1 person reads it. And that’s you.

I have to continue to produce, I can’t stand my plans not happening above all else.

2012/10/07 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment