Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Smoked prime rib.

Kinda rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?  And into my belly!

I had a wonderful holiday meal last night.

There's a lot of suffering in the world, close to home and far away and everywhere in between.  There's joy too.  May Christmas Day, whether you celebrate it or not, be full of joy, love, and beauty.

Now I'm going to have the most epic breakfast ever.

Leftover smoked prime rib.  Mmmmm ....

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The End is Not

It's always possible that the world might end, but (at least so far) it appears that the so-called Mayan doomsday didn't happen.

I'm good with that.

I didn't even want to go on Facebook because I knew the jokes would go on and on and I wouldn't be able to tear my eyes away from the screen.  Even without going on Facebook, some of the fun found me at work in the form of a printout someone made.  

I do feel badly for all the people who were truly afraid.  I heard a rumor that one person in our area was so afraid, he jumped off a bridge to his death rather than witness what would happen.

We're in a weird place in human existence.  We are aware, more than ever, of what is really and truly possible, even likely.  

Ancient predictions of doom had to contend with how to spread the news, but on the other hand, skepticism didn't have as much oomph as it does today.  If an ancient doomsayer claimed that we were about to be smashed by a comet or death planet, he or she didn't have to contend with hundreds of thousands of astronomers and banks of computers analyzing the movements of planets that say meh, not so much.

To turn that around, we're getting a clearer picture of, say, our odds of being obliterated by an asteroid in the near future.  Last I heard, it's 1 to 5500.  That's not too bad, but I'm not comfortable with the non-zero aspect of those odds.

I feel that we're more aware of some scary stuff that could really and actually happen.  What is it that compels people to make up stuff that's really, really unlikely, or impossible, and then get scared about it when there's the real stuff out there?  Not just fun, horror-movie scared, but jump off a bridge kind of scared of something completely made up?  And how many more times will we go through predictions of the planet changing its spin on a dime and invasions of dinosaur-like aliens and the coming of various beings both enlightened and, um, not-so-much ...?

It's a question that's going to follow me around for a while.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Not Right in the Head

It seems like lately we've been having more customers with, um, issues.

Here's one that didn't take the cake, but the other one was so awful I can't even write in detail about it:

Young man came in with a shoe box.  The box has old shoes in them.  "These aren't the shoes I'm returning," he said.
"Okay," I said.  "What seems to be the problem?"
"The shoes I got are about a half size too big."  He lifted a foot to show me a somewhat worse-for-the-wear New Balance runners.
"Um, okay.  Do you have a receipt?"
He does.  "I just want to know if I can trade them out for the right size."
I gaze at the receipt with some astonishment.  "You got them yesterday?"
"Yeah.  And I got good use out of them already, because I was in an accident in them."
"Oh my god.  Was everyone involved okay?"
"No," he said with a grin.  "I'm dead."
I started the return process, trying to be friendly instead of grim.  "I'll have to call my supervisor."
So she shows up, and runs through pretty much the same deal.  Neither of us want to take them back, but it's policy, so ....
"I'll need those back in the box," I told him.
"Boy, you sure don't want to touch my shoes!" he said with a laugh.  All I can do is try not to look at him so that I don't make too much of a point of revealing in my expression how much of an ass I think he is.  "Good thing that the customer's always right, huh?" he said with a laugh as he left.

The other thing, all I can say is that I really, really wish that retailers had discretionary power as far as who they will sell firearms and ammunition to.  Because the four comments the kid made were so tone-deaf, so awful, and so clearly crossing social and emotional lines that everyone present wondered if he might need to be evaluated.  The father made excuses for his son three times, and the fourth he gave his son a long look like even he might be wondering if he really should be buying firearm accessories for his kid.  Please, dad, if you're reading this, lock the weapons up and don't turn your back on him if you take him hunting.

The police, teachers, etc. can't prevent tragedies.  They can only react.  The ones closest to the perpetrators are the only ones who have a chance to predict or head off a problem.  Also also, we need a much, much better mental health system.  Not just who can and can't be admitted under what circumstances, but treatment options, research, etc.  We have a huge population out there.  Some are 'natural' and some have drugged themselves into mental illness.  What are we going to do?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Don't Be a Dork

Classic rookie flub up.

I had this great idea for a chapter in a book I'm working on and I forgot to write it down.  No prob, I thought.  This is such a great idea, I won't forget it.  For sure.

Well, I forgot it.  I know I had a great idea, but the actual contents are no longer in my brain.  Or, worse, the idea is stored someplace safe.  You know, the same way that I put something important somewhere safe and then I can't find it to save my life.


Speaking of classic rookie flub ups, if you wrote a Nanowrimo book this year (or part of one) for pity's sake back it up!  Off site!  Email it to yourself, or something.  Anything!

Because rewriting from scratch is no fun.

Unless you're doing it on purpose.  Then it's okay and it can be kinda fun just writing the good parts and forgetting the parts that are meh.

Still, that's a lot of work to kiss goodbye forever.

So, don't be a dork like me.  Write down your fantastic ideas, and back up your computer frequently, just in case.

This has been a public service message sponsored by me.