Summer is here, and why that’s not necessarily a good thing

Yesterday was the first day of Summer, and The Grump© is not happy about it.  Don’t get The Grump© wrong, The Grump© likes long sunny days just as much as the next (third-)person… and that’s why The Grump© is not happy about it.  Hear The Grump© out.

When The Grump© lived in California Spring started in mid-February, even in the northern part of the state where The Grump© lived.  That was nice.  Gave everyone plenty of time to enjoy it.

In Iowa, Spring might start in early March or it might start in mid-May, like this year.  Iowa has had almost exactly one month of Spring… and now the days are going to get shorter and shorter for the next six months.  The Grump© feels cheated.

😐

The Grump© loves Iowa, only a few things that suck… this is one of them.

Dogs: What’s in it for us?

b to f: Wesley, Roscoe, & Farley

Oh noes, The Grump as a soft side!  *gasp*  Horrors.  *sigh*  That soft side is dogs, and at the risk of outing himself, the Grump will be randomly pondering things about the love and bond between dogs and people.  Put yer seat belts on!

It seems like a totally one-way relationship, doesn’t it?

Think about it.  You feed your dog, they don’t feed you.  You brush your dog, they don’t brush you.  You pet your dog and rub their belly, they don’t pet you and they certainly don’t rub your belly.  If you’re sick you take them to the vet and make sure you get better… though I have had dogs that would lay next to me to comfort me if I’m sick even though they couldn’t do anything else.

Yet people love their dogs!

And that last part is what I’m getting at.  It’s more of a two-way street than is obvious on surface observation.  Dogs just make us feel good.  But how do they do that?  Well…

  1. When you come home after a long day at work your dog will try to break down all barriers to see you.  They’re sooooo happy to see you.  You won’t get that kind on outward unbridled excitement from any human.  The cat, meanwhile, is plotting your demise… as soon as it can figure out a continuing food supply.
  2. As mentioned above, if you’re in bed with the flu, your dog will lay by your side to comfort you.  There’s nothing they can physically do for you, but they can stay with you so you’re not alone.
  3. Dogs are fiercely loyal, even when they shouldn’t be.  But if you love them and treat them right you truly have a best friend.
  4. Last, let’s say you’re laying on the bed and you’re doing what I call “servicing” your dog, meaning you’re scratching their ear and head, petting them, rubbing their belly, and all that good stuff they never seem to tire of.  While you’re doing all this you can FEEL their love radiating back into you.  That’s powerful.

Now, I have no scientific evidence for all this, but I believe it to be true, and it makes it all worthwhile.

Happy New Year, indeed

Hoo boy!  Back on 31 Dec 2019 I published “Happy New Year???”, where I talked about people always complaining about the then-ending old year and looking forward to the new year, yada yada yada.  And 2020 started well enough.  Just another year, but things were going decent.

Then all hell broke loose.

The coronavirus and covid-19 came along and the whole world, pretty much literally, has been turned upside down.  Half the people in my company are working from home.  “Shelter in place”, aka ‘stay the eff home!’, orders have been issued.  Stores are closed indefinitely, which affects people’s livlihoods of both employees and employers.  It’s not fun.

*sigh*  2019 never looked so good.

What’s on TV, Pt 2

Green Acres.  But I digress, already.

What do we learn from TV?

Missy and I… ok, just *I*… watch Forensic Files.  A lot.  Often.  I’ve seen every episode at least four times.  It doesn’t help when Netflix has them all, plus Hulu, and other channels, so I can watch them  like they vote in Chicago… early and often.

I now mostly watch them as background noise when I want to do something but don’t want to be distracted because it also interests me.  I’ve seen them all so I have no need to be riveted anymore.

Anyways, what would we learn from Forensic Files?  A friend of mine feels shows like this are irresponsible, they teach people how to get away with crimes.  I don’t see it that way.  Before I go on I will say that I have learn some things along these lines.  For example…

  1. …should you ever find yourself in an interrogation room… SHUT UP!!!  Even honest police will say only an idiot speaks when potentially in legal trouble, and it matters not if you’re innocent or guilty.
  2. …A second thing I have learned is:  Police lie.  Legally.  It is illegal for you to lie to them, but it is perfectly legal, encouraged even, for them to lie to you.  (In the US)  If they tell you Jimmy ratted you out… maybe, maybe not.  Go back to #1, shut up.
  3. …A third thing I’ve learned is:  If you have committed a crime, especially something like murder or robbery, throw away every single piece of clothing you were wearing.  Everything.  Preferably each piece in a different dumpster with the minimum distance between each dumpster being 30 miles.
  4. …Do not ever use a credit card when purchasing your “murder supplies”.  Cash only.  A minimum of 50 miles from anywhere you might otherwise go, and a store which you never normally patronize.  And for the love of God, even when you do use cash, do not then use your loyalty card.  It’s mind-boggling this even has to be said, but I have watched countless people get life in prison because they wanted to save 35c on duct tape.
  5. But the biggest thing I’ve learned is:  Don’t even do it, because if they want to find you bad enough, they will.

Another aspect is the police will also search your social media history if you’re a suspect… spare me the euphemistic “person of interest” crap, if they talking to you you’re a suspect… but I have no intention to commit a crime, so there ya go.

Oh, and for the record… Missy always gets sucked in, too, and we end up discussing it together.

What’s on TV?

“Honey hole.”

Is it just me, but doesn’t that sound almost obscene?  Almost pornographic?

Well, that’s an odd way to start a post.

It’s been a lazy inside snow day, and The Wife Missy and I have been putzing around, wasting boatloads of time on the internet, and watch tv.  Primarily American Pickers, which the above is Mike Wolf’s favorite saying when he finds a pick that is especially promising.  Maybe it’s the inner 12 year old in me, but I giggle every time he says that.

Of course we could be watching Forensic Files.  I’ve seen the entire series on, oh, maybe four times.  I don’t even pay attention anymore, I just use it for background noise.  Bores Missy to tears, though.

Then there’s Forrest Gump… but that’s all I have to say about that.

The theme here, of course, is that on a Saturday there’s nothing on tv.  Missy likes Pickers, and I’m fine with it, so all is good.

Happy New Year???

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Or, it is?

To hear people tell it… primarily on social media, of course… 2019 sucked and they can’t wait to move on into the next year.  You’d swear the dwindling year was simply the worst year ever, the weight of it dragging down all their hopes and dreams for their near future.  The next year clearly has to be better than the year we’re all just finishing up, right?

If you’ve been observant the same people have had the same issues every year for the past… counts fingers and toes… since you’ve known them.  Every year sucked.  2018 sucked.  2017 sucked.  2016 sucked.  2015… you get the idea.  Hope springs eternal for every upcoming year, I guess, or maybe it’s a blind faith type of thing.

If you ask The Grump, The Grump believes some people just like to complain.  Not sure why, maybe there’s an inner fulfillment by being part of a group, even if said group is self-defeating.  Their lives weren’t all that bad during the year.  In fact, they seemed to be doing pretty well.  We’ve been watching.

Now, we know some people do indeed have bad years.  Some people hide things well, especially depression and/or anxiety.  That’s valid.  And there’s always some clodhopper willing to trot in and spread the cheer of doom even though it’s the exception rather than the rule.  But yes, all kinds of things can happen.  For example, The Grump had heart surgery in 2018.  That would be reason to want to see the new year come in, wouldn’t it?  Break from the past?  A new start?  The Grump had other thoughts.  The Grump saw 2018 as a good year.  Heart issues were found and corrected.  The Grump could have died.  But he didn’t die, he survived and thrived.  That’s a good thing.  That’s something The Grump is very grateful for.  Yes, 2018 was indeed a good year for The Grump.

And here’s the best part of this whole scenario… the same people complaining about this year, who want to get into the next year so bad, are also the ones who complain about getting old so fast.  You can’t win for losing.

Who cares?

YOU DO!!!

You see this on social media a lot, especially when a media outlet of some type posts something, anything, then a predictable number of people will trot in and attempt to display their aloofness at the topic. They seem to have this deep-seated insecure need to show other people how superior they are by not bothering themselves with such trivial matters.

Your actions blow away everything you just said, and here’s how…

  • You pro-actively came here and/or are a member of this site.
  • You took time to read it.
  • You took time to answer and type “Who Cares?”
  • You took time to come back and read responses (you know you did).
  • You took time to respond… and keep responding… if someone challenges you.

If you truly didn’t care…

  1. …you wouldn’t have posted to begin with. You’d have just walked on by.
  2. …you wouldn’t come back to read responses.
  3. …you certainly wouldn’t take time and effort to respond and answer a challenge to you.

So just shut-up right now. You care. Get over yourself.

Do I Really Need That?

This topic needs a new category because methinks it’s going to come up more often:  Old Age.

I don’t know if it’s actually increasing as I get older or if I’m simply noticing it more because the consequences are in my face, but I seem to be dropping things left and right.  Sometimes I’ll drop something, pick it up, drop it again, pick it up again, drop it a third time, then stand there and think… do I really need this?

I mean, as I get older things as simple as bending over… and getting back up, just sayin’… are somewhat of a chore.  As I get older the prospect that what is now on the floor can just stay there gets more and more appealing.  I can kind of understand how an older person’s home becomes a hoarder’s paradise.  The person’s mindset could very well be, “Meh, I didn’t need that anyway.”

Soap Box: The Opposite of Bad Tipping – the Entitlement Mentality

Wow.  Just… wow!  No tongue-in-cheek tonight.  I’m serious.  A ‘Soap Box’ post.  This is the second post in a row where we talk about tipping, and this one wasn’t planned, but I read something tonight that annoyed me so much I felt the need to comment on it immediately.  Before we start I want to make sure a couple things are clear regarding my attitude about tipping.  The Disclaimer, if you will…

  • I tip.  I tip well.  Most often 20%+.
  • I don’t begrudge paying a tip, per se, but I do get annoyed by the constantly moving target aspect.
  • All but five states (I think) allow tipped employees to be paid less than minimum wage.  I think that’s wrong.  Minimum wage should be minimum wage.  (I don’t think tips should be taxed as income, either.)
  • The biggest annoyance regarding tipping in general is how it’s turned into an entitlement mentality.  That’s what this post is about.  I recently read on a forum where a server talked about how the tip was her money before the customer even gave it to her… but this is even worse than that.

I am going to do something that may or may not be kosher.  I am going to post this person’s post from another forum in it’s entirety, as posted and unedited.  I feel that to properly understand the depth of unethical behavior here it all needs to be said.  (I’ll elaborate further down.)  I am not including the name, though I suppose if you’re internet savvy enough you could probably find it on your own.  So, without further ado, here we go…

The question was:  How do waiters and waitresses handle “regulars” at restaurants who are terrible tippers?

The server’s answer was:

I handle them in a very simple way. I slip a service charge on their receipt. I always go under the “usual” good tip, I put 15% on. I get paid solely in tips. I don’t get tips, I basically don’t get paid. One bad tip isn’t going to ruin my day. But if I wait on you hand and foot to get $2 on an $85 bill and you do it every week, you bet I’m going to put a service charge on.

I had this couple that always came in. I was actually cashiering this night, another server got their table. We all know how horribly they tip, and dread getting them. They take up all of our time, asking for suggestions, pretending we forgot something when they never asked for it in the first place, multiple refills, etc. They tip $3 no matter what the bill is. I’ve seen their bill go up to $78, still a $3 tip. She put a service charge on them. Oooooh boy. They came up me at the front and demanded to know what this charge was. I told them “it’s an automatic service charge, it’s an automatically calculated tip to your server.” She was livid, “this is WAY higher than I would normally pay! Why is this on here?!” Uhhh m’am it’s because your bill was $45 and you still would have tipped her $3. I notice she went back and forth from the kitchen to your table at least 7 times with a smile. I think she deserves at least a 15% tip.

I don’t feel bad. We make $2 an hour. Until that changes and we get paid fairly, you can afford to leave a decent tip. If you can’t, don’t go out to eat. If your server sucks, by all means leave a small tip. If you leave $3 every time, I’m going to put a service charge on. And no, I won’t take it off and neither will my manager.

EDIT: I turned off comments because I’m not looking to argue. I wrote my answer, if you have a different opinion then write your own answer. No, automatic gratuity is not illegal. There is no legislation against using service charges. Usually they are only added to large tables, 6+ people at 18%. (hence, my adding 15% is a low amount) The IRS made a decision that starting in 2014 automatic gratuity would be a service charge, meaning it does not count as a separate income as a tip to the server, it goes to the restaurant and they have a choice in giving the money to the server as a tip or keeping it for themselves. This means the customer does not have a choice in paying this amount. Since posting this I’ve gotten multiple comments saying this must be illegal, I felt a need to clarify.

Again, just… wow!

I get there are bad tippers.  There are also wonderful tippers.  I’m not defending bad tippers, especially chronic bad tippers. If you’re a chronic bad tipper, screw you, you’re a cheapskate, but it’s still your money until you decide if/when you tip.

Think about the hypocrisy.  If someone tips  35% does she chase them down and give back the excess?  Ha!  I bet not.

She talks about her actions being legal.  I question that.  Maybe.  I know service charges are legal when stated up front, but afterward as a surprise, and at random based on her whims?  (I would have spoken to her manager at another time, and if that didn’t get satisfaction I just might file a small claims suit against the restaurant solely to make my point.  She’s an agent of her employer and it would get her employer’s attention, more so than if I sued her.)

Notice at one point she says, ” I notice she went back and forth from the kitchen to your table at least 7 times with a smile. I think she deserves at least a 15% tip.”  You think?  YOU think?!?  Not only are you deciding if they tip, but you get to decide how much?  Entitlement much?

She turned off comments to her post.  Basically she knows her attitude is sketchy and she doesn’t want to have to defend it.

This, THIS, is exactly the type of entitlement mentality that our tipping culture has degenerated to, ‘If you don’t give it to me I’m going to take it.’

Tipping: Why a percentage?

Today we are revisiting the art of tipping… sure as hell isn’t a science… and we are asking the question of why do we tip a percentage instead of a flat amount?

Let’s consider the following scenario:  Let’s say you go to John’s Steakhouse twice in one week, and the scenario breaks down like this…

  • On Monday you have a ribeye meal with a baked potato, broccoli, roll, butter, and two beers. Price: $50.
  • On Thursday you go and have a grilled chicken dinner with a baked potato, broccoli, roll, butter, and two beers. Price: $30.

If the tip were 20% (easy math) the steak dinner tip would be $10. The chicken dinner tip would be $6.

Why? Why the difference when the amount of work and effort by the server was exactly the same for both meals?  Don’t whip out the emotional guilt trip of not eating out if you can’t afford to tip, that doesn’t even address the question.  Don’t sidetrack to the fact that in most states (not all) tipped employees get paid less than minimum wage, that’s an entirely different subject about why we tip at all.  This question acknowledges we tip, just questions why a moving target of meal value is used rather than effort, work and/or service performed. Restaurant owners don’t pay servers based on sales values, why should we the customers be expected to?  Be articulate and come up with something reasonably rational.

Standard disclaimer:  I tip and I tip pretty well.  Usually over 20%.  Be that as it may, I am still put off by how tipping has become an entitlement mentality, and how it seems to continually creep up.  Was 10%, then 15%, then 18%, now people are preaching 20%+.  If sales tax were 20% you’d scream bloody murder, and tipping is really nothing more than a private tax because most states (not all) allow tipped employees to be paid less-to-nothing.  Hmmm… I smell another post.