July 31, 2010

Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, all sorts of stuff has has happened since my last post. I reckon that some of what has happened is worthy of several one subject posts.  But for the nonce, here goes:

  • I made an ill-fated foray into the exciting work of Collections. For all practical purposes, I quit and came back within 2 weeks.
  • I’m back to Expert.   The cool kids at HQ finally figured out how to add Tops Friendly Markets back to the aph database.
  • I was thinking of running stores again but real life hit me with several 2 x 4’s in several different inventories.   The shit seems even deeper than before.  Running stores seems all responsibility and no power.  Store supervisors are expected to reach aph goals despite the inadequate staffing that the district scheduled for the inventory. The sad thing is that I’m still considering running stores again.
  • Store supervisors are giving me better crap to count.  Even Area Manager X hasn’t screwed me over for at least 4 or 5 inventories.

Hopefully, I’ll get around to writing about the “exciting” details about all this shit.

11/22/09 03:43:56 pm

November 26, 2009

Royal Botanical Gardens marsh trail on the Hamilton Burlington municipal border.

Almost 40 years after Stonewall . . .

April 17, 2009

Yesterday, I heard on the news that Gov. Paterson wants to legalize gay marriage

Almost 40 years after Stonewall, I still amazed that New York State hasn’t legalized gay marriage.

Hopefully, Paterson will make it happen.

I’m So Confused

December 20, 2008

During my journey through the past on youtube tonight, I came across

I’ve been a fan of Richman since his Roadrunner days in the Seventies. But I was surprised when my love interest in another place and time asked if I wrote this song for Richman. When I asked her why, she said “have you met yourself?? That ‘I have to sigh now’ is so you. And you do think too much.”

I suspect that the Richman dancing in the video made her think that perhaps Richman was dancing like me since I’m not a very good dancer.

Nothing But the Truth

December 13, 2008

For my birthday, the Boss Mom and the Boss Dad (the lovely Lettuce’s parents) gave me an Ion usb turntable.  We haven’t had a working turntable in the house since around the time we moved to Buffalo.  The plan is to digitalise the 800 or so l.p.’s we have. And in case anyone was wondering, the turntable is plug and play in Linux

Tonight I rediscovered one of my favie albums – “Nothing But the Truth” by  Ruben Blades. Although Blades is mostly known for his Spanish language music (mostly Afro-Cuban and jazz),
this album was in English and more rock-oriented.

If my memory serves me correctly, I think I became aware of “Nothing But the Truth” because of Lou Reed’s contributions to the album. He co-wrote and produced several songs. My favorite of the Blades/Reed songs is “Letters To the Vatican” with one of my favie Lou Reed lyrics “Dear Pope, send me some hope or a rope to do me in”

Oh, yeah, Elvis Costello is another of Blade’s songwriting partners.

Tomatoes From the Garden

December 9, 2008

I am amazed that we still have a few tomatoes from our garden in our kitchen.. I picked several pounds of unripe tomatoes before the first deep frost in mid-November and over 80% actually ripened to an edible state.

2008 was a great year for tomato growing in the garden.


November 20, 2008

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure to run a small inventory at the local Nichiren Buddhist Community Center bookstore in Buffalo. It was the most pleasant inventory I’ve ever experienced. The co-managers and others assisting with the inventory were perhaps the most well-adjusted (dare I say happy??) people I’ve ever met.
The store itself was very well organised. And the place was clean.

Friendly helpful people to work with. Stock well-organised. And clean working conditions. I couldn’t ask for anything more in an inventory.

Just for the record, in case anyone was wondering, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the Nichiren Buddhist chant for individual happiness and world peace.

A German View of the U.S.A.

November 2, 2008

Der Speigel’s website has a long English language article on the U.S. and the presidential election:


The beginning of the article:

“America is a wonderful country, with jaw-dropping wilderness and wide open spaces that seem as far removed from New York or Los Angeles as the moon. America has the best universities with the most brilliant scientists who win a host of Nobel Prizes year after year.

This is also home to the world’s leading think tanks, where highly impressive studies are conducted on topics like the future of world politics, religion and capitalism. These institutions produce works written in a readily understandable language based on a firm belief in the power of reasoning, rather than ivory tower musings with no connection to reality.

In all cultural spheres, from classical to trash, this is where the avant-garde emerges, time and again. Capitalism is regularly reinvented in America before it sets out again to conquer the world. America still attracts immigrants from countries around the globe. And, of course, from a historical perspective, it remains a uniquely superior power.

This country believes that it has a predetermined role in the history of mankind — a manifest destiny.

America? A horrendous country that betrays its own values every few years, thus forfeiting its moral right to lead the Western world. It elects presidents who know nothing about the world, and have no interest in learning more, which explains why they readily succumb to errors and illusions, only to reveal their utter amazement when they finally — and usually too late — admit their mistakes. Since 1945, America has been fighting wars in countries that it knows very little about, and under premises that have almost nothing to do with reality.

America is a superpower around the globe, but a Third World country at home, with an infrastructure that defies description. There are collapsing bridges, power failures along the entire East Coast, and homes in places like Florida, North Carolina and Texas are regularly destroyed every year by hurricanes that flatten houses as if they were beach bungalows in Haiti.

There is also the obscene contrast between rich and poor, which has hardy interested or shocked any administration since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. What is even more obscene is the ignorance of a government that allows millions of people, in the richest country in the world, to live without health insurance. This is a government that stands by idly as the (primarily black) city of New Orleans disappears under floodwaters. Yes, the most obscene aspect of all remains the unacknowledged racism in this country of pragmatic enlightenment — the ongoing prejudices of whites against blacks.

America is an extreme country, and no one feels indifferent about it. No matter whether you live in Karachi, Hamburg or Tbilisi — you are bound to have an opinion about America. The US has friends and enemies all around the globe. America serves as a role model for Western industrialized societies, a model based on the spirit of Protestantism. But it also provides a paragon example of the downsides of this approach: materialism, unbridled consumerism, reckless exploitation of people and natural resources. This country the size of a continent has fascinating strengths and unparalleled weaknesses. It inspires both devoted admiration and aggressive contempt.”

The article goes on for many more words and is worth reading in its entirety.

Broken Things

October 11, 2008

In another century (1999), I was driving home late at night (actually more like early in the morning, the bars were probably closed) from some fucked-up RGIS inventory (if memory serves, I was running it and it didn’t go well) and I heard a song that made me pull over and listen. At the time I had no earthly idea what song it was or even who sang or wrote it. But it spoke directly to my heart, as few songs have before or after. After calling the radio station, WNCW, a few days later (yes, I was working RGIS at the time so that was the first chance I had), I found out the singer/songwriter was Julie MIller and the song was “Broken Things” from the Broken Things cd.

Here’s a clip from a live performance of the song by Julie Miller:

You can have my heart
Though it isn’t new
It’s been used and broken
And only comes in blue
It’s been down a long road
And it got dirty on the way
If I give it to you will you make it clean
And wash the shame away

You can have my heart
If you don’t mind broken things
You can have my life if you don’t mind these tears
Well I heard that you make old things new
So I give these pieces all to you
If you want it you can have my heart

So beyond repair
Nothing I could do
I tried to fix it myself
But it was only worse when I got through
Then you walked into my darkness
And you speak words so sweet
And you hold me like a child
Till my frozen tears fall at your feet

At the time, my love interest from Canada (no not the Lovely Lettuce) didn’t get or even like the song. Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, this song was about the Lovely Lettuce and me.

Hours Worse Than RGIS!!!!!

October 4, 2008

Egads!!! I always thought that the hours I work at RGIS were some of the crappiest outside of job like crab fishing a la the Deadliest Catch. But the Lovely Lettuce has discovered hours worse than mine at the Western New York Developmental Disabilities Service Office(DDSO).

If I understand correctly the units at the DDSO have staffing requirements based on the individuals’ treatment plans. By law, the “mandated” staff/individual ratio has to be met for every shift. If one of the staff calls in sick and no one else can be found to replace the staff person who called in sick, one of the currently working staff is required by law (“mandated”) to continue working until another staff person shows up for work.

And that’s what happened to the Lovely Lettuce. She was working a 3 pm to 11 pm shift when she was “mandated” to work another 8 hour shift until 7 am. This wouldn’t be that bad except for one thing: Lettuce has to work another 3 pm to 11 pm shift tomorrow (Sunday).

This is the second weekend in a row that the Lovely Lettuce had to work a double. Last week it wasn’t as bad (and she had advance warning because she was a volunteer) – She worked 8 hours (3 to 11) on Saturday and a double (7 am to 11 pm) on Sunday.

We RGISians work all sorts of crappy hours but we very rarely work 16 hours in a row. But I must admit that years ago working out of Knoxville, TN, if memory serves, I was in a Walmart (emergency after a fire) inventory that lasts almost 18 hours. And 8 to 12 hour inventories aren’t unheard of.