November 28, 2014


I love today because it means I can sit on my fat ass and do whatever I want. We have a loose tradition of setting up the Christmas tree today but there is no deadline and no rush. My two biggest challenges so far were getting the boy to wrestling practice and delivering record breaking garbage loads to the curb. The garbage was not just Thanksgiving by the way. When I am out of town there is definitely a work slow down around this place. Not a complete stoppage but things that are generally considered my responsibility just don't get done.

I'm happy that there wasn't an a-hole with a camera filming me jumping up and down in the big can this morning. I am the human trash compactor but it isn't pretty. As things break under my feet balance is constantly shifting and I almost went down more than once. And I audibly cursed my brother as I slipped on some garbage he brought me.

You see my beloved younger sibling is one of my favorite kinds of asshole. He and I have things that crack only the two of us up and one of them is to bring each other useless shite whenever we get together. My Thanksgiving bag included a giant Costco sized plastic tub of cashews that might have had a dozen left inside if you could reassemble all of the pieces. So as I was attempting to crush the thing underfoot and I slipped, almost dumping me and the can all over the yard, I laughed again. This is a game of strategy and he is hosting Christmas.  Thinking cap engaged.

And while I'm talking about him I thought my beard was getting pretty awesome. This no shave November donate to charity thing has me thinking I want to go full Olde Timey facial hair for my upcoming 50th birthday. I thought I had the holiday weird facial hair thing locked but no. His crazy ass facial hair would make a hobo look away in shame. The neck hair alone made me itch just looking at it but then when he stretched it out to show me the overall length I had to bow to its awesomeness.

I do so love the holidays.

November 26, 2014

I just cant stop

I have a metric shitton of work to do and I tried chipping away last night. I was all geeked up after the boy's first wrestling meet so sleep wasn't really an option anyway. I sat down at my desk with the best intentions and started to get things done when I went looking for a funny picture for a PowerPoint slide. That's when the productivity train derailed.

I ended up in yet another old image depository and all was lost. I'm just going to post them and let you fill in the blanks. Most were made for me by others but everything made me laugh when I saw it again.

November 24, 2014

hold please

siting and waiting, standing and waiting, pacing and waiting. It sounds like the opening line to a poemish sort of thing but its just the sum of my life today. Right now I'm adding writing and waiting as yet another appointment has asked me to "hold on for five minutes or so." With the average delay working out to be 15 I should have enough time to craft something utterly disappointing before the telephone rings.

Holiday weeks are a pisser for most companies and mine is no exception. The people who need my help let the holidays somehow slip their minds and a palpable panic fills the phone lines. Which is the treat that I not-so patiently await. I would normally welcome the break but this holding pattern doesn't let me get any real work done and that's where this guy gets frustrated. I will probably work a little later into the evening as the house is at an elevated Thanksgiving Prep Threat Level.

The boy and I have it set at a high yellow with a predicted move into orange sometime tomorrow. Wednesday is anyone's guess as wife and son are off of school, eldest will be driving home, and I have been volunteered to pick up the art bunch from downtown. It would seem that the center child has picked up a couple of holiday strays. Nice kids who have been out to eat with us before but cramming them into this castle can only add to the fun.

They had better be ready to roll when I get down there because I have pre scheduled yearly questionable behavior followed by an early morning football game on turkey day. With the festivities at our house my traditional muscle relaxant shower will not be followed by a delicious nap but these are the sacrifices that we make. I came across another pile of old blog fun from the ambulance company days. If memory serves this was my going away party as I headed to Tucson. Enjoy a young stupidtom still desperately holding on to some hair on his head.

November 23, 2014

forgot this was here

This last travel stretch was an absolute ass kicking. This is not whining but a kind of excuse for my internet disappearing act. The week was spent creating content for an upcoming class and ten straight hours of content creation followed by a couple hours of big group dinner every day rendered me useless by the time I got back to the room. I tell you this to explain the lack of posting but to also set the table for this mess.

I woke up the second night in a complete cold sweat from a nightmare I couldn't remember. The volume on the TV was pinned and a language that I didn't understand was blaring at me. I think I fell asleep with the thing on and somewhere around 3:00am I must have rolled over onto the remote turning the channels and cranking the volume. Whatever my subconscious did with all of that stimulus wasn't good but thankfully the same brain that scared the crap out of me flushed the horror from my memory. I did have a little trouble falling back to sleep with the racing heart, overall moistness, and complete confusion.

I have a coworker going through a major health crisis and aside from her being one of my favorite people in the company she is by far the most productive. What this means is I had a few precious days with her to get an ass-load of work done within this workshop we were attending. It was great but I was cramming my agenda into the smallest scheduling crack and annoying my group by bringing everything we talked about back to MY class.

The final day was Saturday and when it ended at two I decided I would just drive home. Popped a five our energy and headed out from St. Paul. On the way back the normally pleasant drive got bumpy. I have no need for the GPS on that trip because I do it so often but after my second drifting mind wrong turn I decided to have it running as backstop.

Just when I get my mind right and begin to come down from the energy shot I hit a wall of dead stop traffic the likes of which I hadn't experienced in a long time. So bad that I counted two cars that ran out of gas during the fun. There was an awesome road rage incident where a dude in a truck jumped out and screamed at the top of his lungs at the driver behind him. Something about being up his ass and no one going more than two miles per hour.

I mention this because the girl he was yelling at was brilliant. She just stared straight ahead not looking at him or her passenger. Then at the height of him losing his lid she decided to hit the wiper fluid and clean her field of vision. This cranked him up even more so I locked that move away for future potential use. I was a little concerned that he might flip completely and back over her monster truck style but whatever help line he called seemed to calm him down.

That shitshow plus my mental blunders turned a normal five and a half hour drive into just under nine so once again I was spent. Right now I'm writing this to calm down and take a day off. Part of me wants to get back to work because I need a clean slate this week before Wednesday night. Dad's behaving badly or Black Wednesday is one of my favorite events of the year. I need to go bang out my honeydo list before football begins for the day.

November 18, 2014

tommy fileseed

Last night found me time traveling through various online note taking and file saving systems until midnight. I don't know what it is but I seem to have a problem with all things online. I am an early adopter always looking for the latest and greatest but once something disappoints its dead to me. Except the content that I stored or created there remains until you go through the painful process of housecleaning.

I began the journey with Evernote. I used to love this thing because it was a place to jot down and store my very thought, idea, note, and even web clipping all in a searchable database. The only problem is once you store up a giant pile of nonsense what are you supposed to do with it? It's like I had three years worth of paper scraps in a real neat pile and they want me to pay for the upgrade to handle all of the services that they activated on all of my stuff. (OK I get that I said yes but it all seemed like a great idea at the time...) Saving pictures from my phone and computer, data from various apps, plus whatever else I could generate. It was enough already.

Like and good hoarder before I could delete that thing from my life I had to go through each piece of trash. A long and laborious process that yielded a few gems but a lot of memory triggers. I found a folder that contained phrases from unsent emails. Before I learned restraint I used to have myself on a delay like a radio station. I would type whatever angry response and then wait at least a day before sending. Rarely did one of those missiles get launched but I did manage to keep some that made me smile. I'll post a few and remember that these are business setting communications.
"Listen you smug little turd..."
"If you know so much why did you ask for my help in the first place?"
"Maybe if you weren't so busy pretending to work..."
"you are GREAT at mediocrity"
"I'm sorry but my eyes crossed halfway through your filibuster email"
"I just counted and this is our twelfth email about the same thing. Should I use a different font?"
It was painful and fun all rolled into one. Then I started to look at the different online storage units I rent. Once I realized they have all been culling various amounts of files, pictures, and music, I got overwhelmed and went to bed. I'm hitting the road this week and my off-time goal is to clean up and simplify my digital life. I will leave you with a puzzle. This was in a folder called stupidtom so I'm assuming I wrote about it but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is...

November 16, 2014

got the phunk

I'm not sure what it is about these long travel bouts but they put me in a very strange place. Mentally speaking I am no stranger to strange but the mood swings are like an amusement car ride. I find myself in a perpetual state of trying to get things done but never feeling satisfied that I have done said same. Pair those good feelings with this first snow of the year and you get some palpable agitation amongst the snakes in my head. You know those days where everything you look at turns into a steaming pile? Dead nuts in the middle of one.

Anyway this post is not to bleat about my perceived troubles but to reinforce the mental punch in the face I gave myself about an hour ago. Everything I was complaining about didn't really matter. There are people with real problems and my own are so small its almost like I'm looking for trouble. I was whining about things like... not being able to pay the bills. NOT BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO DO SO BUT THE BANK IS UPDATING ITS WEBSITE. not being able to watch football today BECAUSE MY MIDDLE CHILD ACTUALLY WANTED TO SPEND TIME WITH ME. I am an idiot.

The only thing I am in the midst of is turning myself into a human sphincter. I bitch about travel for a job I truly love and then when I'm finally home I find things to complain about here. HOLY SHITSTICKS I need a mental makeover. Time to stop myself from turning into a song cliche.

November 14, 2014


This has been a whirlwind trip and thankfully its almost over. While I was away my bride dipped her phone in liquid rendering it useless. She hates not being able to communicate but the thought of going to get a phone makes her crazy. I obfuscate the cost of technology because she just doesn't see the value. I was told that there is no way she is paying $500 for a phone. I didn't tell her that when its all said and done its probably closer to six because that wouldn't make anything better. If this were clothing, pet related, decorative, or anything else that she cared about a replacement or upgrade would have immediately been procured. Not the one thing that is with her and in use during her entire waking existence. I'll deal with that this weekend.

Anyway, I missed the boys sports banquet last night and it bummed me out. He filled me in when we talked but not the same as being there. I had a great meal with most of the crew putting on this training. I knew we were in trouble when we sent back half of the second seafood tower before the salads showed up. I am a sucker for a classic wedge salad but the thing in front of me was 2 normal wedges, so half a head of lettuce, and double the normal amount of blue cheese and bacon. I did not finish because I had a steak that called my name when I walked into the joint.

I'm telling you about this restaurant because they showed me something that goes on my WON THE LOTTERY BUILDING MY DREAM CASTLE list. Right when we walked in I was magnetically drawn to what can only be described as a glass encased meat cellar. It had a sealed door with computer temperature and humidity controls. The giant blocks of meat were aging in date labeled shrink wrap and I almost teared up. I am not a wine guy in fact the fermented grape and I are not friends. Don't even start with your wine snob "you're not drinking the right wines" as you are WRONG. I could go on and on but some things just don't work together and that's me and vino.

So this aging room is on the list and last night as I couldn't sleep with my distended belly I started to design my carving room. This will be behind the aging room accessible through a hidden door as to not break the aesthetic of my beautiful meat cellar. The carving room will be all white tile, stainless steel, and butcher-block. I will have one of those bad ass industrial food grade band saws and a great set of knives. I stopped heading down that road when I started thinking about soundproofing. My mind even scares me sometimes.

November 11, 2014


One of those travel days that makes me question my love of the job. Not works fault that air travel is not what it once was but I only fly this much for them so I have a tough time separating. Anyway, Polar Vortex nonsense plus a flight to Orlando equaled a splitting headache that I have yet to make go away. If I take any more blood thinning pain medication my sweat will turn red. I'm drinking water and Diet Coke using the chug and wait method. Take down a bottle and give it a half hour to fix things. Then grab the other one. Wash rinse repeat.

This post has no hope of being good but its killing time while I try to heal. I thought it was lack of food but I ate very well with some coworkers and that didn't fix things either. I might have busted an eardrum cranking up my music to drown out the four screaming kids I had within earshot on the plane. The pressure on this flight was a pisser for ME so the kids were flipping their lids. The little girl in my row yelled so loud and so long that I got tired. That kid could be an Olympic athlete some day. Impressive.

It's a good thing I'm spacing the posts out a bit as I'm being spammed by someone or something in Bulgaria. 30ish posts and 6,600 hits according to my Google overlords but most of those are from a tiny country I know nothing about. Some kind of weird spam I don't understand because it doesn't show up for you to see or click and I don't care enough to follow the links. I like me but not that much. I don't care enough to figure out why they would do it. I just want this effing headache to go away. I'm in a resort where everything is annoying me.

I was on the phone and what I thought was a stuffed parrot blinked then spoke to me. I walked outside to enjoy the nice evening right into a laser light show. Now sitting near my balcony because the thing is about my body width I just jumped as some distant fireworks show just began. Sleep isnt going to come easily and I'm dropping an hour due to the time change. Now this whiny bitchy writing is annoying me. I need to go before I throw my phone as an accomplice.

November 9, 2014

Facebook its not you its me

I might have to break up with Facebook for good. What was once a pleasant place for me to sit back and quietly pass judgement on the lives of others has now become unusable. Now I'm not on it a ton but when I am the thing is completely choked out with advertising. Every third or fourth post is trying to sell me something and the ones that aren't are re-posted videos from sites that pay to promote their content. My stupid friends re-post the re-posts and the whole experience is a shite storm.

I need a button that when clicked will just show me pictures from peoples lives. That's what I'm there for and its getting harder and harder to see. If it could include a political and religious filter it would be perfect but I know I'm just dreaming. In fact my perfect site would just include one random picture from all of my friends without caption or words of any kind. I'll fill in the details myself thank you very much. And as long as I'm wishing for never going to happen filters I would like one to take out kids. I am a fan of children in general but don't really care about the offspring of old friends. I want to see THEM and what they are up to...

I realize that most of the kids have moved on to something else but I find those things tiresome as well. Twitter is too much and unless your on it 24/7 you miss a ton of good stuff. It's like a news crawl that never repeats and always updating. That too is becoming a pack of annoying ads so every couple days when I check it ends up turning into an exercise in scrolling followed by exasperated giving up.

Then there is that Snap Chat thing that I had installed for five whole days. I wanted to watch someone's "story" that was written about in an article and it added a bunch of my contacts as friends. What comes naturally to the people who use it annoyed the crap out of me. Videos or pictures with a timer you have to press and hold before they disappear. (way to explain one of the most popular social networks in an overly simplistic dismissive sentence grumpy old man) I thought it was a way for folks to exchange genitalia shots without them getting plastered all over the internet. I consider myself corrected.

Anyway, back to Book Face. This used to be my spying duck blind. I put up just enough pictures to reel in a potential friend from the past so I could then find out what their life was like. I know full well that the things posted are just the press kit versions of their lives but I've become pretty adept at reading between the lines. The problem is that those lines are now pages apart. Probably my fault because I am not in a constant state of Facebook so they need to make up for my lost eyeball time but enough is enough.

I'm going to challenge myself to stay away for a month. This is on my own by the way because my wife can't help but turn the iPad my way when there is something she has to show me. Deleting app now.

November 8, 2014


This space might need a name change to saltytom just as justification for my recent rash of behavior. Take last night for instance... (when I have no idea what punctuation to use I go with 3 dots. I know that's wrong but I'm going for a signature style of ignorance here) I was at the airport 5 hours early for my red-eye flight from LA back to Chicago desperately seeking an earlier getaway. I got on an eight o'clock flight that would put me home around 2:00am. Better than six so I jumped on it. I had been speaking all day and my throat was killing me plus I hadn't had a Diet Poison all day either so my head was thumping. Still I was attempting a pleasant resting face while I people watched.

While we waited to board the plane a fellow baldy in the line next to me was applying what seemed to be a giant chapstick to his head. I was interested so I watched the entire application process. He was very thorough and it made me smile knowing I would never care that much about the skin covering my skull.

Now we are on the aircraft and he is 2 rows ahead (stumbled on that unintentional punny word. sorry) of me putting on another coat. It was a long flight and I caught sight of the half time apply and while we were waiting to disembark he did a little touchup. I got my luggage and found myself next to him in the prearranged taxi waiting area where he popped the cap on his stick and started again. I must have been had a full-on entertained face because he wheeled on me and asked what I thought was so funny.

I apologized and said I was tired and a little punchy but that wasn't good enough for him. He possibly mistook what I said as weakness because he got a little louder and said something about knowing I was watching him the entire flight. Other freezing where the hell is my cab people were paying attention now and I didn't like the turn we were taking so my brain shifted into shitty.

I started with something about a douche for the top of his head and let him know that whatever the reason for the stick it wasn't working. He was still an ugly bald prick just like me except he had this nervous smear-giant-chapstick-on-his-head thing going that cracked me up. He started to talk again but I cut him off explaining that he could cut down his audience if he were a little less dramatic about his special moisturizer or waterproofing or hair fertilizer routine. He kept trying to talk and I kept spitting out bad one liners;

  • Maybe you should belt out show tunes while you do it?
  • Closing your eyes and humming real loud would get you some looks.
  • Don't they make a two handed version of that applicator?
  • Do they have one with a bell on it?

He had given up by the time his cab pulled up and I was tired anyway. I don't know where that shit comes from. Maybe my pleasant resting face is a salty pick a fight with me face. I need to start glancing into more reflective surfaces.

November 6, 2014

stolen from my former blog of 10/16/13

Beer hipsters, you’re wrecking it.

Minding my own business in a bar far from home compels me to write this down.

Attention all craft brewed beer aficionados please shut up and mind your own beersiness when you’re out amongst the regular folks. I already hate the fact that you are trying to turn my beloved relaxin liquid into something as annoying as wine. I don’t want to have to go to school to order a beer. It’s just a beer. You drink what you want and I’ll do the same.

The problem arises when I order my Coors Light within your pierced earshot and you look sideways at me or snicker. I know it’s flavored water but I never asked for your opinion. With that in mind it’s riveting as you prattle on about the great beers of Europe and your craft brewspertise loud enough for the entire bar to hear.

I like a nice Diet Coors and I’m not hiding that fact from anyone. I also don’t comment on anyone else’s drink unless they fire the first snark.

You go ahead and enjoy your One Eyed Pirate Pube Ale and leave me be. I don’t want to hear about the “hoppy note” your tasting or the star anus used to brew the stuff.

When you finish your douchertation on Porters versus Stouts I’ll be over at the bar ordering another “tasteless and too cold American”. Oh, and if you think this is too cold you would hate my favorite draft beer place Twin Peaks. That beautiful brew has a cold cloud inside.

November 5, 2014


The picture I'm going to post after I write for a while sucks. It was taken from the back of my Uber on the way to the airport. I was staring out the window having random thoughts about all of the different businesses along the route and how they manage to survive. When you drive somewhere enough landmarks are something that both mark and pass time.

One of mine is the radar tower followed by the tarmac. I look at them both every single trip. Usually just a glance except this time there was a pillar of black smoke.

Fumbled for my phone, fat fingered the unlock then the camera just in time to take the following shite shot. Nothing says travel unease like something burning on the runway. Once I got past security (stupidtom not dumbtom) I asked around but noone knew what I was talking about.

Flight wasn't delayed and my extensive search from the plane window showed nothing either. This shitty picture is my only evidence that I'm not crazy. At least on this single occurrence. This also proves that I have no shot at proving the existence of bigfoot. Check that off of my list.

November 4, 2014

OK I get it

Enough already with your I Voted sticker. You sat in a booth and guessed at more than half the crap you read. Feels good don't it? Before this goes any further I should disclose that I did in fact vote today and I guessed at more than half the options because I have no idea which judges are good or bad. I even tried to find some sort of ranking for Illinois judges and everything on the interweb is a complete pain in the ass. Our state is broken and the vote today just made me feel dirty.

The political ads here are ridiculous. They are so negative that I found myself voting against a couple of ads not the candidate. The one that really pissed me off said his opponent rand a company that MOVED JOBS TO CHINA and DID BUSINESS WITH IRAN. I would have had more respect if they would have just called him a terrorist. Veiled cowardice wrapped in chickenshit. Anyway my opinions about the broken state of politics in the country are not the subject of this post.

I want to talk about the dude who had the stones to talk down to me because I wasn't wearing one of the aforementioned stickers. I'm not sure if he was stationed in the store exit trying to drum up votes or what but he caught me just right. "What about my right to NOT vote?" The a-hole hadn't heard that one before so he started on some duty as a citizen and I countered that he only cared for his candidates and or party.

I went on to tell him that I felt his verbal assault was bullying and should be ceased immediately. I asked if he had a 26.2 sticker on his car because those made people feel bad too especially the gravity challenged like myself. When he turned away it wasn't fun anymore but I did manage to mumble that he should be ashamed as I walked away. Election day has made me cranky and I haven't even begun to watch any of the nonstop coverage.

I did like the story that a bunch of our polling places didn't open up this morning because someone sent out a fake robo-call telling election judges to stay home. That is a perfect example of the high end individuals we have monitoring our precious votes.

Hey, the phone just said I don't need to go in tomorrow... Must have changed the date or something... One less thing...

November 3, 2014

lazy fun

I mentioned that I was digging through some of the old posts and I came across some things that made me smile. As I am currently encountering a never ending Monday I will post them for you now in the hope that they make up for my complete lack of creative energy. The first is a cartoon from an old blog friend who hasn't written in a while.

At the very least I hope he is still drawing somewhere. If anyone knows please point me in that direction. Next up was a photoshop effort from an unknown artist but I kept it in case they ever let me submit my own drivers license picture. tom tom baby.

November 2, 2014

no title today

I spent about a half hour longer than I wanted to trying to polish this turd and have nothing to show for the effort. I knew I had a bonus hour to kill today so I thought I would try to import some old posts into this site. Once my crazy reached punch-the-screen levels I figured it was time to bow out. I actually had most of it back up on WordPress thinking I could easily port it over but no pictures show up which makes about half of the writing confusing and all of the other links to videos and whatever were busted as well. Then the punchy feelings turned inward for having such an idiotic hobby.

I need to stop worrying so much about this thing and just write. In other boring behind the scenes news about this site the app that I thought was busted works perfectly on my new phone. The sneaky Chinese manufacturer might have forgotten that they were shipping my particular unit to a country that allows freedom of expression no matter how pointless.

And while I'm talking about the Chinese they are slow playing all of their customer service. If I had waited for them to do something about my busted phone I would be one day shy of a week with no mobile technology. This is why OnePlus is doomed to fail unless they fix their house quickly. The more they sell the worse their own community forums get and the trend doesn't look good. So I figured out how to fix the phone myself and now its time to sell it to some other sucker.

Do I feel bad about this? About as bad as the people who sold it to me. Early adopters sometimes get burned and if you act fast you can usually pass on your problem like a hot potato. My preferred target will be one of the know-it-all tech geeks who feels that I probably didn't deserve an invitation to buy this phone in the first place. They might be right but what I lack in technological ability I make up for in social skills. Hence my invitation before some condescending self proclaimed hacker.

I hope this company figures things out. Their business model could keep some of the bigger players in line and I love the idea of a phone that you can just buy without having to work it off by shackling yourself to a carrier for two years. I'll be watching from the sidelines with my big company phone that I can get fixed no matter where I am in the country without having to figure it out myself.

OK, that took 11 minutes so I have 19 left to teach myself something on the new phone. I am a mental patient who needs to know that he made the most out of today's extra hour and this writing just isn't cutting it.

November 1, 2014

new phone

Yes I understand that yesterdays effort sucked just a bit but if you read this more than once you need to get used to that. I was trying to post from the phone while handing out candy and the weather was so terrible that I let the people I knew inside to warm up and talk for a minute. Luckily I wasn't drinking or I'd probably be sitting here right now with sleeping costumed adults in various states of disrepair.

As it stands the lower level of the house looks like a costume shop and a candy store blew up. Best guess is seven boys but that is from a distance. I am having trouble with this species as they struggle with the scents their bodies are producing. The mixture of hormone fueled body odor and Axe body spray makes me gag. I can only council my own son on hygiene without feeling creepy so I have to endure his friends so there's no way I'm walking down into that smell soup any time soon.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about phones. I mentioned that I had to get a new one fast Monday night because the OnePlus broke and I had a communication dependent trip this week. In the store I was waited on by an Apple zealot. I should tell you that I used to be Apple-all-in myself but we had a public breakup. I wrote about it and if I can figure it out maybe I'll make an Old Post page and put it up there... So this salesperson was looking at my account and reminded me that I already had six apple devices so I should just get the iPhone 6.

No thank you. GET ME THE PHONE I ASKED FOR PLEASE. I was already salty because I was getting a new phone when I really didn't want one and I asked for a specific make and model which should have been a signal that I wasn't looking for advice. I was polite with my no thank you and just wanted the one I asked for but she persisted. So I pushed as to her lack of understanding my clearly spoken English language request and she mumbled something about Apple being better.

HOLY SHIT how do people not understand customer service and why are they so brand and or system loyal!? I DON'T GET IT. Both sides make great stuff. Apple and Google (I don't count Microsoft as they have some cool phones but no one uses them so no one writes apps. Vicious circle that means I wont use one) need each other because if one went away the other would get lazy in no time. I moved from one to the other because I like to tinker. My phone is in a constant state of flux just the way I like it. Apps, widgets, icons, backgrounds, automation, I screw around with all of that all the time and Apple wouldn't let me do that. No big deal just personal preference.

She was afraid to tell me that the one I wanted was only available in white and once again she was making up my mind for me rather than present options. While I have never owned a white phone I'm not prejudiced in any way and I always put a case on everything because accidents happen. A tiny house crammed full of big humans two cats and two dogs means that no flat surface is ever truly safe. Anyway, white phone, who cares, just get it.

Got the phone, very happy, but managed to complain and got some money off plus a free case. Hopefully it came out of the salesperson's commission or she didn't with the Cram Apple contest. Now I need to get back to emailing the Chinese about fixing my other phone so I can sell it.

October 31, 2014

all hallows ween

I ditched out of the meeting after our office survival pool lunch aka Losers Talking About Losing which I am normally not in town to attend. I was dead tired when I hit the road but nothing a horrendous Five Hour Energy couldn't handle. Anyway, I forgot to write about my pre-trip phone problems.

I need to begin this tale by letting you know I am a technology geek. I read about it whenever I can, and there was a time when my writing got me free stuff to try. Those days are gone but I still love the stuff. That is until it crosses me.

Monday night my phone betrayed me. I was the proud user of a OnePlus One. I'll sum up for the non geeks among you. Small Chinese phone manufacturer selling a high end phone for $300. They accomplished that by not spending any money on advertising. You had to get an invitation to buy one and people are still waiting in line.

I loved everything about it until for no apparent reason it went into what is called "boot loop" which means it is constantly restarting. The problem with a phone mail ordered from China is lack of local tech support. I tried for a panicked hour to fix it myself because I had a trip the next morning at 5:30am.

So I headed out to my local AT&T store to buy a phone from a manufacturer who will back it up in this country. I did that but not after some considerable back and forth with some insane brand loyal d-bags that I'll write about later. I've already rambled on for too long and I'm thumb typing from my new toy but keeping a consistent thought is tough on trick or treat.

I'll leave you with a picture from the new training room.

October 29, 2014

mystery solved

Packed full of stuff to do on this trip I am learning a bunch along the way. Saint Paul Minnesota has this elaborate human habitrail system which finally explains the mystery of this creepy downtown. When you drive around this place it's weird because there aren't a ton of shops and restaurants like I'm used to in other cities. I could never put my finger on what was wrong or where everyone eat drank and shopped.

Wait I should explain... My company is in the first stage of a two year process of relocating to downtown St. Paul. This is the one that means the most to me because our brand new training facility is where I'll spend the bulk of my time. I'm sitting in the hotel where we will stay and its two straight and one curved tube away from the new building. It was on my walk over today that I discovered the answers to my earlier odd feelings.

Life thrives in these dam tubes. You can buy anything in the habitrail and I'm pretty sure the only people who have to venture outside are smokers and the tough as nails homeless folks. Speaking of them by the way they must have an entire squad of bum sweepers as I have yet to encounter a beggar of any kind. This much concentrated foot traffic in Chicago would get you someone with a cup every ten feet or so. I'll be interested to see what they are like in January when it gets skin killin cold outside.

October 27, 2014

Monday not Funday

I'm cramming a weeks worth of regular work into a single day which makes me extremely salty. This travel week is different than most so I need to tie my calendar up in a neat little package by the time I call it quits tonight. Right now I nervously type this as I wait for any one of my three later in the week appointments to call and talk now. Normally I would just do one at a time but aint nobody got time fo dat.

I am typing this in an attempt at stopping myself from beginning another little project. Right now my desk is covered in three all at the point where problem solving is required. That means if I begin work on one of those and I get a call something will sour. I teach people all the time that work with a deadline requiring concentration should not be mixed with customer service. One, the other, or both will suffer.

I had to write something for professional publication last week and I blocked out 2 hours to get it done. During that time I fielded 3 calls that were supposed to take "just a second." When I read the final product I could see the spots in the writing where the calls came in and it was embarrassing. So this post is a way of killing time without investing much thought and has the added benefit of me not really caring if it sucks.

Wait, I care, its just that some of my worst writing in the past has been some of my best. My brain dominates the field of throw away comments and those come best when I'm not trying to produce one. Drinking is an aid but functional alcoholic isn't on my schedule for quite a while and needs me to invent and perfect my business idea: Stupidtom's Whadayahavin Retirement Home.

Just so I lock it in for litigation sake right now the rough sketch includes

  • all booze included with your monthly fee
  • sponsorship from major distributors as they lose ground to legalized pot
  • counting the drinks of others is grounds for immediate dismissal
  • extra-wide padded hallways, bathrooms, and rooms
  • you will never be more than arms reach from a drink or a snack
  • Stupidtom's exclusive Block the Doc program
There's a whole lot more but my phone is finally ringing.

October 26, 2014

not bad

There were no real incidents to report from last evenings spousal 30th reunion. I found some people that I could hang with plus the beer and food were included with the tickets. It's a freak show no  matter the reunion and this one did not disappoint. I found I really love seeing guys approaching 50 who look like they've never put a suit on before. I wanted to take a dude into the other room and fix his tie because I think it was an actual slipknot.

Were this one of my friends it would have been awesome with the bulk of the tie jutting out to the right all night but watching him try to fit in to conversations just made it sad. I ended up talking to him and let him know that he was overdressed. He was one of 2 guys at the whole thing wearing a tie and wasn't it uncomfortable? I don't know if he took it off or not because the food came out and I was starving.

I only screwed with one a-hole who kept reintroducing himself giving a resume of his high school accomplishments. On the third round I claimed to be on a couple teams with him and acted upset when he didn't remember me. "I was a lot thinner back then and had a full head of hair." He scurried away the first chance he got.

There was a girl annoying everyone that I wanted a shot at but it must have showed on my face because during a brief check in I got the WHATEVER YOU ARE THINKING DON'T look from the boss. It was her night so I withdrew. There was nervous drinking all around me so I knew this gathering had potential for excellence but we left before anything got really great. One dress up ass flash during the group photo was the wacky highlight.

As I walked up to the wife for the first of three prearranged we've gotta go check-ins one of her classmates was saying "you didn't look this good back then did you?" and something about offering to help her find a job. After I walked up it only took 3 seconds of no reaction eye contact for him to look away and get uncomfortable. I also might have intentionally talked a little louder than I needed to about his lady-face as we walked away but that was to be expected.

And speaking of lady-face, there were a couple people at this thing that had some no so subtle work done. Maybe it's the age were at but holy crap. One of the women needs to go back to her doctor and have things loosened one notch. She walked around all night in a constant state of smooth surprise. The only other thing that made me laugh was vanity related as well. I was sitting with a group of people where I knew exactly one of them eating  "heavy hors d'oeuvres."

The woman next to me said she needed an extra plate to sample everything but she didn't want to seem like a pig. I asked if she wanted on of my 7 because I was heading back to the prime rib guy for another tiny sandwich. She said no thank you as if I thought she would take one of my dirty plates. No need to correct someone who doesn't understand my funny better to just creep her out and move on.

October 25, 2014


I woke up with a half a post stuck in my phone this morning and I laughed because it sounded like a medical condition when I had that thought. Turns out I wanted to put some pictures up from the end of this years football season while sitting at the bar. Drinking and posting have always been a questionable mix for me but old habits die hard and last night turned out to be nothing.

Today is going to be a mixed bag. I have a to-do list as long as my arm and then the wife's 30th reunion this evening. The reunion is an official Red Light Green Light situation. Red Light means that I will be on my best most cordial behavior. This is the standard operating mode for most social gatherings where meeting people and impressions are a priority. Red light also means that there will be no bored over-serving myself.

This gathering is a bit different. My wife is a bit worried about some of the old social issues from three decades ago coming out to play. I have learned more about this period of her life in the last two weeks than in our previous 27 odd years together and some of it makes me more than a little cranky. But those are her stories to tell and I just needed the mention to explain my possible green light.

Green Light means that I have permission to be full-on ME. My default base comfort place is a deep cutting smart ass. I shouldn't say default because I am generally a nice person who is just trying to do the best I can every day... But, there's something about shit talk that I love.

I don't know why and there are probably volumes of psychological reasons but asshole has always come easy for me. There is a not so small part of me hoping for things to go sideways. It's rare and has been a long time since I've had a chance to use the blowtorch so maybe that has something to do with it but I'm really hoping someone wants to get shitty tonight. (I think that horrific sentence was brought to you by the good people at anticipatory excitement)

I can no longer avoid the yard work and the more I type the more confusing this becomes. I'll quit while I'm behind.