Archive for January, 2018

And So It Begins … Again

Posted in Food, Nonsense with tags , , , on January 19, 2018 by Bob

When our first little voice started kindergarten, we were thrust into the wonderful world of fundraising. Twice a year wasn’t so bad. It was cookie dough in the fall and Lou Malnati’s personal pizzas in the spring. Our second voice started school this year and we had to figure out how to split the cookie dough orders between the two. Won’t be as worried for the pizzas (if they do that again) because I really like those pizzas. I will buy a bunch just myself. Not a big deal on the school fundraising front. Something else changed this year however, that no doubt will solidify taking me down the road of avoidance and contempt from my friends and coworkers for years. Girl Scouts.

Our oldest little voice joined Girl Scouts this year. More accurately Daisies. While I personally haven’t gone to any of the meetings (that is Mrs. Voice’s realm), from what I gather it is a relatively new troop(?) and still finding it’s place. They are very easy going, and not even really getting any full uniforms. I think they are getting a sash for patches. The one thing they ARE doing that is classic Girl Scouts is selling … yup … Cookies.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been a fan of cookies, Girl Scout or otherwise, probably since birth. My favorite of the GS have always been the Do-Si-Dos … the peanut butter sandwich cookies. There have been other well liked varieties over the years based on the bakery supplying the various groups. I have bought them from my niece, from neighbors, friends and the occasional freezing child outside of a grocery store. This is the first time however that we … I mean “my child” … has to sell them.

Here are my issues: 1) We are selling late. Seems everyone has been selling for weeks already. Mrs. Voices says this is good as people will get their cookies from us after they run out of their previous cookie order. Um … ok. 2) I JUST got done talking the three people I work closely enough with into buying the cookie dough. 3) They aren’t ALLOWED to sell door to door. (same issue I have with the school fundraisers). As I recall, this used to be one of the main tenets of selling cookies and whatever else. It helped with communication skills and self-confidence and salesmanship … or something. When it is parents doing all the selling to friends and family who buy because they feel guilty … what does that teach the kids?

Despite the above, I can’t disappoint my little girl. I will end up buying enough cookies to make sure she gets a patch. I will freeze them, bring them to work to hand out or slowly eat them, one cookie at a time over the course of a wee … year. I AM thankful that it doesn’t appear that we will need to sit outside of Walgreen’s and push cookies on Dell Webb residents picking up their diabetes prescriptions.


Anyone want to buy some cookies? Anyone?


The Mall

Posted in Nonsense with tags , , on January 11, 2018 by Bob

Did you know that there are still indoor malls floating around? I’m not talking about the biggies like Mall of America, I mean smaller, local, indoor malls that haven’t yet been transformed into outdoor “lifestyle centers” full of trendy and overpriced stores. I had the occasion to visit one such mall yesterday.

I had a blowout yesterday and spent my lunch hour changing my tire. (That will be a topic for another day after I finish putting things back together). Due to this, I needed to get a new set of tires. I actually was planning on replacing my tires within the next week or so, this just accelerated the process. As things at work are relatively easy going, I was able to go over to the local Sears Auto center and get my tires replaced. I work for Sears so I figured if I am going to not be at work, I might as well at least support my own paycheck. Once Again, I am digressing.

Once I was all set and signed, the auto center manager suggested that instead of sitting in the plastic waiting room chairs, I go and sit in the mall. There are lounge chairs right outside the mall entrance to the main Sears store and the smells are better because of the gourmet popcorn stand that is right there.

As I sat there working on my laptop, it was hard not to people watch. Being it was a Wednesday, at 2 in the afternoon, there weren’t a ton of people. The people that were there however, were quite the bunch. I remember in my younger days hanging out at the bigger mall that was near us. This was of course during the heyday of malls. Not sure if I was there enough to be considered a “mall rat”, but my recollection was mostly teenagers walking around, looking in stores, not buying anything and loitering in the food court. On this day, it was mainly mall walkers, homeless people staying dry, mall walkers and a few moms dragging their kids around. I saw one little Asian lady, probably in her 70s, lap around by my little corner about 5 times in 30 minutes. She was booking!

After a while a girl in her mid 20s sat down in the chair across from me. She sat there for 15 minutes doing nothing but cracking her gum … ever 15 seconds. Yes, I counted. In the next 30 minutes, 2 Pace bus drivers came in to sit and take a break, 1 elderly gentleman sat down for 30 seconds and then got up and left, and 2 mall security guards walked by and looked at me oddly but didn’t do anything else.

I was getting bored. So, I decided I would get up and go walk the mall myself. Figured I could get some steps in sin my work VPN was not working well with the mall’s Wi-Fi. The first thing I noticed was the food court … or lack thereof. I know there used to be one. A big loop as I recall that had maybe 10 restaurants. There is now a Subway and a Sbaro. Ok. Keep walking.

I passed store after store that I had never heard of. I’m sure they are stores I am just plain not cool enough to be in anyway. I vaguely remember the mall having a couple of the little coin operated kid’s rides, but now, in every wing there were at least 5 or 6 of those things. At least 3 times as many as the last time I was there with my kids and they begged and whined to go on them.

There was actually an arcade in the mall. Well, not so much an arcade as it was a central room with all the video games. There was no Mr. Litwak doling out tokens so I don’t think it can technically be an Arcade. Other than the arcade, there were some I guess vending machine games scattered throughout the mall. They were “games” that dealt out expensive prizes such as Beats headphones, fancy looking watches, Playstations, and one machine that you could win a shoe. A single shoe. None of the shoes in the machine matched. I didn’t understand that one at all. These things were all like $5 and next to impossible to win. Still, I saw a young mother digging through her purse looking for change to try to win something. Her baby, in a car carrier, sitting on the floor in front of the machine.

The best part of walking around the mall was passing the pretzel place and the Cinnabon. It was the best part at least until the girl behind the counter at Cinnabon told me to stop drooling on the counter and buy something or she would call security. I left … eventually. Sadly, I didn’t buy anything. In retrospect, I should have.

After that, I decided to have some fun. I walked into some store I couldn’t make out the name of because of the font. It was kind of a Hot Topic feel to it. I really didn’t fit in. I also got the “Um … can I help you?” instead of a “Hi, can I help you find anything?”

Next, A store called “Life is PINK is Life”. It was all pink things. Again, a store I should not have been in. I think it is a Victoria’s Secret brand which would explain the looks I was getting. I was tempted to pull a Chevy Chase from Christmas Vacation but was never approached by anyone.

I contemplated getting something pierced at the Pagoda, getting a sales pitch from every wireless carrier in existence, getting a fast but fair jewelry repair, having something threaded and buying an Asian Treasure. Fortunately for me, the auto center called and told me my car was ready. So, I hopped on the train and rode it back to Sears. I should have commemorated my visit with a picture from one of the 12 photo booths, but I feel after changing the tire earlier, I would have to stop at the Make-up bar kiosk first and I just didn’t have time.

I don’t remember being this perplexed in the mall. Another sign I am getting old? (Like I need another one.) Maybe some of my younger friends might want to volunteer to take me to the mall and explain things to me. The potential for amusement is pretty high. I’ll even spring for the Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon. Who knows, maybe we can have some fun at Super Bounce while we are at it.

Oh yeah, my new tires are great.

It’s The Little Things

Posted in Nonsense on January 9, 2018 by Bob

Change is always happening where I work. The latest thing is that they are moving people from one of the buildings, over to the building that I am in. This means that they are finally clearing out all the cubes of the people that have been laid off over the past year. This also means, a lot of extra things all set into a nice little pile. I currently have 2 monitors. 1 was on a riser so my laptop could dock underneath. The other was sitting on my desk … not lining up with my other monitor. I got a new riser that is identical to the other. Now my monitors match. Best thing that has happened to me at work in months if not longer. Yeah. Exciting stuff. Like I said … it’s the little things.

Keep It In Your Pocket

Posted in Nonsense with tags , on January 5, 2018 by Bob

I was down in the cafeteria today at work looking to negotiate the vending of some cheesy comestibles, when I witnessed something that ruined my appetite and sent me back to my desk, destined to remain esurient the remainder of the afternoon.

As I was looking over the limited menu choices, an older gentleman, in his late 60s – early 70s, reached into his pocket, retrieved a handkerchief, blew his nose, and placed it back in his pocket. Ew.

I have never understood the use of a handkerchief to blow your nose. Why would you want to do that, put it in your pocket, let it fester, and use it over and over again. This is the age of Kleenex and Puffs. Single use tissues that you can fill with your bacteria laden disgustingness and immediately dispose of it. They even have small packs that you can put in your pocket so you can have a fresh, DRY and CLEAN one each time.

The use of a handkerchief to blow your nose repulses me. Even when I look it up on that uber trustworthy site Wikipedia, it only mentions actual blowing of nose once. It lists tons of other uses from being a hobo, to using it as a Molotov cocktail wick.

Even the heads of major movie studios and crack detectives know to throw out a handkerchief after it has been used.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a parent and have had plenty of gross tissues in my pocket and have had to use them sometimes a second time on a child. This was usually only to wipe the nose. And as soon as I had the chance, that sucker was in the trash faster than … well … FAST!

Please, if you use a handkerchief … stop. If you are short on funds, I will buy you a travel pack of tissue.

Rant over. What say you all? Am I the only one that thinks this practice should be banned by law or am I just insane?

Death Will Be The Exercise Of Me

Posted in Celebrity Deaths, TV/Movies with tags , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2018 by Bob

I was going to go for a nice long walk today at work. I didn’t. My back hurts and I am lazy. Instead, I decided to exercise my brain and bring back the Celebrity Death Watch for 2018.

Of course, to start off the year, I need to make my predictions. I have had varying success over the years. Mostly, if you are a celebrity, and I put you on the list, you will more than likely make it until the following year. In the past, I have had 3 categories. I think we will go with that again. A brief explanation of the categories:

The Vigodas – He was on everyone’s list for years. Although he has passed, we will keep these “They’re still alive?” picks named after him. Mostly these are top picks from years past that are STILL hanging on.

Top Picks – Most likely. Usually on most lists.

Out On A Ledge – Unlikely to happen but … who knows.

I am glad I missed out on my predictions last year because … DAMN! There were so many out of left field that it boggled the mind. Let’s get this started though and move on.


The Vigodas – Some new ones added as some old ones have dropped off the list … literally.

Billy Graham – Pushing 100 and still pushing buttons. I think this might be the year.

Kirk Douglas – As of last month he was 101! He’s got himself a younger wife though (98) so she might be too much for him to handle

Ian McKellen – While not as old as the others … have you seen him lately?

Olivia de Havilland – 101 and going strong?

Herman Wouk – 102. I hear he wrote his own obit 4 years ago.

Carol Channing – Amazingly, her voice is getting deeper.


Top Picks

Liza Minnelli – While she isn’t that old comparatively, she hasn’t been doing well lately.

Bob Barker – All the spaying and neutering will finally catch up to him.

Stan Lee – I hate to say it but … Excelsior!

Jimmy Carter – The current state of affairs will be just too much.

Mel Brooks – Putting him on so that he’s got at least another year or 2!

Tim Curry – Just a feeling I got.

Pierre Cardin – Fashion is fleeting … right?

Steven Hawking – He has been making some bold statements lately. Thinking he is doing is to laugh at us soon.


Out On A Ledge

Charlie Sheen – The odds are stacked against him on so many levels.

Don Johnson – He hasn’t made a record in years.

Axl Rose – Obvious, isn’t it?

Jenny McCarthy – Plastic surgery accident while eating a Wahlburger.

All YouTube “stars” – Big pipe dream on that one but, still …

Hoda Kotb – She will go into withdraw from not being able to drink the first 3 hours of the Today Show

Going to end it here before I start getting into areas that cause WAY too much derision. And before I start using more words like derision. As always, if you have some picks of your own … drop a comment and save them for posterity. We can go back and look at the end of the year!

Welcome to 2018 … Now Help Me Please

Posted in Nonsense on January 1, 2018 by Bob

Yes, it is 2018. While I popped back on a few days ago, I made a conscious decision NOT to look back at 2017. IT was rough and I didn’t keep up on it the way I have in years past. I am still trying to figure out how I want to go about the year. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings on the coming year, but I haven’t sorted them all out yet. I know, the new year is here so I better get with it.

I would like your guidance on something though. My header image is a picture of our American Bulldog Piper. Sadly, she passed away right before Thanksgiving. It was pretty rough and we are still getting used to her not being around. When I started back up, Mrs. Voices said I needed to change my image. I thought I would leave it as a tribute/remembrance.

I bring it to you, the voices OUTSIDE my brain, for your thoughts on the matter. I promise that as we move into the year, I won’t be so depressing. However, this is one of those housekeeping things that just needs to be done.

Please comment or vote below.




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