Monday, January 11, 2010

Maybe We'll Get a Cat

Or not! So today, I go to pick up Mr. Grocery Bagger from work and he gets in the van very excited about something he learned at work today. If he starts to work full-time (remember we are struggling to get him there 9 hours a week right now), then he is eligible for benefits. I am thinking, "He has private insurance through his father's work, he gets Medicaid, and he gets SSI, what other benefits does he need?" I guess I just wasn't thinking. Of course, the obvious benefit that we all ask about when starting a new job - Pet Insurance!

He goes on to tell me that it's only around $9 a month, and any time he has to take his pet to the vet, it covers "most" of the bill. He only will have to pay $30 for vaccinations and then he can take his pet in for accidents, or injuries, or illness or whatever else might happen.

I'm just nodding along, like "yeah, whatever" and he says, "So I think I'll get a cat." Hmmm, he lives in a home with two other gentlemen (one of whom has VERY little tolerance for animals and has been known to punch holes in walls and attack people - who knows what he would do with a screeching cat.) He also has what has to be the nastiest room ever. I am not a big fan of cats, but bless the heart of the one who had to share that room with him! And he has to get a full-time job to even have this "benefit" about which he is so excited. So I can pretty much say with full certainty, there is no cat in our future. But, we'll just let him live in this little pipe dream of his for a while.

The whole conversation did remind us of a recent visit to his physician. The doctor flipped through his notes and said, "I see you have volunteered at the Humane Society. Are you still doing that?" And the response was something nobody in the room will ever forget. It was something along the lines of "No, see they asked me to leave after I killed that cat. But you know it was totally an accident. It could have happened to anybody." We didn't ask for more details. Some things you are just better off not knowing. We do take some comfort in knowing that even if all the other little pieces fell into place, pigs would fly before even the local animal shelter would allow him to adopt one of their animals.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Drink Up or Stock Up Now

Today it snowed. Again. I really never thought I would be so tired of the snow. But I am. As I was driving one of the guys to Wal-Mart, and it was snowing on us, I muttered, "I am sooo ready for this snow to be gone." And he responded something along the lines of the snow and blizzard and -30 windchill are just Mother Nature's way of repaying us for what we are doing to the environment.

Hmmm, I could just let this go and keep driving, or I could delve a little deeper and see where this conversation might lead. So I say, "Huh? What do you mean?"

And that's where it started. The next ten minutes or so was a speech from him that went something like this:

"The way I see it, we have destroyed the ecosystems of the three largest continents on the earth." - Let me interject here, that I for one was shocked by his usage of the words ecosystems and continents and had a hope for just a mere second that this might just be a semi-intelligent conversation; but that was but a fleeting hope. He went on, "From what I know, there are a lot of people that are trying to help solve this problem and I am thinking about donating some of my money to help them. Did you know that polar bears are almost extinct? Something has to be done about that. I mean, how sad would it be for there to be no more polar bears? See, the biggest problem with all that is that polar bears are the main things that Coca-Cola uses for their advertisements. And if there are no more polar bears, then what can they use? Pandas?? I don't think that would work so well, do you? And then if Coke can't use polar bears, then they can't advertise and then they will end up going out of business and there will be no more Coke products anywhere."

Yep - that was pretty much the conversation. In layman's terms - global warming = polar bear extinction = the end of the Coca Cola corporation. Interesting theory huh? I didn't bother mentioning that Coke's been pretty successful long before the polar bears, or that the polar bears they use aren't even real - not like they're paid actors. I started to argue, but then I remembered that these words came out of the mouth of a guy who just minutes before his monologue asked the question, "Wouldn't it be amazing if we could use both sides of our brain? Just think of all the things we could do and know." Yeah. That sure would be amazing. But we're not gonna hold out any hope of that happening any time soon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Wonder What the Record is...

So we've had cause to wonder lately if there is a record for Pay-per-view movies ordered within a certain time frame. And we've wondered about this because we think we just might have beaten it. Well, not us exactly, but here's the story:

Apparently, a few years back, before we moved here, one of our guys got into a little trouble with ordering Pay-Per-View movies. He ended up owing a couple hundred dollars for the movies, but of course he claimed that he didn't understand what he was doing and so all was forgiven, and there was a video on demand block put on his cable box. And that was that.

In August we moved to a new house - bet you can see where this is going - and the block supposedly came with the move. But about a month ago, there was some confusion and programming changes and the cable was out for a few minutes while some cords got switched and a bunch of other technical stuff happened.

About two weeks later, I was driving down the road when the PPV orderer (I think I just made that word up) says, "Oh by the way, when the cable bill comes, there may be a couple of charges on it for some movies I've ordered. Just let me know how much and I'll pay it. Aren't you proud of me for being willing to pay for the movies?" I just agreed that it was great that he was being responsible about his charges and that indeed, I was proud of him. Now, as soon as I got back home, I sure wasted NO time shooting out an email to all involved parties letting them know that something was awry and movies were being ordered. I received an email early the next day letting me know that the block was somehow removed in all the changes but that it was back in place so not to worry.

Well, the bill came this week. He had 15 days where the video on demand was not blocked. He racked up $489.28 in charges. In 15 days! That's around $33 a day. Now, if you do the math and realize that the majority of the movies are $2.99-3.99 each, that comes out to between 9 and 11 movies PER DAY. He is only awake about 15 hours and most movies are at least 2 hours long. How is that even possible?? We did finally realize that if you factor in a couple of "adult" movies at $9.99 a piece, it makes it a little bit more possible, even though it's still just hard to fathom.

So, if anybody needs any movie reviews, let me know. Chances are good whatever movie you are wondering about was watched (or at least ordered) here in that two-week period. In the meantime, I'm gonna see if I can find old Mr. Guinness and talk to him about the new record.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Would You Rather?

Joshua likes to play this silly little game called "Would You Rather." He generally proposes the game during long periods of car travel. He will start out with something like "Would you rather not have a nose or not have ears?" or "Would you rather eat an elephant's trunk or a turtle's shell?" It's annoying and I do not enjoy playing.

But one of our clients played today. He had to be at work at 3 pm and likes to leave by 2:30. He cooked himself a big meal this morning and made quite a mess in the kitchen. I told him at 11 am that he needed to clean the kitchen before he went to work. He came down at 2:30, threw away the trash in the kitchen and then walked out to the van. I told him that he needed to come in and spray down the countertops and then I would take him. This caused quite a stink.

So, would you rather?

Clean this:

Or walk 12 miles in this? Picture it also being 9 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yeah, me too. Guess which one he picked! There may just be a lack of logic and reasoning going on somewhere in his head.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How to get rid of the snow

We have snow here like I have never experienced. (Well, maybe one time when I was in Colorado for skiing.) It's still about 4 feet high outside our door. Joshua has loved the sledding, but even he is ready for it to go away. This past week, every morning we woke up to find the outside temperature to be in the negatives. (I don't even know how to write that grammatically correct, probably because it's not something you should ever have to say, unless you live at the North Pole or something).

Anyway, Friday night, Lowell braved the snow and ice to go pick up one of our guys from work. On the ride home they were discussing the merits of salt versus sand when it comes to melting away the snow. Lowell pointed out that the transportation department uses mainly salt, so they must have determined that it works best. He was quickly corrected by our own resident expert who argued that sand was clearly the better of the two at removing snow. His argument? "Have you ever seen mounds of snow like this at the beach? No, obviously because of the sand."

Well how do you argue with that???