Friday, July 29, 2011

"Fried Fridays: 2K pounds in the tub"

Washing ton.


Can't argue it's about as 'fried' as it gets, just like the nerves and patience of the public.

I know it's getting late in the morning, and while I would love to be creative and write a more 'formal' Fried Friday's write-up, I'm also on a tight deadline to get some things completed before tomorrow's appearance at Bele Chere in Asheville.

Count me in with the masses THOROUGHLY sick and tired of our elected officials and their relentless bickering and unwillingness to compromise on any level, the latter for at least for one subset I can think of.

They say one bad apple can't spoil the barrel, but I'm not so sure anymore. There is a fine line and a dangerously slippery slope between pride and self-righteousness, that can make for a proverbial snowball heading for hell. Hmmmmmmm....

Many moons ago I heard a person tell another person to go to hell, which prompted the quick, cheerful reply, "I went once but got kicked out for bootleggin' icewater!" Amen.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Fried Fridays: All Bottled Up...."


Sometimes it's good to let things out. Keeping some things bottled up can lead to dangerous stress levels and all kinds of related issues that have to be dealt with.



September was going to be the red-letter month for Mollydooker Wines, as the Aussie vineyard was to make a splash into the U.S. scene. A very special reserve Shiraz was to hit the American shelves at $200 per bottle.

A grand entrance, indeed....and I like the ring of "Mollydooker", too. Kinda ranks up there with "Ugly Boy Flutes". :-)

And, oh my, they made a splash alright.

Only it was in the shipping container in their warehouse.

It fell off the forklift.

461 of 462 cases, shattered. One survived. An estimated one million dollars down the drain, literally. The itsy bitsy silver lining is that the vintner did have the wine insured.

They say don't cry over spilled milk. I'm guessing when milk hits $200 per gallon, we'll say to hell with that expression...

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Fried Fridays: kinda sorta..."

Alright, this isn't my normal format, but I've gotten out of the blogger mode for so long that it will take some time to get back in it. This entry isn't about a wacky news story I've chosen to end a wacky week; rather, this is a story of just how some of my days go, this one being the good ol' Fourth of July...

My brother, his wife, and their just-turned 4-year old twins were down from Boston for several days over the Fourth, staying at mom's about 75 minutes away. Their first foray to make the trip to my abode was stopped by a hiddeous traffic snarl on I-26 heading up from the Foothills into the big issue is that if there are major wrecks and traffic stoppage, there are no good alternate routes, so they aborted the trip Sunday and made it back on Tuesday.

That's me with the young 'uns that day, Willie Boo and Ellie Sue. Truth be told I started them on new nicknames, Scooter and LuLu, but that's another story for another day. And that's all part of the normal stuff that took place.

Alas, the morning of the Fourth is a story worth passing along....little events and decisions that, each alone, are minor....but when synergy is alive and well, and all the planets align just right simultaneously, the simple can become absurd.

My sacred time is early morning, when with prepared thermos of coffee, half and half, and Splenda I catch most sunrises, gently bringing in the day. Okay, sometimes there is an ill-timed Molly Bark-Fest at some squirrel that leads her on a chase through the woods near the neighboring cabin, but usually peace reigns supreme.

At the usual pre-dawn time, I got up, let the pups out, and soon opened the refrigerator door. It was the classic Homer Simpson "DOH!" as I realized I'd run out of creamer and forgot to get some only the day before when I got more Splenda. Leave it to me to rarely remember to make and take a bona fide shopping list with me. A grocery store was less than 10 minutes away, so I gathered the four-leggeds for an early morning ride down into the foggy valley below.

Not a lot is going on at 645am on a big holiday in my neck of the woods. There were more shelf-stockers than there were shoppers, all slowly swirling around a very sleepy start to the day. Quiet. Calm. Peaceful. I made my way back to the dairy section, and was disspointed in the price of even the store-brand of half and half, one of my daily splurges to keep my sanity. Money continues to be a big issue making ends meet in this economy, and I mused that if I would drive another 8 minutes I could get twice the product for the same money at Walmart.

Do I drive all the way there, or suck up the price and buy just the one carton, knowing I could go back out later to get all the other things I forgot to pick up the day before, so I mused. Heeding the peacefulness of the morning, and my adage from doing TV weather "if in doubt, throw it out", I decided to get the one quart and check out.

There was only one regular check-out register open, with a couple of folks lined up buying far more than a forgotten carton of moo juice. Ah, the self-check counters were open, so I headed right there. I was a bit surprised to see actual greenbacks in my wallet....well, truth be told, it was only one greenback, a fiver, but cash nonetheless. I swiped my store card, listened to the gratuitous canned "Welcome, Ingles custsomer!", and scanned the item. Hit the pay button, and inserted the cash....quick and easy? Oh, hell, no......

"Houston, we have a problem..."

Literally as the machine sucked in my money did the entire store lose power, big time. Every light, every machine, every register, down, dead, kaput. Dead in the water. What happened, how it happened, I have no idea as that was inconsequential. What was important is that we all quickly became lab rats trapped in a defunct electronic cage.

After about 5 minutes, the power did come on in the back half of the store, and apparently an emergency line that reached to front office area, as the main register trunk began to reboot the sophisticated software system that ran the registers. I'll give you a hint: rebooting such an expansive system after a crash is not one of the more speedy processes.

In another 5 minutes, one new register was able to be opened, and the lucky ones not in the middle of transactions could simply slide over and be on their way. We, the trapped lemmings, could only wait until the electronic jaws of death would unlock their booty so we could get change and go about our heretofore quiet morning.

And in yet another 5 minutes that came to pass, I got my change, and mused how I should have heeded my hunch to go to Wally World, missing the outage AND going home with twice the product for the same price. Oh well, it was what it was. The ol' deer-mangled buggy took us back on up the mountain.

Have you ever just wanted to start a day over? I sure did...and it wasn't because of the bizarre creamer expedition. No, it was something else I discovered when I went to prepare my coffee.

There was none.

Coffee. Item #2 that I forgot to get the day before.....