Speaking of research…

May 1, 2008

Speaking of research (see the last post), I have noticed lately that although I should not feel too busy or overburdened, I am finding that I have little time to do the things I feel that I need to do, so…

I am going to start tracking (writing down) everything that I do during the day and how much time it takes. Then I am going to take a look at what I am spending my time doing, prioritize, and adjust accordingly. There are already a few things that are obvious:

Work takes up the most time of each 24 hour period, with sleep coming in a close second. Beyond that, I have no idea where most of my time goes, but there are a few changes that I am going to make right now… For example, I am sure that I spend quite a bit of time camping in front of the TV, and I know that this is fairly low on my list of how I would like to spend my time… so for the next month, I am going to TRY not to watch TV… at all. I am not the kind of person that goes after these things in a “sort-of-kind-of” way (anyone who has witnessed my successful effort to give up soft drinks can attest), so I assume that I will: Not change my TV habits at all, OR: I am done with it completely. We’ll see how this goes.

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The Bike Shop

April 4, 2008

I have never taken the time, nor had the inclination, to post anything about the job that I had prior to my current job. This, of course, does not mean that nothing occurred at the Bike Shop that was worth writing about, as those six years provided me with a lifetime worth of material. The following is a true account of a sequence of events that unfolded that would stupify even the most hardened individuals…

The day began normally enough… I was polishing a bicycle on the showroom floor while watching one of my co-workers empty the garbage containers outside the plaza. The plaza was home to the bike shop, a pizzeria, and a coffee shop, and since the owner of the bike shop owned the whole plaza and rented to the other stores, we were responsible for any garbage containers located outside of the doors of the stores.

On this particular day Jeff was handling the garbage duty. I noticed that as he emptied the garbage outside the coffee shop, he reached into one of the bags and pulled something out. After staring for a minute and trying to figure out what he was holding, I recognized the distinct shape of a can of Pringles chips (to this day, I still haven’t determined whether going through the garbage he was emptying was a regular practice for Jeff).

Jeff completed the job and came back into the bike shop, still carrying the can of Pringles.

“Dude, you aren’t gonna eat those, are you?” I asked as he walked toward me.

“No way, are you f**king nuts?” he replied. “Look inside here.” He removed the cap to the can, revealing a can about half full of chips, cigarette ashes, and what appeared to be some soggy, cappucino looking stuff. He blew into the can, sending the ashes flying into the room as he smiled and exclaimed “Follow me!”

I followed Jeff through the door on the showroom floor that leads back to our service department, getting a sense that Jeff was going to ask a mechanic if he wanted some Pringles… but to my surprise, Jeff walked into the service area, walked right past the mechanics, and set the can of Pringles down on Kurt’s bench (Kurt, a newer mechanic, hadn’t arrived for work yet). Jeff turned and walked back out the service department with me in tow.

“What was that all about?” I asked.

“Dude, I can’t give a can of half eaten, disgusting chips to a mechanic… if I offer them and they eat them and get some disease or something, they will try to hold me responsible…. nooo way. I ain’t that dumb.” he replied.

“Then what was the point?” I asked, still not understanding the situation.

“Just wait.” Jeff replied.

About two hours passed, and I walked into the service area to grab a bike to deliver to a customer, and the Jeff’s plan had begun to unfold before my eyes… Kurt was working on the bike, chewing a mouth full of Pringles.

“Kurt, where did you get those chips?” I asked, dismayed and disgusted at the same time.

“They were sitting here on my bench when I got here… are they yours? Sorry.” Kurt replied.

“No, they aren’t mine.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell him… so I ran and told Jeff what was going on.

“YES!!!! IT WORKED!!! WHAT AN IDIOT!!!! AWESOME!!!” Jeff shouted, trying to hide his excitement well enough not to draw attention from the managers. He immediately headed to the service area.

“Kurt, where did you get those chips?” Jeff asked.

“Huh? Take that Jeff! Leave your food on my bench and it is fair game!” Kurt said, proud that he finally pulled a quick one on Jeff.

“Kurt, those are garbage chips!!!! Nasty!” Jeff exclaimed, laughing and shouting at the same time.Over the next couple hours, Jeff was sure to tell everyone in the store what had occurred, even successfully repeating the experiment on one of the managers. Everyone thought it was hilarious, except for Kurt.


The Ultimate Status Symbol

January 18, 2008

While visiting my aunt and uncle about a year ago, I was shocked to see my uncle, a very well off, successful man that works for one of the biggest corporations in the world walking around the yard in green sweatpants and a purple t-shirt. At first I could not figure out why a very financially successful, middle aged man with two kids would be walking around in the same outfit that the crazy homeless guy outside the university’s entry way wears. Then it came to me: this was a sign that he has ‘made it’.

As times have changed, so have the ways in which men display their financial ‘status’ to those around them. In the middle ages being overweight was a status symbol, as only those who had plenty of resources had the means to become overweight (now being overweight likely means you have to work two jobs to make ends meet leaving you with no time to exercise). In the 50’s and 60’s, having a big house or fast car was a status symbol. As I have matured, however (or failed to as my girlfriend will tell you), I have become fascinated with the most subtle of all status symbols: sweatpants.

You heard me correctly. Sweatpants are the big house or Ferrari of the new millennium. Don’t believe me? I can tell you this much: right now, as a lowly graduate student with nearly no money, there is no way in hell that I can get away with wearing sweatpants. If I wore them around the house, my girlfriend would call me a loser. If I wore them in public, the consequences could be far worse. If I were particularly well off, however, I could certainly get away with wearing sweatpants in my free time. If my girlfriend didn’t like it, I could do what many wealthy men before me have done: sit down in a la-Z-boy, tune her out, and watch football. Once you have ‘made it’, there is really no need to impress anyone anymore, and I really can’t think of any attire more comfortable than sweatpants.

Once I am in a more financially sound position, I will wear sweatpants (the kind with the elastic around the ankle, to be exact) whenever I have the opportunity. I will most likely compliment them with a t-shirt or sweatshirt that has one of those nature murals on the front. You know, the kind that has some sort of airbrush painting of a wolf or moose or something like that. Once I am able to wear one of these outfits with no real consequences, I will know that I have finally ‘made it’.


Mmmmm… I want some M&M’s

January 17, 2008

After waking up this morning I promptly began the day with a Krispy Kreme donut. I then spent the next few hours before work screwing off and left myself no time to eat lunch before going in to work at 12:30.  It is now about 2:00pm, and as you might guess, I am starving.

About 5 minutes ago I found the solution to my problems… a huge glass jar of M&Ms sitting on the far corner of my desk. As I reached to grab it, I realized there is a post it note stuck to the top of the jar. It reads:

“Dave – Touch these and I’ll eat you.”

Nice.