Sunday, July 31, 2005

Where do these people come from?

So, I'm looking at Stat Counters again today and I got some more good ones for this Sunday evening. I hope everyone enjoyed there weekend, and maybe you'll get a laugh out of these as I did.

1. Peyton Manning's wifes name - from Yahoo! Seriously, I still don't talk about Peyton Manning and I didn't even know he was married.

2. "www. chrysler lee iacoca" - Have I even talked about the new Chrysler commercial with him in it? I think it's funny but don't remember mentioning it.

3. Office Space Sequel 2005 - yep, I still wish they'd make one too. If I had the money I'd write direct produce and star in it.

4. Miles Away From Ordinary - YOU'RE HERE! WELCOME!

5. How to beat a breathilizer test - Probably from the post about the drunk girl from PA. Lucky for her they didn't give her one, they just thought she was cute and she got let go. I've never had to take one so I don't know how to beat one. My best advice - drive sober. I'm not so concerned that you'd kill yourself doing something stupid, I'm more concerned that you'd walk away and kill someone that was at the wrong place wrong time. Maybe I'm a little harsh but I did have a friend spend two years in a body cast because of a drunk driver.

Once again the best one remains -

6. Catch a Cheating Wife from Miles Away - I can't believe this brought me up on the radar at all. However, good luck with your search. If that's the case I hope you catch her.

Well, I hope no one has a case of the Monday's tomorrow. More updates when the books arrive.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Blog Neglect

So I've been neglecting my blog lately but I've got a few minutes for a couple of good Milton3P0 stories if you do. I had to go on campus to visit the dreaded campus bookstore and he had to go to the library so we split up for a minute. I walked around the bookstore just to see what they had and how the competition looked. They didn't much care to have me in there so they watched me like a hawk the whole time I was there. Anyway, Milton comes walking in from the library which is just a few blocks away. He's covered in sweat. I thought he'd run through a sprinkler or something he was so drenched. I said "Milton are you alright?" He was breathing like he'd run a marathon and at 295lbs he didn't run too much at all. It turns out he's allergic to the sun. I seriously thought I was going to have to take him to the ER because he was breathing so heavy and he was more pale than usual. He told me not to worry, he was just allergic to the sun and I shouldn't worry...sir. I didn't think you could be allergic to the sun and live to be 39, but that is just me. So he starts to tell me he's always had this problem and said "When I was a child sir, I was bleeding out of my ears before my mother would bring me inside. We never had this conversation though." I said "Okay, is there a reason why we didn't have this conversation?" His response (you guessed it) "Yes sir." He left it at that and went on. He got back in the air conditioning - which he kept the building a "comfortable" 58 degrees and was still breathing heavy and sweating for another hour before he cooled off. His mom came to pick him up and that was all I heard about it. Weird I tell you...weird.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A little about the book business for those that are interested...

When I was in college I always thought it was a miracle how bookstores had books. After seeing the people in my University Bookstore, I always thought it had to be easy because they were all nimrods (for the most part). I still think they're all nimrods, but if anyone ever wanted to know how things work, here is a rundown for you.

Basically the college (as all colleges do) have their own bookstore where they rip people off at every turn. Then competitors (like me) come in and force them to lower their prices and offer better service. Instead of lower their prices or be a little more polite to people when they come in, they make it hard on the competitors because they see their numbers drop. They make sure that the information they get is three weeks behind the curve and wrong - which is against the law you just have to call them on it. You have to have both a good cop and a bad cop routine ready at any given moment. I'm pretty fair as a good cop, but my specialty is really the bad cop. According to my last job I have anger management issues, so maybe that is why. At any rate, you need to be their friend but they also need to know you're a loose cannon...or can be.

Once you've got the correct information, you can order textbooks from the publishers or the wholesalers. All wholesalers think all publishers are evil and all publishers think wholesalers are evil so they plot day and night on how to destroy the other one. As a bookstore, you get to deal with both of them. Wholesalers buy used books from students and people like me so they have books to deliver all around the country. All wholesalers want you to buy books from them and only them, but they can't supply all the books you need so you have to get them from competitors. This they all say is okay, but they do spend time to tell you how evil they think the other wholesalers are and that you shouldn't buy from those guys. Deep down they know you have to, but they really don't want you to. You have to buy from two or three of them because otherwise you don't have enough books to sell. This is where I am now. I'm a new owner that is renovating his store and trying to order books. I'm ordering books from several people - all of which take time to tell me that the other people I'm buying from are evil. In the end, you'll get your books from several people and spend countless hours reconciling receipts for books that you've sold and didn't sell. That part is yet to come.

Right now I'm high on the fumes from Wood Stain (which isn't the color it said it was on the box) and the paint that we painted the counter with. The store is coming along and should hopefully be done with this weekend. I've had Sirius tuned to Totally 80's all day which hasn't been too bad. It's like watching the Karate Kid and the Wedding Singer in the background while you work really. For anyone that was curious. Sirius Sattelite radio is awesome. Soon I'll get it hooked up in the Jeep and I'll have it all the time. It does pretty much rule. That's all for now.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The things you learn from Blog Patrol

So we've all read Chas's posts about how people find her. Well, after her husband designed this kick ass template for me he told me how to install blog patrol. This is cool. I don't have quite the keywords that Chas has, but I've got a few that are pretty good so I'll list the top five.

5. Office Space Sequel - sorry man. I wish they'd make one too.
4. Peyton Manning's Address - I'm pretty sure I've never talked about Peyton Manning or his address. This must have been on the last page of his 10,000 page search. Dude must be psycho or something.
3. Pronounch Scraight - Huh?
2. Corona - Amen brother (or sister). If it wasn't just before church time on Sunday morning I might have one too.

This is the best one. My favorite of them all...

1. Hot Neighbors Cheating Wifes (spelled just as it is) - Talk about disappointment. This poor kid is searching for porn and found me. I'm guessing he didn't stay very long but thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

What the heck is this?

So, today was Milton3P0's last day. I figured I'd let him have run of the radio since he was there and brought his own CD player. He asks what I like to listen to and I said everything. He's a huge fan of classical music. He told me last week "Sir, if I may...I would like to reccomend that you leave the music in this store as classical music. I feel that this is the best setting for a learning environment such this bookstore is." Well, if that is the case - I'm not going to have the best setting. I just bought Sirius Satellite radio so I'm going to have something a little more upbeat. I haven't put it to much use yet, but I'm working on it. I'll give you guys a review when I get it working. Back to the matter at hand. The CD Milton brought out was honest to God called Medival Babes. They sang in Old English (he's fluent in that you know) and he translated just about everything for me the first time he played the CD. Then he played it again. He seemed to enjoy it and since it was his last day I figured whatever it took to make him happy was fine. Then he said "Sir, this next song is great. Would you have a problem if I turned up the volume? I like to listen to this one loud." He turned it up two notches and thought he was offending me with his "loud music." I guess they make CD's called Medival Babes just for people like him. I'm guessing that's not in the best sellers section at Best Buy. So he left and he's headed to grad school. I guess now no one will be around to call me sir all the damn time. I can't say as I'm complaining....sir...

Also, we saw the Wedding Crashers last night. It's very American Pie, Something about Mary type humor. It isn't quite as vulgar as either of those but those are what everyone else is comparing it too. I laughed so hard I almost busted a blood vessel in my head. I really thought I was going to die laughing for a minute. There is a lot of sex type humor but this movie is so funny I'm considering going to see it again while it's still in the theaters to catch the parts I missed while I was laughing. Anyway, if you need a good adult humor laugh - this will do it for you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Nice to be missed...I think

So, I wondered when I left my old job if they would ever miss me or call to see how to do my old job. My old job wasn't that hard, but I didn't train anyone to do it before I left. I asked my boss if he wanted me to spend time with someone and he said "No, it isn't that hard. We'll make do." So I figured it would be his problem when someone didn't know what to do. It was. Yesterday morning my phone rang and it was the old job. It was a guy I used to work with screaming at me becuase I'd given my wireless keyboard to a guy that needed a new keyboard. He started yelling and carrying on that he had seniority and this and that. I finally had to tell him to shut up because I just didn't care. I was friends with the guy I gave my stuff to, and wasn't really friends with him. He didn't need it, and the guy that has it did need it. Anyway, I ended up hanging up on him because I don't work there and I put a lot of hard work in to that company to get yelled at by the company boob about seniority. So a couple of hours later my phone rings again...and it's him..again. This time he's asking me to walk him through doing my job. If this was a two minute deal, that would be fine. It's not. So I helped him for a minute and I had a customer come in so I said I had to go. Then he starts yelling again. "I need your help damnit, I can't do this!! Are you not even going to try to help me??!?" So I said "Ask your boss, he seemed to know how to do it." His response - "He was the one that told me to call you because he can't do it either!" I told him if he wanted me to come in and show them how to do it, I'd be glad to but I'd be back on the payroll for a day before I did. Maybe that was shallow, but I've got a lot of work to do here and getting yelled at because they can't figure something out really isn't my problem. Especially not when I tried to help before I left. Anyway, that should be the last time I hear from them. I'd like to say they're smart and they'll figure it out, but they won't.

I've got another good Milton3P0 story that I'll bring to you later in the week. Today we've got much to do, but the renovations are almost complete. The lady at the college store makes this so easy on me. She generally hates people (me included) so when she pisses them off they come to me. You would think that wouldn't happen, but it's happened every day this week. More later, I have a floor to strip now.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Still around...

I'm still around, just not much time to blog. We've been staying at the in-laws house watching the dog while they are out of town. I guess we've been there over a week, but it feels like forever. I've been walking the dog first thing in the morning and heading to work to get here around 7:30. The days are busy, but good. I'm making worlds of progress so we should be up and running in no time. This weekend we painted the ceiling and pulled up most of the 15 year old carpet tile so we can strip the concrete and paint. If anyone knows of a good way to kill carpet glue thats 15 years old - I am wide open to suggestions.

In the mean time, they're repaving my road so this is a good time to renovate. We've got State Prisoners working on the highway and I thought I'd show them some good will by taking them a cold 12 pack of cokes. If I'm ever in Prison, I'll have at least 12 friends there as it stands right now.

Milton and I are getting along pretty well. Well enough that this morning he read me an old book he found here in Latin. So far I've found that he's fluent in French, Old English (like Beowulf old english), and Latin. I think I've heard him talk in Hebrew as well. If anyone had any doubts that he was a protocol droid, you shouldn't have them anymore.

In other weekend news, we saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this weekend. If you liked the original, I wouldn't bother with this one until it comes out on video.. We read a review that said it was better than the original and it was not. It wasn't a bad movie, and I didn't hate it, but don't look for it to win any awards. It's very modernized from the original version and Johnny Depp is pretty good but it's not the story that everyone knows and loves. It's different pretty much all around. The only similarites are Willy Wonka and of course Charlie. The plot is the same, they just go about it differently. At any rate, we should see the Wedding Crashers one night this week so I'll review that one when we see it. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Taking Care of Business...

"If you ever get annoyed look at me I'm self employed..." I can't say as I'm working at nothing all day because I've been swamped. Unfortunately, I don't even have a really good Milton3P0 story to give you. I did have our main book rep come by yesterday to buy some books and walk me through their online system and when he heard she was coming he was frantically cleaning the front of the store like the Pope was coming. I told her we were renovating, and he knows we're renovating. He moved all my stuff to the back where I couldn't find it, and it was sitting amongst the trash. I wasn't real happy with that, but what does one do with a protocol droid? I finally told him to stop moving things and turn off the vacuum cleaner because he'd worked a sweat from head to toe. Really. It was pretty nasty and the room was pretty cold. When I told him to stop he said "But sir, this is the first time she'll see the store under the new regime. I would think you'd like for the place to look as though we're business as usual." Okay, short of closing the doors, we don't have a way to hide the renovations. We're painting the dang ceiling and pulling up the 15 year old purple carpet. I'm changing it to a front counter type store (for the bookstore guru's) so everywhere they had the tables they stole from 1974 - I did get pictures for those that requested - the carpet is it's original color. We have a mostly faded purple carpet with out nine spots that are the original purple. Once we cleaned the cobwebs off, those sections looked almost knew. Anyway, this is a lot of work. I've always taken for granted everyone I worked with before that ordered stuff and got the contractor hired to paint and strip stuff. Right now, I'm the contractor, the accountant, the purchasing agent, and the guy that works the store every day. Boy...I need a cold Corona. Have a good evening, I'm going to go get myself one...or three....

Saturday, July 09, 2005

So, Milton. What's happening?

As I mentioned earlier Milton3P0 stays on the computer a lot. When I try to use it for work, he pouts and wants to know when he can get back on it. I am doing work on it and trying to get this thing up and running and since he's pretty useless to me I don't feel bad about not letting him use the computer. Yesterday as soon as I got up from the seat he was headed that way. I should tell you that this guy is more than six feet tall and probably weighs 300lbs. Well, I was waiting on some phone calls and fixing some lights we had go out and walked by the computer as he was using it. He was on two different singles networks - which is good I guess - but they were called "Large and Lovely" and "Big and Beautiful." I didn't know to laugh or what so I just didn't say anything. He was on it for probably an hour on those two sites. Then when he gets off the computer he clears out the history and closes everything down. I believe Chas hit it on the head when she called him a social retard. My Dad got to meet him yesterday and said "Getting called Sir every five seconds gets old real quick." Milton3P0 leaves us for grad school next week so I'll have the computer back soon.

In other news, we saw Fantastic Four last night. It was great. It was still no Batman Begins, but that movie is going to be very hard to live up to this summer. Everybody was well suited for their role and the movie was very well done. It was well worth the price of admission so I'd pay $8 to see it again if the wife would let me. She still needs to see Episode III while it's in theaters, but she doesn't seem to want to budge on that one. Anyway, if you like comic book movies, you'll really like Fantastic Four. Next week we have Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Wedding Crashers - I can't wait! Have a good weekend!

Friday, July 08, 2005

An educational field trip

Well, I spent the day out of town yesterday and left the store to Milton3P0. He arrives at the store every morning at 8:00 because that is when his mom can drop him off. She can pick him up at two or four so he has to know what time he's allowed to leave as soon as he arrives. I should mention, he's 39 years old. Anyway, I called yesterday when I was headed out of town to check out a few other bookstores and I called. I called at 8, 8:30 and 8:45 with no answer. I waited until a few minutes after nine and called again. He answered on the first ring with a "Good morning sir, are you the one that's been calling sir?" "Yes Milton, that was me." He replies "My sincere apologies sir, the store hours are only nine to two so I do not feel obligated to answer the phone before nine sir." I told him it was okay and if he was going to be in the building using my high speed internet connection and on the clock it was okay to work a little bit. He said he would be most ecstatic to comply with my request.

So, the day was good. I learned a lot about running a bookstore and met a few people that gave some very helpful tips and pointers. I also learned that I'm going to have more than enough space for everything and that I've got a ton of work to do to get the place ready. This building looks like it was sent through a time warp right out of 1974. I've got a raw plywood ceiling, the simulated wood panel walls, and the first ever building to have carpet tile. The carpet tile is somewhere around 15 years old. Just to get everyone a clear picture of what the now faded carpet tile looks like, the building is such that the spiders moved out of the cobwebs because there was too much dust. I would venture to say the building hasn't been cleaned in 15 years so this will be a busy weekend. The good news is I have a plan, and one that looks like it will unfold nicely. I informed Milton of the plan this morning and told him what we'd be doing today and he said "That's great sir. To be perfectly honest with you sir because I'm a straight shooter sir, I had my doubts about you when you arrived but now I think you'll do just fine here sir." I wasn't sure how to take that, but I guess it was a compliment.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

What does an anurism feel like?

So, I haven't drank myself in to a coma yet but I'm close. Yesterday I sent my inherited employee home. He just called me sir one too many times. Today he took to calling me Mr. (insert last name of choice). Sorry, that isn't my name and as best I can tell sir died in 1975. So I said "Alright Milton, you can call me Patrick. Sir as we discussed earlier died in 1975." His response "Yes sir, Patrick Sir." Damnit man, what is with you? Well, I'm still getting settled in here and learning everything I need to know. It's amazing how people are threatened by a competitor bookstore owner. It's like they bow up instantly when they find out who you are. I'm doing my best not to start fights and to pick the fights we have to start. It's really hard to be nice to some of these people. Milton3P0 included. He's a nice guy, but realistically he's annoying. He speaks fluent old english. Why would you learn this? I can understand learning spanish, french, dutch, latin, pig latin or something because they have translators for those. I can't imagine how much fun this guy is at parties. Anyway, he's here screwing with the radio right now and can't figure it out. The question of the day is "Sir, will their be any change in the selection of music offered at the store?" He prefers classical. The good news is they're leaving me a refrigerator so I can stock it with cold Corona's 24/7. Not like I'll get fired for drinking on the job you know.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Day one as my own boss...

Am I in an office space sequel? You wouldn't think so, being in a college book store. I'm working with the two old guys that ran the place originally and I inherited their employee. Their employee is a cross between C3P0 and Milton. If you think I'm joking, check this out. I thought I'd be a good boss today and I'd buy them lunch for teaching me how this place works. Instead of saying "thank you," what I got was this: "Sir, I appreciate your purchasing lunch for the two of us. You may take whatever percentage I have consumed out of my pay." I told him that wasn't necessary and he said "Well then thank you very much sir. Please understand that my goal is not to deplete your account by consuming free lunches." I gave him Tuesday off. I can only be called "sir" so many times in one day. Normally when people call me sir, I tell them that sir died in 1975 (my grandfather) or that I'm not old enough to be sir. His response - "Yes sir, thank you sir. I'll make a note of that sir."

Outside of that, the day went pretty smooth. It's a lot to learn and I'm going to need a lot of Corona's to try and figure out what it is I just did. Oh yeah, it's finally hit me that I'm not working where I was yesterday. I don't think they've realized it yet because my e-mail account it still active and I'm still getting customer e-mails in it. Well, an old friend is in town tonight and I'm going to take the hot wife and meet up with him for some drinks later on. I hope everyone has a great fourth of July weekend - just remember why we celebrate it, and celebrate it well.