Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ignoring My Blog (Part... Some Big Number)

So, I would love to claim that I haven't been ignoring my blog, but I have been.

If it makes anyone feel any better, I have been ignoring a lot of things in my life.

Last week my mother ended up having to have emergency surgery, and I flew down to their home. When I got back, everything did not seem to matter. My house, my car, my life, my blog... None of it. My friends mattered though, and I have spent a bunch of time around people, when I have had the time.

Mom is doing better now, but there were some rough patches. It was scary there for a while, and I was worried that I was going to lose her. I've only had 23 years, that's just not enough...

And for right now, a lot of my life seems like it's unimportant. All of the stuff that I worked so hard to get is, well... Just stuff... It's shit that, at the end of the day, doesn't mean a damn thing...

So I need to take some time to figure this all out. I'm busting my ass at work (4th of July coming up and all), I'm tired, and I just want to fly back to my parents house again. I don't know what the hell I am doing, but I know that I am finally running out of energy to do it.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Great Success

So the inaugural golf round of "DRIVING: With An Open Container" was a great success. We had a good time, everyone pretty much had average scores, and we all spent the day just enjoying life.

Golf tends to be one of those things that can be viewed so many different ways by the people that are playing it. Of course, the first thought is that you are playing everyone else, and that the best score wins. But there is so much more to it than that. I think that in our group, nobody gave a damn about having the best score. It was more a matter of seeing everyone have a good time, and wanting everyone to play well. So then it became more of a game where we were competing against ourselves. Trying to force a better performance from yourself on every hole...

This is why there are three more golf balls at the bottom of the lake on 16, one in the pond on 9, two in the woods off of the cliff on 15 (yes, 15's tee box is at the top of what can only be described as a cliff, with a 100+ foot drop), and thanks to TimmyTim, two in somebody's yard just off of 12.

Best shots of the day?

Adams had a beautiful drive on 3 that faded perfectly around the turn in the course. It could not have played any better.

TimmyTim was the only guy to clear the water on 16, and put the damn thing right on the green with his first shot. Adams and I had both already put a ball a piece into the water, and he steps up and just hits it perfect.

And Stormin? My tee shot on 12 was the most perfect shot I have ever hit in my entire life. A 3 iron, hit with a left to right cross wind. 210 yards, and I timed the shot with the wind so that it just started off left, and came back ever so slightly to the center of the fairway. One of those shots that keep you coming back because it was so fun.

We will be back to the course soon, and next time someone will remember a damn camera!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Long Time, No Post

DISCLAIMER: The laptop that I am typing this on has spell check disabled for some weird ass reason, and as such, I take no responsibility for errors in spelling. The joys associated with modern technology have made me dependant on the computer for pretty much everything, including things like spelling. Cope with it for me, just this once...

So it has been a while since my last post or blog visit. I haven't forgotten about this place, I just had the shit hit the fan all at once.

The fourth of July is in two weeks (well, less than two weeks) and work is pilling up like no other. I think that the best part is that in two weeks it calms down for a little while. But as for right now it is just insanity. There is SO much beer to be delt with, and the weather isn't inspiring confidence in anyone right now. It is not cold or anything, but it sure as fuck isn't warm, and the sun has not really been out all that much. So people are nervous that this holiday isn't going to have that much of a draw, and that this is going to be (beer wise) the worst Independance Day this decade. I wish that I were kidding. I however, am more optomistic than that. Aside from the calendar screwing us with a Wednesday holiday, I think that fortune will bless us with a week of sunshine, and the beer will be flowing like no other. The holiday is a huge draw regaurdless of the weather, and people will be going in to work HUNG OVER the next day. So we are busting our asses to get all of this shit done.

I stumbled ass backwards into meeting a really charming young lady that I do a lot to spend time with. This isn't something that takes up a lot of my time, because she spends so much time at work that it's ridiculous. But I make the effort to hang out with her when she has the time. This translates into Stormin getting home from work yesterday, going out with her to the baseball game, and then going to the casino afterwards. She has the delightful ability to win playing slot machies, and quickly turned the thirty dollars she was playing with into $173.00... I was really blown away. I would not play the slots, but ended up playing $10 at minimum bet just to make sure that she wouldn't think that I was just sitting around waiting for her to be done (honestly, it was more fun for me just to watch her win, and know that she was having a great time). I won $3.00... B.F.D.
After the slot machines (when she won $120 on a jackpot, she decided to call that win the last) we played blackjack (my game... there was a post about this on my last trip to Reno) and I won $100. Then we went and played craps, and despite her protests that she was not good at craps, she won me $50 playing table minimum $5 bets. It was funny to have her talk about never winning, and then win a lot when I just told her to play my money. I won another $100, and then we went back to blackjack. Where we played until 3:30AM. I am not kidding. I ended up having a great night, and so did she. I ended up getting up a little later than normal for work, and dragging ass all day just to keep up. But a quick nap when I got home was necessary, because I am going out for a friends brothers birthday party tonight, and we'll be out late again.

Then tomorrow I have beer golf, which is going to be a great time. TimmyTim, a friend of his, and I are going to the golf course for a manly game of golf in which we have 5L mini keg of beer to drink during an 18 hole round, and we still have to manage to make it through the round. My golf bag has a cooler pocket built in (what kinda beer rep would I be without one right), and we have about 5 hours to finish it during the round. We even have a name for the game, that is going to evolve into a tournament:

DRIVING With An Open Container

Admit it, you all wish you had thought that one up.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hamilton Does It AGAIN...

The US Grand Prix was today, and McLaren-Mercedes rookie Lewis Hamilton has won his second race!

He led from the start, and for the second week in a row he looked just unbeatable.

I can not believe how good this kid is.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cheap Beer

So one of the cheapest beers we have at work is offering a huge growth incentive within our market.

The incentive is pretty much them giving us $125,000 and saying that we can divide it up as we see fit. Which means that my team is going to average a $1,500 bonus on this one brand (in the month of June), and that I get 1.375 times the average of my team...

This is a beer that sells for $8.00 a twelve pack. And they're practically telling us that we can print money by promoting the stuff.

I can't get enough of it.

Normally we have lucrative incentives on high dollar brands. There was a wine goal recently that we had to hit, and EVERYONE got $750 if we hit it (matching the winery's BEST MONTH EVER). So of course, an extra $750 in a month is a nice bit of change to have rattling around in the pocket, and we all busted our asses to make sure that our company beat their best month. We did, and we all enjoyed our money (I think I blew mine all on Coke and Strippers... Or maybe I bought a PS3... It was one of those two). But that was on a wine that sold for $187 a case (wholesale). This beer incentive is on a beer that costs $12.00 a case (again, cost to me, not the common man).

And there are differences in volume that are VAST (we sell a lot more cheap beer than we do moderately priced wine), but at the end of the day the dollars work out the same. We may sell 15 times as much beer as we do wine, but 12.00*15=180... So the money is the SAME and this brewery is going to give away double the dollars for a goal that doesn't even match their best month ever. It just puts them firmly in the #1 position in the category (cases and dollars sold).

Which makes me wonder if they are selling out. Traditionally there will be a big push before the owners of a brand sell the company to someone else... They want to make the company look good the the new buyers and investors, and so they will cheat the system a bit and offer very good incentives for growth, even if the dollars don't make sense given the money they make on the product. Not that it matters either way to me, we represent a ton of beer in this area, and the new owners would probably be more than happy to stay at the company that put them in that #1 position in the market.

So if next month the "largest" cheap beer brewery in America is for sale, you heard it here first!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Not Ignoring My Blog

So I totally need to be better about not ignoring my blog when I get something new...

Monday I picked up a Zune, because I just can't support Apple. I wish I could, but I'm sorry, $600 for an 8GB iPhone and that's with Cingular eating a few hundred dollars a unit, give me a break... I can get an 8GB memory card for my Treo that holds photos, music, and video. And not in a proprietary format that nothing else can read (meaning that I can't share the stuff with people at work).

If they had come correct, it would be a 10GB for $500, and a 20GB for $600. But they don't want to compete with the sales of their base iPod.

And yes, I do know that MS is doing a Zune phone, but their estimated retail is $200 cheaper for a 10GB microdrive based phone. Microsoft filled a patent for a 4G filesharing/communication device, and Sprint conveniently announced the roll out of the 4G network in the US (Feb '07). So the phone is obviously going to be a 4G CDMA on the Sprint/Nextel Network. Other cool shit includes; WiMax file sharing (sending entire MP3's like a text message), and a Touch Screen. It's not available for another 5 months (my guess is day after Thanksgiving, and I'll put money on that), but for less money and on a better network I think it will do better.

And then I got a KTF EV-K100... It's the thinnest cell phone in the world. This thing makes my Treo look like a beast (and I still had to keep the Treo for work). It's really cool, but it only works on Sprint's network after one of our IT guys at work fiddled with it for me. I bought it for it's capabilities as a world phone, as I found out that I am going to Belgium and Germany this year for work (2 seperate trips). I figured that I needed a phone that would work anywhere, and I'm sure that work has no problem paying a minor upgrade fee to be able to keep in touch with me when I'm away.

(Pics of these things coming soon. I can't find my digital camera... That's what I get for buying the small one.)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Part Two

So read the post below... This is just an update that I sent from my phone because I forgot to blog about something.


Car was finished Saturday, $6100 in parts and labor but, everything was under warranty and the rental was complimentary. I'd have paid the bill to have her back...
So I have no clue as to why I like the following song so much. I just do...

Aside from that, I have been kinda blog lazy over the past few days. Normally I would be kicking myself for having so much to blog about, and not managing to post a single bit of it. Unfortunately, I have been WIPED OUT and so I have given myself a pass.

This weekend way great, the Mariners swept the Padres (great series!), I got NOTHING done around the house, and Lewis Hamilton and McLaren Mercedes managed to win the Canadian Grand Prix!!!!! This was of course overshadowed by Robert Kubica's horrific accident, the video is below. It's long, but really gives you the slow motion replay to show just how insane the accident really was.

Kubica is FINE. He sprained his ankle and has a slight concussion. AMAZING for a wreck of that magnitude. In any other sport he'd be taking some time off. But there is news that he has been medically cleared to race in Indianapolis this next weekend.

Sound quality sucks on this one, but it's a short clip from the stands:

And then Monday. Monday was work, and then Oceans Thirteen... It's good, but the movies are predictable already (you're EXPECTING some crazy plot twist).

Friday, June 8, 2007

Am Freitag...

I spent a ton of time at work, and just like every week, I don't care.

Because it's Friday, the day that leads into the weekend when I don't have to think about work for 48 hours, and I can actually spend my time enjoying beer.


That had to be said.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Giving It All Away

So today we had a huge promo set up with one of our largest brands: ROCKSTAR.

We gave away almost 30 cases of the stuff, and I spent five hours drinking it. Just one can to the next, and on and on I went.

So I am kinda wired, nowhere near tired, and I will have to go to sleep sometime tonight, but not any time soon!!!

Aside from the massive caffeine intake, today was actually normal. There are of course about 6 people pissed at me (in the 32 accounts I manage that is not a bad percentage), 2 of which have problems that I can fix and they will soon forget about them... One of which expects me to break the law in order to fix their problems (not going to happen). And three of them just want things that aren't possible. If I set it up to give them the beer for free that would complain that it wasn't hot enough outside to sell all that free beer. So fuck those guys.

Tomorrow will literally be about five hours of driving for; two hours of shaking hands, two boat rides (to and from) Vashon, one trip to get my baby back from the dealership, and a very happy car owner handing back the keys to a rental that just isn't the same as my car. Then I have to go buy someone a Wii for their birthday.

I'd rather spend the extra $200 and get them a Playstation 3, but they are adamant about the Wii, and I guess that I can just spend the extra money on the Mee...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

So Fucking Tired

Yesterday was an 18 hour day (I wish I were kidding)...

Today was another 12...

Tomorrow will be at least 12...

Friday isn't looking any better...

But Saturday I might get to spend the day hanging out with a friend, just reminiscing about old times. So I really can't be all that bitchy about it.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Catastrophic Failure

This morning I got up a bit late for work, but still managed to get out the door at a reasonable hour. I got in my car, started it, and pulled out of my driveway. Pulled a U-Turn, and headed down the block...

Stopping at the sign on the end of my street, I noticed that my steering felt really heavy. And then by the time I was on the main road, I noticed that my power steering was completely gone. No power assist, in a 3540lb (1606Kgs) car...

So on the drive to the dealership I got the greatest forearm workout of my life. I have never felt the burn quite that well from just one exercise, but I would have paid to have the thing towed to the dealership given the chance to do it all again. (The dealership also offered to come pick the thing up from my house for free, and bring me a rental, but I was determined to prove that I didn't need them to and already a bit behind without that wait.)

So I dropped the thing off, they gave me my rental (a white 2007 C350, the baby version of my car), and I was on my way.

Hours later, I got a phone call. They drained the power steering fluid and found it to be full of small metal bits. This is not good. They declared it to be a catastrophic failure of the power steering pump. Apparently a small gear inside decided to commit Seppuku inside of the housing. As it came apart, it lodged itself into the entire pump, further destroying the rest of the pieces inside. Basically the entire thing is shot, and the entire front steering assembly being replaced under warranty to be safe.

So I've spent the day happy about my warranty, and missing my car.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Lazy Weekends Are The Worst

So this weekend I really didn't do much of anything.

Saturday I spent the day hanging out with some friends in the backyard. Grilling, playing catch, and then a weird version of baseball that was played with a shovel for a bat (we'd been drinking but not that much) and a camping chair as a catcher.

The burgers were delicious, and I think that if I could patent my recipe I would. It's a new mix of paprika, salt, pepper, curry powder, and garlic. I was out of garlic and so I made this weekend's burgers without it, but they still were juicy and tender. Short of having some salsa for the chips, everything was perfect.

Sunday has been the laziest day ever. I was up at seven, and yet still did not leave my bed until noon. Just laid in bed playing games of chess against Vista and watching TV.

Then I got a weird phone call today from a chick that I went out with and didn't hit it off with at all. I mean there really just was not a whole lot in common there and we really did not make an effort to go out again. She wants to go out again on Friday night, and I played it safe. I said that I had to see what's going on with work, and that I'll get back to her first thing this week. I don't know if I want to go our with her or not. I really had fun the last time we went out, but that's just because I have fun every time that I go out.

Apart from that it has been nothing but relaxing and getting ready for next week. Being the first week of the month there is always stuff to be done on Monday (liquor control board mandated pricing changes, corporate program changes for monthly specials, etc...), and I am not looking forward to Tuesday. Tuesday should manage to become a 15 hour day (5AM to 8PM).

So now I'm going to sit back, relax, and enjoy the final hour of Sunday.

The Roll

So I've updated the blogroll on the right side of the page, and added a few new blogs that I have been regularly tunning into.

But it raised a question in my mind.

Some people don't post every day. Sometimes they will go a week or two between posts. But for the most part people end up back at their blog, and new content is added. But how long do you wait, before not adding them to an update.

I think that a few weeks is always in order. I once had a month where I posted TWICE (this was on the old blog) in the entire month, so I'm not going to drop anyone for a slow month. But what's the deadline?

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Game

Well last nights game went really well, and managed to be one of the longest nine inning game that I have ever attended. The seats were great, and in the Terrace Club.

The Terrace Club is the second best place to sit in the entire stadium (the best of course being a multi-thousand dollar private suite), and the best place to sit if you're a normal human being with bills. The tickets aren't bad at $60 a game, and the amenities are worth it.

The first of which is an isolated entrance right into your section of the stadium. No dealing with crowds, big lines, or the general public. You enter across a bridge from the private parking garage and go directly to your own little private "club." Then when you're inside the fun really starts.

First you are encountered with a full bar. Anything that you could possibly want to drink, they have. And the prices are pretty much what you would expect to find at any local Seattle bar, which is remarkably fair considering that the rest of the ball park is home to the $8 beer.

Then there are the food choices. It's normal ball park food, just at a different level. Nachos that have every topping known to man, and can't possibly be finished by one person. Kobe beef burgers, and 4 different kinds of grilled sausages, all served with Seattle's notorious garlic fries. And then interesting things that are very unique for ball park food; Yakisoba and Sushi at one stand, Clam Chowder (Ivars) and seafood at another, and the list just goes on and on.

Then there are the seats. IMHO, the Terrace Club is the best view in the stadium. It's the second level, but it overhangs the entire first level, so you have the same distances to the field as the seats below, just from an elevated perspective. This makes it easier to see the WHOLE GAME, instead of just being able to see what's in front of you. And the seats are the nicest in the stadium. Big, padded, and comfy beyond belief. You never want to leave your seat, and if you're hungry you don't have to.

People come to the game to watch baseball, and so of course, leaving the seats for food is the most inconvenient thing in the entire experience. The Mariners address this dilemma by having in seat food and beverage delivery. There are ushers that you can page to come to your seat, and they will take down you order. The in seat menu is the entire Terrace Club menu. They simply eliminate the step of needing to leave your seat for a prime rib sandwich, a plate of chocolate dipped strawberries, etc... The ushers even have little credit card readers with a printer that prints your receipt. And in just as much time as it would have taken to go get it yourself, they bring whatever you want right to you. This year people also have the option of text messaging their order in, so that it is delivered even faster.

So that's where we sat, and then there was the game. Really a close one, we ended up losing 9-8, but we had a GREAT time...