Health fail

Posted March 25, 2010 by Guy Gadbois
Categories: General

Tags: , , , ,

Ahh, thank you non-flu mystery virus for derailing my life for a few days.  See, it was an honor to be chosen as 1 of 8 employees (out of the 400) system-wide to attend the PLA National Conference this week in Portland.  Then it got a bit more stressful when I jumped into the home buying process & realized that I would be gone for the conference for the week immediately preceding our close date.  Oh yeah, on top of that, I’m working on selling my other house at the last hour & will close on it only days before I close on the new one.

So maybe I shouldn’t have been TOO surprised when I started having headaches, congestion, vomiting, coughing (while the head & lungs throbbed, mind you), sinus pressure, sneezing & fatigue, hitting the high point the morning I was to fly to Portland & thus grounding me in Tulsa!  And how do I know it isn’t the flu?  One of the most uncomfortable tests ever told me so.  It involved sticking what looked like a long cocktail straw up both nostrils into each sinus cavity & scraping around for samples.  We shall see if rest, along with antibiotics & low-grade steroids, do the trick.

Less than full service

Posted March 21, 2010 by Guy Gadbois
Categories: General

Tags: , ,

This morning, Lady T & I set out to have breakfast at a local haunt.  With a light snow adding to the few inches already on the ground, we weren’t sure what to expect trafficwise inside the diner.  When we arrived, we were not too surprised to see the place sparsely populated but were surprised to see more staff behind the counter than customers in the restaurant. 

We were warmly welcomed by a busser who brought us coffee & menus.  After a small wait, we received an oddly warm greeting from a waitress with whom we only have a negative memory: a previous encounter began with being seated in her section & not seeing her for at least 15 minutes.  We had to chase down other staff for drinks, menus, her presence, etc.  That happened a while back & having worked food service in my past & having experienced its difficulties, I tended to think of it as an isolated incident. 

We placed our orders & the food shortly arrived, delivered by 2 other servers.  During the course of our meal, we never received that usually obnoxious “how is everything?” interaction from our server.  In fact, we received no interaction from her.  We received refills from another server & had to chase down a busser for our check.  Yet another server came to our table & apologized that due to the slow number of customers, presumably caused by the snow, our waitress had gone home!! It was only at this moment that I remembered seeing her leave during our meal, carrying a bag, and thinking to myself, “Huh. I didn’t know they did deliveries.”

Now, I understand sending staff home when it is slow but she left while she still had customers!  Even after we received the check, my wave of empathy for servers was impairing what should have been a clear choice to not leave a tip: “Would the tip go to her? Did the staff work on tipshare? Would the tip go to the server who wrote our check?”  For the first time that I can remember, I didn’t leave a tip.  Clearly, she didn’t care too much about receiving it.

Even though we had received such awful (and frankly no) service, it was still difficult to walk without tipping.  Food service is a shitty, thankless job that everyone should be legally mandated to do at some point in their life.  My brother is currently suffering in its clutches I don’t envy his plight for one second.  However, ditching your customers mid-shift, customers who usually tip well at that, just ain’t right.  I’m hoping we don’t happen upon her as our server again as I usually don’t feel like dealing with conflict on Sunday mornings unless it involves a Wiimote.

A sales delight

Posted March 20, 2010 by Guy Gadbois
Categories: General

Tags: ,

Being the white people that we are, Lady T & I decided to do some shopping for the new place.  She has “helped me” liquidate some of my current furnishings (a couch, love seat, dresser & 8 grocery bags of clothing) in order to make room for new stuff, namely living room furniture.  We made our Hajj to Ikea in Frisco, TX to find some stylish, appropriately middle-classed fare.  After a couple of hours in the store, our cause was lost.  Yes, we picked up some knick-knacks, but we needed some serious items! A chair(s)! A couch! A coffee table! A mattress! A futon for the guest room! (note: we’re both technically opposed to the idea of a futon but after sleeping on a futon from Ikea, we were willing to reconsider)

All of our dreams for those items collapsed.  None of the couches were right.  The mattress, being too large for the car, only shipped in-state & to ship it to Tulsa would be $318 for shipping & handling alone.  We couldn’t find a chair we both liked although I’m laying the groundwork for this bad boy. (Lady T: if you’re reading this, I value your opinion & in no way mean anything sinister with that previous sentence.  Kisses!)   We realized once we sat on the futons: “Oh, that’s right! We hate futons! We forgot!”

Heading back to T-town with our heads hanging low, we decided to hit some local furniture stores.  As fate would have it, we drove all the way to Frisco & back (just from OKC) in one day to realize the furniture we wanted was in Tulsa.  We first visited the giant fustercluck that is Mathis Brothers.  We were immediately pounced upon by the salesman who “moved the most inventory last year but I’m not knocking these other guys…but I’m the best.”  Literally: these were his words.

After escaping his grasp, we wandered around & found a couple of chairs we liked.  As soon as our asses hit the fabric,  salesman #2 appeared with the kind of stealth to make Voldemort look like Helen Keller in an antique shop.  He was able & willing to give us the status update on these chairs, the special they were running, the sales pitch & a litany of other facts.  We said thanks & kept looking.

Wandering over to the beds, we laid down on one, only to be interrupted by salesman #3.  He blathered about sleep stages, delta sleep & his position as the top mattress salesman.  His 5 minute pitch gave me Lady T ample time to bury plenty of farts into the floor model.  We rose from the bed & made our way around the store, chatting about our options.  Without having to look too hard, we noticed salesman #3 hovering quite closely.  We made our way back to the chairs we liked & again, as soon as our asses hit the fabric, salesman #3 sat in a chair right across the aisle from us, no more than 7 feet away!

He just sat there silently while we talked & gave him nervous peripheral glances.  As soon as we looked right at him, he started up again.  Deciding that we wanted the mattress, I fell on the grenade & accompanied him back to the bedding area, leaving Lady T to take photos of the chair.  Being the #1 mattress salesman, he deployed his characteristic charm to sell me on the protective polyurethane pad with this little gem: His 2 year old spent the night with him at his apartment (a place which I will dub the “Virginity Cave” in spite of his son’s existence) the previous weekend & barfed all his bed.  Thanks to the polyurethane cover, not a drop got through to the mattress. SOLD! So keep that in mind all you barfy toddlers when you come over and…wait. That sounded wrong. Great, now the FBI’s going to catch wind of this. Shit, I hope I don’t get derailed from blogging this time because of prison.

Anway, as #3 is ringing me up, I notice that #1 & #2 have gathered no more than 20 feet away & are crowded around a cell phone listening to some “jamz,” judging them with such reviews as “hot” & “that’s tight.”  Finding it odd that they were doing this not only on the clock but out on the showroom floor, I turned back to the paperwork.  After a few more minutes, I look up to notice they have moved behind me to an opposite aisle & are even closer than before.  Making eye contact with #2, I realize what an impala must feel like right after it has been caught by a predator but just before it becomes a carcass.  I took their unintelligible banter to be the sounds of jackals.

After we left, we headed over to the poorly-named Sofa Mart.  Dammit if they not only had better inventory (we bought a couch & coffee table), but the staff was great!  Tex was right: we should have sought out a female salesperson from the get go.  This experience at Sofa Mart left me feeling like an impala who had been rescued & nursed back to health.

A housing we will go

Posted March 16, 2010 by Guy Gadbois
Categories: General, tulsa

Tags: ,

So I’m in the process of buying a home.  Rather, I should say WE are in the process of buying a home as Lady T & I are doing it together.  It’s a big step down the path towards her becoming the future ex-Mrs. Guy Gadbois.  It is technically my 2nd home but this buying experience is a more “authentic” experience than the 1st one.  The previous go-round, I “bought” my grandmother’s house via a promissory note & my old man did all the legwork compiling the papers I had to sign.  There were no inspections, no appraisal & no realtors involved.  For a check of about $1000 & 45 minutes at an attorney’s office, I had the place.

When my grandmother’s health declined to the point she had to accept the socialist handout that is Medicaid, I had to actually buy the home from her & pay off the promissory note.  Again, no big deal.  I had an appraisal done & had to create a new title as the previous one was lost but again, there were no inspections (thankfully, as I had been battling mold probs) & no realtors.

The process of buying this current house  is drastically different from my previous experiences.  It is all new to me but certainly not unique when compared to the experiences of others.  Closing costs?  Discount points?  TRR?  *forehead slap* FML.  I now understand how the mortgage crisis occurred by selling homes to people who couldn’t afford it & didn’t know\care.

On the front of selling my previous home, it is once again an in-family transaction so I don’t have to worry about inspections or realtors.  A great reward of 72 Dungeons & Dragons players awaits my parents in heaven for the help they’ve given me by buying this house.

As Lady T & I are buying the house together, it has been a great help in having a partner with whom to share the experience of buying & the burden that comes with the process.  Also, since she’s a first time home buyer, we are able to take advantage of the guvment’s largesse & the $8000 tax credit.  Man, that’s gonna be some sweet, sweet coin.

I have some photos of the house so you can all coo over it.  In the meanwhile, here are some interesting tidbits relating to our search:

  • *We only looked at 3 houses with number 3 being the clear winner
  • *We drove around Midtown for nearly 3 hours (whilst I battled a raging sinus infection, I might add) looking at homes for sale & following that up with another hour of online research over these addresses
  • *Our realtor, specializing in Midtown, knew the owners of 2 of the 3 houses we toured
  • *This house is exactly $100,000 more than I paid for my first house
  • *The property taxes on this house are over 3x those of the previous house
  • *A realtor we interviewed  responded to our request for references with “Why? What’s the problem?” The same person asked Lady T & I the same question without the presence of the other, giving us the impression that they were trying to squeeze as much info from us in as sneaky a way as possible

We close at the end of this month & are looking forward to being done with it.  Home buying’s a douche but just like real douche, it’s a normal & necessary thing*.

*Disclaimer: Douche is neither normal nor necessary.

Back from the dead

Posted March 15, 2010 by Guy Gadbois
Categories: General

I haven’t written in so long I might as well be shouting into space.  I know what you’re thinking: what the hell does he mean?  I don’t know.  Like many, I suspect Facebook shares some of the blame for killing what used to be a semi-active blog.  I’m sure some of it was getting caught up with life & not devoting the time to writing.  I always enjoyed blogging while I was doing it on a regular schedule.  It stimulated creative processes in me that I enjoyed & that usually lay dormant due to a lack of use.

If nothing else, I could wax poetic about the dramatic changes made to the administrative page for this blog but I figure that will drive the few readers I do have away without having a chance to do so with my droll posts.  Anywho, I hope to start writing again on a regular basis & I hope it’s interesting enough for a few of you out there to keep tuning in.

Black Friday’s off to a dumb start, pt 2

Posted November 28, 2008 by Guy Gadbois
Categories: General

Tags:

These people should be sent to Afghanistan.  Or Iraq.  Or Florida.

Black Friday’s off to a dumb start

Posted November 28, 2008 by Guy Gadbois
Categories: General, Tech

Tags: ,

Checking Google Trends this morning to see what the most popular searches are for today, here’s what I found:

dumb surfers

dumb surfers

Remember, dear readers, these are the most searched for phrases in Google today.  They are Google searches, conducted by thousands and thousands of people.  With that in mind, I have highlighed the dumbest searches that stand out.   These searches consisted of people (many, many people) entering the website address into Google.   Were I a smart ass, I would have taken another screen shot with the measurement of the distance between the Google search bar and the address bar. (truthfully: I couldn’t find a ruler).  This example illustrates 2 things: tech guys will always be employed & they will always be condescending.


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