The Weatherman

I know Texas has a reputation for weather changing all the time with almost no notice. I’m sure every state says the same thing about their own weather. Here in Texas it has been unbearably humid and hot over the last couple of weeks. Maybe it’s because we just aren’t used to it and never really got a transition period from cold to hot. Maybe it’s because I’m a giant baby who likes to complain about the weather.

I’m no weatherman, but this is ridiculous. I can’t go outside for more than 10 minutes without being drenched in sweat. No clouds, lots of sun, super hot, and thick humidity.

The next day is full of thunderstorms and lightning and rain and wind and TERRIBLE DRIVERS THAT APPARENTLY HAVE NEVER BEEN OUTSIDE WHEN 3 DROPS OF WATER ARE ON THE WINDSHIELDS AND CAUSE 12 WRECKS ON THE WAY TO WORK. Maybe I’m bitter. I’m not sure if I’m more upset about the weather or the idiots that are on the road during bad weather. Then again, the same idiots are on the road being idiotic when we have hot, sunny, and humid weather.

I just want one day of decent weather. Mid 70’s, a bit of a breeze, sunny in the morning, with a few clouds after lunch. A short afternoon shower followed by a cool breeze would bring it all together. Just once a year. But that won’t happen.

And as long as I’m complaining, this is not a post directed at global warming, or flat earthers, or whatever dumb reason people think I may be complaining about. We’re having shitty weather, I don’t like it, and I feel like the world needs to know.

So there you have it.

Also, sorry I haven’t written in a while, I’ve been busy and a lot has been going on. But I’m back to writing at least one post a day starting today. You’re welcome.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Swag

I see all kinds of different people in my travels. The best part of that is seeing what those people wear. Unfortunately, that’s also the worst part.

On one particular site, I saw a young man, in his early 20’s, walking across the parking lot in an outfit that all of us have seen before. Fancy sneakers, a hoodie, chains, and jeans that were low enough to see his entire ass. The hoodie didn’t go down far enough to cover it. His pants could have easily covered it, but then he wouldn’t have been able to make his fashion statement. I’m not sure what kind of statement it would have been considering the fact that half of the population has the same fashion sense. It’s just like all the goth kids that all wear the same stuff and look exactly the same but their whole thing is that they never want to conform. doesn’t make an sense.

The main thing I don’t like about this look is that this guy was wearing a belt, a big showy belt, to hold his pants in place below his ass, and he had to keep his pants firmly held in one hand to keep them from falling. MAKES NO SENSE.

To complete the look, he had AirPods in and was holding his big fancy phone in the other hand, which was adorned with a big beautiful watch that he probably didn’t know how to read. Atop his head was a baseball cap, which is a term I use lightly, since the bill was super flat and the whole thing was sideways.

I watched Thugnificent walk out of the store, adjust his hat to make sure it was still in the sideways position, hold his hand up over his face because the sun was in his eyes and it’s not like there was a device of some kind readily available specifically invented to block out the sun, LIKE A FUCKING HAT. He then waddled back to wherever he came from with his pants in hand.

Why is it so damned difficult to dress appropriately, comfortably, and with some grace? Clothes are made to fit a certain way for a reason. Don’t be like Gangstalicious.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Karen: Evolution

I’ve recently posted about a certain type of woman. The name I gave this woman is Karen. The name is a catchall for the women who think they are better than the average person and treat those people as such, for absolutely no reason. Karen has an average job, an average car, ill-behaved children, a let-me-speak-to-your-manager haircut, can’t get through the day without Starbucks before work and at lunch, and goes to church every Sunday just to show everyone there that she showed up. Karen is no better than anyone else, but likes to pretend she is even though she is the same as your average human being. This is a story about an evolved form of Karen: Sharon.

Sharon is a name we are going to give to the Karens of the world who, instead of treating people like garbage for no reason, do so because they actually are of a higher stature than the rest of us. Sharon has the let-me-speak-to-your-manager-so-I-can-get-you-fired haircut, drives a luxury SUV that is way too big for her, has very spoiled children who get everything they want, doesn’t have a real job but makes turquoise jewelry to sell at local markets, gives back to the community by writing a check, knows all the local politicians but doesn’t actually know anything about politics, and wouldn’t be caught dead in a Starbucks even if her cappuccino machine at home was broken.

The easiest way to spot a Sharon is by her bracelets. All of them are shiny, all of them are too big, none of them actually go together, and they are the loudest bracelets on the face of the planet.

I had the misfortune of meeting a Sharon around 4 o’clock this morning. I was just wrapping up a site and was inside the store when Sharon walked in.

Gas stations that are open 24/7 are not usually the kind of please you want to be. Sharon is the last person who wants to be there.

Sharon had been driving her Audi Q7 for the last few hours on her way to a Mary Kay sales convention and needed to use the restroom. The clerk directed her to the restroom in the corner of the store. About 2 seconds after the restroom door closed it opened right back up again and Sharon stormed to the counter.

How could that clerk expect her to use such a terrible facility?! Not only is it unisex, but it was filthy. Clearly some man has sprayed his DNA all over the place and she would be calling the district manager to let him know how she was being treated.

I was the last person in that restroom, it was spotless before and after I used it. Very clean, smelled good, and was fairly spacious. So I don’t know what the hell Sharon was talking about, and seeing as how the clerk was the one who cleaned it, he was as perplexed as I.

Not only did Sharon display her disgust at such treatment, but she exclaimed that she will never visit one of these gas stations again. As she walked out the door she could be heard muttering that she should have just flown to her conference.

Good riddance.

Karens are awful people to deal with. Sharons are worse. I have dealt with many Karens and Sharons in my day. This particular Sharon was on the tame side. I’m sure it won’t be long before I get to experience another. Can’t wait.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Know-It-All

I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent guy. I can be a bit pretentious and cocky as well. One think I don’t do is talk down to people just because I have a small inclination of an idea of what they are talking about.

As I sat at a Starbucks the other day, I had the chance to eavesdrop on a conversation at the table next to mine. This story involves 3 people: a Catholic priest, a 19 or 20 year old girl who happened to be Catholic, and the fiance of the girl. The 3 were having some kind of session regarding the upcoming marriage and how it works in the Catholic church. Several other topics were brought up as tangents during the conversation. Throughout all of this, the girl kept saying she knew this or that already, because she was Catholic. She was clearly showing off to her fiance and the priest and they both appeared to be put down whenever she said it, which was often.

First of all, this girl is about to get married. Probably not a good idea to put down the guy you’re about to spend the rest of your life with, especially since he seems to be converting to Catholicism for you. Secondly, don’t put down the priest, your own personal conduit with God.

The priest kept pressing on. He kept saying, “Well, yes, but…” every time the girl opened her mouth to try to expound on his points, only to be interrupted again. Her poor fiance just kept nodding his head and throwing out a few questions now and then.

This girl was also very loud, and seeing as there was nowhere I could move to get away from the conversation, I was growing more and more frustrated. I was trying to put out more posts for you guys and this girl is teaching everyone in Starbucks that she knows things because she’s Catholic. There are a few problems with that. If you’re sitting down with a priest to discuss upcoming marriage arrangements, you need to show some respect to him and those around you. If you have to tell everyone how much you know, you probably don’t know that much to begin with. And pardon my French, but if you think you know more than an ordained priest in the religion of Catholicism just because you are Catholic, then you can Catho-lick my balls. You’re wrong in every way, you’re obnoxious, and you’re incredibly lucky to find a man who can not only put up with how loud and annoying you are, but who will spend the rest of his life with you.

That’s really all I have to say about that.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Production Line

Being on the road as much as I am, I eat out for 99% of my meals. Because of some of the remote locations I go to, this means McDonald’s. A lot. I understand that dining at such a fine establishment does not bring with it the highest of expectations. However, I have a few issues.

Issue #1:

I showed up to a McDonald’s and ordered a McChicken sandwich, with pickles. I also ordered a Hamburger. Both of these items are on the Dollar Menu and, again, I should not have expected the fanciest of cuisine.

I unwrapped my McChicken. A pickle had fallen out, no big deal, down the hatch.

I unwrapped my Hamburger. I realize that ordering such an item from McDonald’s, off the Dollar Menu no less, shouldn’t get my hopes up. I don’t know about you, but when I think of a hamburger, even the most basic of hamburgers, I imagine the bun, some lettuce, tomato, some kind of condiment, onions, and the patty. Most places seem to use mustard as the condiment, so when I ordered, I asked them to sub mayo instead of mustard and made sure they put pickles on it.

Behold, my “Hamburger.” The pickles were ON TOP OF THE BUN. All of the lettuce was in the wrapper, none of it on the burger. The patty was in the bun, held in place by an obscenely large amount of mayo. By obscenely large, I mean enough for the patty and myself to go swimming in. It was spilling over the sides of the bun. It covered the pickles and turned it all into a disgusting, congealed mass of green and white. There were a few finely minced onions on the patty, the rest were in the mayo orgy. The top bun, the one with the pickles on it, was completely off the patty. No tomatoes or lettuce. The burger consisted of a patty, pickles, and onions.

I was aware that for so cheap of a price I would be able to participate in the building of my own burger. Especially since they refused to remake it for me.

Issue #2:

I know McDonald’s employees probably don’t get paid much, don’t have many incentives, and are only there for an easy paycheck. Hence the quality craftsmanship of my aforementioned meal. I have never seen worse attitudes from managers and employees than I have at McDonald’s. Every McDonald’s I’ve been to, not just the one.

If I bring back something and kindly ask for it to be remade or to just have my money back because it looked like the Hulk had an anger issue with my burger during an earthquake, then I don’t need to hear that you don’t see anything wrong with it. Or that you can’t remake it. Or that you can’t refund my money.

I understand that I’m sacrificing quality for price at such an establishment, but come on. At least be nice about it. And don’t laugh about it when I turn my back to leave the counter. Go reprimand the line cook. Anything.

Issue #3:

After such an experience, and on a hot day, I figured I’d treat myself to a shake or an ice cream cone or something of that nature. Remember, McDonald’s was the only place in town, I couldn’t go somewhere else for a tasty treat.

I ordered my ice cream cone. But guess what, and I know all of you know what I was told. Everyone together now: OUR ICE CREAM MACHINE IS DOWN.

Of course it is. I can’t remember a single McDonald’s anywhere that I’ve been to in the last 4 years that could serve ice cream because the machine was down. All of you have experienced this. It doesn’t matter which location you go to or what time of day or night you go, the machine is down.

After some research, I discovered that this is because the ice cream machine they use puts itself through a rigorous self-cleaning operation that takes several hours. Completely understandable. So get 2 and alternate them. Or set the time that it cleans itself every day and put hours up that ice cream is not available. Are you telling me the multi-billion dollar company can’t afford to figure this out? Hire me. I’ll clean the damned machines myself if I can get some ice cream once a year. I bet I can do it faster.

These issues make me dread going to any McDonald’s. But when you’re starving and it’s the only place for a hundred miles, what are you going to do? Get your shit together, Ronald McDonald. Your Golden Arches are fool’s gold and no one is loving it.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The J’Accuse!

I’m not sure why I haven’t written about this yet. It should have been one of the first posts I wrote. Basically, I did my job, did a good deed for the day, got spit on, and didn’t kill anyone.

Let’s dive in.

Gallup, NM. The dead of winter. Strong wind, snow, 6 degrees, and hard work. I have 4-foot manhole covers open, large orange cones everywhere, I’m a large guy in a bright orange work shirt, jacket, and safety vest. All fuel dispensers are bagged off in bright yellow caution bags that say “OUT OF SERVICE.”

Enter Karen. I’m using the name Karen because everyone knows a Karen, and knows that Karen is a terrible person. Karen drives a white 2016 Honda Civic. Karen has a “let me speak to your manager” haircut. Karen is roughly 65 years old. Karen hates the world, specifically, hard workers named Michael.

Michael, the hero of our story, is diligently working in terrible weather and trying to stay positive. All of a sudden, a white 2016 Honda Civic speeds through a section of large orange cones that are surrounding 4-foot manholes.

Any vehicle, especially small, white 2o16 Honda Civics, don’t do well when driven through 4-foot manhole covers. In fact, they do so poorly that they can even get a flat tire.

Karen now has a flat tire.

This is very clearly my fault, as my large, brightly-clothed frame and large orange cones don’t scream “DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH HERE, YOU MORON.”

Karen decides that the only way to diffuse and correct this situation is to get out and yell at Michael. “You don’t have the right to shut down a whole gas station! I’m on empty, and now I have a flat tire! I want your name, company name and phone number, and your boss’s name!! I’m going to call and report this!”

Naturally, Michael gives her all the information she wants, knowing full well that this is entirely her fault. The cones, cameras, and witnesses were proof enough.

In an effort to calm Karen down, Michael offers to change her tire for her and apologized for the travesty she has experienced, because Michael is a nice fucking guy. Changing a tire is easy enough, but still a frustrating task. Added insults and rants from bitchy old women like Karen don’t help.

The tire is changed, all is well, and Karen is back in her white 2016 Honda Civic without so much as a “thanks.” The store employees and manager even come out to offer help and ask what happened. Karen very eagerly explains in full detail what transpired and why she is so upset. The store employees and manager, who witnessed everything from inside the store, have been on the side of our hero from the beginning and just shake their heads in disbelief.

Karen, either exhausted from this catastrophe she has experienced or anxious to berate some other poor human being at another location, decides it’s time to race off and test that new tire.

Our favorite 65 year old degenerate circles back around the fuel pumps to find an exit and pulls back around next to me as I’m kneeling down besides a 4-foot manhole to yell at me one last time and remind me that I must not know who she is, she can’t wait to call my office first thing Monday morning, and that she’s glad she doesn’t to do such a lowly job and work with the likes of me.

Then, the climax of our story occurs. Karen musters up a tiny bit of spit from her dusty, wrinkly old mouth, and launches it right into the side of my head.

Michael, the super heroic and hard-working man that he is, is ready to lose his shit. This is the first job of the day, he hates the cold and snow, New Mexico is one of his least-favorite states, and he has a low tolerance for rudeness, especially since he almost always respects his elders.

Karen speeds off immediately after her display of emotion, never to be seen again. The store manager watches this go down and comes back out to see if Michael is okay after what Karen did.

Honestly, this is a fairly normal day in Michael’s life. People are rude, have bad days, want to take frustration out on the guy messing up their routine, and are usually not awful people. Michael drinks a coffee and goes on about his day, and cut it a couple hours short to find a hotel.

Don’t be like Karen.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Art of the Deal

I don’t condone the use or sale of drugs or anything like it. That being said, if that’s something you do, be smart about it.

It was 7:45 in the evening in Santa Rosa, NM. Still plenty of daylight, definitely enough to make a drug deal obvious to anyone who happened to be looking in the right direction. I was in the middle of testing sensors under a bunch of fuel dispensers. Halfway through, I looked up. A mid-90s Ford Something-or-other was pulling up to a dispenser. A guy (Idiot Numero Uno stepped out and started walking toward the store. Another guy, we’ll call him Idiot Numero Dos, was smoking a cigarette against the side of the store and started walking towards Idiot Numero Uno. They met in the middle of the parking lot, halfway through between the fuel pumps and the storefront.

Now, if I were going to make such a transaction as these two businessman, I certainly wouldn’t do it in the middle of a parking lot at the busiest gas station in town, at the busiest intersection in town, while the parking lot and store are full of witnesses, with the sun burning bright. Not that I would do anything of the sort to begin with.

Then the idiocy began:

  • Idiots Numero Uno and Do chatted for a minute. A solid minute. In the middle of the busy parking lot
  • Idiot Numero Dos pulled out a wad of crumpled up cash and visibly counted out the right amount in exchange for his product
  • Idiot Numero Uno took the cash, counted it, and stuffed it in his pocket
  • Idiot Numero Uno pulled a joint out of his other pocket and noticeably gave it to Idiot Numero Dos
  • Both Idiots shook hands, Numero Uno went back to his car; Numero Dos back to his wall to smoke another cigarette

I’m no expert, but I have enough common sense to see that they went about their little exchange all wrong.

First of all, the whole thing should have happened all at once and taken maybe 3 seconds. Idiot Numero Dos should have already had the cash counted and separated ahead of time. Idiot Numero Uno should have had the joint in a plastic baggy or some other kind of protected containment; no one wants your nasty pocket-lint weed. there shouldn’t be that friendly of a relationship between a dealer and a user. It can create problems down the road in a big way. That means they shouldn’t have been having that friendly of a chat for that long. If they were friends, then they should have saved the conversation for later, over the phone, or hanging out somewhere else. Idiot Numero Uno should have actually gone into the store for any number of reasons to look somewhat legitimate. Idiot Numero Dos should have left, not posted up in his usual spot. Never stay in the same place where you make a transaction like that.

The best part of this is that I’m 6’1, I was in a very bright orange shirt for work, and I was visibly staring at them both during the whole thing, maybe 10 feet away.

They should have casually passed each other, passed cash and product in a couple of handshakes, and both moved on. It’s simple. But I guess if you have to sell or use drugs to make a living or get your rocks off, you’re probably not smart enough to wheel a tire down a damned hill.

Do better.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.