The thoughts of a writer.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Forced 18% "Gratuity"

I'm wrapping up a business trip and when we all went out to eat last evening, the bill included a forced gratuity of 18%. First off, a gratuity is supposed to be an extra freely given for satisfactory or exceptional service. It has, however, become a way for certain businesses to get their customers to (at least partially) pay their employees. I believe the word gratuity is perhaps no longer appropriate. Maybe it should be called, Your portion of our employees wages.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chinese Government is in Your Butt

Chinese Government is in Your Butt
UnAssociated Press
February 26, 2013

Hackers within the Chinese government have apparently hacked into a secret United States government database that contains the exact circumference of everyone in America's butt. The implications are not fully known at this time, but one high ranking U.S. official said "the situation stinks and it is not likely to get any better."

The Chinese government has denied looking up our butts.

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Fiscal Cliff II: The Sequel

The continuing saga of a polarized, two-party system, whose members enjoy bickering back-and-forth more than they do about the welfare of the country and the equally polarized people who live in it. This film has been rated "P" for pathetic and contains scenes of graphic stupidity and pig-headed-ness.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

CuTRis Wins Oscar

CuTRis Wins Oscar
UnAssociated Press
February 25, 2013


CuTRis won an Oscar last night for his realiastic portrayal of a man who doesn't care about the Oscars, and who doesn't much care for award shows in general--in "The Life of CuTris". CuTRis was unavailable for comment and did not pickup his little statue.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

The Oscars

... are something I don't care about...

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CuTRis To Become Leftenant: Gets Special Music

CuTRisTo Become Leftenant: Gets Special Music
UnAssociated Press
February 22, 2013


Rumors that CuTRis is taking a job as a First Leftenant in the 2nd Dragoons has appeared for the third time in the last four minutes.

Apparently CuTRis is also expected to begin arriving and departing with Special Music, just like the wrestlers of fake wrestling do. CuTRis has apparently secured the services of a Mariachi Band to follow him around and provide the music whenever he arrives or departs from a room, place or event.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

PSA About BP PSA

That British Petroleum (BP) PSA where the Operations Manager talks about how great the gulf is after the BP oil spill makes me sick!

So I made my own PSA (click here to view)!

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Owl Eating Dave Story Might be a Hoax

Owl Pellet

Owl Eating Dave Story Might be a Hoax
UnAssociated Press
February 21, 2013


Sources have revealed today, that the shocking story of Dave being devoured whole by a Great Horned Owl and coming out as an “owl pellet,” may have been a hoax. After dissecting the owl pellet, Dave was not found inside. When he learned of the hoax, CuTRis said, “Huh… I assumed it was true since I always told Dave that an owl was going to grab his head if’n he kept wearing that hat!”

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CuTRis To "Lock Horns" with Great Horned


CuTRis To “Lock Horns” with Great Horned
UnAssociated Press
February 21, 2013


Today CuTRis announced that he plans to kick the ass of the owl who ate Dave and stole his rabbit hat. The owl was unavailable for comment—but was last seen driving Dave’s truck.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

CuTRis & Owl Comment on Eating of Dave


CuTRis & Owl Comment on Eating of Dave
UnAssociated Press
February 20, 2013


Today CuTRis condemned the actions of the owl who ate Dave. The owl also spoke out, and has claimed Dave’s property as his own. This angered CuTRis, who apparently threatened to kick the owl’s ass. “No one messes with an owl,” said CuTRis, “but I have been provoked!”

The owl reportedly screamed at CuTRis, who flipped the owl "the bird" in retaliation.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dave Got Eaten by an Owl




This is my friend Dave. He always liked to wear that rabbit hat.














Then one day, an owl ate him.

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Racial Tension???

A few news stories I've seen about the "riot" at Minneapolis, South High cited "racial tensions" as the cause. If the parties at odds are Somali and African-American, isn't that like calling a dispute between a Swede and a Norwegian racial?

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cuTRis in the Woods







cuTRis in his natural habitat.

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5

This morning I saw five cars go through one red light at an intersection. This is totally understandable though--since instead of leaving early or getting up earlier, it is much better to risk killing or maiming others because you are in a hurry.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Motorized Trike


I dreamed I had a motorized Trike last night. You know... one of those 3-wheeled motorcycles. Now I want one for some reason...

Anonymous Comments

Due to the absolute ridiculous garbage that was coming through as "comments," I have unfortunately (once again) limited it to those who register and have an identity. I had hoped that anonymous comments could open "the door" to more conversation, but I've simply allowed someone who likely doesn't have a job, a wife or a girlfriend (my observation is based on the comments being between Midnight and 4:00AM)--to pretend to know what he's talking about. Or perhaps it is an equally pathetic female... as I don't know because the person is only known as "Anonymous."

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cuTRis Wants to Return to the Woods

I need to make a living somehow by being in the woods.

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Down

The nasty virus that my baby has been fighting got to my wife and then me. Saturday I slept half the day.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Home with Sick Baby

My little boy is still recovering from a nasty virus.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

More Dumb "Logic"

I know a guy who thinks feeding all of the babies/kids with one spoon is good--because it makes their immune systems strong. His family is originally from S.E. Asia--which has a high occurrence of Hepatitis B incidents within the population. I've decided that the next time the issue comes up (and it will if I see him using one spoon to feed multiple kids), I'm going to tell him that he should lick the toilets in public restrooms--because certainly, that would be very good for strengthening his immune system.
Bottom-line: People from other countries might be able to tolerate less hygienic conditions than we can in the USA--but people generally don't live as long in those countries.

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Beautiful Morning







Everything is frosted with new snow...

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I Am Not an Atheist

I am not an Atheist. I am not affiliated with any "name brand" religion. But I do believe that there is something larger than myself at work in the universe. If you are very religious, the biggest difference between us is that someone has told you what to believe. I have made my own choice.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wrestling to be Replaced by Angry Birds

The International Olympic Committee has announced that Wrestling will be replaced by Angry Birds in the next Olympic Games.

Other changes being considered are, Discus to be replaced by tadpole catching, High Jump replaced by Rock-Hammer-Scissors, 100-Meter-Dash replaced by TV Channel Changing, and finally, Boxing to be replaced by Tiddlywinks.

No Olympic Wrestling???

What kind of idiot(s) would remove wrestling from the Olympics??? It is one of the oldest sports and should be revered in such a forum.

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Right-Wing Garbage Can Guy Garbage

The guy who empties our garbage at the office hates all things liberal and democratic and is a right-wing Republican. He started telling us "liberals" yesterday that the US was giving Egypt "our best, newest fighter planes." I replied that no way was the USA giving Egypt the F-22 Raptors. I said "they're probably F-16's. We give everybody F-16's." He didn't think so--but three computer clicks verified that the fighter planes are F-16 Fighting Falcons (designed in 1976).

To each his own, and I don't think we should be buying weapons for oil tycoons in the middle east, but please... if you are going to spout out so-called facts, at least try to know what you are talking about.

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Do We Need Gun Control?

Yesterday on the evening news, while the breaking news was about the former LA police officer wanted for murder--being cornered in the conclusion of a lengthy manhunt, the local news was about some piece-of-crap guy from Oakdale, MN who shot some people he didn't know and killed a nine-year-old boy. Do we need gun control in America? You tell me.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More Garbage from Allied Waste

More issues with Allied/Maplewood Garbage Contract. I also found that Allied Waste in Minnesota is owned by Republic Services.
My letter to Allied Waste and the Maplewood City Council (and a few media sources).

Update 2/15/2013: Jim from Allied contacted me by phone Tuesday, after my letter was emailed. We agreed to talk later in the day. He called me back on schedule and told me that a search of the Inver Grove Heights office did not turn up my check. We agreed that he would clear the charges from my account anyway--because of the continued problems; and that I would pay the new (current) charges. This is a satisfactory resolution. It only took three days, three phonecalls and an email to get it to actually happen. --KJC

Background:
We moved to Maplewood in August and continued with our previous waste removal company until informed of the Maplewood trash contract. My wife contacted Allied to set us up and was referred to the City of Maplewood. My wife gave our information for the program. Garbage picked up as normal. At one point the post office neglected to forward a bill from Allied addressed to previous owner of our house. I contacted Allied and found that they were receiving bills back and simultaneously adding late fees to account. I called the contact person at the city who got Allied to produce an emailed account of our bill. I asked that it be mailed (hoping for a regular bill). Mailed correspondence was a printout of previous information with the Inver Grove Heights address. As in a court of law, I did what a reasonable person would do. I sent a check with the printout to the address (Inver Grove Heights., MN) on the printout.

Current:
New bill arrived yesterday with more late charges and no accounting of previous check. I called Allied customer service--they have no record of payment. I have an unaccounted for, unreturned check that was sent to Allied in Inver Grove Heights. NOTHING, and I mean absolutely nothing (including trash can size) has been correct from the beginning. The city awarded a five year contract??? I can't even pay my bill!!! Incidentally, the new bill has a PO Box in Louisville, KY. I know I didn't send my previous check there--because that address was not on the printout mailed to me.

I want the check found and my account credited. I want this problem to stop! I want this five year contact repealed! Who awards a five year contract??? We had a two year with our previous hauler and even cell phone companies only make you sign for two years.

This is ridiculous. We did everything right and I can't even pay my bill! Who is going to fix this? I can't keep messing around with this!

Sincerely,
Kevin J. Curtis

New:
Connie (supervisor) from Republic Services (see very top of entry) suggests that my check that I sent to the Inver Grove Heights address on the printout sent to me to pay the bill--was "lost in the mail." This means: Allied is blaming the city for the mix-up and the city is blaming Allied (somebody used county records instead of keying in the information we called in). Now Allied is blaming the Postal Service too. I don't want to hear this. I want someone to find the envelope that I mailed to the Inver Grove Heights office; that has my return address and my check in it. I don't believe anyone has even looked for it. Why do I think this? Because I have been told from the beginning that it is not there. No one said 'we searched for it and couldn't find it.'


Click Here for some more!

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Sick Babies

Our baby boy was having so much trouble breathing over the weekend we took him to the ER. He was admitted to Children's Hospital with some undefined virus. After a day and night (which seemed like forever) he was discharged from "the land of sick babies." I'm glad to say, our little boy is getting better. When I think of all he had to endure over the weekend it makes me want to cry.

Friday, February 08, 2013

3D Owl

I didn't get out there yesterday, but I saw the owl again today. That's three days this week!

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Nerving

If something is "unnerving" can something else be "nerving?"

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Thursday, February 07, 2013

EFS - Don't Call Me Other People

EFS - Don't Call Me Other People is one of a series of cable TV shows that Dave Robinson and I did with our band EFS (The Electric Frog Syrup Band) circa. 1993. Click on the blue title to watch the show.
See more episodes on the links to the right!

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Postal Games

We keep getting mail sent to us that belongs to the previous owner of our house. We have written "Not at this address: Please Forward" on it and it keeps coming back. In some cases, it comes again with an included "Or Current Resident" --and if we open it (being the current residents) we find that it is business for the previous occupant that should not have anything to do with us. So we cross out the "Current Resident" part and try to send it back. Then, in a day or two it returns again. So, I have decided that I will keep putting it back in the mailbox that I walk past every day. I will do this for as long as I continue to live if necessary. I want to see if the carrier, if not the U.S. Postal Service, will continue this game "forever"...

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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Same Owl, Different Day

I think it's the same (Great Horned) owl. It was close to the same place as yesterday.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Owl

Me and Larry saw this owl on our lunchtime walk today.

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Alicia Keyes - National Anthem

I was just reading some commentary about Alicia Keyes' version of the USA National Anthem at Super Bowl 47. Now the Star Spangled Banner is not the easiest song to sing and many people have botched it up pretty badly. I actually think Alicia did pretty good; but when she forgot to end it at the end... and kept doing the oooh ahh la la stuff, it was pretty anticlimactic when she finally stopped.

That said, wasn't that the musical theme of the evening? "Someone" decided that only African-American, female, hip-hop singers would be performing that night; i.e. Alicia Keyes, Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Hudson.

Perhaps some critics have a point that the professional singers have proven to "overdo" our national anthem and that amatures should take over. However... isn't America supposed to embrace differences and promote individuality?

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Daily Snow

We've been getting an inch or so of snow everyday for several days...

Monday, February 04, 2013

Super Bowl 47

Super Bowl 47 made me remember my brief time living out east--in Providence, RI. Growing up in the Midwest, I never thought much about organized crime--except in the movies. I realized when I was in Rhode Island, however, that the politicians, the municipal services, and such things were inefficient and questionable. The politicians often were indicted and sent to prison--only to be voted back in when they served their time. So when the Baltimore Ravens were destroying the San Francisco 49er's in a Super Bowl that had Las Vegas odds-makers clearly favoring San Francisco to win, I had to wonder if the little "mishap" with the power going off was a bit of manipulation by the Mafia. That is if one believes that organized crime has any influence on gambling.

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Friday, February 01, 2013

Be the Match

My nephew Mason kind of "steals the show" in this promo for Be the Match!

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Rapscallion






If a scallion was into Rap "music," would that make it a rapscallion?




I hope this onion doesn't "go bad..."

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-13 and Falling

This morning in the Twin Cities the temperature is -13 degrees Fahrenheit and still dropping. I wonder what the Woodchuck will tell us tomorrow?