Archive for the ‘life’ Category


conversation with a customer

March 17, 2009

i worked my second to last shift today at bn.  sometimes customers can be the worst part of the day.  anyone who has worked in retail knows exactly what i’m talking about.  i don’t need a lecture about how the customers are the reason i’m there in the first place, or anything similar.  i am well aware that without customers retailers have no job.  i’m not talking about all customers, but every retailers knows what it’s like to have that one person who comes in, has had a bad day (or life), and decides that it’s his purpose in life to ruin the day of those he comes into contact with.

normally for every jerk like that there is the customer who catches you off guard and instead of being the customer mentioned above, they become the highlight of your day.  i had one of these today.  our conversation follows.

brad:  thank you for calling barnes and noble.  this is brad.  how can i help you?

older woman:  i’m looking for two books.  the first is “self improvement title a” and the second is “self improvement title b.”

brad:  it looks like i would have to order the second title, but the first title may be on hand.  let me put you on hold real quick and i’ll walk over to verify.

brad:  thanks for holding, i do have tha…

older woman:  no, thank YOU for picking up.  that music was horrible!

brad:  i’m sorry.  you didn’t like the music that was playing while you were on hold?

older woman:  no.  [with a hint of a smile in her voice] i didn’t like it, but i don’t like anything.  that’s why i need these books!

good times.


lessons learned

March 13, 2009

so i’m starting my last week in my current job and counting down the days until i start the new one (10). to be truthful, i can’t wait until i get the chance to be intellectually stimulated again. my current job has many positive aspects, but i don’t get much of a chance to think, to strategize, or to plan. unfortunately that is what i need to keep my brain happy, fulfilled, sharp, and out of trouble. anyways…

why do we always wait until we are saying goodbye to tell people things we should have told them a long time ago? i have talked to several people over the last week and let them know just how important they are the the organization. these are people that i have worked with for several years, have written and delivered annual reviews for, and have spent long nights and busy nights and all nights and holidays with. i know them all well. they are my friends. if i think someone does a great job day in and day out, why do i wait until i have submitted my resignation to tell them how great and integral they are? why didn’t i tell them earlier? lesson learned. next time i will do better, letting people know that i appreciate them before i leave.


random thoughts

February 19, 2009
  • golden domei am not, by any stretch of imagination, an architecture critic.  i can, however, admire a beautiful building as well as the next person.   yesterday i was in south bend and was able to drive past the notre dame campus.  even on a dull, dreary, gray day, the golden dome still shines.

  • touchdown_jesusit’s not the most beautiful painting i’ve ever seen, but as an irish football fan touchdown jesus is just as beautiful as the golden dome.

  • frozen cokes are delicious
  • a loves jimmy johns, but i just don’t think there are very good.  they’re not bad, just not good.  if i want a sub from a chain i’ll get subway, quizno’s, or (most likely) penn station.
  • chrysler asks for another $2 billion.  gm asks for another $16.6 billion!  i don’t think we need to give gm another dime.  they have already been given $13.3 billion.  to request that the american government more than double what they have already offered is ludicrous.  besides the $29.9 billion that they have been given/requested from the us, they have also requested bailout money from canada, sweeden, germany, the uk, and thailand.  enough is enough.  let them fail.  yes, it will be painful and yes, it will put hundreds of thousands out of work, but there has to be a limit.  the beauty of capitalism is that when tough times hit, the system weeds out the weak.  it you drag your company’s good name through the mud and aren’t capable of surviving a recession, then see ya later.  instead of  handing away $29.9 billion to a failure of a company, offer that as seed money to entreprenuers to invent/create newer and better automobiles and other modes of personal transportation.  there are other ways to spur the economy other than to put a dying company on life support.  in the end, they’re still going to have to pull the plug.  better to do it now then to spend all our resources trying to delay the inevitable.

musings of a stay-at-home dad

February 5, 2009

10 years ago if you would have told me that i was going to do a guest post on a friends blog about being a stay-at-home dad and the post was going to be about a good recipe to prepare with a three year old, i would have told you that you were CRAZY!

alas, if you would have told me this, you would have been correct.  here it is. thanks for the space jon.  readers, enjoy.


i’m a rock star!

January 13, 2009

little girl zurcher was eating lunch.  i had already finished so i was doing some dishes while waiting for the slowest eating three year old in the world to finish her food.  i’m putting a dish in the dishwasher and she says, “dad look!  i’m a rock star!”  as she says this she is doing her best air guitar.

it was one of those moments in a parent’s life where you wish you could keep a video camera trained on her 100% of her life just so that you can catch these things.  not only was it funny, but there was no music on and we haven’t played rock band in a long time.  where she came up with it i have no idea.

every day i love this girl more and more.


new years resolution: going green

January 8, 2009


the holidays are over and it’s time to get back to life as usual.

you did indeed read the title correctly, i’m going green.  it’s time for me to jump on the green bandwagon and do my part to help save the planet.  i’ve resolved not only to live in a greener fashion, but to help promote green living to all my readers as well.  so here is lesson one:


chances are that if you are reading this you spend a decent amount of time on the internet.  i’m betting that you’ve seen e-cards, e-mail, and v-mail.  studies* show that pictures of children, families, and pets dressed in holiday outfits are just as cute through a digital format as they are when ink is wasted and trees are killed to place an identical image on a piece of paper.  the tragic truth is that your christmas letter, the one that you spent three nights writing instead of spending time with your loved ones; the one that you sent out to everyone else that you love – but not enough to talk to more than once a year – each letter/card is read and then tossed right in the circular file.  just like that.  right in the trash.  if the recipient “really” loves you, they will put your letter on the refrigerator and wait until january 3 to throw it away.  it’s hard to read.  i know.  i’m sorry, but the truth must be told.

try as best as you can for just a second to stop your crying, rid yourself of the intense emotions i have just evoked and think about this logically.  if your clever letter and cute pooch are going to be added to the top of a giant heap of holiday hogwash, couldn’t you just send an electronic version of it?  if your electronic letter is going to be trashed, at least it won’t take up space in the landfill.  furthermore, if you send an electronic holiday greeting there is a better chance that your greeting will be saved to the recipient’s hard drive or saved in their email account.  if your letter is going to take up space, shouldn’t it be junking up someone’s hard drive or server than an actual junk heap?

i beseech you.  please follow my advise and help our dying planet by sending your holiday greetings through an electronic medium.  mother earth (and future generations) will thank you.

*  i asked three people and they agreed with my “pictures of …are just as cute…” comment.  for this blog, that is as good as “studies.”


just the two of us

December 1, 2008

[this was supposed to be published on september 10th.  for some reason i didn’t get it posted.  i figure since i went to the trouble to write it, i might as well post it, right?]

sunday (september 7th) i took little girl zurcher to a cubs game for her birthday.  granted her birthday was a couple of weeks ago, but i wanted to be able to take her to great american ballpark in cincy instead of wrigley.  don’t get me wrong.  there is nothing like seeing a game at wrigley, but when it is just myself and a three year old, i didn’t want to have to explain beer and beligerence just yet.  as it was we had one drunk behind us who had a problem pronouncing kosuke fukudome‘s last name.  fortunately addison didn’t pay any attention.

we had so much fun.  at first she was tentative as always around people she doesn’t know, but as the game progressed she became more and more vocal.  this was not her first game, but it was the first game where she was old enough to begin to understand what was going on and will remember it.


  • after the second inning they put us on the jumbotron.  i just happened to look up and there we were.  little girl zurcher was sitting on my lap, staring at the big screen, with absolutely no emotion on her face.  she just didn’t realize what was happening.
  • she loved the 7th inning stretch.  when we sang, “root root root for the…” she screamed “CUBBIES!”
  • between the eigth and ninth innings she tried to start the “let’s go cubbies” chant.  the best part is that i didn’t teach her that.  she heard it during the game and tried to start it on her own.  my heart is so proud.  not to brag, but i’m such a great father.

as always, if you want photographic, click on the flickr widget on the right hand side to see all of our pictures.


really bad drivers

November 2, 2008

about half of my drive to work is on one road.  this road is a two lane road in an ever-growing residential area.  as such, there is probably enough traffic consistently on the road to warrant converting it to a four or five lane road.  needless to say, it’s not.  this road is quite possibly my least favorite road on earth.  nearly every time i drive it during the day, i get stuck behind someone who feels it is necessary to drive 5-10 miles under the speed limit.  it have no problems with drivers who feel it is prudent to drive the speed limit.  that is their decision.  however, it is rude to assume that the people behind you have nothing better to do with their time than follow you driving unnecessarily slow.

the other problem with this road is that since there is so much steady traffic that it is sometimes hard to get out of neighborhoods.  the common solution to this is to pull out in front of cars and hope for the best.  it’s starting to get to the point that it is dangerous.  again, it’s not uncommon to be cruising along at 55 or 60 and have some jerk whip out of a neighborhood right in front of you forcing you to hit your breaks in order to avoid rear-ending them.

how could this get worse?  often the person who pulls out in front of you nearly forcing you to rear-end them is also the person who is going to go 5, 10, or 15 miles an hour under the speed limit!  it’s also not uncommon to have this happen to you when there is no one behind you.  so instead of letting you go past and or just above speed limit, then pulling out and driving whatever speed they want, they pull out in front of you, force you to slam on the breaks, and then driving very slow.  this is enough, especially when late for work, to make the pope curse like a sailor.

now for my favorite part.  30% of the time (yes, i made up this stat, but it’s a fairly accurate made up stat) these bad drivers come out of just one neighborhood!  agh!!!!!  so here’s what i propose.  i propose that the indiana bureau of motor vehicles revokes the driver’s license of every single resident of that neighborhood.  that would go a long way towards making my drive safer and more convenient.  and at the end of the day, it’s all about me.


random thought

October 19, 2008

i’m still pissed at the cubs.  i hate them.

i can’t hate them.  i want to, but i can’t.  but i can be pissed at them.

i’m still pissed at the cubs.

[end inner monologue]


janice in the economist

October 19, 2008

sarah palin was at verizon wireless music center in noblesville (indiana) on friday.  my mother-in-law was given tickets to go to the rally.  while there she started talking to a magazine reporter.  turns out this magazine reporter works for the economist.  she asked my mother-in-law a bunch of questions and is going to be calling her back soon to follow up on some of the questions.  i honestly don’t know much more than that.  but all the same, i’m quite excited that she might/probably will appear in the article.  how exciting.