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Charleston, SC, United States
"Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something." -Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Legen... wait for it... dary

They will one day write poems about the 6'5" 25-year-old from Hickory, NC who took over the World Series and put his team on his back. Yes, I will avoid the "work horse" references here dear reader.

Of course I am talking about Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants. Bumgarner the man child who talks like a hillbilly and throws a baseball like a god. Wow. He was impressive in this World Series. I wanted the Royals to win, but each year a man emerges that takes over the grand stage and does something special for his team. This year it was Bumgarner.

Of course the Royals were close. Man they were close. Alex Gordon caught a break and hit a drive and all Salvador Perez needed to do was lay off those sweet juicy high fastballs and drive the ball anywhere and the Royals would have tied the game. But that's easier said than done against Bumgarner.

I could list all his stats here, but you can go look them up yourself or tune into any sports outlet today and hear all about how awesome he was this postseason and especially the World Series.

I'll just let his awesomeness speak for itself!


Congrats to the Giants for winning the World Series... again. Only 112 days till Spring Training!!! Go Braves!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No you didn't

As you know dear reader I work at a hotel. And at this hotel people from the public walk in all the time. And, as you know dealing with Mr. and Mrs. John Q Public is quite a pain in the ass sometimes. You do meet some really cool people but you also meet some really strange characters. These are the people that you wonder what it is that they do when they are home. How did they find their way out of bed that morning? Have they ever traveled outside of their own neighborhood? Do they know what Google is?

Now, a good part of my job is giving directions to people. Most people don't listen to me when I do.
What time is it?
Its 4 o'clock Sir.
Oh. So, what time is it?
4 p.m.
Will it rain today?
Probably not Ma'am. The weather says there is only a 5% chance of rain.
So, do you think it will rain?



Now this is much more common than I'd like to admit and shakes my faith in American society sometimes. Our foreign guests may not understand me, but at least I know they are listening. But not listening is not nearly as frustrating as those that just out and out lie to you to try and get a discount. These are the people that I just want to shake. Maybe this should be the focus of this blog for a while. Guests and the dumb shit they come up with.... What's Next?

So yesterday I had a "gentleman" check in to his room and then immediately return to the front desk to ask me where the safe was in his room.
"We don't have any in-room safes Sir."
"What? I was told there were in-room safes here."

Now, this guy made his reservation that morning, with me, over the phone. I did not tell him about in-room safes. I did talk to him about the parking, the discounted same-day rate, the free breakfast and wi-fi and all the other things we offer while waiting on him to pull the trigger on a one-night stay. But no mention of safes.

"No Sir, sorry no safes."
"Wow, well we're traveling down to Florida for the winter," (I tried to suppress and eye roll here and may or may not have done so) "and we have all my wife's jewelry with us."
"Ok Sir, well if you like you can either leave it in your room since nobody will be in or out of there except you or you can leave it locked in your car overnight in our lot that is completely secure."
"Oh no. No. We'll be fine thanks."

And off Mr. Safe goes. Now, he wasn't trying to get any kind of further discount from me so much as he was either registering a complaint about a lack of a particular kind of amenity or just needing to complain so that I would then offer him something complementary for his "trouble." Or, he could just be super paranoid about his stuff getting stolen at a hotel. Now, none of the employees here would have even been aware that his wife had jewelry in the room had he not come up to the desk and said something. Either way, this is just background for...

About an hour later I was across the street getting a bucket of ice for the lobby's beverage station. When I came in I saw Mr. Safe talking to my co-worker whose shift had just begun.

Mr. Safe: "I was told there would be safes in the room, and it was on your website!"
Co-worker: "Um, no sir that isn't something that we have on our site."
"Well I saw it on some site when I booked. I travel a lot and when I booked..."
This is when Mr. Safe realizes that I have walked into the lobby and heard him spout the same lie from an hour before and cuts off his sentence.
Co-worker: "Well sir, if you'd like to show me where you saw that I can address it with the appropriate party."
Mr. Safe: "Um, never mind. How do I get to King St?"

Really dude? You were going to try and come in here and shake down another employee for the same complaint? For what purpose? Do you not want to get out and enjoy the city on your one day in town? Arrrrgggghhhh!!!!

This dear reader is just one of many interactions that I have throughout the day that make me shake my head. Also, while I was away from this blog a minute ago I just had to hang up on a lady on the phone for the first time this year. I'm pretty good about never doing that, but every now and then, you can only take so much abuse...


Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend oops!

Hey remember that blog that I'm writing everyday? Yeah neither did I! Ha! The weekend had me doing other things and not keeping my attention on this blog dear reader; sorry.

So the World Series is going to a game six tomorrow night...  Just kidding, I'm not writing another baseball blog... yet.

I'm four days away from a four day vacation! How ya like them apples? Now I am working five shifts leading up to those four days off but I'm not complaining about that since that schedule is of my doing. I decided to pick up a shift at my old job (another downtown property) just for that extra cash and because I liked working there and it's not a bad place to spend eight hours on a slow Wednesday morning. Now it does put me working 16 hours that day, but whatever.

It got me thinking about a lot of the places that I've worked over the years. I can say for just about each and every one of them that I would actually enjoy going back there and working an eight hour shift. Some of them I got a laugh out of. Now this is not a comprehensive list of all my jobs, but...

Bag boy and cashier at a grocery story. I think I'd love to do this for a day. Bagging groceries and talking to people about their day, the weather, the price of milk... whatever. For a day, I'd love it.

Go-cart track supervisor. Um, yes please. The only draw back wold be if it were a day shift. That was kind of boring. But the nights were fun and my memories are always sort of like that scene from Karate Kid where they go to the amusement park. Bad pop music blaring of the loud speakers, people smacking gum, lots of denim, flashing lights, smiles, and just Americana goodness.

Grounds keeper. Meh, this would be great if it were Fall or Spring, but that job suuuuuuucked in summer.

Librarian. Not unless I had some reading to catch up on.

Waiter. I laugh with CC because every place we go to eat I picture myself waiting tables there. It makes me wonder about the staff, the kitchen, the ups and downs of that location, the menu and everything. Kind of fun but most times I decide that I'd rather not.

I bet if you thought about it you'd probably enjoy most of your former jobs too... at least for a day anyway.

Friday, October 24, 2014

You probably don't...

Anyone else ever get bored at work? I know you all probably don't but every now and then I'll run across a shift where the is literally nothing going on. I feel guilty just reading a book or watching TV and there really is about a half an hour worth of crap that I can look at on the Internet before I'm bored.

So, what are acceptable things to do at work when you're bored? Write a blog? Read? Watch TV on-line? Now, before this goes too far I do want to stress that my work is done and the place is clean. So "if you got time to lean you got time to clean" doesn't apply here. The other issues is that I can't get into any really deep activity because at any moment a guest could walk in or the phone could ring. (Funny, it did just ring in the middle of me typing the word phone. A guest needed some wine glasses).

For tonight at least I have g-chat with CC who is at home and Game 3 of the World Series on the radio. I also have two British people hanging around in the lobby who, while nice prevent me from doing anything too loudly.

So I guess I should put this away and focus on what it is that's bothering me. Guilt. I feel guilty for getting paid to virtually do nothing. When I'm busy I "earn it" but when I'm not doing much it makes me feel guilty that I'm "being lazy" or "slacking off." It's strange. Sometimes I'm really happy with a slow night because it's a break from the hectic days that we've had so many of lately but for some reason tonight I felt guilty for not having more to do. I guess part of that is the fact that normally Friday nights are crazy and this one has turned out to be historically slow. But why the guilt? That's I guess what I'm struggling with this evening. Why should I feel guilty? I just happened to land on a shift where not that much is going on. Not my fault right?

It's a funny thing how close money and guilt follow one another. Did you spend a lot of money on that new shirt? Feel a bit guilty about it? Money has never been that big of a deal for me but that guilt that comes with it sure has. Not that I've ever had that much money to feel guilty about so...

Anyway! Game 3 is about to get started so I'm going to open the door, let the Fall air in, and crank up the radio. Play Ball Dear Reader!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Get to bloggin'

I have no idea what to write about tonight. I've felt kind of sad all day for some random reason that I'm unaware of. Just haven't felt "into it" today.

CC and I are fostering two kittens from our local shelter until they are old enough and big enough to be 'fixed' and sent out for adoption. We've had them for a month and this morning I took them for their final checkup before they schedule their surgery. So today I found out that we'll have them until Monday morning when I'll have to go drop them off to never see them again. This is not why I'm sad dear reader but it sure didn't help snap me out of my funk. These two kitties are super cute too. We had them for more than two weeks before they even weighed a pound. So super cute, but I digress...

Maybe I can blame it on the first game of the World Series being such a bust. Great pitching from the Giants but not too exciting overall. I was so happy to be able to sit on my couch and watch it even if CC wasn't into it and I felt like I missed time hanging with her. But, she had shows to watch too. Game one was like getting hyped for a Super Bowl and then having a blowout. One team looks good, the other... not so much. But, the beauty of the Series is that we have a potential 6 more games. I'm currently listening to Game 2 on the radio at work while I have our front door open to let the Fall breeze in. I love baseball on the radio and cool weather. Makes me feel more American, more alive, more grounded. No it doesn't, but I really like it.

Damn Jake Peavy keeps stepping off and making me forget what the count is! Ooooh but the Royals just tied it. Sometimes listening on the radio can get a bit confusing. Lots of numbers to try and remember. Thank you Internet for having instantly updated box scores though.

Anyway, I'm not trying to write back to back baseball blogs but that seems to be what this is turning into since I can't think of anything other than baseball and giving away little fluffy kitties. I have nothing to offer you today dear reader. I'm just here typing out words until I decide to call this post over.

Over.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Fantastic!

So tonight the World Series kicks off and for once, since the Braves aren't in it, I have a favorite. Of course I'm speaking of America's new darlings the Kansas City Royals. I'm not a huge fan of the San Francisco Giants but I don't harbor hate in my heart for them either. Well, not a whole lot anyway.

The Royals have won this year with a brand of baseball that the modern fan "hates" to watch. Some would call it fundamental baseball or "small ball." Lots of bunts, running, solid pitching and a good bullpen. CC is not a big fan of baseball but if you ask her who to blame for a loss, she knows to tell you, "the bullpen." In football, defense wins championships. In baseball, pitching wins pennants. I don't mind the Royals' brand of baseball despite my love for all things statistics and I think with the right group of guys it could work on a lot of teams.

But, if pitching wins, these two teams are about as close to each other in pitching as you can get. SF had a 2014 team ERA of 3.50, a BAA (Batting average against) of 2.41 and gave up 564 earned runs.
Kansas City finished ever so slightly below that with a team ERA of 3.51, a BAA of 2.50 and 565 earned runs.

Now, KC lives and dies by their bullpen a bit more than SF who has a touch more dominance in their starting staff. This shows up with an 82% save percentage for KC where SF only converted 72% of their save chances. But as we know, pitching is helped out by defense and KC has one of the best defenses in the game despite committing the 9th most errors in baseball this year. (Remember, defensive stats are deeper than errors and putouts. The eye-test can help a lot with that too). The Royals also had one of the lowest defensive chance totals on the year too which again speaks to their pitching.

Blah Blah Blah. Chicks dig the long-ball and offense sells tickets; so what about the bats? Here is where heroes are made in October. And, when it comes to offense this is where you start to have more of a rooting interest in the players and their stories. Neither team is an offensive juggernaut so it's really more about the stories.

San Francisco has a couple of guys that no matter your affiliation, you have to pull for. Travis Ishikawa was almost out of baseball and a 30-something year old guy wasting away in the minor leagues before getting called up by the Giants this year and eventually hitting the home run that sent them to the World Series. Buster Posey is just awesome and Tim Hudson is one of my favorite players in MLB. (Former Brave). Michael Morse was all but a dead end prospect bust, he's still not great but he is doing well and Joe Panik is a rookie story that anyone can fall in love with. Really the only douche bag on this team is Angel Pagan and he's hurt and not even on the roster. So, yea for that!

Kansas City also has a ton of fun guys on the roster. Mike Moustakas is a legend in KC already after picking up a bar tab for half the city after the Royals won the ALCS. Well and he's a fun guy that "the every man" can relate to. The Royals also have two Latin players that are good TV and funny guys in Escobar and Salvador Perez. Perez especially is must see TV. He caught more innings this year than any other catcher in the majors and is a giant Shrek of a man who wears women's perfume because the umpires like the smell. The Royals are that blue collar mid-western team that has an funny way of coming up winners. Oh and they have a Korean Super Fan that has all of Asia on their side too. And, Aoki who, while a shitty fielder, is fun to watch.

A few years ago the Royals made a decision to take what everyone else was doing and do the opposite. Everyone was paying big money for big named home run hitting free agents (See Josh Hamilton, Pujols, A-Rod, Cabrera, and Fielder).  The Royals built for defense and bullpen dominance. You want big named starters? We want journeymen middle relievers. You want a high strikeout rate but big power? We want on-base percentage and line-drives. Back loaded contracts? We'll take short-term deals and arbitration. This didn't really workout until this year. Their last playoff appearance was 1985. Now they look like geniuses after building slowly, but their fans have had YEARS of suffering through mediocrity leading up to this. Will this be a one hit wonder? Will the Royals formula work in the long term? Guess we'll have to revisit that in 2018.

The Giants on the other hand have been a model of consistency for the past decade. They won the Series in 2010 and 2012 and have done so without ever being a dominant or even being favored. They were the wild-card team this year and are in most circles the underdog in this series. However, you should never count them out of a series. They've always had good pitching and usually have an anemic offense at best. This year the offense is a bit better and the pitching is still, as I pointed out, better than most. The Giants are a team that is built for the playoffs. Series wins instead of the marathon season.

So what does this all mean? It means we should have a good series between two evenly matched teams. This hopefully won't be a 4-0 series that is all lopsided. The whole of the 2014 playoffs has been great with a ton of close games so far. I haven't gotten to watch all of it to be sure, but just reading and highlights can tell you that this year has been special. Plus, no Yankees, no Red Sox, no problem. I hope the Royals win, I hope the Giants keep it close, I hope that all the games are fun.

Damn it dear reader the World Series is here! Fall! Classic! Let's do this!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blagh-tober

Damn this blog stuff is tough. Everyday, damn you dear reader, you demand different topics from me! What am I an endless source of knowledge here to fill your ever emptying cup with knowledge? Well, yeah, I know that I am, but still... it's hard to come up with topics everyday.

Tonight I had a great dinner with CC. We went to a good spot downtown that is not a tourist destination and we had a good meal. Good wine, good food, great dessert and of course great company. It's nice. A Monday night, no responsibility other than to ourselves. We had a good time. We weren't worried about the bill or who was waiting on us at home. We just went and had dinner and didn't worry. Makes for a good time.

So tomorrow dear reader, as I'm sure you know, the World Series starts. I'll be back with my baseball preview then.

Good night!