LameTwitterMonkeyJackAss

My Friday…

LameTwitterMonkeyJackAssSoooooooooooooo…at a bout 2:30, I decided I was going to make myself stew in the slow-cooker. FOr anyone normal, this would have given the stew about 4-5 hours to be ready and yummy. But not me…here’s how mine went…

2:30 Got crock pot cleaned and ready.
Chopped Carrots.

2:35 Got sidetracked.

3:00 Got potatoes chopped and ready.
Chopped Green beans.

3:05 Got sidetracked.

3:45 got onion chopped.
Made sausage and crackers for lunch.

4:00 Got sidetracked.

4:30 Remembered I was prepping stew.
Saw Squirrel.

5:00 Remembered stew, chopped up sausage.

5:05 Fucking squirrel.

6:00 Remembered I was prepping a stew, chopped up the garlic.

6:05 Remembered I still had work to do.

7:00 I like my stew spicy, chopped some serrano, added salt n pepper. Back to work.

7:40 Turned the damn crock pot on.

7:45 Realized the damn stew wouldn’t be ready til midnight. Deemed blogable.

No joke…this happened…just another day ;)

-T

m4s0n501


TonyTown dot com soups on

A little grocery rant…

TonyTown dot com soups onThis has been bugging me since yesterday. Last evening I went grocery shopping. Now my grocery shopping is pretty static unless there is an ungodly good sale on something. I spent a whopping $44, and walked away with nearly 25lbs of fruits and veggies, and…wait for it…nearly 3 pounds of meat, which accounted for $15 of the bill.

Normally, I would prep about 1.5lbs of these groceries a day for meals & whatever….so yes…give or take a couple days, this is nearly two weeks of food for me. It’s just bothering me that meat is sooo frickin pricey, and this wasn’t even the premium stuff, it was just sausage (which is like the cheapest meat you could ever buy). Maybe at some point I’ll take the drive out to one of the local suppliers and arrange a walkthrough to document the process.

We all know I am a far cry from a vegetarian. But I am pretty picky about my meats. I don’t like processed anything, and sausage is about the only “processed” anything I get nowadays, and thats only because I don’t have the room to make and store my own sausage (it isn’t hard or messy, just not feasible without significant cold storage).

So my question is…why is a meat product that probably costs less than $.50 to produce sold at $5.00 per pound?!

*ugh*



Awesome art by Nick Risinger - Blue Bot by Adam Grossman ;)

Are we the noisiest planet in the neighborhood or what?!

This could make you rethink your estimate of proportion. Apparently, (at this time) we’ve been transmitting our whereabouts to every alien within one hundred light years…

Awesome art by Nick Risinger - Blue Dot by Adam Grossman ;)

I read this short article on something fairly interesting (HERE)…apparently our earthly radio transmissions are are now reaching places very very very very far away.

A thought crossed my mind about this. Any society as advanced as us or more so will almost certainly either be receptive to radio waves…but here’s the problem: Exactly how receptive?

I would like to point out that while we can attribute radiation for a significant amount of our evolution, we can also attribute the scarcity of life outside our planet to it…it is the double edged sword that makes earth so rare. There isn’t just life here…theres a TON of it.

SO now that we know that the number of planets capable of supporting life is waaaaaaaay higher than we guessed1, we really need to entertain the idea that we’re not alone, because to ignore every possible indicator that it’s true would really put us in a scary and indefensible position.

We assume also that other intelligent species wouldn’t sweat us blasting everything within 100 light years with lots and lots of noise. I mean, in our quest to make sure we’re not alone…what are we prepared for when they finally do show up and surprisingly expect our society to be a derivative of the Lucile Ball Show2

The bigger problem is the assumption that the signal would actually be received as a communication…what if it is considered noise…or worse…interference? My point is that we are making a whoooole lot of assumptions and firing off a whole lot of EMR into space under the premise of scientific space exploration that we wouldn’t dare point at ourselves because it would fry us faster than a man-sized microwave oven.

On the big scheme of things, we’re like galactic infants, all we want to do eat, shit, and scream our guts out. We can’t see very well, we barely know what to make of everything we do know, we’re only marginally communicative on a mathematical scale, and all we know to do is grow, eat more, shit more, and scream more. I think we give ourselves far too much credit, and the one thing we can expect is for who-or-what-ever we encounter will very likely have an agenda similar to that of a scolding, fed-up, and irritable parent….because we’ve been flooding the neighborhood with nothing but the crap from the entertainment industry for decades.

The only species we’re likely to encounter right now will either be far more advanced at least technologically3 or would be equipped for a one way trip to settle here, thus immediately causing 7 billion humans to go into fight or flight mode thanks to Hollywood giving us all the wrong information we could ever want in order to prepare. Do you see a happy ending here? I don’t.

On the cosmic scale, we now know very clearly that we’re incredibly lucky to be alive at all, that we’re constantly surrounded by deadly factors completely outside our scope of control, and that we’re facing the limits of our own sustainability through very rose tinted glasses.

…and yet here we go…inviting yet another factor that our own observations and indicators of self-preservation should be screaming at us not to do.

I just can’t help but think…if the Milky Way was our neighborhood, the earth would be that house in the neighborhood that everyone hates for being loud, noisy, messy, and completely oblivious to the people around us that might not be so cool about the noise pollution.

I am sooooo not saying we should all be prepared for the next alien invasion. I am just saying that maybe, just maaaaaybe…pointing all those radio transmitters out there to communicate who, what, where, and when we are might easily be construed as that godawful neighbor that feels the need to run a speaker out onto his front porch and share his taste in music with everyone on the block.

Okay…rant over…have a great night.

-T

  1. Check out this awesome database and see how many have already been found: CLICK HERE.
  2. *SMH* …Look up I love Lucy HERE
  3. They’d would have to have the tech to reach us, which at this time means they probably are able to travel at least 30+light years in a single generation. Which means they would have been planning to meet us in some capacity for decades and very likely have FTL capabilities. Any society that has FTL would technologically ROFLSTOMP a society that didn’t have it. Why am I making a gaming reference? Because the only adequate allusion to our ability to defend against tech like that is like trying to defend against a Zerg rush when all you have is tech from SimCity.



Tonytown.com - Lots of political parties

The Real Problem In Politics

Tonytown.com - Lots of political partiesYou’ve all heard me say it repeatedly, I’m an equal opportunity hater when it comes to political parties. To date, I haven’t been convinced to re-evaluate this stance, and to be honest I am tired of questioning my own stance for the sake of social and economic concessions.

Let me explain my logic on this. It really all comes down to misrepresentation. In this, I mean the root of problems we all have an opinion on has been consistently compromised to achieve other agendas that happen to be promoted or supported by large(r) voting demographics.

By subscribing to the idea that we can only make a difference if we support the two major political parties here in the U.S., we effectively cripple our opinions and values. This isn’t about whether or not you’re a hardline conservative or liberal…its about your representing your individual values in our government.

At this time, the two major political parties have at one time or another supported or promoted diametrically opposing views, but the majority of the time, subscribing to the perception that these views are in fact the only two options available to voters is incredibly fallacious.

Example: PersonX is just another citizen that has values and opinions, said person feels that abortion needs more regulation, and also feels that the current level of gun control needs deregulation in accordance with their perception of both the bible and their understanding of their constitutional rights. Under the current system of representation, this person has only one ability to make that change directly, their vote.

Due to the current voting powers and the political parties integration into the voting system, PersonX is quite incapable of finding adequate representation in the government. Why? Because currently they are fed the perception that if they do not vote for either Republicans or Democrats, they will achieve neither.

This idea is why we’re essentially socially and economically upside down right now. Right now PersonX can use heir voice, and convince others that his or her opinions are right, but when it comes down to getting all those people PersonX has convinced to align accordingly…PersonX’s vote and that of his subscribers will only be capable of achieving a half win because the only people they are offered to vote for are either Republican or Democrat.

Resolving this issue is complex, because our government is now incredibly intertwined with large business organizations that would also lose their sway if they weren’t capable of influencing votes and legislation to a majority of voters by influencing the two political parties that hold. Thus Big Business will never support the idea that people shouldn’t concede their vote to achieve only a portion of their goals.

Another example: a vast majority of voters do not feel we should be pursuing military agendas all over the globe as if most of the world were at war with us. Yet here we are, constantly pushing our own military into other countries that are most often demanding we not get involved. I am the first person to subscribe to a national defense strategy that permits and promotes our freedoms. This is a very commonly held belief, I ask people, I ask my friends, and I talk with complete strangers…just to see where my own opinions stand against others. While a majority of people are ignorant of our current state of military affairs, those that did show an interest ALL expressed the same sentiment I did. Now if all these voters have expressed this sentiment, why on earth are we fighting all over the world??? I know I voted for a guy that favored trade-building over war and regime changes. But…nothing changed? Where is my representation?

The answer is simple, the two major political parties in the U.S. due to their party affiliation are in fact forced into making concessions that reflect the goals of the party, not the people they represent. By representing the party and not the citizen, the government representative is no longer capable (or willing) to adequately repesent the opinions and beliefs of their constituency. Simply put, the Republicans and Democrats are only capable of serving their own agenda, and not yours. There are rare exceptions to this, but these are exceptions to the norm and unfortunately regularly cause the nation to be completely misrepresented in almost every facet of government, military action, and diplomacy.

If this wasn’t enough for you to understand my point of view, your should then simply take my word for it and research who you’re voting for, you may find that the person you put on such a big pedestal rarely holds the values you thought you were voting for. IMO…the best politicians are the ones that have solutions for limiting government involvement and regulation.

-T



autograt

FLSA exemptions need to be revised.

This has always been something that really pissed me off. Everyone knows I’ve paid my dues in the restaurant industry, but the deliberate exemption of tipped employees from the FLSA has always made my ass twitch.

What most of you dont know is that one of the BIGGEST reasons for the notorious turnover in restaurants is tipped wages always starting at 2.13/hour.

This is by far the easiest way to discourage potential talent…by paying them less than $4k per year for full-time service.

You see the big problem is servers aren’t just serving. 99% of the tie they are also tasked with general labor, maintenance, prep and cleaning. It may not be life endangering but it is in fact one of the most hostile work environments in existence. Between alcohol service, money handling, and the employer passing off losses to the employees…it’s rarely a great job, so when an employer also makes the job completely irresistible by offering only $2.13 an hour…you can understand why so few people are able to work the job, much less do so for extended periods of time.

In the years since this incredibly poor exemption was made legal, restaurant industries all over have opted to make it even harder, by user-paying other positions that ARE NOT TIPPED and guaranteeing them a portion of a tipped employee’s take. Barbacks, Bussers, Expo, Bartenders…I’ve even seen salaried employees decide they deserved a share of the tips.

So nowadays almost all restaurants operate with incredibly low labor costs.

I’ve seen what the take is on busy restaurants and slow ones…in both cases there is honestly no reason to lowball the service.

That said, last I looked there were still a few really good restaurants to work for and learn the skills properly without having to deal with truckloads of crooked owners and managers that think that just because it’s not illegal it’s okay.

If you’re wondering where this little rant started up, John Light over at BillMoyers.com recently published a great article (CLICK HERE TO READ IT) on how exemptions from the FLSA are heavily exploited.

Thanks for the bandwidth, and remember, if you can’t afford to tip, you sure as hell cant afford to be eating at restaurants. Be Smart.

-Tony



overlly_attached_girlfriend_funny

If you’re an ex, you need to read this…

…and even if you’re not an ex, you might still something.

Yaknow…I have to start this quick rant by saying…I honestly feel blessed to have been in the relationships I’ve been in, and to have met, called friends and regarded as loved ones some of the most awesome women on the planet. Seriously. You all know who you are and should be smiling ;)

…but every once in a while “people” pop up (by *people* I mean women with a weird obsessive grudge and some sort of creepy need to cyberstalk me) that really make my arse twitch.
(more…)



psycho

This is just another day in my life…

Picture a small suburbian corner store.

Most of the people living in and around the area may not know each other, but we’ve seen each other before. We say hi or at least nod to each other in passing. It’s a pretty friendly day. I have an incredible addiction to TruMoo that draws me to the corner store almost daily.

As I approach the entrance, another patron approaches the same door and I open it for her. She seems surprised and looks at me like I just did something unheard of. I say, “After you.” I go and grab my Trumoo and as it happens end up in line behind that same woman.

As we’re in line we both seem to be cutting joke with the staff there (this is a regular thing) and the woman seems incredibly familiar, or maybe it’s the other voice yelling inside my head “GET HER NUMBER YOU MORON!” …there’s no doubt – she’s cute, outgoing and I place her at around 30(ish).

Still **something** stops me…it was totally subconscious. No rings, no ring marks, no indications that she’s an axe murderer…so why am I not engaging the conversation?!

She gets through with her purchases and the internal conflict in my subconscious is totally becoming audible to me.

I get through with my purchases just as she reaches the door and I am STILL not pulling the trigger. This simply isn’t me. I may not always make a move or engage someone that is interested, but it’s always a pretty conscious choice…yet still here I am and I can already tell. I’m not going to talk to her.

It turns into slow motion. She’s stopped at her car and is just leaning against it now smiling. I smile at her, she smiles back…

…and I get into my car and start driving away.

Yup. Not only did I not take advantage of the chance…I am getting the distinct impression I just totally choked…and THAT is not how it works in TonyTown. I may be a big dork, but striking up conversation isn’t usually a problem.

…I drive about ten feet forward. What the hell?! Am I turning into THAT guy?! The one that can’t approach someone on a dime? It’s not like I’m Don Juan or anything, but approaching and talking…lol…I’ve been doing that since I was born! She had a great personality and I am obviously interested…why not ask?!

At this point my brain does its thing and I manage to rummage through a gazillion years of memories to find the few that my subconscious had access to that apparently weren’t connecting with me.

That attractive and compelling woman and I had met before…and now I know why I was holding back. She was an ex of one of my oldest friends and undeniably one of the centerpoints of absolute psychotic behavior I and a number of my friends had ever encountered. She was the center of a number of trashed friendships and for a couple of those friends the crux of trashed relationships.

Now it was clear. Man…it’d been 10 maybe 15 years…I honestly don’t know if she’s still the same person. I just remember the windfall of crazy shit that happened to me at her hands.

I stopped the car for a sec and looked back her direction. Yup…there she was.

I move on and remember that my brain is incredibly functional and will sometimes look out for me even when I might be thinking about (or with) something else.

Yep. Just another day. ;)

-Tony



Good people…

Sometimes I really love where I live…I mean geographically of course.

Okay I love it a LOT of the time.

I almost didn’t write about it because it wasn’t earth-shattering ranting news I usually gravitate to when writing.

I have been moving, and it’s been slow because I’ve been moving in multiple directions and maintaining the business at the same time has been a little chaotic.

Anyhow, while I was running errands yesterday, the car in front of me had turned their hazard lights on and the guy driving had jumped out to push his car because it was in a bad spot and would have caused a bit of a jam.

Now, I like top help people as a practice. Some people don’t, but I consider it almost a moral obligation to help where situations present themselves. I don’t really slant others for not feeling the same way, but my sense of priorities doesn’t tell me I cant help someone out because I might miss a hockey game or miss a meal. My hopes are that I can only lead by example and that someday everyone feels that same sense of obligation I do in cases like this.

I’m not mental about it, but I can hope, ya know?

So I pull into the parking lot nearby and run over to help the guy (who is now having a very hard time trying to push his truck up an incline to get it out of traffic. I ask if he minds if I help him out, and of course he’s appreciative. I am not really paying attention to anything except moving a truck up this incline because it’s not a small truck and it’s not a small incline…but the truck IS moving and we don’t have too far to go.

Within like 30 seconds, two more people park their cars next to mine, run over next to me and start helping push…at which point the truck is no longer very hard to push and we get it safely out into the parking lot. I don’t know why, but immediately afterward I asked if everyone there was from The Colony…sure enough, everyone was local. I kind of grin and state to no one in particular how much I love this area, check with the driver of the down truck to see if he needs a ride or more help and he declines but thanks me for offering (he had already called for a can of gas…he was out).

Now, I’ve done this sort of thing a lot, I mean so many times I couldn’t count. The reason this event stood out for me so much was that two other people pulled over to help! Honestly, that doesnt happen. People are honestly just too preoccupied with whatever they’re doing normally. But here, I wasn’t the only guy getting out to help push.

I just think thats one of the coolest things. I like it here. ;)



No More Overtime?! Really?!

tonytow tony hunt gets angsty

Some things just absolutely tick me off.

So today an interesting string of articles came up on my radar: an initiative to abolish overtime pay for hourly laborers. I know a lot of you are like “WHAAAT?!”

Initially, I was even like “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!!”

Why? Because that money I like to have when I’ve been working for over 40 hours a week.

That was my initial line of thinking because as an individual, overtime pay has helped me through a lot of rough spots. It allowed me to avoid having to get a second job more often than not. But now that I am running my own company, I see immediately where the government (de)regulation here will remove an absolutely HUGE burden on many many employers here in the U.S. and allow a LOT of staffing opportunities to occur.

This type of legislation will definitely rock the boat, but not necessarily in a bad way. At first I was skeptical because of the impact it has on workers that rely on overtime. Then I realized that this only applied to employees who actually get to work over 40 hours a week (with a few exceptions). Those hit the worst on this type of legislation are union workers, whose inflated salaries are a HUGE drain on employers. Followed up by contractors used to gouging on time over 40. After that…well…it’s not actually that bad.

Here’s the kicker though. This potentially saves employers a TON of money. The reason companies dont like overtime in their service process is because it literally throws profitability in the shitter. Work-related accidents happen more often to employees working over 40 hours per week than those that dont. This affects disability, and workmans comp insurance. Immediate affects are seen in shared tax and compensation responsibilities. Essentially, businesses that dont have to pay overtime are far more likely to be able to employ their staff more, or allow for more staffers based on this (de)regulation.

Dont get me wrong, I love overtime, but to be honest it causes more pain to employers that it’s worth to the employees getting the extra pay, and allows companies to staff better.

Are there arenas where this may be a catalyst to working overworked people even more? Absolutely, but this tactic is already used and a TON of companies already dodge the overtime bullet by deliberately misrepresenting positions as exempt job types when they are nothing of the sort.

Anyhow, I am really curious if this is just another smokescreen platform to get us riled up while something else is pushed through or if it’s like SOPA/CISPA.

Article from the Daily KOS
Opposition Article from PoliticusUSA
HR 1119