Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Purchasing 101

So, a friend of the family purchases a new Dishwasher.  She spent $900.  My Dad could have sold her the exact same model for $300 less.  But the family friend purchased the Dishwasher at Snowe's because they had free delivery.

Dad:  "Doris, our delivery fee is only $75."  (i.e.  she could have purchased the exact same dishwasher for $600 + $75 delivery fee = $675).

Family Friend:  "Yes. That's why I bought the dishwasher at Snowe's.  They had free delivery."

Dad:  "Well, when you buy another one I can sell it to you for $700 and give you free delivery."

Family Friend:  "No.  Because now you're just hiding the delivery fee in the price."

It would seem that some people get so focused on something that they can't see the whole picture.

By the way, I'm selling dishwashers for $5,000, but I offer free delivery.

Cultural Differences

A few weeks ago, a middle-aged woman from another culture drops into Conn's looking to make a good deal on a Refrigerator.  My Dad shows her a great deal for $750 on Refregerator ABC.  She however, insisted on getting a better deal.  She wanted him to take $50 off the price.

Sadly, my Dad could not go any lower on the price and so the mystery woman left the store.

TWO DAYS LATER:  The woman returned with her son.  The young man (approx. 22 years old) was born and reared in America, so he's familiar with both his Mother's Home Culture and American Culture.

While the Mother waited about 30 feet away, my Dad again explained that he could not go lower on the price.  The poor man looked back toward his Mom and the looked back at Dad saying, "You don't understand.  I can't leave here without making a deal."

It was at this point that my Dad began to actually understand what was going on. 

"Well, I can get you $85 off this XYZ Refrigerator.  But it will still be $350 more expensive than the ABC Refrigerator."

"I'll take it." said the young man.

And the Woman spent $350 more than she had to.  But she was happy, because her son had made a deal.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cold Front: Feb 25, 2013

It's cold here.  A front is moving through North Texas today; brining snow to Northwest Texas and cold temperatures to the DFW metroplex.  Lows for the next 7 days will be in the low 30's and upper 20's.

And this is where I get grief from people up north. 
"Oh, you don't know what cold is.  Why up here it's [fill in a number]."
"Oh, this one time, we got 155 feet of snow in six minutes."

OK.  I'm not trying to claim that it's colder here.  Nor will I pay a fee to enter any kind of contest involving cold weather in this neck of the woods.

What I am saying is this:
1) No matter where you live, would you wear a jacket if the temperature was below 32 degrees Farenheit? 
2)  No matter where you live, would you wear protective gear if the wind chill were below 25 degrees Farenheit?

If you answered "Yes" to either of these questions, then -- for the love of humanity -- do not ssell off your cold-weather gear if you move here.

I was motivated to create this post by my good Friend Sandy Vogele in Cincinnati, OH.  She gave a sincere speech with the running theme: "I'm sorry, but it get's COLD in Texas".  Sandy looked directly at me whenever she said the punch line.  I think it's because I kept talking about the heat. 

You have all been warned.

Tax-Free Holiday on Guns/Hunting Supplies

This just in:

State Representative Jeff Leach of Plano, TX has introduced a bill that would make every March 2nd a Sales Tax Free Holiday for all purchases of Guns and Hunting Supplies.

March 2nd is the Birthday of the Republic of Texas.

More details should be available on, the Dallas, TX Fox affiliate.

Long live the Republic

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Women with Tattoos

(this scenario is for entertainment purposes only .... most of my friends know that you shouldn't take me too seriously)

Generally speaking, I avoid dating women with tattoos.  Please allow me to explain..

Almost everyone's sense of "normal" has cemented by the age of ten.  When I was ten, only sailors and convicted felons had tattoos -- and women were neither.  So women didn't have tattoos.

Consequently, if a woman has a tattoo, I tend to stare at it.  This leads to tragedy.

Her:  "Well, here we are at your front door."
Me:  "Yes."
Her:  "Did you have anything on your mind?"
Me:  "Yeah, kinda"
Her:  "Oh?  Tell me."
Me:  "Um, I'd like to you inside."
Her:  "Yes."
Me:  "And walk you over to the couch."
Her:  "Yes."
Me:  "And take off your shirt."
Her:  "Yes."
Me:  "And stare at the tattoo on your back for about 2 to 3 hours."
Her:  "What?  And what am I supposed to do?"
Me:  "I dunno.  Read a book ... Watch TV.  Just so long as you don't move around a whole lot."

Then she slaps me and walks away just a little angry.  And I'm left wondering if honesty is really the best policy.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dragon Trivia

The most common cause of death among juvenile dragons is the hiccups.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gastroenteritis: Epilogue

A few folks have posted questions on my Facebook account regarding the Gastroenteritis post on 2/17/13.  Here is some additional data.
#1:  I was not touching the Triage nurse.  Nor was I making passes at her.  So I do believe that she hit the panic button by accident.
#2:  The reason the last nurse said, "We played a trick on you."  was because a) I never said I was in pain, b) I never asked for pain killers, and c) according to other medical sources, morphine slows down your digestive system.  Kindly review my symptoms to discover giving me morphine was a really good idea.

#3:  I don't remember exactly what the three prescriptions ware for.  I just remember that they were standard antibiotics and gastric medications.  No, they did not give me a prescription for morphine.
#3:  The 'simpler' food was a B.R.A.T. diet.  Bananas, Rice, Apple sauce, and Toast.  I didn't even want to eat anything else for three days.
#4:  The elderly woman on the stretcher was not dead (to the best of my knowledge).  She was in full view of everyone in the E.R. and her body was not covered.  I suspect I was released that morning partially because they needed the room for her.
#5:  The prayer I made on behalf of the elderly woman and her friend was in earnest and not as casual an event as the original post suggests.  My illness could have been contageous and so offering any help could have made matters worse.  This was the first time I completely came to grips with understanding that walking away was the only option and leaving the suffering for God to handle.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


This is the story of how (among other things) I was almost beaten by a Security Guard ... at a hospital.

Date:  Saturday in early November, 1998
Time:  Approx. 4:30 am.
Place:  Columbus, OH.  ( I was in town for a Toastmasters convention).

After suffering severe symptoms since 7:30 the night before, I was at the hospital seeking medical attention.  The Emergency Room was completely empty, so the Triage Nurse invited me to sit down beside her behind the desk.

She had crossed her legs crossed at the knees and kicked her left foot up and down as she entered my data into the hospital's computer system.

"Hey." a dis-embodied voice proclaimed with just a little authority.  I craned my neck back and up to see a tall, lanky young man in a Security Guard's uniform standing there.  He looked like teenager in a Norman Rockwell painting.

"Hey." I replied.

"How are you?" he inquired.  This seemed a little odd since a) I'm sitting at the triage desk of a hospital (that should be a clue that I'm sick in some way) , and b) Ssecurity Guards don't usually engage in small talk while on the job.
I replied politely and rather casually, "Well, aside from the projectile vomiting, explosive diarrhea, cold sweats, feaver, dehydration, suspected kidney malfunction, absolutly no sleep since 6:00am yesterday, and an inability to hold down even simple foods or liquids, I'm doing pretty good.  How are you?" 
Before the Guard could answer, the Triage Nurse chimed in, "Yeah, Tom.  What's up with you?"
"You tell me." The Guard's voice still seemed to be a little loud.  It contuned to carry a certain level oj subdued conviction.  But I ignored this thinking that it was just my lack of sleep that made everythiing sound louder.  "You're the one who set off the panic alarm." 


Yes, the Nurse had kicked the panic alarm with that dainty left foot mentioned just a few short paragraphs ago.
"Oh, no.  That's the third time this month.  I'm sorry Tom."

Why was she apologizing to Tom?  I'm the one who almost got creamed by a Security Guard ... using a night stick ... at a hospital; adding contusions, abrasions, broken bones, and blurry vision to my list of symptoms.

I was finally admitted to the Emergency Treatment area and put in a small, private room.  A very large and slightly dour man entered the room.  "Hello, my name is Bruce.  I am your Nurse this morning."  The two-day beard stubble didn't help his image.

Bruce finished a little paper work and left.  A doctor came in.  Blood was taken.  The usual stuff when you visit a hospital or Doctor's office.

Bruce returned with an IV bag.  What a relief considering my state.  As he administered the IV, I complained about a slight pressure on my chest and a strange taste in my mouth. 

"Everything will be all right in just two minutes" Bruce replied.

I thought, how can everything be all right in just two minutes?  How can he be so certain about that?  And then I fell asleep.

Moments later (it was really an hour), another Nurse burst into my room.  I almost exclaimed, "Happy Birthday!" to her but couldn't figure out why.  She was just checking my IV bag.

"This is your third IV bag.  We're thinking about giving your a fourth."

"Whatever you guys think is best.  I don't ever recall being this sick before." I told her.

Wait, my third IV bag.  If it's an IV bag should't it be my fourth one?  Can she count using Roman numerals?  No ... no ... no ... She must mean an "ivy" bag.  Yeah, that mokes more sense.  This mattress is very comfortable.  ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Hours later (but it seemed like minutes), a third nurse entered the room.  "OK.  You're free to go". 

She handed me a sheet of paper and continued, "You have gastroenteritis.  This sheet of paper describes your illness and what you should do.  Keep your diet simple for the next five days until your system settles down.  And here are three prescriptions for you."  She said all this very fast - or was I listening slowly.

"And, we played a trick on you."

There's more?

"We gave you morphine.  You can't drive for another twelve hours."

Wait a second.  "Happy Birthday" ... Hours seem like moments ... "ivy" bag ... comfortable mattress.  This all has something to do with something.

It was 10:30am.  The Emergency Room was full.  An alderly woman lay on a stretcher.  Another elderly woman sat next to her (a freind?  a sister?).  The woman on the stretcher was contorted and stiff.  I wanted to do something but wasn't sure if gastroenteritis.was contagious.  So I said a prayer and left.

I couldn't drive, but I could call a cab.  The one mile ride to the hotel cost twelve dollars.  I only had a twenty and the driver coudn't give change.  So I said keep it.  Did he know I was on morphine?