Tuesday, August 21, 2018

School Supplies Shopping Quest

I have given the kids an opportunity to earn money by looking for the best prices on school supplies.

We started by making a list of stores and companies from whom we can buy what we need:
-Jewel Osco
-Walgreens
-Costco
-Staples
-Target
-Walmart
-Office Depot

Next, the kids are taking their lists and finding out how much each item costs at each store to find the best prices. Then, we'll make a list for each store or see if one store will have the best deal for everything.

I figure, we save money, and the kids learn how to comparison shop.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Midnight Dishwasher Blues

It's 130am and I've just gotten into bed, gotten comfortable, and I realized that I've forgotten to start the dishwasher. I mean, I had a hockey game at 10 (won 5-0) and now I'm tired and just want to go to sleep. And I'm lamenting the fact that I have to get out of bed to go turn it on. I'm just so comfortable in my great big bed next to my beautiful wife. Who would want to leave that?

Then, I realize that, boo hoo, I have to walk 30 feet and down some stairs to press a button and the magic machine makes all of the dishes clean. Woa is me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Can Come to My Tire Store

Around 30 years ago, my father waited on a couple of customers at our family's tire, wheel, and auto service shop, located just south of downtown Chicago. They guys came up to the counter, where my dad greeted them and one guy proceeded to explain the issue. My Dad wrote up their order, supervised the inspection of the problem, and ended up selling them a tire. The guys paid for the service and left the store. Not particularly noteworthy.

Except that those guys had shaved heads and publicly displayed Nazi swastika tattoos. And my family is Jewish. 

My father explained to me that their money was as green as anyone else's. And, what would be accomplished if he had refused to serve them? They would have gone down the street to another shop, complaining that our shop were a bunch of typical Jews. Instead, these skinheads would have to tell people that they were given good service by our store, preserving a reputation for serving all customers equally.

Now we turn to the Red Hen in Virginia. Instead of giving quality service, showing that gays are good people who are valuable members of society, making a nice tip from people they disagree with politically, then either gleefully spending Sarah Huckabee Sanders' money on something super gay or donating it to benefit LGBT people, they sent the business elsewhere and have irreparably harmed their reputation. 

Let's not go back to the days of denying people service. Sure - you could say, "That's what it's like to be denied service, just like my LGBT friends and like blacks and Jews and so many others!" Or, you can be the example of how you want to be treated. You serve them, then you just go about your business like you've been there before. Or, you tweet @ Sarah that you hope she enjoyed her meal cooked and served by gays, that LGBT are just as quality of character class of hard working Americans as any middle-American factory town of church-going Evangelicals. And, maybe over the course of the evening in serving her party that you find that she's not the evil fire spewing witch that you thought she was.

Is this what we're teaching our children - that kids can't sit at their lunch table if they disagree about something they learned in class? You can't be on my team at recess? I won't stand next to you in line? I won't be your partner in art? Because that's the example you've set. Now, you've empowered people to deny gays service at their establishments.

Instead of being pushed around, you show your value in your professionalism. You rise to the occasion instead of sinking to a lower level. Be the change.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Two Steps Away from Godliness... times 100

I think clutter is just a series of projects that are approximately one to two steps away from completion. I'm looking around my house, which isn't cluttered to hoarder level, but has a few piles here and there that I would love to have magically organized into the places in which I envision them.

The closest example: to my left is a pile of stuff. The inventory: a stack of gift cards that belong to JD that we're going to use toward a new XBox; a box of Sharpies from which I took one to write down the value of each gift card but haven't returned. Those are on top of a stack of papers: my new property tax bill, an packet that I need to scan and forward to another person, a tax form 1099 that I need to scan, a sheet from the bank that holds my HELOC that I have to file that says that they've assigned a new account number to the loan, two unpaid medical bills, a schedule for the construction rehab project I'm working on with my uncle, a sheet with notes that I took during a discussion with a financial planner, a keyboarding mastery chart for JD to learn how to type, some pictures that need to be cut and framed, my marathon bib from the 2016 Chicago Marathon, and the water bill that was paid and needs to be filed.

Every item on the list is one or two steps away from being completed - and they're not complicated steps! The most complicated ones are either where I need to scan something then file it away or go online and pay something and then file it away. It's an, "I'll get to it . . ." pile.

And, let's not allow the fact that I probably could have completed a great number of the tasks associated in the time it's taken me to write this post to be lost.