7-31-22: Comparing my time in the Navy to owning a restaurant/bar.
The last journal I just finished encompassed early 1996 through early 1998. During that entire time I was stationed on the west coast aboard the USS Carl Vinson, and we did a bunch of different deployments including WestPac 1996, a 6-month epic journey across the Pacific all the way to the Persian Gulf to enforce no-fly zones over Iraq. We were there in the middle of summer, it was HOT, and I was incredibly young and naieve. I wrote about working some incredibly LONG days in flight ops, and at one point we were at sea for two consecutive months and working every day.
I look back at my time as a stupid kid on the ship, I look at where I am now, and I'm not really sure I'm better off. Doing the restaurant is not really making me happy, and it stresses me out too often. I basically paid a shitload of money to make my wife my boss at a place I only half want to work at. What a bunch of crap! The place hasn't even made money yet, and we put in way too many hours of "sweat equity" to ever reap back in profits. At least when I had the rental properties the sweat equity paid off nicely (for the most part) when it was time to sell...
Yesterday I was particularly miserable, especially since the place had an epic fail day shift and dinner crowd. We did jack shit for business yesterday during the day, and it was only for the last 5 hours of the day that we were able to turn it around and do some business. We got pretty busy at night for the karaoke in the event room and, for the first time ever, a live band on the stage up front. I'm not sure the band was worth it, though. Not many people came just to hear the band; most people came because they know us for what we mostly are: a karaoke bar.
It doesn't help that out sales for July haven't been so great. We're not doing terrible, but we're about flat-line when I compare last July to this one. Sales are actually going to end down by a few grand, but we are now closed Mondays whereas last July we were open Mondays so that accounts for most of the difference. Much like June food sales are up year-over-year, but alcohol sales dropped from this July to last. We did better in June than we'll do this month. What a bunch of crap! Labor costs were much higher this July as well thanks to several staff members using vacation time. We wouldn't even offer paid time off, but it's state-mandated. Minimum wage is also $12.75/hr now, but we pay our hourly employees more than that. Kat and I basically make poverty-level income these days thanks to trying to get the restaurant to succeed. Payroll is already too high as compared to income so we take an incredibly meager compensation.
I will make a few extra bucks helping Gavin sheetrock a stairwell in the apartment he's been working on for years, literally years. He is off buying lumber now, we'll play racquetball soon, and I'll get with him off and on this coming week to help out. He's taking vacation from his job this coming week, and normally this is when we would be leaving to go blueberry raking so I thiink that also affects my ass. I'd love to be loading up the camping gear right now and getting ready to head south to meet up with Cliff in some blueberry field in Hope or Union. Then, about an hour or two after I got to the field, Gavin would roll in blasting hair rock and loaded up with his own camping gear hehe. Sadly my raking career is most likely over now, and my body can't handle the grind of blueberry raking like it used to be able to do anyway. Last year was a GREAT crop and I sucked at it badly. I still made good money, but I should have made GREAT money. What a bunch of crap!
Who knows, maybe Cliff will need our help next year for his field. He only has one field left that we do, and that's every-other year. This is the off-year. Cliff will be 73 or 74 next year so maybe he'll be all done with it all. If we do go next year, and that's a huge if, it wouldn't be for 9 or 10 consecutive days of hard work. I'd *maybe* do 2 or 3 then come home for a day or two then do 2 or 3 more raking days. Mainly just for the exercise and to help out Cliff, and at this point that all seems like only a remote possibility.
^It still feels weird to me not going blueberry raking since I've done it for so many years of my life... there is almost no better high than being in a great patch of blueberries and being able to tally up 13 or 14 boxes in an hour. (22-24 pounds a box) However, when the raking is bad the lows get pretty depressing when you can only fill one or two boxes in an hour. I think my overall average over the years was closer to 7 boxes an hour...
I bet the crop won't be good this year since we're in a moderate drought and since it's been so hot. Raking this year would have been a huge challenge just due to all the 90-degree days we've had and that are still to come.
Sunday, 7-24-22: Epic heat wave. How old is my
It was so hot I didn't go for a jog at all last week, and I didn't get very much exercise. What a bunch of crap! The heat was definitely a factor, but 9-month old Damon had covid (he is much better now) so Dillon couldn't work for a few days. I covered a lot of his hours, and at times it was busy, so I worked quite a bit. I don't mind helping out, that's my job, but it took away precious... precious time to do other things looming on the list.
I have to leave soon to go down to the midcoast. I'll swing by Mom and Dad's house to get their window A/C units in. I haven't even been to their house in roughly 8 or 9 months. What a bunch of crap! Earlier this month when I went down for a visit we all met at the lake house Jason and Holly rented for the week. That was a nice visit and not too hot at all. We'll roast today, and Hawke's birthday party is later this afternoon. He officially turns 2 or 3 tomorrow, but doing the party on a Monday sucks ass and I wouldn't have gone.
I don't know how old my only nephew is. What a bunch of crap! I really thought it was 2, but Kat swears he is about to be 3. Last year I totally skipped his birthday party because I felt wasted like Doc-J and 8-Ball from Full Metal Jacket. I was so tired I didn't even trust myself to drive, even with caffiene. I had to work a ton of hours in the days prior to his birthday party so my tank was about empty. I don't even know if I ever went to one of his birthday parties? Guy looks in the arhives of this pathetic excuse for a website right now...
From July 25, 2020:
My wife is always right! That makes him 3 this year. That was one of the last times, probably the last time, my awesome wife and I went down to my ol' homestead. Around that time Jester's and City Side was about to go under forever, and we had a lot going on after that. Too bad my Mom is such a beotch to my wife so now Kat doesn't even want to go down there to visit. I don't blame her at all, my Mom can be a major asshole sometimes, and Kat doesn't deserve how she has been treated by my mother.
The Red Sox lost 28-5 Friday night, first game back since the All-Star break, and they also lost yesterday. They are TERRIBLE so far this month. What a bunch of crap! That Friday loss was their worst home loss of all-time, or something like that. They are 0-11-1 in 3 or 4-game series against the AL East this year. It's beyond epic failer. Too bad because they were great for most of June. No pitching = pwned.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site, I need to get ready to roll out. I'd rather just stick around here today, but I don't have a good enough excuse to not go plus I don't like the idea of my old parents being in this heat wave with no A/C. Dad said so far they are fine without it (never had it growing up), but today and tonight are going to be extremely hot with tons of humidity. Hopefully if I eat an edible I can sleep through it. Maybe? Hopefully!
Tuesday, 7-19-22: A good week last week. A bad
week this week?
Sadly so far this week has been a challenge. It hasn't been terrible yet, but it hasn't been nearly as good. Kat started the week by feeling like crap, Damon has fuckin' COVID, and we all just had to test again for that bullshit a couple hours ago. Thankfully we were all negative, but poor Damon is only 9 months old so it could hit him hard. So far he is not deathly ill, but he's a baby so it's a worry. We know someone whose 19-month old child just died a few weeks ago; he works for us and is close to the family. That one wasn't from the 'rona, at least as far as we know, but lots of people still die from that shit.
We finished season 4 of Yellowstone on TV last week, and it was great. That makes two totally fantastic season 4 of series we were able to watch so far this month. First was the best one of all-time, Stranger Things. That show is so good. It's popular, and for a fair reason. I am still in awe of how good season 4 of Stranger Things was, and we finished that one nearly a couple weeks ago.
Yellowstone is surprisingly good. It's not a new show, it's been around for a few years, but we just started watching it last month. It's about ranching in the west, and Kevin Costner is the main star. I've been a Costner fan for a long time, and Waterworld is a great movie. If you disagree with me then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more. Also, I remember The Postman as being pretty good, too. Critics would strongly disagree with me, but fuck it. Tom Petty was in it!
^Epic Waterworld quote for the win! RIP, Dennis Hopper.
Sadly we will have less time to hang out and watch TV and movies for a while because we have staffing issues at the bar, and I need to work there more. We had to fire a bartender last week, and that one sucked because he's a friend as well. What a bunch of crap! Then, Friday night, we had a server/bartender needing to go on suspension and possible termination when she did a piss-poor job of finishing her work so she could try to clock out at 0100 to get an alcoholic drink from the bar. Our bartender shut that shit down because he can't serve booze after 0100, it was right around that magical hour, and she flipped the fuck out and yelled all over the bar that he's a "fucking pussy baby." AHAHAHAHAHAHA. It's funny when I write it that way, but a bunch of customers saw it so that is all-bad. It's a bunch of crap!
If you act like that you can take the train.
I say "Take the train." a lot. It's from Road House, one of the best/worst movies of all-time. Thanks, Swayze. RIP my badass 80s & 90s action/movie star. It basically means disappear, scumbag. You're fired, get lost, etc. Guy looks for a meme of it...
No meme, just a 2 second YouTube video. Guy keeps looking...
I can't find any "Take the Train" memes, but I found that classic one that I already had hahaha.
So I felt like I was getting ahead a bit last week, and now this week I feel like I'm falling behind again. What a bunch of crap! The days just fly by lately so at this pace I'll be dead of 70 years old and on the verge of death tomorrow. I have to work quite a bit for the rest of this week, and for possibly the rest of this year. I dunno how much I work now? It is impossible to say, but I work a lot for no pay because I'm trying to build up the restauarant. Kat does exactly the same. I think we will have a good fall, but it's not a guarantee. If gas stays at $5 a gallon that will hurt. A lot. The economy is NOT good thanks to our pudding-head president and his cronies. We can't even vote him out for over two more years either. What a bunch of crap! He is ancient and might keel over tomorrow, but if he checks out things will only get worse and not better. Harris could be worse than Biden. She is a TERRIBLE vice president.
It's really fuckin' hot this week. It's hot almost everywhere so we are relatively lucky. 109 in Dallas, 100 in London, only 88 here today. We were lucky for June and the first half of this month so now we are fucked up the ass with no lube. No forecast low temps below 60 for a long time, and lots of high temps in the 80s and 90s. What a bunch of crap! Makes it harder to sleep at night, but not impossible. We did get another 36k heat pump working at the restaurant today so that will help. Our sparkie went way above and beyond to make it happen for us. Hours on a hot roof and hours in a sorta crawl-space where it was close to 100 degrees. I wanted the heat pump two months ago, but everything takes for-fuckin-ever. What a bunch of crap!
I didn't want to spend all the money for the thing, but it' needed if we want to have any chance of long-term success
80s channel on, Pet Shop Boys, It's a Sin. I've never heard this one before. Cool song! Earlier today radio station Big 104.7 was playing Running Up that Hill by Kate Bush. I didn't know what the hell that song was until Stranger Things Season 4, and now I think it's great. A few too many mentions of God for my overall taste, but I'm okay with it because it's a great song and it was interwoven in the show story perfectly.
As a bad omen my cactus officially died either today or last night. It's fin. I care some, but not as much as I should because it's a FUCKIN PLANT. However, it's from the early 90s when Gavin and I had Mr. Flagg in horticulture class in high school so another thing from my ancient past dies. I should have treated it better so it's my fault. Maybe? How fuckin long does a cactus live? It had about 30 years so that ain't too shabby for a plant. However, if the average age of a cactus is 100 then I really blew it...
I blow it a lot so that's just par for the course these days. What a bunch of crap!
Tuesday, 7-12-22: The stroke recovery.
As June rolled along she started to get better, but work was not an option. She did go to the bar and do some of her usual inventory, specials, etc, but she was not in any condition to host a karaoke show. I didn't feel well for most of June (and the last half of May), and it was really hard seening Kat in such bad shape. June pretty much sucked, and I'm glad it's over. Too bad because once upon a time June was my favorite month.
So far this month things are getting better. Kat is getting more and more like her old self, and I also feel much better. In fact, this week so far I've felt really good. Kat was able to DJ kids karaoke Sunday for close to two hours, but the real test will be tonight when she has to DJ an entire 4-hour gig from 1900-2300. I'll be there working as well since our regular dishwasher is on vacation and I'm taking his shift. I'm actually happy to do it because I can keep a close eye on my beautiful wife and make sure she's okay. I'll shut it the hell down if needed.
EDIT: I got busy and could not finish this bootleg update. What a bunch of crap!
Thursday, 7-07-22: Bedtime soon.
Okay, I'm back, it's now Friday afternoon, and I didn't get to finish my bootleg update last night because I got called into work. Some guy had a PTSD episode right when I was starting my update, cops and EMTs had to come, and off I went. What a bunch of crap! Our MOD is also a veteran who suffers from PTSD so he got caught up in the whole mess while trying to do the right thing, and I took over for him. I'm very lucky that I don't have PTSD; I know way too many people who legit have it. Sometimes I wonder if this world is just a bunch of pussies, but when I was in the Navy I didn't have to see people get shot in the head and other brutal type of things so who am I to say or judge? I'm lucky when I consider how bad it could have been if I had gone into a different branch or joined the service at a different time. Swabbing the deck and scraping rust in tiny fan-rooms on the ship > seeing people get blown up.
Still, I wonder why so many of the more recent vets have PTSD and make it a huge thing? My Dad went through hell, almost literal hell, in 'nam and he didn't ever seem to break down in public. Mom once said he was in bad shape after the war and had to sleep with a gun under his pillow for a while, but some of that is hearsay. Dad definitely saw some of his army friends get blown up, he was a gunner in a chopper, and he has all kinds of health issues now mostly due to that stupid fuckin' war that we didn't even "win" or need to be in. Did we really even need to be in Iraq and Afghanistan for all those years? Probably not.
Enough abour war, death, and PTSD. Time for a ligher-themed topic. How about a baby purse thief?
^9-month old Damon in the office yesterday morning showing a great interest in my awesome wife's Snoopy purse. Thief! He did get the thing off the chair, but that's about as far as he got with it...
^NO LOOT FOR YOU KIDDO! Damon often hangs out with us at the restaurant in the morning before we open. We'll roll in, do some paperwork (or carpentry for me), have staff meetings, etc. Dillon usually runs 5 day shifts a week out of the 6 days we are open so he'll bring Damon over around 0900. Dillon and Debbie live directly across the street from the restaurant so he doesn't even need to drive over. They live in a house that I used to own back when I was a landlord; I don't regret getting out of that business even a little bit. I was talking to one of my former tenants at the restaurant a couple hours ago, and he said some boards on their deck are starting to rot so the new landlords have to deal with that now, not me! I think I just paid my final bill from being a landlord there yesterday, the final dumpster bill.
I thought I might miss having the gym over there at Allen Rd, but I don't miss it at all yet. In fact, it's a bit of the opposite. That gym over there was fucking awesome, but I had to drive over to it and sometimes when I was there using the thing tenants would randomly pop in and need me for stupid shit. One time earlier this year one of the tenants came right in to tell me her doorknob was messed up. I had been there for 2 hours prior doing work so she had to wait until right when I was using the gym. What a bunch of crap!
Now here at the house I can just go downstairs and get my swell on. I actually got a really good lift done just a little while ago down there. It's a smaller gym, but I don't lift as much as I did a few years ago so it's perfect for me. I do more jogging, yoga, and raquetball than I do weight lifting these days. I actually don't even jog that much lately because I totally SUCK at it. i went 2.5 miles yesterday, and I had to stop and walk several times. I just don't have my energy all the way back yet, and I'm not sure it's ever coming all the way back. What a bunch of crap! The weather was fantastic so I can't even blame it on the excessive heat or humidity that often occur this time of year.
So I stayed up really late last night, and I mentioned that Kat and I stayed up fairly late the night before. We had to finish the last two episodes of Stranger Things season 4 on Netflix. Episodes 1-7 were released in late May or early June, and they made people wait for 8 & 9 until July 1st, probably to sell more membersships. I think $13 or $15 a month for Netflix is an awesome deal anyway, and we work a lot so watching it on the 1st was not going to fit for us. Then we had our July 4th party and more work so I was fine with waiting. I never need to watch a show on its first day anyway.
Stranger Things season 4 was FUCKING AWESOME. I can comfortably say it was the best season of any show, ever. A 10/10. Stanger Things has done something that is not easy to do. I believe each season has gotten better and better, and I'd give season 1 close to a perfect 10 so that's saying a lot. I guess if season 1 was close to perfect, season 2 was even better, season 3 was even better, then season 4 should really be a 12/10 hehehehe.
After we finished episode 9 I was wide awake and nowhere near ready to rack out. I just am in awe of how great it really was, and that show made me cry a couple times as well. How often in my life do TV shows make me cry?! Or anything at all for that matter. It's pretty damn rare. This feels like the golden age of TV these days, and maybe calling it TV isn't even right. Streaming and TV? Over the past few years some really amazing shows have come out including Game of Thrones, Westworld, Cobra Kai, and Yellowstone. We were actually enthralled with Yellowstone last week, and the season 3 ending of that series also made me tear up some. Season 4 is out so we'll hopefully watch that next week. Same for Westworld, at least the first 2 or 3 eposides of season 4. Sadly Westworld started out as a 9 or 9.5/10, but each season has dropped off and season 3 was maybe a 7. Still good, but not great.