Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Roger, Roger, Roger!

Sometimes lies can come back and haunt you … in a really big way. Remember Roger Clemens, the “legendary” pitcher who has been the center of the Major League Baseball steroid scandal universe? Yeah, well it seems like he’s about to try and conquer other universes.

The latest allegation? Well, that would be that Roger Clemens had a relationship/affair with country music singer Mindy McCready … I guess that alone would be a hit to not only Clemens’s reputation, but his current marriage. However, the story gets a little worse. You see, Clemens apparently met McCready at a karaoke bar when he was 28 … but, McCready was only 15 at the time.

Clemens’s stock has dropped quicker than the U.S. dollar in recent months (it was either between the dollar or Lindsay Lohan’s panties). I mean, seriously, what’s next for Clemens? Is he secretly a member of the Church of Scientology? Does he enjoy kicking puppies? Is he a Communist spy? Ty Cobb thinks this guy is a creep.

And to think, Clemens probably could’ve avoided all of this if he would’ve just swallowed his enormous ego and admitted to taking steroids, and apologizing for it. That’s impossible for someone like Clemens, who is more than willing to take his own family and best friends down with him.

In a way, I feel bad … but I’m really not sure who I feel bad for. Is it the fans who cheered on this “icon?” Is it the family and friends who are sinking with him? Is it Clemens, who just can’t put his swollen pride aside to do the right thing? I’m not sure – but I’ll tell you one thing … Barry Bonds is probably enjoying this.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Days .... Again!

A few coworkers and I were discussing the TV show Happy Days on Friday ... yeah, it was a pretty busy day ... This was once the biggest show on television .... funny, how you can't even find it on reruns anymore. But, I digress...

We discussed quite a few topics that I wanted to share with you. First, we talked about the opening music - during season one, it was Rock Around the Clock, By Bill Haley and His Comets ... did you know that it was "And His," and not "And The?" Yes, this is what I bring to the table. Bill Haley's Comets continue to tour, even though he has been dead for quite a while. We discussed whether the Comets play different versions of Rock Around the Clock during the concert ... like an acoustic version, radio clean, hip-hop, etc. After the first season (maybe the second), Happy Days switched opening songs to the song ... Happy Days! One coworker swore that this song was sung by Fats Domino.

We then moved on to the Fonzie and Richie Cunningham relationship, and how unplausible this was. I mean, Fonzie was a "greaser" and Richie was a "nerd," yet these guys are best friends and, in a sense, brothers??? How'd this happen, and is this why Richie's older brother Chip was never seen again after the first season?

Staying with Fonzie, we wondered if the guy ever combed his hair ... we always see him pulling his comb out of his pocket, looking in the mirror, and then deciding his hair was perfect. Also, what about Fonzie elbowing and hip-checking the juke box to get a song to play? First, wasn't Arnold upset with this? Second, could Fonzie dictate which song to play by hitting the jukebox in different ways? That's almost super-hero-like.

We talked about Al, who ran Arnold's - the hang-out for the Happy Days teens. When he left Happy Days, he started doing On-Core frozen dinner commercials ... basically inviting himself over for dinner to anybody who bought On-Core. If anything, this would make me avoid buying On-Core. Also, because On-Core is basically a frozen dinner for a number of people, who's buying this stuff and giving it to guests? I'd be pretty upset if a friend invited me over for dinner and served me On-Core .... again, I digress...

Anyway, I wanted to see your thoughts on Happy Days (Aside from the 'jump the shark' part).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Weekend of Los, Part 2

Sunday was part two of the weekend of Los … and I was looking for an improvement over the first part of the weekend … the plan was to see the Shine A Light movie on the Rolling Stones concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York, directed by the fabulous Martin Scorsese. My lispy friend Yon ordered the tickets for us (Schue, me, Ray-Ray, Christa, and Yon).

The plan was to enjoy dinner in King of Prussia prior to the movie – Schue suggested going to the Cheesecake Factory – I’ve never been there, but I heard it was fantastic … on a side note, Schue probably would like any restaurant with the word “cheese” in it.

We left for our destination about 2 hours before the show –but had to make a quick stop at Schue’s sister’s house, so that Schue could borrow a fancy hat and dress – Schue is going to the Kentucky Derby in a couple of weeks, and apparently females need to wear fancy hats to fit in.

We made it out to the King of Prussia Mall around 5:15 – plenty of time to eat. Unfortunately, a woman in distress flagged us down. The woman, of Asian descent, could not get her Mercedes to start. Unfortunately, the woman also had a very poor grasp on the English language, as well. Being the nice guy that I am, I pulled my car up next to her’s preparing to give her a jump. Problem number 1 – we couldn’t find the lever for the hood – it took us about 10 minutes to do so – it was located way, way underneath the steering wheel … one would think Mercedes would do a better job with this location.

Then, we had to take off a batter cover, and hook the jumpers to the battery. But, the way the battery is situated in the Mercedes, it was EXTREMELY difficult to do. Again, one would think Mercedes would have made this easier. We finally got the jumper cables hooked up, but the car still wouldn’t turn over. We instructed the lady to go to security for help. I’m not sure she understood us, though. By this point, we wasted nearly ½ hour, and didn’t have much time to eat. Predictably, the Cheesecake Factory had a bit of a wait, far too long of one for us, so we ended up eating at this “food-court.” Not quite what we had in mind, but it did the trick.

We made our way to the Imax theatre, got our tickets and found seats – the IMAX theatre in King of Prussia is beautiful by the way. As for the concert – Rolling Stones fans (like myself) would definitely enjoy this as they played some pretty deep album cuts … songs you don’t typically hear the Stones play in concert. Plus, they had some pretty cool special guests like Jack White (Loving Cup), Christina Aguilera (Live With Me), and Buddy Guy (Champagne and Reefer). A few bits from early Stones interviews were played in between songs, and they were rather entertaining. Sadly, Scorsese didn’t add any other back-stage banter during the concert – I think it would’ve added to the show. All in all, it was a good time, plus it was with good friends, which made it all the better.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend of Los, Part 1

What a beautiful weekend in the Philly area … with the exception of a Flyers loss on Saturday. The wife and I took full advantage of the great weather, grilling up some burgers and dogs and sitting out on the deck on Friday night, and prepping for the second part of the weekend, by listening to the Rolling Stones Shine a Light cd … excellent, by the way, for Stones fans who want to hear deeper cuts in a live format.

Moving on to Saturday. We got up early, ate breakfast, and drove into the city to see the Star Wars exhibit at the Franklin (it used to be called the Franklin Institute, but since they are no longer conducting any science experiments, they had to get rid of the “institute.”). We probably should’ve taken the omens into account – we tried getting tickets on Friday, but were unable to do so on the Ticketmaster site (I really, really hate that company), as well as calling in (the ticket office closed at 5:00). I called on Saturday morning, and was able to reserve 2 tickets – apparently, this is a hot ticket to get, by the way.

We drove in, and immediately were knee deep in traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway – seriously, is there ever a time of day, week, month, or year that this highway is not congested? We luckily were able to park and get into the Franklin 10 minutes before our “tour” began. Speaking of the parking, if you’ve never parked at the Franklin, you REALLY are in for a treat. It’s especially wonderful if you are looking to get a spike in your blood pressure. First, the garage is uncomfortably tiny – so tiny, that at times they won’t even let SUV’s in – luckily, I don’t drive an SUV, so we were “lucky” enough to be granted entrance. The “hired help” that is supposed to guide one to open parking places obviously isn’t getting paid top dollar – customer service skills are on par with Comcast Cable. Additionally, they have no sense of where to even direct drivers to go, making an already hectic experience all the more hectic.

After finally parking, we went to will call to pick up our tickets … problem was, the lackeys working this booth were apparently also hired by the same people who hired the parking attendants. I gave them my confirmation number, along with my credit card and driver’s license. They asked me if my name was “Ben,” to which I did a double take – they had my id, and my credit card – both with my name on it … and just for the record, my name isn’t Ben. After about 5 minutes of the one guy just staring at his computer, he told me I need to get in the ticket line to purchase the tickets … um, isn’t that what will call helps to avoid? I was pissed, but I’d be getting even more pissed in just a couple of minutes.

The wife and I stood in line, and were finally called up to the ticket lady. We asked for tickets for the 11:30 show … she told us that she didn’t have anything available until 2:30. My wife nearly ripped her head off … we “mentioned” in a not-so-nice way that we had called and had preordered tickets but that the will call guy couldn’t find them. The lady took our confirmation number, and in seconds printed the ticket … she has a real future at the Franklin.

The tour itself was rather disappointing to me … it was more geared towards children, which is fine, showing how science and Star Wars sometimes are connected, and showing some science experiments. There were some Star Wars costumes, and some scant information about different characters and spacecraft, but all-in-all it was just as disappointing as the King Tut exhibit that was held there prior to Star Wars. The only “saving grace” was this one guy who flipped out on security because he lost his kids in the exhibit. He berated security for about 5 minutes, before the security guard said something along the lines of “maybe you should’ve kept a closer eye on your kids as opposed to the exhibit.” The man nearly flipped – typical uneducated South Philadelphian. He sure did his kids proud with his conduct.

This may be the last exhibit I ever go to at the Franklin.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Love This Commercial!

Has anyone seen that Bud-Light commercial with the guy who opens a beer in the kitchen, and begins to hear his dog speak? This may be the funniest commercial in years – basically, the dog continues to say “sausages” over and over again … actually, the dog is pleading for sausage. In case you haven’t, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UHKB6nQrzM.

First, let me say that the only bad part of the commercial was the squirrel at the end – saying “Mind your own business, chump!” in a rather annoying voice. Personally, I think the squirrel should’ve been saying something along the line of “nuts!” in a similar fashion to what the dog was doing.

In thinking about this commercial, aren’t there other food items a dog would prefer over sausages, such as bacon, steak, or a juicy bone? I’m not too sure that sausages would even come in the top 10. Am I right here? Sure, sure, I’m probably reading too much into this, and should just enjoy the commercial for what it is, right? I’m guessing, saying “Steak” repeatedly would not be nearly as funny as “sausages.”

Besides that, I’m intrigued. I want to know what this guy looks like, or where he used his voice before? Do you think he’ll be stereotyped from now on, ala Gilligan? I mean, when you hear his voice in other commercials, will you immediately think of the Bud Light commercial? Will you refuse to buy products his voice is promoting if these products are not Bud Light?

O.K. – you’ve probably figured it out – I really couldn’t think of anything else to write about. But, you have to admit – that is one funny commercial.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I've Had IT!

The state of Pennsylvania will have the spotlight shown brightly on its shiny tush in the coming weeks as Obama and Clinton prepare to campaign heavily. It’s only April, and I’m already sick of politics again … normally, it takes until Octoberish during a Presidential election, but the dung-flinging is reaching epic proportions already.

I don’t usually write or talk about politics, because frankly, there are enough people out there doing it already. I also don’t openly discuss my political affiliation for many reasons, mainly because I’m going to probably piss approximately 50% of the people off no matter which side I’m on. More importantly, I really don’t have an affiliation, I tend to be a moderate … a curse word on both sides.

The thing is I don’t believe in pulling that big blue or red lever when I vote. I really try and do research and make an informed voting decision, as opposed to blindly voting for one party or the other. I wish more people would do this, personally. Unfortunately, it’s never about what a person can do for the people anymore, but more importantly, what that same person can do for his or her political party. That is extremely nauseating, if you ask me.

I understand that if you want to get your party’s “blessing,” you have to usually give into party ideology, not to mention the ideology of corporations and “friends” who have financed your political career … another thing that makes me throw up a little in my mouth.

I truly think that if government and political parties had good people who cared about the people first and foremost, many of our problems would either be eliminated or at the very least lessened. I know, I know … it’s a very na├»ve way to look at it, but that’s just the way I am. In order to get to the higher ranks of government, you almost inevitably have to make a few deals with the devil … deals that will ultimately dictate what you do in government. For once, I’d like to see somebody come in, take charge, and say a big F-U to that … it’ll probably never happen, though.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


OK – I have to come clean … I was ALWAYS under the belief that in order to have fun at a bachelor party, you absolutely, positively HAD to include a stop at a “gentleman’s establishment.” Sure, one could fill the day with other events and activities, such as a round of golf, trip to the Phillies game, or trip to the casino, but it was ALWAYS necessary to include the above-mentioned stop, or else it really couldn’t be considered a bachelor party.

This weekend, my feelings may have swayed a little. You see, this was the first time I attended a bachelor party in which a gentleman’s club trip was not included in the events and activities … yes folks, history was indeed made. The thought of it initially perplexed me. How is this even possible? Isn’t it a law to have strippers included in a bachelor party? Would the world suddenly end because of this travesty?

I found out all of the answers to these questions and more. Yes, it is true that one CAN have a bachelor party and not have to see any skin. Is this preferred? Probably not. But, it IS possible. Now, the other activities and events need to be stepped up in order to do this. For instance, this particular bachelor party took place in Brigantine and Atlantic City … which means there were more than enough potential activities to keep us occupied.

We started out at a condo we rented – playing cards, drinking some beers, insulting each other incessantly … you know, typical guy stuff. We then took a cab to a place in Brigantine called the Laguna – it’s a beach bar, and we had some sort of special buffet and beer tower special set up for us. The food was great … and much needed. However, the beer towers left a little to be desired … when one hears the word “tower,” one probably envisions a rather large object. Unfortunately, the beer towers looked more like blenders filled with beer. We were able to somehow get the bartender to give us refills on these rather puny towers … all in all, not bad – we stayed about 4 hours, and then went on to our next stop … again via cab (hey, we’re safe guys … but also, Brigantine police are absolutely ridiculous).

Stop number two was Game On in the Caesar’s restaurant area … really cool sports bar with a night-club-like atmosphere. We had our own corner location, which was key for a number of reasons … first, the place was mobbed. Second, we had a great view of the tv screens, and the rest of the bar. Plus, we had our own semi-private bathroom. We stayed there for another 4 hours, chatting with women from other bachelorette parties, and basically getting more and more intoxicated (another key to a no strip club bachelor party). By the way, you ladies always seem to complain about bachelor parties being out of control … it seems to me you women aren’t innocent either … I make this statement because the “bride to be” of one of these bachelorette parties was basically checking my friend’s tonsils with her tongue as he was attempting to give her rump a nice hand-waxing … but I digress.

We then went to the casino to play some craps … but playing any table games whilst inebriated isn’t such a good idea … it took us only about 1 hour to find that out. At this point, it was about 4 a.m., and since I’m no longer in “game shape” when it comes to all night drink-fests, I was exhausted, and just wanted to get back to the house and sleep it off. All-in-all, not really a crazy night, especially by bachelor party “standards,” but it was a good night, nevertheless … plus, I haven’t seen this group of friends in quite some time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why Didn't I Think of That????

I remember when I was in ninth grade, seeing a TV show on Nickelodeon called Mad Movies. Basically, the idea was to show an old movie (public domain, I’m assuming), but the movie would be chopped up and re-edited into a half-hour show, and re-dubbed with new audio, and in a sense “changing” the script of the movie. The result was absolute hilarity. I only saw about 4-5 episodes, and loved it!

In the early 1990’s, Mystery Science Theatre began its run on Comedy Central. It was in the same mold as Mad Movies, taking a movie that was public domain, but instead of redubbing it, three characters would “watch” the movie and make funny comments. I loved it, but at times it was a little long – it would’ve been great to have this in ½ hour formats. On a side note, I hear that MST3K is making some sort of comeback – I’ll be interested in seeing where this goes.

I’m reminded of these two shows, because a coworker gave me a link to a website which reminds me of the shows. The site takes clips from movies, and a guy makes comments about what is going on in a particular scene. For instance, during the movie Cocktail, there is a scene where Tom Cruise and the other guy are bartending and making fancy drinks during a song, and the crowd by the bar is cheering them on. The “narrator” is making comments like, “Sure, they only serve two drinks per song, but it’s worth it.”

These guys basically are cashing in on stuff we probably all do … which is making fun of movies, TV shows, commercials, etc. Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t come up with these ideas … sigh. Anyway, if you’re interested in this site, check it out - http://www.rifftrax.com/samples.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Warning .... Warning ... A Sports Story !!!

Every once in a while I need to talk (or blog sports), and now’s as good of a time as any to give my take on the Philly sports (professional) “atmosphere. Some of you will probably be bored out of your skulls by this post, but hey, ya gotta give me props for warning you. Without further ado ….

1. The Philadelphia Flyers – After a 2007 season that would’ve made the 1972 76ers blush, the 2008 version, sans bumbling GM Bob Clarke, has returned to familiar playoff territory. Sure, they squeaked in on the second-to-the-last day of the season, and sit at an unimpressive 6th seed, but when you consider the fact that they lost one of their biggest playmakers in Simon Gagne for most of the season, coupled with injuries to important players, and goaltending that has been inconsistent at best, this squad did the city proud. They have a very young nucleus in Carter, Richards, Umberger, and Coburn, and need to round that out with some more talent … especially in goal. Sadly, the Flyers really haven’t had a good answer in goal since Hextall’s first time around. Stevens is OK at best as a head coach, but maybe he’ll grow along with the team … certainly he deserves another year with this team. My prediction for the playoffs is that they lose in 6 games in the first round against the Ovechkin and the blazing hot Capitals.

2. The Philadelphia 76ers – What the hell happened here? Seriously – after trading away Iverson and Webber, I thought this team had about as much of a chance to make the playoffs as our president does of successfully reciting the alphabet. All they did this season was fire the GM, bring in another GM, and trade their Ashton Kutcher look-alike Korver, and now are battling for 5th place … remarkable considering this team was 18-30 just over two months ago. Granted, Philly still needs a quality scoring power forward, and I still have my doubts about Iguodala, but they are exciting to watch now. The offseason will be interesting as they address whether to sign Iggy to a major contract … and if they do this, do they move him to 2-guard so that Thaddeus Young gets more playing time? And, will they have enough money to pursue a quality power forward? My prediction for the playoffs this year is a loss in four games (depending on which team they play, of course).

3. The Philadelphia Phillies – It really is a shame that this ownership refuses to go for a championship full throttle with arguably three of the best players in the club’s history playing in the infield. This club could probably outhit anybody, and for the most part, has more than enough adequate fielding to back up the bat-power. Unfortunately, their pitchers tend to serve up better meatballs than even the best Italian restaurants in the city. Outside of Hamels, it’s hard to have confidence in any of the starters, and the bullpen is always a concern. My prediction for these guys is a third place finish, behind the Mets and Braves.

4. The Philadelphia Eagles – They teased us this offseason, by almost indulging the fans by trying to sign free agent stud Randy Moss. But, I get this feeling these guys knew Moss was going to sign with the Pats no matter what and that this “move” would quiet the fans down a little. It’s not gonna work, fellas. I understand the philosophy to build from the inside out, by going after good offensive and defensive linemen, but shouldn’t the wide receiver position be nearly as important in the west-coast offense? I mean, didn’t Walsh’s Niners have the greatest wide receiver in the history of the game? What about Green Bay? Sure, they didn’t have anyone like that, but they had two terrific receivers in Brooks and Freeman – certainly better than the current Eagles roster. I like what they’ve done on the defensive side of the ball – considering they needed to increase the turnovers they were causing per game. What about a kick/punt returner? Do you realize that the Eagles had the worst starting field position of any team in the league last season???? Again, this may partly explain why the offense had trouble scoring. If this team stays the way it is, and doesn’t add a wide receiver of any note and no “decent” kick/punt returner, we’re looking at another frustrating 8-8 season.

Hey, at least we have the undefeated Philadelphia Sou…..nevermind.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Updated Phrases

A coworker and I got to talking last week about popular phrases and their origins. A few of these phrases probably need to be updated. For instance:

* A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. This phrase can be traced back to the 1300's, and basically means that it's better to have a small actual advantage than the chance of a greater one. This needs to be freshened up a bit, doesn't it - maybe make it a sports reference ... like, say .... "A field goal is better than no points at all ..." Ok, that one needs work.

* From soup to nuts. This conveys the meaning of "from beginning to end". It basically describes a full course dinner, starting with the "soup," and finishing with the "nuts" as the last course. But who the hell finishes a meal with nuts at this point? Isn't it more common to have ice cream, cake, or pie? Starting with soup is fine, although salad may be even earlier than soup, right? So, I submit we change the phrase to "From salad to cake."

* Take down a peg or two. This means to lower someone's high opinion of themselves. Apparently, one of the origins of this has to do pegs being used to regulate the amount of drink taken from a barrel. How does this even relate to lowering somebody's self opinion? We have an opportunity to blaze trails here (hey, that's another phrase!). Maybe use some modern day comparison, like "getting Spitzered." Just a thought.

* The whole nine yards. We should be familiar with the meaning of this - everything/all. But, in a society that loves football, this seems to be a bit confusing, since you need 10 yards for a first down. The origin of this one is clouded, and new official origin can be determined, although it is most likely military. Sports seems like it could be used again, and I submit a football comparison ... like "The long bomb." There's gotta be a better one.

Anybody have any others, or better suggestions?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Happy Birthday, Cutie!

My wife celebrates what she claims is her 25th birthday today … apparently her 10th 25th birthday in a row. I have been lucky enough to celebrate 8 of those with her and hope to celebrate many, many more 25th birthdays. In addition to throwing a little party for her (actually, she’s really running the whole thing, from the guest list, to the drink and food selection – I’m “financing” it), I got her a couple of gifts – the first is her perfume – Armane Code.

The second is season 6 of her favorite TV show, Wings. I enjoyed Wings – thought it was pretty funny, and I know others you also enjoyed it. I’ve never seen anyone who is as rabid about this show as my wife. On weekends, she puts one of the DVD’s in right before she goes to sleep … EVERY weekend. She once called out sick for an entire day, and watched Wings for 10 hours straight. Folks, that’s dedication. I struggle watching 10 hours of football a weekend during the season.

Anyway, my wife took off Friday, so she could prepare some food, and clean the house. I’m taking her to Sushi restaurant in Media tonight … Schue absolutely LOVES sushi. I’m growing to like it more and more. Consider this – when we first met in January of 2001, I never even tried Sushi, and would never have guessed that I’d ever give it a whirl. In fact, one of our first dates, Schue took me to a sushi restaurant in the city – I ordered chicken Teryaki – which is like ordering a hot-dog in a steak restaurant.

I’ve done some growing up with regards to my taste in food, thanks to my beautiful wife. She’s done some growing up with regards to wrestling knowledge, thanks to her beautiful husband. It’s a “Match” made in Heaven … Happy birthday, cutie!

Do me a favor - go over to her site and wish her a happy birthday - it'll make her day! http://schue91.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What Do I Say?

I love my job … I really do. I love just about everything about it. Two things, however, are “opportunity areas” for me (by the way, opportunity areas is a nice way my company describes problems/issues). The first is the 40-minute drive – it’s not overly terrible, and heck, I’ve had longer drives to other jobs. BUT, with gas prices rapidly marching to $4.00 a gallon, it is becoming more of an issue than it should.

The second, and probably easier to solve “opportunity area,” is the security guard in the lobby of my building. No, I don’t have any major issue with the guy – in fact, he seems to be pretty cool. But, first, I have no idea what his name is, and he’s been there at least 8 months. I say hello to him every day, and chat with him briefly at least 2-3 times a day. At this point, it is nearly impossible for me to ask him what his name is. It would certainly make me look like an ignorant ass-clown (at least I think it would). I’m pretty sure he knows my name, because he’s the security guard, and anytime someone walks through the door with his/her id badge, the name comes up on the computer.

But, it goes further than that. I’ve run out of things to talk to him about. Sadly, the brief conversations are usually around the weather, and around how close the weekend is. Now, I hate to talk about the second “topic,” mainly because I really don’t hate my job (sure, I’m always looking forward to the weekend, but not THAT much). However, I’m always finding myself asking this guy, “Hey, is it Friday yet?” My teeth grind together every time I say this phrase. He’s probably sick of it as well – you know, he’s probably blogging about me being such an ass for asking him if it’s Friday, or how many hours until 4:00.

With previous security guards, I was able to talk sports, movies, tv, or anything else. Conversations were easy to start up, and I know I brought more value to the table than telling the guy that it’s unseasonably cold this morning. I’m not sure about any of this security guard’s likes or dislikes, and I’m not sure I want to know. But, seriously, I gotta be able to create more small talk with this guy than the current repository I am employing. So, if any of you have suggestions, please let me know … for my sanity, and the security guard’s …