Saturday, February 21, 2015

I'd really like to know the thought process of this calculated 10-percent tipper

As a bartender, I'm quite used to getting 10-percent tips from time to time.  There are many people out there who subscribe to the "dollar a drink" theory of tipping, and since I work in a place where drinks often cost $10, that's how the math works out.  At least once per night I'll run a credit card for $10.70 (the price of $10 cocktail with seven percent sales tax) and receive a $1 tip on the signed slip.

While I personally believe 20 percent should be the standard bar tip rate regardless of what is purchased, that's not the point of this blog.  Take a look at this receipt from the other night:

At first glance I was extremely confused.  It's fairly rare for someone to include a tip of anything other than full dollar amounts.  On occasion people use 50-cent increments, or write in the change to make the final total an exact dollar value.  But adding 68 cents to 75 cents to get 43 cents?  That made no sense (pun intended)...

That is, until I realized it was a calculated 10-percent tip down to the penny.  In all my years of bartending I'd never actually seen this before.  What's the point?

I might understand if I'd really pissed the guy off or something, but I'm pretty certain I would've picked up on that and I don't believe it was the case.  No, I think this guy is just very passionate in his belief that bartenders should be tipped exactly 10 percent.  I wish I could ask him and find out.

Honestly, not knowing the thought process behind it is bugging me a lot more than getting the bad tip in the first place.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Did you ever speak pager lingo? (And how did you know if you were getting it right?)

The other day a friend of mine put this picture up on facebook, asking what the "143" on the candy hearts meant.  A few people responded by saying it's pager/beeper code for "I love you," which is one letter, four letters, three letters.

Several thoughts come to mind: Was pager language a real thing?  How did it become universally known?  For example, 143 could also just as easily mean "I miss you."  Or even "I hate you."  Or "A good day" or "A $#*^ day."  Or something totally random like "A blue car."  There seems to be a pretty large margin for error.

But more importantly, were pagers really that mainstream of a thing?  I never owned one.  Nobody I ever associated with on a regular basis owned one either.  I'm not denying that I lived in somewhat of a sheltered bubble during the height of the pager boom in the 1990s--but in my experience, the only people who had them were doctors in real life, and drug dealers from movies and television.

Speaking of that, here's one more thing 143 could stand for: "I need pot."  Let me know about your pager knowledge in the poll below:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Will the Knicks go 0-29 the rest of the season?

The New York Knicks are an NBA-worst 10-43 at the All-Star break.  The Knicks are already two games "ahead" of the 76ers in their epic battle for the bottom, and now they're going in for the kill.

New York just bought out the rest of Amar'e Stoudemire's contract, allowing him to go sign with the Mavericks.

But of significantly greater importance, Carmelo Anthony is being shut down for the rest of the season to have surgery on his left knee (even though he did just play 30 minutes on that same injured knee in the All-Star Game last weekend).

The Knicks are 10-30 this year with Anthony in the lineup.  Yeah, that's still pretty bad, but it's a lot better than the 0-13 they are without him.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

ESPN's latest Patriots ball controversy story is a joke (unless they find out a LOT more information)

This has been the lead story on since last night:

Here's what they are implying:

There's new evidence that a guy who works for the Patriots attempted to sneak one of their under-inflated "cheater" balls into the AFC title game.

Here's what they actually discovered:

During the first half, a guy named Jim McNally handed a special teams football meant for kickers (which are OVER-inflated) to "alternate official" Greg Yette that did not have the proper "approved for use" marking on it.

This quote best sums up the meat of the story:
"Sources said they are not sure at what point during the first half McNally tried to introduce the impermissible football to Yette. They didn't know his motivation for doing so, either. Yette, when reached by "Outside the Lines," declined to comment."
Exactly.  What would the motivation be?

They way this is being reported on SportsCenter (and on the website, screenshots above and to the right) you'd think "Outside the Lines" just uncovered proof of the following:

The Patriots deflated balls to make it easier for Tom Brady to throw, they also illegally doctored others in some way to improve Stephen Gostkowski's kicking, and this McNally guy is the villain in charge of the whole process.

I guess that is theoretically possible (although who knows about the kicking thing, we haven't seen any science on that yet), but all ESPN really found out is that at some point a guy handed an incorrect (non-deflated) ball to a referee.


ESPN's Adam Schefter said the following on "Outside the Lines" today, which basically goes against everything above:



ESPN revised their story to say that the ball McNally gave to Yette was first handed to him by an "NFL employee" to replace a missing ball.  The details of their new story (which doesn't have an author credited, by the way) contradict everything they implied in the original story--although somehow they never mention that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Did you know "kick the can" and "capture the flag" are the same thing?

While watching HBO's Togetherness the other night, I came to a startling realization.

In the episode the show's characters played a game of "kick the can."  I've never taken part in that activity before, or as far as I know ever seen anyone else actually play it.  It's one of those games you hear legends of that I assumed only existed during the Great Depression, or before the ball was invented.

But now that I've seen "kick the can" in action on TV, I can say with a fair degree of certainty that it is 95 percent identical to "capture the flag."  Who knew?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Awesome Old (and New) Commercial of the Week: "Be Like Mike"

For Gatorade's 50th birthday, they've decided to bring back their "Be Like Mike" ad from 1991 featuring Michael Jordan.

Two things: One, the song is still incredibly catchy.  And two, remember when they sold Gatorade in glass bottles?

I have to say, I think this is a brilliant move by Gatorade and it's something other companies should absolutely start doing.  I'd love to see 1980s and 90s commercials randomly started appearing all over TV.  The more dated the better--it would increase the humor factor exponentially and the possibilities are endless.  Of the top of my head, what if Bud Light aired their Spuds MacKenzie ads again?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mo'ne Davis being in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game just doesn't sit right with me

I have to admit, I was quite impressed by the basketball skills of the 14-year-old Little League Baseball sensation.  Talent-wise, it was clear Mo'ne Davis could hold her own in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game even before she pulled off this ridiculous move:

But this exhibition isn't about basketball skill, it's about celebrities (here's the list of participants).  There's something that just feels icky to me to put this child out there on the floor with a bunch of adults.  The text of the above tweet sums it up perfectly.  Why is this happening?

Maybe she'll grow up to be a superstar athlete and dominate the WNBA (or something else?).  But maybe she won't, and statistically speaking odds are the latter is probably more likely.  Making a kid famous for her athletic prowess that may or may not last when she becomes an adult feels like it can do a lot more harm than good.

I hope I'm wrong, but I'm very curious to check back in on Mo'ne Davis 10 years from now.

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