You Want Crap? I’ve Got Crap!

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in House, Money | Posted on 20-09-2012

It’s true… and I’m not afraid to sell it!  Let me explain.   This week we have a garage / yard sale going on at our house.

Not just any garage / yard sale…  one where we don’t have to actually sit and sell anything.  Yes, you are reading that right.  The Lady Friend and I have a garage full of shit right now that people are coming to (hopefully) purchase, $1 – $2 at a time and neither of us are sitting there selling any of it.

How does this work?  Because our parents are retired!  woohoo!

Well, it’s not quite that simple.  Her parents and my parents were both considering separate sales this past summer but our garage is bigger than either of theirs and our house is in a better neighborhood than either of theirs so….  we inherited a sale.  The Lady Friend and I are both busy at work and unable to take any days off.  That is the advantage of having retired parents.  I’m actually uber-busy at work lately, the kind of busy where you eat at your desk and get peanut butter on your keyboard.  But that’s another story.

In truth it makes sense that the ‘rents would help us out as only 10% of the stuff for sale actually came from our house.  What is interesting about the whole thing is that her parents and my parents just met for the first time about three months ago even though we have been dating for nearly four years.  And now they are stuck sitting in front of our house together for 8 hours straight today, tomorrow and Saturday.

Her dad and my dad are both easy going “get along with anyone” guys.  But our moms are both strong willed and set in their ways.  I just wish I could be a fly on the garage wall this week to see how the whole thing plays out.  Our dog TOWPO (The One Who Poops Outside) will be there to keep the peace.

Some of you old time followers may remember an early post of mine about a garage sale I had at my old house right before moving in with my Lady Friend.  It’s actually a pretty funny post.  The sale was necessary since her stuff was nicer than mine, so she made me sell, give away or toss most of my crap before I could move in.  Nice huh?

That is an actual sign I had hanging at that sale two years ago – until my mom said it should come down.   Awww, mommmmm…


P.S.  Are you following me? I need more stalkers..  Twitter: @TheSimpleDude


This Will Either Make You Hungry Or Sick

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Food | Posted on 13-09-2012

This is a week of updates.  Tuesday I wrote an update on my potential pay raise at work.  If I get the 25% I am looking for, I’ll be each and every one of you a drink.  You just have to find me first.

And now I am writing a post updating you all on something more interesting then my financial situation:  My State Fair diet.  Although the word “diet” doesn’t really fit well considering what I ate during the Minnesota State Fair would make any dietician vomit carrot juice.  The best part of this update is that I have pictures to share with you.  Greasy, slimy and disgusting – and that just describes my hands holding all these fried foods.

The company I work for has a big exhibit space out there so we all take shifts working it – I was there 8 of the 12 days the fair ran, which meant lots and lots of greasy fingers.

If you want to read all about the Minnesota State Fair I wrote extensively about it recently, but to be brief let’s just say it’s a fat guys dream.  Deep fried food as far as the eye can see.  In fact, name a food that can physically be fried (and placed on a stick like a corn dog) and you’ll probably find it there.  They even find a way to put deep fried spaghetti & meatballs or mac & cheese on a stick.

I didn’t photograph everything I ate, which is good, because if I had probably would have posted all the pics.  And that would have just embarrassed me due to the high volume of saturated fat I consumed.  It was awesome.

First up, one of my favorites… the pork chop on a stick:

These are seasoned perfectly although I did spill the grease from this one all over my shirt while trying to take the photo.  See the lengths I’m willing to go to for the sake of the blog?!?

The there was the beef kabob (obviously on a stick) that comes in a tortilla for some reason.

The good news was I kept this one off my clothing.  The bad news is it cost me $8 and was nowhere near as good as the $6 pork chop.  I should have stuck with what works.

Then the last say of the fair I finally got a chance to try something I had been hearing about all week…  Bacon flavored ice cream:

As expected, it was amazing and one of my highlights of the whole fair experience.  The ice cream itself is actually maple syrup ice cream and then there are candied bacon pieces mix in throughout.  The picture is not very good because the place was crowded and I was trying to take it quickly.

Normally I’d crop out the top part of a photo like this one, but I left it as is so you could see the guy’s feet at the top.  Right after snapping this photo he stops me and says “wait can I take a photo of it too?”  I thought he was being a smart ass so I just sort of shook my head and kept walking, but he stopped me and really actually did want to take a picture of it.  Guess he was too cheap to buy his own.

Beyond the food the state fair didn’t do much for me.  So the only thing left to ask…  did this make you hungry or sick?


I Deserve It!

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Money, Work | Posted on 11-09-2012

A few weeks back I wrote a post about being underpaid.  I wrote about how getting just minimal raises (or none at all) in the five years I have been working for my company, despite getting more and more job responsibilities.  And as we move into another busy time of year I decided it was time to say something… because dammit, I deserve it.  Or at least my mom says so.

Thanks to lots of comments and suggestions from all of you, including Susan, Brandon and others, I made a pitch to my boss and his boss saying how much I felt I was due a raise.  And not just a lousy 5% raise.  Something real.  I wrote up a mini proposal stating my worth in the form of hard facts and data supporting the improvements made in my time here.  And believe it or not, most of it wasn’t bullshit!  Sure there was some exaggeration but what the hell, they won’t know the difference.

Alright, I guess I could have a worse job.

I closed with the big number…  25%.  That is the raise I am seeking.  That doesn’t seem too outrageous, but considering I am not seeking a promotion or job change at all it may be a little aggressive.  If I were to end up with 15% I wouldn’t be overjoyed, but it would be something.  I have decided that anything less than 15% and I am most likely dusting off the old resume and starting to look for my next gig.  Do male escorts get raises?

(no pun intended)

The conversation I had with my boss was a good one, though he was not ready to make any commitment yet as budgets are still being finalized.  Our fiscal year turns over at the end of this month, so come October 1st I should have an idea of where I stand.

The funny thing about all of this…  about a week after I wrote that first blog post, and just a couple days before I finally sat down with my boss, my Lady Friend, who is a software developer, texted me one morning from work saying she had just been given a 25% raise.  No shit.  And she didn’t even have to ask for it.  Granted, she was underpaid as well, and deserves every penny of it.  And now?  She makes more than I do.

And also now?  The dog suddenly thinks lesser of me.  Either this big raise has to come through for me, or the Lady Friend needs to get a couple more 25% raises so that I can retire to become a House Husba…  uhh… no, that’s not it.  A House Man Friend?



On This Date 40 Years Ago…

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Holidays | Posted on 05-09-2012

I wrote about this a few weeks back and it’s finally here.  Officially at about 2:00am today, I turned 40.  Did you see that?  I just visibly cringed typing that.  The same kind of cringe a guy does when he sees some poor dude on TV get kicked in the nuts.  That is what this feels like, because I truly do not feel 40.  Not at all.

I have friends the same age as I am, but they got married at 22, pregnant at 24 and now have kids about to get their drivers license.  Despite being the same age, those people have seemed old to me for years.  Meanwhile I was never married, didn’t have kids and lived my life basically as a 24 year old for about 10 years.  It’s just the last 5 – 6 years that I have finally started to see the benefits of a slower lifestyle.  A lifestyle where you can stay home on both Friday and Saturday night without feeling like a chump with no social life.

I hate clowns, so guess that makes me a loser.

If I had settled down 15 years ago, living a grown up life with kids, divorces and other big person problems I probably would ease into my 40’s a little better.  But as it is I don’t feel that different than I did 15 years ago.  I’m a pop-culture nut, so unlike a lot of my friends I am pretty much up to speed on current music, TV and trends.  I work with and employ 20-somethings and college aged interns, so I can still communicate with kids too…

(or at least I think I can)

Many of the younger people I work with are surprised to hear how old I am.  Which of course makes me not want to tell them.  I could pass for 33 or 34 pretty easily….

(or at least I think I can)

As I mentioned a few weeks back, age is relative.  40 is young to someone turning 50.  And 40 is old to someone turning 30.  For now, I’m more inclined to believe the 30 year old while I self pity myself.

But tomorrow will be another day so it will be time to get back at it.  I was determined to be in better physical shape at 40 then I was at 20 and I think I have achieved it – I’m running a 5K in a few weeks and based on recent runs I’ll have the fastest time I’ve ever had.  So there!

Time to go count the number of people I haven’t spoken to in 20 years who said “Happy Birthday!” on my Facebook page.  Hmmf..  like they even care.