Winning NCAA Tournament Bracket

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Random Simplicity, Work | Posted on 20-03-2013

Like many of you I fill out NCAA Tournament brackets.  I do it every year and actually won the pool once years ago, but for the most part I never get close.  I never get close because the people who usually win know NOTHING about sports.

This doesn’t really bother me.  I do happen to know a fair amount about sports but filling out these brackets is as much about luck as it is about skill.  And as you know it’s often better to be lucky than to be good.

So finally, here is some insight into the mind of these non-sports people that pull a winning bracket out of thin air.  Here is a bracket as filled out by your typical non-sports fan:

Guaranteed to win you the money

Guaranteed to win you the money


There you have it…. good luck to all!



New Year. Ch-Ch-Changes.

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in House, Lady Friend, Work | Posted on 03-01-2013

Every year we strive to be better people than we were the previous year and every year we fail.  Ok, I guess I’m only speaking for myself when I say that.  Maybe you don’t fail.  Maybe everything you wish for comes true and everything you set out to achieve comes through.  Lucky bastard.


Fine, I can’t say I fail every year, but over the course of my life I’ve tried to make various improvements via resolution from one year to the next… with mixed results.  Things like losing weight or getting into better shape.  Or finding a job I love that pays a million bucks per year while only requiring me to work about 20 hours each week.

I have written here in the past about making New Years Suggestions as opposed to resolutions.  Suggestions are different than resolutions in that if you don’t stick to them you don’t have to feel any guilt.  Not that you should feel guilt over a failed vow to cut back on the chocolate or stop “nagging” your spouse so much.  I mean, if they’d listen to you once in awhile you wouldn’t have to nag right?  Sheesh.

But for once I think I succeeded in making my life better in 2012 than it was in 2011.  Think about three of the major things in a person’s life:  their house, their job and the one they love.  In each case I made an improvement.

No I didn’t dump my Lady Friend for a younger model…. I’ll get to my improvement regarding her later.

But we did buy a new house together.  A house that’s much bigger than the town home we were living in up until June.  We’re very happy here and it didn’t take long at all for the place to feel like “home” to us.

I also got a raise at work.  Not the big raise I was hoping for (or deserved) but at least it was something.  And at the end of the day I like my job so I’ll probably stick around for awhile.

That brings us back to the Lady Friend.  This was the last major change 2012 brought me, having happened just last week.  We got engaged.  Yep, I am going to make the Lady Friend an honest…  Lady.  At this (ahem) later stage in life we decided a small, very simple ceremony is best for us.  And we plan to have it this summer, probably early June.

So I guess 2013 will bring another new change with her too.  I won’t be able to keep calling her my Lady Friend will I?

Better start thinking of a new nickname….  Wifey?  Ball And Chain?  Better Half?  The One Who Tells Me To Stop Farting So Damn Much?

Yeah…  that one might be it.  Thatreminds me… she got me a hilarious present for Christmas.  I’ll try to take a photo if it and share it with you next time.


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?



Sorry, You Are Not A Winner

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Giveaways, Work | Posted on 23-08-2012

Have you ever entered your name into a drawing for a gift certificate, tickets, lunch, a t-shirt or some other stupid prize?  Congratulations.  You didn’t win, but you did get onto a mailing list.  I’ve said this before..  I work in marketing.  One of the many things my staff does is represent us at big events, where we collect sales leads for our sales weasels people.

How do we do that?  Through Enter To Win contests.  You’ve seen the kind…  “Sign Up To Win A ________”  Fill in the blank.  Usually it’s a lame prize like a $10 spa gift card or one single movie ticket.

My company is sort of in the entertainment business and we have prizes that are very desirable.  I can’t divulge anymore without threatening my anonymity.  But we collect lots of entries for our contests on those little white slips of paper.  And there is something lots of people do that absolutely positively keeps them from winning.  Crumple up the paper before dropping it in the box.

Don’t bother, you’re not going to win anyway.

Some dumb asses think by doing that they have a better chance of being drawn out of the box.  No.  You don’t.  Not at all.  Moron.  For starters the names are not drawn by just reaching into  the box randomly right there at the event.

At the very least they are drawn later, after the box is emptied and people who are not eligible (under 18) and those idiots who crumpled their slip have been removed.  But often they are drawn at random days later by a computer, after we’ve entered in all the data – adding them to our e-mail list.

Unless you’re dropping your business card into a fish bowl at a shit ass greasy spoon diner this is the way things are done in the business world.  So quit being a jackass crumpling or folding your entry into some lame origami thinking that’s going to get it done.  Trust me, it ain’t working buddy.

And if you ever feel like you’re getting weird spam emails, random unknown phone calls or texts or crap showing up in the snail mail – it’s probably because you entered a contest.  Was it worth it?



How To Get A Raise (Or So I Hope)

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Work | Posted on 16-08-2012

I’ve been at my job nearly five years and for the most part, I enjoy it.  I manage the marketing department for a high profile local company.  It’s not a typical sit at a desk 9 to 5 job.  I work out of the office on occasion and sometimes get so busy that I work evenings and weekends.  But it’s a job that brings immediate satisfaction at seeing the results of your work.

But there is a problem.  I am underpaid.   Quick poll…  raise your hand if you consider yourself underpaid.  Let me count…  1 of you.. 2 of you… 3…   well it looks like pretty much all of you raised your hand.  It’s interesting how the money we make relates to the money we think we’re worth.  I doubt many people are willing to admit they are over paid.  I know a handful of people at my company that are grossly over paid, and I’d bet even those morons think they are underpaid.

It just might come to this…

That being said I wish I made more money than I do.  In fact I wish I made a lot more than I do.  I think I’m worth about twice what I make – but that’s wishing in it’s purest form.  Mixed with a healthy ego I suppose.

In truth I am due a raise.  We have annual reviews coming up in the next couple months and I suspect I’ll get a standard raise, somewhere in the 5% – 7% range.  It’s not much but it’s something.

The problem?  “Something” isn’t enough for me.  In the next week or two, as budgets are being planned, I’ll go to my boss with a pitch.  I’m going to pitch myself, almost as if I were interviewing for the job all over again.  The idea is to convince them to give me a bigger raise – I’m hoping for 20 – 25%.  And with anything less than 15%, I will dust off my resume and start sending it around.  After all, TOWPO (my dog: The One Who Poops Outside) needs to eat.

Our company has a way of losing good employees just because they need to make more money.  And when the person breaks the bad news about leaving, the company makes a half-hearted attempt to match their new salary – only to realize they are making 50% more, 60% more or even double at their new gig.  We can’t afford that kind of bling around here.

My theory is that this is a way to keep a good employee around BEFORE he comes to them with his two week notice.  I’m not asking for a 50% raise (though I’m worth it) I am only asking for a reasonable bump.

What do you guys think?  Have you ever gone into your boss and asked for a sizable raise – if so did you get it?  We’re you laughed at?  This could go either way for me… I’ll know more in the coming weeks.  Keep your fingers crossed.


There Is No “Rushing” During Rush Hour

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Work | Posted on 31-05-2012

I hate rush hour traffic.  It’s my least favorite thing about working.

I hate the idea of driving along at freeway speeds, only to slow to a near stop for seemingly no reason.

I hate the morons who bounce back and forth between lanes trying to get to their destination faster then everyone else.  I have watched these people, sometimes for miles and all that stupid bouncing back and forth gets them to their exit just a couple car lengths ahead of where they were before.  Meanwhile it pisses everyone off.

Sorry…  had to get that off my chest.  My commutes this week have been a bear.  I moved in with my Lady Friend in about a year and a half ago.  My old house was roughly 10 minutes from my job.  But my Lady Friend’s house is roughly 30 minutes from my job when there is no traffic and often it takes much longer.  That extra 20+ minute drive each way both sucks AND blows.

The weird thing that I will never understand is that the commute home is ALWAYS worse then the commute in to work.  Do a lot of people only work in the afternoons?  If so how the hell do I get that job??  But seriously, where are all those people in the mornings?

Though there seems to be a lot more cars driving home in the evening, the way the people drive in the mornings is worse – they are more aggressive.  This is something else I don’t get.  Why would they be in a bigger hurry to get to WORK then they are to get HOME?  Maybe some of them work jobs where they punch clocks, but not the dudes driving a Cadillac or Lexus.  There is no reason those people should be in that big of a hurry to get to work.

I’m the opposite.  I’ll take my sweet ass time getting to work…  they can deal with me getting there when I get there.  But after work?  Then I just want to get home.

After all, there is an ass imprint on my couch that is calling my name and all these a-holes jamming up the freeway are keeping me from it.

As much as I like to complain, my Lady Friend’s commute is worse than mine, so I definitely feel for her.  We’re moving in about 3 weeks and the new place is 10+ minutes closer to both of our jobs, which is a great thing.

Is your afternoon commute worse than your morning one?

And for those of you living in small towns with NO traffic……  you stink.




What Happens When The Network Doesn’t Work?

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Work | Posted on 26-05-2012

I don’t have much to post today, other than a quick rant.  Go figure right?  I work for a relatively small company – we only have about 130 employees.  Two of those employees run our IT department, which keeps them very busy.

Like most companies ourcomputers and keeping our network  online is extremely important to us.  And also like most companies, when the network goes down productivity goes into the toilet – which occasionally happens – but with the two IT geeks working we can generally avoid a crisis.

That is when they are there.

I'm sure I've seen this mouse pad on our IT geek's desk.

Once in awhile, for some reason, they will both take the same day off.  Friday was one of those days and (of course) shit went haywire.  A couple departments within our company suddenly became disconnected from the network, with no geeks there to help us.

Apparently the two guys each wanted a four day weekend, with Monday being a holiday and all.  I have no problem with them having a four day weekend – they both work pretty hard and deserve that break.  But why the hell couldn’t one of them take Friday off and the other one take Tuesday off?  It makes no friggin’ sense!

And this isn’t the first time this has happened.  A couple months ago they both took a day off and the network crashed then too.  At least on Friday we only had about half the staff working so it wasn’t a complete catastrophe.

Even so I just don’t get it.  Are IT guys stupid?  Or just assholes?

I kind of think it’s the opposite.  I think they plan these things out, so that the shit hits the fan when they are gone.  That way they can ride in on a white horse and rescue us – appearing as if they are completely indispensable.

Those sneaky little bastards.

Have a great holiday weekend!