Archives For Rants

Old Habits

May 30, 2015 — Leave a comment

Old habits are hard to break. (There’s got to be a song title there somewhere!) After I retired from a 12 hour a day , 7 days a week , and adrenaline and caffeine driven career at Allison/Rolls-Royce I developed a pleasurable habit of reading two papers in the morning while I drink my pot of coffee.  This is my quiet time and allows, if she wants, the boss to sleep late. There are nights when I know she has not been able to go to sleep until 2 or 3 in the morning. So it is good that she can sleep late because getting a good night’s sleep/rest is very important to living with fibromyalgia, but, that’s another story for another day.

This morning it was announced on the front page of the “Daily Journal” that home delivery will be changed forever starting June 15. NO MORE HOME DELIVERY! Beginning that date the “Journal” will be delivered by the USPS! Now if that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling I want to know what you’re smoking. As a point of reference I mailed a payment to my insurance company in January and the check still has not arrived to where it was mailed.

But, you can read the paper on line if you want if the Journals site will let you. I tried and failed to be authorized. I can read the Indy Star on line when they fail to deliver but it’s not the same. There is much to be said about the feel and smell of the newsprint that makes it most enjoyable.

We don’t have home delivery of mail here on the reservation. Everyone who lives here as well as those in the “Big House” have the same mailing address. (About 600 of us) Those in the “Big House” get their mail about 10:00 AM and we on the reservation get ours around one or after.  Believe it or not the morning paper will magically become the afternoon paper. Go figure! This major announcement was made on Saturday I suppose because they figured the majority of its subscribers would forget about the change over the weekend and not call on Monday to complain. Their rationale I believe is that since most of their subscribers are old folk like me our atrophied attention span will allow us to forget the whole issue and be surprised when the paper comes in the mail.

As a long a go former newspaper deliverer I feel sorry for those who get up at zero dark thirty and lay the “Journal” on my door step. I appreciate your efforts and thank you and am sorry you have lost your job. But, the Journal needs to save money to keep its reporters on the street.  Maybe there is the answer; the reporters could deliver the papers while they gather news today for tomorrow’s edition?

I guess I will have to work hard to change my morning routine habit. I will have to learn to drink coffee faster or not make as much. Now there is a cost savings! Somehow I’ve got to remember to call the Journal Monday morning to cancel my subscription on the 15 of June. I’m writing the reminder note now! Hope I remember where I put it!

Thanks for listening.

Richard Isley

This coming Saturday Kic-It is sponsoring a 5K walk/run to raise money for their wonderful program of helping homeless kids in the Franklin School District. Believe it or not, we have in this wonderfully affluent community kids who every day must find a place to sleep for the night. Hard to believe isn’t it? Franklin; homeless kids it just doesn’t compute! Back to the issue at hand, a good cause, a real need, and a special place to spend your dollars. I hope you sign up to sponsor someone. My boss, Linda, will appreciate more sponsors so sign up now!  http://www.kic-it.org

This fund raiser for Kic-it, and other wonderful things put on here at the Franklin United Methodist Community that I’m sure would or should have been beneficial to the general public go unnoticed. Advertisement I know is expensive but events need more that a yard sign to be successful. There is a way to advertise not only locally here in Franklin but also for the central part of the state that is free. No one seems to know that every week, Thursdays in the Daily Journal and also in the Indy Star, there is a free advertisement page/pages that you can list events that benefit the public. It amazes me that organizations pass up this free service offered by the papers to inform the public of their events. I commend the papers for this public service. It’s just too bad that folks don’t understand the word free. Free is free is free!

Thanks for listening.

Richard Isley

McDonald’s

April 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

In my lifetime, McDonald’s has grown and prospered achieving the American dream of immense wealth. The first McDonald’s I every visited was located in West Lafayette, Indiana, in approximately 1960. Since then, they have popped up all around the world.

They employ great market research to identify where new stores should be built. I know of only one store that failed because the local market wouldn’t support it. It was on SR 135 just north of Perry Meridian Dr. It just never drew the crowd.

McDonald’s became popular because of advertising (Ronald McDonald and Happy meals), good food at a good price, clean facilities, and quick service. Some of their products were without a doubt the best of any that could be found; french fries, fountain cokes and coffee. These three products are what keeps me coming back.

Whenever you stopped at McDonald’s you knew what you wanted, the choices were few and youv were waited on by someone with a smiling face and your order completed while the change was counted out.

Everyone loved McDonald’s.

It was a treat and a good time to go visit Ronald McDonald. McDonald’s was the first and the best of the many “fast food” places to come. They all tried to copy but few if any succeeded. I think the one that came closest was Burger Chef and Jeff, they are long-gone-ate-up, if you will, by Hardies.

However, (notice all stories have a big however) McDonald’s has fallen on hard times.

Sales and profits are down and corporate management is being shaken up almost weekly. In my humble opinion, they have shot themselves in the foot simply because they have forgotten what brought them to the top!

First of all, today’s menu is overwhelming. Unless you visit every day it takes nearly 5 minutes to read the menu. I know the folks behind me are impatiently wondering, “what’s wrong with that old man? Why is he taking so long?”

Now the bigger challenge: ordering. If you’re lucky the young person understands English and speaks in a fashion you can understand.

Your name please so we can call you when your order is ready.
My order is ready? I have to wait at a “fast food” restaurant?

Once you pay and you’re handed a receipt with some money all while you hope it’s the proper amount. They only return what the computer tells them. You may be in trouble if your change ends in 68 cents. It seems to be very difficult to count out 2 quarters a dime a nickel and 3 pennies, but you always hope for the best and you count it yourself if you want while you wait for your order. Oh, now the challenge is to find a clean table. Have you ever watched them clean a table? Probably shouldn’t. Someone needs to give lessons.

I am now at the crux of the reason for this rant: the drive-thru. Maybe it’s just me, but I have always thought drive-thru was for fast service. NOT! If someone were to calculate how much gas is wasted waiting in line – not only at McDonald’s but all the other “fast food” places, banks and Walgreens – drive-thrus would be outlawed. Not only is the wait unbearable it causes my blood pressure to rise. The odds of getting what you ordered decrease in direct proportion to the time waited.

Last week my order was as simple as could be: small fries and a large coke. Everything was well and good until we arrived home and realized it was a cherry coke. A cherry coke that was promptly poured down the drain. More times than I care to recall, I’ve been 10-15 minutes down the road waiting for the coffee to cool (you can’t drink hot coffee out of a sippy cup) and discovered that I had cream and not sugar in my coffee. I cannot drink coffee with cream! Just can’t do it! The only time it was worse was late one night going to a dog show and when I thought the coffee should be cooled down enough to drink it was “stone cold.” I’ll let you imagine what that did to my blood pressure.

In closing, I hope McDonald’s gets their priorities straightened out and they return to their original business plan. Good food, fast food, good service, and served with a smile.

Good luck, McDonald’s, but I think you are running out of time.

Thanks for listening,
Richard Isley

Vacation!

February 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

We are on vacation, the boss and I. We are in Port Charlotte, Florida. Sunny, warm, and very relaxing. Got out of Dodge (the reservation in Franklin) just in time. I’m told they got five inches of snow after we left. I planned that pretty well.

Had a good trip down. Sunshine all the way. A good drive except for the idiot left lane hoggers! I try not to use the four-letter word that starts with “h” but those guys come close. I expect you, when I come up behind you, to pull over and let me by. Just common courtesy. And, please don’t get mad when I pass you on the right. I just want to get on down the road, thank you!

Now, the question of the day: do retired folks really take vacations?

Vacation: an extended period of recreation, isn’t that what I expected when I retired 13 years ago? So, how did my extended period of recreation go? Well, looking back there was some fun but lots of work not in the retirement plan. Work like taking care of mothers (2), moving mothers (5 times), living with mothers (1), and losing a mother (1).

Work like updating a house! Probably will write a long piece about that expensive word, update! New doors, new counter tops, new appliances, and of course new paint. I will admit the house really looked great when it was “updated” to the max. And I really hope the new owners enjoy all the work that went into the updates.

Oh! a down size move. Do you have any idea how much stuff you have to get rid of when you reduce your living space 500 sq. ft., give up a small barn, and sell the motor home? Well, the books we gave up required four trips to the second-hand book store and we only got about $100 for them! So much for the extended period of recreation.

So, to answer the question, yes. Retired folks do take vacations! We do need to get away from the exceedingly long “to do list” we all have, but, more important, retired folks need to take vacations more than we think we do! And, us retired folks must take vacations just to keep our retirement in perspective.

Thanks for watching,

Richard

Who Should Pay the Bill?

February 1, 2015 — 1 Comment

It is Feb. 1, 2015, and it is cold and raining! We have been under a winter storm watch for two days and based on the forecast the state, county and city street departments have responded, as usual, to the severe weather forecast by spraying the roads and streets with deicer.

It started just as predicted at around 8:00 p.m. with a little snow and a few sprinkles, which this morning turned to rain. It has rained off and on most of the day and guess what? The sprayed on deicer has washed off the roads and is on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

If the temperature drops tonight causing the rain to freeze on the roads the highway/street departments will have to get out the salt trucks and start over.

My question is, why do we, the taxpayers, have to stand the expense of missed forecast by the weather service? I’ll bet if the weather service had to pay for  added expenses caused by their missed forecast they might do a better job at forecasting.

Just think about what NYC and New Jersey spent last week and the effect on the economy resulting from a missed forecast based on an admitted bad forecast based on a bad forecasting model. WOW, what if the weather service had to pay for that. They probably would develop a much better and more accurate forecasting model. Do you think that will ever happen? Probably not. So we will have to continue living with weather forecast that are wrong at least 50% of the time.

But, cheer up, spring will be here before you know it!

Thanks for watching,

Richard