Friday, November 21, 2008

I No Longer Have the Only Say in the Matter...

Fantastic news!

BossLady started her own blog tonight.

The sad thing is, this is no longer a one-sided story. She finally gets a say (I may as well get used to that!) in what goes on.

Check out her blog at

Welcome aboard, Babe!!!

Open Open Open

Black Friday is almost here.

Six Days, one hour and twenty minutes as I type this.

Oh joy.

Kids screaming, grown women fighting over toys, fathers asking where the nearest bar is...

Gods, I love humanity.

Black Friday conjures up some pretty interesting ideas. I plan on writing about some of my more memorable ones later next week (when BossLady is in Vegas partying up while I stay home and slave away...). Believe me. If you haven't worked a retail Black Friday, you won't believe the stories.

This year I am already exhausted. I have been replacing people on my store team for various reasons, and as a result, I am in the dreaded spot of training new hires the week of Thanksgiving. It's going to be a memorable year.

Those of you who have worked retail know that this is the time of year you dread, but at the same time, it's why you work. To me, it is the single most fun day of the year. The traffic is amazing. The people are funny, either intentionally or accidentally. The pace is amazing. And the numbers unbelievable.

Several years ago, Mervyn's ran an ad campaign for this where a lady was standing outside the store going "open, open, open" at something like three in the morning. It was clearly before the employees were supposed to be at work.

I HATED that ad.

It wasn't until years later that I learned people really do shit like that. I had to fight to get to the door of the store I was working at to get in and get the place running so those idiots could come trash the place.

Fun stuff.

Anyway... more later on some of my observations, both this year and years past.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fires, Part II

I promised pics that BossLady took with her phone. Here they are. Bear in mind, she took these in the early part of the afternoon.

The air here has gotten better, so there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


By now I am sure everyone has heard of the fires here in Southern California. Part of the news coverage strikes me as sensationalism. Other parts strike me that they are downplaying it.

Bottom Line: Pretty Fucking Scary.

I know. BossLady and I live in a community where one of the fires is/was.

Here's the scoop.

Yesterday (Saturday), I was out running some errands before going to work, and I saw smoke coming from the area near where the Santiago Canyon Fire was in Irvine this time last year. I literally called home and said that the canyon was on fire again. I was apparently wrong. This fire started near Corona, or so the news reported.

All day yesterday, I watched the smoke cloud growing and moving towards my home. It was nerve wracking just watching and wondering and not knowing. All I got was snippets from customers, and while some was accurate, some was way off base. Frustrating.

I can only imagine what BossLady was thinking at home. She told me all she did was watch the news and watch the smoke cloud out the window and try not asphyxiate.

Driving home last night wasn't fun. As I was driving down Jamboree in Irvine/Tustin, I could see the glow (and some of the fire) from the Sylmar (aka Sayre) fire, over 70 miles to the north. It gave me a false sense of safety, since I couldn't see any light from the "Freeway Complex/Triangle Complex/Corona" fire (or whatever they are naming it this hour). The smoke was just unreal. It looked like it was snowing, but the temperatures were still in the 80's.

Driving the 55, I finally came to the 91 interchange, and as I came over the connector, I could see the entire ridge to the north of Yorba Linda/Brea just lit up. I could see flames leaping, smoke billowing and the smell was just lethal.

I got home, went inside, and BossLady was glued to the TV. The news was just terrible. By now, I am sure that everyone has seen the images by now, so I won't recap them. What was terrifying was that they were talking about places just 3 to 8 miles from my home and saying it was moving our direction. Evacuations were just blocks from here.

We finally went to bed last night wondering if we were going to get the knock on our door telling us to leave. We had packed several "emergency to go" bags just in case it happened. I know I woke up several times and peeked at the news coverage, and BossLady confessed to me that she woke up and checked the Internet for updates.

Not an easy night.

Anyway, we woke up to discover that the winds had changed, and the fire moved away from us. Relief for us, bummer for the people in Diamond Bar.

The fires were aided by the Santa Ana winds. These are high winds that come down off the mountains (gusts up to 80 miles an hour) and HOT! As the winds come down the hills, they get warmer. Add that to our already hot day (record heat in the area) with temps in the 90s in the area, it's just not a good day in the neighborhood.

Tonight, BossLady and I went less than a mile to the grocery store on Yorba Linda Boulevard. The difference in air quality was dramatic. It was like going to something from a holocaust movie. Just unreal.

As I type this, the fires are getting under control. Once again, the firefighters here in Orange County and Los Angeles County kick ass. These guys have balls the size of King Kong.

I do hope that if the fires were arson, that they get the guys who started them and seriously fry them. I hope they suffer like each family that they have left homeless. I hope they sit in fear like every family that sat glued to the TV last night wondering if they should flee.

The pictures I have put with this are ones I took with my cell phone. A couple are from Irvine, about 20 miles from the fire in Corona/Yorba Linda. All you see is the smoke cloud, but it's bad enough. The others were taken from the streets near my home this morning, and the other was taken from the 91 freeway this morning.

BossLady is sending me some more pics that she took with her phone. They are much more dramatic as they were closer to the action (the cloud she photographed was only about 7 miles away).

To all that were directly affected by this mess, I hope for the best for you. I know that OC rallied around the fire victims last year, and I hope they do the same this time. If you know anyone in the area who may be affected, please reach out to them and let them know you care. It makes a difference.