Do You Know Someone Who Already Ordered an iPhone 5?

The iPhone 5 went on sale, and unlike last year I wasn’t up trying to order one the minute they went on sale. Had I had some disposable income right now it’s possible I would have been one of the crazy, I mean dedicated, iPhone folks, but after upgrading to the iPhone 4S from my 3GS last year, and a little too lazy to try to sell my 4s, right now I’m opting out of upgrading my iPhone, especially since my AT&T contract isn’t up and the price to buy it is kind of crazy. That’s not to say I wouldn’t like one, nor may change my mind later if I get the gumption to unload my old one, but I do have to say I was a little more well-rested, and a lot less frustrated, than I was when I ordered the 4S. I remember the trying to log on, the delays, the staring at the screen hoping this time I could log in, and praying they wouldn’t sell out and I would find shipping times upped to a couple of weeks, thus delaying my new iPhone gratification and anticipation of the FedEx man coming to my door.

As the day went on, my “need for new” began to wane, especially as I saw the reports of the phone selling out and delivery times slipping, and the contentment with my “old” iPhone began to set in all until I saw two posts. With two sentences, “Why did I wake up at 2 in the morning to pre order a damn iPhone…” and “I actually set my alarm for 2am ( midnight Pacific time) to wake up and order the IPhone 5. Again my wife thinks I’m nuts.”, that itch in me began again, I started checking how much could I really get for my 64gb iPhone 4s, and then came to the decision that “Nope, not right now” again. And so, this morning I actually have two plights, but you only have to answer one. One is “Does anyone want to give me about $550 for my iPhone 4S?” and my actual plight: “Do you someone who already ordered an iPhone 5?”

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!


Would You Go Back Later to Pick Up Your Dog’s Poop?

We have a dog, Milo. He’s a cute little guy, a little overweight with a bad mold allergy, and he also doesn’t like the heat. As such this summer was pretty brutal for him because it’s been one of the worst mold seasons for allergy sufferers and also one of the hottest here in Chicago, and as as such, he really hates going for walks unless I get up at about 4AM to get him outside before the heat comes. I was hanging in there for awhile, but even I was creeped out walking a white fur-ball in the dark when there have been multiple coyote sightings around where we live and it’s bad enough wondering what else might lurk in the bushes (a.k.a. skunks – which I have actually seen) without worrying about my ability to take on a coyote.

The other day, however, we ventured out in the afternoon. He wasn’t that happy about it, so we just went around the walking path. Now normally I’m pretty diligent about checking his poop bag holder before we leave, and maybe it’s just because our housing association had these nice dog stations put up with a poop bag supply and garbage can, or maybe it’s just because I wanted to get him outside before he used his dog littler box, but in any case there we were, miles from home (okay, more like feet), and Milo starts doing the poopy dance. He gets ready to his business, I go to grab a poop bag, and wouldn’t you know it – No poop bags! Ugh! There it is, in sight though, the doggie station, but my concerns now are that A) It will be out of poop bags, and B) Milo won’t want to walk back to collect his dootie as once he’s set on going home there is no turning back.

Well, low and behold, the poop bag holder at the doggie station was empty, Milo just wanted to go home, and I’m worried someone saw Milo take a dump, me not pick it up, and think I’m one of “those” dog owners who doesn’t clean up after his pet. So yes, I get Milo home, walk back to Milo’s no-longer-steaming-pile-of-dung, clean it up, drop his droppings in the garbage can, and just hope that if someone saw me not pick up his meadow muffin that they also saw me come back to get it and have a better image of us. As I was walking back I wondered about other people and plighted: Would you go back later to pick up your dog’s poop?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Do You Talk to “Dead” People at the Cemetery?

This past weekend I went back to the old homestead in Lorain, OH, hence the earlier plight about knowing someone 90 years old. I also used it as a time to visit my parents in their final resting place, Calvary Cemetery, and leave some flowers. I got them some carnations, as they were some of my Mom’s favorites, and apologized to my Dad as he generally found putting flowers on a grave kind of silly, usually saying things like he’d rather see them while he was living. As I cleaned up the headstone a bit, I filled them in with some of the goings on with

my life, I suppose just in case as they are now floating around in the ether somewhere, or up in Heaven, or whatever happens when you die, and they haven’t had a chance to keep tabs on me, maybe focusing more on my sister as her family life is a little more, hmm, interesting than mine for the most part.

They didn’t answer back.

That’s okay, it was kind of nice, therapeutic even, having a little chat with them, then I told them “I love them,” to be well, and I would check in with them again, later. While roaming the cemeteries, I also chatted a tad with my Aunt Marce and Uncle John Mattey, as their graves were near my parents, made a quick stop by my Great, Great Granparents Lopatkovich to say “Hello,” (they have a cool gravestone, although it needs some sandblasting), and went to visit my Grandma and Aunt Lily, and a quick stop by my Uncle Ed and his wife Emma. Each time I said “Hello,” wished them well, and also wondered “If you die, and can “fly” around this world, why would hang out near your grave waiting for visitors? Oh well, the experience did lead to today’s plight: Do you talk to “dead” people at the cemetery?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Do You Personally Know Someone at Least 90 Years Old?

My Aunt Ang turns 90 today, and she’s the first person I can personally say that I know who has achieved the milestone of making it to 90 years old on this Earth. She’s a spry lady who likes to still mow her own lawn, do the yard work, say “My lands!” a lot, and although her eyesight could be better, if you were to meet her I doubt you would peg her at 90.

I went back to the old homestead in Ohio where her kids celebrated her birthday this weekend, and although a low-key kind of party, there was still a limo involved where she waved to her throngs of fans, or at least the people at the gas station, was able to do a little jig, and did the Polka with my cousin in the kitchen. There weren’t too many story of the old days, just a little recollection of how she met the love of her life, my Uncle John, how the family used to get together for Christmas every year, and some talk of the folks in Chicago my family used to know, but mostly there was talk of things going on in our lives today.

Aunt Ang can still Polka!

It was the talk of those Christmas parties that I kind of felt a little melancholy because like many families after they develop their own clan of children, and as members spread a little bit further from each other, most of our family get-togethers now focus either around weddings or funerals, and even those are hard to justify to attend with the travel involved to get there. Understandable in these times I guess, but back in the day when everyone lived pretty much about 30 minutes from each other, and were still alive I suppose, it was just a little easier to hold a family party and have everyone attend. Now, though, on the Aunt and Uncle front, the numbers are dwindling and looking forward it will be even a little more challenging to have a get-together. It’s easy to say we, as the cousins, should just plan a family reunion, but like many plans talked about at a party, they don’t always come to fruition. The thing is that in the past, and getting back to the folks we knew in Chicago, they used to treat any reason as a time for good party, rent the VFW, and celebrate getting a new dog, but even they don’t seem to do those parties any longer, and instead of using a good party to find out all of the goings-on of the family, now we know everything thanks to Facebook.There was something nice about the little get-together we had, and somehow this plight that was going to be a celebration of my Aunt turning 90 has turned a little to “dreaming of the old days,” but I have to say that I almost didn’t go, coming up with a lame excuse like money, time, or who-knows-what, but I’m so glad I made it and got to see her dance with my cousin in the kitchen. Now I’m just looking forward to the birthday when she can tell us “My lands, that Willard Scott called me on my birthday. I don’t even know who he is, but he wished me a ‘Happy Birthday!'” So, Happy Birthday to my Aunt Ang, 90 years young and still Polka-ing! And so my plight today is: Do you personally know someone who is at least 90 years old?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Are You Planning on Getting a Flu Shot This Year?

Last year I visited my doctor for what I thought was gout but turned out to be a partially torn ligament as well as Osteochondral Injury of the Talus (a.k.a. Ankle OCD), but while there, she also convinced me to get a flu shot. I had read, and she reiterated, that it was supposed to be a horrible flu season and sometimes it’s better safe than sorry. The thing is that I had never gotten a flu shot before, never really had the flu (I’m told you know if you have the flu, rather than a cold, although most people say they have the flu and only have a cold), and as I’m in okay shape and not old, yet, I always skipped getting one mostly out of fear because I would hear of people who had reactions to the flu vaccines. As my doctor and I discussed it, I decided “What the hell?”, rolled up my sleeve, tossed the “bad reaction” dice, and got the shot. All was well, I didn’t have any strange reactions nor get some kind of “phantom” flu, but wouldn’t you know it, it turned out to be a not-so-horrible flu season, there were no stories of a massive flu outbreak, and when all was said and done I questioned my decision and wondered why I got a flu shot.

As flu season is started to creep upon us I’m starting to see commercials for flu shots, or at least I just saw a commercial for a flu shot with this tiny needle so that it doesn’t hurt, and the thoughts of “Should I get a flu shot?” are starting to creep back again. I mean, maybe I didn’t get the flu last year because I had the vaccine, or maybe it’s just because I didn’t get near the influenza virus. Also, I didn’t have a reaction, so I suppose getting the vaccine wouldn’t hurt, especially if I get one with that new shot that’s out there, and maybe I’ll feel a little safer shaking hands with people this winter. And so I plight: Are you planning on getting a flu shot this year?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Did You Know the VMA’s Were Last Night?

The VMA’s were last night. Yes, you might remember them, the MTV Video Music Awards, those awards still on MTV for those things, music videos, that they really don’t play any longer. I forgot about them, and I’m supposed to be “entertainment.” With my line-up of the results show for America’s Got Talent (I think Howard Stern made the right decision letting the painter dude and his cronies, David Garibaldi and His CMYKs, go through), watching Dan manipulate the masses and slowly securing his place as the best player ever on Big Brother, and then having to sit through President Obama’s speech because I was too lazy to change the channel when I was going to bed (It was a good speech, but that’s sort of what he is known for), remembering the VMA’s just slipped my mind.

I guess Rihanna won the big award and shocked everyone with her short hair and long dress, or so read a quick headline when I Googled “video music awards” this morning, and I also guess there wasn’t anything crazy that happened because, well, there also weren’t any headlines of “Craziness Engulfs the VMA’s,” so in terms of news I’m guessing within about 6 hours, no one will really care, but I care. Okay, I really don’t care about what happened at the VMA’s, but I care, and I plight today: Did you know the VMA’s were last night?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Did You Ever Play Farmville?

Farmville 2 has hit the Facebook universe, and I know Zynga is really hoping it brings some gusto back to it’s brand, but I have to say that other than the characters being cute, and the 3-D is nice and all but a little slow, I quickly “unplugged” the app from my Facebook account after about 5 minutes of playing and probably won’t be back. Not a good sign.

I was a big Zynga guy. From Farmville to the Cafe game, from Cityville to Empires and Allies, and from Cityville to Castleville, I’ve wasted countless hours collecting crops and trying to expand my “Ville” or fight the “enemy,” only to get frustrated by the increasing need to “add neighbors,” and not wanting to add people I really didn’t know to my friend’s list. Being selective left an instant stall in how big I could grow things, and eventually led to many thoughts of “Why am I wasting my time with this?” Luckily I never got into the “buying coins” thing, although I do admit I did buy a Zynga gift card as a gift for someone, but that was about it.

I do have to say that as my Facebook world has shifted from my laptop to my iPhone that the Facebook game thing has faded quite a bit for me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still a Zynga user as I can be a Words With Friends kind of guy, and still like it when the Scramble game gives me some fanfare when I get lucky and defeat my wife, but still wonder at their decision to buy Draw Something as that game quickly got old with its insistence on “buying” just about everything. I did try the Farmville thing on my iPhone with their app, and I think I would have gotten sucked in had I found it early on in my Zynga love, but by the time it hit I had come to my senses and figured my life would be better lived if I didn’t waste me time building a virtual farm that would only leave me sad that I didn’t have any friends.

In any case, with Farmville 2 now out, my daily plight reflects back to the original: Did you ever play Farmville?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Are You Ready for Some Football?

The NFL season opens this week, and my excitement level is about half. Having lived in Chicago more than half of my life now, I have become a Chicago Bears fan, however, having grown up near Cleveland, the Browns are always near and dear to my heart. Luckily the chance of the Browns playing the Bears in the Super Bowl is such a far-out reality that my true allegiance will probably never be tested, but I will find myself cheering on both teams an any given Sunday. This year there was some initial hope for the Bears, but then Brian Urlacher ended up injured and the team just didn’t look that great in the pre-season (Maybe Jay Cutler’s new baby with K-Cav, I mean Kristin Cavallari, is keeping him up at night), and the Browns, well, I don’t pay attention to them as much as I should, usually I’m just hoping they can win a few games a season and make it look good, but from what I could follow from some Facebook friends, it looks like it might be a long season for the Browns fans again.

The thing is I’m a sucker for believing, once the season gets going, that somehow, someway, one of my teams will make it to the Super Bowl. I will watch the games, check the standings, and until they are mathematically eliminated, always have some glimmer of hope and usually waste the three-ish hours of a Sunday yelling at the TV (Although the yelling has toned down quite a bit since I’ve gotten married) that Cutler will make that miraculous play, or the Dog-Pound will have a reason to go crazy. Then, low and behold, there will inevitably come that play in the game where I will turn into my mom, throw my arms up in disgust, and say “That’s it!”, knowing, in my head, the game is over, only thirty seconds later thinking “Maybe there’s a chance.” It’s like a self-inflicted torture every Sunday, of highs and lows, and praying the opposing team is stupid and will kick the ball to Devin Hester for another amazing kick-off return.

Such is football, and such will be Sundays for a while, and such is today’s plight: Are you ready for some football?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Did You Have a Good Summer?

Summer is over here in the northern hemisphere of this globe we call Earth. Sure there is that entire “Fall doesn’t officially begin until the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd” thing, but for the most part, with Labor Day complete and it now being September, it’s Fall. You wouldn’t know it today here in Chicago with the temperature supposedly going to reach 90 degrees, but hey, it’s been a really hot few months, so why stop now? As are most seasons if we had a good one we look back and wonder where the time went, or generally look forward to the next seasonal phase, hoping a new start is beginning because the previous one seemed so lousy. So this plight is pretty straightforward: Did you have a good summer?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Do You Have to Work on Labor Day?

I was going to have today’s plight be about pregnant ladies, poking fun at the word “labor” in Labor Day, but I decided against it. I’ve used that joke for years, put in my head by radio dude Steve Dahl, but then I just didn’t like where that plight was going, ending up with “Do you know anyone pregnant on this Labor Day?” Maybe I’ll use it next year, but the more I was thinking about Labor Day and it’s reason for being, the more it also occurs to me that for those we are mostly celebrating, as the day is a holiday “that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers,” the workers are also those getting screwed by actually having the day off. Sure, it’s a supposed boom for the retail sector, but in the agreements I’ve read with many a union, Labor Day is a day that work is forbidden except in the cases saving life or property, or with permission by the union. The thing is, most union folks are paid by the hour, only when they work, so by actually forcing union people to take the day off they are actually being punished by getting one day less in pay, and if you want the math, the base rate for a Laborer in Chicago is about $36.30/hr, so by forcing a Laborer in Chicago to not work on Labor Day and to have a barbecue instead, that dude (or dudette for that matter) is losing about $290.04 in an 8-hour day, and that doesn’t even include all of the benefits paid to the union by the company he or she works for. Yup, by my calculation, Labor Day is actually screwing over most of the people we are supposed to be celebrating!

In the end, though, I’m happy with Labor Day, and the three day weekend it gives me, but I do remember some of my days in retail when I always thought it sucked because I had to work. Retail workers have to work and most of them probably don’t want to, and Laborers would rather work but can’t because the Union won’t let them, which leads me to today’s plight of: Do you have to work on Labor Day?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!