“Humanity. Not a big fan” — an understatement!

To quote gifted and hilarious comic Ricky Gervais: “Humanity: I’m not a big fan.”

Shining example – Reader’s Digest version — in my local Arizona paper:

A woman in Kingman, Arizona (where I coincidentally once lived) has a small case containing $170,000 — proceeds of sales of her house and business in Texas.

She stops at Walmart.

She fears leaving the case in her car due to suspecting someone had tried to break into her home to steal the money. So she brings the case with her to shop.

Sets case at the bottom of cart. Shops.

Returns the cart to front of store. Nice of her! Gets home. Realizes she forgot her case in the cart. Returns to Walmart. Case is gone.

Surveillance photos show two persons of interest in a red car. Public’s asked to call police to identify.

Her $170,000 — gone.

Now the rest of the story that prompted this post.

The story catalyzed a poll in my paper:

If you found $170,000 in a suitcase, would you keep it?

Three choices:

  •  I would keep it (this is an anonymous poll, right?)
  •  No, I couldn’t live with myself
  •  Hard to say until it happens to me

I’m way too honest for my own good — or humanity’s — so the choice was clear-cut: “No. I couldn’t live with myself”

So disturbing are the results to date. (Should note that I live in a great little town, solid community, lots of decent good folk …)

  • I would keep it: 18%
  • No, I couldn’t live with myself: 58%
  • Hard to say until it happens to me: 24%

WHO ARE THESE 42%??!?

WHO ARE THESE “FELLOW” HUMAN BEINGS WHO WOULD DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN TURN IN THE CASH??!?!?

WHO WOULD EVEN NEED TO THINK on it? NEED to be in that situation first to know what to do?!

For those who outright admit they’d keep it, there are special seats with their names waiting in hell.

On humanity, Gervais expresses it in that understated polite British manner: “I’m not a big fan.”

Me, I’m bold and direct. “I hate ’em.”

For the journalistic record, here’s the story link link and pic of persons of interest.

They deserve to get caught. As for recovering even part of the money, I fear no. It’s how people are.

Subjects_Walmart_money_t715

People of interest in big cash robbery at Walmart, Kingman, Arizona

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from greasy sinks to showers to sun

Well, lookin’ like I won’t be submerging my hands* in greasy scalding water on a regular basis again just yet!

*preferably in thick industrial rubber gloves

But! There’s always tomorrow! And the day after that and the day after that …

Last week I interviewed for a dishwashing position in the kitchen of an exclusive golf course. The facility’s recently changed hands — speaking of dishwashing — and under considerable reconstruction … construction-workers-here-and-there-and dust-everywhere setting. I’ve not heard back so presume it’s a no-go.

I’ll refrain from my tirade born of anguish, pain, disappointment, fear and frustration at the possibility of another Lame Crap Job (menial job at minimum wage) in which I have zero interest, one with no future or food to build a foundation for my life.

I’ve expressed it a thousand times already. Today I’m simply in no mood for the repetition or re-enactment of banging my head against that bunker wall.

I attribute my refusal to do so to the rain.

Huh?

Today, you see, we here in central Arizona (and other areas of the state) are witness to a rare pleasure. A true treat. R-a-i-n!

Our drought is no laughing matter. It’s everything they say it is — and worse! Presumably the powers that be downplay the severe water shortage for reasons including not wishing to dampen tourism.

For example, what golfer would be compelled to come to Arizona if s/he thought the courses are drought-stricken dead grass?! Not saying they are! Just sayin’ that it behooves the tourism industry to highlight the plusses and perks and downplay the vices and woes of any given location.

Anyways, the rain’s scant and the predicted thunderstorms didn’t happen. Big surprise — not! You’d think with all this technology, forecasters would be right at least 75% of the time! Not so. Not even close.

In the end, my eyes looking out a window, nose sniffing the air, skin and bodily sensations are more trustworthy and reliable weather guide than some dude makin’ beaucoup bucks for bein’ wrong!

It’s more than these sorely-needed showers that are welcomed. So are the cloudy gray skies.

I know that sounds insane coming from me! No one — and I mean no one — has less good to say about sunless gray skies and gloom than I! I best amend that. The sunless gray skies and gloom of the Pacific Northwest (i.e., Washington state, Oregon coasts, etc.).

Were selective amnesia medically possible, I’d have them remove every single cellular memory connected to my five years in Puget Sound! The absolutely and positively most god-awful miserable years of my adult lifetime. I got out (barely) and I know that life will never ever be that dark, that replete with struggle and hardship and pain again. Never again. Never.

And it all began with the weather.

When I left that sinkhole that is western Washington state, I decided that not only would I never step foot in the state again, I’d never again live in a climate void of light, warmth and sunshine. I’d never subject myself to a climate reeking of dampness, molds and round-the-year gray! Sink Deep Into Your Bones Cold Damp Sunless Wet Suicidal Depressing Gray.

More power to anyone who likes that weather. I do not.

Thereafter, I vowed to live only in climates with Sunshine (at least 300 days a year) Warmth and Dryness.

In other words, the utter opposite of the Pacific Northwest!

I’ve not backed away from that commitment either. After departing hell in 2011, I’ve lived in the warm, dry and sunshine-rich states of Colorado, Utah and Arizona.

Because I HAVE lived in Hell and survived (barely) to tell about it (rarely), I appreciate the sun, blue skies and warmth. Possibly more than any other person on the planet. I never tire of them. I could definitely live the rest of my life in a Happy Climate.

Yes, we ARE creatures who need sun and the light! Don’t let Big Pharma convince you that they’ve got the meds to fix whatever ails you when what ails you is the absence of a natural need.

Variety is the spice of life. Much as I adore and worship these prevailing clear blue skies and abundant bright rays in this high mountainous desert of central Arizona, we need to change it up. Rather, see it changed up by Mother Nature.

Thus any precipitation is welcomed as much as the change of heavenly scenery.

What differentiates these gray Arizona skies from those in the (bawd-awful) Pacific Northwest is this: Here they end!

Sure, the heavens may be darkened for a day or several days as a front passes. Rain and/or snow may fall. If we’re lucky!

But Mr. Sol always returns. ALWAYS. And when he does, he stays for a good long while.

He’s the Dependable Father in a family split by divorce who keeps his word when he promises his kid he’ll come watch him play on the baseball field, in the school play, at the piano recital. Or he’ll simply be there for the kid’s 9th birthday party.

Like (uncommon) men who step up to the plate, Mr. Sol is Mr. Steadfast in Arizona. He’s a great father, a great healer and, honestly, my best friend!

Very soon, these velveteen ash-colored clouds swollen with moisture will roll on their way and the sun shall resume his place on center stage. To Mr. Sol, I flick my Bic and give an enthusiastic standing ovation — over and over!

He is, with water, life itself. Our Great Sustainer. The Source of warmth, health and optimism and renewal.

Cheers and salutes to Sir Sol now and forevermore!

(And, oh yeah, not so much to another round and year wasted in menial minimum-wage labor. I’d surely welcome the sun in my career again! Here’s hoping the optimism rubs off in work.)

sun:sunflower

Sprouts is Sprouted in Prescott!

Sprouts is sprouted in Prescott!

That is, more officially, Prescott Valley, on Prescott’s perimeter, here in northern Arizona.

For those unfamiliar, Sprouts Farmers Market is a chain of stores offering a truly wide array of healthful foods and products. Okay, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that not EVERY item is healthful! Their stores do have cakes and cookies and other sweets with sugar.

That’s such a small portion of what’s served up at Sprouts! They’ve got for instance a deli and fresh sushi and bakery with cool breads and a great selection of wines and beers and aisles with all variety of health and body care products and fresh produce and bins of nuts and coffee and dairy section with uncommon containers of flaxseed milk … you get the idea.

Closest comparison is Whole Foods — aka Whole Paycheck — but comparatively far more affordable.

So that’s Sprouts and today was its grand opening. Ohmigawd! Take away the specials and coupons and incentives to pay a visit and people still woulda flooded the store! I waited until afternoon, 2:30-ish, thinking the crowd woulda died down some.

Boy was I wrong!!

The lines snaked into the store’s center! The place was swarming with folks who knew of Sprouts (including myself) and are excited that it’s here and others unfamiliar who’d heard good about it.

Strolling staff offered samples of brittle, chips, cookies, sugarfree chocolate and beer — yes, craft beer from the local Prescott Company Brewery!

The staff’s friendliness and cheerfulness were awesome, especially given the daylong tsunami of people, the joviality and anticipatory spirit of the patrons palpable!

You could say Christmas arrived six months early for the enthusiasm and good cheer among shoppers and staff alike.

Though I’d gone in primarily to check it out and buy a handful of items, one look at the lines and I decided “Nyet! Another time.”

Instead, I perused the aisles, swooned over their gorgeous fresh produce and weighed the options in their surprisingly substantial protein powders section.

I sampled the local beer that I’d had many, many times at the pub — is it still considered a sample if you’d had it prior? Was surprised by the pleasantness of the dark chocolate made with stevia and took mental notes for future purchases when the crowds die down. IF they die down! 🙂 No time soon, I predict.

Sprouts is going to do extraordinarily well here. The demographics are right. Location, location, location: fantastique! Quality foods and goods that are affordable. A wide selection of items from eclectic to familiar. And great hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

I join the flock in welcoming Sprouts to Prescott & Prescott Valley! You’ll find your place in this friendly community quickly. Starting, uh, today!

(No) Dollars to (No) Donuts

No donuts!

And a mouthful of gab from a customer.

Such begins my morning in Kingman, Arizona.

Every small town needs one, has one or has a substitute/stand-in: a donut store.

Donut Depot, this one’s called, is a family-owned business that’s changed hands twice and has been in its current location on Stockton Hill Road, the town’s major artery, for five years. Location, location, location and a big improvement from its former digs on the north side of town.

Now, donuts as a topic is one unto itself. Today’s not the day to discuss the attributes and characteristics of a fine donut. That can wait.

Today’s about: no donuts! So read the notes scrawled on 8 x 11-1/2″ paper taped to the doors’ windows. “We are all sold out of donuts. We have none.” And smushed into the corner: “Sorry for the inconvenience.”

It happens here not infrequently. It’s a small shop with a night-time baker who produces x-dozens of donuts as most of the world slumbers. No frozen dough. Fresh dough, fresh donuts.

A run of a handful of customers buying 3, 4, 5 dozen at a swipe will wipe ’em out, which is reportedly what happened this morning, early. Before 9 early. Leaving Donut Depot with 4-5 hours of business operations … and not a crumb of a donut … or crumb donut … in sight.

To be fair, Donut Depot has other foods. “Real” foods. Nutritional foods. Like omelets. Sandwiches. Subs. Salads. Chicken strips. Breakfast burritos. Hamburgers. Patty melts. Your basic limited diner fare.

Oh, and coffee. Another topic for another day, definitely. For now, take the word “rugged” and chew on that for a spell. Or order the coffee. Same difference.

So the deal is, Donut Depot with no donuts. Not a one. Not even a donut hole! Just a hole in the center of the shop where they’d normally be.

And a mouthful of gap from the 65-ish woman, a regular customer who loves to bake — and eat — as evidenced by her considerable girth. If 80 pounds slipped off her frame, she’d not miss it. Her husband, she yakked, is like 350. He couldn’t come this visit. I forget why. I know it wasn’t because he was too busy pumping iron at the gym.

She was one of those who’ll tell ya every intimate and uninteresting detail of Aunt Jo’s sciatica if you lend an ear. I put a stop to her diarrhea of the mouth before my eyes glazed over.

Speaking of glaze, no donuts, glazed or otherwise, today!

But it’s a trip not entirely wasted. But the coffee’s consistently and reliably awful. Black rotgut that could awaken the dead. Not even the best donut in town can do that.