Saturday, February 18, 2012

This ‘n’ That

Since I don’t really have an idea for topic that will fill an entire blog and lack inspiration, I have decided to write about a few things that have been bouncing around inside my ginormous head. Just some random thoughts, a little of this ‘n’ that. 

 This past week I placed an order with Danny’s Meats. They are located on the far north side of Racine and the route to get up there makes for a lengthy schlep, so I chose to pay the considerable fee to have it delivered.

Because Danny’s beef sticks and jerky is second to none and I hadn’t enjoyed it for many months, I felt it was worth the cost. My only concern, considering the hefty delivery charge, was whether to tip the guy dropping it off and if so, how much?

Of course, my friend Patty was of no help. When asked her opinion, she retorted, “I don’t know, I would never pay that much to have it delivered.” Then she promptly asked if would send her some beef sticks. Thanks, Patty.

In the end, I gave the kid in the baseball hat $5 for his trouble, figuring he probably didn’t get any of the delivery fee. By the look of the grin on his face, he genuinely appreciated the gratuity. That made me feel good.

It also made me think about tipping in general - how much is appropriate for various services? After looking at a couple of online tipping guides, this was the general consensus:       

Food Server – 15-20%
Busboys – Nothing, unless they did something special, then $1-2
Barber/Hairstylist - $2-3
Bartender - $1/drink or 15% of total bill
Pizza or Food deliveries – 10-15%, but never less than $2
Barista – No tip required, though many suggest throwing change in tip jar.

I was cool with all of these numbers and meet or exceed the minimum requirements.

Except for one, the barista.

The next time I reward someone for handing me a cup of coffee will also be the first time. Barista. What genius came up with that job title, anyways? My online dictionary defines barista as “a person who serves in a coffee bar.”

Do you tip the person at McDonald’s or Burger King for basically doing the same thing? I think not. If you do, may God bless you. In fact, the next time you purchase an overpriced cup of coffee at Starbucks, make sure you give your barista a few extra shekels, because they aren’t getting it from me.

This morning I received a phone call from Tirabassi softball great, Gene Willems. He was wondering whether I was still looking for material for a second Kenosha softball book.

When told that I had put that project on hold for the time being, he seemed a bit disappointed, telling me that he a couple of good stories for me.

Never one to pass up a softball anecdote, I told Gene that I would be glad to hear what he had for possible future use. We agreed to set up a meeting in the near future so I could get his information.

Before hanging up, the distinguished first baseman gave me a brief sample of what he had to offer.

Tirabassi was playing a tournament in Rockford, Illinois. After the team had finished playing ball on Saturday, they returned to their hotel to cleanup and relax. Willems’ roommates were softball all-stars in any league – Dick Laba, Denny Deloria and Jack Zimmerman.

Laba, long regarded as one of Kenosha’s finest, played professional softball with Milwaukee Schlitz. Deloria, crafty and skilled, achieved success at every level he competed at. Zimmerman was unique. Besides being a talented softball player, he also was a gifted football player, having played at Carthage College.

Once back at the hotel, the talented quartet made their plans for the evening. Willems and Laba decided they would get cleaned up and go out to explore Rockford’s nightlife.

Deloria and Zimmerman had other plans.

As Willems and Laba readied themselves to go out, they noticed their teammates were playing dice. To their surprise, Deloria and Zimmerman were shooting dice against the hotel room wall in a spirited game of craps.

Legend has it that after a while, Deloria told Zimmerman he had enough and he was going to take a shower. Undaunted, Zimmerman said, “Okay, do you mind if I shoot for both of us?” Deloria chuckled, said, “Sure, knock yourself out” and went to get cleaned up.

When he stepped out of the shower fifteen minutes later he was greeted by Zimmerman who handed him a twenty-dollar bill. All he said was, “You won, Denny.” I told you Zimmerman was unique.


Since receiving multiple iTunes gift cards for Christmas, my digital music collection has increased considerably. I currently have 2024 songs, which amounts to 5.6 days of musical bliss and requires 14.89 GB of space. Ranging from AC/DC to Zen for Primates, here are the top 15 artists in my collection based on total number of tunes.

The Who – 327
R.E.M. – 160
The Clash – 99
The BoDeans – 95
Dropkick Murphys - 95
The Rolling Stones – 46
Queen – 37
Alice Cooper – 36
David Bowie – 35
U2 – 33
The Beatles – 30
Led Zeppelin – 27
World Party – 27
Bob Dylan – 25
John Lennon – 24

And finally, don’t forget the Survivor Contest! Scroll down to the blog directly below this one, “Survivor 24.1” for details. Your entry must be in before the next episode of Survivor on Wednesday. What are you waiting for???

Until next time…from the booth.

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