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Selling happy

So, at the new job, we sell Things. These Things come in all shapes and sizes; cool Things, functional Things, family Things, etc.

I’m still training, so not technically selling Things yet, but yesterday I helped a customer through the whole process – and this morning I see her at Starbucks. She recognized me, came across the room and gave me a hug because she just picked up her nee Thing a few minutes before.

Nobody ever hugged me for doing work before. That was pretty cool.

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How to torch a career in 280 characters or less

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Its not the worst thing ever said about Donald Trump. It’s not even the most profane thing I’ve ever said about Donald Trump.

But when you’re the “chief spokesperson” for a government agency, you can’t inadvertently blast that out on said agency’s Twitter account without a negative impact on your family income.

And maybe that’s  a bit of the problem: I spent 25 years writing things like the paragraph above instead of just saying, “I was shitcanned.”

It was guns and Trump that blew it all up. Seventeen more students didn’t come home from school one day because of America’s fetish for guns. I sorta lost it when Trump held a photo op in the White House with some grieving parents and shell-shocked kids.

But, oops, wrong browser window, and I was toast.

The truth, though, is that I’ve been carrying around a shitload of anger for a long, long time. My thumbs just finally made it plain for all to see.

I made calls, trolled job boards, and harbored brief fantasies that here was my chance to catch on with some progressive political organization or gun control group to channel my rage and my fairly decent communications skills to work in a somewhat positive manner. In South Carolina, however, there’s not much demand for angry middle-aged white guys on the left.

And then my wife, God bless her, said, “Why don’t you look for a job completely different from what you’ve done your whole life so you’re not mad all the time?”

So I did.

I’m now starting over in something I may very well suck at. I’m in training, so it will be a while before we know if I can make any money. But in my third day there, around lunch, I had an unexpected and unfamiliar feeling: I was happy to be at work.

It might have been because I was hungry, and it was certainly influenced by the fact that I’ve greatly reduced my consumption of “news.”

I like to think, though, that I might be onto something that could improve my mental health, if not my 401K.

Here’s hoping.

Five Quotes About South Carolina Politics

Over the next three weeks, many a lazy reporter is likely to trot out a variation of the James L. Petigru zinger, “South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum.”

Since that dead horse has been beaten to a pulp, here are five more quotes to sharpen your appreciation for the kind of politics we’re in for between now and February 27.

Whisper campaigns, push polls, mudslinging and false attacks are the coin of the realm in the state where the late Lee Atwater spawned a legacy of GOP-operative street hustlers who dominate the political culture. Indeed, political consulting in the Palmetto State might be the only career where a mug shot looks good on a resume.

Cory Hutchins

[T]he state is…a painful symbol of the brutality of American politics.”

Jennifer Steinhauer

I was there to find out about dirty politics, I’d say. Over and over, that provoked pride: “You’ve come to the right place!”

Richard Gooding

Politics in South Carolina has a sad reputation as a blood sport. Our state has been famous for its last-minute dirty tricks, anonymous phone calls, and personal attacks.

Governor Nikki Haley

While I don’t think Pat Conroy was describing only our politics in this one, it’s still right on target:

South Carolina is not a state – it is a cult.

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Amazing video raises over $250,000 in two weeks to save a girl’s life

I hope you’ll share this and visit www.savingeliza.com to help.

Texting with Shelly

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River Rat to keep craft beer ball rolling in Columbia

Step 2 in turning ColaTown into a decent BeerTown.

Drink. Blog. Repeat.

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With the recent opening of Conquest Brewing Co., Columbia was finally put on the map as a burgeoning beer city in the Palmetto State. But more importantly, it showed prospective brewers that there was support for local craft beer in the Capital City.

By the end of 2013 or the first quarter of 2014 at the latest, the second production craft brewery in Columbia will be online in the form of the River Rat Brewery. A partnership between a burgeoning homebrewer with an interest in going big and a longtime professional brewer from one of the country’s largest craft breweries, River Rat is aiming to quench not just the local thirst for craft beer, but also a much larger clientele.

About a year ago, Mike Tourville, 51, picked up his first homebrewing kit at Lexington’s Keg Cowboy, eventually expanding into a professional prefabricated 15-gallon system. As he began…

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Without a Paddle: Thomas Creek Brewing Up the Creek Extreme IPA

One of my favorites…geez it’s been a long time since I wrote anything.

This Is Why I'm Drunk

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When it comes to “extreme beer,” Dogfish Head takes the cake. Their experimental tendencies provide a slew of wild, off-centered ales. Among them, 120 Minute IPA.

Well, meet 120 Minute’s new competition: Thomas Creek’s Up the Creek Extreme IPA.

At 12.5 percent ABV, this imperial India Pale Ale is nothing to sneeze at. Although, I might prefer this brew over its Dogfish Head brethren. It’s got an 84 on Beer Advocate.

The South Carolina brewery used a ton of high alpha acid American hops in this beer, which gives it nose-stinging hop aroma – literally. I was not put off by the sheer voracity of Amarillo and Willamette hops, but the smell of this beer is harsh and pungent, carrying aromas of lemon, mint and blood orange.

Whereas 120 Minute nearly smells and tastes like a pseudo-baryleywine thanks to its intense malt profile, Up the Creek Extreme IPA…

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Happy IPA Day

Image representing Untappd as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

It’s been entirely too long since I actually posted something on my own blog, so let me just wish you all a Happy IPA Day!

Here are a few of my favorite beer-related sites/services for your enjoyment:

Untappd : Drink Socially

Beer Advocate: All things beer

Craft Beer: Yummy

World of Beer Columbia: ‘Nuff said

Thomas Creek Brewery: A Chernoff Newman client!

Friday is National Growler Day

Oh yeah:

if you’re not already aware, many brewpubs and some breweries across the United States have the ability to sell you “growlers” of their house brewed beer for you to take home and enjoy. Typically, a growler holds 64 ounces and in many occasions you can bring them back for refills (a refill price is often cheaper than a first fill because you are paying for the glass container).

I buy most of my growlers at Green’s on Piney Grove, but Hunter Gatherer rocks as well. Go drink some good beer.

I am too hip

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