Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I feel it's time to gently share a few observations I've made while traveling the highways, byways and whyways (why did I take this route???). So here goes.
1) Why it's called a "merge"/"acceleration" lane - the concept is that you pace your speed to merge (ie join the flow) of traffic. This isn't accomplished by stopping at the end and CERTAINLY not by stopping at the beginning of the lane and looking helplessly at the cars streaming past. Hint: adjust your speed in the lane so as to pop into a gap between cars as you reach the end of the lane.
2) Making a right-hand turn. This is especially noticed on my highway commute home. You do not need to slow to a stop before turning - your car WILL NOT fall over. Practice taking your right turns a few miles an hour faster each time you do so. When you hear rubber screech and hubcaps fly off, back it off a bit.
3) Similarly to #2 - when going through a parking lot in your big-ass SUV you do not need to slow to one m.p.h. to cross a speed bump. Although you clearly do not know this your SUV has features such as a rugged suspension system and increased clearance between wheels and fenders that, ironically, make it ideal for hitting speed bumps at 30. Any slower and you're cheating yourself.
4) Conversely to #3: Slow the fugg down in parking lots - especially you damn kids that are texting, chugging Red Bull and watching Tokyo Drift on your dashboard DVD player! Ever had to clean a bird out of your grille? Yucky, right? Believe me, cleaning a toddler out of the grille is much worse.
5) What's up with this? I drive @25 miles of a two-lane US highway every weekday. A lot of people coming the opposite direction pull right to the point they're almost in the gravel shoulder when they meet oncoming traffic. Which can lead to all kinds of unpleasant things. Here's a tip: just stay to the right of that line down the center of the road, and I will too - and we won't collide!!!
I'm sure I forgot a thing or two - but will add them as I think of them. You've been warned.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Wow, it seems like only last night that I was posting about soon there would be new weirdness and annoyances to write about! In fact, it was last night. And about not posting about food. Oh well. Crappy day at work so I stopped at Baskin-Robbins for a cone on the way home, first time in maybe six years or so. I ordered a single-dip waffle cone (black walnut) and found that 1) a single dip only half fills the cone, and b) the girl making the cone was hanging her medium length hair above all the ice cream as she scooped, unencumbered by a hairnet. There's your annoyances right there. So I continue home trying to taste a little black walnut amongst the cone, finish it and a few miles later, on the highway, an oncoming car drifts onto the gravel shoulder, turns sideways, and goes hurtling past me maybe two feet away. Ends up sliding backward into an embankment. There's your weirdness. So after I got home, I'm thinking: skip the ice cream, I'm miles away when the car wipes out. But if sloppy ice cream girl had screwed up counting my change, maybe I'm 100 yards back and that car hits me. Think I'll go back and tip her.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
...since I last posted. Work has been busy and so has home... don't write about food again... no topics have jumped into my head lately... NO FOOD!... so I'm just checking in to assure the multitudes that I will return... not with another food post though!... spring is just around the corner with the promise of new weirdness and annoyances to write about... no more stories about getting po'ed at restaurants because that's still FOOD!... anyway I'm having trouble concentrating so will sign off here... let's go get a snack!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
We went to the local bar and grill Saturday night (yes, I know I said I was going to stay home Saturday nights but I thought perhaps for once things would go well). An acquaintance's band was playing and he'd mentioned some interesting covers they did like old Jefferson Airplane and Jethro Tull songs. I ordered a fried chicken salad because I had my heart set on pie ala mode for dessert. The band was playing some pretty dorky country songs -- turns out the old rock songs don't come out till late. Oh well, there's still the pie. I finally caught the attention of the waitress (who was pretty worthless, and was named - brace yourself - Cayenne!) She consulted her pad and said they were down to lemon meringue and gooseberry. Yikes. Meringue was out of the question so I ordered the gooseberry. I've seen geese in the fields the past week as they come back north for the spring, so I guess there's a good supply of gooseberries. The waitress reappears about five minutes -- empty-handed -- and says they are totally out and nobody told her. I gave her a steely glare and asked for the check. Which had a $3 charge for pie on it. Feh.
Do you understand how terrible this was? To be promised pie and then have it taken away?
I don't think losing your house can really compare.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
START LIVING IN 1968!!!
It may sound radical at first. But let me outline the benefits vs. the drawbacks. .
Forget your little bubbleroof car that can only do 50 uphill. Think Road Runner, GTO, Shelby Mustang, Chevelle SS, Cougar, Charger, Corvette, Camaro, 442. Think 426 Hemi, 440 six-pack, 428 Cobra Jet, 427 and 454. Or if you're into comfort, not speed, think Lincoln Continental, Cadillac Eldorado, Chrysler Imperial. Maybe you think I'm wrong to start with the cars. But they're all made 100% in America. And gas is about 4 gallons for a buck. One more thing - they all had WING WINDOWS!
Some will miss the cell phones, video games and the internet. I, for example, will not be able to blog. These longings will pass in about two weeks.
Then there's the food. There will be tons of great little one-of-a-kind cafes and burger joints. There will be chains but they'll be solid contenders like McDonald's (the Big Mac was introduced in 1968 - I picked the year very carefully!), A&W and Kentucky Fried Chicken (where chicken will be eaten fried with the skin on it as God intended, NOT GRILLED). It'll beat the hell out of what we've got now. F**k Chili's and Applebee's. It will be full of fat and cholesterol but it will not kill us because a) nobody will be telling us it will, and b) we won't be nearly as sedentary in our swinging 1968 lifestyle. At the stores you'll only find one kind of Fritos, one kind of Cheetos, but that's all you need. Coffee drinkers - there will be four options: black; w/sugar; with cream; w/sugar and cream. Oh, and you can get those decaf as well. For those who long for their cappuccinos, lattes and espressos, these are readily available too... in Europe. Grab a plane (no security checkpoints!) and don't hurry back.
Well, MLK and RFK are gonna get shot right off the bat. But that's pretty much it in major assassinations till John Lennon in 1980, so that's a nice break.
Rock and roll might have peaked a couple years earlier but is still plenty good. Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison are still alive in varying states of decay. The Beatles are still together. Songs by rock bands, R'n'B artists, country performers and pop singers all make the same chart.
For the antiwar types we're now fighting in Vietnam rather than Iraq. We're trying to stop Communism rather than terrorism. Just make some new signs, and you'll find there's lots more protests to participate in. There's one coming up in a couple years at Kent State you might want to pass on though.
We'll still have a democrat president redistributing wealth to the nonproducing members of our society. But all the kids will hate him. Later in the year we'll take a turn for the better, with, umm... anyway...
Schools will be housed in buildings dating to the early part of the 20th century if not older. There will be no computers. Few classrooms will be air-conditioned. Students will receive an education far superior to the the one they would receive today.
The druggies will need to step carefully. Sure, there's pot, acid, and all kinds of stuff. But get caught with a couple joints and you're in jail till... 2009 - OUCH!! Groundhog Day!!
Kids will ride everywhere on their bikes instead of vegetating in front of a DVD or video game. They will never wear a helmet and none will ever receive a head injury in a bike wreck. Their parents will have little idea of where they are when they are out riding, and the kids will have at best a vague warning of "men in cars offering candy" but they'll always be home in time for supper. Or maybe ten minutes late.
Sorry, there will be no revolutionary Segway scooter. But you can get a Vespa, Cushman or Lambretta scooter and have a hell of a lot more fun, and not look like a total dork.
There will only be three television networks. But most of the shows will be pretty damn good. And no reality shows!!
Electronics will be expensive, sometimes as much or more in 1968 dollars as they are in today's dollars. On the other hand, they will probably last years and years without repairs, will be made in the USA, and if they do break, you pay a small charge to a repair shop, not throw them away and buy another.
Oh, also, you probably won''t know anyone who is unemployed.
I know we'll need a few months to set this all up, but I hope I've made my case. Gotta go, there's a new episode of The Monkees coming on!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Perennial presidential candidate and irritating gadfly Ralph Nader quickly dubbed the new Chevy "unsafe at any speed." A GM spokesman quickly fired back "We drove it on the frigging moon and nobody got hurt, for godsakes!"
Stay tuned for updates!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
So last night, another Saturday and Valentine's Day to boot... we're just going to the restaurant in our small town, but it's kind of popular in the area so I had reservations, even let them pick a time when it might be a bit less busy. We got there and the owner tries to seat us at a table where another couple is sitting. Ye gods. What a romantic evening that would have been. He actually convinced a couple of people to do so but we held out and got a crappy little table of our own eventually, hurray. Remind me to stay home next Saturday night.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
We had a kitchen where we'd stripped most of the wallpaper but there were stubborn parts and we'd basically thrown up our hands and hadn't touched it for... well, time enough for a woman to conceive and have a baby, let's say (not to pin it down too fine). I sold the guy the Explorer, got the cash, and figured that was all I'd ever get. No carrot on a stick to induce him to come paint, he had the vehicle and the pink slip. But the $$$ were twice what the dealer offered for trade-in so screw it.
Today he showed up and painted our kitchen in lovely green and it looks @ a zillion times better. More naive people would have their faith in human nature restored.
I bet he comes back tonight to rob and kill us. Where's that handgun? ;)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Did you ever have a recipe that called for using leftover Thanksgiving turkey? And by the time you remembered to take the recipe when you went grocery shopping a couple-three months had gone by? And the turkey had freezer frost? And you defrosted it and went ahead with the recipe which was kinda a casserole? And when it was done you scooped out a portion and there's frickin' water in the bottom from the frosty turkey?
You never did? Hmmm... me either.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
But apparently in Japan they don't have rust. I'm losing the bottoms of the doors and the back hatch, and various holes including a sizable one under the back window. At least four times I've been going down the road on my 50-mile roundtrip commute to work and pieces detach themselves at 65 mph. I hear a CLUNK and watch the chunk of car cartwheel down the highway. I picture a day when I'll have only a chassis with seats tooling down US 77. The winters will be a bitch.
The car has developed more lovable quirks as the years go by. A hole in the floor is liable to let spray from the wheels through if the vintage Love floormat isn't kicked over it. The hood latch shot craps but a bungee cord hooked into a hole I drilled keeps it in place just fine. The right mirror got knocked off by a flying lawn mower (I choose not to elaborate at this time). The latest is occasionally no response when I turn the key, always at the least opportune moment. This can be remedied by violence: hit the battery connections and if that fails pull the spare tire out from under the hood and hit the starter. I've started carrying a ballpeen hammer (the Ass Ponys have a great song called 'Ballpeen' but I plugged them in previous post so I won't mention it). I added a bumper sticker to the hatch door: "Yes, It's Fast, No, You Can't Drive It." Whatever the opposite of ostentatious is, this baby defines it.
When the snow falls though, it chugs its way 25 miles into work, often past a lot of newer vehicles in the ditch, even a few big 4WDs. So it's not going anywhere.
I'm used to running cars into the ground and calling the junkyard to come get 'em. But this one may outlast me.