Sunday, April 29, 2012
Murphy’s Law has a post, “Why can’t the whole world drive like I do?”
Brought back a fond memory. Some background.
The infamous S curves on I-405 through Renton, WA has a Southbound on ramp that is tough to use as, unlike California, folks in the Pacific Northwest won’t let you merge. You will, by God, fall in behind them even when traffic is stop and go. Those who use this on ramp know that after two or three stop and go’s, the way opens up and you get up to speed.
At the time I was driving an old ex Hanford Nuclear Plant Dodge D-150 with thick steel plate bumpers. It was a beauty, with not a single panel without a dent, paint coming off in patches, and assorted scrapes. I never bothered to register it, the plates on it were never issued to it, and the tabs were to yet another plate. If stopped, I would give the officer my business card, explain the vehicle was a trade in (not a lie, it had been traded in two years ago) that I was driving as a demo. Since I always had my personal insurance, I was more or less legal, being in the car business.
One day I was merging on I-405. There was a shiny Green Buick with Oregon plates (home of the worse asshat drivers anywhere) who wasn’t going to let me get in front of him. I continued to merge. Finally, he realized I didn’t give a shit if we collided and he backed off. For the next quarter mile he had his window down giving me the Hawaiian peace and love signal and laying on his horn. Timing the stop and go sequence, I waited for the last one, shifted into reverse, and modified the front of his Buick. Accelerating down the now open road, saw him in my mirror limping to the shoulder with coolant gushing out of his now flattened front end.
If more drivers drove like I do, we would have many more polite drivers sharing the road, don’t you think?
Damn, I loved that truck. My employer absolutely forbid me parking it in the “Reserved for the Salesman of the Month” parking spot. I didn’t want the new demo, not at a income rate of 1 ½% of the M.S.R.P. added to my taxable income.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
So, I am retired. Drawing social security. Still, I like keeping busy and I like having money. The answer, part time jobs; just a few hours a week. Hah!
Winter is over. Not a big call for deicing airplanes. A skill/trade picked up over the years is property inspections. Insurance companies, mortgage companies, property management companies, and law firms all need inspectors.
Last month started doing them again, part time. Part time is now ten hours a day, six days a week. Guess I will never learn.
Oh well, at least it gives Dirty Al something to razz me about.
Friday, April 20, 2012
“Can you open the door for me”?, a woman in a motorized wheelchair asked me. Her transporter was inside a MacDonald’s by one of the entry doors. She wasn’t sitting in the chair. Rather, she was lying straight at about a 45 degree angle. Her salt and pepper hair was neatly combed and she was wearing immaculate pressed blue scrubs. She had a blanket around her legs. Peeking out from the blanket was a tea cup Chihuahua. How long had she been waiting for someone to help her? Can you imagine the frustration?
“Certainly, I replied. Which door? Are you sure you have control of that brutal beast”? Her reply was strained, her volume low, and I realized she could only speak with great effort. Using her right hand to manipulate the joy stick, she exited and started across the parking lot. This woman is helpless. She can’t even cry out for help. Her only protection is a two pound dog. I don’t know what mobility she has in her hands but, if any, she should have something that goes bang for protection. Even a .22 Derringer. Can you imagine the fear she must live with?
Think she could ever qualify for a CCW permit? Range test? Financial cost?
Nearly every politician running for office says, “I support the 2nd Amendment……………but………hunting……common sense………..blah, blah blah.
Kind of like, “Some of my best friends are ………………………
We’re Christians, and ……………………
That woman needs more than the kindness of strangers or a freak’s fear of the judicial system. She won't get it. The smug asshats won't even give the safety of someone like her a passing thought.
MacDonald’s? I use their restrooms and buy a “Senior” cup of coffee. Hope they lose money on the transaction. My preference is for real food.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
The State Senator from my district is on the Appropriations Committee, that is, they write the state budget. She was approached about a proposed spaceport to be located East of Denver. The deal will cost the taxpayers zilch. One problem, state liability laws. Change the law so those riding on the craft assume their own personal liability. Her response, to paraphrase, “If they want to get in a rocket, ok, then they should assume their personal liability”.
She, and her counterpart in the House, got the law changed, and today the governor signed it into law at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.
Heard the trial lawyers weren’t fans.
Will it bring jobs to Colorado? Who knows. The project is at least five years out.
For all we complain about politicians, we should also recognize them for good work.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The Blackbirds are back so it must be springtime in the Rockies.
Next door this morning were blackbird, sparrows, and two doves picking up seeds my neighbor throws out.
Our small ranch in the Steamboat Springs, CO area had two quarter acre “wetlands” (we called them sloughs) that my father left alone. Cattails grew there and hundreds of blackbirds made them their summer home. His belief was the birds kept the insects under control. I’ve always associated their calls with spring.
My neighbor is a baby boomer hippie who is in serious need of a twelve step program for gardening excess. Not for her the formal English style garden. No, it is plants galore. She has four dogs, three cats, two caged birds, and who knows what else crammed into her 900 sq ft one bedroom house. She is a mental health counselor and a perpetual doctorial candidate. It is safe to say her political outlook and mine differ. Since she bats for the other team, we peacefully co-exist. I tell her misogynist jokes and she calls me a troglodyte. I do enjoy her yard and the wildlife it attracts. I enjoy her yard since I don’t do any of the work but have the benefit of viewing it every day. I don’t like yard work; no, not at all!
Looking like we will have a terrible summer for fires. I blame it on all the Californians who have moved here. They brought their brush fires with them.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Here is a challenge for all the people who want a new president and a new congress. Become an Election Judge.
Chicago area resident? You can get paid.
Google is your guide.
You commit to some brief training and one hellish long election day. You prevent, or at least slow down, election fraud - ballot box stuffing.
Some states have each party provide judges. In heavy Democratic counties, the GOP probably has a hard time filling their allocation.
Consider our military. Less than one half of one percent of our population serves. Only half the country votes. Here you can serve your country without leaving home and have a direct impact.
Someday I may figure out this new blogger setup. Oh, well.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Things we take for granted now really are special. Think of the 911 system. Punch in three digits and you are connected to help. Even if you can’t talk, your location can be traced.
Back in the day, I worked a series of crappy jobs while trying to finish college. One was a swing shift clerk job for an airfreight forwarder. One night our roof mounted HVAC unit caught fire. The foreman called the number for the fire department (from a sticker stuck to the phone) and the conversation went like this. “The fucker is on fire! Send the fire trucks!” and he hung up. “Ah Tom”, I said, “Think you might call them back and give them our address.”
Maybe not as big an advance is ready access to porn. At this same time, porn theaters were just starting up. Damn expensive to visit. We had a customer who supplied the theaters. The film reels were shipped around the country labeled “machine parts”. Tom and friends had the brilliant idea of renting a projector and viewing the films in our warehouse. They all gathered one evening and set up the equipment. Quite a party was planned. There were refreshments, beer, etc. Film was loaded and the movie began. Turned out the genre shown wasn’t meant for a male heterosexual orientation audience. Alas, the group was disappointed. Tom suffered a considerable loss of prestige among his peers.
Our ability to communicate grows daily. Latter Day Luddites like me will likely not Twitter (whatever the hell that is) but can appreciate things like Skype. A memory that will last, for me, was receiving a call from my son while he was in Kandahar and I was outside Ft Morgan, CO.
Does anyone remember mobile FM radio? I only used it to receive a message. I would then find a pay telephone (try find one of those today) and make my PRIVATE call. My first pager required four D Cell batteries. What a pain to have hanging off your belt. Remember how damn expensive all this was?
Today walk into any 7 Eleven, lay out $40 or so, and you can communicate.
This whole Internet thing allows us to communicate our ideas with people we may never meet face to face. What an impact it has on our society. No wonder the “elite” want to muzzle it. Can’t have the peasants getting the wrong ideas, can we?
Like everything, abuses will occur. Humans don’t change. Texting while driving. Flash mobs. Freedom isn’t free nor is progress.
Speaking of progress, this wholesale change Google has made to blogger is forcing me to think, damn them!
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
So Google changed the blogger set up. Now my page is messed up. In the middle of a new start up and don't have time to "learn" their new system. If it wasn't free, I would tell Google to piss off. Maybe FDIL can help me. Besides, in need of a grand kids fix.