Rants

What’s Stuck In My Head – 6 September

(AKA Yet Another Traffic Rant Edition)

It’s been a bit since my last Stuck In My Head post, and even longer since a traffic rant. So I combined both. Consider this a 2-for-1 deal. Don’t say I never gave you anything either.

I guess the area is returning to normal after our near brush with Hurricane Dorian. Today’s traffic was much heavier than it should have been. When my work schedule was moved to a half hour earlier the traffic on the way into work became much lighter. On the way home, however, is every bit as bad. The 30 minute shift allows me to miss the school buses now. That’s a beautiful thing. There is a city bus that sometimes gets in my way. I can time that bus and avoid it most days. But as we all know, city buses are not the best at time keeping. Their routes can vary by up to 10 minutes or more. Even so, this particular bus only has 3 stops before it turns off onto a side road and is out of my way.

Usually, the first of two main problems I have on the way to work are yard crews. They tend to hog the left lane and travel way under the speed limit pulling their big trailers. And since I tend to regard the speed limit as a mere suggestion, they do tend to get my dander up. The second issue are the garbage trucks. I go right past their work yard to and from work. If my timing is off and I have to stop at the traffic light at the entrance to the yard, there will be 4 or 5 trucks in front of me. But that’s not as bad as it sounds. These guys (I say guys since I’ve only seen men driving the trucks) are much better drivers than the average moron on the road with me. They tend to do the speed limit, or just over, use their turn signals, and leave space between each truck for cars to maneuver. Their biggest problem is they aren’t the quickest thing to get up to speed. Plus, it’s hard to see around them.

Now, this morning, I didn’t have any garbage trucks, no city bus, no school bus, and only one yard crew. What I did have was some work truck doing 25 MPH in the left lane (the speed limit is 45 MPH – I’m usually zipping along at 50+ MPH) with about 10 cars behind like baby ducks following mama duck, and the usual folks in the right lane turning into various parking lots, and side streets, and doing about 15 MPH.

AARRRGGGHH!!! On my next vehicle, I’m getting the Photon Torpedo option. Just blow these jerks and their vehicles into subatomic pieces.

I can hardly wait to see what traffic adventures await me on my way home today. At least it’s Friday, well, at least it’s Friday on the calendar…

What does this have to do with a song? As one of my favorite DJ’s on SiriusXM, Earle Bailey like to say; “I hope this is the only traffic you get into today”.. And this song has a permanent home in my head. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Mama Told Me There Would Be Days Like This

On the way in to work this morning, I had great post in my head, even tied in with a video. Then I showed up and let’s just say, it all went to hell in a handbasket really quick.

But (and there’s always a but, isn’t there), it really started last week. During my younger days, back when I was active duty Army, we averaged 22 months between moves. You read that right. We moved on average, every two years. This meant two things; we lived out of boxes quite a bit, and we didn’t collect much stuff.

We’ve now been in this house just over 22 years. Not only is there crap everywhere, it’s falling apart. We have had the entire house repiped for inbound water already. Now we seem to have a drain leak under the slab as well. We only found this out after having the majority of the kitchen drain system replaced.

Yes, you can see right through the kitchen wall!

Luckily, our home owner’s insurance is working with us. Otherwise we would probably just walk away from the house and let the bank take it back. We’re that fed up with the whole situation.

But that has nothing to do with today. Well, not a lot about today anyway.

I had a task set for early this morning at work. I am usually the first tech in every morning, so I had set up to do some work on a computer before everyone else showed up. Shouldn’t take more than an hour tops. Cue the “best laid plans” meme…

Starts off, my tool kit was missing from my desk. I do have a second set, but the pieces are nowhere near as useful as this kit. The screwdriver bits are not exactly the correct size, and as I still have my wrist in a brace, it’s difficult to get hand tools to work correctly at any time.

The main task was to clone a hard drive. Not the most difficult thing believe me. We have hardware and software to make this as close to hands-off as we can be. Naturally, it was anything BUT hands-off.

To make this as quick and painless as I can for those not tech oriented, here’s how it went down.

  • Can’t find my good tools
  • Had to use the old crappy tools
  • Took replacement drive down to the machine to clone it
  • System will not boot to my USB drive (Hiren’s) to use the software
  • Bring both drives back up to my desk to try the hardware
  • Let the clone device run for 30 minutes, nothing happening
  • Plug the dock into my Ubuntu laptop – and nothing. The laptop won’t even boot with or without the dock
  • Plug the dock into my laptop and boot to the Hiren’s USB to clone
  • 2 hours later the software says complete! Yay!!!
  • Plug the new ssd into a test machine – won’t boot (There is no joy in Mudville)
  • Reclone the drive using a different test machine
  • Same error after that clone attempt
  • Did a quick repair, well actually, a co-worker did the repair since he has that test machine we were using
  • Took the new SSD back down stairs and tested
  • Finally!! It booted. (And the peasants rejoiced!)
  • Total time for the “one hour max” job – 4 hours!

I will say this once again – I hate Micro$oft! Windows is without a doubt the biggest computer virus of all time.

Early morning texts this morning with Wifey;

The “pig” is a local brewery, The Red Pig. In retrospect, I’m not sure beer will be strong enough for today. May have to go straight to the whisky!

But, it’s finished for now. Here is the video I had planned for today, even if I can’t remember what I was going to post! It’s my favorite Bob Dylan song Tangled Up In Blue. In a way, it’s still kind of fitting. I’ve been tangled up in something all day, and my language has been quite blue!

Blood On The Tracks is also very telling for today….

Peace,
B

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P.S. Feel free to send me a beer, or a scotch, or a bourbon.

What’s Stuck In My Head – 20 September

Sorry, I haven’t been keeping up with this series as of late, but I’ve been up to my you-know-what with my genealogy.

This song runs through my head on a regular basis. I’ve always enjoyed Bruce Hornsby’s music, either solo or playing on other folks records. And this one fits right in line with my social justice thoughts. “Did you really think about it when you made the rules?” Such a great lyric.  Especially when paired with the command “But don’t you believe them!” at the end of the song.

Then this morning I get up and see this tweet on my timeline;

tweet

And that doesn’t just fit in with this song I don’t know what does. This administration doesn’t give a rats ass about folks on the fringe of society. If you’re not a rich white republican male, you do not matter. This country is in a sad state right now. That’s all I’ll say about this, I will get off my soapbox now.

So here’s The Way It Is. I hope you enjoy it. (And yes, I realize this may be a repeat, but this song means a lot to me. Plus I should probably start a spreadsheet or something of the songs I’ve already posted.)

Peace,
B

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Truth! (In Advertising??)

Let’s talk about a strange, but very interesting, ad. I don’t know if this commercial runs outside of the USA, so for reference here it is:

So let’s pick this apart shall we?

First, while it is true that text messages are being broadcast into space, after all everything that has ever been broadcast by humans has been sent into space. How do you think aliens are learning our anatomy & physiology? They’re not abducting us and doing rectal probes. They’re watching all the p0rn and sexting messages were sending out. Basically, aliens have as much of a screwed up expectations of our sex lives as a 16 year-old boy.

Second, if you were the astronaut in space, do you think you’d actually be monitoring text messages? I won’t even go into the lack of a lag it the messages. I know here on earth, my texts don’t get delivered in real-time. Can you imagine the bounces a message would have to take to finally make it to someone in space?

Next, both of characters are in a night-time scene. This would mean that the “space station” she is working on is close to the terrestrial location the guys is locked out of his car. That would indicate that the station is in a geosynchronous orbit. But the space station isn’t in that type of orbit. In fact it makes a complete orbit around the earth about every 90 minutes. So they would both see the same moon for a very short time.

Lastly, if one member of a couple is an astronaut I think they could afford something a bit more fitting of the astronaut’s earning capabilities than a Hyundai.

But that’s just my opinions.

Can you find any other “not quite right” moments in this commercial, or any others? Leave a comment if you do (or feel free to pick apart my pseudo-science).

Peace,
B

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Let’s Butcher Another Song, Shall We?

This morning on the way to work (later than usual due to a morning doctor’s appointment) I tweeted this:

tweet

Yes, I was once again stuck behind non-driving fools. The guy in the left lane even had the right turn signal on, for about 2 miles, and then turned left, with the right blinker still blinking away! #SMH

I do have a problem with the song I parody in the tweet. It gives clowns a bad name! As a registered clown, I take a bit of umbrage on this point. But I’ll let it slide because the video is just so trippy!

crop clown makeup.jpg

Skeeter the clown. (ca. 1982)

Peace,
B

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Adult Supervision???

So today I was doing the vinegar and water treatment to our several years old Keurig coffee maker and saw this:

MVIMG_20180623_152058.jpg

And I think to myself, “Adult supervision”? Where in the hell am I going to find an adult to make us coffee every morning?? And coffee is just one rung below beer on the beverage scale to me. I am screwed!

The only reason I can even be considered an “adult” is the fact that I am older than dirt. I passed that magical age and entered into “adulthood” about two centuries ago. I really don’t care for any of those chain coffee shop “coffees”. Their coffee always tastes burned, and besides that, the average age of anybody working there has to be about the same as my granddaughters. They sure as hell ain’t even close to “adult” age. Although they are growing like weeds.

So what’s an old fart like me to do? Well, I will continue to grind my coffee about every two days and continue to make my coffee without any adult supervision. Because, dammit, I’m a rebel!! Ok, not really. But I need my coffee.

How do you like your coffee?? I take mine black. “Army” style!

Peace,
B

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A Case For Charity

So on the way home from work this afternoon, there were two people on two different corners asking for help.  The first one was your basic down-on-their-luck looking person, with a sign that was basically illegible. The second guy though had a great sign, “I need a beer” was all it said. Now that is a concept I can get behind (although I am currently on day 6 of no beer while I try to get my cholesterol and triglycerides under control, again).

I don’t bring these encounters up lightly. I take the homeless problem seriously. Especially among my fellow veterans. But today, I couldn’t help these folks. I have basically stopped carrying cash.  Not that I’m afraid of getting mugged, but because an ATM card is just too convenient. There really isn’t any reason to carry cash. Or is there?

This reminded me of an encounter Wifey® and I had outside a local store a week or two ago. As we were leaving the store a young man with his family, significant other, and two small children were asking passers-bys for help.  The gentleman was wearing a clean Subway restaurant shirt and hat leaving to believe that he had a job. Of course, Subway, and similar fast food jobs are usually part-time minimum wages deals. And we all know that a single person, let alone a family can’t live off of minimum wage. I guess it’s obvious I support the $15 an hour minimum wage initiative.

As usual, neither of us had any cash and told them we couldn’t help them. But as we were pulling out of the parking lot I realized I did have a credit card for that store. I could have taken them into the store and bought them at least something that would satisfy at least part of their need. I will admit that I was almost in tears because I failed to help another fellow.

And that leads me to another story (yeah I know, shut up already).

Many years ago, when I did call myself a “Christian”, which I no longer do, this happened at the church we attended.

It was while I was setting up for a Wednesday evening Bible study/reflection time (I was on the soundboard as usual) when a down-on-his-luck gentleman approached me asking for money.  Well, this time I did have some cash on me. I gave him all I had, a whopping $5. After the guy left one of the members of the church, a deacon no less, said to me “Why did you give that bum money? You know all he’s going to do is buy beer with it!” My reply and one I still use to this day when I asked the same question was “Well, what the hell did you think I was going to do with the money?” Basically, I gave the guy my beer money, but I knew I had some more beer at home.

And if I had any beer at home today, I would have given the guy with the beer sign a beer or two. Share and share alike!

I’m sure some folks reading this (there is somebody reading this right?) will disagree with my view on helping folks that are not as fortunate as themselves. And while, as I said, do not call myself a Christian, I believe the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels (and I don’t think they are exact quotes, or if the human Jesus even said anything close to the words) are a good guideline for behavior towards our fellow humanity. Especially in regards to what is usually termed the “least of these”. To me, that means anyone on the fringe or outskirts of society. From what I’ve read of the New Testament, they tend to use the terms widow, orphan, poor, and occasionally refugee. In today’s world that would mean (to me at least) the homeless, the LGBT people who have been rejected, the refugees that have come to live with us (in or from ANY country, of ANY race, creed, color etc.), the indigenous peoples and ALL the other people of color, women, I could go on. But that’s another post.

My dear-ol-mother used to try to stop me from helping folks when I was younger.  Her favorite phrase was “Charity starts at home”. But then the question becomes; “define HOME”.  Going back to the Bible, even Jesus was asked a similar question, “Who is my neighbor?”, his response was the parable of the Good Samaritan. If you don’t know that parable click here to read it.  Of note on that parable is the Jesus Seminar released a book several years ago Sayings of Jesus” where they examine the sayings attributed to Jesus in the four Gospels. This parable was one of the few that all the participants agreed was a very probable saying from Jesus. (OK, I promise no more Bible references. I’m not a Bible scholar.)

No matter your belief system, I bet in some “holy” book you will find a varient of the “Take care of the ‘least of these'” command. I know you will find it in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qu’ran because I’ve read all three.

So what are your thoughts on helping today’s “least of these”? I’m not just talking money. It could be time spent with people in the hospital or an assisted living facility. Or visiting people in jail. Helping at a homeless shelter, a food bank, the list goes on. I admit, that I fall very short in this area. I try but fail. So for me, it’s usually a monetary donation. But when I was underemployed, it was time.

So do you do anything to help? Even if you don’t (no judgment here), leave a comment on your views on this subject. I welcome any open and thoughtful discourse. However, I do reserve the right to delete any derogatory comments.

Peace,
B

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Maybe A Repeat

Pretty sure I’ve posted this video before, but I’m not looking through old posts to see. But this one of my favorite songs of all times. Up there with Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic”.

I think anyone with a “mental illness” ( I am bipolar type II), can relate to. As the song says;

“No matter how fast I run I can never seem to get away from myself. No matter where I am I can’t help thinking I’m just a day away from where I need to be.”

We can never match what we expect. Some of us are fucked up, and will never be whole, no matter what your belief system is. We will not be raised in “new incorruptible” bodies, nor will we be reincarnated into a new body to try again. All that happens, is we get dispersed into the cosmos and maybe, MAYBE, parts of us come back co-mingled with parts of others… “We came from stardust, and to stardust, we return”.

Peace,
B

Tips From Skeeters Driving School

Yes, another traffic rant. Sorry, not sorry. For any newcomers to the blog, feel free to search for the other traffic rants, there are several.

Here is a video that sums up most of my feelings. But it’s not the video I wanted of Gallagher. He has a short routine about that subject, which we’ll discuss after the video. This is from 1988, so some of the references are a bit dated, but the thoughts are still spot on.

What I want to talk about this time, is what to do when you’re in a left turn lane but can’t make the turn yet. Gallagher has a very nice routine about it, but I couldn’t find just a clip of it.

This is the way I was taught, and I know many of my family members were taught this way as well. Hell, even my mother knew this was the way to do it.

When you’re the first one in the left turn lane your supposed to get your ass out into the middle of the intersection. You have a green light, therefore you have a right to be in the intersection. This will accomplish several things, first it allows the car behind you to also get his/her ass out into the intersection, and second, it allows car #3 to get their front wheels up and over the stop bar. This way when the light turns yellow, all three cars can make the left.  You really need to see the routine, as Gallagher’s physical mannerisms make it so funny.

I hope this is a lesson you can take with you. Because if I have one more moron stopped at the stop bar and not even trying to turn left when there’s a break in traffic… Well, let’s just say it won’t be pretty.

Peace,
B

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Send Lawyers, Guns, And Money

(With apologies to Warren Zevon)

I have to admit that I don’t agree with Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2;

“The first thing we do is kill all the lawyers”

I know several lawyers and even accountants that don’t deserve such a fate.  Although many do. I think Dante had a level reserved just for those of that profession.

However, (yes another traffic rant is coming), there would be a special place in Hell, if I believed that such a place existed, for idiots that will never use a turn signal, jerks who think that using a turn signal automagically gives them right of way, and especially the asshats that refuse to drive the speed limit no matter in which lane they are blocking traffic.

‘Nuff said…

Peace,
B