Thursday, September 27, 2007

Satriale's in Seminole Heights and Sayonara

This might be my last blog entry. Grumpy's condition has become such that I just don't have the energy to keep this up any longer. I'd like to thank everyone who has read me over the past year or so and offered encouragement and dialog. As my final entry, I thought I'd just have to mention an establishment that the missus and I visited recently. I'd heard the place had undergone some changes and was worth a visit. I hesitate to mention the name of it, for fear of a contract going out, but I think folks can figure it out. The food was good, but I have to tell you, I thought I was walking into in Tony's NJ hangout. Not that it's a bad thing mind you, but if Tony or Big Pussy had been sitting out front, I don't think I'd have even been surprised. From the older gentlemen sitting out front to the squirrelly "bag men" coming in and out, ordering, but not really staying to eat. Maybe in my retirement I've just been watching too much tv, and the swiss-cheesed old noodle is playing tricks on me, but it just had that air about it. Be sure I'll be back again. It did feel kinda safe just having those folks around, and the food was just plain tasty.

Adios amigos, it's been fun. If you don't hear from me again you might always wonder, was it the sexually-transmitted terminal disease we call life that got me, or did I go to nap with the fishes.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

BOCC, Just do your damn job.

When someone hires you for a job they have certain expectations. Maybe responsibilites and tasks are diferent for each job, and might change over time, but the bottom line is they exchange money for your labors. So basically if you're not doing what you're being paid to do you're a thief. All most bosses want is simply for you to do what they pay you to do. Just do your damn job.

For the county commissioners, you represent the citizens of your district. That means you vote how you believe they would vote if all of them came together and decided as a group. Representing means you vote how the majority of those whom you represent would vote. How can you, in good concience, say that you're representing your constituents when the overwhelming majority have voiced opposition and outrage at the elimination of local Wetlands regulation? Your job might be a bit more complicated than say a cashier or truck driver, but we, the voters of Hillsborough County, your boss, want the same thing as any boss. Just do your damn job! Represent us, not your campaign contributors, not your own selfish interests, do your damn job and represent US. As with any boss, we can make your job easier or harder, but if you do what you were hired to do, your job is simple. Just do your damn job!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bad business

Most mornings I wake up watching the channel 8 news and finally I just have to say something. For a while they've been bringing on these folks during the Business brief that, honestly could try out for a George Romero movie without even trying. I know business ain't the sexiest topic, but at least act like you care and move at least a little bit. It's good for you and good for business.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pucker up, Fred

Now, I have to say that when I first heard about Fred Thompson, that he might be running for the Oval Office I was quite intrigued. I liked what he was standing for on most issues. Now I'm startin' to get disappointed. As my Granny used to say. It's time for Fred to "Either Shit or get off the pot." I thought he was a straight-shooter, but now he's coming across as a waffler to me. Grow a pair, man. Declare or move along. I reckon I can't be the only one who's getting a bit turned-off by this lack of commitment. It's just like a shy fella on his first date. He knows the gal wants him to kiss her, but he keeps hemmin and hawin, hinting around wanting her to say so without him actually asking or making the first move. Most of us have been there, only to find out we would've been better off to start smooching long before her pappy turned on the porch light. Fred, don't let the porch light catch you before you make a move, pucker-up man, pucker up.

Right rudder, engines all stop

This is a little story about a phenomenon I see all too often round these parts. Can anyone tell me why folks seem to feel that they must come to a complete stop to turn right? Where was that in the manual, cause I sure didn't read that part. Thing is, they don't do it all at once either, they fool you with that gradual slowing down into the turn then when they're forty-five degrees to the roadway with their buttend still in the lane, it's Scotty, engines all stop. Those of us behind then start the dominoing of brake lights before the reject decides to push the accelerator and clears the lane. Is there a rule somewhere that says you must apply brake fully before releasing the pedal to resume travel? Unless there is a hazard, it's decelerate into the turn, accelerate out of it. No stopping required. Guess it's a good thing my car doesn't have photon torpedoes.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Nothing good happens after 2am

Unlike a lot of folks, I reckon you could say I'm a morning person. I get up bright and early even on my days off. So, I might be a bit biased when I say this. Nothing good happens after 2am. I'm inclined to say not even after midnight, but bars 'round these parts keep the party going until a bit later than that, and I ain't one to rain on y'alls parade. What I mean though, is in the wee hours after normal folks wind down, the rest of the yahoos are usually up to no good, when they ought to be home sleeping. A good many folks driving around are drunk, so watch out for them. Other folks are plenty well-juiced and often looking to reaffirm their manhood or something and go looking for fights. Closing time love leads to all sorts of morning-after coyote getaways. The criminals often do their best work at night. I even read in Reader's Digest about how if you're in the hospital you're much more likely to kick the bucket overnight than during the day. Though there are all sorts of explanations, the end conclusion is the same. Even the hooker-looker hits on this here blog spike between midnight and 5am. The list goes on and on. Like I said, nothing good happens after 2am, so why don't folks go home and go to bed.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

LOOK OUT! Another special session?

This morning I read about the lapse of the requirement for insurance. While it's a shame that folks abuse the current system, I think the burden on the rest of us is going to get worse. If nothing else let's set it up that you have to have a special tag if you don't have insurance so we can glare at those yahoos and maybe shame a few of them into doing the right thing. What really chaps my buns though is that they're talking about yet another special session. Tell me something, do these lawmakers actually accomplish anything during their scheduled work times? Why do they have to call a special session for every little thing they should've fixed? I should try that with my bosses sometime. "Grumpy, did you get that project done? Sorry boss, I think I'm gonna need a special session on this one. And we worry about a few quacks abusing the system.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A single serving of justice. We might need a similar prescription here

Former Food and Drug Regulator Executed in China

I read the above article this morning about how the Chinese executed a former chief of food and drug regulation for taking bribes to approve unsafe medicines. Kind of makes you wish we were a bit tougher on those folks sitting in their fancy offices dishing out poisons and disease with the only retribution they need fear is missing a few paychecks and a vacation at a country club prison. With the wheat gluten fiasco killing our pets and lord-knows-what practices our own corporations are endangering us, it would be nice to know that the ones making the decisions have a bit more motivation to protect the consumer. I'd even vote for a more poetic serving of justice. Give the tobacco execs a nice case of lung cancer, or emphysema. Drug execs are prescribed an OD of whatever toxins they're pushing. Tainted beef in extra helpings to the ranchers and food processors if they're found guilty. They might just stop and think a moment before they bend and break the rules and kill people with their products.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Steps to a healthier America

I'm not much of one to exercise, so I like to trick myself into getting a little bit without really knowing it. Parking farther from the door when I can, walking and chewing bubble gum at the same time, and taking the stairs whenever possible. It's that last one that I'm griping about. Ever notice how in a lot of places taking the stairs is downright difficult? Let's face it, in most buildings the stairs are only there for emergencies, cold, barren and hidden in the dark recesses of the building. Not only that, sometimes those darn fire doors are positively hard to open, particularly if you're carrying anything in your arms. How about some stairs near the elevators, and make them easier to find when they're tucked away somewhere. I've been in buildings where you have to go all the way down the hall, hang a left, hang a right, another right, left, stop, turn around, put your left hand in, put your left hand out, and do the hokey-pokey just to get to the stairs, and when you get to your floor do it all in reverse. If you're unfamiliar with the building, you might even have to stop and ask directions. Everyone knows how we old guys hate that. Why not have a set of stairs right near and convenient where people can use them, we could all use the exercise even if we don't realize we're doing it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Things that go bump in the night

Not just bump, but snap, crackle, pop, boom. I ain't talking about my joints either. Of course it's to be expected, it being the 4th and all, but again the criminals came out of the woodwork when the sun went down. After two verbal admonishments of the offenders, we finally had to call the law when midnight came and went, the sounds of Baghdad continuing to ring down the block. I wish I understood how Charlotte county was restricted from banning the suckers. While the current state law was poorly written, surely the spirit was to not allow novelty fireworks to be sold in the state. It states very specifically the uses of fireworks sold in the state, and rowdy redneck games ain't one of 'em. I don't quite have a grasp on why Charlotte county wasn't allowed to uphold the spirit of the law and stop them altogether. I'd think that the local government should be able to say they don't want obnoxious fire starters sold in their jurisdiction, particularly this year. Trouble is, most fireworks users are ok. It's a matter of a few bad apples ruining it. I don't mind fireworks, but there's always the yahoo or 10 that thinks it's a 3-day affair and it's ok to blast all night long. Why does it always seem that folks like things that insinuate them into the privacy of others. Firecrackers, boombox cars, train horns. If they made a silent firecracker would anyone buy them? I would bet it wouldn't sell well. It these sort of shenanigans that make me think the monkeys might be a more recent ancestor to some than previously believed.

Monday, July 02, 2007

One year of Grumpy

I almost missed my one year gumpiversary. Yep 12 months ago yesterday I started bitching. Never before that day, that day started it all. Well now, maybe I did complain before that, but never to so many people at once. While I'd like to say it's been a great year, if it were truly great, I'd be out of a hobby. So let's just call it a good year. A wise feller once told me that every day that you wake up above instead of below the dirt is a good day. I didn't camp in any caves last year so every day was must have been a good one. Thank you to everyone who reads, and thank you to everyone who's commented. Those precious comments are what make this all worth while, so if you wanted to thank a blogger whom you enjoy, just drop a comment now and again and we just get all giddy. So thanks for a good year and hope I can keep it up. The blog that is.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

From helicopter parenting comes helicopter government

The greatest generation is raising a generation of wimps. Here we are on the cusp of celebrating our independence as a nation and a little turmoil at an airport across the pond gets Homeland Security all wound up again. Folks, no one gets out of here alive, so best live it the best you can while you're here. All the parents who hovered over their kids protecting them from every little bump and scrape are setting up the future for a big fall. Since mommy and daddy protected them from all those little life hurdles, too many folks want Uncle Sam to take over on into adulthood. I'm here to tell you, a life too safe is a boring one. Sure you don't have to take up rock-climbing or parachuting, but you have to put yourself out there once in a while to really live. You have to take some chances, you have to get hurt sometimes. You remember those things while forgetting the routine of ordinary life. We don't need to get all in a tizzy every time some whackos go boom. We don't need Unc to hold our hand. If so, why not just stay at home? You learn to ride a bike or a horse by falling down a few times. It builds character, something this country could use more of.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mindwashed media monkeys

Folks once heralded the Information Age as a new revolution. Access to information was going to set free the masses and make our lives better. What has happened? Is it a case of the more we know, the more we don't want to know? Mr Duncan mentioned it in a comment below. This I don't care feeling that has spread throughout our society. I've mentioned it in past articles. Hell in a way this whole damn blog is partly because people just don't care enough to do the right thing. We see it all around us with low voter turnout and a lack of participation in the community. Oh, people have plenty of time to vote for American Idol, and take the kids to soccer and softball and karate and you name it, but don't have the time or energy to show up at local council meetings or even the polls on one or two days a year. Have we cranked out a generation or two of mindwashed media monkeys that just care about those things the talking boxes tell them to? Folks, I don't know the answer, but it's a crying shame when people care more about some fool singing and dancing on tv than their own elected officials stealing away their rights and future. We need a wake-up call and we need it now.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Time to teach some old dogs new tricks

The Hillsborough County Commission have gone off and done it again. When are we good people of Hillsborough County going to get outraged enough to boot these carpetbaggers off the Commission? They voted on Thursday to eliminate the Wetlands Protection Division of the Environmental Protection Commission, a local entity that helps protect us from thoughtless over-building and preserves precious wetlands. Wetlands are those things that buffer hurricane impact, reduce flooding, help filter pollution, provide habitat for animals and are just plain pretty to look at. Even in the wake of lessons taught by Katrina we have these cretins wanting to allow more destruction of wetlands. In addition to supposed budget savings, their reasoning was it was restrictive to development. Blair said it delays home construction with an extra layer of regulation. No shit Sherlock, that's the point. We don't need a "Damn the environment, full speed ahead" development policy. Just who are these guys working for? Don't answer that, we all know who, and it ain't the citizens of the county. They're so comfortable that we won't do anything that they're not even pretending anymore. The stings are out there in the open and they're not even ashamed of it. Good folks of Hillsborough County it is time we stand up and say No More! We must send the message that we are tired of the puppets in power. Cut their strings and take back our county. More information can be found on Sticks of Fire:

U-Can is another resource where you can keep informed of these issues


Friday, June 22, 2007

National Tab Out Day

Every year now it seems that someone brings up a National Gas Out Day. I've read all about how it won't work, but I've got an idea that just might, if enough people participate. It won't save gas, but will conserve a lot of hot air. Let's have a National Tab Out Day. Hell let's make it a whole week, or a year. But for now let's start with just a day. We bloggers can spearhead it. No tabloid-style news for just one day. Let's for that one day not mention Paris or the latest missing white girl, or the other fluff that's out there being passed off as headlines. Let's change the channel when they try to give us celebrity "news" and refuse to even turn on CNN, MSNBC, Faux and the like. We might even expand it to the papers too. Don't buy a paper that day. If you get it delivered, don't open it on that day. If this catches on maybe we can even collect them all and dump them back on the steps of their offices. Let's take back our news. Let inaction be our action. Now what day shall it be? How about we pick release day. The day we release ourselves by refusing to talk about who else is getting out.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Divine comedy indeed. There must be a God and he has a sense of humor

As with most folks, I often ponder my own mortality and what may or may not be out there. I gotta tell you, the longer I live the more I gotta believe He's out there and he gets a big kick out of messing with us. Not truly bad things mind you, though maybe there's some of that too. But those little things that just get you going. Like why else would it be that a whole flock of birds take a dump on your car right after you wash it. Or how it rains on the day you're allowed to water your grass.
I can't count how many times I go into a store, looking for one or two particular things, and that's the only section in the whole store that is crowded with people. There's always someone just browsing at a leisurely pace right where I need to be. Tell me that's not divine comedy. Let's screw with the old man and put that lady right there browsing the nail aisle just as he rounds the corner. Better yet, let's have the lady back up her cart right in front of the nails that Grumpy is buying. Oh and get this, she won't buy the first box of nails. She'll eventually just move on! Hardy har har har.
I've lost track of all the times where I've been driving around the parking lot and just as I make the corner of the aisle going the wrong way a spot opens up. Now I NASCAR around and just as it looks like I'm gonna pit in time to make grab the win, a spoiler meanders around mere seconds before, taking the checker flag of the primo spot. Tell me that's not funny stuff for the guy upstairs. I just keep on keeping on. Its happened so much and so often that I just laugh now, and give a nod to the big Guy. "I see where this is going" I muse.
How about you go to the beach, find yourself a nice secluded spot, you know the one, just far enough away from everyone or even better out of sight of the next group. Next thing you know a few minutes after you're settled in, the friggin' Brady Bunch shows up and entrenches themselves right next to you. Here's your friggin' story, have something more than a hunch and take your girls with hair of gold, and three boys of your own, and leave us all the hell alone. It's a big beach, find your own spot. I'm sure that tickles the funny bone of You Know Who, every time.
So anyway, even when it's frustrating as hell at times, it's nice to think in some ways we might be playing our part as the Royal Jesters. He's up there and the world always needs more laughs.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Slow Down, What's the Hurry?

Every day it seems things are moving faster and faster. I don't know if it's me gettin older or the world gettin faster. Seems like we're in a hurry everywhere we go. No one has any patience. I'll be the first to admit I get a bit short-tempered when I'm forced to wait, but it ain't the waitin so much as it's the incompetence or rude behavior that ticks me off. I kinda like it when I'm forced to slow down and see what's going on around me. A stroll through the neighborhood, a walk around a park, an afternoon at the beach. Heck, takin the two hours to go see a movie is much more therapeutic than two full days of running errands, even if you get those errands done. Ever wonder why we continue to pile so much on our plates? Do we really need to schedule and fill every moment of every day? I feel like I might miss something if I sleep in on the weekend, but that's just plain silly when you think about it. Me and the Mrs. truly enjoy each other's company, but neither one of us can sit still at home. I reckon we should take the time more often. I can't recall the last time I just spent the day without thinking about all the things I could be or should be doing. Seems to me we oughta just schedule in some time without a schedule, without something to do, some time to just be, to just live. Oops, I'm late for my nap, got to go.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The nobles are revolting.

As she was likely never properly disciplined as a child, so goes her life as an adult. Calling Paris an adult is using the term loosely I know. Here is yet another example that folks with money are treated differently. The ill-behaved little brat can't even serve her pathetic little sentence which should have been much harsher to begin with. So now, the sheriff sends her to her room. Like many little brats, it's no punishment at all. I reckon she's got all sorts of fancy things at her house that make house arrest little more than an unplanned vacation. I wish someone would order me to spend that much time at home. I just might get some of those honey-do's done. It's a sad day when we get such a clear confirmation of the new aristocracy. We peasants don't stand much of a chance when the nobles are above the law. Welcome to the dark ages friends, it's time for an uprising.

Monday, June 04, 2007

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming

I read about that reality tv show they were putting on over in the Netherlands and just shook my head. I'm happy it turned out to be a hoax, but it sort of makes you wonder. People took it so seriously, you gotta figure it won't be long before someone pushes good taste that far. I was pretty disgusted by the Jerry Springer show when it was masquerading as real people at their worst, then with the reality tv shows that followed, to see just how far people were willing to go for a few bucks and some camera time, really turned my stomach. I hope reality tv comes full circle one day, and we have a reality tv show made up of reality tv producers competing to get their show aired. Only instead of getting voted off the island they're tarred and feathered and banished to a mud hut far away from any place. Maybe send them to Guantanamo or some other such fitting punishment. Or better yet, in honor of the Dutch hoax the losers all have to donate some organ(obviously not the brain since that would be a downgrade for any recipient) right then and there. Surgeons will be standing by each episode. Maybe then those parasites could actually contribute something to society. That just might be some must see tv.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Overtime belongs in football not the government

Overtime is either for extraordinary circumstances or poor as shit planning. I'll give you one guess as to which it is for Tampa. Never understood why so many government types get so much overtime. You figure out how many people-hours it takes to do something, like staff 4 firemen on a truck each shift if that's what you want, and divide it by 40 hours per person per week, that's how many folks you need on staff. Then you could avoid the huge waste of overtime. I mean think about it, most normal folks work about 40 hours a week maybe a little more. Get much beyond that point and folks start getting tired and burned out and it's at that point we start paying them half-again as much for each hour. So, in essence we're paying more for getting lower quality work. It doesn't take a genius to figure out this is bunk. Just hire more people, do your homework and figure out how many people we need. The other problem I've seen over the years with overtime is so many folks become dependent on it as part of they're regular income. That creates a problem if you ever try to fix the system, like we need to do now. So the city's solution for overtime staffing for events, hmm lets hold fewer events. Brilliant! Our tax dollars at work.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One step forward, how many steps back?

I noticed driving through downtown that they've started restriping some of the streets with bike lanes. I hope they continue that, because right now those lanes kinda stop and start from one block to the next it would make it hard for those biking guys and gals if they can't have a continuous lane to get where they're going. It would be painful to see those poor folks ride a block, get off the bike, and walk it to the where the next bike lane begins. Or they'd have to have a chase car for those unstriped sections since they might be far apart. Can't we give em a lane to go the whole way? You know, I'd like to see Tampa become more bike friendly, especially with the prices of gas these days. I'm noticing more and more folks at the bus stops too. I guess it won't be too long before we all might have to start thinking about different ways to get around. I'd like to see Tampa become more people friendly because the metal boxes with wheels that we lock ourselves away in for hours a day only go to promote selfishness and discourtesy. If more of us were able to bike or walk or ride the bus, I think we'd all get along a little better. Pedestrians can say good morning as they pass, bikers can ding that little bell thingy. They still have those? Well maybe not, but they'd still have the chance to wave and pass a greeting, or at least an enthusiastic "On the left!" as they go by. Folks riding the bus could form fast friendships or at least talk about the weather. I think if I ever ran for office that I'd make a point to walk around and ride the bus, or train if we get one and get the scoop from street level. Really hear what's on people's minds. I think making Tampa more people friendly starts with making it less car friendly so maybe there's a silver lining to the high prices.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Excuse me, I was here first

I have a lot of respect for workin' men and women. Hell, I'm one of 'em, have been all my life. We all make mistakes, so I understand how things sneak up on you from time to time, but it's still a pisser when this happens. Nothing quite chaps my ass like being bumped out of order because someone wasn't paying attention. Take for instance the other day I went in and sat my fanny in the booth with acknowledgement of at least two watresses. Unfortunately neither of those gals was handling my section. I wait and wait, and then another fella comes in and sits one booth over. The waitress sees him, brings him water, coffee and takes his order before even asking if I wanted a menu or coffee. That really steams me you know. Then she isn't even apologetic, she says I shoulda said something sooner. Hell, like I'm supposed to hunt her down to get a cup of coffee? Jiminy Crickets, how do some of these folks keep a job?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

One light, two light, red light blue...nope another red light

Thankfully it never turned into a blue light, but I was starting to wonder the way things were going. Ever have one of those days? You have all the stuff planned out just so and once the first domino topples, the rest of the day is spent playing catch up. But you never do. It's like driving around and hitting every red light, well it's not really like that, part of the trouble is exactly that. Not only can I not find my keys and then the garbage needs to be taken out, then I realize Mrs. Grumpy's car is on the outside and there goes another few minutes. Before I realize it, I'm leaving home 15 minutes late and the cycle starts. I reach the first intersection, a stop sign. Low and behold not just one, but a line of cars are on parade. The clock keeps ticking. First light, oh I think I can make it. Nope. It turns red at the last second, that brick wall of a moment where you know you'll run it if you don't briskly and firmly apply the brakes right now. OK, so I wait. It's not so bad, I gave myself a few extra minutes in preparation. Here goes 2 or 3 of them. The upside is I am first in line. The light turns, I push that pedal and off I go. Now, I don't jackrabbit off the line, but Grumpy's never been one to dally at the green either. That's why I'm always amazed at the folks that think Old Betsy's itchin' for a race. Today is one of those days. Billy Joe Jimbo seems to think this Old Man is lined up for Gator Nationals. Off he goes no problem, no skin off my back, until half a block later the jackass cuts me off and slams on the brakes to make a left. Of course traffic is coming the other direction so its complete stop and wait time. There goes another minute or so. Blood pressure ratchets up a bit too. And so it goes, every light seems to have my number today. Red light. Red light. A City bus stops. Red light. Detour. Red light. Left turning traffic. Red light. Even those intersections with no cross traffic are conspiring. I'm beginning to feel battle-weary. I don't know if I'm going to make it. C'mon Betsy, we can do it old mule. It's not much further. When it's all over I finally arrive at my first destination only 5 minutes late, but aged much more. Lifes a funny little dance because next time I'll leave 5, maybe 10 minutes earlier and the imps will light up all the greens and then I'll get there a half-hour early. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Candid Coffee Capers

Coffee, it's my lifeblood. More often than I'd like to admit I find myself at the communal coffee trough at 7-11. Now there's a sight, a bunch of us bellying up trying to tweak the brew just so. Problem is, the positioning of all the fixin's just ain't conducive to efficiency or manners. An elbow here, a dirty sleeve draped across your cup there. I tell you what, a camera trained on the coffee counter might just make a profitable reality show, or at least a website. Tonight on Candid Coffee Capers, see Joe sweet-talk the clerk for some more creamer, while Mary uses her diminished height to sneak in under the competition for the first cup of that freshly brewed black gold.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Of testicles and the excessively horny

Now, I'm gonna bet that this here ain't exactly gonna be the sort of article that you might expect from the title. I thought a little titillation might be just the thing the get folks paying attention. It works for that Paris Hilton gal, so maybe a racy headline will get the blood going this morning. Sorry to disappoint you, but it's another gripe of mine around these parts. I just wonder what feller was sitting around one day saying to himself, now, you know what would make my truck just that much cooler, a pair of balls dangling down. Not sure where the memo was lost along the way, but in my day, all them there vehicles were female, like boats, and airplanes. Not sure why that is, but that's just how it was. I just don't get it, but then again, maybe I ain't supposed to. Maybe it's a sort of compensatin' for something they're lacking. Speaking of compensatin' what about those train horns they're sticking on cars and trucks these days. Now thats got to be nothing but attempting to make up for being short in the undershorts. Hey look at me, I got this big obnoxious horn. I'm a stud! Listen to me. Don't honk if you're horny. Please. In fact don't honk at all horny little man.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A waste of time might be the best thing to happen all day

When you've been around awhile, you start to sense there's a lot wrong with the world, and the future looks kind of bleak. For whatever reason, people have stopped just getting along with one another because we share the same world. It's like we think every mistake or momentary lapse of reason is directed right at us. That guy that just cut you off, he did it just to piss you off right? Not likely, he's probably just a dumbass. That person that cut you in line, she and her high and mighty self just thought that she was too important to wait like the rest of us. Actually she was probably just in her own little bubble of self-importance and thought she was lucky. It's doubtful any malice was intended, but she did lack the decency to consider her surroundings. Problem is common courtesy just isn't there anymore. Everyone is just too damned self-centered and think their time is more important than anyone elses. Don't stop for the red light, that minute or two you'll wait will make all the difference in your day. Don't hold the door for the guy right behind you, those precious seconds add up. Arrive at a parking spot at the same time, nose your Escalade in there because you might have to drive around another lap to find a spot. I have all sorts of theories, but it seems to filter down to two basic things. Lack of situational awareness, and witnessed reward of agression. Folks are lacking situational awareness so those that are so self-absorbed just don't take note of their surroundings, and as a result are rude, pushy, and seem agressive without even realizing it. Also, I think we've all seen too many examples of agressive behavior being rewarded in what I call squeaky wheel syndrome. In driving, we see the guy running all the way up the entrance ramp to beat out a few more cars get let in, so as time passes now you have two guys and so on. It's like those folks that lined up for Playstations or to see the Star Wars movies back in the day. People will just start getting there earlier and earlier. People will complain sooner and for less cause because they saw the other guy get something for nothing. I have a brother that got so bad that I stopped going out to dinner with him because he was always asking for the manager for some minor detail or other. Just because they brought you fries instead of tater tots isn't cause for a free meal if they brought out the tater tots as soon as it was brought to their attention. Give us a break Fred. Anyhow, do you get what I'm saying, life ain't a competition. Leaving adequate stopping distance between you and the car in front isn't an invitation to play the Freeway equivalent of the college phone booth gag. Let's see how many cars we cans stuff into this lane. It's also not Nascar, I personally don't care if you're jockeying for pole or taking two seconds off your lap time on Tuesday's commute, I just want to get there alive. It's like this, we're all allotted a certain number of days, hours, minutes, and seconds on this here rock. We're gonna waste way more of them doing stupid things than we'll ever make up trying to beat the system or our fellow man. So, try to make it more about quality instead of quantity. That 3 minute red light might let you hear your favorite song, or dodge a crappy task, or even save your life, who knows. Also, just take more note of your surroundings, it's not hard and you might be surprised at the stuff you're missing. That smile or thank you, or bit of conversation might just make the rest of your day, even if cost you a minute, you're richer by so much more.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Daily Dose: I wonder if the camel made it through

Well now, I've always been something of a religious fellow, but not necessarily the church-going type. The "good" reverend has said his last sermon. What I got to wonder is where the man's heart was. He was full of hate more than love, but he was a great recruiter. Did he think he could buy his way in, tipping Peter and Gabriel like a bouncer at the club: "Here's a coupon for all those souls I brought in boss, and think of all the bibles and literature those millions I collected will buy." I'm afraid he might have gotten it wrong. I picture a mafioso type: "Tsk, tsk, tsk, Jerry Jerry, we caught you skimmin' a little off the top. Your payments have been light for some time now. I'm afraid we can't let you in. Da boss is gonna want to talk to you out back tho'. Wait right here."
Since I'm already going with the mob theme, I'm going to borrow a quote from The Godfather. Vito said "A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns." I think a dishonest preacher with a bible can steal more than a hundred lawyers with briefcases. No man can judge another's soul, but Falwell's own words and actions spoke volumes about the kind of bigotry he professed. He might have brought a lot of folks to the fold, but was that enough? I think God will judge a man by more than recruitment. Falwell died a rich man, and we know what they say about that. May God have mercy upon your soul, Mr. Falwell.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Daily Dose: Why not wait your damn turn like the rest of us?

One of my biggest pet peeves is something that Luckytop mentioned below. When a store has folks backing up due to understaffed registers and add a cashier, take a moment and figure out who's been waiting the longest. Where in life's little rule book does it mention that it's ok, if by chancea register opens as you just walk up, you can just take pole position, when there are several people who've been waiting an the adjacent register? The wingnut that does this often basks as though they were just crowned Mr/Mrs. Home Depot. They love me! They really love me! Guess what, no, you just happened to be the selfish ass that ignored the fact that you just bumped a bunch of us who've been biding our time. Next time you've won the checkout lane lottery, pause for a moment and see if there's someone who's been waiting longer and take your turn accordingly.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Daily dose of Grumpy

I have noticed a few folks that come to the site nearly every day and I feel a bit guilty that I ain't been giving y'all new material anywhere near that often. I'm gonna try to come up with something a bit more regular. Pass me the bloggin fiber, or maybe something to put the meta in metamucil. Not even sure what meta means, but I know it's something computin' related. Well now, back to topic, I didn't want to be too redundant because many times the things that tick me off, are the same kinds of things day in and day out, but maybe a bit of Grumpy in your glass might help everyone.

Well, for the first installment I wanted to mention a bit of misplaced grumpiness. The underlying cause is still there because its a matter of mismanagement, but the folks that got my hackles up weren't really to blame. Went to get a cup of coffee. First off, we tried to use the drive-up window. We waited and we waited, no answer so we went in and the folks behind the counter took the Missus and my order. Then the gal just disappeared. Seems she was having a conversation with someone in the back so the other gal came up with one of our drinks, but didn't know about the other. We had now been at this for near about 15 minutes and I was startin' to get peeved. Well the first gal came back and finished up the order and we then found out the problem. Seems they were the opening crew and this was now about 4:00 in the afternoon. The relief crew didn't show up and they'd been there all day and to top it off, the drive-through was broken and store policy didn't allow them to put a sign to announce it either. I felt a little guilty that I was gettin' hot under the collar at those gals who were having a much worse day than I was. So maybe next time people seem to be goofin off or screwing up, maybe it ain't that at all. Even an old codger like me learned a little something yesterday.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The problem with bloggers

I've mentioned my loss of faith in the mainstream media earlier and in that article I also alluded to the power and place of blogging. I'm afraid I might not have made too clear what was really on my mind. Part of the argument that I've heard about the conglomerating of media outlets is that local news is somewhat provided by community bloggers anyways so why should the big boys spend much time or money on it. Now, maybe I'm wrong in my interpretin' but if that's the case who's watching the bloggers besides other bloggers? I mentioned in an earlier post how taking a few comments on a blog and making news out of it is pretty haphazard. Relying on bloggers as correspondents is navigatin' a minefield with only half a map. It gets you part of the way, but still leaves a lot of room for Kaboom! So, if we don't have some commitment by professional journalists with a code of conduct, folks with something to lose other than their online reputation, (by the way, I'm disillusioned that we even have that now, but for arguments sake let's say we do for the most part) how can we put our faith in any news source where the publishers are often seen to pick fights with one another out of pure ego. Anyhow, bloggers do have their place, but it is in no way a replacement for a professional news organization. They're just a welcome supplement. There's also still a lot of work to be done restoring the integrity of our professional journalists and the faith of us average Joes.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Journalistic Integrity, the new jumbo shrimp?

I've read the back and forth about the power or lack thereof of bloggers and blogging vice the mainstream media. I also started watching Bill Moyer's production on PBS last night. We've all witnessed the erosion of integrity of our journalists in pursuit of advertising dollars or in support of the orchestrated chaos we see in our foreign policy. Objectivity is ever more questionable, and a story that sounds just a little too juicy probably didn't have the proper research, or confirmation of sources, but it sells so ship it. That is where I place the importance of bloggers. I am sure there are analysts and writers much more practiced and skilled than myself that do more justice to the topic, but I see blogging as a check to the power of the mainstream media. It keeps them a little bit more honest, because someone just might be watching for more than the fluffy stuff. Those of us that have been around a while used to put a lot of faith in those reporters and anchors that we trusted to keep us informed. Now we have to wonder about every one of them. It's sad, when a good part of the public still relies on those questionable folks to tell them about local, national, and world events. Relying on mainstream media is just informed ignorance. It's too easy to pull the wool over too many eyes. Enter the bloggers. I don't include myself in that group because I just usually bitch about something I think could be better, but there are folks that invest a good deal of themselves and their time just to tell the truth as best they can. Hopefully it will be enough, because as we've seen, the paid guys and gals, the one's we've relied upon, the one's we've looked to for the truth, are no longer worthy of our trust. And that is sad. Journalistic integrity is like saying honest politics. You need a little tongue in your cheek. Nevertheless, I'll attempt to remain hopelessly optimistic that journalists see the error of their ways. Otherwise democracy as we know might one day wake up dead.