Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another Number One For Michigan?

Well, after two trips to the Detroit area in the past two days, I have come to the conclusion that Michigan stands a real good chance of being number one in the number of stupid, rude, and inconsiderate drivers. On I696 (the major east-west highway, there is a spot where there is major construction going on == that means lane closures. Yesterday it went from four lanes to two; today it went from four to one -- this one was at the point of a major on ramp, so effectively it went from five to one. Now, we saw the usual number of "important" people who felt it necessary and their RIGHT to zoom on through the left lane until the absolute last minute and then to cut in front of the rest of us who wisely began moving right when we saw the first signs of looming lane closures. Those ego-maniacs who think that common sense applies to everyone but them piss me off, but it gets worse. There were some who had moved to the right lane, and then deciding that that was taking too long, moved back over one or two lanes to zoom up right along with the other arrogant idiots. All that these two behaviors tend to do is make the merging process much more difficult and dangerous. The highway construction folks give anywhere from 1 to 3 miles forewarning of lane closures for a reason! If everyone would start moving in the appropriate direction, things would slow down, but it would be a lot less stressful and not as slow a process as is caused by ego-centric idiots who think that they are somehow too good to sit in a traffic jam with the rest of us. Come on folks -- let's learn to be responsible drivers and pay attention to the signs.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sex and the City??

Well, the "big day" is here -- the nationwide release of the "long awaited" Sex and the City. My response? Who cares? It may surprise people to hear this, but during the entire time that Sex and the City was on TV, I NEVER watched it. So, this movie is no big deal. As I was sitting here this morning, I was watching Matt Lauer and Meridith Viera on the "Sex and the City" (I mean Today) Show. Every day this week they have done a segment on this movie. Is the movie so great or is it so crappy that it is in need of intense publicity and validation? I don't know nor will I be likely to find out firsthand. There is no way that I will be at the theater any time soon for a movie about the sex lives of four women. Let's work on "Sex and the Gay Ghetto". I would probably go see that one. How about a "Queer as Folk" movie? I bet that wouldn't rate a week on "Today" (although Matt may like that idea LOL).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Family Album

It's a beautiful day here in good old Michigan, and these pictures show how our animals are spending it -- laying around like bums. Claudia (pictured here) is our non-existent cat. The management thinks we have ONE dog and ONE cat, so Claudia is the "Shadow Cat." She's also the only one who isn't on some kind of medicine. It took well over a year for her to start to allow me near her, but we've made a lot of progress.
And here we have Amber. She thinks that her place is in your lap or right up against anyone who is sleeping. Ben inherited her when he got me -- he really loves me for my poodle LOL. Except for annual shots, regular trips to the groomer, and her nightly treats, she's really no bother except that she loves to be underfoot.
And then there's Madeline -- she's the one who get impacted and requires the vet to clean her out -- about every year or so. She's the one on medication twice a day to reduce that likelihood. She really is sweet, but not the brightest bulb in the box. These are the "kids" in our lives. They are a fair bit of work as any pet owner will attest, but they are a great source of enjoyment and companionship. Sometimes I'd like to change places with them for a day or two. I could lay around, let someone else feed and care for me, and not have a care in the world. It would be incredible to be able to read their minds sometimes -- did you ever wonder what they think? For better or worse, the dog loves us, the cats allow us to live here, and we love them all.

Friday, May 23, 2008

And I Thought I'd Heard It All

Just when I thought I had heard everything, along comes Al the Octopus to surprise and disgust me. For those NOT familiar with the Detroit tradition of throwing boiled octopuses (the preferred plural of octopus) onto the ice during the Red Wings playoff games, it seems that in the 1952 Stanley Cup playoffs, a local fishmonger threw a boiled octopus onto the ice as a good luck omen. At that time, it took eight games to claim the Cup and the eight legs represented the eight games. The practice, even though illegal, has caught on and is currently all over the news as ardent fans (obviously not animal rights activists) pay up to double the normal price for octopuses so that they can participate in this sick, illegal, immoral tradition -- all in the name of team support. People are finding ways to smuggle these creatures into the arena, and there are websites that give instructions on how to prepare them and how to correctly throw them for maximum success. I am personally offended and sickened by this whole thing. I am not a huge octopus lover -- I think they are kind of icky -- but they are living creatures, and it is just cruel and STUPID to act like idiots at their expense. As I read somewhere in checking up on this, someone said, "What's next? Dead cats or dogs?". Come on, people, grow up. I wish the Red Wings well in their quest for the Cup, but I think that anyone caught flinging an octopus should be locked up!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And speaking of Engineering

Since I am on an engineering tirade, let's talk about my car issue. Once we bought my Honda Civic and the GPS unit for the computer, we went through a number of power inverters that plug into the 12 volt power plug in the car. They would work for a while, but when we got into stop and go, they overheated and shut down causing the computer to go to battery and soon shut down. After fighting with BestBuy over Inverter models, we went to Honda to see what might be wrong with the car. It seems that the wise engineers at Honda have created a power outlet that is slightly off standard size. This means that some plug in items work, others don't. The last person I spoke to at the local Honda dealer admitted, for example, that some of the cell phone chargers blow fuses -- consistently. SO, we ended up having to have an inverter hardwired directly to the battery in order to safely use the computer and GPS in the car. My question is this: If Honda is aware of this engineering issue (off sized recepticle), wouldnt it make sense to FIX the problem? I mean, they even tell me that the plug is NOT a cigarette lighter, simply a power outlet. What good is a power outlet that doesn't provide consistent usable power? Ah well, I imagine that if we look at all the stuff in our lives, we could replicate this post over and over. It's just wrong!

Planned Replacements

Well, it finally happened. We have a Toshiba Laptop from which comes the majority of my posts, emails, and other computer stuff. Over a year ago, the computer end of the power supply cord became damaged from twisting and bending -- bare wire was exposed, power supply was inconsistent, and it was frustrating as heck. A new power supply cost more than we wanted to spend right at that moment, so we got out the electrical tape and did our best to patch it up. It looked like hell, but it did work pretty well -- up until this week! Finally, after recurring loss of power for the few days we ordered a new power supply last night. In doing some research, we discovered that we have become the next member of the "replace the Toshiba power supply club." It seems that the way this unit is engineered gives it a life expectancy of one to two years. Instead of having a solid inflexible last inch or two of cord, it is flexible, and the normal movement of the computer over time breaks the wires inside the cord. I really like the computer and the flexibility of the laptop, but this design flaw would put Toshiba down the list a notch or two when it comes time to replace the whole thing. The new cord should be here by the end of the week, so in the meantime Ben and I are sharing the desktop system. It seems to me that the engineers COULD design a unit that would withstand the normal movements over the life of the computer, but as is the case with so many products today, they build in a market for replacement parts. What ever happened to quality engineering? Ah well, let's put that tax check to work. HA HA.

Here's Your Chance

When I decided to post this great picture, I was going to say that a picture is worth a thousand words. However, I decided that there is a bigger purpose to this post. How about suggesting a caption to go with the picture? Take the opportunity to express your opinions on the war, the president, sex, or whatever strikes you -- let's see who can come up with the best......are you up to it? Hug someone!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And I Live With Him By Choice

As you can see from Ben's latest post, I live with a lover of "oddities." Now I think I see what he saw in me LOL. The clock he showed you is cute, but it sure is noisy when it changes from one hour to another -- not the thing to have between you and the TV set. The grape lamp is cute, but probably not something to be found in Better Homes and Gardens. The other lamps -- I think - are just plain ugly (but hey --- he likes 'em). Ben was late coming out -- the gay gene obviously was laying dormant for the longest time. While these things are odd, they really do bring a bit of whimsy to our lives.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lazy Jerks

I don't know what is the matter with people these days. I took this picture recently in a rearby highway rest area. This is the view in the parking lot that greeted me as I opened my door. The most sad part of the whole scene is that there was a proper trash can about ten to fifteen steps from this pile of cigarette butts and baby diapers. It is a sad day when people are so lazy and careless as to dump trash in the parking lot when, with just a few steps and a little effort, they could be good citizens and keep the world a bit cleaner. SO -- whoever the heck you are who left this mess -- PLEASE take a lessen and clean up after your lazy self.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

Here's hoping that you all enjoyed a wonderful Mothers Day. I got to spend the afternoon with Mom and most of the family. And -- praise God -- she's NOT in the hospital!!! YAY!!! God bless.

Dottie Rambo

For anyone even moderately acquainted with the gospel music industry of the past quarter century, the name Dottie Rambo will be familiar. Ms. Rambo was killed early this morning in a bus wreck as she was traveling to perform a Mother's Day concert in Texas. Her contributions to Gospel music will live on for decades, but her untimely death has dealt quite a blow to the industry. She will be missed. May she sing God's praises in His eternal presence.

Friday, May 09, 2008

I've Had It!!

I love to get emails from friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers and such. Email is a wonderful way to stay connected -- perhaps not as personal and lasting as the traditional handwritten letter, but connectivity that is essential to healthy relationships. However, within the past week or so I have received a number of emails that either smear a political candidate (both parties and all presidential contenders) or spread fear and distrust of the government (a bit of skepticism there is not a bad thing). The sad part is that when I did as little as five minutes research on the content of these negative emails, I found the content to be essentially false. Now hear this: Before sending me any emails that tell of a candidate's past, a government cover-up, or pending legislation to charge money for emails, PLEASE take the time to check it out. If these things continue to circulate unchecked and unconfirmed, we continue to sow seeds of hatred, distrust, and uncertainty in a time where what we need is unity, hope, and peace. Every email I get now that has any of the kind of garbage I have received recently gets run through SNOPES.COM and other sources, and if found to be false, gets a response including the link to my sources and a request to cease and desist from spreading unfounded information. Come on, folks, THINK before you click SEND!

Sunday, May 04, 2008


I guess that between us, Ben and I must have magic, I know where msny minds are going on that statement, but that is a subject for a different day's post. We were going to go look for a new dryer to replace the one that got thumped down the stairs (see previous posts) when a friend suggested taking the back off and checking to see if the heating unit (whatever the heck that looks like) was plugged in. Well, we took his advice and pulled off the back cover. We encountered the ever present collection of accumlated lint and a whole bunch of wires - so we jiggled all the wires a bit since they all seemed connected. Shrugging our shoulders and scratching our heads, we said, "Well, let's put it together and try it." We got the back cover on, plugged it in, and started it up. Amazingly it worked and actually is heating better than it has in over a year. Hmmm. That little jiggle saved us a bunch of money and the headache of "What do we buy?". HOORAY. Isn't it nice to hear good news now and then? Have a great Sunday and hug someone.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Update

Well, we are completely out of the old apartment; now we need to dig out of the move stuff and get settled in the new place. The only casualties (other than our backs) were a plate and the dryer. This is the same dryer that our helpful neighbor took down the stairs backward -- thump, thump, bang, bang. SO -- today I was doing the wash in the apartment and carrying it wet across the hall to the laundry room to dry it. Oh joy! I think we will be dryer shopping in the next week or so - -oh boy, more money to spend. At least I won't be making the 35 mile trip each way to work for a while. I reactivated my unemployment claim, so there will be some money coming in. No I'm just tired, but I guess with no job I will have some time to rest. Isn't God good? Anyway, have a great day and hug someone!