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Saturday, April 30, 2016

STUPID HEADLINES 050116


STUPID HEADLINES 050116

It is time again for

 STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY


 This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments.  

_________________________________

Caitlyn Jenner Says She's Kind Of "OK" With Gay Marriage – She’ll make up her mind as soon as he decides which team she his on.

Man paid prostitute with charity money and a primate – I didn’t know you could pay for monkey business with an actual monkey.

Feds spend $82K trying to create stuttering mice – Wha wha wha what?

New York pizzeria creates edible pizza out of pizza - Great idea except it tastes like cardboard.


People are paying up to $29G for the perfect baby name – For a couple of bucks they can have "Joe." 


House votes to designate bison as America's national mammal – About time congress gets down to something important.

City embeds traffic lights in sidewalk for smartphone users – Because we’re smart enough to use a phone, but too stupid to look up!

Zoo finds out gorilla is pregnant after the baby is born –
The worst veterinarian in the world has to work someplace.

Paris attack suspect's lawyers call him a 'little jerk' who's ready to talk "He has the intelligence of an empty ashtray," said Abdeslam's Belgian lawyer…an empty ashtray?  Isn’t this the same asshole that all of media described as the “Mastermind” after the attacks?

Police arrest Illinois woman in store theft after she crashes through ceiling – See woman can break through the glass ceiling, but I think you are supposed to break through on the way up, not down.

Birthday party for pothole gets Mississippi city to take action – I thought this was a pothead who was an asshole, but no, the party was for an actual pothole in the road.

Bobby Knight Endorses Donald Trump – Well, he threw his chair in the ring, does that count?

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Come back next week for more:

 STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY!!

Friday, April 29, 2016

MANSPREADING


MANSPREADING
 A cranky opinion for

 CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

The following is the opinion of a cranky old man who is an expert on this topic.  Opposing opinions are welcome, but they are wrong! As always, please no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid head.

I just learned a new term…Manspreading.  Manspreading is intentionally taking up space on a train or bus depriving others of a seat and forcing them to ask you to make room, something many people are loath to do. 

I learned this term when I read that San Francisco was contemplating a law to make Manspreading illegal and a fine-able offence.  Ordinarily this is the kind of government interference that I find silly.  Not this time.  I commuted by train for forty years, and though we didn’t have a name for it, Manspreading used to piss me off.

There are several Manspreading techniques.  Some just spread their legs wide or cross them so that they invade the space next to them.  When a passenger approaches looking for a seat, the Man spreader will dig his nose in the paper or concentrate on the Penske file he brought home from the office.  He will not make room unless asked, and when asked will act as if the requestor was the one being rude.

Elbows out is another space taking method.  Extra annoying is when the Manspreader plops his briefcase or other object on the seat.

The end-seat sitter used to really shrink my shorts.  This asshole would sit on the end leaving the window seat blocked.  The Manspreader relies on making others uncomfortable with asking them to not behave like an animal.  I was not one of those “others.”  I wanted to make the Manspreader as uncomfortable as possible.

“Excuse me, did you pay for a ticket for your briefcase, cause I’ve been on my feet all day and I did pay for a seat.”

“Oh…ah sure” as the asshole tried to make it seem like making room was an imposition.

If it was just legs and or elbows taking up space, I would just take the seat and let elbows or legs be damned.  I refused to politely ask for him to make room.  Rudeness does not deserve manners…fuck him!

I asked the end sitter, “Excuse me, is someone sitting in that empty seat.”

Sometimes the asshole would not say anything and just move over.  REALLY?  Could you be more obvious that the only reason you sat in the aisle seat was to block the window seat?  Asshole!

The Manspreading technique I could not defeat was the coughing, sneezing asshole.  I know sometimes the cough was just a fake, but I also know some assholes will go to work half dead, I’ll be damned if I’m going take a chance and suck in their germy exhales for forty minutes.

So yes, I hated Manspreaders.  I am in favor of giving drivers and conductors the authority to fine Manspread violators.  Maybe it is time to start cracking down on all bad manners.  Feet on a seat…that’s a fine.  You smell because of poor hygiene…that’s a fine.  Cough or sneeze without covering up…FINE!  Talk to a stranger who is reading or otherwise occupied…FINE!  Talking loud on a cell phone…FINE! Cursing out loud just to make others uncomfortable…FINE!

There are so many examples of poor manners that perhaps should be fine-able, but we have to start somewhere.

I say we start with Manspreading.  GO San Francisco GO!

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Shark Teeth and Gold Flecks


Shark Teeth and Gold Flecks


My youngest child graduates from high school this June.  He is headed to college in the fall.  It does lead me to reminiscing.  They grow up so fast.  Sometimes you don’t want them to grow up.  Sometimes neither do they.

When Spencer was but a bit of a thing, we went to the beach every summer.  I would plant myself in a chair and soak up the sun while he gathered items of interest on the beach.  One time he brought an old broken shell to me.  It looked a little like a tooth.

“Daddy, look at this, is this a tooth?”

“Hmmm, why yes, I believe it is.  Sharks lose their teeth and grow new ones, every once in a while one washes ashore…it is rare, but I believe this is a shark’s tooth…from a mako I think.”

“Here, save it, I’m going to look for more.”

Spencer found sharks teeth all summer, and I identified and saved them.

“Oh, this is a good one, from a great white.”

He found sharks teeth from tiger sharks, sand sharks, leopard sharks, black tip, lemon and thresher sharks.  He learned a little about each shark.

When he got tired of hunting shark teeth, I showed him how if you sift through sand, you find an occasional yellow fleck of sand.  These flecks were gold.  A single fleck was not worth very much, but if you find enough of them…

We collected shark teeth and flecks of gold for several years. 

At some point he figured out the teeth were just broken shells and the flecks of gold were just flecks of yellow sand.  He never called me out on the hoax.  I never knew at what point he believed, or when he just went along with the game because it was a fun game.

Anyway, he goes to college this fall and he knows a lot about sharks and the value of gold.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mrs. Cranky and the Lady Step-crank


Mrs. Cranky and the Lady Step-crank

The lady Step-crank (Cassie) dropped buy for a day this weekend.   Mothers and Daughter’s can be fun when they don’t have a Dr. Phil intervention relationship.   It is always a trip when these two get together. 

Mrs. C claims to be a cold-hearted mom, and in ways she is, but her progeny seem to gravitate to her for advice and a shoulder; especially Cassie.

First, a little background:  Cassie is a college graduate, under 30, very pretty, very talented and living in NYC on her own.  She is a terrific young lady, even if she sometimes phones and wakes up the house at 2 am looking for some motherly advice.  When she visits, I think she looks for a little pampering that she does not get in the City such as a nice breakfast served to her on a platter and a nice shower with plenty of hot water and a bathroom without apartment-roommate crowding.

I think she also looks forward to a little mother-daughter conversation.  As an innocent bystander, I also enjoy these talks.

For instance these gems all occurred within a 12 hour period of time.

Cassie: “Years ago you told me instead of being a big fish in a little pond; I should just be a fish in a pond.  I still don’t know what the hell that means.”

Mrs. C.  “Just sometimes it’s better to blend in, and no one wants to put you in a net!”

Cassie: “Well that clears it all up.”

_______________________

Mrs. C: “Someday you‘ll be sitting across from your daughter and thinking ‘what a little bitch.’”

Cassie: “Great, now I get to tell my daughter ‘Grandma called you a bitch before you were even born.’”

_______________________

Mrs. C: “I remember when we had to clean out your college apartment and SOMEONE had a bad hangover.”

Cassie: “Are you ever going to let that one go?”

Mrs. C: “You’re always complaining about me, give me something!”

________________________

Some stuff Cassie had to post on Facebook:

Mom: ...and seriously, don't get into the wrong Uber. I saw a Lifetime movie called "The Wrong Car", and this girl; she got in THE WRONG CAR. So don't get into the wrong car!

Cassie...*She has a point, but I don't think I've laughed this hard at a Lifetime movie reference before.*

And this gem which somehow included me.


Cassie...Mom, are you dancing to Trap Queen* right now?!

Mom: What! It's got a great beat! *dances in the car*

Step Dad: What's he singing about smoking? Bopity-opu?  Does he mean dope? I want whatever he's smoking it sounds fun!

Cassie... *dies in the backseat*

*Apparently Trap Queen is a rap group

Only one day in the sit-com I call my life. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Snakes in the Hen House


Snakes in the Hen House

Two blog posts I’ve read recently got me thinking.

First, Suldog @ http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com/2016/04/free-range-children.html  posted about the good old days of playing baseball on an asphalt lot from morning until the mom’s started their call to come home somewhere around dusk (my mom used a large bell.) Sully spoke of the benefits of allowing children to run relatively free back in the day as opposed to the helicopter parenting that is prevalent today.

I do have to agree with Sully.  There was something about the freedom we had when neighborhood kids got together without direct supervision (the mom’s did know what was going on, mom’s have their ways).  We made our own rules, learned to get along, and the older kids watched out for and guided the younger kids into the ways of the world.  We learned to settle most problems without looking to adults for a ruling.  There were fights from time to time, but they were few and far between.  Combatants of these battles often ended up as fast friends.

The other post was from Rick Watson @ http://www.rickwatson-writer.com/2016/04/fingers-crossed.html.  He posted about a snake in his hen house that scared a laying hen and two newly hatched chicks out of their nest.  Rick found one egg that was left behind with a chick wiggling out of its egg.  The chick did not survive despite Rick’s valiant efforts, but what interested me was the hen leaving the nest.

Apparently once a snake was present, even though Rick removed it, the hen would no longer stay in the nest.  It took the two chicks and left for what she thought was a safer place.  Rick could not even get close enough to the hen to take pictures as the hen was so protective.

How do these two posts stimulate my brain?  What could possibly be the similarities?

Sully lamented on the helicopter parents of today, and yet here was a chicken, not the brightest of nature’s creatures, with the same helicopter instincts.  When there was a snake in the house, the hen moved out and guarded her chicks with her life.

The asphalt lot of days gone by, where young children could safely play, now have an occasional snake.  Changing populations, the ability for snakes to roam neighborhoods freely without raising suspicions have alerted moms of snakes in the hen house.  Even if there is no direct threat of these snakes, they have been spotted, they have disturbed the hen house, and moms no longer trust the safety of the play ground.

Helicopter parenting today is the result of snake alerts, real or imagined, and today’s moms have the same instincts of the hen.  If there is the hint of danger they will move to safer grounds and will hover until they are sure there is no danger.  

I don’t think moms have changed much from those moms of many years ago; it is the neighborhoods that have changed.  We no longer know everyone on the block and most people on the block no longer look out for their neighbors the same as when everyone looked the same, went to the same church, spoke with the same accent, ate the same foods and had the same values.  When you don’t know all your neighbors, you don’t know if there are snakes, and not knowing is all it takes for moms to become protective hens. 

Over protective?  Perhaps, but as long as the hen house safety is suspect, instincts take over; and don't mess with a protective mom!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Stuff Way Back When


Stuff Way Back When

My son is spending the week with us on his spring break.  Spence is going to college this fall, and I tried to give him a heads up on what to expect.  Mrs. C took great pains to let me know that stuff in college has probably changed a bit since I was in school over fifty years ago.

She is right of course.  Things have changed, which led me to thinking do people remember how it was back in the day?  If not, I am here to document some stuff from way back when.

I went to college in 1964.  The school that accepted me did not know what they were doing, but I guess someone had to have the lowest high school cumulative grade average and lowest College Board scores.  That person was me.  The school was a fine school, a notch below Ivy League class. OK, maybe two notches below, but still a fine school.  It was an all male school.  If it was co-ed, there is no way I could have attended.  I was the beneficiary of not having to compete with a very intelligent group of the population at that time.

Anyway, the first thing I was told when I signed in for my freshman year was I was required to attend ROTC classes.  ROTC, Reserve Officer Training Corp…you would think I would have heard of this before I accepted, but no, it was all news to me.  I was required to spend two years learning how to march and kill people, shine my shoes to a mirror finish, wear a uniform, salute and kiss upperclassmen’s asses or receive demerits and fail a one credit course. 

I expect today kids would look the administrator in the eye and say, “Fuck you, talk to my parents.” There would be a law suit waiting for the administration that demanded participation in ROTC. 

In 1964 we did what we were told and just said, “Oh shit…OK…damn."  Don’t believe me, watch “Animal House” those dudes were all required to attend ROTC.

Fortunately for me, my doctor had discovered a heart murmur in my pre admission exam.  This murmur has not been mentioned or detected in any exam before or since.  Anyway, I was offered the option to skip ROTC and take gym instead.  I decided on gym.  I was able to try out for the football team which I shortly quit, but had the choice to opt out of marching.

A lot of students went full time Army and took ROTC their junior and senior year.  Many were persuaded by the $50 per month stipend and the chance to go to Viet Nam as officers and not infantry men. 

Those were the days.

One other thing from those days that I doubt very much could happen today was in my gym class we had a course in swimming.  It was an all male school, and the gym students were expected to swim in the pool sans swim suit.  Why we had to swim in our birthday suits I have no idea.  Like many other things in those days we just did as we were told.

Today I will not even use the gym shower after a workout.  Back in the day we swam and cavorted totally ah natural.  

I’m not sure one age is better than the other.  Are we homophobic today, or were we homo back in the day.  Don’t know, don’t care, just find it interesting how things have changed through the years.

Where am I going with this?  Nowhere, I’m just reminiscing on stupid stuff.  Kids today whine, complain and threaten to sue over really stupid stuff; kids in my day did whatever we were told without question.

Today’s kids are spoiled and whiney.  We were just naive and stupid.

Take your pick.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

PEEING AT TAO


PEEING AT TAO
Entrance to Tao
This cranky re-run is from April 2013, before all the restroom controversy over nothing.  I thought it somewhat timely.

Many readers may find it surprising that the Cranky Old Man is not particularly sophisticated.  I am not a rube.  I am familiar with and adhere to most rules of etiquette and decorum.  I just do not do fancy well.

Years ago in one of my other lives, I was invited with my wife to Tao, a fancy NYC restaurant. Tao is an Asian style restaurant.  It is one of the fanciest, most expensive restaurants in New York City.  It is a very popular celebrity hangout.  It is not as I was immediately chastised for calling it, a Chow Mein Palace.
Dining area in Tao
We were invited by a wealthy friend of the unbalanced wife.  I could not have afforded the tab otherwise.  Well I could have, but I am simply not programed to shell out anything over $30 for an entrée.  At Tao, $30 is an appetizer.  The restaurant’s décor was spectacular, the food was fabulous, the service excellent and the bill did not go to me.  It was a very enjoyable dinner.

At some point in the evening I needed to use the restroom.  At Tao you say “Excuse me; I’ll be back in a moment,” not “Be right back, I gotta pee.” I learned this piece of etiquette via a very humbling and painful elbow-to- the-rib correction.


Tao is a large restaurant, but I found the restrooms with little effort.  Determining which room to use was not so easy.  One door was marked “Otoko,” with a weird Asian symbol resembling a stick horse.  The other was marked “Onna,” with a weird stick figure resembling a cow.  I stood perplexed for a while until a young lady exited the door marked Otoko.  I assumed the stick horse represented women in the Asian world, so I entered the stick cow room.


“EEK!! GET OUT YOU IDIOT, THIS IS THE LADIES ROOM!!”


My assumption was flawed.


I was not the only idiot; the lady I had seen coming out of the stick horse room was just as stupid.


I realized my mistake and quickly dragged my Otoko ass into the Otoko room.  The Otoko room was more complex than any Otoko room I have ever been in.


This room had what looked like a sink with constant running water from a fancy faucet.  This sink spilled over to another smaller sink which then spilled over to a drainage trough.  Was it a fancy sink, or a fancy urinal?  Opposite the sink/urinal was a large wall beautifully decorated with expensive tile.   Water ran continuously down the wall and collected at the bottom in another drainage trough.  As I am not sophisticated I did not know if I should piss in the sink/urinal, or piss on the decorative wall.


Fortunately for me Tao has a man in the Otoko room whose job is to point to the wall and say “You pee over here sir” and when you are done and wash up in the sink/urinal he hands you a towel.


I thought I was a big shot when I handed him a dollar for his service.  Turns out in Tao I should have given him two dollars.


If you pee in the sink, you might want to slip him a fiver.
 
 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

STUPID HEADLINES 042416


STUPID HEADLINES 042416
Busy Week in Mountain View
It is time again for

STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY


This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments.  

_________________________________

Robbers in tin foil suits try to beat bank alarm sensor as camera watches – I doubt they will beat the wrap.

Pelosi's husband invested in solar firm weeks before lucrative expansion – I forget, why did Martha Stewart go to jail?

Burglar knocks over paint can, leaves trail of footprints – This would so be me.  That’s why I stayed away from a life of crime.

McDonald's customer accused of putting soda in water cup charged with robbery – I ordered a small soda and then refilled it once, but then I’m a rebel.

Man catches 400-pound fish with a wrench – Before he got it in the boat it wiggled free and bolted.


AC/DC drummer pleads guilty – Then innocent, then guilty, then innocent, then...

Guggenheim Museum to display fully functional gold toilet – This is Toto-ly crazy.

Michigan teen begins 111-mile walk with brother on back - Clearly “He Ain’t Heavy.” Seriously, this is a very touching story.

Canadian high school basketball star is 29-year-old man – If he can hit the three and rebound, who cares?

Va. Governor restores voting rights for felons – There are plenty in Congress, may as well let them vote as well.

Judge sentences Special Forces vet, spends night in jail with him – Judge spends night with him? No wonder it was such a short sentence.  Actually this is another really nice story.*

Kelly Ripa plans return to daytime talk show Tuesday – I know I’ll be watching.  What is more entertaining that a 90 lb. sweet little white girl ripping a new one on a 250 lb. tough black dude? 

If Michael can charm his way through this, he IS the MAN!


*Next week I may post Really Nice Headlines Sunday…I doubt I can find enough for a post.

_____________________________

Come back next week for more:

STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY!!

Friday, April 22, 2016

DOES AGE MATTER?


DOES AGE MATTER?

A cranky opinion for

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with little expertise in the subject opined.  Opposing views are welcome, but they are wrong.  As always, please, no name calling…that means you, you big stupid head!


I will turn 70 in a few weeks.  I retired 8 years ago.  I sleep a lot, I play a little golf, bowl from time to time when the league needs a sub, practice guitar, read and write a little, watch TV, eat, and then sleep a lot. I do not miss work, I do not want to work; I doubt I am even qualified to be a Wal-Mart greeter.

Donald Trump will soon be 70.  Hillary Clinton will soon be 69.  Bernie Sanders is 74. Ted Cruz seems like he was born sometime after the Civil War.  Why do these people want to be President Of the United States?

Why do people who are at an age when their peers grow more and more tired want to take on the most difficult job in the world.  How are these people who are at an age where others lose stamina, concentration, and strength, the only candidates for a job that requires more stamina, strength and concentration than any other job in the world?

Why does anyone want this job?  Why do senior citizens who have fame, money, and prestige want to suddenly take on the position of most powerful person in the world?

I don’t guess I could ever understand the answers to any of these questions.  I longed for retirement and am very happy to do nothing.  I do nothing very well.  Nothing is what I do best.  I do not think I would want to be the most powerful person in the world.  Mind you, I am glad there are some people who want this job, even if they are older than dirt. 

It just strikes me that for any other position in this country, persons over 65 would be ineligible.

An athlete is over the hill at 40.  Policeman and fireman often retire at age 40 or 45.  Most teachers retire at 50 or 60.  Very few CEO’s of large corporations are over 60, and probably none are chosen for the position at such an advanced age.  Seventy is the age that social security has the largest pay out.  Seventy is the age that you have to start drawing from your 401K plans.

The President of the United States is a job that requires a person to be at the top of their game.  No one is at the top of their game at seventy.  I don’t want a seventy year old drilling my teeth.  I don’t want a seventy year old in the operating room.  Seventy year olds are not leading ladies or men in the acting world, no one wants to see a seventy year old stripper, and there are very few seventy year old coaches of major sports teams. 

Seventy year olds have experience, they offer great advise, they have a world of knowledge…they are not at the top of their game.

I want a President who is at the top of his game, someone with strength, stamina and concentration, someone in good health who can be expected to stay in good health for at least four years. 

We currently only have one such candidate, and he is immensely unlikable.

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I Had a Rocket Scientist on my Side


I Had a Rocket Scientist on my Side

I don’t know if I’ve ever told this story.  I searched for it on blogger and found nothing.  I seem to remember posting it, but apparently not.  Anyway if I don’t remember no one else will, frankly it is not that great a story.

Anyone who has ever sold a house, particularly when they were ready to close on a new house, knows it is very stressful.  I am told it is right behind divorce, and a new baby on the wheel of stress.  In 1996, we were close to settling on a new house and the sale of our current house fell through.  The buyer found a crack in the basement foundation caused by ground-water pressure.  He got scared and got out of Dodge.

That crack ultimately cost me over $20,000 in the sale price of the house.

The house was still under the builder’s warranty, and the builder installed several 6 inch I-beams buttressed up against the crack to prevent it from further movement.  Several weeks later we had a new buyer albeit at a much lower price.
The builder described this a "over-kill.

This buyer was concerned about the repaired crack and wanted his brother, an engineer to look at it.  The engineer brother drilled a few small holes, poked around and made believe he was doing something.  In actuality he was putting on a big act to skim a few more bucks out of our price.

When he was done he started spouting some mumbo-jumbo about the repair needing “active resistance” and we only had “passive resistance.”  He claimed a proper fix would require springs and levers and who knows what to create “active resistance.”

Now it so happened, that during this bull crap attempt to have me lower my price by another $5000, we had Maureen, a friend of my wife’s visiting.   Maureen worked for Lockheed Martin and had a doctorate in physics and propulsion.  She was in fact, a Rocket Scientist with more degrees than a circle.

When the rip-off engineer was through with his “active resistance” versus “passive resistance” spiel, Maureen spoke up,

“I’m sorry, that doesn’t make any sense to me.”

“Well, what is it that you don’t understand, the difference between active and passive resistance? It is a little complicated.”

“No, what I don’t understand, is if the current I-beams are firmly abutted against the wall, that could be considered only ‘passive resistance’, but if the wall starts to buckle it will be against these very substantial I-beams and the resistance will then effectively become ‘active resistance.’  Your claim is pure crap, you know it and I know it. If you buy this house your “active resistance” fix will never be installed.  It is clear to me that you are just trying to rip my friends off.”

“That’s a pretty bold statement, do you have any actual credentials.  Because I don’t think you know what you are talking about, are you a structural engineer?”

"No, but I do have a doctorate in physics and specialize in propulsion engineering."

I had to step in.  “She happens to be a damn rocket scientist. I have to think that somewhere along the line she has had to figure out the concept of active and passive resistance, so if the builders fix is not satisfactory, I guess we don’t have a deal.”

At this point the buyer stormed out saying he would have to think about it.  In my heart I knew he wanted the deal.  After he left I was livid.  I told the buyer’s agent who had remained,

“Listen, I really need this deal, but I will let it die in a New York minute before I bend over and spread’em for this prick!”

The buyer’s agent actually apologized, but thought the deal would probably not go through.

The next day another buyer put in a bid $5000 above the current bid.  It was not as good a contract, as the financing was not as solid as the first. 

Mr. Active Resistance dude was furious when he heard of this new bid.

  “They can’t show the house, we were under contract, I’ll sue their asses off!” 

It was explained to him that his contract at the time was contingent on resolving the “Passive Resistance” issue and so there was no contract.  He dropped his request for compensation in lieu of the basement wall issue and we took his bid as we didn’t want to lose the deal due to the new buyer not getting financing.

I kind of hated to let this bastard buy the house, but it was in our best interests.  At least I got to see the look on his face when he realized that Maureen had busted his bull shit scheme to squeeze a few more thousand dollars out of us.

Twenty years later when I drive by, that house is standing just fine.  I am glad that, thanks to Maureen, we actively resisted his bull-crap attempt to hold us up, while the passively resistant I-beams continue to do the same to the basement wall.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Backup Camera


The Backup Camera

A couple of years ago, we bought a new car.  We bought a big old fancy super duper top of the line luxury SUV.   OK, it’s a Toyota, but still pretty nice and with a bunch of neat features.

Within one month of the purchase Mrs. C put a big dent in the rear bumper.  She put the dent in the bumper by backing up into a small concrete post which was to keep cars from driving through a store window.  

Now if you think I am going to go on a rant about how bad woman drivers are, you are wrong.  First of all I don’t mind a dent in the rear bumper.  The car runs just as well, and there is no paint damage, so it won’t cause rust.  Secondly, Mrs. C is a very good driver.   No, the point of this post is that technology can be dangerous.

The fancy new car came equipped with a backup camera.  A little window on the rear view mirror shows you exactly what is behind you when you back up, and gives a warning “Beep” before you hit anything.  How then did Mrs. C hit the small concrete post?
  
It was the fault of the backup camera.  

Before she had the luxury of a backup camera displaying in the mirror, Mrs. C would drive in reverse with her head turned around to see what was going on behind her.  The fancy new car spoiled her.  She could simply look in the mirror and not have to crane her neck to safely drive in reverse.

WHAM! “WTF? What was that, I didn’t see anything?”

She got out of the car and saw the concrete post that was not displayed by the backup camera because the backup camera apparently has a blind spot.

Is the backup camera in the fancy car worthless?  No, it is helpful, but only if used along with traditional driving in reverse methods.  The backup camera is only useful as a backup to the traditional head turn and one arm steering.

There is a warning on the cars side mirrors, “Objects may be closer than they appear.” I think the backup camera should have a warning, “Objects may be about to smash your rear bumper, do not trust the camera!”

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Are The Publishers Clearing House?


Are The Publishers Clearing House?

Around October, the Cranky House received a letter.  It was from a company, Publisher’s Clearing House.  Apparently we might have won $7000 a week for life.  A WEEK! FOR LIFE! I don’t know about any of you, but $7000 a week for life would come in very handy in the Cranky household.

In order to be eligible for this Princely sum, we had to fill something out and mail it back.  Mrs. C took care to do this.  The next week we received another letter that we were still eligible for the big prize.  We simply had to fill something out and mail it back again.  Mrs. C took care of this once more and as long as she was doing it decided to also order something.  Nothing big, a pen with a plastic daisy top or some such tchotchke.

The next week we received two more similar announcements from Publisher’s Clearing House.  The forms in both were filled out and returned.  Mrs. C may have made another small purchase.  All the letters and forms clearly say purchase of any item will not increase your chance to win $7000 a week for life, but Mrs. C thinks they lie and a purchase will increase your chances to win.  Hey, for $7000 a week for life, a few tchotchkes are a good investment.

It is now April, and we have received at least two such letters from Publisher’s Clearing House every week…sometimes more.  They now claim the final drawing will be in May, but I think they have dangled that carrot at us before.  Mrs. C thinks she has returned every entry form and she made several other purchases.

I hope they do have a drawing in May and end this relentless process of sending multiple entry forms.  If I am not going to win $7000 a week for life, I would like to find out soon before I start to spend it.

I am beginning to think they do not actually have a drawing.  I think they keep sending forms until only one person is left that did not fail to send in one of the entry forms, and that person is the winner.  Either that or they are just going to keep sending entry forms until Ed McMahon makes a comeback.

So far Mrs. C seems to be keeping up and we are apparently still in the running.  We were planning a trip in May, but we may have to postpone it so we do not miss submitting one of our weekly entry forms. 

What the heck, for $7000 a week for life we could take a lot of trips.