WHILE I SEE MYSELF AS A TRENDSETTER I am also the kind of guy who sometimes latches on to the latest fad. I’ve had Mood Rings, Roller Skates, a Pet Rock, and a Hula Hoop. And now I’m going along with another fun fad that is sweeping the nation. It’s in the News every day!
Allow me to present –
It is 16° degrees outside, but I don’t mind it right now because it keeps some people at home and away from me.
These days it seems like most people are screaming – at one another, at the government, at the world, at themselves. When things don’t go the way they like they start to scream thinking that will make things better – “Better” being the way they want things to be. It doesn’t work of course. It never has, it never will.
Self-Delusion is so much neater than Reality.
There are full-time jobs, part-time jobs, and jobs that are one-time things – like bank jobs. Not jobs for a bank, but in a bank – with a note, concealed weapon, and a getaway car.
Some jobs are better than others. That’s true whether you are just starting out or nearing retirement.
I’VE BEEN WEARING A SWEATSHIRT today that trumpeted my old college alma mater – well, one of them anyway. It took four different schools for me to finally earn my degree. I attribute that high body count to
1) Moving from one state to another.
2) Not going to class, and
3) Finally getting serious about it all.
My sweatshirt is from Baldwin-Wallace University. Never heard of it? It is one of those school that ranks at the top of the list nationwide, but to most people, it might as well be the University of Neptune.
Throwback Thursday from January 2016
I know a person with a graduate degree in finance from an Ivy League school. He can squeeze so much value out of a dime that it makes FDR get up and walk.
Now, I like saving money as much as the next guy – maybe a bit more even. I grew up poor with cardboard in my shoes to cover the holes. Even today, at an overripe old age, I still wince whenever I spend money. But, the fellow of whom I speak has elevated money-saving to an Art.
Throwback Thursday from January 2015
I SAW THE FOLLOWING news item yesterday and I thought that it might have repercussions beyond just traffic problems.
“ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — Authorities closed all southbound lanes of Interstate 95 north of Rocky Mount early Wednesday after a tractor-trailer carrying ramen noodles wrecked near N.C. Highway 4.
No other information about the wreck has been released, but boxes of noodles were spilled over a larger portion of the highway.
The state Department of Transportation said the closure could last all morning. Lanes are expected to reopen by 3:30 p.m.”
I thought that when the word of this crash got out all hell would break loose.
My brain created its own little movie of college students all over the South dropping their textbooks and i-phones and rushing to the accident scene.
The first reel, even under the opening credits, would show speeding traffic along Interstate 95, and then the Semi in question loosing traction and slamming into a bridge abutment. Next comes a slo-mo following shot of thousands of those little cellophane packets of the Ramen Noodles spreading out across all lanes like little flavored migratory butterflies.
Music comes up: Paul McCartney and Wings – reunited to sing: “Food on the run.” I can almost smell an Oscar nomination coming for the soundtrack.
The next shot cuts to hordes of skinny underclassmen and women sensing the possibility of free meals, scattering across the landscape, heading toward the Interstate. It is meals just ripe for the picking. An overturned truckload of gold bullion (not bouillon cubes) would not draw such a response.
Those Ramen Noodles don’t grow on trees, y’know. One must strike while the saucepan is hot.
In my collegiate days (Pre-Ramen) we were limited to making grilled cheese sandwiches with a steam iron or instant soups that tasted like flavored sea water. If an accident like this had happened back in the late 1960s I would have been moving with all imprudent speed to scoop up as many free and easy meals as I could stuff into my backpack.
Most days I can look at news stories and just yawn. Things don’t vary all that much from Six O’clock News to Six O’clock News. If you want to get my attention you’ve got to do something original, or at least really dumb. Spreading several tons of Ramen Noodles across an Interstate highway gets my attention. It also makes me hungry.
Talk amongst yourselves for a while. I’m going out to get some lunch.
SOME SAY THAT THE WHEEL IS THE GREATEST OF ALL INVENTIONS. Others say it is fire, or the printing press. I disagree. I think that the greatest invention in the History of the Human Species is The Dollar Store.
Let me explain…
When I was a kid, when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, Time seemed to move much slower than it does now. Back then the span of time from Monday until Friday seemed to take forever. Each school day stretched out endlessly.
The Place: St. Arbucks Main Chapel.
As I pulled into the parking lot, headed toward my usual Gimp Spot to leave the Toyota I noticed something unusual – the lot was almost full.
Normally at this time of day – scratch that – this time of night, the lot is all but deserted except for the cars belonging to the Early Shift Geezers who must sleep over. No matter when I arrive they are already there swilling coffee and comparing hip replacement stories.
When I stepped inside there were about fifteen additional humans in there. The extras were all young, male, and large – College students.
There we were in beautiful Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Look, a parking space.”) and we decided to pop into the local Staples store to pick up a few things – we tend to burn through office supplies.
That sounds rather sinister doesn’t it? I don’t mean it to be like that. It’s just that there are times when you know that something is going to happen, not necessarily a bad thing, and you should try to make sure it is going to go in the direction you choose.
What I’m talking about in my case is that I am obligated, by law, to start drawing on my IRA Retirement Savings by next January. If I fail to make any arrangements on the disbursement some fine and talented Federal Employee will decide for me. I find that possibility downright scary.
WHEN WE WERE CHILDREN we all had fantasies about what we wanted to be when we “grew up.” I wanted to be a cowboy. Dawn wanted to be a Playwright – a rather precocious child. My brother wanted to be a baseball player. In one of my father’s high school yearbooks he listed that his career ambition was to become a “Traveling Silk Stocking Salesman.” I’m sure his mother was thrilled when she saw that. He ended up as a Roofer.
We have had some nasty weather lately that has brought down some tree limbs. I still have volumes to learn about how to properly do a Ponytail. My wife, the lovely and seriously Southpaw, Dawn, is still dealing with the discomfort and frustration of a broken left arm – and we’ve had two members of the church pass away.
This week is one we would just as soon forget, but life won’t let us do that.
You have to stand up and deal with it as it comes. You can deal with it well, or you can deal with it poorly, but you can’t pretend it isn’t there. It is what it is.
“THINGS ARE FINE IN MOUNT IDY, SHE GOES ON.”
That was the opening line that an old comedian used at the start of his act. He would read fictional letters from his Mamma back in the old home town of Mount Idy. I think you would have to be at least 60 years old to remember him.
He was always introduced as “Cliff Arquette as Charley Weaver,” and he was a regular guest on the Tonight Show for years. Later he was part of the “Hollywood Squares” collection of celebrities.
The reason I bring him up today is that I feel a bit like Charley Weaver some days as I report on the “goings on” in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Elsie Krack doesn’t live here.”). This is a town that has a rather sordid past and a questionable future, but right now there is an abundant supply of strange, unusual, crazy, and “you gotta be kidding me,” stuff going on.
The colleges and universities are spewing forth a fresh crop of graduates – most of whom are trading in their mortarboards and tassels for paper hats and napkin dispensers.
I LOVE GOING INTO ST. ARBUCKS. It is a veritable showcase for displaying the skills of the Marketing and Advertising people who are sitting in Seattle drinking way too much coffee and not getting enough Vitamin D.
There is no way I can verify this, but – I suspect that the corporate Marketing and Ad folks working at the Espresso Vatican are all in their 20s with MFA degrees from East Coast schools. Moving to Seattle was the first time that they have not had their parent’s home listed as their legal address.
While still on campus they attended a “Job Fair” where the Head Hunters from the Puget Sound passed out coupons and seriously flirted with anyone who could correctly spell “Frappuccino.”
I think my daily exposure to the Sisters of Divine Providence may have had something to do with it.