Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I will never use an ARCO gas station again and compost powered cars

As I finished my week in the Bay Area and was driving back to the Valley early this morning, I did something I haven't done in years...I stopped at an ARCO gas station. Normally, I avoid ARCO because although their gas runs about five cents a gallon cheaper, the methamphetamine addict drama that usually plays itself out there is something I haver little energy for (I'm guessing for every five cents a gallon saved is another five cents towards staying up for five days straight and disassembling a motorcycle transmission at 3 am). Anyway, ARCO seems to have a disproportionate number of questionable characters there, but today I was feeling thrifty so I went. First thing that jumped out at me: they FORCE you to leave the pump and go in the store to see the cashier. I rarely carry cash. Cash is a pain in the ass. I like plastic (debit, credit, whatever). It's convenient. It's great at gas stations because you can just plunk your card in the slot and off you go. Well, the ARCO pump has a card reader, but it serves no purpose. It stated right next to card reader: "For credit or debit transactions, please see the cashier." And by seeing the cashier, it means standing behind three drunk people with B.O. buying SlimJims, pork rinds, condoms, and cigarettes (sounds like a busy weekend, huh?). This is why I use plastic, to AVOID seeing the cashier. So, just on a whim, I tried the card reader anyway. Needless to say, it just flashed a sign that said, yep, "Please see the cashier." One DOES have to wonder, "Just what in the hell is it for then?" Fine. So I go in and hand my card over to the cashier (after trying to decipher the alcohol fumed funk coming off of the people in front of me: construction worker who hasn't bathed in three days? Drug addict who lives behind a dumpster? Jihadist freedom fighter who just came in off of a three month stint in the hills of Afghanistan?). I walk back to the car and start to pump my gas. Know how long it takes to pump 15 gallons of gas from an ARCO gas pump? 43 hours. Seriously, I thought my pump was broken. I raised a family, sent the kids off to college, and had a retirement dinner celebration and I was only on gallon number seven. I looked around and all the other pumps were pumping as slowly (now 'pumping slowly' may have its place, but not here). I'm guessing when you're counting every penny in order to have a little something left for those SlimJims and cigarettes, well, you don't want that pump to fly and accidentally stop twelve cents over your limit. So, after continental drift had changed the face of the Earth by the time the pump finished, I drove off thinking how much happier I would have been had I spent the extra eighty-five cents a tank across the street at Chevron.

Also, I have figured out why nobody in the Bay Area drives faster than 62 MPH. Their cars are incapable of higher speeds due to their vehicle being powered by the 'green technology' of garden compost. Surely a populace fueled on high octane gasoline wouldn't be so incapable of even merely APPROACHING the speed limit.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Doing Laundry at night...again...

"I think that I shall never see,
a poem as complicated as me"

OK. That is all I have tonight.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stuff at 3:23 am

Well, due to the unusual hours I work, my sleep schedule is somewhat contrary to the rest of society and I find myself doing normal things at abnormal hours. In this case, I'm killing time on the 'pooter (as in 'computer'...not the toilet...gross) as I do laundry. Yea. Its always a party at my place. Anyways, a few thoughts:

-what is cool? Are we allowed to decide for ourselves anymore? It seems to me we are not. Example? Levi's vs. Apple products (I just saw one of their incessant commercials so I'm using them as a prime example). One became cool, and one was made to "be" cool...once an incessant marketing campaign beat it into your head. Here's what I mean. Levi's jeans were originally developed as a tough, utilitarian pair of pants for gold miners in 19th century California. The reason why they were blue is because that was the cheapest and most durable dye Mr. Levi Strauss could get in large quantities for his denim pants. Why denim? Because gold miners work in rough conditions and needed a tough product. Then one day starting in the 50's, kids started wearing these jeans and they started to become associated with rock and roll. They were anti establishment. They weren't polite. They became cool. People took a product designed for something else, and decided it was cool when it wasn't trying to be. In fact, not trying to be cool (and I mean genuinely not trying to be) is the very definition of cool. People were free to decide for themselves what was cool free of a (then) existing marketing campaign telling them how cool they were for wearing these jeans.
Now, contrast that with Apple products (confession: I'm typing this on a MacBook). It is decided they are "cool" before they are even released to the public. We have no choice in the matter. Their products are released at conventions of rabid followers by the company president who struts around in his black mock turtleneck, jeans (ha!), and his ever present bottle of water. And people sit in rapt stillness as he unleashes the next "cool" product. "It's the new iWad toilet paper applicator!" (Had a convo with a person a while back about toilet paper application products, and I know how Apple loves 'applications' *pun intended*, so it seems to me only a matter of time before they develop something along these lines...maybe have U2 star in the commercial. You know, Bono wiping his backside with an iWad while Beautiful Day blares in a multi-colored background. God knows these guys are apparently whoring themselves out for these things now...iPods? Blackberry's? Bono, stop now while I can still think of you as the guy who sang The Electric Co. and New Years Day...not the guy shilling for corporate giants). Bow down to the "coolness" of Apple! Now, to me, that is a company trying too hard. And trying too hard isn't cool. If your products are good and worthy, then people will decide if they are cool or not, you don't need to push so hard (after all, nobody is attracted to somebody demanding "love me", right?).

-women are put off by men with a brain. Here's what I mean. Women may complain about a guy having a single minded focus of thinking with his dick, and they may make a big deal about being treated as an object, etc. But you know what? I think its a front...a lie. I think they PREFER their men this way. Here's why: a guy, say, younger than thirtyish, is pretty preoccupied with getting laid...or at least the almighty beejay. It's kind of what we live for. And guess what? That makes us easy. Predictable. Controllable. MALLEABLE. And a woman loves a malleable guy. And when sex is a guys prime focus, all a woman has to do is play the card she was BORN WITH: her sexuality. How easy is that??? I cannot imagine, as a man, going through life with the idea the world will cater to me just for the sole reason I'm in possession of a functional penis. I mean, it must be awesome, and I can see why so many women obsess over this part of themselves...sometimes to the detriment of other aspects of their being. But then something happens to a guy post thirtyish...we realize how stupid we were, and that we sold ourselves incredibly short. That, and once you've been laid enough, you realize theres a whole helluva lot more to life, and you begin to wonder just how worth the effort it all was in your days of yore. Things like a womans sense of humor, intelligence, hell, A JOB, start to matter. Is the person nice? Yes...nice counts. A LOT. You begin to realize pretty is everywhere. Smart? Funny? Decently employed? Sane???? A fucking RARITY. A young man will sell his soul to the dumbest, nastiest, craziest wench if she's hot enough. A guy who has lived a little will laugh and say "Yeah...nice rack...what else 'ya got?" I think this throws women off their game...maybe even worries them a bit. A guy NOT thinking with his dick is a wild card...unpredictable...and a mystery as to what to do with. Unfortunately, nobody gave me this pep talk at twenty...and truth be told I was so obsessed with T&A I probably wouldn't have listened anyway. But now? I feel liberated.

OK, laundry is done, and time for bed...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Parasites and The Tour de France

So, as I sit on my sofa in my underwear drinking coffee and watching television (got to LOVE the combination of being on vacation AND having a house to yourself) I see an advertisement for a 'reality medical show' called Monsters Inside Me. Wow. Just when I thought we couldn't get anymore disgusting with our television programming, here comes a show about...human parasites. I know...gag. Who would want to see a show about such a topic? Other than instill a paranoid sense of dread into the psyche of people who already tend to run towards the hypochondriac, what are we to gain from watching in HD detail the horrific possibilities nature can throw at us? If you haven't already grasped the idea of wash your hands, cook your food, practice diligent hygiene, don't go for swims in open sewers and Third World rivers, and question how bad you REALLY want that taco off of that downtown street vendor at 3 am, then I guess go ahead and watch this show in order to encourage you begin TO follow these valuable life skills. It makes me wonder whats next in television programming land? World worst infected open sores? You, me and STD's? World's goriest hemorrhaging arteries? Stay tuned to find out!

Ok, and what was I watching in my underwear this morning? The Tour de France. Here's an interesting thing about the Tour... women don't get it and think its stupid (well, other than my sister who watches every year). Here's a typical conversation I've had with multiple women over the years as I try and watch the Tour:

Female (f): Is that a bicycle race?
Me (m): Yes.
f: Why are they racing in a big pack? How can you win if you're all together?
m: Well, they're not always in a big pack...which is called the Peloton. You see, sometimes, depending on stage and terrain...
f: You've already lost me. This is stupid. I'm going shopping.

That is essentially, with a few variations, just about every conversation I've ever had. Speaking of other things most women find stupid, I think I'll go and hit some golf balls....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

VISA thinks I'm a fried chicken eating porn addict

OK, so I am finally making good on my promise to split my daughters rooms and set them each up with their own bedroom. They've hit the age where they no longer want to share a room, but want their own space. Totally understandable, and, like I said, project underway. As a result of this, i donated to charity 90% of their old bedroom furniture, and am in the middle of purchasing new "teen girl appropriate" bedroom furniture. Nothing too fancy mind you, but still a few bucks out of pocket. So what happens in the middle of my furniture shopping spree? Well, the ever diligent VISA corp. froze my credit card. You see, because I rarely use the stupid thing and keep a near zero balance at all times, apparently the last thing the VISA people want me to do is actually go out and charge things on it. So, once I spent over $1000 dollars on it in one day, they froze the account due to "suspicious activity". Right. Young women's bedroom furniture raises all sorts of red flags. Good thing they're on the ball for that sort of nefarious purchasing. Now, you may be thinking "Hey, you should be happy they're looking out for your best interests." Normally, I would agree with you. However, a few years ago, my credit card number was stolen, and it was used to make long distance calls to Southeast Asia and Northern Europe, purchase online porn and make pornographic calls to "900" numbers, multiple fried chicken and gasoline runs in the greater Los Angeles area, salon treatments in the greater Los Angeles area, and one (ONE!) pizza. Needless to say, the VISA corp. approved all those purchases as "non-suspicious". So if I understand the VISA corp.'s line of reasoning, it is perfectly believable that I'm a pornography addicted, fried chicken eating, self indulgent man-salon going, gas guzzling, solitary pizza eating Los Angeles (note: I do not live in LA...and my billing address on file with the VISA corp. reflects that little factoid) maniac with extended family throughout Asia and Northern Europe, than it is for VISA to believe I'm buying bedroom furniture for 12 and 14 yr. old girls in the town I ACTUALLY FUCKING LIVE IN. Gotta tell 'ya, you just can't sneak anything past those VISA folks...well, other than porn and fried chicken that is.