Archive for August, 2011

Some earthquake

Posted in Odds on August 25, 2011 by The Prince of Pithy

Did I feel the big East Coast Earthquake of 2011?  I’m not sure.

My dad, a niece, a nephew and I were picking green beans.  A lot of green beans.  You know those reusable groceries bags?  We filled six.  I would pick for a while, and then I’d have to stand up because my legs were killing me.  I’d try to work the knots out of my legs, then I’d go back and pick some more.  At one point I was taking a break in the Gator (basically, a four wheeler with a small bed) drinking some water, when I felt it rocking.  The rocking was strong enough that I knew it was the Gator moving, but it wasn’t much stronger than the “am I just going wobbly” feeling from … sun stroke or something.  Anyway, I was about to jokingly ask if there had just been an earthquake when I looked down and saw that our dog was lying in the shade under the Gator panting.  I figured, Oh, he’s just rubbing the Gator, that’s why it’s rocking.  I went back to picking beans.

Thirty or forty minutes later, my mom, my niece, my nephew and I were surrounded by bags of beans and pans as we prepared them for canning.  The phone rang.  My mom said that instead of everybody having to move to get to the phone, we’d just let the answering machine get it.  So the answering machine picks up and it’s my sister (and mother to that niece and nephew) asking if we had felt the earthquake.  I figured she had to be joking.  But a few hours later – after the final bean had been cut – I turned on the news and heard them talking about the East Coast Earthquake. 

Now part of me – born in my testosterone filled adolescence, but since taken over by the writer in me – would like to live through a tornado or be a bystander at a shootout or something, just for the experience.  Living through an earthquake was on that list as well, but if that was the earthquake I felt rocking the Gator, I’ll have to revise it to living through an earthquake I wouldn’t mistake for a panting dog.

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Sometimes I’m embarrassed to live in this country

Posted in Politics, Rant on August 19, 2011 by The Prince of Pithy

So President Obama is going to give this speech on creating jobs.  Okay.  Now, I don’t get too much into politics because usually after five minutes of listening to some of these people, my blood pressure is much higher and I often want to punch my TV.  But the other day these analysts were discussing what he might say.  One of the things he might say is to increase spending to fix our infrastructure.  Here, here, I say.  We’ve should have been spending money to fix our failing infrastructure for the past thirty years.  It’s a simple proposition: spend some money now to fix the problems of X, or wait for something to fail catastrophically and spend far more money to replace X.  In my simple opinion, it’s a no-brainer.

Now the Tea Party with their rigid “Governments spending money is evil” ideology will foam at the mouth at the possibility Obama will say this, let alone if he actually does.  To them I say that’s stupid.  If you’re driving along and you get a flat tire, you get out and fix it.  You don’t keep driving until you fuck up everything and you have to buy a new car.  I mean, we SERIOUSLY only have three choices: spend money now to fix the “minor” problems like bridges about to crumble, spend even more money when these problems explode, or let our infrastructure collapse, along with our economy, our national prestige, our ranking as the world’s strongest nation, etc., etc.  Not fixing our infrastructure will destroyAmericain ways Al-Qaeda has wet dreams about.

Now what did the Democratic strategist say about what might be in Obama’s speech?  Don’t mention infrastructure because it doesn’t connect to people.  Apparently, if our President comes out and says, “Here is a problem we are facing, here is how we fix it, we are going to fix it,” just doesn’t get us excited.  It lacks pizzazz.  I guess we want the President to come out with a top hat and cane and sing and dance.  Who cares if it actually solves problems, as long as the people notice something.

Of course the question is, are the political movers and shakers to blame for underestimating the American people, or are the American people to blame because we care more about some idiots on a beach than serious matters?  The answer – I suspect – is a little from Column A, a little from Column B.

Tidbits of history

Posted in Uncategorized on August 10, 2011 by The Prince of Pithy

The easy part of my move is over, now I have to figure out where to put all of my stuff.  Included in my stuff are several boxes of VHS tapes.  Most of them are probably ten to fifteen years old, but I’m going through them anyway to see what I can get rid off and what I should keep.  I’ve heard that some places will take VHS tapes for recycling, but I haven’t had luck finding such places.  If you know of any – especially in northwestern PA – let me know.  Some of the tapes I know I can get rid off, like the ones I used to tape all five seasons of Babylon 5 (I now have the DVDs).  Other tapes I know I need to hang on, for now at least, like the ones with all three seasons of Tour of Duty.  But I also have many unmarked tapes.  So I’ve started watching one or two a day.  The first tape I watched had a grainy, bad sound, censored for TV version of History of the World, Part 1.  While fast-forwarding to see what was taped after it (a grainy, bad sound, censored for TV version of Mars Attacks!) I came across some old commercials.  It was weird.  For example, I saw a commercial for one of those beds where you can adjust the firmness, and I swear I had seen it recently.  Possibly – since I don’t think the technology has changed that much – they just used the same basic script, but with newer actors.  But they could probably rerun it today, and you’d just tune it out like all the others.  There was however, something very noticeable about the commercial that ran after that one.  It was a phone commercial.  Nowadays, phone commercials are all about how you can watch movies, shop online, and the other 800,000 things you can do with phones now.  But back in the day of VCRs, phones were just things you used to talk to other people.  That was it.  The commercial I saw was of two sisters who lived in different states, but they would call and spend hours talking.  You saw one sister standing in her kitchen laughing while holding something smaller than a breadbox up to her ear.  You then saw the other sister lounging on her couch while her phone had a curly cord that ran off somewhere off screen.  That got me thinking, When was the last phone commercial that showed a corded phone?  It also got me thinking, Am I really that old?