Wednesday, May 22, 2013
You know, I’m often surprised at some of the things that bother people. Insignificant things can really chap a person’s hide. And I should know, because some inconsequential things can really give me a rash all over my sexy body.
There has been one particular thing that has me scratching my head…
The Chigger and her oldest son, Sam, have a real problem with a truck being parked in front of the house. The truck is a large, diesel-powered behemoth with four wheels on the rear axle. Those are referred to as “dualies”. We have given our neighbor the nickname of “Dualie”.
We live on a cul-de-sac and for the most part, it’s peaceful. There’s very little traffic and everyone seems friendly enough. But that truck parked in front of the house on pavement that belongs to ALL of us really irks them to no end.
Sam was the first one to say something, “I wish Dualie would park his truck in his own yard.”
“But the cul-de-sac belongs to all of us,” I said. “They’ve run out of parking in their own yard.”
And that’s true. They’re vehicles must be reproducing like rabbits. One day there were only three vehicles. Then there were five or six parked up and down the driveway with one or two more parked in the cul-de-sac. Toss in the occasional visitor(s) and there would be seven or eight vehicles. Sometimes it’s like an automotive orgy right out there in the open. Doing ungodly things like parking on the grass and heaven forbid… Parking in front of our house on publicly owned pavement.
As you may have picked up on, this is not one of life’s little worries for me. I don’t care. I’ve lived in the big city of Greensboro. I understand the concept of publicly owned streets where everyone has a right to park legally where they please. If it’s in front of my house, so be it.
The two that the parked truck bothers says things like…
“Why can’t they park in their yard?”
“It’s spoiling the view.”
“Why couldn’t they ask before they parked in front of the house?”
“It’s in the way. I can barely get in the other driveway.” (We rarely use that other driveway)
“It’s parked across from their house.”
“I’m tired of seeing that big-ass truck.”
“Parking in the cul-de-sac is against City Ordinance Section 8 paragraph 17.”
Personally, I cannot understand why it’s such a big deal to them. Sure, it’s been parked there without moving for a week now. But I look at it as a deterrent for would be thieves. The truck gives the impression that someone is home or at the very least working at our home.
I don’t even understand why the City of King has a problem with parking in a cul-de-sac. It may just be the fact that we don’t have curbs, I don’t know. I’ve heard that it’s about City vehicles that come around to do the weekly things that they do, I don’t know. It’s not like parking there would disrupt the flow of traffic.
Another neighbor was told by the police that parking the front end of their cars between the pavement and the ditch would be within the City Ordinance. Sure, they’re wearing away the grass but they’re within the legal realm of things.
It just doesn’t bother me. It’s not like there’s much of a view anyway. Unless one of the neighbors is walking around in a bikini, I just don’t care. I’ve got other views to see… Like the ones on our Hi-Def television.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
It seems that I have to force myself back into a routine with blog writing. It’s not like I have anything to write about. My brain is teeming with all sorts of recent experiences, but I’m too lazy to put fingers to the word processor. So I’m just whipping this out so I can drink the Beer of the Week from City Beverage Company on The Less Desirables podcast.
And to be totally up front, I’d rather knock things off the DVR by watching our TV screen as opposed to stringing words together to form semi-coherent sentences on a laptop.
Speaking of television, I recently purchased a small over-the-air antenna for the TV in the bedroom.
Normally, I’m opposed to having a television in the bedroom. That’s where sleeping, procreative acts, and boudoir photography take place. But I do like flipping it on first thing in the morning to hear the latest weather, news, and traffic.
We attempted to watch last Sunday’s episode of ‘Downton Abbey’ cuddled up in flannel sheets, but that plan was thwarted by one of the kids. They have impeccable timing when it comes to one of Chigger’s favorite shows. ‘Downton Abbey’ runs commercial free on PBS and once that joker starts up over-the-air, you just gotta roll with it. So as Chigger divided her attention with her first born, I hit pause on the DVR. We missed our opportunity.
Yeah, I wish we could have an over-the-air DVR. I’ve gotten to where I rely on them. But I don’t think that technology is here yet.
Why did I purchase an over-the-air antenna?
I have two reasons.
First, I have been toying with the idea of cutting the cord on satellite. Most of my shows can be found streaming somewhere. I can usually find it on the network’s webpage a day or two after the show’s premiere.
Second, I’ve been hearing about all the content on the local sub-channels that haven’t been picked up by my satellite provider. Older shows that were once the mainstay of TV Land (no longer a great network) are all over the place. WXII runs with Me-TV and WGHP runs it’s own brand of oldies along with classic movies. WFMY uses their sub-channel for 24 hour weather… Ho hum. There could be news, but I don’t know. It’s weather updates whenever I go through there.
Way to go WFMY… You’re wasting a perfectly good sub-channel to give us something we can all get on our smart phones almost instantly. That’s some awesome outside of the box thinking. That’s exactly what we need… More of Leigh Brock’s shrill voice. But I suppose they’re trying to appeal to those viewers over the age of 60 even though I haven’t seen a single commercial there. And to be honest, I only hit that channel in passing. It’s simply a waste. A damn shame. Let Eric Chilton program that baby! He knows his classic television.
I’m a little saddened that I haven’t seen ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ or ‘Green Acres’ on these sub-channels. I’ve seen their big brother counterparts advertising those personal favorites of mine on promos for the “dash twos”, but cannot seem to locate them.
Yes, there’s a digital program guide! That surprised me too!
I thought picture quality would be an issue, but it’s not. I thought WXII would be the only one coming in clear since King, NC is practically in the shadow of their tower. But all the channels are crystal clear and sharper in HD than the compressed signal coming through the satellite. I was SHOCKED! The digital age has really improved over-the-air television! I have yet to add aluminum foil to the antenna or held it while standing on one leg to get reception. It’s amazing.
I’m close to cord-cutting, but I’m just not there yet. I like the convenience of having a DVR where all my shows are stacked up and ready for consumption when I choose. I also like being able to watch the networks that cover my favorite sport, NASCAR. I like watching the hours long pre-race show on Speed and a lot of races will be on TNT and ESPN. Some I don’t mind missing, but my issues with those are best left for another blog.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
I experienced something fascinating the other day. It was something that caused me to question my own childhood and adolescent behavior.
After some deeper thought, I found my observations to be well within lines of normal human behavior.
I don’t have any children, but I have a ringside seat at the Ringling Brothers, Chigger & Bailey Circus for 26 performance weeks of the year. I get to hangout under the Big Top for at least 40 hours during each of those weeks. Ninety-eight percent of the time performances are worthy of applause and laughter. The other two percent… Well, it can be like witnessing a motorcycle crash in one of those giant steel spheres. But the performers get back up, dust themselves off, wave at the crowd, and limp off with a reassuring wave of wellness.
Chigger came back from the grocery store after leaving a large portion of her paycheck behind in their cash register. The trunk of her car was filled with a wonderful assortment of food.
The boys helped us carry the provisions into the kitchen and immediately started pulling things from the bags. Not to help put away. They started ripping things open and shoving the contents into their mouths. Horrible sounds of lip smacking, chewing, and grunts of approval filled the air around me. It sounded like someone tossed Michael Vick into a pit filled with hungry members of PETA.
I had the urge to put on one of those padded suits that people wear when training attack dogs. I felt like I needed to protect myself from the teenage and pre-teen zombies that were consuming groceries in the kitchen.
Did I act like this when I was a kid? Did I practically shove my mother into the fridge with the force of an NHL player checking someone into the boards so I could fill my face with newly acquired foodstuffs?
You know… I’m sure I did. Hell, I may have been even worse. Maybe that’s why my mother would occasionally distract me with a new hard rock album that was on sale cheap at the Food Lion.
Yeah, it’s true. Food Lion used to sale vinyl albums back in the 1980’s. The two examples that I remember receiving after Mom’s trip to the grocery store are Quiet Riot’s ‘Metal Health’ and AC/DC’s ‘Flick Of The Switch’.
I don’t know if girls exhibit this type of behavior. I cannot remember if my sisters were around during those times. Perhaps, like a shark, and inner eyelids closed over my eyeballs to protect them through the attack and blinded me during the feeding frenzy.
Maybe this type of behavior all started with cavekids welcoming the caveman back home from the hunt. Those cavekids probably jumped onto that carcass faster than a tyrannosaurus could pounce on a stegosaurus.
It’s more than likely some kind of instinctual thing, I don’t know.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
I’m a Fall TV junkie. I make no apologies. I’ve been an addict since I first turned on the Curtis Mathes that belonged to my parents with my tiny toddler hands. From that first sound of the tubes warming in that giant behemoth to what will eventually be my last breath; I have and will remain obsessed with televised entertainment.
I don’t just watch anything. I am very picky with what I “waste” my time with. I even have a quote… “If you’re going to waste your time watching television, make it quality television.”
And I’m one of the firm believers proclaiming this time in our history as the Second Golden Age of Television.
Even with all the reality show crap populating the televised landscape, there is more than enough quality programming out there to back up the believers.
Beginning in September of every year, there is a fresh new batch of programming looking to find a large audience. Nielsen ratings are key to the survival of every show unless that show is on a paid subscriber channel like HBO or Showtime. The competition has gotten fiercer since Bruce Springsteen recorded a song titled “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)”.
Over a year ago, I joined The Less Desirables weekly pop-culture podcast as their Television Guru. I get to pontificate on what shows you should waste your time with. I try to help you weed out the crap and point you towards the direction of the good stuff. Because, quite frankly, there are plenty of great shows out there for you.
You shouldn’t be watching anything with “CSI” in it unless you’re oblivious and over 60. You shouldn’t waste your time with a program containing the words “Big” or “Bang” in the title unless you’re watching something late at night on Skin-a-max. And if you’re watching ANYTHING where people are displaying a talent or lack of a talent, then I’m convinced that you don’t have anything to contribute to society outside of the proverbial water cooler area.
Oh sure… She’s pretty and everyone is talking about her, but being popular doesn’t mean she’s a satisfying roll in the hay. It may be fun watching ‘American Idol’ or ‘The X-Factor’ and talking to your buddies about it, but will you be watching reruns of those programs 30 years from now?
If the poor DVD sales of those types of shows are an indication, then no, you won’t be revisiting those shows in the distant future. You’ve been there and done that. There’s no need to go back. There are no great scripted and acted out scenes that live forever in your mind. It’s just crap that doesn’t matter. Why waste your time the first go around?
Will folks still be quoting ‘Seinfeld’ or ‘The Office’?
I’m sure of it.
So now I begin my daily breakdown of television shows that I’m enjoying this season…
I currently have nothing on for this night. It’s a free night to catch up on the DVR.
I tried to watch ‘Revolution’ and I wanted it to be good, but it turned out to be as turdy as a hog lagoon. The first episode didn’t grab me. The second one had me MST3K’ing wisecracks all the way through it. The third one stayed on the DVR until the consensus of household said, “Let it go. We are all bored with it.”
The show had a great concept, but lacked proper execution. They had all kinds of flaws and they had to throw in a teenage love angle. And what I mean by flaws are things like this… Their clothes show little wear and tear. They built a wall to protect their tiny village, but neglected to have lookouts posted outside those walls to see the bad guys coming and allow enough time to warn that village. And oh yeah, they leave the gates wide open.
We saw a woman power up and use a computer when no one else can even get a car started, but we no longer cared. We gave up on it, but I hear that it’s still doing well.
Soon we’ll take a current look at Tuesday nights!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
I recently had my first physical in over 5 years. I now have health insurance and since it was determined that I have high blood pressure within the last year, it would be a good idea for me to get that physical and have a little blood work done.
I haven’t been good at taking care of my health. As a matter of fact, I have been abusing my body as if it were a used Gremlin. I don’t eat all that healthy, I drink alcohol like some people drink water, and I only get exercise when someone forces me away from the television.
I told the doctor that I was fully expecting bad news and willing to nod my head to the lecture that would be forthcoming. After all, 30 some years of abuse had to stack the odds against me.
I just knew deep within my dark little heart, my cholesterol would be excessively high and like bacon grease flowing slowly through my veins. After the nurse filled a vial with my blood, I was shocked to see something that looked like vanilla pudding at the bottom of the tube.
I asked, “Did that stuff come out of ME??! That’s REALLY bad news isn’t it?”
“Yes,” she said calmly.
I knew the folks in the waiting room could have heard my gulp after she alarmed me. But then she let me off the hook with a laugh and told me that the stuff at the bottom of the vial was a substance that helps separate all the things in my blood.
It’s a rare thing finding senses of humor in a medical office and I found that rather refreshing even though it was at my expense.
I was more than relieved. I just knew that my blood probably had the same properties of the gravy from KFC.
I left the office with a good feeling and went on to work.
I knew the other shoe was going to drop soon and I decided to abuse my body for one more day. I had BoJangle’s for breakfast and McDonald’s for dinner. I got the fries with both meals. I was going to get in as much junk food as I could before the drastic changes were to be implemented to stave off my untimely death.
I kept expecting my phone to ring with an urgent message to come by the doctor’s office for a chat that needed to be done face to face.
That call never came.
I got the report in the mail the following Saturday. I looked at the envelope and thought to myself… Well, it can’t be all that bad since they didn’t call me into the office. So lets take a deep breath, rip it open, and read the bad news.
This is what I got at the top of the report: “I have reviewed all the lab results which are normal to stable. Your cholesterol profile was great.”
To be honest, I was more shocked than elated.
With the history of diabetes on my father’s side of the family, I was expecting some bad news there too. But it was all good news. Of course, I’m convinced that they got my blood confused with someone else’s.
I am eating better and I’m trying to talk myself back into getting some exercise everyday. I’ve laid back on my alcohol intake and I’m trying to stay away from excessive sodium. Those two are very difficult for me. I like my beer and just about everything I eat resides on the list of things that I should eliminate from my diet. I’m just not a veggie eater, but I’m going to give better eating a shot as best as I possibly can.
There are a lot of people left in the world that I haven’t annoyed yet.