Friday, August 17, 2007

Show me the issues!

I think it's time to start a grassroots campaign. No, I'm not running for president, don't worry. What I want to see though is more debates, more discussion, more discovery. It has become apparent that the country is losing touch with its own problems. Unless we have a reality show telling us about an epidemic (The Biggest Loser attacking obesity), we are simply unaware. It's time to get a fresh, hip TV show to educate people about what is going on in this country.

At least one of my readers (Dude, you have more than one reader? I don't think so. And you don't count!) will probably say that this is very idealistic and not very realistic. Well maybe, but I am volunteering myself. I am officially tossing my hat into the ring of potential TV talk show hosts. Now all I need is a network, a co-host, and some guests. I'll get right on that. I plan to continue the movement that people like Jon Stewart started, but have an even wider array of discussion topics. We're not just talking politics here (though it will find it's way in a lot), we're talking about the issues facing real Amerkans (obligatory Bush jab).

So if any of you have strings you can pull with any television stations let me know. Public Access here I come!

Monday, August 13, 2007

You're not the boss of me now

So one of my co-workers quit over the weekend. No notice, he just found another job and turned his his key here. My boss admittedly "didn't like him" and she made it show. So he left.

So now we're down a person, and bosslady is scrambling to find someone to replace him. The problem is, she has no sales experience, and we are essentially sales people. This is just another example of people sticking around long enough to be promoted.

My question is this: How do we tell my boss's boss that she is killing office morale and making people leave? He's the president of the company and doesn't have his hands in too much of the operations, he just hangs around long enough to make sure we're making money and then heads off to the golf course.

I'd rather keep my job until I find something else, so as much as my leaving would make a statement, I can't really do that right now. Feel free to share any stories of workplace drama in your responses.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Back with a vengeance...Another interactive blog

So on my way home Monday night, it was rainy and darker than usual for 7:15 pm. So I started counting.In my 16 minute ride home, I counted 13 cars without their headlights on and one person wearing all black, walking with traffic instead of against. This annoys me. Granted, New York State has way too many laws, but the headlights on while using windshield wipers is a good one. There were definitely some cars I didn't see right away, and could have potentially caused problems. So once again, I make a lists of things to watch out for. I'll be (mildly) less obnoxious about it this time, but here are a list of things that really annoy me on the road and many times cause me to react. Sure, you may not have caused an accident by doing it, but had I already been in a dangerous situation, you could have been putting us over the top.1) Rain safety: Turn your headlights on, I can see you easier. Drop your speed a couple MPH, but I will have to slam on the brakes if you are going 15 mph under. Cautious is good, overcautious is DANGEROUS. Also, AWD gives you traction, but has no bearing on how fast you stop. Mercedes SUV drivers, back the fuck off.2) Lane changing: I don't care how many cars are around you, use your signal. The more I know about what the cars around me are doing, the better I can drive. Think ahead, change lanes before you are cutting people off to get where you need to go. Your emergency should not be my headache. Which leads into...3) Construction zones: You know a lane is going to end soon. We all want to get where we are going, so please don't feel that you are important enough to fly by in the closing lane and cut in at the last minute. Please also to not expect me to let you in just because your lane is ending all of a sudden. You could have made the decision a half mile ago when the signs told you that the lane was ending.4) Left lane usage: I have had an argument with at least one person reading this about this one. KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO FUCKING PASS. You do NOT have a right to be in the left lane, that's what the RIGHT lane is for. The left lane is the bonus lane. Do your business and get the hell back out. NOW. Also, if the car in front of you is cruising at 65 and your cruise is set at 66, either use some gas to pass them or back the cruise off and draft. No highway pass should take 5 minutes, and I work at a tractor-trailer school. Even our guys are quick and to the point about it.5) Phone usage: Another thing that has a law on the books in NYS. However, I believe that if you can be trusted to use your phone in the car responsibly, do so...but if I see you weaving and varying speak dramatically, I have every right to flip you off and yell at you. Maybe that's a good use for old cell phones, throw them at the people who drive retarded because they are on the phone.OK, that's my top 5, with more to be added I'm sure. This is a dynamic model, so PLEASE add yours as well. Who knows, I could be doing something stupid that I don't know until you point it out. I'm sure someone on here will learn something.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Don't complain (like THAT'S going to happen)

The input on automobile industry was helpful, and I thank all of you for your input, regardless of how sarcastic or short sighted one of the contributors was. I guess all I have to say to conclude is this: If you are unwilling to put any effort into fixing a problem, make sure you're not complaining about its repercussions.

Repercussions...hmmm. Much is made of celebrities getting special treatment. I agree that this is happening, and famous people all over the world get treated differently than us commoners. However, I think the bar needs to be raised all the way around. Even most bitter blogging rivals would agree that personal responsibility is at a pitiful low in this country.

Yes, I have an example. One of my co-workers in contemplating filing for bankruptcy. She doesn't own a company, her job did not get moved oversees. She got divorced a few years ago and forgot to consider that her income might be lower now that she is by herself. So instead of cutting down on fast food (eats out every day), concerts and events (going to Kenny Chesney tonight, Eric Clapton whenever) and trips to Walmart for piles of crap, she decides that it is time to file for bankruptcy.

Do I admit that there are times when bankruptcy is justified for an individual? You're expecting me to say yes by the way the question is asked. However, I would need some pretty dire circumstances to accept that...and things should be done on a payment plan, not completely wiped clean. Sure, a clean slate would be nice, but why should you be forgiven thousands of dollars for saying oops? I am reminded of Denis Leary's rant about rehab. Go on a six month bender, all sorts of drugs, beat my kids, crash my car (Paris? Lohan?)...then go into rehab, come out and be on the cover of People smiling with the headline "SORRY", and all is forgiven. Bankruptcy is the same thing, except instead of coke and booze, it's shoes, clothes and cell phone accessories. Get a grip people, credit cards are not toys.

Yes, I have overspent my income at times. Yes, I have made some dumb decisions. I have never run to Uncle Sam to save me, however. I only jumped out of what my own parachute could save me from.

Anyone know if personal bankruptcy is popular oversees? I'm too lazy to do research on this one.

Monday, June 18, 2007

NEGATIVEly Affected

I know that very few people actually read this blog, but I'm going to do a participatory exercise anyway. It seems to me that this country has taken to dogging its automakers to the point that they don't even have any reasons anymore, they just do it out of habit. Personally, I'm a Chevy guy and have been very happy with all of the vehicles I have owned. My wife now has a Pontiac and is very happy with it.
Yes, I admit that there is a chance that we are in the minority, but we have had limited problems with our vehicles that are tied to anything other than our own stupidity. I want to know just how rare we are.

So here's the exercise: Please list the vehicles you have owned in the last 10 years. Briefly describe to me the situation (new, used, bought, leased, gramma drove it before I did, etc), and then tell me how it went. This exercise will take a few minutes, but please bare with me.

Hopefully for all of you American haters out there, you can prove me wrong and show me that American cars suck. More likely, I will show you how much you don't really know what you're bitching about.

I'll start off:
1990 Chevy S-10 pickup (Extended Cab, 4WD). Had a rust problem that stemmed from the plastic fender flares, but accepted every beating I gave it. Got me back and forth to Potsdam a couple dozen times and even beat a V-6 Mustang in a race down Western Ave in Albany. I sold it in 2001 with 120k miles on it for $400 (needed new front brakes at the time). I saw it two years later with some recent body work still putting around Potsdam. The AC was empty and I broke the lever that allowed me to have anything but hot air in the cabin, but those were both mostly my fault.

2002 Chevy Blazer (2-door, 4WD) Bought it brand new, actually ordered it from the factory. Had 3 miles on it. Within the warranty period, it had some issues with the distributor that needed to be fixed. The last of which was technically outside of the warranty period, but since it was related to the other issues they graciously fixed it at no cost to me. Since then, I had to have the 4 wheel drive module moved once because it was getting wet during heavy rains and causing some problems. Other than that, we've made a few dozen trips to Potsdam from Rochester and Albany together, and with the sub that my brother gave me as a college graduation present, it keeps me running all winter long. It's a great compromise between car and truck, but yeah, it might be nice to get a little better gas mileage. Just turned 80,000 miles.

1999 Chevy Camaro SS Convertible (2-door, RWD) This is the second best decision I ever made. Marrying Lisa is of course number 1, and going away to Clarkson is a close third. I bought Camy used, it had 27,500 miles on it when I bought it (yes another cute 7/25-related number) from a pansy down in CT. He was having a baby soon and they were no longer going to be able to afford the payments on the car on top of the kid and their overpriced townhouse by the very fishy-smelling water. I gladly took her off his hands and brought it to NY. This is another vehicle that I have given some abuse, mostly because it has a 320 hp V8 and I have a heavy right foot. I had to replace part of the liner to the convertible top because it was leaking into the trunk, but that way a couple hundred dollars and has been great ever since. I did have a creature make a nest in the engine compartment and had to replace some ignition wires, but that's hardly GMs fault. I made sure to keep it on the driveway this winter and put some traps out just in case. I've had some brake work done, but the way I drive, that's not surprising. Camy has about 55,000 miles on her now and is sitting out in the parking lot just waiting for me to fire her up again. I get about 23 miles to the gallon overall, close to 30 highway with the 6 speed manual. 6th gear cuts the rpms to about 1700 at 75 mph, but still leaves me with enough acceleration to get out of the way if I need it.

So there are my stories. Each vehicle has had it's little things, but certainly nothing worth crying home to mom about. The other point to mention, these vehicles have all been FUN TO DRIVE, which is a lot more than I can say for most imports that I have driven.

Thanks for listening, and I look forward to your stories.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Another long layoff

So what brings me out of my hibernation?
Paris Hilton.
Not because I think she is hot, because frankly I do not. I am here only to applaud the judge in the case for making her go to jail. Although she got a far softer sentence than most people would for doing what she did, he stuck to his guns and made her go to jail. Let this be a lesson to all you Hollywood stars: Every once in a great while, a judge will give you what you deserve. Are you willing to play Russian roulette with the judicial system?

On a side note, congratulations to the Anaheim Ducks (ironic that they take the "mighty" out of their name and they become the most mighty team in all the land) for winning the Stanley Cup. A special shout goes out to Clarkson alumni Todd Marchant and Kent Huskins, who were on the winning team. This makes 3 years in a row that Clarkson has been represented in the finals, and two in a row that they have won. Hey Cornell, RPI, and other annoying red schools: how many do you have?

Note: Andy MacDonald doesn't count, Colgate is maroon and not nearly as cocky and annoying

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Since then

Wow, that last post was a long one, no wonder no one commented! Or is it just that you're all too afraid to take a stand on racially-charged issues? Anyway, I move on...

So there has been lots of press about the shootings at Virginia Tech. Now it's time for the anti-gun advocates to come out of the woodwork to blame this on the gun industry. Are you serious people? For the last time, guns don't kill people, PEOPLE kill people. This was once MESSED UP individual. If you want to blame anyone, blame the people who didn't put him in a padded cell after they were warned of what he was writing about.

Guns will always be around. The more you try to ban them, the more they will go underground and more people will die trying to buy and sell them. That said, is it necessary for everyday citizens to have fully-automatic assault rifles? Probably not. How about this, if you want to buy one, you have to register yourself like a sex offender. That way everyone in your neighborhood will know that you own one and will make sure that they don't piss you off. If you buy more than one, you will have to register again. Or maybe we build a wall around Montana and let anyone who wants to have high powered weapons live there? Make it a Survivor, like what the commercials in Grand Theft Auto 3 talked about. A whole ton of guns, let everyone seek each other out, and the winner gets to be governor. Sure, you'll have trouble trying to get more people to move into your state, but you'd get to won all the guns you want! After all, it's your constitutional right!