Once every couple of weeks at our house we do a “fend for yourself” night for dinner. This usually means there are a lot of leftovers so go warm something up. I love these nights because I enjoy experimenting with food combinations that usually scare my family. For example last night I got out a bowl and spread mashed potatoes on the bottom covered those with black beans and barbeque sauce covered little smokes then topped it off with a spoon full of the cream cheese dip leftover from our daughter’s graduation party. I cannot say that it was one of my better combo platters but I ate it anyway. I don’t mind when it doesn’t work out, none of them have ever really turned out inedible and most of the time adding salsa will improve it to tolerable. I think this also why I look at the crazy burger place here in town with interest. They put things like peanut butter or donuts on hamburgers, I have no idea if I would like those hamburgers, but I would like to try them once, just to see. Every time I suggest it as a place to eat, the rest of my family groan. I figure that after one bite, if I don’t like it I can ask for a side of salsa.
I love fast food! Hamburgers ordered by speaker and picked up as I pull around, these are some of the best things about our modern world. I love driving down the highway searching for the fry that fell between the seats, it is one of life’s little pleasures. What I don’t want is to know what go on behind the counter or in the kitchen. I know that if I found out what was happening I would probably never eat at them again. Well my daughter got a job at one of these establishments. I won’t mention them so none of us have to miss out on our favorite pastime. She just started and I haven’t had a chance to talk to her about it but I fear that when I do I will never eat there again. That will be sad to me a little like finding out the Great OZ was just a man behind the curtain. I want to blissfully go on thinking that everything is on the up and up and that they all maintain the highest standards, but the reality is going to be that somethings are just not the way they should be. The question is, can I continue to happily munch away on my favorites or will what is behind the curtain ruin it for me!
Well, today is the day! My youngest is graduating from High school and the ceremony is today. When I was in high school as my kids say, in the Stone Age, I don’t think it was as dramatic as it seems today. Or maybe it was my perspective, I didn’t think it was any big deal and I was glad to be over with it. Maybe that is not what my parents remember. They probably had a big sigh of relief; they might have even been concerned that I would even make it. They might have wondered what I was going to do after school, if I was going to get a good job or go to college. I don’t think I was worrying about anything other than whose graduation party I was going to go to. It is really funny now that I am the parent how worried I am about my kids future. Perhaps if I had been a little more worried about my future it would not have been so random and scattered. It took me a long time to have direction, and I am trying to make sure my kids have a little more of a straight line. We will see just how long that means I am still worrying about them!
I just read that the driver-less cars by Google and others have logged over a million miles driving themselves. I also looked up autopilot for airplanes and the article said that it is used in a lot of airports for landing especially in bad weather. The airplane autopilot has been around for quite a while now and is mandatory in commercial aircraft. So if cars and airplane have figured this out, why are not all trains fully auto piloted? How complicated can staying on a track and stopping were you need to be? OF all the transportation options this is the simplest to automate! Even if you are worried that some system might fail you can have someone sitting in the front with a button to push in case of an emergency. They can have sensors for obstacles and definitely control the speed. I don’t know why this was not done decades ago but now it needs to happen and those who use the trains daily for travel need to pressure the companies involved to make it happen now! It is just stupid that in this day and age we are having to ask why a train tragedy happened, and the only response is “I don’t know”!
I know we have all looked at websites or read articles about some of the crazy laws that are on the books in every state. They are not all the same but most of them are so far out there you wonder what happened for them to want to pass them. For example in Colorado you may not mutilate a rock in a state park. At first reading it looks to be that someone was smashing rocks or carving them into inappropriate shapes? It could be that someone was spray painting them but upon reading the word mutilating, tagging a rock is not what comes to mind. Then again some may not be as crazy as the first reading suggests. I found one that says it is legal for me to rip off the tags on my pillow and mattress. I can now go home and tear off that annoying tag that is sticking out of my pillow case without fear of repercussions. I know I will now sleep easier but I still don’t understand why you can’t sell a car on Sunday in Colorado. It must be heartwarming for car dealers to know that they now allow alcohol sales on Sunday but not cars. To put that into other words, car salesmen are considered lower forms of life than liquor store clerks. To that I say, maybe not all crazy laws are that crazy!
I read a commentary this morning about the music industry. It was lamenting that bands are struggling to make money. The writer said that bands which were riding around on a big tour bus, are now having to drive in a van. I am not saying these folks should not be able to make a living doing music or that they should necessarily be giving what they do away for free, but I don’t really think I feel sorry that they are not racking in millions either. Back a few years ago bands would make millions of dollars and do what with it? Trash hotel rooms, spend it on drugs and cars to wrap around telephone poles. I do not feel sorry for people who have no idea what to do with money. Perhaps it will keep them off the streets. I am not saying that every band or every person in the music industry is doing this I am saying that just like other businesses and industries, technology has changed them forever. Talk to me about the three-year apprenticeship I did in a trade which is gone! Like many others after the business changes some are left out while others figure out the new economy and move forward. The music industry had its heyday and now it is gone. There will always be those in music and new and creative folks will continue to make it, it just may be that there are a lot less millionaires in the game.
My wife has always tried to do the right thing when it comes to recycling. It is not offered where we live, so we gather it in bags every month and then we would take a trip to the recycling center to unload it. I have grumbled about having to do this but I do appreciate that she has been trying to do the right thing. So this Saturday we arrive at the recycling center ready to do our part and feel good about helping out when the lady monitoring the drop off informs us that if any of our recycling has any food on it they will throw away the whole dumpster. She takes a pizza box and holds it above her head declaring we have soiled the whole bin. She then proceeds to look at a dog food can and in a shrill voice tell us that we can’t dump any of it. According to the less than helpful monitor, we are supposed to have cleaned every can to where we can eat off of it again before we can have it approved for recycling. What an aggravating event! Every day in the paper I see folks like Al Gore and others screaming at me to “save the planet”, and when I try, I get assaulted by Green Peace the trash monitor! Are you telling me that you can’t recycle metal cans, which you are going to melt down, if they have been touched by dog tongue? I would like to inform Al and all his cronies that I will no longer recycle anything! As a matter of fact I plan to start buying more products which cannot be recycled. I am done trying to do the right thing until they figure out yelling at me and unnecessarily burdening the process is counterproductive to their cause!
It has been a hard week, I have heard people mentioning going off to “get a drink” after work. I have never been one to spend much time in a bar, not because of the people or that I think bars are bad. It is that I am a giant cheap skate. I was in a hotel in San Francisco and I ordered a whiskey on the rocks and it cost me twenty-one dollars. That was for one inch of drink in a small glass of ice. I could have gone down the street to a liquor store and purchased the whole bottle for that price! Granted I was in one of the most expensive places to buy a drink but that was ridiculous. Even at the local bar and grill they want Nine dollars for a glass of the house wine. They probably have it in a fifty gallon drum in the back but they are making a killing on each glass. When the tab arrives I see that the drinks are more than the food I know I have been ripped off. I know it is fun to be with friends, and I know it is better to get a drink while you are out somewhere, the problem I have is I can’t get over the feeling of being taken when I pay more for a single glass of something I won’t spend as much to buy in the store. Of course they will still charge me two fifty for a five cent glass of ice tea.
In 1862 during the French-Mexican war a poorly supplied and outnumbered Mexican army defeated the French who were attempting to capture the town of Puebla. This was a great moral victory for Mexico who was able to defend itself against the more powerful foreign nation.
In modern-day we celebrate this moral victory by drinking lots of alcohol and over eating in an ethically insensitive way. I am not of Mexican heritage, my families roots are from Guatemala. We do not however go on a bender on September 15th every year to celebrate the independence of Guatemala. I think the people who celebrate the most have no relation or care for the day, they just want a reason to drink more. I think that if we want to drink about something we need to find better days to do it on. How about October 10th, the day Jack Daniel died or even May 4th the day in 1964 when Bourbon was recognized by the US Congress as a distinctive product. At least when you drink on those days it makes a little more sense!
I don’t want to argue the current status of our gun laws or whether or not we should or should not have them. What I don’t get is how two guys decided to try to shoot up a “draw a cartoon of Mohamed” exhibit in Texas and didn’t expect there to be building full of folk with guns? By now everybody should know that if you are going to make fun of Mohamed someone is going to be upset. Not the normal I am not happy but enraged not thinking straight kind of not happy. So you have to imagine that they knew that they needed to have increased security at this event. Second, it was in Texas. You could go to California or New York where they take away squirt guns from children and don’t let anyone drink giant sodas, those places would probably not have the exhibit because they are afraid to offend anyone other than Christians. Not in Texas, justice has always been a little quicker and a lot more severe there. So if you want to go into a mad rage I would suggest a quieter place like the middle of some desert far from other people, not the state that prides itself on arming its citizens.