Sunday, November 7, 2010

Not Such Deep Thoughts: Special Frost On The Pumpkin Edition

So, I’ve been amongst the missing lately. Can’t be helped. I’ve been so busy that some things, like this blog, and my yard, have had to go on the back burner for a while. We’re about ¾’s done with our Man Town makeover, and we’re already halfway into a total gut of our den. Add to that a couple of humungous projects at work both coming due at the same time, and I’m left with nothin’. Most nights I just crash and burn wherever I stop. (Note to self: falling asleep on a kitchen stool is not a good thing, on so many levels…)

It’s a good tired though, because it comes from getting things done and moving forward. The only bad part; things are happening that I want to comment on, and I can’t. Consequently, my mind is filling up with random thoughts that I need to purge, so without further ado, I will now proceed to purge:

I’m convinced that we have some of the strangest and most determined squirrels in existence living in our back yard. Trying to keep them from wiping out our bird feeders is like a never ending chess game. No matter what we come up with, they find a way around it. Lately they’ve come up with a new trick, now they’re eating our pumpkins. They gnaw big holes in them and feast on the seeds, and they don’t just work on one until it’s gone, they hit all three at once. My wife sprinkled them with pepper this year, didn’t deter them. They just waited until a good rain washed it off, and then started in. The greedy little beggars are really starting to bother me. I’m thinking I might be able to make a pretty nice pair of slippers out of them. Would it be a tripping hazard if I left the tails on? That would look pretty cool.

Man, what a season the Pats are having. Nail biting excitement, major drama and a 6 and 1 record, does it get any better than this? I don’t think so.

Speaking of the Pats and major drama; Randy Moss is one far out dude. The guy just can't help himself. I think it stems from the sense of entitlement some of these guys have. They're catered to from High School on, and it gives some of them a really skewed sense of reality. Randy doesn't seem to understand, or care about, the consequences of his actions. He gets his money no matter what he says, or does. If I ever bad mouthed my employer in a news conference, I'd be looking for a new job, and stressing big time. Not old Randy, he just moves on. He’s landed with the Titans this time, good luck to them.

While we’re on the subject of entitlement, I think it’s time for all of us to take a good look in the mirror. Go ahead, take a look, I’ll wait… Ok, you know what you just saw? You saw both the reason for the current economic downturn, and the solution to it. It’s not the banks and big business that have done this to us; we’ve done it to ourselves. Sure, they’ve been a big part of it. The banks were making sketchy loans, and Wall Street was selling shares of nothing, but we bought into it, and we have to change the way we think and act to get ourselves out of it. Its not gonna be a quick fix, either. It’s going to be a long and painful process. We have to refocus on what’s really important in our lives, and cut out all the excesses. No one held a gun to the heads of the people that are walking away from their debts and forced them to buy houses that they couldn’t afford, or to put all their money into a market heavily invested in said bad loans. Our culture of entitlement is to blame. If you can’t make the payments, don’t buy it. If you’re border line on your mortgage, then don’t fill your house with chrome appliances, granite countertops and huge flat panel TV’s. If you’re building a nest egg, put it in the bank; don’t give it away on Wall Street. We all have to start living within our means and being smart if we’re ever gonna get out of this mess.

Along these same lines, I was very disappointed with the recent elections. Part of it was the tone. We’ve reached a point where smear tactics are the norm, and I’ve had enough. I don’t want to watch their nasty ads, and I don’t want them besieging me with their robo-calls. Think any of these pols understand how fruitless this behavior is? Everyone I know has been screening their calls for weeks, and the mute buttons all across America have been working overtime. What a waste. If they took the money they spend on this foolishness and donated it to a good cause, they'd have my attention immediately. The other part of my displeasure is the partisanship. It doesn’t matter whether you vote the Republicans or the Democrats in, if they don’t work together, nothing will change, and they won’t work together as long as we the voters continue with the current lynch mob mentality. They’re petrified to cooperate with “the other side”, in fear of angering their base and getting the boot. I understand people being angry and wanting to clean house, but it doesn’t help. As I said before, there is no quick fix to our current dilemma, and people need to face that fact, as awful as it is. We need to change the game, not the players. We need to insist that our elected leaders work with their opposition, instead of thwarting them at every turn, and we need to do the same. You may not like who ends up getting elected, but you need to support them, regardless. I hear all this talk about change from both sides, but I don’t see any evidence of it. All I see is gridlock and pettiness. Only teamwork gets it done people, try to remember that.

On a lighter note, the Celtics are looking good so far this season, and it’s been a delight to have The Big Shamrock in town. Posing as a statue, leaving autographed sneakers somewhere and tweeting clues to the location to his fans, priceless. He’s been a force to recon with on the court, also. You’ve gotta love this guy, and this team.

Apple has been bitten by a bug once again. This time there’s a glitch in iPhone iOS4.1 and your calendar won’t recognize the switch to Daylight Savings Time. They promise to fix the problem with the release of iOS4.2, and I’m sure they will, but this is just another example of releasing a product before it’s been fully tested. Their breakneck pace on that front is driven by, you guessed it, us. If companies don’t keep up, they get left behind, ‘cause everybody needs and wants that “next big thing” yesterday, even though they know there’s going to be issues. Now I love gadgets as much as the next guy, but I’ve learned the hard way not to be an early adopter. Along with that instant gratification comes issues and regret, always, and I’ve already got a boatload of both, thanks.

On the frost on the (half eaten) pumpkin front, it’s starting to get a bit chilly here in New England, and as I said earlier, we’re in the middle of some remodeling work. Plastic sheeting has become our best friend during this project, it is not, however, a very good insulator. brrrrrrrr. Things are moving pretty quickly though, and I think we’ve finally found a keeper with this contractor. I can do a lot of things, but carpentry is not one of them, so it’s good to have someone who knows what they’re doing, works quickly and is pleasant to deal with. They’re doing a phenomenal job, and really helping us to stay within our budget, which is important. This is a mandatory energy saving thing, not just a beautification project, as last winter we had to nail a quilt over one section of the den wall to stop the draft. It was brutal. The bonus here is that these guys are kind of fun having around, all things considered. You have to be comfortable with a contractor who’s in your house all day, every day, and we are. We’ve had some real beauts in the past…

Argh! While I was writing this, the Pats laid an egg of epic proportions. Make that 6 and 2…

That is all.

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