I Long for Simpler Times

The holidays really bum me out.  I really just dislike what people become around this time of year.  I'm not sure if my change in feelings is due to my getting older or if it is just our modern age which makes things suck so bad.  The commercialism of these special times just sickens me. 

I work near a mall which makes me a near expert on the observation of the holiday human.  Bumper to bumper cars line the parking lots and mall entrance roads filled with angry people and screaming kids.  Once the joyful family enters the mall, the kids begin screaming for their favorite toys, candy, and whatever else suits their fancy.  If the parents do not comply, the child will fall to the floor in a fit of rage complete with punching and kicking.  The general masses won't tolerate public discipline of the child, but will still sneer at the behavior. They themselves are oblivious that their own children act the same way; well, that is without their daily dose of Ritalin.

After the children are calmed down with a wad of french fries and chicken nuggets, it's on to the shopping.  Lines of shipping carts fill the aisles of overzealous advertising.  Busy lifestyles and stress breed impatience and impatience doesn't mix well with lines.  Shortages of lead painted toys make adults fight in order to satisfy their kid's "needs" on Christmas day.  Common courtesy started fading sometime around Easter and is now non-existent.  People will cut line and bump into one another without a word of apology.

It's a very dreary and selfish picture I painted, isn't it?  Sadly, this is truth.  This is not the same holiday season I remember growing up.  The holidays are about friends and family and spending time with them.  I wish people would buy less things for others and spend those wasted mall hours doing something more meaningful.  Write a note in a Christmas card or bake some cookies and send that instead.  It will mean just as much, I promise.

Plan some together time with friends and enjoy a night out.  Make a tradition of it!  Traditions are what make holidays special.  It's something that is concrete and dependable in this craziness.  You can always count on that dinner at Granny's with all of the family. Every year it's just like you remember it and that is what is special about it.  I've always gone driving around on Christmas Eve to look at the lights on people's homes, and my wife and I have continued that tradition.

I would like to wish you, dear reader, a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.  Please be safe and remember what is important.

How to not sell me something

All you need to do is show up at my house, and you are basically guaranteed to not sell me something.  I don't like loathe door to door salespeople.  This is especially true if said salesperson talks slang and refers to me as "daddy".  Thanks, but no thanks.  Please go find some other sucker to buy your universal cleaning product.  If I believed that shit, then I'd buy the junk that Billy Mays sells on TV.

The exception to this rule is, of course, the girls scouts. Mmmmm, I love me some Samoas.

Do you smell gas?

I'm officially declaring war on the squirrels which dance around my property. I have an '83 Chevrolet K5 Blazer which I use to haul junk around in and pull the trailer for mulch.  Last year they managed to chew a bit of the wiring out from underneath the hood.  No big harm there, since they chewed up the wiring for the AC compressor which doesn't work anymore.  Now, they have officially crossed the line. 

They managed to chew a bit of the rubber fuel line that connect the hard line to the fuel pump in the engine compartment.  Hooray for me since I find this out about 35 miles from home at a friends house.  I had gone over to Brandon's house to help out with a deck project and managed to spill a huge wad of gasoline in the street in front of his house.  His deck project got delayed for a few hours while we went to get parts and fix the leak.  I'm sure the homeowner's association is thrilled with my gift to his neighborhood.

So, I owe a big apology to Brandon for the trouble I caused.  Also, the squirrels jumping around the yard had better watch out; I'm coming for you.  

Please, Thank You, and also Sir and Ma’am.

Kindness can get you a long way.  Lately I've noticed that people are becoming very impolite.  It's been rather bothersome and a source of frustration as of late.  You see, I'm from the south.  We have this thing called Southern Hospitality of which I'm very accustomed to.  Seriously, you should read about us.  I promise you we're not all inbred hicks walking around barefoot.

I try to make it a point to say "Thank You" whenever someone does something for me.  Even if it's something they were supposed to do, it never hurts to display gratitude.  It's my little way of showing that I recognize that someone did something  for me.  Waitress fills my drink: I say "Thank You."  Guy at the drive-thru window hands me my order: I say "Thank You."  My wife fixes dinner;  Once again I say "Thank You."  It's just a respect thing.  You should try it sometime.  I bet you'll notice a little better out of the person you said it to as a side-effect.

That’s a nice CPU you’ve got there

It's not a pretty thing when non-technical people try to use technical terms.  I understand that they think that using these mysterious words they hear will make communication easier.  In reality it doesn't do anything but confuse us. 

The title of this post is the phrase for discussion.  A coworker walks into the IT office area and points towards a workstation which we use for running long batch jobs.  It's a workhorse that we happen to have decorated with a side window and neon lights.  I can only hope that he was so awestruck by the beauty of the light that he said the wrong thing.  In reality he's just confused and was trying to sound cool so that he could try to engage us socially.  "CPU" sounds way cooler than "computer", right?  Someone should really tell him that technical people tend to be introverted.

« Previous PageNext Page »