The Rant D’Jour is a typical “driving” rant. I try not to do too many of them, because they really are like shooting ducks in a barrel. Whatever. People always like them and they never fail to elicit comments. This one, from October of 2005 has the quaint reference “In this day of nearly $ 3 a gallon gas .” Oh if we only knew.
I have been driving the speed limit now for almost a year.
I am the only person in the United States who does this and let me tell you itâ€™s a lonely life on the road.
Here are the…more
Blog Post for Saturday 2/26/11 – 19 degrees at 6:09 AM – Ice. Dark.
The NASCAR boys and girls are on a two week left-coast run. This week it’s Phoenix, next week Las Vegas. The three hour time difference wreaks havoc with me. A truck race last night, and it was a short one, got me done at around midnight. Tonight will be a little earlier but Sunday will be fairly late. It is what it is.
Power outage yesterday of about two hours duration. To be fair to the power company we don’t have many. I am pretty sure that some jackwagon hit a pole. Good thing: the UPS my boss bought allowed me to finish a story and post it. Bad thing: I would have been able to work on lap-top if we had our VPN configured, if the UPS would have powered the router and Wi-Fi and if the jackwagon didn’t drop the cable too.
It’s a lot of if’s. It is what it is.
I think a UPS that would stand the load of the router and Wi-Fi might have put me back on the map, typing and posting in the dark.
The Editor in Chief for SPEED.com was in Phoenix covering the race. He emailed that he was glad I had power back. I told him me too, as it was getting cold in the house. We have no alternate (non-powered) heat source. Temp was 48 in the house when the juice finally flowed.
First dentist visit in four years last Thursday. My intent was to have a tooth pulled. The result: a massive filling and a promise of needing a cap in a few years. I am not at all sure I did the right thing. I do know I am $235 on the minus side. I will say that it was relatively painless. I flinched on the first contact with the drill and the driller hit me with three more shots of pain-free. When I spoke I sounded like I had been on a three day bender. All in all I would have preferred the bender. $235 of bender would have been a pretty good trip. It is what it is.
I used to have problems writing in any kind of noise. It’s still a little difficult. But the other day I was on deadline with two stories and had to get the long-suffering wife’s car inspected. So I took the laptop with me, not having too many expectations. The inspection/oil change place is cheap but that is about all it has going for it. Customer friendly under any sense of that term, it is most assuredly not. The waiting room is about half the size of my kitchen which is to say small. It’s dirty. The six chairs are the lightweight, plastic folding variety. There is a TV on with the sound jacked up to 11. Daytime TV at 110 decibels. Very good for concentrating. The repair bays are close by. Nothing like the sound of airguns and hammering to focus your attention.
The inspection and oil-change turned into a tie-rod replacement and three hours.
My companions for the journey were, at times, too many for the chairs. Next to me for at least two hours was a larger woman. I am being kind. She really needed two of the folding chairs but she drooped on most of mine so it worked out. She was accompanied by an older lady who had, and I am not trying to be unkind, dementia. She was on the chair on my other side, cackling, rubbing her hands together and producing all manner of odd artifacts from her purse. She had a strong odor of urine and sharp elbows. She made lots of noises and seemed to find everything very funny.
I suggested, no I kind of pleaded, to swap places with the large woman. She wouldn’t hear of it. She said she knew I was working and didn’t want to disturb me. Around this time the pissy old woman next to me produced a cigarette lighter shaped like a penis. This brought the house down. The large woman, moving with surprising speed for someone her size produced a cell phone and proceeded to take pictures of the woman, the prick lighter and presumably me. I am still being kind when I say the larger woman had a voice like a donkey braying. A loud donkey. Braying. In my ear. Urging whoever was on the cell phone and most of Luzerne County to “look at the pictures of Nana and the lighter.”
The woman was braying, Ellen DeGeneres was harmonizing, and the noise from the repair bays about six feet from where we sat was short of producing permanent hearing damage but not by a lot. I thought about David Henry Thoreau, writing in the woods. I thought about a lot of things. Mostly I struggled to keep from bashing anyone over the head with my laptop.
I am not good with a track pad on a laptop under the best of circumstances. I kept erasing parts of my stories and cutting and pasting was problematic at best. I would normally, when faced with this kind of frustration, vent my displeasure vocally. I gritted my teeth and formed loud strings of swear words in my brain. Some of them may have wriggled free. Somehow I got most of both stories in pretty good shape by the time the oil change and inspection and what turned into a tie-rod replacement and front end alignment was done. Three hours later and $300 poorer I had exhausted the laptop’s battery, drained my patience and thought about homicide laws. I am pretty sure a jury would have found it justifiable.
I figured If I could write anything that remotely makes sense under those circumstances I am now able to write on the deck of the Titanic while it is going vertical.
With a sense of trepidation I turned the stories in to my editor and he liked both of them, with no revisions and just a few minor punctuation corrections.
Do you think I could rent a chair at the oil change place?