Ten Things That Boggle My Mind

Lately things have been hectic in my life, and my mind has been consumed with things I’d rather not publicly broadcast on the blog, hence my relative absence. I’ll pretend you missed my ramblings here to stroke my own ego, and apologize for the massive disappointment you must be feeling. So… sorry.

I felt though, that I’ve been considering a bunch of things that bother me, and thought I’d share. You know, cause nothing helps irritation like spreading it around. Once again, small things that drive me bananas. whining about these things won’t make it go away of course, but I think it’ll bring me some measure of comfort.

1. I’m easily distracted by small things (as you may have noticed) and even more-so by things that don’t seem to bother other people, or go unnoticed at all. I end up thinking “why does this not bother everyone?”. So I ask you: Why do actors on TV and in movies NOT say goodbye to folks on the phone?

I’ve talked to people on the phone before, and there have been conversations that have ended with simple transfer of information / sentiments only, but they’ve never been happy conversations.

I will admit however, some of my more favorable telephone encounters were brief. I hate being on the phone, so making telephone conversations as brief as possible is a great idea in my book… but even those discussions were ended with a “see ya” at least.

I did some googling, and apparently the reason is that the directors are “painfully aware of the ADD of their watchers”. I quote that, cause that’s exactly what it said. I’d give you a link, but I didn’t take it down, nor do I care to go looking again. Google is free, check it out for yourself. ūüėČ

So, in the interest of keeping the attention of one group, they omit something small that bothers the crap out of another group. …or at least, just me. I guess they must have known that I’d be self-aware enough to know that these slights against my particular OCD in this case is dumb, and continuously dismiss my complaint, and continue to watch… where as “goodbye” would trigger the “go away” impulse in a bunch of other people.

I’m not alone here, right??

The rest of my rant is fairly brief, so don’t be afraid that 1 of 10 was around 450 words…

2) Why is it that you can say “This isn’t important” and “I won’t do that.” Why then must we say “I am not going to do this”, as opposed to “I amn’t going to do this.” Why isn’t amn’t a word??

Further… isn’t = is not. can’t = can not. Doesn’t = does not. wouldn’t = would not… What the hell is won’t?? wo not??

3) I hate the way people pronounce the name “Eric”. It’s Eh (as in ever) and ric” as in Rick… It’s not AIRic. Have you noticed people say AIRic? It’s not airic. It’s Eric.

4) Mirror… It’s two syllables. Mih-ror. Mirror. It’s not MEER.

5) There is no such thing as a mute point. It’s moot.

6) Seeing things out of the corner of your eye uses peripheral vision. It’s PER IF ER AL. Not PER If REE AL.

7) NOO KLEE AR. Not NOOK YOU LAR.

8) I know irregardless is a word, but I want people to stop using it. It’s dumb. Means the same thing as regardless and it’s harder to say. So cut it out.

9) Supposedly. not suh pose a blee.

10) There are NO M’s in “sandwich”.

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I Always Show Up Late

Have you ever arrived for something just before it was over, or flipped to a channel right when the show you were looking for was ending, or just missed open bar? Got to the store and realized the sale you were hoping to catch ended yesterday? That seems to be the story of my life…

High school, Freshman year, it was explained to me that to graduate, you had to take two years of one language consecutively. I chose German. I took a year of German, and that was the last year it was ever taught at Brookline High. I then had to start over and take something else… I’d have been done with my requirement by Junior year, but instead, I wasn’t done until I was a senior. I now know very, very few words of German, and I think my resentment at having to take Spanish at all translated into bad grades, and an even weaker skill in Spanish than I still have in German.

My very first “real” job, I started at the age of 19. Fridays were very, very laid back, and the owner would walk around the office with a couple of 30 packs of beer handing them out. Naturally, I wouldn’t participate cause I was only 19… obviously. I mean, duh. But uh, anyway, they’d say “Oh yeah! We’ve been doing this for YEARS! so anyway, that lasted perhaps a month after I started.

That same job, they had unlimited over time, you worked it, you claimed it, you got paid. That too ended about three months or so into that job.

There were bonuses too. Of course, right after I started, I got one bonus, and people said “Wow, these bonuses are a lot less than they used to be…” after that, the company didn’t make a profit for several years, so there were no bonuses.

My next job, ALSO had “great profit sharing” and hadn’t gone a year without a profit for twenty years or something! …until the year I started.

At that job, I got an FSA account, which if you’re not familiar with it, I recommend you get familiar with it… I got to put $2,000 on it, pretax and use it for out of pocket medical, and even get things like deoderant, and toothpaste and what not… I used it for a year, and the laws changed… No more simple spending with the card for most things, but you coudl submit them as expenses by faxing your recipts… That also went on for a year…

The next job, the one I have now, I spent two years with an FSA account, limit of $5,000! My wife and I got new glasses and¬†prescription¬†sun glasses and dental work, etc. every year. NOW, the law is changed again, and the max is $2,500… Jeez!

Recently, I developed an interest in a racing game for the Xbox called “Forza”. Version 4 is out, and has been for a while. A friend of mine had it, and I wanted to play it with him online, so while at Target (getting some late Christmas shopping done) I saw that it was there for $40. However, the next version (Forza: Horizon) was also there, and for a limited time, it TOO was $40, instead of the $60 it was normally. I was two days from payday, so after payday, my wife went to grab 4 for me… However, it was sold out, so she instead bought Horizon for both me AND my friend. I figured “Meh, $80… Okay, not such a big deal.” Naturally though, the sale had ended, and they were back to $60 when she bought them.

A few months ago, I took a gun safety course, and planned on applying for my permit to carry… I dragged my feet, and now there’s all this gun related discourse. I’m not likely to be impacted, I’m not really looking to get assault rifles, or anything… But wouldn’t it figure, right when I start paying attention to something, it seems like it just goes to hell!

Keep your fingers crossed that I never have to apply for unemployment or social security or something, cause that’ll be when those institutions implode.

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Gun Control is Being Able to Hit Your Target

So I mentioned in my last post, a quick note turned rant, that I’d wanted to post about all the talk of gun control and bans and such, but I never really felt like it was a good time to do so, what with the Christmas spirit being all up in my face… But that’s over now. Thank whatever God you put stock in.

First, I should say that I’m really not what you’d call a gun enthusiast. I did recently take a safety class, and I do plan to apply for my permit, but I’m really not interested in collecting or going to gun shows, or what have you. I’ll probably go to the range now and then though.

My problem is though that there are idiots out there who intend to hurt others. Like the Batman gunman, or the kid in CT. These are the people who ruin things for everyone else.

Here’s the thing… Law abiding citizens will go through all the necessary training classes, register their guns, follow the letter of the law, keep their guns safe, etc. However, this system failed in CT. The “law-abiding citizen” in this case made a mistake in having guns available in her house where her troubled son had access to them… AND she took him shooting and taught him about guns… Now. I believe that a parent who owns guns NEEDS to educate those around him or her so that the people around the guns are aware of them, respect them, etc… But I also think that someone who owns guns needs to have a mental evaluation regularly, as well as those in the house with the guns. One person in charge of the guns may not be suitable when there are other people in the house, much less other “troubled” people.

However, making the ownership of guns is not the answer. The majority of gun violence is committed by people who REALLY DON’T GIVE A SHIT what the law says.

Someone who plans on, or has no problem shooting someone regardless of the fact that killing someone is against the law, isn’t going to care if the gun they’re using is registered or not. If the law isn’t going to stop them from using the gun improperly, it’s sure not going to stop them from obtaining it improperly. The only people a gun ban will affect is the law abiding citizens, who then become easy prey.

I’m reminded of something that someone I respect greatly said… When you lock your doors, you’re keeping help out, because if someone wants to break in, they’re going to get in regardless of your door being locked or not. Keeping guns out of the hands of the good guys only results in the good guys not being able to defend themselves against the people who don’t care what the law says.

I’m not saying everyone should have a gun either. I don’t think arming everyone is the answer, like some who oppose my views might suggest.

…by the way, I really hate that… When you express an opinion like “banning guns isn’t the answer” and they say “Oh, yeah, well, ok, we’ll just give a gun to everyone who signs up, that’s a great idea! Where’s the line? Let’s all have rocket launchers! Let’s all make bombs!” … that’s just being an asshole. I never said that.

Just because I say something isn’t the answer isn’t me arguing for the extreme opposite. If I told you I don’t like cold beer, it doesn’t mean I want it boiling.

I DO like cold beer by the way. Though, I really don’t dislike it warm either. …that’s beside the point though.

I’m not suggesting I have all the answers, but I am not comfortable with the idea that someone feels that I (and everyone else) should not be allowed to own a gun, when there are people out there who will get a gun regardless of the law, and possibly point it at me or my family, leaving me with nothing to defend myself or family… A law which I will live by only disarms me, in that scenario.

If you can tell me that nobody will ever point an illegal gun at me, or my family, then I’ll agree. …but you can’t. Nobody can.

So let’s remove all the guns right? Good luck. Make them illegal, they’ll just become more expensive, and harder to find. That doesn’t mean they’re not there, it just means they’re hidden better.

I’m sure you’re sick of hearing this, but when Hitler went into power, the first thing he did was get rid of all the legally owned guns.

“But that’ll never happen again!” right? Well, maybe it won’t, but I’m not comfortable with the idea that it might, leaving me with nothing to defend my self/family but a board with a nail in it.

Now. Assault rifles. Tricky ground here… In a world where we never have to worry about the government deciding to turn the military against the American people the way Hitler used his against the Germans / Jews, no… there’s no reason for me to be able to own an assault rifle. The only purpose for an assault rife is mowing down large numbers of people.

Do we live in such a world? Do you trust the government to that degree? Can you confidently say that no government in the US will ever be allowed to make such a decision? What would stop them? Other people with guns? The threat of nuclear war with… who?? If the US government decided it was in our best interests to put us in camps, and nobody but the bloods, crypts, and drug cartels had guns, who would defend us? Mexico? Canada? Do you not believe you should have the right to defend yourself?

As it stands now, RIGHT now, I see no reason to own an assault rife. My tune will change though if we’re suddenly facing a tyrannical government such as the 1940’s Germans. Or the English prior to that. I’m sure the Native Americans never thought they’d need assault rifles, but you can bet your ass that if they had them, there never would have been reservations, and history would be very different today.

Like it or not, there are guns in this world. There are also idiots. If the latter wants to posses the former badly enough, it will happen, regardless of the law. I’m sure the school administration in CT NEVER thought someone would step into that school with an assault rifle. If the assault rifle wasn’t available, the kid would have done something else… hand guns, a bomb, a car, whatever… The intent was terror, taking an assault rifle out of the equation would have just resulted in a different weapon. Arming the teachers wouldn’t have made a difference, the kid clearly wasn’t afraid of being shot, he shot himself.

I don’t claim to have the right answer, but closing the door on gun ownership only opens the door to let in those who we say CAN have guns, who could betray our trust, or those who would have just come in the window anyway.

*Whew* …Made it!

It’s been some time since I’ve bothered to set word to “paper” (in this case, browser) here, what with all the giving of thanks,¬†rubbing of things in the faces of mistaken ancient harbingers of doom, ¬† followed by amassing of debt and giving of stuff… Kind of a lot has happening in that time too.

On the home front, things have been pretty much in line with what one might expect a house with wife-who-works-nights, kids-of-7-and-3, dog-who-barks-at-own-shadow, mother-in-law, and work-from-home-computer-geek-dad would experience. Kids got toys, made life loud and exciting for a few days, got used to their toys are are now “bored”. Wife has been training for a new job, still in health care, but sleep medicine, rather than elderly care. Dad has played a lot of X-box.

Lots of stuff I wanted to blog about, and still do (and will) such as talks of gun control, and my opinions thereof… but it never really seemed like something I wanted to dwell on. The shooter in CT has gotten way to much exposure as it is, and although I was really quite shaken by all that, and my heart aches for the vicitims and their families, what’s a little blog post from me going to do for them? I thought a “Happy New Year” or a “Merry Christmas, That’s Right, I Said CHRISTMAS, and I don’t Care If You Like It Or Not” post or something like that would have been more appropriate. …alas, I didn’t do either of those either.

To be entirely honest, I’ve never been much of a fan of the holidays. I know everyone thinks that’s horrible and what not, but it’s true. It’s an awful lot of work, commotion, inconvenience, money, frustration, feelings of¬†inadequacy, and disappointment in that I can never get people the kinds of things I wish I could… Compounded by the fact that commerce masks blatant price gouging and crap stuff as a way to show your love… Sure, it’s about love and human spirit and good will towards others! What better way to express that than buying someone a brick of gold, or a new car!

Frankly, I wish I could get bricks of gold for people or new cars, but the fact is, I can’t… And I hate when I get gifts that completely cast a shadow on the gifts I give… I realize it makes the other person feel good to give gifts like that, but it makes me feel pretty worthless…

…not that that really happened THIS year, but in years past, I have really wanted to poke a few people in the eye for their¬†generosity.

And to top it all off, I have to endure the damned music that goes with the season. Endlessly happy and triumphant. Such a wonderful time! Who couldn’t love this season!? Only angry fuzzy green muppets and old misers, both of whom change their minds at the end of the story!

I did enjoy watching my kids enjoy it of course, and I was happy I could actually do better this year than I have in years past, (passed?) but I still wish I could have given more / better. As it is, I still have things to buy for the friends / family I’ve yet to get together with, and I will, but I may have to put them off until mid-month… I’m sure they’d say “Oh, don’t worry about it, I don’t care about getting anything!” …which only makes me more irritable. Perhaps they really don’t care about¬†receiving¬† That’s not what bothers me… They just want to give, right? Well so do I.

I do get some measure of comfort knowing that my embarrassment and depression made them feel good. Just the kind of civic-minded kinda guy I am.

Wow, that turned into a rant pretty quick. Just so you’re aware, I’m not in any bad frame of mind, or anything… I’m doing alright, just a gripe I’ve had for years that sorta snowballed as I set it down atop of the hill of blogging subject material, there…

Anyway, I thought I’d throw something up here to make sure everyone is aware I’m still alive and well, and I hope you can say the same? How was your break? Get anything good? Give anything you were particularly proud of giving?

To lighten the mood, I thought I’d share something I saw on BookFace earlier this week that I found pretty darned funny. Enjoy!¬†Push button receive bacon