Friday, May 21, 2010

Miss America

I was just reading a fun bit about Miss America. Our first Arab American to be crowned. The Right wing is all up in arms - I'm guessing they feel only blond haired, blue-eyed Aryans should get the title. The idea didn't sit right with me.

The Arab world tends to be very conservative. Generally, they would prefer their women barefoot, in the kitchen and under a tent of cloth. Isn't the Miss American contest generally anthem to their values? The one event that could get picketed by both conservative muslims and card carrying feminist is the Miss America Contest.

So, if many liberal groups are repelled by said beauty pagent, what is the logic of those said liberals trying to influence with, Conservative author Daniel Pipes, says, "odd form of affirmative action". I dare say that must on the left would prefer to find the Miss America contest a home on the entertainment shelf next to black-face and throwing Christians to the lions.

Beyond that, selecting a Muslim woman is more red-neck that liberal. What better a way to give the finger to the Taliban than to allow for the lustful viewing of one of "their" women in a bikini the size of an amoeba? I'd think the Right Wing would be cheering this as a victory of Pure Blooded Americaness over commies & terrorists.

I'm going to go back to hating the event. Congratulations to Rima Fakih for winning the most repugnant prize of all.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Car Rental Reviews

Tilly got put in the shop yesterday. She had a little problem that caused her to return to the body shop. My insurance got me a "free" rental. "Free" as I know I'll pay for it through my premiums.
The rental pick-up was nice enough. I got the car, drove it the mile home and didn't notice anything strange. The nice counter guy showed me how to adjust the seat, open the boot and such. Fine, fine, fine... just want to get home and nurse my wallet which feels injured by my deductible.
This morning, totally new story. I needed to get into the office today. So I leave the house, go to the car and then realize that I have no way to open the truck. The Saturn has only keys and no remote entry. Then the trunk - there is no slot for a key. I have to go around to the front door, unlock it and then press the button on the door to get the trunk unlocked. At lunch, I noticed that the passenger door doesn't rate high enough to get a slot for a key. So, if I were a gentleman and wanted to open the door for a guest, I'd have to open the driver side door, unlock the car and then run around back to the passenger side. What a production!
Little things... little things make a car acceptable.
My drive in was unresponsive and cushy - just as I would expect from an American car. The only thing is that the turn signals don't auto-cancel. They just keep going. I ended up having my idiot sign on for a solid mile. Maybe this car just has some wear & tear. The counter guy tells me that he get the cars that are just about going to die. Our little nowhere outpost doesn't get the mini's or 300's or any fun cars... we get the about-to-be-sold-to-unaware-consumers. Joy.
The last bit of note is that my drive, due to lack of MP3 connectivity, was dominated by local radio. As usually I have either BBC Radio One or my iPod filling my ears when on the road, I learned that my "just West of Ohio" neighborhood has an abundance of God-Radio. I couldn't help but feel bad for the faithful listeners, as they get really the short end of the drum-stick when it comes to music. The God-Rock puts God before the rhythm, which is marginally better than the hymns sung by the Battle-of-the-Choir competitions. Bad music and men who sound as sleazy as a vat of french fry grease. There is no good to be found there. I have to surf the stations to keep from going insane. Anyone want me to call them on my drive home? Or shall I learn the value of silence?

Keeping Fit

Yesterday I decided to jog the mile to the gym, work out and then jog home. It worked out pretty well. I didn't take my gym card and got hassled a bit at the front desk, but in a non-hassling way. "Since you always bring your card, we won't bother you about not having brought it." Right.
On the way home, I pass the high school. There was some event by the auditorium and, despite it being 6:20 PM, kids were making their way back to school. I came up behind a young couple who were flirting, but distantly. I was too far back to hear what they were saying, but she was reaching our her hand, as if to touch his arm. He bobbed back and forth - occasionally leaning towards her, often retreating. I kept thinking, "You fool, she just wants to hold hands."
As I got closer, suddenly I become quite self aware. Such a contrast between these kids in their teens going through the adolescent mating rituals and me, in gym clothes running by trying to stay fit. To them, their warm afternoon gets punctuated by sweaty middle aged woman wheezing as she goes by. I must be a total wet blanket! Call me libido killer! Poor kids. But maybe I prevented an unwanted pregnancy?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Car Troubles

Yesterday, as I drove over the Bay Bridge a lit cigarette stub flew into my windshield, having been released from the driver's side window of a green Honda. Not a few minutes later, as I followed a white Jeep Cherokee with License Plate# 4AVV385 garbage was released from its driver's side window. Clearly, I was so incensed, I took down their license plate. I know nothing can be done, yet I do hope that karma comes around and bites these two base, ignorant individuals. Do they really feel that the world is their trash can? Holding it until we get to the can does make a difference.
But how big of a difference? I know that trash doesn't disappear. That we just put it where we can forget about it and hope that it goes away. Instead of releasing a crumpled up something from your window while on the bay bridge, effectively ensuring that it gets released into our bay. He could have put it in a trash can where it would end up as landfill. When will we run out of landfill?
I believe, we can do better. What if we shifted away from having trash in the first place? Instead of releasing the crumpled up packaging of cigarettes (what I believe the white jeep littered), how about buying loose cigarettes and putting them into a refillable cigarette case? Not much we can do about the cigarette butts, aside from quitting smoking - which is a good idea as well.
Next we could tackle those single use water bottles. We drink the not-much-better-than-tap water out of them and then discard them. And where do they go? We could do so much better as a society by finding ways to move towards re-usables. Have pure water filling spots - aka water fountains - where people can fill up their long-term water bottles. Start charging for plastic bags at the supermarket- make the option of reusable bags much more appealing. Little steps here and there which will add up - if the majority of us do them repeatedly.
We can do better.