For the Love of Ephemera, Victorian Fashion Torture, and I Want My Car Back

Ok, for the second bloody time now.  Why, oh, why did this damned thing zap the whole body of this post?   I am glad I don’t have to wear clothing like this.  I like the prices and I like the coverage, but I need a waist a tad bit larger than the circumference of my spine.   Corsets had to be nasty things to wear.

Now I know why these women died young.  They couldn’t breathe.

So, should I choose to design my own fashion,  to achieve the goals of comfort and coverage, and not rely on today’s dismal offerings from gay fashion designers who manage to only come up with clothes suitable for those with an exhibition fetish and the proportions of a 12 year old boy, I would have to come up with something like this ensemble:

The illustrious Steve-o has my car this week, which sucks.  He only has it because no one else had a reliable vehicle for him to drive whilst the infinitesimal intermittent miss he claims to hear in his Audi-  when a laundry list of conditions are met- is being checked out by his high-faluting buddies down in Cinci.  So I’m driving Dad’s nasty ’92 Mazda van that does, to its credit, have nice cold A/C, but I’m having my doubts about the ball joints, tie rods and that rather disturbing lifter noise.  Steve-o is the most anal dude on the planet (and I’ve seen some very anal car enthusiasts in my time) when it comes to his own car.  I just hope that he doesn’t think that because he’s using my car- for free- that it’s party time.

It’s not a Mazerati, but it does have nice cold A/C, a decent stereo and 5 on the floor.  Damn, I miss my car.

I feel sort of sorry for Dad.  He’s stuck in that nursing home rehab center, and the food is just plain frightening.  What’s worse is he’s going to get enough scary food when he goes home and Mom attempts to cook.  On the plus side he is losing weight, but it’s sort of sad to lose weight just because you can’t identify what’s on your plate and you’re afraid to eat it.  Dad wanted me to drive his van- he can’t drive at all for at least another three weeks while his sternum heals- rather than Steve-o driving it, because Steve-o has a 40 mile drive through the middle of nowhere to get to work.  I can get retrieved a little easier should Dad’s ancient Mazda decide not to start, or if the steering and/or suspension fails.  I hope it holds together, but I can always commandeer Jerry’s Tacoma, and probably should anyway.  The Tacoma has a manual transmission and Jerry hasn’t managed to blow the speakers in it.  The Mazda would have a good stereo- if not for all the speakers being blown to hell.

Better living through chemicals, especially when they’re in pastries!

Dingleberry’s Doppleganger, Coyotes, the Tree Hugger Manifesto, and Passive-Aggressive Vindication

First, a disclaimer.  Jerry (first pic) is NOT Mexican or Hispanic in any way, is 53, not 43, and has never been anywhere near San Jose in his life.  I think the furthest west he’s ever been in his entire life is Indianapolis.  I think he has been to Florida a couple of times, but he’s no regular traveler by any measure.  This being said, in spite of his ancestry (one or two English people- and a lot of Cherokee Indians) he bears a downright frightening resemblance to Mr. Arias pictured in the missing kids hotline ad. 

I’ve gotten my passive-aggressive vindication for the day.

I am glad once I encountered Jerry whilst he was sober he admitted that getting rid of my car is not a viable option to save on household expenses.  I could pinch pennies here and there but my penny pinching would likely be counter productive at the end of the day.  I’m not giving up bathing, shaving, other superfluous hair removal, or hair color.  Nor am I giving up my nails.

I thought about some of the tree-hugger suggestions to conserve resources.  I am thrifty by nature (and almost to a fault at times, out of necessity) which is in agreement with some of the tree-hugger suggestions.  I consolidate errands.  I try to reduce, recycle and reuse when doing so saves me a buck, and it usually does.  I drive the most fuel-efficient  conventional gasoline internal combustion car available (can’t afford a hybrid- neither the initial cost nor the higher maintenance costs, same goes with diesel- too expensive to maintain) today.  However, I can see where some of the tree-hugger manifesto items prove either impractical or too expensive which sort of defeats the purpose.  I can understand the concept of living better with less- that’s just common sense and good strategy.  I draw the line at such things as:

1. Bury your car. 

   Over my dead body.

14. Spend a month tree-sitting.

   Outside with all the bugs, exposed to the sun where my Super White, melanin-free skin tone will turn to blisters, freckles and splotches within minutes?  Bug bites and skin cancer?  I think not.

30. Go to jail for something you believe in.

   Last time I checked, my beliefs (though unpopular in some circles) and activities are not illegal.  Therefore I would have no need, or desire, to go to jail for anything.

31. Don’t own pets.

   WTF????? I think that would be worse than the tree-hugger suggestion to not have kids.  Besides, we humans domesticated these animals.  We are responsible for caring for them- including neutering or spaying our own pets to keep populations in line.

44. Stop using toilet paper or Kleenex, use washable cloth.

  WTF again!  Once I’ve wiped my nether regions with it I don’t want it back even if it has been washed and Clorox’d, which sort of defeats the “saving resources” idea, eh?

47. Democratize your workplace, start a union or collective.

   Unions destroyed my hometown. I can go on ad nauseam on that one, believe it.  Granted, there’s no air pollution there any more, but there are also no jobs.  What point is having a pristine environment when everyone has to move somewhere else in order to work and sustain themselves?  Why did all the Ohio manufacturing jobs end up in southern Right to Work states? 

49. Liberate a zoo.

  Sure…and let’s see how those exotic animals from tropical climes fare here in the Central Ohio swamp– oh I mean, wetlands– against the mercurial weather changes we have here- not to mention the voracious appetites of native coyotes. Canis latrans is in no danger of extinction here anytime soon, even without any tree-hugger assistance.  Liberating the zoos would give the coyotes a few days’ bonus chow, but they really aren’t hurting for grub to begin with.

Sometimes the tree-huggers make some sense, but other times they display the impractical vapid and uninformed idealism of small children.  Who hasn’t heard little kids say such silly things as “Why can’t two boys get married,?” or “When I grow up I’ll never take a bath again.”  Usually kids wise up as they grow up- they learn that in order to procreate one needs involve the opposite sex, and that bathing is one of those means to gain entry into polite society.

Part of the extreme tree-hugger syndrome in my opinion is a refusal to grow up.  The world is not Sesame Street, and even on Sesame Street (I’m amazed I can remember this far back) Bert and Ernie were not married, and they did take baths. 

So there. 

Now that freaking “Rubber Ducky” song is stuck in my head. Damn.

The element that is missing in all the “Save the World” rhetoric is balance.  The reality is that society has not developed a working, viable substitute for the petroleum-fueled internal combustion engine. I don’t say this because my livelihood is in the automotive industry.  There are alternative systems and alternative fuels in development, and I’ll be glad to see it, especially if they involve renewable resources, but they are not commercially viable yet.  This being stated the practical and balanced approach to the oil question should be: obtain, refine and distribute petroleum products using the most cost-effective and environmentally sound methods that are available and practical.  It CAN be done and should have been done years ago.  It is a matter of national security- sorry, tree-huggers- that domestic oil reserves need to be accessed NOW regardless of the litigation happy NIMBYs who whine and cry about it. 

As far as natural selection goes for all you strict Darwinists out there, species have come and gone long before humanity and will come and go long after humans go the way of the dinosaurs.  The species that survive are those who adapt, like Central Ohio coyotes.  I don’t think oil drilling will disturb the coyotes one bit.  Nor will it disturb the hawks or turkey buzzards or the squirrels and chipmunks.  There are species that will go extinct regardless if humans intervene or not- but many species have become far more successful because of humans.  I can think of a few:

Canis lupus familiaris  (easy one- domestic dogs)

Felis domestica (another easy one- house cats)

Rattus norvegicus (not so easy- sewer rats)

Mus musculus (house mice)

Columba livia (pigeons- the “flying rats” of urban lore)

Procyon lotor (raccoons)

Pediculus humanus, also Pthirus pubis (head lice and body “crabs”)

Periplaneta americana (American cockroaches)

and of course, our coyote friends, Canis latrans.