Don’t Wanna, Can’t Make Me, and Sweet Dreams are Made of These

moretheyexpectSo, for a brief sanity break, leave those who were raised by wolves to figure things out for themselves from time to time.

The zoo calls that “enrichment” time for the animals.  Let the bears dig their dinner out of a bucket instead of just putting it in front of them. It makes their lives more fun. Or at least, it makes it more fun for the humans to watch.

I strive to have high standards for myself, but I don’t really expect much from rest of the world.  I know that might sound arrogant, but should I expect anything from anyone, even if I spell it out clearly, odds are that they will disappoint.  The old axiom, “if you want it done right, do it yourself,” certainly does apply in my life, although I should re-word it a bit for the 21st century.

“If I want it done at all, I better do it.”

If I keep my standards low, then when someone actually does perform adequately or appropriately, I am pleasantly surprised.  It’s sort of a twisted way of looking at the glass as being half full.

Of course there are some things I could give a rat’s ass less whether they’re done or not, because they just don’t make an appearance on my priority list.

assmaster

I’m not a sports fan.  I struggle to commit to regular workouts for my health’s sake.  I’m still trying to learn to enjoy exercise.  I appreciate being able to go to the Y and use the machines and the pool there, but the only person I compete against as far as fitness or athletic (in)ability is myself.

I will make time to work out, but I still don’t care to watch sports.  Especially next month when they will be clogging up TruTV with that March Madness basketball mess.  I know some people want to watch basketball, but why on the same channel that “World’s Dumbest” is on?  Why not cut a few of the late night pecker pump infomercials and have basketball on then?

I can’t say I am a huge fan of constantly dusting things either.  I don’t dust as often as I should, but dusting is one of those exercises in futility that I positively loathe.  Jerry is a constant smoker, which creates even more dust than what would be in a normal house.  That nasty nicotine encrusted film covers everything in the house.  If I get to it, I get to it, but it’s not one of my really compelling priorities.  I can dust the whole frigging house from top to bottom and the filmy sludge will return in less than a day.  To me that seems like an insane waste of time, which reminds me of poor Sisyphus.  We the unwilling, doing the impossible for the ungrateful.  Sometimes I think I have more in common with Sisyphus than I’d like to acknowledge.

unwilling

I know I torqued Jerry off last night by not fixing him dinner, however, he has spent the last few days being particularly obnoxious.  Last night I did make a special trip to get him chocolate milk.  That favor was greeted with a tirade about how he had to get up and lock the door.  I was gone for five minutes, in broad daylight, and the door leading into the kitchen was locked.  The outside door was unlocked because it’s a little easier to only have to dig for one key- once you’re already in the foyer- when it’s cold and your hands are full.  But since His Nibs doesn’t do anything that might involve carrying in groceries or anything like that, he wouldn’t know.

It’s my own fault for being too nice.

Paradise_Garden_Wallpaper_pkuk6Here’s a lovely little slice of paradise.  Or it would be, if there were a pool and a pool boy.

The bad thing about me and utopian scenes is that I’m always the one who cues in on the one nasty thing in the picture.  For me the idyllic scene above becomes:

Paradisecrapperfiretacos

This would be the kind of dream I have.  Everything is perfect for a minute, and then there’s flaming porto johns, Richard Simmons, and flatulence-provoking taco references.

Now here would be my definition of a nightmare:

detroit 3It would be my luck that when I die I’ll end up in Detroit.

Clandestine Observations, Weed Whacking While Drunk-and-Stupid, and Hooray for Technology!

I never realized how much more affordable covert surveillance equipment has become in the past few years.  Some of Jerry’s drunk-and-stupids would be positively You Tube gold.  The time he tried to start a fire in the fireplace with gasoline would have been right up there with the stuff you see on World’s Dumbest or 1,000 Ways to Die, only flashpoint doesn’t kill you, (usually) but it does burn off body hair.

Speaking of 1,000 Ways to Die  today I had to explain to some Uncle Dad (ill-educated backwoods redneck) that there’s a reason why one does not install a remote start kit on a vehicle with a manual transmission.   Something about disabling the neutral safety switch (the gadget that keeps you from starting the car unless you have your foot on the clutch) is one of those Not Very Good Ideas.  Just color me ethically cautious, but 20+ years in automotive have made me both cautious and cynical when considering the average person’s ability to understand simple directions, i.e. being 100% sure the car is in neutral when you try to start it without having your foot on the clutch.   If I’m telling you a particular modification is not a good idea, chances are I’ve either tried it (lots of experience in the School of the Burned Hand) or observed the carnage when someone else did.  I spent way too many years of my life in mechanical shops and in close proximity to body shops. 

It  does beg the question why would anyone want a remote start kit (even if you don’t drive a manual transmission car) to begin with.  I don’t want my car running without me in it.  This is Ohio, and winters can get cold, but it does not get cold enough here to warrant letting any modern car run unattended for any length of time.  That’s why vehicle manufacturers came up with all the nice innovations such as computer controlled idle and timing and electronic fuel injection.  The electronic controls make the necessary adjustments to idle, timing and fuel mix to adapt to the ambient temperature, so that puppy is going to start and run even if it’s cold.  Start the bloody thing and take off already, that’s how newer vehicles are designed.  It heats up quicker that way (both the engine and the heater, which gets hot because the cooling system from the engine gets hot) and it saves gasoline.  It’s not like back in the day when you had to play with carburetors and chokes and mechanical distributors and such, only to put the car in gear and have it stall out if you didn’t let it sit and idle and get relatively warm first.

Believe me, I don’t miss carburetion or conventional ignition one bit.  The scary thing is I am old enough to remember both- and know how they (are supposed to) work.  Rube Goldberg had nothing on 1970’s and 1980’s (blecch!) domestic carbureted vehicles’ fuel and emissions systems. It’s a bloody engineering marvel if and when they DO work.  Most of the time they didn’t, especially in the the depth of a wet, cold Ohio winter.  There’s a reason why nobody is still driving their old 1982 Chevette- many reasons, actually, but I don’t think there are very many of those old turds left that still can be driven- even if the floorboards by some Act of God failed to rust through.

I may be one of the last surviving women on the planet who knows how to decipher GM carburetor (and differential, and speedometer gear) charts.  Just because I know how to look up the component parts for these old carburetors in the old GM charts doesn’t mean they are available (most probably aren’t) but it’s a quaint old skill, sort of like using a slide rule, or writing a letter using pen and ink.  The guys who play with vintage/classic cars will understand exactly what I’m talking about, but most people will scratch their heads and wonder what the flying thunder I’m talking about.  Have fun rebuilding that four barrel Rochester for your Chevelle.  There are vintage suppliers who still deal with that old stuff, but as for me, progress is a good thing.  I may be many things, and not all of them lovely, but I am certainly not a technophobe- especially as it applies to the automotive world. I want to see a car that gets 100MPG (if it’s not too dorky- like the Smart Car that has no room but still doesn’t get any better mileage than my 4 door Yaris sedan- or expensive I would probably buy it) and for the most part I like the electronics and gadgetry available today.

However, I don’t need a remote start, even if it were safe to use them on a manual transmission vehicle (and trust me, it’s NOT!)  I really don’t mind being a bit cold for a few minutes while the heater warms up, and there are few things I disdain more than wasting gasoline.

Speaking of wasting gasoline in creative ways, I got to observe yet another drunk-and-stupid adventure last night.  Joy!  I am afraid to look in the back yard.  Jerry found himself a very sweet high-faluting John Deere weed whacker.  Now, I don’t get excited in the least about yard implements.  I don’t like yard work, and I’m doing good to even start a lawn mower or a weed whacker.  But Jerry loves yard work, and he loves the lawn tools, with the passion that middle-aged men have for all things lawn, and he gets even more excited about dangerous gasoline-powered toys when he’s good and besnookered.  After a twelve pack, and after Bob showed him how to put line in this particular weed whacker, Jerry was out to weed whack everything.  I stayed in the house with the dogs.  I am only hoping he steered clear of the tomato plants, the eggplants and the zucchinis.  I will have to go investigate tonight when I get home and can see the carnage in the light of day.  I am hoping he kept his whacking activity limited to the weeds around the sidewalk and the hedges, but redneck + alcohol + gasoline powered lawn toy is bound to equal some sort of mass destruction of plant life and anything else he could reach with the whacker.

I need to get some of the spy camera and micro DVR stuff.  Jerry out running amok with the weed whacker would have been priceless You Tube fodder.