Archive for June, 2008

dreary

June 19, 2008

This past week has been very trying, as global warming has apparently not taken hold here in Hamburg, NY.  Here it is, halfway through June, and I’m wearing long sleeves.  It’s been rainy and hovering around 60 degrees for the last three and a half weeks 3 days, and I’ve had enough.  This weather might be tolerable if it didn’t immediately follow August-like weather that’s more conducive to golf and lawn care and having the kids wear themselves out in the backyard instead of on my nerves.

It would be nice if the weather was nicer this weekend, so that I could mow my jungle lawn, but I have a funny feeling that some ill-timed afternoon thundershowers – 30% chance of precipitation, my ass – will screw that all up.

never presume common sense

June 13, 2008

This is a memo to myself, worded as a reminder to everyone out there…

When someone asks you to help them find something that they have misplaced, never presume that they have looked in all of the obvious places.  For instance, today my boss asked me to help her find her keys.  She couldn’t find them in her office or personal effects..  So, first thing we do is look all over the place in her cubicle, check the reception area, and look on the floor.  No dice.  My recollection was that she didn’t “jingle” on her way past my cubicle in the morning as she usually does, and so maybe she left them in the car.  So we walk out there and search her car, also to no avail.

On the way back into the building, we ran into a senior engineer who asked what we were doing.  When we told him, he asked a very simple question…”Are you sure you checked your purse?”  My boss gave us both that “you’re an idiot” look and opened her bag just to show us what goofballs we were to ask such a ridiculous…et voila.  Her keys. 

Away she went, with a sheepish grin and a quick call to her lunch appointment, and the engineer and I both stood laughing as I contemplated the complete lack of common sense occasionally displayed be even the brightest people.  And once again, I was reminded of the time we can all save by asking “stupid” questions…

$93.00 USD

June 12, 2008

The other day, I spent $93.00 to fill the tank on my 2000 Ford Windstar. 

Ninety three dollars

Now, I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a hell of a lot of money.  I’m none too thrilled that it takes me almost $34 a tank more to fill up that just a year ago.  Gas has gone up approximately 35% in the last year, according to the information I got at this website.

Some people can afford this kind of increase, and fortunately I’m one of them…barely.  My family has made adjustments, though.  My venerable old 1998 Grand Voyager and it’s 18 mpg has been replaced by a Saturn SL1 that gets about 30 mpg.  That helps a bit, but at some point we’re going to have to make some more decisions that won’t be so easy as just replacing a vehicle.  We both work, so we both need vehicles.  I’ve got three kids, and I need something capable of carrying the whole family without causing a shooting war among the kids.  There will need to be larger changes in our daily life in order to afford increasing costs, since the price of gas will inevitably (and has begun to already) jack up the cost of everything from bread and milk to the taxes we pay to maintain our roads and infrastructure. 

I suppose that here we’ll go with the inevitable bitching about the oil companies and how they’re raking in money hand over fist.  Well, yes they are, on pretty much the same margin that they’ve always made.  Only now the volume is greater because of greater demand.  So duh, they’re going to make more money.  I think everyone that bitches about the oil companies’ profits might want to check their 401k if they have one and see who’s making money for them right now.  There aren’t many stocks that are going well, but oil companies are among the good ones. 

I think there are a lot of reasons for oil – and especially gasoline and other distillates – going through the roof.  Among the more obvious: There’s an ever-accelerating demand from China and other Asian countries that are hitting the developmental speedway.  Our own country’s demand continues to increase.  Within our own borders – thanks to environmental laws, Al Gore, and a prevailing NIMBY attitude, among other factors – it would take an act of Congress, the wrath of God, and 145,365 tons of pixie dust to get any more refineries built.  There are lots of other reasons, but we can’t just look at Big Oil and wash our own hands of any responsibilty for what’s going on.

Sooner or later, ladies and gentlemen, that tank of gas for my Windstar is going to be too much for me – for a lot of people.  For some folks it already is.  Sure, the price of gas might moderate for a while, but it’s not going to go down too far anytime soon.  Me, I’ve made a small step in the right direction by buying a smaller, more fuel-efficient car.  I think maybe it’s time we all took some steps.  If we don’t, we’re going to get left behind.

when did this happen

June 10, 2008

The other night I watched the first game of the 2008 NBA Championship between the Celtics and the Lakers.  This might not sound very monumental; after all, I was only one of about 13.4 million people to tune in for the show.  What is remarkable about this is that I haven’t watched a basketball game intentionally in about 10 years, and it’s been more than 20 years since it wasn’t a college game.  I’ve since acquired a certain opinion of the sport and it’s players and coaches that I’ve never seen fit to change.

So why did I watch?  The only reason that I tuned in at all was that it was the Celtics and the Lakers.  They were the dominant teams the last time that I had any inkling to follow basketball, and I suppose there was a certain nostalgia to it.  I also think that I somehow figured this was a perfect time to validate my opinion of the NBA and sport in general by saying “look, I used to love this game, and these were my favorite teams!  But they done gone and ruined it with the me-first selfish stupid showboating and other BS antics off the court too so there.”  

Then something cool happened.  The game was good.  The players were running hard and playing hard and they were teams, not just a collection of spoiled stars bitching about fouls and acting like brats.  I was surprised.  I was pleased.  I think I might watch the sport again once in a while.  It was a complete shock in that it was so totally not what I expected from the game at all.

It’s not going to drag me away from hockey by a long shot, but it might be something on those nights when there’s no Sabres game and those jackass announcers from Versus make me want to throw my TV through the window.  

Go Celitcs! 

(I am Irish, after all…)

and it would appear that i’m back, sort of

June 6, 2008

Well, folks, it’s been a while.  This is where I began blogging, and this is where I find myself once again.  I had a stint for a while with WNYMedia.net, and it was an enormously satisfying time for me, but I think perhaps it’s better to be unaffiliated for a while because I can’t commit to writing like I used to.

For those who have not been followers for a while, or may be getting their first peek at my life, a lot of things have happened over the last year that have been very difficult and time-consuming.  I won’t get into it now; I’m going to try to get my archives from the other blog over here, and then you can check it out yourself.  Suffice it to say that writing has not been at the top of the to-do list, but I still want to do it, and this is going to be the best place for it.

Here’s hoping I can find some more stuff to write about – well, anyways, here’s hoping I can write something interesting that you all will read.  Look for more in the not-too-distant future!