The Month of June

I have made a decision concerning the month of June. I decided that I am going to give up alcohol for the entire month. I have a friend who is doing the same (although the timing is a few days off) and I decided it was not a bad idea.

Now, she has her reasons, and I have mine. I do not think that I am an alcoholic, but I think that I could become one. I do have a lot of wine in my house and hard liquor, but no beer, which is kind of surprising. I figure by doing this, I am going to save some money, save some calories, and just prove that I can do it.

Giving up hard alcohol isn’t that hard, I haven’t had any in a long time. Giving up beer is harder since I have a Guinness about once a week. Now, giving up some wine, that is where the real challenge is, since I do love my wine.

But, from the first day of June till the last, I am not going to have any alcohol. I probably should have had a glass of wine tonight.

Three Thing Friday

1. It’s just a game – All hell recently broke lose in a game I play. People were offended. People stopped playing. Insults were thrown. It was not pretty, and all of this over a game.

The biggest problem I had was the threats that were made for not taking the game seriously enough. It was like we were going to actual war, not a fictional war that is supposed to be fun.

Having had enough, I left. The game was no longer fun; it was being taken too seriously. I have enough stress in my life, a mortgage, work, and an aging car. I do not need fictional stress.

2. 40-Years Ago – Back in 1975, one film proceeded to scare people out of the water for an entire summer. It also caused a backlash that no one predicted. Jaws premiered 40 years ago and changed the face of the film industry, the shore industry, and the lives of billions of sharks.

The FICTIONAL film was treated as fact and demonized the shark. Even Peter Benchley stated that if he knew what would happen to the sharks, he would never have written the book. That is not to say that only bad things happened because of this film, people got interested in sharks. Plenty of shark biologists credit Jaws with getting them into their chosen field.

It also gave us the summer blockbuster… which may not be a good thing. This was the first true summer blockbuster, and now we have a film industry who will dump millions into a film hoping to be the next big thing.

On June 21st the film will be in select theaters. Will I see it? Probably.

3. Put to work – From Monday the 18th to Monday the 25th my friends put me to work. First, I had to help unload a moving van full of crap into a friend’s house on the first hot day of the year. This wouldn’t be so bad, except I know that in a few weeks they will be moving back out. This is just a temporary storage place. Can someone say POD?

After that I went up to New Jersey to help two more friends with moving. They just got a house (congratulations guys) and needed to pack up, move out, and toss crap into the garbage. I helped with their desk, couch, animals, and just general packing.

The final task I have was to water another friend’s yard. He just had sod installed and it needed daily watering. With it being a holiday weekend, he went up to see his parents. So, I found myself watering his lawn on Sunday and Monday.

And that was my week…

Three Thing Friday

1. Being rushed – I am not a big fan of being rushed. But sometimes one just has to deal with it. I have plans that involve me leaving the house as soon as I get home from work. So, right now, in order to write my weekly three thing Friday posy, I am rushing through it before I go to work.

At least it game me an easy topic.

2. Damn Kids – I hear people complain that kids never get out of their houses. The kids are too busy playing indoor on their video games. I actually believe this is a bigger problem for my generation than for the children.

At least if the damn brats that have been outside my house the last few days. The weather was beautiful, when it wasn’t raining. Why can’t these children stay inside and play video games instead of being on their bikes, tossing a ball around, and doing other outdoorsy stuff. Stupid parents raising their children right.

3. Shocked – I am shocked. As I posted a few days ago, I was surprised when my father joined my mother and I to an Indian restaurant, and he enjoyed himself. Well, this week I got a call from my sister saying he would like to go back for father’s day. What the hell? He’s not supposed to enjoy Indian food.

So, apparently I am going back for father’s day. Not too bad.

Jersey Tomatoes

This past weekend I bought some tomatoes and made myself a tomato wrap. It was on a spinach wrap, had a little cheese, and a lot of mustard. Of course, there were also a few slices of tomatoes.

This wrap got me thinking about fishing with my grandfather. Every trip we took in his boat he would prepare our lunches. And among my family, these sandwiches were famous. They would be made out of this hard bread that was gutted. The crust of the bread was the best part after all. He would add some cheese and whatever meat he wanted to the day. I remember ham, salami, turkey… of course, this was a while ago, so my memory may be a little faulty.

He also usually added some of his own tomatoes. And there is something to be said about his tomatoes specifically, but Jersey Tomatoes specifically. The tomatoes taste different, they taste better.

I know it sounds odd, but I swear that it is true. The tomatoes just taste better. And honestly, after eating the tomatoes I bought, I miss those tomatoes.

Three Thing Friday

1. Off my clock – I took yesterday off. That’s right, I did not go into work. I washed the car, attached the kayak racks to the MINI, changed the A.C. unit’s air filter in my house, and got some food shopping done. In fact, everything I would normally do on a Friday when I am off, I did on a Thursday.

The problem is that now that I have done it all, I feel like today is Saturday. The good part of this is that my weekend will seem even longer. The negative side is that when I finally have to go back to work, it will be that much harder to actually return.

But, I had a productive day off, now I should try to be productive today. I won’t, but I should.

2. Amtrak – So, there obviously was a fatal accident in Philadelphia involving a speeding Amtrak train. As I write this, all I know is that the train was exceeding 100 MPH around a turn that should have been taken at half that. I also know that the person in charge says he has no recollection of what happened.

I do have a couple of issues with what has happened since this accident. For one, the mayor came out and said that the engineer was reckless, even though nothing at the time was known about the accident. It could have been faulty brakes or some other technical issue. It is known that the emergency brakes were on. And I admit, it could have been the conductor’s fault, but let’s make sure we know before we make accusations.

Question number two involves the funding that the government funds Amtrak with. Is this the best use of taxpayer dollars? Should we be funding a business that cannot stand up on it’s own? It’s not like we fund the post office… oh, wait a second. I have admitted in the past that I lean left, but I am not sure that keeping Amtrak afloat is right. Granted, the U.S. Government keeps a lot of businesses afloat, even farmers. I wonder how many people realize how many farmers are paid not to farm, or that the government buys a lot of the farmer’s produce just to burn it. We have to keep the prices up somehow.

3. A watch – So, I have finally seen the apple watch in person. I have to admit, it is pretty cool. I’m sure I haven’t seen all of it’s utility, but what I have seen almost makes me want to get one. There are few things I should point out though. My iPhone is so old a new watch probably would not be able to interface with it. In order to get the watch and use it, I would probably have to order a new phone, and I am not ready to do that just yet. Secondly, I don’t wear a watch now. I own two; I have a dress watch and a sports watch. The only time I wear the sports watch is when I am kayaking, I need to keep time somehow. I wear the dress watch only half past never. I am not sure I have ever put on that watch.

So, should I get a watch that I may never use? Probably not, the money could go somewhere else.

 

Cartoon Dictatorship

I know I am not alone when I say that the current dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, is crazy. Actually, I believe the term I would prefer to use is wacko. He is one wild and crazy guy. But I can also add that he is entertaining too.

This week he had his defense minister publicly. And how he did it is very entertaining. The minister was executed with anti-aircraft guns. Think about that for a second. These guns meant to shoot down planes were lowered and aimed at one poor individual. What’s next? Firing someone out of a torpedo tube? Giving them an ACME Batsuit and seeing if they can fly?

batsuit

I can actually see this crazy strapping someone to the launch pad of a rocket and making people watch that.

And I hate to say it, I would probably be a little entertained if I watched it. Probably says a lot about me. Still, Kim Jong Un would make a great cartoon character. I can see him riding a missile with ACME written on the cone.

Trying Something New

Obviously, yesterday was Mother’s Day, and yes, I met up with my mom for lunch. She wanted to have some Indian food and had tasked me find a place that was the mid point between us. The shock was that she brought my father with her. My sister as well, but that was not as much of a surprise.

Why was my father coming a surprise? Well, much like my younger self, my father does not normally try new things when it comes to food. He might try true Mexican food, but he’s an Italian and American kind of guy. And when I was a kid I would run away from trying new things. When I hit college, this changed. I don’t know why. And it really doesn’t matter.

My dad actually he thought that he would be eating raw fish like sushi. I actually remember dragging him to a sushi restaurant once, that’s when he learned that not all sushi is raw fish. Though, I am not sure he remembers that. And of course, Indian food is not sushi.

So, my father tried Indian food, mild of course. My sister also tried Indian food, and she also went mild on the spices. My mom, being a little braver, went a little spicier, but I already knew she liked Indian food. And I went with a 5 on a 10-point scale, playing it a little safe.

And I have to say, the food was great, and the waiter did everything he could to make my father and sister happy. I think he knew that my mom and I were just happy to be eating Indian. He really went all out.

I highly recommend Nimit Palace in Voorhees, NJ. It was a tiny place, but the food and staff were amazing.

Three Thing Friday

1. Mary Lee – Off the coasts of Virginia, Maryland, and currently New Jersey is a fairly large female great white shark. How do I know this? Well a good portion of my friends decided to send me all of the articles about her and how Ocearch has tagged her. Well, I actually already knew that she was nearby, but I do appreciate that my friends decided to point it out to me.

My issue is that I am torn with the Ocearch tracking. I love the fact that I can track Great White Sharks. The fact that Ocearch has tagged sharks in the Atlantic and the Pacific, and you can follow what they do almost daily is amazing. However, I hate their tagging practices. They say that their methods are safe, but I cannot believe that taking a shark out of the water to tag it, when you can accomplish the same thing leaving them in the water (where they live), is necessary.

Honestly, I think the guy is doing it for the publicity. So I am torn, I want to follow these sharks, but I do not want to support Ocearch.

Either way, a tagged female is hanging off the coast; I should try and find her.

2. A.C. is on – I can already feel my electric bill climbing. Less than a month ago I had the heat on and I already have the AC on. I hate heat, and with the temps already in the 80’s, I decided to crank on the A.C. This house gets hot during the day, and with a very hairy cat, I want to keep it manageable.

I know I am in the minority, but I already miss winter. Yes, I like my summer sports like kayaking and SCUBA diving, but I prefer the cold to the heat. So I now say, it is open season. I didn’t complain about the cold, prepare to hear me bitch about how hot it is.

3. Alarm Cat – Loki has been acting weird lately, but last night (early this morning) takes the cake. At 3:30 am he decided that I needed to be awake. He has never done this before. He was pushing on me. Bumping me. Doing everything he could to wake me up. Which is why I know it was 3:30, I looked.

I rolled over, look at him, and stated (calmly, of course), “I have over an hour left to sleep you bastard.” And with that, Loki curled up next to me and fell asleep.

Of course, I spent the next hour pondering, “What the hell is wrong with my cat?”

Strange Decision

My goddaughter’s birthday is this week. Think on that for a second. My goddaughter. I have a goddaughter. What was going through my friends mind when she asked me to take on the responsibility?

First, we all know I usually keep children at a distance. And I usually keep them at a very large distance at that. They make me uncomfortable.

Second, I am an atheist. She knew that when she asked. I made sure. So you have an Atheist who is uncomfortable with children as a godfather.

What was I thinking when I accepted?

Either way, it is her birthday week, and I hope she has a good one.

USPS

I have finally realized why the post office is going bankrupt. First you have their odd campaign after the holidays that promoted the fact that they were there, you should use them to mail back your returns. Seriously? The reason that I should use your service is because you are there anyway? That was the best you could come up with? Who the hell did you hire for your marketing department? Anyway, moving on to reason number two.

On Friday I decided to mail a book to a friend. Wasn’t a big deal, just a small book. Because I know how to deal with USPS, and I know where the post office is, and because it is easy, I decided to go there. I bought something that the book would fit in, asked for a tracking number, and sent the book on it’s way. The package traveled approximately 741 miles but it only needed to be delivered 23 miles from my house. I could have, I should have, delivered it by hand. The book traveled from here in Aberdeen to Greensboro, North Carolina to Capitol Heights, Maryland and then went on to its destination.

I’m sorry, but a little better planning would have saved at least 600 miles. And yes, I know I only had one package, but I cannot believe that my package was the only one diverted in this odd manner. I mean, Baltimore has to be a major hub of packages…. My parcel could not have been the only one heading in that general direction.

And this is not the first time I had an issue like this. Thanks to UPS using USPS to deliver some of their packages, I had something I ordered go from Tennessee to Maryland to Georgia then back to Tennessee before finally making it to Maryland and my house. This package was at one point less than eleven miles from where it originally shipped.

This cannot be cost effective. I would say it is a true government organization, but technically speaking, it is independent with only government subsidies.

In short, the USPS is a mess and before we know it, FedEx and UPS will be delivering our mail.