Posted tagged ‘curmudgeonly rants’

Pet Peeves

April 10, 2018

curmudgeonI didn’t sleep well last night.  Again.  And my lovely wife, Muri, tells me I was talking loudly and thrashing about when I was sleeping.  So, I’m tired.  I have things on my mind, medical issues to discuss with my doctor and personal things I don’t seem to be able to get to.  Muri is off for lunch and shopping with a friend so I’m alone in the park.  Usually that’s a good thing but today I’m in a mood.   My friend Ralph, who I usually meet for dinner on Tuesdays is sick.   The best way our of a pissy mood is often to write in my journal, put the garbage out, as I like to call it.  I don’t want to.  My Inner Curmudgeon is Outer.   So, in the interests of the safety of those around me, the best thing I can do is let him rant.   Here are a few of his Pet Peeves, things that get on his nerves as we go through our day. (more…)

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Tax Day

March 26, 2018

taxes1It is Tax Day.  Don’t panic, please … Tax Day for me hasn’t been April 15 for many years, since I began having my taxes done by a professional tax accountant.   For most of my years working for Big Industry, I did my own taxes.  I would postpone filing as long as possible, then scramble to collect all the necessary records, re-remember from last what went on what line and hold my breath as I looked up the tax due in the Tax Tables.  That usually happened on April 14.  Since I started my own business and hired an accountant to do the dirty work, Tax Day has been the day of my appointment with Taxman Bob.   I gather up all my paperwork and fill out the tax organizer that Bob provides, them spend about an hour in his office as he looks through what I’ve provide, making sure nothing is missing or incorrect.  He checks to see that I’ve paid my estimated taxes (in the amounts he calculated the previous year to assure there will be no penalty) and makes sure I haven’t neglected any deductions.   Then we’re done.  Within a few days, he will call with the bad news.   It’s always bad news because I pay estimated taxes, so, at a minimum, I will owe the first estimated tax payment minus any return I might have coming.   It can be a substantial chunk of change. (more…)

Rainy Ramble

March 22, 2018

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It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Ramble here on Older Eyes – Buds Blog. In case you haven’t been around here long (who has these days), a Ramble is a post I write when I want to post but have nothing in particular to say. Or sometimes … like today …when there are serious topics I don’t feel like writing about right now. It is raining here in Socal, heavy rains predicted through tomorrow. The locaL news here treats every incoming rain storm like a major event but there is some cause this year … the possibility of mudslides in areas affected by the fires last summer, including Anaheim Hills where Mr. and Mrs. Eyes live. Mandatory evacuations have been issued in nearby Corona and voluntary ones a five minute walk away from our house. We are about a block from the fire line so we will probably not be evacuated. I am sitting in my car in the park. Yes, my phone is on so I can get any evacuation news.

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Robo

January 19, 2018

dial phoneIn the little ranch style house I grew up in in East Haven Connecticut, there was one phone.  It looked like this one, a masterpiece of efficient electro-mechanical machinery, weighing about 2 pounds.  By placing your finger in the hole of the number you wished to dial, rotating the dial until your finger was against the stopper, then releasing it, the internal mechanism would generate that number of pulses and sent them out on the phone line.  I think that phone rang two or three times a day, always answered by my Mom.   It was usually a call from a friend or family, but occasionally it would be a business inquiry from an establishment where my parents did business.  There was a small pad next to the phone for messages in case the call was for someone that wasn’t home. (more…)

Life in the Drivethrough

November 6, 2017

mcdees dtI will confess that I find myself in the drive through at McDonald’s more often than is good for me.   There was a time when I was there for a Quarter Pounder or Big Mac meal, large please with a Diet Coke.   These days, it’s more often a large coffee, two cream in, and a Sausage McMuffin with Egg on my way to the park, or a large Diet Coke on the way home.   I know, I know … that diet soda isn’t good for me.  I came home from our trip to Italy a few years ago with a serious Diet Coke habit.  I’ve got it down to one a day.  Italy is an expensive place to get hooked on Diet Coke, by the way … five bucks for a mini-can.

Like many Mickey Dee’s restaurants, our McDonald’s has put in a two lane drive through.  Two ordering lanes converge in to a single line to pay and collect your food.  When I first saw it, I was sure that our always-in-a-hurry, aggressive Socal drivers would be cutting each other off  trying to be first in, first out.   But after more than a year, I’ve watched customers take turns, left lane then right lane.   The design is such that once a car has pulled forward from one lane, a car in the other lane can pull far enough forward so that it cannot be cutoff.   Brilliant design, I’d say, ever the engineer.  Small things amuse small minds, you might say.  I’d respond that it’s a pretty big drivethrough.

But no drivethrough design is completely immune to human foibles, so customers still manage to slow the pace of service.  This evening my wife and I stopped to get an iced coffee and a soda and a woman in an SUV had positioned herself between two lines so she could choose whichever line moved first.  It’s not the first time I’ve seen the old supermarket strategy brought to the drive through.  There are customers texting in line so they don’t move when the line does, which is doubly annoying because the when they finally get to the ordering station they don’t know what the heck they want.   There are Sally Albright customers who, like Sally in When Harry Met Sally have to customize every food order, something McDonald’s is unfortunately encouraging with their new menu.    There are can’t find my wallet customers and there are have a life changing conversation with the cashier customers.  Happy meal orders are particularly slow … C’mon, Jeremiah, Heather, Andrew and Rebecca … what toys do want? Apples or fries?  You don’t even like orange soda, Heather.

Then there was the little old guy who, while searching his cup holder for loose change, rolled into the Audi SUV in front of him.   Oh, yeah, that was ME.   The driver of the SUV, a forty-something woman dressed for business was all-business when she stormed out of her car with steam coming out of her ears, photographed the back end of her car with her phone  and said to me, Do you realize you just hit my vehicle?   Now, my Inner honeyCurmudgeon wanted to have a little fun.  He suggested, Oh really?  I didn’t notice … or maybe, It was just a little kiss, sweety.   Fortunately, at 73 I am capable of keeping my Curmudgeon Inner, so I said, Yes.  I’m very sorry,  Is there any damage? Disarmed by the politeness of the cute old guy looking up at her, she glanced at her car then back at me, smiled and said, Don’t worry about it.  There’s no damage.  So, that old saw about catching more flies with honey than vinegar is true.  Thank goodness.

So, that’s Life in the Drivethrough for Monday.   Have a great week.  And don’t text in line.

Whackers and Blowers

October 7, 2017

`As I write this post, it occurs to me that this particular title could be taken in a very different context than I intended.   So let me say first that if it is sexual titillation (one of the great words in the language, don’t you think?) you are looking for, there are much better places to get it than the blog of a 73 year old curmudgeon. So, take your dirty mind and move on.

20171007_115339464794329.jpgIt is Saturday morning, and I am in the park.  That is no surprise any day of the week but Saturday is my most consistent day, my day to assess my week and do some of the things that keep this old brain ticking … write, pray, make a gratitude list, and read some inspiring essays.  Maybe (only maybe) meditate. But there is a surprise this morning and it isn’t a good one.   The park landscape crew is out and for the last forty minutes I have been serenaded by the annoying drone of a weed-whacker.  And you know what that means … soon to follow is the main act in the parade of annoying noises, the leaf blower.  Yorba Regional Park is a beautiful place, partly because of the work of the landscapers but I’d be happy to have a some long grass around the trees and a few leaves on the sidewalks to be spared the constant whine.  And on Saturday, yet.  Saturdays are supposed to be reserved for screaming children, the thump of too-loud-music from family reunions, and the drone of weekend traffic on the nearby freeway. (more…)

Fixes

October 2, 2017

According to the dictionary, getting a fix means To obtain something necessary, especially a dose of an addictive drug or anything else compulsively sought after.   Of course, the phrase is an idiom in the sense that it’s definition can’t be determined from the meaning of the words.  So, I tend to drop the addicted and compulsively and let it just mean doing something I really enjoy.  Back in my running days, after a long day at work, I’d put on my Nikes and go out for a running fix. Yeah, my friends told me I was compulsive about exercise.  OK, as ice cream lovers, my wife and I sometimes head to our favorite shop in Dana point for an ice cream fix.  But believe it or not some geniuses at the New York Times (all the news that’s fit for the bottom of a birdcage) published an article comparing ice cream consumption to drug use.  OK, music.  When I’m down, nothing lifts me like listening to some music I love.  But sure as shit, there are articles about the problems of music addiction.  It seems to be in the nature of our modern world that some idiot is out to find fault with liking anything too much.  (more…)